The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is proclaiming the Passover.
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For the Sabbath of March 24, 2012
The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness--his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced." After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.) (John 19:31–42)
Milk is for infants, but human beings tend not to wean themselves off milk when four or five years old, an age equivalent to when the young of many mammals are weaned. Rather, humans drink milk all of their lives—and the visible physical things of this world precede and reveal (i.e., form the shadow and type of) the invisible spiritual things of God (cf. Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46). So it should come as no surprise that the outer selves of human persons drink milk beyond the age of weaning, for the inner selves of Christians, born of God and unborn, remain milk drinkers long after they should be being nourished by a diet of solid food.
Matthew wrote, I+ *¥ BDfJ® Jä< •.b:T< BD@F-82@< — (And) The first the not-leavened approached, or better, And the first Unleavened approached (Matt 26:17) … for spiritual milk drinkers, the First Unleavened is when Passover lambs in Egypt were slain, or the 14th of Aviv: it is not the High Sabbath that is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The First Unleavened is not the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but the day that precedes the Feast of Unleavened Bread as the Last Great Day follows the seven day long, fall Feast of Tabernacles. And translators from Greek to English either did not understand that Passover lambs in Egypt were not slain on the same night that Israel left Egypt, but at the beginning of the preceding night, at the beginning of the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month, with Moses having commanded—and Israel obeying—that “None of you [Israel] shall out of the door of his house until the morning” (Ex 12:22).
In Egypt, according to Moses’ instructions, Passover lambs were selected and penned on the 10th day of the first month (Ex 12:1–6), a daytime activity as was Jesus entering Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month. Thus, the lamb was penned all of the 11th day, all of the 12th day, all of the 13th day, and sacrificed at even of the 14th day, which now will have the lamb penned for three and a half days, a time, times, and half a time.
Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God would be crucified on the daylight portion of the 14th day of the first month, the day of Preparation for the Great Sabbath of the Sabbath (from John 19:31), which has John referring to all of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as Sabbath and will seem to have John identifying the entire period when Hebrew males were in Jerusalem in compliance to Deuteronomy 16:16 being identified as Sabbath. Jesus died about the ninth hour, or 3:00 p.m. Joseph of Arimathea claimed Jesus’ body, which will have Joseph of Arimathea being a near relative, probably an uncle. And with Nicodemus bringing about 75 pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus hastily interred Jesus’ body in the Garden Tomb. (John 19:38–42)
Therefore, beginning at sunset on the 14th of Aviv—as the 14th was going into the 15th—Jesus was in the heart of the earth. Jesus was dead in the grave all of the 15th of Aviv, the great Sabbath of the Sabbath. He was dead in the grave all of the 16th of Aviv. He was dead in the grave all of the 17th, the weekly Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath within the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, now three days old. But Jesus was gone from the tomb before daylight on the 18th of Aviv, the first day after the Sabbath [J+ :4” Jä< F"$$VJT< — from John 20:1; Luke 24:1]. He was dead for a time, times, and half a time; He was dead in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights; and He was in Jerusalem [the greater city] for three and a half days (a time, times, and half a time) before He ate the Passover meal as described in the four canonical Gospels … the Gospel of one particular sect of Ebionites has Jesus not eating the meat of a Passover lamb, while the canonical Gospels do not address what Jesus ate during the Passover meal, suggesting that the meal no longer has importance.
Mark wrote in his Gospel, 5"Â J+ BDfJ® º:XD‘ Jä< •.b:T< ÓJ, JÎ BVFP" §2L@< — And the first day the unleavened when the Passover was being sacrificed “say to Him the disciples of Him, ‘Where do you wish having gone we may prepare that you may eat the Passover’” (14:12) …
And it is with the way Mark’s account records the events of the day when Passover lambs were to be sacrificed where problems for spiritual infants—milk drinkers—enter Christendom; for Jesus cannot be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb of God the day before He eats the Passover as Judaism would have the case be.
Let us leave Mark’s account hang for a short while, with infant translators suspended over their sins that remain with them because they claim to be able to see—
The Apostle Paul wrote to the holy ones at Corinth,
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. (1 Cor 3:1–9 emphasis added)
Paul delivered only milk, not meat, to the saints at Corinth, and in fact, Paul delivered only milk in all of his epistles, which was why he neglected to tell Gentile converts that they would have their faith tested as Abraham’s faith was tested (see Gen chap 22), an awkward truth about which James reminds Christians who should be old enough in the faith to be weaned.
But Hebrew converts to Christendom were as immature as were the holy ones at Corinth, for from Paul’s entourage comes the epistle to the Hebrews:
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son [6"\B,D ë< LÊ`H — note, a Son, not the Son], He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:7–14 emphasis added)
Although Jesus was a Son of the Father, the First of the firstborn sons of God, the Primogeniture; although Jesus as one of their own had come to the Hebrews because they were loved for of their ancestors’ sake; although the Hebrews, theologically Jews, to whom the oracles of God had been entrusted even though they had not faithfully preserved or obeyed these oracles—this is correct—had some knowledge of the Lord, the Hebrew converts to Christianity should have been teachers a quarter century after Calvary, the approximate period when this epistle was written. Yet these Hebrew converts did not understand the basic mysteries of God.
