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 the Spirit of God.
For the Sabbath of December 23, 2006
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 service should read or assign to be read Acts chapter 5, verses 1 though 11.
Commentary: When Peter asks Ananias why he has lied to the Holy Spirit (Pneuma to 'Agion — v. 3), Peter goes on to tell Ananias, ‘“You have not lied to men but to God [Theos]’” (v. 4), thereby producing Trinitarian Christianity’s best evidence for the Holy Spirit being God, co-equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance as the Father and the Son, and as such part of a triune deity.
But the passage in Greek reads a little differently than is usually translated: Green’s Interlinear Bible renders the passage word for word in English, “said But Peter, Ananias, why filled – Satan the heart of you, to deceive you the Spirit – Holy, and to secretly keep back from the price of the land? not Remaining to you remain, and sold in – your authority it was? What (is it) that was put in the heart of you – action this? not You lied to men, but to God” (Acts 5:3-4).
The assumption must be made that Ananias had been born of Spirit and thus possessed the Holy Spirit and derivative life in the heavenly realm. Thus, Ananias would have been in the descriptive state of being a disciple, and as such described by the Apostle Paul:
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit [pneumati], if in fact the Spirit of God [Pneuma Theou] dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ [Pneuma Cristou] does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit [pneuma] is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit [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 Spirit [Pneumatoz] that dwells in you. (Rom 8:9-11)
As a disciple, Ananias would have had the Spirit of Christ in him, and he would have had the Spirit of the Father [the one who raised Jesus from the dead] dwelling in him. But the Spirit or Pneuma of Christ is not Christ Jesus, nor is the Spirit or Pneuma of Him who raised Jesus from the dead God the Father. In any other usage, Pneuma [Pneuma] would be translated as Breath, a form of moving air—and in this usage, Pneuma works best as Breath: the Breath of Christ Jesus, and the Breath of the one who raised Jesus from the dead. Therefore, Ananias would have had spiritual life in him, this life coming from being born of Spirit (John 3:3-8) in a manner foreshadowed by Elohim [singular in usage] breathing into the nostrils of the lifeless cadaver that would become the first Adam, and again foreshadowed by the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion or Pneuma 'Agion] descending as a dove on the human man Jesus of Nazareth (Matt 3:16), the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), of whom the first Adam was a type (Rom 5:14).
But “Breath” or Pneuma can only be a metaphor for the life giving and sustaining power of God, a power that is not of this world. However, the “life” the first Adam received when Elohim [singular] breathed into Adam’s nostrils (Gen 2:7) serves as a shadow and type of the “life” the human man Jesus received when the Holy Spirit or divine Breath of the Father descended upon Him as a dove. And the glorified Jesus transferred this same divine Breath to His ten of His disciples when He breathed on them and said, ‘“Receive the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion]’” (John 20:22).
Ananias would have received spiritual life through this same divine Breath of God at or sometime following Pentecost.
Every physically living human being is a spiritual cadaver as the lifeless first Adam was a physical cadaver before Elohim [singular] breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils, thereby making Adam a nephesh or breathing creature. The physically living person must receive the divine Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion] before the person receives spiritual life, but spiritual life that dwells in a tent of flesh. Once the Holy Spirit or divine Breath of God dwells in the person, the person is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit—and when in the Spirit, the old self in conjunction with the flesh in which sin continues to dwell (Rom 7:25) can deceive the new self or new life that comes through the Holy Spirit dwelling in the person. And this is what Peter asks Ananias: Why did you, Ananias, let Satan fill your heart with deceit and attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit that dwells within you? Your flesh is dead, and now because the new creature born of Spirit has lied to God, it too is dead. You no longer have any life. And Ananias fell down and breathed his last (Acts 5:5), his physical breath being a type and shadow of spiritual breath.
In all things, the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20), and the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46). Ananias received physical breath when his human father fertilized an ovum in his mother’s womb, this breath being continued through the generations since Elohim [singular] breathed into the nostrils of the first Adam. He received spiritual breath when God the Father drew him as an adult human being from the world (John 6:44, 65) and gave him His [the Father’s] divine Breath. Thus, Ananias was twice born, once as a human infant, then again as an infant son of God. And after being twice born, he had two breaths: psuche or the swallow breath received from the first Adam, and pneuma or the deep breath that gives spiritual life, received when the Father draws a person from the world. So prior to receiving the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion], Ananias was soma or flesh and psuche or physical breath (Matt 10:28); after receiving the Holy Spirit, Ananias was soma, psuche, & pneuma (1 Thess 5:23). And it is the traditions of men that cause psuche & pneuma to be translated as soul and spirit; it was the insertion of Greek paganism into Christianity that has caused generations of disciples to assume that human beings are born with immortal souls, that eternal life can come from fornication rather than only as a gift from God.
