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 heirs of God.
For the Sabbath of February 15, 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.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? (1 Pet 3:1–13)
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives—there is a reality and a fallacy imbedded in what Peter writes. The reality is that good conduct breeds good conduct, and the unbeliever who lives with good conduct will likely engage in good conduct, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, clothing the naked, thereby being sheep according to Matthew 25:33–34. The fallacy is more subtle—no person can come to Christ Jesus unless the Father draws the person (John 6:44)—so the good conduct of the wife will not give rise to a firstborn son of God unless the Father chooses to draw the person from this world and delivers the person into the hand of Christ Jesus as a disciple, irrespective of the person’s good or bad conduct …
Two resurrections of humanity form one harvest of humanity, the first resurrection at the beginning of the Thousand Years (the resurrection that completes the harvest of firstfruits), the second resurrection at the end of the Thousand Years (the general resurrection of all who had not previously received the spirit), these two resurrections being enantiomorphs as the left and right hands of a person are together enantiomorphs, and with the Thousand Years representing the Sabbath of the land. Hence, throughout the Thousand Years—the Millennium—no harvest of humanity will be undertaken. Death will be extremely rare, and then only from outside causes such as accidents. The harvest of the earth will be restricted to what grows of itself: there will be no evangelizing, nor any need to evangelize for all of living humanity will then have the Law written on hearts and placed in minds so that all know the Lord, from great to least. The long lives of the antediluvian age will be exceeded by the long lives of those human person who physically cross from the Endurance in Christ into the Millennium without receiving glorified bodies when Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah.
Again, two harvests form one harvest, with the first harvest being similar-to but not identical to the latter harvest in that the harvest of firstfruits is two-part, with the resurrection of Christ Jesus at the beginning of the Christian era and the resurrection of His disciples at the end of the Christian era—thereby completing the harvest of firstfruits—having similarity to the conjoined harvest of firstfruits followed a thousand years later by the general harvest of humanity.
But we don’t have a useable word to express the concept of “two being one,” a limitation of language that has prevented humanity from understanding the mysteries of God; for numerals in human languages have linguistically evolved as the need for numerals became more precise. Whereas in former times an Inuit in the Arctic counted, one, two, many, making no distinction between three and thirty, but making distinctions between wind directions and distances, more useful information when hunting on the ice, we in our technological world have separated two from one to such a degree that it is virtually impossible for us to accept a reality that has two persons—a husband and his wife—being one person, with this hard separation between one from two contributing-to, if not undergirding the frequency of modern divorce. Our language use promotes individualism, not collectivism. Our frequent use of <I> by both male and females establishes and reconfirms in our minds the individualistic nature of the person. Thus, good conduct by the wife, representing the body of the person, doesn’t logically transfer to good conduct by the husband, representing the inner self of the person.
Logically, good conduct by the husband, the head of his wife, should promote good conduct by the wife, whereas bad conduct by the husband should produce bad conduct by the wife. What Peter writes is acknowledgement of a “Christian” reality: in Christ, the wife has Christ Jesus as her primary head and her husband as her secondary head, with her good conduct becoming a barrier to her husband’s bad conduct, and perhaps compelling her husband to join with her in worshiping Christ and keeping the Law by faith even if the husband is not called to do so. If the husband does join with her in living a life modeled after Christ Jesus, then in the general resurrection [the great White Throne Judgment] the husband will be identified as a sheep and invited into the kingdom of the heavens. If the husband persists in bad conduct when he has, by seeing his wife’s example, no excuse for doing so, he is without hope and beyond redemption.
When reading the epistles collectively, it is not clear that mid 1st-Century disciples understood there would be two harvests of the earth that together represented one harvest. Mid 1st-Century disciples still expected Christ to return in their lifetimes, which suggests that they didn’t well understand the plan of God, that at best they only had fundamental principles. It is for this reason that Paul wasn’t understood by the Circumcision Party; for much of what Paul wrote pertained to the general resurrection of humanity …
For God shows no partiality. 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. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:11–16 emphasis added)
Gentiles are to Israel as the flesh is to the soul of a single person; thus, Gentiles are in the position of the woman, the wife, whose good conduct might bring her husband to Christ.
