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 this Sabbath is Manna.
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For the Sabbath of October 27, 2007
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
Christ died on the cross as the reality of the goat sacrificed on the altar for Israel’s sins on Yom Kipporim, and He bears the sins of Israel today as the reality of the Azazel goat (Lev 16:21-22). Two goats, both are the sin offering for Israel, one for the sins of Israel in this earthly realm, one for the sins of Israel, when born of Spirit, in the heavenly realm, the reality of the far land to which the Azazel goat was taken. And Christ bears the sins of Israel by the terms of the Passover covenant (Matt 26:27-28) that is renewed annually when the sacraments of bread and wine are taken on the night that He was betrayed (1 Co 11:23-26).
The Passover is inexorably linked to Yom Kipporim [Day of Coverings, plural, not singular: Kippur is not a good transliteration] through the forgiveness of sin … although the spring high Sabbaths of God are separated by six months from the fall high Sabbaths, this separation is only perceived here on earth. In the timeless heavenly realm, the harvest of God began with Jesus’ baptism and receipt of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of His ministry and continues until death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire at the conclusion of the great White Throne Judgment. There is no separation of the high Sabbaths into a spring harvest and a fall harvest, for the moment remains unchanged and unchangeable. It is only here, inside of time, where Israel perceives the passage of two millennia between when Jesus entered Heaven after coming down from heaven, and when disciples, born of Spirit [which has come from heaven], are glorified. It is only here where another millennium passes between the resurrection of Firstfruits and the general resurrection in the great White Throne Judgment.
The Promised Land—God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11)—supported two grain harvests, which together formed the annual grain harvest of Judean hillsides. The early rain in the spring of the year ripened the barley harvest; the latter rain ripened the main crop wheat harvest. Together, the two harvests of Judea form shadow and type of the harvest of God, with the resurrection of Firstfruits to occur upon Jesus' return, and resurrection into the great White Throne Judgment to occur after the thousand-year reign of Christ Jesus. Thus, the logic for the same sacrifices to occur during Tabernacles [Sukkot] as occur during Unleavened Bread in the Millennium (Ezek 45:21, 25) is in these high Sabbaths' reality.
The person who argues that the high Sabbaths should not be kept by Christians because Christ is today in heaven atoning for the sins of disciples lacks biblical understanding and is not someone who should be teaching spiritually circumcised Israel.
Again, Christ is today bearing the sins of Israel as the reality of the Azazel goat, and He bears these sins by the terms of the Passover covenant that is renewed annually when the sacraments of bread and wine are taken on the night that He was betrayed. Atonement [Yom Kipporim] and Passover are linked through the concept of Grace, which isn't unmerited pardon as is too often taught, but disciples being cloaked in the mantle [garment] (Gal 3:27) of Christ Jesus' righteousness so that no sin is imputed to the disciple. Passover week (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) and Sukkot are joined in the future through the sameness of the offerings presented during these seven day periods in the Millennium. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the spring holy day season and the fall holy day season reflect each other as the two grain harvests of Judean hillsides reflected each other to form the single grain harvest of the Promised Land.
But in the single harvest of God, the unleavened bread Israel eats is neither barley cakes nor wheat bread, but the bread that came down from heaven, with the type of this bread being manna.
The person conducting services should read or assign to be read all of John chapter 6, followed by Exodus chapter 16.
Commentary: When Jesus' disciples heard what Jesus said about eating His flesh, "they said, 'This is a hard saying; who can listen to it'" (John 6:60). Indeed, who can listen and understand what Jesus said about Him being the reality of the manna Israel ate in the wilderness? Certainly Christendom thinks it understands, but like Israel in the wilderness of Sin/Zin, Christendom thinks that Christ is worthless food (Num 21:5), for Christendom steadfastly refuses to take the sacraments of bread and wine that represent Jesus’ body and blood on the night that He was betrayed.
The Apostle Paul said, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons" (1 Co 10:21). Yet most of Christendom provokes the Lord to jealousy (v. 21) by offering to God Cain's sacrifice (Gen 4:3): bread and wine on some day other than on the night that Jesus was betrayed. They attempt to partake of the table of the Lord on a day when He is not there. It is only on one night a year, the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, that bread and wine, taken after thanks has been given, represents the body and blood of the Lamb of God. On every other night, bread and wine are just that, bread and wine, the fruit of the ground, Cain's sacrifice.
