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 “Day Two.”
For the Sabbath of January 23, 2016
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.
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Heb 10:1–4)
When the worshiper has been cleansed of his or her transgression, the worshiper should have no conscious awareness of the transgression, or so the author of Hebrews seems to say. Thus, if there remains a remembrance of the transgression as was the case about what Paul wrote concerning his own coveting (Rom chap 7), has the transgression really been expunged? Or has the transgression merely been “covered,” as in wrapping a cloak around the transgression so that it cannot be seen by others? And it is here where a discussion about Christ Jesus as the reality of the lamb sacrificed on the altar on Yom Kipporim and Christ Jesus as the reality of the Azazel comes into play. For the death of Christ Jesus at Calvary serves as the reality of the of the lamb sacrificed on the altar, but the life of the glorified Christ as the High Priest of a second nation of Israel serves as the reality of the Azazel, over which were pronounced the sins of Israel … until the Second Passover liberation of this second nation of Israel, sins are only covered by grace, a euphemistic expression for the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
Yom Kipporim, during which every Israelite is to afflict his or her “soul” [fleshly body, in this usage] by fasting for the day, forms for the general harvest of humanity the shadow and type of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, during which Israel eats the bread of affliction, unleavened bread, as symbolism for Israel as the firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22) living without sin. … All of humanity is to live without sin, but all doesn’t, not even for a day. Most of humanity eats, works, and conducts mundane affairs on Yom Kipporim, behaving as if fasting [going without any food or drink] for a day is an unreasonable expectation. Thus, those persons who choose not to fast on Yom Kipporim demonstrate to God and to angels their separation from God, regardless of whether they call themselves Christians, or call themselves by some other name.
When remembrance of a person’s transgressions, faults, shortcomings remains with the person, the person has not been cleansed of these transgressions even though these transgressions will not be counted against the believing Christian. The transgressions are “covered.” And if covered, the transgressions remain “alive” in the memory of the person as thorns in the mind; thorns in the spirit of the person; thorns analogous to the thorn in Paul’s flesh. These thorns remain in the memory of the person to keep the person from drifting away from God as the cares of the flesh pull the person this way and push the person that way—and with memory of who the person was and what the person did before being called by God, the person should never think more highly of him or herself than the person ought: the person was a sinner, an unbeliever before being called by Christ Jesus. The person would still be a sinner, an unbeliever if God the Father hadn’t taken notice of the person, drawn the person from this world (John 6:44), predestined the person to be glorified as fruit borne out of season, and delivered the person to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify as He drew the first disciples from the world and delivered them to the Son of Man.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:7–9)
Remembrance of transgressions serve to keep the inner new creature that is born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] from being puffed up even though this new creature is “special” through being foreknown and predestined … the inner new creature is not special because of anything the person did; not special because of gender or ethnicity; not special because the new creature is a Christian; but special because the new creature is a son of God who had as much to do with his spiritual birth as the person had to do with the person’s physical birth. Nothing! The inner new creature gets no credit for being spiritually born, and remembrance of what the fleshly body did before spiritual birth should keep the honest person humble. Of course, if the person didn’t do anything, the failure to do alone should keep the person humble; for the person will have wasted innumerable opportunities to learn a host of things that can only be learned by doing good and bad.
Within the Sabbatarian Churches of God, not much was learned after initially coming into fellowship. Sabbath messages were a weekly rehash of what the disciples learned before being baptized; thus years passed without spiritual growth. Dogmas and doctrines became fossilized relics that when ingested week after week—they were not digestible—ended up calcifying the minds of these Sabbatarians, thus making it impossible to insert spiritual understandings that came from the Parakletos, the spirit of truth [the spirit of revelation by realization], into these minds.
