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 work of God is believing Jesus.

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Weekly Readings

For the Sabbath of June 10, 2006


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.

The person conducting the service should read or assign to be read John chapter 6.

Commentary: The chapter should be familiar from the readings for the double Sabbaths of last weekend, but since these chapters are central to the indwelling of Christ Jesus in every disciple, they should be reread. And the concept of lateral or linear progression (i.e., an “x” axis delineation) of the time being vertically (“y” axis) expressed within the plan of God is not easily conveyed. As creatures confined within time, or better, space-time, human beings have difficulty conceiving events that are separated by the passage of time here in the physical realm occurring as a unified action in the timeless heavenly realm—removing time from human thought might not be entirely possible, but actual comprehension of the plan of God requires time’s removal. Until it is removed, the plan of God will remain a dance of symbols and symbolic beasts that stretches credulity.

The setting for Jesus saying that He was the bread that came down from heaven is Passover, and this setting is central to understanding the miracle of five barley loaves feeding five thousand. The Christian sacraments of bread and wine, eaten as the Passover meal on the night that Jesus was betrayed (the 14th of Nissan), is the eating of the true bread of life, the bread that came down from heaven.

·  Every disciple “eats” the bread of life and shall not hunger (John 6:35) when he or she takes the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed.

·  On every night other than the 14th of Nissan, the night Jesus was betrayed, the sacraments of unleavened bread and wine are the fruit of the earth, Cain’s offering to God.

And the disciple who believes in Jesus—this is the “work of God” (John 6:29)—shall never thirst (v. 35), strongly suggesting that believing in Jesus means taking the Passover sacraments, including drinking from the cup that is the blood of the new covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sin (Matt 26:27), on the night that Jesus was betrayed.

Very few self-identified Christians do the work of God, a harsh and arguable statement based upon these many disciples’ refusal to take the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed. These self-identified Christians take the sacraments quarterly, or weekly, or whenever they feel like it, but they do not observe the Passover; therefore, by their actions, they show God, angels, and men that they do not believe Jesus. They will profess “belief in” Jesus, but they refuse to hear His words or to believe the One who sent Him (John 5:24); thus, the have not passed from death to life but unconsciously wait the fearful revealing of their judgments. They are not now in heaven—or in hell—as their lawless teachers taught them, teachers who will be denied in their resurrections (Matt 7:21-23). These unbelieving disciples are in their graves where they know nothing, figuratively and literally. And their salvation will be in how little they actually know; for if they knew to keep the Sabbath and did not, for example, they would be hypocrites and their righteousness would not exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees (Matt 5:20). They would in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.

·  If very few disciples presently do the work of God, even fewer work to rebuild the house of God in the heavenly city of Jerusalem.

·  Broad is not the way of the world that leads to destruction; rather, broad is the way of Christianity that leads to the lake of fire.

·  Narrow is the way that leads to life, and few disciples tread this odd path that places disciples doing the work of God out of sync with the world.

Jesus is the first of the firstfruits, the Wave Sheaf Offering; i.e., the first handful of ripe barley offered to God before the barley harvest could begin. Thus, the harvest of firstfruits (the disciples of Christ Jesus) began shortly after Jesus appeared to His disciples, breathing on ten of them, and saying, Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). So barley cakes are the processed [and tried with fire] grain of the harvest of firstfruits—and the twelve basketfuls of fragments are also firstfruits that have been thrashed and ground fine, then baked.

·  From five barley cakes, twelve basketfuls of fragments were gathered after the five thousand devoured the cakes.

·  But between the five loaves and the twelve basketfuls of fragments, Jesus took the five, and when He had given thanks to the Father, He distributed the cakes to those who were seated.

Jesus caused the five loaves to satisfy those who followed Him, and from the five (and the two fish) come the 144,000 (Rev 7:4), the woman who flees into the wilderness (Rev 12:14) through the rock cut without human hands (Zech 14:4) that swallows the armies of the man of perdition (Rev 12:16; Ex 15:12). Yes, Jesus asked Philip where He and the disciples were to buy bread for the crowd that hungered to test Philip (John 6:6)—the feeding of the five thousand was a test given to disciples at the time of the Passover, and this testing foreshadows an endtime Passover reality for both disciples and the natural branches of Israel that will be grafted back to the root of righteousness, from which they were broken because of their disbelief.

The giving of manna came when the natural nation of Israel, having been liberated from bondage to Pharaoh, grumbled against Moses and Aaron on the 15th of the second month, the day that will become the second Passover.


