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 temple.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of June 13, 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.


This reading is a continuation of the reading for the Sabbath of June 6, 2009, which featured commentary derived from having reading 1 Corinthians chapters 3 & 4.


Following Paul addressing him laying the foundation of the house of God, the temple, with the house being Christ Jesus, or said in other words, following Paul saying that it was given to him to explicate the mystery of God and to reveal what other disciples either did not know or could not explain, Paul tells the saints at Corinth that they are the temple of God. Elsewhere he tells them that they are individually and collectively the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), thereby creating the juxtaposition that the temple of God is Christ, Head and Body.

The Circumcision Faction never understood that Jesus truly rebuilt the temple after three days when He breathed on ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagios — breath holy]’” (John 20:22); for the Circumcision Faction could still see Herod’s temple, in its gleaming whiteness, standing there in Jerusalem. Their assumption that Herod’s temple was the temple of God was simply not true, for when did the glory of God or the Ark of the Covenant or the Urim and Thummim return to the temple Zerubbabel built? They were not present in the temple until Jesus entered.

The modern equivalent to the Circumcision Faction is Christians that expect Orthodox Jews to build a third earthly temple in the modern State of Israel before Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah. They look for a red heifer without any white hairs, and they look for war to occur between Israel and Arabs so that Israel will again control the Temple Mount, and they look at the physical things of this world to fulfill biblical prophecies that seem to be about physical nations and peoples without making the connection that Jesus told the Canaanite woman that He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:24) before He healed her daughter because of her faith (v. 28) … if Jesus was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel yet He heals the Gentile woman’s daughter based on the woman’s faith, then the lost sheep of the house of Israel includes this Gentile woman, thus introducing two complications: gender and ethnicity. If a Canaanite, and if a woman, because of professed faith, can be numbered among the lost sheep, the house of Israel includes more than the biological descendants of the patriarch Jacob. And this is indeed what Paul says: “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter” (Rom 2:28–29). Elsewhere Paul writes, “For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring … it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring” (Rom 9:6–8).

The Circumcision Faction couldn’t imagine a Canaanite woman being of the house of Israel. To them, Jesus’ healing of her daughter was an anomaly. After all, Jesus calls her a dog. And if the flesh were of importance, she would be and would remain as a dog to Jesus—her flesh wasn’t of importance; her faith, her inner self was what mattered for with her mouth she professed that Jesus was Lord, something the natural descendants of Israel had difficulty doing even after seeing the miracles He did (John 10:38).

The Sabbatarian churches of God see Jesus’ healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter as an anomaly that came with the woman’s faith; they do not comprehend that in order for Jesus to heal her, she had to be included in the house of Israel to whom He was sent. He would not have healed her otherwise; He would have continued to ignore her as He initially did. For what is not openly included in Matthew’s account is how long she followed Jesus, begging Him to heal her daughter—certainly she followed for long enough that the disciples asked Jesus to send her away … if she followed Jesus for only five minutes, begging Jesus to send her away would be an unreasonable act by the disciples; for Paul and Silas permitted the demon possessed slave girl to follow them for many days before casting the demon out of her (Acts 16:16–18). It is likely the Canaanite woman followed Jesus, begging for help, for days. Regardless of how long she actually followed, it was long enough to annoy the disciples and to cause Jesus to finally speak to her: she manifested faith both in deed and by profession, thereby revealing the contents of her heart. It isn’t everyone who will take being called a dog without offense.

If this Canaanite’s woman faith caused her or permitted her to be numbered among the lost sheep of the house of Israel even though she was not outwardly circumcised and could not be outwardly circumcised, circumcision of the flesh is of less importance than is faith to Christ Jesus, the reality of what the prophet Jeremiah records the Lord saying:

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh—Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart. (9:25–26)

Circumcision of the heart comes after the heart has been cleansed by a journey of faith equivalent in mental length to the patriarch Abraham’s physical journey of faith from Ur of the Chaldeans to Canaan, via the land of Haran (cf. Deut 30:1–2, 6; Rom 4:11–12; 2:26–29; Acts 15:9). The Greek who ceases living as a Greek in that this person no longer practices sexual immorality and abstains from things polluted by idols, from meats strangled, and from eating blood, makes a mental journey of faith from “this world” (the kingdom of the spiritual prince of Babylon — Isa 14:4) to the Promise Land, Canaan, called God’s rest. This Greek convert will be where the Canaanite woman was while Jesus still lived physically; for its isn’t the tent of flesh [soma] in which the disciple dwells that matters to God, but the faith of the inner self … faith cannot be purchased; it is not a thing of this world.

