Sabbath, December 5, 2015
An Open Letter
Rather than continuing where the first installment ended, I believe returning to the beginning and starting over will better address the high Sabbaths and their meaning to Philadelphia … the traditions of men as practiced within and without greater Christendom are to be avoided, with the traditions of men having at their core the worship of the creation rather than the worship of the Creator (Rom 1:25); having at their core what is physical rather than what is spiritual. And it is by this criteria that all traditions have to be examined.
For example, the hybridization of the typical Christian Nativity Scene, with the manger and shepherds borrowed from Luke’s Gospel and with the wise men [Magi] borrowed from Matthew’s Gospel and with the time-setting borrowed from Roman Saturnalia festivals produces a “tradition” that has no basis in Scripture; a tradition that places emphasis on human birth rather than spiritual birth; that places emphasis on the God of Abraham becoming a man, not upon a man becoming a spiritual son of God, the First of the firstborns sons of God.
Unlike observance of the weekly Sabbath or of annual High Sabbaths and their associated festivals, the primary traditions of greater Christendom—Christmas and Easter—are traditions of men, and as such are not observed by Philadelphia. And how can it be declaratively stated that Christmas and Easter are traditions of men: what is the focus of each? The birth of a physical baby, and the resurrection of a dead physical body … there is, in Scripture, no command-to, no given tradition of celebrating the birth of the Messiah, or of the righteous one, or of the second Elijah. There are, however, commands and traditions for observing the Passover, Unleavened Bread, the Wave Sheaf Offering, Feast of Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, the great Last Day, all of which form shadows of Christ Jesus, beginning with Christ Jesus being the Passover Lamb of God, a Lamb appropriate to the size of the house of God.
Again, the traditions of men focus on what is physical with the comparison between Easter [Resurrection Sunday] and the Wave Sheaf Offering illustrating the difference between physical and spiritual …
The Apostle Peter, by the hand of Silvanus, wrote,
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which He went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Peter 3:18–20)
If Christ was alive in the spirit during the three days and three nights His physical body was dead, then the resurrection of His body is of much less importance than His acceptance by God as the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering; the reality of the first ripe handful of barley, with divine acceptance of this “offering” preceding the harvest of firstfruits [the early barley harvest]. For Christ’s inner self was resurrected from death when the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] descended upon Him in the bodily form of a dove and entered into [eis] Him (Mark 1:10). From that moment forward, the man Jesus was twice-born, His inner self resurrected from death—and it was this inner man, a spiritually living man, that preached to imprisoned spirits while He awaited receipt of a glorified body and the return of the glory He had before the world existed (John 17:5).
Paul reminded the holy ones at Corinth that physical bodies cannot inherit immortality: “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor 15:50). The inner self is “dead” until the Father resurrects it from death (John 5:21). The Father then gave back to Christ the glory He had before the world existed, but sons of God that begin as human persons have no previous glory in the heavenly realm; so they await when the Son gives to them glorious outer selves able to see Him as He is.
Easter—Resurrection Sunday—neglects the most significant happening of that fourth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the year 31 CE, and this was Jesus’ acceptance by God the Father followed by Him coming among His disciples and “breathing” on the Ten, thereby directly transferring to them the Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion] and the authority to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sin (John 20:22–23). … By the glorified Jesus breathing on the Ten, they become like He was [that is, twice-born] during His earthly ministry, only as the Apostle Paul discovers they are not filled with spirit and thereby liberated from indwelling sin and death.
God began the harvest of firstfruits with the resurrection and acceptance of Christ Jesus, the First of the firstfruits [again analogous to that first handful of ripe barley that needed no additional refining to be accepted by the Lord], with Jesus continuing this harvest of firstfruits by giving indwelling eternal life to His first disciples that will receive glorified bodies at the Second Advent, thereby imparting significance to the three days and three nights His body was in the grave while He was spiritually alive, preaching to imprisoned spirits.
