The Philadelphia Church

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:19)"

The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is “seeing with spiritual eyes.”

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of April 4, 2015

The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.



If a man lies with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Lev 20:11)


It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Cor 5:1–5)



It was, it is easy to read Moses while keeping Moses’ veil in place so that Israel would not be frightened by the glory of God. It is easy to remain physically minded; to keep the mind focused on the flesh. Truly, it is easy to keep the Commandments physically … Moses said that the Moab Covenant with its second giving of the Commandments was not difficult to keep:

For this commandment that I command you today [on the plains of Moab, the covenant made in addition to the covenant made at Mount Horeb] is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deut 30:11–14)

It is easy to condemn sinners, idolaters, even adulterers. It is easy to speak of stoning them—it is far more difficult to cast the first stone. It is, however, even more difficult to shun the person who is family; who had been a brother in Christ, a friend, someone with whom you shared meals and fellowship. It is not easy to deliver a person to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. For where is there love, as we understand love, in turning our backs on a person, on a child or on a parent or even on a spouse? How hard was it for Tevye the Dairyman to disinherit daughters intent upon marrying for love (from Fiddler on the Roof)? Yet is it not sin, according to Moses, for an Israelite to marry a person of the nations? What did the reforms of Nehemiah include?

In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people. And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin. Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?" And one of the sons of Jehoiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. Therefore I chased him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have desecrated the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. (Neh 13:23–29)

The Apostle Paul uses this principle when he writes,

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. (1 Cor 7:12–15 emphasis added)

If two unbelievers marry their marriage is not bound before God; for as unbelievers both spouses are sons of disobedience, consigned to disobedience, mentally bound in this world to being servants of the Adversary. However, if God foreknows and predestines one but not the other of the spouses, when Christ Jesus calls, justifies, and glorifies (the inner self) of the predestined spouse, an unintended mixed marriage between spiritual Israelite and a spiritual Gentile emerges. Neither person has committed intentional sin. Hence, if the spouse who hasn’t been predestined wishes to remain in the marriage, now living in the household with a spiritual Judean, the marriage [according to Paul] becomes bound by God. But if the non-predestined spouse wishes to leave the marriage—when initially married, neither spouse walked in this world as a spiritual Judean—the marriage is dissolved as a mixed marriage between and believer and non-believer; a marriage that should not have occurred. The application of <porneia> pertains to the marriage (see Matt 19:9 — in English translations, porneia is improperly rendered “sexual immorality” when it would have been better rendered as “a marriage that should never have occurred” as a brother marrying his sister or as an Israelite marrying a Gentile).

Shunning shouldn’t be easy, but should be difficult. For in shunning, the Believer judges the person to be shunned and condemns this person to spiritual/eternal death, with disciples receiving this authority when the glorified Jesus breathed on ten of His first disciples:

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." (John 20:19–23 emphasis added)

The Elect are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified as fruit born out of season; as firstfruits born and ripened in darkness; as the olives pressed for oil and as the grapes crushed for wine that Sin, the third horseman, cannot harm following the Second Passover liberation of Israel. As such, the Elect never come under judgment: “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life’” (John 5:24). The Elect “believe” because they as the foreknown and predestined, have been drawn from this world by the God the Father and delivered to Christ Jesus (John 6:44); the Elect have been brought for a price and transformed from sons of disobedience to slaves of obedience which leads to righteousness (Rom 6:16). They are not free to deliberately transgress the Law. They cannot make a practice of sinning because they are sons of God, born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] in their spirit of man [pneuma tou ’anthropou] that causes them to know the things of man (1 Cor 2:11). And with the indwelling spirit of Christ in which the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] dwells, the Elect have within them the mind of Christ (v. 16).