Why? A simple question: why were these Hebrew converts dull of hearing and apparently blind?
Elsewhere Paul said that the veil with which Moses covered his face thereby concealing the glory that shown from it figuratively remained in place whenever the Jews under “the ministry of death, carved in letter on stone” (2 Cor 3:7 emphasis added) heard the words of Moses read … pause here and consider an overlooked concept: when Israel, left under Aaron’s guidance, demanded from Aaron gods [elohim] to go before them (Ex 32:1) Israel was mere months past Egypt being devastated by the Lord. The people of Israel was receiving manna daily. The people had been frightened when the Lord spoke to Moses from atop Mount Sinai—spoke the Ten Living Words that come to us as the Ten Commandments that take far more than ten words to convey.
How can a Living Word be longer than a word? This is not a trivial question, for its answer is not in Scripture but is in 21st-Century computer analysis of Egyptian hieroglyphs that has found that each glyph represents not a sound image but a concept; thus the glyph for the sun represents the sun as well as all that the sun represents such as the cycle of yearly seasons. So a Living Word [as opposed to a lifeless word] would, most likely, be a construction of glyphs used as phonetic letter roots and determinative rhymes, with the Living Words given Moses no longer existing once the stone tablets disappeared.
In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the inscribed language Moses would have learned when a youth in Pharaoh’s household, words were composed of two types of signs, phonetic signs that correspond to letters, and determinatives that were inscribed but generally not transcribed when glyphs are transliterated into phonetic languages. Most Egyptian words were constructed with one or more phonetic signs followed by a determinative sign. Some words had two or three determinative signs following the phonetic signs whereas very common words had no determinative and the most common words were written as just a determinative with no phonetic signs; plus there were abbreviations for common phrases that consisted of one or two determinative signs.
Again, the determinative sign, an ideogram marking semantic categories in logographic inscription and also common to Sumerian, Akkadian [a Semitic language as Hebrew is] and Hittite [an Indo-European language], were not pronounced and as such were not generally transcribed when logographic inscription was transliterated into phonetic inscription. Yet determinatives were used to minimize ambiguity [for purposes of semantic disambiguation]. The determinative sign was used by Egyptians for word dividers, but they apparently derived from glyphs for real words. Therefore, when these determinatives are not transcribed because they were not pronounced, the original text shrinks in content and value—a portion of the text has been ignorantly but intentionally omitted.
When Native American oral narratives were initially transcribed into English, clicks made by the Native speakers were ignored. It was assumed that these clicks had no meaning, but this was not the case as Native language speakers disclosed to their learned instructors when these speakers began to appear in graduate language programs. These clicks also needed to be transcribed and given meaning.
If the Ten Living Words that Moses brought down from atop Mount Sinai were written in any script that Moses could have read before he ascended to the summit of Mount Sinai, these ten words would have included signs representing phonetic morphemes as well as determinative signs that identified speaker and the one spoken-to, plus other information included in the Ten Commandments as endtime disciples receive these words of the Lord.
But—the central question—did Moses write the Torah in a form of inscription that included determinatives that were never pronounced but that contained meaning lost over time? If he would have written in a script that incorporated the rebus principle —using existing symbols, glyphs, purely for their sound regardless of their meaning—to represent abstract words as many ancient writing systems, including Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription, did as well as determinatives, loss of the Book of the Covenant for some extended length of time would have produced a significant loss of knowledge, but not a loss that would have been known-to or noticed by later scribes and scholars. And the Book of the Covenant was lost and unavailable to priests prior to when this Book of the Covenant was found in the dilapidated temple in the days of King Josiah.
Because we do not have the stone tablets upon which the Lord wrote, and because we do not have any truly early copy of Moses’ writings, endtime disciples must use Christ Jesus as the arbitrator of meaning, not what Judaism taught anytime since the prophet Isaiah recorded the Lord saying,
And [the Lord] said, "Go, and say to this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."
Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And He said:
"Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
and the LORD removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remain
when it is felled."
The holy seed is its stump. (Isa 6:9–13)
The holy seed is Israel, the nation circumcised of heart, and not either the House of Israel [Samaria] or the House of Judah [Jerusalem]. Therefore, the people of who were physically dwelling in the Promised Land as holy seed were only the shadow and type of the spiritually holy seed who had not yet come onto the scene in the days of the prophet Isaiah and would not come onto the scene until after the spirit was given … the reality of Israel being dull of hearing and blind is Christendom dwelling in darkness, deaf and determined to remain blind.
Even when Hebrew converts to The Way professed that Jesus was the Christ, they simply could not understand the movement of the Law from hand to heart, from Israel being the nation composed of circumcised-in-the-flesh outer selves to being the assembly [Church] composed of circumcised-of-heart inner selves … the glory that shown from Moses’ face represented the glorified inner self of all sons of God in this present era, all of whom comprised the great nation that the Lord built from Moses, not Israel.
