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 The time of the end.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of June 2, 2007


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

It has been a year since John chapters five through seven were directly addressed, a year that has seen continued growth in knowledge: the recorded miracles Jesus performed on the weekly Sabbath and on high Sabbaths were not the only miracles Jesus performed, but they were recorded for the edification of those disciples upon whom the end of the age would come, just as the things that took place in Israel’s exodus from Egypt were written down as instruction to those upon whom the end of the ages had come while the Apostle Paul yet lived (1 Cor 10:11). … There is only one period that is correctly identified as the end of the age[s], and that one period is represented by the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, when leavening from yeast forms a lively shadow or type of sin. As an unleavened lump of dough (flour, oil, and water) left unbaked collects, harbors, and nourishes wild yeast spores from the air that surrounds the lump [these spores grow and multiple and soon leavens the entire lump], a disciple—barley grain that by repentance has been ground into fine flour—is born of Spirit [oil] and is born sin-free and not in subjection to sin (Rom 6:14; 8:2), and is born into a body of flesh consigned or concluded to sin. A disciple is born into a containment vessel poisoned by sin; thus, the Pentecost or Feast of Firstfruits offering is the only time when bread, two loaves, offered to God is baked with leavening.

Jesus is the ‘“spring of water welling up to eternal life”’ (John 4:14). A disciple who has the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) and who has been born of the Holy Spirit (Pnuema ’Agion) and thus has the indwelling Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11) is metaphorically a lump of unbaked bread dough in an atmosphere of yeast spores. And since the new creature, born of Spirit, who is a son of God and a potential younger sibling of Christ Jesus, is left as an unbaked lump of dough, the disciple who says that he or she is without sin is a liar, and Christ’s words are not in this person (1 John 8-10). Just as every lump of unbaked bread dough left sitting in a bowl will gather and support wild spores and eventually become a lump of sourdough, every disciple left in a tent of flesh will eventually become a sinner, and usually sooner than later. Therefore, every disciple in this portion of the end of the age needs to have his [1] sins covered by the mantle or garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, with this mantle taken on when sins are confessed to God, not to another man, a similar lump of sinful dough.

Disciples are to become “Christ-like,” and Christ Jesus is the Bread of Life, which when eaten causes the disciple to never again hunger or thirst (John 6:35) … perhaps it is again time to read these chapters of John’s gospel:


The person conducting the service should read or assign to be read John chapters 4, 5, 6, & 7 (because these chapters form a rather long reading, the person conducting services might assign two or more individuals to share the reading responsibility).

Commentary: The above chapters introduce the subject of worshiping God “‘in spirit and in truth’” (4:24). The reason Jesus gives worshiping the Father in spirit and truth is that “‘God is spirit’”; God will not, in spirit and truth, be worshiped from either present day Jerusalem or from any other physical location (4:21). Deities formed from carved sticks and chiseled stones are worshiped from specific geographical locations. Likewise, the only God that natural Israel knew—YHWH Israel’s Elohim, represented by Yah, whom Moses and the seventy saw (Ex 24:9-11)was worshiped from present day Jerusalem; natural Israel never knew the Father, and rejected Yah when He came as His only Son, the man Jesus. Thus, present day Jerusalem was rejected. And every false teacher and false prophet within Christendom continues to place spiritual importance on the rejected Jerusalem while ignoring the foundation of the house of God Paul, as a master builder (1 Cor 3:10-11), laid the foundation in the heavenly city, where God, a spirit, will be worshiped in spirit and in truth.

·  God can only be worshiped in heavenly Jerusalem, a spiritual city that has no geographical coordinates, but only theological coordinates.

·  The house or temple of God consists of disciples that hold the theological constructs Paul taught, with Paul receiving these constructs directly from the glorified Christ Jesus.

·  The end of this present evil age began when disciples, as living stones hewn from disobedience through repentance, were joined together in fellowships.

