The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is law’s inscription on hearts and minds.
For the Sabbath of January 11, 2013
The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
The same day Sadducees came to Him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked Him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.' Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her." But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 'I am the God [Theos] of Abraham, and the God [Theos] of Isaac, and the God [Theos] of Jacob'? He is not God [Theos] of the dead, but of the living." And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at His teaching. (Matt 22:23–33)
Where does the Lord say that He is the God [Elohim] of Abraham? Is it not here, “And He said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Ex 3:6). But Jesus’ citation of Exodus 3:6 is from the Septuagint, which assigned the singular Greek linguistic icon <Theos> to the Hebrew plural <Elohim> that appeared in the Hebrew vorlage for the Masoretic Text, with the Hebrew plural traditionally being assigned singular rather than plural verbs for as the Preacher, the son of David, declared, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Eccl 3:11) … neither humanity nor Israel was to know the beginning and the end of a matter; for the deity that created the beginning of everything that is beautiful is not the deity that creates the end of all things. Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13), the Alpha <A> (the two legged closed godhead) and the Omega <Ω> (the symbol that appears as a woman giving birth).
In the beginning, there were two deities and no possibility for others to be God or to enter the closed godhead, with these two functioning as one God as a man and his wife are two persons that function as one flesh—
And Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" He answered, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?" He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for [porneia — a marriage that should never have occurred], and marries another, commits adultery." (Matt 19:3–9)
Even when engaged in intercourse, a man and his wife do not become one flesh in a literal sense; even in childbirth, a man and his wife are not one flesh—the child is one flesh, but the father and his wife remain two that function as one, with over time thoughts being shared, desires shared, and the two beginning to look a little like each other, such is the fluidity of flesh. But a man and his wife are always two people. Likewise, the God [Theos] of dead ones and the God [Theos] of living ones are two that are as a man and his beloved.
A man and his wife are as a living person twice born; i.e., a disciple of Christ Jesus that has been born from above or born again. The man is analogous to the living inner self or soul of the person whom the Father has raised from death, while the fleshly body of the living person is as the beloved/Beloved that the Son will raise from death at His Second Coming; for what the Son sees the Father do, the Son does likewise:
So Jesus said to them [Jews seeking to kill Him], "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. (John 5:19–21 double emphasis added)
If the Father raises the dead, whom shall the Son give life? Not the dead for the Father has already raised them—the Father is the God [Theos] of dead ones, including the crucified man Jesus; including every human person born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), each born with a dead inner self, a dead soul [psuche]. But the dead know nothing (Eccl 9:5). The dead do not even know that they have no living soul, no immortal soul. The dead that have been humanly born know that their fleshly bodies will die: their hope is that their inner self, their soul will live, and their belief in what they cannot prove is that their inner self is alive and shall continue on after their fleshly body perishes and returns to dust.
An Islamic jihadist is so convinced that his or her inner self is alive that this person will sacrifice the person’s outer self so that the inner self will be with Allah, the God of Abraham and the Creator of all that is physical. But the God of Abraham entered His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus the Nazarene, the Beloved of the Father. And as the fleshly body of a human person enters the earth after death, returning to dust, the God of Abraham (the God of the living) “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:6–11).
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, including the knees of Islamists; including the knees of Jews; including the knees of atheists and humanists and futurists and whomever else believes that humankind can solve problems inherent with self-rule.
God put <‘owlam> (Strong’s #H5769), the vanishing point (from Eccl 3:11), into the hearts of human persons so that none would know the end from the beginning. None would know that the man Jesus was the unique Son of the Creator, the God of Abraham, who “dies” when He did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped and left heaven to be born as a human person. None would know that concealed within the Tetragrammaton YHWH was the God [Theos] of the dead, with all of the dead belonging to Him to do with as He chose/chooses. None would know that the God who raised the inner self [soul] of the man Jesus from death when His breath [pneuma Theou] descended in the bodily form of a dove and entered into [eis] the newly baptized Jesus was not the God who created all things physical. None would know that the God who raised the body of the crucified Jesus from death was not the God of Abraham. And none would know that breath of God the Father in the breath of Christ Jesus—two breaths, one in the other as the inner self of a human person is in the fleshly outer self—will raise human sons of God from death in a manner analogous to the physical breath of the living came from the one time occurrence of Elohim [singular in usage] breathing His breath into the nostrils of the man of mud, the first Adam, then creating the woman from the flesh and rib bones of the man Adam, with Adam “knowing” his wife to produce a son like himself.
