Monday, April 6, 2015

An Investigation of One Theory of Interpretation: Isaiah 14:12

An Investigation of One Theory of Interpretation

Origin of the Controversy

Many have made claims concerning the following controversy.  Doctoral dissertations have been given and books written on the subject.[1]  It is important to read and understand all of the endnotes for a full orbed grasp of the topic.  This paper examines Isaiah 14:12 in order to evaluate an hypothesis developed by two medical doctors: The Day-Dunegan hypothesis.  Unfortunately, no complete bibliography for this hypothesis is available at this time.[2]  The hypothesis appears to have been derived from the perspective of the anti-abortion birthing rights movement.

While we agree with this movement and deplore abortion in all its forms, there is more to the story.  The Malthusian Dilemma is an ever pressing reality.  Earth’s population is rapidly approaching 7.25 billion people.[3]  The world population growth rate is still above 1%, though it appears to be declining.[4]  This means that the earth’s population will double in roughly 70 years, the hoped-for life span of my newest grandson, who is now crawling on the living-room floor.  This means that he will have, in aggregate and on average 1 to 2 acres to eke out his life.  So the moral implications of such an hypothesis have severe and broad implications.  Christianity, as never before, needs to step up and address these complicated difficult problems for which the human race has no solutions currently in place.

Fortunately, our God is not limited either by our stupidity or by our powerlessness.

Working Hypothesis

The hypothesis states that: If certain key words of Scripture can be altered slightly, “the entire meaning of Scripture” can be changed and a whole “new religion” created.

Its first corollary is that: The general blindness and ignorance of the people will allow such sweeping changes to take place unnoticed.

While this hypothesis will probably stand on the merits of linguistic nuance.  That being said, the method of examination appears to be trivial.  I will provide at least an outline of what I consider to be an adequate analysis.  There is no excuse for ignorance of Greek in this kind of study.  The absence of any reference to Greek shows a definite weakness and inadequacy of examination in the formulation of this hypothesis.  So we will accept the points as a working null hypothesis and test it for failure in each verse.
The first corollary exposes some fundamental theological errors.  It is far too humanistic; God is still in control here.  It fails to account for the power of the Holy Ghost, Who enables us to tear down strongholds of error with truth.  It fails to recognize the true nature of The Church (Hebrews 12).  It is simply impossible for The Church to stumble and fail in such a manner.  If society as a whole should fail in this way, then we would be forced to conclude that Christianity has departed the face of the earth, having retired at last to the Heavenly City of God.  So the whole hypothesis fails on its presuppositions.  Nevertheless, for the sake of discussion, we will continue, and not pass the hypothesis off as being trivial.

Isaiah 14:12

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer[5], son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” — KJV

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!” — NKJV

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!  You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” — NIV

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning?  how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?” — DRA

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who rose up in the morning!  He who sends for all the nations is crushed to the earth.” — Orthodox Study Bible (OSB)

πς[6] ξέπεσεν[7] κ[8] το ορανο[9] ωσφόρος[10] πρω ἀνατέλλων[11]; συνετρίβη[12] ες[13] τν γν[14] ποστέλλων[15] πρς[16] πάντα τ θνη[17].” — Septuaginta, Rahlfs

“How did the until-bringer, the dawn rising fall from heaven?  [How was] the apostle to all the nations crushed into the earth?” — my translation of the Septuagint

The Context

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning?  How are you cut down to the ground, who weakened the nations?  For you said in your heart,

“I will ascend into heaven.  I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.  I will sit also upon the mount[18] of the congregation, in the sides of the north.  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Yet you shall be brought down to hell[19], to the sides of the pit.  Those who see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble; who shook kingdoms; who made the world as a wilderness, destroyed its cities; and did not open his prisons?”

All the kings of the nations, all of them lie in glory, everyone in his own tomb.  But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, and as the clothes of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit as a carcass trodden under feet.  You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people: the seed of evildoers shall never be honored.

“Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers so that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities: for I will rise up against them,” says the Lord of hosts, “and cut off from Babylon the name, the remnant, the son, and nephew,” says the Lord.  “I will also make it a possession for the bittern, pools of water; and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says the Lord of hosts.  The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot:” then his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden depart from their shoulders.

This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations: for the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who shall disannul it?  His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?