But before considering these three days and three nights, a word needs said about the difference between the Wave Sheaf Offering and the Feast of Weeks, when Moses commanded Israel,
You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the LORD. (Lev 23:15–17)
Christ Jesus as the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering was without sin and needed no “refining”: He was accepted by God as He was (figuratively, as He grew). He needed no refining, what beating grain into flour represents. But His Father wasn’t the first Adam but was the Beloved, the One that served as the Helpmate for the Father; the One that was God [Theos] and was the Logos [’o Logos] of the God [ton Theon] (from John 1:1), the deity that Israel never knew, that the world never knew (John 17:3, 25–26). However, the father of His disciples was the first Adam, the man who brought sin into the world (Rom 5:14) and who caused all of humanity to be born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3). Therefore, disciples of Christ Jesus “need” refining before they are accepted by the Father. They need to be figuratively beaten into fine flour and then baked with yeast as leavened bread, the leavening representing sin that is killed in the baking process … acceptance of Christ Jesus by the Father on the day after the Sabbath beginning the earthly harvest of divine firstfruits that continues for seven counted weeks, when again on the day after the Sabbath, processed disciples are accepted as two loaves of leavened bread, baked when passing through the fire separating the dimensions.
Human persons, consigned to disobedience (again, Rom 11:32) and humanly born as sons of disobedience (again, Eph 2:2–3), are spiritually imprisoned by Sin and Death. Therefore, the inner selves of human sons of disobedience are imprisoned “spirits,” imprisoned by Death; by a state of lifelessness that Peter takes back to the days of Noah. And these inner selves are analogous to the imprisoned angelic spirits to whom the spirit of Christ preached for three days and three nights; for these angelic spirits are under death sentences by being confined inside the Abyss, in which is the creation. … From when Adam eat forbidden fruit and was driven from the Garden before he or Eve ate from the Tree of Life, the inner selves of all human persons were under death sentences, what Paul declares when he says, Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Rom 5:14), but the outer selves lived long physical lives as humanity served as the shadow and copy of unbelieving angels, cast into the Abyss, imprisoned in the Abyss, yet still alive in the Abyss. However, since the days of Noah, humanity has only lived long enough to ensure survival of the species; has only lived long enough to bring forth believing human sons of God. So in type, the greatly shortened life spans of humanity since the Flood remind imprisoned angels that they are to be dead spirits.
When using once-born physical persons to represent as shadows twice-born human persons or to represent angelic sons of God, “life” cannot be taken from the once-born person but must be modified or altered so that the modified status functions as the shadow of the heavenly; hence, enslavement of once-born Israel serves as the representation of a second Israel not yet receiving a second breath of life, whereas the shortened life span of humanity since the days of Noah serves as the representation of unbelieving angelic sons of God perishing in the Abyss, with the man Noah and the seven persons with him in the Ark serving as a type of Christ Jesus and the angels to the seven churches. The seven pairs of clean animals represent the seven named churches, and the single pair of unclean animals represent a single unit from other denominations crossing from one world into the following world. But in the analogy, the animals that boarded the Ark will also serve as shadows of repentant angels that were deceived by the Adversary and in being judged by glorified saints, were found to have produced the spiritually undefined fruit of repentance (“fruit” that is known when seen).
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, leavening [yeast] represents sin—to keep the First Unleavened (from Matt 26:17 in Greek) followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to live without sin. To keep the Feast spiritually is for the inner self to live without sin while the outer self abstains from eating leavened baked goods, from breads to cakes to buns. Thus, for the physical body of Jesus to be dead in the grave for the first three day of Unleavened Bread would have had His disciples live without sin and without being born of spirit for these three days (actually three and a half days), the status of greater Christendom during the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation.
At the end of the Affliction is what John the Revelator calls the [this definite article being implied, but not present for theological reasons] Kingdom, the doubled day 1260 when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man … the fourth day of Unleavened Bread in the year 31 CE forms a representation of the Kingdom, the doubled day 1260, when dominion is taken from the Adversary (the dark portion of this 18th day of the first month, Aviv) and given to the Son of Man (the light portion of this same day), with rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar [not then in existence] being off a month in 31 CE (the 15th day of Aviv in 31 CE is identified on Judaism’s calendar as the 15th day of Iyyar).