With the mind of Christ in the Elect, the Elect will judge themselves … if the Elect rightly judge themselves, condemning sin but extending mercy to themselves where mercy is warranted, then the Elect are qualified to judge the Church and by extension, to judge angels. If the Elect rightly judge themselves, it becomes easy to see why the Elect can pass from death to life without coming under judgment—they don’t escape judgment, but they, having the mind of Christ, become their own judges. And no dishonest judge will enter the Kingdom of the Heavens.

Thus, perceiving the logic for physical stoning under the physical application of the Law morphing into spiritual shunning under the spiritual application of the Law comes from the maturing mind of Christ in the Elect growing to where matters can be rightly judged, with transgressions of the Law being understood—with the Law accusing the transgressor and with repentant sinners extending mercy to the guilty … if a person cannot forgive him or herself, the person doesn’t have the love for the person’s self that God has for the person. This person isn’t yet ready to judge others, or even judge simple matters such as boundary disputes.

Again, every person numbered among the Elect began life as a son of disobedience, and would continue to be a son of disobedience if God the Father hadn’t drawn the person from the world; therefore, in the person’s own self, the person knows the strength and power of the Adversary to make a person do what the person ought not do. If now, the person numbered among the Elect can project his or her own before-being-born-of spirit mindset onto the sinner, the person can comprehend the amount of mercy the sinner needs to receive when the sinner repents … how much mercy did the person numbered among the Elect receive when Christ Jesus called the person? Should not the now glorified slave of obedience extend at least an equal amount to sinners, not condoning the sin, not compromising the Law, but understanding the insidious matter of the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion against God—understanding the power of the Adversary who deceives the whole world (Rev 12:9).

Of the Elect, who could live without mercy having been extended to the person through the indwelling of Christ Jesus?



The Moab Covenant—the covenant made with the children of Israel, those then present and those not then present (Deut 29:14–15)—forms the earthly inscription of the New Covenant, the Second Passover Covenant … the Apostle Paul called this Moab Covenant “the righteousness based on faith” (Rom 10:6), thereby recognizing the heavenly or eternal nature of the Moab Covenant that, again, includes a second giving of the Ten Commandments. However, the reason for keeping the Commandments changes from a physical reason [e.g., the Sabbath Commandment being a memorial to the Creation (Ex 20:11)] to a spiritual reason foreshadowed by a physical copy of the spiritual.

The preceding needs clarified, with an example serving as the clarifier. Compare:

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to [YHWH] your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days [YHWH] made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore [YHWH] blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex 20:8–11 emphasis added)


Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as [YHWH] your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to [YHWH] your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and [YHWH] your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore [YHWH] your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. (Deut 5:12–15 emphasis added)

The Passover liberation of Israel in the days of Moses foreshadows the still-future Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, with the physical liberation of the physically circumcised nation of Israel from physical slavery to a physical king in a physical land, Egypt, foreshadowing the liberation of circumcised-of-heart Israel from spiritual bondage to indwelling sin and death in a spiritual landscape, the mental landscape of living creatures. The Passover in the days of Moses and Aaron foreshadows by a time, times, and half a time the Second Passover liberation of Israel in the days of the two witnesses, with (in this example) “time” representing a millennium. Hence, the Moab Covenant of forty years after the Passover liberation of physical Israel foreshadows the Second Passover Covenant, the new covenant that will have the Torah written on hearts (Jer 31:33) and transgressions of the Law remembered no more (v. 34). But, again, the Second Passover liberation of Israel has not yet occurred: the Moab Covenant has not yet been implemented: it was never implemented by ancient Israel, for neither the House of Judah nor the House of Israel, when captives in a far land, returned to the Lord with their whole heart and mind. And it wasn’t because of the House of Judah’s belief, the men of Judah’s faith that Cyrus, king of Persia, sent a remnant of Judah back to Jerusalem to build for him—not for themselves—a house for the God of heaven that dwelt in Jerusalem.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of [YHWH] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, [YHWH] stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:

"Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:1–4 emphasis added)

The Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus, and this stirring up of the spirit of Cyrus was so that the words of Jeremiah would be fulfilled.