Isaiah writes about the historical fall of Babylon, which he also calls Assyrian.  This passage closely parallels Ezekiel 28 in tone and subject matter; where the prince of Tyrus thinks of himself as God, and God’s equal; where the king of Tyrus is referred to as a cherub.  Likewise, in Daniel, empires are seen as the consorts or wives of emperors.  Empires or kingdoms are feminine, wives; emperors and kings are masculine; the emperor acts as a high priest; behind the false worship is a system of demons ruled by Satan.  All of these seek to mimic the true kingdom of God.

Both Lucifer and morning star are legitimate translations of ωσφόρος; yet that does not make either of them good or wise translations.  Lucifer is an opinion based on the Latin language; morning star is an opinion based on related astronomy concerning Venus.  Isaiah may have neither or both ideas in mind.  The only word that approaches ωσφόρος in the New Testament is φωσφόρος[20], which differs from ωσφόρος by a single letter.  Otherwise the two passages differ widely.  The ωσφόρος is declining, while φωσφόρος is ascending.  Certainly, some sort of astral imaging is in view here.[21]  Venus, the day star fades toward dawn while the Sun brightens and obliterates sight of the whole night sky.  Therefore, we must conclude that it is the 2 Peter 1:19 passage which is unfortunate: for it should be clear that it is impossible for the day star to achieve ascendancy against the overwhelming power of φωσφόρος, which ought to be rendered Light-bringer.  It is the Sun that typifies the Glory and Power of Jesus Christ, who is exponentially that many times more Glorious and powerful than the Sun, than the Universe full of stars.  As with the German name Feuerbringer, or Fire bringer, the two words[22] and two ideas have little in common.

An intriguing possibility arises.  The Jews are lovers of puns.  So much so that they called Antiochus IV Epiphanes, “Epimanes,” behind his back.  The change of a single letter, φ, to, μ, made the one who claimed to be “light giver” into “madman”[23].  As with English, where wise guy does not indicate a wise person, nor smart alec praise an intelligent person; so also ωσφόρος falls far short of being φωσφόρος.  A ruler or even cherub who sees himself as φωσφόρος might be insulted to be thought of as ωσφόρος.  The Feuerbringer, fire bringer, or light bringer, is a person of importance, bringing life to the community.  The until-bringer, pro-tem-bringer, temporal-bringer, temporary-bringer, acting-bringer, provisional-bringer, adjunct-bringer, substitute-bringer, or simply substitute brings almost nothing and is insignificant even in comparison to the moon.  He just got too big for his britches and has made himself a smarty pants.

However we chose to look at these words, there is much evidence to show that the translations are unfortunate, but no evidence shows malice.  I would have preferred Light-bringer or Light-bearer in 2 Peter 1:19; and substitute-bringer or Eosphoros, the transliteration, in Isaiah 14:12 rather than attempting any translation at all.  That idea may still be unacceptable to those still stinging from WWII, where Führer is too close to Feuer for some peoples comfort.  Lucifer is the Latin for Light-bearer, and simply gives more credit to Satan and his minions than they are worth even in aggregate.  Still, Satan appears as the angel of light.[24]

There is no way to be certain that these words are intended to be names, titles, descriptions, epithets, or pejoratives; so there is no way to know if these words are best capitalized or not.  Clearly, an individual person is named or described in both Isaiah and 2 Peter.  The verbs would have to be in the second tense to support the vocative.

Could this person be Satan?  Yes, or Nebuchadnezzar as the icon of Satan, or as the slave of some demon in the service of Satan.  It should be clear that the Satanic kingdom counterfeits The Church, the true kingdom of God; that its imperial master is Satan, who operates through hordes of demonic minions, and billions of enslaved people.  Only The Church has the authority to make a final determination and declaration in this matter.  Translators do not have that authority; neither do I.[25]

As far as technical correctness of translation and accuracy the NIV seems to have a slight edge, because Lucifer means light bearer, whereas the person described is no light bearer.  Yet in attempting to be technically correct they have opposed the evident decision of The Church.  I would suggest, Substitute, but The Church must have the final say: for as 2 Peter 1:20-21 says,

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation: for prophecy was not brought by the will of man, ever: but men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We conclude with a summary proposal:

“How did the Substitute, the dawn rising fall from heaven?  [How was] the apostle to all the nations crushed into the earth?” — my translation of the Septuagint

Side Issues

There is no small attempt to make Satan into the brother and equal of Jesus, creating a pseudo-dualistic religion.  This is a different problem, outside of the scope of this discussion.


