The Philadelphia Church

February 17, 2016

Q & A

Two Journeys of Faith


In a private e-message the question was, “Can you explain two journeys of faith?”

The Apostle Paul wrote to both the holy ones at Rome and to the saints in Galatia that Christian “faith” [pisteos — belief that produces action] is analogous to Abraham’s belief of God that was counted to him as righteousness, with Abraham being a type of Christ Jesus. Thus, Abraham’s journeys of faith, the first to the land of Canaan and the second within the land of Canaan (to the land of Moriah and the mountain of God there) are analogous to the two journeys of faith Christians must make, the first to Sabbath observance—the Sabbath being a type of the Promised Land—and the second to spiritual Jerusalem as represented by the annual Sabbaths and the chronology of salvation.

Where the land of Moriah lay has only one witness:

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. (2 Chron 3:1)

The symbolism present suggests that, indeed, Abraham took Isaac, his son of promise, to the site of present day Jerusalem where Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac as a test of Abraham’s belief of his God. And in this second journey of faith, Abraham told the young men whom he left with the donkey, “I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you" (Gen 22:5), knowing that he would obey the Lord and sacrifice Isaac. Apparently, Abraham believed that somehow the Lord would return Isaac to life so that the promise made—that through Isaac would come his heir, the one who would inherit all he had—would be fulfilled.

A few Anabaptists returned to keeping the Sabbath in the 16th-Century, with the most notable being Andreas Fischer (ca 1480–1540 CE), who was first hung then twelve years later beheaded before his voice was silenced. Thus, in symbolism, Fischer and the converts he taught formed a reality (not the only reality) of Abram and Sari, along with Lot, leaving Haran and journeying south into the land of Canaan, but not staying in Canaan but continuing south to the land of Egypt, the geographical representation of Sin. And indeed Abram sinned when to told Egyptians that Sari was his sister, true but not the truth. Abram had wed his half-sister; so Sari was his wife in a relationship that would have been illegal under the Law, but in a relationship reflective of the spiritual Body of Christ.

During Abram’s stay in Egypt, he prospered:

When the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. (Gen 12:15–16)

Christianity has prospered while dwelling in Sin; Anabaptists have prospered while dwelling in Sin. It wasn’t until the enthusiasm of Anabaptists was stomped from them that a trickle of Anabaptists returned to Sabbath observance, this trickle waxing and waning throughout the 18th, 19th, 20th Centuries, with the trickle seeming to wane in the 21st-Century as the world moves farther and farther away from God, movement that is necessary before the Second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel occurs.

The preceding is simplistic and needs to be supported; that is, made more complicated so it will be more difficult to understand …

Abraham’s first journey of faith would seem to have begun in Haran when the Lord said to him, “‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you’” (Gen 12:1), but Abraham’s first journey of faith actually began in Ur of the Chaldeans. When Abram left Haran to journey into the land of Canaan was the resumption of this first journey of faith that Abram that began with Abram’s “old man” Terah, who symbolically represents a disciple’s old nature or fleshly self.

Again, Abraham took two notable journeys, the first with a couples of stops:

Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran. (Gen 11:27–32)

Abraham’s first journey of faith began—but was not completed—by Abraham leaving the land of his kindred, Ur of the Chaldeans [geographical Babylon] and trekking to the land of Haran [Assyria], apparently named by Terah for the son that died in Ur … Haran symbolizes “death,” or the dead. And it is in Haran where Abraham’s father [“old man”] dies, with the death of Terah in Haran/Assyria symbolizing a disciple leaving spiritual Babylon, and the disciple’s old nature, old self (old man) being crucified with Christ, thus permitting the new creature dwelling in the same fleshly body as the old self to walk as Christ walked, with the Promised Land of Canaan representing for Israel the Sabbath (Heb 3:7–4:12, especially v. 9), a type of the Millennium and a type of heaven.

Terah is an overlooked person in Christian theology; for in Abraham being a type of Christ, Abraham represents the living inner self of Christ Jesus, this inner self resurrected to life when the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] descended in the bodily form of a dove and entered into [eis] the man Jesus when John raised Jesus from a watery grave in the Jordan. Abraham doesn’t represent [symbolize] the earthly body of Christ Jesus. Terah does. Thus, Terah represents the fleshly body of every person truly born of spirit. Terah represents the whale in which Jonah had life returned to him—and this representation has an inherent problem, that of preexisting life. Did the “soul” of a person have life, have existence before receiving “life” in the form of the indwelling of Christ, the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] penetrating the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou]. And the answer, contrary to what is taught in some religions, is no: what had preexistence was the “life” itself in the form of the glory of God.

