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 believing Jesus’ words.
For the Sabbath of October 18, 2008
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 is the mid-week Sabbath within Sukkoth 2008, and as such most Sabbatarian disciples are today residing in temporary dwellings in even more temporary dwellings, with this double dwelling in temporary structures coming from a lack in spiritual understanding: the new creature born of spirit as a firstborn son of God is not the fleshly body of the human being, but dwells in a tent of flesh as a natural Israelite under Moses dwelt in the wilderness in a skin or fabric tent. This relationship, usually expressed as chiral shadowing [a non-symmetrical mirror image shadow], is a non-time-dependent fractal image that has every Israelite (ancient or modern) representing Israel, and Israel representing the temple. And it is this fractal nature of every spiritually circumcised Israelite being a type and copy of the Church that has not been well understood or well explained.
A “fractal” is, generally speaking, a fragmented shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole; fractals are generally self-similar and independent of scale. The word, introduced by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975, refers to a mathematical function in which the solution is fed back into the function, giving it a simple and recursive definition. Fractals appear similar at all levels of magnification; e.g., the structure of a tree is a fractal of the structure of an undisturbed forest. The journey of faith undertaken by one Christian walking as Jesus walked is similar to the journey of faith undertaken by another Christian walking as Jesus walked and by the Church as a whole walking as Jesus walked. Each Christian is, therefore, a reduced size copy of Christ Jesus. Thus, the ministry of Jesus is a fractal of the ministry of endtime disciples individually and collectively.
The above was referenced by the Apostle Paul, who lacked the language to well express the concept. When Paul writes that the things that happened to Israel in the wilderness occurred as examples so that disciples might not desire evil as they did (1 Cor 10:6), Paul opens the door to Israel’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land being a scale model of the Church’s journey (both individually and collectively) from sin to life. Israel’s journey forms a fractal of every journey from death to life; thus, only one journey needs to be recorded or remembered to replicate every journey. The story of the Church has been digitally compressed into the story of Israel from Abraham to Nehemiah, replicated however many times as there will be sons of God in the kingdom of heaven.
The application of scale invariance and self-affinity precludes anyone who does not inwardly live and walk as Jesus lived and walked from being a disciple: in other words, the person who lives and walks as a Gentile rather than as an observant Jew is not and cannot be one with Christ Jesus—is not and cannot be a “Christian.” The person who walks as a Gentile can (and many have) appropriate(d) the name of Christ, and can come before the world claiming to be of Christ, claiming to be a Christian, but this person is not a scale model of Jesus.
Every son of God will be called out of Egypt, the representation of sin, and every son of God will “kill” or will see die the old self or old nature. Every son of God must live by faith without sin. But the spiritual Gentile does not want to leave Egypt, and if dragged from sin, this Gentile wants to return as Israel in the wilderness wanted to return to Egypt—and the spiritual Israelite who lives as a Gentile will die in sin somewhere between a spiritual Sea of Reeds and the plains of Moab, where life and death is placed before each disciple according to the terms of the eternal Moab covenant, its mediator now Christ Jesus. Only the Israelite who has a different spirit within the person as Caleb, a convert from Esau, had and as Joshua, the servant of Moses, had will enter into God’s presence.
Moses led Israel to the plains of Moab where life and death were placed before the nation; Moses did not lead Israel across the Jordan and into God’s rest (from Ps 95:10–11). The job of leading Israel into God’s presence belongs to Joshua/Jesus [Iēsous — cf. Acts 7:45; 4:4:10 in Greek], the only name by which an Israelite can be saved. And when a disciple can visualize all that happened to Israel from the plagues through the circumcision of the children of Israel before Passover at Gilgal, the disciple sees the fractal of this disciple’s journey of faith that cleansed the heart so this son of God could be spiritually circumcised.
If the disciple does not see this son of God’s journey of faith in Israel’s trek from Egypt to Judea, then this son of God probably returned to Egypt/sin and is again a bondservant to sin and death.
Fractals are useful because the whole image of, say, a forest does not have to be stored in memory. Only the equation for the fractal needs to be stored. Since the “whole” is a function of the equation, with the number of miniature pieces equal to the scaling factor raised to the power of the dimension, the whole image is present in each piece and determinable by a log over log function. One Jesus Christ represents all of the Son of Man, but the size of the Son of Man is the number of “Christians” who walk as Jesus walked: the scaling factor is presently a human unknown so the dimension of the Church/temple is humanly unknown and won’t be known until the Church is measured by an angel in heaven (Rev 11:1–2). Even then, because the measuring occurs in the heavenly realm, a hidden dimension, human beings will not know how large the Church is until glorified. But the Church is fully represented by every Christian who walks as Jesus walked. So the Church is wherever there is a disciple whose inward thoughts and desires are those of Jesus. When two or three of these disciples come together, each a miniature of Christ Jesus and each a miniature of the temple, Jesus will be there for the miniature cannot exist without Jesus’ presence.