God shows no partiality between the husband and the wife: all who sin with or without the Law will perish either under the Law or without the Law. All who engage in good conduct, manifesting love for brother and neighbor, will live either with or without the Law. The Law is, of itself, nothing—a yardstick by which the husband can measure his conduct, not that measuring will necessarily promote good conduct, which comes from within the person.
Putting what Peter wrote into practice would have the Christian wife keeping the Sabbath, and by her example perhaps causing her husband to also keep the Sabbath even though the husband has not been drawn from this world by the Father and called by Christ Jesus. After all, no Israelite prior to Christ Jesus was truly born of spirit; yet many were faithful, keeping the Commandments by faith as Daniel and his friends did when it would have been easier for them to live as Chaldeans. So certainly a husband, not called by God, can keep the Commandments, albeit imperfectly (same for the called person), by faith and secure for himself a place in heaven through the general resurrection.
Most Gentile converts to whom Paul went were not drawn from this world by the Father and called by Christ—they would not have left Paul if they were firstfruits—so the relationship of Paul to Gentile converts was analogous to that of inner self to outer self, or husband to wife. Not so with Peter who was sent by Christ to Israel, as Christ Jesus was send by the Father to His disciples.
Self-similarity exists: God sends the Logos to those whom the Father foreknows and predestines, the Logos as His unique Son sends Peter to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; Peter, James, and John send Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles (Gal 2:9). And the Body of Christ, crucified with Christ, dies as the earthly body of Christ died at Calvary—and as the earthly body of Christ was resurrected after the third day, the spiritual Body of Christ will be resurrected on the third day and glorified after the third day of the Genesis “P” creation account.
Again, Gentiles are to Israel as the wife is to her husband: by the good conduct of Gentiles, perhaps some of Israel will be won, what Paul said,
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. … So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. (Rom 11:1–2, 11–14)
Peter used a fallacy—a wife by her good behavior cannot convert her husband—to make a larger point: Gentiles by their good behavior (by keeping the Law by faith) might cause Israel to reexamine its behavior, repent, and begin to show love for neighbor and brother.
So continuing to move what Peter wrote from the physical marriage bed to the individual person, the fleshly body [soma] of the person is to the soul [psuche] as the wife is to her husband, the subject of the past three Sabbath Readings. In addition, the soul of the person is to the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] as the wife is to her husband. Now this geometry of marriage can be extended: the spirit of the person is to the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] as the wife is to her husband, and the spirit of Christ is to the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] as the wife is to her husband. And as the husband enters his wife for the purpose of procreation [human sexuality lawfully extends beyond being solely for procreation], God the Father entered His Beloved, who in turns enters the spirit of the person, thereby giving heavenly life to the person who did not previously have indwelling eternal life. And without the spirit of Christ entering the human spirit of the person who has become a disciple, the person will never have indwelling eternal life … as the husband cannot reproduce children by himself, God the Father cannot reproduce sons of God from human persons by Himself. The human husband needs his wife to bear children for him. God the Father needs His Beloved to bear sons of God for Him; for the spirit of man [again, to pneuma tou ’anthropou] that permits a human person to know the things humans know came from the Beloved when He, as Creator of all things made physically, breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of the man of mud (Gen 2:7) and this man of mud became a nephesh, a breathing creature.
Backing up a paragraph or two: as the husband cannot produce offspring by himself, Israel could not produce offspring for God by itself, but needed Gentiles to function as the wife … why? Because Israel continually pursued righteousness with hands and body rather than with mind and heart. Israel needed to get its focus off the flesh and onto the inner self, and apparently it couldn’t do so when its thoughts were on outward circumcision and the temple having a women’s and a men’s court. Only when there is, in the minds and hearts of Israel, no distinction between the outwardly circumcised and outwardly uncircumcised—between male and female—could Israel function as the husband of all who would come to God, the role Israel will play in the Millennium.