·  Unfortunately, all of the fellowships in Asia left Paul while he still lived (2 Tim 1:15); the fellowship at Corinth questioned whether Paul should be heard; and the fellowship at Jerusalem sought to kill Paul. So all of Christendom had fled from the temple mount in heavenly Jerusalem prior to 70 CE—just as disciples fled from present day Jerusalem—when physical Jerusalem was razed by Roman legions.

The Roman sacking and burning of physical Jerusalem forms the lively shadow of the spiritual sacking and burning of the Church by the prince of this world in the heavenly realm.

In all things pertaining to Scripture, the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46)—physical Jerusalem was razed before the temple built in heavenly Jerusalem was thrown to the ground so that not one stone stood atop another. And the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20): the Wailing Wall in present day Jerusalem reveals that though the stones of the temple were cast down, the foundational stones remain in place. These foundational stones are the physical equivalent to the theological constructs laid by the Apostle Paul; thus, the question of whether Scripture is true or complete is answered by the foundational stones of the physical temple built in present day Jerusalem remaining in tact though bulging some by the physical work of Muslim excavations within the temple mount (this bulging equates to the work of one God’rs).

No natural descendants of Israel (or at least no significant number of natural descendants) dwelt in present day Jerusalem from the end of the 1st-Century through the end of the 18th-Century. By the end of the 19th-Century, Zionism as a movement has returned a few Israelites to Judea, and to citizenship in Ottoman Turkish-ruled Jerusalem—and these few “Jews” were as the few disciples [Israelites who have been circumcised of heart by Spirit, and not by the law or the work of hands] are who have returned to heavenly Jerusalem. Note this well: as Zionism returned only a very few natural Jews to Jerusalem prior to the end of the Ottoman rule, Sabbatarianism has returned only a few “Christians” to heavenly Jerusalem. The majority of returnees will come when Israel in liberated from indwelling sin and death at the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation, when physical years form the lively shadow of spiritual days: the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

An element of confusion over when “the time of the end” begins is unavoidable, considering that the Apostle Paul wrote that the end of the age had already begun while he still lived … all of spiritually circumcised Israel, not a physical people but a spiritual nation consisting entirely of sons of God who have been born into earthenware jars [these jars the tents of flesh that are outwardly male or female, Jew or Greek], entered into the spiritual reality of Unleavened Bread when Jesus breathed on ten of His first disciples and said, ‘“Receive the Holy Spirit”’ (John 20:22). Previously, spiritually circumcised Israel did not exist. There could be no eating of the Passover Lamb of God before Israel existed—and this is an important concept that a disciple needs to incorporate into his thoughts: Jesus’ first disciples, the ten plus Thomas, ate the unleavened bread that Jesus identified as His Body on the dark portion of Wednesday, the 14th of Abib, 31 CE, the mid-week day of the physical weekly cycle that began with creation. Jesus lay physically dead in the heart of the earth all day the 15th, Thursday, the first high Sabbath of Unleavened Bread; and all day the 16th, Friday; and all day the 17th, the weekly Sabbath; and He was resurrected from death after three days and three nights, so He was gone while it was still dark on the 18th, the first day of the following week, but the mid-week day of Unleavened Bread. Thus, Jesus’ first disciples took the sacraments [i.e., ate of Jesus’ Body and drank His blood] while He yet lived on the mid-week day of the physically weekly cycle, and these same disciples received the Holy Spirit and were born of Spirit on the mid-week day of Unleavened Bread, the spiritual week that is represented by the creation week recorded in Genesis 1:2 through 2:3, with Jesus being the light (John 12:35-36; 2 Cor 4:3-6) of this spiritual week that doesn’t repeat itself fifty-two times a year but occurs once.

·  The time of the end begins when the creation begins, for this creation does not renew itself but is passing away, along with its desires (1 John 2:15-17).

·  All of the physical creation is complete in Genesis 1:1 … what part of the heavens, including the sun and moon, has not been created in the declaratory statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens [plural] and the earth”?

·  The “Spirit of God” or Holy Spirit is visibly present in Genesis 1:2; therefore, from this point on, the described creation is no longer physical, but the dark portion of day one which is defined by when Jesus comes as the light of this world.

