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 democratic pinciples and values are of the Adversary.
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For the Sabbath of February 4, 2012
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.
Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia [Greece] has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Cor 9:1–15 emphasis added)
To speak is a political act; hence, speech itself is inherently political. And to speak of the things of God in a world ruled by the Adversary is an act of sedition against the Adversary through whom all authority presently comes. Therefore, the person who speaks of godly things in this present world needs to be very certain that he or she utters words backed by the authority of God—and no person should presume that he or she speaks with the authority of God. The person needs to know that he or she has been called by God as a spokesman for Him, and this knowing for certain comes in a manner analogous to how Paul was called to know the will of the God of the fathers of Israel. It doesn’t come through having a desire to serve, a desire to spread knowledge of Jesus to unbelievers, a desire for righteousness. Again, it comes by hearing the words of Christ Jesus uttered aloud as words as Paul heard the words of Jesus. No person will be called to publicly speak the words of God through the groaning of the spirit [the parakletos] or through a gut feeling. The authority to publicly speak sedition against the Adversary comes via hearing the words of God with ears and with heart.
For a rich person to pay his or her fair share—with God not being a respecter of persons—is for the rich person to pay a tithe (10%) of the person’s increase year by year. However, Caesar [used metonymically] is not satisfied with a tithe but wants to bridle and saddle the haves and ride these haves into the ground and beyond, taking from the grave half or more of what the person accumulated in this world. But then, Caesar derives his authority to rule in this world from the Adversary, its present prince, to whom the wealth of this world now belongs. And this is what Jesus understood when He asked Peter, From whom do kings take taxes:
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?" And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself." (Matt 17:24–27 emphasis added)
The Son of God was exempt from paying a tax to the synagogue, but nevertheless paid the tax via a miracle—and not only paid the tax for Himself but for His disciple … the kings of this world do not tax their sons but others, and presently nearly half of all Americans pay no income tax.
The United States of America elects its tyrants, men filled with hubris who come to power through organizing their sons … when churches are 501(C)(3) corporations, they are not free to speak of political matters but instead, howl as coyotes howl, yipping at the moon; for these churches trapped themselves by accepting tax-exempt status from Caesar. But today, permit them to howl for in raising their voices against mandates violating consciences they do and will do the hard work of kindling rebellion by sons of the Adversary against their father, the Adversary.
The world is teetering on fiscal collapse, the inherent flaw in a global monetary system based on debt; yet proponents of the ideology that has brought modern humanity to the verge of collapse urge more of the same, urge governments to spend more money on social programs that form a safety net for the poor and comfortable incomes for themselves, the more-equal members of societies spouting slogans advocating equality and liberty for all … was this not what Korah espoused before the earth opened to swallow him?
In the wilderness, a man of Israel went out to gather sticks on the Sabbath presumably so that he could boil or bake the manna he had gathered on the sixth day, enough for two days so that Israelites could remain in their lodging, resting on the seventh day … was gathering sticks on the Sabbath a big thing or a small thing? Is it a big thing or a small thing for a Christian to do his or her grocery shopping on the Sabbath, an approximate comparison to gathering sticks? How about attending a high school football game on Friday night, or a college game Saturday afternoon? How about fishing Saturday on a Friday-through-Sunday bass tournament? How about taking advantage of a one-day-only 75%-off sale on Saturday? How about attending a farm auction to help save a neighbor’s farm on Saturday? Surely God wouldn’t penalize a Christian for worshiping Him on the day after the Sabbath rather than on the Sabbath, especially not considering that the Christian isn’t under the Law but under grace.
The Apostle Paul’s gospel is simply expressed when Paul wrote, “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:12–13 emphasis added).
Sin is the transgression of the commandments (1 John 3:4) stemming from unbelief/no faith (Rom 14:23). And sin is not hard to understand: if a person, a Christian, does not believe the writings of Moses, the person cannot hear the words of Jesus (John 5:46–47), and how can the person who doesn’t hear the voice, the words of Jesus call upon the name of the Lord and thus be saved (Rom 10:13–14)? Can’t happen. Therefore, the person who transgresses the Law even though the person is not under the Law will perish for it is the one who keeps the law that shall be justified before God; it is the one who believes God and strives to do those things that are pleasing to God who shall be saved. And the man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath did not believe the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; hence, he could not be saved.
How the man gathering sticks was found is of perhaps as much interest as the man:
On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread [manna], two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.'" So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none."
On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the LORD said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day." So the people rested on the seventh day. (Ex 16:22–30 emphasis added)
While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. And the LORD said to Moses, "The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the LORD commanded Moses. (Num 15:32–36)
Before the Law was given, the people of Israel who transgressed the Sabbath by going out to look for manna on the seventh day were not killed, were not stoned, symbolic of breaking the Law written on two tablets of stone. Rather, those who went look to look for manna on the seventh day were chided by the Lord, but after the Law was given, the person found breaking the Law was killed by broken pieces of stone; for the Law has the same permanency as the land on which the people walked. The Law supports human civilization, thereby permitting free men to walk in freedom wherever they might go.
