Wedding Feast Parable
Previous blogs have used the Villain list to explain stories in the Epistles. Those passages materially added to our understanding of the Villains. Now we turn our attention to Joshua's own Wedding Feast Parable. We need to use what the Epistles told us to crack this parable. But first, an update to our understanding of Acts 15.
Acts 15, Our History
Our history with Acts 15 goes back to Unleavened bread in 2016. We did a series of live streams each day across that holiday. Generally, we used the holidays to review project status with people following the work.
Normally we did this in person but we did a live stream because we wanted to include a friend in Australia. He had visited on a previous year and we wanted to save him air fare to the USA. So I had a long list of topics that needed to be covered to review all the work. I did that with a series of slide deck based talks. One of the talks at that time was on Acts 15.
I was going to explain how the 4 points of things to avoid were marking 4 rules for spotting additions. While preparing for that talk, I re-read the chapter and realized that the chapter uses a hand carried letter to tell those in Antioch how to identify the earlier editors as individual people.
How, you might ask, does a letter identify anyone? They each wrote letters. So the list of editors is narrowed down to letter writers. There are not many letter writers and the list quickly became 1) Solomon, 2) Ahab/Jezebel, 3) Nebuchadnezzar and 4) Mordecai.
I gave the talk at the scheduled time without any time to warn Ryan. I was running behind the whole week, we still had our regular live group too. Ryan sat in the group and listened to this and realized the job of finding edits would be substantially easier because now he would be using all he knew about those letter writers. He could ascribe motive to edits.
The next 6 months was a powerful time. Our normal practice of Sabbath Lots became a game. Joshua hates the edits, and wanted us to see them. Every Sabbath lot was landing in an addition. Could we spot the editor? Could we explain why it was an addition? Ryan took notes, and then marked up the BRB for the following Friday deploy.
Week after week more and more was falling by rule. As we passed the 1/2 way point I saw the need for a new app, that would only show what was left. By Tabernacles in 2016 I had built what is now the TT app so we could begin to think about what was left.
Unfortunately, we had lost over half of the Bible, and we had now dropped into theological limbo. The normal precepts of Christianity live in additions. We were still very much fierce followers of Joshua, but now only by our faith walks, not by the text. We suddenly had problems with fellowship. We have not done similar status meetings since.
By 2018 I started writing this blog to keep people up to speed on our journey. We did a few videos that year, and then again in early 2020, but have remained mostly quiet as we wrestle for the blessing on what is the inspired text.
In November of 2020 our understanding of Acts 15 had changed again, and I wrote about it in a 3 part series. Here is the link to part 1.
Acts 15 Blog, 2020-11-15
The main take away in that blog was that the 5th editor is also identified by letter. But, instead of writing a letter, he is given a commissioning letter.
The man in question is editor 5) Ezra.
This is in keeping with his villainous problem. Anyone commissioned by a king, another whole type of villain, is acting like Ezra. In his commissioning he is allowed to conduct false religion in any way he so wishes, including the power to kill those who disagree, provided Ezra does his work on the king's behalf.
This slams the connection between government and religion. Think about how the Pope once ran the western empire? Or how the Anglican church is run by the king himself? Think about non-Christian religions, like Masonry, that are so tied to government?
Since that blog we have not thought much about Acts 15 and editor #6. Our explanation is that final editor had not yet edited Act 15, so he was not mentioned within the chapter. Our position has not been exactly correct. Let me explain.
Acts 15 (BRB)
The link here is to Acts chapter 15 in the BRB. We of course now understand the last villainous editor is 6) Ananias. Let me review his bio.
Ananias makes a few appearances in the text. He is first seen when he and his wife Saphira give money in support of the work (Acts 5:1-5). As an editor we suspect he wrote in his own death to hide his support for the early work.
Ananias gives Paul his commission after his Damascus Road experience (Acts 9:10-17). Here Ananias is in a leadership position, enough to have access to Paul and give him a prophetic word.
Then Ananias and Paul meet again on Paul's last visit to Jerusalem. Paul is hauled before the high priest and recounts his Damascus road story again, mentioning Ananias as the man who had the word (Acts 22:12). As this episode develops Ananias commands Paul be struck on the mouth (Acts 23:2). This detail, on the mouth, indicates Ananias strikes everything from his mouth, including his writings. In any case Paul rebukes Ananias and then discovers that he is high priest.
Finally Ananias travels to Caesarea to Paul's trial before the governor (Acts 24:1). Paul was held there for 2 years as a favor, presumably to Ananias personally so he could finish editing the NT into what we know now.
