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 redemption.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of April 18, 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 person conducting the service should read or assign to be read Luke chapter 21, verses 25 through 28; followed by Joel chapter 2, verses 28 through 32.

Commentary: Jesus spoke of the signs about which Joel prophesied, heavenly (first heaven) signs that have not yet occurred. No one has seen the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:27). So what Jesus references hasn’t occurred—and Jesus said that when these things (i.e., the heavenly signs) begin to occur, “‘straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near’” (v. 28).

If Israel’s (and by extension, Jerusalem’s) redemption will be close at hand when heavenly signs leading up to Christ’s return begin to occur, then Israel’s redemption has not yet occurred. Israel was not redeemed at Calvary as is usually taught by Christendom … and a problem exists, for Paul writes, “In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose” (Eph 1:7–9).

“Redemption,” now, must be held in tension with redemption, meaning that disciples are and are not yet redeemed, which makes no sense unless the Christian comprehends what being born of spirit means, with “spirit” used to represent the divine breath of a god … a quick check of a college level dictionary for the entry “spirit” will disclose that the linguistic icon (word) to which meaning must be assigned comes to endtime English speaking disciples from Middle English, entering Middle English from Norman French which borrowed the Latin icon spīritus, used in Latin to represent “breath” or the “breath of a god,” with the god undistinguished as to whether the god was of heaven or of Mount Olympus. So to a Latin poet, the breath of Jupiter would be sacra spīritus [holy spirit].

Beginning in the 4th Century CE, divinity began to be assigned to the breath [pneuma] of the Father and Son. By late in the 5th-Century, there was agreement among lawless Christians that the breath of the Father was the same breath as that of the Son even though the Apostle Paul had clearly separated one breath from the other in Romans 8:9, 11. This would be akin to saying that President Obama’s breath is the same breath as his daughter Sasha’s breath, which is and isn’t true. The commonality of breath from one person to another is inescapable, but each person’s breath is common only to that person so while Sasha’s breath is like her father’s breath, it is not her father’s breath. Only when a fetus is in a womb is the fetus’ breath the mother’s breath, and even this can be contested. Therefore it was intellectual folly to first claim that the Father’s breath was the Son’s breath, then double folly to assign personhood to the breath of a god, or in this case to the breath of the Father and the Son. Hence, the underlying constructs of the Trinity are false, making the doctrine a lying phantom coming from Satan, employed as a means to prevent disciples from knowing the Father and the Son. Jesus said, “‘And this is eternal life, that they know you [His Father] the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’” (John 17:3). So by causing Christendom to assign personhood to the breath of the Father and to claim that this same personage is also the breath of the Son Satan has very effectively prevented Christianity from having eternal life … if it were otherwise, then Jesus’ words in His prayer to the Father shortly before He was taken could not be believed. Luckily for generations of State-identified Christians, the Christian Church “died” with the Apostle John—the Church as the Body of Christ that was crucified with Christ died as the natural body of Christ Jesus died on the cross, a murder weapon that takes away the breath [pneuma] of a person, and the Church will be and is presently being resurrected from death [by having its “breath” restored] at the end of the age. And when resurrected, the Church as the Body of Christ will suffer no corruption but will be as it was under the first apostles, meaning that it will look like a sect of Judaism, the sect of the Nazarenes. It will walk as Jesus walked; for there is no other “walk” that will get a person into heaven.

Every person born of the water of the womb (born of water — John 3:5) receives the breath of the first Adam; this person is flesh and receives a breath of life that supports the continued existence of the flesh. This person has no indwelling eternal life, for receipt of eternal life is the gift of the Father to a person He has drawn from this world to have life in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23) … the Father raises the dead (John 5:21) and gives life to physically living but spiritually dead human beings by giving to those whom are called a second breath of life [pneuma Theon — breath of God]. But here is where problems enter: the Father and the Son do not breathe air, so the linguistic icon phrase pneuma Theon is a metaphorical expression for a “not of this world” force or energy that functions in the heavenly realm to sustain life as “breath” functions in this world. This pneuma/breath is not a personage, but is possessed by both the Father and the Son, with Christ’s breath (Rom 8:9) being linguistically separated from the breath of the one who raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11). Thus, to know the things of God, a person must first be alive or have been born of water, and then the person must have received a second pneuma/breath of life, which causes a second birth to occur within the person, this second birth being life given to the biological software that animates the flesh, or in 1st-Century language, the old man is put to death and a new man born within the disciple when the disciple receives the pneuma/breath of God. Hence, Jesus’ disciples were (from Matt 10:28) (psuche — shallow breath) and (soma — flesh) before the Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion] was given. Then disciples had within them two breaths of life: they were (from 1 Thess 5:23) pneuma (deep breath) and psuche (shallow breath) and soma (flesh), with deep breath referencing the breath of life that gives the disciple life in the heavenly realm (or in that portion of the heavenly realm within the inter-dimensional realm, or bottomless pit), and with shallow breath referencing the breath that supplies oxygen to the blood so as to sustain mortal life.

