February 16, 2010 ©Homer Kizer
He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, 'The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. / When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?" He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." Judas, who would betray him, answered, "Is it I, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You have said so." / Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."/ And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." (Matt 26:18-32)
The so-called Last Supper was the Passover, eaten on the First Unleavened [Te prote ton azymon -- Matt 26:17], not on the first day of the seven-day-long Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The First Unleavened is the 14th day of the first month (Abib or Nissan), and is a day added to the beginning of the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as the Last Great Day is added to the end of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. These two extra days [the First Unleavened and the Last Great Day] pertain to their respective harvests of humankind, the firstfruits before the thousand-year-long Millennium, and the main harvest of humanity in the great White Throne Judgment after the thousand years, with these two harvests represented by the early barley harvest of Judean hillsides and the main crop wheat harvest. The seven days of Unleavened Bread and the seven days of Sukkoth represent that period when humankind will live without sin, with Christ Jesus being the King of king and Lord of lords; the seven days of Unleavened Bread and the seven days of Sukkoth represent the same thousand-year-long period.
At a subconscious level, "the little ones" (from Zech 13:7, in a continuation of Jesus' citation of the passage about striking the shepherd) sort themselves out as to whether they will be resurrected before the Millennium or after by whether their focus is on the First Unleavened or the Last Great Day, with rabbinical Judaism completely ignoring the First Unleavened whereas those Christians who have truly been born of spirit in this era strive to take the Passover sacraments on the dark portion of the 14th of Abib and those Christians who are not born of spirit, like Judaism and Islam, neglect the 14th. They will appear before the Lord in the great White Throne Judgment rather than at the Second Advent, which doesn't mean that they are condemned but simply means that they are not firstfruits.
The selected paschal lamb, a male of the first year, a lamb without blemish or broken bone that was to be penned on the 10th day of the first month and sacrificed on the 14th day at even, served as the shadow and type of the paschal Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. This analogy of type and reality is easily understood at a surface level. What has not been as well understood is that in the type [a bleating lamb], the sacrifice eaten is of a dead lamb, but in the reality [the paschal Lamb of God], the sacrifice eaten is a living Lamb -- Christ Jesus was alive and with His disciples when He said, Take, eat; this is my body.
Disciples are, today, the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27); thus, when disciples eat the unleavened bread representing the body of Christ, they figuratively eat themselves, the subject to be discussed in this paper.
All male Israelites [all adults who were circumcised] were to physically appear before the Lord three times or at three seasons every year. The Passover, which when used as a metonymic expression includes the Feast of Unleavened Breast as seen in John 12:1, is one of these three seasons: see Deut 16:16; Ex 34:23 -- the requirement to appear made in Ex 23:14 is superseded by the requirement made in Ex 34:23, for Israel broke the first covenant made at Sinai while Moses was still on the mountain; thus an eternal second covenant (a covenant ratified by promises better than the shedding of blood -- see Heb 9:23) was made with Moses and with Israel at Sinai.
The practice of all sons of God appearing before the Lord at appointed times or seasons is not restricted to physically circumcised Israelites: the Book of Job records, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them" (1:6), and "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord" (2:1) … all sons of God, angelic and human, are to appear before the Lord at their appointed time, with the Passover [used metonymically] being one of these times. This requirement to appear didn't disappear at Calvary; for the Moab covenant, which includes all of Deuteronomy, was ratified by a song as an eternal thing (see Heb 9:23). Likewise, the second Sinai covenant, ratified by the shining of Moses' face, is an eternal or heavenly covenant that will not be made obsolete by the implementation of the promised New Covenant.
At Calvary, the mediator of the Moab covenant changed from being Moses to being the glorified Christ Jesus--the covenant continues, though, for it has not yet been implemented with the physically circumcised nation. It wasn't implemented prior to Calvary, and except for "a remnant, chosen by grace" (Rom 11:5), it hasn't been acted upon since Calvary; for the covenant requires that after all of the curses pronounced in the Book of Deuteronomy come upon Israel and the nation is a captive people in a far land (Deut 30:1) that the nation returns to the Lord and obeys His voice in all He commands Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy, obeys with heart and mind. Only then will the Lord gather Israel from where He has scattered the nation and will circumcise the hearts of the nation so that the nation will love the Lord with heart and mind (vv. 2-6).
The Israelite who is circumcised-of-heart will appear before the Lord at the times appointed for human sons of God. This means that all sons of God, regardless of the ancestry or the gender of the tents of flesh in which they temporarily dwell, will keep the Passover. It is only by keeping the Passover--by drinking from the cup on the First Unleavened--that sins are forgiven under the first covenant. … By not appearing before the Lord at Passover and taking the sacraments that represent the Body of the Lamb of God on the First Unleavened, the Christian, Jew, or Muslim testifies before men and angels that the person "knows" he or she is not presently born of spirit. This testimony will not be via the mouth but by the person's actions as the true outward expression of the inner self. The tongue often lies, but the deeds of the person seldom do, especially when these deeds run counter to the acts of this world.
The covenant made on the day when the Lord took the fathers of Israel by the hand to bring the nation out from Egypt (Heb 8:9; Jer 31:32) is the Passover covenant (see Ex chaps 12-13), and it is this Passover covenant that will be replaced by the New Covenant on the day of the Second Passover. This first covenant was growing old and becoming obsolete a quarter century after Calvary, but what is "growing old and becoming obsolete" remains in effect until it is ended with the shedding of blood.
A covenant is the distance between cuttings, between one shedding of blood to the next shedding of blood, with the first covenant implemented by both Israel and the Lord shedding blood, that of paschal lambs by the people and that of the death of all uncovered firstborns in Egypt by the Lord. This first covenant will end when both Israel and the Lord again shed blood, with Israel having already made its sacrifice at Calvary, but with the Lord not yet taking the lives of uncovered firstborns on earth and in the Abyss. So when a covenant is implemented by a better sacrifice than the shedding of blood, the covenant can only end when another better sacrifice occurs: using the second Sinai covenant as an example, the covenant was ratified by the glory that shone on Moses' face so this covenant will continue until disciples are glorified, or resurrected in glory.
