Other Feast: Korban Etzim (Wood Offering)

wood_in_a_woodpile
Wood in a Woodpile.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Leviticus 6:8 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it. 10 The priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire reduces the burnt offering on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it. It shall not go out, but the priest shall burn wood on it every morning; and he shall lay out the burnt offering on it, and offer up in smoke the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. 13 Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out. (NASB)

The least known of all the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) is the Offering of Wood (Heb. Korban Etzim).  To learn more about what korban means; see here (note that wood is overlooked).  As Torah clearly states above, the sacrificial altar and the fuel to keep it burning perpetually had to be provided for in some manner.  Unfortunately, the calendrical passages describing when this event would occur would be lost to history if it were not for the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of which are warehoused and/or on display at the Rockefeller Museum and the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.  Four scrolls mention this mo’ed:  The Temple Scroll (11Q19), the Reworked Pentateuch (4Q365), and portions of the priestly courses (Heb. mishmarot) in 4Q325 and 4Q327; the definitive date is contained in the latter:

“After the Feast of New Oil is the Feast of the Offering of Wo]od.”  (4Q325, Fragment 1, Column 3) from p.350 of “The Dead Sea Scrolls in English” by Geza Vermes

4Q327 is more definitive:

“[On the twenty-firs]t (day) in (the fifth SIXTH month) is a Sabbath.  On the twenty-second (day) in (the fifth SIXTH month) is the Festival of Oil.  Af[ter the sab]bath … is the Offeri[ng of Wood].” (4Q327, Fragment 1, Column 2) Ibid.

Note:  Corrections were made from the reconstructed Qumran calendar.  There is no weekly Sabbath on the twenty-first day of the fifth month, but there is in the sixth.  As we will discover, Vermes based his translation on the incorrect practice recorded by “rabbinic sages” in the Talmud, where this festival was observed in the fifth month of the Masoretic ecclesiastical calendar known by its Babylonian name Av.

As was presented last week, the Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar) occurs on the twenty-second day of the sixth month — 49 days after the Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh), and as is stated above, the Wood Offering occurs “after the Feast of New Oil” (4Q325) and “after the (weekly) Sabbath” (4Q327).  This means that it occurred on the twenty-ninth of the sixth month on the first day of the week.  When reconciling that date with the pagan Gregorian calendar, that coincides with the “evening” of September 17th and the “morning” of September 18th; see here.

One additional piece of information leads up to the culmination of the festival itself; this is documented in the Reworked Pentateuch:

“And the Lord [lit. Yahoah] said to Moses, ‘Command the children of Israel, saying: When you enter the land which I am giving to you as an inheritance, and you dwell upon it securely, you shall bring wood for a burnt-offering and for all of the service of [the H]ouse which you shall build for Me in the land, to lay it on the altar of burnt-offering, [and] the calves … for Passover sacrifices and peace-offerings and thank-offerings and free-will offerings and burnt-offerings daily … and for the doors and for all the service of the House you shall offer … the festival of Oil, the twel[ve tribes] they shall offer wood … Those who offer on the first day shall be Levi and … [on the third day, Reu]ben and Simeon, [and on] the fou[rth] day …’” (4Q365, Fragment 23) from p.445 of “The Dead Sea Scrolls in English” by Geza Vermes

So, it appears days were appointed before the festival to present the wood offering from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  Is this practice mentioned elsewhere in the Bible?

Nehemiah 10:34 Likewise we cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites and the people so that they might bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathers’ households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law; 35 and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the Lord annually, 36 and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. (NASB)

“As it is written in the law” in v34 refers to Leviticus 6:8-13.

Nehemiah 13:30 Thus I purified them from everything foreign and appointed duties for the priests and the Levites, each in his task, 31 and I arranged for the supply of wood at appointed times and for the first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. (NASB)

Is this mentioned in extrabiblical texts as well?

“Now the next day was the festival of Xylophory; upon which the custom was for every one to bring wood for the altar (that there might never be a want of fuel for that fire which was unquenchable and always burning).” — Titus Flavius Josephus, “The Wars of the Jews,” Book 2, Chapter 17, Section 6

Note:  Josephus employed the Greek term Xylophory, meaning “wood-bearing,” instead of Korban Etzim by the time of the First Jewish-Roman War in 66 CE; this proves that the Hellenization of Israel — including its paganism — was an expanding influence.  The timing of the Wood Offering had changed from the 29th of the sixth month of the Qumran calendar to the 15th of the fifth month (Heb. Tu B’Av), or mid-August, recorded by “rabbinic sages” in the Mishnah. This became a time associated with marriage and pagan practices such as mid-summer bonfires.  Do you see how the Law was continually corrupted?  This is documented throughout the Scriptures.  Are you beginning to see why modern Jerusalem — and by extension — Israel is Mystery Babylon?

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

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Agricultural Feast: Chag Yitzhar (New Oil)

oliveoil_600x400
Image courtesy of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. Copyright (c) 2018.

This evening marks the commencement of the Feast of New [Olive] Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar) on the 22nd day of the sixth month on the first day of the week (“evening” of 9/10 and “morning” of 9/11).  It is the last of four agricultural feasts of Israel with each occurring forty-nine (49) days apart, exclusive:

These are documented in the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran (=ruins of Qumran).  These scrolls were penned by the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) in the Book of ActsTitus Flavius Josephus, né Yosef ben Matityahu — a mid- to late first century CE historian, self-described Pharisee (Matthew 23), and military general turned traitor to Israel — derogatorily referred to them as Essenes [=pious ones].

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.” The Levitical priests’ portion came from the first fruits of these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to [lit. Yahoah], I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to [lit. Yahoah], shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to Yahoah’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine. See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

New oil (Heb. yitzhar/Gr. elaion) — aka “fresh oil,” “olive oil,” or simply “oil” — is mentioned 203 times in the Bible.  Besides serving as a dietary staple, olive oil is most often associated with anointing/consecration, but it also has medicinal purposes as well as serving as fuel for lamps in Biblical times.

biblicaloillamp
Ancient oil lamp.  Photo courtesy of Redeemer of Israel site. Copyright (c) 2018 by Daniel Smith.

The first mention of olive oil in the Bible had to do with the dream of Jacob’s ladder and the founding of Bethel; see Genesis 28:10-22 concentrating on v18.  To demonstrate that the Bible also serves as a historical document, this is the location of Bethel.

One of Christ’s more memorable parables was in regard to the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-12:

Matthew 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'” (NASB)

To understand what this means, we have to place it within the proper eschatological context.  Contrary to what is incorrectly taught in most Christian churches, the Bride of Christ is New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-14), also known as the Kingdom of Heaven.  The Bridegroom is Christ, who is also known as the Lamb (of God).  Near the conclusion of End Time events — after the Great Tribulation and Christ’s Second Coming immediately followed by His literal millennial reign and Judgment Day, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb occurs on the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Heb. Sukkot).  From the beginning of Creation, ALL have been invited to the culminating event of the Marriage Supper, but not all have prepared themselves by accepting Christ as their Savior/Redeemer as well as receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit.  In the parable above, the lamp oil is regarding the Holy Spirit.  The destiny of those without the indwelling Spirit is the lake of fire called Gehenna; they will be shut out of the Heavenly Kingdom (=New Jerusalem), which will descend from the New Heaven to the New Earth.  For more on these events, please read my article entitled:  “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

As was mentioned above, olive oil was used for anointing and consecration.  The recipe for anointing oil is as follows:

Exodus 30:22 Moreover, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, 24 and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. 25 You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand. 29 You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. 31 You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.’” (NASB)

A Biblical hin is just under a modern gallon; see Biblical Weights and Measures.  The following is an example of an ancient olive press.

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Ancient olive press.  Photographer unknown.

Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first pressing; regular olive oil is made from subsequent pressings.  The former is used for anointing and lamp oil as well as for cosmetics.  For more information on the olive pressing process, see here.

During the “evening” of Passover (14 Abib) in 36 CE, Christ prayed fervently and agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane (Heb. Gat Shmanim/Gr. Gethsémani; lit. “winepress of oils” or “oil press”) at the foot of the Mount of Olives, aka Olivet (Heb. Har HaZeitim/Gr. oros tōn elaiōn).  This was just prior to Judas’ betrayal (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, and Luke 22:39-46):

Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” (NASB)

jerusalem_gethsemane_tango7174
Image courtesy of Wikimedia in the Wikipedia article entitled Gethsemane


Christ’s Conception in 5 CE

There was a very significant prophetic event that occurred on this date in 5 CE that overshadowed this date’s simply serving as an agricultural feast; it marked the day of Christ’s conception!  These are the facts from the Book of Luke and the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Khirbet Qumran [=ruins of Qumran]:

Fact #1:  Zecharias (Heb. Tsekharya) was a Levite of the division of Abijah; see Luke 1:5-7 concentrating on v5.

Fact #2:  The mute and shaken Tsekharya returned home immediately after his weekly course was completed, and Elizabeth (Heb. Elisheba) conceived a son; see Luke 1:8-25.

Fact #3:  Elisheba was six months pregnant in the sixth month; see Luke 1:26-38 concentrating on vv26 and 36.