Paul testified at Antioch in Peridia that God sent to Christians the message of salvation, for “‘those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize [Jesus] nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning [Jesus]’” (Acts 13:27) … endtime disciples are not to look to Jerusalem or to its rulers or to rabbinical Judaism for spiritual understanding of the plan of God. Yes, because Judaism is without understanding it will fulfill portions of the plan just as its forefathers condemned Jesus to death. Natural Israelites have a part to play in what will happen, but unfortunately and to everyone’s shame, that part is to die in another holocaust because of their lack of understanding.

Without having conformation of the numbers at hand, it is said that there are approximately 50 million Sabbath keepers in the world, with forty million of them being natural Israelites. This is a very small number compared to the 1.7 billion or so “Christians.” But 1260 days into the seven endtime years of tribulation, there will be 144,000 natural Israelites left alive, and only a remnant of the 10 million Sabbath-keeping Christians … how many are in the remnant is unknown, but a remnant is a piece of fabric at the end of a bolt of cloth that is too small to use for any garment so the number will not be large.

There is no reason to believe that the numbers are not “real numbers,” for the wrath of the Lamb of God on the inhabitants of the earth (the opening of the sixth seal — Rev 6:12–16) comes as vengeance against those who have killed the saints (the opening of the fifth seal — vv. 9–11); so for one year like the year from Christmas 2011 to the December solstice in 2012, the world will again see a holocaust as natural and circumcised of heart Israelites are slain because they will not give up the Sabbath when the lawless one seeks to change times and seasons (Dan 7:25). It will be during the following year that great and small hide themselves in caves and among rocks from the wrath of the Lamb.

Paul said that he laid the foundation for the house of God, with the cornerstone of this house being Christ Jesus (1 Pet 2:4–6; Isa 28:16), a stumbling stone for natural Israel … Pharisees in the 1st-Century and rabbinical Judaism since the 4th-Century refused to assign “unity” rather than numerical singleness to the linguistic icon “one” as in the Lord is one. The plural icon “Elohim” used singular verbs and was to Judaism numerically singular despite Elohim saying, “‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’” (Gen 1:26), and Elohim making man in the image of Elohim, “male and female he created them” (v. 27) … to be in the image of Elohim humankind was created male and female, with the One who created man being the Logos [O Logos] who was Theos [theos] and was with the Theon [ton Theon] in the beginning (John 1:1, 3). Thus, the Logos was Yah (from Ps 146:1, 148:1, 149:1), the deity that was seen by Moses and by the seventy elders of Israel (Ex 24:9–11); for no man has seen the Father except the Son (John 1:18).

Judaism rejected Christ because He made Himself equal with God (John 5:18; 10:33), “equal” as in the sense that He too was Theos before entering His creation as His only Son (John 3:16), with God being the name of a house, not of an individual deity that dwells in this house. Thus, those human beings who have received a second breath of life have life in this house as sons: they are sons of God. And as Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in the household of Abram (Gen 15:2), was not to be the heir of Abram’s house for Abram’s want of offspring, angels that are also sons of God but servants in the household of God are not to be the heirs of the Most High for want of offspring … the visible things of this world reveal the invisible things of God, a truism that Paul taught (Rom 1:20), but a truism that Gentiles, Jews, and the Church of God have not accepted.

When Philip said to Jesus, “‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us’” (John 14:8), Jesus said,

Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (vv. 9–14)

Jesus establishes a correspondence that tends to be overlooked: when His disciples saw Him, the disciples saw the Father, who cannot be seen and has never been seen. The words that He spoke were the words of the Father, but the Father’s words also included the works that He did: the speech acts of the Father cannot be conveyed by human words, but are expressed in the words and works of Jesus. And the works that Jesus did form the shadow and copy of the works disciples will do, so that in the works of disciples the words of both the Father and Son will be heard.