Those disciples who take the sacraments on a day other than on the night that Jesus was betrayed eat from the table of the demons—and they will not cease to worship demons even following the sixth trumpet plague (Rev 9:20).
As explored in the reading for the Sabbath of October 13, 2007, Jesus gave only one sign of whom He was: the sign of Jonah. This single sign, like the sign of a red sky which has two distinct meanings that are context specific [calm seas when going into night; rough seas when going into day], has two distinct meanings. Going into the darkness that came over the world when the light of this world left it (cf. John 12:35-36; 1:4-10), the sign of Jonah brought a sense of peace in which no work could be done. That is correct: Jesus said, “‘The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going’” (John 12:35). The work that was done in the 1st-Century CE was accomplished by those who walked in the light with Jesus as His first disciples. This includes the Apostle Paul, to whom Jesus appeared. Once these first disciples slept with their fathers, the spiritual Body of Christ (crucified with Christ) that these first disciples raised up died as Christ’s physical body died on the cross. And as the gates of Hades could not prevail over Jesus’ physical body, the gates of Hades will not prevail over Christ’s spiritual Body: the Church will be resurrected from death when Jesus, as the last Elijah, restores all things.
If the Body of Christ were alive and well, there would be no need to restore anything. However, because God will send “‘Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes’” (Mal 4:5), the coming of this endtime Elijah to “‘restore all things’” (Matt 17:11) is Scripture’s prima facie evidence that the Body of Christ is dead, and that the relative “peace” the Church has experienced for the past nineteen plus centuries stems from the Church being dead and buried as Jesus was dead and buried for three days. All of the work that has been done in the name of Christ has been by those who walk in darkness, not knowing where they are going. The murder and mayhem, intrigue and deception that has been committed by alleged disciples of Christ has been done by human beings who lacked possessing the Holy Spirit; hence, by those who were never of the Body. The visible Christian Church has merely incorporated the name of Christ in its worship of demons [i.e., spiritual Baals].
perspective of the heavenly realm, the Christian Church spiritually looks as
Do you believe saying that Christendom sickens God is presumptive? Do you question how God could not love Christians who will not obey Him, who attempt to enter His rest on the following day [the 8th day], who will not even cover their sins with the sacrifice of Christ’s flesh and blood but bow pious heads to the sun? Do you think that God is pleased with those “‘who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one another in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination’” (Isa 66:17) — what is the abomination? Is it not like the meat for which Israel asked, the quail gathered that while “the meat was yet between their [Israel’s] teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people and the Lord struck down the people with a very great plague” (Num 11:33). Is the abomination not like the swine Antiochus Epiphanes IV ordered sacrificed on the altar and the statue of Zeus he ordered placed in the Holy of holies? Is it not an offering made to idols? Is it not Cain’s sacrifice?
Does not an Easter ham qualify as the abomination? It certainly is a type; for the eating of pork and the observance of Easter was used for centuries by the Roman Church to “discover” hidden Jews and Judaizers, which genuine disciples would have been … no person can walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6) and be holy as Peter commanded (1:15-16) and not outwardly appear to the world as a Judaizer. The anti-Semitism of Christianity served to keep the dead Body of Christ dead. But again, the gates of Hades will not prevail over the Body of Christ.
As the sign of Jonah brought the calm of death [sleep] to the Body of Christ once darkness came at Calvary, the light of the third day of the spiritual creation week will see turmoil and tempests and tribulations. As a red sky at dawn was a sign for sailors to beware of the day ahead, the sign of Jonah at the end of the age is a warning to beware for the day ahead, a day when fathers shall be against sons and daughters against mothers, brothers against brothers—a day on which Jesus will bring a sword (Matt 10:34) to divide the bloody waters of humankind, with those who cover their sins with the blood of Christ being further divided into those who hold the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17), which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10), and those who teach the doctrines of men [and women].
Israel rebelled openly or grumbled loudly against Moses until the entire generation counted in the census of Numbers chapter one perished in the wilderness because of disbelief. The visible Christian Church rebels against Moses today; yet Jesus said, “‘If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words’” (John 5:46-47). The visible Church does not believe Jesus’ words, and by extension, does not believe Jesus’ words. Rather, Christendom grumbles against eating Jesus’ body (or the unleavened bread representing His body) on the night that He was betrayed, as Israel grumbled about manna, calling it worthless food.
