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 return to subjects previously discussed, but hopefully, with greater insight and depth. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection remains Jesus being the Passover Lamb of God.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of March 11, 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 first passages read should be Revelation chapters 4 & 5.

Commentary: Peeling away the mystique of the scene, a disciple recognizes that the crucified Jesus of Nazareth, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, appears as a Lamb standing, not on four feet, but as slain, meaning that this Lamb stands upright like a man—for when slain, a sheep will be hung vertically by either its head or by its spread hind hocks, with it most often being hung by its head if it was not field-dressed prior to being raised to be skinned.

But the glorified Jesus doesn’t appear as a lamb.

The reader should now read Revelation chapter 1, verses 10 through 20.

Commentary: The Living One (v. 18) looks like a son of man—looks like a man—not a lamb. He functions as the Lamb of God, selected from the foundation of the earth, penned in Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month, slain between the evenings on the 14th day of the first month, and buried in the heart of the earth by the beginning of the 15th day, the first High Sabbath of the Days of Unleavened Bread. Thus, how the Living One functions in the plan of God is how He appears in Revelation, for John is not mentally on earth when he sees the throne of the Ancient of Days, and the one like a son of man (Dan 7:9-10, 13-14).

John has crossed dimensions when he goes through the “door standing open in heaven” (Rev 4:1). He has entered a realm where flesh and blood cannot go, regardless of dispensationalists’ foolish claim for a bodily rapture into heaven; for the apparent solidity of matter precludes entrance into a timeless dimension where “was,” “is,” and “is to come” (v. 8) simultaneously exist. The relocation of matter from one geographical spot to another requires the passage of time. Therefore, a person can only mentally enter—as in a vision—the heavenly realm until the person has replaced his or her perishable body with an imperishable body (i.e., a body not of flesh and blood). A breathing creature [a nephesh] cannot ever bodily approach the throne of the Lord God, the Ancient of Days.

Too many false teachers of Israel would have a man [Arians, Protestants & Sabbatarians often identify this man as a Roman Pope] being the little horn that speaks blasphemy against the court of the Ancient of Days (Dan 7:9-10), but no human being will come before God except through prayers, the spoken or unspoken thoughts of Believers. Therefore, the little horn speaking great words will not be a pope—and John’s unsealed vision is sealed through the use of a literary trope, for this vision doesn’t occur on any day prior to the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10). This vision happens to John near the close of the 1st-Century while John is on the isle of Patmos, but John is mentally transported into the timeless heavenly realm, where what was and what is and what will be simultaneously exist, and the event John witnesses in this timeless heavenly realm occurs on the Lord’s Day, that period inside of time when Satan is cast from heaven and comes to earth as a roaring lion, that day being halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. Thus, once John crosses dimensions, everything John describes in what he writes to the seven churches (Rev 1:11) has appearance serving as function. Nothing looks like how it is described—and this is a key concept to remember when reading what John describes.

The glorified Jesus, functioning as the Passover Lamb of God, is worthy of worship and of honor and glory and might; He is worthy to take what functions as a sealed scroll, and reveal what will happen to His friends…the servant of Christ Jesus doesn’t know what his or her Master is doing, and so it is with the majority of today’s Christian Church. The vast majority of Christians, believing that they truly serve Jesus, do so as servants, not as friends; for friends of Jesus do as He commands them (John 15:14). Friends of Jesus keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-4), all of them, not as ten suggestions, or ten principles for good living, but as a schoolmaster until these friends of Jesus can read the laws of God written on their hearts and placed in their minds through receipt of the Holy Spirit. The physical maturation of the disciple foreshadows as a copy and a shadow the spiritual maturation of the disciple—and as a toddler cannot naturally read a book but must be taught to read by a schoolmaster, so too must a spiritual son of God be taught to read the law of God inscribed on fleshly tablets by the schoolmaster that is the codified commandments. And when this son of God can read what is inscribed on the heart and mind, this son will, by faith, do those things that were written on stone by the finger of the Logos. This son, not under any outside law, will do the works of the law because of the inner law that rules the disciple’s heart and mind.

The Apostle Paul writes from the assumption that converts will, by faith, live godly lives. Paul did not anticipate the Vatican’s existence, or the Vatican being turned into a brothel, or Christianity being used to justify murder, political intrigue, and social chicanery. He did not anticipate denominationalism, and there not being a person able to judge a matter, thereby requiring Christian to take Christian to court. He didn’t anticipate the lawlessness of the Late Church—and he didn’t anticipate disciples needing a schoolmaster to teach them to read what has been inscribed on hearts and minds, or disciples still needing basic instruction in the oracles of God nearly two millennia after Calvary. He didn’t anticipate the Church going into Babylonian captivity, and never being weaned off spiritual milk. But such is the state of the greater endtime Christian Church, which, with very few exceptions, doesn’t take the sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed. Rather, the endtime Church offers to God bread and wine as the fruit of the ground, for bread and wine are only the body and blood of the Lamb of God on the night that Jesus was betrayed. On every other night and at every other hour, bread is flour and oil, the processed fruits of Judean hillsides—disciples taking the sacraments at anytime but on the night Jesus was betrayed eat themselves as their offering to God. But as with Cain, they will be accepted if they do what is right (Gen 4:7), meaning if they walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), and Jesus walked as a Judean.