In last week's blog I covered how Jude's keys for editor #6 include Korah's rebellion. Korah wants to rule instead of Moses. Moses, of course, was sent to rescue everyone from Egypt. Korah was a leader, but only a spectator to the work Joshua was doing through Moses. Moses had been raised under Pharaoh. Moses had been to the burning bush. Moses was on a mission with divine backing. Korah was just a leader in the community of former slaves. Joshua's miracles worked in support of Moses but against Korah.
Knowing Ananias is like Korah helps explain his relations with Paul. It explains why he took the high priest's job instead of sticking with the community of faith where he once walked in the prophetic. Paul is like Moses. In Paul's case commissioned to write most of what we know as the New Testament.
So Ananias, like Korah, wants to insert his own authority against what Joshua is doing through someone else. This by commanding Paul be struck. This by editing Paul's writings.
Certain Men From Jerusalem
So now, go read Acts 15 again. It begins by explaining the problem that caused the meeting. Certain men from Jerusalem had come down and commanded certain things contrary to the disciples.
Paul and Barnabas, instead, were demonstrating their call from Joshua through signs and wonders. Joshua was endorsing them as he endorsed Moses.
At this introduction we have enough to see what is going on. The high priest, unnamed, but perhaps already Ananias, is based in Jerusalem. He is sending men to go against the disciples.
If we are looking for a Korah like pattern we can now see it. Paul is like Moses. Those others, visiting from Jerusalem, are likely sent by the high priest. This would be just as Paul was sent to Damascus originally. The high priest is like Korah, and wants to rule instead of Paul. This is not a theological/king problem, 5) Ezra, but overruling the man who has Joshua's favor, Korah.
At the end of Acts 15 the council sends a letter against these men. But really the letter is against the individual man who sent them. It is a letter against the high priest in Jerusalem. It is against Ananias.
The Acts 15 letter is the letter that identifies editor 6) Ananias.
Note The Process
Figuring out Acts 15's reference to Ananias comes became we are looking for that group, or someone supported by that group, say Paul, to be a Moses' figure in their day. We are doing this because editor 6) Ananias is like Korah. We know that because of Jude running the list.
So taking what we know from the Armor of God and from Jude's Bad Dudes, we can now look at otherwise tough 6 point stories and riddle out what is going on and why. We use our growing list of what we know about the Villains to unpack more parables.
This is what we need to crack the parables given by Joshua himself. As students we are now becoming ready for our final exams.
So we next turn to the Wedding Feast Parable and use this augmented villain list technique to crack that story too.
Wedding Feast Parable, (Matt. 22:1-14 BRB)
The entire parable runs from verse 1 through 14. The introduction says this is a parable. Often readers must detect that passages are parables. Not here. In this case we are told this is a parable. We must crack this parable using some system.
In this case the overall length allows for either a list of 12 or a list of 6, but not 25. So there are 2 different possible keys to this parable. The 6 villains fits best so we will use that list to crack the parable.
In our world we usually also check for how key vocabulary words are translated. Note that there is no adjective wedding on the root word feast. Feast is the same spelling as the feast at Cana, which we believe to be a wake. It is the same 3 letter root as the feast Abram put on when his son Isaac was weaned (Gen. 21:8). So this is likely just a feast. Feast is a general synonym for holiday.
So the kingdom of the skies is like a king who wants to throw a feast for his son. This is the basis for the parable.
The 6 points in this story will follow events and stories surrounding what we know from the Villain list. Let me explain by listing the villain and their part of the kingdom of the skies parable.
1) Solomon: Invite Rejected (vs. 1-3)
The parable starts when the king decides to throw a feast. He sends servants to call the guests, but they would not come.
Solomon's main work was the Temple at Jerusalem. He built this for his Egyptian wife. He built religious shrines for his other wives. Perhaps 1000 religious locations across Solomon's empire. Solomon used these structures to shift holiday practices to Jerusalem.
Previously, they had been at the valley between Ebal and Gerizim. Jacob's well and the stone carved copies of the text are located there. We also suspect Abraham's scroll vault was there too. This was the land Abraham purchased to bury his dead wife Sarah, but also for keeping copies of the scrolls.
From the days of Moses, this is where the annual holidays were kept when not at home. Especially important was the holiday of Tabernacles which was kept in this valley. So not going to the feast, the first point in this parable, is what Solomon caused.
So who is the son?
This valley was the ranch area for Abram, Isaac and Jacob. Abram would be the likely son. But who is Abraham? The father of the faithful, of course. But if you read the text as a story of souls going through life until they can become walk offs, Abram might be the soul of Adam. That soul is Joshua's son.
