September 26, 2011 ©Homer Kizer

 

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Commentary — From the Margins

Sufficient for Salvation

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Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Cor 15:1–10 emphasis added)

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1.

The gospel that Paul preached to the holy ones at Corinth was sufficient for salvation—and this gospel was Christ and Christ crucified and Christ resurrected from death. This is all a person must believe and profess to be saved once the person has been born of God. Belief doesn’t come before birth. An infant in the womb responds to stimuli and has some awareness, but doesn’t drink milk and certainly isn’t able to act upon the knowledge that is equivalent to milk. An infant in the womb, ever in danger of being aborted—murdered by the infant’s mother—isn’t able to comprehend the difference between light and darkness. And an infant in the womb is analogous to a Christian before being born of God … the former Worldwide Church of God and its Sabbatarian splinters were/are correct in stating that they were not yet born of God albeit their reason for so-stating that their disciples are not born again was/is false.

Professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that the Father raised Jesus from death before the person is born of God through the person receiving a second breath of life is admirable, but tragically, this profession of belief usually leads to the person’s spiritual demise. Yes, this is true. With very few exceptions, the person who today—prior to being truly born of God—sincerely believes that he or she faithfully does the will of God when this is not the case, will not repent of his or her lawless ways or repent of his or her idolatry after receiving a second breath of life. Then, no sacrifice will remain for the person; for this person will be born of God and born filled-with and empowered by the breath of God at the Second Passover liberation of Israel. Then, this person, in transgressing the commandments will commit blasphemy against the spirit.

This person, today’s Christian within Christian orthodoxy or within Sabbatarian Christendom, before spiritual birth, practices lawlessness in one form or another, prima facie evidence that the Christian has not yet been born of God—

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he [Jesus] appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:4–10 emphasis and double emphasis added)

Christians within Christian orthodoxy are deceived: they have been deceived by the Adversary and his ministers. And yes, the Adversary has ministers:

Or did I [Paul] commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. … And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor 11:7–9, 12–15 emphasis added)

To work on the same terms as Paul worked, the Christian teacher will not ask men for support—will not take up offerings nor ask to receive tithes even though they can lawfully receive offerings and tithes. Rather, the Christian pastor or teacher who works on the same terms as Paul worked will ask God, his or her Employer, for the things the person needs to fulfill the work to which God has called the person. And God will, usually, use other people to supply His servant’s needs.

Again, for pedagogical redundancy, if a Christian pastor or teacher or even prophet truly works for God, this theologian will receive the support he or she needs without having to ask other men for donations or tithes. If the teacher is not of God, he or she will necessarily have to ask to receive tithes and offerings; for God will not support those teachers whom He hasn’t commissioned to do a work for Him.

The Christian—Sabbatarian or of Christian orthodoxy—not yet born of God can, through simply applying Paul’s test of genuineness, determine who is and who hasn’t been called by God to be a teacher of Israel: the pastor or theologian who asks to be directly paid a salary or paid indirectly through tithes and offerings always serves the Adversary, regardless of how sincere the person seems to be or how nice the person is … there is a second test of genuineness that is outside the scope of this Commentary—and that test is, if the pastor or theologian finds Rome, the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, or the Roman Church in the prophecies of Daniel the person is false and works as an agent of the Adversary. The two divisions of the humanoid image that King Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision occur in the bronze portion of the image, and reflect the divisions of the Adversary’s hierarchy between the demonic king of the South [Sin, the third horseman] and the demonic king of the North [Death, the fourth horseman], these two kingdoms foreshadowed by the Greek Ptolemaic and Greek Seleucid Empires.

Since no person born of God makes a practice of sinning, and since Christian orthodoxy routinely transgresses the Sabbath commandment, no Christian who long remains within Christian orthodoxy has been born of God. The genuine son of God will not feel comfortable in Sunday fellowships, and will either migrate from fellowship to fellowship, searching for truth, or will cease attending weekly worship services until Christ Jesus places the person in a Sabbatarian fellowship. The genuine son of God, because he or she has been born of God, cannot long abide the overt lawlessness of Christian orthodoxy.

