Setting the Calendar
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. (Ex 12:1–3)
When the Lord told Moses that paschal lambs were to be selected and penned on the 10th day of the first month, the Lord did not command Israel to select and pen paschal lambs on Yom Kipporim, the 10th day of the seventh month—Israel’s Passover exodus from Egypt and the nation’s rebellion at Sinai would occur before the seventh month was at hand. As a nation, Israel would be prohibited from spiritually entering into God’s rest (through the prohibition of kindling a fire on the Sabbath) by the end of the fifth month. So before the seventh month of Israel’s first year occurred, the law had been given and broken, and a second covenant had been made with Moses and with Israel, a covenant that was unlike the one made in the third month that was ratified by the shedding of blood (see Ex 24:5–8). This second covenant was not ratified by blood but by a better promise, the glory that shone on Moses’ face; hence this second covenant made at Sinai is a heavenly thing. It is eternal. It will not pass away, and it expressly commands Israel to keep the Sabbath (Ex 34:21), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (v. 18), the Feast of Weeks, and the Fall Feast (v. 22) by appearing before the Lord during these three seasons of the year (v. 23).
The glory that shone from Moses’ face caused Moses to put a veil over his face, with this veil forming a copy of the veil that kept Israel from looking upon the Ark of the Covenant: only the high priest, and then only on one day in the year could the high priest look upon the glory of the Lord … the Lord told Moses, “‘On the first day of the first month [of the second year] you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, and you shall screen the ark with a veil’” (Ex 40:2–3), a veil that was akin to the veil with which Moses covered his face (Ex 34:33).
Because of its rebellion at Sinai, its breaking of the Sinai covenant, and the making of a second covenant at Sinai, Israel (the nation that left Egypt) found itself separated from the man Moses, who was to be god to Aaron (Ex 4:16), and by extension, to Israel. A veil is a separation. It is a barrier that prevents the intrusion of even eyesight. And after the Lord made the second Sinai covenant, which is usually overlooked by Christendom, except when speaking to them the people of Israel could not look upon the face of Moses just as the people could not approach the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord placed a separation between Himself and the people of Israel that remains in effect to this day.
Paul said that Israelites’ minds were hardened, and even in the 1st-Century CE remained hardened when the Torah was read (2 Cor 3:14) for only through Christ Jesus is the veil that covered Moses’ face removed.
Matthew records that at Jesus’ death, the “curtain [veil] of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (27:51).
The veil that prevented Israel from seeking the glory of God either on Moses’ face or in the tent of meeting where Moses spoke with the Lord remained in place until Calvary.
Therefore, the disciple able to see the glory of God does not consult with the natural Israelite who is unable to see this glory as to when the Passover is to be commemorated. Nor will the disciple able to see God’s glory consult with Roman emperors or lawless Christians who do not believe the writings of Moses.
The tent of meeting was not erected in the first year, but on the first day of the first month of the second year. And “in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they [Israel] had come out of the land of Egypt” (Num 1:1), Moses, by command of the Lord, took a census of Israel. And of the men numbered in this census, only Joshua and Caleb were able to enter physically into God’s rest; for the nation of Israel rebelled against the Lord a second time in the second year (Num chap 14). So it was the mixed circumcised and uncircumcised children of Israel that followed Joshua [in Greek, [0F@Ø—Jesus] into the Promised Land of God’s rest.
The Christian who submits to the authority of rebellious Israel joins him or her self to the rebels, regardless of whether these rebels descend from the natural nation of Israel or whether they descend from an ideological nation. Disciples should be shamed by their rebellion against Christ Jesus; for when they come together, each has his or her own calendar. When the saints at Corinth came together, some claimed to follow Paul and some Apollos, but as Paul asked and answered, “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each” (1 Cor 3:5).
The Adversary has used the calendar to defeat Sabbatarian disciples; for these disciples will not now submit to any authority but their own intellect. They do not believe the writings of Moses. If they did, none of them would ever have used a calculated calendar that begins in the fall of the year to set the day for the First Unleavened. Nor do they hear the voice of Jesus. They are as wild cattle in a desert, winding the scent of water on the evening breeze: they drift south, ever searching for what they cannot find, grazing on cacti and thorns, fearful of anything taller than themselves, fugitives that cannot be easily corralled by men or angels. They bear the brand of “God,” but they have been running wild for so long that they have become the Adversary’s although he doesn’t want them. He will, however, shoot them at long range and leave them lay where they die, a bullet in their bellies, the bullet being a calendar.
For decades, Sabbatarian disciples who kept the Passover used the rabbinical calculated calendar to establish the date on which they took the sacraments of bread and wine, but the rabbinical calendar has no more authority to set the date for when disciples take the sacraments than Emperor Constantine had—and if the Sabbatarian who takes the sacraments based on Judaism’s calendar believes that his or her sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God, then it is logically consistent for this Sabbatarian to believe that the sins of every Christian taking the sacraments whether daily, weekly, quarterly, and on the Thursday evening before Easter are also covered by the blood of the Lamb.