Salvation has come to the nations, but those who are called will not mentally remain where they were. They will, instead, mentally relocate themselves to Judea [i.e., God’s rest — from Ps 95:10-11] where they will live as spiritual Judeans. If they mentally remain in the Wilderness of Sin, or if they mentally rebel in the Wilderness of Paran, taking to themselves Egyptian wives, marrying lawlessness [sin], they will never enter into the heavenly realm.

The reader should now read Daniel chapter 2, verse 39; Daniel chapter 7, verse 6; John chapter 14, verse 30; Romans chapter 11, verse 32; and Ephesians chapter 2, verses 1 through 10.

Commentary: The prince of the power of the air—the prince of disobedience—remains the present ruler of this world, even though he has been judged and condemned to death. This prince is the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-23), and his hierarchy of disobedience includes not only himself but spiritual princes [kings] of Persia (Dan 10:13) and the bronze prince of Greece (v. 20), a federation of vassal kings that rule the world through the appetites of the belly and loins. Thus, when the great horn or king, in the position of an erect penis, is suddenly broken at the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation, dominion over humanity is given to the four-headed king of the South, for humanity remains consigned to disobedience until the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Lord God and of His Christ (Rev 11:15).

Many false teachers of Israel have assumed that the Lord God is the present prince of this world since Jesus defeated Satan almost two millennia ago. They teach directly or indirectly that He is ultimately responsible for the evil that is in this world. They teach that His ways are above our ways; thus, what human beings perceive as evil cannot be attributed to Him as being evil…they teach nonsense.

All disobedience is evil, and disobedience begins with an anointed cherub in whom iniquity was found (Ezek 28:14-15). However, if this anointed guardian cherub, the signet of created perfection, could not be relied upon to remain obedient to the Lord God, then he could be used to create another kind of creation, one that has voluntarily chosen to be obedient in a body and in a world subject to disobedience. This new creature, born of the divine Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion], is a son of God. But to be like his elder brother and like his Father, this son of God must mature into spiritual obedience. He must, by faith, choose to be like his Father. And to create the conditions under which this infant son of God can mature, that fallen cherub, the chief prince of disobedience, would be given reign over a spiritually lifeless world. His reign would be over the mental topography of living creatures: he would not directly reign over geography, but over the desires of the hearts and the thoughts of the mind—over the received natures of all breathing creatures. It is his disobedience that is seen in the rebellion of a child, and in the greed of the parent. It is his disobedience that is seen in a cat tormenting a mouse, and in coyotes slaying sheep just for the sake of killing them. He is a murderer. And he has been hard at work murdering infant sons of God by having his servants, disguised as ministers of righteousness, teach disciples that they are not under the law, that to keep the laws of God is legalism, that ugliest of words to an 8th-day Christian.

The kingdom of this world is not today the kingdom of the Father and His Son, but remains the kingdom of the prince of disobedience. It is not yet time to end this spiritual king of Babylon’s reign, but that day and hour is near. And when it arrives, spiritual Babylon will be dealt a below-the-beltline punch: the great horn of the king of Greece will be suddenly broken—that erect penis will no longer be. But four horns will immediately sprout from around its stump. These four kings are the four horsemen, with the first being the False Prophet. It is, however, the third beast, the four-headed king of the South, to whom dominion will be given as humanity remains consigned to disobedience.

When the great horn of Greece is broken, the Body of the Son of Man will be revealed—and the saints will be delivered into the hand of the lawless one for a time, times, and half a time (three and a half years). Again, God does the delivering…just as He consigned all of humanity to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all, He will deliver the saints into the hand of the lawless one for the purging of the Body. The health of the Body of the Son of Man requires the removal of all disobedience. And today, the Body is sick from taking the sacrament unworthily, and in an unworthy manner. The Body is ridden with putrid lesions and cancerous tumors that only exposure to Light will cure. The saint who seeks to save his or her physical life will lose both physical and spiritual life, whereas the Israelite willing to die for his or her obedience to God will be resurrected to life. For every physical and spiritual Israelite, the choice will be just this simple: obey, die physically, and live spiritually. Or rebel against God, believe the lawless one and the false prophet, attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day, slay your righteous brother, and die spiritually when resurrected to condemnation.

Once the great horn of Greece is broken, every Christian, every Israelite will soon have to make the choice of whether to live or die. The choice will be simple, and will be permanent. And most will value their physical lives more than they value obedience to God.

Which will it be for you? Life or death? Both have been set before you (Deu 30:15). The choice has been there from the beginning. And only you know whether you love God more than your life, more than that next physical breath you believe you’ll take.

Loving God means living within the confines of God’s laws—and yes, these laws have limits and restrictions. Rebellion is not allowed, nor is disobedience, nor is determining for oneself good and evil. Loving God means not loving the things of this spiritually lifeless world that is passing away, along with its desires (1 John 2:15-17)…as infant sons of God, saints want to save this world. And that desire to set at right what is wrong with this world is a reliable indicator of still needing spiritual milk, of the son of God still being too young for the meat of the Word.

This subject will be continued as meat preached in due season.

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."