The Philadelphia Church

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:19)"

Sabbatarian Anabaptists - The Annals
The Language of Redemption
Teachings of the Hewer of Wood
More on Matthew

Suggested Sabbath Readings

3rd Quarter 2012
June 23, 2012 Occasionally, a person sends in questions that when answered have a broad application. Such a letter arrived, with the nature of the questions revealing that the one who asks has been asked these questions by others … when it comes to assigning meaning to Scripture, there are principles involved that are beyond the domain of academics. Obviously, not everything that happened to Israel between Abraham and the birth of Jesus made it into Scripture. Nor everything that happened in the antediluvian world. Only those things that form the shadow and type [copy] of things that happen to the reality—circumcised of heart Israel—casting the shadow form Scripture, with the structure of Scripture representing one narrative told from differing narrative stances; i.e., one shadow cast that serves as a summation for events and with subsequent shadows cast that are of the same event but are cast form closer distances and thus with greater detail.
June 16, 2012 Love bridges ignorance and causes seeing in part to be sufficient for salvation if the person will permit it being so. For once a person can see, he or she cannot return home but must enter heaven.
June 9, 2012 What Peter said about the God of Abraham being the God that glorified Jesus is akin to Peter declaring that what happened on the day of Pentecost following Calvary was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy about YHWH pouring out the spirit on all flesh … Peter is on the right track, but he is wrong in what he says. At this time, Peter is truly a spiritual infant that still needs instruction. And in Peter lies hope for all of us who have said spiritually infantile things at various times.
June 2, 2012 Proto-orthodox claim that truth always precedes error. This argument comes in several guises. On the most basic level, the heresiologists point out that the distinctive viewpoints of each heresy were created by their founders: for example, Marcion, the founder of the Marcionites, Valentius, the founder of the Valentinians, and for Tertullian at least, Ebion, the founder of the Ebionites. But if these teachers were the first to propound the proper understanding of the truth of the gospel, what of all the Christians who lived before? Were they simply wrong? This makes no sense to the proto-orthodox. For them “true precedes its copy, the likeness succeeds the reality” (Tertullian, Prescription 29). Does truth precede error? Did Peter speak truth or error on that day of Pentecost following Calvary? From a literal perspective, Peter spoke error: truth did not precede error. And what of those three thousand devout Jews who were baptized on this day of Pentecost? Did they hear truth in the Apostles’ teachings, or did they hear a mix of truth and error coming from the Apostles being spiritual infants, babes, able only to ingest milk and not solid food and therefore not able to teach anything but the most elementary tenets of the Christian faith?