But it is the Sabbatarian Christian who professes that Jesus is Lord before he or she has truly been born from above that is most at risk spiritually; for the Sabbatarian, in keeping the commandments, becomes an outward legalist, which of itself is good and proper once the person has been born of God. But to become a legalist prior to spiritual birth sets the Christian up to deny Christ Jesus by the Christian subtly drifting closer and closer to Judaism as this Christian tries to recover Christendom’s Hebrew roots. This spiritual downriver drift will usually have the Sabbatarian returning to outward circumcision [the paring away of foreskins] and then beginning to use Hebrew names for the Father and the Son when the person is not a native Hebrew speaker and when the Hebrew language was used to conceal the Father from ancient Israel (see Eccl 3:11 in Hebrew).

Concealed in the unpronounced Tetragrammaton YHWH is Yah [YH] and the Father [WH], with Yah being the Logos [Ò 7`(@H] who was God [1,ÎH] and was with the God [JÎ< 1,`<] in the beginning (from John 1:1). It was Yah [YH] as the Logos who created all things physical (v. 3). It was Yah who entered His creation as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14; Phil 2:5–8). And to teach that God the father was the creator of all things physical is to deny Yah, and to deny Christ Jesus, who had the glory He had before the world existed (John 17:5) returned to Him by the Father.

As a language, Hebrew concealed what Greek revealed. To return to Christendom’s Hebrew roots will always result in the Christian denying Christ Jesus—and the Christian who denies Christ will be denied by Christ before the Father. And Christ’s denial of the person will keep this person out of the kingdom of the heavens. Therefore, the Sabbatarian Christian who professes that Jesus is Lord before he or she is born of God through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of the Father [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø] in the breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø], will inevitably be a legalist who returns to the legalism of the Pharisees. And because this Sabbatarian claims to know the things of God when the Sabbatarian really knows nothing, the Sabbatarian removes him or herself from being under natural grace, the covering/garment of death.

It is with considerable sadness that those few Sabbatarians who have truly been born of spirit as sons of God born out of season watch the spiritual demise of friends made in Sabbatarian fellowships that have fallen apart. Too often, these few Sabbatarians assign spiritual birth to former friends from these fellowships when that is not the case: if the Sabbatarian friend had truly been born of God, the friend would not make a practice of sinning (i.e., practice idolatry through denying Christ). The Sabbatarian friend would not get trapped in the Sacred Names heresy if truly born of God. But the Sabbatarian friend left the friendship/fellowship of genuine disciples because this Sabbatarian friend was never of us; was never born of God, regardless of what the immature Christian believed.

So there is no mistake: the Sabbatarian Christian is a legalist, as he or she should be; for the law is holy, right and good if one uses it lawfully (1 Tim 1:8), using it as a tool by which the living inner self is able to rule over the fleshly body in which this inner self, a son of God, dwells. But when there is no living inner self; when the Sabbatarian hasn’t been born again, born from above, born through receiving a second breath of life, legalism becomes a slippery slope that leads to denial of Christ Jesus through idolatry. And this descent of Sabbatarians into idolatry and unbelief was not anticipated by those Sabbatarians teachers who a century and a half ago, or who three-quarters of a century ago began to publicly teach all who would hear to keep the Sabbath.

It is easy to now see the harm that 19th and 20th Century Sabbatarian theologians did to this endtime generation of Christian fetuses; for the Sabbatarian giants of the past didn’t realize they were making disciples for themselves not for Christ Jesus, that their disciples would place more importance on their words than on the words of Christ. They should have realized what would happen; for rabbinical Judaism places more importance on Moses than on Yah, who spoke the words of the Father and whose words Moses delivered to the people of Israel.

 

2.

The preaching of Christ and Christ crucified is spiritual milk, not meat, but milk is all that infants can digest—and all that infants need as sustenance … human adolescence and maturation forms the shadow and copy of spiritual infancy, adolescence, and maturation, with those Christians who are in the sects, fellowships, and denominations of Christian orthodoxy constituting the majority of the sons of God that will receive spiritual birth at the Second Passover liberation of Israel. Those Christians in Arian fellowships are also unborn sons of God, but virtually without exception, Christians in Arian fellowships will rebel against Christ Jesus and follow the man of perdition when he is revealed on day 220 of the Affliction.

