The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary are offered as openings into dialogue about the subject or concept. And the concept behind the readings for this Sabbath is the antiChrist.
For the weekly Sabbath of January 7, 2006
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.
The person conducting the services should read or assign to be read 1 John chapters 1 through 5, and 2 John, all.
Commentary: Denying that Jesus is the Christ, denying that Jesus
came as a man, denying that Jesus was flesh and blood—all make a person an
antiChrist, a person who is both against Christ and
comes after Christ, and comes to doubt and spread doubts. “Anti,” a Latinate
prefix, means to follow as “ante” means to precede.
But the prefix has come to equally mean to be against, and it being against
that is the essence of antiChrist. For the person who doubts the humanity of
Jesus, doubts that Jesus really was the Logos
born as a man, doubts Jesus died when crucified at
In his first
epistle, John equates believing Jesus with keeping the commandments. The person
who doesn’t believe the words of Jesus neither knows Jesus, nor has perfected
love towards Jesus. If a person doesn’t keep the commandments, the person
doesn’t walk in the same way Jesus walked (1 John 1:6). And all human excuses
aside—none are worth anything—the person who has Jesus within him or herself as
the Bread that came down from heaven, the reality of the jar of manna inside
the ark of the covenant, will make every effort to keep the commandments
because the person loves the Lord. The person who loves only with lips will
utter many endearing words toward the Lord, but will deny Jesus by the person
judging the commandments, deciding which ones the person might keep and which
ones the person will not keep. This person is an antiChrist; for inevitably,
this person will spread his or her unbelief to others, teaching others to relax
one [or more] of the least of the commandments (Matt ). In reality, the person worships another Jesus other
than the one crucified at
Harsh words? Even fighting words? Historical exegesis has Jesus in the heart of the earth for one day and two nights, not three days and nights as Jonah was in the belly of the fish. Historical exegesis has Jesus crucified on Friday and resurrected Sunday morning. But the disciples who practice historical exegesis also has Jesus entering Jerusalem the previous Sunday [Palm Sunday], thereby revealing that these disciples can neither read, nor count…no conciliatory words here. For it does disciples no good to assure them that they are saved when they have not eaten the body of the Lord and drank His blood on the night He was betrayed, the night of the 14th of the first month. Bread and wine (or the fruit of the vine) are only the body and blood of the Lamb of God on one night of the year, again the night Jesus was betrayed. On every other night, they are the fruit of the ground; they are Cain’s offering, and they are not and will not be accepted by God even though the disciple will be accepted if he or she does well (Gen 4:7).
most of Christianity denies Jesus, and makes itself into many antiChrists, for the greater Christian Church has left the
faith Jesus delivered to His disciples. The
Modern descendants of 16th-Century Swiss Protesters have rejected any pretense of keeping the commandments of God, or of living as spiritual Judeans, how the Apostle Peter taught Gentile converts to live (Gal 2:14 — read the verse in Greek). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), which comes when a person denies Christ through not keeping His laws or commandments.
The reader should now read Romans chapter 5, verse 12, though chapter 7, verse 25.
Commentary: Paul writes that the law is holy, and the commandment
is holy and righteous and good (Rom ),
but until the law came to
Physical circumcision causes a male to appear naked before God, who sees what is underneath the outer garments that robe the person. The circumcised male’s only “covering” is his obedience to the laws of God; his only covering is the obedience that comes from faith. And when Moses was the mediator of this second covenant, a covenant made in addition of the covenant made at Sinai (Deu 29:1), a circumcised heart and mind [a euphemistic expression for receiving the Holy Spirit] were given only after demonstrated obedience. An Israelite male was born under the law, circumcised on the eighth day, and physically matured as the firstborn son of God (Exod ), holy to God (Exod 19:5-6). But this male grew to physical maturity in a household that either was observant and obedient, or in a household that practiced lawlessness, worshiping sticks and stones and the works of hands. With few exceptions, the Israelite who matured in a household that practiced lawlessness also practiced lawlessness. Likewise, the spiritual Israelite who grows to spiritual maturity in a household [Church] that practices lawlessness will also practice lawlessness.
circumcision of the heart and mind were offered to the children of the nation
It is as spiritually dishonest to teach that because disciples (spiritual Israelites) are no longer under commandments written on stone tablets that they do not have to keep these commandments that are now written on their hearts and minds as it was in the 1st-Century to teach that disciples had to be physically circumcised. Such teachings are the two sides of the same error. Flip this coin. Heads or tails? Both sides are grievous errors that will send disciples into the lake of fire. For the infant spiritual Israelite who matures in a lawless household will be mostly lawless and deny Christ to the same extent as those of the circumcision faction denied Christ through teaching that a Gentile had to first become a physical Israelite before he could become a spiritual Israelite. In both cases, disciples become antiChrists of the type about which John said, “[M]any antichrists have come” (1 John ).
Again, an antiChrist is someone who denies the words of Jesus either through unbelief, or by teaching contrary dogma. Only John uses the phrase—and he uses it to describe those who would not admit that Jesus came in the flesh.
Today, few skeptics or scholars doubt that Jesus came as a flesh and blood human being. Doubts are about whether He was ever anything more than a man who, through His intellect and humanity, taught a differing and at times original philosophy of social interaction. These doubters obviously deny Christ, and are, by extension, antiChrists. But a more troublesome category of doubters exists: ones who profess adoration for Jesus, but will not fully hear His words or truly believe the One who sent Him. These doubters subtly deny Christ by not walking as He walked, by not living as spiritual Judeans. They live as Greeks, proudly proclaim themselves to be Gentiles, and demand that God accepts them as they are. They are without spiritual understanding.
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."