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 July 4, 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 services should read or assign to be read Acts chapter 11.

Commentary: The question of authority within the Church is problematic and has been from the beginning: after the apostles and disciples throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had received the word of God, Peter still had to explain why he had eaten with uncircumcised men. If Peter were the first pope as the Roman Church claims, why did Peter have to explain himself to anybody? After all, he was the one who received the vision. He was the one selected by God to first take the good news of salvation to the Uncircumcised. But the fact that he was challenged about having eaten with uncircumcised men reveals that Peter didn’t have pope-like authority. And from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians (specifically 2:14), it is apparent that Peter also did not yet understand spiritual birth, or as John phrases the concept, being born of God, even though it was through Peter that Samaritans received the spirit even before Cornelius and his household were filled with spirit.

The Circumcision Faction never understood spiritual birth, nor did most Greek converts, nor does endtime Christendom.

After Peter justified himself by detailing the vision he received, the Circumcision Factor fell silent (Acts 11:18), indicating that as Peter was without authority in the early Church, the Circumcision Factor was also without authority. In fact, no authority existed other than that of Christ Jesus, who was not visibly with disciples. And if neither Peter nor the Circumcision Faction possessed authority that would cause his/their words to be accepted without questions being asked; and if the Jerusalem Conference was called to make a decision because no decision-making authority was then in place; and if Paul did not have the authority to command Galatians to knock off their silliness in getting themselves physically circumcised, then the 1st-Century Church was without a hierarchal structure and functioned as Israel did under the judges when every Israelite did what was right in his (or her) own eyes (Judges 21:25). That is certainly the case today within the Sabbatarian churches of God, and that will remain the case until one like Samuel emerges, one whose words do not fall to the ground (1 Sam 3:19), one whom the Lord establishes as a prophet.

However, if Peter seeing a vision followed by Cornelius and his household being filled with the spirit wasn’t enough to establish Peter as a prophet, then seeing visions will not establish an endtime prophet like Samuel. It is words that do not fall to the ground that establishes this endtime prophet, meaning it is the delivery of words that are true, that come to pass and do not fail which will distinguish this endtime Samuel from all others. Again, it isn’t seeing visions or doing great works in Jesus’ name that marks the endtime prophet of God; it is this prophet’s words coming to pass regardless of how this prophet receives these words.

The seven endtime years (the Tribulation and the Endurance) compress in type the administrations of Samuel, Saul, and David, with Solomon’s forty year reign forming the shadow of Christ Jesus’ millennial reign … “forty” completes for death what another number (three & a half or seven or ten) completes for life; thus the forty years of Solomon forms the chiral image of the thousand year [10³] long reign of Jesus.

If Solomon, to whom the Lord gave peace, forms a shadow and type of Christ Jesus—and this is absolutely the case—then David’s forty year reign over Israel also forms a shadow or type of Christ Jesus leading Israel (Rev 14:1–5) after He receives the kingdom of this world halfway through the seven endtime years. Israel is therefore seen as a two part entity during the Endurance (the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years): the 144,000 natural Israelites that follow the Lamb wherever He leads form one part, and the remnant (from Rev 12:17) that are witnesses to the third part of humankind (from Zech 13:9), together (remnant and third part of humankind), form the second part. For the broken off natural branches of Israel are grafted back onto the Root of Righteousness during the Tribulation (the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years).

Ancient Israel under King David serves as a shadow and type of the Christian Church in the Endurance, the Church that has mentally prevailed against “Philistine” and other pagan ideologies. It was not under Solomon that Israel’s borders expanded to their greatest size, but under David, who continued the expansion begun under Samuel and Saul. So if David and Solomon serve as types of Christ Jesus during the Endurance and Millennium respectively, then Saul serves as a type of the present prince of this world, the old dragon that gives power and false signs and wicked deceptions to the lawless one (2 Thess 2:9–10); hence Saul forms the shadow and type of the man of perdition, who will be the "Christian" leader that expands Christianity’s borders though he possesses an evil spirit.