Why can’t the Father produce heirs by Himself? Because the spirit of man [again, to pneuma tou ’anthropou] that serves as the head of the inner self of “one” human person (as the husband is the head of his wife) came not from God the Father, but came from the Creator of all things physical, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Father cannot directly bring to life the spirit in man, but needs His Beloved as a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45) to bring the spirit in man to life through the indwelling of Christ, who has life in the same heavenly moment as God the Father has life—the moment that existed before the world existed. (Shortly before He was taken, Jesus prayed, “‘I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed’” — John 17:4–5.) What the Father can do is “fill” the soul [psuche] of the person with His breath of Life, thereby liberating the person from being a serf of the Adversary, but in doing so, the Father must at least figuratively “buy” the soul of the person from the Adversary through giving to Death uncovered firstborns that belong to Him. And herein is a subtlety that must be understood: Christ Jesus’ death at Calvary paid the ransom for every person who will be truly born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ, regardless of when or where the person lives. But Christ’s death at Calvary does not pay the ransom price for those who are not born of spirit. If His death had paid the ransom price for every person who lived, the death penalty for Hitler’s sins would be paid, and this is simply not the case: Hitler will pay for his atrocities with loss of his inner life in the lake of fire, the second death.
Christians within greater Christendom are not, today, born of spirit regardless of what they claim. If they were born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ, they would walk in this world as Jesus walked, meaning they would live as observant Judeans. Because they do not live as Judeans but live as Gentiles, they are to Christ Jesus as ancient Israel was to the God of Abraham, with the God of Abraham putting Israel away because of the nation’s idolatry (because of Israel’s spiritual adultery).
Because the vast majority of Christians within greater Christendom have not truly been born of spirit—only the Elect have been so born—the breath/spirit of the Father cannot give life to these Christians even though the Father can fill their souls with His spirit. Again, He needs His Beloved to give life to His heirs; for in how the creation has been structured, the creation reflects heaven itself. And fathers do not give birth to their sons. Fathers to do not give birth to offspring. Wives [women] do. And a man without the aid of the woman’s body is as God is without the aid of His Beloved, who created humanity in a two-step birth process, the second step requiring that Beloved of God enter His [the Beloved’s] creation and receive in His human spirit the breath of the Father which only He was able to do because of having come from heaven.
Humanity doesn’t have language to express the concept of timelessness; for to even speak of being outside of time, we have to use the word “time” that has no meaning outside of the physical cosmos.
Christendom wants to shove the Father and His Beloved together into one deity—and they are one just as a man and his wife are one flesh, especially in the act of procreation, and just as the inner self and the outer self are one person, and just as to pneuma tou ’anthropou and the psuche are one inner self, and just as to pneuma Christou and to pneuma tou ’anthropou are one living spiritual son of God.
It isn’t the fleshly body that will enter heaven—Paul wrote, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor 15:50 emphasis added)—but the soul of the person that was never perishable as flesh and blood is. Again, it isn’t flesh and blood that will be changed into spirit when Christ returns, but the souls [tas psuchas] of the saints: these souls will receive bodies that are also spiritual whereas these souls are, unless the person has truly been born of spirit, presently dead for the human spirit in them is spiritually lifeless.
The dilemma God the Father faced was the limitations of timelessness: the presence of life cannot coexist in the same moment as the absence of life, and vice versa. What has life in the moment in which the Father and the Son have life will always have life in this moment, but what does not have life can never have life. Thus, the Father cannot create angelic sons of God that are true “sons,” but can in heaven only create sons of God that originate in a differing “moment” from that which the Father and His Beloved have life; hence, angelic sons of God can only be servants, not heirs. What the Father needed was “life” from the moment He and His Beloved have life given to His heirs. He needed life from when He has life hand carried from heaven to a changeable dimension then returned to heaven in the form of true sons that are heirs, with the Beloved being the One to manuport heavenly life as an unchanged object from heaven to earth then back to heaven.
The Adversary’s rebellion and the need to immediately expel the Adversary from heaven to avoid gridlock gave rise to the formation of the Abyss from what poured out of the wound in the side of heaven when the Adversary was flushed out. And in this Abyss, the creation was spoken into existence … unlike heaven itself, the Abyss is without form and void and can be likened to the blood and water that poured from Jesus’ side when He was pierced with a spear, with the wetness on the ground having no structure as the blood and water ran where it would go. This understanding will now have heaven appearing as a man, with the Most High God serving as the spirit in man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] and with His Beloved functioning as the soul of a human person, with spirit and soul being “one” deity in the Tetragrammaton YHWH—and with heaven itself functioning as the fleshly body [soma] of a human person.
Despite the vastness, almost limitless boundaries of heaven, no better visualization of heaven exists than for a person to look at him or herself in a full length mirror.