What the disciple with discernment is able to do is transpose the “real” things of this world into “real” things in the invisible heavenly realm, with Eliezer of Damascus being an example: if the disciple does not perceive that Eliezar’s relationship to Abram and Sarai is analogous to the relationship angels had with YHWH, then no meaning can be assigned to the scriptural mention of Eliezer. But when the disciple has discernment and realizes that Eliezer can no more be the heir to Abram and Sarai than angels are the heirs of YHWH, the birth of both Ishmael and Isaac has significance, with Ishmael corresponding to physically circumcised Israel and with Isaac corresponding to the Church of God … this is Paul’s great analogy (Gal 4:21–31) that flows logically forth from comprehending that Eliezar is a type of angels as Abram is a type of Yah and Abraham is a type of Christ Jesus, the only Son of theos who received a second breath of life when the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] descended upon Him as a dove (Matt 3:16). The insertion of aspiration [the /ah/ radical] into Abram’s name equates in type to when Jesus received a second breath [pneuma] of life.

Paul understands these things, and in his epistles, he leaves comprehension of these things to those who will build on the foundation that he laid. But the teacher of Israel who builds on a differing foundation will not have discernment and will not understand these things; thus, those who build on other depressions or on other platforms are unable to comprehend the rather simple truism that all of those physical things recorded in Scripture reveal the invisible things of God.

The first temple was a shadow and type of the second temple, but the first temple doesn’t begin with the structure Solomon built. Rather, the first temple begins with the tabernacle in the wilderness, the tent that equates to the tent of flesh [soma], the man of mud, before breath [psuche] was received when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the nostrils of the man (Gen 2:7). Thus, the tabernacle in the wilderness becomes the temple Solomon built when the man of mud became a nephesh, a breathing creature … when Jesus sends forth His disciples (Matt chap 10), the spirit had not yet been given. Thus, His disciples were soma and psuche (Matt 10:28), but after the spirit had been given, disciples are pneuma and soma and psuche [] (1 Thess 5:23). And this is seen in the construction of the second temple, begun by Zerubbabel, which begins as a version of the first temple, but without the splendor and glory of the first temple, as Galileans and Gentiles did not have the “glory” before God that Moses and David had.

But the second temple doesn’t remain a lifeless house constructed of dead stones:

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2:13–22 emphasis added)

In speaking about the temple of His body, Jesus was, according to Paul, speaking about the Church that is individually and collectively the Body of Christ (again, 1 Cor 12:27).

The temple goes from being the lifeless stone structure that first Zerubbabel built and then Herod ordered rebuilt to being the living Body of Christ as physical human beings go from being composed of soma and psuche, spiritually lifeless entities that are of this world for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50), to being disciples composed of pneuma and soma and psuche after the spirit [pneuma] is given.

It isn’t a physical temple rebuilt in Jerusalem or constructed anywhere in the modern State of Israel that is the house of God; it is the Christian Church that is this house, with Paul having laid the foundation and Philadelphia standing on that foundation as pillars.

What the world recognizes as the second temple, the building that Zerubbabel began, is analogous to a physically living but spiritually dead human being; this building is analogous to the physical body of Jesus prior to His baptism, with baptism equating to death or the destruction of the temple … when the divine breath of the Father descended upon Jesus as a dove, Jesus received a second breath of life and became the First of the firstborn sons of the Father. In the fulfillment of all righteousness (Matt 3:15), Jesus’ receipt of the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] corresponds to when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the hagios pneuma’” (John 20:22) — this corresponds to when the second temple ceases being a lifeless stone building and becomes the body/Body of Christ. And Paul understands all of this which is why he pointedly says, “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor 3:16–17).

The Circumcision Faction was unable to mentally see that the things of this world are real things that disclose the “non-real” [because they are not physical] things of God. Even today it seems more difficult than it should be for a disciple to mentally move from those things that the eye sees to those things that only the mind can see … the physical temple, built of stones and wood, is a thing that the eye could see, but the spiritual house of God is built from living stones (1 Pet 2:4–5), the invisible new creatures born of spirit as sons of God, with Christ Jesus as both the cornerstone [the beginning] and the capstone [the end] of this temple. This spiritual second temple cannot be seen with eyes, but can be seen with the mind, which is why Paul identifies disciples as the temple of God for Paul could see this temple, which takes an angel to measure (Rev 11:1–2).