Fact #4:  For Elisheba to be six months pregnant in the sixth month, Tsekharya (of the division of Abijah) had to have served in the 12th month.  The only time this occurs is from the 14th-20th; see Cycle of Priestly Divisions… > Division Year 3 of 6 in the calendar of God Most High.

Fact #5:  As Tsekharya (and Elisheba) were righteous and walked blamelessly in ALL requirements and commandments of Yahoah (Luke 1:6), he could not have traveled more than a Sabbath day’s journey (2,000 cubits) on the 21st of the 12th month, which was a weekly Sabbath.

Fact #6:  The first day that Tsekharya could have returned home — likely Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron in the hill country of Judah — was the 22nd of the 12th month on the first day of the week. That was the day that John (Heb. Yochanan) was conceived in 4 CE.

Fact #7:  After Mary‘s (Heb. Miryam) visitation from the archangel Gabriel (Heb. Gavri’el) in the sixth month (Luke 1:26) of 5 CE, she left IN A HURRY to visit Elisheba.  At the moment of arrival, Elisheba was overcome by the Holy Spirit (Heb. Ruach HaKodesh) and knew that Miryam had conceived a child; see Luke 1:39-55.

Fact #8:  Exactly six months after Yochanan was conceived, Joshua* the Anointed (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos) was conceived.  According to the Qumran calendar, that would have occurred on the 22nd of the sixth month on the first day of the week, which is the Feast of New Oil!  The root of Christos is chrió meaning “to anoint” (with olive oil).

*Note:  “Jesus” is the English transliteration from the Latin ‘Iesvs; it is NOT the translation! Joshua is the correct translation from the Heb. Yehoshu’a / Aram. Yeshua / Gr. ‘Iesous.  See the second footnote from Matthew 1:1 although Yeshua is Aramaic — NOT  Hebrew, and Yehoshu’a means “Yahoah saves” — NOT “the Lord saves.”  Yahoah, the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, was the preincarnate Christ, the firstborn of Creation on the first “day” (Heb. Yom Rishon).

As was discussed in my Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot) article, the gestation period for women is thirty-eight (38) weeks from conception to birth — that is not to be confused with the forty (40) weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP) to birth employed by modern OB/GYN’s.  EXACTLY 38 weeks from Christ’s conception on the Feast of New Oil in 5 CE is the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week in 6 CE — which is the Feast of Weeks.  This is better known to Christians as Pentecost, which is a misnomer.  Recall that the census of Quirinius occurred in 6 CE; see Luke 2:2-3. At that time, Herod Archelaus was king (ethnarch) of JudaeaHerod the Great was dead for nearly a decade by then!  We have been deceived by “Biblical scholars!” Herod was a dynastic title like Pharaoh and Caesar. There were four Biblically relevant “Herods” in the Herodian dynasty cited in the NT: Herod Archelaus, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa, and Herod Agrippa II; see here.

Do you see how God Most High uses His appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) to bring about prophetic events and why we need to understand them so that we will not be deceived? Do you also see how Satan (Heb. HaSatan) has confused the appointed times by employing pagan calendars from Rome (Gregorian) and Babylon (Masoretic) — including the days of week?

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.

Agricultural Feast: Chag Tirosh (New Wine)

A Winepress in Ancient IsraelGraphic by Karbel Multimedia. Copyright (C) 2011, Logos Bible Software.

This evening marks the commencement of the Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh) on the 3rd day of the fifth month on the first day of the week (“evening” of 7/22 and “morning” of 7/23). It is the third of four agricultural feasts of Israel with each occurring forty-nine (49) days apart, exclusive:

  • 26 Abib (barley) – Early Firstfruits (Heb. Bikkurim),
  • 15th of the third month (wheat) – Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot)/Latter Firstfruits,
  • 3rd of the fifth month (fermented grapes) – Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh), and
  • 22nd of the sixth month (olive oil) – Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar).

These are documented in the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran (=ruins of Qumran).

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.” The Levitical priests’ portion came from the first fruits of these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to [lit. Yahoah], I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to [lit. Yahoah], shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to Yahoah’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine. See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

“New wine” is specifically mentioned forty (40) times in the Bible — thirty-five (35) times in the Old Testament and five (5) times in the New Testament. We know from Deuteronomy 12:17, 14:23; 2 Chronicles 31:5; and Nehemiah 10:37 that new wine was tithed to Yahoah. It was also clear that the Levitical priests were not to be forsaken for as long as the Israelites live in the Promised Land; see Deuteronomy 12 concentrating on vv6 and 19.

One of Christ’s more memorable parables was in regard to not putting new wine into old wineskins; this is documented in the synoptic Gospels in Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, and Luke 5:37-39. The latter passage follows:

Luke 5:37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’ (NASB)

To understand what this means, we have to place it within context. Christ had recently healed a leper and those with other sicknesses (Luke 5:12-15). Cleansing a leper was a significant undertaking; in fact, an entire chapter was dedicated to its treatment (Leviticus 14). This certainly piqued the interested of some Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea as well as Jerusalem (Luke 5:17). Although they knew that only someone special could perform such healings, they were seeking ways to discredit Him as Christ represented a threat to their “sect.” Enter the paralytic (Luke 5:18-26). Christ made some important proclamations:

Luke 5:20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” — He said to the paralytic— “I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (NASB)

Verse 24 employs the catchphrase “Son of Man.” This term is primarily used to refer to either a prophet or the Messiah; it is employed 441 times in the Bible — 339 times in the Old Testament and 102 times in the New Testament. The scribes and Pharisees knew this, and if there were any doubt to the meaning, He spelled it out for them explicitly in verses 20 and 24. Yes, ONLY God the Father and His incarnate Son — the Son of Man — can forgive sins!

Next, Christ had the audacity to ask a tax collector — one of the most despised of professions in ancient Israel — to be one of His disciples (Luke 5:27-32). Not only that, he dined with sinners (i.e., irreligious Jews)! Again, the scribes and Pharisees were attempting to lambaste His actions and through His associations.

This is what Christ was fulfilling:

Luke 7:19 Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” 20 When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” 21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (NASB)

But, what was Luke 7:22 quoting? The deaf and blind are mentioned in several passages in Isaiah, but nowhere does it speak of cleansing lepers nor raising the dead. Enter the Dead Sea Scrolls… specifically 4Q521 also known as the Messianic Apocalypse. Two passages in particular are applicable:

He who liberates the captives, restores sight to the blind, straightens the b[ent]

For He will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor…

4Q521

Folks, if this does not lend credence to the Dead Sea Scrolls, I do not know that does! Acts speaks of the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech); that specific phrase is employed throughout what “Biblical scholars” call the sectarian manuscripts, yet they never make the logical conclusion that The Way in Acts was The Way of the DSS! Instead, they incorrectly refer to them as Essenes (=pious ones) based on the derogatory term coined by Titus Flavius Josephus, a self-described Pharisee.

This was the early church — to the Jew first and also to the Greek (i.e., Gentiles) — which started in the early second century BCE! Please take eight minutes out of your busy schedule to view the following YouTube video from Dr. Peter Flint entitled “Evidence Jesus was the Messiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

These same scribes and Pharisees were likewise offended that Christ’s disciples did not fast per tradition (Luke 5:33-35) to which He responded with two parables: applying a swath of fabric (i.e., a piece of cloth) from a new garment to an old one (Luke 5:36), and not putting new wine into old wineskins (Luke 5:37-39). To put the latter into perspective, this is a depiction of an old wineskin from Biblical times:

nod-yayin

Certainly, new wine that may still be fermenting would easily burst an old wineskin, which usually had a year-long lifetime.

Regarding fasting, the following two passages set it into perspective for the “holier than thou” scribes and Pharisees who failed to recognize their Messiah:

Zechariah 7:4 Then the word of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts came to me, saying, 5 “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted?'” (NASB)

Zechariah 7:5 is referencing Tisha B’Av in the fifth month and the Fast of Gadalia in the seventh month; see the discussion below.

Matthew 6:16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (NASB)

Only one fast day (Heb. ta’anit) was specified in Torah — that of the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur). The other full fast day is “the ninth of Av” (Heb. Ta’anit Tisha B’Av), which has no Biblical basis; that is, it is a false tradition. There are four other “minor” fasts:

Two items of note: Tammuz is a Babylonian deity. God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) would NEVER name one of His calendrical months after a foreign god; that would be an abomination (Ezekiel 8 concentrating on vv14-15). In fact, the Jewry has employed a Babylonian calendar since the time of their captivity! The Book of Esther is one of two books of the canonized Bible that does not mention God — even once! Nor was this manuscript discovered among the DSS. Because of this, its canonicity MUST be called into question as well as the festival of Purim (=lots), which was not mentioned in the DSS calendrical manuscripts.

In case Christ’s disdain of the scribes and Pharisees was unclear to this point, it was made abundantly clear in Matthew 23. Pharisaism became modern rabbinic Judaism; nothing has changed in two millennia!

