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 being saved by the shedding of blood.
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For the Sabbath of March 3, 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.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation.] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. (Matt 23:1–15 emphasis added)
Two days before He is to be crucified, Jesus gave instructions to His disciples and to the crowd that followed Him, a grouping of individuals akin to today’s unborn sons of God (i.e., Christians of the greater Christian Church): Jesus said that no one was to be called rabbi or teacher by others—they, His disciples, were not to permit anyone to call them rabbi, and His disciples and followers were to call no one father, nor instructor/teacher.
Yet in the same passage Jesus said that because the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, His disciples and followers were to practice and observe whatever they taught … why would Jesus say to practice and observe what the scribes and Pharisees taught but not to call any of the scribes or Pharisees father or rabbi? And would not Jesus’ words apply to Catholic Christians or to Protestant theologians or to Anabaptist reformers? Would it not be wrong to call a Catholic priest father? It would be, wouldn’t it? Actually, it would be doubly wrong, with the first fault by the one who calls the priest father and with the second fault by the priest for not correcting the person who called him father. And the same would apply to any Christian bishop or deacon that permitted parishioners to call him or her teacher or instructor or rabbi.
Christians are brothers. Female Christians who have been born of God are inwardly sons of God and as such are brothers in Christ although if a person were to address a Christian woman who covers by the identifying term sister, the female son of God should take no offense; for in covering the Christian woman acknowledges that she has double headship over her [that of Christ and that of her husband] … the Christian woman who does not cover does not acknowledge double headship, which is as it should be for unmarried sons of God who, upon reaching their majority, have only one head, Christ Jesus.
The preceding introduces a problem seen in theologically conservative fellowships, that of children [teenagers] marrying children and giving birth to children before the female body is fully developed and has within it the reserves necessary to sustain a developing child—
Baptism is not a rite that compares to circumcision:
· In Egypt, the Lord identified all of Israel in Egypt as His firstborn son (Ex 4:22);
· But all of Israel did not include women and children (Ex 12:37), who were in archetypical discussions non-persons.
· When the male and the female in marriage are one flesh, not two, the male represents the non-physical inner self [the soul] that is the head of the fleshly body, and the female represents the fleshly body that shall not enter heaven;
· Therefore, only the inner self—the heart—of the Christian compares to male Israelites as sons of God (Gal 3:26); for the fleshly body of the baptized person remains male or female, Jew [outwardly circumcised] or Greek [uncircumcised] (v. 28);
· It is only the inner self—the heart—of the Christian that can be circumcised by the soft breath of God, and this is not a circumcision that can be made with hands (Col 2:11).
· But no one can raise him or herself from death, or liberate the person from being consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3).
Being called by Christ to be a son of God isn’t dependent upon what the person does: Jesus told His disciples, “‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide’” (John 15:16). Elsewhere Jesus prayed to God,
I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:6–12 emphasis and double emphasis added)
All persons, irrespective of what sort of fleshly body the inner self inhabits, who have received a second breath of life, the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø] in the breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø], have been born of the Father (John 5:21) as a son of God and as such compose the endtime nation of Israel; for Paul wrote, “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (Rom 2:28–29).
In Egypt, prior to the Passover liberation of the firstborn son of the Lord, every Hebrew male would have been circumcised, with circumcision being the mark of enslavement … Pharaoh’s daughter immediately recognized the infant Moses as a Hebrew baby (Ex 2:5–6); for it wasn’t in Moses’ cry or in his skin color that identification as a Hebrew was apparent, but in his circumcision—and in Moses’ firstborn son’s lack of circumcision (Ex 4:25) was evidence that Moses had sought not to identify his son as a slave to Pharaoh.
There is a short passage that immediately follows the Lord identifying Israel as His firstborn son that has not been well understood:
And the LORD said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead." So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand. And the LORD said 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 the LORD, 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.'"
At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him [who? Moses’ firstborn son, not all of Moses’ sons] to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it and said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!" So he let him alone. It was then that she said, "A bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision.
The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. (Ex 4:19–27 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Circumcision marked Israel as the Lord’s firstborn son … the son of Zipporah was not circumcised; for circumcision should have been but apparently was not the practice of the sons of Midian who was of Abraham through Keturah (Gen 25:1–2).