From one that were two came another one, a lesser one that became two lesser ones that were one reproducing many—it is no wonder that humanity could not find out what God has done from the beginning; for to a human person, one is one and two are two. One is not two, nor is two, one, such is the limitation placed on the carnal mind. But the Preacher declared that it “is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable” (Prov 25:2–3).
The nation of Israel that is the firstborn son of the God of your [Moses’] father (again Ex 3:6) is not the firstborn Son of the deity that raised the man Jesus from death, this same Jesus having declared, As for the resurrection of the dead … [the Theos of Abraham] is not the God [Theos] of the dead, but of the living. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t raise Jesus from the dead—He couldn’t for He had entered His creation as His unique Son and was dead—but the God [Theos] of dead ones twice raised Jesus from the dead, once at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and once at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, these two resurrections from death [the first of the inner self and the latter of the fleshly self] forming non-symmetrical chiral images of each other and functioning as one resurrection; for there is difference in how the breath of life is given to Adam, then given to Eve, and lastly given to Cain, Abel, and Seth.
The glorified Christ Jesus, a life-giving spirit (from 1 Cor 15:45), is the last Adam (Rom 5:14). The Apostles, given a second breath of life when the glorified Jesus “breathed” His breath on them and said, Receive the breath holy [holy spirit] (John 20:22), formed the second or last Eve that would be “one” with Christ Jesus (John 17:11, 20–23) and would give birth to three sons, a spiritual Abel, a spiritual Cain [birth order reversed because of chirality], and halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation, a spiritual Seth.
The end could have been known from the beginning if God had not concealed a vanishing point in the hearts of humanity, a point where Israel forgot that in Hebrew style narration, the end of a matter casts its shadow as the beginning of the matter, thereby revealing itself through the things that have happened in Holy Writ … it isn’t that Holy Writ is, itself, sacred or even absolutely factual, but that Holy Writ serves as the means for disclosing an end that could not otherwise be known to human persons. Holy Writ becomes the means by which kings search out what God has hidden, with kings of Israel to make for themselves a copy that they would know as only a person who has written with his own hand can know a narrative.
The kings of Israel were “writing” Scripture through the things they did and declared, with Christ Jesus being the King to come, the King that writes the Law on the hearts of first Israel then on all of surviving humanity so that all know the Lord, from great to small, with all being taught by God.
Holy Writ is really not “holy” until the end of the Law is written, with this “end” being written on the hearts of sons of God so what the Preacher declared about the world being hidden in hearts will be, indeed, true … the Law doesn’t end when books disappear and there is a famine of the written word. Rather, the Law will be placed within every person so all who transgress the Law will be without excuse. The transgressor shall utterly perish:
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev 22:14–15)
Outside new Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, will be the Rainbow Coalition and NOW and GLAD and CAIR and whomever else loves and practices falsehood; for the Son, doing what He has seen the Father do, will give life to His beloved, not to everyone who has called Him Lord (see Matt 7:21–23).
It is not easy to transform a “book” into an idol, especially in religions that eschews idols such as Judaism, Islam, and Evangelical Christendom. But all three of these named faiths have, indeed, transformed its sacred text into an idol that must be worshiped without questioning what the idol declares as if the idol speaks with greater authority than the oracles of Delphi … the ancient city of Delphi [today, a modern city exists on the site] on the southwest spur of Mt. Parmassus was allegedly where Zeus located of the navel of Gaia (mother earth), and where—beginning 586 BCE—athletes from throughout the Greek world came once every four years to complete in the Pythian Games, named for the dragon Python that allegedly guarded the navel of Gaia, the dragon’s name coming from a verb meaning to rot. Apollo, the sun god, slew this dragon. And in celebration of the sun god’s victory over decay and darkness, the Pythian Games, one of four precursors to the Modern Olympic Games, crowned its victorious athletes with an entwined laurel branch ceremoniously cut by a boy reenacting the slaying of Python. The games at Delphi differed from the other precursors to the Olympics for these games also hosted a music competition.
American Idol and the Olympics and worship of the sun god in one neatly bundled package—
How far from the Most High God can humanity get? And the question assumes the existence of a Most High God, one deity superior to all other deities worshiped by humanity—and this deity doesn’t have a sacred text; hasn’t directed a human person to inscribe His [a gender-specific assignment of a pronoun] words in a book, but will teach all through the unusual means of placing His words inside the person, figuratively writing His Law on every person’s heart. So no human instructors will stand between this deity and His sons as the Law stood as a schoolmaster between outwardly circumcised Israel and its deity, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God [Theos] of living ones, not dead ones (Matt 22:32), with the linguistic icon <theos/Theos> being the direct translation of the Hebrew linguistic icon [in Latin letters] <El>, Strong’s word #H410 for those who search out every references, not <Elohim>, Strong’s #H430.