Returning to the parables… these were allusions to the New Covenant. The old garment and the old wineskin refer to the Law; the new cloth and new wine refer to the Holy Spirit (Heb. Ruach HaKodesh). Although the Law itself is perfect, the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system were imperfect; therefore, a change in the Law was required. Instead of focusing on a Temple system, the temple of the New Covenant is the literal bodies of believers with the indwelling Holy Spirit in their hearts. Christ Himself serves as the holy, innocent, undefiled high priest — of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous)! This is explained in detail in Hebrews 7.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (NASB)


Christ’s Tevilah in the Mikveh of the Nahar HaYarden at Bethabara in 34 CE

Most Christians falsely believe that “baptism” was something newly introduced by “John the Baptist.” What was being performed was a tevilah, or full-body immersion, for purification and consecration/sanctification; the Greek equivalent is baptizó meaning “submerge.” A tevilah was performed in a collection of “living water” called a mikveh which must have a natural spring as its source. The Jordan River (Heb. Nahar HaYarden) qualified as such because its source is the Banias spring at the foot of Mount Hermon. Note that everything Christ performed was in accordance with the Law:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (NASB)

Let’s examine John (Heb. Yochanan) for a moment. His father Zechariah (Heb. Tzekharya/Gr. Zacharias) was a Levitical priest of the division/course of Abijah (Heb. Abiyah); see Luke 1:5. The twenty-four priestly courses are outlined in 1 Chronicles 24:1-19 with Abijah’s being drawn in the eighth lot in v10. Yochanan’s mother Elizabeth (Heb. Elisheba) was a descendant of Aaron (Heb. Aharon), the brother of Moses (Heb. Moshe) and first high priest (Heb. kohen gadol) of the Israelites (Heb. B’nai Yisra’el; =children of Israel). Both Tzekharya and Elisheba were considered righteous:

Luke 1:6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. (NASB)

The birth of Yochanan was considered miraculous as Elisheba was advanced in age (i.e., past her childbearing years). These events were documented in Luke 1:5-24. For more on Yochanan’s conception and that relationship to Christ’s conception and birth, read my article entitled “Mo’ed and Agricultural Feast: Shavu’ot (Feast of Weeks) — Wheat.” But, note the following curious passage regarding Yochanan:

Luke 1:80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel. (NASB)

Why would anyone — especially an older couple with an only son — allow him to live in the deserts? When you understand that chaste, firstborn Israelite males where dedicated to the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) referenced throughout the Book of Acts and that the center of learning for this priesthood was located in the Judaean desert wilderness of Qumran, then this makes perfectly good sense. Note, too, that the 144,000 of Revelation are chaste, Israelite males! The Pharisees and Sadducees were certainly not celibate. In caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered; in them, the phrase “the voice crying out in the (desert) wilderness” (Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23) was frequently documented throughout the manuscripts. This community was founded approximately two centuries before Christ’s birth in 6 CE. For more information regarding HaDerech, please read my series:

Bottom line: Yochanan was serving as an Old Covenant Levitical priest of The Way in Qumran (but knew his second cousin was the Messiah!), and he had his own disciples (Matthew 9:14-15, 11:2-6 et al.). Yehoshu’a was establishing a New Covenant and became a high priest of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous).

To determine Christ’s age and when this event took place, we must establish:

  1. when He was born,
  2. when He died,
  3. the start of His ministry, then
  4. backtrack to the date of His tevilah.

We already know from the Shavu’ot article above that Joshua the Messiah (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Aram. Yeshua Masiah/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos) was conceived on the Feast of New Oil in 5 CE and was born on the Feast of Weeks in 6 CE — contrary to what all “Biblical scholars” state. The first census of Quirinius (Luke 2:2) definitely occurred in 6 CE. And, Herod the Great was NOT part of the birth narrative; it was Herod Archelaus, who was deposed and exiled later that year after the massacre of the innocents. Note that even this article cites incorrectly that Herod the Great was responsible; he died in 4 BCE! You have to ask yourself: Why are our churches hiding the truth from us?

We also know that Christ was crucified on Passover (14 Abib) in 36 CE. For the details, see my article entitled: “Mo’ed: Pesach (Passover) – The Paschal Lamb of God – 14 Abib.” He never attained His 30th birthday!

Now, for the start of Joshua’s ministry… Immediately after His forty days of fasting in the desert wilderness culminating in His temptations by Satan in Jerusalem, He returned to the region of Galilee (Heb. HaGalil). First He traveled to Capernaum (Heb. Kfar Nahum; =village of Nahum), where he performed His first miracles, then to His hometown of Nazareth (Heb. Natzrat); see Luke 4:14-30. Note: Many Christians mistakenly believe that the water to wine miracle at the wedding feast in Cana was His first; that occurred in the following year near Passover (John 2:1-11). As v11 clearly states, this was the first of His attesting miracles AT CANA! Also, Luke (and by extension Acts) are the only two books explicitly written in chronological order (Luke 1:1-4 concentrating on v3).

Returning to that significant Sabbath in Nazareth… The following sets a definitive frame of reference as to when this event occurred:

Luke 4:16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and FOUND THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS WRITTEN [emphasis mine],

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (NASB)

The passage in vv18-19 is referencing Isaiah 61:1-2a. Although extremely significant prophetically (and many “Biblical scholars” falsely claim that Joshua NEVER proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah), a subtlety regarding the timing is found in v17. The scroll of Isaiah was handed to Him, but “He… found the place where it was written.” Isaiah 61:1-2a was NOT the specified reading for that Sabbath! What most Christians fail to understand is that certain readings from the Torah as well as from the Prophets (Heb. Nevi’im) are scheduled to be read on certain Sabbaths. Also, through the convoluted teachings of “rabbinic sages” (Matthew 23:8), they claim the year starts on Rosh Hashanah [lit. “head of the year”] when the Torah is clear that it commences in the spring during the month of Abib. In fact, rabbinic Jews follow a Babylonian calendar from the time of their captivity. For more information, read my article entitled: “HaDerech: It’s About Time.”

The Parashah reading for that particular Sabbath is called the Nitzavim, meaning “ones standing.” The Torah reading was Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20, and the Haftarah portion was supposed to be Isaiah 61:10-63:9. So, let’s see what was read by the rabbi and/or others in the congregation:

Deuteronomy 29:9 So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

10 “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God [lit. Yahoah your Elohim]: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

14 “Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today 16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed; 17 moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them); 18 so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood. 19 It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ 20 The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 Then the Lord will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.

22 “Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it, will say, 23 ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’ 24 All the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ 25 Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them. 27 Therefore, the anger of the Lord burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 28 and the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’

29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Restoration Promised

30:1 “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5 The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

6 “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7 The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

Choose Life

15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (NASB)

Then, Joshua read this and closed with:

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (NASB)

Folks, if that doesn’t give you goose bumps, I don’t know what will! The Nitzvaim is read on the fifty-first Sabbath in accordance with rabbinic Judaism. Assuming that the calendar of the DSS aligned with the Babylonian calendar in that year, this reading would have occurred on the twenty-first (21st) day of the sixth month — the yom before the Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar)!

So, where do the Scriptures state that Yehoshu’a received His tevilah in the Nahar HaYarden? This is one of the things that the KJV actually got right!

John 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. (NASB)

Almost all other translations use the term “Bethany” or “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Arab. Al-Maghtas; lit. “immersion”) implying that the location was on the east bank of the Jordan River. The Greek word employed was Béthania meaning “house of dates;” the area where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea was known for its date palms.

Al-Maghtas is the “traditional” tourist trap site of the “baptism of Jesus.” In fact, this fictitious site is about a football field’s length from the Jordan River. They even have (gasp!) letters of authentication corroborating that this is the correct site. Honestly, who needs letters of authentication when you have the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God at your disposal? This represents more false traditions and precepts of men — not to mention incorrectly referencing the Madaba map; more on that to follow.

An interesting point about “beyond the Jordan” is that it depends on your point of reference. The Israelites traveling up from the Sinai peninsula into the Promised Land would have called the west bank “beyond the Jordan.” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) under the topic BETHABARA states the following:

“It is interesting to note that LXXB reads Baithabara for Masoretic Text Beth-‘arabhah, one of the cities of Benjamin (Joshua 18:22). If this be correct, the site is in Judea.” – ISBE

Let’s also examine the following passage in Matthew 4 regarding Capernaum:

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, BEYOND THE JORDAN [emphasis mine], Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
Upon them a Light dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (NASB)

Verses 15-16 are quoting Isaiah 9:1-2. Note “beyond the Jordan” in v15. Capernaum is situated on the northwestern bank of the Sea of Galilee (aka Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, and Lake Tiberias) — but it is certainly on the western side of the Jordan River!

Bethabara means “house of the ford; place of the crossing.” The oldest extant map of the area is actually a floor mosaic called the Madaba map; it is a sixth century map located in an early Byzantine church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan. The figure below is the section that includes Bethabara just underneath the rightmost fish in the Jordan River emptying into the Dead Sea; it is certainly on the east bank. The Greek reads: Βέθαβαρά το τού άγίου Ιωάννου τού βαπτίσματος meaning “Bethabara, the place of St. John’s baptizing.” The Greek word incorrectly translated as “Saint” is hagios; recall that it was foretold that Yochanan (Gr. Ióannés) would take a Nazirite vow (Luke 1:15; Numbers 6:1-21). Also, note the date palms beneath the inscription.