The hypothesis fails to be proved in Isaiah 14:12.  The translational change is technically possible, but silly.  Many readers will realize that it bucks the authority of The Church; while others will see the meaning of the words from the weight of the context, no matter what translation is chosen for ἑωσφόρος.  As always we should never accept anything out of context: local Bible context, whole Bible context, Bible set within The Church context, Bible set within its historical milieu.  The translation morning star does minimal damage and avoids valuing Saran above what he is worth.  This is the whole point of the passage.  Whoever we believe Lucifer to be, he is being taken down a peg or two or more, precisely because of his hubris.  Even if the passage does not speak specifically of Satan, we would still conclude that Nebuchadnezzar’s personal hubris typifies that of Satan and is ultimately informed and prompted by Satan.

[1] Here are a few samples, as well as opposition arguments to provide balance:
[2] The following may be correct sources:
[5] The pseudonym, Lucifer, derives from Latin; not from either Greek or Hebrew.
[6] πς, interrogative or relative adverb: how or how?
[7] ξέπεσεν, 3s, past indicative verb: he fell off, out of, from, forfeited, failed; for example: to earth, to shore; implicitly: to end, ruin, or death (he died).  Translators are treating this as though it read ξεπέσατεν, 2p: How did all of you fall?  2s: How did you fall? would be ξέπεσας.
[8] κ, preposition: out of, from.
[9] το ορανο, articular genitive singular: of the heaven.
[10] ωσφόρος, articular nominative possibly used as a vocative, a compound of ως + φόρος, literally until + bearer or bringer: Morning Star, Dawn Bringer, Venus; the language is very hyperbolic and attempts to describe a Hebrew idea in understandable Greek terms, which appear to draw a clear distinction between OT and NT uses of similar ideas.  If this is Satan, which is a highly disputed idea, then Satan is the false morning star, who brings deception arrogance and lies.  Jesus is the true morning star, who brings light and life to the world.  It is no secret that, out of jealousy, Satan attempts to clone Jesus (Numbers 21:9; Matthew 4; Luke 4; John 3:14).
[11] πρω ἀνατέλλων, participle phrase, adjectival to ωσφόρος followed by the Greek question mark (;): the dawn rising.
[12] συνετρίβη, 3s, past indicative passive verb: he was beaten down, broken, crushed, warn out.
[13] ες, preposition: into.
[14] τν γν, articular accusative singular: the earth.
[15] ποστέλλων, articular nominative possibly used as a vocative: the sender, the apostle, similar to angel, the messenger.
[16] πρς, preposition: from with accusative, near with dative, to with accusative.
[17] πάντα τ θνη, articular neuter accusative plural: all the nations.
[18] Zion, Jerusalem, clearly so from Psalms.  However, Psalms frequently refers to heavenly Zion, and Jerusalem, not to earthly Zion, or Jerusalem.
[19] Possibly only the grave, yet this is not likely.  Ancient culture saw graves as the doorways to the abyss, to a subterranean journey devoid of light, (Styx).  Styx does not call forth pictures of quietly resting in the grave.
[20] φωσφόρος, nominative possibly used as a vocative, a compound of φῶς + φόρος, literally light + bearer or bringer: day star, morning star.  2 Peter 1:19.
[21] This is not uncommon in scripture.  For example in Genesis 37:9-10, where Jacob is the sun, Rachael (or Leah) is the moon, and the eleven brothers are stars; all of whom will bow down to Joseph in Egypt.  Additionally, a thirteenth star will be adopted in Egypt.
[22] ωσφόρος and φωσφόρος
[24] Please note that Satan is not the angel of light; but rather, Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.  Satan and all his minions are frauds.  2 Corinthians 11:14
[25] It would appear that The Church has given its declaration for there seems to be a consensus: Catholic Church, DRA; Orthodox Church, OSB; Protestants, KJV.  Having arrived at this consensus so long ago, are we now to fold under the pressure of smart alec private opinions?  Moreover, no one today has the command of Greek idiom common in the first five centuries.  It is because I have no command of Greek idiom that I am compelled to break words into components for understanding.  Neither Jerome nor his predecessors were obstructed by such a lack of Greek or Hebrew idiom: they were on the scene, in the era, and their wisdom is not easily refuted except by the arrogant and simple minded.
[26] If you have been blessed or helped by any of these meditations, please repost, share, or use any of them as you wish.  No rights are reserved.  They are designed and intended for your free participation.  They were freely received, and are freely given.  No other permission is required for their use.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Numbers 11:29

Numbers 11:29

“Would to God that all of the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit[1] on all of them!”


... in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.  Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us.  Amen.  Glory to You, our God, Glory to You.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (three times).

