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 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 the house of Moses.

Printable/viewable PDF format to display Greek or Hebrew characters

Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of March 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.


Underlying the blanks stares Philadelphians receive when explicating the mysteries of God to Christians who believe that they already know what these mysteries are is the question, How could God permit His Church, His truth to be hijacked by Satan, especially for centuries? The same question can be asked in another form, How can all of these others be wrong? Well, how can they be, when Scripture says that the old serpent, Satan the devil, has deceived the whole world (Rev 12:9)?

If Satan as the prince of the power of the air and the present prince of this world has deceived the whole world, what portion of the world is not deceived, the one-sixth that professes to be Christian?

Approximately a sixth of the world identifies itself as Christian; a looser usage of “Christian” will have a third of the world claiming Christianity as its religion—and if Satan deceives the whole world, then Satan has deceived all of Christendom.

The radio evangelist Herbert Armstrong used to say that a deceived person doesn’t know that he or she is deceived. By extension, if the person knew he or she was deceived, the person would not be deceived but would be a hypocrite. So Christendom, as part of the whole world deceived by the Adversary, doesn’t know it is deceived, leaving the question open, how is Philadelphia exempted from being deceived if Philadelphia is part of the world?

It is that last phrase that makes all the difference: if Philadelphia is part of the world.

Philadelphia is not, nor should be a part of the world. Certainly the tents of flesh in which Philadelphians dwell remain in the world and a part of it, but the new creature or new self born of spirit as a son of God is not of this world or from this world, but is part of Christ. This new creature is made alive from receipt of the divine breath of the Father [pneuma Theon]; thus, as the “breath” of the Father is not of this world, the life that comes from this breath is also not of this world. As such, this life is at least initially exempted from inclusion in Satan’s deception of the whole world. If however, this new creature embraces lawlessness (i.e., sin), making this new creature the bondservant of sin (Rom 6:16), this new creature takes death unto itself and will perish in the second death; this new creature will then be deceived by Satan and will be like the third of the stars Satan dragged down from heaven.

The Christian who stares blankly while hearing Scripture explained either has not been born of spirit—the usual situation—or has voluntarily embraced sin, thereby taking sin within the new creature, making this son of God a vessel of wrath who will be (or has been) prepared for destruction. Either way, the Christian is part of this world, either as a son of the first Adam or as a son of the devil.


The person conducting the services should read or assign to be read 1 John chapters 2, verse 26 through chapter 3, verse 24, noting especially 3:10.

Commentary: The passage in 1 John 3:10 should be familiar to Philadelphians, so let us drop down and address the mundane before returning to who is of God and who is of Satan.

John writes, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him” (1 John 3:17) … there are today genuine brothers in need, with much of this need occurring in third-world countries, where need has never gone away. As Philadelphians enter the Passover season, there are pastors in Kenya (and elsewhere) who are scraping the bottom of the barrel to pull enough resources together to spiritually feed hungry congregations. And while it is inappropriate for these pastors to ask for money, if there are any who have this world’s goods and wish to assist, postal addresses or e-mail addresses of pastors will be sent to the person so that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand does; for whatever a person does should remain between the one who assists and the one who receives, with the Father and the Son as the only witnesses to the transactions.

Enough said. Most who are of Philadelphia do not have the world’s goods, for Satan is not in the business of blessing those who are not of this world. The Father provides needs, not prosperity in this world, which isn’t to say that He won’t but is to say that He usually doesn’t—for the world’s wealth tends to cause a person to focus upon that wealth and by extension upon the world, whereas the person’s focus should be on God, Father and Son. The so-called prosperity gospel is a false message, delivered by false teachers of Israel. Where in the prosperity gospel do those who “went abroad in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb 11:37–38) fit? Certainly nowhere in a name-it-and-claim-it gospel.

The Apostle John establishes a not-easily-misunderstood criteria for identifying who has been born of God and for who the children of the devil are: the person who has been born of God, or born of spirit, practices righteousness, with this righteousness including keeping the commandments and having love for brother. John actually expands the commandments from the Ten Commandments to the Law or Torah, when he writes, “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us” (1 John 3:23); for it is in the Torah (i.e., in Deuteronomy) where Moses writes of Jesus, whose words will not be believed if the person doesn’t first believe the writings of Moses (John 5:46–47).