2nd Quarter 2012
May 27, 2012 Beginning when the three thousand returned home from Jerusalem, everyone had a portion of the truth, but none—including Peter himself—fully understood or comprehended the truth. Therefore, the early Church was not a unified Body sharing one theology, one Christology that summer of 31 CE, but consisted of many devout Jews taking knowledge of Christ Jesus home with them to every nation of the world. It would have been a miracle if there were less than three thousand variants forms of the Jesus Movement a year after Pentecost.
May 26, 2012 Matthew’s genealogy of Joseph, who is not the father of Jesus, is not literally true, but must be considered as the presentation of a metaphor that has not been well understood.
May 19, 2012 The prayers of the first disciples were much more than simply reciting a “want list” that stretched from healing a sick person to having enough bread for today. These prayers would have been central to the preservation of the good news Jesus brought to humanity, and this preservation would have been entirely oral for a decade or so after Calvary. Only as memories were beginning to fade would the necessity of setting these narratives down in words made by hands (chirographic inscription) become apparent. Then there would have been an urgency to set everything down, but by then, the first disciples would have learned to read and write—and indeed, they would have schooled themselves, learning to write in one or both Aramaic and Greek.
May 12, 2012 Luke is not an eye-witness, nor does the author of the Gospel claim to be an eyewitness: he is, again, a compiler, someone who assembles the accounts he has (evidently, there were many such accounts), the testimony he has heard, and the stories that he deems reliable—and he sets out to write a better account, a better biography than any he has read. For if he didn’t believe that he could produce a more reliable biography, there would be no reason for him to write. He would simply forward the best biography of Jesus that he has read. Thus, by implication, the biographies he has differ in some small or in some significant ways from each other. It is his apparently self-appointed task to produce the definitive biography. And to do this, assuming he understands the gravity of his task, requires making adjustments to the biographies of the “many [who] have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us” (Luke 1:1). And one such adjustment seems to be when the curtain was torn, with another being what words he put into Jesus’ mouth that may or may not have been uttered by Jesus.
May 5, 2012 A literalist—a person who reads metaphorical text as if it were mimetic text—will always assign a geographical location to the city of Jerusalem or to the region known as the Galilee, the literalist hears but doesn’t understand, and sees but doesn’t perceive, and has need for national health insurance for the literalist will not be healed by Christ Jesus. Rather, the literalist will perish when his or her heart stops beating. No law has been written on the literalist’s heart, nor has the literalist’s heart been circumcised.
April 28, 2012 The faith of the living can take some hits but cannot be stolen. The faith-thieves simply sharpen the tools of the living for them; for the living are born as infant sons of God with their spiritual maturation being modeled on their physical maturation. Those things which caused physical harm or mental scaring to the physical body as well as the growth rate of the physical body during its maturation process will be repeated in the spiritual maturation of this son of God, for good and for bad. Therefore, Christ Jesus as the elder brother and high priest of every born-of-spirit son-of-God will run interference for His younger brother, keeping the faith-thieves at bay until the younger brother has grown sufficiently that he can fight against the faith-thieves himself, thereby aiding his younger siblings in their forthcoming fight against Christians who physically kill genuine disciples. And when there are many younger brothers able to fight the faith-thieves, the Adversary will change his tactics, with his change being predicated by his need to keep his principality from falling into the Abyss … he will fail: Babylon falls.
April 21, 2012 Do not permit academics practicing higher criticism to tell you that Jesus cleansing the temple was a reason for temple officials to kill Him.
April 14, 2012 The temple of God is a construction of living stones, Christians (1 Pet 2:4–6), of which Christ Jesus is the cornerstone—and these living stones really have no work to do to be formed into the temple of God.
April 7, 2012 Moses’ writings would have had to be physically copied at least once and probably twice and maybe as many as six or seven times before Saul became king of Israel. And on one of those occasions during the reign of the Judges, probably late during this period, a scribe—not understanding what an unpronounced linguistic determinative was doing in the text or how unpronounced determinatives functioned—omitted the determinative that separated the Passover from the Feast of Unleavened Bread so that from this time forward until the days of Josiah when an early copy of the Book of the Covenant was found, the Passover was observed on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the practice of rabbinical Judaism today and the practice of Pharisees of the Second temple. However, apparently 1st-Century Sadducees did not share this practice, nor did Jesus and His disciples, nor does the 21st-Century The Philadelphia Church. And while it can be stated with certainty that Jesus and His disciples in the 1st-Century and in the 21st-Century keep the Passover as Moses commanded, as King Josiah did, it seems that 1st-Century Sadducees were also better readers of Holy Writ than were Pharisees.