Israel’s geographical boundaries serve as the visual representation of endtime Israel’s knowledge of God, with “knowledge” possessing a two-dimensional component: depth and breadth. Thus knowledge increases when a few people grow in knowledge, better understanding the mysteries of God, or knowledge increases when many more people know a little about the mysteries of God whereas before they had known nothing.

Again, in Saul is seen the man of perdition, a Christian leader possessed by an evil spirit, the old serpent, Satan the devil—and in David is seen the Son of Man, Head and Body, during the Endurance. But it is Samuel as prophet that is of most interest to Philadelphia; for there will be no authority within the Christian Church even though men (and a few women) claim to possess authority until the Lord establishes a prophet like Samuel, with the Lord establishing this prophet by causing his words to come to pass.

There is nothing any disciple can do about the present lack of authority among disciples as every disciple continues to do what is right in the disciple’s eyes. When the time is appropriate, God will reveal whom He has established as a prophet. Until then, the Nicolaitans will continue to exerted their heavy handed control over the sheep that should have no shepherd but Christ Jesus—the Nicolaitans are the fat sheep that push against the lean until the weak are scattered abroad (Ezek 34:20–24). They are not shepherds, for the Christian Church has no shepherd but Christ Jesus. They are simply inwardly ugly disciples that covet power and authority that they cannot command with their words. They use fear and intimidation—the threat to excommunicate or disfellowship—to extort tithes and offerings from the lean sheep so that they do not have to work with their hands as Paul worked with his.

Both the Roman system of top-down authority from a pope or pastor-general as well as bottom-up authority of congressional voting are of the Adversary; for all authority in this world comes from that given to this world’s present prince, Satan the devil. Only when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years can any government of God be established in Israel. Until that time, those who lead disciples do so by serving others, with the disciples being served then voluntarily choosing to follow the one leading. This, however, doesn’t mean that a fellowship lacks authority to mark an individual. What it means is that the fellowship has no authority to compel other fellowships to recognize the marking. Thus, fat sheep go from fellowship to fellowship preying upon the lean sheep, extorting and coercing support for their vaunted ministries from the lean sheep.

Because there now is no authority within the Church, there is no agreed-upon doctrine or theology. Frankly, the Church is a corpse incapable of understanding the mysteries of God. But who claims membership in a dead organization or is willing to support with tithes and offerings a dead Body; thus, it has been essential that the Nicolaitans maintain the illusion of life, of Christianity being a living, dynamic theological body, with each sect or denomination claiming that it alone is the true Body of Christ and every other Christian sect or denomination is of the devil. Instead of the Christian Church being one Body, the Church became thousands of competing bodies, none looking like Christ Jesus or walking as Jesus walked.

Is there only one true Church? Yes, there is only one, but “one” as in the concept of “unity” for there are letters to seven endtime fellowships of which seven fellowships at the end of the 1st-Century formed the shadow and type. Therefore, all who walk as Jesus, an observant Jew, walked and who imitate Paul as he imitated Jesus are of the one true Church, regardless of where they dwell physically. But the person who does not walk as Jesus walked and who is not a fractal image of Jesus is not of this one true Church.

Because the Church is today a corpse, it is spiritual birth that must be addressed before the question of authority can be resolved through God establishing a prophet … although being born of God through receipt of the divine breath of God [pneuma Theon] lies at the core of what it means to be a Christian, the concept that should be intuitively understood by those who have been so born, is not today understood by most who claim to be disciples of Christ Jesus—and if it is not understood, then spiritual birth has not occurred. It is really that simple.

After Samuel anoints a reluctant Saul to be king over Israel, Samuel relates a series of signs that Saul will see, with the culmination of these signs being, “‘And there [at Gibeath-elohim], as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man’” (1 Sam 10:5–6). And when “he [Saul] turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him [Saul] another heart” (v. 9).

