- Christogenea Internet Radio
On the Gospel of John, Part 9: The World of Salvation
Ancient Gnostic influences adversely infected early Christianity with wrongful ideas that basic words such as seed, father, son, brother, and house, among others, had other than plain meanings when they appeared in Scripture in the prophets or in the New Testament writings, and modern adherents to the organized church institutions routinely cite those writings without giving thought to the actual and literal meanings of such words. This allowed them to accept another false doctrine, which we shall call replacement theology, because the words of all the prophets and apostles could then be corrupted and imagined to apply to “whosoever”, to anyone other than those who are expressly intended by the Scriptures, so that in that manner, anyone who would comply with the church institutions could be imagined to be a party to the covenants which Yahweh had made with Israel. So it is also with another word, world, which they now imagine refers to the entire planet and to every thing in it, yet that concept is relatively new, and nothing could be further from the truth.
One cannot be a Gnostic, and be a true Christian. In order to be a Christian, and truly accept the Word of God in the Old Testament, which is also manifest in Christ, one must accept the meanings of the words of Scripture as they were understood by the writers of Scripture or by those who had spoken those words when the Scriptures were written. Abraham would never have believed in any so-called “spiritual seed”, but rather he was told that his seed would come out from his loins, from where we may expect it to come. To Isaiah and Jeremiah and the other prophets, a son was a genetic descendant, a brother was a man of shared parentage, seed was the collective of a man’s offspring, a tribe was an extended family unit, a father a male ancestor near or remote, and the words never represented a mere group of disparate and unrelated believers. For example, a man who was a son was a son first, and then whether he was believing and acted accordingly so that he would be entitled to an inheritance was secondary to his being a son.
In many ways, Gnosticism is the true basis of the doctrines of the modern so-called Orthodox or Catholic churches. When they make appeals to their traditions found in their so-called “church fathers”, the true foundation of those traditions is very often found in Gnosticism, and sometimes also in Plato or Aristotle, but certainly not in the Christian Scriptures. When the other Protestant denominations followed the Eastern Orthodox by parting ways with Rome, they nevertheless retained Gnostic concepts as the basis of their faith. So if Identity Christians are criticized, it is because we reject Gnosticism. We believe the words of Scripture according to the meanings which they represented when they were written, and in that manner we truly seek to understand and believe the Word of our God. Doing this, we may also attest that the words of His prophets are manifest both in ancient history and in Christian society as it has existed historically.
As we hope to have demonstrated in our presentation of the first 9 verses of John chapter 3 which we made last week, which was titled Origin and Destiny, the Scriptures teach that to be born from above is to be born of the race of men which Yahweh had created and endowed with His spirit, beginning with Adam and continuing through Noah, and that not every person on earth was born of this same race. Nicodemus did not understand Christ because that concept was not taught in first century Judaea, even though Christ expected him to understand it. The modern churches still do not understand that concept, and they would reject it outright if they heard it. Therefore they have traditionally interpreted the words which Christ had used in a Gnostic sense, using other than literal meanings, and here in John chapter 3 they often imagine that they describe something else which Nicodemus could not yet have understood, which is the concept of Christian baptism. By insisting on using philosophical meanings of words in order to construct abstract interpretations of Scripture, the early founders of the denominational churches, the so-called “church fathers”, have woven a dreadful web, and in it they catch men to this very day.
As we explained last week, in Origin and Destiny, the Greek word ἄνωθεν means from above, and it does not mean again. Where it is translated as again, or anew, in other writings, once in the writings of Josephus and once in the Wisdom of Solomon, we also demonstrated that it actually also means from above, or from the beginning, in those passages. Then we compared another Greek word, κάτωθεν, which means from below, and gave examples from Scripture of the proper translation of each. There are other Greek words which also demonstrate that this is correct. The Greek word πόθεν means from where? or from some place. The Greek word ἔσωθεν is from within. The word ἔξωθεν means from without, or from outside. In all of these we see a word which is an adverb or a preposition and which indicates location is added to a suffix, and by that the compound word which is formed describes the source or direction of a thing, and there are other examples in more modern Greek literature, such as δεξιόθεν which describes something from the right-hand side, the word δεξιός meaning right.
Continuing to summarize what we had discussed here last week in John chapter 3, we saw that Nicodemus approached Christ secretly, at night, and professed to believe Him, knowing that He must have been sent from God. So in verse 4 Yahshua Christ told Nicodemus that “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh.” This answer was in response to Nicodemus’ profession, and therefore it was not a suggestion that Nicodemus do anything in order to be saved. Rather, Christ was giving Nicodemus an explanation of why he believed Him: because he was indeed born from above, even if he himself did not know that.
