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 discipleship.
For the Sabbath of May 6, 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 service should read or assign to be read Galatians chapters 1 & 2.
Commentary: Whenever a teacher of spiritual Israel would have an infant son of God erase of the laws of God written on the new disciple’s heart and mind through receipt of the Holy Spirit, the teacher sends the convert to the book of Galatians; for it is in the first two chapters of this epistle where the teacher finds mentioned two gospel messages, one true, one doubly accursed, one about the grace of Christ Jesus, the other about the mutilation of the flesh although that is not how the condemned gospel is presented to the disciple. The accursed message is represented as being “legalistic,” a gospel about living within the confines of the laws of God, a gospel of dos and don’ts, a gospel to which few are able to adhere. Inevitably, the condemned gospel is represented as a message about keeping the Sabbath holy, for no one argues that grace allows murder or adultery or coveting or stealing or having a pantheon of deities. And the greater Church marching toward Calvary on that broad way of life—many disciples are called, but few are chosen (Matt 22:14)—argues for keeping eight or nine of the commandments that form those laws of God now a part of the conscience of the disciple, but this greater Church actively condemns keeping the Sabbath commandment as it was first inscribed on a stone tablet that has since become a tablet of flesh. If any teacher of lawlessness can convince the newly born disciple to ignore this inscribed law when Israel is, in the near future, liberated from bondage to sin and death, the teacher will have successfully condemned the disciple to the lake of fire, just as the false priests of ancient Israel caused the natural nation to pass its firstborns through fire (Ezek 20:25-26).
Why would any teacher of spiritual Israel knowing send an infant son of God into the lake of fire, the second death? How hateful can a mother be—and the Church is the last Eve. She will bear a spiritual Cain and a righteous Abel. She is the Zion that will give birth to a nation in a day, who will give birth before she goes into labor (Isa 66:7-8). And she, like Rebekah, will give birth to two sons, the elder hated by God, the younger loved.
Two gospels. Two sons. The correspondences, unfortunately, don’t line up exactly. For the circumcision faction—that contingent of the Jerusalem Church that would have gentile disciples become physical Israelites before becoming spiritual Israelites—did not historically survive although seeds of the circumcision faction have caused the greater Church to subjugate female disciples, each of whom is a son of God but a physically uncircumcised son, to second-class status for centuries. Likewise, the Gnostic faction with its overtly Platonic gospel has not survived although elements of this message were incorporated within the evolving dogmas of the greater Church. Nor did the gospel taught by the Apostle Paul survive…what part of “the law is holy, and the commandment [against coveting] is holy and righteous and good” (Rom 7:12) is retained in the dispensation of grace?
The middle of the road forms the broad way that leads to endtime destruction, and to disciples being called to be endtime sons of destruction, each foreshadowed by Judas Iscariot (John 17:12)…Judas betrayed the Head of the Son of Man on the Preparation Day as the endtime hated son, the spiritual Cain, will betray and cause to be slain the beloved Body of the Son of Man in the darkness of the following spiritual day, the first High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. The circumcision faction left the middle of the road and fell into the ditch by the middle of the 2nd-Century CE. The Gnostic faction was thrown into the opposite ditch in the 4th-Century CE as the majority of the Church marched down the center of a Roman road, paved with the decrees and prescripts of Emperor Theodosius in the years 341, 345, 356, 381, 383, 386, and 391 CE. The greater Church didn’t grow large through evangelism, but by the State suppression of all rival religions. For God had, as He did the natural nation of Israel, sent the spiritual nation into Babylonian captivity, with the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21) requiring all Israelites to worship his golden image.
Two gospels—there has always been a doubly accursed false gospel and false disciples sown among the good seed, and the false gospel and false disciples, like tares, have always looked better than the wheat. But that which is false produces worthless seed.
