8. Seeing … Appear

Paul asserted that things happen “according to that which was spoken” – orally recollected. Paul also asserted that Jesus Christ was preached “according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” – Rom. 16:25. “But now to be made manifest” and “by the scriptures of the prophets” – 16:26 – a reference to OT books. Paul speaks of a “revelation” that came to him of a “mystery” in his letters and epistles. His writings are similar in tone to John’s “Revelation of Jesus Christ” in his apocalyptic midrash book “Revelation” and also John’s fourth gospel. All three are appear abstractive, but very real, compared to the much later missionary Gospels.
So why would such a tumultuous time be described as a “mystery”?

Spong states correctly that the “Gospel concepts dramatically distort our understanding of what Paul actually wrote” – Resurrection. Spong correctly goes on to assert that “literalizers counter, that the risen Christ (note risen Christ) had appeared to certain witnesses? But I would assert that if Paul’s words are read apart from the distorting images of the Gospels, these (Gospel) witnesses were the recipients of revelatory visions of the living Christ exalted at God’s right hand” – not the Christ of Christianity, a post-Jerusalem burning would embolden a “living” Christ for the obliterated nation.

Spong correctly asserts that “literalizers counter, that the risen Christ (note a “risen Christ”) had appeared to certain witnesses? But I would assert that if Paul’s words are read apart from the distorting images of the Gospels, these (Gospel) witnesses were the recipients of revelatory visions of the living Christ exalted at God’s right hand.”

Once you apprehend that multitudinous midrashic recordings in Revelation, a book conceived and largely written before the Gospels, one comes to the same conclusions as Spong:

– “once more we must we reminded that Paul never knew the earthly Jesus”
– “James and all the apostles” must be understood to be parallel to “Cephas and the twelve” and represent later appearance tradition connected with the church’s mission-inaugurating function”
– “The twelve were the pillars and the apostles were the missionaries”
– “that if Paul’s words are read apart from the distorting images of the Gospels, these witnesses (post the burning of Jerusalem) were the recipients of revelatory visions of the living Christ exalted at God’s right hand”
– “clearly so as to counter the fear so rampant among literalizing Christians that without a physical body there is no Easter”
– “Christ, for Paul, was the first fruits of the final resurrection that would occur at the end of the age”
– “Ōphithē means to have one’s eyes opened to see dimensions beyond the physical”
– “Paul is saying something quiet different from what we have usually assumed he is saying:

1. “and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” – The wrath is to come – we have suffered two thousand years of literalising without a living God was a great prediction of Paul.

2. “the gospel (not the Synoptic) concerning his Son, and designated Son of God (in the OT) in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship.”

All quotes from “Resurrection – Myth or Reality” – John Shelby Spong – chapter – The Witness of Paul.

When one reads Paul and the midrash book of Revelation prepared and written well before the duplicating Gospels a different Jesus Christ is perceived. Yes the gospels were well written after Roman overlordship dominated the nation in the 4th decade of the 1st century leading to catastrophe for their Jewish nation with the destruction of Jerusalem. But correctly even the Gospels concentrated on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees in the early decades. Rome is only precursory, hardly mentioned, even post 70 AD. Their sarcasm was solely directed at their religio-civil governing body that failed the nation. They were written to their people not to the construction of a Christian church.

Paul “never knew an earthly Jesus” and it appears he sole purpose was to make each body see a living Christ.
The words “see” or “appear” with be the subject of midrashic articles to follow.

7. The Revelation of Paul

The road to Damascus experience of Paul was revelatory. It shone as a bright light. It was an earth changing event. Paul had been reared a Pharisee. We are all completely blinded by the circumstance of birth. One can hardly comprehend the change Paul went through. This transformation to Paul’s sensing, seeing, the intent of their Ancient scribes’ writing. This had been concealed to Paul as a Pharisee. He had thought he had the truth. He had been born and bred into the truth.

Something happened to Paul. His foundations cracked. This traumatic earth-shattering revelation of persecution, mourning and rebirth, good triumphing over bad, was the ascent to heaven eternally hoped. This galvanized his establishment – the Pharisees and Sadducees – whose very existence relied upon the bondage of vox-populi. They were 95% illiterate. John in Revelation mastered the scribes midrashic methodology, something that has never been taught to Christian students.

Together these two witnesses provide stark contrast to the sleeping apostles who believed they saw Christ and thought they could build a Church.