Satan caused Ananias, an infant son of God, to lie to his Father and Elder Brother. Therefore, Ananias’ physical death, coming by the cessation of his physical breath, forms a type or shadow of what happens in the heavenly realm when a spiritually empowered son of God lies to the Father: the living person that had been soma, psuche, & pneuma continues to live physically by drawing the shallow breath of a nephesh, but has instantly died spiritually. There is, however, a caveat. Disciples are not today spiritually empowered, or liberated from indwelling sin and death. The book of Acts forms the copy and shadow of what will happen in the heavenly realm once the seven endtime years of tribulation begin—and herein lies a mystery of God that required revelation by the Teacher of Righteousness [Christ Jesus].
The Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion] was audibly heard and visibly seen on that day of Pentecost following Calvary. It sounded like a might rushing wind [pneuma], and it appeared as tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-4). And because this divine Breath of God could be visibly seen, what happened on this day of Pentecost foreshadows or serves as the shadow and copy of what will happen spiritually when “wonders in the heaven and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke” will appear, and the “sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes” (Joel 2:30-31). The book of Acts is valid history as are the first and second books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and the entirety of Moses, Joshua, Judges, Ezra, Nehemiah—but all of these historical accounts of visible Israel reveal the history of invisible Israel in the heavenly realm, a dimension which flesh and blood cannot enter to make measurements or record observations. On that day of Pentecost following Calvary, Peter said, ‘“Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give year to my words. … [T]his is what was uttered through the prophet Joel’” (Acts 2:14-15) and Peter cites Joel 2:28-32, but there was no blood, fire, and smoke. The sun didn’t turn to darkness, nor did the moon turn to blood. So either Peter got it wrong, or the 120 gathered together created the shadow and type of Israel in the last days (Act 2:17) when God [Theou] will pour out His Spirit [pneumatoz mou] on all flesh. And it is this latter that is true: as the first Elijah served as a type of the Elijah to come (Mal 4:5); as the first Adam served as a type of the one to come (Rom 5:14); as a physically-circumcised Israelite in the wilderness of sin served as a type or example of a spiritually-circumcised Israelite in this world (1 Cor 10:6, 11); as the high priest that ministered in the temple and the temple itself served as “a copy and shadow of heavenly things” (Heb 8:5); as Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to present day Jerusalem (Gal 4:25) and as Ishmael served as a type of the children of slavery [to disobedience — Rom 11:32] and as Isaac served as a type for every disciple born of promise (Gal 4:28), the Apostle Peter and those disciples upon whom Jesus had already conveyed His Breath [Pneuma Cristou] by breathing on them when He said, “Receive the Holy Spirit [Pneuma 'Agion]” (again, John 20:22), serve as the shadow and copy—the type—of the Christian Church when the seven endtime years of tribulation begin, and the three thousand that were baptized on this day of Pentecost serve as the shadow and copy of the third part of humankind that will be born of Spirit when Christ Jesus baptizes the whole world in Spirit (Matt 3:11). The waters of the Flood during the days of Noah serves as a copy and type of the baptism of the world in Spirit halfway through the seven endtime years, and serves as a copy and type of the baptism of the world by fire when the first heaven and the first earth have passed away (Rev 21:1).
In English, the singular noun /God/, which now lacks any case ending, represents the Greek linguistic icon /Θe or The/ that now requires a case ending. The Greek masculine singular ending for nominative case is /os or os in Roman characters/; thus, the Logos was Theos (John 1:1), the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt 22:31-32). And here is where case endings reveal what the lack of case endings conceals: the Logos was Theos and was with Theon from the beginning. In Greek nominative case, the ending /on or on in Roman characters/ is used for neuter singular. Theos is not, nor can He be Theon. Both are God [i.e., The-], so both are correctly translated in John 1:1, which reads, “In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word was with God [Theon], and the Word was God [Theos].” But the Breath [Pneuma] of Theos is the Breath of Christ Jesus [Pneuma Cristou] and will take a masculine singular ending in nominative case, not the neuter singular /on/ ending of the One who raised Jesus from the dead. Therefore, the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion] is the Breath of the Father; i.e., the Breath of Theon. It does not use a feminine case ending nor a masculine case ending, but the neuter ending of the Most High. It is not in the linguistic feminine position, nor can it be in the linguistic masculine position without being another son of God. It is an attribute of the Most High; it is an attribute of God the Father.