Instead, Nicodemus was confused, and imagining that he had to do something for himself to see the Kingdom of Heaven, to somehow merit salvation, he imagined how he might make himself born from above. The denominational churches maintain the error of Nicodemus to this very day, thinking that any man who professes belief with his lips or who is baptized in water because of that belief is then somehow “born again”. But because Nicodemus did not understand, in verse 5 Christ added to His explanation and said: “Truly, truly I say to you, if one should not be born from water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh!” [The Codex Sinaiticus has “kingdom of the heavens” rather than “kingdom of God”.]
Then in verse 6 Christ enhanced His explanation, and repeated the same concept in slightly different language. This is a frequent occurrence in Scripture, in both New and Old Testaments, and it is called parallelism. The same concept is described consecutively in two different ways, by which a more comprehensive or illustrative description of the speaker’s intended message or meaning is provided. So He said “That which is born from of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born from of the Spirit is Spirit.” With this we should understand that Christ is not describing two separate acts of birth, but one birth having two distinct dimensions, which are flesh and spirit. All men and beasts are born of water, which Christ equates here to being born of the flesh, but beasts are not born of the spirit of Yahweh, and neither are all men.
We demonstrated last week from the writings of Paul of Tarsus that the flesh of Adamic man is different from that of beasts, and that the spirits of Adamic men continue to exist after the death of their bodies, the spiritual body having been sown along with the fleshly, which describes its innate nature as a facet of the original creation of man. This we saw in the language of Genesis 2:7, and also in the words of Old Testament writers such as Job and Solomon. Then, from the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 19, in verse 6 Solomon informed us what being “born from above” means, that it relates to that which comes from God. There, speaking of the children of Israel, the events of the Exodus, and the fashioning of a new society designed to function according to the laws of God, according to our emendation of Brenton’s translation, Solomon said “6 For the whole creation in its proper kind was fashioned again from above, serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt.”
After that explanation of what is born from above, Christ began to chastise Nicodemus for not understanding Him, telling him in verse 7 that “You should not wonder that I said to you that it is necessary for you to be born from above.” Christ was not telling Nicodemus to be born from above, but rather, that it is necessary for him to have been born from above. The tense and mood of the verbs which were used indicate a historical aspect, not a future possibility. Christ is speaking in reference to a condition which Nicodemus already had, not of something which he may acquire for himself. The initial response of Christ was to inform Nicodemus that his belief was a result of his having been born from above. But being born from above is not something that someone can choose to do for themselves because they profess to believe. Neither can anyone today recreate Nicodemus’ circumstances, so they cannot justly apply any of this to themselves simply because they may profess to believe.
So in verse 8 Christ explained that “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know from where it comes and where it goes. Thusly are all who are born from of the Spirit.” The Codex Sinaiticus (א) has that last clause to read “Thusly are all who are born from of water and the Spirit.” We would have agreed nonetheless, as all earthly men and beasts are born of water, but only those of the race of Adam are born of both water and the spirit. Many commentators also apply Gnostic ideas to this passage, but what Christ is actually telling Nicodemus is that he has no control over the wind, and not even a perception of its origin or its destiny. Therefore since man cannot control the wind, nor can man perceive its origin or destiny, neither can man do anything to control his own fate, because man has no control over his own origin, and therefore he can do nothing to change his destiny.
In that passage in verse 8, the word πνεῦμα (Strong’s # 4151) is wind, which is obviously a correct translation in its immediate context, where in the surrounding verses it is spirit. Literally and primarily, according Liddell & Scott, the word is “a blowing… a wind, blast…” and then “II. like Latin spiritus or anima, breathed air, breath… πνεῦμα βίου the breath of life, Iliad… πνεῦμα ἀφιέναι… to give up the ghost, Iliad… III. spirit, Latin afflatus [which is breath, or metaphorically inspiration]… IV. the spirit of man… V. a spirit; in N.T. of the Holy Spirit, τὸ Πνεῦμα, Πνεῦμα ἅγιον…” so the word is wind, breath or spirit, depending upon the context in which it appears.
So we see in Latin and in Greek that the words for wind, breath and spirit are all the same, and so it is also in Hebrew where neshamah (Strong’s # 5397) means either breath or spirit, and is the word translated as breath in Genesis 2:7. Another word, ruwach (Strong’s # 7307) can also mean wind, breath or spirit, and is frequently used to describe all of those things in Scripture. It cannot be a coincidence that these same concepts are described by the same words in all three languages, and had been even before Christianity was accepted by either Hebrews, Greek or Romans. It is my opinion that from the earliest times the phenomenon of spirit was described by the same word for wind or breath because man perceived the spirit, and knew that it was present, but like the wind, or like his own breath, he could not actually see it. There is indeed a spirit which is more than mere air, but it is characterized it as air because man could not see it, therefore he also associated it with what he could sense that gave him life, which was his very breath.