1200px-sapsaphas_madaba

Image courtesy of Wikimedia in the Wikipedia article entitled Bethabara.

There are other interesting sites documented in this map from the time of the Israelite crossing, but I will save that for another article. For now, I will include this Google map I created to explain some of those. Note that Yochanan would have only had to travel a little over 6.5 miles from Qumran to Bethabara. And, doesn’t it make sense symbolically that Yehoshu’a would receive His tevilah at the EXACT spot where the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land? There were actually 12 stones taken from the Jordan River that were set in a circle as a memorial where they lodged the first night after the crossing (Joshua 4:1-11). Note the building with 12 white stones on the Madaba map; it is labeled as: Galgala to kai Dodekalithon [lit. “Gilgal and the 12 stones”]. Gilgal literally means “stone circle.”

Now that we know where Bethabara was located and when the Nitzvaim was read, we can back into when Christ’s ministry commenced, as well as when His fasting/temptation and tevilah occurred:

Event: Haftarah Reading of Isaiah 61:1-2a in the Synagogue
Location: Nazareth
Date: 21st of the sixth month on the weekly Sabbath (day before the Feast of New Oil)
Passage: Luke 4:16-30

Travel: A day’s journey from Capernaum to Nazareth (30 mi)

Event: Christ’s Ministry Begins in Galilee
Location: Capernaum
Date: 18th-19th of the sixth month
Passage: Luke 4:14-15; Matthew 4:12-17 concentrating on v13; note “beyond the Jordan” in v15

Travel: Three days’ journey from Jerusalem to Capernaum assumed (124 mi; ~41 mi per day).

Event: Christ’s Fasting and Temptation (40 days)
Date: 5th day of the fifth month – 14th day of the sixth month in 34 CE
First Location: Judaean Desert
Passage: Luke 4:1-8
Second Location: Second Temple in Jerusalem
Passage: Luke 4:9-13

Travel: A partial day’s journey from Bethabara to the Judaean Desert assumed (only a few miles).

Event: Christ’s Tevilah (Full-Body Immersion for Purification) and Anointing with the Holy Spirit
Location: Bethabara from the KJV and the Madaba map; on west bank of the Jordan River where the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land
Date: Feast of New Wine; third day of the fifth month
Passage: Luke 3:21-22; John 1:28 KJV

Now, for the year… The Gospel of John states that three Passovers were documented during Christ’s ministry; the last of these was in 36 CE when He was crucified. Most “Biblical scholars” state that His ministry must have lasted three and a half years because of the three Passovers. What they fail to recognize is Second Passover (Heb. Pesach Sheni) which occurs on the fourteenth day of the second month on the fifth day of the week; see the DSS calendar. This is documented in Numbers 9:10-14. So, the two other Passovers were both from 35 CE. That can only mean that Christ’s tevilah occurred on the Feast of New Wine in 34 CE; He would have been 28 years and 49 yomim (or one month and 19 yomim). At the time when His ministry began on the 18th day of the sixth month on the fourth day of the week, He would have been 28 years and 94 yomim (or three months and 4 days). What do the Scriptures state?

Luke 3:23 When He began His ministry, Jesus [lit. ‘Iesous] Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli … (NASB)

Is 28+ years old “about thirty years of age?” Most would be in agreement.

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

Mo’ed and Agricultural Feast: Shavu’ot (Feast of Weeks) – Wheat

wheat-1

Agricultural Feast and Annual Sabbath

This evening marks the commencement of the Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot) on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week (evening of 6/3 and morning of 6/4).  It is the second of four agricultural feasts of Israel with each occurring forty-nine (49) days apart, exclusive:

  • 26 Abib (barley) – Early Firstfruits (Heb. Bikkurim),
  • 15th of the third month (wheat) – Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot)/Latter Firstfruits,
  • 3rd of the fifth month (fermented grapes) – Feast of New Wine (Heb. Chag Tirosh), and
  • 22nd of the sixth month (olive oil) – Feast of New Oil (Heb. Chag Yitzhar).

These are documented in the calendar of God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the caves surrounding Khirbet Qumran (=ruins of Qumran).

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.”  The Levitical priests’ portion came from the first fruits of these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to [lit. Yahoah], I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to [lit. Yahoah], shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to Yahoah’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love [lit. Yahoah] your [lit. Elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine.  See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

Here is the Law regarding Shavu’ot; it is an annual Sabbath (see v21):

Leviticus 23:15 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord.18 Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. 19 You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the Lord; they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the Lord your God.’” (NASB)

One of Christ’s more memorable parables concerns the wheat and tares:

Matthew 13:24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (NASB)

After He finished teaching for the day and retired to the house in which they were staying for the night, Christ explained this parable to His disciples:

Matthew 13:36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (NASB)

The “furnace of fire” mentioned in v42 is a reference to Gehenna, the lake of fire, on Judgment Day on a future Yom Kippur after Christ’s millennial reign as is documented in Revelation 20:7-15.


Mo’ed (Appointed Time) and Shalosh Regalim (Second of Three Pilgrimage Festivals)

As has been discussed previously, there are appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) documented in Torah.  The most referenced in this regard is Leviticus 23 with Shavu’ot mentioned in vv15-22; see above.  Not only was Shavu’ot included in the mo’edim, but it was elevated as one of the three annual pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim) to Jerusalem:  Passover/Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Booths/Tabernacles (Heb. Sukkot).  The most descriptive passage regarding these pilgrimage festivals is found in Deuteronomy 16:

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to establish His name. 3 You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the Lord your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall cook and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God; you shall do no work on it.
9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.
16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
18 “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
21 “You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the Lord your God, which you shall make for yourself. 22 You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which [lit. Yahoah] your [lit. Elohim] hates. (NASB)

Author’s Note:  In the pagan religions of antiquity, Asherah, which could be a wooden pillar, a sacred tree, or even a grove, was a representation of the “mother goddess” or “Queen of Heaven.”  Likewise, cut stone pillars or obelisks essentially served as “divine” phallic architecture; God’s stone altars and memorials were ALWAYS of uncut stones.  If Yahoah, the preincarnate Christ and firstborn of Creation, hated these, then why is “Mary” referenced as the “Queen of Heaven” in Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy and an Egyptian obelisk is the centerpiece of St. Peter’s Square?  A good representation of the latter may be found here.  It is because ancient paganism has been assimilated and still remains in certain churches.  Numerous pagan “mysteries” were incorporated well before the Reformation and spread to other denominations unchecked — many of those “mysteries” remain to this day.  As will be discovered, that applies to even the date of Christ’s birth.

Returning to Deuteronomy 16…  Why these three, specific times?  All were prophetic and two were fulfilled.  Regarding Passover/Unleavened Bread, Christ accomplished the following in 36 CE:

  • He was crucified as the Lamb of God and buried on 14 Abib,
  • He was dead and buried for three days and NIGHTS per the sign of Jonah on 15-17 Abib,
  • He was resurrected as Lord of the (weekly) Sabbath on 18 Abib,
  • His empty tomb was discovered early in the morning of 19 Abib,
  • He ascended into Heaven for the first time on 20 Abib, and
  • He observed the final day of Unleavened Bread — an annual Sabbath — at the right hand of the Father on 21 Abib.

This article is developing the reasoning for the inclusion of the Feast of Weeks, which has also been fulfilled; a synopsis for the reasoning will be provided in the conclusion.

Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles will be the final event of the End Times; it represents the future Marriage Supper of the Lamb to New Jerusalem:

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (NASB)

How does one marry a city?  I have no idea; that will be one of the things revealed to those invited to the Marriage Supper.  But, He is certainly not “marrying the church,” and He certainly did not secretly marry Mary Magdalene and have a child with her.

Bottom line:  All Israelite males were to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to witness these events firsthand.  THAT is the reasoning behind the Shalosh Regalim — fulfillment of prophesy and recognition of Israel’s Messiah (Heb. Mashiach).


HaDerech: Renewal of Covenants

The Feast of Weeks was exceptionally important to the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) whose ascetic firstborn males — comprised of priests, Levites, Israelites, and proselytes — lived in the desert wilderness of Qumran.  They were the “wise men of the east” of Jerusalem — 15 miles as the crow flies.  Even John (Heb. Yochanan) studied there (Luke 1:80).  In the words of Paul well after his conversion:

Acts 24:14 But this I admit to you, that according to [T]he Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men. (NASB)

To become a member of The Way required a public repentance of sin via a tevilah (=full body immersion) in a miqveh (=a gathering of “living water” with a natural spring as its source).  This is why Yochanan was overseeing these immersions in the Jordan River; it has a natural spring at its source — the Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.  The Jews were converting from false sects of Pharisaism and Sadducism to The Way.  This was the TRUE church — “to the Jew first and also to the Greek,” where “the Greek” refers to believing gentiles.

