The Philadelphia Church

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:19)"

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 beginning of typology basics.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of February 4, 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 Genesis chapter 2, verse 4, followed by Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, followed by Exodus chapter 31, verse 17.

Commentary: The basics of typology are incorporated in the creation account, and are easily overlooked: the generations of the heavens and earth begin the day [singular] that God made the earth and the heavens. In Genesis 2:4, the heavens and earth were created on a single day. In Genesis 1:1, the heavens and the earth are created, but the creation was not complete for the first day had just begun. In Exodus 31:17, Moses says that the Lord made heavens and earth in six days—yet the heavens and earth are in place at the very beginning of the dark portion of the first day.

The reader should now read Genesis chapter 2, verses 5 though 7, and Genesis chapter 1, verses 9 through 13.

Commentary: When God formed Adam, there were no bushes in the field, nor small plants, let alone mature trees bearing fruit. Yet according to the creation account in Genesis chapter 1, vegetation was created on the third day.

What initially appears as an anomaly or a contradiction—a contradiction that has given rise to scholarly criticism about two separate Creation accounts, one by “J,” one by “P,” being merged into one text—lies at the heart of typology. If God creates the heavens and the earth on one day, and if that day is in the beginning (Gen 1:1), and is also the beginning of generations (Gen 2:4), then the focus of the Hebraic creation account that is a poetic masterpiece becomes the spiritual creation of humankind in the image and after the likeness of Elohim [plural] (Gen 1:26). And the weekly Sabbath (from Exod 31:14-16) becomes a sign forever between YHWH and the people of Israel of a seven day creation, with work being done on six days and resting on the seventh (Exod 31:17). The Sabbath isn’t a sign for cows or crocodiles, bats or ants. Nor is it a sign for those who are not of Israel, a single nation promised to Abram/Abraham (Gen 12:2) that has overcome with God (Gen 35:10), a single nation that transmutes from a physically circumcised nation to a spiritually circumcised nation.

The focus of poetry has traditionally been “words” themselves rather than what is being described. Poetic language always conveys a dual message, the first being that which could be told in any form of mimetic language (i.e., language that seeks to imitate phenomena), the second being the created artifice of the word selection (i.e., the poem itself). The Genesis creation account is, in Hebrew, very structured in number of syllables used, and letter positioning. It is a tightly crafted artifice. And it contains, when shallowly read, what appears to be a scientific fault, for the greater and lesser light that rules the day and the night are not created until the fourth day (Gen 1:14-19), are not created until after vegetation appears on the third day. Yes, it is possible that vegetation could have used the leftover light [energy] from a sudden creation to bring forth seed and fruit, but such apologies are of human reasoning attempting to give validity to faith in a six day creation. Likewise, the insertion of a long period of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 [the gap theory] during which evolution or other scientific explanations of the observable world can be married to faith in a six day creation are also unnecessary apologies. For the creation account is the abstract for the spiritual creation of sons of God—and its form as tightly crafted poetry should have, long ago, been the giveaway that the account was not a mimetic rendition of one six day creation.

Today, there is nothing that can be written or spoken that will convince a person who has not been born-from-above that the Hebraic creation account is anything more than myth, and myth produced after the Babylonian creation account became known to Israel. There is nothing that will convey to the person who has not been born-from-above the mental change that occurs from having the Holy Spirit. A person who has not been born-from-above can know Scripture, but cannot perceive what is not of this world…if the mental change produced from being born of Spirit is well articulated, the person who has not yet been born-from-above might grasp enough of the mindscape to appreciate it. But that is the best that will happen. And what has occurred in academia is that many individuals became degreed scholars without being born of Spirit—and these scholars, with the credentials of this world, have taught biblical fundamentals to generations of spiritual infants, thereby destroying the faith of many. So an intellectual gulf has developed between the less rigorous scholarship of Bible colleges [i.e., dispensationalism and historical exegesis] and the citadels of academia. The first has faith, but little knowledge. The second lacks faith and often lacks knowledge, but better understands how language works, and has reservoirs of archeological research.

To align the two creation accounts, the first physical, the second spiritual, the first creation contained in Genesis 1:1 and in Genesis 2:4, the second covered in Genesis 1:2 through Genesis 2:3, the first and last Adams serve as pattern notches/dots [in sewing] or witness marks [when barreling guns] or timing marks [in engine mechanics].

The reader should now reread Genesis chapter 2, verse 7, and should read Matthew chapter 3, verses 13 through 17, followed by John chapter 1, verses 1 through 34.

Commentary: The witness mark—a single chisel cut made across machined parts when these parts are properly fitted together (this mark made so that the machined parts can be disassembled, then properly reassembled)—that aligns both creations is the receipt of breath. The receipt of the physical breath of life for the first Adam, and receipt of the Holy Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] of the Father for the last Adam sit one atop the other. The witness mark aligns Genesis 2:7 with Matthew 3:16 with John 1:32. Now when read, a disciple can better understand why the Gospel of John starts as it does: the passage from John 1, verse 1 through verse 34 aligns the spiritual creation with that portion of the physical creation described in Genesis 2, verse 4 through verse 7.

