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 God creates a doubled hulled vessel.
For the Sabbath of March 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.
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob"; "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! (Rom 11:25–33 emphasis added)
If God has consigned all to disobedience—concluded all to transgressing the Law—so that He may have mercy on all, who of this “all” is then truly responsible for the person’s transgressions of the Law, especially when most of this “all” know neither God nor the Law?
The Lord declared through the prophet Ezekiel,
The word of [YHWH] came to me: "What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? As I live, declares the Lord [YHWH], this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. If a man is righteous and does what is just and right—if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord [YHWH]. (Ezek 18:1–9)
If this man has been consigned to disobedience but does what is right and good—is righteous—has this man truly been consigned to disobedience, or does Paul write figuratively rather than literally? Or is it that this man who is righteous through the physical things he does or doesn’t do has “broken” the bonds of disobedience and thereby freed himself from disobedience by rebellion against the Adversary? Or is it that he was freed from disobedience and sin when Moses led Israel out from Egypt, the earthly representation of sin, and that he simply never returned to sin, thereby never returning to being the slave of sin which leads to death (Rom 6:16)?
If the latter possibility is true, was this man, righteous because of those things he did/does, liberated under Moses—death reigned over all men from Adam to Moses (Rom 5:14)—and therefore covered by the house of Moses and as such truly freed from death and by extension from sin [disobedience]? Is the person covered by the house of Moses under the Law, Paul’s ministry of death?
The Lord told Moses,
I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you. (Ex 32:9–10 cf. Num 14:11–12)
A nation is a “house” as the ancient kingdom of Samaria was the House of Israel whereas its southern neighbor, the ancient kingdom of Jerusalem was the House of Judah. And after the people of Israel’s rebellion at Mount Sinai and rebellion in the wilderness of Paran, it became the intention of the Lord to make a great house, a great nation from Moses, but not from his biological descendants. Rather, this great nation would be built from those human persons who believed the writings of Moses and thus heard the voice of Jesus (John 5:45–47), with the builder of the house worthy of more glory than the house (Heb 3:3–4).
Because Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant (Heb 3:5), Moses is a great house here on earth … the man who is righteous through believing the writings of Moses—the man who doesn’t practice idolatry by “eating on a mountain”; the man who doesn’t engage in adultery or in defiling himself with menstrual blood; the man who doesn’t steal or oppress anyone but manifests love for neighbor and brother; the man who keeps the Commandments that Moses brought down from Sinai—this man is of the house of Moses and actually is not under the Law; for the Law only exercises authority over those persons who transgress the Law. The person who does not transgress the Law shall live, for again, death reigned from Adam to Moses. Under Moses, death was defeated, a claim with which Paul agrees:
What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom He has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed He says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'" And in the very place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God." And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out His sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." And as Isaiah predicted, "If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah." What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. (Rom 9:22–31 emphasis added)
The God of Abraham identified the people of Israel as His firstborn son, saying to Moses:
When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says [YHWH], Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me.’ If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.” (Ex 4:21–23)
Consider what the Lord declared to Moses: He would hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh would not release Israel regardless of the miracles performed, and because Pharaoh now, involuntarily would not release Israel, the Lord would kill Pharaoh’s firstborns, with Pharaoh’s house including all of Egypt … it is as if the Lord had already determined to kill the firstborns of Egypt, but was—as a cat plays with a mouse before killing it—toying with Pharaoh and with the lives of Egyptian firstborn of man and beast.
How could have the Pharaoh’s chamberlain have escaped being killed if he was a firstborn, or how could this chamberlain have protected the firstborn of his house? By believing Moses. Yes, nothing more was required of any person in Egypt than simply believing Moses for the Egyptian to have come under the same protection as was afforded Israel; hence, a great mixed multitude left Egypt with the Israelites (Ex 12:38).
To enter into the house of Moses, nothing more was needed; nothing more is necessary than to believe the writings of Moses—what the Evangelical pastor dismisses with his [or her] flippant, Oh, you’re under the ol’ law, when confronted by a Sabbatarian Christian. The Evangelical or even the doorbell-ringing Arian has no scriptural support for neglecting the Sabbath; so rather then argue technicalities with the Sabbatarian, the Evangelical or Arian ducks the issue by transforming the house of Moses into a bayou shack damaged by Katrina, unsafe to enter but nevertheless still standing. And perhaps this is what the Evangelical or Arian should do; for most likely, the Sabbatarian doesn’t know much more than that he or she should remember the Sabbath and keep it holy; for when a Sabbatarian Christian argues technicalities with an Evangelical or an Arian, a legally-blind talking head engages a spiritually blind talking head in a dual of windmills that are each self-identified giants. Perhaps theatre tickets should be sold; perhaps not. We are to permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves.
