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 remains “knowing God” that He won't accept a rebel.
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 Ezekiel chapter 7.
Commentary: The message is to the land
of Israel, and it is the
announcement of an end, the announcement that the end has come upon the four
corners of the earth because of God’s anger. God will
judge the land of Israel
according to its ways, and will punish accordingly so that the land
of Israel will know that the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is Lord, indeed. And herein lies
the difficulties ahead of the Christian Church, for God is the same today as He
was yesterday and as He will be tomorrow. God exists in the timeless heavenly
realm. He doesn’t change, for the moment itself doesn’t change. And He can no
more allow rebellious sons into the heavenly realm than He can allow rebellious
angels to remain.
The Lord commands Ezekiel to announce disasters,
doom, a day of tumult, a day when He will pour His wrath over the land, sparing
not, pitying not, but striking each person according to his or her ways. And
few human beings will survive.
The reader should now read Isaiah chapter 24.
Commentary: Those intellectuals who worry about whether the earth
will support its ever increasing global population really need fear for their
salvation, physical and spiritual. And those Christians who, at this end of the
age, sing for joy, who give glory to the Lord, who praise the Righteous One,
but who transgress the commandments and teach others to do so—woe to them, for
they are traitors, treacherous false disciples upon whom wrath and punishment
Lord is knowing that He will not allow into the
heavenly realm any rebel. And a disciple who will not keep the commandments of
God to the best of the disciple’s ability actively rebels against the Lord,
regardless of how much this disciple’s mouth professes love for Father and Son.
The reader should now read Judges chapters
1, 2, & 3.
Commentary: The history of the Christian Church is foreshadowed by
the history of circumcised Israel
upon entering God’s rest—the Church did not drive out alien theologies and
philosophies. Rather, the Church, like the tribes of Israel,
allowed foreign modes of worship to remain in the peoples converted to
Christianity. In typology and typological exegesis, physical peoples represent
spiritual inner-selves. Geography represents mental topography. The land Beyond
the River represents God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11). So to allow Canaanites or
Amorites or any of the other peoples Israel
was commanded to drive out and kill to remain in the Promised Land becomes
analogous to the Christian Church adopting and figuratively christianizing
pagan holidays, beliefs, practices.
The angel or
spokesman of YHWH said to Israel
that He had brought Israel
up from Egypt
and had brought the nation into the land he swore to give to their fathers. He
said that he would not break covenant with the nation—and they Israel
was to make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land (Judges 2:1-2). He had
not brought Israel
into Canaan earlier, for the fullness of the iniquity of
the Canaanites and Amorites had not been then reached (Gen ). But because the fullness of iniquity had come, Israel
was to slay the native peoples, not accommodate them, nor enslave them. Israel
was to tear down their altars—and Israel
disobeyed God. Thus, these native peoples would be thorns in the side of Israel,
and their gods would snare the holy nation (Judges 2:3). And so it has been
with the Christian Church: accommodated and adopted theologies of the pagan
peoples converted to the Cross has ensnared the
Church, causing it to fall backwards and be taken by the prince of
served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and of the elders that crossed the Jordan
and outlived Joshua.But when another
generation rose to prominence over the tribes, the people of Israel
did evil in the sight of the Lord: they went after the alien gods of the native
peoples they had not slain. Likewise, when the Church was swollen with Greek
converts, the Church swallowed whole Greek constructs of hell and heaven, and
produced a hybrid dogma of human beings possessing immortal souls that must be
regenerated by the Cross. And as the anger of the Lord was kindled against the
natural nation of Israel
for its abandonment of the Lord, the anger of the Lord caused the martyrdom of
a generation of disciples.
adoption of pagan constructs has lead to the formation of denominations—of
schisms—in the Body of Christ to test who is genuine. Whereas the Body was to
be one with the Father and the Son, the Body has been dismembered as if it were
a lamb butchered by hirelings. Now, at the end of the age, the Church is as Israel
was at the end of the book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges ). Every Christian does what is right in this son of
God's eyes. One eats no meat; one eats clean meat; one eats swine. Another
keeps no Sabbath day, but gives an hour to the Lord. Another keeps the weekly
Sabbath, but not the annual Sabbaths. Another keeps all seventy Sabbaths.
Another keeps the eighth day as a day of rest. A third disciple keeps the
commandments of God; his fellow disciple bundles himself in the mantle of
Grace, and breaks every commandment. Yet all proclaim to the world that they
are “Christians.” It is little wonder why those human beings who have not yet
been born from above want no part of such confusion and hypocrisy.
The reader should now read Ezekiel chapters 5 & 6.
Commentary: When Ezekiel lay bound on
first his left side, then his right side in the fourth chapter, Ezekiel was
bearing the iniquity of the house of Israel
and of the house of Judah,
just as the Lord today bears the iniquity of the spiritually circumcised nation
of Israel. But
when the fullness of iniquity, or when the transgressors have reached their
limits (Dan ), the Lord will act
as He acted against the Amorites when He sent Israel
into the Promised Land. The natural nation of Israel
was as hairs on the Lord’s head; the spiritual nation is also as hairs on His
head. And as the natural nation was figuratively shaved off, weighed in the
balances, divided, with one part burned, one part struck with the sword, one
part scattered, so too will the spiritual nation, once the fullness of iniquity
is reached, be weighed and measured (Rev 11:1-2), then killed by fire, by war,
and by being scattered and hunted down.
When the fullness of the nations comes to the Lord
(Rom 11:25), bringing to the Lord the iniquities to which they are married as
if their wrong-doings were foreign wives, judgment will again be entered into
between God and Israel.
The Apostle Paul wrote the things that happened to
the natural nation of Israel
happened as examples for the Church (1 Cor 10:6, 11), so that disciples would
not be idolaters as some of the natural nation were (v. 7). Disciples are not to test Christ, not to tempt Him; for His
wrath is to be feared.
We should, indeed, note the kindness and severity
of God (Rom ). We are to continue
in His kindness, or we, too, will be cut off—and continuing in His kindness is
hearing the words of Jesus and believing the One who sent Him (John 5:24).
Believing, though, isn’t merely professing belief with our mouth, but actually
putting into practice the commandments of God.
The person conducting the Sabbath service should
close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s