A metaphor is always untrue; for one thing is not another thing even when described by calling one thing (the first thing) another thing. Likewise, a symbol isn’t its reality, but only represents its reality for one point to another point. Thus, the fleshly body of Christ Jesus serves as a symbol for the spiritual Body of Christ, with Terah serving as a symbol for the fleshly body of Christ Jesus. Therefore, as Terah died in the land of Haran/Assyria, but Abram his son lived in the land of Canaan, the fleshly body of Christ Jesus died at Calvary but now lives in heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God the Father. The spiritual Body of Christ (from 1 Cor 12:27) died seventy years after Calvary (ca 101 CE), but the souls [psuchas] of those disciples born of spirit and martyred in the 1st-Century now sleep under the altar in heaven (Rev 6:9). And as Jesus was resurrected from death, having the glory He had before the world existed returned to Him, the spiritual Body of Christ in the form of the Christian Church will be resurrected from death [from its long stay in Egypt/Sin] and returned to life in heavenly Jerusalem.

The preceding paragraph needs unpacked: Paul connects Abraham to Christ Jesus, writing, “If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:29); thereby superimposing Christ over Abraham, a superimposition that places 1st-Century Christendom behind [chronologically before] the giving of the Law, the logic for Paul writing,

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. (Gal 4:21–26)

The superimposing of Christ over Abraham will have the natural firstborn son of the God of Abraham (Ex 4:22) being analogous to Abraham’s natural firstborn son, Ishmael. This superimposition will now have Abraham’s “unnatural firstborn [the firstborn of Sarah] son” that was born via promise, Isaac, being analogous to spiritual firstborn sons of God the Father; i.e., Christians born of spirit via the indwelling of Christ.

In Paul’s rationale, humankind was, when he lived, in the chronology of salvation where Abraham was in the chronology of the biblical narrative … this concept is essential to understanding Paul: beginning with Abram in Ur of the Chaldeans, Abram with Terah forms a shadow and type of the Beloved of God and His unique Son, Christ Jesus, with the Beloved symbolically dying in heaven when He enters His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus. This relationship is symbolically repeated in the earthly body of Christ Jesus dying at Calvary, but with the inner self [the spirit in the soul] of Jesus going to preach to imprisoned spirits (1 Pet 3:18–20). Therefore, the “Jesus” narrative symbolically begins when Abraham is told, “‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you’” (Gen 12:1) … that Abraham left Haran and went to first Canaan then Egypt before returning to Canaan is symbolic of the Beloved leaving heaven (heaven itself either damaged or dead because of the Adversary’s rebellion), entering His creation, being tempted in all things as every human is, then returning to heaven, returning to new heavens, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem. In the chronology of salvation, greater Christendom is presently where ancient Israel was when enslaved by Pharaoh in Egypt.

What Peter wrote by the hand of Silvanus about Jesus going to preach to imprisoned spirits during the three days and three nights He was in the heart of the earth creates an additional layering of location in the biblical narrative, with God atop the mountain of the Lord, with angels around the base of the mountain of the Lord, with a rent torn in the fabric of heaven analogous to the wound in Jesus’ side when stabbed by the Roman spear, with primal energy pouring through this rent as blood and water poured forth from Jesus’ abdominal cavity, with the Creation created from this primal energy, and with rebelling angels flushed through the rent in the fabric of heaven and imprisoned in this outer darkness … Jesus didn’t enter into heaven to preach to imprisoned spirits, but into the unbound Abyss.

With the death of Christ Jesus at Calvary, followed by His resurrection in glory and Him breathing His breath, His spirit onto and into ten of His first disciples (John 20:22), humanity was, in the 1st-Century, in the chronology of salvation where Abraham was when Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Ahead of Christianity (in the chronology of salvation) lies “Isaac” via Rebekah bringing forth two sons of promise (Gen 25:21), with these two sons being analogous to Cain and Abel. And the conception of these two sons of promise comes with the Second Passover liberation of greater Christendom; their gestation occurs during the seven endtime years of tribulation; their birth comes at the Second Advent. Thereby in the chronology of salvation, we presently dwell in the lacunae between when Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden and when Cain and Abel are humanly born.

There is, in the preceding paragraph, a realization that should cause all Christians to ponder: in heaven, what will be must be compatible with what is and what was; for the dictates of timelessness preclude change as in spiritual growth, analogous to human physical growth. Therefore, the “growth” that a human son of God has when entering heaven is all the “growth” that the son of God will ever have. So the person truly born of spirit in this present era—the person numbered among the Elect—has the opportunity to grow spiritually that those who are conceived following the Second Passover will not have. And for this, all of the Elect should be especially thankful, and should be about maximizing their spiritual growth through constant practice of discerning good from evil. Bible study does not promote spiritual growth, no more than the study of algebra promotes physical growth. Spiritual growth comes via exercising discernment, not from the ingestion of redacted texts.