At this point Nicodemus, a leader of the Judaeans and a presumably learned pharisee, was even more lost, and he exclaimed “How can these things be?” But now we shall see that Yahshua certainly expected him to be able to understand what He was saying:
10 Yahshua responded and said to him: “You are a teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things? 11 Truly, truly I say to you, that which we know we speak and that which we have seen we attest to, and you do not receive our testimony!
Here we see Yahshua using the first person plural, but in opposition to Nicodemus, and not in reference to Himself with Nicodemus. Neither could Christ have been referring to Himself and anyone else who may have been present, such as John or any of the other apostles, as they were also merely students and there is no indication at this point that they themselves may have understood His words, and often later in the Gospel they did not understand Him. At the beginning, Nicodemus had told Christ “we know that thou art a teacher come from God”, so where Christ uses the first person plural here, He must be referring to Himself and the prophets, which are the other teachers who had been sent by God. So in reference to the Judaeans who rejected Him, Christ said in Luke chapter 16: “31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” It seems that historically, men have not obeyed the plain word of Scripture. Nicodemus, being a teacher of Israel, as Christ calls him here, did not understand that one born of the spirit of Yahweh in the Adamic man was therefore “born from above”, since, as we read in Luke chapter 3, Adam was a son of God. Ostensibly he did not understand this because he did not diligently study the Old Testament prophets among whom Christ is apparently counting Himself here. Rather, he seems to have only followed the accepted orthodoxy of his time.
We have already explained from Job, that he understood that his spirit was from God, and he said in Job chapter 27 that “3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; 4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.” Likewise Solomon in Ecclesiastes acknowledged that a part of man was the spirit which he had from God, which survives the fleshly body, in Ecclesiastes chapter 12 where he wrote “7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” In Romans chapter 8 Paul of Tarsus taught that those with that spirit from God could therefore commune with God, where he wrote speaking of those who would follow the spirit within them, rather than following their fleshly nature, and he told his readers, expecting them to have done likewise: “9 However you are not in the flesh, but in Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you [because not all men are of Adam]; and if one has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him: 10 but if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit alive because of righteousness.” Paul then said later in that chapter, of those with the spirit of God, “14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” [Their fruits should make manifest whether they are led by the Spirit of God.] Then, to see that Paul noted a difference between the spirit of God which is given to men and God’s own Spirit, we read a little further on once more: “16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…” Men who have not that spirit are those of the other races, or mixed races, those who are not “born from above”, and over whom Yahweh had never ruled, as we shall now see from Isaiah.
This concept of the children of Israel being the children of Yahweh, and of other races of people not being His children, is expressed in different ways more than once Isaiah chapter 63, where we first see a dialogue concerning the vengeance of God: “1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? [Now Yahweh answers the questions:] I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. [Now there is another question:] 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? [And now Yahweh also answers this question:] 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. [None of His enemies have an opportunity to be His redeemed, as He has always and often said that He would destroy them all.] 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. [So Yahweh is depicted as executing vengeance against His enemies alone. Furthermore, they are judged to be His enemies according to what nation they belong to, and not by their individual conduct. Now the voice changes back to that of the prophet, who calls this act of vengeance on the part of God “loving kindness”, where in response to this vengeance he says:] 7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. [The destruction of God’s enemies is a show of love and mercy towards His people.] 8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. 9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. 11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him? 12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? 13 That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? 14 As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. [So now Israel is depicted as calling out to God, as they are still His people even in their deserved time of punishment:] 15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained? 16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel [meaning Jacob himself] acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. 17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. 18 The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. 19 We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.” Speaking of the house of Israel, the tribes, the nation, Abraham and Jacob, we cannot accept a Gnostic definition of children. Rather, children here are genetic descendants, and not merely church believers. Therefore it is genetic descendants who are the children of God, who are the redeemed, who are His inheritance, and who also have exclusive hope in Christ.
[I saw a good explanation in social media this morning, which said that church believers go to church, but the people of God are the church, and that is certainly true.]
Paul of Tarsus was a pharisee, but learning the Gospel of Christ he was compelled to study Scripture anew, and it took him three years, as he seems to suggest in Galatians chapter 1. So Paul came to understand these things and wrote describing them in his epistles. Nicodemus, also a pharisee, did not understand them, and now Christ once again insists that he should have, where He admonishes him and says:
12 If I speak to you about earthly things and you do not believe, how shall [P75 has “do”] you believe if I would speak to you about heavenly things?