· The first covenant, renewed annually on the First Unleavened, will remain in effect until death angels pass throughout this earth at the midnight hour of the one long spiritual night that began at Calvary.
· All sons of God, human and angelic, must, by command of the Lord, appear before Him.
· A Hebrew male appearing before the Lord with an offering at the appointed seasons is analogous to an angelic son of God giving an accounting of his activities.
When angelic sons of God are to appear is not recorded in Scripture, but that they are to appear is. Even the Adversary must appear to give an accounting of his activities, answering the Lord's demand to know from where he came with, "'From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it'" (Job 1:7; 2:2) --
Outwardly circumcised Israelites were not to appear empty-handed but were to bring an offering, with this offering made from their harvest, thereby giving an accounting of the farmer's activities as well as reflecting or disclosing the Israelite's values.
Angelic sons of God have no possessions in this world and can only verbally give an accounting of their activities; whereas human sons of God who have but one possession in this world, the tents of flesh in which they dwell, will give an accounting of their activities by bringing those tents of flesh before the Lord at their appointed times to appear … the preceding is a different way to express the reality that Christians are to keep the annual high Sabbaths of God as they keep the weekly Sabbath. It is a more convoluted way of saying the same thing, but it also introduces the seriousness of coming before the Lord at Passover [used metonymically], at Pentecost, and on Sukkoth. If even rebelling angels do not fail to appear at their appointed times, then what will befall human sons of God who neglect their responsibility to appear where the Lord has placed His name; for the Lord places His name wherever two or three gather in His name.
The suggestion imbedded within the exchange recorded in Job between the Lord and the Adversary is that the Adversary was seeking to "harvest" the sons of Adam as an Israelite harvests barley and wheat from Judean hillsides. But the relative imbalance in power between the Lord and the Adversary precludes the Adversary from going beyond boundaries the Lord has placed upon him: the Adversary must seek permission from the Lord before mounting an offensive against the faithful. Thus, when disciples resist the Adversary, he will flee.
Christians usually think of the first covenant as being the Sinai covenant made when the Lord spoke aloud the ten living words, but this first Sinai covenant was merely one of many covenants added to, or incorporated within (as if folding-in beaten egg whites into an angel food cake batter) the covenant made with the fathers when the Lord took Israel by the hand to lead the nation out from Egypt. For in giving to Israel the first Sinai covenant, the Lord made sin alive (Rom 7:8-11) so that sin would kill and devour the nation that would not listen to Him in Egypt and did not forsake the detestable things that defiled it (Ezek 20:8-11). And after giving to Israel the law, thereby making sin alive, the Lord kept Moses on the mountain for long enough that sin could do its work of killing those liberated sons of God who would not listen to the words of the Lord.
Pause and consider that the first Passover liberation of Israel forms the left hand enantiomer of the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the event that begins the seven endtime years of tribulation, with the giving of the law at Sinai forming the left hand enantiomer of endtime Christians being filled with and empowered by spirit so that the Law [Torah -- Jer 31:33] is written on hearts and placed in minds. With the giving of the law at Sinai, sin was made alive. Sin slew the nation when the people came to Aaron and said we don't know what has become of this man Moses (Ex 32:1), and Sin, the third horseman of the Apocalypse, will make merchandise of the little ones, Christian and non-Christian (the barley and the wheat), following the Second Passover liberation of Israel. It is only the already processed fruit of the Promised Land (the wine and the oil) that Sin cannot harm; for the "wine" and the "oil" cover/covered their sins by taking the Passover sacraments on the First Unleavened, thereby demonstrating obedience by faith, with this obedience making their faith complete as Abraham's obedience in offering up Isaac made his faith complete (Jas 2:21-24), the principle aspect of faith that Martin Luther never understood.
The physically circumcised nation dwelling as slaves to Pharaoh in houses in Egypt forms the shadow and copy of circumcised-of-heart sons of God dwelling in tents of flesh in spiritual Babylon, with the uncircumcised mixed multitude that left Egypt with Israel being analogous to the greater Christian Church being suddenly born of God and born filled with spirit at the Second Passover … the greater Christian Church is not, today, circumcised of heart. As such, the greater Christian Church is not the reality of Israel in Egypt, but the reality of the mixed multitude (Ex 12:38) that left Egypt with the Israelites.
Exceptions to the greater Christian Church not being circumcised of heart are seen in Christians who have, by making a journey of faith, "converted" to keeping the Sabbath. In making a journey of faith from spiritual Babylon (i.e., the present kingdom of this world) to the Land beyond the River, God's rest, first generation Sabbatarian Christians cleanse hearts by faith so that they can be circumcised; so it is the Sabbatarian Church--and then only a portion of the Sabbatarian Church--that is the right hand enantiomer of ancient Israel in Egypt. The remainder of Christendom is to the Lord as the mixed multitude was to Moses.
When the fourth plague came upon Egyptians, Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, "'Go, sacrifice to your God within the land'" (Ex 8:25), but Moses said, "'It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us?'" (v. 26 emphasis added).
Does not taking the Passover sacraments on the 14th of the first month seem an abomination to the greater Christian Church; does not Christendom angrily call faithful disciples legalists?
Prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel, faithful disciples should not expect "Christians" to keep the Passover. The greater Christian Church's practice of taking the sacraments daily, weekly, quarterly, or annually on the Thursday night before Easter--all represent mingling the sacred with the profane of the sort presently seen in the Christmas holiday or initially seen in the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And it is mingling the sacred with the profane that ultimately condemns these Christians.
Israel in Egypt did not listen to the Lord, but eagerly left Egypt after spoiling the Egyptians as if they were thieves fleeing with their loot. Sabbatarian Christians will not, today, listen to the words of Jesus. Too many Sabbatarians flock to sparrow hawks uttering bastardized Hebrew to frighten their prey, pouncing on those disciples that seek purity through pronunciation of Joshua's name as if the linguistic icon were the object instead of only the referent used to identify the Savior. Too many Sabbatarians have idolized a man or a woman, believing that the first was God's essential endtime man and that the latter was more than a prophet when both lived and died before the visions of Daniel were unsealed. Most Sabbatarian Christians do not take the Passover sacraments on the 14th of first month; most have made no journey of faith that would cleanse hearts so that they can be circumcised; most are as spiritually lifeless as are Christians within the visible Christian Church … not all Sabbatarians serve as the reality foreshadowed by ancient Israel: it is those Sabbatarians who have "converted" that serve as this reality.
