The following Scripture passages are offered to aid
beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary are offered as openings into
dialogue about the subject or concept. And the concept behind the readings for
Tabernacles is the roadmap that the holy nation of God follows from mortality
High Sabbath Readings
For services on Tabernacles, October
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.
The person conducting the services should read or assign
to be read Leviticus chapter 23, verses 33 through 42, followed by Numbers chapter
29, verses 12 through 32.
Commentary: Although the greater Christian Church has labeled the
High Sabbaths of God as “Jewish” holy days that Christians do not observe
because Jesus fulfilled them, the High Sabbaths disclose the plan of God for
the transition between darkness and light, death and life. The sixth of these
High Sabbath convocations is the first day of Tabernacles, celebrated on the 15th
day of the seventh month. And while collectively the High Sabbaths constitute
the transitional week between the lifeless physical creation and the arrival of
a new heaven and a new earth, with the earth becoming part of the heavenly
realm—of the earth and everything then remaining on it crossing
dimensions—Tabernacles represents for the latter wheat harvest what the first
High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread represents for the early barley harvest. Both
represent liberation from bondage to the laws of sin and death that has dwelt
in the flesh of every human being.
Before proceeding, it should be said what Tabernacles
does not represent for disciples of Christ Jesus: the festival is not a
vacation, a time for Christians to escape this present evil world for eight
days. For Christians, Tabernacles is not a time when disciples must physically
relocate themselves to temporary quarters. It is not a time of dwelling in
temporary booths on rooftops, or in tents in backyards. These activities
pertained to the Feast’s shadow. So boughs of goodly trees are not needed to
celebrate the festival. In fact, a focus on dwelling in temporary physical
quarters—from hotel rooms to bough booths—usually causes a disciple to miss the
analogy that this son of God’s body is a fleshly tent akin to the fabric or
skin tents in which Israel
dwelt when the nation came out of Egypt.
Every disciple now dwells in temporary quarters. Again, a disciple doesn’t need
to build a booth or rent a hotel room. The disciple merely needs to understand
the typology of spiritual birth and maturation, and then come in prayer and in
services before the Most High to properly observe the Feast as a son of God in
a temporary dwelling.
When death and
the grave are thrown into the lake of fire, time and its passage (created
through the decay of dark matter) will cease. There will be no darkness, no
decay, no more temporary quarters, for the moment will not change. All that
have life will have life everlasting. But resurrected and glorified human
beings do not go to heaven; rather, heaven comes to them, just as
birth-from-above came to them. Thus, the significance of the High Sabbaths,
obscured by the animal sacrifices formerly offered on these days, has escaped
the spiritually holy nation, as well as the natural nation of Israel.This significance will again be obscured when
animal sacrifices return during Christ Jesus’ 1000 year reign as King of kings
and Lord of lords. If it were not obscured, no one would follow Satan when he
is loosed for a short season after the 1000 years. So for a while,
understanding is being given to those who love the truth enough to hear the Son
and obey the Father, given to prepare a people to resist and defeat Satan when
he is cast to earth. This is the mission of The
Philadelphia Church: to preach the good news, the gospel that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13-14), and to
prepare disciples to hold the testimony Christ Jesus.
who are of Philadelphiashould make no mistake: understanding
is not now being given to all who have been born of Spirit. It is being given
to the few, the undefeatable remnant, the spiritually mighty sons of God who
are foreshadowed by the mighty men of King David (1 Chron
not of private interpretation. Understanding is today being given to those
disciples who will hold the testimony of Jesus (), which is the spirit of prophecy (); even if these disciples are few in number. But
these few will, as Joshua and Caleb did, lead the third part of humanity (Zech
13:9) into the first resurrection, and the marriage feast. They will lead the
spiritual children of the nation that left bondage to sin and death across a
River Jordan and into God’s rest, heaven.
