Time In A Bowl
When Jesus was challenged because His disciples plucked heads of grain on the Sabbath, He said, ‘"The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath’" (Mark 2:27–28). The statement argues first that the Sabbath was created, that the Sabbath is part of the material creation, just as time is. Time doesn’t exist outside of the universe; for time can be written as a mathematical function of gravity. Thus, time necessarily has been created as part of the universe, and space-time is usually recognized as the fourth unfurled dimension. Additional dimensions remain furled according to Super-String or M-Theory, which is, perhaps, the best explanation apart from the creation account in Genesis of how matter and space came into existence.
Neither time nor the Sabbath (i.e., time that has been made holy by being sanctified by God) mirrors aspects of the supra-dimensional realm usually identified as heaven. Rather, space-time has fluid-like qualities. Its expansion is measured by light mass particle decay, which becomes distance merged with the passage of time; hence, light years. However, using light mass particle decay to measure the expansion of the universe causes the universe to appear larger than it is and older, since light mass particles [photons] take all possible paths between two points.
The expansion of space is determined by the passage of time, and is limited to the rate of heavy mass particle decay. Therefore, the rate of heavy mass particle decay equals the passage of time, making even the passage of time an aspect of the creation. History, now, exists as a thing revealed through narrative.
Time as a fluid is a surprisingly simple concept that satisfies the physics of Relativity. The universe is, then, a bowl filled with time, the bowl expanding at the heavy-mass-particle-decay-rate while the universe maintains its bowl-like qualities. The "time" inside the bowl has the fluidity of a very low viscosity liquid. And just as gravity and a shoreline contain the Pacific Ocean, gravity and a defined parameter contain time.
While the concept of time as an object is simple, grasping the reality of the concept is initially difficult, since time is perceived to be a continuum, not a fluid. Western thought generally comprehends time as a linear construct, with the past behind today and the future ahead of today. The possibility that time could be folded, or distorted is interesting plot potential for sci-fi thrillers, but doesn’t ordinarily enter into mainstream thoughts about what needs done tomorrow. Yet the hard evidence of science finds the background temperature of deep space to be three degrees Kelvin in all quadrants. This temperature remains constant despite the expansion of the universe—and those three degrees everywhere we look into space is the evidence of time’s link to heavy mass particle decay. So space-time is a thing in the usual sense of the word, but a thing so large we cannot fully appreciate its "thinginess." It is like the giant fungus under western Washington State, a single living organism hundreds of square miles in size, an organism over which freeways are constructed, cities are built, crops are planted, and life is lived as we know it. It is even more difficult to think of the universe as the contents of a super-size goldfish bowl, but that is the case.
Jesus said, ‘"Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool (Matt 5:34–35). So God exists apart from even the heaven upon which He sits as if it were His throne (the masculine pronoun used throughout for the unassigned, singular referent that is the plural Godhead). And the earth exists as an object to God in a similar manner to how a footstool exists as an object to human beings. Both heaven (deep and/or near space) and the earth are objects to Theon and Theos (John 1:1–2), objects that Theos as the Logos created. To take an oath by either would violate the spiritual intent of the second commandment (Exod 20:5).
Since the earth is described as God’s footstool several times, the metaphor allows some comparisons to be appropriate: a footstool is made from vegetative matter that is no longer alive. This vegetative matter comes from trees and plants (for fabric) that have a different and a lower level of life than have human beings. Likewise, the earth is made from space dust, matter that has the same relative form of life in comparison to God as lumber has in relation to humanity. Space dust exists as the lifeless by-product of energy decay. The four elemental forces (i.e., strong, weak, electro-magnetic, and gravitational) exist in relationship to God as trees have life in relationship to human life. So the metaphor contains within itself descriptive qualities when perceiving time as an object created by God.
In the typology of Scripture, a hierarchy of life exists that has Elohim on top, followed by all of the classifications of angels, born-again disciples prior to glorification, humanity without the Holy Pneuma, animals, plants, and apparently lifeless objects. Such hierarchies have fallen out of favor as political correctness inserts humanity into the overall classifications of animals and mammals. But such hierarchies are based upon the topology of the mind, not upon physical attributes. These hierarchies are spiritual rather than physical. And the person who assigns to vegetative life no conscious behavior characteristic of "thought" should consider Wyerhauser’s work with stands of young Douglas firs that have demonstrated a limited but remarkable ability to communicate with one another.
The applied difference between being spiritually minded (Rom 8:7) and being naturally or carnally minded is the ability to perceive humanity’s mental topography as a real landscape over which wars are fought, princes reign, and on which crops grow. Just as earthly kings reign over the geography we know as England, or Greece, or Spain, spiritual princes reign over spiritual geography from which the mental paradigms of humanity grow; e.g., the spiritual king of Greece reigns over the social construct that causes a society to become a democracy. Satan is presently the prince of the power of the air, in that he reigns as the spiritual king of Babylon. He has deceived the whole world (Rev 12:9) through the power allowed him by God to demonstrate that the social constructs he advocated to angels to convince them to join him in rebellion against God will fail to produce universal happiness. Halfway through seven years of tribulation, the kingdom (the term is inclusive of all civil governments) of the world will become the kingdom of the Most High and His Messiah. Satan will be cast to earth from where he can no longer reign over the mental topography of humanity. He will, then, have to recapture his newly liberated slaves by requiring them to accept the mark of the beast—he will have to use physical means to physically recapture his former slaves. All of humanity will be mentally or spiritually liberated just as ancient Israel was physically liberated from Egyptian slavery. Spiritual Babylon will have fallen. God’s calling has already gone out to humanity (Rev 18:4). All of humanity will then mentally belong to God. And the person who endures to the end (to either his or her end, or to Christ’s return) will be saved, will be part of the first resurrection. This is the gospel that must be proclaimed to the world before the end will come; this is the good news of the great endtime harvest of humanity for which God has waited all of these years, but waited outside of time.