Hence, Christians who claim Jesus as their personal Savior but who continue to live as Gentiles, transgressing the commandments and sanctifying and purifying each other, eating swine and all that is abominable (from Isa 66:17), will not repent of their lawlessness even after been born of God and thereby liberated from indwelling sin and death. Rather, they will hunt down and kill their righteous brothers—spiritual Abel—following the Apostasy [great falling away – from 2 Thess 2:3] while sincerely believing that they do God a service … as murderers, they will be doing the bidding of the god they presently serve, the Adversary, a murderer from the beginning.

The person who, today, has not been born of God and who has not professed that Jesus is Lord will be more likely to enter the kingdom of the heavens than any Christian presently within Christian orthodoxy or within the Heresies. Thus, the Christian who sincerely believes he or she is saved because the Christian has invited Jesus into the person’s heart after professing that Jesus is Lord will be greatly disappointed when the person is denied by Christ Jesus when judgments are revealed.

The preaching of Christ and Christ crucified is sufficient for salvation; for in the preaching of Christ, the preacher will instruct Christian to walk as Jesus walked. The following is from A Philadelphia Apologetic — 2011:

“For ancient Israel, sin was simple unbelief that had manifested itself as lawlessness, but for Christians (disciples born of God) sin is unbelief before a commandment is outwardly broken; for Jesus said that unacted-upon lust is sin (Matt 5:27–28). Thus, John’s definition of sin [“sin is lawlessness” — 1 John 3:4) will be inadequate once Israel is under the New Covenant where sins will no longer be remembered (Heb 8:12; Jer 31:34), but where God will send “a strong delusion … in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth” (2 Thess 2:11–12). It is not believing the truth that condemns a Christian under the New Covenant, and the truth is that those who say they know Christ Jesus but who do not keep the commandments are liars; for ‘whoever says he [Jesus] abides in him ought to walk in the same way as he [Jesus] walked’ (1 John 2:6).

“If Christians were today truly under the New Covenant, no one who keeps Sunday as the Sabbath would be saved; all would be condemned because of their unbelief, or not believing the truth, not walking as Jesus walked.

“Paul expresses the concept that those who say they are of Christ ought to walk as Jesus walked when he says,

·                                 ‘I urge you, then, be imitators of me’ (1 Cor 4:16);

·                                 ‘Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ’ (1 Cor 11:1);

·                                 ‘Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children’ (Eph 5:1);

·                                 ‘Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us’ (Phil 3:17);

·                                 ‘And you became imitators of us and of the Lord’ (1 Thess 1:6);

·                                 ‘For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea’ (1 Thess 2:14);

·                                 ‘Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Heb 13:7–8);

·                                 ‘’Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I [Paul] committed any offense’ (Acts 25:8).

“No Christian can walk as Jesus walked or imitate Paul as he imitated Jesus and attempt to bodily enter into God’s presence on the first day of the week—and that is what Sabbath observance represents, bodily entering into God’s rest, with God’s rest being a euphemistic expression for God’s presence. Thus, the person who attends Christian worship services on Sunday does not walk as Jesus walked, but seeks darkness rather than light regardless of what this person thinks his or her relationship with Jesus is.” (APA Chapter One)

The preaching of Christ will have the preacher or teacher being a so-called legalist, a person who teaches Jesus’ words:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:17–19 emphasis added)

Pause and asked yourself, if you identify yourself as a Christian: do you as a pastor or does the one who conducts the services you attend ask to receive tithes and offerings? Do the doctrines of the sect or fellowship have Christians using the law lawfully? Or do you grasp what it means to use the law lawfully in this era when sin and death remains in your flesh?

If you as a spiritually unborn son of God—a Christian within Christian orthodoxy—do not practice doing what you know is right and true [what Christian doesn’t know that the seventh day is the Sabbath, and doesn’t know that the Sabbath commandment exists], then you, when truly filled-with and empowered by the spirit/breath of God, will rebel against God. Your heathen neighbor whose beliefs you despise has more of a chance of entering the kingdom of the heavens than you have unless (this is a substantial caveat) you make it your habit of always doing what you know is right, thereby practicing no hypocrisy.

It is hypocrisy that spiritually kills sons of God, not ignorance or infancy.

Thus, for the spiritual infant the preaching of Christ and Christ crucified is sufficient for salvation; for as the infant son of God grows into a spiritual adolescent, this son of God will comprehend the scope and breadth of what “Christ” incorporates. For in Christ dwells the spiritual son of God.

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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."
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