But within the context of understanding that memories of what a disciple did before being born of spirit serve as thorns in the mind to keep the son of God humble; serve to remind the disciple that past sins are now “covered” by the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, but not “paid for” by His death at Calvary, which paid the death penalty for sins committed in this world by fleshly bodies but which did not pay the death penalty for transgressions committed within the mind and by the spirit of the person …
The difference between the goat sacrificed on the altar on Yom Kipporim and the Azazel is the difference between transgressions committed by fleshly bodies—these transgressions paid for in full by Christ’s death at Calvary—and transgressions committed fully within the mind and heart of the person, with these inner transgressions borne by Christ Jesus and covered by Christ’s righteousness. Lust is such a transgression (see Matt 5:27–28).
Usually, the fleshly body doesn’t remember what the person did on a Friday night twenty years ago, but the mind remembers. Usually the fleshly body is no worse for wear from what happened decades ago, but the mind relives what happened, again for either good or bad. Buried under the clutter of a thousand other memorable experiences is the memory of an experience the disciple would like to forget but cannot, this experience becoming a thorn in the mind to keep the disciple humble.
When the mind calcifies from a steady diet of fossilized milk crystals, the Sabbatarian Christian doesn’t realize that he or she has died spiritually and cannot be resurrected back to life; for having tasted the goodness of God, the person quit growing spiritually and became dead stone. How can that be, you might ask? Consider a little thing that really isn’t little but has been overlooked for centuries, even millennia: Day Two of the Genesis “P” creation account.
Is there a Day Two? There is certainly a “second day” about which Elohim, singular in usage, doesn’t say is “good.” But Day One is separated from the following six days by being identified by cardinal numbering [quantitative numbering] whereas the following days are identified by ordinal numbering [sequential numbering].
But every Christian should know that Day One is set apart from the following days by its numbering through simply having read the beginning of the book; for any respectable author “teaches” readers how to read the author’s text in the opening lines and paragraphs of the text. And God is no different: He teaches his sons how to read the Bible in the Genesis “P” creation account.
Before addressing Day Two, readers of this Reading need to remember that for seven endtime years of tribulation a second Israel as the firstborn son of God—as the firstfruits of God—will live without sin or will spiritually perish. During these seven years of tribulation, split in half by who reigns as the prince of this world [the Adversary during the first half; the Son of Man during the second half], all who profess belief of God, Father and Son, will be filled with spirit and thereby liberated from indwelling Sin and Death, with first greater Christendom liberated while the Adversary continues to reign, then the remainder of humanity liberated when the Son of Man reigns … all of living humanity will be liberated from indwelling Sin and Death, with all having the opportunity to enter heaven as the firstfruits of God. But salvation requires enduring to the end without succumbing to unbelief even when physical life is threatened.
The mind that is spiritually calcified will not endure to the end. The mind that has become fossilized through not having grown in grace and knowledge for thirty years, forty years, fifty or more years—the Adversary as the bloody Red Baron is running quite a score—cannot accept “truth” [’aletheia — the negation of what has been concealed] because the calcified mind believes that it already possesses all truth, with this belief effectively preventing any additional knowledge from entering the Christian’s mind.
The seven annual High Sabbaths of God, collectively, represent the plan of God which incorporates two harvests of humanity as if people were grain … the firstfruits of God are represented by the early barley harvest of ancient Israel’s hillsides, whereas the majority of humanity—most every person who has ever lived— is represented by the main crop wheat harvest.
Those disciples represented as “barley” are resurrected at the Second Advent [Christ’s return as the Messiah], with some resurrected to glory, some to condemnation (John 5:28–29) and those persons represented as “wheat” are resurrected in the great White Throne Judgment after the Thousand Years of the Millennium.