The person who is physically minded cannot see the living temple of God; nor can the person who is physically minded please God. The person simply misses the point of everything Jesus said … shortly before He was taken on the 14th of Abib, Jesus told His disciples, “‘I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father’” (John 16:25). That hour didn’t come before Calvary even though His disciples thought He was then speaking to them plainly.

The Christian who looks for a physical temple to be built at earthly Jerusalem sees only with his or her eyes and is thus blind as natural Israel was blind. The Christian can be sincere, can love the Lord, can believe that he or she is heaven-bound, but the Christian is a spiritual infant, still too young to comprehend dual referents; the Christian is spiritually as a human child of less than 30 months of age is physically. Yet, inevitably, the Christian will think that he or she is mature in the faith, and has a spiritual Ph.D. … patience is needed when dealing with these infant sons of God, but more patience is needed to deal with those who are no more mature yet who have set themselves up to be teachers of Israel, teaching disciples to transgress the laws of God. These teachers of Israel neither deserve patience nor mercy, but Christ extends both.

One such teacher of Israel was a televangelist explicating Mark 11:24 — “‘Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours’” — saying that the reason Christians don’t have things, why they are still in debt, why they don’t have nice homes and new cars and fine clothes was because when they prayed they didn’t really believe they would receive these things. … the question must be asked, is the Father a God of “things,” of the trinkets of this world, of sticks and stones and the minerals of this earth. He didn’t create any of these things—that is correct!! The Father created none of the things that have been made. The Logos [o Logos] created all things made. Again, the Logos was with [pros] the Father [ton Theon] in the beginning, and the Logos was God [theos], and the Logos, who was theos, entered His creation as His only Son (John 3:16) to be born as the man Jesus (John 1:14), who would receive a second birth when the divine breath of the Father [oneuma Theon] descended upon Him as a dove (Matt 3:16). He then became the firstborn Son of the Father, the First of many sons of God (Rom 8:29), all of whom are the firstfruits of this earth.

If a disciple, born of spirit and circumcised of heart, asks anything in prayer, believing that the disciple will receive what is asked, the promise is that the disciple will receive what has been asked-for.

But what about the person who doesn’t hear Jesus’ words or believe Jesus? Should this person expect to receive answers to his or her prayers?

What about the hypocrite who has the law but doesn’t strive to keep it?

What about the sincere disciple worthy of patient nurturing?

No person should expect to receive anything from the Father or the Son if the person isn’t a son of God, but is instead a child of the devil —

If the person doesn’t believe Jesus in matters concerning salvation, why would the person believe that he or she will really receive answers to prayers? Unless the person is playing pretend with the Father and the Son, pretending that by doing evil good with come from it (Rom 3:8), with evil being nothing more than what Eve did in the Garden of God, what the person does in his or her practice of lawlessness makes no sense.

If a person believes the serpent’s lie that the person shall not die (Gen 3:4), that the person has an immortal soul received from the first Adam, and if the person determines for him or herself what is right and wrong, has this person not done what the first Eve did when she ate forbidden fruit? Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise” (v. 6), and she did what any reasonable woman who no longer believed her husband would do: she took the fruit of the tree and she ate—and she didn’t immediately die—so she gave some of the fruit to her husband, who was present throughout Eve’s exchange with the serpent. She gave him forbidden fruit to eat and he ate.

Why didn’t Eve immediately die when she ate; why didn’t something happen to cause her to believe her husband, for it was her husband who relayed to her God’s instruction not to eat.

Notice, though, God said nothing about touching the tree (Gen 2:17). Apparently Adam took it upon himself to add to what God had said.

Can you envision the scene? The serpent approaching Eve, asking in an innocent tone, “‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”?’” (Gen 3:1), the implication being that God had prohibited them from eating the fruit of every tree in the garden when there were so many trees bearing good fruit.

Eve was quick to correct this misunderstanding: “‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die”’” (vv. 2–3).

