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 testing the spirit.
For the Sabbath of February 21, 2009
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 number of people who claim to be called by God to be His voice are, according to one e-mail response, too many to count—and this is probably true. In Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, He said that many would come in His name and lead many astray, that many false prophets would arise (Matt 24:4, 11). So the given (the agreed-to beforehand situation) is that many false prophets and false teachers will come in Jesus’ name, proclaiming the He, Jesus, is the Christ and deceiving many … exactly how would someone come in Jesus’ name and deceive many? How would someone say that Jesus is the Christ and cause people not to worship the Father? How would many such people convince many others to believe a lie? And how can anyone know whether he or she believes a lie, or worse, teaches a lie?
On the plains of Moab, Moses told the mixed circumcised and uncircumcised children of Israel,
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, “Let us go after other gods,” which you have not known, “and let us serve them,” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord [YHWH] your God [Elohim] is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Deut 13:1–5)
John quotes Jesus saying, “‘If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words’” (John 5:46–47) … indeed, if an Israelite will not believe Moses’ writings, how will this Israelite believe Jesus’ words, which are the Father’s words (Jesus only spoke the Father’s words) and are the same words that the Logos [O Logos] delivered to Moses?
Words are utterances, or modulated breath that passed by the vocal cords and was shaped (sculpted) into resonant sound by the position of the tongue, teeth, and lips — words are human “breath” altered to do work. With words, knowledge is carried person to person as dirt is carried in a wheelbarrow from location to location. With words, commands are given that cause one person to stop and another to go. And in the story of the Tower of Babel, God separated meaning from utterance so that one person could not understand another: the brick used to build the tower did not change; linguistic objects did not change. The brick was still a brick. But what the brick was called changed; uttered linguistic icons changed so that the same words (utterances) were no longer used for common linguistic objects [the “things” that the words named]. Only within near kin were “bricks” still called bricks. To other families, a different utterance now was employed to represent bricks. Thus, the world was divided through the confusion of language or the shuffling of utterances for common objects.
Yes, God separated linguistic objects [word meaning] from linguistic icons [the sound of the utterance or the shape of the inscribed symbols used to represent the utterance]. YHWH said, “‘Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech’” (Gen 11:7 emphasis added). YHWH, when speaking within the relationship represented by Tetragrammaton, speaks one to the other as a man speaks to his wife; hence, when Elohim [the regular plural of Eloah] said, “‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’” (Gen 1:26 emphasis added), and then created humankind male and female (v. 27), Elohim did indeed create man in their image, with the woman joined to the man in marriage making one flesh (Gen 2:24) as YHWH is one God.
With God, “One” does not mean one except when “one” is used to represent absolute unity as a man is united with a woman … Moses permitted divorce or the separation of “one flesh” because of the hardness of Israelite hearts—and the hardness of Israelite hearts remains cause for separation of the Woman from the Man, or the Church from Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul said that saints are individually and collectively the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), making Paul, then, as an individual saint a macquette [scale model] of the Body of Christ and a representative of the collective Church as a “word” represents the object that it names. Paul, rather than Jesus, now, functions as the fractal image of the Church … whereas Paul instructed the saints at Corinth to be “imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1), and instructed the saints at Philippi to “join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil 3:17); and whereas John wrote, “Whoever says ‘I know him [Jesus]’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar … whoever says he [Jesus] abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he [Jesus] walked” (1 John 2:4, 6), the fractal image of Christ is the man Jesus of Nazareth, but the fractal image of the Church is Paul, who said about himself,
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (Rom 7:7–12)
Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (vv. 13–20 emphasis added)
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (vv. 21–25)
Paul did, in his body, the very things he hated and did not do the things that his mind desired—and Paul is the fractal image of the Church, in that the Church does the very things that Christ Jesus hates as the law of God in Paul’s inner being (mind) serves as the representation of the representation of the Head of Christ and Paul’s fleshly members serve as the representation of the Body of Christ. So what Paul writes about doing the very things that he hates, Paul discloses that the Church does the very things that Christ Jesus hates. Therefore, it is Paul’s proclamation and question, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death,” that is addressed in prophecy; for prophecy reveals who will deliver, and how the Body of Christ will be delivered from indwelling sin and death.
Jesus said many would come in His name and deceive many (Matt 24:5)—the antonym of “many” is “few,” and Jesus also said, “‘For many are called, but few are chosen’” (Matt 22:14). Thus, the following holds:
1. Many disciples are called by the Father and the Son;
2. Many teachers of Israel come in the name of Jesus, saying that He is the Christ;
3. Many teachers of Israel deceive many disciples;
4. Few are the teachers of Israel who come in Jesus’ name that do not deceive Israel;
5. Few disciples are not deceived;
6. Few disciples will be chosen;
7. When cast from heaven, the old dragon, Satan the devil, comes after a remnant of the offspring of the Woman [i.e., Israel]; he comes after disciples who keep the commandments and hold the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy (cf. Rev 12:17; 19:10).
