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 a man’s words establish themselves.
For the Sabbath of February 1, 2014
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.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to flesh [no definite article] but according to spirit [no definite article]. For the ones according to flesh being the things of the flesh think, but the ones according to spirit [think] the things of the spirit. For the mind the flesh death, but the mind the spirit life and peace. For the mind the flesh enmity into God, for to the law of God it is not subject; neither can it be. The ones being in flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:1–8 translation modified to better reflect the Greek)
The syntax of the more direct translation of verses five through eight is awkward, but what has been lost in Greek to English translations is the concept of the flesh having its own mind, and the spirit of man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] having its own mind, the reason why, as the song declares, the girls all get prettier at closing time. Hormones of the flesh take over the thought process of male and female, and pheromones dictate behavior. Good sense and high moral values become subjugated to the mind of the flesh, and the man and woman wake in the morning to a situation they had but hadn’t intended. Hence, in the past, guilt forced quick separation and a certain awkwardness when the two again met to more reasonably consider getting together again. In this endtime era, there is little guilt about what comes naturally, with America’s Affordable Care Act insuring that the woman’s reproductive rights are covered.
Adultery is never really accidental; fornication can be but seldom is … a person can be too immature to intellectually override very strong emotions, with modern social scientists opposing suppression of seemingly instinctual desires that come from the mind of the flesh that is not subject to the Law of God.
Christians as well as non-Christians have minds of the flesh, with the Second Passover liberation of Israel being about the mind of the spirit no longer being hindered by the mind of the flesh, but having absolute rule over the mind of the flesh—until the Christian rebels against God and returns to unbelief leading to transgression of the Law, thereby resurrecting to life the mind of the flesh. This resurrection of the mind of the flesh once the Christian has been liberated from subjection to it will be blasphemy against the spirit.
Christians humanly think of a person having one mind, one breath of life, and one God, with the Holy Spirit being part of one triune deity—with Paul’s every use of the Greek linguistic icon <pneuma> being a reference to the Holy Spirit, except where Paul specifically wrote, to pneuma tou ’anthropou (the spirit of the man) and where it’s obvious that pneuma refers to moving air as in pneumatic tools or to breath as in pneumonia.
For the Christian who truly has not received a second breath of life, one mind and one God is enough. It was enough for ancient Israel, a nation not born of spirit (i.e., the breath of God: pneuma Theou) for the spirit was not given to natural Israel because of the rebellion of their forefathers at Mount Sinai, the meaning of the prohibition against kindling a fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3).
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. (1 Cor 3:1–9)
Paul and Apollos were not really “one,” what Paul claimed. However, they were “one” as the Father and the Son are “one,” with the one who plants serving as the husband [the head] and the one who waters serving as life-giver [the body]. Hence, Paul and Apollos were “one” as a husband and wife are one, or as a person’s inner and outer self are one person. For neither the husband nor the wife came into existence of themselves. The biological processes that produced husband and wife did not originate with the husband’s or wife’s ancestors, but were in place to produce their ancestors. And so it is with spiritual birth and growth. The husband and wife can hinder the growth and development of their seed, but that growth will occur unless the parents murder their own seed, with abortion being the most frequently seen example of parental murder of their offspring.
Abortions are, under the Affordable Care Act, a medically provided service as part of women’s reproductive rights.
Spiritual abortions also occur, with all of the finality attached to them as is attached to physical abortions … anytime a Christian does things that will cause his or her biological child to reject God and belief of God—reject with fervor—the Christian has entered a spiritual abortion clinic, with the most common example of human parental murder of unborn sons of God being symbolized by the Christmas tree. To teach a child to disbelieve God is a heinous crime against God, and is not teaching young children to worship God on the day after the Sabbath [te mia ton Sabbaton] rather than on the Sabbath teaching the child to disbelieve God? Of course it is although this can be overcome by God. What cannot be overcome is the imprinting done to the mind of the spirit that will cause the majority of greater Christianity to rebel against God 220 days into the Affliction: the more dedicated the teaching of the human child in the ways of greater Christendom today, the more certain will be the Christian’s rebellion against God in the Affliction, a counter-intuitive juxtaposition that is for real. Therefore, the abandonment by the greater Church’s youth of traditional Christian dogmas is, perhaps, the most hopeful news Sabbatarian teachers of God can receive in this age when humanity is about as far from God as humanity can get. Fewer spiritual abortions are occurring in cathedrals and mega-churches. The lives of unborn sons of God are being saved. Unfortunately, ethical behavior is also being jettisoned by the youth of the world.