gifts are for a job. Again, the spirit of prophecy is no exception—the spirit
or breath of prophecy is given to disciples called to teach the third part of
humanity (Zech 13:9) that will be born-from-above when the Holy Spirit is
poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) halfway through seven endtime years. And
because extensive knowledge is given to those disciples called to teach, physical
resources to these same disciples are limited. Belief must be by faith, not by
mighty works or through an enormous organizational structure. As with Elijah in
the cave, disciples need to hear the still small voice of Christ Jesus, not a
strong wind that tears mountains to pieces (1 Kings 19:11-13), or a blaring
boom box hosted on many satellites, each broadcasting an easy message of
salvation. Jesus said His yoke was easy; yet to this easy yoke, the Apostle
Peter adds that the righteous are just barely saved (1 Pet ). The difficulty comes from placing oneself into this
yoke, a task that ultimately requires breaking the legs of the crucified old
man, or old creature. For every person will be like one of the two lawbreakers
crucified with Jesus on Calvary, both of whom had their
legs broken before the Sabbath began. The son of God born-from-above into the
fleshly tabernacle of a son of disobedience will break the legs of the old
creature who formerly dwelt in his tent of flesh, or
Christ Jesus will break the legs of the corrupted new creature when judgments
are revealed. Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of god, nor will
sons of disobedience.
The journey of
every son of God born-from-above is from sin and death to life during this
son’s spiritual maturation in a temporary dwelling of flesh. These sons of the
Most High undertake a mental journey of faith foreshadowed by the journey of
the patriarch Abraham (then Abram), who left Ur of the Chaldees
[Babylon/Assyria] with his father Terah (Gen 11:31), who, like the old man who
was a son of disobedience, dies before reaching the Promised Land. Abraham
arrived where he was to go. But too often, because of the law of sin and death
that dwells in the flesh (Rom 7:25), the son of God’s journey doesn’t end in
Judea: after arriving in the land of Canaan, a severe famine caused Abram and Sarai, his half-sister and wife, to journey down to
Egypt.And this is the mystery that the
Apostle Paul didn’t understand, but that he aptly describes (vv. 13-23). Because disciples are in
bondage to sin and death that dwell in the flesh, disciples often do what they
do not want to do, just as Abram journeyed to Egypt,
the visible representation of sin, where the Pharaoh took Sarai
for one of his wives. Abram placed his life and safety before his marriage to Sarai, for whose sake the Pharaoh dealt well with Abram,
giving him sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, male and female servants, thereby
multiplying Abram’s wealth (Gen 12:14-16). But the Lord also afflicted Pharaoh
and his house with great plagues because of Sarai (v. 17), who becomes a type of the
promised nation, natural and spiritual, that will descend from her. The Lord
with plagues until Pharaoh let the natural nation of Israel
go in a similar manner to how the earlier Pharaoh let Sarai
go. Likewise, the Lord will afflict a spiritual land of Egypt, or Babylon until
the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21) lets the
spiritually circumcised nation, holy to God, go serve Him as Sarai served Abram.
But as Pharaoh
came after the natural nation, the king of Babylon
will come after the spiritual nation. The man of perdition, or lawless one, who
comes by the workings of Satan (2 Thess 2:3, 9-10)
will have the saints delivered into his hand for a time, times, and half a time
(Dan ). But he will be broken by
a flood (Dan ). His armies will
be crushed by a stone cut without human hands (Dan & Zech 14:4), and swallowed by the earth ( & Exod ) when the Lord fights on a [indefinite article] day
of battle. This lawless one will be a man, a human being, possessed by Satan.
He will declare himself god because he will sincerely believe that the angel
inside him is the Lord. He will be the Arian Christian who leads the northern
division of the Church to victory over trinitarian Christianity, the southern
division. But victory will come with a high price as war rages worldwide. If
these days immediately prior to the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom
of Father and Son (Rev 11:15 & Dan 7:9-14) were not shortened, no flesh
would be saved alive (Matt 24:22); for north or Assyria represents death as
south or Egypt represents sin.