Satan has been able, through his servants disguised as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14–15), to deceive the many; thus, when cast from heaven he comes after those disciples whom he has not killed or been able to deceive. He doesn’t come after the many; he already has control of them, with this control coming from the disciples taking sin back inside themselves when no sacrifice remains for sin or lawlessness. Rather, he comes after disciples who keep the commandments, which a genuine prophet or dreamer of dreams, according to Moses, would teach Israel to do. Therefore, the foremost thing or teaching that identifies a false prophet or false teacher is lawlessness.
The Apostle John wrote,
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:4–10 emphasis added)
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil. Sin is the transgression of the law. Therefore, whoever practices lawlessness such as transgressing the Sabbath commandment is of the devil … a person can conceal anger, hate, lust, a desire to steal, but a person cannot conceal Sabbath observance or the absence of Sabbath observance. Neighbors know whether a person pursues the things of God or the things of man on the Sabbath; likewise the Father and the Son know whether a disciple enters into their presence on the Sabbath. Failure to appear cannot be concealed even by a crowd. So while Sabbath observance might be deemed the least of the commandments, it is the commandment that makes the initial separation between who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil. Loving one’s brother becomes the second separator that divides those who keep the Sabbath into sheep and goats.
John also wrote to disciples,
Beloved, do not believe every spirit [pneumati — breath], but test the spirits [pneumatos] to see whether they are from God, for -many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit [pneuma — breath] of [the] God: every spirit [pneuma — breath] that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from [the] God, and every spirit [pneuma — breath] that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit [to pneuma — the definite article is used as a pronoun] of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1–3)
Can you visually see a problem? The case and number endings for “pneuma—” in the first sentence may cause some confusion as might the capital “S” in the second sentence: the translators engaged the original text through the bias that the divine breath of God has personhood, which is a nonsensical theological dogma widely held within silver Christendom, the Christianity that comes from the spiritual kings of Persia. And it is silver Christendom that the world recognizes as “Christianity”; it is silver Christendom that attempts to enter into God’s rest every Sunday.
· The Greek linguistic icon [word] (pneuma) represents moving air or a moving invisible force that is like air in its usual assignment of meaning; hence, the icon is used for both wind and deep breath, or blown breath.
· The most direct translation of (pneuma) into Latin is spīritus, which has the usual assignment of meaning of “breath” or “breath of a god.”
· The English word spirit comes from the Latin spīritus.
· The English word “breath” comes from the Middle English word “breth,” which has Germanic origins and refers to a vapor as in warm air from the lungs condensing as a vapor on a cold morning, or the vapor that rises from a simmering pot.
· Thus, spirit in English is not used for human “breath,” but for the “breath of a god,” the primary alternative Latin usage.
· However, spirit has been used so sloppily in English that it no longer represents the “breath of a god,” but the “god.”
· Hence the Holy Spirit — pneuma hagion — has become a “god,” the third personage of a triune deity that doesn’t exist in Scripture.
· In Scripture, “God” [Theos] is the name of the “house” of the Father and the Son, as “Chanel” is the name of the fashion house begun by Coco Chanel. And this house today has two members, the Father and the Son.
The Apostle Paul separates the breath—pneuma of Christ Jesus from the breath—pneuma of the One who raise Jesus from the dead when he writes, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ [pneuma Christos] does not belong to him. … If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus [Iesous] from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom 8:9, 11).
Two breaths, with the Greek icon pneuma used metaphorically, for the Father and the Son are not of this world and do not breathe air as a human being does. Rather, the breath of God, either that of the Father or the Son, functions as human breath does. And as human breath sustains human life, the breath of God sustains life in the house of God—and as Paul’s breath was like Peter’s breath, but was not Peter’s breath, the breath of the Son is like the breath of the Father but is not the breath of the Father. Yet both the breath of the Father and the breath of the Son are holy breaths, or in the lingo of Trinitarian translators, the Holy Spirit. Therefore, to assign personhood to the breath of God is as nonsensical as assigning personhood to human breath.
A person does “work” with his or her breath, and the Father and the Son do work with their breaths, with the Logos having spoken all that has been made into existence (John 1:3 et al), and Father giving “life” to the dead (raising the dead). The Logos entered His creation as His only Son, the man Jesus of Nazareth, to become the firstborn Son of the Father when the divine breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] descended upon Jesus as a dove. And the glorified Jesus will do work with His breath when He causes mortal flesh to put on immortality … in an unexpected example of wordplay, as a Whitehouse press secretary uses his (or her) breath to spin words or a story to produce a differing reality, the Logos spun His breath into points of potential having rotational torque formed into quarks, gluons and electrons, energy particles of zero-radius. The Logos spun one reality into a differing reality: that which seems “solid” isn’t anything but spinning points of energy.
A teacher of Israel “teaches” through his or her voice delivered either orally or through inscription; thus, a human teacher of Israel is a spirit, or a breath, either false or genuine. What John wrote can be accurately translated as instruction to not believe every breath or voice, but to test every breath or voice to see if the breath or voice is of God for many false prophets have gone out into the world … if John were using pneuma to represent demonic angels, what he writes about false prophets going out into the world doesn’t make sense. But if John uses pneuma to represent preachers or teachers or anyone who speaks, using his or her voice to convey knowledge, then what John writes about false prophets makes very good sense, for it isn’t the angel “that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” that is from God but the preacher or teacher. And it isn’t the angel that doesn’t confess that is not from God, but the false teacher or preacher or prophet.