The mixed multitude that left with Israel was more noble than the circumcised nation, for apparently the mixed multitude believed the miracles if they didn't actually believe the Lord.
Jesus told Jews at the temple, "'If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father'" (John 10:37-38).
· When the Second Passover liberation of circumcised-of-heart Israel occurs, Sabbatarian Christians within the many splinters of the churches of God will prove less noble than "Christians" who do not today take the Passover sacraments.
· Sabbatarians Christians, like Latter Day Saints [Mormons], will continue in their errant beliefs because they will not be overwhelmingly "surprised" by the catastrophic death of a third of humankind: they will be ideologically prepared for Babylon's fall and perhaps physically prepared.
· But the Christian who truly "believes" the works of the Lord; the Christian who is genuinely surprised by the sudden death of uncovered firstborns will, when the Second Passover occurs, become teachable.
Even though all of Christendom will be suddenly filled with and empowered by the spirit of God as the reality of Israel and of the mixed multitude that left Egypt with Moses, only a statistically insignificant percentage of the greater Christian Church will believe either the words or the works of the Lord. Whereas few circumcised-of-heart Sabbatarians, today, truly believe the Lord, even fewer will believe after they have been liberated from indwelling sin and death, a reality that hardly seems possible. But it wasn't all of Israel that was gathered to Moses when he said, "'Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me'" (Ex 32:26). Only the sons of Levi gathered around Moses, and so will it be after the Second Passover liberation of Israel: only the oil and the wine will gather around Moses. The remainder of Christendom will be as the people were who told Aaron to make for them gods to go before them (v. 1).
Concerning the people who had broken loose, the Lord told Moses,
Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" (Ex 32:7-8)
The Lord took the fathers of Israel by the hand to lead them out from Egypt, and doesn't give Moses either the credit or the blame for Him leading Israel to freedom. However, the Lord did not lead the mixed multitude out from the land of Egypt, for this mixed multitude was not covered by the Passover covenant. Moses led this mixed multitude out. It was the people whom Moses brought up out of the land of Egypt that had corrupted themselves and corrupted Israel, and caused the Lord to say to Moses, "'I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you'" (vv. 9-10).
Israel was a stiff-necked people, and Israel broke the first Sinai covenant while the nation was still camped around the base of the mountain--and in breaking the covenant, the physically circumcised nation, to this day, has been prevented from having indwelling eternal life through the prohibition against kindling a fire on the Sabbath that Moses brought down from the mountain with the second Sinai covenant (Ex chap 34). But it is folly to say that Moses brought Israel out of the land of Egypt, for Moses did not cause Pharaoh to command him to go out from among the people of Egypt (Ex 12:31); nor did Moses part the Sea of Reeds; nor would Moses have led the Israelites in the indirect route that the Lord chose:
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, "Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt." But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. … And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. (Ex 13:17-18, 21-22)
The mixed multitude was the people whom Moses had brought up out of the land of Egypt; they were people who had not covered their firstborns with the blood of a paschal lamb before the death angel passed over the land. They did not take the Passover sacraments of unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and the selected lamb. Their bitterness was the loss of their firstborns, and by leaving Egypt, they left behind the leavening (the sin) of Egypt. And they, themselves, were as lambs to be slain in the wilderness.
The vast majority of Christians today do not take the Passover sacraments on the night of the First Unleavened; so their bitterness will be the loss of their firstborns when death angels pass over all the earth.
Speaking of when the son of Man would be revealed, Jesus said, "'I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left'" (Luke 17:34-35). The death angels will not take days to slay uncovered firstborns, nor even hours, but will simultaneously take the lives of uncovered firstborns regardless of whether it is night or day where these firstborns dwell.
Unlike the mixed multitude that could not immediately join themselves to Israel and become Israelites, visible Christians who are not today born of God will become "Israel" as soon as they are born of spirit and make a journey of faith that cleanses the heart. Simply being born of spirit, and born filled with spirit is not enough to cause hearts to be circumcised. Certainly once born of spirit at the Second Passover, all Christians will no longer have their sins remembered even though grace has ended: the Lord will be merciful toward iniquities (Heb 8:12; Jer 31:34). But the Christian who doesn't love the truth enough to walk uprightly before the Lord when the Christian can so walk will come under a strong delusion that causes the person to believe what is false and thereby be condemned (2 Thess 2:10-12). Therefore, making a journey of faith that will cleanse the heart becomes loving the truth enough to walk uprightly before the Lord. Without making this journey of faith, the Christian who has been born filled with spirit is not an Israelite, but the bastard child of the Adversary.
Circumcised-of-heart Israel's rebellion against God after the Second Passover will be their continuation of these Sabbatarian Christians' present rebellion. Their rebellion won't seem like rebellion; it doesn't today seem like rebellion; it is mingling the sacred with the profane as seen in the calendar issue--
The Christian who has truly been born of God and who doesn't appear before the Lord the commanded three times a year is cut off from the assembly (the Church) in a manner analogous to how an ancient Israelite male who didn't appear before the Lord would have been cut off from the Lord. This means the son of God who doesn't take the Passover sacraments on the First Unleavened and who doesn't keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning on the 15th day of the first month will be stripped of grace and cut off from the Lord--and the first month doesn't begin before the vernal equinox, but begins with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox (for a discussion about setting the calendar, see How to Set the Calendar). Therefore, on years like 2010 and 2013 when rabbinical Judaism begins the month of Nissan before the equinox, human sons of God using Judaism's calendar will not appear before the Lord at the appointed season and will, by their unbelief, cut themselves off from God. They will, by using rabbinical Judaism's calendar, mingle the sacred with the profane [in this case, human wisdom when it comes to establishing the calendar].
