- Christogenea Saturdays
A presentation of Born Under Contract, a paper written by Clifton Emahiser
Here we are going to present an article written perhaps 12 years ago by Clifton Emahiser, which is entitled Born Under Contract. This article aims to demonstrate that the promises made to the Old Testament patriarchs by Yahweh had confined all of their legitimate descendants under a covenant, which is essentially a contract, and that they themselves would have no choice in the matter. In the ancient world, a father had property rights and the power to make such life and death commitments over his offspring, and the offspring had no say in the matter. So, for example, Abraham had an inherent right to place his son Isaac on the altar and sacrifice him to the will of his God. Now, I said legitimate descendants, because the contract was accompanied by a law which forbade illegitimate descendants from reaping its benefits.
Here the sophists and scoffers may say something like, ‘oh, that is not true, the law was not given until Mount Sinai.’ However the Scripture proves otherwise. Abraham was chosen by Yahweh, as we read in Genesis chapter 26: “5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” So a little more must have been given to Abraham than what the Scripture describes. The proof is in the fact that Abraham had every concern over who his son Isaac, who would inherit the covenant, would marry. This is found in Genesis chapter 24: “1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.” A generation later, Esau had disregard for this, and his mother made certain that it cost him his share in the inheritance of Jacob. She is recorded in Genesis chapter 27 as having exclaimed: “46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?” To this we see Isaac’s response, in Genesis chapter 28: “1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.” So the patriarchs, and the matriarchs, were properly racists.
This paper by Clifton reflects one of those paradigm-changing revelations which should be realized upon discovering the truth of what we call Christian Identity. Understanding this truth should change one’s entire worldview, as the world really only consists of two groups of people: those who are under the covenants of Yahweh, and those who are not. There were early covenants made with Adamic man, but as history advanced, more precise covenants with even greater promises were made with only a smaller portion of that Adamic race. Some of the aspects of those covenants have been fulfilled, and because the facts of their fulfillment are shrouded in the obscure details of ancient history, most of the people under the covenants do not even realize their fulfillment. But they were fulfilled nevertheless. And those very people who are governed under the covenants do not even have to realize how they were fulfilled in order for them to be true. But they were fulfilled and those people will be governed by them whether they like it or not. They will either comply, or they will be punished and wonder why. However once we do have the knowledge of these things, we can much better appreciate the blessings we have in Christ, if indeed we are under those covenants, and then we can also better understand the responsibilities which we should have as Christians.
Born Under Contract
Imagine yourself being born, and when you took your first breath, you found yourself under a binding legal obligation emanating from your ancestors which you cannot, in any way, annul. As a matter of fact, if you are a member of a certain group of people, you have several contracts by which you must abide which will affect every major phase and all the decisions of your life. There is only one group of people in the entire world who are born with this obligation on their physical, mental and spiritual beings. And, as much as anyone might want to find a way to disengage himself from the provisions of these contracts, he finds himself entirely helpless to do so. He cannot decide he doesn’t want to be under the terms of these contracts, nor can others who are not under them decide [that] they want to be included therein. If you have been designated a party under the terms, you really have no choice in the matter but to comply. It is not open for invitation, and you don’t have an option. If one does not comply with the terms of the accord, every means will be applied to bring him back into compliance with that Covenant. One cannot plead ignorance to the existence of these contracts as ignorance is no excuse. Because these binding contracts play such an important role in our lives, it will be the object here to explain them and the penalties incurred for not keeping the terms as prescribed. It is my hope here to show how futile it is to fight these conditions under which we find ourselves obligated from the time of our birth. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, says in part:
“... and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price ...”
Here Clifton takes a quote from 1 Corinthians which was originally in a different context, however the application stands in any context. The children of Israel, redeemed from sin and death by Christ, belong to Him whether they recognize it or not. As Yahweh said in Hosea: “14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” So the children of Israel have only one real choice, which is evident in 2 Peter chapter 3: “9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The Word of God says in Isaiah chapter 43: “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....” The modern concept of liberty is a satanic deception. No man is free in the modern sense of the word. We must all belong to someone or something more powerful. Men did not create themselves. Until the children of Israel recognize that they rightfully belong only to Christ, and must obey Him, they will continue to be enslaved by the enemies of Christ who “19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption”, as Peter had warned in his second epistle.
Continuing with Clifton, who further remarks on the concept that “... ye are not your own… For ye are bought with a price...”:
But, with this passage, we are getting much too far ahead of our story, for we must go back to the beginning to get the concept of what all of this is about.
PREAMBLE TO THE CONTRACT
While it was not the contract or Covenant in itself, the intention to give it is foreshadowed in Genesis 13:16. The recipients of this proposed covenant were to be exclusively Abram (Abraham) and his descendants:
“And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed be also numbered.” [So Clifton reiterates that the parties of the promise are 1) thy, and 2) thy seed, and he continues:]
It is paramount we should observe, in Yahweh calling Abraham, He dealt with one individual and his family. (I will be using the Tetragrammaton throughout, including quotes.) In other words, Yahweh was the party of the first part, and Abraham and his family were the party of the second part. In this passage, the parties of the Covenant contract were established. Nowhere are we told Yahweh ever made a covenant with any other people. It should be noted that Yahweh chose Abraham, not the other way around. It was Yahweh who was calling the terms of the contract. In subsequent covenants, the definition of Abraham’s immediate family seed would be narrowed down and clarified. When we examine Scripture, this Covenant is definitely speaking of Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob; not Hagar, Ishmael, Keturah or Esau.
We would assert that one reason the covenant was narrowed down was by necessity: the same necessity for which reason Abraham commanded his servant to take a vow, that Isaac would be given a woman of his own kindred to wife, and would not marry a woman of the Canaanites.
YAHWEH’S PRIMARY COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
This contract is spelled out more fully in Genesis 15:5:
“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”
[And Clifton says:] Before receiving this promise from Yahweh, Abraham asked how this thing could be, for his only legal heir was his servant Eliezer of Damascus. Whereupon, Yahweh declared that Eliezer would not be Abraham’s heir, rather his own flesh and blood [would be his heir]. As with all contracts, there are two or more parties involved; but the conditions set forth in this one are quite unusual. At this point, all that was left was to finalize the agreement as described in Genesis 15:9-10:
“9 And he (Yahweh) said unto him (Abram), Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.”
This legal process is described in the Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, [on] page 53, where he quotes a footnote from David Baron’s The New Order of the Priesthood, pages 9-10:
“According to the ancient Eastern manner of making a covenant, both the contracting parties passed through the divided pieces of the slain animals, thus symbolically attesting that they pledged their very lives to the fulfillment of the engagement they made (see Jeremiah 34:18, 19). Now in Genesis 15, Yahweh alone, whose presence was symbolized by the smoking furnace and lamp of fire, passed through the midst of the pieces of the slain animals, while Abram was simply a spectator of this wonderful exhibition of Yahweh’s free grace.”
This and very similar methods of making a covenant are found in Akkadian, Hittite and other inscriptions dating to the second millennium BC, and even nearly to the time of Abraham. There is an 18th century BC inscription discovered at Mari in which the phrase “kill an ass” is synonymous with the making of such a covenant. In a Hittite inscription from around the same time, a man who makes a promise of a gift slices the throat of a sheep, vowing that his own throat should be sliced if he fails to deliver on the promise. The method persists in Assyrian inscriptions all the way down to the time of Esar-Haddon, which is not long before the days of Nehemiah and Ezra. Clifton continues:
There is a very similar comment in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 21, comparable to David Baron’s quotation above and essentially says the same thing. Again, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown make a very similar observation concerning this passage in their Commentary On The Whole Bible, page 27, of which I will quote only one sentence: “The patriarch did not pass between the sacrifice and the reason was that in this transaction he was bound to nothing.”
When Yahweh made this Covenant with Abram, Yahweh put Abram into a half-conscious trance so he could witness the event, but not be an active participant. Normally, each party in the contract was required by law to walk between the divided carcasses. It was saying, in effect: “So let it be done to me as these divided animals if I keep not the terms of this contract.” In this particular contract, Yahweh walked alone between the slain animals, thus making it a one-way (unilateral) compact; Yahweh promising everything, with nothing being required of Abram. Thus, all the obligations of the agreement were placed solely upon Yahweh. This signified that it was an unconditional Covenant dependent for fulfillment upon Yahweh alone. Rousas John Rushdoony, in his book The Institutes of Biblical Law, couldn’t be more mistaken when he said, [on] page 44: “Abraham was required to pass between the divided pieces of slain animals ...” This is just the opposite of what really happened, for Yahweh walked this path by Himself. We have to consider: if Yahweh hasn’t literally fulfilled this promise of “many seed” by this time, He is not faithful to His Word. If He has kept His Word, then somewhere in the world today there must be a people so numerous they would be impossible to count.
We can know for a certainty this unconditional Covenant by Yahweh was directed only toward the descendants Isaac and Jacob-Israel, for it is recorded in verses 13-14, where it refers to Israel’s sojourn in Egypt.
Here we shall read the passage Clifton refers to: “13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” Then Clifton properly concludes that:
None of Abraham’s other children fit this criteria, so, we are assured beyond all doubt, this Covenant was for Israel, and Israel only. Therefore, all of Abraham’s full-blooded descendants through Isaac and Jacob fall under this contract, which is a covenant in perpetuity. This Covenant Yahweh signed, sealed and witnessed with Abram, his friend. Once ratified, it could not be abrogated; it was to be in effect forever.
COVENANT REAFFIRMED (Genesis 17:4-7)
Thirteen years later, Yahweh reappeared to Abram with a reassurance, a challenge and a richer promise. This restatement, like the first promise, was to his seed through Isaac and Jacob; not to the Ishmaelites or Edomites or some kind of spiritual church or a process of spiritual adoption.
“4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shall be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be an Elohim unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
ABRAHAMIC COVENANT CONFIRMED
In Genesis 22:15-18, Yahweh made a second declaration of His Covenant with Abraham after Isaac was offered on the altar. This passage reads as follows:
“15 And the angel of Yahweh called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith Yahweh, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the [Israel] nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” [Other nations get the crumbs only, Matt. 15:27.]
For comment on this second ratification of the contract, I will quote from Howard B. Rand’s Primo-genesis, page 82:
“Abraham turned and saw a ram caught in the thicket, which he substituted for Isaac upon the altar and offered a burnt-offering to Yahweh. But Isaac had been laid upon the altar and, according to the law, anything that touches the altar becomes from that time forward separated unto Yahweh. It cannot be taken back again by him who has laid it there. By this act Abraham dedicated Isaac [and his seed] to the service of Yahweh.” [Romans 9:7; Galatians 4:28,29]
And this is exactly how the ancient Greeks and other pagans made dedicatory offerings or offerings of appeasement to their gods. All of the things which Yahweh had done with the patriarchs were done within the cultural context and understanding of the patriarchs.
As a digression, many of the neo-pagans who despise Christianity use Abraham’s offering of Isaac as an excuse. Yet the same neo-pagans would extol the virtues of their pagan gods, or properly, their pagan idols. They are ignorant of their own pagan traditions. In the Greek Epic and Tragic poets, that is a popular account, that Agamemnon the great king of the Greeks had sacrificed his own daughter Iphigeneia, whom he sent for under the pretext of a promise of marriage to Achilles. He placed her on an altar and sacrificed her to Artemis in exchange for the hope of having fair winds for the voyage to Troy, so that the Greeks could launch their attack against the city. The Eddas of Snorri also include references to human sacrifice, such as that of the Swedish king who sacrificed nine of his sons to Odin in an agreement to prolong his own life, which is a story found in the Ynglinga saga.
When Isaac was placed on the altar by Abraham, Abraham was in essence forfeiting his parental right over Isaac to the ownership of God. From that point forward, Isaac would be considered property of God, not by Abraham’s choice, but by Yahweh’s command. So Clifton continues:
At that very moment, Isaac and his offspring became the personal property of Yahweh. By the act of placing Isaac on the altar, Yahweh was now in a legal position to bless or chastise Isaac and his progeny (less Esau) in any manner necessary in order to keep them under the terms of the Covenant. Not only this, but Isaac’s offspring would inherit the strategic sea-gates of the world; Suez, Gibraltar, Aden, Singapore, Malacca, Cape of Good Hope, Falklands, Dover and Panama. Though some gates may be lost for a while, they will be returned to Isaac’s sons. (Genesis 22:17)
Here Clifton repeated the common British Israel interpretation, tailored for the empire and the British navy, which can no longer do much of anything. In fact, recently they struggled and borrowed from the United States in order to take the Falkland Islands from Argentina, which should have been an embarrassment. However we would give the prophecy a much wider interpretation. Possessing the gates of one’s enemies means having full control over the enemies’ comings and goings, whether by land or by sea. Back to Clifton, under the heading:
A RACE DEDICATED
Again, for more comment on this second ratification of this contract, I will quote from Howard B. Rand’s Primo-genesis, page 82:
“Through Isaac an entire race was dedicated to Yahweh’s service, for from that day forward Isaac’s seed became Yahweh’s. In the utterances of the prophets and throughout the whole Bible, in the story it tells, this fact is fully set forth. Failure to recognize the fact that a race has been dedicated to serve has prevented thousands from understanding the statements concerning a servant people who would become witnesses to Yahweh’s glory throughout the ages. As the story unfolds, the significance of the history of this race — today represented in the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples — will become more apparent. The knowledge of their activities, as they fulfill ancient prophecies, will further establish the accuracy of the Bible story.”
Perhaps Rand should have said millions, instead of mere thousands. It must also be made explicit that the chosen race was dedicated to serve Yahweh, by establishing His Kingdom in the world at the expense of all others. Rand’s comments, while Clifton did not quote as much, were meant to promote the British Israel concept of dominion theology, which is a peculiar interpretation that is not of God. Clifton continues under the heading:
COVENANT CONFIRMED WITH JACOB
Upon realizing he had lost his birthright, Esau threatened to kill Jacob as soon as his father Isaac had died. Rebekah, hearing of this, sent Jacob to his uncle Laban at Padanaram until Esau’s anger abated, and also to seek a wife as charged by Isaac. On his journey, one evening having no bed, he placed his head on a stone to rest. Entering sleep, Yahweh appeared to him in a vision. In his dream, Jacob saw a ladder which reached from earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending. At the top of the stairs was Yahweh Almighty Himself. Yahweh said to Jacob, Genesis 28:13-15:
“13 ... I am Yahweh the Mighty One of Abraham thy father, and the Mighty One of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the [Israel] families of the earth be blessed [i.e., Mark 7:27-28]. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”
Here, Clifton added the word “Israel” and cited an example supporting his addition, which is found at Mark 7:27-28. There, Christ said to a Canaanite woman that “it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.”
There are some who may want to criticize Clifton for this. However Paul of Tarsus interpreted this promise to Abraham in the exact same manner. But it cannot be told from the King James translation of the passage.
In Galatians chapter 3, with the understanding that Paul is writing in reference to sinners, who were under the law, he said: “8 And the writing having foreseen that from faith Yahweh would deem the Nations righteous, announced to Abraham beforehand that ‘In you shall all the Nations be blessed.’ 9 So those from faith are blessed along with the believing Abraham.”
But even if we did not have the understanding which Paul had, we certainly could not extend this blessing to those outside of the descendants of Noah. Where the promise in Genesis 12:3 says “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”, the phrase “all the families of the earth” is defined in the final verse of Genesis chapter 10: “32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.”
However the true and ultimate purpose of the promises to Abraham is also expressed in Isaiah chapter 28: “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.” With that same perspective, Clifton continues:
Awakening in the morning, Jacob knew he had been in the presence of Yahweh. He then took the stone he had used as a pillow, set it up as a pillar and consecrated it as “Bethel”, the House of The Almighty. Therefore, the STONE bore the holy anointing of Yahweh. To claim that Palestine alone was to be the place of the covenanted expansion promised to Jacob and his seed is to fail to recognize that Jacob was in Palestine when [he was] told [that] his seed would spread abroad in all directions of the compass. For anyone still under the allusion that Palestine is the only “promised land” should research this passage again. Jacob then vowed a vow: (1) If Yahweh would be with him and keep him in the way he went, (2) If Yahweh would provide bread to eat and raiment to wear, (3) If Yahweh would bring him back home in peace, (4) Then shall Yahweh be his El, (5) This pillar which he set up shall be the House of El, and (6) In all his increase he would give Yahweh a tenth. Question: Was Jacob just speaking for himself on the six items above, or [was he] speaking for all of his progeny?
COVENANT REAFFIRMATION TO JACOB
After spending many years in the land of Haran, Jacob collected all the numerous possessions he had acquired, along with his wives and children, and quietly left the house of Laban. On his return to the land of his fathers, the angels of Yahweh came to meet him. And, he called the place Mahanaim, which means “two hosts” or “camps.” While contemplating meeting Esau, who years before had threatened to kill him, Jacob separated himself from his family by sending them across the brook Jabbok, where he stayed alone and prayed for Yahweh’s help. Jacob, being alone, perceived being touched by a man, actually an angel[ic] messenger, with whom he wrestled all night until morning. Being frightened to face Esau, Jacob would not let go of the angel of Yahweh until he blessed him. Not being able to overcome Jacob, the angel touched him on his thigh, which in turn came out of joint. Jacob admitting his name meant supplanter, the angel said: (“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with Yahweh and prevailed”), Genesis 32:12, 28:
“12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude ... 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with Yahweh and with men, and hast prevailed.”
Jacob was being tried by God, and did not give up in spite of the fact that his leg was miraculously put out of joint as he wrestled, which would be a huge handicap in a wrestling match. Even with that, Jacob did not quit until he obtained the promise of a blessing. This alone is a prophecy, and an example for Jacob’s descendants today. Just like Jacob, not even knowing it they contend with their God today. Clifton continues:
Following this, Jacob and Esau made a precarious, short-lived reconciliation. Upon Jacob journeying on to Bethel, Yahweh renewed His Covenant with him. It was not a new covenant, but the same Covenant He had made with Abraham and Isaac before him, [in] Genesis 35:11:
“And Yahweh said unto him (Jacob), I am Yahweh Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.”
Here it must be stated, that when Rebecca had arranged for Jacob to receive the promises rather than Esau, she told Isaac why she had done this when she said “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?”
That is why Isaac responded by informing Jacob that he must not do that, and that he must instead take a wife of his own people. As a result of his obedience, however, he was also assured by Isaac that he would receive “the blessing of Abraham”. So while Jacob obtained the original blessing by deception, here we see that Isaac affirmed the decision of his wife, and agreed that it was righteous, where it is written in Genesis chapter 28: “1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.” So Clifton proceeds under the heading:
YAHWEH’S CHOSEN PEOPLE
From the foregoing, it should be quite obvious Yahweh does have a “chosen people.” As a matter of fact, Yahweh chose his people, and in no way can [any] one choose Him. They may choose to serve Him [or at least think they may serve Him], but cannot choose Him personally. For, He has already made the choice of choosing us, and we have no say in the matter. To back up this statement, I will quote Deuteronomy 7:6:
“For thou art an holy [set apart] people unto Yahweh thy El: Yahweh thy El hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”
For more witnesses that this is speaking of Israel only, let’s consider the following passages:
Isaiah 41:8: “But thou Israel art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.”
Isaiah 43:10: “Ye are my witnesses, saith Yahweh, and my servant whom I have chosen ...”
Isaiah 44:1-2: “1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel whom I have chosen: 2 Thus saith Yahweh that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not O Jacob my servant; and thou Jesurun whom I have chosen.”
Here I am going to differ with Clifton just a little, although I am confident that he would agree. Where he said of other peoples “they may choose to serve Him”, that is apparent from our perspective. But we must ask this, is it apparent from God’s perspective? The children of Israel were commanded to be a separate people. If there are aliens among us, no matter the motives of the aliens, their mere presence is still a violation of Yahweh’s divine will. So we have the words of Christ in the Gospel, in Matthew chapter 7: “22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” The people who He rejects apparently choose to serve Him, but He rejects them nevertheless.
Clifton is certainly correct, that Yahweh God chose Israel, and no man can choose Yahweh as their God. As Christ also told His disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” and “I have chosen you out of the world”.
FALSE DOCTRINE OF BEING BORN AGAIN
While it is not our desire to ridicule anyone’s prayer to Yahweh for repentance such as found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, or any effort one might put forth to amend one’s ways, but the doctrine of being “born again” cannot be found in Scripture. I am sure many might be quick to quote John 3:3 where it says: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh.” Actually, this passage does not say “born again”, but “born from above.” You’ll have to admit there is a world of difference between being born again and being born from above. Being born from above simply does not imply being born again. You can check almost any Bible commentary and it will confirm “born from above” is a correct rendering. It may also be rendered “from the beginning.” It was Nicodemus only who didn’t understand this, and churches, as a whole, have taken the same position he did. While the churches do not go to the extent of saying one must reenter one’s mother’s womb, they take another erroneous position. Nominal churchianity takes the position: if a person, (and he can be from any race) chooses Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and believes on Him, he can enter the Kingdom, and somehow this new candidate is regenerated or “born again” of the Spirit. That this passage should have been translated “born from above” is illustrated in Matthew Poole’s A Commentary On The Holy Bible, volume 3, page 290:
“The word translated ‘again’ is ἄνωθεν which often signified ‘from above’ ...”
Comparing verse 3 to [verse] 31, we can plainly see it should have been translated “from above” as it uses the same Greek word #509:
John 3:31: “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthy, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.”
Now that we can understand that the expression “born again” is a mistranslation, let’s take a better look at this passage found in John 3:1-21. What we have here is a man of the Pharisee sect by the name of Nicodemus coming to the Messiah by night to inquire more concerning the kingdom of Yahweh. No doubt, Nicodemus was a good man and a true Israelite, for he defended Yahshua at his trial, [recorded in] John 7:50-51, and attended, with Joseph of Arimathaea at His burial, [recorded in] John 19:38-40. This was part of the conversation our Anointed One had with him, [recorded in] John 3:3-7:
“3 Yahshua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Yahshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Yahweh. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born from above.”
What we have in this passage is a paraphrase, which is defined in the dictionary as a restatement of the meaning of a passage in different words. In other words, the secondary statement is a restatement using different words to help define the meaning of the primary statement. A paraphrase is two parallel statements saying the same thing, but in different words. Actually, what we have in this passage are three statements in parallel.
Here Clifton is describing the Hebrew literary device called parallelism, which is found very frequently throughout both Old and New Testament Scripture. By paraphrase he means that one statement is a repeat of the previous statement, using different words.
Now that we know what a paraphrase is, let’s examine the (1) primary, (2) secondary, and (3) the [tertiary] parallel statements of this passage. In verse 3, the expression “Except a man be born from above” implies an additional birth other than a physical birth. So the first statement suggests a natural birth, plus a birth “from above.” Being a paraphrase, the secondary statement must repeat the same message, but with different words. In the secondary statement of verse 5, it speaks of water and spirit. In the third parallel statement of verse 6, it speaks of flesh and spirit. Therefore, the physical birth implied in verse 3 is the same as the water and flesh of verses 5 and 6, and the “born from above” of verse 3 is the same as the Spirit and spirit of verses 5 and 6. The parallel is: (1) natural birth → water → flesh (2) born from above → Spirit → spirit. In other words, the natural birth of verse 3 is the same as water and flesh, and the “born from above” of verse 3 is the same as Spirit and spirit. Once we understand the parallel of the natural birth, we soon understand the water surrounding the child breaking and producing a body of flesh. When we further understand the “born from above”, we then comprehend a birth of the Spirit by the Spirit [of Yahweh]. The “water” in this passage has nothing to do with baptism!
Some say the Spirit-birth happened in preexistence, which may have some merit. Whether or not such a thing is true, we can be sure the Spirit-birth happened when Yahweh breathed the breath of life into Adam.
While Clifton does not seem certain, I would deny the notion of pre-existence of the spirit, as it is not supported by Scripture like many of the followers of Wesley Swift think it is supported. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul of Tarsus informs us “46 But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural, then the spiritual: 47 the first man from out of earth, of soil; the second man from out of heaven.” Explaining how the spiritual body comes to exist, in that same chapter he said: “44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body; if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual.” So the valid conclusion is that the body of flesh comes first, and the spiritual body forms along with the fleshly body, from the same seed.