John’s warning is that the antichrist was coming and was already in the world …
The person conducting the services should again read or assign to be read 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.
Commentary: It has been said that in the modern nation-state of Israel, more Israelis are on the beach on Sabbath than are in synagogues. Certainly there are more Christians on golf courses on Sunday than there are in Church services, which, actually, is a good thing—as might more Israelis being on the beach than in synagogues … it is not on the golf course or on the beach where either a spiritual or natural Israelite will hear the many lies told about the Father and the Son by false prophets and false teachers.
The neglect of faith characterized by golf clubs and bikinis hinders the return of silver Christendom but doesn’t prevent its prophesied return in the form of the two legs of iron of the humanoid image called Babylon, its name taken from its head … but Christianity hasn’t gone anywhere, has it? Yes, it has!
A spirited public debate in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, occurred in the late 1970s when one store on the Alaska Highway decided to stay open on Sunday to serve the motoring public. The store was on top of the bluff and not down in town, but the store owners in town were furious for, as one of them said when interviewed for a CBC broadcast, “Now we’ll all have to stay open.” And that was true. Within a few years, almost every store in Whitehorse was open on Sunday. The day had lost its false sanctity, which, again, is a good thing.
Blue laws that forced store owners to close on Sunday are mostly relegated to history … blue laws will return once the “man of lawlessness is revealed” (2 Thess 2:3).
The great falling away isn’t a few Christians deciding to keep the commandments of God, but most of Christendom rebelling against God and rejecting the commandments.
Worship of the creation, either through humanism or through environmental activism, is the derivative of the gold-colored demonic king of Greek trampling the silver kings of Persia—disciples can expect to see even greater manifestations of political correctness, cultural diversity, and ego-activism until this world can get no farther from God, thereby making this world as spiritually dark as possible. When whatever human governance and social cultures do will cause human beings to begin returning to God, the long spiritual night that began at Calvary will have reached its midnight hour. And it is at this midnight hour when death angels will again pass over the land, slaying firstborns not covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb of God.
How much further can “Christians” get away from God than they presently are?
The above question is one that hasn’t yet been answered, and a question only the Father can answer. We can speculate about how far silver Christendom can get, but it is really the Churches of God that hold the key to answering this question … how can one Sabbatarian disciple love his brother less than he presently does?
Even within Philadelphia, love for brother has taken it on the chin: there are disciples in East Africa and in India that are in need of help. But there are so many hands extended begging, and so much genuine hunger and poverty, and so few disciples who are not in need themselves even in so-called prosperous nations that those extended hands deal love a bitter blow … if a disciple in a so-called prosperous nation helps one disciple in genuine need, the disciple must necessarily say no to dozens and often hundreds of others who are in equal need. The physical resources don’t exist to help all who are in need.
When Paul took up an offering to relieve the saints in Jerusalem, months passed when no relief was sent to Jerusalem—and a person can only go hungry for so long before he or she starves. Likewise, months will pass between when the genuine needs of impoverished disciples are known and when help can reach them; for more disciples will have to be called as Philadelphians before more help can be given to hungry and starving Sabbatarian disciples and the children of these disciples. Every Philadelphian needs to pray for additional Philadelphians. For until then, having to say no to begging hands and starving children causes internal anger against the ones in need, anger that is not justified, anger that harms love; but anger is the only emotional response that allows a person in need to say no to another person in even greater need. And it is this anger that harms love.
There is little love in begging when needs are known, when what can be given isn’t the things of this world but knowledge of the mysteries of God. And there is even less love in withholding what can be given of the things of this world—how to distribute these physical things becomes the question everyone who has even a little must decide. For once silver Christendom returns with a vengeance after the second Passover liberation of Israel, most Sabbatarian disciples will physically die and rest in the grave awaiting their resurrection when Christ Jesus returns. Assistance given today will only be for a short while: it will be too little spread over too many, thereby extending hunger and poverty to those who receive this assistance.
Is that love? Extending misery for another day?
The hunger and poverty of so many force those disciples who only have a little to give to pick and choose who will receive what, and this picking one person to help and ignoring the need of another causing internal self-hatred and external hatred by both those who receive the help (because it was not enough) and by those who did not receive help. Love suffers. And when love can suffer no more, the midnight hour of this long spiritual night that began at Calvary will come.
Disciples can look at the signs of this world and see that they live at the end of the age; they can look at silver Christendom being trampled by multi-culturalism and realize that the midnight hour is not far away. But it is inside Sabbatarian Christianity where love for brother is being a death blow that a disciple can see how far or how near disciples are to the midnight hour when death angels will again pass over all of the land.
The blue laws of the 19th and early 20th Centuries lacked the real force of iron; the blue laws that will come after the great falling away and the lawless one is revealed will make up in force and strength what earlier blue laws lacked … the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation is not far, but is not yet.
Philadelphians are to test the utterances of those who teach and who prophesy. If these utterances (breaths) do not tell Israel to keep the commandments, they are not of God—and no test could be more simple.
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."