So step by step, precept upon precent the word “reveal” will unfold. We must recall the famous statement “He who set me apart before I was born, and had called me to his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles” – Ga. 1:15-16. The scribes taught a profession, not a sign nor wisdom.

In all ages, as recollected in Isaiah, one has to go to Gentiles – those outside.   Paul did well.

6. A Rock or a Small Stone

Christian apologists often claim Peter to be foremost amongst the apostles. Peter is glorified as establishing the Church. Above all he is said by some to have lived inside “Jesus’ relationship with God”. Peter is made to have precedence over Paul’s testimony.

Christianity has maintained that Daniel was a prophet foreseeing the Messiah in the days of the Pharisees and Sadducees. But apologists prefer to point to Rome as the culprit despite the fact that the Jews always wrote about their governance only. If their governance was correct then their future would be guaranteed.

Christianity denies Judas Maccabees as being the “Rock” that set up the everlasting kingdom as told in Dan. 2. To Christianity no “everlasting kingdom” could possibly be set up before the Christ of the first century.

Ancient scribes always required two witnesses and preferably three before definitive judgements could be made – two olive branches. Gabriel brought to Daniel’s attention the pre-exilic age starting with David’s command to build the Temple. Daniel’s 9:24-27 vision (not prophecy) combined the pre-exilic sacred year recording soundly recorded in Kings and Chronicles with the chronological post-exilic history. Together, as one, they provided two witnesses (this will be covered in further articles).

Now the topic of this midrash ensample is the difference between what was known to be designated the “Rock” and that being designated a small “stone”. As many throw stones this will be very controversial.

One has to review how institutionalized religion has changed the original midrashic import. We know Judas Maccabees holds centrepiece in Jewish history as the “Rock” and this has to be reconciled with statements such as a saying of Jesus to Simon, “thou art Peter (petros) and upon this rock (petra – stone) I will build my church” – Matt. 16:13-18. Midrash is of assistance in this regard.

Midrash – Peter (PETROS)

Peter from PETROS – masculine means, a stone, a piece of rock. John’s account in 1:40-42 is as follows: “…Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother saith unto him, We have found Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought Peter to Jesus. He (Jesus) said, Thou art Simon (hearing) the son of Jona (a dove): thou shalt be called Cephas, which by interpretation, is a stone (PETROS – piece of rock). Cephas, the surname of Peter is from KEPHAS in Greek derived from KEPH in Hebrew meaning a hollow rock. Peter Cephas means a stone, piece of rock or a hollow rock (see Strong’s/Young’s concordance).

Peter was a small hollow rock or stone. “A sower went out to sow his seed…And some fell upon a rock (or stony places from PETRODES rocky, stone). However, as soon as the seed fell upon stony ground or a mass of stony ground, after springing up, it withered – stones lack moisture (water comes from jagged large rock). Now here is Peter, when the heat was put on him: – “A damsel came unto him saying, Thou also was with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest” – Matt. 26:69,70. Peter was not the “Rock” (he was not equivalent to the “stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands” – Dan. 2:45 – Judas Maccabees) for he withered and denied Christ three times.

Midrash – rock (PETRA)

“Rock” from PETRA – feminine indicates the ability “to make” to be creative according to the commandments “to make”. However the word “petra” means small “stone” or small “rock” and so we are immediately alerted that Peter’s foresight may not have been applied. And we are forewarned that small stones (petra) are offensive:
– “a stumbling stone (petra) and rock of offence” – Rom. 9:33
– “a rock (petra) of offence, (even to them) which stumble – 1 Pet. 2:8
– Jesus said to Peter “Get thee behind me, Satan: though art an offence to me” – Matt. 16:23

The symbol of small stones was mentioned in the book of Samuel – “if he begotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone (a little stone, kernel – tseror) to be found there” – 2 Sam. 17:13. This was said of the betrayal by Ahithophel who sought to deceive disgraced Absalom (David’s third son). No man was going to be left within the city, no small stone.

The importance of small stones was often to mark the way of travellers. Yes small stones mark the way.

What then of the words, “upon this rock (PETRA) will I build my church” – Matt. 16:18? PETRA is the feminine of PETROS – feminine meaning life-giving (matriarchy as opposed to Peter – patriarchy), in figurative scripture. PETRA is a mass of rock – mass, a body, as in the messianic body. Christ would never build a church under the auspices of Peter a hollow rock

Now the word “rock” (PETRA) must be investigated further.