The above needs repeated for emphasis: if Christ Jesus covers the sins of Sabbatarian disciples who take the sacraments of unleavened bread and wine on the dark portion of the 14th of Nissan as this date is established by rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar in a year like 2010, then Christ Jesus will also cover the sins of every Christian taking the sacraments of bread and wine on whatever day the Christian sincerely believes is correct. And this might well be the case, but if it is, intent overrides practice.
At one time God winked at the childish ignorance of disciples, but it is time to put spiritual baby bottles away: Paul said to the saints at Corinth, “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh” (1 Cor 3:1–3).
If disciples and especially Sabbatarian disciples do anything in 2010, they need to strive for a purity of worship that has not previously existed within the Church; they need to strive for this purity because the seven endtime years will be upon all Christians in the near future. A Second Passover liberation of Israel will occur, and as the physically circumcised nation rebelled against God in both the first and second years after its Passover liberation from physical slavery to a physical king in a physical land, the spiritually circumcised (i.e., circumcised of heart) nation of Israel will likewise twice rebel against God following its Second Passover liberation from indwelling sin and death and bondage to a spiritual king of Babylon. While the rebellion of Israel/Christendom is certain, individual Christians do not have to rebel but can turn to God, repent of the sloppy ways in which they have worshipped God, and begin to strive for a purity of mind and practice that will have them worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth (from John 4:23).
The reason most often given by Sabbatarian disciples who take the Passover sacraments on the 14th of Nissan according to Judaism’s calculated calendar is the need to maintain unity in fellowships—
If the disciple wants unity in Christian worship, the disciple wants no more than what medieval French monarchs wanted from the traditional saying, Une foi, un loi, un roi—one faith, one law, one king. “One faith” was perceived as essential to civil order: how would a society hold together if it were not united through one faith, and that faith needed to be the right faith so that God would bless the nation and uphold the natural order. Heresy was, then, treason and tantamount to Jesus in 1st-Century Judea claiming that He was equal with God.
Any movement toward purity in a person’s practice of religion will be construed as heresy by those who are content with the status quo. And it is here where setting a calendar gets complicated: the person who recognizes no authority but the person’s relationship with Christ will inevitably become an island unto him or herself. This person will not submit to the authority of another, but becomes as Korah was when Korah confronted Moses: “‘You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?’” (Num 16:3). The why was because Moses had been given that authority by the Lord (Ex 4:16).
Korah expressed the essence of democratic governance: every person is equal before God, with rights received from God, including the right to worship God however the person pleases. Therefore, the First Amendment to the United States of America’s Constitution—the amendment that has permitted the mostly peaceful development of Sabbatarian Christendom—is not of Moses but comes from the spirit of Korah, a juxtaposition that would have America and specially America’s capital, Washington D.C., as the location of Satan’s throne. … The Adversary’s rebellion was ignited by the sparks of equality for all, that all sons of God are holy, that the sons of God form the assembly of the Most High, that Most High and His Helpmate have exalted themselves above the assembly. The Adversary’s position is nonsensical from a human perspective, but from the perspective of the timeless heavenly realm, there was never a moment when the Adversary did not exist even though his creation is analogous to the Christendom’s sudden liberation from indwelling sin and death.
Without a historical record of the world prior to a person’s birth, a person cannot possibly comprehend what the world was like even a century before the person’s conscious existence. Inevitably, the present becomes the norm by which the person judges the world, with this present-as-normal paradigm most easily seen in arguments about global climate change: scientists do not know what the earth’s “normal temperature” is. And if scientists do not know what normal is, they cannot possibly know if the small rise in temperature that seems to have peaked in 1998 is within normal parameters or is above or below normal. No reliable temperature records exist prior to about 1890, and no records exist prior to the 17th-Century. Thus, scientists use the 20th-Century as their gauge for what is normal, but in doing so they are being intellectually dishonest for to speak of either global warming or global cooling requires data that transcends millennia on a static model. Scientists do not even know what the earth’s atmospheric pressures were five millennia ago: has the earth expanded in diameter without increasing in mass, a possibility that would permit the transformation of vegetative matter into coal within a short time instead of over thousands of millennia?
As a person without history cannot comprehend his or her past, an angel cannot comprehend what heaven was like before its creation: since heaven is timeless, with the “moment” remaining the same moment regardless of the activity that occurs, an angel cannot comprehend a time prior to its existence, for this moment doesn’t exist and has never existed even though the angel didn’t exist. The moment when the angel received conscious thought is the present moment; therefore, the angel has no awareness of the Most High’s pre-existence to the angel’s existence. It would be relatively easy for the Adversary to convince other angels that all sons of God are holy and constitute a holy assembly. Without history—the record or memory of the passing of one moment into the next moment—Lucifer could easily believe what Korah expressed: Why do you exalt yourself about the assembly?
Jesus does not cover the sins of every person. If He did, no one would ever be condemned.
Jesus’ righteousness only covers those who strive to walk as He walked.
What did Korah say that was wrong? Was not all of Israel holy, the holy nation of the Lord (Ex 19:6)? Was not Moses, with the veil over his face, taking too much onto himself, especially when he had the man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath stoned to death, then commanded that people of Israel make tassels for their garments so that they would not forget the commandments and fail to do them? Weren’t these things abuses of power, especially after preventing Israel from returning to Egypt?