Christ was challenging Nicodemus, that he should have known these things, which Moses, Job and Solomon had all expressed in their own writings. But in spite of the challenge, perhaps Christ really could not have expected him to know these things for other reasons. This exemplifies the degree to which the world, or the society of Israel, had turned its back on God. This is evident in 1 Corinthians chapter 2, where Paul had written [citing the Christogenea New Testament]: “6 Now we speak wisdom among the accomplished; but wisdom not of this age, nor of those governing this age, who are being done away with. 7 Rather we speak wisdom of Yahweh, that had been hidden in a mystery, which Yahweh had predetermined before the ages for our honor, 8 which not one of the governors of this age has known, (since if they had known, they would not have crucified the Authority of that honor,) 9 but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye did not see, and ear did not hear, and came not into the heart of man, those things Yahweh has prepared for them that love Him,’ 10 yet to us Yahweh reveals them through the Spirit; for the Spirit inquires of all things, even the depths of Yahweh. 11 Indeed of men who knows the things of mankind, except the spirit of man which is within him? Even so no one knows the things of Yahweh, except the Spirit of Yahweh. 12 Now we do not receive the spirit of the Society, but that spirit from Yahweh, in which case we should know the things granted to us by Yahweh; 13 which also we speak of, not instructed in words of human wisdom, but instructed in of the Spirit, by the spiritual compounding with the spiritual. 14 Now the natural man does not accept that of the Spirit of Yahweh, for it is folly to him, and he is not able to know because it is inquired of spiritually; 15 but the spiritual inquires into all things, and it by no one is examined. 16 ‘For who has known the mind of Yahweh? Who will instruct Him?’ But we have the perception of Christ.” So man cannot even comprehend the plain word of Scripture unless it is granted to him by God, and unless that man has the spirit, it will not be granted by God.
In the context of heavenly things, Christ continues to admonish Nicodemus:
13 Now no one ascends into the heaven except he who has descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
The Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Majority Text add the words “who is in heaven” to the end of the verse. But Christ was standing on earth when the words were spoken. The text here follows the 3rd century papyri P66 and P75, the 4th century codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) and the 6th century codex 086.
Speaking of Christ, in verse 31 of this chapter John the Baptist is recorded as having said “31 He that cometh from above is above all”. Then in John chapter 6 Christ Himself asks His disciples: “62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” Then, after the resurrection, He says to Mary Magdalene, as it is recorded in John chapter 20: “17 … Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” As it is described in Acts chapter 1, bodily He ascended to heaven, and bodily shall He return, where we read: “9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is a cornerstone of our Christian faith, that our God can transcend His Creation, and has indeed interacted in this manner with His creation in the person of Yahshua Christ.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul of Tarsus explained that our spiritual bodies, if indeed we are children of Adam, are sown along with our natural bodies. So while the Adamic race is born from above, they have not of themselves come down from heaven. But just as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, when the flesh dies the spirit returns to God. God put it here in our first father in Genesis 2:7. So then Paul says in that same place that “46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” Men experience their natural bodies first, and unlike Christ, they did not exist in the spirit before they were born. While Yahshua Christ was born a natural man, He is also God incarnate, Yahweh God Himself manifest in the flesh, and therefore He alone of all men had willfully descended from heaven.
Here Christ attests that since He descended from heaven, He alone ascends to heaven. But speaking of the Kingdom of God here, which is also often called the Kingdom of Heaven in the Gospels, the Kingdom of Heaven is not necessarily in heaven. Furthermore, it is argued that other men have ascended to heaven, namely Enoch and Elijah, while some commentators go to great lengths to show that neither Enoch nor Elijah actually went up to heaven, and rather they assert that both men were only moved by God to some other place. However the assertion made by Christ here does not preclude the notion that Yahweh God took other men to heaven in the past. So we need not dispute with the plain statement of Scripture which says that “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”, foolishly imagining him to have been in Tibet or in India or some other unholy place. Nor are we compelled to argue with the account in 2 Kings chapter 2 where Elijah and Elisha are having a conversation and “11… behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” There are some who claim that because Jehoram king of Judah was said to receive a writing from Elijah the prophet, as it is recorded in 2 Chronicles chapter 21, that means that Elijah must have simply been moved to a distant land. We only wonder how Elijah mailed such a letter, and what postal service he had used to do so. In reality, in 2 Kings chapter 1, Jehoram is said to have already been in the second year of his rule over Judah, and Elijah is not taken by God until 2 Kings chapter 2. The letter was received by Jehoram at least two years before he died, which is evident from 2 Chronicles 21:19, so Elijah may very well have written the letter before he was taken.
The same Scripture, at 2 Kings chapter 2, says “1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.” Yet there was still time for the prophet to travel from Gilgal to Bethel, and to Jericho, and beyond Jordan, so his being taken was not immediate. While we can be certain that he was taken in that manner, that is not precluded by this statement made by Christ here. Christ ascended to heaven, He was not merely taken. We need not accuse other portions of the Scripture of being inaccurate in order to understand and accept His words here.
Then, further admonishing Nicodemus, Christ says:
14 And just as Moses had raised the serpent in the desert, thusly it is necessary that the Son of Man be raised, 15 that each who believes in Him would have eternal life.