The doubly accursed false gospel has, itself, become two gospels, each, though, would have disciples attempting to enter God’s rest on the following day, the 8th day. Both of these false gospels were argued before Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE), where 318 of approximately 1,800 Christian bishops were gathered by order of the Emperor. And what must be remembered by endtime Sabbatarian scholars is that among the missing 1,500 bishops wasn’t a large Sabbatarian church, but the poorest of the poor, foreshadowed by the natural Israelites Nebuchadnezzar left in Judea—and those natural Israelites immediately left Judea and went to Egypt, representing sin. The remnant of spiritual Israel left in spiritual Jerusalem and Judea by the king of Babylon also went into sin even though forewarned not to do so. Both remnants left the geographical and philosophical landscapes representing God’s rest. There is no more a continuous Sabbath-observing thread of disciples from the 4th to the 16th Centuries than there were natural Israelites in the deserted city of Jerusalem for seventy years. Yes, as there was probably a natural Israelite not slain in Egypt or one that surreptitiously escaped from Babylon who wandered through the ruins of Jerusalem during those seventy years, there have been individuals who kept the Sabbath before a remnant of spiritual Israel was released from Babylon to rebuild the house of God in the Jerusalem above. But the hard shadow of the Church in Babylonian captivity is the natural nation of Israel in physical Babylon, where the natural nation was to build houses and seek the welfare of the city. And disciples who kept the Sabbath during the centuries of captivity had to hide their identity just as a natural Israelite in Judea would have had to have his during the seventy years; hence, scholars now find crypto-Jews throughout the Middle Ages.
The endtime doubly accursed gospel that has become two gospels still differs over the unresolved issue of Christ Jesus’ nature [Christology]. At the Council of Nicea, Bishop Arius (250-336 CE) argued that if Jesus were God, as the Apostle John identified Him (1:1-2), then Christianity has two separate Gods, and would be a polytheistic religion; therefore, Jesus can have no pre-existence. John was wrong. But Athanasius (296-373 CE) held that in order for Jesus to be humanity’s Savior, Jesus had to be divine, not merely a prophet like Moses. Thus, today, Arian denominations are Unitarians of some flavor, with the dominant Arian fellowship teaching that Jesus was created by the Father as a brother of Lucifer, and as such has pre-existence over the creation of physical matter. This denomination moved the date of Jesus’ creation from the womb of Mary to when the Father created the angels; hence, this denomination teaches that human beings have angels inside of them instead of an immortal soul—and the man of perdition, the endtime lawless one (2 Thess 2:3) will believe that the angel inside of him is Christ Jesus instead of Satan, so this abomination that desolates will, with good conscience, declare himself god.
However, greater Christianity, marching to its destruction in the middle of that Roman road, reaffirmed at the Council of Constantinople (381 CE) that Arianism in any form was heresy—and at this council, the Holy Spirit was, by vote, declared to be the third personage of the Trinity.
The personhood of the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity is not a teaching of the early Church; is not a teaching of Jesus or Peter or John or Paul or of any 1st-Century apostle; is not of God, but of the spiritual prince of Babylon. So when, near the end of the 4th-Century CE, Emperor Theodosius decrees that the doctrine of the Trinity was to be the official state religion, the Roman road had its sharpest bend yet…Christianity is reduced to one dogma that must be believed, and Augustine of Hippo convincingly argues this dogma across centuries. But this “Christianity” is of spiritual Babylon, and this is the Christianity of the hated son, born of promise as Esau was. And the Roman road now leads straight to the lake of fire.
How does a person get off a train bound for destruction? If the person jumps, where does the person go when every farmer and tradesman along the roadway believes the road leads to the Jerusalem above? To whom does the person turn? And a Matrix is created, one requiring everyone’s participation if the person wants the benefits of citizenship.
Until the spiritual prince of Persia (Dan 10:13, 20), then reigning over Babylonia, directed that disciples of spiritual Israel should rebuild the house of God in the Jerusalem above (about 1525 CE—the spiritual application of Cyrus’ decree was initially concealed from the holy spiritual nation), the “broad” Church marched down the middle of the road to destruction even though within the Church were disciples faithful to God, as there were faithful natural Israelites in Babylon. The road to destruction was wide, level, and lined with mile markers anyone could read, but the path back to Jerusalem was narrow and had only one marker: when the remnant that left spiritual Babylon crossed into Judea, this remnant entered God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11 & Heb 3:18-19) by again observing the weekly Sabbath.
