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 disciples exercising a feminine or submissive role within the dominant culture.
For the Sabbath of November 7, 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.
Continuing the theme raised in last Sabbath’s reading—that of disciples exercising a feminine or submissive role within the dominant culture that forms spiritual Babylon—Aaron Devor in, “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes” (Signs of Life in the USA. Ed. Sonia Maasik, Jack Solomon. Boston; Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 567–572), writes, “Body postures and demeanors which communicate subordinate status and vulnerability to trespass through a message of ‘no threat’ make people appear to be feminine. They demonstrate subordination through a minimization of spatial use” (569), and “Speech characterized by inflections, intonations, and phrases that convey nonaggression and subordinate status also make a speaker appear more feminine. Subordinate speakers who use more polite expressions and ask more questions in conversation seem more feminine. … Feminine styles of dress likewise display subordinate status through greater restriction of free movement of the body, greater exposure of the bare skin, and an emphasis on sexual characteristics” (570). According to Devor, “In patriarchally organized societies, masculine values become the ideological structure of the society as a whole. Masculinity thus becomes ‘innately’ valuable and femininity serves a contrapuntal function to delineate and magnify the hierarchical dominance of masculinity” (571).
According to Devor, occupation of space equates to power, and the male is defined against the female, with the male occupying greater space and with male aggression seen in body postures, speech patterns, and styles of dress. But it is femininity that causes masculinity to be valued, with “femininity, as a role, best suited to satisfying a masculine vision of heterosexual attractiveness” (Devor 569), a concept that translates into a host of proscriptions and prescriptions.
When space equates to power, restriction or limitation of space defines femininity, with Chinese foot binding becoming the stereotypical expression of “feminine beauty”—an expression of beauty only negatively equaled by the Islamic burqa, which what would seem to be the antithesis of feminine dress until consideration is given to feminine attire communicating “weakness, dependency, ineffectualness” (Devor 569). The burqa is a very small tent inside of which the Islamic female must outwardly live as a prisoner in the patriarchal culture, with the female’s restriction of movement and associations causing her to become sexually exciting. And within this abusive sentimentality, a scantily clad go-go dancer, while involuntarily alluring, becomes—because of her freedom of movement—an affront to Islamic femininity and a threat to Islamic masculinity; for uncontrolled femininity will always threaten a fundamentally Spartan culture through its bacchanalian assumption of power and descent into fluidity.
Islamic fundamentalism is a cultural derivative of ancient Sparta in a manner analogous to the United States being a cultural derivative of Athenian democracy. While it is fairly easy to see that the pluralistic United States is a modern version of an ancient Greek culture, it is not usually appreciated that Islamic fundamentalism is also rooted in ancient Greek culture, with the divide between Athens and Sparta again playing itself out on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, and probably Iran in the near future, with Islamic fundamentalism being as hard for Western democracies to defeat as Sparta was hard for Athens to defeat.
The concepts of femininity and masculinity would not seem theologically important to The Philadelphia Church until it is remembered that Christ is already one with His Body, but at the wedding supper does not marry His Body but marries His Bride, whom He selects by giving immortality to perishable tents of flesh in which sons of God dwell … glorification is not like high school graduation, which occurs when enough courses are satisfactorily completed. There is no check list for glorification; no set of prescribed things that a disciple must do before being glorified. The only prerequisite is possession of “life” and believing God, which breaks down to believing the writings of Moses and hearing the voice of Jesus (John 5:46–47) and believing the One who sent Jesus into this world (v. 24). This means that preceding glorification, the Father must raise the person from the dead by giving to the person (to the inner self) a second breath of life (v. 21). The inner self of a baptized human being is now crucified with Christ Jesus and raised from the dead as Jesus was raised from the dead—in Jesus’ person is seen the visible, physical shadow of what occurs spiritually when a person receives life that has come down from heaven. But this inner self is neither male nor female (Jew nor Greek). This inner self needs a body, a tabernacle, a tent in which to dwell: when initially born of God, the inner self continues to dwell in the fleshly tabernacle of the old self, but flesh and blood cannot enter heaven. Thus, the flesh and blood tent in which the new self dwells must put on immortality before it can cross dimensions, with Christ Jesus, to whom all judgment has been given (v. 22), determining to whom He will give immortality, or said otherwise, determining whom He will marry. And Christ Jesus will marry a Helpmate, a Church that will possess feminine traits even though glorified disciples that compose the Bride are His younger brothers.
