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 typology basics.

Printable/viewable PDF format

Weekly Readings

For the weekly Sabbath of February 25, 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 Matthew chapters 5 though 7.

Commentary: As has been discussed past Sabbaths, the basics of typology have a natural copy and shadow of a spiritual reality wedded to that reality in a relationship analogous to the spiritually lifeless first Adam being a type (Rom 5:14) of the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45). Shadow and reality becomes one often-time-separated unit until parted by death. But if the reality [that which casts the shadow] is of the Son of Man and not of spiritual Babylon, the reality, itself, begins as a wedded two component unit of a natural and of a spiritual element, as Jesus was flesh and Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion] until Calvary, then became a quickening spirit when resurrected—when Breath and body are both of spirit. The natural element must die, for that natural element is of the spiritually lifeless world.

·  The first Adam was the shadow of the two-part last Adam, the firstborn Son of the Father.

·  The flesh and blood body of Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary, was the “natural” part of this firstborn Son of the Father; was that part which links death with life by having come from the heavenly realm.

·  The glorified Jesus, born of the Father’s Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] (Matt 3:16) and accepted by the Father as the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering, is the ever-living “spiritual” part of the firstborn Son.

The person who denies that Jesus came as a flesh and blood human being is against God (1 John 4:2-3). The person who argues that Jesus was, prior to the Breath of the Father descending as a dove and remaining on Jesus, fully man and fully God must also argue that the first Adam was fully alive before Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7). The argument is nonsensical: the Logos, as Theos, came as His son, His only (John 1:1-2 & 3:16). The Logos didn’t come as Theon’s son, but as His own. And here is where the errors that entered the Church when the Christological debates of the 2nd & 3rd centuries were wrongly settled will cause endtime disciples to rebel against God: the tetragrammaton YHWH deconstructs to the linguistic radicals /YH/ and /WH/, thereby determining the multiple of the regular plural Elohim, the plural form of Eloah [in Hebrew] or Allah [in Arabic]. Each radical contains the representation of divine breath: /H/. The Apostle Paul writes that anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit (i.e., Breath — Pneuma) of Christ is not Christ’s (Rom 8:9). The person must also have “the Spirit [Pneuma] of him who raised Jesus from the dead” (v. 11) dwelling in the person. Two Breaths, both divine. Two deities (Theos & Theon), both divine, who function as one entity—the entirety of the natural creation is of the Logos (John 1:3), but the spiritual creation of the Son of Man is of the Father (Theon), this creation beginning with the glorified Jesus, the single kernel of wheat from which the harvest of humanity will grow. Jesus is the first of the firstfruits. He isn’t the entirety of the harvest. Glorified disciples will be younger siblings of Christ Jesus, not a collection of inscribed names gazing at the whiteness of the face of God. Disciples won’t be having sexual relations with virgins, or spend eternity sitting on clouds strumming harps. Disciples are not recycled angels who finally had the chance to get life “right.” They are new creatures—creations that did not exist until born of Spirit into the fleshly bodies of otherwise lifeless human beings. For the geography upon which these sons of God are born is the mental topography of human beings. Their birth is of Spirit; when glorified, they will be fully composed of spirit

·  Thus, one spiritually lifeless shadow is cast by the Son of Man, of whom Christ Jesus is the uncovered Head, with covered Spirit-born disciples forming the Body.

·  This shadow is the history of natural Israel, from the patriarch Jacob to Solomon’s reign, when rest is given to Israel.

·  But the Church as the last Eve also casts a spiritually lifeless shadow that lies across time as the history of natural Israel from when rest is given Solomon to when the physical king of the North’s [Antiochus Epiphanes IV’s] reigns over Jerusalem.

Flesh and blood, because of their apparent solidity, cannot cross dimensions and enter the heavenly realm. Only the life grown of Spirit following birth by Spirit—this life temporarily housed in a tent of flesh—will cross dimensions. And all teaching that would have human beings entering heaven in a bodily rapture is not of God, but rather, is of the Adversary.

·  Growth, as in the physical maturation of an infant human being, is confined to this physical creation. This includes the spiritual growth of sons of God, born from above into fleshly bodies.

The Church has overlooked an important point that has been concealed in the jargon of Christianity: spiritual growth is analogous to physical growth—and as with physical growth, spiritual body size is determined by growth. Words often have two or more equally valid assignments of meaning. The Greek word topos [as in John 14:2] is like the English word spot, in that it can represent a small geographical location, or it can represent an employment opportunity. Now, considering the phrase grow in grace and knowledge (2 Pet 3:18), the question must be asked, how does a disciple grow in grace? Growing in knowledge would be increasing the amount of knowledge that a disciple has. But if grace is unmerited pardon, how does one grow in forgiveness if already forgiven? The mistake, however, is in perceiving grace as unmerited pardon: grace is, rather, the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness that a disciple puts on daily as he or she might put on a cloak. Thus, to grow in grace would be to need a larger garment to cover the spiritual body of the maturing son of God. And spiritual growth becomes more than understanding and knowledge, but actually pertains to the size of the imperishable body the disciple develops while housed in a tent of flesh.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the meat upon which disciples grow.