Does not Peter write, “But you [elect exiles] are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Pet 2:9–10)?
Cannot a Christian say about disciples what Korah said about Israel? Certainly a Christian can. But the disciple who contends that all of Israel is holy, that a person takes too much upon him or herself when the person exercises authority within Christendom will be as Korah was if (and this is a very large if) the person who, say, sets the calendar has been called as Moses was, or as Paul was … the preceding sentence is constructed backwards: a Christian rebels against God if the Christian challenges a servant of God as Korah challenged Moses. But too many charlatans claim a calling by God for this ministry or for that ministry. Separating these charlatans from the chosen, a task simplified by Paul’s test for authenticity, has proved to be too difficult for most Christians, who refuse to believe that “asking” for tithes and offerings unequivocally identifies those who ask as ministers of Satan disguised in this world as servants of righteousness (2 Cor 11:7–15).
Charlatans ask for monies; the chosen do not ask for tithes and offerings. God supplies the needs of those whom He has called: He may cause another person to extend support to His servants as the brothers that came from Macedonia supplied Paul’s needs, or He might cause an employer to offer His servant a job, for the means of support are not important. But the one who has been called to serve by hearing words from His mouth as Paul, on his way to Damascus, heard the words of Jesus will not ask other men [or women] for support, for this person does not work for other human beings but works for God. This person is not employed by a fellowship or by a sect or denomination: the person who is employed by a sect answers to the overseers of that sect, and this person is not free to declare the words of God to all who will hear. This person is only free to declare what his overseers permit him [or her] to say. Thus, sermons must be approved in advance by a headquarters staff, or are recorded and sent to a headquarters administration; for a sect will not long pay a minister who teaches doctrines contrary to the sect’s official position. Hence, Israel’s captivity has been long continued through limits being placed on what those who would teach Israel can say, with these limitations coming via the need to ask for tithes and offerings and paychecks.
The day after Korah was swallowed alive by the earth, the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying that Moses and Aaron had killed the people of the Lord (Num 16:41) — and the Lord sent a plague onto the people, thereby killing more of them, another 14,700 (v. 49) and still the people grumbled. They wanted equality. They were not happy about Moses being somehow above them; they were, to themselves, their own gods, with each person doing what was right in his or her own eyes.
Israel was a nation of rebels, none of whom thought of him or herself as a rebel. Instead, thoughts were about equality before the Lord, about equal rights and equal opportunities, including an equal opportunity to serve the Lord. Within rebellious Israel, there was no room for the elite or elitist; to rebellious Israel, Moses and Aaron were no more special that any other Levite. And this democratic idealism has recently manifested itself among foundering Sabbatarian disciples that once supported Herbert W. Armstrong, who did not ask the public for support but milked disciples even to the point of asking these disciples to borrow monies so that they could better support him. It is no surprise that his former supporters will not now listen to anyone, for the work of the person whom they believed was God’s essential endtime man was tried by fire and found wanting. These former supporters are disillusioned and really unable to grow in grace and knowledge, for they believe that they have all knowledge, that they are rich, that they have prospered, that they need nothing, not realizing that that they are poor, blind, wretched, pitiable, and by not taking the Passover sacraments on the day that Jesus established as an example, they are naked. They are not covered by either Jesus’ righteousness or by their own obedience.
The Christian Church, analogous to the son of the widow of Zarephath—many in Judaism hold that the lad was the prophet Jonah, which if true would fit with Jesus giving only the sign of Jonah as proof that He was from heaven—will be suddenly filled with a second breath of life at the Second Passover, with this “filling” or empowering being a baptism in spirit in a third attempt by Christ Jesus, the last Elijah, to restore life to a dead Church … the first attempt began with the Radical Reformers in the 16th-Century, and the second attempt comes with the mingling of pietism with Anabaptist belief in the 17th-Century. The second attempt ended with the ministry of Herbert W. Armstrong, and the third attempt began with a calling, heard as words from the mouth of God, to reread prophecy in 2002. But the Church will not breathe on its own until the Second Passover, and it will be this Second Passover liberation of Israel that causes faithful Christians to say to Philadelphia what the widow said to Elijah: “‘Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is true’” (1 Kings 17:24). Christ Jesus will make today’s Christians come to Philadelphia where they will learn that Christ has loved this small, scattered fellowship.
The Second Passover will not put an end to speculation about who speaks truth, for even the sudden death of firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb will not silence the many false prophets who will identify the Second Passover as the sixth Trumpet Plague. They will be wrong; they will assume that humankind is three and a half years closer to Christ’s return than it is. They will deceive many, leading these many astray, setting up these many to worship the Adversary when he is cast into time and comes claiming to be the Messiah, but these many false prophets are as necessary to fulfilling Scripture as Judas Iscariot was. And like Judas Iscariot, their end will be ugly.