As introduced in last Sabbath’s reading, the law that will be placed within Israel under the New Covenant is the Torah, not merely the Ten Commandments nor the first Sinai Covenant. And in the Torah are the covenants of promise from which the Uncircumcised were previously denied access; in the Torah is knowledge of God … Paul wrote, “Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Rom 5:14), not from Adam to Jesus; for the promise of life comes via Moses through obedience to the law. Obedience is the acceptable covering for everyone, for obedience frees the person from bondage to sin and death.

The second Sinai covenant (Ex chap 34), ratified by the shining of Moses’ face from Moses having entered into the Lord’s presence (i.e., rest — Ex 33:14–15), is made with Moses and with Israel … the second Sinai covenant separates Moses from Israel, this separation not understood by Korah and his friends, nor understood by the party of the Pharisees, the circumcision faction with whom Paul fought a long running battle.

Much is known about Israel; much has been written. But less is understood about Moses.

The first Sinai covenant, ratified by the shedding of blood (Ex 24:5–8), ended with the shedding of blood (Ex 32:25–35) while Israel was still at Sinai, but no one seemed to notice. Israel wanted to return to the covenant right after Moses said to Israel, “‘You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin’” (32:30) … what atonement could Moses make for Israel except to offer himself, his life, in lieu of Israel’s life? And that is what he offered: “‘Alas, this people have sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves [elohim] of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written’” (vv. 31–32). Moses united himself with Israel and offered himself as Israel’s covering, his obedience in lieu of Israel’s obedience.

But the Lord [YHWH] did not accept Moses as Israel’s covering, saying instead, “‘Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book’” (Ex 32:33) … what has changed since Sinai? Yah entered His creation as His only Son to be born as the infant Jesus, grew physically to maturity without sin, was baptized by John and received a second breath of life when the divine breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] descended upon Him as a dove. Afterwards, He was crucified, resurrected, ascended to the Father, returned to breathe on ten of His first disciples, thereby transferring a second breath of life to them. All judgment has been given to Him (John 5:22), and about Him, Scripture says that He changes not, that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). So if He doesn’t change but says to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book, it would seem that a person should strive diligently not to sin against Him, with sin (as John states) being the commission of lawlessness.

The biggest change since Sinai is that the Father accepts Jesus as spiritually circumcised Israel’s covering for sin whereas Yah did not accept Moses as Israel’s covering, for Israel’s judgment was not given to Moses but remained with the Lord whereas the Father has given endtime Israel’s judgment to Jesus … from the beginning, judgment of Israel has remained the prerogative of the Logos, previously the Helpmate to the Father and now the firstborn Son of the Father; for it was the Logos who made all things physical, including Adam. As the first Eve’s salvation was through childbearing, the last Eve’s salvation is through childbearing, with the first child born being the man Jesus, the only Son of the Logos, who was Theos, and who was with the Theon in the beginning (John 1:1–2; 3:16), and who is the First of the firstborn sons of the Theon.

Greek case gender provides a visible separation between the Father and the Logos, who are both God [Theos], with “God” functioning as the name of a single house as “Israel” is the name of a man and of a house, and as “Moses” is the name of a man and of a house (Heb 3:3). In English, “God” is the name of the Most High as well as the name of His house and of all members of His household. But in Greek, “Theos” is the name of every God/god, whether of the Pantheon or of the Hebrew deity, thereby creating the need to use additional naming icons to distinguish between the Father and the Logos when case gender doesn’t offer enough distinction, especially when Theos is written in uncials for both the Most High and for Zeus. And in order to avoid confusion many endtime Sabbatarian Christians have returned to using hybridized Hebrew icons for the name of the Most High, but when doing so they inevitably commit blasphemy against the Father and the Son by making the Most High the Creator of all that has been made; for they fail to realize that the unpronounced Tetragrammation YHWH was not pronounced for more reasons than being too sacred to utter: the Tetragrammaton disclosed the marriage-like relationship between Yah and the Father in which these two were one deity as Adam and Eve as two were one flesh. As such the Tetragrammaton could not be pronounced or uttered without committing blasphemy, for it wasn’t two who breathed into the nostrils of the man of mud, but one. Likewise, it wasn’t two who created all things, but one. It wasn’t two who wrestled with Jacob, but one. It wasn’t two who Moses and the seventy elders of Israel saw, but one.

