The concept behind this High Sabbath’s selection is the coming of the Messiah…it is suggested that fellowships have morning and afternoon services on the High Days; thus, readings for two services are grouped together.
Readings for Last High Sabbath
Of Unleavened Bread April 19, 2006
The person conducting services 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 first passage read should be Leviticus chapter 23, verses 1 and 2, then verses 4 through 8, followed by Deuteronomy chapter 16, verses 1 through 8, and 16 and 17, then Exodus chapter 23, verses 14 through 17.
Commentary: Both the circumcised nation that left Egypt, and that nation’s uncircumcised children who received the second covenant—a covenant made in addition to the Sinai or Horeb covenant (Deu 29:1)—were told to appear before the Lord three times a year. These three seasons were Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, the three seasons when there is a harvest of the Lord.
Part of the lie the Adversary used to bruise the heel of the seed of the last Eve—this seed being the Body of Christ—is a single day of salvation, which is not true, and why it’s false is something the early Reformers couldn’t explain. As a result they couldn’t satisfactorily discuss questions about predestination, but would have God condemning the mass of humanity to the fires of hell as if most human beings were born into this world to be eternally tormented. A person should legitimately question whether any such deity is worthy of worship. Such a deity would be like a child pulling the legs off grasshoppers just because he or she can—and a child is not born with the mind of God, but is born as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:3), following the course of the prince of the power of the air, the prince of this world. Satan would have human beings born for the sole purpose of being eternally tormented. And too much of Christianity uses Christ Jesus’ name to worship the defeated prince of this world.
The first harvest of God occurred midweek following Calvary: Christ Jesus was accepted by the Father as the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering; was accepted as the first sheaf of the harvest of firstfruits. So the Seed gathered to God was His Son, who before being born of woman was the Logos or Yah, the Word or Spokesperson, who received again the glory He had prior to human birth. And to commemorate Jesus being accepted by His Father, all of Israel is to appear before the Lord at the first of the three seasons.
After the Wave Sheaf was offered to God and accepted, the early barley harvest of Judean hillsides could begin; after Jesus of Nazareth was resurrected and glorified, the harvest of the Church could begin. The Church equates exactly to the early barley harvest, which was gathered into the barns for seven weeks. This harvest would be gathered until Pentecost, when all of Israel was to again appear before the Lord to commemorate the completion of the harvest of firstfruits, which culminates in the wedding of the slain Lamb, whose blood covers the sins or leavening in the two loaves presented to the Lord at this feast.
Judean hillsides, however, did not have just one grain harvest, but two. The main grain harvest wasn’t barley, but wheat that ripened during the summer and was gathered into barns by the Feast of Tabernacles, the third season when all of Israel was to appear before the Lord. The main harvest of God isn’t the firstfruits, but that portion of humanity who never knew the Lord (never heard the name Jesus of Nazareth during their lifetimes), and who never received life in the heavenly realm while alive physically. And this is the harvest of God about which the early Reformed Church knew nothing, for Reformation theologians did not keep the Sabbaths of God, but rather, continued to profane the Sabbaths in the same way that early Church fathers had…God sent the Church into Babylonian captivity because the Church, like the natural nation of Israel, would not walk in the ways of the Lord, and profaned the Sabbaths of the Lord (Ezek chap 20). Because of the early Church’s lawlessness, God gave to the Church statutes by which the Church could not live, just as the Lord gave to natural Israel statutes by which Israel could not live and statutes that should have caused the nation to abhor itself and its worship of God, but never did.
The greater Church should abhor its lawlessness—and should doubly abhor itself for teaching that God condemns all who die as non-Christians to an ever-burning hell fire that is not quite hot enough to reduce the persons to ashes.
Therefore, the Philadelphia Church and the Churches of God traditionally take up an offering on the three seasons when all Israel was to appear before God, and not appear empty, but giving as blessed and as able. This offering is foremost the son of God that is the inner self-aware, self-conscience new man or creature who is spirit through having been born of Spirit presenting the body of the old man, or old self before God. Yes, every son of God (who is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, free nor bond) is to appear before God where He has placed His name—where two or three are gathered together in His name, He places His name there—is to present the fleshly tent in which the son of God dwells to the Lord to do with as the Lord so chooses. The disciple is both servant and heir to God: the air-breathing tent of flesh serves the Father, and the new creature dwelling in this tent of flesh is the heir, adopted as a son through redemption.