The nation of
promise descends from Abraham through Sarah and through no other. Abraham had
other sons; Sarah does not. Thus, as Abraham and Sarah (born of the same
father, but husband and wife) dwelt as sojourners in an epic journey from the land
to the Promised Land, the holy nation of God has dwelt in God’s rest as
sojourners, awaiting the completion of still unfulfilled promises.
relationship between Abraham and Sarah becomes a visible representation of the
creation of adam [lower case /a/, thus representing humankind] in
the likeness of Elohim (Gen ). To be in the likeness of Elohim, the regular plural of Eloah (or Allah), adam was created male and female, and the two (of one
flesh and with one parent) became one flesh through marriage. Humanity then
descends from Adam through Eve, its single progenitor. The son of promise,
Isaac, descends from Abraham through Sarah. And all sons of God, which are
neither male nor female (Gal ),
descend from God the Father through Christ Jesus, for there is no other name by
which salvation can come. Thus, the relationship between Theon and Theos [from
John 1:1-3] when joined, as if by marriage, in the tetragrammaton YHWH is represented by Abraham and by
Sarah, who on the command of her husband, became part of Pharaoh’s household as
Theos, sent by Theon, entered the creation to be born as the man Jesus of
Nazareth. The promise of salvation comes through Sarah, through Isaac, Jacob,
and Jesus, who bridges the dimensional gulf between the natural and the
spiritual nation of Israel.
not exact representations, but close approximations used to explain otherwise difficult
or incomprehensible concepts. Typology and typological exegesis produce meaning
through the texture of Scripture, which discloses a play of shadows, each a
copy and an example of the journey from death to life everlasting.
nation promised to Abraham (Gen 12:2) that came through Sarah by promise of a
son (Gen 17:16) journeyed vertically, going from being a physically circumcised
people to being the spiritually circumcised holy nation of God, dwelling
temporarily in corruptible tabernacles when Christ Jesus completed the pathway
to heaven. And the Feast of Booths, or Feast of
Tabernacles commemorates the journeying through remembrance of the temporary
nature of the flesh. A physically circumcised Israelite in a booth on the roof
of his house is analogous to a spiritually circumcised son of God’s conscious
awareness of the temporary nature of his fleshly abode. The natural Israelite
on his roof looked back at the journey from Egypt to Judea, remembering again
the nation’s dwelling in tents after the Lord brought the nation out from Egypt
(Lev 23:43). But the nation that left Egypt
died in the wilderness because of its unbelief (Heb ). The nation that dwelt on rooftops died spiritually
because of its unbelief (2 Cor 3:6-7 coupled with 1 Pet 2:7-10). And the new
nation, born of Spirit, looks forward to the journey from spiritual Babylon
to the spiritual Land Beyond the River. Therefore, the
Feast of Tabernacles should be annually celebrated by all Christians, by all
disciples who make this mental journey of faith. For its celebration is not a
time that looks forward to Christ Jesus’ millennial reign over humanity as was
taught by the former Radio Church of God. Rather, Tabernacles is a period of
enhanced awareness of the journey each disciple as a spiritual descendant of
the patriarch Abraham through Sarah makes from sin and death to God’s rest as a
glorified son. This journey is the story of Israel,
of the Church, of each disciple. And during Tabernacles, disciples need to
reread the roadmap for this journey.
But as the
natural nation of Israel
died physically (Num ) and
spiritually, so shall the spiritually circumcised nation die physically as
righteous Abel died, or spiritually by taking upon itself the tattoo [stigma] or mark of Death [chi xi].
greater Church does not observe the Feast of Tabernacles, the greater Church
cannot locate itself on the long road of faith that has it still lingering in Babylon,
remodeling ancestral homes built when the spiritually holy nation was first
sent into mental captivity.
from the land of Canaan
down to Egypt
foreshadowed the natural nation of Israel’s
journey from Canaan down to Egypt.
The reader should read Genesis chapter 12.
Commentary: When the seventy (the patriarch Jacob and his family)
when down to Egypt,
the Pharaoh took the brethren of Joseph into his house as his ancestor took Sarai into his house (v.
15). The seventy entered as a favored people because of Joseph, who was second
to Pharaoh in all of Egypt.