It cannot be declared too strongly, the reason why a remnant of the House of Judah and of the men of Jerusalem—a remnant of all that remained of Israel in the Promised Land—returned from the Deportation was to rebuild the earthly temple at Jerusalem had been razed by the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, a type and shadow of the spiritual king of Babylon (see Isa 14:4), the Adversary. The reason was not because of Israel or Judah having returned to the Lord with heart and mind. The reason was so that Jeremiah’s prophecy would be fulfilled.

No Israelite returned to Jerusalem under an implementation of the Moab Covenant; no Israelite returned as a free person. All returned as serfs of King Cyrus. And the Moab Covenant remained a future event; for under the Moab Covenant, the children of Israel temporarily received freewill, the ability to choose life or death (Deut 30:15–20). Hence, under the Moab Covenant, Israel was a free people.

A son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), consigned to disobedience so that God can have mercy on all (Rom 11:32), does not have freewill, but is the slave [serf] of the Adversary. Regardless of what the person believes about him or herself, in this present era unless God the Father foreknows and predestines the person to be glorified by drawing the person from this world and delivering the person to Christ Jesus (John 6:44, 65) for Jesus to call, justify, and glorify through the indwelling of His spirit [pneuma Christou], His breath, in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou], the person remains a son of disobedience and not free to escape from the Adversary. Oh, the person can profess great piety; can make a show of worshiping God; can keep the Sabbath and the remainder of the Commandments; can even have outwardly manifested love for neighbor and brother; but the person will remain a slave of the Adversary—the person will not have the mind of Christ and will not be able to understand spiritual matters, spiritual concepts, or prophecies pertaining to spiritual Israel. In short, a veil will remain over the face of Moses so that the person reading Moses cannot see the glory of the Lord.


In a seven day week, the physical takes precedence for six days, but the seventh day represents the Lord; represents entering God’s rest. Hence, physical bread from heaven was given for the six days that are not Sabbath, but Christ Jesus is the bread of the seventh day, the bread given by God the Father that is to be eaten in God’s rest … the Sabbath was made evident to the nation of Israel before the Law was spoken by the Lord from atop Mount Sinai; for the Sabbath pertains to Christ Jesus, the spiritual Rock from which all of Israel in the wilderness drank (1 Cor 10:4), the true bread from heaven, the “bread” foreshadowed by the giving of manna on the first six days of every seven day long week.

Again, manna is physical. The first six days of every week are for doing those things that pertain to the physical maintenance of the physical body, but the seventh day is the Sabbath, which represents entering into God’s rest. The body and blood of Christ Jesus constitute heavenly “bread.”


Then [YHWH] said to Moses, "Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily."

So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, "At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because He has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?" And Moses said, "When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord." Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, 'Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your grumbling.'"

And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of [YHWH] appeared in the cloud. (Ex 16:4–10 emphasis and double emphasis added)

The glory of the Lord that Moses prophesied that Israel would see in the morning isn’t and cannot be the glory of the Lord that appeared in the cloud before sunset on the 15th day of the second month, the day that would become the second Passover … there is sufficient ambiguity in the text that it is not possible to say definitively that Israel grumbled against the Lord on the 15th day of the second month and on this 15th day the Lord said to Moses that He was about to rain bread from heaven, or if Israel grumbled against the Lord on the 15th day and in camp that night, then the 16th day, the Lord spoke to Moses or while still camped in the morning of the 16th day, the Lord spoke to Moses. If the latter scenario were true, then the quail would come the evening/night of the 17th day of the second month, and manna as the glory of the Lord would be given to be gathered on the light portion of the 17th day.