But again, God said nothing about touching the tree—and if God said nothing about touching the tree, then it was Adam who introduced the subject of touching the tree as a preventative to Eve getting so near the tree that she might be tempted to pick a piece of fruit from it. It was Adam who didn’t trust Eve to do what was right. It was Adam who added to the word of God, thereby setting Eve up for the fall.

When the serpent told Eve that she wouldn’t die—did Eve even know what death was—Eve had to test the words of the serpent … how would the scene have gone? Maybe Eve accidentally bushed the back of her hand against an outer branch. Nothing happened. She didn’t die. So maybe she lightly touched a leaf, and still she didn’t die—now she didn’t believe her husband but believed the serpent instead, and she picked a piece of fruit and ate.

Still nothing happened, why? She had just sinned (that is, broken the living words of God), but she had not died. In fact nothing happened. Her eyes weren’t opened. She certainly was no more wise that before. To her, the forbidden fruit was just fruit. And she took some and gave it to her husband, who saw his wife eat and not die.

Adam believed the evidence of his eyes: God said the day he ate forbidden fruit he would die, but his wife was eating and she wasn’t dying. She probably seemed to enjoy eating this forbidden fruit. So what was to stop him from eating? The evidence of his eyes would seem to make God a liar.

Adam did not know he was Eve’s “covering.” As long as he did not eat, his obedience covered the transgressions of his wife … Adam’s covering was his obedience, just as Jesus’ obedience was His righteousness which today covers the Church.

Sin could never enter the world through the Woman made from Man, for the woman was covered by her husband, not something modern women celebrate or even acknowledge because of how men have abused women throughout history. But it is the concept of not believing God that here needs further developed.

Adam believed what his eyes saw; Eve believed what her eyes saw. When she didn’t die—that possibility introduced by the serpent—after eating, God had a credibility problem that wasn’t His problem, but Adam’s. And so it is today, for Jesus said, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life’” (John 5:24). A few moments later, Jesus added, “‘If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words’” (vv. 46–47).

A clear and unambiguous connection exists between believing Moses’ writings and not coming under judgment but passing directly from death to life, with this connection running through hearing and believing Jesus’ words, with Jesus’ words being the Father’s words.

How much of Christendom believes Moses’ writings?

Does the televangelist who explicated Mark 11:24 believe Moses?

No, she (in this case) does not. And if she doesn’t believe Moses how is she to believe the words of her Husband to whom she has pledged herself … the answer is simply, she won’t. She doesn’t today believe Jesus, and she will not believe Him after the seven endtime years of tribulation begin. Oh, she will swear allegiance to Christ; she will sing praises to Him; then like most modern American wives, she will do what she wants, what she thinks is best, what seems good in her eyes. And she will not understand, when judgments are revealed, why she will be counted among the tares.

The person born of spirit who will not walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), who will not imitate Paul as he copied Jesus (1 Cor 11:1), who will not strive to keep the just requirements of the law (Rom 2:26) should expect to receive nothing from the Lord except the lake of fire. This person can pray, expecting to receive, and receive nothing; for the person is a hypocrite, knowing to do right but not believing either the Father or the Son enough to actually do what the person knows is right. For example, what Christian doesn’t know that the seventh day is the Sabbath? Surely no Christian is so ignorant. Yet very few “Christians” keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. Most attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day as Israel did in the wilderness (Num 14:40) … how many Catholics of either the Greek or Latin Church keep the Sabbath on the seventh day? How many Protestants keep the Sabbath? How many Latter Day Saints keep the seventh day as the Sabbath? None! For Latter Day Saints believe their “prophet” Joseph rather than the Father and the Son, as Catholics follow in the traditions of the “fathers” rather than believe the Father and the Son, who change not but are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Heb 13:8). And Evangelical Protestants seem to be in rebellion against any authority.

Catholics acknowledge that the Church changed the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week, which is akin to the woman telling her husband when she will come into his presence to be a wife to him. Ultimately, the Woman as the Church will not enter into His rest, His presence, because of her unbelief. After all, she believes herself, not her Husband. She was a feminist when women were still chattel. So it is no wonder that centuries later the Catholic churches are called spiritual whores by their lewd sister, Protestant Christendom.