The writers of 1 Cor. 10:1-4 have something to say about the “rock” but keep in mind the Scriptures are symbolical writings, using objects to convey spirited experiences. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock (PETRA – feminine) that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”- 1 Cor. 10:4. So Christ, an indefinable, anointed momentum, that was denied by Peter, became available to all small stones through Christ, personifying the unity of oneness and intent that came to the small stones at the time of Herod the Great and the oligarchical rule of the religio-civil rulership of their Jewish nation.

Christ is also called “a living stone”, “a chief corner stone in Sion,” “the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner”. These texts are taken from 1 Pet. 2:4-7. The word “stone” is from LITHOS (not femine PETROS) and means a stone (lit. or fig.):- (mill, stumbling-) stone. Christ was the foundation stone.

In the story of the Exodus was a cloud that followed them and all passed through the sea. Seas, waters, flood, all refer to peoples. All in the Exodus passed through countries of people near Egypt without attack. This is how the description goes: “The Lord caused the sea to go back, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” – Exd. 14:21. “And did all eat the same spiritual meat” – Exd. 16: 5,35.
Christ, was this experience, spiritual essence.

Eph. 2 telling of spiritual Jew and Gentile becoming one, writes, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood (kindred) of Christ…no more strangers…but fellow citizens with the saints…And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner (stone)” – Eph. 2:20.
We can all accept that Christ (the anointed) is the “chief corner” but Peter, ever just a small stone, would never achieve Shemite renown. Both 1 Pet. 2 and also Eph. 2:20 (added by translator) is replicated midrash from Ps. 118:22. “The stone (which) the builders refused is become the head (stone) of the corner.” Peter also refused. “Stone here is Hebrew is EBEY meaning to build, or the builder (fulfilling the Commandments “to make”, remember) now enabled the inkhorn.

Peter was not educated like the Ancients scribes, craftsmen of their profession. Peter did not understand the midrashic methodology from time immemorial. Peter denied Christ, but still became a signpost. Paul letters and epistles and John’s Revelation, a book that reveals and discloses Jesus Christ are books that comprehend midrash. Paul’s epiphany was an awakening to the scanning message of the Ancient scribes, a message built precept by precept, stone by stone. John’s Revelation is entirely made of midrashic ensamples drawing together all types from alpha to omega. This book is to be opened in apocalyptic time, a universal time, a time of marriage.

It seems quiet clear that the statement, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” is the “rock” (feminine PETRA) upon which “I (Christ) will build my church.” “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members (stones) in particular”- 1 Cor. 12:27. “…Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” – Eph. 5:23. Christ is our one body, our one Spirit, our one hope, and our one Lord – Eph. 4.

Bear in mind the word “Christ” is a title, Christ the anointed, messiah, and king. Christ is always our Melchisedic king and high priest – King of righteousness, King of peace. Such wonderful attributes, such counselling. Christ is our first begotten of love, the Father of all, bringing forth beneficial substance and new spiritual ways. Redeeming happiness and prosperity is available for all from the beginning of days until the end of days.

So Peter was never the equivalent to Judas Maccabees. Peter represented the masculinity and never the creative femininity that was the force and power that brings ascension, movement, change and an ongoing newness to the old ensamples.

We can transcend on our pathways that has forks in the road but signposts to direct the way.

Whose Seed is in Itself

5. Continuation of the midrash statement “the third day”.

There are so many more reference to the third day. So what was the activity of the third day “And the earth brought fourth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” – Gen. 1:12.

This sentence sums up the complete meaning of “the third day” – the tree of life bearing fruit, the seed replicating, in itself and God saw that the repetition (after his kind”), the reincarnation, from station to station, the wheels within wheels, the superimposition, the layers on layers, precept upon precept, here a little there a little – was the only way to elevate society, the community above depravity of the benevolent.