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it is now, was in the beginning, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29 (KJV Paraphrase)

“The Lord said to Moses, “Gather seventy men around Me from among the elders of Israel: men whom you know to be the elders of the people, officers over them; bring them to the tent of the congregation, so that they may stand there with you.  I will come down and talk with you there: I will take the Spirit[2] which is on you, putting it on them; they shall share the burden of the people with you, so that you do not need to carry it by yourself.”

“Moses went out, told the people the words of the Lord, gathered the seventy men from the elders of the people, and set them around the tent.  Then the Lord came down in a cloud, and spoke to [Moses], took the Spirit that was on him, and gave it to the seventy elders: so it came to pass that, as long as the spirit rested on them, they prophesied without ceasing.  Two men, Eldad and Medad, who were listed [among the seventy], remained in the camp, yet the Spirit rested on them as well.  Even though they did not come to the tent; even so, they prophesied in the camp.  A young man ran to tell Moses, “Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp.”  Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, a member of his staff responded, “My lord Moses, forbid them.”  Moses replied, “Are you envious on my account?  Would to God that all of the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit on all of them!” ”


In 33 AD[3], on the Day of Pentecost, around 1450 years later[4], this prophecy is fulfilled.[5]

“Would to God that all of the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit on all of them!”

The Lord does exactly that, He puts His Spirit on all of His people, beginning in 33 AD, with the birth of The Church.  This is an extraordinary thing which is often neglected.

Around 586 BC, Ezekiel writes concerning this event.[6]

Ezekiel 36:23-27 (KJV Paraphrase)

“I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned among them.[7]  Then the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified among you in their presence.  I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.[8]  Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be cleansed.[9]  I will cleanse you from all your filthiness, and from all your idols.  I will also give you a new heart, I will put a new Spirit within you: I will take the heart of stone from your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.[10]  I will put My Spirit within you, causing you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them.”[11]

And again:

Ezekiel 37:12-14 (KJV Paraphrase)

“Therefore, ‘Prophesy, saying to them, “Thus says the Lord God, Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.  You shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.  I shall put My Spirit in you; you shall live; and I shall place you in your own land: then you shall know that I the Lord have declared it, and caused it,” says the Lord.’ ”[12]

Joel also writes:

Joel 2:28-32 (KJV Paraphrase)

“It shall come to pass later, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.  Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.  Your old men shall dream dreams.  Your young men shall see visions.  I will also pour out My Spirit on the male and female slaves in those days.  I will show miracles in the heavens and on the earth, blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.  It shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be salvation,[13] as the Lord has promised, and among the remnant whom the Lord shall call.”[14]


As soon as Peter decrees, “this is that,”[15] we are no longer free to speculate or offer other interpretations.  The Apostolic authority is both clear and final.  The Book of Acts continues to focus, elaborate, and apply this, Peter’s first Apostolic decree.  In spite of the certainty of this fact, this is among the most abused, amplified, argued, bungled, burgled, confused, debated, denied, disavowed, distorted, embellished, exaggerated, hijacked, ignored, misinterpreted, persecuted, perverted, purloined, refuted, sensationalized, stolen, and twisted passages of Scripture.  Nevertheless, its meaning is clear and straightforward.  Just read it as it stands.

There is no need for a canonical authoritative New Testament at this time.  The Holy Ghost Himself continues to authenticate new Christians and churches as they are joined to The Church.[16]


What Moses makes clear is that:

       The Gift of the Holy Spirit was rare before the coming of Pentecost in 33 AD.

       Only Prophets received the primary gift of Inspiration, which enabled them to hear and record their conversations with God.

       This Word from God needed incessant arbitration and explanation which placed an overwhelming physical and spiritual burden on Moses.

       God endorsed and empowered the appointment of seventy elders, the first Sanhedrin, a collegiality of judges, lesser prophets, who were imbued with the gift of interpretation and understanding (Bath Kol, secondary inspiration) so that they could arbitrate and explain Scripture to the people.  There is no evidence whatsoever that any one of these elders left a canonical record.

       These seventy men spoke with ecstatic utterance as a confirmation of the fact that they alone were permitted to assist Moses, Aaron, and Joshua with the administration of Yahweh’s kingdom.  We do not know the exact nature of this ecstatic utterance; however its intent, limit, and purpose are clear from the context.

Ezekiel makes clear that:

       The purpose of this extended gift of the Holy Ghost is a witness to the heathen, people who have never heard of Yahweh before.

       Israel-Judea will be restored as a nation.

       Israel-Judea will receive a baptism of sprinkling and their love and lust for idolatry will be broken.

       Israel-Judea will receive a tender heart of flesh, to replace their hardened heart of stone.