Disciples in those fellowships that do not observe the holy days will, in the heavenly realm, appear before God empty-handed in their prayers on these days, for the heir dwelling in the fleshy tent did not present the tent to God. These disciples appear with nothing, while all who are here today have brought an offering: themselves.
Thus, at this time those who are able through their tents of flesh possessing the means are asked to give of their physical blessings, not reluctantly, but cheerfully. The person who gives of necessity might as well keep the offering--no treasure will be laid up in heaven for a reluctant offering, which includes presenting oneself before God.
The person conducting services should, at this time, pass a plate or basket as would be appropriate for the size of the gathering. In larger gatherings, the person conducting the services would appoint others to take up the collection.
During the taking up of the offering, special music can be performed. Then following the offering should be a pray of thanks, followed by a hymn.
The reader should now read Galatians chapter 4.
Commentary: The child that is the heir is under guardians or managers until the child reaches his or her majority, and the date set by the child’s father for the child to receive his or her inheritance. Sometimes these dates are the same. Sometimes a child’s legal majority precedes the date set for when the child receives his or her inheritance. Regardless, the subject the Apostle Paul introduces is that human beings were/are enslaved by the elementary spirits of this world, for God has consigned all of humanity to disobedience so that He might have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). God did this enslaving, not Adam through original sin. Death entered the world through Adam, the first breathing creature (see the discussion about the “J” & “P” creation accounts contained in the article found here: http://homerkizer.org/typology.html). This death is of the life Adam received when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the man of mud’s nostrils. And Jesus at Calvary paid the death penalty for every sin or transgression of the laws of God committed by human beings by God’s enslaving humankind to disobedience. Nevertheless, human beings have continued to die since Calvary because flesh has not yet been liberated from the law of sin and death that dwells in it. And the transformation from the physical days of unleavened bread that began when Jesus entered Jerusalem as High Priest and Passover Lamb on the Sabbath that was the 10th day of the first month of the sacred year that began the spring of the Roman year designated as 31 CE to the spiritual Feast of Unleavened Bread is what virtually all of Christianity fails to grasp: what was physical became spiritual when the Lamb of God was crucified on the 14th of the first month, the Preparation Day.
Jesus of Nazareth’s death ended the marriage made when He as the Logos took natural Israel as a treasured possession to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:5-6). No longer is Yah as the spokesperson for YHWH, the co-joined deity (/YH/ + /WH/) that becomes Father and Son (each with His own Breath [/H/ or Pneuma — see Rom 8:9, 11]) when the Logos is born as the man Jesus, bound by covenant to the natural nation of Israel—that covenant (the old written code) ended when Jesus, on the cross, said, It is finished (John 19:30). So there is no confusion: the deity seen by Moses and the seventy elders on Sinai (ex 24:1-11) married the natural nation of Israel when the covenant was ratified by blood. Natural Israel proved to be an adulterous wife, and was given a bill of divorce. But the marriage remained in effect until one party or the other died. Men sometimes marry two wives, but it was not so in the beginning: only one woman was made from the flesh and bone of the first Adam—and from this one woman came the seed in which all of humankind would be blessed. There are no human beings descended from a second woman made from mud, or from the flesh and bone of the first Adam. The seed of Satan isn’t human beings physically descended from Satan, who is not physical. Nor is the seed of Satan human beings descended from angels having sexual relations with human women. Such teachings are of Satan—and the person who believes them mentally transforms him or herself into a spiritual child of the Adversary…the devil has no physical descendants, and is not capable of having any. Rather, he has deceived the whole world and a third of the angels. His seed is “born” of the iniquity found in him; thus, when Eve, in the garden of God, swallowed the serpent’s lie that she would not die but by eating of the tree of knowledge would become like God, she mentally was “born” of Satan, even though she was physically of Adam, created by Elohim [singular] from red mud. The “god” she became most like was the prince of this world, who is condemned to death (Ezek 28:18-19). So despite Elohim talking among themselves, saying, “Behold, the man [Adam] has become like one of us in knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:22), the man and the woman made from his flesh and bone did not physically become the seed of the serpent, but remained the physical son of God, made male and female in the likeness of God (Gen 5:1-2).