How is it that the Passover sacrifice equates with manna?
When Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and was on the far side of the headwaters of the River Jordan, a large crowd followed Him (John 6:1-2). Jesus went up on the mountain, and the crowd followed. The Passover was at hand (v. 4) … at the Passover of the first year of His ministry, Jesus cleanses the temple by "making a whip of cords" and driving out those who sold pigeons, thereby making the temple a house of trade (John 2:13-17). In the last year of His ministry [the fourth Passover], He is sacrificed as the Passover Lamb of God. Thus, there are two Passovers in between, with the healing at the pool (John chap 5) and the feeding of the five thousand to occur at or near one of these two Passovers. On which one the feeding of the five thousand occurs is probably not fully ascertainable although the text suggests that the feeding occurs at or near the second of these Passovers (a year before Jesus is crucified) with John the Baptist's execution occurring after a lengthy imprisonment.
The connection between the feeding of the five thousand and Passover comes from Jesus establishing the link when addressing the crowd, and from manna being promised on the 15th of the second month. The second Passover is eaten, "'In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight'" (Num 9:11). The second Passover is eaten by those Israelites who have been on a long journey, or who are ceremonially unclean—those Israelites who followed Christ across the Sea of Galilee were on a relatively long journey in a quest to hear the Messiah. And manna comes to Israel a month after the nation leaves Egypt on its long journey from liberation to the Promised Land. It ends after Israel eats its first Passover on the plains of Jericho; it ends the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering (Josh 5:10-12). So manna came until the firstfruits of God's rest (from Ps 95:1-11) were waved and accepted. Jesus is accepted into heaven on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread; He is the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering.
aside, Pharisees of the
The above paragraph introduces a term [a linguistic icon phrase] that should be retained: Observant Christians, the spiritual equivalent of today’s Observant Jews.
Israel entering the Promised Land on the 10th day of the first month (Josh 4:19) is a type of Jesus entering Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month, which in turn is a type of the reality of the glorified Jesus returning as the Messiah on the 10th day of the first month seven years after the Tribulation begins. The first handful of ripe barley was waved by the high priest on the morrow after the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. As the First of the firstfruits of God, Jesus was waved and accepted by God on the morrow after the Sabbath in Unleavened Bread. He enters heaven to sit down at the right hand of God mid-week six weeks later (forty days later) as Israel counted the weeks until the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) was to be observed. Therefore, by taking on the sins of Israel and being sacrificed as the Lamb of God Jesus is the reality of the Yom Kipporim goat that is sacrificed on the altar for the sins of Israel on the 10th day of the seventh month. In addition, Jesus' ascent to Heaven (John 20:17) to sit at the right hand of God forms the reality of the Azazel goat that has the sins of Israel read over its head before being led into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man on the 10th day of the seventh month. Jesus is the Firstfruits of God as well as the First of the firstfruits, for when disciples in this era are one with Jesus (one used to represent complete unity), they are collectively the Firstfruits of God.
The ten days between when Jesus left His first disciples and when these disciples were visibly baptized with Spirit and with fire as the lively shadow of the two future baptisms of this world (Matt 3:11; Acts 1:5) represents the period in which disciples presently dwell. No work beyond waiting for “the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4) is being accomplished, regardless of the activity that seems to be occurring within visible Christendom … all that visible Christendom does today in its vaunted ministries is a thrashing about in darkness by those who cannot see where they are going. Praise songs are sung, but the praise of obedience is withheld. Satellite television programming is broadcast into every corner of the world, but programming that teaches disciples to continue in disobedience. Jesus is taught as more than enough, but the disciple who would walk as Jesus walked is branded as a Judaizer and a heretic. So what is spiritually seen is the equivalent of the Lord delivering to Israel “‘statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life,’” thereby defiling “‘them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn … that they might know that I am the Lord’” (Ezek 20:25-26). Because Christendom rejected God laws and profaned His Sabbaths in the 1st-Century CE—all in Asia left Paul while he still lived (2 Tim 1:15)—God delivered to Christianity rules and traditions by which disciples could not live; i.e., have spiritual life through being born of Spirit. If the Body would have had life for the past two millennia, then these sons of God would be condemned to the lake of fire for their disobedience.
Jesus said He was the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13). He and His first disciples were the beginning; He and (when He restores all things) His endtime disciples are the end. In between isn’t all of the Greek alphabet, but the sleep of death, the stillness of night, the calm of a flat sea.