·  As the physical body of Jesus lay dead in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (Wednesday through Saturday, the second half of the physical weekly cycle), the spiritual Body of the glorified Jesus will lay dead through the first half of the spiritual week that began with Jesus coming as the light of this world.

The interesting juxtaposition now is in the relationship between the single spiritual week and the seven endtime years of tribulation, perhaps a relationship that the Apostle Paul did not fully understand for he indicates elsewhere that he expected to be alive when Christ Jesus returned.

·  Again, the single spiritual week began with Yah’s [the Logos’s, Theos’s – John 1:1-3] creation of all that physically exists, but the dark portion of the first day does not end until Yah or Theos entered His creation as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, the dark portion of this first day is not defined by geological or gravitational time, but by the appearance of Jesus as the light of this world.

·  Day one ended at Calvary, when the kingdom of God that had been among men was slain by those men whom the kingdom had been among.

·  The dark portion of day two, unlike the almost indeterminable (in terms of gravitational time) length of the dark portion of day one, is three earth days and three earth nights long.

·  The light portion of day two began with Jesus’ resurrection on the fourth day of Unleavened Bread, and continued through the forty days that He was with His first disciples.

·  The dark portion of day three began when the glorified Jesus was lifted up and concealed by a cloud (Acts 1:9-11). The light portion will begin when Jesus will come in the same way as He was taken; thus, the light portion of day three sees the events described in Revelation chapter 19.

·  Day four will be the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, when the great light that will rule the heavens is created through the resurrection to glory of the firstfruits. The lesser light that will rule the darkness (the physical creation) will be spiritually empowered Israel, circumcised of heart and of flesh (Ezek 44:9, 12).

The seven endtime years of tribulation will form the lively shadow of the single spiritual week, when all of Israel will live without sin. Today, disciples have no sin imputed to them because they are covered by the mantle of Christ’s righteousness: Grace. But Grace ends when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30); for this Son of Man, consisting of the uncovered and already glorified Head [Christ Jesus] and by the garmented Body [the Church] will receive the kingdom of this world, but not before being delivered into the hand of the prince of this world by the Father Himself (Zech 13:7-8). Jesus has already been delivered into the hand of Death; the Body must also be delivered into the hand of Death—and was in the 1st-Century CE. Now, as Jesus was resurrected from death, the Body of Christ must also be resurrected from death.

Scripture does not account for what happened in the dark portion of the 18th of Abib, 31 CE, the first day of the week. But the account of the first Elijah resurrecting the son of the widow of Zarephath coupled to the historical account of natural Israel returning from Babylon forms the lively shadows of what has happened and will happen when the spiritual Body of Christ is resurrected from death by the last Elijah restoring all things. Christ Jesus is this last Elijah. And he breathed “life” [the Holy Spirit] into a portion of those zealots who attempted to escape from spiritual Babylon, the kingdom of this world, in the 16th Century through the Anabaptist movement. To wit: Andreas Fischer was a preacher of righteousness who taught disciples to keep the commandments, all of them including the Sabbath commandment. But alas, after a dozen or so years, this “attempt” to restore all things went awry. The “life” that the Body had shown dissipated.

Time and its passage are elements of this world—with God, there is no “time.” Thus, while a couple of centuries pass here on earth before there is another attempt to resurrect the Body, with God no time passes. The moment remains the same. So He can wait until He is certain that the Body will not “breathe” on its own before He again breathes life into the nostrils of the dead Body … this second attempt occurs during the “Great Awaking,” and this second attempt lasts until 1962, when its last theologically growing remnant rejects divine revelation.

·  Natural Israel did not leave Babylon in a mass exodus, but left in a couple of movements with Ezra not being in the same group as left with Sheshbazzar (cf. Ezra 1:8; 7:1-6) in the first year of Cyrus. Rather, Ezra when to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes (7:7).

·  But it was Nehemiah, who left Babylon the first month of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, under whom the walls of Jerusalem were built and the city was again populated by natural Israelites.