       Israel-Judea will receive the Holy Ghost.

       Miracles will take place in which graves will be opened and the dead will be brought to life.  Although this is a typology, for the resurrection of Christ, and the new birth of His Church, which is all of spiritual Israel, it is literally verified at Christ’s resurrection.

       The Law will be obeyed in this new kingdom.

Joel brings to the table that:

       These spiritual gifts are bestowed on all flesh, not just Israelites and Jews, but on all who believe.  These are the ones, Paul assures us, who are the true Israel of God.[17]

       This great salvation, including these spiritual gifts, is available for the asking.  The only price on the part of believers is that of calling or praying.[18]

       Those who respond to this free offer, paid for by Christ, will be limited in number, a remnant.  It is clear that not all ethnic Israelites, Jews, or heathen will receive the invitation with tender fleshly hearts, and begin to call on the name of God, stop profaning that name, and in Christ become obedient to the Law.  Only a remnant will receive this gift of the Holy Ghost.

       All are invited.  They fail to receive, because they refuse to ask.  They do not drink or eat at God’s table because they reject what is served there.[19]  You are invited to come and receive the gift of life.  Please come.

Paul details the outworking of this gift for us:

1 Corinthians 12 (KJV Paraphrase)

“Concerning spiritual gifts, colleagues, I would not leave you ignorant.  You know that, coming from various nations, you were led astray with unspeaking idols, by your own leaders.  So I want you to understand, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God is able to curse Jesus; no one is able to say that Jesus is the Lord, except through the Holy Ghost.[20]

“There are varieties of gifts, but One Spirit.  There are contrasting and different leaderships, but One Lord.  There are complex operations, but One God is at work behind them all.

“The open display of the Spirit is given to each Christian for the benefit of all people.[21]  To one is given the word of wisdom by the Spirit; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, various human languages; to another, the interpretation of languages.

“Yet, all of these function because of that One Selfsame Spirit, Who distributes to each Christian individually as He wishes.  As the body is a whole, having many organs and systems, all the organs and systems of that united body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

“By One Spirit we are all baptized into one body; whether we are Jews or from other nations; whether we are slaves or free; we have been all made to partake of One Spirit: for the body is not one member, but many.

“If the foot shall say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not part of the body;” is it therefore not part of the body?  If the ear shall say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a member of the body;” is it therefore not a member of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing?  If the whole body were hearing, where would be the sense of smell?

“Yet God has created every one of the organs and systems of the body, according to His own pleasure.  If they were all the same member, where would the body be?  Now all of them are the multitude of members, forming one body.

“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you.”  Nor can the head say to the feet, “I have no need of you.”[22]

“No, much more those members of the body, which seem to be feeblest, are most essential.  Those members of the body, which we think to be without honor, upon these we should lavish more abundant honor; and our ugly features should be renowned for their beauty: for our beautiful features have no need of praise.  God has designed the body as a whole, giving more abundant honor to the features which seem to lack honor.[23]

“Thus, there should be no schism[24] in the body; rather that the members should have mutual care for each another.  When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.  If one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

“You are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  God has set some in The Church, first Apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracle workers, then healers, helpers, administrators, linguists.  Are all Apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Are all miracle workers?  Do all have the skills for healing?  Are all skilled linguists, or knowledgeable interpreters?

“Covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet I show you a more excellent way.”[25]


There are other such passages.[26]  Yet all of them scream for the Universality of The Church.

“We believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

This is The Church where the Holy Ghost, “speaks by the Prophets.”[27]  This is The Church, which is built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone.[28]

Vain Protests

Yet, what are we told?  This is a spiritual unity, not a visible one.  Or, this used to apply, but it no longer applies in this age.  Or, you can only have this by….  Whatever dodge, excuse, or smokescreen is put up in order to disobey this command to unity, it is false, an unvarnished lie.  We do not attend invisible buildings, to conduct invisible baptisms, listen to invisible preachers with invisible Bibles, and receive invisible communion.[29]  Paul contrasts our universal disobedience to idolatry[30] and demonism[31].  Yet, dozens of ways prevail to deny that this has any application in The Church[32] today.

Call to Communion

Oh, if all Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants would take this to heart, would come together and insist that corrupted members seek repentance.  Would to God that we would take this call to Unity to heart.  Not in a Unity of compromise.  Not in a Unity of domination.  Rather in a Unity of Life.  Instead of behaving like brothers and sisters in Christ, we behave like 30,000 species of Donatists or Novatianists, each pulling the One Body of Christ to pieces by our willful behavior.