In the Genesis “P” creation account, the greater light that rules the day and the lesser light that rules the darkness are created on the fourth day, with the resurrection of Christ Jesus on the fourth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread both being and beginning creation of the greater light that rules heaven and the lessor light that rules the darkness, with Matthew’s Jesus telling His disciples,
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven [the heavens], but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:17–19 emphasis added)
The greater light that rules the day (from Gen 1:16) are those persons who will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens [plural] … the Genesis “P” creation account covers the scope of human history, with the light of Day One (cf. Gen 1:3; 2 Cor 4:6) being Christ Jesus in His creation; the dark portion of Day One was the history of the creation up to when Jesus as the unique Son of the Beloved entered His creation.
And the three days and three nights the earthly body of Jesus was in the grave in type serve as the first three days of the Genesis “P” creation account; for the wound in the crucified Jesus’ side from which water and blood poured (John 19:34) represents both the wound in the first Adam’s side from where a rib was taken for the creation of Eve, but also the rent in the fabric of heaven that can still be seen in an x-ray photograph of the cosmos; the rent through which poured the elemental energy fueling the Big Bang, the elemental energy forming the four known forces that became locked into particle matter and eventually into hydrogen atoms.
For a decade I have argued that Jesus in his person at Calvary represented heaven itself, with the death of the body of Jesus disclosing the need for the recreation of heaven; for the rebellion of that anointed guardian cherub apparently did more damage to heaven than Christians have been able to imagine. But in damaging heaven, the Adversary’s rebellion brought about the possibility of human sons of God replacing virtually man for man unbelieving angelic sons of God, with human persons given first the opportunity to not believe God and to choose disobedience over obedience before those persons who choose to rebel against rebellion and believe God are offered salvation and admitted as figurative structural stones into the recreated heaven.
The visible form of a human person is not significantly different from the form of the great apes, but the quality of the inner self even before being brought to life is significantly different; for what great ape knows to solve quadratic equations? So the concept of “life” inside life is at the core of a supra-dimensional heavenly realm that supports on its outside many additional forms of life as the human body is a host for a multitude of microscopic life forms.
In all things spiritual, the visible physical things of this world reveal the invisible things of God (Rom 1:20), with heaven itself not being excepted.
The return to Jesus the glory He had before the creation signifies returning to Him dominion over the single kingdom of this world, a one time occurrence that hasn’t yet happened in this world but has happened from the perspective of timeless heaven. So the Wave Sheaf Offering pertains specifically to the beginning of the early barley harvest of ancient Judean hillsides, but pertains spiritually of the beginning of the course of Christendom, which stretches from the giving of the spirit to the reality of the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost], the resurrection of firstfruits at the Second Advent …
The counting of the seven weeks from the Wave Sheaf Offering to the Feast of Weeks fifty days later represents the entirety of the Christian era from the giving of the spirit to the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel then through the seven endtime years of tribulation. In the physical, seven weeks are actually counted, the weeks of the early barley harvest, with this “tradition” of counting weeks marking time inside the spiritual application of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy, a subject for another time.
On the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost, the two waved loaves baked from barley flour beaten fine and with leavening represent in type the resurrection and acceptance of the two witnesses as well as the resurrection of the Elect and of greater Christendom, but also the resurrection of the two nations of Israel, physically circumcised and spiritually circumcised … the acceptance of the two witnesses in heaven both concludes the harvest of firstfruits as well as serves as the Wave Sheaf Offering for the general harvest of humanity in the great While Throne Judgment.
The Wave Sheaf Offering, waved before God on the morrow after the Sabbath, has as its reality the resurrection of Christ Jesus from death as well as Christ Jesus receiving dominion over the single kingdom of this world. So the tradition given by the Lord to Moses of Israel waving the first sheaf of ripe barley on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath that falls within the Feast of Unleavened Bread serves reasonably well to symbolize Christ Jesus’ acceptance as the First of the harvest of firstfruits, but doesn’t adequately represent the glorified Christ receiving dominion over the single kingdom of this world. As such, the waving of a handful of barley as a tradition doesn’t well serve a spiritual nation of Israel. A prayer and a commemorating service better suits the nation of Israel that is circumcised of heart.