So the third day became an eschatological symbol of the Ancient scribes that may assist and give hope to the illiterate populace. The same applies “today”. This new Jerusalem does not, and never will, descend out of the sky at any moment called Easter. This unit of time is within all aspects of Jewish tradition:

– Joseph imprisoned his brothers three days as a test when they came to Egypt to by grain during the famine.
– The plague of darkness that Moses was said to scourge upon the Egyptians was a “darkness to be felt three days”
– It was on the third day that David was informed of the death of Saul.
– When the land of the Jews was split into two hostile nations of Israel and Judah, the division took place after three days.
– Ezra paused by the river Ahava after departing Babylonian captivity for three days.
– All exiles from Babylonian captivity had to assemble within three days.
– Jonah was imprisoned in the belly of the whale for three days.
– The butler and his baker had their destiny of life or death carried out on the third day.
– On the third day the Lord came down for Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

The third day became to be known as the “day of the Lord.”
One has to revert to the first mention of the third day and that is the statement in Genesis. Midrash, emphasise upon emphasise, an objective teaching a subjective quality, a tree of life, words upon words was the greatest sword that the Ancient had available and they utilized it superbly to leave, to make a better way.

Midrash has been ignored by Christianity; midrash was crucified when Christianity failed to teach the Ancient profession and began to literalise these symbols into their Easter story.

The Third Day – Resurrection is Timeless

4. “He was buried and raised on the third day.” The story of Easter has been assumed not to involve midrashic elements and thus taken celebrated absolutely literally. The story of resurrection “on the third day” needs to be explained and why Paul said “Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me” – 1 Cor. 15:3-8. Paul’s epiphany enabled him to see the scribe’s story of midrash. He certainly had been “untimely born” as a Pharisee and seeing was the site of the long developed tradition of remembrance, reverence through repetitious lessons.

We know the branches of greenery are out of season. We know on the cleansing of the temple were all recalls of their Jewish writings about events in other times and places. We also know that the feast of Tabernacles was the greatest event of the Jewish liturgical year. Right from the time of living in tents, and ones own tent, the Temple and Feast of Tabernacles/Atonement came to be the source of inspiration of the soul temple and reflected into ever other happening.
So why did the phrase “after three days” become “on the third day” of an Easter celebration?

Midrash:
– “on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes” – Gen. 22:4
– “and it came to pass on the third day” – Gen. 34:25, 40:20
– “Joseph said unto them the third day” – Gen. 42:18
– “against on the third day: for the third day” – Exd. 19:11
– “It came to pass on the third day” – Exd. 19:16
– “the remainder…on the third day shall be” – Lev. 7:17
– “if ought remain until the third day” – Lev. 19:6
– “On the third day Eliab the son of Helon” – Num. 7:24
– “on the third day…but if…not…the third” – Num. 19:12
– “sprinkle upon the unclean on the third” – Num. 19:19
– “The child of the third generation” – Deut. 23:8
– “the third lot came up for the children of” – Josh. 19:10
– “Israel went up…on the third day” – Judg. 20:30
– “Saul sent messengers again the third time” – 1 Sam. 19:21
– “it came to pass on the third day – 2 Sam. 1:2
– “the third day after that I was delivered” – 1 Kings 3:18
– “A third part of you that enter in” – 2 Kings 11:5
– “the third day…saying, Come…the third” 2 Chron. 10:12
– “with the third part of a shekel for the” – Neh. 10:32
– “it came to pass on the third day” – Esth. 5:1
– “In the third year sow ye” – Isa. 37:30
– “the third the face of a lion” – Eze. 10:14
– “the third day he will raise us up” – Hos. 6:2
– “in the third chariot white horses” – Zech. 13:9

There are so many more reference to the third day. So what was the activity of the third day “And the earth brought fourth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” – Gen. 1:12.

Midrash is a seed in itself, “after his kind” – let us not forget.

Appreciation of ALL Anointed – Midrash Inclusivity

3. In Zechariah 4:14 (a book that records “in the second year of Darius”) two people were identified as the “anointed” – “who stand by the Lord of the whole earth” – Zerubbabel who was anointed governor and Joshua was anointed priest. The book of Zechariah speaks of Grecian times early in the 2nd Temple era. These two personages are also mentioned in the book of Ezra being leaders in the second return (2nd witness) from exile. Cyrus, the Persian, was also called the anointed for freeing the Israelites from Babylonian captivity, “but not for himself” – Dan. 8, certainly a great achievement.

Midrash: In our western world terminology, derived from Greek Septuagint, we write Jesus Christ (“anointed”) instead of Joshua or Yeshua in the old Hebrew vernacular. Now we know the ancient Hebrews strenuously sought to distinguish themselves from the Greek language of wisdom (many gods), the Jewish autocracy of requiring a sign, and all other nations’ cultures roundabout. Contrastingly the Ancient scribes sought to promulgate their unique and valuable teaching profession – learning of the abstract subjective soul-temple from an oral and phonetic objective, their Temple/Tabernacle “history”. That profession was midrashic recall, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little – an accumulation of past knowledge – of being persecuted (bondage), a period of mourning (a realisation of wrong governance), and resurrection (restoring, reconstitution) of the celestial movement with the created terrestrial.