The 6th century papyrus P63, the Codex Alexandrinus and the Majority Text end verse 15 to read “… would not be lost but would have eternal life”, even more similar to the phrase as it appears in verse 16. The text follows the 3rd century papyri P66 and P75, the 6th century papyrus P36, the 4th century codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), the 5th century codex Borgianus (T 029) and the 6th century codex 086.
In Numbers chapter 21, after delivering the Canaanites at Hormah into the hands of the children of Israel to be utterly destroyed, we read that they became discouraged at the difficulty of the land, and it says: “5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
The serpent on the pole seems to us to be a curse, being a serpent, but instead it turns out to be a blessing for the people who had fallen ill yet gazed upon it as they were instructed. Originally, in verse 8, the fiery serpent is called a saraph (Strong’s # 8314). But then in verse 9 it is twice called a nachash (Strong’s # 5175), which is also the same word translated as serpent in Genesis chapter 3.
The word saraph, or seraph, is related to a verb, saraph (Strong’s # 8313), which means to burn. In the plural it is transliterated as serpahims in Isaiah chapter 6, verses 2 and 6. The word nachash can also refer to an enchanter, or an enchantment, and is the same as a Chaldean word for copper, which we can see in the entries for a group of words which are all spelled alike in Strong’s #’s 5172 through 5175. So the saraph of Numbers 21:8 was very likely only a symbol of burnished brass, and not necessarily a serpent as we know a snake. The seraphim of Isaiah chapter 6 were certainly not serpents, but some other strange six-winged creatures having faces, hands and feet. Moses’ saraph was called an enchantment, or nachash, because that was the purpose for which Moses had it made, to get the people to look on it and be healed of the bites of the fiery serpents. But it was not necessarily formed like a serpent, or a symbol of a serpent, as we know a serpent today.
Fifteen hundred years before the time of Christ, Yahweh must have known that He would use this event as an analogy, that just as the children of Israel looked upon the saraph in the desert for salvation from their temporal affliction, He would be raised in like manner and the future children of Israel would have to look to Him for their ultimate salvation. He also must have known that He would explain Moses’ saraph as an analogy in this manner, and that there would be Romans in control in Judaea to crucify Him, as the prescribed method of punishment among the Hebrews was stoning, and not crucifixion.
Twelve hundred years after the time of Moses, the Septuagint translators interpreted the word saraph as serpent, and wrote in Greek ὄφις, which is a snake or a serpent. So in Greek, Christ followed this interpretation, but He was not necessarily asserting that the symbol which Moses had fashioned was actually a serpent. Fittingly, we know from the Gospel that those responsible for seeing to it that Christ was killed were indeed serpents, even if that was the will of Christ Himself, having been determined by Yahweh from the beginning. As a digression, there is certainly an etymological connection between the English word serpent and the Hebrew saraph, for which the plural is seraphim.
The word seraphim appears several times in the Ethiopic manuscripts of 1 Enoch, along with cherubim and ophanim, which in the King James Version are the wheels of Ezekiel chapter 10. In 1 Enoch these are all some sort of heavenly or angelic creatures, for example where in 1 Enoch 61:10 it says “And He will summon all the host of the heavens, and all the holy ones above, and the host of God, the Cherubin, Seraphin and Ophannin, and all the angels of power, and all the angels of principalities, and the Elect One, and the other powers on the earth (and) over the water.” However I do not generally trust the accounts in the Ethiopic Enoch. While admittedly I have not thoroughly researched the Enoch manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls for this same thing, neither have I noticed it, and I would certainly be inclined to reject the notion that the saraph is both a serpent and a heavenly being.
But just as Moses had raised up this burnished brass symbol in the desert, so that the children of Israel would receive temporal salvation from their trial, in that same manner Christ had to be raised, so that those same children of Israel looking to Him would have eternal life. This is because, as Christ told His adversaries, as it is recorded in John chapter 10, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life…” and He came only for the “lost sheep of the House of Israel”. Only the children of Israel are ever described as being His sheep, or as lost sheep, in the Old Testament.
Here is the divide which Identity Christians have with the traditional post-Nicene orthodoxy as well as the modern denominational Christians: Are the promises in Christ for the children of Israel, who were predestined to believe and accept the Gospel, or are the believers those who accept the claims of the modern churches and somehow become mystical Israelites once they are esteemed to have been born again? Following many of the so-called “church fathers”, the Nicene and post-Nicene orthodoxy had accepted what we refer to as replacement theology, and understood certain terms in Scripture according to Gnostic, or so-called “spiritual” meanings in order to accommodate their belief. But this is not how the writers of the Scripture understood the words which they had used.