In heaven and among angels, there are no male or female sons of God. The biological plumbing of human beings pertains to the fleshly bodies of human beings, but Head and Helpmate (masculinity and femininity as states of mind) will continue to exist as evidenced by Christ marrying His Bride. These concepts and their descriptions (described attributes) predate the creation of the universe, for the Logos was the Helpmate of the God before the Logos entered His creation to be born as the man Jesus of Nazareth, who could not have been born as a woman for He was the Firstborn of the firstfruits, all heirs of the Father and not servants. He was not an angel prior to Him entering His creation as His only Son. If He had been an angel as some Arian sects contend, He would have been born as a woman, but He was God [theos John 1:1]. However, He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” (Phil 2:6), so as the Helpmate of the God [tonTheon] He made all things physical, then “made himself nothing, taking the form of a bondservant [to sin], being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (vv. 7–8).
The traits that Christ Jesus displayed in relationship to the Father (the God—ton Theon) were feminine, but this is not to say that humanly Jesus appeared feminine. On the contrary, He was born to be a king, not a queen, and even to His death, He behaved as a humble king.
Medieval paintings of Jesus as a long-haired effeminate man do not hold up to scriptural scrunity. While it is without legitimate dispute that prior to entering His creation as His only Son the Logos functioned as Helpmate to the God (ton Theon), that for humankind to be created in the likeness of Elohim humankind was created male and female (Gen 1:26–27), that the Tetragrammaton discloses this marriage-type relationship of two deities functioning as one spirit, what hasn’t been appreciated is the importance of gender roles reflecting spiritual roles, with that long-haired effeminate male not being a representation of the Logos who entered His creation as His only Son, but a representation of an angelic being. With reasonable certainty it will here be stated that Christianity’s traditional representation of Christ Jesus is most likely a true representation of Lucifer imprisoned in the creation when cast from heaven. Lucifer, not Christ, projected His image into the mind of the artist, and the Adversary will use this representation of himself to assist in his deception of humanity when, cast from heaven, he comes claiming to be the Christ.
Visually, the only Son of the Logos would appear as an heir of the Most High: although Jesus possessed invisibility when He disappeared into crowds and despite a modern perception of Jesus appearing non-aggressive, His peers believed Him to be aggressive. He drove the moneychangers out of the temple at the first Passover of His ministry and at the last Passover, not a feminine act. He was enough of a threat to temple authorities that after healing the invalid of 38 years, He remained in Galilee for most of the remainder of His ministry, going to Jerusalem only on the High Sabbaths. And when going to Jerusalem at the end of His ministry, He certainly turned the mocking of Pharisees back onto them when He told the Lazarus/Dives fiction, and at Jerusalem, He pulled no punches when He denounced scribes and Pharisees, calling them hypocrites and vipers. But He did these latter things shortly before He was to be crucified—and it was His theological display of masculine characteristics that challenged temple authorities to where they had to kill Him.
It wasn’t Rome or Roman authority that was threatened by Jesus, but the authority of temple officials for in His personhood, Jesus was the temple. His Body is today the temple (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16).
Within Christendom, it is customary to say that Jesus was a carpenter, but Jesus self-identifies Himself as a prophet. If Jesus were a carpenter, He would have sported bulging muscles and calloused hands. He would not have appeared “feminine.” But even as a prophet, or the business representative of Joseph of Arimathea [in order for Joseph to claim His body, Joseph would have necessarily been a near relative: when Joseph, Mary’s husband, died, Joseph of Arimathea may well have tutored Jesus, sending Jesus to distant lands as his representative, the most likely reason Jesus is not a familiar face in the synagogue at Capernaum when He begins His ministry], Jesus would have possessed a “masculine” appearance, looking so much like an average Jewish male of His day that He could disappear in a crowd.