Because disciples are twice born, meaning that they have two breaths of life dwelling with the flesh, disciples need to be twice redeemed or ransomed.

Redemption equates to forgiveness of sins (Col 1:14), and redemption equates to glorification of the body (Rom 8:23), and redemption equates to passing over sins (Rom 3:24–25), which is what the Passover is about. Therefore, two concepts that are really one are simultaneously present in the icon (the redemption), the first being that sins have been forgiven because of Christ Jesus’ death at Calvary, and the second that sins are passed over when disciples drink of the cup (Matt 26:28) on the night that Jesus was betrayed … sins are forgiven so that the new creature or new self (new man) can be born under no condemnation (Rom 8:1–2). Jesus’ death at Calvary paid the death penalty for every sin that Israel has ever committed in this world. The blood of bulls and goats temporarily covered these sins, but as the writer of Hebrews says,

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (9:11–14)

The death penalty—“the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands” (Col 2:14)—for the sins of Israel was not cancelled or paid by the blood of bulls and goats, but was merely “covered” until the Creator of all that has been made could enter His creation as His only Son to die for these sins, thereby permanently canceling the death penalty that had prevented a person, every person from receiving heavenly life, or a second breath of life. Thus, the new creature—because the record of debt was abolished—is born as a son of God and born under no condemnation and born free to keep the commandments. This new creature is not born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32); sin has no dominion over this new creature (Rom 6:14). But the law of sin and death continues to dwell in the fleshly members of disciples (Rom 7:15–25); thus while the new creature or self has been redeemed from death, from sin, the fleshly body of the person awaits redemption.

By drinking from the cup (a euphemistic expression for taking the Passover sacraments) on the night that Jesus was betrayed, the sins of the person are passed over or forgiven even though the mortal flesh has not yet put on immortality, the ultimate expression of redeeming the flesh. Therefore, the new creature born free to keep the commandments and not born under any condemnation—this new creature a firstborn son of God—dwells within a tent of flesh that awaits adoption as a son of God, which to the physically minded person makes no sense at all … the Apostle Paul had a terrible time trying to convey these concepts which he understood to Hellenist converts that were mentally incapable of going where he was trying to lead them; hence, all in Asia and in Achaia left him and Jews in Judah were trying to kill him. And not much has since changed: very few people are able to understand any of this, but they are unable to understand for they have not been truly born of spirit and they still have their minds set on the things of the flesh (Rom 8:7). In the second half of the Tribulation, when the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all flesh, everyone will be able to understand. The New Covenant will have been implemented with all of humankind; the Torah will be put within everyone. Every person will be a son of God (Rev 18:4). And they will wonder why these things were so difficult for “Christians” to understand today. And truthfully, we should be embarrassed by how poorly these concepts are understood and taught.

In vision, John sees the heavenly city of New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ (Rev 21:2, 9–10). Disciples, individually and collectively, will be the Bride of Christ. Thus, disciples form New Jerusalem, a city whose cornerstone and capstone are Christ Jesus, which gives imagery to the Apostle Paul identifying disciples as the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16), and to Jesus identifying His body as the temple (John 2:19), and to Peter calling disciples living stones (1 Pet 2:4–5). Therefore, through Jesus the temple is redeemed, with the temple being “Israel.”