Matthew 3:1 Now in those days John the [lit. Immerser; Gr. baptizó] came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

“THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS,
‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF [lit. YAHOAH],
MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’”

4 Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (NASB)

Author’s Notes:  The phrase “set His paths straight” is referring to setting the record straight — to proclaim the truth; Christ is the one and only way.  This is exactly what the two witnesses of Revelation, Enoch and Elijah, will do, and the world at large will REJECT the truth!  Except for a remnant, the world will celebrate their deaths to the point of exchanging gifts (Revelation 11:3-13 concentrating on v10). Also, compare the Parable of the Wheat and Tares in the section above to the wheat and chaff in this passage. Those not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into Gehenna, the lake of fire, and experience the second death.

The men and women of The Way lived in Damascus, Syria.  Just as Acts explicitly states, they lived a communal lifestyle in which everything was shared equally.  This is outlined in the Damascus Document.  Recall where Saul (Heb. Sha’ul), the Pharisee (Matthew 23), was going to persecute the men and women of The Way under direct orders from the adulterated Great Sanhedrin:

Acts 9:1 9 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to [T]he Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (NASB)

Of course, Saul’s conversion was well known (Acts 22:1-16), but never is it taught in our churches and synagogues that he converted to The Way.

Now, that it has been established that The Way was the TRUE church, let us examine their beliefs of the renewal of covenants on the Feast of Weeks.  What exactly was this regarding?  First and foremost there were three which had been fulfilled, along with the expectation of a fourth, and an unexpected fifth (which caused great consternation among many Jews):

  1. God’s covenant with Noah not to destroy the Earth by flood again with the visible sign of rainbows (i.e., the bow in the cloud) after rainstorms (Genesis 9:1-17 focusing on vv12-17);
  2. God’s covenant with Abraham to build many nations from his sons Isaac and Ishmael with the visible sign of male circumcision (Genesis 17)*;
  3. God’s covenant with Israel to lead them out of Egypt to the Promised Land with the visible signs of the tablets containing the Ten Commandments given to Moses as well as the pillar of cloud leading them by day and the pillar of fire by night (primarily Exodus 20, 34 concentrating on chapter 34:10-28 and Deuteronomy 4-5, 10 for the Ten Commandments as well as Numbers 14 for the pillars of cloud and fire).
  4. God’s prophetic promise of the “consolation of Israel” — which was messianic foreshadowing (Isaiah 40 with a concentration on vv1-2); and
  5. God’s New Covenant to count believing Gentiles as adopted sons of Israel (Romans 8-9, Galatians 4, Ephesians 1) with the allegory of the wild olive tree being grafted into the natural (Romans 11).

*Note: The nations from Isaac and Ishmael have and will be embattled with one another until the end (as are the descendants of Jacob and Esau, but that’s another story).


Christ’s Birth in 6 CE

For nearly two millennia, “Biblical scholars” and “theologians” have stated that the Bible does not definitively state when Christ was born.  Before the discovery of the DSS and the calendar contained therein, that was certainly true.  However, now there are no excuses; all is being revealed in the Latter Days just as was prophesied (Matthew 10:26-28).

So, how did these great “scholars” and “theologians” arrive at a December 25th date, which is inconsistent with the Scriptures?  False church traditions (unsubstantiated embellishments), the precepts of men (manufactured theology), and doctrines of demons (assimilated paganism) cloud the truth regarding Christ’s conception and birth. For starters, one needs to review the program entitled “Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas” from when The History Channel actually presented history.

According to this program, Mithraism and Saturnalia were assimilated from “mysteries” of pagan Rome; that’s where December 25th falsely originated; see also Sol Invictus.  Arguably, the most important quote of “Christmas Unwrapped” occurs at the 7:31 mark:

“So if you’re gonna sort through the runes of the Scriptures, Jesus was probably born in the Spring.  If the shepherds were out in the fields watching their flocks by night, we’re probably not talking about one of the cold spells at the heart of winter.” — Forrest Church, Minister, All Souls Church

Note: I have no affiliation with this minister or church, and the minister died in 2009.

Many “Biblical scholars” discounted the Lucan account because of the mention of Lysanias, the tetrarch of Abilene, in Luke 3:1; they assumed it was this figure from circa 40-36 BCE.  That was before the discovery of the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum (CIG) 4521.  Again, the Word of God was vindicated as it repeatedly is via archaeology.

Furthermore, when the Book of Luke is placed within the context of the calendar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, not only can one know with GREAT CERTAINTY the month, day, day of the week, and year when Joshua* (Heb. Yehoshu’a/Aram. Yeshua/Gr. ‘Iesous) was born incarnate but when John (Heb. Yochanan) and He were conceived.

*Note: “Jesus” incorrectly originates from the transliteration of the Latin; it is NOT the translation. See the second footnote from Matthew 1:1 in Aramaic (not Hebrew as is listed).  According to the famous Hebrew lexicographer Reuben Alcalay, Yehoshu’a is closely associated with “Let there be…”

To understand when Christ was born, we need a point of reference.  Fortunately, the Lucan account is explicitly written in consecutive order with information gathered from eye witnesses (Luke 1:1-4 concentrating on vv2-3).  This account was written to Mattathias ben Theophilus (referenced as Theophilus just as Yosef ben Caiaphas was referenced as Caiaphas), who was the chief priest (Heb. kohen gadol) from 65-66 CE just before the onset of the First Jewish-Roman War.  It was written so that he would know the “exact truth” (Luke 1:4).  The point of reference starts with Elizabeth’s (Heb. Elisheba) being six months pregnant in the sixth month…  These are the facts, and NO church nor synagogue teaches the truth:

Fact #1:  Elisheba was six months pregnant in the sixth month; see Luke 1:26-38 concentrating on vv26 and 36.

Fact #2:  Zecharias (Heb. Tsekharya) was a Levite of the order/division of Abijah; see Luke 1:5-7 concentrating on v5.

Fact #3:  The mute and shaken Tsekharya returned home immediately after his weekly course was completed, and Elisheba conceived a son; see Luke 1:8-25.

Fact #4:  This is the calendar documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and it was employed by the “sect” called The Way during Christ’s incarnate life.  Suggestion:  You may want to print this out.

Fact #5:  For Elisheba to be six months pregnant in the sixth month, Tsekharya (of the course of Abijah) had to have served in the twelfth month.  The only time this occurs is from the 14th-20th; see Cycle of Priestly Divisions from Calendrical Documents 4Q320 and 4Q321 > Division Year 3 of 6 in the Qumran calendar  from Fact #4.

Fact #6:  As Tsekharya (and Elisheba) were righteous and walked in ALL requirements and commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6), he could not have traveled more than a Sabbath day’s journey (2,000 cubits) on the 21st of the 12th month, which was a weekly Sabbath.

Fact #7: The first day that Tsekharya could have returned home (likely Kiriath Arba — modern day Hebron — in the hill country of Judah) was the 22nd of the 12th month on the first day of the week.  This was the day that John (Heb. Yochanan) was conceived.

Fact #8:  After Mary’s (Heb. Miryam) visitation with the archangel Gabriel (Heb. Gavri’el) in the sixth month (Luke 1:26), she left IN A HURRY to visit Elisheba (Luke 1:26-39).  At the moment of arrival, Elisheba was overcome by the Holy Spirit and knew that Miryam had conceived a child (Luke 1:39-55).

Fact #9:  Exactly six months after Yochanan was conceived, Joshua (Heb. Yehoshu’a) was conceived.  According to the Qumran calendar, that would have occurred on the 22nd of the sixth month on the first day of the week, which is the Feast of New Oil!

Sidebar:  The Feast of New Oil is also the fourth of four agricultural feasts each occurring 49 days apart, exclusive (i.e., barley, wheat, wine, and olive oil). Olive oil is a component of anointing oil (Exodus 30:22-33).  Also, the root of Christos is chrió meaning “to anoint with olive oil.”

Fact #10:  The gestation period for women is 38 weeks from CONCEPTION (not to be confused with last menstrual period or LMP) to birth.  EXACTLY 38 weeks after Miryam conceived, Yehoshu’a was born on the Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot) on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week.

So, now we know the month, day, and day of the week of John’s conception and Christ’s conception and birth.  Now, for the years…

Fact #11:  Yehoshu’a was born in 6 CE during the census of Quirinius.  For the Scriptural reference, see Luke 2:1-20 concentrating on v2.

Sidebar:  “Herod” was a dynastic title like Caesar and Pharaoh.  The “Herod” at the time of Christ’s birth was Herod Archelaus; he was deposed that same year (after the “slaughter of the innocents” in Bet Lechem) and died in exile in 18 CE.  When did the “holy family” return from Egypt after Herod [Archelaus] died?  When Yehoshu’a was 12 years old (18 CE – 6 CE = 12 years)!

Sidebar:  The only verse in the Gospels that contradicts this account is Matthew 2:22.  The earliest extant manuscript containing that verse is Papyrus 70which is “a fairly reliable text, though it was carelessly written,” from the late third century CE.  The “early church fathers” (Matthew 23:9) were already at work destroying the truth!