Again, milk is for infants. Paul’s epistles are milk, necessary for spiritual growth, but not the sole appropriate fare for Christians who have grown past infancy. And in Paul’s own words, he planted disciples through delivering dietary milk whereas Apollos watered disciples through delivering to them different spiritual food, with God giving the growth. Hence, in this endtime era, Philadelphia feeds disciples through delivery of hard meat and cheeses, taking on more difficult questions of textual inquiry such as whether Moses wrote in three-letter Hebraic glyphs that lost considerable meaning when vowel pointing was added and these Hebrew words were reduced to phonetic inscription rather than conceptual inscription?
How is it that the people of Israel, according to Isaiah and Christ Jesus, can hear the words of the oracles of God read to them and yet not hear the words of God? How is it that Israel can see the inscribed oracles of God that had been entrusted to them and still not see the words of God? Did this nation of Israel not record the oracles of God that were entrusted to tem? Did this Israel neglect to record determinative glyphs and miss-identify signs employed according to the rebus principle? Apparently so—or at least this is the most favorable excuse rabbinical Judaism can use for its steadfast refusal to reread Scripture in the light of Christ Jesus.
Jesus repeated Isaiah’s signature prophecy when He answered His first disciples’ question about why He spoke to the people of Israel only in parables [a specialized form of metaphoric speech],
To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.
For this people's heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Matt 13:11–17)
Again, did Pharisees and Sadducees not understand Hebrew? In the days of Isaiah, could the priests and the priests not read the words of Moses or of David for themselves? Apparently not, meaning that something had happened between when Isaiah wrote and when Moses wrote that caused the inscribed oracles of God to no longer be understood by the priests and teachers of Israel.
Within the realm of possibilities, what could have caused Israel and its reasonably literate priests to hear but not understand the oracles of God? What would cause these priests to read with their eyes closed as if they were reciting passages memorized by rote? And how can hearts grow dull when the people and the priest seem to have a zeal for God? And why would endtime Christian theologians reference what Sadducees and Pharisees believed when interpreting apparently contradictory passages in the New Testament?
What would have caused the Hebrew converts to Christianity to become dull of hearing? And what it is that would follow declaring Jesus to be the high priest of Israel after the order of Melchizedek that would be hard to explain? Why Jesus was this high priest would seem to be the logical answer, but if that is what’s hard for Hebrew converts to understand, then another problem existed about which Paul wrote:
Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is spirit. (2 Cor 3:7–18 emphasis added)
Endtime disciples can ignore how Judaism read Holy Writ, for those to whom the oracles of God were entrusted were not faithful in keeping them, but were sloppy, not realizing that the Lord gave to them Living Words that could not be fully copied into a language based on phonetic morphemes.
Moses told Israel,
And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. (Deu 4:1–2 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Deut 12:32)
Yet apparently what happened was that Israel took from Moses’ words determinatives that were not pronounced and seemed to have no meaning, thereby turning what was living into dead words of the sort that put readers to sleep when they are read …
It was on the First Unleavened when Passover lambs were to be slain as they were slain in Egypt, but then what is it that is written about King Josiah:
And the king commanded all the people, "Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant." For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem. (2 Kings 23:21–23)
The Pharisees had returned to the ignorant practices of Israel before King Josiah had the Book of the Covenant read to him and after Josiah was killed … Christ Jesus is the Determiner for what should be in the Law and of what has been removed from Moses. Thus, when Mark wrote his gospel, Mark knew that Passover lambs were to be slain at even [dusk] going into the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv, not mid-afternoon on the 14th, a naïve time to kill the paschal [apparently the practice began with Pharisees declaring noon to be one even and six p.m. to be another even, with the paschal to be slain halfway between these two evens or at 3:00 p.m., the ninth hour].
If Pharisees couldn’t reasonably determine when Passover lambs were to be slain—and they couldn’t, for the writings of Moses do not support their practice—then truly a veil prevented them from seeing the glory of the Lord. And no Christian theologian should imitate the practices of the Pharisees, who had more than just when the Passover should be slain wrong.
Mark doesn’t misstate anything. His account agrees with Matthew’s account: Jesus ate the Passover on the First Unleavened, with there being a preparation day for the First Unleavened as the First Unleavened was the Preparation Day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
It is only Christians who come from traditions that fail to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread as it should be kept that fail to understand that there is a First Unleavened, the day when Israel in Egypt sacrificed its Passover lambs.
The veil that prevented/prevents Pharisees in the 1st-Century and rabbinical Judaism today from understanding Moses has a physical component as well as a spiritual component: that physical component is the copy of the Torah that Israel has passed down from generation to generation since the days of Isaiah, a copy that is missing ideograms that gave life to the words of Moses. Thus the state of Judaism that Paul describes remains: the natural descendants of the patriarchs perish for lack of knowledge, starved in a famine of the word simply because they refuse to come to Christ Jesus, professing that Jesus is Lord.
Next Sabbath’s reading will also pertain to the Passover as meat is preached in its season.
The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.
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