Setting the calendar is a necessary task for Philadelphia, for presently there is no other fellowship with the understanding of Scripture necessary to establish the calendar: according to Paul, the Christian Church—the assembly that is circumcised of heart—is Israel in a similar manner to how disciples are the temple and are the Body of Christ, thereby making Christ the house of God, the endtime temple, the temple that was rebuilt in three days, with its Head resurrected from death after three earthly days and the Body to be resurrected from death after the third spiritual day; thus, the sacred calendar that records the movements of the sun and moon forms the shadow and type of a heavenly calendar that records the movements of the Son [of God] and of Israel, the people that are to reflect the light of the Son. This sacred heavenly calendar is expressed in the poetics of Genesis 1:1 through 2:3. The light of Day One was seen in the face of Christ Jesus (cf. 2 Cor 4:6; Gen 1:3). The greater and lesser light of the fourth day will be the resurrection of the firstfruits to glory, with the greater light that rules the day being those disciples who will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens (Matt 5:19). The darkness that will be ruled by the lesser light is the creation and all that is in it, and the lesser light will be those disciples who relaxed but did not break the least of the commandments.
The sacred heavenly calendar is constructed around a seven day week that is represented in type by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and by the seven day calendar week that would have Israel entering into God’s rest through weekly Sabbath observance. The parallelism between the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the calendar week equates the last day of Unleavened Bread, the second high Sabbath, with the weekly Sabbath, but an additional parallel prevents the first day of the calendar week from being observed as a Sabbath for the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are also represented by the seven endtime years of tribulation and by the seven day physical week, a type of the seven day heavenly calendar, which has the light of Day One being the entrance of the Logos [Ò 8`(@H] into His creation (John 1:1, 3).
It is the entrance of the Logos into His creation as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14), that forms the spiritual reality of Israel’s exodus from Egypt on the great day of the Sabbath (from John 19:31), the dark portion of the 15th day of the first month, or the first high Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Thus, the first day of each week doesn’t represent a Sabbath or an entering into God’s rest for circumcised-of-heart Israel, but rather, represents the beginning of a journey away from bondage to the kingdom of this world and its prince, the spiritual king of Babylon (see Isa 14:4), with this journey made possible because of the Logos entering His creation to die at Calvary and to be buried in the heart of the earth on the first day of the Feast, the great day of the Sabbath, with the Sabbath expanded to include the entire period when an Israelite would have been in Jerusalem by command of the Lord (Deut 16:16; Ex 23:14–15).
Every week, every first day of every week a disciple begins anew his or her journey away from sin, with the disciple figuratively entering into God’s rest seven days later … a disciple enters into a miniature version of God’s rest on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, which is what the writer of Hebrews declares (see Heb 4:9). The disciple who is one with Jesus will die to sin and the disobedience of this world and will be buried dead in this world as Jesus was buried in the Garden Tomb when the great day of the Sabbath began.
Jesus did not enter into heaven or into the Father’s presence on the high Sabbath day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, just as the nation of Israel did not enter into God’s rest when the nation left Egypt with a high hand during the dark portion of the 15th day of the first month. Instead of entering into God’s rest, Peter says of Jesus, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water” (1 Pet 3:18–21 emphasis added). Peter adds that baptism corresponds to death, to the watery grave that of all but eight experienced when this world was baptized into death because men believed rebelling spirits imprisoned in darkness. So it wasn’t to the Father that Jesus went when He was buried on the first day of the Feast, but spiritually to imprisoned demons for he was then also imprisoned in darkness and would remain imprisoned in darkness until He was resurrected on the day after the [weekly] Sabbath when He would begin a new earthly week, not as a human being but as a life-giving spirit through breathing on ten of His disciples, thereby giving to these ten a second breath of life.
Jesus was selected and penned in Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month as the reality of every paschal lamb of Israel, but He did not enter into God’s rest [i.e., heaven] at any time during this “week” from Sabbath to Sabbath. Likewise, a person is selected and drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65) but “penned” in this world until judgments are revealed when the Messiah comes: the person lives as the Body of the paschal Lamb of God in this world, and for some disciples, much time will pass before their judgments are revealed. They are as paschal lambs when the 14th of Abib occurs near the first of the seven day week. But for other disciples, little time will pass from when they die physically until their judgments are revealed. They will be as paschal lambs when the 14th of Abib occurs late in the seven day week. Hence, the 14th’s day to day movement forms the shadow and copy of when disciples are sacrificed from the 1st through the 21st Centuries, and especially during the seven endtime years of tribulation.
For disciples, the first day of the week represents their inner death and burial in a death like that which Jesus experienced physically. The first day of the week does not represent entering into God’s rest or into heaven, but represents life coming through the Father raising the dead by giving to the dead a second breath of life that is analogous to Israel’s liberation from bondage to Pharaoh. But the life that comes from receiving the breath of the Father [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø] or Holy Spirit [B<,Ø:" ž(4@<] must now begin a trek through the wilderness of sin as Israel trekked through the wilderness—and as the nation that left Egypt rebelled against the Lord in both the first and second years of this nation’s journey through the wilderness, Christendom has and will again rebel against God during the seven endtime years of tribulation.
The first day of the week represents death typified by the Logos leaving heaven (the timeless realm of life) and entering His creation as His only Son, the human man Jesus of Nazareth, where He would die physically: the Logos “died” spiritually when He entered His creation as His Son and not as Himself. He then died physically at Calvary.