If a man seeks shelter in the house of Moses, entering this house by faith rather than at the point of a sword, the man shall live even though his fleshly body will die. But what about this man’s son?
If he [the righteous man] fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.
Now suppose this man fathers a son [the grandson of the righteous man] who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. (Ezek 18:10–17)
Again, to eat upon a mountain is to practice idolatry, is to worship another god other than the Lord.
Again, to enter the house of Moses by faith will cause the Gentile to be as the mixed multitude were that left Egypt with the Israelites; for the house of Moses is biologically diverse, but ideologically unified through believing the writings of Moses, with Moses functioning for Aaron and by extension for all of Israel as the Lord functioned/functions for all humanity (Ex 4:16).
Dismissing the house of Moses as if it truly were a bayou shack is idolatry, which prevents the person from receiving life as a firstborn son of God. If the person dwelling in a land far from the house of Moses does those things that are characteristic of Moses, such as manifesting love for neighbor and brother, then this person shall live when the person comes before the Lord in the great White Throne Judgment, but this person shall live as an outer wall of the house of God …
On Good Friday—so identified by worldly Christendom—1964, Alaska was struck by the second greatest earthquake measured by seismograph, the quake lasting four minutes thirty-eight seconds, with a magnitude of 9.2.
On Good Friday 1989, the single-hulled oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef and spilled between 260,000 and 750,000 barrels of North Slope crude into Prince William Sound, with the spill carried west and south until even the beaches on Kodiak Island came under the cleanup order … since the spill, the worst in North America until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, all tankers carrying North Slope crude have to be double hulled, one hull inside another hull, with the inner hull protected by the outer hull..
I was a freshman at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, when the Alaska Earthquake struck. The dorm proctor had taken myself and another fellow (the only ones who hadn’t gone home from Easter) out to see a showing of the movies, The Great Escape and Lilies in the Field, that Friday evening. News of the quake was just reaching Oregon when we left the theater. Warnings were being broadcast to stay off the beaches, warnings one family ignored: records show that four children were killed at Lincoln County’s Beverly Beach State Park. I only remember reports of three being killed by the ignorance of their father taking them under the Highway 101 bridge and onto the beach to watch the incoming tsunami. Regardless, the lives were needlessly lost due to ignoring warnings.
A quarter century later, I was a first year graduate student at University of Alaska Fairbanks when the Exxon Valdez spill occurred … as I had, in high school, hunted agates on Beverly Beach when winter storms opened up gravel patches, I knew the beaches that were demolished by the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez spill—today, I sound warnings that will be ignored, warnings to repent, to take the Passover sacraments on the Christian Passover (the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month of the sacred calendar), or take the Passover sacraments on the second Passover (same day of the second month) if the Christian was unable to take the sacraments the first Passover. But it will not be long before I become a spiritual advocate double hulling, double walling the house of God so that never again will there be a rent in the fabric of heaven analogous to the spear wound in the side of the man Jesus, dead on the cross before being pierced by the Roman soldier.
The chronology of being dead then pierced has significance that shall be addressed in future Sabbath Readings. For this Reading, the reality of being consigned to disobedience will be more than can be addressed:
Righteousness is individual, possessed by one person but not by another. Righteousness is not generically inherited, is not communal, but is unique to the person who enters into the house of God as either a servant or as a son. And if righteousness is unique to the person, regardless of whether the person is of the house of Moses (a servant in the house of God) or if the person is of the Son, has “all”—an inclusive linguistic icon that is communal in nature—truly been consigned to disobedience?
The Apostle John wrote,
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:5–10 emphasis added)
There would be no need for “light” to have entered this world—the light of Day One (Gen 1:3)—if there would have been righteousness already existing in this world, which is what makes the cases of Noah, Daniel, and Job (from Ezek 14:14, 20) interesting for all three are identified as righteous, but of necessity were righteous in darkness, with Noah and Job being righteous before the Law was given and sin was brought to life, and with Daniel being identified as righteous after sin was made alive but with Daniel being unable to have entered the temple of God. Hence, righteousness existed apart from the temple and before the Law was given, which permits anyone at any time to be righteous: the righteous person need not know Christ Jesus to be saved, the crux of Matthew’s Jesus separating sheep from goats (Matt 25:31–46). However, to be righteous the person must have love for God, neighbor and brother, this love then being manifested in the things [deeds] that the person does, such as receiving and feeding the hungry individual[s] who come to the person.