The fishers of men calling of Jesus (Matt 4:19) is certainly metaphoric, but it also fits the image of an angler dabbing a hook baited with "life" in a farm pond. Jesus, when baptized with the Holy Spirit, again had life in the heavenly realm; He had been born from above, or born again. He would, after crucifixion, be resurrected and glorified, but it was as a born again man that He called disciples to become fishers of men. When these disciples received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), His disciples were as He was when He called them. And it is from the perspective of having life in the heavenly realm that disciples then and today angle in the ocean of time for human beings that will choose to do what is right in every situation.
In that hierarchy of mental life disciples with the Holy Pneuma are spiritedly minded whereas humans without the Breath of God dwelling within them remain naturally, or carnally minded. Physical intelligence means no more than physical strength. A two hundred pound bear will be stronger than a two hundred pound person, but no one would argue that the bear is better able to solve a quadratic equation than the person. Likewise, a person with an I.Q. of 200 will be physically smarter than a person with an I.Q. of 100, and will be better able to solve quadratic equations. But a person without the Holy Pneuma but with an I.Q. of 200 will have, in understanding spiritual concepts, similar abilities to the bear solving a quadratic equation. A disciple with the Holy Pneuma and an I.Q. of 100 will easily understand spiritually what the person with the greater I.Q. but without the Holy Spirit cannot. So the disciple with the Holy Spirit can angle for human beings that are without the mind of Christ in a similar manner to how a person would angle for fish. The bait used to catch those individuals whom the Father has drawn is knowledge of the mysteries of God. And the hierarchy of thought doesn’t have fish angling for humans; so a born again disciple caught up by the things of this world is analogous to a fish catching an angler.
Satan as that old dragon that deceives the whole world (Rev 12:9) has also been angling in this same farm pond—and he has captured, using a bait of lawlessness or sin (1 John 3:4), the whole world, including the greater Christian Church. The travesty is that born again disciples who are fishing for God have been delivering their catch to the Adversary. But there is good news: the greater Christian Church will be mentally liberated at the second Passover when firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God are slain. Their liberation will come during the first half of the Tribulation (i.e., prior to the liberation of the rest of humanity), and they will be the harvesters of humanity, but not before being thoroughly tried, tested, and persecuted. They will not escape their own spiritual birth pains.
So, time has been created as part of the physical universe. Heavy mass particles exist. Their decay rate equals the passage of time, making their decay rate the reliable indicator of the universe’s age. The universe is an unfurling sphere or open parabola as opposed to a closed sphere; it is bowl-like. Thus, the reciprocal of light mass particle decay is not a valid number for heavy mass particle decay. Neither is light mass particle decay a reliable indicator for the age of the universe even though it has been used as such to give to the universe great antiquity.
The Sabbath is time that has been consecrated or set apart or made holy by the creator of time (Gen 2:3; Exod 20:8–11 & 31:13–17; Deu 5:12–15; Ezk 20:12, 20; Neh 12:15–22; Matt 5:17–19; Heb 4:9; Isa 66:22–23). Against the overwhelming testimony of Scripture asserting that the seventh day of a seven day weekly cycle has been made holy by God, Holy Writ is absolutely silent about any other day being made holy, or about the sanctification/consecration of the seventh day being abolished. The law that had made physically circumcised Israelites a holy nation was abolished (Eph 2:15 — compare to Exod 19:5–6 & 1 Pet 2:9). Now, born again disciples are that holy nation known as spiritual Israel. Likewise, the apostle Paul writes to Gentile converts in Rome who had been under Pax Romana that they are dead to the law to which they had been subject (these converts had never been under Mosaic law)—and the law Paul references doesn’t allow divorce (Rom 7:2–3). Moses allowed divorce (Mark 10:4). So by the internal evidence of the passage, readers know that the law Paul references is not the Decalogue [the word of God], or the covenant made with Israel. Paul doesn’t tell Gentile converts that they are dead to the laws of God that have been written on the hearts and minds of drawn disciples as a condition of the new covenant (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10 & 10:16). Rather, they are dead to Roman law, which is why Paul has to clarify what he writes about civil authority (Rom 13:1–7).
The second commandment prohibits hallowing or worshiping what has been created by God but not sanctified by Him. Because time has been created, a disciple transgresses the laws of the God that have been written on the person’s heart and mind when he or she attempts to make holy any segment of time not hallowed by God. Jeroboam, after separating the northern ten tribes from Jerusalem and Judah, declared a feast on the full moon of the eighth month like the feast of God (i.e., the feast of Tabernacles) held on the harvest moon that always occurs in the seventh month of the observed, sacred calendar. Whereas the feast of Tabernacles is a type of Christ’s Millennium reign as is the weekly Sabbath, the eighth day, a type of the last great day and a type of the great White Throne Judgment, signifies the lack of having the Holy Spirit in this life.