Unfortunately, those Christians who hear the groaning of the spirit and know that they should be keeping the commandments are told that if they do, they are Judaizers, a derogatory term intended to demean and intimidate the disciple who would strive to walk uprightly before the Father and the Son —

·       The Torah is the Law as Jesus used the expression when He said, “‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill them’” (Matt 5:17).

·       The New Covenant will have the Torah [תּוֹרָה], the five books of Moses, put within everyone who is of Israel (Jer 31:33), thereby causing the person, his or her neighbor and brother to Know the Lord. And if the Torah is within the person, will this person not live as a Jew?

·       Those Christians who contend that the question of whether Gentiles converts were to live like Jews was settled at the Jerusalem conference (Acts chap 15) ignore that immediately after the conference Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3).

·       If “a Jew” is no longer a person who is circumcised outwardly but is a Christian circumcised of heart, a Christian who keeps the precepts of law (Rom 2:26–29), is this Christian not a Judaizer?

·       Christians “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [His] own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of [Him] who called you out of darkness” (1 Pet 2:9). How can Christians proclaim these excellencies without also advocating that Christians live as Jews?

·       When Jesus called Saul of Tarsus then on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:4–6), Jesus entrusted Saul to “‘one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there’” (Acts 22:12) … if this Ananias was a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all of the Jews at Damascus, was Ananias not keeping the commandments and thus living as a Jew?

·       When Paul was on trial before Felix at Caesarea, Tertullus accused Paul of being a ringleader for “the sect [Nazoraios] of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5). Would this not make Paul a Judaizer, for the Sadducees were also described as a sect (Acts 5:17), as were the Pharisees (Acts 15:5 – hairesis was used by Paul in Acts 26:5)?

·       If a Christian walks as Jesus, an observant Jew, walked (1 John 2:6) and imitates Paul, an observant Jew who by his testimony committed no offense against the Law or the Temple (Acts 25:8), as Paul imitated Jesus (1 Cor 4:16; 11:1), does this Christian not keep the commandments, the just requirements of the Torah, and live like a Jew and is thus a Judaizer?

·       John says that the person born of God will keep the commandments (1 John 3:4–10), that it is the children of the devil who do not keep the commandments and live today as Gentiles though calling themselves Christians.

The Church began the day when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, ascended to the Father, then returned to breathe on ten of His disciples, saying, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]’” (John 20:22). When Jesus breathed on the disciples, thereby directly transferring to them the Holy Spirit, He formed a new synagogue; for according to the Mishnah’s requirements a new synagogue could be formed anywhere by ten male Jews. And if the ten upon whom Jesus breathed were a newly formed synagogue that “with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer [proseuche]” (Acts 1:14 — cf. Acts 16:13, 16 … the Greek word used by Luke is also the word used for the regular prayer assemblies of the synagogue), were the ten first disciples not Judaizers?

If the early Church functioned as a competing sect of Judaism within greater Judaism, and its assemblies were meetings of a newly formed synagogue, a synagogue circumcised of heart not necessarily in the flesh, was not the early Church an assembly of Judaizers?

The testimony of Scripture is overwhelming: disciples are to practice, under the cover of Christ Jesus’ righteousness (obedience), walking uprightly before man and God—and to walk uprightly before God, disciples will strive to keep the righteous requirements of the Torah, with their walk with God bearing the same relationship to the 613 commandments as the Passover sacraments of bread and wine have to a bleating lamb sacrificed on the 14th of Abib at even..

Silver Christendom (the Christianity of the spiritual king of Persia) is always quick to point out that if a disciple were to attempt to keep the commandments, the disciple would also have to keep the sacrificial laws also. But silver Christendom’s argument discloses the lack of spiritual understanding that has come to typify Christianity as the world knows the religion: sin doesn’t enter the world through Eve, but through Adam, who had no covering for his sin but obedience. The sins of Israel in Egypt were not counted against the nation because the nation was in bondage to, or in subjection to the king of Egypt … where a people is not free to keep the commandments, sin is not reckoned against the people (Rom 5:13). Until liberated from bondage to the prince of this world, humankind is consigned to disobedience and is not free to keep the commandments and therefore has no sin counted against human beings. Most of humankind will die physically without having been liberated from bondage to the prince of this world; thus, no sin is counted against this portion of humanity. But as Israel was liberated from bondage to Pharaoh and was thus responsible for its behavior, the new creature born of spirit is born liberated from disobedience and is thus responsible for its behavior. Israel, however, showed that it could not keep the law, that the nation was not truly capable of obedience to the law; thus, Israel needed a “covering” as Eve was covered by Adam’s obedience. And the covering given was the added animal sacrifices, with Christ Jesus becoming the reality of every animal sacrifice, for the blood of a bull or a goat could only “cover” a sin but could not pay the death penalty for that sin. Jesus paid the death penalty for every sin committed in this world by Israel when He became the reality of the goat sacrificed on the altar on Yom Kipporim — and as the reality of the Azazel goat, Jesus “covers” but does not pay the death penalty for every sin committed by Israel in the heavenly realm, where lust transgresses the commandments as adultery does in this world (Matt 5:27–8).