[1] Ghost, Matthew 1:18, 20; 3:11; 12:31, 32; 28:19; Mark 1:8; 3:29; 12:36; 13:11; Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25, 26; 3:16, 22; 4:1; 12:10, 12; John 1:33; 7:39; 14:26; 20:22; Acts 1:2, 5, 8, 16; 2:4, 33, 38; 4:8, 31; 5:3, 32; 6:3, 5; 7:51, 55; 8:15, 17, 18, 19; 9:17, 31; 10:38, 44, 45, 47; 11:15, 16, 24; 13:2, 4, 9, 52; 15:8, 28; 16:6; 19:2, 2, 6; 20:23, 28; 21:11; 28:25; Romans 5:5; 9:1; 14:17; 15:13, 16; 1 Corinthians 2:13 (?); 6:19; 12:3; 2 Corinthians 6:6 (?); 13:14 (13); 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 1:14; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 2:4; 3:7; 6:4; 9:8; 10:15; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 5:7 (8); Jude 1:20
Spirit, Psalm 51:11; Isaiah 63:10, 11; Daniel 4:8, 9, 18; 5:11; Luke 4:1; 11:13; John 1:33; 7:39; Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13, 13; 12:3; Ephesians 1:13; 3:5; 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 1 Peter 2:5 (?); Revelation 21:10 (?)
Πνεύματος, Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:14; John 3:5, 6, 8; Acts 4:25; 8:39; 11:28; 21:4 (possibly the human spirit); Romans 7:6 (?); 8:2, 5, 5, 6, 23; 8:27; 15:19, 30; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 10, 10, 14, 14; 5:4 (?); 12:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 1:22 (?); 3:6, 6 (?), 8 (?), 18; 5:5; 7:1 (?); 13:13; Galatians 3:14; 5:17, 17 (?); 6:8, 8 (?), 18 (?); Ephesians 2:2 (Satan); 3:16; 4:3; 6:17; Philippians 1:19 (?); 2:1; 4:23 (?); 2 Thessalonians 2:2 (demon), 13; Philemon 1:25 (?); Hebrews 4:12 (?); 9:14; James 2:26 (?); 1 Peter 1:2; 3:4 (?); 1 John 3:24; 4:13; Revelation 18:2 (demon)
A question mark indicates that the verse may be discussing something other than the person of the Holy Ghost, the human spirit, spirituality, and the like.  That being said, all human beings possess a human spirit, or invisible part of the whole person.  All human beings have not received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  So wherever a new gift is discussed it must necessarily involve the Holy Ghost in one way or another.
Word searches were conducted with the following tools:
Wigram, George V., The Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, Ninth Edition (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1840, 1844, 1860, 1885 previous editions and notes, 1903, 1974 reprint) with earlier credits to the foundational work of G. K. Gillespie.
Bible Gateway,
[2] The Holy Ghost is not being distributed in pieces or portions; He is not doled out.  Since the Holy Ghost is God, He is also ubiquitous, so that all of the Holy Ghost is given to each of the seventy: He comes to each, in all His fullness.  This is one of the major differences between biblical religion and pantheism.  Rather the Holy Ghost employs His sovereign power to direct and limit the abilities of humans through a variety of spiritual gifts.  Partial fullness is simply impossible.  One has either received the gift of the Holy Ghost from the Father, through the baptism of Christ, or one has not received that gift at all.  It is very clear from this passage that a distinction is still being made between the spiritual gift of Moses and the spiritual gifts of the seventy.  The seventy are gifted to administrate, explain, interpret, and judge.  Only Moses talks to God, face-to-face, as a friend: as also other prophets speak to God.  Aaron only comes to God through Moses or through Urim and Thummim.  Miriam only leads other women.
[3] Why 33 AD?  There will always be the unusual person who claims a Wednesday or Thursday Crucifixion.  Such ideas are based on the misunderstanding of Jewish and/or Greek idiom.  Primitive peoples tend to use counting numbers: 1, 2, 3….  It is an error to force modern concepts of more abstract mathematics on such an idiom.  The Church has always believed that Christ was crucified on Friday.  Modern astronomy has verified that only two possibilities exist for a Friday Passover, in that general era: 30 AD and 33 AD.  While either date may be possible, the later date provides more time for Jesus to develop His ministry; and less time for the work of apostleship to develop prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Thus we have a preference for 33 AD, while you may prefer 30 AD, but other dates are not really possible.
[4] Moses writes in the general period between 1446 (the year of his ordination before Pharaoh and Israel, at age 80) and 1406 (the year of his disappearance, at age 120).  It is likely that Moses died around 1406.  However, the record accurately reports that he simply went up the mountain, nobody ever saw him again, and his body was never found: else Joshua and the Israelites would have brought his body into the Promised Land and given Moses the dignified burial that he deserved, humanly speaking.