Jesus’ disciples in looking at the man Jesus of Nazareth would see a scale model of both heaven and would see the Father, what Jesus told His disciples:
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. (John 14:8–11)
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. … And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Rev 21:9–14, 22–27)
Inside the Bride of Christ, heavenly Jerusalem, the temple is God almighty and the Lamb, serving as spirit and soul, with the Bride of Christ serving as a maquette for all of heaven. But a problem remains, a problem that plagues every generation, in what language and with what words can previously unknown things or concept be vocalized so that peers understand?
Throughout recorded history, every generation has thought in language, not in feelings or fuzzy emotions—
And here language boundaries must be pushed: in times of stress, emotions are heightened to the point where awareness of presence is clearly felt. However, awareness of presence is an emotion weakly felt in the industrial world, but strongly felt in both war zones and in the natural world. Native Americans drew arrows from eyes indicating this awareness of presence, or awareness of observation that both prey and predator species have—and that seems stronger in grade school children than in adults. But what language can be used to express the reality that eyes project a force field that can be felt, or that the aura of life projects a force that can be felt? What name do we give to this aura of life that permits location of another living entity without the entity being detected by the five known senses? We don’t have a name. In fact, paranormal discussion of the aura of life is traditionally dismissed as hokum by the scientific community. Yet, this awareness of life, of observation has kept many battlefield soldiers alive. This awareness just cannot be well explained verbally; for even today we do not have language that adequately expresses what many know to exist.
It is easy to dismiss what cannot be expressed in the language of the generation … today, we have a generation that knows nothing of Beer’s Law, but knows that global warning is caused by increased atmospheric levels of CO2 emissions when Beer’s Law shows that atmospheric IR energy levels cannot be increased by increased atmospheric levels of CO2; for carbon dioxide’s ability to function as a greenhouse gas was capped long ago, long before the oldest ice core samples of atmospheric levels of CO2. Thus, we have a generation that has been falsely taught from the White House down through public pre-school, which doesn’t bode well for America and Western nations as a carbon-usage tax remains on the political horizon, the tax being an economic leveler between have and have-not nations and a goal of political watermelons.
But the concern in this Sabbath Reading is 21st-Century languages’ inability to express non-physical aspects that compose the aura of life to which most of suburban America is inured.
All thought is expressed in language. Brain activity not expressed in language is felt, not thought. And feelings have validity. If a person feels that he or she shouldn’t walk down a dark alley, the person shouldn’t walk down the alley even if the person cannot explain why the person feels the presence of danger. If a person in public spaces feels he or she is being watched, psychologists attribute the feeling to the person being paranoid, and possibly in need of medication. But what if someone is truly watching the person, say via a security camera, which would place an inanimate object [the camera] between the person and the observer? What if the person were being watched through a rifle scope?
The aura of presence is physically faint and doesn’t physically extend far from its source … as one of the four fundamental forces, gravity is weak, far weaker than it should be, and its weakness has caused physicists to speculate about parallel dimensions. The aura of presence is physically weaker than gravity and should cause observers to speculate about alternative dimensions; for this aura of presence is “bleeding off” into another dimension. All that is felt in the four unfurled dimensions is the residual energy left behind. And even then, there is no consensus of opinions about whether an aura of presence even exists.
President Obama has said that global warming (aka climate change) is established fact … he spends too much time golfing in California and not enough time shoveling snow in the District of Columbia. The evidence that global warming is as global cooling was in the 1970s—same hyperbole has been used for both—is three polar vortexes and counting this 2013-2014 winter, and this following last winter being the coldest in a couple of decades. There has not been any global temperature increase in fifteen years, but that isn’t evidence for political watermelons, determined to limit economic activity for reasons they truly don’t understand, reasons that originate in the Adversary still being the prince of this world.
Americans use the Fahrenheit thermometer, where zero degrees was the coolest temperature to which Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1696–1736) could reliably cool brine … if he had opened his window, he could have gotten the brine colder. If President Obama opened White House windows, he would not be so quick to state that global warming is an established fact.
But to introduce Beer’s Law into a discussion of climate change makes the person a global warmer denier and removes all credibility from whatever the person says: the ad hominem attack, an argumentative fallacy.
To attempt to discuss the human soul [psuche, representing shallow or resting breath as opposed to pneuma, representing deep breath] condemns the person to being a religious whacko, destroying any credibility the person might have outside of religious communities.