The Law of God written on stone tablets was to outwardly circumcised Israel as the Law written on the hearts of Israel under the New Covenant is to circumcised-of-heart Israel. And as stone has greater permanency than does flesh, the New Covenant has greater permanency than does inner selves [the souls] of unbelieving Christians.
The social order of Israel in the wilderness was organized around the Sabbath and the giving of manna … if each Israelite was to remain in his or her place on the Sabbath, how was it that people of Israel were in the wilderness on the Sabbath where they found the man gathering sticks? Obviously, the people of Israel who were in the wilderness on the Sabbath were there for some reason: what was their reason? Were they also gathering sticks but finding none? Were they looking to see, if perchance, there was any manna remaining from the previous day? Were they innocently tending their flocks and only happened to see in the distance the man gathering sticks?
Were the people of Israel in the wilderness on the Sabbath also looking for sticks but finding none, they took the man who was finding sticks into custody?
Or were they, the people of Israel, in the wilderness for an even less honorable reason … the Lord told Ezekiel that neither Israel nor the children of Israel ever ceased worshiping the idols of Egypt (Ezek chap 20); so were the people of Israel who shouldn’t have been in the wilderness on the Sabbath practicing forbidden idolatry when they came upon the man gathering sticks?
For whatever reason the people of Israel were in the wilderness on the Sabbath, these people of Israel were transgressing the command of the Lord to remain in their places on the seventh day. And the Lord needed to address why these people of Israel were in the wilderness where they intercepted and took into custody the man gathering sticks:
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God." (Num 15:37–41 emphasis added)
An Israelite in the wilderness clothed him or herself with a garment of fabric. To this garment—following the stoning of the man found gathering sticks by other Israelites who were where they were not supposed to be—the Lord commanded that tassels be added as a type of the Law [Torah] being written on hearts and placed inside the circumcised-of-heart Israelite under the New Covenant …
· The fringed, male garment called a tallit katan by rabbinical Judaism has tzitzi [tassels] at its four corners and as such is the shadow and type of the garment of obedience by faith with which a circumcised-of-heart Israelite covers himself when the Torah is written on hearts;
· The large tallit [tallit gadol] or prayer shawl that a male wears in the synagogue forms the shadow and type of grace, the righteousness/obedience of Christ Jesus that a circumcised-of-heart Israelite wears as a garment until the Son of Man is revealed or disrobed (Luke 17:30).
· Together, the tallit katan and tallit gadol form the shadow and type of the garments of obedience leading to righteousness with which Christians are covered and are to cover themselves in this present era;
· However, under the New Covenant when the Son of Man is revealed, the reality of the tallit gadol [i.e., grace] will be stripped away and Christians will only be clothed in their own obedience to God—and the holy ones are those disciples who keep the commandments and their faith in Jesus (Rev 14:12).
· Therefore Christians who wear tzitzi [tassels] in any form unknowingly acknowledge that they are not born of God and are not under the New Covenant and even worse, these Christians openly deny Christ Jesus and will therefore be denied by Jesus before angels.
Tassels on the corners of garments were commanded as a memory aid so that Israel and the children of Israel in the wilderness would not forget the same commandments that greater Christendom pretends are abolished, a clever and convenient way to forget the commandments and thereby link Christians with lawless Israelites, each worthy of being stoned.
The command to make tassels on the corners of their garments was too much for a number of the chief men of the congregation to endure … Moses directing that the man found gathering sticks be stoned was too much—why stone him and not the people of Israel who found him in the wilderness? All had broken the Sabbath command; so why the selective punishment? And Korah (of the Levitical priesthood) took exception to what Moses, as the spokesman for the Lord, commanded Israel to do:
Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, "You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?" (Num 16:1–3 emphasis added)
What Korah spoke is a fine expression of democratic values, and certainly the clearest statement about democracy that can be found in the Bible … was what Korah said true? Was all of the congregation holy: “‘Now therefore, if you [Israel] will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’” (Ex 19:5–6).