[5] We ought not think that this gift of prophecy is like that of Moses.  We must make a distinction between the gift of Prophecy and the gift of prophecy.  What Moses does before 1406 and Peter does 1450 years later is absolutely unlike what others are doing at the same time.  There is a wide gulf fixed between the voice of Authority which speaks, and understanding that Authority.  Acts 2:16-21
[6] Ezekiel writes after Yahweh’s Shəkinah has deserted Israel-Judah in chapters 10 and 11; see especially verses 11:17-21, 24.
[7] The Israelites and Jews, who were commanded to keep, and had the privilege of keeping God’s name sacred before the watching world, had become the most notorious abusers of it.  This is among God’s principal complaints against them, and a major reason for the destruction of their divided nation.  After their return, the restoration of their nation will never again be free: even after Babylon it remains in a state of slavery to Persia, Greece, and Rome, until Rome destroys it in 70 AD.
[8] When the Israelites and Jews returned to Jerusalem around 516 BC, God had removed the love and lust for idolatry from those who returned: only a remnant returned.  Nevertheless, the majority of these returning refugees may be characterized as still having hearts of stone.  This is evidenced by the Pharisees, for whom religion was only a matter of ritual performance and sets of rules or traditions; as well as the Sadducees for whom religion was only a matter of the exercise of physical earthly power, without any eternal meaning.  The hearts of stone would not be broken for a remnant of the remnant, until Pentecost, 33 AD.
[9] This is clearly a baptism by sprinkling.
[10] The receiving of the new and tender heart is associated with the giving of the Holy Ghost, as well as with baptism.  Even the disciples are locked in unbelief prior to Pentecost.  Only Mary of Bethany, who washed His feet with her tears, and a handful of others, have realized and believed the full impact of Jesus’ words.  The rest are held captive, spellbound in stunned disbelief.  What Jesus was saying was not really true, was it?  The mental process of the disciples does not differ from ours: how frequently have we retained lessons learned by rote, only to have much fuller understanding flash into view, years later.  This kind of understanding requires the additional gift of baptism with the Holy Ghost.  Matthew 16:22; Mark 8:32
[11] Please note that the outcome of receiving this new heart is genuine obedience to the Law, not ritual obedience, and not ceremonial unbelief.
[12] The occupation of the Holy Land by the Jews, around 516 BC, appears to be a dead or dying precursor.  Similarly, the occupation of the Holy Land by the Jews today shows little indication of spiritual life: it’s just another secular nation, having no eternal consequence.  Matthew records the fulfillment of the first fruits of this prophecy for us.  In Matthew a portion of the dead are raised.  This is a typology for the resurrection of all the dead, beginning with Adam and Eve.  Among other things, this typology also signifies the spiritual deadness of us all: for before the Holy Ghost comes to us, we are as good as dead: we have no eternal land, no place of rest.  It is the remnant from among the Israelites and Jews who receive the gift of the Promised Land.  In the fullness of this prophecy the boundaries of this Promised Land are extended until they embrace the whole earth.  Paul’s promise in Roman’s 11:11-36 is either still in the future, or hidden from our eyes by God.  Matthew 27:50-54; Acts 1:5-8; Ephesians 6:1-3
[13] The emphasis and focus has now turned away from earthly Jerusalem and Zion to heavenly Jerusalem and Zion, the eternal city of God (Revelation 21).  This transition is not news, it is a clear emphasis and focus of the Psalms (for example: Psalm 51, NB that David is among the few who have the gift of the Holy Ghost for prophetic utterance, primary Inspiration).  Even in Moses, we understand that the earthly duties and performances of the Israelites and Jews were nothing more than an earthly model of a greater heavenly reality (Exodus 25:9, 40; Hebrews 8:5).
[14] Acts 2:16-21; also Obadiah 1:15-21; Romans 10:13
[15] Acts 2:16
[16] NB that in Acts 8, the Holy Ghost is received separately, which is always possible; yet, in almost all other cases the Holy Ghost is given integrally with baptism.  It is the Holy Ghost Who authenticates the Apostolic presence, and not the other way around.  A church might very well form and function without the presence of Apostles, although without validated officers.  It is impossible that a church form and function without the presence of the Holy Ghost.  This puts to silence all those who claim that the Holy Ghost is less than the necessary and sufficient condition for the fullness of churches: that somehow or other an oral tradition must be added to make churches complete.  What we see here, as well as elsewhere in Acts, is that oral tradition would grow from the lives of such churches.  Churches did not spring authentically or equally from the pre-existence of an oral tradition.  What churches had received and believed previously was the Word of God: that is the Old Testament (verses 14, 30-35).  It is not critical to this process that the New Testament is neither complete, nor universally available.  Acts 8:15, 17, 18, 19, 39
