The following suggested or possible grouping of Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and limited commentary are, hopefully, obviously thematically related. And the concept behind this selection is the resurrection of Christ Jesus known as the Wave Sheaf Offering.
Readings for the Wave Sheaf Offering
April 16, 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 9 through 14.
Commentary: The Wave Sheaf Offering is an appointed feast of the Lord that is to be kept by all generations of Israel as is the weekly Sabbath to be kept—and as with the Sabbath commandment, which moved from being a law written on stone tablets that governed the actions of the hand and the body to being a law written on the fleshy tablets of the heart and the mind to govern the thoughts of the mind and the desires of the heart, the Wave Sheaf Offering moved from being the waving of the first ripe sheaf of Judean barley to being the celebration of Christ Jesus’ acceptance by the Father.
When the old written code inscribed in stone tablets was abolished—this code physically divided humanity into two divisions, the Circumcised and the Uncircumcised (Eph 2:11-22)—and a new covenant was made with Israel, a covenant written on hearts and placed in minds (Jer 31:33 & Heb 8:10), the nation of Israel went from being the physically circumcised nation to being a spiritually circumcised nation, this spiritual circumcision coming from receipt of the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion]. The former nation ended the marriage made at Sinai by murdering its Husband, who had put the nation away for its adulterous behavior (Ezek chaps 16 & 23). Thus, the murdered Husband was free to marry another (Rom 7:1-4), but not another physical nation, for He will not again enter His creation—the Logos, as Theos, came as His son, His only (John 3:16), to end the marriage He made at Sinai (Exod 19:5-6) when He entered His creation to be seen in His glory [His backside] by the man Moses (Exod 33:20-23), and to be seen from a distance by Moses, Aaron, Nadob, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel (Exod 24:9-10)…the marriage of the Lord to Israel was for the purpose of producing offspring, just as is the marriage of a man to a woman. But few offspring came from this marriage, for the nation would not walk in the ways of the Lord, nor would the nation quit profaning His Sabbaths (Ezek chap 20). Thus, as the promise did not go to Abraham’s eldest son, Ishmael, but to his next son, Isaac—and as the promise didn’t go to Isaac’s eldest son, Esau, the twin born first, but to the younger twin, Jacob—the promise of salvation didn’t go to the Logos’ eldest son, natural nation of Israel (Exod 4:22), which the Apostle Paul compares to Hagar (Gal 4:21-31), but to the holy nation (1 Pet 2:9) born second, which Paul compares to Isaac. But from Isaac comes two sons, twins, one hated before birth, one loved (Mal 1:2-3 & Rom 9:13). Likewise, two sons are in the womb of the Church, struggling as Esau struggled with Jacob in the womb of Rebekah (Gen 25:22). One is hated by the Lord even though no sin is presently imputed to it, for this son remains cloaked in the mantle of Grace. The second son is loved, for this son practices walking uprightly before God while wearing the mantle of Grace. The first son walks lawlessly before God, profaning His Sabbaths. The second son keeps the commandments that are written on heart and mind. The first son labels the second son a legalist, and openly hates his law-abiding brother, whose keeping of the commandments convicts the first son of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Two sons of spiritual Isaac. Twins. One hated. One loved. Both struggle against the other in the womb of the Church, the last Eve. The Apostle Paul reminds Roman converts that God told Moses that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion (Rom 9:15 citing Exod 33:19), and the context of the Lord telling Moses that He will be gracious to whom He will has Moses pleading for the nation’s life after the golden calf incident—the Lord would not accept Moses’ life in exchange for the lives of all of Israel, nor would He take Moses’ life for the sins of Israel. Instead, Israel was figuratively placed on a very short leash so that when these people rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness of Paran (Num chap 14), all Israelites over twenty [the age of adulthood] died in the wilderness and never entered God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11), with the exception of Joshua, who served Moses, and Caleb, who had a different spirit in him. And all of spiritual Esau—that greater portion of the Christian Church that profanes the Sabbaths of God—is on this figurative short leash, and will be condemned to death when it rebels against the God, and tries to enter His rest on the following day, the 8th day, instead of the 7th.
The struggle of the hated and the loved twin in the womb of the Church has seen the hated son drown disciples who would be baptized as adults [the Anabaptists], has seen many of the greatest atrocities humanity has known committed by that hated son, has seen that hated son take his lawless gospel to the world in previously unimagined power, and has seen the loved son passively absorb the abuse that comes from keeping the commandments—this loved son is now largely ashamed of the identifier Legalist, which should be worn proudly. But the hated son has so effectively twisted the epistles of Paul (as the Apostle Peter said was already being done in the 1st Century — 2 Pet 3:15-17) into its lawless gospel that the message this son teaches confuses even the spiders of Google that hang as Jonathon Edwards’ spider over the flames of hell.
And this day on which the Wave Sheaf offering is to be observed epitomizes the hated son’s twisting of Paul’s epistles: from the days of Moses, Israel was commanded to celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus, and His acceptance by the Father. But the natural nation of Israel, like Ishmael, the firstborn son of Abraham, was not of a spiritual promise. It was physical, a nation made with hands and the cutting away of flesh, a nation in bondage to sin and death, a nation that grew in the hill country of Judea as if it were the barley and wheat it harvested, a nation that forms the lively but spiritually lifeless shadow of the Church, a nation that because of its lawlessness was given statutes by which it could not live (Ezek 20:25-26). And the Church, as the spiritual reality that cast the lively shadow commanded to burn its firstborns because of its lawlessness and its profaning the Sabbaths of God, has been commanded to burn the hated firstborn son in the fires of gehenna because this son’s lawlessness and profaning of the Sabbaths of God. Yes, the Church, like natural Israel, has been commanded to spiritually burn its firstborn son in lake of fire for the same reasons that natural Israel was given statutes that defiled the nation that should have made it abhorrent in its eyes.
But as the natural nation never repented of its evil doing, keeping only the statutes given that defiled the nation, the Church has visibly kept only the statutes that showcase its lawlessness and its profaning of the Sabbaths, which will send its firstborn hated son into the lake of fire.
Again, two sons. One is today celebrating Easter. The other is either avoiding celebrating this day so as to not celebrate Easter, or is observing the Wave Sheaf Offering. The firstborn son of the Church will have assembled before dawn to observe the rising sun, then dressed in its finery, will now be hearing a message about Jesus’ resurrection, before it sits down to a ham dinner as families gather together on one of two or three annual occasions…what can be wrong with families getting together, this firstborn son will ask, little realizing that those who sanctify and purify themselves, following after one another, eating pig’s flesh, shall come to an end together (Isa 66:17), for many will be the slain of the Lord when He comes (v. 16).
Jesus’ appearance before his Father and His God on this day, this year as it was in 31 CE, the fourth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, should be commemorated:
The reader should now read John chapters 19 & 20; followed by Luke chapter 24 and Matthew chapter 28.
Commentary: As the last Adam, the first spiritual man, Jesus was the first sheaf of the early barley harvest that was accepted by God. The loved son of the Church will constitute the remainder of the barley harvest. And this will be the message of the last High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread.
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."