The King James Version translates verse 15 to read “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”, where we have instead “that each who believes in Him would have eternal life.” The phrase πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων is not properly “whosoever believeth”, as other Bible versions also have it to read here. The Greek word πᾶς (Strong’s # 3956) is basically all, or the whole, according to Liddell & Scott, but they also attest that it was used as ἕκαστος (Strong’s # 1538), which is every, every one, each or each one. This is how it must be interpreted here, since it is an adjective which is used to modify the singular article and participle, ὁ πιστεύων, a phrase which forms a singular Substantive [a group of words used as a noun] that may be translated as “the believer”, hence “each believer or “each who believes” as it appears in our text here.
So where Christ says “each who believes”, before imagining that this could refer to anyone at all, or to “whosoever”, we must ask ourselves, each of whom? The context of “each who believes” is defined elsewhere in Scripture, inplaces such as Jeremiah 31:31, or Matthew 15:24. The chapter of Jeremiah which explicitly promises a New Covenant begins by stating “1 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.” The time referred to is described at the end of chapter 30, where the prophet describes the anger and vengeance of Yahweh upon the wicked. Then later on in chapter 31 we read “31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.” In the words of Christ Himself in Matthew chapter 15 we read “24 … I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Those lost sheep, who were already lost, the Israelites who were scattered in ancient times, were described in Ezekiel chapter 34, and also in Jeremiah chapter 50 where we read: “4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. 6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.” The New Covenant is that perpetual covenant, and no matter what any other people profess or believe, the purpose of Christ was only for that specific people. Each who believes of those lost sheep of Israel shall have eternal life.
In Isaiah chapter 43 we read another prophetic appeal for the children of Israel to believe once the time of their salvation arrives: “1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. [This redemption is only for these people, regardless of who believes it.] 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. [These people have a promise of being saved. Other people do not:] 3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. [Egypt, Ethiopia and Seba are examples of those who would not be saved.] 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. [Only the children of Israel matter to Yahweh.] 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. [Yahweh did not take credit for creating the other races, and here admits to creating Israel alone, and calls them His sons and daughters.] 8 Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. [A reference to the children of Israel in their disobedience.] 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. [Israel was promised to become many nations, and it is these whom Yahweh says that He is assembling, so we cannot imagine to add any others to it.] 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. [Jacob is His servant, referring to the children of Israel collectively, which we are told seven times from Isaiah chapters 41 through 49. The children of Israel were first referred to as nations in Deuternonomy 32:43, in the Song of Moses.] 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”
When Israel receives their Savior, according to this chapter of Isaiah, they and they alone were to accept and believe Him. Over the centuries after the apostles of Christ brought the gospel to Europe and the adjacent regions, the nations which descended from Jacob had all accepted Christianity and in all but a very few cases, they accepted it without force or compulsion. So Martin Luther, in Chapter 13 of his treatise On the Jew and Their Lies, exclaimed that “It is a great, extraordinary, and wonderful thing that the Gentiles in all the world accepted, without sword or coercion, with no temporal benefits accruing to them, gladly and freely, a poor Man of the Judaeans as the true Messiah, one whom his own people had crucified, condemned, cursed, and persecuted without end.” Of course, Luther was not aware of the difference between Edomites and Israelites among the Judaeans. But the important point here is that Luther, writing in the 16th century (or about 68 years before the King James Version of the Bible was first published) when Christianity was almost totally confined to Europe and when he knew very well of all the parts of the earth which were inhabited by people who were not Christians, had exclaimed that already by his own time “the Gentiles in all the world accepted” the Gospel of Christ.
If the Gentiles in all the world already accepted the Gospel by the time of Luther, and if, as Luther referred to them frequently in his writings, there were many people outside of his world who were not Christians, then we must ask, What is the World? [There is a fuller article by this title at Christogenea, which we shall only summarize here.] This is especially pertinent to understanding the next statement which Yahshua made to Nicodemus:
16 For Yahweh so loved the Society, that He gave the [P63, A, T 029, 086 and the MT have “His”; the text follows P66, P75, א and B] most-beloved Son, in order that each who believes in Him would not be lost but would have eternal life. 17 Indeed, Yahweh has not sent the [P63, A, 086 and the MT have “His”; the text follows P66, P75, א, B and T 029] Son into the Society in order that He would condemn the Society, but in order that the Society would be saved through Him.
There are many aspects of this passage which we hope to address, but we will not address them all immediately. Here, for the time being, we will focus on this word society, for which the King James Version has world. According to the the American Heritage College Dictionary, third edition, in its appendix on Indo-European Roots, the word world comes from a compound of two old English and Germanic words, wer, or man, and ald, or age. So world originally meant age of man, and had nothing to do with the planet itself upon which man resides. We would contend that the original translators of the King James Version still understood this ancient meaning of the word.