Although the seven annual High Sabbaths and their attached festivals represent the plan of God, the spring Holy Days and festivals by themselves also represent the complete plan of God. The autumn Holy Days and festivals also represent the complete plan of God. Thus in this present era what’s seen in the spring forms the mirror image [left hand enantiomer] of what happens in the fall, with “fulfilled” portions of the plan of God no longer being represented by Holy Days and festivals in the Millennium—
The Holy Days and festivals that Israel are to keep in this present era has as their “substance” Christ Jesus (Col 2:17), which doesn’t mean that Christians are not to observe these High Sabbaths but means that changes in observance occurred when the Beloved of God entered His creation as the man Jesus of Nazareth, with greater changes occurring when the Beloved comes as the Messiah, thereby completing the harvest of firstfruits and giving to humanity a new Holy Day calendar (see Ezek 45:18–25).
The true form of realities represented by High Sabbaths are seen in the movement from cardinal numbering of Day One in the Genesis “P” creation account to ordinal numbering of the sequential days [second through seventh] … as “light” came to Day One when the Beloved entered His creation as the man Jesus of Nazareth (2 Cor 4:6; John 1:14; 3:16), Light comes to this world when the Beloved as the Son of Man and having received dominion over the single kingdom of this world, again enters His creation as the returning Messiah on the fourth day of the “P” creation account.
The change from “quantity” [cardinal numbering] to “order” [ordinal numbering] brings order [used with equivocation] to this world. And with order comes Light to this world, with the Adversary’s reign over living creatures coming to an end to never again be. Thus, the “day” portion of the one long day that began with darkness at Calvary will be upon humanity. But as an aside, consider what John records in his vision:
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." (Rev 11:15–18 double emphasis added)
According to Paul, Christ Jesus had equality with God before the creation:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by 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. (Phil 2:5–8)
According to the author of John’s Gospel, Christ Jesus as His Father the Logos held primacy [arche] with the God [ton Theon] and was God [Theos — no definite article] before He entered His creation, having created all things physical … throughout Day One, God was “one”: Yah or ’o Logos, the Beloved of God the Father. However, when the Light portion of “Day Two” begins, the single kingdom of this world will be taken from the Adversary by God the Father and His Christ: God will be Two, Father and Son.
During “Day One,” God was “One”; during “Day Two,” God will be “Two.” And this is what’s taught to readers who have closely read the beginning of the book (the Bible). Therefore, readers long ago should have realized that the physical things of Day One reveal and precede the invisible things of God on Day Two. This was certainly knowledge Paul had.
Darkness came over the creation with the death of Christ Jesus at Calvary, darkness that began a new “day” that serves as the spiritual reality of Day One, making for a two day creation of sons of God, something that has not been said in this way before … the first of these two days is about the physical creation of the Beloved of God, the second of these two days is about the spiritual creation of God the Father. And in this schema, there is no third day. The creation of sons of God completes this “Day Two” that is to “Day One” as the Father is to His Beloved.
Again, cardinal numbering is used to represent quantity, with “one” having numerical singleness as opposed to “first” [ordinal numbering] representing the beginning of a sequential ordering of, in this case, days. So when the Genesis “P” creation account begins with “Day One,” not the “first day,” disciples needed to pay attention to what had been written. Disciples needed to purge plaque buildups from their mental pathways, rid themselves of their calcified thoughts, and expand their minds by growing in grace and knowledge.
The “days” of the creation represented by ordinal numbering form both the dark and light portion of a previously unrecognized “Day Two,” with the dark portion of “Day Two” incorporating all of the second day of the Genesis “P” creation account (Gen 1:6–8) and all of the dark portion of the third day (Gen 1:9–10) which includes the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation. The light portion of “Day Two” incorporates all of the fifth and sixth days of the Genesis “P” creation account (Gen 1:20–31). And this now leaves only the light portion of the third day (Gen 1:11–13) and the fourth day to be addressed.
In John’s vision, John gives the chronology of the Book of Revelation: “I, John, your brother and partner in the [Thelipsei — Affliction] and [Basileia — Kingdom, no definite article] and [’Upomone — Endurance, no definite article] in Jesus” (Rev 1:9). And in doing so, John establishes a correspondence between the 1260 day long Affliction and the 1260 day long Endurance in Christ, with the Affliction forming the left hand enantiomer [the physical shadow and copy] of the right hand Endurance, the two (Affliction and Endurance) forming an enantiomorph.