Thus, it was Jesus’ theological aggressiveness that gets Him killed as the selected Passover Lamb of God. If Jesus would have possessed non-aggressive feminine characteristics, He would have facilitated a “can’t we all get along” atmosphere with temple authorities. But as His cousin John the Baptist aggressively denounced sin, Jesus denounced sin. However, because John’s ministry was to be short, beginning merely six months before Jesus’ and winding down when Jesus’ ministry began, whereas Jesus’ ministry was to be for three and a half years, John was more aggressive than Jesus initially was, but not more aggressive than Jesus would be at the end of His ministry … it was the cousin’s display of typically masculine aggression that underlay both cousins’ death, with John being killed by the Roman representative and with Jesus really being killed by temple officials who had to use Roman authority as their sword.
In making straight the way of the Lord, John the Baptist forms the shadow and copy of the Apostle John, who is endtime disciples’ brother and partner in the Endurance (Rev 1:9) as they make straight the way of the Lord prior to the Second Advent … in keeping Jesus’ word about the Endurance (Rev 3:10), Philadelphians do a similar work to the work that John the Baptist did. And as John aggressively denouncing Herod for marrying his brother Philip’s wife resulted in John’s imprisonment and eventual murder, Philadelphia denouncing the lawlessness and idolatry of Christendom will morph into the ministry of the two witnesses who are killed by Apollyon halfway through the seven endtime years. As the ministries of the cousins, John and Jesus, ended with their deaths at the hands of visible representatives of the prince of this world, the ministry of the two witnesses will end with their deaths by the hand of the king of the Abyss, thereby making Rome the visible representation of demonic authority coming from the Abyss.
How femininity relates to Christianity within this world was briefly discussed in last Sabbath’s reading, but untouched was how femininity relates to sects within Christendom; for Christendom, because it has made itself an agent of the Adversary for 1900 years, has become a microcosm of the kingdom of this world that is presently ruled by the prince of the power of the air.
In the story of Job, who asked that his words be recorded and who had his words recorded, the narrator says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God [Elohim] came to present themselves before the Lord [YHWH], and Satan [the Adversary] also came among them” (1:6, also 2:1) … the invisible things of God are revealed by the things that have been made, and the presentation of angelic sons of God before the Lord is seen in the command for Israel, the firstborn physical son of the Lord (Ex 4:22), to present itself before the Lord: “‘Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord [YHWH] your God [Elohim] at the place where he will choose’” (Deut 16:16, also Ex 23:17). As angelic sons of God were required to appear before the Lord, physical sons of God are to appear before the Lord, with the relationship between angelic sons and physical sons again represented by “femininity” [angelic sons; servants] and “masculinity” [male Israelites; heirs]. Hence, disciples who are heirs are to present themselves (the tents of flesh in which they dwell) before the Lord; they are to keep the High Sabbaths in each of their three seasons. Doing so was/is required of angelic sons and of the firstborn physical son. It is likewise required of firstborn spiritual heirs that are neither biologically male nor female but are theologically represented by masculinity [by being the Body of Christ] prior to the second Passover liberation of Israel.
Implied in the preceding sentence is Christendom’s movement from theological masculinity to femininity during the Tribulation and Endurance: again, a man doesn’t marry his body but marries his bride. Christ Jesus is already one with His Body. There is no need for Jesus to marry His Body. But Christendom is not presently one with Christ Jesus, but rather is in open rebellion to the Father and the Son. Thus, the Body that is now a spiritually lifeless corpse must first be returned to life as the first Elijah breathed life back into the son of the widow of Zarephath. Then, when made alive and separated from Christ by having its own life—by being filled with or empowered by the breath of the God—Christendom must lose its masculine ways and must cross genders, becoming the Bride of Christ, submissive to Christ Jesus. Christendom must lose its freedom of movement, its unrestricted occupation of space, its self-organization, and its quantification of success … Devor writes, “Masculinity, then, requires of its actors that they organize themselves and their society in a hierarchical manner so as to be able to explicitly quantify the achievement of success” (571). In today’s culture, success is quantified through the accumulation of wealth. In Medieval Europe, it was quantified through the possession of land, the means for producing wealth. And in the Christian Church, success is quantified by membership (head count), but this quantification of success, once the Tribulation begins, will pertain only to false Christendom as genuine disciples are martyred and are numbered among the dead.