That which is flesh will die and return to being dust [elemental elements] of the ground, while that which is spirit will return to the heavenly realm…one prominent religious leader of the 19th-Century [Joseph Smith] took this principle to mean that human beings have little angels inside them. Plato, lacking spiritual understanding, believed human beings have immortal souls. Most of Christianity believes what one or the other believed. Yet neither understood spiritual birth. Neither understood what Jesus told Nicodemus—and Jesus asked how Nicodemus could be a teacher of Israel and not understand an earthly example of heavenly things (John 3:1-15).

Spiritual birth occurs when a person receives the Holy Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] of the Father, just as “birth” for the first Adam occurred when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the nostrils of the corpse He had formed from red mud. The model for spiritual birth is that of Jesus of Nazareth, who was first made—so that all righteousness could be fulfilled—a spiritual corpse as a living, breathing human being before He became a quickening or life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45).

Contrary to what was taught for more than a generation in the splintered churches of God, spiritual birth doesn’t occur at glorification. Receipt of an imperishable body—what glorification is—doesn’t denote spiritual birth. Rather, with glorification, the son of God will receive an imperishable body like the body of the glorified Christ Jesus. The maturing of the son of God from infant to adulthood occurs while confined in a fleshly body. So disciples will not be glorified as spiritual babies, but as younger, adult brothers of Jesus (Rom 8:29), like Him in every way. For “change” and especially the type of change that comes with maturation is confined to time, and is not possible in the timeless heavenly realm, where what is must co-exist with what was and what will be.

·  Elohim [singular in usage] took red mud and made a physical corpse—

·  The Logos, who was with Theon and was Theos, came as His Son, His only, to be born of a woman, thereby becoming a spiritual corpse—

·  The first Adam was made of red mud, or of red dust and water, was made into a lifeless human corpse to which the breath of life was added, thereby transforming this red dust into a breathing creature, a naphesh

·  The last Adam was spirit made into a breathing human being, who then received the Holy Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] of the Father, thereby transforming the man Jesus into a life-giving spirit—

·  The first Adam as a physical corpse was like the red mud from which he was formed, in that he was lifeless—

·  The last Adam as a spiritual corpse was like God, in that He was without sin; there was no lawlessness or death (the wages of sin is death — Rom 6:23) in the man Jesus—

·  Therefore, the interface between God and the elemental elements that the Logos [Theos] created (John 1:3) is breathing human beings. To the living flesh must be added life received from God the Father [Theon] through receipt of the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion].

A human being is not born from above, or born of Spirit when glorified, but when drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65). Thus, when this [now] infant son of God is baptized, this [now] disciple of Christ Jesus becomes part of the spiritual nation or household of God. So in the spiritual creation, baptism presently equates to physical circumcision of a Hebrew male. Baptism is the inclusionary rite that makes a disciple part of the household of God, and brings the disciple under judgment (1 Pet 4:17).

·  Again, baptism is for Christians what physical circumcision was for the natural nation of Israel.

The reader should now reread John chapter 1, verse 4 through verse 9, followed by John chapter 12, verses 35 &36, plus 46.

Commentary: The world was in darkness until Jesus came as “the light of men” (John 1:4), not as the light of the physical creation but of the spiritual creation…the spiritual creation has humankind as its elemental element[s].

Returning now to the Genesis creation account and to verse 2, the earth being “without form and void” can be read as being in a lawless state, with “darkness over the face of the deep” addressing being lifeless. Darkness and death are spiritual synonyms. And in this darkness, the Spirit or Breath of God “hovered over the face of the waters”—the Breath of God today hovers over the face of humanity. There is no textual suggestion that the Spirit of God ceases to hover over humanity until at least the fourth day.

Therefore, in verse 3 of the Genesis creation account, when God said, Let there be light, the light of humankind that comes is the man Jesus of Nazareth. So the first day of the spiritual creation ends when the light of men is crucified at Calvary. Day one ends when Jesus returns to His Father and our Father, His God and our God (John 20:17).

Following Jesus’ Ascension and return, He breathes on ten of His disciples, and says, Receive the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion] (John 20:22), and with the receipt of the Holy Breath of God, humanity is divided between those who are born of Spirit, or born-from-above, and those who await such birth. And with the separation of the waters, the second day ends (Gen 1:6-8). With the division of humanity—salvation was now not dependent upon being a circumcised Israelite, but being born-from-above, so disciples were of all peoples—the second spiritual day also ends.

The reader should now read Genesis chapter 2, verses 8 & 9.

Commentary: After the first Adam is created—not on the attributed sixth day of the Genesis creation account, when plants and animals already existed, but in the first verse which covers an indeterminable period that might well be six literal days—Elohim [singular in usage] plants a garden, places the first Adam in this garden, and makes vegetation spring forth. No animals are yet created. And here the sheer size of the physical creation versus the spiritual creation causes the two accounts to diverge. But this is the subject for next Sabbath’s reading.

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."