·  Three physical attempts were necessary to populate present day Jerusalem; three spiritual attempts will occur before heavenly Jerusalem is again populated by saints. And Nehemiah briefly returns to Babylon before his work as a lively shadow is complete.

The time of the end as an expression is more limited in scope than the end of the age, which begins when Jesus breathes on ten of His first disciples and says, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (again, John 20:22) and continues until He returns in a manner like His first disciples saw Him leave. The time of the end is a specific period when the third attempt to revive the Body of Christ begins. The seven endtime years, now, is a period within the time of the end that forms the time-linked earthly shadow Jesus’ seven years of ministry, half having already occurred and resulting in the death of Jesus, and half to occur when the 144,000 follow the glorified Lamb wherever He leads. The half that has already occurred will see the restored Body of Christ slain as Jesus was, with the exception of the remnant that has the spirit of prophecy (cf. Rev 12:17; 19:10) and the 144,000. The second half will see the relationship/ministry of Christ Jesus with the 144,000 paralleled by, or being the reality of the remnant’s relationship with the third part of humankind (Zech 13:9) born of Spirit when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh halfway through these seven endtime years.

·  Jesus first came to His own, and they rejected Him (John 1:11). His first three and a half years of ministry is the story of His own rejecting Him.

·  Jesus will again come to His own, but a remnant of His own will not reject Him a second time; for this remnant will have cleansed their hearts through a journey of faith, a journey that begins when the seven endtime years begin.

·  All who keep the commandments—who are Judaizers—will be delivered into the hand of Death and the man of perdition when the seven endtime years begin. And they will be persecuted by greater Christendom for keeping the commandments as natural Israel was persecuted by the Nazis because of its heritage. With very few exceptions, they will be slain or martyred.

As has been stated many times before, the problem with Scripture is what is revealed. The problem with prophecy is what has been prophesied. The problem with typology is the sinfulness of the type or shadow—and it is this sinfulness that caused God to give natural Israel “statutes that were not good and rules by which [the nation] could not have life” (Ezek 20:25). God defiled Israel through the nation’s “very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn” (v. 26). Yes, God commanded the sinful nation of Israel to burn its firstborns in the fires of Molech, and God has likewise commanded the even worse nation of spiritually circumcised Israel to cast its firstborns into the lake of fire through their firstborns’ willful refusal to keep the commandments of God.

Today, the patriarch Isaac’s hated son Esau—as well as his loved son Jacob—are covered by Grace, the mantle of Christ’s righteousness, so that no sin is imputed to either. But all of this changes when the seven endtime years begin: then, the mantle of Grace ends, for when disciples are liberated from indwelling sin and death (when yeast spores are removed from the atmosphere surrounding an unleavened lump of dough), there will be no need for Grace. The only reason a disciple will not then keep the commandments (sin is the transgression of the law – 1 John 3:4) is because the disciple refuses to love the truth (2 Thess 2:10). Yes, the disciple who loves what is false (v. 11) will not now keep the commandments, and will not when liberated from indwelling sin keep the commandments. Thus, God will send over these disciples a great delusion so that they cannot repent (v. 12). They will be firstfruits that are burned in the lake of fire as sinful ancient Israel burned its firstborn.

The time of the end begins when prophecies about the end can be understood—and this understanding began in January 2002, forty years to the day after the last remnant of the second revival died from its rejection of revelation.

To summarize, the end of this age began immediately post Calvary. All of spiritually circumcised Israel has been living through one long spiritual night ever since, with the midnight hour of that night not yet occurring. The time of the end began when the plan of God could be understood, with this period not beginning any earlier than January 2002. The seven endtime years will begin when the death angel again passes over Israel, slaying all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb of God. So these seven endtime years began after the time of the end has begun, yet in the middle of the single long spiritual night of the first day of the end of the age. Confusing? Yes? No? Until the second Passover is a reality, these specific identifying expressions will not have an agreed-upon meaning; thus, the disciple has to hear the voice of Jesus in the messages received, which is as it should be.


The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.

[1] Masculine pronoun is appropriate, for the disciple is not the “tent of flesh” that can be male or female, but the son of God born into this tent of flesh.

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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."