Made male and female in the likeness of Elohim—the Father didn’t marry the natural nation of Israel at Sinai, for the Father [Theon] was already one with His Spokesman [Theos] in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm. The Father was not free to marry another in that heavenly realm, nor was the Logos free to become one with anyone else. However, when the Logos created the physical realm, with life made from its elemental elements, the Logos as Yah could “enter” into this physical realm and “marry” a chosen people to become a treasured possession to Him.
What Judaism and Islam have missed is that Elohim is the regular plural of Eloah, or in Arabic [into English], Allah, which is the singular deity [El] plus breath [ah]. Islam, in trying to more perfectly worship the God of Abraham and his eldest son, Ishmael, rejects the Father, as does Judaism, which did not know of the Father’s existence until Jesus came to reveal the Father to chosen natural Israelites. Thus, both Islam and Judaism have as their deity Yah, who came as the man Jesus to be the Son of the Father. This is the deity who died at Calvary so that He would be free to marry another in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm; for as the Son of the Father, He is one with the Father—and disciples that form the Bride of Christ will, at the wedding, become one with the Son, who is one with the Father in spiritual relationships made visible through human relationships…these human relationships of man and wife, and father and son do not come first, thereby producing the descriptive condition of human beings creating god in their image as is the case of the Greek pantheon. Rather, God creates adam or humankind male and female in the image of Elohim from the beginning, but only the help-mate was known to humankind until Jesus revealed the Father to His disciples.
The charge leveled by Judaism and by Islam against Christianity for having more than one God has merit from their physically-minded perspective: Islam worships a deity that entered His creation (John 1:3) as a man born of woman, and that died at Calvary, so that He would be free to marry another in the heavenly realm…natural Israel as the treasured possession of Yah could never enter the heavenly realm where Yah was the help-mate of the Father [Theon]. The relationship between Theos and Theon had to change, and could only change by Theos or Yah entering His creation and dying—if Jesus had not died, and if all of Him that was not of the Father’s Breath that had entered Him when He emerged from baptism (Matt 3:15-17) had not fully perished, then Yah would have remained the help-mate of Theon and not Theon’s Son. And there would be no one for Israel to marry: Yah’s treasured possession would inherit only physical geography, and not a spot in the heavenly realm, where Jesus has gone to prepare adoptions through marriage.
Yah is not a contraction or shortened form of the Tetragrammaton, but the only deity Israel knew…again, the natural nation of Israel only knew the Spokesperson or Logos for the Tetragrammaton, and never knew the Father. Judaism, today, doesn’t know the Father, and is no longer in covenant with Yah although natural Israel is still loved for the sake of the nation’s forefathers (Rom 11:28). On the other hand, with its claim of being Yah or Allah’s treasured possession resting on Ishmael being the firstborn of Abraham (and upon Judaism and 6th-Century Christianity wrongly worshiping the God of Abraham, which both were doing), Islam has been the son of bondage that mockingly laughs at the spiritual son of promise, long in Babylonian captivity.
Thus, there are not, now, two marriage covenants in effect, one made in the heavenly realm within the Tetragrammaton whereby /YH/ and /WH/ are one, and a second covenant in the physical realm whereby /Yah/ and /Israel/ are one. Both covenants were ended by Yah being born as the man Jesus, living without sin, receiving spiritual life through receipt of the divine Breath of the Father, and dying physically at Calvary. The Help-Mate in the spiritual realm became a man of flesh in the physical realm. The Help-Mate didn’t come being fully man and fully God—if He had, He would not have then died in the heavenly realm, and He would not be free to marry another. Humankind would be without hope of salvation. Rather, the Help-Mate came being fully a man, who was made alive in the heavenly realm through receipt of the divine Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] of the Father so that all righteousness would be fulfilled. To say otherwise makes the person an antichrist.
