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 no, we can’t all get along.
For the Sabbath of October 25, 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.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1–5 emphasis added)
In the nineteen plus centuries since John the Elder wrote his first epistle, the world has changed. Christianity has changed. Not only Christianity, but for the largest sect of greater Christendom, the Commandments have changed. And the fastest growing sect of Christendom—not yet the largest, but certainly soon to be the most powerful—the Sabbath is the day after the Sabbath, a changing of “times and the Law” (Dan 7:25) even before the seven endtime years of tribulation begin.
A few years ago, after his videotaped beating and during the Los Angeles riots of 1992, triggered by the acquittal of the officers that beat him, the late Rodney King asked, “Can’t we all get along?”
King’s question has been in the public consciousness ever since … can’t we all get along, especially Christians that pretend they worship the same God? And the answer is that pretend only carries a person so far: a triune deity is not one [numerically singular in usage] god, but three gods that allegedly function as one god. And God is not three deities masquerading as one entity.
Although the glorified Christ Jesus is worthy of worship, with no name in heaven or on earth being greater than His, He is not the God whom Christians are to worship; He is not the Father of sons of God. Rather, He is the life-giving spirit [pneuma] that through His indwelling (in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou]) in the spirit of the man/person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] causes the Christian to be born of spirit and thereby inwardly glorified (Rom 8:29–30), passing from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24). In this, Christ Jesus is the High Priest of the born-again Christians, thereby giving life to those whom the Father foreknows and predestines. As such, He functions for God the Father in a role foreshadowed by Eve: He is both the last Adam and the last Eve, for in His spirit [again, pneuma Christou] is the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], with His spirit being the same but separate (as your breath is the same as my breath, both coming from Adam through Eve, but also separate from my breath) from the breath/spirit of the Father that entered into Him (Mark 1:10) when He was raised from baptism, representing real death.
Can’t we all get along?
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1–3)
The world has changed; Christianity has changed. Even the Adversary has changed his messaging. James wrote, in the context of keeping the Commandments, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder” (Jas 2:10). But the vast majority of greater Christendom doesn’t believe that God is one. Rather they believe that God is three; or they believe Christ Jesus isn’t the equal of God but is, rather, a created entity raised to the stature of deity following His death at Calvary. They certainly don’t believe that the Creator of all things physical was the deity that entered His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus of Nazareth. They don’t believe that the God of Abraham is the God [Theos] of living ones, not the God of dead ones (Matt 22:32). They don’t believe that God the Father raises all from death (John 5:21) and is therefore the God of dead ones. They don’t believe that the Adversary is and remains the prince of this world, the god that the world collectively worships.
We cannot all get along. We are to test spirits to see if they are from God; for indeed, many are the false prophets, the false ministers, the servants of the Adversary who pose as ministers of righteousness, professing that Jesus came in the flesh, but refusing to keep the Commandments, being law-breakers [sinners] by ignoring the Sabbath. For it is in breaking the Sabbath Commandment where Christians can remain bondservants of the Adversary through deceiving themselves, believing either that they keep the Commandments or that, being under grace, they are not obliged to keep the Commandments. About such individuals, the Apostle Paul wrote,
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 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. (Rom 2:6–13 emphasis added)
The Christian who sincerely believes that he or she is not under the Law, but under grace [the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness] will be not be judged by the Law but will nevertheless perish if he or she breaks the Law; for “sin” is for Paul unbelief, the negation of faith/belief [pisteos] (Rom 14:23). Thus, the Christian who doesn’t believe God as demonstrated in deed by the Christian not keeping the Commandments is without faith.
Can’t we all get along?