Note: the glorified Christ and disciples in this era, together (two entities), form the lively shadow of glorified disciples, the Firstfruits of God, coupled to humankind resurrected to life in the great White Throne Judgment. Jesus is today to His born-of-Spirit disciples as Jesus and His glorified disciples will be to all who are raised from death through a resurrection to judgment after the thousand years. Again, the glorified Christ and His disciples are the Firstfruits of God. Together, they are the Son of Man, Head and Body—and when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30), the Body will be made naked as the Head has been. Christ will, when He baptizes His disciples in Spirit, cast aside the mantle of Grace, for it should no longer be needed. Plus, it cannot be made available to disciples when the saints are delivered into the hand of the lawless one for a time, times, and half a time (Dan 7:25). It is during the endtime years of tribulation when the Body of Christ that has been one with Christ through being made of Him [i.e., of His Spirit – Rom 8:9; Matt 16:18] will become the Bride of Christ, a separate spiritual entity that will be made one with Christ through marriage.
Today, nothing can separate disciples from Christ (Rom 8:38), but the Father is who will “‘turn [His] hand against the little ones’” (Zech 13:7) as He awakened the sword “‘against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me … Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered’” (same verse). Jesus identified Himself as this shepherd who would be struck (Matt 26:31). He is the man who stands/stood next to the Father. And His disciples are the two parts of the little ones who “‘shall be cut off and perish’” (v. 8), with one part perishing physically but living spiritually, and the other part perishing spiritually but physically living until Christ returns. In this analogy, the third part represents that portion of humanity that will be born of Spirit when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh (v. 9).
But a second analogy pertains: the above two parts also represent the disciples who perished in the 1st-Century, and disciples who will perish at the end of the age, slain until the number to be killed by martyrdom is complete (Rev 6:11), with the third part representing the woman and the remnant (Rev 12:13-17) that escape Death and Satan’s hand.
The things of this world that reveal the invisible things of God (Rom 1:20) do not, in most cases, have fixed and limited one-for-one correspondences. The manna that Israel ate in the wilderness represents Christ, the bread that came down from heaven. But the Passover lambs Israel sacrificed and ate also represents Christ. The daily or daily sacrifice at morning and evening also represents Christ, as does the two goats that are Israel’s sin offering on Yom Kipporim represent Christ. And the sacraments of bread and wine, taken on the night that Jesus was betrayed, represent Christ. The stones of the temple represent the living stones (1 Pet 2:5) that are the temple of the God (1 Co 3:16-17; 2 Co 6:16), with Christ being both the cornerstone and the capstone; so Christ is the beginning and end of the stones used to build the temple. As such the stones of the temple represent Christ, the logic behind Jesus saying, “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’” (John 2:19), for the temple of God is the Body of Christ. Therefore, the manna that Israel ate in the wilderness is the physical equivalent to the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) that is renewed daily by disciples through prayer, and annually by taking the sacraments of bread and wine. It is through this daily prayer that disciples build spiritual bodies from the Spirit of Christ; hence, Jesus’ Church [assembly] is constructed “of Him,” the idiomatic Greek expression for possession represented in English by possessive pronouns.
The holy days or high Sabbaths do not represent separated events, but one harvest of God that consists of two resurrections of disciples in the manner foreshadowed by Theos and Theon, together, with their divine Breaths, forming YHWH.
The flesh is of this earth. It dies, for the flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Co 15:50). Only that which has come down from heaven can return to heaven. Jesus as the only son of Theos came from heaven as the light of this world (Gen 1:3; 2 Co 4:6). Disciples are made alive in the heavenly realm when they are raised from the dead through receipt of the Holy Spirit (John 5:21), but this life is domiciled in perishable tents of flesh that must now receive imperishability from Christ Jesus, who gives life to whom He will (same verse); for all judgment has been given to Christ (v. 22), with His judgment of disciples to be revealed when He returns (1 Co 4:5).
When Israel was a physically circumcised nation, its sin offerings only delayed inevitable death—those individuals whose faith was counted as righteousness received the promise of inheriting eternal life, but did not receive actual spiritual life (the Holy Spirit had not yet been given). Thus, manna as well as the daily and all paschal lambs and all sin offerings serve as copies and types of the unleavened bread that is Christ Jesus' broken body, eaten when taking the Passover sacraments while Jesus is on a long trip to heaven where He sits at the right hand of God.