The second covenant, promised by Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, could not be implemented until the first covenant was abolished through the death of one or both of the two covenanting parties Thus, with pedantic redundancy, the deity that natural Israel knew as its “Élohim” entered His creation as His son, His only (John 1:14 & 3:16), and this deity came to reveal His Father and His God (John 20:17 et al), whom no person had or has ever seen (John 1:18) except Him who came from heaven. This deity came to die…it was either all of natural Israel, or Him. And since He had already made promises to a few individuals that they would live again, there really was no choice—and there had not been any from when the foundations of the world were laid.
The Apostle Paul establishes an allegory concerning Hagar and Sarah, each of whom will have a firstborn son by Abraham. He says that Hagar corresponds to Mount Sinai in Arabia—and geographically, she does, for Ishmael settled in the wilderness of Paran—and it was in this geographical location where the natural nation rebelled against God because of that nation’s unbelief. Both the natural descendants of Ishmael and the natural descendants of Israel are bound together by their rejection; both are linked to the wilderness of Paran. And neither knew or knows any deity but the one whose feet Abraham washed.
Paul says that disciples are the son of the free woman, Sarah, who received a son through promise and not by the natural way of women, for the years of her fertility were past. Thus, in the allegory Paul establishes, disciples are linked to the Jerusalem above, a city that comes with the new heaven and new earth, and are linked to Isaac, born of promise. Paul compares the Galatian converts to Isaac (Gal 4:28). And here, to 1st-Century disciples, Paul quits the allegory.
But the 1st-Century becomes a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-Century, with the Hellenistic Church swallowing the same lie that the first Eve swallowed: human beings will surely not die for they have immortal souls—and with this lie, the old serpent, Satan the devil, bruises those disciples that follow on the heels of Christ Jesus. For until born a second time, or born anew, or born-from-above, or born of Spirit, no human being has any life but that which comes from the cellular oxidation of sugars. But when the Church doesn’t understand spiritual birth, the Church cannot teach disciples except as the Pharisees taught natural Israel (John 3:10-12), binding upon the people burdens they could not then bear.
Paul’s allegory doesn’t stop with Isaac, and doesn’t stop in the 1st-Century. But we will here stop for lunch.
The person conducting services should, at this time, adjourn services, with a hymn, a prayer, and a blessing on the food (if appropriate). The person should also announce when afternoon services are to commence.
At the appropriate time, the person conducting services should resume services with two or three hymns, and a prayer.
The reader should begin afternoon services by reading Romans chapters 9, followed by Malachi chapter 1, and Genesis chapter 25, verses 21 through 23.
Commentary: As Isaac was the son of promise, so too were the sons of Isaac, who by prayer sought seed from God through a barren wife. Thus, the allegory Paul quit continues in another spiritual generation before the twelve tribes of Israel are born from above when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh—and to understand the allegory, disciples need to understand that the two nations in the womb of Rebekah relate to two spiritual nations as Ishmael and Isaac relate to natural Israel and the Church; i.e., to physically circumcised Israel and to spiritually circumcised Israel.
The subject of Malachi is polluted offerings, and the subject begins with Esau and Jacob…disciples form a chosen nation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Pet 2:9) that was foreshadowed by the natural nation of Israel, and in particular, the descendants of the tribe of Levi. Disciples are not just spiritual Israelites, but spiritual Levites. As the Body of Christ, they are kingly priests [or kings and priests], and they are the spiritual reality that the Levitical priesthood foreshadowed, with Christ Jesus being High Priest.
Like the polluted priesthood Malachi condemned, disciples make up a royal priesthood that struggles against itself as if it were twin sons in the womb of the last Eve, one son hated, one loved, both born the day that Zion enters into labor (Isa 66:7-9), with the younger son clutching the heel of the older.
On the Wave Sheaf Offering, mention was made of the hated son, and the loved son; so not to repeat what was so delivered, let us pick up the story of the two sons.
The reader should now read Genesis chapter 25, verse 24 through 34; followed by Genesis chapter 27.
Commentary: Esau was born red, and with a hairy covering analogous to the skin clothing Elohim [singular] made for Adam and Eve when He drove them from the garden of God. Like a beast of the field, Esau needed no covering although he wore clothing that smelled of a field (Gen 27:26). In fact, for Jacob to imitate the feel of Esau’s hands, arms, and neck, Rebekah put the skins of the butchered young goats over Jacob’s exposed skin.