No, we cannot all get along; for faith has no fellowship with unbelief. Belief of God has no fellowship with unbelief. Righteousness has no fellowship with unrighteousness. And a Sabbatarian Christian has little if any fellowship with an 8th-day Christian—and certainly, a Sabbatarian has little fellowship with a Trinitarian believer … a Sabbatarian Christian has no more spiritual fellowship with an 8th-day Christian than he or she has with a Muslim, or for that matter, with a rabbinical Jew; for neither the 8th-day Christian, the Muslim, nor the rabbinical Jew worships the same God as the Sabbatarian Anabaptist, born of God as a son through the indwelling of the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ Jesus.
Here a distinction needs to be made between secular fellowship, even to that of sharing a marriage bed, and spiritual fellowship where two or more sons of God share the mind of Christ through the indwelling of Christ … a Sabbatarian Christian ought to be able to physically work with a Jew or a 8th-day Christian or a Muslim—
Sabbatarian Christians generally find it hardest to work with other Sabbatarians, especially ones that do not believe that a Christian can be genuinely born of God as a son while the Christian continues to dwell in a perishable fleshly body that cannot enter heaven, nor will ever put on imperishability (see 1 Cor 15:50, especially the second clause of Paul’s statement). It is the soul [psuche] of a person once raised from death through receipt of the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou]—the indwelling of Christ Jesus—in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] that is in the soul of the person that will put on an imperishable house/garment upon Christ Jesus’ return [the Second Advent] … when the dead soul of a person is raised from death in a resurrection like that of Christ Jesus, the now-living soul puts on immortality [receives indwelling eternal life in the form of the indwelling of Christ] while, in this present era, continuing to dwell in a perishable fleshly body.
No human person is humanly born with an immortal soul. The concept of a human person being born with an immortal soul is Satan’s lie, analogous to the serpent telling Eve, You will not surely die (Gen 3:4) … what is physical is not spiritual, but precedes what is spiritual; hence, physical birth precedes spiritual birth and reveals the mystery of spiritual birth. But physical birth is NOT spiritual birth; for physical human persons are best thought of as spiritual ova, unfertilized eggs in the womb of spiritual Eve, each person having the potential to become a son of God when fertilized by the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] but with not every person being today fertilized.
Metaphors and analogies—symbols—break down at a certain point; for one thing isn’t another thing. A person called a cow (described as a cow) isn’t a cow, but has certain “cow-like” attributes. Once the auditor moves past these cow-like attributes, the person is nothing like a cow. The metaphor doesn’t work beyond the person’s cow-like attributes, perhaps chewing gum as a cow chews its cud, or walking stiff-legged with a lumbering gait. And so it is with human physical birth forming a shadow and type of spiritual birth, with the relationship between Elohim [singular in usage] and the creation of Adam and Eve forming the shadow and copy of God the Father (in the role of Elohim) and Christ Jesus as the last Adam, followed by the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of the glorified Christ Jesus as a life-giving spirit [pneuma], the last Eve.
Adam and Eve were one flesh (Gen 2:24), with the breath of life Adam received from Elohim (v. 7) that was in his flesh becoming the breath of life of Eve through Elohim not breathing into the nostrils of Eve but taking from the side of Adam a rib (v. 21). Likewise, God the Father—the God of dead ones—raised the spiritually dead man Jesus the Nazarene to spiritual life when His breath, His spirit [pneuma Theou], in the bodily form of a dove descended on the man Jesus and entered into [eis] Him (Mark 1:10) when John the Baptist raised Jesus from the waters of the Jordan, with the River Jordan forming the symbolic boundary between heaven [symbolized by the Promised Land, the Sabbath, and the Millennium] and earth [symbolized by Moab, the plains of Moab, and the Moab Covenant with Moses as its mediator].
Muslims and 8th-day Christian ideologically dwell on the east side of the River Jordan. And rabbinical Jews, until they follow Joshua [in Greek, ’Iesou — Jesus] into the Promised Land are as the children of Israel were when camped at Shittim. Neither Jew, Muslim, nor 8th-day Christian have entered into God’s rest. All spiritually linger in Moab encampments, near to entering heaven, but far from actually entering for all refuse to do the two things needed: profess with the mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe God; believe that God raised Jesus from death, believe that God sent His Beloved into the world His Beloved had created, believe that the Commandments came from Him through His Beloved.