For that reason, three different Greek words were translated as world in the King James Version, which are αἰών (aeon), κόσμος (cosmos), and οἰκουμένη (oikoumene, oy-koo-men-ay). An αἰών, the source of our English word eon, is an age. Translating αἰών as world, the King James translators show that they understood world to refer to an age, not to the planet. The word οἰκουμένη basically means living-space or dwelling-place, from the word οἶκος, or house. The Greeks used it in reference to the area of the earth which they or anyone else in particular had inhabited, depending upon the context. We still use the word world in this context today, when we use phrases such as the Roman world, or the Greek world, and that was how οἰκουμένη was generally used by ancient Greek writers. In their Intermediate lexicon, Liddell & Scott have for οἰκουμένη “the inhabited world, a term used to designate the Greek world, as opposed to barbarian lands… so in Roman times, the Roman world”. Finally, there is the word which we have in the Greek of this passage in John chapter 3, which is κόσμος. This is the word from which we get the English cosmos, a sort of synonym for the universe, or cosmopolitan or also cosmetic, since it may describe an adornment.
The Wikipedia article for cosmos reveals the meaning of the word as the Greeks had used it, where it says in its opening lines that “Cosmos is used at times when the universe is regarded as a complex and orderly system or entity; the opposite of chaos.” The word cosmos means order, and to the ancient Greeks it had nothing to do with the planet as we know it. In Acts chapter 17, at Athens, certain men described Paul of Tarsus and his companions as “These that have turned the world [οἰκουμένη] upside down… ” yet by that time Paul had only preached the Gospel in a small part of Europe and Anatolia. In Luke chapter 2 we read “1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world [οἰκουμένη] should be taxed.” Of course, Caesar only had authority to tax the Roman world, so we again see that to the original English translators the word world did not describe the planet. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, the κόσμος was the order or arrangement of the οἰκουμένη, which included the planets and constellations of the heavens, by which movements they regulated their daily lives. For this reason, we translate the word as society, which is the organization or order of a body of people in the land which they inhabit.
Initially in these notes and in the audio presentation I had errantly stated that the word for world in these passages was κόσμος rather than οἰκουμένη, and I must apologize for that. The argument, however, that these two passages demonstrate the word world even to the original English translators did not refer to the entire planet is completely valid.
We have just cited Isaiah chapter 43 at length. There and in other chapters of Isaiah we see prophecies that explicitly state that the salvation and redemption which is in Christ is exclusively for the ancient children of Israel, the genetic people of the original twelve tribes and their descendants. Then we saw in Jeremiah that the New Covenant was promised exclusively for those same people, the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In Romans chapter 4 Paul of Tarsus described how Abraham’s seed through Jacob was promised to become many nations, and assured his readers that “16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed”, and not merely to those who had kept the law. A couple of verses later Paul expressed the nature of the promise again and said that Abraham was promised that “that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be”, and he explained that this had indeed come to pass. So Paul took the Gospel to the nations of Europe, to nations which did not exist at the time when the promise was spoken, because they had indeed come into being from Abraham’s seed over the course of the two thousand years between Abraham and Christ. The traditional orthodoxy of the denominational churches imagines that many nations became Abraham’s seed, but the Scriptures in both Testaments say the opposite, that Abraham’s seed became many nations. Identity Christians understand that, and can identify those nations in a manner which is fully consistent with the prophets and the apostles of Christ.
In Ezekiel chapter 18 we see what Yahweh God purposed to save, as Israel was cast off in punishment for their sins: “23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” There is a similar message in Ezekiel chapter 33: “11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” So Paul wrote to the Romans, in the closing verses of his epistle: “25 Now with ability you are to stand fast in accordance with my good message and the proclamation of Yahshua Christ; in accordance with a revelation of mystery having been kept secret in times eternal, 26 but being made manifest now, through the prophetic writings; in accordance with the command of the eternal Yahweh, for the submission of faith to all the Nations, in discovering that 27 Yahweh alone is wise, through Yahshua Christ, to whom is honor for the ages. Truly.” The nations he referenced were those same nations which came from Abraham’s seed, which he described earlier in Romans chapter 4, who were the subjects of the promises. Of course, the Romans were a portion of that seed.