The Logos died when He entered His creation as the Light of Day One. And every human being figuratively born “dead” as a natural son of the first Adam dwells in the “dark” portion of Day One and not in the light; whereas when one of these sons of Adam is born of spirit as a son of God, the person has the light of God dwelling within the person, with the person now beginning his or her trek away from indwelling sin and death as natural Israel journeyed away from Egypt.
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex 20:11)
You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
The Sabbath was made holy because the Lord, after making heaven and earth and all that is in them, rested on the seventh day—this is a declaration made by the Lord from the perspective of the timeless heavenly realm, for from a physical perspective not all has yet been completed. According to the sacred heavenly calendar, humankind remains in the dark portion of the third day, the day that began when the two angels asked the first disciples, “‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven’” (Acts 1:11) … the dark or night portion of Day One began with the creation of all that has been made, with the light or day portion of Day One coming when the Logos entered His creation as His only Son. The dark portion of the second day began at Calvary, with the light portion coming with Jesus’ resurrection from death. The dark portion of the third day came with the glorified Jesus’ ascension after He was with His first disciples for forty days. The light portion of this third day comes when the glorified Jesus stands on the split Mount of Olives halfway through the seven endtime years. Thus, disciples when glorified will come before the Father as the reality of the two loaves of bread baked with leavening that are waved on the Feast of Weeks; disciples will ascend to the Father on the fourth day of the heavenly week as Jesus appeared before the Father on the fourth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Hence, the reconciliation of the weekly calendar with the annual calendar comes on those years when the paschal lamb is selected and penned on the weekly Sabbath, or stated in dates, when the 10th day of the first month occurs on the Sabbath.
Therefore, let it here be stated without equivocation, the seven day cycle that began with the creation of all that has been made, with the light portion of Day One coming with the Logos entering His creation as His only Son, remains the weekly basis for the sacred calendar. But the heavenly calendar is not time related, for its days are not denoted by the rise and set of the sun but by the absence and presence of the light of God, with the absence of God from within the creation preceding the presence of God for the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46). And let it be further noted that the beginning of the year and the beginning of months are not determined by the absence or presence of the light of God, but by the movements of the sun and moon. Thus, the seven day week that reflects the seven day heavenly calendar—the week that is determined by the setting of the sun—works independently from the annual calendar that is set by the sighting of the first new moon crescent following the vernal equinox. The annual calendar is a reflection of God’s plan of salvation, for Israel serves as the reflection of the light of God in this world.
The day on which the Sabbath occurs has not been lost since the weekly calendar was reaffirmed through the giving of manna for six days and the absence of manna on the seventh day for the forty years that Israel trekked through the wilderness. Thus, when Jesus, having identified Himself as the true Bread of Life that came down from heaven, enters Jerusalem on the Sabbath as the selected and penned paschal Lamb of God, He becomes the reality of the absence of manna on the Sabbath, for He will be crucified on the Preparation Day for the great day of the Sabbath (John 19:31), with the entire period when Israel went to Jerusalem identified by John as the Sabbath.
In the symbolism of Jesus being both the Bread of Life and the Passover Lamb of God, the sacred heavenly calendar is reconciled with the plan of God as disclosed through the yearly calendar, but this reconciliation only occurs when the Passover lamb, penned on the 10th day of the month, is penned on the weekly Sabbath.
Since Scripture only records one weekday that can reliably be assigned a calendar date, it is from this one example that the annual calendar must be established and the two calendar models reconciled.
Twice Jesus said that He would give only one sign that He was from heaven, with this sign being that of the prophet Jonah: “‘For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’” (Matt 12:40 — also 16:4).
Although some teachers of Israel claim ambiguity in the Greek text about how many hours are represented by three days and three nights, there is no ambiguity in the Book of Jonah. Three days are three hot portions of three calendar days, and three nights are three twisting-away-from-the-light portions of three calendar days. Therefore, if Jesus is to be believed, He would be 72 hours in the grave.
Jesus was crucified on the Preparation Day for the great day of the Sabbath (John 19:31, 42); He was crucified on the 14th of Abib, and His body was placed in the Garden Tomb at or near sunset when the 15th of Abib was about to begin. Thus, if He is to be believed, He was in the heart of the earth all day on the 15th of Abib, and He was in the grave all day the 16th of Abib, and He was in the grave all day the 17th of Abib, and He would have been resurrected from death on or about the beginning of the 18th of Abib.
John records, “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1).
Luke records, “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (24:1–3).
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. (16:1–6)
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” (28:1–6)
The testimony of Scripture is that Jesus was gone from the tomb sometime during the dark portion of the 18th of Abib, the first day of the calendar week, the day after the Sabbath, with this “Sabbath” being the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This Sabbath was not the 15th of Abib, the high day, but the 17th of Abib, thus making the 10th of Abib the previous weekly Sabbath.