Was the Lord with the congregation, going before the congregation as a pillar of fire by night and as a cloud by day? Yes, the Lord was with all of Israel. So why wasn’t Moses consulting the congregation about what to do? Why did Moses not bring the man found gathering sticks before the congregation to be tried and his fate determined? Why did Moses take the man’s life when there were other people of Israel doing something in the wilderness that they should not have been doing on the Sabbath? Why had Moses turned Israel away from entering the Promised Land when the people had repented (Num 14:40) of their refusal to enter when the spies returned? Surely Moses was acting as God to Israel … but wasn’t this what the Lord had told Moses:
But he [Moses] said, "Oh, my Lord, please send someone else." Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, "Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs." (Ex 4:13–17 emphasis added)
In Moses’ relationship with his brother Aaron, Moses was to be God to Aaron as the unknown God the Father [i.e., the God of the dead] was God to the Logos, who was also God (John 1:1), and who was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the living (Matt 22:32). And Moses and Aaron’s relationship to one another forms the shadow and type of the two witnesses’ relationship to one another. In addition, Moses’ relationship to Aaron as Aaron’s head forms the shadow and copy of a human being’s inner self (when born of spirit) relationship to this human person’s outer self. Thus, Moses, by authority given to him by the Lord, was the spokesman for the Lord as Aaron was the spokesman for Moses … Moses was the symbolic face of God to Israel in the wilderness, not that Moses was truly God. But Moses was the shadow and type of the man Jesus the Nazarene, who came to Israel as the Prophet like Moses (cf. Deut 18:15; John 5:45–47 ).
When Moses spoke to Aaron and by extension to Israel, Moses spoke as Israel’s God—as the spokesman for the Lord—not as another man of Israel. And this is what Korah never understood until it was too late; for to withstand Moses was to rebel against the Lord …
Democracy as expressed by Korah—all men being equal with the Lord among them—is rebellion against the Lord. Hence a nation, any nation, organized upon democratic principles and values is of the Adversary. And the United States of America has nearly bankrupted itself through attempting to establish democratic nations in lands that have inherently rejected democracy, with Iraq and Egypt being two examples. And for this reason nineteen Americans are under Egyptian indictment for their democratic activities with that nation.
When all speech is political, to sing praises to God is rebellion against the Adversary unless the Adversary can compromise the beliefs of the person and become the person’s god—and the Adversary has been a liar and a murderer from the beginning so it should come as no surprise that an agent of the Adversary would use women’s reproductive rights as a wedge issue to pry open the mouth of the Roman Church so that it can be bridled and saddled and ridden into oblivion.
The Roman Church is not spiritual Babylon, a teaching of too many Sabbatarian fellowships. Nor will an endtime Pope be the man of perdition. Rather, the Adversary is the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4) and Babylon is the single kingdom of this world as ruled by the Adversary, a kingdom that rules over the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the children of men wherever they dwell—a kingdom that rules over the mental topography of living things. And Babylon is certain to fall; for it is fallen Babylon that will be given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation.
The Roman Church isn’t even the largest obstacle that greater Christendom faces in returning to God. Unbelief is!
America’s Caesar has picked a fight that he cannot win for his allies will stab him in the back as Brutus stabbed Caesar: in picking a fight with his sons, America’s Caesar thought that women’s health and protection of their reproductive rights would be a winning political issue, but he miscalculated for he has opened a mouth that had been shut by accepting tax exempt status … again, Jesus’ question, From whom do kings take taxes? And when the king takes no taxes from 501(C)(3) corporations organized as churches nor income taxes from 47% of the electorate, America’s Caesar has many sons with conflicting interests, too many sons for Caesar to satisfy all of them; for in addition to churches and the poor, America’s Caesar has as sons privileged car companies, green energy sinkholes, oil companies—the list is nearly endless. And all want to inherit Caesar’s throne, with most willing to pay some sort of a bribe to get favored status.
The Philadelphia Church holds a Sabbatarian Anabaptist ideology. As such, Philadelphia doesn’t engage in the political manipulations of the Adversary, nor does Philadelphia ask for tax exempt status … Philadelphia is free to speak whenever the need to speak is present. And right now the need to speak isn’t on behalf of the Roman Church, but against democracy and democratic institutions and democratic nation building that will come to nothing except to hasten the bankruptcy of the United States.
Democracy is so fundamental to America’s perception of self that to speak against democracy is to be anti-American. This is true, sadly true; for the United States continues to represent the best hope that humanity under Satan has of ruling itself. And it is the qualifier—under Satan—that disrobes the illusion of liberty under which the majority of Americans worship the Adversary; for in this present era, Americans are not free to keep the commandments without suffering severe economic penalties. The Adversary blesses his sons, but simply refuses to fiscally bless sons of God who must rely upon God to supply them with sufficiency in all things. However, sufficiency isn’t material prosperity, but enough economic strength to do good works in this world.
The saints, those Christians who keep the commandments and their faith in Jesus (Rev 14:12), need to financially support their own as God supports those who are His in a world He was consigned to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh. And to this end, the fight that Caesar has picked with his sons will impact the saints. Pray that unborn brothers in Christ awaken from their slumber, spit out the Adversary’s bit and buck off America’s Caesar. It will be for their good as well as the good of very Sabbatarian Christian; for it is the Adversary that supports murdering the unborn. It is Christ Jesus that will bring to birth unborn sons of God.
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.
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