The silence of Scripture concerning any day but the seventh day being the Sabbath constitutes a compelling argument that the Sabbath was being observed by Gentile converts. In addition, the Apostle Paul tells us that Peter taught Gentile converts to live like Judeans (Gal 2:14) even though Peter separated himself from them when the circumcision faction came from Jerusalem. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, the issue in contention was circumcision: Paul’s accused gospel was requiring Gentiles to become physical Israelites before they could become spiritual Israelites. And the circumcision faction had Scripture on their side (Gen 17:1–14). What the circumcision faction lacked was spiritual understanding. They were as unable to comprehend spiritual subjects as a bear is unable to solve quadratic equations. They did not understand that physical circumcision was merely the shadow of the spiritual circumcision of the heart and mind that comes from writing the laws of God on the hearts and minds of disciples, a euphemistic expression for receiving the Holy Pneuma.
Today, the modern descendants of the circumcision faction do not recognize that the Holy Spirit is given to a disciple when God the Father draws the disciple from the world. A born again disciple has life in the spiritual realm. Baptism is unto judgment, not repentance. And the direct transfer of the Holy Spirit by laying on hands is needless since both natural Israelite converts and Gentile converts have received baptism by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2–4 & 10:44–47). Prior to that baptism by the Breath of God, the transfer of the Holy Spirit required direct contact (John 20:22 & Acts 8:17). Not so afterwards (Acts 2:38 & 10:47–48). The Holy Spirit is received prior to baptism, but no one will be glorified unless judged worthy. Baptism is real death as far as God is concerned. Thus, judgment follows baptism (Heb 9:27; 1 Pet 4:17; John 5:24, 29).
Because the modern descendants of the circumcision faction remain legalists, lacking spiritual understanding, they cluster in Sabbath-keeping fellowships. And it is a good thing for them that they are wrong about what constitutes grace…as long as they do, without hypocrisy, what they know is right, they are developing the habit of choosing to do what is right. When this habit determines an individual’s character, the person is useful to God, who can then trust the person after being glorified to always do what is right. The theological error the person now holds is of little importance as long as the person does what the person knows is right. Christ bears the sins of this person, sin being the transgression of the laws of God (1 John 3:4). But hypocrisy will always send a person into the lake of fire.
Thus, the Sabbath will cause numerous saints—both who observe it and who don’t—to stubble because it has no spiritual corollary in the supra-dimensional realm called heaven. It is physical, and must be kept physically. It can only be kept by resting from one’s common activities. And it differs from the other days of a week in the same manner as clean animals differ from unclean, or as Israel (first physical, then spiritual) differs from all other peoples of the earth. Within the plan of God, clean animals are representative of holy Israelites as seen in the typology of the Flood narrative—and in the typology of the Apostle Peter’s vision. They are animals set apart by God for meat for Israelites. Gentiles are not required to eat only clean animals. All Israelites (spiritual as well as physical) are, though, required to eat only clean animals if they eat meat because Israel is to be a holy nation as God is holy (Lev 11:44). Physical Israel was that holy nation (Exod 19:5–6), but was replaced by spiritual Israel (1 Pet 2:9), which is to be holy as God is (1 Pet 1:15).
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, May your psuche, pneuma, and soma be found blameless at Christ’s return (1 Thess 5:23). Psuche is breath, as is pneuma, with pneuma meaning to breathe more deeply. In the context of Paul’s concluding remarks to the Thessalonians, Paul wishes that these disciples in all aspects of their lives would be found blameless at Christ’s return—psuche is physical breath, or physical life; pneuma is spiritual breath, or spiritual life; and soma is the body. These born again saints at Thessalonica had both physical life, and spiritual life; plus, they still dwelt in a fleshly tabernacle. A person without the Holy Spirit or Pneuma "Agion has only his or her psuche and soma; the person doesn’t have life in the spirit realm. The person doesn’t have an immortal soul. Eternal or spirit life is the gift of God (Rom 6:23). The wages of sin is death, not eternal life separated from God.
If a disciple is to be found blameless in his or her physical life and physical body, the disciple will do those things that are required for the physical life and body to be holy. Spiritual life is not now under discussion; for the Sabbath doesn’t exist outside the physical creation; so the Sabbath has little bearing on a disciple’s pneuma, or spiritual life. But a disciple is to remember the Sabbath with his or her psuche, or physical life just as a circumcised Israelite who lacked the Holy Spirit was to remember the Sabbath. A disciple needs to keep the Sabbath holy so that his or her physical life and physical body will be found blameless at Christ’s return. It is not enough for a disciple only to be found blameless in the spiritual realm when the disciple is a physical hypocrite. If a disciple knows to keep the Sabbath holy, the disciple must keep the Sabbath holy. The disciple doesn’t yet exist only in the spiritual realm.
The same logic applies to eating clean meats. When Noah left the Ark, all flesh was given to humanity to eat (Gen 9:3). Prior to the Flood, humanity was only to eat green plants (Gen 1:29 & 9:3), but following the earth’s baptism into death, humanity became meat-eaters, analogous to a disciple after baptism going from eating any flesh to eating only clean meats. Thus, after the Flood, it became appropriate for Gentiles to eat any flesh. But when God separated one nation, Israel, from all others (Amos 3:2), it was not appropriate for that nation of Israel to eat any flesh; Israel was to be holy as God is holy. Now spiritual Israel is that holy nation, separated from the world by circumcision of hearts and mind; it is equally inappropriate for a spiritual Israelite to eat any meats as it was for a physical Israelite. And in the typology of the Ark, the seven pairs of clean animals are the shadow of the seven, endtime churches. Just as Noah is the shadow of Christ, the seven others are shadows of the seven angels of the seven churches (Rev 1:20), and the animals are the shadows of those humans who endure to the end and will be saved (Matt 24:13 & 10:22) at Christ’s return. So the person who chooses to eat unclean meats voluntarily separates him or herself from the holy nation of Israel. If this person has been drawn by God, the person has climbed over the walls of spiritual Eden, which are the laws of God written on his or her heart and mind as a condition of being placed in the new covenant. This person has separated him or herself from the tree of life that grows inside the walls of Eden.