Ultimately, it isn't disobedience or lawlessness that condemns a disciple, but simple unbelief that will always manifests itself eventually in disobedience; it is the root not the fruit that condemns, for the disciple growing from the root of unbelief is not of the Root of Righteousness. Although those Christians who grow from unbelief might temporarily appear like the branches and fruit of Christians firmly attached to the Root of Righteousness, they will not appear before the Lord at their appointed times even though the Adversary himself appears at his appointed time. They are truly as Peter describes them: "But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing" (2 Pet 2:12-14).
The Christian who does not appear on the spring Sabbath, with the 15th of the first month being the great day of this Sabbath (see John 19:31 in Greek), is cut off from God. This Christian's only hope for salvation is that he or she has not been truly born of God, but remains the bastard child of the Adversary. And this is especially true for the natural offspring of Sabbatarian Christians who have, by their journeys of faith, tasted the glories of God. If those who have tasted neglect or begin to neglect an obligation that even the Adversary doesn't neglect, they are worse than dogs that return to their vomit. Therefore, every discussion of the Passover sacraments starts with setting the calendar, with the year beginning with the first locally sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox, with the equator forming a roughly global seasonal dateline for establishing when the Spring Sabbath occurs, a line akin to the International Dateline that establishes when the weekly Sabbath locally occurs.
When possession of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States, the flag-raising ceremony took place on Friday, October 18, 1867 (Gregorian calendar), as the days and dates were calculated by the United States. However, in Sitka where the flag-raising ceremony occurred, the previous day was Friday, October 6th. Thus, for Sitka residents, the week beginning with Sunday, October 1, 1867 (Julian calendar), saw two Fridays, one calculated from St. Petersburg's time when the territory belonged to Russia, and one calculated from Washington, D.C., when the territory changed ownership. But the seven day weekly cycle in neither St. Petersburg nor in Washington, D.C., was broken. It was only broken on the other side of the world where Russia lay to the west of the International Dateline and the United States to the east.
When Israel goes from being an outwardly circumcised nation to being the nation circumcised of heart, the land of Israel goes from being earthly Judea to being the globe, thereby making necessary an International Dateline to establish when the weekly Sabbath, based on the vertical rotation of the earth, occurs. Likewise, when the land of Israel encompasses the globe, a seasonal dateline becomes necessary to determine the annual Sabbaths of the year that are based on the horizontal tilt of the earth and the rotation of the moon. And as the International Dateline is a broken line of longitude, with jogs to accommodate national sovereignty, the seasonal dateline when finally established and universally recognized will be a broken line of latitude, above which the same sacrifices will be offered during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as are then offered below this line during the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (see Ezek 45:21-25). Thus, the spring Sabbath will be held in the spring of the year and the fall Sabbath will be held in the fall of the year. No more will the people of God appear before the Lord to observe the Passover when apples are being picked.
However, until the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, setting the calendar will be an unsettled issue within the Body of Christ, but not among the oil and the wine … no person on the other side of the world from earthly Jerusalem can truly keep the Passover at the same hour as when sons of God in earthly Jerusalem eat the offering--when the First Unleavened begins in earthly Jerusalem, it is still the preparation day for this First Unleavened in Nome, Alaska. Likewise, no person can truly keep the Passover during the fall harvest season; for the Wave Sheaf Offering, always made on the day after the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, represents acceptance by God of the first sheaf of ripe barley of the year, with this handful of barley representing the First of the firstfruits, Christ Jesus. The Body of Christ is the firstfruits, and the Body is not resurrected to glory when, figuratively, dry beans are combined (harvested). But with God, there is neither day nor night, spring nor fall, for God gives the land its light, with this land being the mental landscape of disciples.
The division of the land about which the prophet Ezekiel writes will be made in the day when people are few in number after the Lord empties the earth and makes it desolate and the earth staggers as a drunken man (Isa chap 24).
What Matthew records in 26:17 is wrongly translated in most English Bibles because the translators were not themselves keeping the Passover; so their assignment of meaning to Matthew's words assumes as true rabbinical Judaism's practice of keeping the Passover Seder service (in lieu of sacrificing a lamb) on first night of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the model employed by Jesus and the first disciples. But Pharisees in the 1st-Century CE did not understand when the Passover sacrifice should be killed and the lamb roasted and eaten. Remember, in the 18th year of King Josiah's reign, the king ordered Hilkiah to engage workmen to repair the temple, and while remodeling the temple, Hilkiah found the Book of the Law (2 Kings 22:8), which Shaphan the secretary to the king read to Josiah, who in turn tore his clothes in repentance (v. 11). "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" (2 Kings 23:21-22).
Jeremiah began prophesying in the 13th year of Josiah (Jer 25:3), or five years before the Book of the Covenant was found; five years before all that remained of Israel kept the Passover as commanded by the Lord, but the house of Judah only kept the Passover during the days of Josiah.
About Jerusalem and the people of Israel and Judah during the days of Jeremiah, the Lord said,
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh--Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart. (9:25-26 emphasis added)
Not only was Judah and Jerusalem not keeping the Passover, the nation apparently had ceased outwardly circumcising its males: Judah could have hardly gotten farther from God. None of Israel was circumcised of heart, the criterion that establishes who is of God.
After Josiah's death, Jehoahaz began to reign, and Jehoahaz did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done (2 Kings 23:31-32); so Pharaoh Neco put the king in bonds. Then Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim king and changed his name to Jehoikim (v. 34), who also did what was evil in the sight of the Lord (v. 37). So Josiah's reforms lasted only until his death. His sons returned to the ways of Josiah's fathers and did not listen to the prophet Jeremiah or to the prophetess Huldah. Josiah's reforms didn't result in a long term return to Moses; didn't result in the men of Judah and Jerusalem hearing the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded the fathers of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt--
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. … Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not. … A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape." (11:1-11 emphasis added)
If any oral tradition was passed down from Moses to the exiles in Babylon, that tradition was of no value to Josiah or to Hilkiah, for that tradition caused neither to keep the Passover as commanded by the Lord and given to Moses for delivery to Israel until the Book of the Covenant was found. Josiah recovered the words of the Lord concerning the Passover by reading the Book of the Covenant (i.e., by having the book of the Covenant read to him--obviously, Josiah had not made for himself a copy of the Book of the Covenant prior to the 18th year of his reign, so Josiah's literacy is suspect).