Looking now at what Jesus tells His disciples on the Mount takes on an additional perspective: the disciple—regardless of whether a teacher or a lay member of the Body—who relaxes the least of the commandments [the least of the commandments is the Sabbath commandment] shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). Being called least is properly understood to represent being of least importance. But it can also mean being least in size, as in being a midget or dwarf.

The heavenly realm is timeless. Matter, because of its apparent solidity, requires the passage of time to relocate itself from one position to another. So all matter, because of the tension of its strings, cannot cross dimensions. And size will not, in the heavenly realm, have the same rigidity as size has in the physical universe. However, as in the physical realm, size has the self-regulating ability to limit or permit activities. A physical dwarf cannot play basketball in the NBA. A spiritual dwarf—a glorified disciple who relaxed any commandment of God (meaning, by implication, that the disciple did not sin willfully, thus not a hypocrite)—will not have the same opportunities as disciples who grew larger by continued feeding on the Lamb of God, and exercising spiritual muscles, thereby growing in grace and knowledge.

The reader should now read Zechariah chapter 3.

Commentary: Here Joshua, the high priest, is not Christ Jesus. Rather, Joshua is a brand plucked from the fire: he was headed into the lake of fire, a valid conclusion based upon the presence of Satan. But he was plucked from these flames and his filthy garments were removed. And he was told that if he walked in the ways of God and kept His charge, then he, Joshua, would rule the angel [messenger] of the Lord’s house and have charge of His courts and have the right of access among those who were standing by the Lord (v. 7). Not everyone has this apparent unlimited right of access. But Joshua and his friends will have this right—if Joshua walks in the ways of the Lord and keeps His charge—for they are men who are a sign (v. 8) that in one day, the Branch would remove the iniquity of the land.

Christ Jesus is the high priest of every disciple, so how does Zechariah’s vision square with Hebrews?

Jesus’ death at Calvary did not remove iniquity from the land, but rather, paid the price [i.e., the death penalty] for all iniquity in the physical realm so that the lawlessness of humanity in the physical realm would not be reckoned against human beings; for the Lord, Himself, consigned all peoples to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). Iniquity will not be removed from the land until the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ (Rev 11:15) halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation—will not be removed until the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28); will not be removed until Satan and his angels are cast from heaven (Rev 12:9-10); will not be removed until spiritual Babylon is toppled (Dan 2:44-45) by the split Mount of Olives (Zech 14:3-4) swallowing the armies (Exod 15:12 & Rev 12:16) of the Cross (from chi xi stigma).

But Joshua and his friends are the sign of the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ.

Thus, although Joshua functions as a type of Christ Jesus, Joshua is a sinful man who has been cleaned up by the Lord to serve as a sign. He is not the Lord, but he is a sign of the Lord as John the Baptist was a sign. He functions as a type of the Elijah to come, the reality of that Elijah being Christ Jesus, Himself.

Therefore, the brand plucked from the fire who appears before the Lord to receive clean clothes is an endtime witness, a human being, born of Spirit, who is given a job for which he will receive the right of access to the Lord if he walks in the ways of the Lord and keeps the Lord’s charge. And the implication is that not everyone has this same right of access. Joshua’s friends have this right, though.

·  If Joshua and his friends are given right of access for being the sign that iniquity will be removed from the land, then the right of access to the Lord is as much a privilege as was or is access to a human king.

The prayers of the saints go up unrestricted to the throne of God; access to the throne of God is through the prayers of saints. Bodily access is not necessarily available, and so far has been restricted to a very few individuals, the Apostle Paul being one of the few (2 Cor 12:1-5). The body in which Paul was caught up to paradise wasn’t his tent of flesh, but the body of the new creature born of Spirit that was undergoing maturation in his tent of flesh.

Paul, like John (Rev 10), knew more than he was free to reveal (2 Cor 12:4). It wasn’t for 1st-Century apostles to disclose the secrets of God uttered in parables by the man Jesus of Nazareth. It remained for the Elijah to come (Mal 4:5), the glorified Christ Jesus, to open those parables He uttered to a people with ears that wouldn’t hear, and with eyes that wouldn’t see—to a spiritually circumcised nation whose unbelief has blinded this nation to its own lawlessness. It remained for Joshua and his friends, as the sign of the closing of the age, to minister what was uttered.

And those who are teachers of iniquity—antinomian dispensationalists and all others who refuse to keep the commandments of God—will not sit as friends with those who walked in the ways of the Lord.

The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.

* * * * *

"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."