Whereas physical Israel was physically or horizontally separated all others peoples through the circumcision of foreskins, spiritual Israel is spiritually or vertically separated from all other peoples through the circumcision of hearts and minds, a euphemism for receiving the Holy Spirit. Circumcision of hearts and minds is also the writing of the laws of God on the hearts and minds of disciples. And circumcision today separates those who are disciples from those who haven’t yet been drawn just as physical circumcision separated Hebrew from Greek. (When circumcision isn’t for foreskins, circumcision pertains equally to men and women.)
What God has made holy a person isn’t to call common, or use in a common manner: God made the Sabbath holy time, so a person isn’t to use the Sabbath as a person would use a common day. The Sabbath isn’t for conducting one’s own business.
Again, a spiritual Israelite’s psuche and soma are equally required to be holy as was a physical Israelite’s. Jesus said, ‘"For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’" (Matt 5:20). A spiritual Israelite must be found blameless in his or her physical life, in his or her body, and in his or her spiritual life. A Pharisee’s righteousness was only of physical life and body (when the Pharisee was righteous). Therefore, a disciple cannot be only righteous in his or her spiritual life, and still exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. The disciple must be found blameless in all three aspects of his or her life. Then the disciple’s righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees.
The lesson of the potter is that God makes one vessel special, and another for ordinary use. That is His prerogative. At His discretion, He chooses to draw from the world this person or that person ahead of time. He is in a similar position to a farmer planting crops. The farmer can do with a field whatever he or she pleases. The wildflowers growing in the field might be very pretty, but if the farmer intends to plant wheat, the flowers will have to go before the field is planted. If they sprout with the wheat, their seeds will not be gathered into the granary. Now transfer this analogy onto mental landscapes. God’s cropland isn’t the rich topsoil of Iowa, but the mental topography of humanity. The crop God grows is righteousness, which is the practice of always choosing to do what is right according to the mental landscape from which this rarest of rare plant sprouts. And all of humanity’s good ideas are like wildflowers. Some are pretty; some smell very sweet. But they satisfy physical senses; they will not nourish a disciple’s growing spiritual body.
If a disciple will be judged by the contents of his or her mind, and by whether the disciple did those things that the disciple knew to do, that the disciple knew was right, especially concerning the Sabbath, the concept of spiritual relativism cannot be escaped. It is very likely that many disciples who never kept the Sabbath will be glorified in the first resurrection if those disciples kept Sunday as if it were the Sabbath, a fact that most Sabbath-keeping Christians today reject. These Sabbath-keepers will cite 1 John 2:3–4: "And by this we know we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him." The point they want to make is that only commandment-keepers know God, and are genuine disciples. All other Christians are merely Christian in name only. And these commandment-keepers will deny that they have judged those "name-only" Christians; they will say that Scripture has judged those Christians as false.
The above concept of spiritual relativism needs to be resolved before love will be shown by Sabbath-keepers to non Sabbath-keeping Christians, who ought to know better but have been miss-taught or poorly taught the will of God. Spiritual relativism is not the will of God, who wrote His laws on the hearts and minds of drawn disciples when He gave them His Holy Breath. A disciple is to be growing in grace and knowledge—growing in grace is asking Christ to bear fewer and fewer sins for the disciple; it is the application of knowledge. So growing in knowledge should be the driving force behind growing in grace. Therefore, spiritual relativism is the theological grotesque that precludes the gates of hell from prevailing against the Church of God. It is an apt description for the spiritual glue that causes disciples from many mindsets to do what is right while growing in knowledge. It is a temporary mental condition analogous to a growing crop that hasn’t yet set seed. It looks like cornstalks whereas it will be ears of corn that are picked for harvest. So spiritual relativism is necessary in the process of taking a newly drawn disciple from spiritual Babylon to spiritual Jerusalem, but it is not the conclusion of the matter. It is a transitional state that ends just outside of the walls of the city of God.
Only God has the ability to set an object apart for His use, which is what being made holy means: God has chosen an object, and has separated that object from others like it. Sometimes He reveals the logic for that separation. Sometimes humanity can ascertain the logic. That is the case of the Sabbath: the seven day week represents God’s plan to create heirs, with the Sabbath representing Christ’s Millennium reign when the universe receives rest from lawlessness. No additional creating will be performed during Christ’s reign as King of kings. After glorification of firstfruits at His return, Christ controls the mental landscapes of humanity. As high priest of spiritual Israel for the past two millennia, Christ has been tilling among thorns and thistles in His nurturing of saints. When the second Eve swallowed Satan’s lie of humanity having an immortal soul, Christ as the second Adam left Eden with her so that He could bring some saints to glory. But the job of high priest has been, as it was for the physical high priest, difficult work. After He returns as the Messiah He will be able to rest. He neither bears the sins of humanity, nor will He continually have to untangle saints from the thorns of Satan’s web of deception.