So there is understanding, Jesus came to Bethany and ate dinner with Martha and Mary on the 9th of Abib, a Friday. Then on the 10th, the Sabbath, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a colt as the selected Passover Lamb of God and as the next generation High Priest. On the 11th, the first day of the week, Jesus cursed the fig tree that did not bear fruit when it was not the season for fruit, with the fig tree representing Christians who are to bear the fruit of the spirit when it is not yet the season for fruit. On the 13th, Tuesday, the preparation day for the First Unleavened [read Matt 26:17 without the extra words uninspired translators have added] Jesus sent disciples into the city to prepare the room where Jesus and the Twelve would eat the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th. And during the daylight portion of the 14th, Wednesday, Jesus would be crucified.
As John identifies the entire period from when a Hebrew male would have arrived in Jerusalem in accordance to the command for all males to appear three times a year before the Lord (see Deut 16:16; Ex 23:14) to the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as “J@ØF"$$VJ@Ø—the Sabbath,” with the high day of the 15th as “Jè F"$$VJè … :,(V80 º º:XD"—the Sabbath … great the day” (John 19:31), Matthew separates the night on which Jesus ate the Passover, the same night that Israel in Egypt ate the first Passover, from the Feast of Unleavened Bread through the use of the phrase, the first unleavened—J±BDfJ± Jä< •.b:T< (Matt 26:17). Thus, a few irregularities in the practices of Sabbatarian disciples can be eliminated: the Passover meal that Jesus ate was on the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, and was on the same night as the first Passover in Egypt was eaten: Israel was told not to leave their houses until dawn (Ex 12:22) and the nation did not spoil the Egyptians until the daylight portion of the 14th. Thus, leavened bread would not have been eaten at the so-called Last Supper, for the night was the First Unleavened, with the Feast of Unleavened Bread to follow immediately afterward. Plus, the entire period when Hebrew males were gathered in Jerusalem was Sabbath, so leavened bread would not have been eaten during this period.
There is no textual confusion as to when Jesus ate the Passover. Certainly some translation confusion exists because of the errant traditions held by these translators, but for the person who believes the writings of Moses and hears the voice of Jesus, the text is adequately plain: the first covenant made with the fathers of Israel “‘on the day when [the Lord] took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt’” (Heb 8:9) is renewed annually by the taking of the sacraments representing the body and the blood of the paschal Lamb of God on the same night that Israel in Egypt ate the first Passover. This is the First Unleavened. Israel did not eat the Passover lamb on the night when Israel left Egypt with a high hand, but on the previous night. But after a remnant of Israel returned from Babylon as the shadow and type of a remnant of the Christian Church returning to God from spiritual Babylon, the Pharisees killed paschal lambs on the afternoon of the 14th of Abib and eat these lambs on the dark portion of the 15th; thus, Jesus could, because of the Pharisees’ practice both eat the Passover and be the Passover Lamb of God, a Lamb appropriate to the size of the household of God.
The Pharisees’ practice of killing paschal lambs on the 9th hour of the 14th day did not come from Moses, but from their uninspired reading of Scripture; for both Israel and Judah had quit keeping the Passover from the days of the judges until King Josiah in the days of Jeremiah:
And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem. (2 Kings 23:21–23)
Because of the veil that separated Israel from Moses, the priests of Israel did not correctly determine when the Passover was to be eaten after the long hiatus. Therefore, it is to Jesus, whose death on the 14th caused the veil to be rent, that disciples go to reestablish the Sabbaths of God. Just as the giving of manna, the bread from heaven, reestablished the weekly Sabbath, Jesus as the true Bread from Heaven reestablished the annual Sabbaths, beginning with when the Passover was to be eaten on the First Unleavened. And what the council at Nicea could not accomplish in getting the Passover right in 325 CE, can now be accomplished as the last Elijah breathes life into the Body of Christ; for the Body of Christ cannot breathe on its own until disciples again take the Passover sacraments after the model Jesus established—and this is the importance of 2010.
The Sabbatarian disciple who does not take the sacraments of bread and wine (the Lamb’s body and blood) on the dark or night portion of the 14th of Abib has no more claim to grace (i.e., the covering of Christ Jesus’ righteousness) than does the Christian who takes communion every Sunday. Neither follows the practice of Jesus, who set the example that every disciple should follow. And it is in Jesus establishing a model or pattern for disciples who would be covered by His righteousness that the calendar is set; for if it does not matter when the sacraments of bread and wine are taken, it doesn’t matter what calendar is used to set the date for taking these sacraments. But if it matters when the sacraments are taken, if disciples are truly to follow Jesus’ example, then the calendar does matter.
For the person who is not born of God, when the sacraments are taken makes no real difference for the person has no life in the heavenly realm that must be covered by Jesus’ righteousness. But if the person has been born of spirit, with this new inner life a firstborn son of God, when the sacraments are taken does matter, for if the inner son of God is not covered by blood of the Lamb, this inner son of God will be slain when death angels again pass over the land—and no parent wants to see his or her firstborn perish needlessly. God is no different; so the Second Passover will not happen until a remnant of Israel eats the Passover sacraments on the night established by Jesus, with this night seen by a clearly made calendar distinction. Therefore, once the week day to calendar date is established, the year of Jesus’ crucifixion must be determined for reasons that become apparent.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (3:1–3)
In the 15th year is not after 15 years, but after 14 years, and Tiberius did not begin to reign in 14 CE when Augustus died as is usually assumed, but began to reign more than a year before Augustus died [the Wikipedia article on Augustus is wrong in its claim that Augustus ruled Rome alone until his death in 14 CE] … following the death of Gaius, Augustus’ grandson, in 4 CE, Tiberius was adopted by Augustus as his full son and heir, receiving with adoption tribunician power as well as a share of Augustus’ maius imperium. Then in 13 CE, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal to, rather than second to Augustus’ authority to rule: Tiberius became a co-princeps so that no interregnum would occur when Augustus, then near his mid 70s, died as he did in 14 CE at age 75.