Moses is, again, the name of a man and the name of a house built by the Lord, with this house (Heb 3:1–3) being a separate house from the house of Israel.

The second Sinai covenant is made with (1) Moses and the house of Moses, whose builder is Jesus, and made with (2) the house of Israel, a house that divides into the house of Israel and the house of Judah, with Israel and Judah again united under the New Covenant.

Israel forms the lifeless shadow and type of the Christian Church—and as Israel, except for Joshua and Caleb, did not enter into the Promised Land, called God’s rest by the Psalmist (95:10–11), the Christian Church will not enter into God’s presence; rather, as the children of Israel followed Joshua [Gr: Iesous] across the Jordan and into God’s rest, the third part of humankind (Zech 13:9) will follow Jesus [Gr: Iesous] into salvation, this third part being analogous to the children of Israel not counted in the census of the second year (because they were either under twenty years of age or not born when Israel left Egypt).

Thus, the second or spiritual Sinai covenant made with Israel pertains spiritually to today’s visible Christian Church and to its offspring, the third part of humankind that will be born of spirit when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh upon the kingdom of this world becoming the kingdom of the Father and His Christ (Rev 11:15–8; Dan 7:9–14), with today’s Christian Church because of unbelief not being permitted to enter into God’s rest.

The above leaves the second Sinai covenant made with Moses—same covenant as is made with today’s Christian Church—as one of three controlling covenants of promise, with the Second or Moab Covenant not being implemented until Israel returns by faith to the Lord (Deut 30:1–2), and with the Passover covenant being neglected by both Christendom and Judaism … a bone and a prayer in a Seder service does not represent an acceptable sacrifice of a paschal lamb; nor does bread and wine taken on any night but the night Jesus was betrayed represent the body and blood of Christ Jesus, the Passover Lamb of God.

It is through Moses and the house of Moses that life comes to Sabbatarian Christians who are separated from the Christianity of this world—silver Christendom—by the mantle of grace, Jesus’ righteousness, put on daily by prayer.

Understand the above: silver Christendom, by its lawlessness, is not under grace!!

So that the person new in the faith can understand why silver Christendom is not under grace, we need to step back so where all realize that no mortal human being is born with an immortal soul, that eternal life comes only as the gift of God through Jesus Christ (Rom 6:23). This means literally what’s said: every person living or deceased is numbered among the dead of this world until the Father raises this person from the dead by giving the person a second breath of life, with this second life coming from heaven. (Jesus was not an exception.) And when the formerly spiritually dead person receives this second breath or spirit [in Greek: pneuma] that gives to the person eternal life—with “eternal” being a problematic word, for the concept is “from age to age,” with this age ending when judgments are revealed—dwelling in a tent of flesh, the person has been born again, or born anew, or born from above, or born of spirit, all appropriate expressions that describe what has occurred. But flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom (1 Cor 15:50); therefore, before this tent of flesh can enter heaven, the Son will have to also give life to the person (John 5:21) by causing the mortal flesh to put on immortality. So both the Father and the Son must give life to the human being who will enter heaven as a son of God and younger brother to Christ Jesus.

Again, the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son (John 5:22); so the Father gives life through receipt of His breath to those whom He draws from this world to be firstfruits without making any judgment concerning the person other than applying whatever criteria He has for whom He wants to be one of the firstfruits. And when the Father draws a person (John 6:44), the new life received is invisible in this world as the wind is invisible (John 3:5–8), but the physical birth and maturation of the human being forms the shadow and type of the spiritual maturation of the new life that has come from the Father, making examination of human maturity necessary to understand where this new life is in the spiritual growth process.

The new creature or self is a spiritual Israelite—there really are no spiritual Gentiles—and when initially born of spirit, the infant son of God is as a Hebrew infant at birth, with circumcision on the eighth day lying ahead of the infant … before the heart can be circumcised, the new creature or self must undertake a journey of faith equivalent in length to the patriarch Abraham’s journey of faith from Ur of the Chaldeans to Canaan, with a stop in the North Country (Haran or Assyria) where the old man or self remains and dies as Abraham’s father Terah remained in Haran.