1st Quarter 2012
March 31, 2012 The innocence of ignorance; the innocence of outward obedience to the commandments of God with truly understanding the mysteries of God—both will conceal unbelief of the sort that will not keep the Elect from the kingdom, something that cannot be done, but will keep the Elect from entering the Endurance of Jesus, the last 1260 days before Jesus returns as the Messiah, the King of kings.
March 24, 2012 If Pharisees couldn’t reasonably determine when Passover lambs were to be slain—and they couldn’t, for the writings of Moses do not support their practice—then truly a veil prevented them from seeing the glory of the Lord. And no Christian theologian should imitate the practices of the Pharisees, who had more than just when the Passover should be slain wrong. Mark doesn’t misstate anything. His account agrees with Matthew’s account: Jesus ate the Passover on the First Unleavened, with there being a preparation day for the First Unleavened as the First Unleavened was the Preparation Day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is only Christians who come from traditions that fail to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread as it should be kept that fail to understand that there is a First Unleavened, the day when Israel in Egypt sacrificed its Passover lambs.
March 17, 2012 Do problems with the Bible as a text exist? Are the words of Genesis the words of Moses? Why does the narrative voice in Genesis differ from that of Exodus or Deuteronomy? Or have you ever read closely enough to realize that there is a different narrative voice? Scholars have slain themselves in the dark wilderness of unbelief when they encountered questions for which their youth pastors had not prepared them. They were like knot-head bucks, first year spike deer kicked off by their mothers as breeding season began. These little bucks don’t know what to fear and what not to fear: they are not really babies, but they are too young to have well developed survival instincts. So they stand around in the open, waiting to get killed … they can be likened to the ministers and instructors that Ambassador sent off to get graduate degrees from accredited theological programs. These little knot-heads are tender, perhaps the right age to be harvested—and the ministers and instructors of Ambassador were indeed harvested by the Adversary after they got lost in the darkness of the wilderness of unbelief.
March 10, 2012 The foreknown and predestined Christian forms the foundational stock for human sons of God in the Millennium, where even wolves will dwell with lambs as Maremma Sheepdogs today dwell with lambs … in the case of wolves, the prophecy of Isaiah already has a type of its fulfillment in Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) that go back in history to ancient Roman literature and the writers Columella, Varro, and Palladius. Perhaps in dogs can be found the history of the domestication of men, a history that extends forward a thousand years.
March 3, 2012 The Christian who will be covered by blood—not that of his or her own, for it is the inner self that is the Christian—following the Second Passover liberation of Israel will be covered by the blood/lives of uncovered [by not taking the Passover sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed] firstborns, all of whom belong to the Lord. And the third part of humankind that will be born of spirit when the spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) half way through the seven endtime years of tribulation will be covered by the blood/lives of the those who are randomly slain in the Second Woe, the sixth trumpet plague (Rev 9:13–21).
February 25, 2012 The work of Philadelphia is to pursue and untangle the archetypes upon which this world is constructed, thereby venturing deep into uncharted waters, going where Jonah went before, crucifying the old self when raised a new man, a son of God, using the key of David to unlock the deep things of God, not looking to lifeless Judaism or to equally lifeless Christendom for easy answers that are not really answers at all—and yes, the Elect will crucify their old natures, their old selves after they have been called and justified and glorified by the God of the dead raising them from death, from consignment to disobedience by giving to them a second breath of life, His breath in the breath of Christ. The God of the living put eternal archetypes into the hearts of men so that men would not discover what He was doing before it was time, but would discover these things when it was time—when the visions of the prophet Daniel were no longer sealed and kept secret by shadows and types. The work of Philadelphia is the work of kings, of the King of kings, the One who holds the key of David.
February 18, 2012 Argument for the scepter of Judah being the Key of David and for the birthright of Joseph being salvation coming via spiritual birth.
February 11, 2012 The one like, in Nebuchadnezzar’s words, a son of the gods that escorted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the fiery furnace forms a shadow and type of Christ Jesus who reveals judgments made beforehand when He comes again as the Messiah. He either will or won’t give life to those who are already alive (John 5:21), with this second giving of life coming through the perishable flesh putting on immortality; for Christ Jesus is the present God of the living, not the God of the dead, with the dead being those human persons able to bury the dead of themselves (see Matt 8:22) but who know nothing of the Father yet fill pews in Christian worship services every Sunday … in this present age, the principle activity of Christian pastors is burying corpses.
February 4, 2012 Democracy is so fundamental to America’s perception of self that to speak against democracy is to be anti-American. This is true, sadly true; for the United States continues to represent the best hope that humanity under Satan has of ruling itself. And it is the qualifier—under Satan—that disrobes the illusion of liberty under which the majority of Americans worship the Adversary; for in this present era, Americans are not free to keep the commandments without suffering severe economic penalties. The Adversary blesses his sons, but simply refuses to fiscally bless sons of God who must rely upon God to supply them with sufficiency in all things. However, sufficiency isn’t material prosperity, but enough economic strength to do good works in this world.
January 28, 2012 Humanism in its various forms is a Christian religion even though Jesus is no more or not much more to humanists than He is to Muslims … America’s union of Church and State has freedom holding the Bible in one hand and a sword in the other—and no Anabaptist of any flavor can support such a comingling of the sacred and the profane. Prayers should not be said for sins unto death, or for sinners or nation-states that practice idolatry. Prayers should not be said for spiritual Babylon, or for the spiritual king of Babylon. Both should be rebuked in prayer. If there are sins that do not lead to death that need forgiven, and sins that lead to death for which no prayers should be said, then the Lord refusing to hear the pleadings of idolatrous Israel in the days of its kings stands as a shadow of how a Christian should pray.
January 21, 2012 In Peter’s first epistle, he feeds newly born of spirit disciples, then addresses how overseers are to tend these lambs. In his second epistle, Peter feeds those disciples who have a faith comparable to the apostles. John relates the narrative structure of his vision by saying that he is our brother and partner in the Affliction and Kingdom and Endurance in Jesus (Rev 1:9), the structure of chapters six through twenty-two. So it should come as no surprise that John would also lay out the structure of Jesus’ ministry in selected narrative accounts that function together as a single metaphor describing the beginning and the end.
January 14, 2012 For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. In that day, declares the LORD, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom I have afflicted; and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore. (Micah 4:1–7 emphasis and double emphasis added) What happens to those peoples who walk in the name of a god other than the God of Jacob, the God of the Living (from Matt 22:32)? What happens to the hills that represent ruling hierarchies other than that of the God of the living? What happens to lesser mountains that also represent ruling hierarchies? There is a reality that must be addressed when it comes to the Millennium, the Thousand Years long reign of Christ Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords between when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18) and when the Adversary is loosed from his chains and again permitted to go forth to deceive the people of this world … the Adversary would be able to deceive no one when loosed from his chains if all peoples were of the mountain of the house of the Lord.
January 7, 2012 For you shall worship no other god, for [YHWH], whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God [El].

Past Sabbath Readings