So adding 14 years to 13 CE, disciples find that John the Baptist, six months older than Jesus, began his ministry on or about the Passover in 27 CE: John would have begun his ministry when he was about thirty years of age. Hence, Jesus began His ministry on or near Sukkoth in the year 27 CE, not 29 CE as is too often taught by ignorant or naïve disciples. Therefore, Jesus first cleansed the temple when Passover was at hand in 28 CE.
The ancient house of Israel began its calendar in the spring of the year as Moses had commanded, but the ancient house of Judah began its calendar in the fall of the year contrary to Moses. Rabbinical Judaism’s practice of beginning its calculated calendar in the fall of the year follows that of the ancient house of Judah; therefore, it must be assumed when Common Era (CE) years are converted into rabbinical calendar years that the declared rabbinical year ends with the first of Abib and the new year begins; so the rabbinical calculated year will be one year less than the year of Israel’s calendar from Nissan through Elul. The calendars will be on the same year from Tishri though Adar then Israel’s calendar will move ahead of Judaism’s calendar by a year.
The above clarifies previous dating of Jesus’ crucifixion that was based on Israel’s calendar being six months behind Judaism’s calendar instead of six months ahead. This difference had the crucifixion occurring in the Hebrew year 3791, with this year beginning with Tishri the preceding fall. In reality, the new year would have begun with the month of Abib [Nissan] and would have begun the year 3792, with the spring of both 3791 according to Judaism’s calendar and the spring of 3792 according to Israel’s calendar being the spring of 31 CE.
Because Judaism’s calendar begins the year with Tishri, in years like 31 CE or like 2010 CE Judaism’s calendar begins the month of Abib/Nissan before the vernal equinox instead of after the equinox—
As manna from heaven set the weekly Sabbath for Israel, the true Bread from Heaven sets the annual Sabbath for Israel, with this annual Sabbath being the Passover season … John made no erring statement in calling the entire period when Israel was in Jerusalem the Sabbath, for it is this Sabbath that establishes the annual calendar as the weekly Sabbath establishes the weekly calendar—the Hebrew practice of identifying weekdays by the number of days the weekday is before or after the Sabbath was continued by the gospel writers (see Acts 20:7 and John 20:1 as example texts).
In the year 31 CE, the vernal equinox occurred on March 23 (Julian calendar) at 3:00 am, a Friday morning.
According to the rabbinical calculated calendar, the vernal equinox of 3:00 am March 23, 31 CE occurred on 11 Nissan 3791, a Friday.
Accordingly, 15 Nissan 3791 on Judaism’s calendar was a Tuesday, and not Thursday.
But on Judaism’s calendar, 15 Lyyar 3791 was on a Thursday.
In the year 31 CE, the new moon [dark of the moon] preceding the vernal equinox occurred on March 11 (Julian calendar) at 11:00 pm, and the first new moon following the vernal equinox occurred on April 10 (Julian) at noon.
The new moon crescent would not have been observable six hours later at sunset but would have been visible the following sunset, April 12 (Julian).
April 12, 31 CE (Julian) is 1 Lyyar 3791 on Judaism’s calendar, but is 1 Abib 3792 on Israel’s calendar; for Israel will always begin the new year with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox.
In years when Judaism’s calculated calendar begins the month of Nissan before the vernal equinox, the Passover sacraments of bread and wine are not to be eaten in their month of Nissan, but are to be eaten in their month of Lyyar.
Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th of Abib, the 25th of April (Julian) in the year 31 CE. He was penned in Jerusalem on the Sabbath, the 10th of Abib, the 21st of April (Julian). He was gone from the grave one day after the Sabbath, Sunday, the 18th of Abib, the 29th of April (Julian).
The nation of Israel that left Egypt first rebelled at Sinai in the first year and was prohibited from spiritually entering into God’s rest, then rebelled in the wilderness of Paran in the second year and was prohibited from physically entering into God’s rest, with these two rebellions forming the mirror image of Israel’s rebellions against God during the seven endtime years that follow the Second Passover liberation of the circumcised-of-heart nation. Israel’s rebellions of the first and second year cost the nation both physical and spiritual life, but these rebellions of the natural firstborn son of the Lord also prevents the nation’s natural descendants from having the moral authority or wisdom to set the calendar for endtime disciples, who, because of their unbelief, will also be prevented from entering into God’s rest if they keep the Passover according to rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar, especially in years like 2010 CE.
In the 1st-Century CE, when Rome ruled Judea, Israel did not use the Julian calendar (which starts the year in the dead of winter) to establish the day on which paschal lambs were to be selected and penned. And in the only year for which endtime disciples have a corresponding day of the week for a 1st-Century CE sacred calendar date, Israel did not start the first month before the vernal equinox; rather, Israel began the new year with the first sighted new moon crescent after the vernal equinox.