But the assumption beneath the concept that disciples are the temple of God is that each of these disciples have entered into God’s rest after completing a journey of faith that cleanses the heart so that it can be circumcised. The person who makes no such journey has not cleansed the heart and is not of Israel even if this person has been born of spirit—this person is as a Hebrew male infant was of less than eight days of age (circumcision was on the eighth day). This person, regardless of degrees awarded for physical knowledge, is a spiritual infant that bawls a lot when its diaper is soiled. This person is not someone any disciple should follow regardless of this person’s outward success in this world.
To attempt to show fractal scale modeling, examine the following taken from Exploring Fractals, © Mary Ann Connors, UMass Amherst for the Sierpinski Triangle:
Let's look at how [a Sierpinski Triangle] is generated: Begin with a triangle.
Draw the lines connecting the midpoints of the sides and cut out the center triangle.
Note that we have in our new triangle 3 "miniature" triangles. Each side = 1/2 the length of a side of the original triangle. Each "miniature" triangle looks exactly like the original triangle when magnified by a factor of 2 (magnification or scaling factor).
Take the result and repeat (iterate).
And again ...
Iterate this forever …
Notice that the lower left portion of the triangle is exactly the same as the entire triangle when magnified by a factor of two. It is self-similar.
Now we compute the dimension of the Sierpinski Triangle: Notice the second triangle is composed of 3 miniature triangles exactly like the original. The length of any side of one of the miniature triangles could be multiplied by 2 to produce the entire triangle (S = 2). The resulting figures consists of 3 separate identical miniature pieces. (N = 3).
What is D?
- (not an integer!)
- In general,
This method of finding fractal dimension can be used for only strictly self-similar fractals. Other ways of computing fractal dimension include: mass, box, compass, etc.
Jesus of Nazareth was not a triangle or any geometrical figure, but fractals are used to discuss clouds, mountain structures, and even human blood architecture. In any application where the initial pattern is replicated a determined or undeterminable number of times, a fractal exists. And in the case of the Church/temple, the pattern was Christ Jesus when, after three days, He was raised from the grave as the rebuilt temple of the Most High. The dimension of this temple is now determined by the number of times the pattern is replicated, or by its scale factor. So with the Body of Christ being represented by the festivals, new moons, and Sabbaths of God (Col 2:16–17), the size of this Body can be approximated by the number of disciples who keep the festivals, new moons, and Sabbaths of God.
The person conducting the service should read or assign to be read John chapter 2, verses 13 through 25.
Commentary: When Jesus rose from the dead, the temple was rebuilt with Jesus functioning as a fractal: the glorified Jesus was the “compressed” image of New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ. He was/is the “equation” needed to produce the whole of the temple when the temple is “scaled up” through the glorification of additional sons of God. He was/is the fractal stored that produces the whole.
If the size of the temple is determinable by the number of disciples who walk or have walked as Jesus walked, what Jesus said about many are called but few are chosen (Matt 22:14) should frighten Christendom, for truly, how many Christians walk as Jesus walked? How many keep the Sabbath? How many keep the festivals? How many inwardly look like Jews versus how many look and live like Gentiles?
Most Christians today consciously avoid being Judaizers or doing those things that Jesus did and would have done, such as keeping Sukkot. The majority of Christians spurn keeping the commandments because Jesus kept the commandments. Pause and consider that reasoning: if a disciple is one with Jesus, and if Jesus kept the commandments, how is the disciple to look like Jesus (i.e., to walk as Jesus walked — 1 Cor 11:1; 1 John 2:6) and not keep the commandments? Is it possible to be one with Jesus and not keep the Sabbath? Is it possible to honestly use the argument that because Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath disciples are free to transgress the Sabbath commandment? Or returning to fractals, does one corner of a Sierpinski Triangle look like the whole triangle? Does every son of God look like the Son? Do the firstfruits look like the First of the firstfruits? It is insanity for a Christian to profess to be one with Jesus Christ and then live as a Gentile lives. It makes no sense to profess to be a Christian and not strive to be like Christ. Whom does this person think he or she is fooling? This “Christian” certainly isn’t fooling Jesus or anyone in Philadelphia.
Again, disciples “are the body [sōma] of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor 12:27). Disciples are sons of God:
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Gal 3:25–26)
In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Gal 4:3–7)
If a disciple is individually the Body of Christ and a son of God, a son in the image of Jesus, the First of the firstfruits, then how can this disciple fail to look like the Son unless—and here is the qualifier—this “Christian” is really of the synagogue of Satan? How can this disciple live like a heathen Monday through Friday, do his or her shopping on the Sabbath, then attempt to appear before God on the first day of the week and honestly believe that the disciple looks like the Son? The disciple is deceived, or has deceived himself. There is no other explanation.