The Greek linguistic icon <Theos> can reasonably be translated into English as <God> as can be the Hebrew linguistic icon <El>, whereas the reasonable translation of the Hebrew icon <Elohim> into English would be <Gods>, not <God>, with <Gods> addressing what Matthew’s Jesus told Sadducees, that the God of Abraham was the God of the living Abraham not the God of the dead Abraham, that a second deity would resurrect Abraham from death, with this second deity being the God of dead ones that would also resurrect Jesus from death.
Monotheism became the idol outwardly circumcised Israel actually worshiped, not the God of Abraham who left Abraham to dwell as a sojourner in a land promised to him … Abraham believed his God about his seed coming from his loins, and his belief was counted to him as righteousness that had to be tested at Mount Moriah [the site of Jerusalem — see 2 Chron 3:1] where his God provided him a ram for a sacrifice.
Abraham’s God was not the God of Christ Jesus—a simple declaration over which the world will soon go to war, but not before the God of Christ Jesus kills a third part of humanity, all uncovered [spiritually naked] firstborns … of men and angels in heaven and on earth, every firstborn not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God (the blood of Christ Jesus represented by the blessed cup at Passover) will perish at the midnight hour of the one long night that began at Calvary; will perish when humanity can get no farther from the light that is God and must start to return to God, thereby creating a situation analogous to what the men and women of Israel told the prophet Jeremiah in Egypt:
Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of [YHWH], we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." And the women said, "When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?" (Jer 44:15–19)
When the House of Judah and the polis of Jerusalem could get no farther from the God of Abraham than they were—when the Book of the Covenant was lost in the dilapidated temple and no Passover had been kept as it should have been kept since the days of the Judges (2 King 22:8–11; 23:21–23)—the people of Israel represented by King Josiah repented of their idolatry and turned toward the God of Abraham. But Josiah, engaging in a fight he should have and could have avoided, was killed by Pharaoh. All that remained of Israel returned to its idolatrous ways and was sent into captivity in Babylon.
But it was the perspective of the poorest Israelites, having fled to Egypt, that is here important: these poorest of the poor told Jeremiah that everything had gone well with them until the nation repented of its idolatry.
The juxtaposition of repentance followed by famine and war and the nation going into captivity (with captivity/slavery for a once-born people being analogous to physical death for a twice-born person) would seem to make repentance the cause of all that happens following repentance: the cause/effect fallacy, where two events occur close together with the fallacy being in believing that the first caused the second. In other words, in the eyes of the common people, by King Josiah forcing the people to cease their idolatrous practices, King Josiah’s pursuit of righteousness brought onto the people of Israel (with the House of Judah and Jerusalem all that remained of Israel—the tribes taken into captivity by Assyria were considered dead) famine, slavery, and death. What Israel needed to do, therefore, was repent of its national repentance and return to the idolatrous practices that the God of Abraham hated.
Once humanity can get no farther from God, a cultural time marker represented by turning to God—it is impossible to know when humanity can get no farther from God until a cultural turn is made—humanity will be on the path toward righteousness, but will be waylaid on this path by the God of Christ Jesus, thereby causing greater Christendom to respond to the two endtime witnesses as the common folk of Israel responded to Jeremiah in Egypt … greater Christendom will say some form of, When we did no business on Sunday and kept Christmas and Easter as holy days, we prospered; America prospered; the world was a safer place thanks to American exceptionalism; so yes, we will return to the faith of our fathers, the faith of founding fathers, that faith embedded in the Constitution, and we will put in the office of President a man who has our values, who eschews evil and moral corruption, who will not fracture “light” into a rainbow of colors.
Sounds good, but the above is an abomination to God, who through His beloved commanded Israel to keep the Sabbath and high Sabbaths, and who sent Korah, Israel’s leading advocate for democracy, into the grave alive.