Created objects are not worthy of worship. Jesus even rebuked the rich young ruler for calling Him good: ‘"Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone’" (Luke 18:19). So the Sabbath is not to be worshipped, a tendency of many Sabbath-keepers, including 1st-Century (BCE. & CE) Pharisees. The Sabbath commandment is really the least of the commandments, for it asks Israelites to remember a holy object, and to keep that object holy. Physical Israelites were to have no other God but YHWH, their Elohim (Exod 20:3). They were to make no graven image of any creature God had created. They were not to worship anything created—and they could not easily make a graven image of the Sabbath; yet they persevered until they did.
After telling Israelites what not to make holy (created objects or creatures — the 2nd Commandment), God tells Israelites what they are to keep holy, a commandment reinforced by Jesus telling disciples that their righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees.
The commandments are summarized in love God and love neighbor. Loving God consists of having no other God, especially no created thing including the Sabbath, while remembering to keep the Sabbath holy. A disciple of Christ isn’t to use statuary to focus his or her prayers, but to use the Sabbath. A disciple isn’t to light candles or pray to the mother of Jesus Christ, but to come before God on the Sabbath with at least as must reverence as the Roman and Orthodox Churches extend to the Virgin Mary
Within the context of loving God and loving neighbor, the Sabbath isn’t of primary importance. Yet Jesus said, ‘"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach then shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’" (Matt 5:19). Plus, Jesus said, when persecuted for healing on the Sabbath, ‘"My Father is still working, and I also am working’" (John 5:17). So God the Father works on the Sabbath, as does Christ. Neither takes the day off. And if God who was then the only entity worthy of being called good worked on the Sabbath, work evidently is continuous in the spiritual realm, which is, again, outside of space-time. Therefore, with God there is no Sabbath rest as humanity perceives or experiences the day. The laws of God as applied in the heavenly realm do not include the 4th Commandment as it has been codified. But the laws of God as applied within time do include the 4th Commandment. Spiritual Israel needs to remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy.
In typology, the Sabbath represents Christ’s Millennium reign, when He as King of kings does not bear the sins of humanity. Literally, He rests from His work of bearing humanity’s sins. Thus, the Law says, "Everyone who profanes [the Sabbath] shall be put to death" and "Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death" (Exod 31:14, 15). If a person commits sin (i.e., transgresses the laws of God) during the Millennium, the person will ultimately pay the penalty for that sin with his or her physical life—and will in the meantime pay with an animal sacrifice as the person’s sin offering. The person will not be under grace as disciples presently are, for Satan will be bound and unable to cause the person to break the laws of God. Judgment will be upon the person. So even a small sin could send someone into the lake of fire, which is the second death.
In actuality, Christ works throughout His Millennium reign, but He works as King of kings. He will have plenty to do in that capacity.
Christian Sabbatarians, by their very nature, focus on the physical application of the laws of God. They reject Scripture as allegory to such an extent that they have willingly returned to the primitive faith of the 1st-Century as best as they can recover those early belief paradigms. Therefore, they reject historicity, and by extension, historical exegesis. To Sabbatarians, the traditions of the early Church fathers mean nothing, and are not worthy of being studied. Likewise, the reforms of the Medieval Church are, of themselves, meaningless since those reforms retained the 8th-day Sabbath. And at least one Sabbatarian sect (the Church of God, Seventh Day) has written its own history of the true church.
To many if not most Christian Sabbatarians, the letters to the seven churches in chapters two and three of Revelation are messages to seven eras of the true Sabbath-keeping Church of God between the 1st Century and Christ’s return. Observance of the Sabbath is not merely the sign of God’s own people and church, but constitutes the primary test of who is genuine, of who has the spirit of God. Therefore, these Sabbatarians have determined that neither Augustine, nor Calvin was a genuine Christian since neither kept the Sabbath. These Sabbatarians believe that both Augustine and Calvin will receive their chance for salvation when they are resurrected in the great White Throne Judgment. These Sabbatarians usually hold that everyone who hasn’t been a Sabbath-keeper will receive his or her first chance at salvation after the conclusion of Christ’s millennial reign.
But in the heavenly realm, there can be no linear passing of time. Days, and by extension, the Sabbath only exists inside of "space-time." It cannot exist outside of time, since resting on the seventh day was the last act of a creation marked by the formulation of "days." As such, the Sabbath is not, nor can it be part of the spiritual realm. To repeat myself, the Sabbath is physical. Its entire relevance is physical, a premise suggesting that the codified commandments of God the nation of Israel received when baptized by the sound waves emanating from the living words uttered by YHWH from atop Mt. Sinai are similarly restricted to inside the creation. And Sabbath-observing Christians of all denominations are beginning to squirm a little, for they have heard the arguments for every day being the same, and the arguments for the Sabbath being changed to Sunday to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. They have heard arguments for the laws of God being abolished.
At the risk of being needlessly redundant, for Sabbatarian Christians, Sabbath observance is the only reliable sign of a genuine disciple of Christ. As a result, these Sabbatarians have performed some historic sleight-of-hand tricks to keep the gates of hell from prevailing against the Church of God, for despite their protestations, no seventh-day Sabbath observing congregations existed for at least one extended period of time. But when that historic reality became theologically impossible to accept, Sabbatharians assigned Sabbath observance to marginalized sects whose literature has been lost. By such assignments, a continuous history of Christian Sabbath observance was created from the 1st to the 20th Centuries. The only problem is that no one outside of end-time Sabbath-observing denominations believes this revisionist history.