It is by reading the Book of the Covenant--Scripture--that the words of Moses are recoverable for each generation, regardless of how far the previous generation wandered away from the Lord. Jesus said, "'For if you [Jews seeking to kill Jesus] 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), and in the Lazarus-Dives parable, Jesus had Abraham say, "'"If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead"'" (Luke 16:31). With few exceptions, Christians know the story of Moses being placed in an ark of bulrushes or papyrus reeds (Ex 2:1-10), but this story presents the shadow and type of Moses being found in an ark of paper, Scripture, by every son of God. So the prerequisite to hearing the words of Jesus, the one raised from the dead, is hearing and believing the words of Moses, the one in the ark of the scroll.
So Christians should place no validity on now-inscribed oral traditions; nor can English speaking Christians fully trust translations of the gospels into English: these translations are only as good as was the translators' understanding of the mysteries of God.
Jesus instructed His disciples to prepare where He would eat the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th day of Abib, not on the dark portion of the great Day of the Sabbath, the 15th, with the Sabbath [to sabbato-- from John 19:31, words 24 & 25 of the verse] representing the entire period when every male Israelite was to appear before the Lord. So in the writings of Matthew, there is the First Unleavened, then the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with John including both in the Sabbath that began at least as early as the 10th day of the first month, the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem to be selected and penned as the paschal Lamb of God, and extended at least through the 22nd day of the month. If the spring Sabbath was the mirror image of the fall Sabbath, then the spring Sabbath would have run from the 1st day of the year to the 23rd day of the month, with the year established by the local sighting of the first new moon crescent following the vernal equinox.
But it isn't failure to understand "the First Unleavened" that is most problematic when it comes to endtime disciples' understanding of the cited introductory passage from Matthew chapter 26; it is failure to understand the significance of the sacraments--
It is common and even popular to speak of Jesus changing the sacraments from the eating of an actual bleating lamb to the taking of bread and wine as symbols of His broken body and shed blood. There has been a centuries old debate about whether the "bread" becomes the actual flesh of Jesus, or remains as merely a symbol of His body. But this debate entirely misses the mark.
Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover offering on the day and at the hour when Israel in Egypt ate the first Passover sacrifice now approximately three and a half millennia ago. And as the death angel passed through all the land of Egypt at midnight--"At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock" (Ex 12:29)--death angels will again pass through the land at midnight of the long night that began at Calvary. But we have jumped backwards: in the scenario of Jesus eating the Passover offering during the dark portion of the day that He would be crucified, conspiracy to betray and betrayal precede Jesus telling His disciples to eat the sacraments of bread and wine, and that a scattering of the sheep would follow His death as the paschal Lamb of God.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom 1:18-20)
By the unrighteousness of men, the truth was suppressed before the days of King Josiah and was suppressed after his death; the truth was suppressed from the days of Jeremiah until when the Logos [o logos] entered His creation as His only Son; and the truth was suppressed by unrighteousness from the death of the Apostle John until the visions of Daniel were unsealed in January 2002. With that unsealing came the realization Paul really meant what he said about the visible things of this world revealing the invisible things of God, and about the physical things of this world preceding the spiritual things of God in this world:
Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Cor 15:45-49 emphasis added)
Meaning is to be taken Scripture via typological exegesis, a simple declaration, but one that is not necessarily simple in practice; for the physical serves as the mirror image of the spiritual, with death underlying the physical whereas life underlies the spiritual. The background for the physical is death, lifelessness, the dust of this earth, but the backdrop for the spiritual is life in the timeless heavenly realm and thus everlasting life. What happens in this physical realm occurs as activity painted onto a canvas of death, with this activity reflecting what happens in the heavenly realm. Therefore, those things recorded in Scripture that happened to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, Noah, the patriarchs, the nation of Israel, the man Jesus, the first disciples--not all things, but only those things that are recorded--form the shadow and copy of what happens to Christ, Head and Body, from the 1st-Century through the 21st-Century.
In his children's book, Through the Looking-Glass (1872), Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) introduces the problem of what is on the other side of a mirror, on the other side of the reflected image displayed on the mirror's surface. This is a problem every endtime disciple encounters when trying to take meaning from the mirror image of events in the timeless heavenly realm. And this is essentially a children's problem; for the disciple who is as spiritually mature as Alice was old realizes that on the otherwise side of time, or better, space-time is not found time running backwards but the absence of space-time, the foundational component of the universe … where there is no space, there is no universe, no mass, no passage of time, but a dimension that is not "real" according to the physics of this world. This dimension has no more depth than the surface of a mirror; yet without the passage of time, all that has "life" has everlasting life for the presence and the absence of life cannot coexist in the moment. So once an entity has life, the entity has "always" had life in this timeless dimension. For the presence of life in an unchanging moment precludes awareness of an absence of life prior to the entity's creation. Without the decay of the moment into the next moment, with a recording made of the previous moment, there is no past, nor comprehension of a past.
Endtime disciples, just because of the culture in which they live, have much more understanding of time and space than 1st-Century disciples had, and more understanding than even the logician Dodgson had. There are, however, only a few places in Scripture where the surface of the mirror can be seen; where physical activity painted on a background of death touches physical activity painted on the backdrop of life. One of these places is in the 1260-day-long Affliction butting up against the 1260-day-long Endurance, but perhaps the most important pre-tribulation place is in the Passover sacraments.
On the day of the Unleavened [he hemera ton azymon] on which it was necessary to sacrifice the paschal lamb, Jesus told His disciples (i.e., Peter and John) to, "'Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it'" (Luke 22:8) … Jesus and the Twelve ate a traditional paschal lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread according to the law of the Passover (Ex 12:3-11, 43-49; Num 9:6-12). And here is where the surface of the mirror begins to show the fingerprints of Christ Jesus: was there any need to take a second set of paschal sacraments on this night? There wasn't, was there? Yet when Jesus "changed" the sacraments from a bleating lamb to Himself, the Lamb of God--actually, to His Body--with the twice blessed unleavened bread representing His body and the twice blessed wine his blood, the sacraments of bread and wine represented a second taking of the Passover sacrifice.