Within the broad Church today, two gospel messages will be delivered tomorrow, the following day, while today, a fractured Sabbatarian Church delivers multiple variations of a single core message: disciples are to live by the laws of God written on hearts and minds by receipt of the Holy Spirit. The difference between the messages is exceedingly easy to discern—the difference is as great as today versus tomorrow. When the laws of God moved from being inscribed on two stone tablets to being inscribed on two fleshy tablets, and when the holy nation of Israel went from being a physically circumcised people to being a spiritually circumcised nation, those things that the commandments prohibited the hand and body of a physically circumcised Israelite from doing become those things that the inner laws of God prohibit the heart and mind from feeling or thinking. Murder, committed by the hand of a physically circumcised Israelite, becomes anger, an emotion felt by the heart (Matt 5:21-22). Adultery, committed by the body, becomes lust, a thought of the mind (vv. 27-28). And the Sabbath commandments moves from governing the activities of the hand and body of a physical Israelite on the 7th day to governing the desires of the heart and thoughts of the mind of a spiritual Israelite on the 7th day. The movement from physical to spiritual—from being inscribed on stone to being inscribed on flesh—doesn’t cause the Sabbath commandment to move from the 7th day to the 8th day, the following day, a day when the rebelling natural nation could not enter God’s rest (Num 14:40-42). Rather, the movement is inward, for the new creation born from above is not of this world; is not physical, but is of the heavenly realm.
The hardest aspect of Christianity to explain to a non-Christian is spiritual birth. Scientific understanding reveals the biological similarity of human beings to the great apes. Genetic difference doesn’t adequately explain the disparity between the species; thus, it’s easy to fall into the trap that ensnared Greek philosophers. If biology cannot explain why humans speculate about their existence, elevation of the mind or of the psyche seems logical. The human brain isn’t physically larger than other apes so there must be a non-physical component that affects the human mind—and as soon as a person starts down this blind alley, the person sets him or herself up to succumb to the fallacy that this “spiritual” component is the essential part of a human being, that the person has a “soul” that exists apart from the flesh, and the disciple tracks Gnostic mud across the gospel of grace.
The way out of the darkness requires coming to Christ Jesus, the light of men. Plato is of no help, and neither is Hellenistic Christianity—and neither is today’s broad Church.
Early Church fathers [pre Council of Nicea] swallowed the same lie that hooked the first Eve: “You will not surely die” (Gen 3:4). Elohim [singular in usage] told Adam otherwise (Gen 2:17), just as did the Father through Jesus tell disciples otherwise (John 5:28-29). But for these early Church fathers, Christianity was, as D.W. Robertson notes in his “Translator’s Preface” to Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine, “a logical outgrowth of late classical thought and, at the same time, an astonishingly brilliant fulfillment of the best traditions of ancient philosophy as they extend from Pythagorus and Plato to Cicero and Varro.” The Christianity of these early Church fathers wasn’t descended from Judaism, but from the best of paganism.
Spiritual birth occurs as physical birth occurred for Adam, not for his sons…disciples are not the sons of Jesus of Nazareth, the last Adam and disciples’ high priest; rather disciples are sons of God who have received spiritual birth in a spiritually lifeless adult human corpse, just as the first Adam receive “life” and became a naphesh, a breathing creature, when Elohim breathed into the nostrils of the adult-sized man of mud.