The editing process of the NT was to turn everything into a parable for Joshua. So the mysterious son of god idea is a rebranding of Adam/Abram being Joshua's son.
2) Ahab/Jezebel: Everything Prepared (vs. 4-7)
As the feast is nearly ready, a second wave of invites go out. Instead of answering the invite, they leave and go to businesses and fields. They insult and kill the king's servants. So in anger the king sends his army who kills them and burns their city.
The villain map is now moving us up to Ahab/Jezebel. This is physically further away than Solomon's temple. The northern kingdom had still more shrines. These would be the other places in this parable.
Ahab/Jezebel are famous for the letter to have Naboth killed. Naboth was head, presumably, of a prophet's house. So Naboth is the killed servant, presumably there were others. Elijah had fled for his life as an example of others. In the parable this is called out by killing the king's servants.
Finally, the Assyrians, more precisely Jonah's Nineveh, were sent in and destroyed the whole place. In the parable this is the king's army reference. It was an army from a city of faith.
3) Nebuchadnezzar: Guests From Roads (vs. 8-10)
The feast is now ready, those called are unworthy, so the king calls anyone/everyone to the feast. The house is now full, but there was good and bad in the house.
Nebuchadnezzar had gathered captives as he built his empire. They were hauled in chains by road, as in this parable. Some were good, like Daniel, but most were bad.
Jude called Nebuchadnezzar's work 'principalities' or simply principles. Some principles are good, some bad. You cannot just pick them all.
4) Mordecai: Not wearing garments (vs. 11-12)
The king now sees a man in the feast without the correct garments. He asks how did you get here without garments? The man had nothing to say.
With this week's update we are adjusting the TT to put Haggai on the Ta/Cloth letter. We are also shifting Job down by 1 to be last in the OT. Job's double portion is now on the colon. Haggai, the writing prophet for Mordecai's era, was likely a royal tailor. This is hinted at in the Aramaic but not in Hebrew.
The parable has now moved up to Mordecai. The point is being dressed correctly. This is a reference to Haggai getting everyone dressed to see the king. For faith purposes, the Armor of God explains how to dress for Joshua.
You cannot be speechless before Joshua. You must be able to explain how the armor, and thus the villains, actually work.
5) Ezra: Bound into Darkness (vs. 13)
The King orders the man who is not wearing the correct garments to be bound and cast into the darkness.
The parable has advanced to Ezra. Ezra's commissioning is to build a working religion, in support of the king, on Mordecai's text, at a new temple in Jerusalem.
Ezra is given nearly unlimited power to build that religion. That power is used later in Roman times. But power is not what he needs. He is bound by each of the things in his commission. Instead he needs the light of inspiration, which is out. Ezra's religion will always be in darkness.
The place where people are tossed is into the darkness of the Judeo/Christian religions. As king, Joshua does this.
6) Ananias: Called vs. Chosen (vs 14)
The final point in the parable is captured in a simple phrase: Some are called, while few are chosen.
We know from Jude's list this is illustrated by Korah. We know this as the conflict between Paul and Ananias. We know this as the good working relationship between Paul and the other elders. Each know their place and how they are to relate to the others.
The called are a group of prophetic people. Ananias was part of this when he was young. The disciples were similar when they were called. These groups then have individuals who are chosen. They are given specific commissions. Moses, Paul, Joseph, Peter and others are all examples of those chosen to lead prophetic groups.
Those who are called but not chosen need to know the limits of their call and keep to them. Joshua builds up his communities in these ways. This is how the kingdom actually functions.
As I hinted above, the scripture apps are updated this week with a trade between Haggai and Job as the last 2 books of the OT in the TT. This ripples out to the other apps, including Sabbath Reads, Qu-Map and Table of 400. Story to letter assignments in these 2 books are shifting too.
Haggai goes to the Ta, or Cloth. He appears to be the royal tailor. He is the inspired witness to all of the events of Mordecai's era.
Job moves to the Colon, or gathered seed. Job is known to be the double portion holder, and now that feature of him is marked by the 2 seed punctuation letter. Job is told to deck himself in majesty, which may eventually overlay to Haggai, and not himself, as a Ta. In other words, he was told to see a tailor, and not told to be a tailor.
In this position, Job's chronological position shifts forward in time. His 140 year life length could span across the time from Daniel and out beyond the other writers, especially Haggai. The military invasion that seems to be the disaster at the start of his book is probably not the Jerusalem invasion of Daniel's day.
In Job chapter 38 there is a long divine discourse that may be a final exam. This not just for Job, but for all OT readers. The list is likely a riddle cracked using 24 or 25 of the throne room kings. Those are the writers of everything that has come before. Cracking this list is a topic for another day.