The Adversary remains the prince of this world: Sabbatarian Christendom can only exist as a fringe theology under the Adversary, and one that moves away from God at a fairly rapid rate, with this movement away from God being characterized by a return to Christianity’s Hebrew roots, eating again the leaven of Sadducees and Pharisees. … It simply isn’t the time for many to be saved as the firstfruits of God through spiritual birth occurring when it isn’t yet the season for fruit. Only the Elect—those Christians foreknown by God, predestined, called, justified, and glorified [their inner selves receiving heavenly life that will not be lost]—receive spiritual birth prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
So that more can understand, to be born of water is to be born of the womb:
Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and spirit [no definite article], he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind [pneuma] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the spirit." (John 3:3–8 emphasis added)
To be born of water has nothing to do with baptism, which is unto the death of the flesh, as the Flood of Noah’s day represented the world being baptized into death.
What is born of water is flesh, whether that of a human person or that of a beast. And what is born of water has the mind of the flesh, a mind subject to thoughts produced by the appetites of the belly and loins, the domain of the demonic king of Greece.
The mind of the flesh is the mind of the Adversary; the head of the flesh is the head of spiritual Babylon. The flesh is the serf of spiritual Babylon, and is not free to leave the estate on which the flesh was humanly born unless purchased by blood.
The person born of water does not have the mind of the spirit—and here a citation from last Sabbath’s Reading needs to be reintroduced:
Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, "This is what [YHWH] has commanded. If a man vows a vow to [YHWH], or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. If a woman vows a vow to [YHWH] and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father's house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And [YHWH] will forgive her, because her father opposed her. If she marries a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. And [YHWH] will forgive her. (But any vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, anything by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her.) And if she vowed in her husband's house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath, and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void, and [YHWH] will forgive her. Any vow and any binding oath to afflict herself, her husband may establish, or her husband may make void. But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges that are upon her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her on the day that he heard of them. But if he makes them null and void after he has heard of them, then he shall bear her iniquity." (Num 30:1–15)
A man’s word—pledge or vow—stands. No one can negate it, not even the man. Hence a man’s word is as a written decree by the ancient human kings of Media and Persia. It cannot be revoked, even when the thing declared is wrongheaded.
And Jephthah made a vow to [YHWH] and said, "If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be [YHWH]'s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering." So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and [YHWH] gave them into his hand. And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel. Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to [YHWH], and I cannot take back my vow." And she said to him, "My father, you have opened your mouth to [YHWH]; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that [YHWH] has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites." So she said to her father, "Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions." So he said, "Go." Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains. And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year. (Judges 11:30–40)
The questions Christians will ask is, why would God require Jephthah to honor such a vow? The answer is found earlier in the chapter:
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. And Gilead's wife also bore him sons. And when his wife's sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, "You shall not have an inheritance in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman." (Judges 11:1–2)
The words of the two sons of Gilead by his wife were established through their utterance: Jephthah was not to have an inheritance in his father’s house; for his father had gone outside of his house when he fathered Jephthah.
A man’s words stand. Again, a man’s words are established by their utterance: If a man vows a vow to [YHWH], or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
A man’s words are in analogy, the words of the mind of spirit. They are akin to the words of God. But a woman’s words are established by the actions of her male head, father or husband. The words of the mind of flesh are established by the head of the flesh, either God or the Adversary. If the woman’s words are not negated by her male head, her words stand. But if they are negated by her male head, they do not stand. Likewise, the words of the mind of flesh stand or don’t stand by what the “head” of the flesh permits or doesn’t permit. So a Christian, not yet born of spirit, can vow that he or she will serve God and God alone, but if the Adversary doesn’t permit words to stand, the vow doesn’t stand. The Christian will, instead, serve either the Adversary or the appetites of the flesh.
But here is where the complication exists: the spirit of man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] in a person not yet born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ Jesus (an act of divine procreation) has no legal standing in spiritual Babylon, but is as a woman in either her father’s or her husband’s house. The spirit cannot make its words stand, its vows stand, its promises stand unless the mind of flesh either remains silent or confirms the words, vows, promises. If the mind of the flesh chooses to negate even the thoughts of the spirit within the person, the mind of the flesh can do so—and the mind of the flesh is not subject to the law of God; indeed, it cannot be, for the mind of the flesh is the mind of disbelief, unbelief, the mind of a son of disobedience. The mind of the flesh, until the Second Passover liberation of Israel, fights against the mind of the spirit …
It seems odd to write about “the mind of the spirit” versus “the mind of the flesh,” but what was it that Paul discovered about himself?