As introduced by the Apostle Paul forty jubilees ago, the whole of man is tri-part: “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you [wholly], and may your whole pneuma and psuche and soma be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:23)And this differs some from what Solomon, without the indwelling of Christ, wrote:
The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Eccl 12:10–14)
Too many Sabbatarian Christians do not understand that those things Moses wrote, that David wrote, that Solomon wrote form the left hand enantiomer of a spiritual right hand enantiomer; that in moving from physical to spiritual, change occurs. Not change such as moving the Sabbath from the seventh day to the eighth day, but change of the sort exemplified by the Elect that do not come under judgment, but pass directly from death to life (John 5:24), thereby slipping past what Solomon—the Preacher—wrote about God bringing every deed into judgment, and even past what the writer of Hebrews seems to have said, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Heb 9:27–28 emphasis added).
The reality of Romans 5:8 must be here introduced:
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:7–8 emphasis added)
The Elect pass from death to life without coming under judgment because of the indwelling of Christ in the Elect while they were/are still sinners and while Christ still lived/lives; so that we, the Elect, are crucified when Christ is crucified, with the paradox of time demanding that we accept the statement of Paul as symbolic. However, when we step outside of time—step into the unchanging heavenly moment that existed before the world [kosmos] was created and that still exists and that will exist when Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah—what Paul declared need not be taken symbolically, but must be accepted as factually true … I escape coming under judgment not because of any inherent righteousness, but because the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] entered my human spirit [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] before Calvary occurred even though my human spirit didn’t exist prior to 1946, such are the dynamics of timelessness—and we humans have no language in which we can discuss events/phenomena apart from past, present, and future. The concept that phenomena can occur without the passage of time is an alien concept to humanity.
The Apostle Paul had no language in which he could discuss cellular oxidation of simple carbohydrates; he had no language in which he could discuss the geometry of roughness, fractal geometry; he had no language in which he could discuss warped space-time, or standing waves, or any of many concepts of first year Physics taught in universities. But what he would have had was hyper-sensitivity to the aura of presence, the aura of life.
Because the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] entered my human spirit [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] before Calvary occurred, I died when Christ was crucified even though I had no interruption in conscious thought … is this not what the Apostle Paul wrote:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. (Rom 6:1–19 emphais and double emphasis added)
Paul believed what he wrote; thus, he found it difficult to accept the reality that he continued to do those things he knew was wrong; those things that he hated (Rom chap 7). He understood that a different law reigned in his fleshly members [body] than reigned in his mind, but his cultural limitations didn’t permit him to explore the reason for this difference. Thus, what Paul wrote was easy for sons of disobedience to twist and wring dry, squeezing the truth from Paul’s words and leaving only hollow resonance to remain.
Paul knew in part and understood in part, and Paul laid the foundation of the temple of God (1 Cor 3:10), but the foundation extends from the cornerstone and is far from the capstone. Between cornerstone and capstone stands the passage of time and the pillars that rest on the foundation and reach upward to hold and support ceiling joist, roof, and capstone. So to remain with Paul and to not move past Paul is to remain as part of the foundation, laid long ago inside the passage of time, but laid this same day outside of time.
Little written in past Sabbath Readings is not expressed in human terms, because of readers’ natural limitations. If Paul served the holy ones at Corinth spiritual milk because these holy ones were not ready for solid food (1 Cor 3:1–3), then Paul’s analogy will have these Sabbath Readings being mushed-up bananas and pureed carrots. Only now are these Readings moving past soft, mostly tasteless baby food and approaching mashed potatoes and gravy, vanilla pudding and cooked cereal with cream and sugar. They are still far from spaghetti and meatballs; for most Sabbatarian Christians have no conception of how extremely young they are spiritually. They want to think of themselves as spiritually mature; yet they can neither move mountains nor walk on water. They cannot imagine thinking thoughts not expressed in language; they cannot imagine not simply feeling the aura of presence if they have ever felt “presence,” but composing thoughts in this aura that become living entities.
Individually and collectively, even the Elect are not yet ready to undertake the work of infant sons of God such as rearranging mountain ranges. They are very far from calling forth plagues and droughts. They are very far from where they will be at the end of the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation, when the Elect will pick up the mantle of the two witnesses and trek forward into the Endurance of Jesus.
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."