Because John included no definite article for either “Kingdom” or “Endurance,” both share the definite article for the “Affliction,” thereby linking these three periods into one period, one entity that is 2520 days long, with “day 1260" being a doubled day, the first twenty-four hour period of this doubled day being the last day of the Affliction, the last day the Adversary has dominion over the single kingdom of this world, and the second twenty-four hour period of this doubled day 1260 being the first day of the Endurance in Christ, the first day that dominion over the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
The Affliction and Endurance pivot on the Kingdom.
Returning to the previously unrecognized “Day Two” in the cardinal number system: Day Two has its dark portion giving way to its light portion as the Affliction gives way to the Endurance in Christ, with the transition from dark to light represent by the Kingdom. In Day Two, the transition analogous to the “Kingdom” is represented by the light portion of the third day of the Genesis “P” creation account (Gen 1:11–13) and by all of the fourth day (Gen 1:14–19). For as the Adversary is present in this world as the Antichrist in the Endurance, the Adversary will be bound in the Abyss at the beginning of the fourth day, thereby adding to the Adversary’s woes in this world once he is cast from heaven.
Day Two will see darkness twisting into light with the coming of the Messiah, the Second Advent. And instead of Day Two ending with a traditional return of darkness, Day Two ends with the coming of a new heavens and new earth that is not physical but composed of primal energy. Day Two ends with the seventh day of the “P” creation account (Gen 2:1–3).
The Sabbath, the seventh day upon which God [Elohim] rested, represents the end of the physical kosmos through formerly human sons of God entering heaven on the day or light portion of Day Two, their entrance coming on both the light portion of the fourth day of the “P” creation account and on the light portion of the sixth day—at the beginning and at the end of the Light portion of Day Two …
As death reigned on earth from Adam to Moses, darkness reigned on earth from when the Lord filled [bara] the earth (Gen 1:1) to when the Beloved entered His creation as His unique Son (John 3:16). Darkness again reigned on earth from Calvary to the Second Advent, an event that is not far in the future. And as the light portion of Day One was brief—three plus decades long—the light portion of Day Two is everlasting.
Purge the plaque from minds and live spiritually … with the death of Christ Jesus at Calvary, the death penalty for every sin Israel has committed in this world was paid. But with the life of Christ Jesus, no death penalty for sin in the heavenly realm has been paid. Rather, the sins of a second nation of Israel are “covered” by the righteousness of Christ, which the disciple puts on as if His righteousness were a garment. Hence, by His life, believing disciples have unintentional transgressions covered by grace, again the euphemistic expression for Christ’s righteousness.
A hard edge exists between an unintentional transgression committed by the fleshly body of a person who calls him or herself a disciple of Christ and between the unintentional transgression of the inner self of this same person, with the unintentional transgression of the inner self being committed in both this world and in the heavenly realm where the son of God also has life. And it is an unintentional transgression of the inner self to not grow in grace and knowledge since Herbert W, Armstrong died thirty years ago last Sabbath.
In a writing e-published in October 2004, mention was made of one long spiritual night beginning at Calvary with the death of the Passover Lamb of God, with the Second Passover to occur at the midnight hour of this long spiritual night. Gnostics who have since become agnostics challenged what was e-published, but a blogger from New Zealand warned those who challenged to be careful. The challenges came to nothing. Unfortunately, the blogger also has apparently come to nothing, becoming an educated agnostic … this blogger knows who he or she is—and if this blogger still reads, the blogger also needs to purge mental plaque from the pathways in the person’s mind. Philadelphia is still here, still committed to the task of rereading prophecy, and still growing in grace and knowledge. It would be well if that could be said about more who once annually examined themselves before taking the Passover sacraments on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month.
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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."