Now, there are certain time-correspondences that have significance in Israel’s maturation as the firstborn son of God:

1.      Human birth (exit through the womb[1]) is analogous to receipt of the Holy Spirit and spiritual birth.

2.     A Hebrew male was circumcised on the 8th-day and is analogous to a son of God, after cleansing the heart by a spiritual journey of faith equivalent to Abraham’s physical journey of faith, being circumcised of heart by spirit (Deut 30:1–2, 6; Rom 2:28–9; Col 2:11).

3.     Abraham’s journey of faith was from Ur of the Chaldeans (Babylon) to Canaan (the Promised Land) via Haran (Assyria). For a disciple an equivalent journey would be from the ways of this world into Sabbath observance, identified as God’s rest (Ps 95:10–11; Heb 3:16–4:11).

4.     When a disciple first begins to observe the Sabbath, the disciple is equivalent to an eight day old Hebrew male, with glorification for the disciple coming when the disciple reaches a maturity equivalent to a Hebrew male reaching his majority at twenty years of age.

5.     A Hebrew male was redeemed at one month of age, which for a disciple is equivalent to when the disciple begins to take the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on the night that Jesus was betrayed … Sabbatarians disciples who do not observe the Passover (e.g., Seventh Day Adventists) are equivalent in maturity to a Hebrew infant between eight days of age and one month of age.

6.     A Hebrew male child would stand and walk sometime between a year and two years of age, and a disciple reaches an equivalent age of spiritual maturity when the disciple can walk uprightly before God without sin, only occasionally stumbling and falling.

7.     A human child is unable to grasp the concept of dual referents at 30 months of age but finds the concept embarrassing easy to understand by 36 months, and a disciple is likewise unable to grasp the principles informing typological exegesis (which employs dual referents) until the disciple has reached a level of spiritual maturity equivalent to the physical maturity of a three year old human child.

Spiritual maturity is not time-linked as physical maturity is; thus a disciple can sit in church services for decades and can be less that eight days old, whereas another disciple can zip through the developmental phases in a very short period.

All of the above is germane to the concept of redemption or paying the ransom price for Israel … if every person that opened the womb is to be redeemed—the Father redeemed all of His sons through Christ Jesus’ death at Calvary—and if natural Israel has not redeemed anyone since the temple was razed in 70 CE, and if the Christian Church, with very few exceptions, doesn’t cover itself by drinking from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed, all of Israel, natural and born-of-spirit, is presently unredeemed, meaning that their sins are not covered and that natural firstborns are subject to loss of life when the death angel again passes over all the world as the death angel passed over all of Egypt so long ago.

If the life that opens a womb belongs to God, who will fault Him if He takes that life if it hasn’t been redeemed? Who is so large that he or she will judge God?

The prophet Amos records,

And on that day,” declares the Lord God,

“I will make the sun go down at noon

and darken the earth in broad daylight.

I will turn your feasts into mourning

and all your songs into lamentation;

I will bring sackcloth on every waist

and baldness on every head;

I will make it like the mourning for an only son

and the end of it like a bitter day.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,

“when I will send a famine on the land—

not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,

but of hearing the words of the Lord.

They shall wander from sea to sea,

and from north to east;

they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,

but they shall not find it. (8:9–12 emphasis added)

The words of the Lord are being heard now. The person who chooses not to hear takes upon him or herself full responsibility for the person’s deafness; for the prophet Amos also records the Lord saying, “‘For the Lord God [YHWH] does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets’” (3:7) … a secret thing of God has been revealed: there will be a second Passover liberation of Israel, a Passover liberation in which Israel will be ransomed from sin (i.e., redeemed from sin) and those inner new selves of Christians who do not drink from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed are as unredeemed firstborns.

A semantics debate can be developed about whether it’s the flesh or the new creature that has been redeemed by Christ Jesus’ death at Calvary … any such debate really begs the question of why won’t the disciple drink from the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed? What prevents the disciple from drinking after the model Jesus left His disciples? Does some priest or some police officer stop the disciple from drinking? Or is it only the disciple’s unbelief that stops the person from covering sin.

There will be a famine of the word of God; so if this word is not written on hearts and placed in minds, people will be without hope.


[1] Caesar did not exit through the womb, but was taken from the belly of mother. The significance of this will be explored in a future Sabbath 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."