Regarding “signs in the Heavens,” this was what the “wise men of the east” of Jerusalem (Heb. Yerushalyim) — 15 miles as the crow flies — in the desert wilderness of Qumran saw on the evening of Feast of Weeks in 6 CE.  This was confirmed by our local planetarium in Baton Rouge.  The “wandering stars” of Jupiter (representative of the Most High/Father) and Venus (representative of the virgin mother) as well as the conjunction with occultation of Uranus (representative of the Holy Spirit) and Mars (representative of the redemptive Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53) rose in the east in the constellation Pisces (representative of Israel). This “star” sign naturally moved from east to south towards Bethlehem as the evening progressed — just as the Scriptures state (Matthew 2:1-12).

Note:  The Planetarium software from Neave Interactive Ltd. no longer supports dates earlier than January 1, 1500 at midnight.

False traditions such as Herod the Great’s being part of this narrative when he died in 4 BCE and the precepts of men creating the fanciful machinations of the three kings of Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SCRIPTURAL BASIS! Who doesn’t think that the wise men of The Way in Qumran didn’t have the means to gift Joshua the Messiah (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach/Gr. ‘Iesous Christos) with gold, frankincense, and myrrh after the discovery of the Copper Scroll?

In summation when comparing the Lucan account with the Qumran calendar:

  • Yochanan was conceived on the 22nd day of the twelfth month on the first day of the week in 4 CE.
  • Yehoshu’a was conceived on the 22nd day of the sixth month on the first day of the week on the Feast of New Oil in 5 CE — exactly six months after Yochanan’s conception.
  • Yehoshu’a was born during the census of Quirinius on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week on the Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot) in 6 CE — exactly 38 weeks from His conception.

Sidebar: As was discussed above, the Feast of Weeks is when the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) in Acts and the DSS made new covenants.  Christ’s birth ushered in the ultimate New Covenant!  Josephus, Jewish historian and self-described Pharisee (Matthew 23), coined the derogatory term “Essenes” (=pious ones) that is applied incorrectly to this day!


Holy Spirit Sent on Pentecost in 36 CE

Yet, there is one more event even more important than Christ’s birth…  the Holy Spirit’s being sent to be our Helper and Teacher on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week in 36 CE.  [Hint:  Much of the article on Pentecost above is simply machinations of men.]  This was foretold in John:

John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here. (NASB)

The fulfillment of this prophesy is found in Acts:

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

Peter’s Sermon

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
19 And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 For David says of Him,

‘I saw [lit. Yahoah] always in my presence;
For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted;
Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;
27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’

29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:

‘The Lord (Father/El) said to my Lord (Son/Yahoah),
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The Ingathering

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (NASB)

What “sect” HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON and “began selling their property and possessions?”  Was it the Pharisees or the Sadducees?  Certainly NOT!  It was The Way.

What changed on that day is that that the bodies of believers in Christ became the Temple and where the Holy Spirit resides — in circumcised hearts — is the Holy of Holies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  The Bible states clearly that there are only TWO INTERCESSORS:  Christ and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-39 concentrating on vv26 and 34).  Everything on this Earth of a mere shadow of what is to come!


Conclusion

The Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot/Gr. Pentecost) is one of the more important days of the year; it certainly ranks among the top three!  To recap, the “evening” of June 3rd and the “morning” of June 4th marks:

  1. The second of four agricultural feasts — each 49 days apart, exclusive — with the wheat harvest being dedicated on this annual Sabbath;
  2. The second of the three Shalosh Regalim (=annual pilgrimages), prophetic mo’edim (=appointed times) requiring the sons of Israel to return to Jerusalem — the other two being Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles;
  3. The annual renewal of covenants by the “sect” called The Way from whom the Dead Sea Scrolls were penned;
  4. Christ’s birth in 6 CE during the reign of Herod Archelaus and the census of Quirinius; and
  5. The Holy Spirit being sent in 36 CE to be our Helper and Teacher residing in the hearts of believers in Christ; He did not leave us as orphans.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (NASB)


Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (Appointed Times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events

Revelation 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. (NASB)

In most Christian churches we are taught that if we believe in Christ, upon death — we will immediately go to Heaven.  We know with great certainty that is untrue!  Even  Christ’s soul descended into the Paradise of Heb. She’ol/Gr. Hades (Acts 2:22-36) before conquering death at His resurrection.

Secondly, we are taught that believers in Christ will not suffer during the Great Tribulation — that they will be taken up or “raptured” beforehand (aka the Pre-Tribulation Rapture).  Again, that is a falsehood.  IN CHRIST’S OWN WORDS:

Matthew 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (NASB)

Mark 13:24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. (NASB)

Is Christ a liar or are we being taught false traditions and the precepts of men — both of which we were warned against?

We are also taught preposterous exegesis regarding Daniel’s Seventy Weeks.  Because most “Biblical scholars” and “theologians” believe that they are of “New Testament-only churches” and that the Old Testament is of no consequence, they cannot comprehend that this is speaking of jubilees (Leviticus 25).  A jubilee is comprised of 49 years broken down into “weeks of years.”  This is how God Most High (Heb. El Elyon) accounts for time, and the days from the Creation Week until the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land at Bethabara, meaning “house of the ford/place of crossing,” is recorded in the Book of Jubilees.  Why is this significant?  Seventy jubilees equates to 3,430 years (i.e., 70 x 49 = 3,430).  To keep it simple, Christ provided the following hint:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (NASB)

A more significant hint is found in 2 Peter 3:

The Coming Day of the Lord

2 Peter 3:3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

A New Heaven and Earth

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. (NASB)

The Book of Jubilees definitively states that the Law was given to Moses at Sinai in 2410 AM and the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land in 2450 AM (i.e., at the end of the 50th jubilee; 50 x 49 = 2450).  We know that Heaven and Earth will pass away, and a New Heaven and New Earth will be created (Isaiah 65:17-25; 2 Peter 3:10-18; Revelation 21).  The problem is that no one knows with certainty how 2450 AM correlates to ANY modern method of year accounting — even that of the Masoretic calendar as it is based on the Babylonian model.  Most estimate it to be c. 1400 BCE.  Let’s examine what Daniel states on the subject:

Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (NASB)

Note that Jerusalem, the “holy city,” was under Ottoman control (another allusion to Isaac vs. Ishmael!) in the period that would have coincided with “sixty-two” weeks from the giving of the Torah, and there was a rebuilding period in Jerusalem.  Then, we have the following from the same article:

“In 1700, Judah HeHasid led the largest organized group of Jewish immigrants to the Land of Israel in centuries. His disciples built the Hurva Synagogue, which served as the main synagogue in Jerusalem from the 18th century until 1948, when it was destroyed by the Arab Legion. The synagogue was rebuilt in 2010.” — Wikipedia, “History of Jerusalem” article, Early Ottoman period section.

Again, this is what Christ said:

Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. 27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (NASB)

This is reiterated in Mark 13:14-23.  How do we know that this is speaking of the Latter Days (modern times) and not the desecration and destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish-Roman War?  Because of the immediate passages in Matthew 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27 that follow and were listed above.  Has the sun darkened or the moon stopped giving light?  Have the stars fallen from the sky or the heavens been shaken?  No.  But, they will as was prophesied.

Christians are routinely taught that “the church” is the “bride of Christ.”  Nothing could be further from the truth, and that fact was touched upon in Revelation 21 above:

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (NASB)

There it is — straight from the Word of GodNEW JERUSALEM IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!  Think about it for just a second…  If Christ were to marry the “body of Christ” (aka “the church”), then who would be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” (NASB)

New Jerusalem is the HEAVENLY KINGDOM that descends from the New Heaven to the New Earth!  Study Revelation 21.  We are NOT going to Heaven, folks.  The domain of the Elohim (pl. of Eloah), or family/tribe of El the Father (aka “the sons of God”) is in Heaven.  Because they are not of Earth, they are, by definition, extraterrestrials!  The domain of humans (aka “the sons and daughters of men”) is Earth — whether the current incarnation or the New Earth that is to come.  When we die, our souls go DOWN to Heb. She’ol/Gr. Hades awaiting resurrection.

Next, most Christians are taught that once Christ returns, there is no more war; everything is peace and love.  When He returns, only Behemoth and Leviathan are thrown into the lake of fire known as Gehenna, and Satan is bound.  We still have a thousand years to go (i.e., His Millennial Reign) before everything is made anew!  This is always dismissed by our Christian clergy:

Revelation 19:20 And the beast [Leviathan] was seized, and with [her] the false prophet [Behemoth] who performed the signs in [her] presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast [Leviathan] and those who worshiped [her] image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse [Christ; see vv11-16], and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (NASB)

Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. (NASB)

Revelation 20:7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast [Leviathan] and the false prophet [Behemoth] are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (NASB)

Who is taught this in their church or synagogue?  None that I have attended, and I have attended many denominations.  They are simply “tickling the ears” just as we have been warned against:

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (NASB)

Before jumping into the timeline of events in Revelation, let’s review one more topic:  the resurrection of the dead.  This one is interesting because the Bible clearly states that there is a “resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked” (Acts 24:14-16 concentrating on v15b).  If the righteous were already in Heaven as we are taught, then how can they be resurrected?  We know the answer; we have been lied to again and again and again by our churches.  What is interesting is that Revelation does not speak of just one, mass resurrection but TWO!  One is for those who were beheaded during the Great Tribulation for their testimony of Christ, and the other is before the “great and terrible day of the Lord [Yahoah]” (aka Judgment Day) — these are separated by a millennia as was discussed above.  The FIRST RESURRECTION:

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (NASB)

So, those beheaded DURING the Great Tribulation will be resurrected and will serve as priests during Christ’s millennial reign.  Again, there is no pre-Tribulation rapture, and there is another thousand years between the Tribulation and Judgment Day.  Now, for the SECOND RESURRECTION on Judgment Day:

Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (NASB)

Just as Acts 24:15 states, both the righteous and wicked are resurrected; the wicked, who disbelieved in Christ, are judged by the Law of Moses, found guilty, and thrown in Gehenna, the lake of fire — thus, they experience the “second death” mentioned in Revelation 20:14b.  Again, who is taught this in their church or synagogue?