The entirety of humankind’s existence as sons of disobedience (i.e., from Adam to Moses) is represented in the dark portion (the night portion) of Day One in a manner analogous to the one long spiritual night that begun at Calvary … Israel in Egypt roasted their paschal lambs whole, a roasting that would have taken hours, leaving the nation eating these lambs on or near the midnight hour of one long night of waiting and watching. Christians began “roasting” the Lamb of God with their fiery sins on the fourth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day when Jesus ascends to His Father then returns to breathe on ten of His first disciples, thereby directly transferring the breath of life [the Holy Spirit] to these ten. And every since this Sabbath day (i.e., the fourth day of Unleavened Bread with the entire period when Israel was in Jerusalem being Sabbath), Israel has roasted the Lamb of God, eating the body and blood when disciples took the sacraments of bread and wine on the 14th of Abib.
But as Israel in Egypt could not have eaten their paschal lambs until about the midnight hour because of the mandate to roast these lambs whole, without even disemboweling them, circumcised of heart Israel has not eaten the Lamb of God that has been roasting in the sins of Israel—“roasting” by bearing these sins—for nearly two millennia, with the spiritual midnight hour occurring when humankind can get no farther from the light of God.
The midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary will see the Second Passover liberation of Israel—liberation of Christians from indwelling sin and death—as the midnight hour of the long night of waiting and watching in Egypt saw the Passover liberation of physically circumcised Israel from physical bondage to Pharaoh … how can humankind get farther away from the light of God than it presently is? In a year like 2010, Buddhists and other “ists” do not claim a relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Muslims deny Moses by their rejection of the Sabbaths of God. Judaism denies the divinity of Christ and mocks Moses with its Seder services (a thigh bone or a chicken neck is not a paschal lamb). And visible Christendom rejects Moses, and mocks Jesus by taking the sacraments of bread and wine however and whenever it chooses. Sabbatarian Christians reject grace by ignoring the Sabbath Jesus established at Calvary, using Judaism’s calendar to take the sacraments if they take the sacraments at all. So who’s left? A few Philadelphians. Who else?
The first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation will correspond to the six hours between midnight and dawn of Israel’s long night of waiting and watching in Egypt. The last 1260 days of the seven endtime years corresponding to the first three hours of the day after the Sabbath, the day on which the Wave Sheaf Offering was made by Israel and accepted by God.
The resurrected Jesus of Nazareth was the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering; He was the reality of the first handful of barley to ripen. He did not need to be beaten into fine flour then baked as bread to be the firstfruits of God, but the remainder of the firstfruits (the early barley harvest) are milled into fine flour and are represented by the two loaves baked with leavening that are presented to the Lord on Pentecost (Feast of Weeks). Thus, in the layered shadowing, the seven weeks between the Wave Sheaf Offering and the Feast of Weeks are also represented by the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
Because of the interplay of shadows and shadowing, disciples tend to quickly abandon what the heavenly calendar represents and settle for vaguely comprehending the earthly calendar: the seven annual high Sabbaths are entirely represented in the spring holy day season, and entirely represented in the fall holy day season, which doesn’t come first but comes with the main crop wheat harvest of Judea. Both the spring and the fall holy day seasons are representations of the heavenly week, with Trumpets and Atonement being representations of the beginning of the year and the selection of the paschal lamb on the 10th day of the first month, and with the seven days of Sukkoth forming a representation of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thereby making the Last Great Day the mirror image of the First Unleavened … the First Unleavened precedes the Feast of Unleavened Bread as the Last Great Day follows Sukkoth. The First Unleavened becomes a representation of the firstfruits as the Last Great Day becomes a representation of the great White Throne Judgment. The seven days of Unleavened Bread and of Sukkoth become representations of sons of God living without sin, first [Unleavened Bread] while covered by grace and during the seven endtime years of tribulation, and the second [Sukkoth] during the 1,000 year long Millennium.
Since the focus of endtime disciples is Passover [the First Unleavened] and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a disciple should not under any circumstances begin the sacred calendar in the fall of the year.
Rabbinical Judaism begins its sacred calendar in the fall because this nation, with only a few exceptions (principally the 144,000), will not be named among the firstfruits and will, instead, appear before God in the great White Throne Judgment because of the nation’s rejection of Christ Jesus. This does not mean that these natural Israelites will be lost; it merely means they will not be “Christ.” They rejected being “Christ” when they rejected Jesus’ divinity; so the nation will, along with most of Christendom for the past two millennia, appear before God on the sixth day of the sacred calendar. They will or won’t have the works of the law (which is love for neighbor and brother) written on their hearts: if they do, regardless of whether they have been under the law, they will receive eternal life according to Paul’s gospel (Rom 2:12–16). If they do not, they will be condemned.
Christendom’s observance of the 8th day (Sunday), like rabbinical Judaism’s use of its calculated calendar, constitutes a visible mingling of the profane with the sacred (or heavenly), with such mingling forming the basis of Israel’s rebellion against God from the beginning.
"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."
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