Jesus’ gates of hell statement (Matt 16:18) remains problematic for Sabbatarians if the Church Jesus built were anything more than two believers meeting on a mountainside during Europe’s Medieval period. If the Church were a viable organization, either loosely or tightly assembled throughout the era between when Vandals sacked Rome and Seventh-day Baptists emerged in the 16th-Century as moths escaping from cocoons of ignorance, then the true Christian Church observed Sunday as the Sabbath for a millennium.
Again, the Body of Christ, composed of born again or born from above disciples, has life in the spiritual realm. Born from above disciples are tri-part: they have life through their physical breath [psuche]; plus, they have spiritual life [pneuma] through having received the Holy Spirit/Pneuma; and they are still tabernacled in a fleshly body [soma] . They have not yet received their glorified bodies, which they get when Christ returns if they are resurrected to life as opposed to condemnation (John 5:29).
Born again disciples remain part of the physical creation even though they are spiritual children of God. They are not spiritual fetuses, waiting to be born as baby Gods when they are glorified. That is a false doctrine taught within some Sabbatarian sects that remain as carnally minded as was Nicodemus. Rather, when glorified, born again, or born-a-second-time, or born-of-pneuma disciples will be like Christ is now, meaning they will have reached their spiritual majority. They won’t be newly born infants, helpless as human babies that have just emerged from the womb. Today is where born again disciples begin their Christian walk while still in the flesh; new converts are spiritually helpless and need nurtured by their mother, the second Eve.
The pin test should here be mentioned: one formerly prominent Sabbatarian evangelist insisted that born again disciples should be properly called begotten, since they were still flesh and blood, as demonstrable by their bleeding if stuck with a pin. The evangelist’s logic was that if a person were truly born of spirit, the person would have received a spiritual body. And this evangelist understood being born again in the same context as Nicodemus had—how can a person enter a womb a second time?
Jesus asked Nicodemus how, as a teacher of Israel, could he be so ignorant (John 3:10), the question Jesus would have very likely asked the pin-test, Sabbatarian evangelist. Jesus gave Nicodemus a physical or earthly example as a type or shadow of spiritual birth, which is receiving the Holy Pneuma. Elohim [singular] breathed into Adam’s or humankind’s nostrils the breath of life (Gen 2:7), and the man became a living being. Every human being since has been a living being, with the breath of life transferred through the mother’s [Eve’s] womb. Likewise, the Father breathed on Jesus as was raised from baptism—the Breath or Pneuma of the Father descended onto Jesus as if it were a dove. God the Father breathed spiritual life into Jesus, who was until then a man exactly like the first Adam. But with the Breath of the Father in Him, Jesus became the second Adam, who would name the animals in spiritual Eden (Matt chptr 23). And after a deep sleep [death], the second Eve was created from the wound in His side: the glorified Christ Jesus breathed on His disciples, and said, Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Adam and Eve [the couple’s names suggest "humankind" and "life"] are the non-spiritually living shadow of the second Adam (Jesus before and after receiving the Holy Spirit) and the second Eve (the Church, or the Bride or Body of Christ). The pronouncement made concerning Eve’s fate after she swallowed the serpent’s lie that she would not die is the same pronouncement made concerning the second Eve, whose desire is for her husband, Christ Jesus, and who will experience great pain in spiritual childbirth (i.e., the Tribulation).
Born again disciples, by the phenomenon of being born a second time through receiving the Holy Spirit, have spiritual life that will cast shadows in the mental landscape of humanity. What Nicodemus couldn’t understand was the presence of the spiritual realm within time, with its topography of social constructs that defines reality in the physical creation. Jesus, when asked if He were a king, said, ‘"My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews’" (John 18:36). Jesus’ kingdom is in the heavenly realm. The ruler of this present evil world is Satan, whom humanity doesn’t yet see (humanity will see Satan when he is cast from heaven [Rev 12:9] and comes as the true antiChrist 1260 days before Christ returns as the Messiah). Satan rules today from the heavenly realm by controlling the logjam of social constructs from which humanity experiences its linguistically-determined reality. And it is on this mental topography where the shadows of spiritual entities are cast.
The testimony of Scripture is that there was a real Adam, and a real Enoch, and a real Noah, and a real nation of Israel, and the list goes on. The Pharaoh who dies Passover night is a historical figure. His refusal to let Israel leave physical bondage, though, is the shadow of Satan, as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:3–21), refusing to let spiritual Israel leave the bondage of lawlessness, which the Church entered when it climbed over the walls of spiritual Eden, those walls being the laws of God. YHWH had to supernaturally harden Pharaoh’s heart so Pharaoh would serve as the physical type of Satan. He did this by affecting the mental landscape of the Egyptian king.
Satan’s refusal to liberate spiritual Israel casts a shadow into the historical record that isn’t connected to the event by time, if time is perceived to be a continuum. However, that shadow wasn’t spiritually dark enough to prevent Pharaoh from acting in his national self-interest. Yes, that shadow’s effect controlled the mindset of Pharaoh, who still, though, retained his preservation instincts. That shadow didn’t produce a "Pharaoh" that appears as a cartoon character projected onto a screen. Pharaoh was a real man, with real thoughts, but without the type of freewill Western philosophy assigns to humanity. However, he had every bit as much "freewill" as anyone enslaved to sin has—and he really made no choice about what he did, and had to do.