The moment before Adam took the fruit Eve offered, Adam’s nakedness was covered by his obedience to God, and Adam’s obedience also covered Eve, his wife, as the two were one through being of one flesh. Thus, sin didn’t enter the world through Eve, who first ate. However, the moment after Adam ate what Eve offered—Eve was indeed functioning as the serpent’s seed—Adam knew he was naked, as Eve knew that she was naked. Obedience was cast aside, thereby revealing the couple’s nakedness that couldn’t be covered by leaves. It took blood of the animals Elohim [singular] killed to make clothing for the couple to cover their transgression.
After Eve, the mother of the living, with very few exceptions every human being has been born covered with hair but visibly naked. Esau was an exception. He had sufficient hair to appear as well covered as a kid goat. It was as if he had no need for a cloak.
Every male, though, has been born with the head of his penis covered…without stretching Scripture unreasonably, it is a shame for a man’s head to be covered while it is a woman’s glory. Yes, Paul addresses hair length as the referenced covering, but circumcision cuts away that natural covering every male born of woman has had since Adam and Eve were driven from the garden of God. Being circumcised is spiritually analogous to Adam’s physical state when placed in the garden: a circumcised man’s only covering for sin is his obedience to God, which is why Paul fought against the circumcision faction that didn’t understand physical circumcision after being born anew removed the cloak of Christ Jesus’ righteousness and left the man covered only by his obedience to God.
Esau, though, was covered by his own cloak.
While still in the womb, before any sin was imputed to either, God said that Esau He hated, Jacob He loved. Physically, the difference between the two was color and cloak: Esau was red and hairy; Jacob was as his parents were. And it is Esau’s cloak that makes the difference.
Extending Paul’s allegory, today two nations wrestle in the womb of Isaac [Isaac and Rebekah being one], or the Church, the last Eve. One is hated; one is loved. One covers itself with its own righteousness; one is naked, and needs the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness. One professes love for Jesus, but will not obey Him. The other looks to the Father, and at times seems to forget about Jesus. Yet, it is the one who looks to the Father that keeps the commandments and teaches others to do the same. It is this nation that will be called great in the kingdom of God. For the bloody nation that covers itself with its righteousness takes the sacraments whenever and however its wishes, attempts to enter God’s rest on the following day, and relaxes not just the least of the commandments but all of the commandments so as not be appear legalistic. Those disciples of this nation will be least in the kingdom of heaven if they are even there; they will certainly serve the nation born visibly naked.
But the nation born naked is a deceitful nation that must wrestle with God during the first half of the seven endtime years of tribulation; for this younger brother is born grasping his brother’s heel.
The second High Sabbath during Unleavened Bread commemorates the resurrection and glorification—the Wedding—of the firstfruits to the Son of Man. But before this wedding will occur, the deceitfulness of the loved son must go…it’s not enough to keep the commandments and profess love for Jesus [when the thought comes to mind]. Disciples must show one another love.
The reader should now read John chapters 14 & 15.
Commentary: Jesus’ disciples were short on love, for Jesus said that upon hearing that He was going away, ‘“If you loved me, you would have rejoiced’” (John 14:28). They didn’t rejoice. They were thinking of themselves. So why is anyone surprised to find that Jesus’ endtime disciples are also thinking foremost of themselves?
The Sabbatarian church can hardy stand itself. It is full of tares that have attracted weedy followings. In some of these followings are a few stalks of grain. But most of these weed patches have frightened away spiritual infants who want to keep the laws of God, but want nothing to do with fringe cults. Thus, God will have to “wrestle” with this loved son so that the son will overcome the world, not be overcome by the world that offers tax avoiders an Internet home, as well as a squeaky voice on chat groups of a few hundred people.
Sabbatarian fellowships should offer spiritual infants more than a garbled message and a booklet. But if that is all they have to offer, then offer it with love, not with condemnation of “nominal Christians” in the clutches of “Churchianity,” the message delivered for too long by fellowships trapped in shame.
The hated son offers qualified obedience—as if it were tainted meat—to God. So, yes, there are reasons why we Legalists would look down our long noses at fellowships that attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day. But until we get our own houses in order, we need to keep scouring away on the inside of the cup.
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."