Zipporah was a woman of Midian and her father was the priest of Midian, but not a priest of the Lord, a priest after the order of Melchizedek. And Balak the son of Zippor as king of Moab went to the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian and prevailed upon them to hire Balaam to curse Israel (Num 22:1–7) … Zipporah was named in honor of Zippor, whose son fought against Israel, and whose daughters and granddaughters caused Israel to yoke themselves to Baal of Peor (Num 25:2–3):
And the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel." And Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor." And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. (Num 25:4–9)
Zipporah as a woman of Midian and as the daughter of the priest of Midian would have been as the woman of Midian whom Phinehas slew with his spear to stop the plague of the Lord. By taking a flint and cutting off the foreskin of her firstborn son by Moses shortly after the Lord had promised to kill the firstborn sons of Egypt [indeed, the promise was to kill the firstborn of Egypt because He, the Lord, would harden Pharaoh’s heart to make sure that Pharaoh did not let Israel go], Zipporah stayed the plague that was to come upon Moses’ house, but she was not happy about having to circumcise her son. However, she did what she must to save her son—she also returned to the land of Midian so she was not with Moses while he and Aaron dealt with Pharaoh.
Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her home, along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, "I have been a sojourner in a foreign land"), and the name of the other, Eliezer (for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh"). Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. And when he sent word to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her," Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the LORD had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the LORD had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. Jethro said, "Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people." And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God. (Ex 18:1–12 emphasis and double emphasis added)
It wasn’t until after the Lord had slain the firstborn of Egypt that Jethro, the priest of Midian, acknowledged that the Lord is greater than all gods, which still left Midian and the elders of Midian worshiping gods other than the Lord as was seen in the affair of Zimri the son of Salu of the Simeonites and Cozbi, the daughter of Zur, who was the tribal head in Midian (Num 25:14–15).
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Harass the Midianites and strike them down, for they have harassed you with their wiles, with which they beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the chief of Midian, their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague on account of Peor." (Num 25:16–18)
Zipporah called Moses a bridegroom of blood immediately before she returned to her father’s house, and Moses met his brother Aaron who was to be his spokesman, but in returning to her father’s house, Zipporah served as a miniscule shadow and type of endtime Christians who will not return to sin before the Second Passover liberation of Israel; for Moses and Aaron are shadows and copies of the endtime two witnesses (Rev 11:3) that stand on either side of the LORD [YHWH] (cf. Rev 11:4, 12; Zech 3:11–14), and Egypt is the representation of sin.
But, some will say, sin was also found in the wilderness and found among the peoples of Moab and of Midian: this is true. But unbelief in the Wilderness of Sin was covered by obedience to God. The unbelief that prevented Israel from entering into the Promised Land while entrance was possible (Num chap 14) did not magically disappear when Israel repented (Num 14:40), but remained in the people of Israel through Korah’s rebellion and on into the land of Moab, where the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian hired Balaam to curse Israel.
The language of faith, of belief of God—like the language of feminism and of female empowerment that have comprised the ascending popularity of female pole dancing, the pole being the ultimate phallic symbol—no longer adequately expresses what circumcision represented when Zipporah took a flint and liberated her son from the disobedience of her father’s house by marking her son as a person enslaved by righteousness … if Zipporah had not taken a flint and circumcised Moses’ firstborn son, Moses’ son would have died before the firstborns of Egypt perished—but once circumcised, Moses was not going to take his son into slavery in Egypt so he sent Zipporah and his sons back to her father and her father’s house.
By Moses sending Zipporah and his sons back to his father-in-law’s house that figuratively lay beyond the reach of Egypt, Moses causes his sons to step around the enslavement of Israel to Pharaoh and to enter Israel after manna has been given, with manna being the representation of the indwelling of Christ Jesus … without being circumcised, Moses’ sons could not have entered the congregation of Israel but would have been as one of the mixed multitude that left Egypt with Israel.