Theos and Theon functioned together as one entity as a wife is one flesh with her husband (Gen 2:24). Theos was Theon’s spokesman as Aaron spoke for Moses, who was as God to Aaron (Exod 4:16). And the man Jesus, the only son of Theos (John 3:16) came to reveal the Father [Theon] to His disciples, for the world did not know (John 17:6, 25-26) and to this day still does not know the Father.
There is no evidence that any of the patriarchs or prophets, with the exception of King David, knew of the Father [Theon] prior to when Jesus came to reveal Him to Israel. In David’s later Psalms, the king splits the Tetragrammaton YHWH and places Yah in the poetic position of being God in the physical half of thought couplets that have YHWH as God in the spiritual half of the couplet: for examples, see Ps 146:1; 148:1; 149:1 (read these verses in their original language).
Two linguistic icons are used for the God of the Old Testament: in Roman characters, (1) Elohim, and the Tetratgrammaton (2) YHWH. The icon Elohim is the regular plural of Eloah, which deconstructs to the radical /El/ + /ah/. In Hebrew, the name for God is El, as in El Shaddai [God Almighty] (Gen 17:1). Aspirated or voiced breath in all Indo-European languages is represented the icon /h/, the glottal stop. Thus, Eloah, when deconstructed, becomes /God/ + /breath/, and Elohim is /God/ + /breath/ + /God/ + /breath/ an undetermined number of times.
The “determiner” for the plural Elohim is found in the Tetragrammaton YHWH: since David splits the Tetragrammaton, disciples can do likewise. YHWH deconstructs into the radicals /YH/ and /WH/, with /YH/ being Yah, the only deity known to ancient Israel and the deity through which all things were made (John 1:3). Thus, Yah linguistically equates to Theos + Pneuma and the radical /WH/ equates to Theon + Pneuma. Both Theos & Theon are El, or God. So there is no disagreement between the Old and New Testaments when it comes to linguistically representing God or the Holy Spirit. There is only a shortage of spiritual discernment and understanding; for the physical creation concealed from natural Israel the things of God which this same physical creation reveals the things of God to disciples.
Satan caused Ananias to deceive the new creature born of Spirit that dwelt within the same tent of flesh in which the old self, a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3), had been master. The crucified old man deceived the son of God, thereby causing this child of the Father to lie. Ananias did not lie to a third member of the Godhead, but to the spiritual life within himself. Thus, Ananias and Sapphira, like Judas Iscariot, serve as examples or types for what will happen at the end of the age, a period not far in the future.
All of Scripture will be fulfilled (Rev 17:12), meaning that God will draw from this world and make alive in the heavenly realm disciples who will betray one another, who will lead many astray, who will come as false prophets and false teachers. Yes, God will draw disciples who will be made into vessels of wrath, vessels intended for dishonored use, vessels to be endured for a season (Rom 9:20-23). Satan will have his servants appear as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:15). And many are the teachers of lawlessness, all doing great works in Jesus’ name, whom Jesus will deny knowing in their resurrections (Matt 7:21-23).
The person who uses Ananias being deceived by Satan and lying to God as proof of a triune deity is a false teacher, a minister of Satan who would have the disciple lie about God and lie to God.
The only deity who interacted with human beings prior to Theos entering His creation as His son, His only son, was Yah or Theos—the Father was present, but invisible, concealed by the physical creation, throughout the history of Israel. The physically circumcised nation of Israel only knew the Logos, just as this nation in the wilderness of Sin/Zin only heard Aaron speak. The nation could see Moses, but the nation heard the words of Aaron, or of Yah from atop Sinai. Likewise today, spiritually circumcised Israelites can “see” the Father in Scripture, but they read the words of Jesus, who delivered the words of the Father (John 17:8) … words are delivered by the breath of a person. The Father’s words are delivered by the Breath of Christ Jesus, which is in every disciple just as spiritual life is in every disciple, delivered by the Breath of the Most High. Disciples are made alive by receiving the Father’s Breath [Pneuma ’Agion], and they “hear” His words through the Breath of Christ. What aspect of this is difficult to understand?
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."