Saul became another man … he had to become another man to be king of Israel, but he also had to be another man to be the type and shadow of the man of perdition, who will not be a natural Jew that has converted to Islam as some lawless Christian teachers contend but will be a convert to a form of Arian Christianity.

As Saul, not born of God but having received the use of the spirit of God, was changed into another man, every person who has truly been born of God will be changed into another man, this other man a son of the Most High. The person who has not been so born, who has not received the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion], which is a second breath of life (not a personage) — which is the “fire” that gives life to entities in the heavenly realm (i.e., heaven), “fire” that cannot be contained in fleshly bodies which is why the person must also be called by Christ Jesus and have the indwelling of “Christ” (Rom 8:9–10) — the person who has not been born of spirit can change him or herself, can strive to become a better person, can actually become a better person, but never really becomes another person for he or she remains a son of disobedience.

Prima facie evidence that Christendom today doesn’t understand being born of God is what Christendom teaches about the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion], or in the Sabbatarian Churches of God, about being born of spirit. No person born of water (i.e., of a woman — the water of a womb) has immortal life of any sort dwelling within the person, for eternal life is the gift of God in [en] Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23). All who teach otherwise are liars, deceitful workman, wolves seeking to devour Christians for personal gain or for theological reasons.

Eternal or immortal life is the gift of the Most High in Christ Jesus; for the glorified Jesus is the indwelling “container” able to hold the “fire” that comes from the Father, “fire” that functions for spiritual beings as oxygen functions for air-breathing creatures (nephesh). Without Jesus being in [en] the person, the person cannot receive eternal life, which is why both the lawyer and the rich young ruler (Luke 10:25 & 18:18 respectively) asked Jesus what must they do to “inherit” eternal life: both knew they did not then have eternal life dwelling within them … what was promised to Abraham was that his seed would be as the stars, a promise that implies vast numbers but of more relevance to Abraham, a promise that his seed would have eternal life as Egyptians then believed that their embalmed pharaohs would be stars in heaven. Thus, the promise in Genesis 12:2 of making of then Abram a great nation and the promise made in Genesis 15:5 to make Abram’s seed as the stars and the promise made in Genesis 17:4 to make Abram the father of a multitude of nations come together in the personage of Christ Jesus: Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in [en] Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:28–29).

The concept of Abraham’s seed being like stars should have more relevance to endtime disciples than to disciples in earlier generations; for endtime disciples know that stars are distant suns, which are giant nuclear fireballs contained by gravity. The eternal life received from God is fire presently contained by Christ Jesus dwelling within the person; so yes, the sun and stars in the four unfurled dimensions form the chiral image of the sons of God in the heavenly realm.

All who are of Christ are one in Christ Jesus, hence all form together one great nation that has received eternal life in Christ, with each disciple forming the fractal image of Christ Jesus and thus being within the disciple a nation … many disciples are one in Christ Jesus. Likewise, many nations are one nation in Christ Jesus, with these many nations coming from the many disciples that are Christ.

Christ Jesus dwells within the person who has been drawn from this world by the Father through the person possessing the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christos] (Rom 8:9), creating a state analogous to fire within fire in a person, or gravity containing the nuclear fires of the sun … the person doesn’t physically see the “fire” that occurs within him or herself when, within living body cells, sugars are oxidized or burned (“oxidation” is the definition of fire within the creation); so a person should not expect to see the “fire” within the person that comes with receipt of a second breath of life, the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] that descended upon Jesus when He was raised from baptism.

The breath of life that the first Adam received when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7) supplies oxygen molecules to the lungs where these molecules are picked up by blood cells and carried throughout a person’s body to fuel the oxidation of simple carbohydrates; thus, the “life” of an air-breathing creature is in the blood (Gen 9:4) and exists in the form of oxygen molecules received by the simple act of expanding and contracting the chest, with this expansion and contraction forming an air pump that takes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide. Hence, oxygen is life, carbon dioxide is death, with carbon dioxide molecules tightly binding to the bloods cells that should carry oxygen molecules to body cells, thereby giving “death” preeminence over life in this world.