Long ago, the monotheism of Judaism became an idol that prevented Israel from receiving indwelling spiritual life. This same idol of monotheism prevents Islam from having indwelling spiritual life in this present era. And transforming the breath of God into the third entity of a triune deity —giving personhood to the breath of God—discloses Trinitarian Christendom’s utter lack of spiritual understanding.
Can’t we all get along?
How does a Sabbatarian Anabaptist, born of spirit as a son of God, get along with other Sabbatarian Christians that deny spiritual birth (and rightly so for these deniers are not born of spirit)? How does a Sabbatarian Anabaptist get along with other Anabaptists that ignore the Sabbath and do not attempt to be holy as the Creator of all things physical is holy—Anabaptists that attempt to be holy through dress and other outward customs? How does a Sabbatarian Anabaptist get along with rabbinical Jews continuing in the traditions of ancestors that were prevented from being born of spirit because of Israel’s rebellion at Sinai in the gold calf incident?
Knowing that the Sabbatarian Christian has been born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ Jesus—this Sabbatarian changing in unanticipated ways, thereby becoming a different person than before spiritual birth—only comes through actual spiritual birth. There are no words to adequately express the movement from aggression or passive aggression (the nature of the Adversary, the present prince of the power of the air) to self-contentment, regardless of circumstances. When such a change comes upon the person, the person understands that something has happened to the person even if the person doesn’t fully understand the dynamics of what has happened. The infant son of God quits mentally killing others; quits mentally trying to out-achieve others; loses his or her competitive nature. Inwardly, the person competes with no one. Even the Adversary cannot harm the son of God as long as spiritual growth continues. Worldly politics no longer matters to the person. The disinformation told by politicians and corporate leaders is accepted as what it is, lies told by liars, agents of the Adversary. And the son of God hears the words of this world, watches sporting events, watches world events, watches without engaging-in national and regional politics, all the while marking time until dominion is taken the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man.
The son of God becomes a watcher, only participating in events when directly threatened—and then not participating as others do; for the son of God has power and authority coming directly from God. And as the son spiritual matures, this son becomes able to use the spirit of God as a force for good, not to change the world or to attach attention to the son but as a witness for Christ Jesus …
What sort of Christian becomes a witness for the Adversary and his present reign over the mental landscape of all living creatures? The sort of Christian that is indistinguishable from the world. If the Christian lives as spiritual Gentiles do; if the Christian observes the holidays of this world; if the Christian eats as Gentiles do; if the Christian denies Christ by not striving to keep the Commandments—the Christian is really a Gentile, a spiritual dog, trained to bark on command by the appetites of his or her belly and loins. This Christian is the Adversary’s dog.
Can’t we all get along?
A Sabbatarian Christian can only get along with this world by selling out to the Adversary. But the Sabbatarian can live in this world without trying to change it by living as Abraham did, a sojourner in the land of his inheritance, dwelling in tents, not in palaces or cities, owning no more of this world than it takes to bury the dead—for this world belongs to the dead. Permit them to rest in peace. For until the Second Passover liberation of Israel when God finally sets His hand to save more than those whom He foreknew and predestined to be glorified out of season—the oil and the wine of Revelation 6:6 (also the fruit the man Jesus sought from the fig tree when it wasn’t the season for fruit)—the remainder of Christendom, of humanity strives with itself to improve the Adversary’s world through making war with itself. So again, no we cannot all get along. But we can all coexist if permitted to do so; for the Sabbatarian Christian doesn’t attempt to change this world via a shoehorn or by Executive Order. The son of God doesn’t attempt to force compliance with God onto the Adversary, but rather, bides his or her time, growing in grace and knowledge until God sets His hand to save.
"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."