To Daniel, with help from Gabriel, persecution was long – 2300 days (Da. 8:14), mourning short – 10 days (1 Macc. 1:54-64) and restitution 210 days (Ezek. 39:12) – totalling 2520 days and all covering the post-exilic Temple era. (their sacred 6 months year began in Abid with Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles in Tishri) and ended in the celebration of Atonement – 1260 (Rev. 11 too) days each for sacred and civil celebrations, over seven years). This was their living anointment, the oil of their “Word of God”, atonement practised daily.

In Zechariah the guilt of the land was to be removed in a single day – the words associated with their Day of Atonement. In NT, Greek terminology, our knowledgeable fathers have brought a new fulfillment in the personified Jesus of Nazareth, celebrated at our Easter, and based on Passover. But the element of Passover (palm waving, hossanah) belongs to the Feast of Tabernacle and the Day of Atonement. We also take laws to be Commandments whereas the ten Commandments ends in Atonement – descriptively record by the words “make an atonement” – Exd. 30:6-8,10 – unseen, blinded from our western teachers of truth.

To the Ancients the world is in movement, motion, ascent, constant change, locomotion and this incorporates ever and ever higher evolution. We need to “see through the wall” and recognise our great distortion within-side the walls of our Jerusalem. We need to be “as one” with the Ancients who knew their God to do this today.

So let us circumnavigate with our sword – midrash.

Appreciation of all “Anointed”

3. In Zechariah 4:14 (a book that records “in the second year of Darius”) two people were identified as the “anointed” – “who stand by the Lord of the whole earth” – Zerubbabel who was anointed governor and Joshua was anointed priest. The book of Zechariah speaks of Grecian times early in the 2nd Temple era. These two personages are also mentioned in the book of Ezra being leaders in the second return (2nd witness) from exile. Cyrus, the Persian, was also called the anointed for freeing the Israelites from Babylonian captivity, “but not for himself” – Dan. 8, certainly a great achievement.

Midrash: In our western world terminology, derived from Greek Septuagint, we write Jesus Christ (“anointed”) instead of Joshua or Yeshua in the old Hebrew vernacular. Now we know the ancient Hebrews strenuously sought to distinguish themselves from the Greek language of wisdom (many gods), the Jewish autocracy of requiring a sign, and all other nations’ cultures roundabout. Contrastingly the Ancient scribes sought to promulgate their unique and valuable teaching profession – learning of the abstract subjective soul-temple from an oral and phonetic objective, their Temple/Tabernacle “history”. That profession was midrashic recall, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little – an accumulation of past knowledge – of being persecuted (bondage), a period of mourning (a realisation of wrong governance), and resurrection (restoring, reconstitution) of the celestial movement with the created terrestrial.

To Daniel, with help from Gabriel, persecution was long – 2300 days (Da. 8:14), mourning short – 10 days (1 Macc. 1:54-64) and restitution 210 days (Ezek. 39:12) – totalling 2520 days and all covering the post-exilic Temple era. (their sacred 6 months year began in Abid with Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles in Tishri) and ended in the celebration of Atonement – 1260 (Rev. 11 too) days each for sacred and civil celebrations, over seven years). This was their living anointment, the oil of their “Word of God”, atonement practised daily.

In Zechariah the guilt of the land was to be removed in a single day – the words associated with their Day of Atonement. In NT, Greek terminology, our knowledgeable fathers have brought a new fulfillment in the personified Jesus of Nazareth, celebrated at our Easter, and based on Passover. But the element of Passover (palm waving, hossanah) belongs to the Feast of Tabernacle and the Day of Atonement. We also take laws to be Commandments whereas the ten Commandments ends in Atonement – descriptively record by the words “make an atonement” – Exd. 30:6-8,10 – unseen, blinded from our western teachers of truth.

To the Ancients the world is in movement, motion, ascent, constant change, locomotion and this incorporates ever and ever higher evolution. We need to “see through the wall” and recognise our great distortion within-side the walls of our Jerusalem. We need to be “as one” with the Ancients who knew their God to do this today.

So let us circumnavigate with our sword – midrash.