When the universe is perceived to be a bowl of time, akin to a bowl of French onion soup, time is the broth covering the sunken bread. A fly alighting on the lip of the bowl casts a shadow across the surface of the broth—a fly floundering on the broth also casts a shadow.
When time is perceived to be a fluid, history then becomes an object, a swirl within the bowl of time like an upswelling ocean current, where the water separates by temperature and salinity. Since the amount of energy released by heavy mass particle decay so greatly exceeds the release of energy from all other sources, matter within a swirl of time is as plankton in the sea. The great solar systems are microscopic. But life outside of time is like that fly in the bowl of soup—its shadow lies across the taunt surface of the broth. The spiritual life born again disciples have, since that life is outside of time, will cast a shadow through time as the fly does across the surface of a soup bowl. And just as the surface tension of the broth forms the necessary plane for the shadow to be seen, the mental topography of humanity creates the necessary plane for the shadow of spiritual Israel’s life to be seen.
The test of whether a person has been spiritually liberated from sin is if the person will submit to the laws of God, for the natural (or Satan-controlled) mind is hostile to God and not subject to Him (Rom 8:7). Therefore, you can test yourself. If you will not submit to the least of the Commandments and keep the Sabbath holy, you remain a captive in spiritual Babylon. If you identify yourself as a Christian but yet are a captive in Babylon, you are as the physical Israelites were in Egypt prior to the first Passover. This doesn’t mean that you are not a spiritual Israelite. It means you are the reality of the shadow that controlled the mindsets and lives of physical Israelites enslaved by Pharaoh. If you are a firstborn, you need to immediately begin taking the Passover as Christ observed it—on the 14th of Nissan, at even, with foot washing, unleavened bread, and wine. If you don’t, you will be slain when the firstborns of Babylon, spiritual and physical, are slain on that second Passover night. And if you have been baptized, you are under judgment and you need to get all hypocrisy out of your life.
The shadow of the spiritual phenomenon that is a second Passover slaughter of firstborns when spiritual Israel is liberated from bondage to sin lies over the mental topography of ancient Israel in exactly the same manner as any individual’s physical shadow lies over the physical landscape where that individual stands. The greater Body of Christ today is the spiritual reality of ancient Israel in Egyptian slavery. Because these born again disciples have actual life in the spiritual realm, they cast (when God is on the other side of them) shadows that effected the mental landscapes of the ancient nation of physical Israel. If a person wants to know how spiritual Israel will behave collectively when liberated from bondage to sin in the near future, the person only has to read how ancient Israel behaved in the wilderness of Sin—or read the Book of Acts. The Apostle Paul’s journeys and trials form the shadow of the liberated Church once the scales have been removed from her eyes in the Tribulation.
Disciples who have been judged worthy—all have been made worthy by being placed in the eternal covenant by which Christ bears the sins of disciples—will be resurrected to life (1 Pet 4:17 & John 5:24). But the born again disciple who walks away from the eternal covenant has his or her sins returned to the individual. Jesus’ death reconciles humanity to the Father, but His death doesn’t cover the sins committed by disciples who are under judgment (1 Pet 4:17). The glorified Christ bears those sins today, but He will return them either to Satan or to the disciple when Yom Kipporim becomes a spiritual reality. Just as the two goats selected on Yom Kipporim are both sin offerings, Christ both died, and lives as spiritual Israel’s sin offerings. One goat was sacrificed, as Christ was sacrificed at Calvary. The other goat had the sins of Israel pronounced over it and was lead away into the wilderness. This is the second Adam taking on the sins of the second Eve. The first Adam ate the forbidden fruit without being deceived by the serpent, and, with his wife, was expelled from Eden. In a similar manner, the glorified second Adam, as spiritual Israel’s high priest, works plenty hard tilling the truly stony ground of hardened hearts to produce a crop of genuine disciples from among thorns and thistles beyond the walls of spiritual Eden. Christ, as the second Adam, wouldn’t have much work to do if all of spiritual Israel lived inside the laws of God. But spiritual Israel has overloaded Christ with needless sins, committed because disciples have been taught that the laws of God have been fulfilled, thus abolished. And the principal sin Christ bears for spiritual Israel is this nation’s transgression of the Sabbath commandment.
Backing up a little, a born again disciple has life in the spiritual realm, but can lose that life by experiencing the second death. A disciple’s body [soma] will return to dust at the disciple’s first death. This disciple will lose his or her physical breath [psuche]. But the disciple retains his or her spiritual breath [pneuma] until his or her judgment is revealed (1 Cor 4:5) at Christ’s coming. This spiritual breath [pneuma] is recorded in the Book of Life. Therefore, the disciple who knows to do the will of the Father, who knows to do right, to do good, and who chooses not to submit to the laws of God that have been written on his or her heart and mind by the Holy Pneuma has grieved the Breath of God. This disciple has committed the unpardonable sin, for this disciple has spurned that which was written on his or her heart; this disciple has rejected the Holy Spirit. This person will experience the second death.
