The following suggested or possible grouping of Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and limited commentary are, hopefully, obviously thematically related. And the concept behind this Sabbath's selection, and behind this second in a series is the role of women in the new covenant, considering their absence in patriarchal Israel.
For the Sabbath of June 11, 2005
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 passage read should be 1 Corinthians chapter 14, verses 26 through 40, followed by 1 Timothy chapters 1 and 2, then 1 Corinthians chapter 11, verse 5.
Commentary:m If a woman is not supposed to speak, how is she to prophesy with her head covered or uncovered?
The person reading should now read from the prophet Joel chapter 2, verses 28 through 32, followed by Acts chapter 2.
Commentary: The heavenly signs and wonders spoken of by Joel do not happen in the Acts' account despite Peter saying, '"This is what was uttered through the prophet Joel."' Apparently, though, women were prophesying when filled, or empowered by the Holy Spirit, or Peter would not have said what he did about Joel. Thus, when empowered by the Holy Spirit, woman may prophesy on a high Sabbath--and if on a high Sabbath, then on a weekly Sabbath.
Returning to why, in his epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul commanded that women should be quiet, Paul states that Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
The person reading should now read Romans chapter 5, verses 12 through 21.
Commentary: Sin doesn't enter the world through Eve's transgression, but through Adam's--through the man's.
The person reading should now read Genesis chapters 1 through 3.
Commentary: The word translated as "God" in the Genesis creation account is Elohim, the regular plural (constructed from adding the square "m" to the end of the word) of Eloah, which deconstructs to the radical/El/ plus the radical /ah/. The radical /El/ is the Semitic signifier [or word] for God, as in El Shaddai, or God Almighty (Gen 17:1). The radical /ah/ signifies aspirated breath, or vocalized breath (as opposed to silent, or shallow breath). Thus, Eloah is God plus Breath, with Elohim being the regular plural of /God plus Breath/. In the creation account, Elohim is used in a singular sense, except in verse 26, where the plural pronoun is also used as Elohim speaks.
In Genesis 1:27, Elohim created man [adam -- not a personal name] or humankind in his own image [singular pronoun], in the image of Elohim he created him [the pronoun refers back to adam, or humankind]; male and female he created them.
In creating humanity in the image in Elohim, the Lord created them male and female. The Lord created one human being from the dust of the earth, then created the second human being, the help mate for the first human being from the bone and flesh of the first. Thus, the two together began as one flesh, and shall again become one flesh through marriage.
The person reading should now read from the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verses 1 through 34.
Commentary: In the Greek, the Logos [Word] was with Theon [God], and was Theos [God], and all things were created by Theos, the Logos, who became flesh and dwelt among human beings. Greek uses linguistic gender: the /os/ suffix is used for masculine singular nouns in the nominative case. The /on/ suffix is used for neuter singular nouns. Thus, both Logos and Theos are masculine singular nouns--they agree in number and in gender. But Theon does not agree in gender. Linguistically, Theon is a different deity than is Theos. But they are both God, and they, together, are God. However, one of them (Theos) created flesh and became flesh.
Theos did not create two human beings from the dust of the earth, but created one (Adam) who became two (Adam and Eve -- "Eve" sounds like the Hebrew for "life-giver" and appears as the word for "living") to again become one. The Apostle Paul identifies the man Jesus as the last Adam, a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45). Thus spiritually, where there is neither male nor female, Theos has in relationship to Theon the role of life-giver, the role that physically belongs to Eve.
Returning now to Genesis 1:27, humanity [adam -- not the proper name] created in the image of Elohim is created physically male and female. Theon and Theos, together, are /El/ plus the plural. They are God, and Theos, as the man Jesus, give to all who received Him, who believed in His name the right to become children of God (John 1:12). He fulfilled and continues to fulfill the role of life-giver, the role of bringing forth sons of God.
The person reading should now read from the Gospel of John, chapter 5, verses 18 through 47, followed by chapter 12, verses 44 through 50.
Commentary: Theos came as the man Jesus not to do His will, but the will of His Father, Theon. The words He spoke were the words of the Father. As Son, He spoke the words of the Father. As sons of God, disciples speak the words of the Father, as heard through Christ Jesus.
Jesus as the Logos was the spokesperson (i.e., the one who spoke) for Elohim, both before His physical birth and after. Again, He did not speak His words, but the words of the Father. He did not do His will, but the will of the Father. He was the ultimate help-mate for the Father, for He, too, was God in the same way that a woman is also a human being just as a man is. And in this modeling, the woman speaks her husband's words when she is one with her husband. His will and work is also her will and work. Likewise, the Bride speaks the words of the Bridegroom, as the Son speaks the words of the Father. A son of God can speak the words of his Father--there are no spiritual daughters of God. There are only daughters of men, or mankind, for sexual gender is of the flesh and not of Spirit.
If a baptized disciple is a son of God who is neither male nor female, then a baptized disciple as a son of God can speak the words of the Father just as Christ Jesus spoke the words of the Father. But no disciple will speak as a woman. The Church is not allowed to speak any words but those of the Father, for the woman was and the greater Church is deceived.
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."