The need exists to emphasize again the point that the Pharisees’ tradition of holding the Wave Sheaf Offering on a fixed calendar day, the 16th day of the first month, comes from their ancestral reading of Joshua, not from Moses, and their tradition created a controversy with the Sadducees, who kept the Wave Sheaf Offering on a fixed weekly day, the first day of the week, making the reference to “the Sabbath” the weekly Sabbath, not the first High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. And when Christ is the substance of the shadow, His resurrection on the day after the Sabbath within a narrow possibility of years will have His resurrection on April 29 (Julian), 31 CE, being the first day of the week, with the first day of Aviv being April 12 (Julian), a Thursday.
Jesus changed the “tradition” associated with the Passover [seen in Scripture as the First Unleavened] from that of sacrificing a bleating lamb at dusk on the 14th day of the first month, this lamb then roasted whole [undressed] with fire, the men of Israel having their loins girded, sandals on their feet, staffs in their hands even though Israel was not to leave their houses until dawn (Ex 12:1–24) to taking the sacraments of eating broken bread and drinking from the cup after dark on the 14th day of the first month, with the blessed unleavened bread representing the body of Christ Jesus and drinking from the blessed cup representing the blood of Christ Jesus poured out for many for the forgiveness of sin.
But Jesus didn’t change the tradition that Moses gave for the Wave Sheaf Offering. He couldn’t. He was in the grave until He was resurrected and accepted by the Father.
Rather, after leaving one changed tradition with His first disciples, He left them with the authority to change traditions, this authority being great enough to forgive transgressions of the Law (John 20:23; Matt 18:18) …
When Jesus changed the tradition for observing the Passover, He didn’t change the day on when the Passover was to be observed, but stuck with the day and date Moses received from the Lord. And Jesus’ example needs to be employed across the board when it comes to modifying traditions to better reflect spiritual understanding of the High Sabbaths and their associated festivals. More bluntly put, bread and wine taken as sacraments on any day but the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month do NOT represent the body and blood of Christ Jesus, the Passover Lamb of God, but represent Cain’s offering. Thus, the Quartodecimen Controversy was wrongly settled.
All Christian sects or denominations that formally take the Passover sacraments daily, weekly, or quarterly commit blasphemy against Christ Jesus, as do sects that take the Passover sacraments annually on any day but the Passover; i.e., on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month, this first month beginning with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox wherever the person dwells. As such, the Passover is not a fixed calendar date on the Gregorian calendar or on any other solar calendar. It is not a date based on the new moon crescent seen from earthly Jerusalem. It is a date requiring personal calculation wherever the person lives: for salvation is personal, not of the group. So as the Jesus Movement went worldwide, the Passover became spiritually “personal,” the personalness of the day reminding every disciple that the inner son of God is a unique creation of the Father.
The Passover only has importance where the disciple resides.
Cain’s offering can be made anywhere at any time, but righteous Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb can only be spiritually made from bread and wine [the fruit of the earth] on the Passover. And as the Lord told Cain that he would be accepted if he did well [was without sin, having overcome the sin that lurked at his door] (Gen 4:7), greater Christendom will be accepted by the Lord if this great nation lives without sin in the Affliction that follows the Second Passover.
But as Cain killed Abel in the physical, spiritual Cain will kill righteous Abel in the Affliction, with spiritual Cain’s first murder being that of the righteous inner self of the person that was liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover … the liberated Christian (righteous through having been filled with the spirit of God) comprises spiritual Abel. And the murder of this “Abel” occurs when the Christian, out of unbelief, transgresses the Law: this murder will be nothing more than the person taking sin via unbelief back inside him or herself after being filled with spirit, thereby committing blasphemy against the spirit, with this blasphemy being unforgivable. The Christian, filled with spirit, marks him or herself for death in the lake of fire through transgressing the Law, with the most common transgression being refusal to keep the Sabbaths of God.