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (Rom 7:7–23 emphasis added)
Did Paul literally die when the commandment came? No. He died physically long after sin came alive in him; long after he discovered that he could not do the good that he desired to do; long after he discovered that there was one law reigning in his fleshly body and another law reigning in his mind, which didn’t have control of his fleshly body.
Realizing that he couldn’t keep the Law as he intended, that he could not do what he knew was right and good regardless of his desire to do so, Paul needed a means to express the concept that spiritually he was enslaved by sin as Israel was physically enslaved in Egypt. Paul didn’t know that there would be a Second Passover liberation of Israel. Paul believed that Christ’s death at Calvary liberated the Christian from bondage to sin, but he also realized that his liberation was still incomplete.
In writing about the mind of spirit within the inner self of the person, I write about what is not physical and what cannot be directly described by words intended to be used to describe the natural things of this world …
Every person has a mind that exists apart from the person’s brain although most of what occurs in the mind can be seen by electrical activity in the brain … a person turns on a light switch and an electrical light bulb begins to brightly glow. We understand enough about free electrons to grasp that the flow of electrical current is doing a work as it passes through resistance, this work giving off heat at frequency levels that appear as light. We even understand alternating current well enough that we meter input flow into houses, but not output return to the grid in a clever way of getting paid many times over for the same electrical flow. But we really don’t do well understanding the chemical computer that is our brain. We have an elementary understanding, enough that collectively we now plan to interface human built computers with biological computers to expand human memory and thought capacity. But in our thinking, the brain and mind are synonyms, with the brain being flesh—a gelatinous mass that can be scrambled and fried as eggs are fried—and the mind being the electrical impulses and pathways that allow motor skills to continue and thoughts to sprout as weeds.
But the Apostle Paul, nearly two millennia ago, declared that there was one mind of flesh and a second mind of spirit within each person, with this second mind of spirit then being penetrated (as a man penetrates his wife) by the mind of Christ, aka the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] that produces the “indwelling of Christ” that can be likened to a bridegroom dwelling in his bride’s house until he returns to his own house for the wedding reception.
Jephthah dwelt in Gilead’s house until Gilead’s sons by his wife were old enough to demand that he leave.
Ishmael dwelt in Abraham’s household until Isaac, Abraham’s son by his wife Sarah, demanded that Ishmael leave.
In my own ancestry, my maternal great-grandfather dwelt with his Native American mother in his father’s house until he was seventeen, old enough to leave the Howland household in New York and settle with his mother in distant Michigan, where being a half-breed wasn’t socially devastating.
Today, the mind of spirit that is the spirit in man (to pneuma tou ’anthropou) is “dead” and as such knows nothing of God, as evidenced by the incredibly stupid things declared from pulpits worldwide, such as the earth was created in six days when the days of the Genesis “P” creation account is the abstract for the spiritual creation of the Father, not the historical record of the physical creation of the God of Abraham … on which day was Adam created?
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that [YHWH] God made the earth and the heavens. When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for [YHWH] God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—then [YHWH] God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Gen 2:4–7)
Adam was created in the day that YHWH Elohim made the earth and the heavens. One day. Actually, the dark portion of day one, with the birth of Christ Jesus bringing “light” to this day one, a day linguistically different from the other days of the “P” creation week. And this is of the Apostle Paul, not something “invented” in the 21st-Century. But if you don’t know Paul said Jesus was the light of day one, then you don’t know Scripture well enough to even deliver milk to spiritual infants. You need to be banned from the nursery.
Ask yourselves, when did you quit believing in a six day creation, a day for a thousand years, with the earth being six thousand years old?
The great antiquity of the creation—13.7 billions years—can no more be supported than can global warming; for light takes all possible paths between two points thus the decay of the spectrum will make the points appear more distant than they are … how do we, as principally earth-bound creatures, know that we are not living in a hologram? What proof can be offered that we are not?
The mind of flesh understands the things of the flesh, including the decay of the light spectrum, but knows nothing about the mind of spirit that cannot establish its own words in this present era. Sobeit. All will change with the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
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."