If the former scenario—the Lord speaking to Moses during the day portion of the 15th day of the second month—were true, then manna would be gathered on the light portion of the 16th day, with the 16th day now being the first day of the seven day week …

As slaves in Egypt, Israel had not been free to keep the Sabbath—and without keeping the Sabbath, there is really no seven day weekly time-cycle. When mundane work is performed every day, each day is like every other day. A person can identify seven days as a week, but unless the seventh day differs from the preceding six days, no weekly cycle occurs. The seven days simply become seven of a 29 or 30 day lunar cycle—and without a ceremony denoting the new moon, the seven days become just seven of 365 days of an annual solar cycle. Therefore, with the giving of manna in the wilderness of Sin, the Lord created for Israel the seven day weekly cycle that reflects the seven “days” of the spiritual creation of sons of God.

The weekly cycle was created through the withholding of manna on the seventh day, thereby “marking” the seventh day as different from the other six days of the week; for again, manna was only given for six days:

And [YHWH] said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.'" In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: 'Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.'" And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, "Let no one leave any of it over till the morning." But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, "This is what the Lord has commanded: 'Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.'" So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none." On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And [YHWH] said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day." So the people rested on the seventh day. (Ex 16:11–30 emphasis added)

There is a reason for assembling together on the Sabbath; for the Sabbath to be a holy convocation on which no mundane work is done. For if a person were to do mundane work on the seventh day, the seventh day would be, to the person, like the preceding six days. And without a distinction being made between the seventh day and the first day of the week, or between the seventh day and the sixth day, the people would “lose” knowledge of their God and would become Gentiles, peoples of the nations …

The veil that concealed the glory that shone from Moses’ face from the people of Israel concealed the physicality of manna as bread from heaven versus Christ Jesus, the spiritual bread from heaven that is to be received on the seventh day:

Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:32–40)

Assuming that the people of Israel set off from Elim on the morning of the 15th day of the second month (Ex 16:1), grumbling as they went, that Moses heard their grumbling early in the morning and that Moses brought the matter before the Lord early in the day, then Israel would have received manna on the 16th day of the second month, with this 16th day being the first day of a seven day weekly cycle. This would have had the 15th day of the second month being a Sabbath even though the Sabbath had not yet been given; the Law had not yet been given to the people of Israel; the second Passover had not yet been given to Israel. And if Christ Jesus is the spiritual reality of manna—the true bread from heaven—then the people grumbling against the Lord because they were physically hungry were in type rebelling against the Lord and rejecting Christ Jesus as “food” to be eaten on the Sabbath.

For six days, the Lord gave to Israel manna, physical bread from heaven delivered supernaturally. But there was no manna—physical bread—received on the seventh day so the people of Israel had to rely upon the bread gathered on the sixth day to carry them across an absence of bread on the seventh day. Hence, unknowingly to the people of Israel, Christ Jesus represented the true bread from bread that they would have received when they entered the Promised Land, a type of the Sabbath and by extension, a type of Christ Jesus, with manna ceasing when Israel, across the Jordan, kept the Passover in the Promised Land:

And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they [the children of Israel under Joshua/’Iesou] ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. (Josh 5:11–12)

Manna extended from the 16th day of the second month of the first year to the 16th day of the first month of the forty-first year—from second Passover to first Passover forty years later, a symbolic period having as its spiritual reality the journey of a second Israel [the nation to be circumcised of heart] from the Second Passover liberation of Israel [liberation from indwelling sin and death] to the first Passover return of Christ Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords when He will drink anew the fruit of the vine in His Father’s kingdom (Matt 26:19).

For as long as Israel received manna, “Israel” represented a physical people on a physical exodus from the physical land representing Sin, but when manna ceased after the children of Israel crossed the Jordan behind Joshua [Jesus], the children of Israel were set to receive spiritual bread from heaven if they would have chosen life when life and death were set before them and they had the freedom to chosen one or the other

But the children of Israel never gave up worshiping the idols of their fathers, idols they brought from Egypt with them. Therefore, when they crossed the Jordan on the 10th day of the first month (Josh 4:19) as the chosen Passover lamb of God, having the “reproach of Egypt” (Josh 5:9) rolled away through outward circumcision, the children of Israel remained a blemish lamb of the first year. They could not eat or receive spiritual bread from heaven. Hence, the children of Israel lived generation after generation as the spiritually starved shadow of the firstborn son of the Lord (see Ex 4:22 for Israel being the firstborn son).