We know that Christ raised individuals from the dead with the most famous being Lazarus.  There was a third, mass resurrection that occurred just after Christ’s resurrection on 18 Abib 36 CE, and they entered Jerusalem on that weekly Sabbath.

Note:  There is a three-day gap (15-17 Abib) between vv50-51 at His crucifixion on 14 Abib and vv52-53 at His resurrection on 18 Abib in 36 CE.

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (NASB)

Again, is this mass resurrection taught in your church or synagogue or is it glossed over entirely (just as the TaNaKh readings gloss over the Suffering Servant passage in Isaiah 53)?  See more here.

Start studying the Scriptures PLAINLY and SIMPLY, and its true meaning will be revealed to you just as it has to me.  Quit relying on rabbis, pastors, ministers, priests, or whatever your clergy is called; they are just people who disregard the Scriptures — just like the Jewry has for millennia.  They are promoting their own “brand of religion,” but it is not of God; lies mixed with the truth are still lies.  The Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper on the Feast of Weeks (aka Pentecost) in 36 CE.  Also, Christ was born on theat date in 6 CE.

The following outline forms the basis of my second book tentatively entitled Apokàlypsis: The TRUTH Behind the Visions of Yochanan at Patmos.  For the record, John was not “of Patmos;” he hailed from Ephesus.  He was exiled to Patmos by the Roman emperor Domitian (Lat. Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus) after allegedly being unharmed upon being immersed in a vat of burning oil in the Colosseum circa 90-95 CE.  Although Tertullian was far from being an eyewitness, he did record this event in Chapter 36 of The Prescription Against Heretics.  Regardless, PLEASE study this for yourself, and pray for the Seven Spirits of Yahoah.

  • The Vision of End Time Events Commences (Revelation 4)
  • The Scroll with Seven Seals (Revelation 5)
  • 1st Seal – Rider on White Horse – Conqueror (Revelation 6:1-2)
  • 2nd Seal – Rider on Red Horse – War (Revelation 6:3-4)
  • 3rd Seal – Rider on Black Horse – Famine (Revelation 6:5-6)
  • 4th Seal – Rider on Sickly Pale/Ashen Horse – Death of a Fourth of the Earth (Revelation 6:7-8)
  • 5th Seal – Martyrs (Revelation 6:9-11)
  • 6th Seal – Earthquake, Sun Darkened, Moon Blood Colored, Stars Fall to Earth, Great Wind Shaking Unripe Figs, Sky Split Apart and Rolled Up Like a Scroll, Mountains and Islands Moved, All Proclaim Judgment Day Has Arrived (Revelation 6:12-17)
  • Four Angels Holding Back the Winds and a Fifth Ascending from the Rising Sun with the Seventh Seal (Revelation 7:1-3)
  • Sealing of the 144,000 (Revelation 7:4-8)
  • Multitude From the Great Tribulation in White Robes Becoming Priests (Revelation 7:9-17)
  • 7th Seal – Silence in Heaven for a Half Hour, Seven Trumpets Distributed, and Thunder, Lightning, and Another Earthquake (Revelation 8:1-6)
  • 1st Trumpet – Hail and Fire Mixed with Blood Burns a Third of the Earth and Trees and All Grass (Revelation 8:7)
  • 2nd Trumpet – Something Like a Mountain Burning with Fire was Thrown into the Sea Turning a Third of the Sea into Blood, Killing a Third of All Sea Life, and Destroying a Third of All Ships (Revelation 8:8-9)
  • 3rd Trumpet – Wormwood, a Burning Star Fell from Heaven and Made a Third of All Freshwater Bitter and Undrinkable (Revelation 8:10-11)
  • 4th Trumpet – A Third of the Sun, Moon, and Stars Are Darkened; A Woe is Announced for What is to Come (Revelation 8:12-13)
  • 5th Trumpet – A Key is Given to One of the Heavenly Host to Unlock the Bottomless Pit; Something Like Stinging Locusts with Tails Like Scorpions Torment Unbelievers for Five Months; They Wish for Death But It Does Not Come (Revelation 9:1-12)
  • 6th Trumpet – Four of the Fallen Angels Bound at the Euphrates River are Released and Kill a Third of Mankind; They Control 200 Million “Horsemen” (Revelation 9:13-21)
  • Angel with Little Book (Revelation 10:1-3a)
  • Seven Peals of Thunder [Unrevealed!] (Revelation 10:3b-4)
  • Seventh Angel Preaches the Gospel (Revelation 10:5-7)
  • John Instructed to Eat the Little Book so that He May Prophesy (Revelation 10:8-11)
  • Enoch and Elijah Prophesy for 42 Months and No One Can Harm Them (Revelation 11:1-6)
  • Leviathan Kills the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem [=Sodom and Egypt], Lie in the Streets of Jerusalem for 3-1/2 Days, and Are Taken Up to Heaven (Revelation 11:7-12)
  • Earthquake in Jerusalem Where a Tenth Falls and 7,000 Killed (Revelation 11:13-14)
  • 7th Trumpet – Christ’s Reign on Earth Foreseen (Revelation 11:15-19)
  • Great Signs in Heaven (Revelation 12:1-6)
  • War in Heaven; Satan and His Angels are Thrown Down to Earth and Make War with the Saints (Revelation 12:7-17)
  • Leviathan Appears for 42 Months and Satan Gives Her His Power and Authority; Most of the World Worships Her (Revelation 13:1-10)
  • Behemoth Appears and Makes Great Signs Like Fire Coming Down from Heaven; the Mark of Leviathan for Buying and Selling [Verse 18 is Unrevealed!] (Revelation 13:11-18)
  • Christ with the 144,000 from The Way on the Original Mount Zion [Lower Eastern Hill in the City of David] (Revelation 14:1-5)
  • Angel in Mid-Heaven Preaching the Gospel (Revelation 14:6-7)
  • Second Angel Proclaiming Woes to Babylon [=Jerusalem] (Revelation 14:8)
  • Third Angel Foretelling Doom of Those Who Worshipped the Beast [=Leviathan] (Revelation 14:9-12)
  • Voice from Heaven with Blessing Those Who Die in the Lord [=Yahoah] from Then On (Revelation 14:13)
  • The Reaping of The Righteous and the Wicked During the Tribulation (Revelation 14:14-20, 15:2-4)
  • Seven Angels with the Last Seven Plagues (Revelation 15:1,5-8, 16:1)
  • 1st Bowl of Wrath on the Earth – Loathsome and Malignant Sores on the Worshippers of the Beast [Leviathan] (Revelation 16:2)
  • 2nd Bowl of Wrath on the Sea – Became Like Blood and Everything in the Sea Died (Revelation 16:3)
  • 3rd Bowl of Wrath on Rivers and Springs – Became Like Blood of the Saints and Prophets (Revelation 16:4-7)
  • 4th Bowl of Wrath on the Sun – Scorched Men with Fire (Revelation 16:8-9)
  • 5th Bowl of Wrath on the Throne of the Beast – Kingdom Darkened and They Gnawed Their Tongues in Pain (Revelation 16:10-11)
  • 6th Bowl of Wrath on the Euphrates – It Dried Up (Revelation 16:12)
  • Three Unclean Spirits Like Frogs Coming out of the Mouths of Satan, Leviathan, and Behemoth Gathering Those Together at Har-Magedon [Armageddon] (Revelation 16:13-16)
  • 7th Bowl of Wrath on the Air – Largest Earthquake Ever that Splits Jerusalem in Three Parts, No More Mountains or Islands, Huge Hailstones [Weight of a Talent or ~130 lbs] (Revelation 16:17-21)
  • Doom of Babylon [=Jerusalem] (Revelation 17:1-13)
  • Gathering of the Armies for Battle of Har-Megedon [Armageddon] (Revelation 17:14-18)
  • Angel Announces that Babylon is Defeated (Revelation 18:1-3)
  • Voice from Heaven Telling His People to Come Out of Babylon [=Jerusalem] and Not Receive Her Judgments (Revelation 18:4-8)
  • The World Laments for Babylon [=Jerusalem] (Revelation 18:9-24)
  • The Fourfold Hallelujah from the Multitudes in Heaven (Revelation 19:1-6)
  • Announcement of the Marriage of the Lamb [Christ] (Revelation 19:7-10)
  • Christ’s Second Coming on a White Horse and Waging War Against the Kings of the Earth (Revelation 19:11-19)
  • Leviathan and Behemoth are Thrown into Gehenna (Revelation 19:20-21)
  • Angel Binds Satan for 1,000 Years (Revelation 20:1-3)
  • First Resurrection of Those Beheaded During the Tribulation Who Did Not Worship Nor Accept the Mark of Leviathan; These Serve as Priests During Christ’s Millennial Reign on Earth (Revelation 20:4-6)
  • After the Millennial Reign, Satan is Released, Attempts to Deceive the Earth, Joins with Gog and Magog Who Are Destroyed by Fire Outside of Jerusalem, then Thrown into Gehenna Where Leviathan and Behemoth Were Thrown a Thousand Years Before (Revelation 20:7-10)
  • Second Resurrection and Judgment Day – All Those NOT Found in the Book of Life are Thrown into Gehenna [aka the Second Death] (Revelation 20:11-15)
  • New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem Descending from the New Heaven to the New Earth (Revelation 21)
  • River of Water of Life and Tree of Life (Revelation 22:1-7)
  • Closing (Revelation 22:8-21)