The common statement that Jesus changed the paschal sacraments from a bleating lamb and bitter herbs to bread and wine is true in practice, but technically less true; for the law of the Passover prohibited a circumcised Israelite defiled by touching a dead body from taking the sacraments until the second Passover of that year … with the Father raising the dead (John 5:21) through giving life to the inner man or inner self that is crucified with Christ and raised from the dead as Christ was, can this inner son of God dwell in a mortal body and not touch a dead body? This is a question that has not been raised by the Sabbatarian churches of God.
If the inner new self that is a son of God "touches" the spiritually lifeless [dead] fleshly body in which this new self dwells, is not this son of God spiritually defiled and must necessarily take the second Passover, when the one who has also been on a long trip will again take the sacraments, drinking new fruit of the vine with His disciples in the kingdom?
The prophet Haggai was commanded to ask the priests about the law:
On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, "Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: 'If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?'" The priests answered and said, "No." Then Haggai said, "If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?" The priests answered and said, "It does become unclean." Then Haggai answered and said, "So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the Lord, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean. Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the Lord, how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the Lord. Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider: Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you." (2:10-19 emphasis added)
Holy meat doesn't make what it touches holy, but a person defiled by touching a dead body causes everything the person touches to be unclean--
When a disciple takes hold of a piece of broken unleavened bread that represents Jesus' broken body, is this person defiled by touching a dead body? If that bread were really Jesus' fleshly body, would the person not be defiled? The questions in play might well seem trivial if no wars had been fought over the nature of the sacraments.
When Jesus said, "'Take, eat; this is my body'" (Matt 26:26), His earthly body was physically alive, but His spiritual Body remained dead for the spirit had not yet been given. Thus, the Twelve ate Jesus' living body when they ate of the broken unleavened bread.
When a person standing in front of a mirror reaches forward with his or her left hand to touch the mirror, the person in the glass reaches forward with his or her right hand. It is this relationship that's seen in a person created in the image and likeness of the Lord looking up at God as the Lord looks down at the person. The person serves as the left hand image [enantiomer] of the Lord, with the barrier between the man or woman and the Lord being both as transparent and as impermeable as a sheet of glass, with the background of death being the dark shadow of the heavenly backdrop of life.
Jesus left a model for His disciples of both eating the Passover and being the paschal Lamb of God, sacrificed at the hour when Pharisees killed the paschal lamb at the temple. He did not eat the Passover a day early as some Sabbatarian disciples contend, nor did He put an end to the Passover covenant, made with the fathers of Israel on the day when the Lord led the nation out from the land of Egypt. The New Covenant was not implemented either when Jesus ate the Passover, or when He died as the paschal Lamb of God, a Lamb appropriate to the size of the household of God (see Ex 12:3-4). Rather, the unfinished second temple (unfinished because the glory of the Lord was not in the temple) went from being a structure of wood and stone to being "Christ," uncovered Head and covered Body.
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade." His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me." /So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (Jon 2:13-21 emphasis added)
And Paul writes,
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit. / For the body does not consist of one member but of many. (1 Cor 12:12-14)
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (v. 27 emphasis added)
Elsewhere, Paul says, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple" (1 Cor 3:16-17), and "What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor 6:16).
It was just before the Passover (the Passover of the Jews was at hand) of the first year of His ministry [six months into His ministry] that Jesus cleansed the temple the first time, with His entrance into the temple signifying the return of the glory of God to the temple. It was just before the Passover of the last year of His earthly ministry when Jesus twice more cleansed the temple (compare Matthew 21:12 with Mark 11:15 in relationship to when Jesus cursed the fig tree as seen in Matthew 21:18-19 and Mark 11:12-14). And it will be just before the Second Passover in the first year of the Tribulation and just after when Jesus twice more cleanses the temple. For the cleansing of the temple is analogous to the selection of paschal lambs on the 10th day of the Passover month, with this selection first seen when Noah entered the Ark on the 10th day of the second month (Gen 7:1-5, 11) … only those animals that entered with the Eight were selected by God.
Crowds followed Jesus; e.g., Luke 14:12; 19:3 et al. But it wasn't the crowds Jesus fed; it wasn't the crowds following Him that were selected to eat the Passover with Him; it was the Twelve, each a person selected by the Father and given to Christ Jesus (John 17:6), with Jesus losing none except the son of destruction that Scripture might be fulfilled (v. 12). And it is that last clause which should frighten the many Christian pundits presently explicating Scripture; for in His Olivet discourse, Jesus said, "'And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray'" (Matt 24:10-11). As Judas Iscariot was called by the Father to fulfill Scripture about the son of destruction, endtime disciples will be called to fulfill prophecies about falling away, betraying one another, hating one another, and being false prophets who lead many astray. As with Judas, it will be better for them if they were never born of God.
When the temple is cleansed before the Second Passover--and the temple is cleansed immediately before the Passover--spiritual livestock will be driven from the temple: Christ will purge from the Church those disciples who have embraced or are embroiled in heresies, for spiritual livestock isn't bleating goats or sheep, lowing cattle or cooing turtledoves but disciples that would lead infant sons of God into unbelief if not driven from the Body. And these erring disciples come in more shades than there are colors in a box of 64 crayons.
Jesus ate the Passover meal that was prepared by His disciples, and as they were eating, He told the Twelve that one of them would betray Him (Matt 26:21) … Jesus has already told endtime disciples that among them are those who will betray them, thereby delivering knowledge to endtime disciples that is analogous to His own knowledge about the one who betrayed Him: Jesus knew who would betray Him, and if endtime disciples think about what they know, they, too, know who will betray them. But endtime disciples do not want to admit that best friends and family members and church brethren will betray them, selling them out for thirty shekels worth of lentils. This, however, will be the case; for Jesus said, "'And a person's enemies will be those of his own household'" (Matt 10:36). Yes, disciples will be betrayed by spouses, by parents, by sons and daughters, ministers and ushers; by anyone seeking to save his or her own life; by anyone whose sense of self-preservation has overridden love for neighbor and brother. And once the Tribulation begins, with all of its accompanying problems, food will be in short supply and hungry bellies will cause otherwise good people to do what they cannot, today, imagine doing.