Again, the language of faith does not adequately express the concepts imbedded in circumcision; for Adam in the Garden of Eden would not have been circumcised. However, when Adam realized that he was naked and had attempted to cover himself with fig leaves, the Lord made for Adam and for Eve skin clothing (Gen 3:21), with the animals slain for these garments being the first blood shed in the Garden of God. And these skin garments are represented by the male foreskin that naturally covered the head of the man, with this foreskin being cut away to return the man to being naked as Adam was when he was covered by only his obedience to the Lord. Hence, the covenant that the Lord made with Abraham that had aspiration [the ah radical] added to both Abram’s and Sari’s names required that Abraham walk uprightly and be blameless before God Almighty (Gen 17:1–2): it was this covenant that is ratified by the sign of circumcision (vv. 9–14). It is this covenant that forms the visible expression of the faith that Abraham had that caused him to believe God (Gen 15:6) about having many heirs. And it is into this covenant that Zipporah inserted the firstborn son of Moses when she, not Moses, not a priest of Israel, took a flint and circumcised her son.
Blood must be shed in returning Israel to the nakedness before God that Adam had in the Garden of Eden, this blood being that of the firstborn, the primogeniture.
When salvation is individual through a one-on-one drawing and calling of the person by the Father and the Son, every Christian receives a second breath of life, again the breath of God in the breath of Christ, with receipt of this second breath of life giving indwelling heavenly or eternal life to the inner self of the person called; Jesus said, “‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:1–3 emphasis added)
Elsewhere Jesus said,
The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. (John 10:25–29)
Receipt of a second breath of life prior to when there is a blanketing [immersion or submersion or baptism] of first greater Christendom then all flesh in the divine breath of God comes through individual selection (being foreknown and predestined — from Rom 8:29–30) and calling that results in the inner self of the elected Christian receiving eternal life and being glorified, the linguistic icon representing having life in the timeless heavenly realm, or eternal life. Therefore, the blood of the Primogeniture that is shed so that the inner self of a human person—this inner self not being of flesh and blood—can be circumcised is that of Christ Jesus at Calvary.
Pause for a movement and consider the inadequacy of the language of faith: circumcision requires the shedding of blood on the eighth day of life of the infant male descendant of the patriarch Abraham, with circumcision of the heart required by all who would enter a sanctuary not built by human hands.
When the heart is the euphemistic naming expression for the inner self—and it is—that is elsewhere identified as º RLP¬ [the psuche or the soul], then circumcision of the heart/soul cannot involve a shedding of the person’s blood but must look elsewhere for blood to be shed, with this elsewhere being Calvary, with Christ Jesus being the Primogeniture of God the Father and the eldest brother of many sons of God … in the Exodus account, readers do not see Zipporah circumcising both of Moses’ sons, for it is the life of the first to open the womb that belongs to God (Ex 13:2), not the life of second or third born infants. In circumcising her firstborn, Zipporah covered her other son with blood in a manner analogous to how Christ Jesus covers His younger siblings with His shed blood:
But Jesus called them [James and John] to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matt 20:25–28 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Now as they [the Disciples] were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:26–28 emphasis and double emphasis added)
All Christians who are born of God in this present era are the firstfruits of God: as such, all are firstborn sons of God through the indwelling of Jesus in the heart/soul of the Christian. And as firstborn sons of God, all are covered by the blood of the Primogeniture, the First of the firstborn sons of God. Thus, all can be circumcised of heart—where Christ Jesus dwells in the form of the spirit of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø]—through the shed blood of the Primogeniture, the First of the firstfruits.
But when the blood of Jesus, taken in the form of drinking from the blessed cup on Passover, is poured out for the forgiveness of sin—as the redemption price—for many, Jesus doesn’t redeem all, a distinction that gets lost in the inadequacy of the language of faith:
When a scantily but sexily clad woman speaks of feeling empowered as a woman when she wraps herself around a pole, turns herself upside down and spreads her legs before swirling around the pole, she uses that language of Feminism as it pertains to all woman, the collective, in the feminist struggle to gain equality with men in a patriarchal society. She speaks of sisterhood, and of casting off the shackles of male repression: the pole dancer seeks individual empowerment through using her sexuality to express what is repressed by an Apollonian sky god. However, in doing so, she joins herself to Cozbi, daughter of Zur, a tribal head in Midian, in representing the antithesis of Christian femininity, which neither seeks to empower women collectively [traditional Feminism] or individually but seeks to save the inner self that is a son of God temporarily dwelling in a female fleshly body, a body that cannot be circumcised regardless of what Islam teaches about female genital mutilation.