As promised, this is the order of End Time events as I currently understand them, and do not ask me for a specific date (Matthew 24:35-37):

  1. Great Tribulation Begins (Includes Seal, Trumpet, Thunder, and Bowl Judgments Throughout and In That Order)
  2. Two Witnesses: Enoch and Elijah Begin Prophesying Mid-Tribulation
  3. Leviathan Kills the Two Witnesses; Two Witnesses are Resurrected and Brought Up to Heaven After 3-1/2 Days
  4. Armageddon
  5. Jerusalem Partially Destroyed by God
  6. Great Tribulation Ends
  7. Christ’s Second Coming and the First Resurrection (of the Elect Beheaded During the Tribulation)
  8. Leviathan (aka the Beast) and Behemoth (aka the False Prophet) are Thrown into Gehenna (aka Lake of Fire)
  9. Satan Bound and Thrown into She’ol in Torment for a Thousand Years
  10. Christ’s Millennial Reign (Those Beheaded During the Tribulation Become Priests of God and Serve During the Millennial Reign)
  11. Satan Released (For a Short Time)
  12. The Final Battle with Satan Joined by Gog and Magog
  13. The Second Resurrection (of Both the Righteous and Wicked from She’ol — from Abel Forward)
  14. Judgment Day (of Those from She’ol)
  15. Satan Thrown into Gehenna Followed by the Wicked not Written in the Book of Life
  16. Heaven and Earth Destroyed; New Heaven and New Earth Created
  17. New Jerusalem (aka the Heavenly Kingdom) Descends from New Heaven
  18. Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Between Christ and New Jerusalem)

If anyone teaches anything close to this, please contact me; I would be interested in talking to them.  The Book of Revelation is MEANT to be understood; it is NOT a complete mystery.  Yes, two things have been concealed until they actually come to fruition:

  1. The meaning of the Seven Peals of Thunder in Revelation 10:3b-4 and
  2. The mysterious name that calculates to be either 616 or 666 in Hebrew gematria or Greek isopsephy in Revelation 13:18.

Most state that Revelation is not written in chronological order, but IT IS except for minor exceptions.  For example, when the prophecy discusses the two witnesses of Enoch and Elijah in Revelation 11:1-6 vs. 7-13; verses 1-6 occur mid-Tribulation, and verses 7-13 occur towards the end.  So, although vv7-13 are “out of order” overall, they complete the topic explained within the context of the chapter(s).

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Revelation Study series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

 

Mo’ed: Pesach Sheni (Second Passover)

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Of all the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim), Second Passover (Heb. Pesach Sheni) is by far the least known.  Pesach Sheni occurs on the 14th day of the second month on the 5th day of the week — exactly one month after Passover (Heb. Pesach) on 14 Abib on the third day of the week; see the Qumran calendar from the Dead Sea Scrolls for details.  When reconciled with the pagan Gregorian calendar, this day falls on the “evening” of May 3rd and the “morning” of May 4th.  [Author’s Note:  As I was a firstborn son on the “morning” of May 4th, this is a special honor!]

Let’s examine the origins of this mo’ed:

Numbers 9:4 So Moses told the sons of Israel to observe the Passover. 5 They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did. 6 But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 Those men said to him, “Though we are unclean because of the dead person, why are we restrained from presenting the offering of the Lord at its appointed time among the sons of Israel?” 8 Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.”

9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the Lord at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin. 14 If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.’” (NASB)

That seems pretty straight-forward.  If someone were on a long journey during Passover in the first month or they were unclean because of contact with a corpse, then they could observe this appointed time in the second month.  Note:  Few realize that the term translated as “alien” (Heb. ger[im]) in v14 above, is referring to Gentile proselytes to Judaism.

Passover/Unleavened Bread represents one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim) requiring all Israelite males to visit the Tabernacle, in the wilderness originally, and after reaching the Promised Land, in the City of David, each year.  The other two festivals are the Feast of Weeks [aka Pentecost] (Heb. Shavu’ot) and the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Heb. Sukkot).  Let’s examine the Law (Heb. Torah)  in that regard in Deuteronomy 16:1-17 concentrating on vv16-17:

Deuteronomy 16:16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you. (NASB)

Contrary to modern practice, this commandment has never ceased since the time of the Exodus (Gr. exodos; Heb. yetzi’at mitzrayim) from the land of Goshen (Genesis 45:4-11 concentrating on v10) in Egypt.

Bottom line:  Missing even one of the Shalosh Regalim had serious consequences for Israelite men as it has “three witnesses” in the Torah (Deuteronomy 16:1-17; Exodus 23:14-19, 34:10-26).  Note:  Firstborn Israelite sons were to be redeemed:

Exodus 34:19 “The first offspring from every womb belongs to Me, and all your male livestock, the first offspring from cattle and sheep. 20 You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed.” (NASB)

How is a firstborn Israelite son redeemed?  See Numbers 3:40-51 concentrating on vv46-48:

Numbers 3:46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons. (NASB)

This is repeated in Numbers 18:14-16.  Likewise, special burnt and sin offerings were to be made when children were born (Leviticus 12 focusing on the two turtledoves or two young pigeons in v8).  Note that male sons are to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth.  Let’s fast forward to Christ’s circumcision:

Luke 2:21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called [Joshua], the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (NASB)

After Mary’s (Heb. Miryam) forty days of purification (i.e., 7+33 days per Leviticus 12:2,4) at the Temple:

Luke 2:22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” (NASB)

Everything Christ did — even as a newborn with Torah-observant parents — was performed in accordance with the Law:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (NASB)

Author’s Note:  What I teach is foreign to many Christians, but we must remember that Yehoshu’a hailed from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:14).  For those who want to understand my motivation and desire to teach, re-read Matthew 5:19b in bold above.  I will be the first to admit that I have problems keeping the Law, but I am also a Gentile who is under Grace; therefore, I am to abstain from four things determined at the First Council of Jerusalem by Christ’s step-brother Ya’acov [=Jacob; mistakenly called James] (Acts 15:1-29 concentrating on vv19-20 and 28-29).

So, why was there not a “second chance” for Shavu’ot or Sukkot?  Because Pesach Sheni represented foreshadowing of things to come during Christ’s crucifixion!  Recall that Christ is the paschal Lamb of God (John 1:35-36; Revelation 5:6, 6:9, 7:17, 14:10, 15:3, 19:9, 21:23, 22:1, 22:3) who was crucified on Passover (14 Abib), aka Preparation Day, in 36 CE.  For more on the “seven Spirits of God” referenced in Revelation 5:6, see here.

Let’s review Christ’s death and burial in Matthew 27:33-61, Mark 15:22-47, Luke 23:33-56, and John 19:16-42 before the first day of Unleavened Bread (15 Abib), which is an annual or high Sabbath.  The care of the corpse is best described in John 19:31-42 concentrating on vv38-42:

John 19:38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (NASB)

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were unclean with certainty as Joseph took possession Christ’s corpse with Pilate’s permission, and Nicodemus anointed His corpse with myrrh and aloes.  It is highly likely that His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph (wife of Clopas?), the mother of the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and Salome were rendered unclean as well.  Although Second Passover is explicitly applicable to the two men, women also partake of the Passover; therefore, it would be applicable to all.

One parting thought…  Most Biblical scholars and theologians teach that Christ’s ministry lasted 3-1/2 years as three Passovers are mentioned in the Book of John.  Since most of these “scholars” believe they are of “New Testament-only churches,” they dismiss Torah.  Again, what did Christ say in Matthew 5:17-19?  Is He a liar?  Absolutely not.  What they miss is that one of those Passovers is the Second Passover; therefore, His ministry lasted a little over 1-1/2 years.  That fact will be discussed in detail on the day leading up to the Feast of New Wine on July 22nd.

In addition, Jewish storytelling is typically NOT in chronological order. The storyteller gives a piece here and there — much like a patchwork quilt — having all the pieces being interwoven at the end to complete the story. This is witnessed throughout the OT and is certainly the case with the Book of John.  Only the Book of Luke — and by extension Acts — is explicitly written in chronological order based on eyewitness accounts (Luke 1:1-4 concentrating on vv2-3).

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.