Today, the success of a ministry is indeed quantified by head count. A ministry that has few members—or as in the case of Philadelphia, doesn’t keep track of members or membership—is not considered successful, regardless of the amount of knowledge possessed or the extent of influence. And because this world is organized in a hierarchical manner, and because masculinity is privileged over femininity, few human beings want to align themselves with, or join with a ministry that doesn’t have demonstrated quantified success.
However, quantification of success by head counts measures success only within a patriarchal culture and not within the Bride of Christ. Head counts rely upon the yardstick of the Adversary to measure success in this world, and head counts will be meaningless when all of Christendom is baptized in the breath of God and suddenly brought to life in a day as angels were suddenly given life … this is the reality that Christendom has overlooked for the past 1900 years: as the Body of Christ, the Church had happen to it the same things that happened to the physical body of Christ Jesus. It was baptized with Christ (cf. Matt 3:15; Rom 6:3); it was crucified with Christ (cf. Matt 27:35; Rom 6:6); it was buried in death with Christ, and it will be raised from death in a resurrection like His, with His resurrection having within its timeline twelve unaccounted-for hours, hours that equate to the seven endtime years between the second Passover liberation of Israel and glorification of the Elect.
To make each Sabbath reading as self-contained as possible, the timeline of the Resurrection is here given: Jesus gave only one sign that He was from heaven, the sign of Jonah, the sign that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale (great fish). There is no ambiguity in Jonah’s account of what happened to him: three days are three hot portions of a 24 hour day; three nights are three twistings away from the light portions of a 24 hour day. Three days and three nights represent 72 hours, not 36 hours.
Jesus was gone from the tomb before daybreak of the first day of the week [the day after the Sabbath] (cf. John 20:1; Luke 24:1–3; Mark 16:1–2; Matt 28:1–6). Jesus wasn’t resurrected from death at sunrise; He was already gone from the tomb while the stone still blocked its entrance; He was gone before daybreak.
John records that Jesus was crucified on the Preparation day for the great Sabbath of the Sabbath (19:31), and that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placed Jesus’ body in the Garden Tomb as the Preparation Day was ending and the High Sabbath was about to begin (v. 42): the High Sabbath occurs on the 15th of Abib (Lev 23:6–7). So Jesus was crucified on the 14th of Abib, the day when Pharisees were then sacrificing Passover lambs. And to satisfy the sign of Jonah, Jesus would have lain in the tomb all of the 15th of Abib, the High Sabbath, then all of the 16th of Abib, then all of the 17th of Abib, the weekly Sabbath, for Jesus was gone from the tomb before dawn on the 18th, the day after the Sabbath or the first day of the week.
The above will have Jesus eating with Lazarus and Mary and Martha on the 9th of Abib, a Friday, then entering Jerusalem on a colt as future high priest and the Paschal Lamb of God on the 10th of Abib, the day when Passover lambs were to be selected and penned. The 10th would have been the weekly Sabbath, and the assembled crowds consisted of those Israelite males who had come to Jerusalem by the command of the Lord to appear before Him. So-called Palm Sunday occurred on the Sabbath, the 10th day of Abib of the year 3791, with the month of Abib beginning with the new moon crescent following the equinox [if using rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar, the month will be lyyar].