The reader should now read Exodus chapter 15, verse 22, through the end of chapter 16.

Commentary: Two tests are given to the nation that left physical bondage to Pharaoh: the first involved the water three days’ journey into in the wilderness of Shur. These waters could not be drank because of their bitterness (Ex 15:23)…the blood of Jesus is bitter water that the natural nation of Israel will not now drink; yet the blood of Jesus—the cup—is the covenant by which sin is forgiven. For it is the will of the Father that everyone who believes in [and believes] Jesus shall be saved (John 6:40), and everyone that the Father gives or has given to Jesus will come to Him and will drink of this bitter water, made sweet by the “tree,” the cross upon which Jesus died.

·  The water drank by which a person will never again thirst (but will have everlasting life) is the blood of Jesus, shed on the tree where He hung as the sacrificed paschal Lamb of God.

·  The true bread of life is not manna, which the natural nation of Israel called worthless food, but the body of Jesus, represented by unleavened bread eaten on the night He was betrayed.

·  The work of God is to believe that when disciples take the sacraments they are fulfilling what was foreshadowed at Marah and in the wilderness of Sin.

The natural nation of Israel grumbled against Moses (Ex 15:24 & 16:2), and against Jesus (John 6:41), the prophet like Moses.


The reader should now read Deuteronomy chapter 18, verses 15 through 22.

Commentary: The Christian Church, the spiritual nation of Israel, also grumbles against Moses and against Jesus…when Hellenistic converts usurped control of the Church in the centuries after Jesus’ First Coming, all things Jewish were decreed bad, including taking the Passover sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed. Therefore, the baptized pagan holiday of Easter came to replace both the Passover and the Wave Sheaf Offering—the spiritual nation of Israel would not drink the bitter waters of Marah, even when they had been made sweet by the tree. Instead, this lawless nation profaned the Sabbaths of God. And as the natural nation, because of its lawlessness and its profaning the Sabbaths of God, was given statutes by which it could not live (Ezek 20:25-26), statutes that caused the nation to defile itself by passing its firstborn through fire, God gave the spiritual nation practices and traditions by which it could not spiritually live. Without drinking of the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed, the spiritual nation has no covering for sin. Thus, when the Hellenistic Church rejected the covenant by which Jesus’ blood covers the nation’s sins, the entirety of the lawless Church became as Cain was, accepted by God if it did well (Gen 4:7), with sin lurking in its fleshy members, eager to devour new creatures born of Spirit.

As God gave to natural Israel statutes that caused the natural nation to pass its firstborns through fire, not something that He conceived but a practice of the heathen nations within Israel’s borders, God gave to the lawless Hellenistic Church the observance of Easter, a pagan festival, so that this spiritual nation might loathe itself as it defiled itself through its gifts to God. Instead of celebrating Passover on the night that Jesus was betrayed and the Wave Sheaf Offering on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine decreed that “Christians” should stop commemorating Jesus’ death on the 14th of Nissan. And most of Christianity has, ever since, sacrificed its firstborns in the lake of fire through teaching infant sons of God that it was okay to be lawless because they were under Grace, not the Law, when these infants sons of God only have their obedience to God [i.e., doing well] as their covering for sin since they do not drink from the cup bitter waters made sweet by the tree on the night that Jesus was betrayed.

·  The giving of manna was a test of whether the natural nation would keep the Sabbath (Ex 16:4) before the Sabbath commandment was given from atop Sinai.

·  The eating of Jesus’ flesh is a test of whether the spiritual nation will keep the Sabbaths of God before this nation is liberated from bondage to sin through empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

·  The disciple who does not take the sacraments on the 14th of the first month is as Esau was, red and covered by his or her own righteousness.

After Constantine threw Moses out of Christianity—and with Moses, Christ Jesus—the lawless Hellenistic Church became the even more lawless Latin Church, and interest in and emphasis on Jesus’ Second Coming waned. Emphasis came to be placed solely on His earthly ministry, which concluded at Calvary. The Kingdom of God had come among men (Matt 12:28). And this heavenly kingdom on earth was kept alive by Peter and Paul, the acknowledged but misread pillars of the Latin Church. Thus, there was no need to look for a future coming of a kingdom that was already here on earth. Only one problem, though. When Jesus said that the Kingdom was among men, He was the entirety of that Kingdom that would reign over the earth, not from the earth. His disciples were of the earth, not of heaven. They were not yet born of Spirit. So with Jesus’ death at Calvary, the Kingdom of God returned to the heavenly realm from which it would wait to rule until spiritual Babylon was toppled. It was no longer among men; it was never a kingdom of men, or of this world (John 18:36). It was not a kingdom for which men fight with swords, or artillery, or suicide belts. And realized eschatology has always produced doctrines of demons.