To enter spiritual Canaan or to cross the River Jordan and enter into God’s rest, the tent of flesh in which this new creature or self dwells will enter into Sabbath observance … until a disciple begins to keep the Sabbath, the heart is not cleansed, nor circumcised, and the new creature is not numbered among Israel but remains as a Hebrew infant of less than eight days of age.

Silver Christendom is a spiritual nursery, attended by the Adversary, in which new creatures are systematically killed before hearts are cleansed and circumcised and judgment comes upon these new creatures. But spiritual maturation, unlike physical maturation, is not time-linked: those new creatures that are starved and suffocated by the Adversary will sometimes hang-on to life for years as an uncircumcised of heart infant. And as Allied military rescue operations sought to free prisoners held by Japan during WW2, Sabbatarian Christians need to plan and stage rescue operations that free infant sons of God from the Adversary’s nurseries.

What usually happens, though, is those spiritual infants trapped within the nurseries of silver Christendom are tutored by the Adversary and sent forth into this world as his servants, disguised as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14–15). They will preach all sorts of silly things, which the world too often believes—for the Adversary has deceived the whole world!

Remembering however, that the second Sinai covenant is made with both Moses and Israel, it is the story of Moses, not Israel, that most directly pertains to Sabbatarian Christendom.

Moses was reared in Pharaoh’s court, with Pharaoh being a type and shadow of the Adversary. Although Moses was a Levite from birth, with the Lord later taking the tribe of Levi to serve him in lieu of taking the firstborn of every tribe, Moses was separated from Israel for almost all of his first eighty years in a manner analogous to the firstborn of the nations, claimed by God as His own because they are firstborns, being reared by the prince of this world, and being trained in the ways of this world rather than in the ways of Israel. When these firstborns finally identify with the firstborn Son of God, Christ, and act out to defend the Christ Jesus, these firstborns have accusations of judaizing brought against them and have to flee into the wilderness as Moses fled to the wilderness of Midian.

Again, the natural nation of Israel forms the shadow and type of the Christian Church, the spiritual nation of Israel, not at all what either Israel wants to hear about itself. But firstborns among the nations who keep the precepts of the law by faith, meaning that they keep the commandments and walk as Jesus walked, while having love for brother, form a reality represented by Moses and by the house of Moses … whether these firstborns are natural firstborns is open to further examination, but what’s indisputable is that these are all firstborn sons of God; they are Christ, Head and Body. Thus, it doesn’t matter what the birth order of the tent of flesh in which they dwell was/is.

The Christian Church today, as the realty that cast natural Israel as its shadow and type remains in figurative Egypt, in spiritual bondage to sin and death as natural Israel was in physical bondage to Pharaoh. However—and this is where confusion has hindered understanding for some—Moses fled Egypt when he quit being of Egypt. Now when Moses fled he did not then enter into God’s rest, but he escaped from Pharaoh and became the son-in-law of the priest of Midian, and he herded his father-in-law’s flocks on the mountain of the Lord, where he would later enter into the Lord’s presence.

There is an aspect of Moses’ story that has been usually ignored by Sabbatarian Christendom: when Moses fled to Midian, he saw the seven daughters of Reuel coming to water their father’s flocks, and he saw shepherds drive Reuel’s daughters away from the water … Moses’ inclination was to intervene when the helpless were being assaulted after the manner in which he slew the Egyptian beating the Hebrew slave (Ex 2:11–12) and stepped in to confront the Hebrew in the wrong who was struggling with his brother (v. 13). Moses wasn’t “meek” in the sense that timidity is assigned as the modern referent for meekness. And acting upon his inclination, Moses saved Reuel’s daughters, drove the shepherds away, and watered the flock (v. 17). And it is this action of Moses that has been mostly ignored when telling his story—he is remembered for being in the ark of reeds, for killing the Egyptian, and for coming upon the burning bush, each event about forty years apart.