The preparation day for the first Unleavened [there are two each year] that Matthew and Luke reference (Matt 26:17; Luke 22:7) occurs on Tuesday, the 13th of Abib … the first Unleavened, which Pharisees were not observing and which had been lost in the centuries when Israel did not keep the Passover (see 2 Kings 22:8–13; 23:21–23), occurs on the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, and commemorates the first Passover that Israel kept in Egypt, when Israel was not to leave its houses until dawn (Ex 12:21–24). Israel was to “‘observe this rite as a statute for you [Israel] and for your sons forever’” (v. 24). But during that period when Judah ceased circumcising its sons (Jer 9:25–26) and had long forgotten the Passover, the first Unleavened went by the wayside—and when a remnant of Israel returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, this remnant forming the shadow and copy of a remnant of endtime disciples leaving spiritual Babylon, knowledge of the first Unleavened was lost, for this first Unleavened is only celebrated until the second Passover when the covenant made with the fathers of Israel on the day when the Lord took the nation by the hand to lead it out of Egypt is replaced by the New Covenant. It is by the terms of this first Unleavened that the sins of endtime disciples are covered by grace, the mantle of Christ Jesus’ righteousness. When the Son of Man is revealed or disrobed (Luke 17:30), grace ends; the first covenant ends; the New Covenant takes effect; and Christians—all Christians—are filled with spirit and liberated from indwelling sin and death. And the second Unleavened (i.e., the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread) will be the only Unleavened celebrated during the Endurance and during the Millennium. Present day disciples that celebrate the first Unleavened will most likely continue to do so throughout the Tribulation, for Sin (the third horseman) is not to harm the oil and the wine, the processed fruits of spiritual Judea. These “processed” disciples today cover their sins by taking the Passover sacraments, and will (because it is their habit) continue to cover themselves even after the first covenant ends. Therefore, Sin has no opening through which it can make merchandise of these disciples when they are filled with spirit.
Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th of Abib, the Preparation Day for the only Passover celebration that Pharisees knew to keep, the reason John uses the expression “the pascha [Passover] of the Judaion [Jews]” (2:13) … John knows enough to keep separate the first Unleavened from the second Unleavened which will continue to be celebrated after this present age ends, so John uses the expression, Passover of the Jews, not a pejorative but as a specific referent for the second Unleavened that began at sundown on the 14th, the beginning of the 15th, and run through the 22nd of Abib.
Without realization that there is a first and a second Unleavened, with Matthew clearly making the distinction that is then badly garbled by English translators, the timeline for the sign of Jonah becomes the bastardized period traditionally reckoned by Christendom. But then, it has never been the Adversary’s intention that disciples cover themselves with the garment of grace.
The evidence that today’s Christendom is not born of God is in its refusal to, or inability to keep the commandments of God—and this is where we will resume next week … this Sabbath reading has become long enough that it will continue in the reading for November 14th.
Masculinity and femininity are gender specific terms, not biological terms. Nothing said about either pertains absolutely to a tent of flesh although masculinity generally applies to the biological male and femininity to the biological female. The terms best reflect cultural characteristics that roughly correspond to biological characteristics, and considering that human cultures have developed under the broadcast of the prince of the power of the air, that old serpent, Satan the devil, the terms disclose mindsets among fallen angels that have organized themselves into a hierarchal society that privileges aggression. By the Logos as Helpmate to the God [ton Theon] creating the material universe [mass] as the mirror image of the heavenly realm, the Logos has empowered angels that did not rebel as well as disciples through privileging theological femininity. The Son doesn’t marry either angels or a masculine “dude,” but a Bride that hears the voice of the Son and believes the Father. This Bride is a “bride” because of theological femininity, with the Adversary still working hard to confuse gender roles when disciples (the inner new selves) are neither male nor female at their conception as a human embryo at six weeks has the ability to develop as either a male or female infant: the embryo has two sets of ducts (Wolffian for male and Muellerian for female) held in readiness for further development. If testosterone and other androgens are released by hormone producing cells, the Wolffian ducts develop into the channel that connects penis to testes, and the female ducts disappear. Without testosterone, the embryo takes on a female form and the male ducts disappear, with the Muellarian ducts developing into uterus and vagina. And as masculinity is defined against femininity, the human female is the default sex, with all of this forming the visible things that reveal the invisible things of God. But as already mentioned, this discussion will continue in 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."