Read the Maskil of the sons of Korah (Ps 44), and hear the lament of Israel, their remembrance of what the Lord did for their fathers in Egypt and in the wilderness, but what the Lord wasn’t doing, isn’t doing, and hadn’t been doing for them. Hear them command the Lord to, Wake up and save them. Hear them claim righteousness, and realize how truly far from righteousness they really were (read Ezek chap 20).



What was initially given—the Sabbath—concerning the giving of manna (Ex 16:23) became at Sinai first a memorial to the creation of all things physical (Ex 20:11), then on the plains of Moab, became a memorial of liberation (Deut 5:15), this liberation being first from physical slavery in a physical land to a physical king but morphing into liberation from indwelling sin and death following the Second Passover liberation of Israel. But with that initial giving of manna, the Sabbath was made a representation of Christ Jesus, the true bread from heaven and the spiritual Rock that Israel saw as a pillar of fire by night and as a cloud by day. By the absence of manna on the seventh day, Israel and later the children of Israel should have realized what Moses had and what they didn’t have—

But the children of Israel truly lacked perception of even physical things:

But to this day the Lord has not given you [children of Israel] a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. I [Moses] have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. (Deut 29:4–5)

To discern physical things, physical discernment must be given to human persons (beasts do not have physical discernment: cats groom themselves, chickens bathe in dust, but neither have a perception of personal beauty). Likewise, to discern spiritual things, spiritual discernment must be given to human persons—and to comprehend how spiritual discernment can work, we must return to the reason given at Sinai for keeping the Sabbath Commandment:

And [YHWH] said to Moses, "You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, 'Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, [YHWH], sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to [YHWH]. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days [YHWH] made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.'" And He gave to Moses, when He had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. (Ex 31:12–18 Emphasis added)

Moses cast down and broke these two tablets when he came down from Sinai and saw that the people of Israel had broken free and were engaged in an idolatrous orgy. Moses formally ended an everlasting physical covenant.

Since the first Sinai Covenant was ratified by the shedding of blood as an earthly covenant, not as a heavenly covenant—

Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you." And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (Heb 9:18–23 emphasis added)

—the first Sinai Covenant ended with the shedding of blood when the sons of Levi slew son and brother (Ex 32:27–29); for a “covenant” extends from one cutting to the next cutting, from one shedding of blood to the next shedding of blood, with the second shedding of blood being of greater worth in a divine hierarchy than the initial blood shed as the blood of Israel was of greater worth than the blood of oxen (see Ex 24:5).

The spiritual blindness of Israel; the spiritual blindness of greater Christendom cannot be underestimated.

What prevents “Christians” from understanding that when Israel commanded Aaron to make for them a gold calf [calves] to represent the God that brought them out from Egypt, Israel sinned against the Lord and broke the everlasting physical covenant that by its nature couldn’t truly be “everlasting.” Moses formalized the breaking of this covenant by breaking the two stone tablets upon which the finger of the Lord had written the ten living words. And with the sons of Levi slaying son and brother, blood was shed to end this covenant … so, why pretend that this first Sinai Covenant has spiritual significance? What is difficult to understand? The covenant ended forty days after it was initiated.

A second covenant was then made at Sinai, a spiritual covenant ratified by Moses entering into the presence of the Lord, with the evidence of this better sacrifice being the glory that shone from Moses’ face for the remainder of his physical life. This Second Sinai Covenant was made with Moses and with Israel (Ex 34:27); thus, if Israel proved to be unfaithful as this nation proved itself to be, this heavenly covenant remained binding on Moses and on the great nation that the Lord told Moses He would make from him, Moses. It is this great nation that enters into the presence of God through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou], the spirit of Christ entering into the spirit of the person as a man enters/penetrates his wife for the purpose of procreation.

