Christ’s Crucifixion: Cross or Tree? Does it REALLY Matter?

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Sycamore Fig Tree in Israel  (Source: Pinterest)

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (NASB)

Many have asked the age-old question of whether Christ was crucified on a Roman cross regardless of its shape (e.g. the traditional crux immissa or Latin cross, the crux commissa or Tau cross, etc.) or hung on a tree per Torah (=the Law).  If a tree, what kind and why? For starters, let’s examine one of the more significant pronouncements that the incarnate Christ made:

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: Believers do NOT go to Heaven; the Kingdom of Heaven is New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-14), and she will descend from the New Heaven to the New Earth after Judgment Day (aka the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord [lit. Yahoah]).

Most “Christians” conveniently forget that Joshua (see footnote b) the Anointed (Gr. Iesous Christos/Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMaschiach) is a Torah-observant Jew who hails from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:14-17). These same “Christians” claim to be from NT-only churches and that the Law (Heb. Torah) does not apply to them; they couldn’t be more wrong (Acts 15:1-32).

Flashing back to 10 Abib in 36 CE leading up to Christ’s crucifixion on 14 Abib (Passover), we have this peculiar event:

Matthew 21:18 Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered. 20 Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?” 21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (NASB)

Author’s Note:  Examine Strong’s 4808 regarding early figs in June with the primary harvest in August and September.  There was absolutely no way ANY fig tree in the Levant would have beared fruit in late March/early April, so this act was definitely symbolic.

But, why this particular fig tree? Let’s flash back to the Garden of Eden (Heb. Gan ‘Eden):

Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (NASB)

Note that God gave the commandment to Adam; Eve had not been created yet! Adam had a choice of immortality from the beginning; EVERY decision has cause and effect. Also, note:

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (NASB)

Flashing forward to the moment of the “original sin:”

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 4 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed FIG LEAVES (emphasis mine) together and made themselves loin coverings. (NASB)

Obviously, Adam taught the commandment spoken to him by God; Eve CLEARLY knew the rule (although she added to it: “or touch it” in v3b), but the DESIRE to obtain something forbidden (i.e., the false promise of having the mind of God) overtook her. Adam certainly had no backbone to say no; that reminds me of a majority of men today  spiritually and morally bankrupt!

Bottom line: They BOTH partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and immediately became MORTAL and ashamed of their nakedness. What was the first thing they did? They gathered leaves from the tree closest to them and fashioned loin coverings!  Folks, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a FIG TREE!

Flashing back to that eventful day on 14 Abib in 36 CE… Most think that Christ was crucified in accordance with Roman law.  That flies in the face of Christ’s proclamation regarding His fulfilling Torah in Matthew 5:17-19, doesn’t it? Pilate washed his hands of the affair. So, what was Christ’s alleged crime?

Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council [=Great Sanhedrin] kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 The high priest [=Yosef ben Caiaphas] stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” (NASB)

So, Christ’s alleged crime was blasphemy, which is a crime worthy of/punishable by death (v66) as He confirmed that He is the prophesied “Son of Man” [=Son of God]. Then, we have these two exchanges:

John 19:1 Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3 and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. 4 Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5 Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” (NASB)

So, what is that Law referenced in v7?

Deuteronomy 21:22 “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance. (NASB)

See what transpires next:

John 19:13 Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

16 So he then handed Him over to them [=the Jews, specifically the Council of the Great Sanhedrin] to be crucified. 17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross [Gr. stauros; =crossbar; Lat. patibulum], to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. (NASB)

Author’s Note: Golgotha is the place where Goliath’s severed head was buried outside the walls of modern day Jerusalem by then shepherd boy David (1 Samuel 17:31-58). Christ is of the lineage of David both patrilineal (Matthew 1:1-16 concentrating on v6) and matrilineal (Luke 3:23-38 concentrating on vv31-32).

So, the tree on which Christ and the two criminals were hung was the cursed and withered fig tree — which was likely the original tree of the knowledge of good and evil from the Garden of Eden! Why was this done in this manner?

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (NASB)

What an impressive picture through symbolism! Man was created and intended to live forever; that ended as mortality was introduced when Adam and Eve partook from the fig tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! Christ cursed that tree that led to death for all of mankind, then that Lamb of God became a “curse of the Law” so that believers in Him — including Gentiles — may receive Salvation and everlasting life! His First Coming was about overcoming death and providing Salvation!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (NASB)

Hallelujah and amen! Please read my article on Passover for more details.

Remember:  If you had been a true prophet, sage, or scribe of El Elyon — much less the Son of God — you would have had a proverbial death wish in ancient Israel; some things never change.  Pharisaism in the first century CE re-emerged as modern rabbinic Judaism (Matthew 23:8).

Matthew 23:29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of [lit. Gehenna]? 34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. (NASB)

One parting question: How did we end up with Christ’s crucifixion being symbolized by a Latin cross? Because the RCC usurped everything that is “Christian” and applied their own esoteric symbology and “sacred mysteries” as well as false traditions (embellishments not in the Scriptures), precepts of men (manufactured theology), and doctrines of demons (assimilated paganism); the Scriptures explicitly warn against all of these. Many of these false teachings carried over to Protestant churches after the Reformation. No modern church nor synagogue teaches the whole truth; truth mixed with lies are still lies! The TRUE early church was called The Way — to the Jew first and also the Greek (Gentiles); practically everything Hebraic has been eradicated and replaced in our “Christian” churches. It is in good company with modern JudaismBelial is proud of his handiwork.

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. (NASB)

We have arrived, folks!  #QuestionEverything


Be sure to examine the articles, calendrical documents, maps, and figures in the following series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 2019, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.


2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB)

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

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

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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)

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The Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Source: The Temple Institute

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

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Rainbow Covenant. Source: Grow in Christ

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

nativity-scene-mary-joseph-baby-jesus-1326846-gallery
The Nativity. Source: LDS.org (Note: The author has no affiliation with the LDS.)

For nearly two millennia, “Biblical scholars” and “theologians” have opined 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 (Heb. Chag Yitzhar)!

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 70, which 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

pentecost
Holy Spirit Sent. Source: God’s Hotspot

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.


2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB)

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew