This is my one hundred and eighth monthly teaching letter and completes my ninth year of publication. Since WTL #88 we have been continuing a series defending the apostle Paul. With this lesson we will continue with part two of an essay by William Finck entitled:
MISCONCEPTIONS CONCERNING PAUL AND THE ‘CHURCH’
In the definitions of the words used in the N.T. given previously, we have seen what appears to be two positions of authority within the Christian assembly. These are ἐπίσκοπος (overseer or supervisor) and πρεσβύτερος (elder). That these are legitimate positions within the assembly is found not only because Paul uses the terms in such a context, but Peter, James and John do likewise, and their so doing verifies many of Paul’s statements for us (i.e. 1 Peter 5:1, 2; James 5:14; Rev. 4:4, 10 et al.). That these two offices are actually one and the same is fully evident from the discourse in Acts chapter 20, at vv. 17 and 28, and at Titus 1:5-7 and 1 Pet. 5:1-2. Where the A.V. has “ordain” at Titus 1:5, the Greek word is καθίστημι (2525, kathistâmî) which may mean “to ordain, appoint” but also “to establish” (L&S). While the meaning of this one word here may be argued, we have already seen the manner by which elders were to be selected, by election of the assembly at Acts 14:23 and 2 Cor. 8:19 (though the election there was for a different purpose), so here I must read καθίστημι as establish.
Peter discusses the role of an elder at 1 Pet. 5:1 ff., where he states that they should lead by example, and not lord (become a dictator) over the assembly. Likewise, Paul discusses the role of supervisor (“bishop” in the A.V.) at 1 Tim 3:1-7. That “elder” and “supervisor” are one and the same role, Joseph Thayer discusses at length in his Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament under πρεσβύτερος (4245): “That they [οἱ πρεσβύτεροι, elders] did not differ at all from the (ἐπίσκοποι) bishops or overseers (as is acknowledged also by Jerome on Tit. i. 5 ...) is evident from the fact that the two words are used indiscriminately, Acts xx. 17, 28; Tit. i. 5, 7, and that the duty of presbyters is described by the terms ἐπισκοπεῖν, 1 Pet. v. 1. sq., and ἐπισκοπή,, Clem. Rom. 1 Cor. 44, 1; accordingly only two ecclesiastical officers, οἱ ἐπίσκοποι and οἱ διάκονοι [overseers or supervisors and ministers or servants] and are distinguished in Phil. i. 1; 1 Tim. iii. 1, 8. The title ἐπίσκοπος denotes the function, πρεσβύτερος the dignity; the former was borrowed from Greek institutions, the latter from the [Judaean]” [brackets mine, but not parentheses]. James also mentioned elders in his epistle (5:4), and they are discussed again by Paul at 1 Tim. 5:17 ff.
So we see that overseer or supervisor (A.V. “bishop”) and elder are one and the same office, and we have seen that the men of the assembly are elected to this office by the assembly, as previously discussed referring to Acts 14:23 and the verb χειροτονέω. From the instructions given by Paul at 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and 5:17-24 and elsewhere, it is also evident that an assembly may have more than one elder at any given time. It is also evident that the assembly should consider men who have at one time or another served in the capacity of a teacher of scripture (a function performed by a minister) when filling a position of elder, as Paul instructs at 1 Tim. 3:2. The elder is a leader of and an example to the assembly, but not its lord or ruler (1 Pet. 5:3). Yahshua Christ is the one and only Head over one and all in every Christian assembly: 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col. 1:18 et al. There is no prescription for popery in the New Testament, and especially in the letters of Paul. In the temporary absence of Yahshua Christ, scripture is the only valid authority: Acts 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 11:2; 14:37 (v. 2 Pet. 3:15-16); Gal. 2:5; 6:6; Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17; 4:2 et al.
As we have also seen Thayer agree, the only other office in the Christian assembly is διάκονος, minister or servant (sometimes “deacon” in the A.V.). From the definition of διάκονος discussed previously, we have seen that minister, servant and deacon are all one and the same. Paul discusses the qualifications of ministers at 1 Tim. 3:8-13. Note that in 1 Tim. 3, Paul’s instructions disqualify every single romish catholic cardinal, bishop and priest, along with many of the ministers of other denominations, from being legitimate servants of the assembly of Yahweh.
Any person at any time may serve as a minister to an assembly, and even voluntarily (1 Cor. 16:15), although it is clear from 1 Tim. 3:8-13, in conjunction with other statements of Paul, that minister may also be an office in the assembly to which one or more persons may be elected, each performing some specified function for an extended period of time. These may be teachers, or messengers, or caretakers of the elderly, or any other capacity which the community of Christians may require or even desire. Eph. 4:11-12 lists some of the functions which a minister may be chosen to perform, and other functions are evident elsewhere, such as at Acts 6:1-7; Rom. 16:1; 2 Tim. 2:2 and 1 Pet. 4:10-11. So a minister is one who serves the assembly in a certain task, or even multiple tasks, depending upon his or her abilities. A minister is a servant, not an authority figure, and surely his work must be monitored by the overseers. Various gifts beneficial to the assembly are discussed in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. At Rom. 12:7 διακονία, ministering or administration is listed as one of these gifts, for which note also 1 Cor. 12:5. Yet 1 Cor. 14:26 ff. reinforces the notion that any member of the assembly, and not just a selected minister, may share his gifts, insights or abilities with the assembly.
While women may serve the assembly in certain capacities, and were even counted by Paul as colleagues (Rom. 16:1, 3; 1 Cor. 16:19; Phil. 4:3), they are forbidden to speak in the assembly (1 Cor. 14:34), and forbidden from teaching or being chosen as elders or having any position of authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12). So while women may hold positions as ministers, there are certain limitations which by necessity must be imposed.
All men of age (20 years: Num. 1:3 et al.) in a Christian community are equals (i.e. 1 Cor. 12:12-26; James 2:1 ff.), with a certain amount of deference given to those who are older than us who are upright members of the community (1 Pet. 5:5). As we have seen, an elder or overseer is not a lord or boss, but a leader who teaches by example. The verb rendered to rule in the A.V. at Rom. 12:8 and 1 Tim 3:4, 5 and 5:17 is προΐστημι (4291, proïstâmi) and means merely to lead, govern, preside, direct, manage, etc. It is most literally to stand before and not “rule” (for which there are many other Greek terms) as the organized ‘church’ would have it of their appointed “bishops”, something Paul would certainly not recommend. We have also seen that a minister is not an authority figure, but is a servant. A minister is not a “preacher” but may be a teacher, or a proclaimer of the Word, or an administrator of some other task. Yahshua Christ, and by extension His Word in scripture (New Testament and Old), is the only authority. All matters should be brought before the assembly and judged by the Word, which shall be discussed at greater length below. One important difference from the Old Testament judges-era model is explained in 1 Cor. 5: those who have erred terribly should at the most be excluded from the community, rather than condemned (stoned), and Yahweh will see that they are judged.
Surely the above advice given by Paul at 2 Thess. 3:14, 1 Tim 6:3 and Tit. 3:10 must be applied to every and any member of the assembly, including ministers and elders, and therefore 1 Tim. 5:19 allows for an impeachment process of those officers who go astray. This must necessarily be conducted before the assembly, which would decide the issue. Officers elected by the assembly must therefore be answerable only to the assembly. My own translation of 1 Tim. 5:19 reads thusly: “An accusation against an elder you must not receive publicly, except ‘by two or three witnesses’,” and the main difference with the A.V. is in reading the Greek word ẻκτός (1622, ektos), which is discussed at length in the notes to my edition of Paul’s letters. Of course Paul’s admonishment here, where he cites Deut. 19:15, should stand for both elders and any other member of the assembly.
The Christian assembly, being autonomous and answering to no other authority except the Word, must therefore assume responsibility for itself and not turn to secular authorities to fulfill its needs. Those who look to the governments of man to solve their problems invite the government to become involved in every facet of their lives. The government becomes their god. One may deny the veracity of such a broad statement, yet this is the very dilemma which we in America suffer today. The Christian assembly provides for its own members and resolves its own social problems. Such is clear in the examples given at Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-37 and 6:1-7. Note also in chapter 6 of Acts, when the apostles recommended that men be selected to serve the assembly by managing a particular necessity, that the people chose the men, and not the apostles. This example, and those given here previously, show again that the people of the assembly choose their own leaders and ministers. Not even Peter, James or John would dictate by appointing these men over the assembly. Why should any organized ‘church’ (at the time of the apostles or since, or even in the Identity assemblies of today) assume that they have a right to do otherwise? Certainly Paul wouldn’t have, as we have already observed here. These examples of Christian social life set forth in Acts are also evident in Paul’s epistles, for example at 1 Tim. 5:1-16.
The Christian assembly providing duties of community to its own members, the members must look only to the assembly for those services. This is explained by Paul concerning matters of justice at 1 Cor. 5 and 6, (chapters poorly translated in the A.V.). Since the secular authorities disdain the laws of Yahweh, they cannot judge righteously, nor provide for a community righteously, and should therefore be avoided by Christians. My own translation of 1 Cor. 5:12-13 reads thusly: “12 What is it to me to judge those outside? Not at all should you judge those within you. 13 But those outside Yahweh judges; ‘you will expel the wicked from amongst yourselves’.” The Christian assembly must expel wrongdoers, and not “judge” (i.e. condemn) them, trusting that Yahweh Himself will see to it that they are treated in accordance with their deeds. Again, my own translation of 1 Cor. 6:1-11 reads thusly: “1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, have it decided before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the cosmos? And if by you the cosmos is judged, are you unworthy of the smallest trials? 3 Do you not know that we will judge Messengers, let alone the things of this life? 4 So then if you should have trial of things pertaining to this life, those who esteem themselves least in the assembly, those will be set to judge. 5 I speak from respect to you. So is there among you not even one wise, who would be able to decide among his brethren? 6 But brother is brought to trial by brother, and this before those not believing! 7 So then already there is altogether discomfiture among you, seeing that you have matters for judgment among yourselves. Why would you not still more be wronged? Why would you not still more be defrauded? 8 You would rather do wrong and defraud, and this of a brother? 9 Or do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh? Do not be led astray: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminates, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor rapacious shall inherit the kingdom of Yahweh. 11 And these things some of you may have been, but you have cleansed yourselves; moreover you have been sanctified, moreover you have been deemed fit, in the name of Prince Yahshua Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”
In 1 Cor. 6:1 Paul tells the assembly not to sue for justice before “the unrighteous”, or non-Christian, secular authorities. In 6:2-3 Paul tells the assembly that “the saints”, Israelites who have accepted the gospel and have returned to Yahweh, separating themselves from the evils of the “world” and from the unrighteous, shall judge the “cosmos” or “world” (Adamic society), and so they certainly should be able to settle their own matters among themselves. In 6:4 Paul advises that they select “those who esteem themselves least”, i.e. men who are of a humble disposition, in order to judge such matters. In 6:5-6 Paul expresses his own shock and disbelief that no one among the assembly would be able to judge such matters, and that one Christian would venture to sue another before a non-believer. In 6:7-8 he continues to admonish them for having such problems among themselves at all, and also warns them that they would probably only be wronged even further by the secular authorities. Just think of all the jews, mamzers, and other assorted heathens who sit as judges in America today! And not one of them could ever be righteous before Yahweh!
The local ἐκκλησία, assembly or Christian community, answers to no authority except the Word. There is no basis for a single, one-world command structure such as the romish catholic “church” is organized. Paul certainly never recommended such a thing! For this reason, and much of what follows is of my own opinion, I believe that much latitude is given to the local assembly, to organize and regulate itself based upon its own custom and economic status. I would think that the number of elders (supervisors) elected, the number of ministers (servants), whether or not compensation is granted for time spent in service, or if any of these positions are “full-time” or “part-time”, are all dependent upon the size, economic status, and desire of each particular assembly. The assembly itself should decide the authority of its elders, powers delegated to them, functions of ministers, and any other manner of government. Because the children of Israel have not yet been fully restored from their state of punishment, secular authorities should be obeyed (Rom. 13; 1 Pet. 2:11-17; Matt. 22:21 [Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25]; John 19:11), but not placed before Yahweh (Acts 5:29). Surely it may sound as if the function of the Christian assembly is “democratic”, but this is certainly not the case since the governing authority (or constitution) is the Word, and therefore the will of the masses is restricted. The assembly has no authority to disobey or circumvent the Word for any reason!
Are elder, or overseer, and minister, or servant, full-time positions? Should these officers receive compensation from the assembly, living off the good will of the assembly? Although such need not be encouraged, it is not unlawful, i.e. Rom. 15:27 and 1 Cor. 9:1-18 (where Paul also explains why he did not marry, and that he need not have lived in poverty – both contrary to romish church dogma). The example which Paul made was to preach the gospel without burdening the assembly, without cost to the hearers, i.e. 1 Cor. 9:18; 10:33; 2 Cor. 11:7; 12:13; 2 Thess. 3:8; and also to work at labor in order to support himself: Acts 18:3; 1 Cor. 4:12. He recommended to his followers that they follow his example: 1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:9-12; 1 Tim 5:8.
While Paul explains in 1 Cor. 9:1-18 why he and Barnabas chose not to marry, he instructs that elders and ministers of the Christian assembly not only should be married, but they must be married. This is not hypocritical on Paul’s part. It has been previously explained here that the office of apostle was quite unique, and required much travel from those who held it, who also endured much hardship. All of the apostles were very young when they were selected, including Paul (Acts 7:58), and evidently at least several of them put their mission ahead of the prospects of marriage. Traveling with a family would impose a great burden and expense on a man. Paul traveled for nearly 30 years! Neither could a mere laborer afford both to travel and support a family with a home. To properly conduct the office of apostle in a simple Christian lifestyle, having a family along would be greatly inhibitive.
The A.V. usually translated the imperative form of Greek verbs as “let...”, rather than “must...”. My own translation of 1 Tim. 3:1-13 reads as follows: “1 Trustworthy is this saying. If anyone strives for an office of supervisor, he is desirous of good work. 2 Therefore it is necessary for that supervisor to be irreproachable, a husband of one wife, sober, discreet, orderly, hospitable, inclined to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not a brawler but reasonable, not contentious, not loving money, 4 governing his own house well, having children in subjection with all reverence, 5 (now if one does not know to govern his own house, how would he care for an assembly of Yahweh?) 6 Not a neophyte, lest blinded with pride he would fall into condemnation of the False Accuser. 7 Now it is necessary also to have a good accreditation from those outside, lest he fall into a reproach and a trap of the False Accuser. 8 In like manner reverent ministers, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not shamefully desirous of gain, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a clean conscience. 10 But even they must be scrutinized first, then being void of offense they must minister. 11 Likewise reverent wives, not slanderous, sober, trustworthy in all. 12 Ministers must be husbands of one wife, governing their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that are ministering well obtain for themselves a good degree and much liberty in faith which is in Christ Yahshua.” Again it must be mentioned, these remarks by Paul alone disqualify nearly, if not every, romish catholic pope, cardinal, bishop or priest from service to the true assemblies of Yahweh, and disqualify many of those belonging to the protestant sects as well. Only an ignorant, blasphemous, self-serving man could possibly blame Paul for these organized religious sects, since Paul himself refutes them at every turn!
There is no prescription in Paul’s letters for popes, cardinals, or priests. All references to priests in Paul’s letters are in the context of the Old Covenant, where the performance of prescribed rituals at precise times, along with other duties necessitated a professional priesthood. Romish sacramentalism and their priesthood are vestiges of Babylonian paganism readily adopted by the later romish “church” and adapted to their perverted interpretations of the New Testament in order to satisfy their desire for control over the people. None of this can be blamed on Paul, who consistently states in his epistles that the rituals, “works of the law” in the A.V., have been done away with in the New Covenant (i.e. Rom. 3:20, 27, 28; 4:2, 6; 9:11, 32; 11:6; Gal. 2:16; 3:2, 5, 10; Heb. 6:1; 9:14). Even the Melchizedek priesthood mentioned by Paul at Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20 and 7:1-21, after Psalm 110:4, is said to belong to none other than Yahshua Christ. Again, any man who blames Paul for romish churchianity and its offspring is profusely ignorant.
I must also add, that not only many of the early so-called “church fathers”, but many commentators unto this very day have looked to earthly models, drawn from our own historical experience, as the basis for “church” structure. They have not realized that there is no proper model in our recorded experience which demonstrates how an assembly of the children of Yahweh should operate, except in His only guidance: the scant instructions which we have in the epistles of the New Testament, and what we see in the gospels and Acts. This model offered by the apostles remains outside of our experience, since it has never been tried to any significant extent, and since those who have tried it have been persecuted, suppressed, or even destroyed by the romish church or various governments, much of what we do know of those groups which have tried to live a true Christian life is mere propaganda! Today there are a few groups in America which have come close to a true Christian model of community living, such as the Amish or the Mennonites, yet even they rely upon the larger outside community (i.e. tourist dollars) for a good part of their sustenance. So many commentators have accepted the structure adopted by the romish church, a blending of old Rome’s paganism and its model of imperial government, as if such a model were based on scripture, which it certainly is not! Yet others look to the Judaean “sanhedrin” as a proper model, which it is not since it was sectarian and oligarchical. Many other alternative models are based on greed and a desire to concentrate power, while appearing on the surface to be righteous. Mormonism is one example of these. We have seen here that the authority of assembly elders should not transcend the immediate community, each which should elect its own elders. Any more than that is not Scriptural.
There is not one legitimate religious authority with U.S. Government tax-exempt status (IRS 501c3). Such status is a reward by the government granted only if the organization holding it agrees to follow certain guidelines. True Christianity, an exclusive, racist, discriminating doctrine, cannot possibly be found operating within those guidelines! That true Christianity is racist can be found as quickly as one can examine the language of Matt. 13:47-48 or 25:31-46, which by themselves should be enough to support the statements offered here, although many more scriptures follow suit. Yet this is only one issue – albeit a major one – where tax-exempt “churches” capitulate to government guidelines. Bob Jones’ University in South Carolina did this very thing in recent years, being one prominent and public example. Yet as Yahweh raised judges and leaders for the children of Israel as He deemed it necessary, so even now will He raise true ministers and elders for His people. As the children of Israel awaken, and get out of Babylon (which includes all of those tax-exempt phony “churches”), even though we must continue to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, then as we render to Yahweh what is His, Babylon will crumble under its own weight: for not enough of the people of Yahweh shall be left to support it any longer. [End of essay by William Finck.]
I am sure that if you have followed carefully this essay in WTL #’s 107 & 108, you may be astonished at how far we have drifted from adhering to what Scripture instructs us to be doing. Rather than having Christian assemblies, we have one-man self-appointed dictators hand-picking their subordinate, supposTahomaTahoma class= (4291, /span/sup edly “anointed” officers under them. So much for all those oil-rubbing, water-plunging clowns who want to lord it over the laity, rather than become a servant. Those rituals had their rightful place in the Old Testament. I’ve heard of some people going around these days rubbing or spraying oil on the outside walls of banks. I ask you, when do we start “anointing” the devil? Please name me book, chapter and verse!
THE MISUSE OF THE TERM “CHURCH”
I received a sarcastic letter from a professing Identity minister, with a scathing question written at the end: “Do you belong to a local church?” To make a long story short, I will reproduce here the answer I gave this man as a reply to this portion of his letter to me: “... Your last question was ‘Do you belong to a local church?’ My understanding of the word ‘church’, is that it means ‘the called out ones.’ Are you trying to tell me that I am not a ‘called out one’? If not, why did you ask the question? Every time that I’m out driving around town, and see a White Israelite, I see a ‘called out one’, and thus the ‘church’ though they may not be aware of it. Please explain to me how a building built out of concrete and wood represents ‘a called out one’ which appears to be your position ...” In a brochure I wrote recently entitled Founder Of Waldenses Was Not Peter Waldo, I addressed this subject thusly:
Some people in Israel Identity today will put emphasis on being a member of a local church as if somehow that was a prerequisite for being a Christian. The term “church” in Greek (#1577) is ekklesia and means “a calling out” or “called out ones”, and the only people who are “called out” are true Israelites. Whenever one notices a White Israelite walking down the sidewalk one is observing “a called out one” or a member of Yahweh’s assembly. Had some of these people today who put their emphasis on a so-called “local church” lived back in the time of the Waldenses, they would have asked, “Are you a member of a local romish church?”; how absurd! That single White Israelite seen walking down the sidewalk is a “called out one” whether he is alone or in a building with 10,000 other Israelites. In the Waldenses, we have an example of the true ekklesia of Yahweh, and nobody cares to mention them or reflect on the persecution they endured. And that persecution was executed by the hand of the “man of sin”, or the office of the pope of the romish catholic church, and that title doesn’t deserve to be written in capital letters! The next time anyone asks you if you are a member of a local church, let them know real quickly that you are “a called out one” whether alone or with 10,000 in a sizable edifice. [Note Acts 8:3; 9:31; 1 Cor. 14:23]. The truth is, when you are alone in the privacy of your own immediate family, you constitute, if racially pure, a Holy ekklesia! A multiracial group never establishes an ekklesia, whether among one’s own immediate racially-mixed family or in a large building with diverse races represented [that is, in attendance]!
In order to establish just what is meant by the term “church”, I will glean from several Bible Dictionaries and put it in my own words. The English word “church” with its cognate “kirk” is derived from the word kyriakón signifying “Yahshua’s” or “belonging to Yahweh”. Simply put, the New Testament equivalent is ekklesia as originally employed by the Greeks to denote an assembly or congregation of free citizens summoned or “called out” and such an assembly could be called for various reasons. At Acts 19:39, we find instruction for calling an assembly to resolve various legal matters. So if anyone is under the delusion that the heralding is for worship services only, he is sadly mistaken. An ekklesia can be called for many reasons!
Paul at Romans 9:4; 16:4; Heb. 9:1-11, reminds, and he was addressing Romans who were part of the lost tribes, that their ancestors had been “called out as a special people.” In its simplest meaning, the word may be taken to denote the “assembly” or “congregation” of those who are recipients of his heavenly favor and have been “called out” to be witnesses of His Redemption. Romans 9:4; 16:4; Heb. 9:1-11 is not referring to a religious service in a building somewhere, but the calling out of all the members of the twelve tribes, and there’s not a building in the entire world that could hold that many people. Yet they represent an assembly. The problem is, we have too many people with tiny 2x4 brains who can’t comprehend something other than a building on the corner of an intersection with a steeple and a bell, with a small group of people thinking they’re the only people on the entire planet.
Some have the erroneous idea that an ekklesia is a gathering together in a solitary building. Rather, sometimes it is used to denote scattered groups of Christians over a wide area as the churches of Galatia (Gal. 1:2). On other occasions it is used with reference to a body of Christians dwelling in the same immediate locality such as the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1). Some narrow-minded people today only accept the “local” hypothesis as being the correct one. And if its the church on the other side of the street, it can’t be the right one, for only our church on our side of the street has the truth. Yet others, even in Israel Identity, such as Everett (Sileven) Ramsey, claim we must put ourselves under someone in authority regardless of doctrine.
Many are not aware that whenever Yahshua met with his disciples they were an ekklesia, and most of the time they had no building. Not only that, but after Yahshua’s Ascension, when the apostles met in small groups they constituted an ekklesia. But if one were to ask a thousand church-goers today what constituted a church, one would get a thousand different answers, and to most of them it would simply be a building in one way or another.
While we haven’t even scratched the surface on this subject, we need to mention one more, that being the ekklesia without “spot or wrinkle” found at Ephesians 5:27: “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” In other words, an ekklesia “without blemish”. At Deut. 32:5 it speaks of these blemished people thusly: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” This same thought is alluded to at Jer. 2:21: “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” In the very next verse, Jeremiah explains what he was talking about in verse 21. Verse 22 reads: “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith Yahweh singular-Elohim.” Who then, are these people who could purchase forty gallons of very strong lye soap and shower for forty days and forty nights finding it impossible to wash away the various shades of their mud-colored skin? Jude 12 describes them thusly: “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” To be “twice dead” is to be born without the spirit breathed into Adam. All non-Adamites are born spiritually dead only to physically die again. And upon their physical death there is no resurrection for them!