The Church is born (i.e., comes into existence) through the collective receipt of the breath of God [pneuma Theon], which occurred when Jesus breathed of ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]’” (John 20:22) — and the Church dies when collectively the breath of God [pneuma Theon] is lost as Jesus’ natural body died on the cross from loss of breath and blood. Paul writes that the natural or physical precedes and does not follow the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46), and the visible, physical things of this world reveal the invisible, spiritual things of God (Rom 1:20). Hence, the human life that comes to a person at both conception and when the infant breathes on its own forms the shadow and type (i.e., the chiral image) of spiritual life coming to a person when the Father raises the dead (John 5:21) by giving to mortal human beings a second breath of life individually and collectively. The Son then does what He sees the Father do (v. 19); thus the Son gives life to those whom the Father has raised from the dead by dwelling within the disciple and by causing the perishable flesh to put on immortality.

Every disciple must receive the breath of the Father (Rom 8:11) and the breath of the Son (v. 9) before the person has indwelling eternal life … to perpetuate the old serpent’s lie first told to Eve that she would not die (Gen 3:4), a lie Egyptians used to advance their society, lawless disciples assigned an immortal soul to the Greek linguistic icon “psuche” whereas natural or shallow breath should be assigned to the icon. Thus, lawless endtime Christians find an immortal soul in Scripture where none exists; for words do not come with their meanings attached to them, but must be assigned meaning by their auditors. Usually the reading community to which an auditor belongs assigns a culturally agreed upon meaning to an icon, but if error or a conspiracy causes an assignment contrary to Scripture, this fraudulent assignment doesn’t simply disappear but is continued through a historical trace that comes across as but that is always what the word has meant. Well, the errant assignment is not the meaning assigned to the icon by the Father or the Son, but by agents of the Adversary so long ago that it truly seems as if that is what the word has always meant. But in the restoration of all things, these errant assignments will be challenged and erased from the memories of Israel. Until then, those who are born of God will hear Jesus’ voice and reject what is false while those who are of the devil will continue to believe what is not true.

Therefore, those who claim to be Christians but who practice sinning and are thus children of the devil (1 John 3:4–10) do not and again cannot understand that human conception is analogous to being born of God, with human birth by water being analogous to glorification, thus creating the theological premise that disciples are not truly “born of spirit” but are merely begotten when they receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]. The problem with the concept of being begotten rather than born when a person receives a second breath of life, the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon], is that human birth forms the non-symmetrical chiral image of spiritual birth, with all “growth” occurring in this world, thereby transferring the physical growth that humanly occurs post-birth to the son of God’s spiritual maturation in pre-glorification stage. And it is this transference of growth from post-birth in human beings to pre-glorification in sons of God that informs what happens during the Tribulation and the Endurance (i.e., the seven endtime years).

As ancient Israel’s geographical borders form the shadow and type of endtime Israel’s knowledge of God, human physical growth forms the shadow and type of spiritual maturation, with reaching one’s legal majority becoming equivalent to glorification. Therefore, all human growth, from an ovum to when physical growth stops—both in the womb and out of the womb—forms the chiral image of spiritual maturation, with being born of water now equating to being born of spirit [pneuma]. Hence, every person not yet born of God is like a fetus in the womb, fed across a spiritual placenta. The person dwells in darkness with his or her activities restricted by being consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32). The person is kept alive by God for eventually the person will be born of spirit, but until born of spirit the person knows no more about God than a human infant before birth knows about his or her natural father.

Both the human growth that occurs in the womb as well as the physical growth that occurs after human birth—together—form the shadow and type of the spiritual maturation that occurs before the Father raises a person from the dead by giving the person a second breath of life and after the person has been born of God. Because growth occurs in the womb (not much when compared to growth that has occurred by adulthood), it can be said that today’s Christian is spiritually no more than a spiritual fetus, a fetus that will be “born of God” following the second Passover.