A first Passover liberation of natural Israel from physical bondage to Pharaoh produced the natural Israelites who were given by the Father to Jesus as His disciples during His first coming—this is an important concept to remember; for a Second Coming (i.e., a spiritual Coming, or a coming as a quickening Spirit) requires a second Passover liberation of spiritual Israel [the Church] from spiritual bondage to the spiritual king of Babylon. Without a second Passover liberation, there will be no Second Coming, just as without a first Passover, there would have been no nation dwelling in Judea (or anywhere else) to which He would have come. There would have been no natural firstborn son that was His treasured possession—physically circumcised Israel was both firstborn son and bride (human conception of gender attaches sexuality to spiritually asexual relationships), just as spiritually circumcised Israel is the Body of Christ [the Body of the only Son of God] and will be the Bride of Christ.

The relationship between natural Israel entering Egypt, going into slavery to Pharaoh, being liberated from this bondage, then marrying its Lord is analogous to humanity being consigned to disobedience, then being liberated from this disobedience, and following liberation, marrying its Lord, so that these two become one Spirit. Note, where is the Church? Is not the Church comparable to natural Israel, a chosen people, a holy people, a treasured possession? Yes, it is. But all of humanity hasn't been consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) for the salvation of one of many nations. Moreover, in Abraham all of the families of the earth shall be blessed, not just one family. All of humanity will be Abraham’s seed, will be a multitude of nations. But not all who have descended from Abraham are named as Abraham’s offspring.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring” (Rom 9:6-7). Abraham’s offspring are named through Isaac, then through Jacob—and the multitude of nations promised to Abraham (Gen 17:5-6) is the tribes of Israel, one single nation (Gen 12:2) through which all the earth shall be blessed. One nation that exists as many nations: the promises made to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 and in Genesis chapter 17 are the same promise in the same way that the patriarch Israel was the one who prevailed with God and who was already twelve [Benjamin was not yet born; his birth would make the nation of Israel thirteen in number, a number preserved through the patriarch’s adoption of the two sons of Joseph on his death bed, for Joseph would not leave Egypt where he had been sold into slavery].


The reader should now read Genesis chapters 32 through 35.

Commentary: During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He shepherded twelve disciples given to Him by the Father; so He and His disciples were thirteen in number as Israel and his sons were thirteen in number. But one of Jesus’ disciples was a foreknown son of destruction, a servant of sin who would never leave this mental landscape of Egypt. Thus, following Judas’ betrayal of the Son of Man (a betrayal foreshadowing an endtime betrayal of the revealed Body of the Son of Man), Matthais was chosen to replace Judas—and Jesus chose Saul of Tarsus [renamed Paul] to lay, as a skilled master builder, the foundation for the house of God being constructed in the heavenly city of Jerusalem. Thus, the number of Apostles was thirteen…choosing Matthais to replace Judas was not a mistake, or a premature action as sometimes is taught. The number is not twelve, but thirteen, with one being in an elevated position as the patriarch Israel was to his sons, and as Jesus was to His disciples. And as Israel adopted the two sons of Joseph to bear his name, with one of these adopted sons [Ephraim] becoming the preeminent northern nation in the divided nation, Jesus “adopted” two Apostles to replace Judas and Himself, with Paul becoming theologically preeminent in his ministry to the Gentiles as the Church unwittingly divided into two ministries, one to the uncircumcised and one to the circumcised (Gal 2:7-9).

The Church was spiritual Isaac, the son promised to the patriarch Abraham—and the early division of the Church into two ministries formed the conception of the two sons that today wrestle in the womb of Rebekah, one hated, one loved (Rom 9:8-13). The hated son is Esau, who dwelt on Mount Seir, in the country called Edom. The beloved son, a strong child in his own right, feared/fears his hairy brother, who covers himself with his own righteousness, not the righteousness of Christ Jesus. For the hated son, today still in the womb so that no sin has yet been imputed to him, will not obey God, and instead, dictates to God when this son will enter Judea, God’s rest. But this hated son will never enter God’s rest although he will accept the adoration of the beloved son, adoration this son gives from fear for his life.