Reuel asked his daughters why they were home so early—apparently the shepherds driving them away from the water was a regular event—and they said that an Egyptian had delivered them out of the hands of the shepherds (Ex 2:19) … they did not recognize Moses as a Hebrew or as an Levite, but as an Egyptian, a person from the land he had fled. And Sabbatarian disciples today really don’t look like Hebrews outwardly, but like Gentiles.

Moses named his son by Zipporah Gershom, for he was a sojourner in a foreign land (Ex 2:22) — and if a sojourner, as Abraham was a sojourner, then Moses was not a part of this world even through he was living in this world.

The concept of Moses being a sojourner, a Hebrew raised as an Egyptian, outlawed by Egypt, and dwelling in a land in which he had no inheritance has been under-appreciated by Sabbatarian Christendom. Satan deceives the whole world, and only by not being a part of this world can anyone escape from Satan as Moses escaped from Pharaoh, even when he continued to look like an Egyptian.

The children of Satan are lawless; they practice sin and are bondservants of sin, with death being the handmaid to sin. They assist Satan, the spiritual king of Babylon, in ruling this world as Hebrew taskmasters assisted Pharaoh in ruling over the Hebrews … did not the Greek and Latin churches assist the Roman Emperor in ruling this world as Hebrew taskmasters helped Pharaoh? Indeed, they did—and even today they continue to serve the prince of this world.

Moses’ inclination to intervene was put to the test when the Lord told Moses that He wanted Moses to return to Egypt: Moses told the Lord that He should send someone else (Ex 4:13).

What happened in the forty years between when Moses arrived in the land of Midian and when the Lord wanted Moses to return to Egypt? Moses had no urge to intervene. He had apparently, in herding the flocks of Jethro to the west side of the wilderness of Midian, withdrawn from the world to such an extent that he had no desire to return Egypt to free Israel, his people but not really. Moses had never really been of Israel; he had never been a slave although he was serving his father-in-law.

How much urge does Sabbatarian Christendom have in freeing 8th-day Christians from bondage to sin and death? Not much? Send someone else — Sabbatarians have been “slapped around” so many times by lawless Christians that Sabbatarians are hesitant to engage the world. They are content to pick one another off, sniping members from other Sabbatarian fellowships, with the Sacred Names heresy growing like a cancer in the house of Moses. But the greatest problem is Sabbatarians’ reluctance to identify evil-doers within its folds and purge out drunkards, swindlers, idolaters, and the sexually immoral; Sabbatarians have become fearful of authority, and of using authority … send someone else!

As a free man, Moses had been quick to intervene as the champion of the oppressed … did serving his father-in-law change Moses, or was the impossibility of the task of liberating Israel readily discernable?

What were Moses’ objections?

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” … /Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” … / Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” … / But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.” (Ex 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10–17)

When “I AM” tells Moses that he shall be as God to Aaron the Lord creates a juxtaposition that places Moses in a relationship with Israel analogous of Christ Jesus’ relationship with the Christian Church. This relationship moves forward in time so that those who are of the house of Moses are as god to Israel, natural and spiritual, with the house of Moses functioning in this world today as Moses interacted with Pharaoh prior to the Passover liberation of Israel. It is the endtime house of Moses that demands that the prince of Babylon release Israel from bondage to sin so that Israel as the Most High’s firstborn son can go into the wilderness three days’ journey to serve the Lord , these three days becoming three years.

The Passover will be upon Sabbatarian disciples shortly—and this year, Sabbatarians should see themselves as the house of Moses, built by Jesus Christ, and Sabbatarians should understand why they have entered into God’s rest (i.e., Sabbath observance) before Israel has been released from bondage to the prince of this world … Sabbatarians are as Moses was when he was hearding the flocks of his father-in-law on the mountain of God, Horeb. And Sabbatarians need to think about the excuses they use that prevent them from denying the calling placed upon them through being of the house of Moses.

Those who have been born of God will keep the commandments and will have love for brother; whereas those who are the devil’s seed will practice lawlessness. Why, when the Torah will be placed within everyone of Israel under the terms of the New Covenant, are Sabbatarians hesitant to confront those who identify themselves as the elders of Christendom? Do Sabbatarians need an Aaron to speak for them? Apparently they do.


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."