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. The concept behind this Sabbath's selection, and behind this fifth selection in a series is the role of women in the new covenant, considering their absence in patriarchal Israel.
For the Sabbath of July 2, 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 Genesis, chapter 38.
Commentary: Except for an
Israelite’s named wife—Sarah in the case of Abraham—a woman in patriarchal
In the Roman Church prayers are directed to Mary, thereby effectively making a four-person godhead that has prophetic significance that will be discussed in the near future.
Judah says that Tamar was more righteous than he was, but his reason for saying this didn’t pertain to him obtaining sexual release from whom he believed was a cult prostitute, but pertained to him not giving Tamar to his youngest son.
Solomon sinned against the Lord in the matter of his foreign wives (read 1 Kings 11:6-8). The remnant that had returned from Babylon sinned because of their foreign wives.
The reader should now read Ezra, chapters 9 and 10, followed by Nehemiah chapter 13, verses 23 through 27.
Commentary: God gave Israel rest all the days of Solomon (read 1 Chronicles 22:9, 17-19), thereby
making his reign a type of Christ’s millennial reign.
Again, a physically circumcised Israelite forms the visible shadow of the spiritually circumcised son of God born from above—of the Apostle Paul’s new man or new creature. The house or tent in which this circumcised Israelite dwells represents or forms the visible shadow of the tabernacle of flesh in which the spiritually circumcised son of God dwells. The flesh isn’t the person; the brain and heart are not the person. Under the new covenant, the laws of God are put into the mind and written on the heart; thus, mind and heart have the same relationship to the Apostle Paul’s new man or creature as the two tablets of stone had to the circumcised Israelite. Hence, the desires of the heart and the thoughts of the mind now embody this new creature. So for a circumcised Israelite to marry a foreign wife becomes the equivalent of a disciple’s desires and thoughts to wed and become one with blasphemy, idolatry, abominations against God. This does, indeed, occur. Disciples mentally wrestle with the failings of the flesh, but the spiritual “wedding” of a foreign wife isn’t a hormonal driven failing of the flesh. It isn’t a lust of the eye, or a pride of possession. It is, rather, an identification of self, as in sexual orientation (most obvious when the orientation differs from the biology) as one example. And the disciple must put away this foreign “wife” that will otherwise keep this son of God out of the kingdom.
The problem now comes when there are “children” from this spiritual wedding of a foreign wife. The low barre established for entering Christian fellowship by the Jerusalem conference doesn’t allow for an unmarried couple, living together, to attend services.
The reader should now read Acts, chapter 15.
Commentary: The question before the Jerusalem conference was physical circumcision, not the role of marriage or of women, but the question of circumcision directly relates to the role of women. The argument made by the circumcision faction was that a Gentile had to first become a physical Israelite before becoming a spiritual Israelite. This would effectively preclude women from becoming spiritual Israelites, for physical circumcision is not possible. What poses as female circumcision is genital mutilation that does not leave the woman naked before God, covered only by her own obedience; rather, the woman is always covered by the male. Sin didn’t enter the world by Eve, but by Adam, who covered Eve’s sin as Christ Jesus presently covers the sins of disciples. Thus, the circumcision faction lacked understanding of what physical circumcision represented.
Before God, there is neither male nor female. The wedding of glorified disciples to the Son will make those disciples one with the Son, who is one with the Father. A person cannot be one with the Father and with the Son and still be a foreigner.
The reader should now read the book of Ruth, chapters 1 through 4.
Commentary: When Ruth tells Naomi that your people shall be my people, and your God my God (), Ruth ceases to think of herself as a
foreigner. Her marriage to Boaz fully incorporates her into
The reader should now read 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, verses 12 through 20.
Commentary: For disciples, sexual immorality isn’t merely a matter of succumbing to the weakness of the flesh. Born anew sons of God, whether dwelling in a tabernacle that is biologically male or female, are as physically circumcised Israelites were—they can become one with, or can use “women” as objects. But they must pay for the object, spiritually pay, with the wages for sin being death.
By the same standard, born anew sons of God are to become one with those things that are of God.
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."