Make no mistake, the two sons that today wrestle in the womb of Isaac [Rebekah and Isaac are one] are hated and loved, with the hated son uncircumcised in mind and actions and with the loved son living as a spiritual Judean. The hated son attempts to enter God’s rest on the 8th day; the loved son enters on the Sabbath. The hated son covers himself with his hairy righteousness, for he argues that he is not under the law of God even though this law has been written on his heart and placed in his mind. The loved son attempts to imitate His elder brother Christ Jesus, who was righteous and holy as His Father and His God (John 20:17) is holy (1 Pet 1:13-16). The hated son will be a man of the field (Gen 25:27); a man who has already married foreign women while still in his mother’s womb; a man who will dwell near but never in the heavenly city of Jerusalem. And as the natural nation of Israel, when journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land, had to detour around the people of Edom, the beloved son will have to detour around 8th-day Christianity to arrive in the heavenly city.

Abraham’s offspring include Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, but only in Isaac would Abraham’s offspring be named. Then of Isaac’s promised sons, only Jacob was loved—and from Jacob’s offspring, only one would be the promised Messiah (Gal 3:15-18), so not all of Israel belongs to Israel, now a spiritual nation born-from-above as the single great nation promised to Abraham, a nation that will become a company of nations when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon first the Church, then upon all flesh. The five barley cakes, when blessed by Jesus, become twelve basketfuls of fragments, again the 12,000 of the 12 tribes (Rev 7:4-8), but one tribe is missing both in name and in number—and though the adoption of the third part of humanity, Israel will again be complete, this third part being to the 144,000 as the Apostle Paul was to the Apostles sent to circumcised Israel. Thus, two ministries will exist during the Tribulation, one to the uncircumcised, one to the circumcised. The five barley cakes and two fish represent the basic theological composition of the firstfruits that minister to the circumcised nation that will exist at the second Passover.

All of humanity shall become Israel, with Jesus of Nazareth the first of the firstfruits and the Church being the firstfruits, with the remainder of humanity being the main harvest of the earth…as the first Adam was a type and shadow of the last Adam, the gathering and thrashing of the last Adam as the Wave Sheaf Offering forms a type and foreshadowing of the harvest of firstfruits, which in turn forms a type and shadow of the harvest of humanity. Hence, as the descendants of the first Adam multiplied to cover all of the earth as wild grass, the descendants of the last Adam multiply to cover the earth as barley and wheat grew on Judean hillsides, with the barley harvested in the spring of the year, the completion of this harvest celebrated at the Feast of Weeks [a.k.a. Pentecost]. The wild grasses that signify humanity consigned to disobedience will be stripped away and hoed out, and these lands replanted with good seed coming through humanity’s birth by Spirit. But not all of land replanted with good seed will bear good grain. The Adversary plants even more worthless seed than the wild grasses: he plants tares that look like cultivated grain and grow faster than grain, thus shading the grain and depriving the grain of nutrients. Tares claim God as their Father, but they are of the devil; they claim to be spiritual Israelites [i.e., to be Jews — Rev 2:9 & 3:9], but they are of the synagogue of Satan. Their ministers claim to be servants of righteousness, but they teach infant sons of God to commit spiritual suicide by erasing the laws of God that are written on hearts and minds through receipt of the Holy Spirit. These teachers of lawlessness will be denied in their resurrection to condemnation.

But between the Wave Sheaf Offering and the Feast of Weeks when the harvest of firstfruits is complete, seven weeks pass, seven weeks that are also analogous to the seven days of Unleavened Bread representing the seven endtime years of tribulation. Barley is harvested throughout these seven weeks, with the least harvested on a day by day, or week by week basis at the beginning of the harvest. The greater portion of the harvest occurred during the last three weeks, when all of the fields were ripe. Thus, that thirteenth member of Israel, the third part of humanity (Zech 13:9), born from above when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh—like Jacob’s son Benjamin, called Benoni by his dying mother [after giving birth to a third spiritual son, a spiritual Seth, there will be no more last Eve]—shall be the son of Israel’s right hand. This is the harvest of firstfruits that corresponds to the last three weeks of natural Israel’s barley harvest. This is not the twelve basketfuls of fragments that is the harvest of the circumcised ministry. Rather, the harvest of this third part of humanity of the harvest of the spiritually uncircumcised, to whom a spiritual apostle like Paul will be sent (someone like Caleb).

Two ministries, one to the spiritually circumcised, one to the spiritually uncircumcised. The ministry sent to the spiritually circumcised shall include the obedient portion of the natural nation of Israel that drinks the bitter waters of Marah, made sweet by the tree, whereas the ministry sent to the spiritually uncircumcised will begin as a ministry to the son of sorrow, and shall conclude as a ministry to the son of strength, the strength of Christ Jesus’ right hand.


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

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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."