The Philadelphia Church

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:19)"

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 sixth selection in a series is the role of women in the new covenant, considering their absence in patriarchal Israel.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of July 9, 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 39.

Commentary: Potipher saw that the Lord was with Joseph, and that the Lord blessed all that Potipher had. Nevertheless, when Potipher’s wife accused Joseph of attempting to lie with her, the Egyptian believed his wife.

Sin reigned from Adam to Moses, but it wasn’t counted as sin until the Law came (Rom 5:12-14). Grace abounds when sin isn’t counted as sin; thus, before Sinai Israel and the remainder of humanity was as the Church is today. Only behind this shadow of grace lay death, not life. Therefore, when Judah went into Tamar, his transgression wasn’t counted against him by the Lord, for the Law had not been given. It wasn’t what he should have done, but it wasn’t counted as sin. The proposed adultery of Potipher’s wife, however, has a differing dimension: Egypt represents sin. For Joseph to have become one flesh with Potipher’s wife, he would have become one with sin. He knew better than to lie with her, for his master had withheld her from him (verses 8 and 9). Likewise, Christ Jesus as our master withholds permission to become one with sin or lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

Our perspective is “post-Law.” We see this account from the perspective of the Law having been given, and adultery being sin. Even more, as disciples we realize that if we were Joseph, for us to even lust after Potipher’s wife would be sin. But we are also realists and understand that such propositioning occurs in the world. It is sometimes resisted, sometimes accepted, but every time it damages the person who propositions and the person who accepts.

Joseph’s resistance, however, cost him years in prison.

The reader should read Genesis chapter 37.

Commentary: In Joseph’s second dream, the sun and the moon are taken to represent his father and mother—his mother reflecting his father as the moon reflects sunlight. Jacob is Israel. All of Israel, then, bowed down to Joseph, as happened when the seventy went to Egypt. But the symbolism of the first dream suggests that Joseph and his brothers represent the wheat harvest, a metaphor for the harvest of God. The symbolism of the second dream points towards the great heavenly sign of Revelation chapter 12, verse 1.

Joseph’s position in Potipher’s house was similar to his position in Egypt, second to the Pharaoh. In both cases, he had a position similar to that of the Logos, by whom all things were created (John 1:1-3). His position was, then, like that of Jesus of Nazareth. In both cases, he was the help-mate to first Potipher, then Pharaoh. As such, he is a type of the Church.

One major denomination claims their “Joseph” was like the patriarch Israel’s Joseph. This denomination identifies itself as “the Church.” But their Joseph retained the lawlessness of Babylon—their Joseph succumbed to Potipher’s wife, thereby becoming one flesh with sin, as evidenced by their attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day as did the circumcised nation that left Egypt. This denomination remains “married” to an Egyptian.

The role of help-mate (i.e., the role of wife) is demonstrated through how Joseph handled the affairs of Potipher and of Pharaoh. Too often this role gets mingled with human sexuality, thereby creating confusion as to what should be, or can be with what presently exists. The prince of the power of the air broadcasts disobedience, broadcasts rebellion against God. Too often this spiritual rebellion manifests itself as rebellion in marriage.

The reader should read Proverbs, chapter 31.

Commentary: King Lemuel is, based upon the word, Solomon, the preacher. Bathsheba, then, taught this proverb to him.

The heart of the husband trusts an excellent wife, who will do him good and not harm all the days of his life. The relationship between disciple and Christ Jesus is that of wife to husband, that of Joseph to Pharaoh. Unfortunately, the natural mind of men, influenced by and actually governed by the prince of the power of the air, would have the relationship being that of a gulley. As a result, the natural minds of women have rebelled against being second in authority.

The relationship between husband and help-mate was concealed from circumcised Israel by the tetragrammaton YHWH (or YHVH), translated into English as “LORD” with all letters in capitals, but with what would usually be lower case letters being instead in smaller point capitals. This is the God of circumcised Israel.

The tetragrammaton YHWH was considered by Israel to be too sacred to be pronounced, a practice that some Messianic Jews and all Sacred Names Christians have abandoned. Sacred Names translators have even produced a bad edition of Scripture that has the Hebrew icons Elohim and YHWH used without understanding throughout the Greek New Testament. Jesus asked the scribes and Pharisees an unanswerable question, unanswerable because of how the Septuagint had translated the Tetragrammaton.