Latter Day Saints [Mormons] have, by word of an earlier prophet, instructions to set aside a year's worth of everything the family will need, from food to toilet paper and toothpaste. These saints also have plans in place by which they will leverage food into discipleship, which from a physical point of view makes good sense. The widow of Zarephath, however, did not have a significant amount of food on hand when the drought Elijah commanded caused crops to dry up and wither -- historically, there was a mass emigration from the region during the reign of King Ahab, with people from the region arriving in Carthage to the west and on the steppes to the northeast.
After saying to Ahab, "'As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word'" (1 Kings 17:1), Elijah hid himself by the brook Cherith and drank from the brook. Ravens brought him bread and meat morning and evening until the brook dried up because of the lack of rain. Then by command of the Lord, Elijah went westward into the heart of Phoenicia, the land of Sidon, the homeland of Jezebel. And when he came to the city, he called to a widow gathering sticks:
And he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." And she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die." And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'" And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:10-16)
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!" (John 6:1-14)
Several things are in play right now, one of which is the Passover and second Passover. Another is manna and the true Bread of Life. A third thing is the relationship between being able to buy foodstuffs and having those physical foodstuffs provided by the Lord … the five barley loaves represent the processed harvest of the firstfruits: Jesus sent out six pairs of disciples, with each pair being analogous to the two loaves of barley to be baked with leavened and waved before the Lord on the high Sabbath Christians call Pentecost. But one pair included Judas Iscariot (Matt 10:4-5), and was therefore a mingled pair as the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents a mingling of the sacred (good) and the profane (evil). A mingled pair of loaves baked with leavening (the yeast killed by baking) in which one represents good and one evil will cause both loaves to be rejected by God. Hence from the five loaves comes enough "fragments" to represent the twelve "tribes" of circumcised-of-heart Israel (Rev 21:12). The two fish, now, are those Christians who are "consumed" as martyrs in the 1st-Century and in the 21st-Century (Rev 6:9-11).
Disciples are the Body of Christ, and as such, when disciples take the sacrament of broken unleavened bread that represented the living body of Christ when the sacrament was instituted, disciples "eat" their own broken bodies for they are the living Body of Christ--
The image in the mirror doesn't sit on the front surface of the mirror, but on the back surface where the "silvering" reflects the light. The entire thickness of the glass pane stands between the reality and its reflection. And in Jesus instituting a change from eating the body of a dead paschal lamb on the First Unleavened to eating the Body of the living Christ, the paschal Lamb of God, the 1900 years between when the Apostle John died to when the call went out to reread prophecy for the time of the end was at hand function as the thickness of the transparent glass.
Taking the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on the First Unleavened after the example established by Christ Jesus comes from faith manifested as obedience.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:1-2 emphasis added)
Because disciples are presently covered by grace, disciples individually (and collectively) form the holy and acceptable Body of Christ and as such the Body of the paschal Lamb of God; so when disciples take the sacraments of unleavened bread and wine on the First Unleavened, they eat the Body of a living Lamb of God. But the disciple who returns to sin when sin has no dominion over the disciple (Rom 6:14) takes him or herself out from under grace; for Paul also writes,
Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Rom 6:15-19)
Grace is not unmerited pardon of sin, but Jesus covering the disciple with His righteousness. So the disciple who is under grace is cloaked in the garment of Christ. By willingly returning to sin, the disciple strips away the mantle of Christ Jesus' righteousness and covers him or herself only with the person's own righteousness. Until the Second Passover liberation of Israel, this naked person is doomed to condemnation.
When Jesus told the crowd that He had fed, "'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst'" (John 6:35), and, "'I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh'" (v. 51), Jesus caused many of those who followed Him to stumble and fall away:
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:52-58 emphasis added)
Many of Jesus' disciples "turned back and no longer walked with him" (John 6:66), but when Jesus asked the twelve if they, too, were going to leave Him, Peter said, "'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God'" (vv. 68-69) … in coming to know a matter, revelation comes via realization. And so it is with understanding that the Passover sacraments of bread and wine represent the living, not dead, Body of Christ. In the centuries when no Passover sacraments were being taken within the greater Christian Church on the First Unleavened, the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, there was no living Body of Christ. And all who take the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on some other day other than on the First Unleavened do not eat of the living Body of Christ; they are not part of the living Body but are part of the Adversary's bastard son.
Many Christians, Sabbatarian and otherwise, have turned back from following Christ Jesus over far less than the realization that when they eat the sacrament of unleavened bread, they eat their own bodies. If they have continued to live as Gentiles (i.e., people of "the nations"), they do not eat unleavened bread but unholy and usually spoiled "leavened" bread. Only by striving to walk uprightly before the Lord, believing the Lord and by faith appearing before the Lord when commanded to appear, will the disciple eat "unleavened bread" according to the law of the Passover on the First Unleavened.
The disciple who takes the sacrament of unleavened bread on another day other than on the First Unleavened doesn't eat of the living Body of Christ. This disciple "eats" of his or her own body. This disciple is his or her own covering for sin, meaning that this person stands condemned before God.
Life is in the blood--this is what the Lord told Noah (Gen 9:4) … human life is sustained by the cellular oxidation of simple carbohydrates, with the oxygen molecules needed for the many tiny fires entering the person via the person's breath, with the blood extracting these molecules from the person's breath in his or her lungs. Thus, speaking in overly simplified terminology, it is the person's breath in the person's blood that supplies life to the person. And this human life forms the shadow and copy (the left hand enantiomer) of spiritual life, which comes to a person through receipt of a second breath [pneuma] of life, the breath of God [pneuma theou], the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion].Jesus stood up on the Last Great Day and said, "'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this [Jesus] said about the Spirit, [which] those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit [pneuma] had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39).
Life received via receipt of a second breath of life, the breath of God, is represented by living waters, as opposed to the waters of the Flood when the world was baptized into death. The world will be baptized in spirit (i.e., the breath of God) when the holy spirit is poured out on all flesh. Then, as fish live in water, the representation of death (suffocation by drowning), human beings will live in "life," or the atmosphere of life. People will be spiritually as fish are physically, an analogy consistently held throughout Scripture. So when water represents the spirit of God, fish represent people, an awareness that the early Church displayed graphically.
