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 are offered as openings into dialogue about the subject or concept. And the concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is knowing God.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of October 1, 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 person conducting the services should read or assign to be read John chapter 17, followed by John chapter 5.

Commentary: Jesus said, ‘“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent”’ (v. 3). Elsewhere (John 5:23-24) Jesus said, ‘“Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life.’” Thus, with eternal life equating to knowing the one true God and his Christ, and with receiving eternal life being hearing Jesus’ words and believing the one who sent him, the following correspondence is established: knowing God is hearing Jesus’ words and believing them. Jesus spoke His Father’s words; He didn’t speak His own. To believe God the Father is, therefore, to believe Jesus. And Jesus said, ‘“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”’ (John 5:46). By extension—and without twisting Holy Writ—the person who does not believe Moses does not know God.

The reader should now read 1 John chapters 1 & 2.

Commentary: Jesus is the light that came from darkness (Gen 1:3). If disciples say they have fellowship with Jesus, they will walk, will live their lives as Jesus lived His (1 John 1:6 & 2:6). The Apostle John wrote so that disciples would not sin, would not commit lawless acts, would not transgress the law of God (1 John 3:4), would not walk in darkness. For walking in darkness is living in lawlessness, a state of mind that precludes entrance into the heavenly realm…a person who willfully transgresses the law of God is spiritually dead. Either this person has never received spiritual life through receipt of the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion], or this person has committed spiritual suicide. Either way, this person remains an air-breathing human being, having life in this physical realm.

The reader should now read Genesis chapters 2 & 3.

Commentary: Adam had no life prior to Elohim [single in usage] breathing into his nostrils (2:7). He was a corpse, just as a person becomes a corpse when the breath of life leaves the person. He becomes a naphesh [breathing creature] just as other beasts became naphesh when he received life through physical breath. At this moment, Adam was no different than any other beast (read Eccl 3:16-22). His breath/spirit would go to the same place as his dog’s life through physical breath will go. If a person does not receive a second life, a second breath, a second birth within the same body of flesh, the person will die and will never live again. The person must be born of water (the water of the womb), and of Spirit (the divine Breath of God) to have everlasting life within a perishable body. And this is the mystery that Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) didn’t understand. This is the mystery that the Church no longer understood by the 3rd-Century. And this is the mystery the greater Church does not understand today. Even the splintered Churches of God do not well understand this mystery.

Human beings differ in appearance from other beasts, for they—he  and she, together (Gen 1:27)—were created in the image of Elohim, the regular plural of Eloah. Both Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. The creation account of Genesis chapter one confirms that they were. The temptation happens on the sixth day, for neither Adam nor Eve entered into God’s rest. Both were driven from the garden of God in the cool of the evening before they ate of the tree of life (Gen 3:22). They could not life forever—they had no immortal soul—for they had not eaten of the tree of life. Both had only the life that was imparted to them through the breath that Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into Adam’s nostrils—Eve’s life came from Adam being a naphesh.

Adam alone did not represent the image of Elohim. Adam and Eve, together, represented the image of Elohim, as seen in the tetragrammaton YHWH, which deconstructs to two radicals /YH/ and /WH/, with /H/ representing aspirated breath as in /ah/ in Eloah, and as in /h/ in Elohim. (The Hebrew Eloah translates into Arabic as Allah; thus, Islam doesn’t acknowledge the helpmate, whom Eve represents, as an image of God. Therefore, in fundamentalist Islamic theology, women are not equal to men, but are in effect a subspecies, made necessary for the production of more men who were created in the image of Allah, a singular deity. And Jesus of Nazareth is a prophet, not the Son of the Father.)

Knowing God is knowing that Theos and Theon (from John 1:1-3) are both God, and have existed from the beginning, that Theos created the physical realm and all life in it, that Theos functioned as the helpmate for Theon (there is no male or female in the heavenly realm — Gal 3:28) just as Eve was the helpmate for Adam. The relationship between male and female is that the two, when married, should become one (Gen 2:23-24), just as Theos and Theon, together, functioned as one in the tetragrammaton YHWH.

But knowing God comes with birth from above.

The reader should now read Hebrews chapters 8.

Commentary: The temple in Jerusalem, the Levitical priesthood, the Sinai covenant—all served as “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (v. 5). The glorified Jesus today, seated at the right hand of the Father in the timeless heavenly realm, is the reality of the high priest that came before the YHWH, Israel’s Elohim, once a year. The high priest, on his once a year going into the Holy of Holies or coming before God, had to offer sacrifices for himself as well as for all Israel. But Christ Jesus one time only offered sacrifice, Himself. He was then accepted by the Most High as the spiritual nation of Israel’s high priest. And His acceptance is everlasting, for the moment remains in the timeless heavenly realm. “What is” at this moment in the heavenly realm remains, with all that will come coexisting with what is in a dance of oneness, for there is no next moment. All activity, past and future, occur within the same moment. There is no decay, no death, no darkness.  What has life will continue to have life, for the presence of life and the absence of life cannot coexist within the same moment. Thus, without “time” as human beings understand the concept, there can be no solidity of matter. Flesh and blood cannot enter the heavenly realm, where unity is a dictate.