Jesus said, "'I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died. … I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh'" (John 6:48-49, 51). Elsewhere Matthew records, "Now as they were eating [the Passover], Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body'" (26:26). So at the Passover (probably) a year earlier, Jesus introduced the subject that His body was the spiritual equivalent of the manna that Israel ate in the wilderness; that those who ate His body would never die. Then at the last Passover He would eat here on earth, Jesus establishes the hard link that makes unleavened bread the representation of His body.
Although manna was given six days a week for forty years as a test of Israel, unleavened bread is merely bread except on one day each year: the 14th of Abib, the night Jesus was taken. Yes, as manna was a test for the nation that left Egypt, the Passover sacraments are a test for the nation that leaves sin.
Two decades after Calvary, the Apostle Paul writes to the saints at Corinth,
But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. … When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. … Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is [broken] for you" (1 Co 11:17, 20, 22-24)
The disciple who does not take the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on the night that Jesus was betrayed will nevertheless expect Jesus to cover his or her sins. But this disciple is as those Israelites in the wilderness were who went out on the Sabbath and expected to find manna (Ex 16:27). No manna was found. Grace will not be found by this disciple who neglects so great a matter as the covenant by which sins are forgiven—disciples are not yet under the new covenant, for there remains the need to teach every man his neighbor and his brother to know the Lord. All do not, today, know the Lord.
The Passover covenant made with Israel on the day God took this nation by the hand to lead it out of Egypt ends when the new covenant is enacted, but the terms of this new covenant will have the law of God written on hearts and minds so that all know the Lord. The need for any Christian ministry will cease to exist, for all will know the Lord. This is not, however, what is today seen within or without Christendom. What is observable is the utter lack of knowledge about God. It is as if no one has read Scripture. Thus, sins are today only forgiven through the Passover covenant, annually renewed when the disciple takes the sacraments of bread and wine on the night that Jesus was betrayed. Enactment of the new covenant remains in the future.
The new covenant is implemented when first disciples, then the remainder of humankind are liberated from indwelling sin and death through empowerment by the Holy Spirit, with these two occasions of liberation being foreshadowed by Israel's liberation from physical bondage to Pharaoh. The first of these two occasions occurs at the second Passover, the event that begins the seven endtime years of tribulation. The second occasion occurs when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and His Christ three and a half years later, or halfway through the seven endtime years, or at the fall holy day season.
The Holy Spirit will then be poured out on all flesh, thereby changing even the predatory natures of lions and bears (Isa 11:6-9), when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Father and His Christ (Rev 11:15-18; Dan 7:9-14); when Satan is cast from heaven (Rev 12:7-10); when the second woe ends (Rev 11:14).
The liberation of Israel from bondage to indwelling sin and death [i.e., the resurrection of the Body of Christ to life] will occur on a second Passover and will be a copy and type of the liberation of humankind from indwelling sin and death 1260 days later. Therefore, until the Tribulation begins, Christendom remains under the Passover covenant God made with Israel when this nation left Egypt. For disciples today, the laws of God are not first written on hearts and minds, but are first heard with the ears and read with the eyes. As with Israel in Egypt and as with Abraham in Ur of the Chaldeans, disciples must undertake a journey of faith to cleanse the heart before hearts can be spiritually circumcised, the euphemistic expression for the equally euphemistic writing the laws of God on the heart and mind. And these journeys of faith require that the person leave the mental landscape of his or her nativity and "journey" into obedience, most often seen outwardly through Sabbath observance.
doesn't abolish the Passover covenant, made on the day when God led
Grace is Christ, the Husband of Israel, covering Israel with the garment or mantel of His righteousness as Joseph covered Mary. And because the Church spurned Grace, the Church died in its sins before Emperor Hadrian buried the Church’s dead carcass.
In the wilderness, Israel grumbled about receiving manna and called it worthless food. Today, Christians call eating the Passover [i.e., taking the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed] worthless food. Yes, they do. By taking the sacraments on any night but the 14th of Abib, they spurn Grace; they spurn the covenant poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. They are as Israel was in the 1st-Century BCE when this nation slew the Azazel goat that bore its sins in a far land. They are as the Church was in the 1st-Century CE when its antagonism toward Judaism prevented it from understanding that Christendom was a sect of Judaism established when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22).
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. All rights reserved."