The living waters that represent the breath of God are seen in what Moses did at Marah:
Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log [tree], and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. / There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, saying, "If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer." (Ex 15:22-26)
If water represents the breath--or "spirit" (from the Latin spritus, the direct translation of the Greek pneuma)--specifically the breath of life, bitter or undrinkable water would be representative of physical breath that does not give the person eternal or everlasting life … death was the principle "plague" or affliction that concerned ancient Egypt. The nation was consumed in its attempt to escape the permanency of "death." So to be "healed" from the primary disease the Lord put on the Egyptians required that the tree or stake [the cross] be thrown into bitter waters; i.e., required that the breath of God be given to Israel.
The covenant that would have given Israel life, with the water made sweet representing eternal life, holds that if Israel diligently listens to the Lord's voice, does what is right in His eyes, and listens to His commandments and keeps His statutes, the Lord will put none of the diseases of the Egyptians on Israel, for the Lord is Israel's healer (Ex 15:26) … plagues were also a disease of the Egyptians, and plagues would not come on Israel if the nation kept this covenant, typified by arriving at the oasis of Elim.
The Lord, who was Israel's healer, would not heal the nation when the nation did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord: in the physical realm, healing ailments comes by doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord, but the promise to put none of Egypt's diseases on Israel was not a promise that Israel would not physically die. However, when this covenant is moved up a level to pertain to circumcised-of-heart Israel after the Second Passover, the covenant includes the promise that Israel will not die, again the ultimate disease of the Egyptians and one that Egyptians sought to circumvent by embalming people of importance. And yes, even before the Second Passover, circumcised-of-heart Israelites have the promise that they will not die spiritually, but following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, every Israelite will be filled with and empowered by the breath of God so that sin and death no longer reside in the flesh of the disciple, who remains mortal but not subject to death from inner causes.
The event that sets up Jesus feeding the five thousand when the Passover was at hand was Jesus healing the man who had been an invalid for 38 years on the Sabbath (John 5:9). Likewise, it was the covenant the Lord made with Israel after healing the water of Marah that set up the people's grumbling when the people came into the wilderness of Sin:
They [Israel] set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Because of the people's grumbling on the 15th day of the second month, manna was given … the scenario is spartanly described and is a little difficult to reconstruct, but apparently the people of Israel set out from Elim and came to the wilderness of Sin where they stopped to camp for the night on the 15th of the second month. Backing up a little, at Elim were twelve springs of water, a number that suggests the twelve tribes, and seventy palm trees, a number having theological significance as in there being seventy Sabbaths in a year [52 weekly Sabbaths, 7 annual Sabbaths, plus 11 additional new moons].
As Israel had to cross over the oasis of Elim to get from Marah [bitterness] to the wilderness of Sin where manna would be given, the people of Israel--the crowds who followed Jesus--had to cross the Sea of Galilee to get from the Pool of Siloam [which would have been bitter to the invalid who had no one to put him in the water] to the mountain where Jesus would feed them.
What happens in this physical realm occurs as activity painted onto a canvas of death, with this activity reflecting what happens in the heavenly realm; therefore, the vertically standing palms of a desert oasis forms the mirror image of the flat surface of a sea teeming with fish, with "fish" being a higher order of life than trees in a manner analogous to the true Bread from heaven being of a higher order than manna. What can be seen [i.e., what is "real" by worldly standards] as in visible palms reveal what cannot be seen as in fish in a sea; or in the case to which the physical points, the outwardly circumcised nation of Israel forms the mirror image of the inwardly circumcised (of heart) nation of Israel as the fleshly body of a person forms the visible image of the inner self or nature of the person, with this inner self being crucified with Christ and resurrected as a new "man" or new self that is a son of God.
Within the Sabbatarian churches of God, spiritual birth was not understood until after the visions of Daniel were unsealed in 2002.
When grilled by Jewish leaders for healing the invalid of 38 years, Jesus said, "'For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will'" (John 5:21). Healing is a visible aspect of raising the dead. And as the Father raises the invisible inner self or "man" to life by giving to the person being raised from the dead His breath [pneuma theou] as a second breath of life, the Son will or won't give life to the mortal fleshly body of those whom the Father has already raised from the dead when judgments are revealed at His coming. Thus, both the Father and the Son must give life to a disciple before this human son of God can bodily enter into heaven. The concept of a bodily rapture before the Second Advent is a faith-destroying heresy, for there will be no rapture when the Second Passover occurs.
A person is born of God or born of spirit or born again or born from above or born anew--all expressions indicating that the Father has raised the person from the dead--when the person invisibly receives a second breath of life, the holy spirit [pneuma hagion], after the model of this divine breath of the Father visibly descending upon Jesus as a dove (Matt 3:16). Hence, Jesus healing too many to be recorded in the gospels forms the visible shadow and copy of Jesus invisibly healing those who are of faith through being their Savior. When this awareness is coupled to manna as physical bread from heaven forming the shadow and copy of Jesus being the true Bread from heaven, the fish and the loaves typify the feeding of Israel from "healed" waters.
Therefore, to drink of "living waters" is to receive the holy spirit, which requires that the person receives the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma christou] as the "vessel" able to contain the breath of the Father. Without this indwelling of Christ that is annually renewed by drinking from the Cup, the son of God is not healed from the disease of death caused by indwelling sin.
The sum of the matter is that physically circumcised Israelites eat the roasted body of a dead paschal lamb, with the blood of this lamb smeared on the entryways to the Israelites' houses, but circumcised-of-heart Israelites eat unleavened bread as the representation of the body/Body of Christ, the living paschal Lamb of God, and drink from the Cup to renew the covenant by which Israel is "healed" from the ravishes of death. Both physically and spiritually circumcised Israel will eat the paschal sacraments on the First Unleavened, the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month, with the following night to be celebrated as a night to be much observed commemorating Israel's exodus from Egypt. And all sons of God are to appear before the Lord at their appointed times, with the spring Sabbath one of the three seasons when sons are to appear.
The person who takes the sacraments of bread and wine on any night but the First Unleavened does not eat of the living Body of Christ, but "eats" of his or her own body, meaning simply that the person has no covering for his or her sins but the person's own obedience.
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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."