Again, for many is not for all … Jesus said, “‘For many are called, but few are chosen’” (Matt 22:14), and “‘For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and they will lead many astray. … And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray’” (Matt 24:5, 10–11).
The Christian who is foreknown by God, predestined, called, justified, and glorified through the inner self receiving indwelling eternal life in the form of the breath of God in the breath of Christ will—without exception—cover the inner son of God by taking the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv, the month that begins with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox wherever the person lives. And because most of Christendom intentionally does not take the Passover sacraments on the 14th of Aviv doesn’t mean that this most—the many who do not—are lost but does mean that the many are not today born of God and numbered in the Elect and are not covered by the blood of the Primogeniture, but must be covered by the larger pool but less important blood/lives of firstborns, biological and legal, in heaven and on earth, with these lives being taken at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, and with these lives comparable to the lives of paschal lambs in Egypt in relationship to the life of Moses’ son whom Zipporah covered by circumcising him.
The preceding is convoluted: every Christian will be covered by the blood of a firstborn before the Christian is born of God. The Christian who is born of God prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel will be covered by the blood of Christ Jesus, with this covering renewed annually by drinking from the cup on the night Jesus was taken (1 Cor 11:23–26), with this covering following Paul’s discussion of head coverings.
The Christian who will be covered by blood—not that of his or her own, for it is the inner self that is the Christian—following the Second Passover liberation of Israel will be covered by the blood/lives of uncovered [by not taking the Passover sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed] firstborns, all of whom belong to the Lord.
And the third part of humankind that will be born of spirit when the spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) half way through the seven endtime years of tribulation will be covered by the blood/lives of the those who are randomly slain in the Second Woe, the sixth trumpet plague (Rev 9:13–21).
Again, because the inner self of a human person, the soul, is not physical and cannot bleed when circumcised, the word having a specific meaning, that of cutting away the male foreskin, other blood must be shed in lieu of the blood shed when the foreskin is clipped and the person is figuratively returned to the Garden of Eden. This other blood is the life of a firstborn; for the life of a living creature is in the blood (Gen 9:4). The life of Jesus was in His blood shed at Calvary. The indwelling eternal life of every son of God resides in the life of Jesus that enters the heart/soul of the person to raise the person from death in a resurrection like that of the Son of God, thereby confirming that the inner self is also a firstborn son of God.
Under the New Covenant, the Law of God will be written on hearts and placed in minds so that all Know the Lord: “‘And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more’” (Jer 31:34). And when all know the Lord, there is no justification for Christian ministry; hence, the one who then purports to be a teacher of Israel will be trying to cause the Christian to transgress what the Christian knows in his heart is right.
But as the language of Feminism was never intended to address pole dancing and female empowerment via overt sexuality—a return to the Dionysiac bower—the language of 1st-Century Christianity was never intended to address a bloodless and theologically lifeless culture that separates faith [B\FJ,TH] from belief [B\FJ,TH — Strong’s #G4100/4102] as if they were not the same word, the same concept.
The Sabbath Readings of Philadelphia come from the modern equivalent to 1st-Century Pharisees sitting in Moses’ seat to give to Israel the Law of God, and the words of the Lord. They do not come as dictatorial mandates—for even Paul when disputing with Galatians did not have the authority to demand that these holy ones knock off the nonsense of circumcising themselves when they were covered by the blood of Christ Jesus, but rather, Paul wrote one of the finest Aristotelian arguments from the 1st-Century in trying to convince the Galatians to cease mutilating themselves. Hence, no one of Philadelphia claims to be more than a brother to any other holy one, with every saint’s Eldest Brother being Christ Jesus.
Zipporah did what was necessary to save her son—and those who are of Philadelphia do what is necessary to save their brothers in Christ, realizing though that some simply do not want to be saved and will not repent even when filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God. They will use the language of empowerment as female pole dancers use the language, and they will be to endtime Israel as Cozbi the daughter of Zur was Israel when camped in Shittim.
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."
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