What silver Christendom fails to understand is that as long as disciples are under grace, the mantle of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, there is no need for animal sacrifices to cover the transgressions of Israel. But grace ends when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30), for disciples will be filled with the Holy Spirit and thus liberated from the indwelling sin and death that presently still resides in the fleshly members of disciples. For the seven years of the Tribulation and Endurance, Israel (i.e., the Christian Church) will cover itself with its obedience, or Israel will be cast into the lake of fire. Only when the Messiah comes will animal sacrifices return to cover the transgressions of Israel, but there will then be few if any transgressions of the commandments.

Because silver Christendom doesn’t understand that grace is not unmerited pardon of sin, but the covering of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, put on as a garment is put on; that grace pertains only to sins committed in the inter-dimensional portion of the heavenly realm; that every sin committed in this world before spiritual birth has its death penalty paid at Calvary; that a person’s physical death pays for the sins of Israel committed in this world after spiritual birth. When Israel is liberated from the sin and death presently dwelling within the fleshly members of every person, the lives of firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God will “cover” Israel as grace ends. Every person born of spirit will then be as Jesus was when He lived physically, and will have to cover him or herself with the person’s own obedience as Jesus covered Himself with His obedience, and if the person has practiced walking uprightly before God while under the mantle of grace, the person will be able to truly walk as Jesus walked.

But—and this is the caveat of importance—the sins of Israel will not be remembered; however, the disciple who rebels against God will come under a great delusion because of that rebellion (2 Thess 2:11–12).

The person who asked for the things of this world is as the first thief to speak at Calvary, the thief who wanted Jesus to save his life. This person’s mind is set on the things of this world, the things that pertain to the flesh, the desire of the eyes. John writes, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possession—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). So the person who asks for the things of this world asks for things that are not of the Father … if you ask for things that are not of the Father, should you expect to receive these things? The Father knows you have needs, and He would be remiss if He didn’t supply those needs, but when you ask for the wealth of this world, can you truly expect to receive it when the wealth of this world comes from the prince of this world?

It is the prince of this world that will today supply his servants with the good things that this world has to offer; thus, the woman televangelist who preached about receiving wealth might well have already received wealth, for she is an affective servant of Satan. But she is not of God. At best she plays pretend with the Father and the Son, for her mind is set on the things of this world, not on the spiritual things of God where a mountain is merely the breath of the Son spun in an alternative reality as Whitehouse spin doctors “spun” the sins of a President into old news.

Jesus tells His disciples to forgive others so that our Father who is in heaven will forgive our sins, thereby establishing a solid connection between the things of this world forming a shadow and type of the invisible things of God. As disciples, we are to this world as the Father is in heaven. And if we ask for the things of this world, we will remain a part of this world, for we will not have looked up to see the invisible things of heaven that await us … said differently, if we want importance and preeminence in this world, if we want the things of this world and ask for those things, believing that we will receive the things of this world, we might well receive wealth and importance, but because we didn’t ask for the things of God, we will not receive the things of God.

As the temple of God, a temple not located in earthly Jerusalem nor constructed from dead stone, we had better have our hearts set on the things of God, with discernment being at the top of that list—for spiritual discernment is “real” wealth of a type that cannot be lost to thieves or to downturns in the market. And the person who looks for construction of another earthly temple prior to Jesus’ return is as the woman pastor praying for the wealth of this world.


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."