Joseph was the helpmate of Pharaoh; thus, he was as a wife to Pharaoh. Joseph
was not a free man although he certainly could have escaped. Instead, he chose
to serve the Pharaoh who had elevated him as a wife traditionally chose to
dwell with her husband. And again, in moving from physical to spiritual, there
is no—even in analogies—male or female, Jew or Greek, free or bond. Glorified
sons of God will marry the Son of God, thereby being to Christ as helpmates
while being one [through marriage] with the Father as Christ Jesus is one with
Him. Therefore, within the Church, traditional stereotypes concerning gender
relationships between males and females can only pertain to the flesh, and not
to the son of God residing in a tent of flesh.
The man Jesus
served the Father as the elevated Joseph served Pharaoh—as Sarah served
Abraham, and as the Church is to serve Christ Jesus. Thus, Pharaoh taking Sarai as his wife forms the shadow of Satan, the spiritual
king of Babylon, taking humanity captive; for the son of promise was then
unannounced and the Breath of God (/ah/)
was not yet included within Abram’s name, or added to Sarai’s
name. Nevertheless, because of the nation still in Sarai’s
womb, Pharaoh was afflicted and came to know that Sarai
was the wife of another man, Abram, just as the latter Pharaoh and all of Egypt
was afflicted because of Israel, the natural wife of the Lord (Exod 24:7-8
& Ezek 16:8). And for the husband to marry another, either the natural wife
or the husband in the natural realm had to die (Rom 7:1-4).
is ratified with blood, including the marriage covenant made between one man
and one woman. The blood shed for the spiritual circumcision of the Church was
spilt at Calvary; the blood of the woman will be spilled
during the Tribulation. Therefore, the co-habitation of disciples with a triune
deity or a four-headed beast [when the Virgin Mary becomes the fourth to whom
prayers are directed], while seeming as right
as physical co-habitation prior to human marriage, breaks a spiritual hymen and
weds the disciple to another, other than Christ Jesus. The disciple will now
have to die in either the natural realm as Jesus died on Calvary,
or die the second death in the heavenly realm. About dying, the disciple is
without choice; for truly, the disciple has wed another. And the spiritual
virgin is the son of God born-from-above after the Church has been empowered by
the Holy Spirit, or liberated from sin and death at the beginning of the seven
endtime years foreshadowed by Israel’s
exodus from Egypt.
This new creature will know no sin, and will continue without sin—thus being a
spiritual virgin—or this son of God will commit blasphemy against the Holy
Spirit, which will not be forgiven.
have put to death their old natures will have died in the natural realm as
Jesus died. But the Apostle Paul could not rule over the law of sin and death
that dwelt in his flesh, a mystery he did not understand. Thus, his flesh died.
Likewise, all disciples not living [deceased] when the Church is empowered by
the Holy Spirit and liberated from sin and death will have died in the natural
realm, thereby paying the same wage for sin in this physical creation that
Christ Jesus paid. The Apostles paid this wage. The Church fathers paid this
wage. The disciple who died yesterday will have paid this wage. They are, therefore, free to marry another, other than Sin and
Death, the deities to which their flesh was married when naturally alive [Sin
is the spiritual king of the South, the multi-headed beast to which humanity
has been consigned]. But if their righteousness does not exceed that of the
Pharisees (Matt ), who were
hypocrites (Matt chptr 23), having the law but not
keeping it (John ), they will
not enter the kingdom of heaven. They will be resurrected to shame and
condemnation (John ); for they
will have loved their flesh more than they loved God. And their flesh was one
with Sin and Death, the third and fourth horsemen of the Apocalypse, the third
and fourth beast of Daniel chapter seven.
The Church will
be the wife of the last Adam. She is presently the Body of Christ. And again,
gender does not pertain to spirit beings. So when the Church as spiritual Zion
gave birth to a son prior to going into labor (Isa
66:7-8), her firstborn son is delivered into bondage to sin and death, just as
Abraham’s firstborn son was of bondage, for Ishmael is of Hagar, an Egyptian.