Neither Adam nor Eve, Cain nor Abel had the Law; yet the Lord tells Cain, “‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it’‘” (Gen 4:6–7 emphasis added) … if sin [missing the mark] lay at Cain’s door, with Cain having the ability to rule over sin, Cain was not consigned to disobedience as a son of disobedience. Cain had freewill, which isn’t again present in the chronology of the biblical narrative until Moses, on the plains of Moab, tells the children of Israel,

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deut 30:15–20 emphasis added)

In the superimposition of Christ over Abraham; of Christ as the last Adam over the man of mud, the first Adam, the alignment of the chronology of salvation with the chronology of the biblical narrative discloses that since Abraham never kept the “Sabbath” by resting from his mundane labors on the seventh day, but rather lived in the “Sabbath” as a sojourner, not as a permanent resident; not as a settler, Christ Jesus never kept the Sabbath by “resting” from doing the work of God: He healed on the Sabbath.

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath." He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked Him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"—so that they might accuse Him. He said to them, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. (Matt 12:1–13 emphasis added)

Again, Abraham didn’t keep the Sabbath, but lived in the “Sabbath,” thus “lived” in doing good. The Christian who makes a journey of faith analogous to Abraham’s journey of faith will leave the realm of transactions—not entirely possible in this present era—and enter into doing “good” as the right thing to do …

The reality of leaving the world of transactions will place the Christian at odds with those around him or her, unless the Christian is old enough to draw Social Security or an old age pension wherever the Christian lives.

By living in the Sabbath, Abraham “kept” the Sabbath Commandment that wouldn’t be given to Israel for another four-plus centuries … the Sabbath is a sign, a symbol, and all symbols take their meaning from their context. Therefore, when the context was a world without the Law, geographical location serves as ideological location would serve after the Law was given. So for Abram to journey from the land representing transactions [Babylon] to the land representing death [Assyria/Haran] then down into the land representing life [Canaan] and further south to the land representing sin [Egypt] where Abram prospered because of Sari being taken into the harem of the Pharaoh before both Abram and Sari were kicked out of Egypt and returned to Canaan has symbolic importance in the chronology of conversion … a Christian’s personal journey of faith begins with the Christian leaving spiritual Babylon (exemplified by “this world”) when drawn by God the Father (John 6:44), the person foreknown by God and predestined to be glorified while the fleshly body still lives. The Father then delivers the person to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify. Thus, when the inner self of the person is glorified, a new creature is “born of spirit” inside the fleshly body that cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50). And as Terah died in Haran/Assyria, the old nature or old man of the person dies and a new creature—a son of God, born of spirit from the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] entering into the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou]—is born of spirit. Notice, Terah is here used as a type of the old nature of a person, not just the fleshly body of the person or the fleshly body of Christ Jesus or of the Beloved in heaven.

Every person is humanly born as a son of disobedience (Rom 11:32; Eph 2:2–3), a serf of the spiritual king of Babylon, with spiritual Babylon being the land of the person’s spiritual kindred … my brothers and sisters by blood remain in spiritual Babylon; my daughters by blood remain in spiritual Babylon.

Again, a sign or symbol always takes its meaning from its context, this reality Jesus disclosed to unbelieving Pharisees and Sadducees when He told them,

When it is evening, you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.” And in the morning, “It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.” You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. (Matt 16:3–4)

Same sign [red sky], but two contexts [dusk and dawn] and therefore two meanings: the Sabbath is also such a sign, with the Sabbath symbolizing the creation for Israel (Ex 31:17), the nation enslaved in Egypt, and symbolizing that Israel knew the Lord and knew that He sanctified the people of Israel (v. 13).

The context for the Sabbath and keeping the Sabbath changes when the children of Israel replace (Num chap 26) the nation of Israel numbered in the census of the second year in the wilderness (Num chap 1). Now the Sabbath symbolizes liberation from enslavement, not the creation or sanctification:

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. (Deut 5:12–15 emphasis added)

For the children of Israel that were standing on the plains of Moab when Moses delivered to them the Moab Covenant, made in addition to the covenant made at Sinai (Deut 29:1)—this before they crossed into the Promised Land but after they had been keeping the Sabbath for all of their adult lives—the weekly Sabbath and the annual high Sabbaths were symbols/signs of their parents’ liberation from slavery in Egypt; were signs and symbols of cultural liberation that produced second generation freedom of choice, freedom to choose good or evil, life or death.

Again, the preceding paragraph needs unpacked: the Sabbath didn’t come with the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, but came in the second month on the day that would become the Second Passover, which is appropriate since in the physical, manna [bread from heaven] come for six days, the days upon which mundane work can be done, but no physical bread was given on the seventh day. Christ Jesus, in saying that He was the true bread that had come from heaven, is the “bread” or manna given on the seventh day, with this “bread” given to Israel inside the geographical Promised Land.