Speaking prophetically of the time when Yahweh “will swallow up death in victory; and ... wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth… ”, as we read in Isaiah 25:8, in Isaiah chapter 26 we then see a prophetic picture of entry into the Kingdom of Heaven: “1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. 2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. 3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: 5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. 7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. 8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. 9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. 11 LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. 12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. 13 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us [speaking to the children of Israel in their dispersions, captivity, and the times they were lorded over by other nations]: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. 15 Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. [This had already happened to Israel both up to and in the time of Isaiah, as the Assyrian deportations of Israel were still ongoing in his time. Israel would be increased abroad, not replaced abroad!] 16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. 17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. [All of the enemies of God, whose judgment is prophesied here and in the surrounding chapters of Isaiah.] 19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
Here once again we see that the children of Israel shall learn righteousness, and they are described as the world here. They shall learn righteousness at the expense of their enemies, at the expense of the tyrants who had ruled over them in times past, and at the expense of the “inhabitants of the world” whom they expect to fall. In the end, it is depicted that Yahweh God Himself will destroy these others in His indignation, yet the children of Israel shall be saved. This we see as we proceed with Isaiah chapter 27, where we read of Yahweh’s vengeance against the wicked inhabitants of the world, and of Yahweh’s own plan for the world: “1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. 2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. 6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” This is the world which Christ came to save. The other races are described as “briers and thorns”, symbols of useless plants, and “Israel shall… fill the face of the world with fruit.”
This is the world which Christ came to save, as this is the world, or the order or arrangement, which Yahweh God sent down from above, as we read in our corrected translation of the Wisdom of Solomon, 19:6: “For the whole creation in its proper kind was fashioned again from above, serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt….”
Throughout the entire book of the Wisdom of Solomon is a comparison of the world created by God and the world corrupted by both men and devils. This is instrumental in understanding this passage of John, as even in the writings of the apostles there is a world which Christ came to save, and there is a world which is under the power of the devil, and which Christians are commanded to loathe. In 1 John 5:19, where we also see once again what it is meant by being “born from above”, we read: “18 For we know that each who has been born from of Yahweh does not do wrong, rather he born from of Yahweh keeps himself and the Evil One does not touch him [‘that thy children might be kept without hurt’]. 19 We know that we are from of Yahweh and the whole Society [or world] lies in the power of the Evil One.” Then in James chapter 4: “4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Christ did not come to save devils. Rather, in John chapter 17 He said concerning His disciples: “9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Then a little further on: “15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world [because they were born from above], even as I am not of the world.”
So in the beginning of the Wisdom of Solomon, in Wisdom chapter 1, we read: “13 For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. 14 For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth: 15 (For righteousness is immortal:) 16 But ungodly men with their works and words called it to them: for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to nought, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it.” This is further explained at the end of Wisdom chapter 2 where we see that this had nothing to do with Adam and Eve, at least at the beginning, where we read: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.” Yahweh created all things, but He did not create Bastards. Men cannot blame God for their sins, and bastards are transgressions of His law. Even before Adam and Eve, devils were already corrupting the Creation of God, as the devil was already there for Adam and Eve to envy.
Then in Wisdom chapter 9 we see the connection between the world which God created and His commandments: “1 O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word, 2 And ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, 3 And order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with an upright heart: 4 Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne; and reject me not from among thy children: 5 For I thy servant and son of thine handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and too young for the understanding of judgment and laws. 6 For though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded. 7 Thou hast chosen me to be a king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters: 8 Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon thy holy mount, and an altar in the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of the holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning. 9 And wisdom was with thee: which knoweth thy works, and was present when thou madest the world, and knew what was acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandments.” These commandments were intended only for the children of Israel, as we read in the 147th Psalm: “19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. 20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.” The intention is that Israel, keeping the commandments, would fill the face of the world with fruit. This is also evident in the last chapter of the Bible, in Revelation chapter 22, where there is described “the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits”, ostensibly representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
Seeing the connection between Israel, the law, and the world which God created, we turn to Wisdom chapter 18 where it is speaking of Moses and we read: “ 21 For then the blameless man made haste, and stood forth to defend them; and bringing the shield of his proper ministry, even prayer, and the propitiation of incense, set himself against the wrath, and so brought the calamity to an end, declaring that he was thy servant. 22 So he overcame the destroyer, not with strength of body, nor force of arms, but with a word subdued him that punished, alleging the oaths and covenants made with the fathers. 23 For when the dead were now fallen down by heaps one upon another, standing between, he stayed the wrath, and parted the way to the living. 24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head. 25 Unto these the destroyer gave place, and was afraid of them: for it was enough that they only tasted of the wrath.”
Solomon poetically described the “whole world” as being represented by the “long garment… and in the four rows of stones”. This is a reference to the breastplate of the high priest described in Exodus chapter 28, where we read in part: “3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office…. 8 And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: 10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. 11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. 12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial…. 15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. 17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. 21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.”
So according to Solomon, the “whole world” are the twelve tribes of Israel. It is Yahweh God’s intention that Israel fill the face of the world with fruit, at the expense of all others. This is the world without end, as it says in Isaiah chapter 45: “17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” So Paul said in Acts chapter 26: “6… I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.” There are other promises which assure us that all of this shall come to pass, as this is the world which Yahshua Christ came to save, and God shall not fail.
If Yahweh God is willing, we shall discuss other aspects of this same passage when we resume our next presentation On the Gospel of John.