This son must die—and will die either physically or spiritually prior to, or
during the first 1260 days of the seven, endtime years. This son, as Jesus of
Nazareth was for Israel,
will be sacrificed for the redemption of the third part of humanity.
nation of Israel
was this firstborn, natural son of the Lord (Exod ). Thus, the nation of Israel
was jointly the son of Abraham and the son of YHWH, Israel’s
Elohim (Exod 20:2), through Sarai receiving the Holy Spirit when Abram received the
covenant ratified by circumcision. For when Abram’s name is changed to Abraham through the insertion and inclusion
of the linguistic radical for breath (/ah/),
the Spirit of God (Pneuma ’Agion, or Breath
Holy in direct translation), Sarai’s name is also
changed with the addition of this linguistic radical. However, while initially
neither Abram nor Sarai possessed the Breath of God.
They were, thus, as the holy nation of God (Exod 19:5-6) was when it was in Egypt.
Abram and Sarai’s expulsion from Egypt
was as the natural son’s was, in that both left increased with goods.
circumcision wasn’t offered to the natural nation until Moses mediated a second
covenant (Deu 29:1) between YHWH, Israel’s
Elohim, and the uncircumcised
children of the nation that left Egypt.
Then, spiritual circumcision would only occur after the natural nation
remembered the Lord and returned to keeping His laws when the natural nation
was in a far land (Deu 30:1-6); so it wasn’t enough for the natural nation to
leave Egypt and return to Judea. An act of faith was also required. As in the
case of Sarai having life return to a barren womb,
faith also comes by promise.
So there is no
misunderstanding, the natural nation of Israel
was the firstborn natural son of Sarah, not Abraham, and was the firstborn
natural son of the Lord.
The reader should read Genesis chapters 15 & 16.
Commentary: When the Lord told Abram that his offspring would be
sojourners in a land, would be servants there, and would be afflicted there
four hundred years because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet complete
(Gen 15:13-16), the Lord made a covenant with Abram by which He would give the
land from the Nile to the Euphrates to Abram’s offspring, singular in number
(Gal 3:16), plural in sense and in promise (Gen 15:5). Abram did not then have
any offspring, so his wife sought to obtain children for her husband through
her bondservant, Hagar, analogous to the present day Jerusalem
(Gal -31). But the natural
offspring of Abram through Hagar were not and are not the lawful possessors of
the land between the Nile and the Euphrates.
Nor is the natural offspring of Sarah by Abraham. For the
promise is through one, Jesus of Nazareth, a natural son by human birth, the
firstborn spiritual Son of the Most High by obedience. The promise is to
the Church and for the time following when the Lord sets His hand to recover Israel
from the north country (Jer -15). There will then be three, for a highway will
stretch from Assyria to Egypt
as there was a way for Israel
when the nation came up from Egypt.
The geography of pre-Flood Eden
encompasses the entirety of humanity’s conscious mental topography—the visible
landscapes of Egypt,
the Promised Land of Canaan, and Assyria reveal the
invisible topography of sin or disobedience, of righteousness, and of death.
Every disciple’s journey is from Egypt
to Judea, from sin to righteousness. Sin in Judea,
however, brings banishment to Assyria (death), or a
return to the land of the Chaldeans to begin again
the journey Abraham made by faith. Thus, Egypt
and Babylon function as synonyms
for sin or lawlessness. And the northern house of Israel,
the elder sister of Jerusalem, sent
to Assyria for its lawlessness, has not yet returned to Judea
as a nation. It will not return until the Lord sets His hand to recover Israel
Again, in typology the geography of nations within Eden’s
pre-Flood boundaries equates to mindsets that produce the character and the
actions of a person, or by extension, of a people. Hence, nations outside of Eden’s
boundaries do not form the visible representations of invisible mindsets. They
are outside of the scope of biblical prophecies, and outside of the lands
through which Abraham journeyed, his trekking covering the entirety of human
conscious thought. He and his father left “death,” or the land of the Chaldeans. His father didn’t arrive in the Promised Land,
but died along the way as the nation that left Egypt
died in the wilderness, and as the old man or creature crucified with Christ
Jesus dies and doesn’t enter into God’s rest. Then Abram went from Canaan
into Egypt when
the rains of Canaan failed, these early and latter rains
symbolizing receipt of the Holy Spirit. And when Abram crossed the border into Egypt,
he entered into sin, for he lacked the faith to trust the Lord to deliver his
life when the Egyptians saw the beauty of Sarai. His
half-truth functioned as a lie.