However, the righteous man who has descended from the first Adam has indwelling sin that must be forgiven before this righteous man receives indwelling eternal life … human righteousness is a righteousness of the flesh, not a resurrection of the dead spirit in man that is “dead” because all have been consigned to disobedience because of the unbelief of the first Adam—
There is a distinction between the flesh [the fleshly body — σωμα] of a physically living man and the soul [ψυχήν] in which dwells the dead spirit of the person—dead through having been consigned to disobedience … the fleshly body of the person, according to Paul, shall not enter into heaven, nor become imperishable (1 Cor 15:50). Rather, it is the non-physical soul [psuche] that puts on imperishably [immortality] and that can thereby enter heaven through the spirit [pneuma] that is in the soul receiving “life” via the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou].
Christians, collectively, have been notoriously poor readers of texts … a man and his wife function as visible physical models of the spirit of Christ in relationship to the spirit of man that dwells in the soul of every person. In addition, a man and his wife function as a model of the spirit of man to the soul of the person; plus, a man and his wife function as a model of the spirit of God to the spirit of Christ. Thus, as the spirit of God entered the spirit of His Beloved when the man Jesus was raised from baptism—entered into Jesus in the bodily form of a dove (Mark 1:10)—in a manner analogous to a man entering his wife for purposes of procreation, the spirit of Christ enters into the spirit of the man that dwells in the soul of each disciple as a man enters his wife for purposes of procreation, with the spirit of Christ as a life-giving spirit [pneuma] bringing to “life” the spirit of the man in the soul of the disciple, thereby being to the spirit of the man both the last Adam as well as the last Eve.
For pedagogical purposes, the preceding needs to be repeated: when a man enters his beloved human procreation becomes possible, with generally many more entries occurring than offspring conceived, and with much more seed deposited than can be conceived, for it is the woman’s body that determines the number of offspring that can possibly be conceived through the number of ovum her body releases. When the Father’s spirit entered Christ Jesus in the bodily form of a dove, His entry into His Beloved was for the purpose of divine procreation, first giving heavenly life to the man Jesus who was the unique Son of the Logos, who was God and who was with the God in primacy, and who created all things physical (John 1:1–3). In this manner, the Father really didn’t adopt as His own the unique Son of His heavenly Beloved, but gave His breath of life to the unique Son of His Beloved who was then without indwelling heavenly life. Hence, in the unique Son of His Beloved, both He and His Beloved lived as one spirit … a man and his wife live as one flesh when they are united on the marriage bed. They are one flesh apart from the marriage bed, but not really. They are not one flesh in their offspring as some Christians teach; they are one flesh when the circumcised head of the man enters his wife and temporarily remains in her. For no other man is to enter his wife, and he is to enter no other woman: they are to each other one entity even though Moses permitted divorce because of the hardness of Israelite hearts. They are one entity apart from the marriage bed because of the shared oneness of the marriage bed.
Thus, in the glorified Christ Jesus—twice glorified by the Father, once when the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] entered in the man Jesus when He was raised from baptism, a watery grave analogous to the Flood of Noah’s day (1 Peter 3:18–21), then a second time when the Father raised the man Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11; 10:9)—is the reality of both Adam and Eve, the life-giver (cf. Rom 5:14; 1 Cor 15:45). … When the Father initially glorified the inner self of Jesus, the Father transformed the man Jesus into the last Adam; when the Father returned to Jesus the glory the Beloved of the Father had before the world was created (John 17:5), the Father transformed the already inwardly glorified Jesus into a life-giving spirit, an Eve spirit [pneuma].
As the first Adam and first Eve were one flesh, the last Adam and last Eve are one spirit: pneuma Christou in which dwells to pneuma Theou. Therefore the formerly dead—spiritually lifeless through being consigned to disobedience—spirit of the man [pneuma tou ’anthropou] that dwells in the soul [psuche] of the person becomes through penetration by the spirit of Christ (doing what He sees the Father do), this penetration euphemistically known as the indwelling of Christ, the “living” spirit [pneuma] of the man that continues to dwell in the soul that continues to await receipt of immortality. This now-living spirit of the man is a son of God through divine procreation that placed God the Father in the position of Elohim, singular in usage, and the twice glorified Christ Jesus in the position of both Adam and Eve in the Garden.
The disciple of Christ Jesus is a son of God through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, a “type” of Adam in that Jesus was the first Son of God, analogous to being the first man, and as “type” of Eve in that the glorified Jesus gives to the disciple life received from God the Father in the form of His own breath of life [pneuma Christou]. And this now-living spirit of the man—living through the indwelling of Christ—will give to the soul [psuche] of the disciple immortality when the soul puts on imperishability in a manner analogous to Elohim [singular in usage and typified by the spirit of Christ] causing a deep sleep to come upon the man Adam and from the flesh of Adam creating the woman Eve (Gen 2:21–22). Hence in Adam and Eve, two persons of one flesh, is seen the model from which and by which all sons of God are created.
In a way, the process of God twice giving spiritual life to human sons of God creates a doubled hulled vessel. And it is here where this Sabbath Reading will break.
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."