So Clifton continues his discussion of being born from above:
Therefore, Adam became a spirit-man (living soul), and the father of a race of spirit-men and spirit-women. Throughout the Bible, it differentiates between earth-men and spirit-men. The Adam-man was the only race born with the Spirit of Yahweh. The other races are born of the flesh, but not the Spirit. Once we understand this, we can comprehend such verses as 1 Corinthians 2:14, which reads:
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
As Paul also said, the law is spiritual, so only those with the Spirit of Yahweh can possibly understand it, which is a prerequisite to keeping it. But since we may follow our fleshly nature in sin, that alone is not a guarantee that we will keep it.
The next important statement made by the Messiah to Nicodemus is recorded in John 3:10 when He said to him:
“Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”
This should give us a pretty good idea that what Yahshua told Nicodemus he ought to have known, can be found somewhere in the Old Testament. It is also possible the “Spirit” spoken of in John 3:2-8 may have significance overlooked by many. While we know it is true concerning Adam being a spirit-man, this passage may be speaking of something beyond this in scope. Let’s take a look at Ezekiel 36:26-27:
“26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.”
I would think that the appropriate reference is the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 2: “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” However Christ did indeed tell His disciples that “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” We would cross-reference that with Ezekiel 36:26-27. Man is only complete when his God is with him.
It should be noted in the passage just quoted, that it is directed only to Israelites, for they alone received the statutes and judgments. With all of this, it should become quite clear what is meant by being “born from above.” It should be quite obvious, when it is speaking of the “water”, it is speaking of the natural birth process and not baptism. It should also be quite evident, that the being “born again” doctrine taught in the mainstream churches is not at all the Spirit-birth taught in Scripture.
Nicodemus, hearing word rumored about concerning the Messiah’s teaching of the Kingdom, decided to investigate the matter with Yahshua Himself. We have to imagine poor, old Nicodemus when he misunderstood he might have to reenter his mother’s womb to gain entrance thereto. What a strange way to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh he must have thought. He was probably familiar with the usual civil laws for entering a country by the right of birth in an earthly kingdom. But, to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh, he finds he must enter by the right of the Spirit-birth breathed by Yahweh. He was informed: “... the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh” (1 Corinthians 2:14). In Nicodemus’ eyes, the Messiah introduced a whole new (but really old) concept of the Kingdom of Yahweh (John 3:6) of flesh and spirit. Every Adamite has two births: one from earth, one from above; one of his body and one of his spirit. Without the first, he cannot enjoy the earth; without the last, he cannot see or enjoy the Kingdom of Yahweh. The one is visible; the second is invisible. [Gal. 4:28-31]
And this is precisely what Paul was describing where we had cited his words from 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Clifton continues under the heading:
THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM
After Messiah explained to Nicodemus both the physical and spirit dimensions of the Kingdom, in John 3:8, He goes on to compare the Spirit to the phenomena of the wind:
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
While the wind blows in a variety of directions, and we can hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of the trees and even feel its touch, we cannot discern the air itself. The motion of the wind is imperceptible, but we can gauge it by its risings, fallings and changes of directions. We can only know that it exists by the effects which it produces. Like natural birth, the Spirit reproduces, by the law “after its kind.” Miscegenation, therefore, brings death to the Spirit. In Scripture, both in Greek and Hebrew, the words “spirit” and “breathed” are constantly brought together. Therefore, inasmuch as Yahweh breathed into Adam His breath of life, they are both of the same Spirit.
We would add that where Clifton said “We can only know that it exists by the effects which it produces,” that is why Christ had said “By their fruits you shall know them”.
As the Kingdom’s coming is imperceptible, Yahshua said, [in] Luke 17:20: “The kingdom of Yahweh cometh not with observation.” Truly, the Kingdom must be reconciled with the Covenant, for we are legally His from the first breath!
Here we must thank Clifton for his efforts, and pray that more of our brethren come to share this proper worldview derived from Scripture and firmly grounded in the promises to the Patriarchs. As Luke recorded and as Zacharias the father of John the Baptist had testified, Yahshua Christ came in the flesh in order to fulfill those same promises.