Prior to the first Adam, there was no physical life on earth (Gen 2:4-7). Prior to the last Adam, there was no spiritual life on the earth [rebelling angels, though, were imprisoned in outer darkness—and the earth was in darkness]. So as no man or beast precedes the first Adam, no son of God precedes the last Adam. No human being has ever been born with an immortal soul. All are born as beasts are (Eccl 3:18-22). Only to humanity’s beast-like existence, spiritual life will be added thereby giving to all persons a second birth. For most of humankind, this “second birth” occurs in the great White Throne Judgment when the dead are resurrected to life. For the firstfruits, this second birth occurs in this present evil era…judgment is today on the household of God (1 Pet 4:17), not upon those human beings who have not yet been born a second time—a person cannot die a second death until the person has been born a second time. And the fact that all of humanity will be born a second time doesn’t in any way mean that all of humanity will enter the heavenly realm. All it means is that God is not a respecter of persons: every person will receive one opportunity for salvation, and the person who does evil in this opportunity will be condemned to the lake of fire, the second death.
A philosopher should not look to Satan for “truth.” Unfortunately, not only did Greek philosophers look to the prince of this world for “spiritual” understanding, but so did the teachers of spiritual Israel in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE. And early theologians proved more gullible than seagulls that will choke down unbelievably large chunks of putrid carrion; for these theologians swallowed the regurgitated swill of neo-Platonism. And too much of modern Christianity returns to gulled theologians that gather together to await their destruction.
For the born-from-above disciple, glorification is the mature son of God receiving a body like the body of Christ Jesus, not spiritual birth as has been taught within the splintered Churches of God. Again, spiritual birth occurred when the human being received the Holy Spirit, the divine Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion]. Receipt of this spiritual breath is, therefore, directly analogous to the first Adam receiving the breath of Elohim, and to Jesus receiving the divine Breath of the Father (Matt 3:15-17). Thus, just as an air-breathing physically circumcised Israelite was under the law inscribed on stone tablets, the son of God dwelling in a tabernacle of flesh is under the laws of God inscribed on tablets of flesh: physically lifeless stone becomes spiritually lifeless flesh.
No Israelite, physical or spiritual, can enter God’s rest on the following day. Attempting to do so is rebellion against Father and Son, and is the crucial aspect of the doubly accursed gospel that initially sent spiritual Israel into Babylonian captivity, and will send the hated son into the lake of fire…attempting to enter God’s rest on the following day is a grievous matter than cannot be taken lightly, for in the timeless heavenly realm, all life must function as one (John chap 17). The person who would be out of sync with God, which is what the person who attempts to enter God’s rest on the following day is, will not be with God in the heavenly realm. So while the disciple can, the disciple needs—beginning today—to get him or herself into covenant with God.
The Apostle Paul wasn’t seeking the approval of men, nor is anyone in The Philadelphia Church. If anyone were, then services would be held on the 8th-day as a middle-of-the-road message is proclaimed about Grace and Love, the Cross and Resurrection. The message would come from the prince of Babylon, and would cause no ripples within Christendom.
But as Paul’s message wasn’t of men, Philadelphia’s message isn’t of men: it is Christ Jesus’ words about patient endurance (Rev 3:10), that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13), the gospel that must be proclaimed to all the world as a witness to all nations before the end of the age comes (v. 14). Two sons will be born to the last Eve at the beginning of seven endtime years of tribulation. Both sons are of promise; both sons are as Isaac’s sons were. But the elder son will slay his younger brother as Esau would have slain Jacob if Jacob had not fled from his brother. As Cain slew righteous Abel, 8th-day Christianity will slay Sabbatarians once the Tribulation begins. The place of physical safety isn’t Petra, but the grave. For the beloved son will not value physical life more than God.
Disciples who are of Philadelphia are not more righteous than other disciples, but they are today and will be tomorrow willing to bring back into covenant those disciples who have wandered away from the truth—and in doing so, they will cover a multitude of their sins (Jas 5:19-20).
The work being done is a work of love, largely unappreciated, but nonetheless, absolutely essential.It is a work that rebukes hypocrisy, as Paul rebuked Peter, and it is a work that steadfastly proclaims patience endurance to a Christianity that looks for physical fulfillments of endtime prophecies that are about events in the heavenly realm.
The reader should now read Luke chapter 16, verses 16 & 17.