Because the Lord told Moses, “‘Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book … in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them’” (Ex 32:33–34), the Lord executed at Sinai the means of blotting out from His book all who sinned against Him. The Lord promised Moses that He would visit the sins of Israel upon Israel, a promise that the Lord has kept through having visited the sin of the natural descendants of Israel upon generation after generation via the prohibition of kindling a fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3), with the Sabbath representing entering into God’s presence under the Second Sinai Covenant and with fire representing life, the dark fire of cellular oxidation sustaining and representing physical life, and the bright fire of eternal life representing the glory of God (see Ezek 1:26–28).


Today, if you hear His voice,

do not harden your hearts,

as at Meribah,

as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,

when your fathers put Me to the test

and put Me to the proof, though they had seen My work.

For forty years I loathed that generation

and said, "They are a people who go astray in their heart,

and they have not known my ways."

Therefore I swore in my wrath,

"They shall not enter my rest." (Ps 95:7–11)


As it is said, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as He has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works." And again in this passage he said, "They shall not enter my rest." Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again He appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Heb 3:15–4:11)

For the author of Hebrews, entering into the Promised Land represented entering into God’s Rest and equated with entering into Sabbath observance, thereby making Sabbath observance the earthly representation of entering into the presence of God as Moses entered into the presence of the Lord when the Lord passed by Moses, permitting Moses to see the glory of His backside (Ex 33:12–23). Therefore, under the First Sinai Covenant the Sabbath represented the creation of all things physical (Ex 20:11), but under the Second Sinai Covenant—the heavenly covenant ratified by a better sacrifice than the shedding of blood—the Sabbath represents entering into the presence of God, and it is this Second Sinai Covenant that remains binding on Moses and on Israel for this Second Sinai Covenant is an eternal covenant as is the Moab Covenant, ratified by a song (Deut chap 32).

But, consider, where is Christ Jesus today? Did He not ascended to the Father where He now sits at the Father’s right hand? Has He not entered into the presence of God? Does He not represent disciples in the presence of God?

Greater Christendom is spiritually blind and doesn’t understand that the Second Sinai Covenant has authority over every Christian as well as every natural Israelite. And the terms of the Second Sinai Covenant include the following: “‘Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest’” (Ex 34:21) …

Unlike the First Sinai Covenant and unlike the Moab Covenant (both heavenly covenants), no justification for the Sabbath Commandment is given in the Moab Covenant. None need be given; for the Sabbath Commandment’s justification was seen on Moses’ face. Sabbath justification didn’t need to be recorded either on stone tablets or in a book.

This justification is still in place, according to Paul:

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (2 Cor 3:7–16)

The veil that prevents natural Israel from understanding spiritual matters and the ministry of spirit also prevents Christians not born of spirit from understanding Paul or Paul’s writings—and for practical purposes, this includes all of greater Christendom; for in counting the Elect [those Christians truly born of spirit] we find that the Elect are statistically insignificant. So while the Elect keep the Sabbath Command of the Second Sinai Covenant, the majority of greater Christendom does not, thereby making greater Christendom as spiritually blind as natural Israel.

How many Christians can actually read the words of the Moab Covenant, again the covenant made with the children of Israel on the plains of Moab, made in addition to the Second?

“These are the words of the covenant that [YHWH] commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant that he had made with them at Horeb” (Deut 29:1)—

You know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed. And you have seen their detestable things, their idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold, which were among them. Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.” This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the Lord has made it sick—the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and wrath—all the nations will say, “Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?” Then people will say, “It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt, and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not known and whom He had not allotted to them. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, bringing upon it all the curses written in this book, and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and fury and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as they are this day.” The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deu 29:16–29)

 Shall the earth look like Mars because of the stubbornness of Christians? No, it shall not; for the things that have been revealed belong to us, today.


"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."