In the Wave Sheaf Offering as in Passover itself, a change of tradition has to occur when moving from physical to spiritual. The man Jesus was sacrificed at Calvary, dying at the hour when Pharisees sacrificed Passover lambs. The glorified Christ ascended to the Father and was accepted at about the hour when Sadducees waved the first handful of ripe barley as the Wave Sheaf Offering. Therefore, the substance of both the Passover and the Wave Sheaf Offering is Christ Jesus, with His disciples taking the sacraments of blessed bread and wine on the night when He ate the Passover with His disciples; on the night when Moses commanded Israel to keep the Passover. So the Passover tradition has changed to better reflect the symbolism of the substance, but there is not yet widespread agreement on a new tradition for the Wave Sheaf Offering for greater Christendom doesn’t recognize any tradition that the Elect binds. Rather, every Christian does what is right in his or her own eyes as Israel did in the days of the Judges (17:6; 21:25).
In Philadelphia, the Wave Sheaf Offering—not a solemn assembly as Passover is not a solemn assembly—is commemorated by a short service on the morning after the weekly Sabbath that falls within the Feast of Unleavened Bread: the service is to thank Christ Jesus for all He does for His disciples, in particular for the giving of His spirit that imparts to His disciples indwelling heavenly life. Thus, John chapter 17 should be read aloud during the service; for with the giving of the spirit disciples become one with Christ Jesus.
The Christian who celebrates Easter inevitably believes that the Holy Spirit was given to the first disciples on the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost], a High Sabbath that, again, denotes the end of the harvest of firstfruits; denotes the completion of the early barley harvest that began with the Wave Sheaf Offering. Thus, the Christian who observes Easter—by his or her tradition and the person’s traditional observance of Pentecost—shows to God and angels which texts the Christian believes and which texts the Christian willfully chooses to ignore. And by elevating Luke’s Gospel and a historical Greek novel, the Christian prevents him or herself from being twice-born prior to Christ’s return, the Second Advent. The Christian guarantees that he or she will be like Jesus’ dead body throughout the second and third days of the “P” creation account.
Although no person can come to Christ Jesus unless drawn by the Father (John 6:44), many will want to come to Christ … Luke’s Gospel serves the Father’s purpose of keeping dead the spiritual Body of Christ while simultaneously facilitating creation of a spiritually dead body of Christ in which a living inner self—the Elect—exists; thereby creating a historically accurate shadow of the earthly body of Christ that had a living inner self once the spirit of God entered into the man Jesus, but continued to have a spiritually dead outer self all the way to Calvary, and then for three days beyond Calvary.
Again, the three days and three nights Jesus was dead in the heart of the earth has significance that hasn’t been well explained, this significance corresponding to the first three days of “P” creation account (Gen 1:1–2:3).
Belief that the spirit was given on Pentecost excludes the Christian, any Christian from being included in the Elect. Likewise, belief that the person is not born of spirit excludes the Christian from inclusion in the Elect … the person truly born of spirit cannot long deny being twice-born; for as physical maturation comes upon the person (even pre-puberty female gymnasts) somewhat involuntarily, spiritual maturation also comes upon the living inner self but not in a time-linked manner. This spiritual maturation causes spiritual growth, with the disciple eventually coming to realize that the person has the mind of Christ.
Therefore, Luke’s Gospel and the Second Sophist novel that is the Book of Acts perform important roles within greater Christendom, the unified roles of keeping the Body of Christ spiritually dead until the Second Advent. Hence, the Christian who makes a practice of using Luke’s Gospel or the Book of Acts to support the Christian’s reasoning either is newly born of spirit, or not yet born of spirit … since having been called to reread prophecy in January 2002, I have used Luke and Acts to support arguments. I did so for several years (at least through 2005): I did so until I realized that the author of Acts didn’t know the difference between the Father and His Beloved; that this author attributes the Creation of all things physical to the Father, not to the Beloved. And doing so is a serious mistake that ought never to happen—and does not happen in arguments made by those persons having a more mature mind of Christ; for to have the Father being the Creator of all things physical is a denial of Christ Jesus, and no Christian really wants to go down that road.
"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."