Commentary: A disciple should take both verses at their face value. "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void"—these are the words of the Father, spoken by Jesus (remember, Jesus only spoke the Father's words during His ministry), and these words make the Law more permanent than heaven and earth, the physical creation. Thus, the Law is spiritual, and is expressed physically in the Commandments. The Law will never pass away. What was abolished at Calvary (Eph 2:14-15) was the division made by physical circumcision; was the ending of the marriage covenant made with natural Israel at Sinai; was the restraints placed upon hands and bodies by an external code inscribed in stone. The Law moved from outside a physically circumcised Israelite to inside a disciple, within whom is a new creature born of Spirit. Just as a human Levite served in a stone temple housing two tablets of stone, a son of God serves God in a temple of flesh housing two tablets of flesh.
The image needs remembered: a Levitie in the Temple or in the tabernacle before the Temple was built is the hard shadow of a born-from-above son of God in a body of flesh. Again, in moving from physical to spiritual, stone becomes flesh. The stone tablets become the heart and the mind (Jer 31:33 & Heb 8:10). In this movement, life received from physical breath becomes life received from divine Breath [Pneuma 'Agion]. Thus, until the last or spiritual Adam was created by the Logos being born of flesh (the direct equivalent of Elohim [singular in usage] constructing the corpse of the first Adam) with Jesus receiving the Breath of the Father (the equivalent of Elohim breathing into the nostrils of the man He made), John the Baptist was the greatest man born of woman, for John preached physical repentance and escape from disobedience, to which all of humanity had been consigned (Rom 11:32).
The above also needs remembered: John the Baptist preached physical rejection of bondage to sin or disobedience to which all of humanity had been consigned. John preached rebellion against Satan—rebellion by repentance and by the active doing of what is right. Not military rebellion. As such, John prefigures what the remnant (Rev 12:17) will preach or teach when Satan is cast from heaven—the remnant will preach rebellion against Satan by having the third portion of humanity (Zech 13:9), the spiritual Seth born to the last Eve, patiently endure to the end. The third portion of humanity will endure in faith and in firm knowledge that all who endure shall be saved (Matt 24:13-14). As such, John is the direct shadow of an endtime work of a spiritual Elijah.
But John is the greatest of all born of woman: he is not born of Spirit, another extremely important concept to remember, for he is not the last Adam. Thus, without having the Spirit of God, a person can preach repentance from sin, as those who have been under certain ministers in the splintered Churches of God learned the hard way.
A transition occurred between when Elizabeth became pregnant supernaturally from the sperm of her husband, and when Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. In these six months, the scope of history changed. And the movement from physical to spiritual is seen by who does the impregnating: Zechariah versus the Logos. Zechariah is a Levite, a righteous man serving in the temple, and in the course of his duties, he would enter the Holy of holies. His seed becomes the greatest of men born of women. But his seed, John the Baptist, has no life within him except that which comes by physical breath.
Jesus is the only son of the Logos, who was Theos. He is physically born as His own seed—He is then spiritually born as the Son of the Most High when the Breath of the Father descends upon Him and remains. Jesus is now the seed of the Father. But no visible change occurs: this second life received from spiritual birth is invisible to the human eye, for this second life is in and is of another dimension, the heavenly realm. And every disciple born of Spirit is greater than John, for every disciple has actual life in the heavenly realm through receipt of the Holy Spirit or Holy Breath.
Thus, the Law of God inscribed on stone tablets extends through John the Baptist, but moves inside to be inscribed on tablets of flesh once the last Adam is created by the joint acts of Theos [Him coming as the man Jesus] and Theon [giving life through His Breath to Jesus]. The law or commandments do not cease to exist. The stone tablets, though, are replaced by the same commandments being spiritually written on hearts and minds.
The person who uses Luke 16:16 to argue that the person doesn't have to keep the law is either not called by God, or has been called to be a son of disobedience, or is so spiritually immature that he or she still needs milk and a mirror (James chap 2). The person will also misuse the first two chapters of Galatians.
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."