The Sabbatarian sects identified loosely as the splintered Church of God claim that begotten disciples have no life in the spiritual realm, that they will receive such life when glorified. Yet these Sabbatarians will assign those disciples who fall away to a second death in the lake of fire…a person cannot experience a second death without having first received a second life, which is what being born again means. By nature, a person only has life through his or her physical breath. Eternal or spiritual life [pneuma] is the gift of God (Rom 6:23). Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden before they ate of the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22–23), so except as the gift from God, humanity has no life other than its breath. Humans do not have immortal souls. Eve believed the serpent’s lie that she would not die (Gen 3:4). The second Eve believed Satan’s lie that humans will not die, but will live forever either in heaven or hell, that death really isn’t "death" but separation from God. And just as the first Eve was expelled from Eden, the second Eve was likewise expelled from spiritual Eden, which is walled by the laws of God written on hearts and minds. Yes, a second Eden exists. Its topography is the mental landscapes of born again disciples who are in covenant with God. And outside of spiritual Eden are born again disciples who will not be ruled by Christ, or by the laws of God. They are the seven servants of the nobleman who do not come forward to give an accounting of what they have done with the pound given to each of them (Luke 19:27)—they cannot come forward for they are outside of spiritual Eden. Christ returns to spiritual Jerusalem, which is analogous to spiritual Eden. But Christ is today working extremely hard outside of Eden to recover this disciples who bolted from the sheep pen as if scenting water in a far county. They left when they sent the delegation after the nobleman. God the Father didn’t try to stop them individually when they climbed over the walls, thereby separating themselves from the Tree of Life. Free moral agency is an inherent problem for Christianity when a disciple cannot come to Christ unless drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65). Unless a person is drawn, the person retains his or her hostility to God (Rom 8:7). This person isn’t offered (at this time) the choice of accepting or rejecting Christ as the individual’s personal Savior, what predestination means. This individual will receive the chance to accept Christ either later in the person’s life, or during the great White Throne Judgment. But the person who has been drawn has free moral agency, and must choose to continue in the covenant relationship into which the person was placed.
God the Father knows where Christ is and what He is doing to recover the sheep beyond the walls of Eden, some of whom have been at large for so long that they are as wild as the rams for which sportsmen draw hunting tags—and are as wary of keeping the laws of God that were once written on their hearts and minds as a condition of the eternal covenant as Dall sheep are of hunters in easily accessible areas.
After spiritual Israel is liberated from bondage to sin at a future second Passover, the glorified Christ Jesus as the spiritual reality of both Moses and Joshua will lead this holy nation across the Red Sea, and into the wilderness, where He will again reveal the Sabbath to the nation. The second covenant of Moses, though, was made with uncircumcised Israelites, who were baptized in the Jordan rather than the Red Sea—they were physically circumcised as soon as they crossed the Jordan (i.e., after they entered the promised land). This physical circumcision, however, is the shadow of spiritual Israel living as spiritual Judeans, not as spiritual Gentiles, in the second Eden. It is not the shadow of actual physical circumcision until Christ begins His Millennium reign, since circumcision of the heart and mind now separates Israel from the world. Whereas the shadow laid horizontally (as a dead man) over physical Israel, the reality appears vertically oriented as a person alive.
Under the second covenant, circumcision is of the heart and mind (Deu 30:6). Within the spiritual realm, the heart and mind pertain as much to spiritual reproduction as penises pertain to physical reproduction within the creation. And in both the physical shadow and in the spiritual reality, circumcision is done to Israelites, who aren’t born ready to become heirs of God. They have to be modified through the cutting away of flesh in the shadow, and though the cutting away of desire for the world in the reality. In each realm—physical and spiritual—this cutting away is visible to those who are of that realm. Circumcision is the sign of an actual separation that has occurred within humanity.
The Sabbath remains the seventh day of a weekly cycle that hasn’t been broken since circumcised Israelites left Egypt. Jesus kept the Sabbath, as did Paul. And both Paul and Peter taught Gentile converts to keep the Sabbath. Jesus said to do and to teach the least of the commandments, which is, again, the Sabbath commandment. Plus, mid 1st-Century disciples were keeping the Sabbath. They were going to the synagogues to hear Moses read. And to argue otherwise is to display the person’s ignorance of Scripture.
What about the gates of hell prevailing against the Body of Christ? If Christian disciples shunned all things "Jewish" for centuries, with the Sabbath being first on that taboo list, where was the Body of Christ if Sabbath observance was the required sign of knowing God, as Sabbatarians insist? If they are correct, the Body of Christ was certainly absent from Western Europe, where the Roman Church took responsibility for changing the day on which the Sabbath was observed. What, then, about Eastern Europe? How about Africa? Asia Minor? Or in the Cush Mountains? Maybe a sect of 7th day Dissenters came to America in the 1st or 2nd Centuries? Could have, but unlikely. And it is possible that a few 7th day Christians clung to their "Jewish" ways in obscure valleys in the Alps.
Sabbatarians have to face the fact that the entire known Body of Christ abandoned the Sabbath, or these Sabbatarians have to write their own history of the Church of God, as Dugger and Dodd did. Such histories verify not the existence of Sabbath-keeping Christians in Medieval Europe, but the extent to which Sabbatarians worship the Sabbath.
The gates of Hades (or hell) is a euphemistic expression for saying that once started, the Church wouldn’t die out. The plan of God would be brought to fruition—and that plan is most easily seen in the annual festival Sabbaths. It is also seen in the Genesis account of creation week, and in the weekly Sabbath (Lev chptr 23). It is not seen in days that are "common," or "unclean." It is not seen in the first day of the week, where only one aspect of the plan of God is seen in the resurrection of Christ.
Will you submit to the laws of God? Yes or no? If your answer is yes, then join me in the services of the Philadelphia Church this coming Sabbath, where the Sabbath is remembered but not worshipped. We’ll leave the light on.
"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."