So what can be done about the perception that because of the world’s turn toward God, toward righteousness, the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurred, with the death of uncovered firstborns paying the ransom price for greater Christendom’s liberation from indwelling sin and death? What could Jeremiah have said to the poorest of the common folk in Egypt to convince these folk not to bake cakes to the queen of heaven [bake hot cross buns]? What more could Jeremiah have said than he did say:
Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: "As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not [YHWH] remember them? Did it not come into His mind? [YHWH] could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against [YHWH] and did not obey the voice of [YHWH] or walk in His law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day." Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, "Hear the word of [YHWH], all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says [YHWH] of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, 'We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.' Then confirm your vows and perform your vows! Therefore hear the word of [YHWH], all you of Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says [YHWH], that my name shall no more be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, 'As the Lord [YHWH] lives.' Behold, I am watching over them for disaster and not for good. All the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them. And those who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, few in number; and all the remnant of Judah, who came to the land of Egypt to live, shall know whose word will stand, mine or theirs. This shall be the sign to you, declares [YHWH], that I will punish you in this place, in order that you may know that my words will surely stand against you for harm: Thus says [YHWH], Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and sought his life." (Jer 44:20–30 emphasis and double emphasis added)
What more can Philadelphia say than has been said? Following the Second Passover liberation of Israel from indwelling sin and death, greater Christendom—circumcised of heart Israel—will turn with zeal toward the idol that is presently worshiped, the Bible, and greater Christendom will again figuratively bake cakes to the queen of heaven, justifying idolatry by even greater idolatry, making the Bible an untouchable, unassailable book that cannot be questioned, with 21st-Century liberatry replacing the 3rd-Century CE libellus given to a Roman citizen to “prove” that this citizen had participated in a pagan sacrifice.
If the Bible cannot be questioned, cannot be challenged, then the stage is set for war between Arian and Trinitarian Christendom, with Binitarian Christians caught in the crossfire. The stage is set for war between all Unitarian people of the Book and Trinitarian people of the Book: Binitarian Christians will seemingly (and literally) disappear. For the Most High God will command Arians and Trinitarians to worship the Book so that they cannot have spiritual life, cannot live.
Note what the God of Abraham told the prophet Ezekiel:
In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of [YHWH], and sat before me. And the word of [YHWH] came to me: "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord [YHWH], Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord [YHWH], I will not be inquired of by you. … And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am [YHWH] your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am [YHWH] your God. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am [YHWH]. Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. (Ezek 20:1–3; 18–28 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Will God give to spiritual Israel statutes that are not good and rules by which they cannot have life, defiling these Christians through their gifts made to Him in that they offer up their firstborns to be burned in the lake of fire? Who are the firstborns of circumcised of heart Israel? Are these firstborns those human infants that open the wombs of Christian women, or are these firstborns the inner selves of Christians who have been born of spirit? Inner selves that are neither male nor female but are as angels are (Matt 22:30), with the demonic first king of Greece being an uncovered firstborn who will be suddenly destroyed (Dan 8:8) at the Second Passover liberation of Israel. And I’ll will here argue the firstborns of circumcised of heart Israel that are offered up to be burned so that this nation will be devastated are the souls [psuche] of born-again Christians.
Would God really cause circumcised of heart Israel to sacrifice their firstborns, their inner selves that received the earnest of life when all of Christendom was filled with spirit at the Second Passover liberation of Israel? In John, Jesus tells Jews seeking His life (the quotation previously cited), “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise’” (John 5:19)
The Son does what He sees the Father do—when does the Son do what He sees the Father do? Will the Son do to circumcised of heart Israel what the conjoined deities forming YHWH did to the children of Israel? According to the Jesus of John’s Gospel, yes He will … that should be scary, knowing that the Son will give to circumcised of heart Israel statutes that are not good so as to devastate this nation—
But you say, a God of love would never give to His people statutes that would devastate Christians …
Advertising for this year’s Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia, caught my attention because of the botanical gardens at Sochi, the most northerly location where tea is grown as well as palm trees. I have in my orchard a young persimmon developed at the Nikita Gardens (Sochi), a cross between American persimmon and a Japanese persimmon. But what interested me most about this year’s Winter Olympic Games was the truly worldwide participation in Hellenic athletic competitions as adapted to cold latitudes, for Sochi has a subtropical climate. As a global community, we have taken “snow events” such as skiing and ice skating, and we have crossbred these events with warm weather athletic competitions to develop our own end-of-the-age Pythian Games.
Does the spirit of modern Olympic Games celebrate the slaying of all that is “putrid,” or do the Olympic Games themselves represent a movement away from God, a journey ever closer to the midnight hour when humanity can get no farther from God, a question you need to answer for yourself?
The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."