Manna or bread from heaven, now, becomes a symbol of Abraham’s two journeys of Faith, one to the Promised Land [manna in the wilderness] and one inside the Promised Land [Christ Jesus as the Bread of Life], with the Promised Land that serves as a type of the Sabbath also geographically representing “Life.”

Abraham didn’t have the Law—

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. (Gal 3:16–20)

—even through Genesis 26:5 would seem to have Abraham keeping the Law:

And the LORD appeared to him and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." So Isaac settled in Gerar. (Gen 26:2–6 emphasis added)

The Genesis passage has been redacted by Imperial Hebrew scribes in probably the 6th-Century BCE, discernable by the use of the Tetragrammaton YHWH as a naming noun. The Tetragrammaton is a linguistic determinative, not a linguistic noun. To have Imperial Hebrew scribes restructure sentences to transform a linguistic determinative into a noun doesn’t make the sentences truthful when serious problems with them exist, such as there is no evidence that Abraham ever kept the Sabbath—again, Abraham didn’t “keep” the Sabbath; he lived “in the Sabbath” in that he lived in the land of Canaan, the land that for the children of Israel represented the Sabbath. And now it’s time to return to Abram/Abraham in the land of Haran.

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (Gen 12:7)

The Christian who journeys from spiritual Babylon—this world, with its prince, the spiritual king of Babylon—and arrives in the Promised Land mentally goes/journeys from keeping no day as the Sabbath or from keeping Sunday as the Sabbath to keeping the Sabbath, the seventh day of a weekly cycle created by the giving of manna a month after the Passover liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. And once the Christian begins to keep the Sabbath, the Christian needs to settle in and grow in grace [spiritual growth] and knowledge until called upon to take a second journey of faith, analogous to Abraham being commanded to sacrifice Isaac at Mount Moriah, earthly Jerusalem, analogous to spiritual Jerusalem. And what does it mean to sacrifice the disciple’s indwelling son of Promise? Let us look at what Abraham did.

Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided." And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." (Gen 22:6–18)

The “angel of the Lord” was Yah, the God of Abraham, the deity that had created all that exists physically. And it is this “angel of the Lord” that is the Passover Lamb of God, already sacrificed. So the second journey of faith for every Christian is trusting, truly trusting God to provide when it doesn’t seem like He will; when it seems like a person will have to do the unthinkable.

The first journey of faith for every Christian will be into the Sabbath where the Christian will live as Abraham lived in the land of Canaan as a sojourner. And to live in the Sabbath will have the Christian outwardly keeping the Sabbath, but inwardly doing good whenever the opportunity arises; for Christ Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, not the Sabbath itself. And as the Lord of the Sabbath, He healed on the Sabbath. He didn’t neglect the maimed nor the infirmed; nor did He set out on a healing campaign. He quietly went about living His life, healing those whose paths He crossed as the situation warranted.

Christ Jesus took a second journey of faith at Calvary, this journey evident when He called out from the cross, “‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matt 27:46), the citation taken from David,

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

      Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

             (Ps 22:1)

            The indented line is the spiritual portion of the couplet.

Jesus only utters the physical portion of David’s thought-couplet; for spiritually, He is already saved—and He knows it, believes it, and responds as Abraham responded in the land of Moriah.

You, Sabbatarian Christian, will take a second journey of faith fully within Sabbath observance, and this second journey of faith will cause you to doubt your conversion, your salvation; to doubt whether you have been truly born of spirit. And you will either respond as Abraham did when he had the knife in his hand and was ready to slit Isaac’s throat, or you will say, My God would never ask that of me. Those words are a death sentence in the lake of fire. You’re choice. You have been given as much as Abraham was given … do you, Sabbatarian Christian, have another god, one that is more important to you than Christ Jesus? Both of my brothers have gods that are more important to them than the Lord. Both of my sisters have gods that are more important. All three of my daughters have gods that are more important. So it is truly a rare person who doesn’t have a god, whether a child or a vocation or material goods or thoughts of their own mind, that the person doesn’t hold in higher esteem than God, Father and Son. And until the Sabbatarian Christian sacrifices his or her god on the mountain of the Lord, there will be no figurative ram caught by its horns in the bushes behind the Christian. Therefore, the Sabbatarian Christian will not successfully complete a second journey of faith.

Again, the first journey of faith is into the Sabbath, where the Christian will live, not merely keep. The second journey of faith puts at risk salvation itself; for the Christian must believe God more that the Christian believes what eyes see and ears hear and hands feel. This second journey of faith wasn’t easy for Abraham; nor was it easy for Christ Jesus. We should not expect it to be easy for us.

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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."