Notice, famine in Canaan
comes from no rain (Deu -12)…the
Holy Spirit had not been given to Abram and Sarai.
But even after the inclusion of the radical for breath in now Abraham’s name, the same half-truth caused Abimelech, king of Gerar, to take
Sarah for his wife (Gen 20:2). But the result was different than when Pharaoh
took Sarai into his household. Abimelech,
dwelling in a portion of the Promised Land, came under sentence of death for
taking Sarah. He pleaded his innocence (v.
5). And the Lord said that it was He who had kept Abimelech
from sinning (v. 6); for sin or
lawlessness in the Promised Land will not be long tolerated. So Abimelech chastises Abraham for bringing sin on him and his
kingdom—and for Abraham’s failure of faith (vv.
9-10). Nevertheless, the Lord heard and answered Abraham’s prayer for Abimelech (vv.
17-18). And so it is and will be for born-from-above disciples. At times, faith
fails even within the Promised Land. King David had such failures, for sin and
death still dwell in the flesh of every son of God. Tabernacles
is about remembering that the flesh is only a tent, and at times, a tent
that is impossible to properly pitch.
Rigidly clinging to the exactness of the Law, to
the exactness of “truth” [She is my
sister] negates faith. So Abram’s faith temporarily
failed even though he prospered mightily by Pharaoh making Sarai
part of his harem. His faith failed in the matter of Abimelech;
yet he prospered. Likewise, the faith of disciples will, mostly likely, have
failed when disciples prosper mightily in this world. King Solomon is no
exception, despite his earthly kingship typifying the reign of born-of-Spirit,
human authority during the Millennium. His many foreign wives caused him to
wander away from God when he was old and his wives were young. He lost an
important battle to his flesh.
If a disciple rigidly clings to the exactness of
the Law, this son of God will pursue salvation according to the works of his
hands (Rev 9:20), and the sight of the eyes (1 John 2:16). This disciple will
not undertake a mental journey, but will be satisfied building sandcastles in
spiritual Babylon. The laws of God
that would have marked, as stone cairns
across a desert, the way to the heavenly realm will, instead, become curses and
stumbling stones that cause the disciple to fall backwards into darkness.
Again, the journey to Egypt
is the journey into sin, into bondage to disobedience. And liberation from sin
and death comes through empowerment by the Holy Spirit. But when the spiritual
firstborn son of the Lord is liberated, many disciples will want to return to
disobedience as the natural nation wanted to return to Egypt.
They will rebel, and rebel, and rebel so that on a particular day—about when
the greater Church celebrates Christmas—the empowered holy nation of God will
return to its traditions, and will again attempt to enter God’s rest on the
following day, the eighth day, as the nation that left Egypt, acknowledging its
sin, tried to enter Judah on the following day. And as the
natural nation was turned away and never entered, so too will the spiritual
nation be turned away by the sending of a great delusion (2 Thess-12).
Each disciple’s old man, or old nature, crucified
with Christ, will die before reaching God’s rest, as Terah died in Haran,
and as the nation that left bondage to Pharaoh died in the wilderness, and as
the greater Church will die in a wilderness of sin. Tabernacles is about
remembering that each disciple, as a newly born infant son of God dwelling in
the fleshly tabernacle of the old man or
woman, has left spiritual Babylon to mentally trek a similar landscape to
that which Abraham and Sarah traversed in the natural world. Perhaps, by
remembering this journey, disciples will not wander into sin to be taken captive
by a many-headed spiritual Pharaoh. Tabernacles is
about the journey to Judea while camped in a tent of
flesh. It is not about living today as earthly kings and priests.
The person conducting the Sabbath service should
close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s