Early Christianity struggled with understanding the nature of the godhead because Church fathers could not grasp the role of “help-mate.” Elohim [plural in construction and here plural in usage] said, “Let us make man [literally adam without a capital] in our image, and after our likeness” (Gen 1:26). And Elohim [now single in usage] created man [adam] in his own image, in the image of Elohim [here plural in usage] he created him; male and female he created them (v. 27). Human beings, to be created in the image of and after the likeness of Elohim had to be male and female. The two—male and female—are to be one as Elohim is in the Tetragrammaton, which deconstructs to the radical /YH/ and the radical /WH/. Elohim was earlier seen as the plural of Eloah, which is deity /El/ plus /breath/. The Tetragrammaton is, thus, /YH = deity + breath, or Eloah/ plus /WH = deity + breath, or Eloah/. So within the Tetragrammaton are two Eloahs. The Tetragrammaton represents Elohim. But the two Eloahs function as one. And this is what the Apostle John revealed at the beginning of his gospel. In the beginning  the Logos [Spokesman] was with God [Theon, or the Most High] and was God [Theos, the one who was born as the man Jesus of Nazareth].

The reader should now read John chapter 1.

Commentary: Strong’s Concordance is not helpful in understanding verses 1 through 3. If someone present has an Interlinear Version or has as a Greek version, what John wrote can be read. English translators, coming from a triune deity tradition, have rendered both Greek icons Theon and Theos as the English icon “God.” Indeed, both are God in the sense that both are Elohim. So in English, the singular icon God serves the same function as the Hebrew plural icon Elohim.

Linguistically, aspirated breath is represented by the letter /h/, which is a glottal stop, meaning that the consonant is formed by an interruption of the vowel stream at the very back of the mouth or in the throat. To have sound, a vowel stream must be generated; thus vocalized breath is linguistically represented by the radical /ah/. And within the godhead, two breaths are present as the Apostle Paul explains: “Anyone who does not have the Pneuma [literally Breath, but translated as Spirit] of Christ does not belong to him” (Rom 8:9 ESV); and “If the Pneuma of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Pneuma [that] dwells in you” (v. 11). The Breath of Jesus and the Breath of the One who raised Jesus from the dead—the Breath of the Son and the Breath of the Father—will be in disciples. The Father and Son functioned as one when represented by the Tetragrammaton. They functioned as one when Jesus revealed the Father to His disciples. But they are not one, the problem of Christology that was never properly resolved. They are only one as man and wife were intended to be one flesh after marriage.

The role of the help-mate is the role of the Logos, who created everything that is known and who revealed what is known about the Father. He was given a job to do, and Theon literally looked over His shoulder all the while He was doing the job. But Scripture doesn’t show Theon interfering in how Theos did the job. They were one in goal and in thought. And through childbirth, all of humanity will be saved (or better, have the opportunity for salvation). Theos went through childbirth, in that as Creator, He became a child. (Read John 3:16 in Greek if possible, for it was Theos, not Theon, who gave His son, His only—the Logos could only come as His creation as flesh one time; thus, He could have no other son.)

The relationship that is represented by the Tetragrammaton ended with childbirth. A separation was made. Literally, Theon remained in the heavenly realm while Theos became subject to time and death, for all flesh must die. Thus, the relationship changed to Father [for Theon] and Son [for Theos], both God, both of the same substance, but not the same entity.

It is a serious error to apply the plural Elohim to God the Father, or to apply the Tetragrammaton to the Father. Both Elohim and YHWH represent the relationship between Theon and Theos prior to childbirth. But it is an even more serious error to apply personhood to the Breath of Theos or of Theon.

Because of Christology, Christianity divided into a northern school (Ephesus) and a southern school (Alexandria) just as the kingdom of Israel divided into a northern house (the house of Israel) and a southern house (the house of Judah). Wars were fought between theses two schools, with the Vandal sacking of Rome (ca. 600 CE) being the last time the northern school won a military victory over the southern school. But these two schools will again fight during the Tribulation, with the northern school seeming to prevail. The false prophet will support the northern school, and the man of perdition will come out of the northern school. Thus, after the shedding of much blood, Arian Christianity [strict monotheism] will again triumph over Trinitarian Christianity [god as three]. Between these warring behemoths, Sabbatarian Churches of God will be caught and killed, except for a remnant that have the spirit of prophecy. Sabbatarians will be sacrificed as the firstborn son of God, the Body of the Son of Man, of which Christ is head.

As help-mate to the Son, the work that has been given to The Philadelphia Church is delivery of the message that halfway through seven, endtime years of tribulation a third son will be born to the last Eve, a spiritual Seth, who only has to endure to the end to be saved (Matt 24:13). All of humanity that hasn’t previously received the Breath or Spirit of God will then be born-from-above, and will be refined as silver is refined and tested as gold is tested, and will be God’s (Zech 13:9). They constitute the great endtime harvest, for righteous Abel will be dead and Cain will be marked for death with the tattoo of the Cross.

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."