To know God is to understand timelessness, its potential and its limitations. Yes, there are limitations: when iniquity or lawlessness was found in an anointed cherub (Ezek 28:15), this lawlessness caused a condition that necessitated the physical creation as a place of confinement for rebelling angels—and a place in which change could occur, the change from life to death. Timelessness doesn’t easily allow for change; all change must coexist with what is. Spiritual maturation modeled after physical maturation cannot occur within timelessness. There can be no “baby gods,” as some would-be teachers of spiritual Israel have proclaimed. Spiritual birth followed by a period of spiritual infancy, adolescence, and pre-adulthood maturing can only occur within the physical creation, where change is dictated. Likewise, the lake of fire and the second death can only occur within the creation. Therefore, until the judgment of born-from-above sons of God is revealed upon Christ Jesus’ return (1 Cor 4:5), no son of God except for Christ Jesus who came down from heaven will enter heaven. Born-again sons of God enter timelessness upon death, but they remain confined within the physical creation. They do not go to heaven upon death, only to return to earth when resurrected. However, because of the defining characteristic of timelessness, the moment in the heavenly realm when a son of God dies on earth is the same moment in the heavenly realm when this son of God will be resurrected either to glory or to shame. Hence, from a perspective within time, sons of God would seem to “sleep” in their graves until the revealing of their judgments. From a timeless or heavenly perspective, sons of God go either into heaven or into the lake of fire the moment their physical bodies die. But this is also the same moment that the earth was created, that the Logos came as the man Jesus of Nazareth, that the glorified Jesus will return to earth as the Messiah. So teaching that sons of God enter heaven the moment their fleshly bodies die is somewhat deceptive. From a perspective within time, a deceased parent isn’t now watching a son’s, or daughter’s activities. Nevertheless, the born anew son of God, when glorified, will be able to “see” the entirety of human history, including the birth of the fleshly body in which this son spent his spiritual maturing. Thankfully, this glorified son will see what the Father sees, the mantle of grace, of Jesus’ righteousness cloaking the maturing son of God.

Again, the passing of time, caused by the decay of dark matter and measured by celestial movements (as well as by the expansion of space-time), is a determined characteristic of matter, of the physical creation, not of heaven. The possibility of “change” permitted by one moment becoming the next moment allows the development of righteousness through repentance. Light can now come from darkness, and life from death. The spiritual maturing of living entities can come through always choosing obedience over rebellion, with the most efficient means of producing this maturing of righteousness being having consigned the tent or tabernacle or body in which the newly created living entity received life to disobedience (Rom 11:32). The newly born son of God must willfully choose to obey God when the world around him says that he doesn’t have to obey, and is a fool for obeying. Even the greater Church that should be nurturing this son of God would have this son practice lawlessness as a way of life.

Knowing God is choosing to live by the laws of God that have been written on a disciple’s heart and placed into a disciple’s mind through receipt of the Holy Spirit (Heb 8:10). These are the same commandments Moses carried down from Mt Sinai. Only with these commandments written on heart and mind, a disciple is no longer under an exterior law; for the born-from-above son of God is not the body, but an entity with life in the heavenly realm that dwells within the mind and heart of the chosen earthenware vessel. The physically circumcised Israelite worshiping YHWH in a stone temple that housed two stone tablets, in the physical city of Jerusalem, was the copy and shadow of the spiritually circumcised son of God in a temple of flesh, with the laws of God written on two tablets of flesh, worshiping the Father in the Jerusalem above. Therefore, the disciple who will not hear Moses will not hear Jesus and will not believe the Father. The disciple who will not hear Moses does not know the Father, but is a bastard posing as a son of God. This disciple either will begin living as a spiritual Judean, or will be resurrected to condemnation. The disciple has this choice under the second covenant—and this is the only choice the disciple has. Every choice except choosing to live as a spiritual Judean is rebellion against God.

Life and death has been set before every disciple. Every son of God must choose whether to be one with Jesus, who lived as a Judean and is one with the Father, or to be one with the world.

A common logical fallacy is the either/or argument that overly simplifies choices, while ignoring options that are not presented within the two expounded positions. The greater Church will argue that there are many ways to Christ Jesus, that there are many more options for salvation than living as a spiritual Judean. But Jesus said that many disciples are called, but few are chosen (Matt 22:14), and broad is the road that leads to destruction, but narrow is the path that leads to life. Thus, consider the essence of timelessness: if all that is must coexist with all that will be, there is no place for rebellion, or for even being out of sync with what is. Jesus is there. Moses will be there (from the perspective of human beings). David will be there. Daniel will be there. Elijah will be there. Abraham will be there. And which of these men did not live as a spiritual Judean, even though Moses never entered the promised land? The Lord told Isaac that Abraham kept His laws and commandments (Gen 26:5). So which of these men did not keep the laws of God? All did. Yet, today, teachers of the holy nation of God would have disciples willfully break the commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment.

Knowing God manifests itself in every disciple’s life when the disciple lives as a spiritual Judean, hearing the words of Moses and understanding that the physically circumcised nation was a shadow of the spiritually circumcised nation of God. The history of circumcised Israel is, thus, the shadow of the history of the Church in the spiritual realm. And now what did YHWH have to say about the circumcised nation?

The reader should now read Ezekiel chapters 20.

Commentary: God gave to the circumcised nation statutes that were fatal to the nation (vv. 25-26). Likewise, because of the repeated lawlessness of the greater Church, God has given to the greater Church statutes by which it cannot live when the Son of Man is revealed. The greater Church as the body of Christ will attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day, the 8th day, 220 days after the Son of Man is revealed. In doing so, the greater Church will commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and will place itself under an irrevocable death sentence. It will do so while claiming to know the Lord. But the lord it knows will be neither the Father, nor the Son.

Knowing God requires loving righteousness and the truth enough that the born-again disciple will actually crucify the old self, the person with whom the disciple is most familiar. Knowing God requires loving God enough that the person willingly lives as a spiritual Israelite…if a disciple remains a part of the world, not just in the world, the disciple does not know 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."