Will a son inherit from his father if the son despises the father and lives contrary to the father? The parable of the prodigal son addresses this situation: when the son returns to the father the son will be accepted with joy, but as long as the son slops hogs for the Gentile, living as the Gentile lives, the son will be cut off from the father. Likewise, the Christian who has received his or her inheritance and has squandered this inheritance in an orgy of lawlessness is as the prodigal son was when in a far land. When this Christian returns to the Father, this son of God will be accepted even though an inheritance has been squandered. It is the son who remained with the Father that will inherit the Father’s inheritance. Nevertheless is it better for the sinner to return and be accepted by the Father and live within His gates with the gift of eternal life than to serve the prince of this world as his slave. But it is better yet for the son to remain with the Father and inherit all that the Father has.
Eternal life is the gift of God (Rom 6:23) received when the Father draws the person from this world (John 6:44) and gives to this person a second life through receipt of His divine breath [pneuma Theon], but this is eternal life dwelling within a perishable tent of flesh. Before this “second life” can return to heaven from where it came, the Son must also give life to the person by causing the perishable flesh to put on immortality when judgments are revealed (cf. John 5:21–22; 1 Cor 4:5). It is never enough to be merely born of spirit as firstfruits, or as one born out of season—the person must put forth fruit as Jesus commanded the fig tree to bear fruit when it was not yet the season for fruit (Mark 11:12–14 et al). If this person refuses to bear fruit, asserting that it is unreasonable to expect fruit when it is not the season for fruit, the tree is cursed and will wither and die, the fate of the many who are called but who are not chosen.
Is Jesus unreasonable, expecting fruit before its season?
What Jesus answered His disciples about having faith in God enabling the person to move mountains is the answer: the person who has faith in God will bear fruit when it is not the season for fruit. And it is not today the season for fruit for the prince of this world presently reigns over humankind. However, disciples are to bear the fruit of righteousness while living in this world as those of Israel will bear the fruit of righteousness when the glorified Jesus reigns over humankind as King of kings and Lord of lords for a thousand years. Disciples must do as sons of God what the angels under Satan could not do as servants: they must overcome disobedience while dwelling in an environment of disobedience just as Jesus overcome disobedience while in this world, and disciples overcome disobedience by walking as Jesus walked.
Natural Israel is commanded to make booths from comely trees as a memorial to, or remembrance of the nation dwelling in booths or tents in the wilderness (Lev 23:42–43). The booth made from the branches of splendid trees is a type of the booth in which the nation dwelt when following Moses out of Egypt, with Egypt serving as a representation of sin and with the natural Israelite serving as a representation of the new creature or new self liberated from sin and death. And here is where problems enter into this analogy: all of Israel counted in the census of the second year, except for Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness and did not enter the Promised Land of God’s rest. The children of this nation that died in the wilderness because of unbelief, however, crossed the Jordan to be circumcised once in the Promised Land. It is these children that serve as a type of endtime disciples.
If ancient Israel as a chiral shadow of the saints is also a fractal of the Christian Church, what is missing is the middle; i.e., life. Sin and death are present in the form of a spiritual Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon, but the dark or missing portion of a Sierpinski Triangle now represents life, or the Tree of Life in the Promised Land. The visible Christian Church is without spiritual life as the scribes and the Pharisees were without spiritual life. And few within Christendom seem concerned about the visible Church’s lawlessness.
It is within the dark portion of a Sierpinski Triangle where Philadelphia dwells while in this world, but not of this world. This dark portion represents the inside of the cup … the Lord made a covenant with the fathers of Israel on the day that He took this nation by the hand to lead it out from Egypt (cf. Jer 31:32; Heb 8:9), but they broke this covenant which was not the Sinai covenant (made in the third month, not in the first month when Israel left Egypt) but the Passover covenant with its simple terms of selecting a lamb on the 10th day of the first month, sacrificing it at even on the 14th day, smearing its blood on the doorposts and lintel of Israel’s houses, roasting the lamb, eating it with loins girded, feet shod, and staffs in hand. The Passover covenant does not require of Israel Sabbath observance or much beyond the annual eating of the Passover sacrifice on the dark portion of the 14th day of Abib, and the redeeming of firstborns. But even these terms have been too much for Israel to observe. So how is Israel to follow Joshua/Jesus [Iēsous] into God’s rest when the nation has not yet left Egypt and doesn’t want to leave but seems perfectly content to continue making bricks for the prince of this world even though he will no longer provide the straw?
If a person doesn’t believe that Christendom is content to make bricks for the prince of this world, just take a look at how many “Christians” are keeping Sukkot as Jesus kept the festival even when the Jews were seeking to kill Him (John chap 7).
The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.
* * * * *
"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."