Human birth occurs when it does (at nine months) so that the fetus can pass through its mother’s pelvis, with this physical limitation to how large a fetus can grow in a womb having a direct counterpart in the timeless spiritual realm: without being born of God, a human being cannot grow spiritually large, something Judaism has never understood. Again, yes growth occurs in the womb. A person can in this world diligently strive to keep the commandments and to be a better person and grow in the darkness of this world, but the person cannot grow so large as to walk uprightly before God, or to even crawl, or to unfurl from its fetal position. The womb—in this case, disobedience—restricts growth, thereby creating the situation in which the larger a person grows spiritually prior to be actually being born of spirit, the less room the person has to move around-in in this world.

Again, all spiritual growth must occur in this world, for growth of the type seen physically cannot occur in the timeless heavenly realm where all that “is” must coexist with what “was” and what “will be.” Therefore, all “growth” of a son of God must occur in this world where change is not only permitted but dictated. All growth, including that which comes from drinking milk and eating meat, comes in the spiritual fetal state, thereby making arguments about disciples only being begotten and not truly born of spirit the murmurings of the dead as wind [pneuma] passes across their lifeless lips as wind causes a marine whistler buoy to moan as if withering in pain. As a caterpillar grows in this world, a son of God, once born of spirit, grows without looking like what he will be when glorified. Thus, spiritual birth occurs when the person receives a second breath of life, and this son of God grows or should be growing while dwelling in a body of flesh. Growth will cease with the death of the flesh. And a second spiritual birth will occur when the person is glorified and the perishable flesh puts on immortality.

Paul writes that the Church is the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27). Therefore, those things that happened to Jesus’ physical body, especially crucifixion, death and burial, and resurrection after the third day will happen to His spiritual Body, with disciples individually and collectively forming His spiritual Body. The physical reveals the spiritual: what happened to Jesus’ earthly body will happen to His spiritual Body, but most of Christendom will be as the Circumcision Faction was when Peter went to Cornelius. Christendom will not believe that the Church died with John (ca 100–102 CE), and hung visible on the cross dead until it was “buried” at the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE), and that it will not be resurrected until after the third day of the Genesis “P” creation account. Glorification occurs when Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah. But few of today’s Christians will be glorified—Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen (Matt 22:14)—for most are possessed by unbelief. They are as rebelling angels are. And they certainly will not believe a man about anything, meaning that they will not believe Christ.

Why did Peter have to explain himself to the Circumcision Faction? So what if Peter and the six with him ate with uncircumcised men? Who or what gave the Circumcision Faction the authority to question or challenge Peter? Certainly neither the Father nor the Son had given these men that authority; so where does this judging of Peter come from, other that from the Adversary, already strongly imbedded within the Jesus Movement in the 1st-Century?

The Adversary doesn’t play “fair”; he fights to win. So those both to the left and to the right of Peter were of the Adversary … unless a person walks as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), and imitates Paul as he imitated Jesus (1 Cor 4:16; 11:1; Phil 3:17; 1 Thess 1:6), and assembles with a fellowship that imitates the 1st-Century churches of God in Judea (1 Thess 2:14), the person does not look like Jesus and does not have Jesus dwelling within the person. Simply put, the person has not been born of God regardless of what the person thinks about his or her spiritual status. And if the person has not been born of God, the person remains a son of disobedience, a child of the devil, with salvation laying before the person. And this is the trap that the Adversary has laid for every so-called Christian: if a person continues in sin after being truly born of spirit, the person condemns him or herself to the lake of fire—and the person not today born of spirit but who now believes that he or she is “right” with God will continue in sin if born of spirit.

It is enough for one Sabbath to realize that spiritual growth can occur before a person is actually born of God. Peter’s vision has three applications: one has occurred (Cornelius), and two are to come. And this will be the subject of next Sabbath’s 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."