[17] I am a true Jew.  I am both baptized and circumcised in the heart.  It is neither the cutting of the flesh nor the washing of the skin with water that matters.  It is only the work of Christ in baptizing with the Holy Ghost and fire that matters.  Romans 2:28-29
[18] Such calling has been the faithful practice of a few since the evening after Cain and Abel.  Genesis 4:26; 12:8
[19] All may have come aboard Noah’s ark or arks (as many arks as necessary could have been built).  The demand was such, that only one ark was necessary.  All were invited to prepare for the flood: they were warned 120 years in advance (Genesis 6:3).  They willfully chose death, rather than life.  The same thing is true today; people simply have a preference for death.  Psalms 116:9-19; Isaiah 55:1-3
[20] This is not about mere speech.  Anybody can mouth words.  This is about the sincerity of the heart in declaration.  When Cesar’s soldier is about to remove your head, it takes spiritual power not to cave, in terror; in the face of cruel beatings and death to continue to insist that “Jesus is Lord.”  Call to mind Daniel in the lion’s den, and Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah before the fiery furnace.  It takes more than human strength and will power to man or woman up in situations like this.  Consider also John the Baptist, Saints Felicitas & Perpetua, or the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.  This is why confession under the duress of martyrdom has always been considered a proof of sainthood.  This is not a nice passage about the ease of spiritual life.  This is a hard passage about the bloody cost and suffering of spiritual life.  Christ’s exclusive baptism of the Spirit is always accompanied with the baptism of fire.
[21] Not just all of The Church or all Christians.  One of the major purposes of spiritual gifts, is the lifting up of the whole world to God in Christ.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the life of Tabitha, whose evangelistic gift of sewing brings many to faith.  Acts 9:36-42
[22] Christ, the head cannot deny His own body and bride: it is simply an impossibility.
[23] The quintessential ancient organ of honor is the liver, because it is the weightiest organ in the body.  Even though it is visually ugly, the ancients held it in high esteem because they understood something of its indispensability for life, and it was weighty.  Similarly, the brain, heart, and lungs are not pleasant to look at: yet who can live without them.  Moreover, whoever considers appearance more important than chest, head, or stomach pains?  Everything else is subordinate when these ache.  Psalm 139:13-16
[24] There is simply no credible excuse that can stand before God; there is no excuse for the 30,000 or so schisms that rend The Church in tatters today.  This is disgusting.  Judges 19, especially verse 29.
[25] Paul continues his discussion of spiritual gifts for two more chapters; pointing out that these spiritual gifts are most effective when they are applied by engaging other people, and by exercising them with control.
Engaging another person with one’s spiritual gifts is a very loving thing to do and requires all the efforts of Christ centered love.  Far from being the nice, warm, and fuzzy pathway that everybody loves to poeticize out of context; this is the painful process of pouring out one’s life for another, of taking up one’s cross: it is arduous, crushing, difficult, and draining.  It saps the life blood from the person striving to love in such a way.  1 Corinthians 13
Exercising one’s spiritual gifts has the goal of building up The Whole Church in love.  Anything less than that goal is out of focus and misdirected.  Gifts that are exercised without considering such a goal might as well be a diseased appendix.  No one is gifted for self-pleasure or self-service.  It is the healthy functioning of the whole unified body that matters.  1 Corinthians 14
[26] for example, Ephesians 4
[27] Nicene Creed, third paragraph, last sentence.  The Holy Ghost speaks by the prophets.
[28] There is only one temple: not a physical earthy one; rather this heavenly spiritual one of Ephesians 2 and Revelation 21.  Yet this spiritual temple is quite real and visible: led by real and visible officers, practicing real and visible rites.  Ephesians 2:20
[29] Romans 12:1-10; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
[30] 1 Corinthians 10:14-15
[31] 1 Corinthians 10:18-22
[32] Hebrews 12:18-29
[33] If you have been blessed or helped by any of these meditations, please repost, share, or use any of them as you wish.  No rights are reserved.  They are designed and intended for your free participation.  They were freely received, and are freely given.  No other permission is required for their use.