New Moon 1/3/27/120
This New Moon is the beginning of the Third Month of the Sacred Year. It falls in the seventh week of the Omer count to Pentecost. This Sabbath and the First Day of the week that follows it are the two-day Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. As we should know, Pentecost means to “count fifty”. In this period we build up to the receipt of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. There are a number of things that we seek to perfect in this Omer count. The love and unity of the brethren is of great importance and also follows on from our love of God. We should have kept the Passover having sanctified ourselves from the New Year on the First of Abib. We should have fasted on the Seventh of Abib. I noted that some churches of God have actually ignored the sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous when they should have fasted, and instead appointed a fast on the Sabbath on a day in the Omer count to satisfy a tradition of theirs. God wants obedience more that sacrifice. When He says to sanctify the congregation with a fast and to keep the Seventh of Abib for the simple and erroneous, He means just that.
The entire period of twenty-one days in the First Month of Abib is a period of sanctification. You have to keep it to understand. You have to remove the leaven of malice and wickedness and keep the feast in sincerity and truth (see the paper The Old and the New Leaven (No 106a)). In this way the count to Pentecost is commenced on a sound basis. The procedure is then commenced to the Feast, where we are given the leaven of the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven that is given to the woman, who placed the three measures of meal until the whole was leavened (Mat. 13:33). Bullinger’s explanation of this text in the Companion Bible is the exact contrary of the words of Christ. Over the years, the churches of God have failed to come to grips with the symbolism of the leaven of malice and wickedness being replaced by the leaven of the Holy Spirit, which is the Kingdom of Heaven and which is among us. Much of this failure is directly attributable to the failure to keep the Feast correctly for the full eight days from 14 Abib to 21 Abib. It is only by obedience in keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the seven days and being present in fellowship do we come to understand. Do not be surprised when those in the churches of God understand this process the least. They do not understand because they do not obey God. Remember this fact: Give your ways to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts (Prov. 16:3). It is not the other way around. It is not: “Think about God a little and He will then establish your ways”. That is not the way it works. Do it and then you will understand.
The fact is that God has ordered the placement of leaven in the two loaves at Pentecost. Are we truly asserting that God would place the symbols of sin in one of his offerings? Do we attribute sin or capriciousness to God?
The offerings at Pentecost pointed towards the Church, which people are the Temple of God. The leaven in the loaves of Pentecost pointed towards the dual nature of the Scriptures and of man in his walk with God though the Holy Spirit. The three measures of meal represent the threefold aspect of the kingdom of God. Christ was present as King, Priest and Prophet (see the paper Jesus the Christ, King, Priest and Prophet (No. 280)). So too are we called out and chosen to become a nation of kings and priests, and the work of prophecy is among us and is the third element of the Church and its people. The Holy Spirit works in the individual forming him/her into the body of Christ and develops each of us as kings, priests and prophets. In this way we, as scribes of the Church, are instructed in the Mysteries of God. We are like a householder who brings forth things old and new out of his treasure (Mat. 13:52).
In the days of Christ, things were spoken in parables so that people would not see and understand, and hence turn and be saved before their time. The Church also has been prevented from speaking plainly over the years by the actions of the adversary. Through persecution the Church was protected by parables and the slow release of information. In many cases, the Church itself did not understand through the disobedience of its officers and people.
The disciples said to Christ: “Why do you speak to them in Parables?”
“Because it is given to you to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. For whosoever has, to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance, but whosever has not, from him will be taken away even what little he has. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because they, seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not and do not understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: ‘By hearing ye shall hear and not understand, and seeing ye shall see and not perceive; For this peoples heart is waxed gross and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and should be converted and I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear;” (Mat. 13:10-16 cf. Isa. 6:9-10, and also the versions in Jn. 12:39-40; Acts 28:26).
The development of the Church has always been in sincerity and truth. The old leaven of malice and wickedness is removed. The feast is kept in sincerity and truth, and through sincerity and truth we progress to the leaven of the Holy Spirit, which makes the person a new functioning whole. Through that leaven we are converted and become a new person. Christ said to Peter: “Simon, Simon, Satan has desire to have you that he may sift you as wheat but I have prayed for you that your strength fail not: and when you are converted strengthen your brethren” (Lk. 22:31-32).
We should all progress in truth. Pilate said: “What is truth” because he had seen so many lies and false ideas. The Church of God should be able to discern truth and divide the word of God in righteousness. Conversion is the turning of the individual to God (cf. Mat. 18:3). To be as a little child is to come to God in innocence and a desire to learn. One cannot grow by stifling the truth. Only the truth can set you free (see the paper Truth (No. 168)).
It is through the truth and a love of the truth that one is converted (see the paper Conversion and Truth (No. 72)).
Often we are faced with situations and organisations that prevent the open discussion of matters because the organisations or people cannot properly defend what they believe. One should always discuss matters correctly and avoid offence, but the examination of matters of truth can never be suppressed in a healthy society. I once was confronted with a philosopher who asked me to do something on a famous theologian after whom he was named. He expected me to come back with a work spewing out the standard eulogies. I came back with authentic research showing the theologian’s theological errors and serious impact on the Christian faith. The lecturer then tried to destroy me. A professor, whom I admire, said to me later: “One is often confronted with the (X’s) of this world. If you had just spewed out the notes you would have done better, but you have done authentic research in this matter and paid for it.” I was to learn that there are many of these people in the world and surprisingly enough some pass themselves off as philosophers. The world of academia is riddled with those who use it as a weapon to suppress truth. The religious system is perhaps the worst. Perhaps the evolutionists in anthropology are at least as bad. The blatant misuse of science to demonstrate age of finds is epidemic in anthropology. Perhaps it is because they realise at heart that their system is based on fraud. Who knows what the reason really is.
I once did a short work in religious studies on the dismemberment of the corpse of Francis Xavier and its distribution throughout the world. A noted professor intervened and gave me zero marks for the work. His erudite comment was: “Polemics against the Jesuits will not do”. It seems that anything that told the truth about the particular subject under study, and ran counter to the professor’s paradigm or religious views, was punished ruthlessly and seemingly labelled as “polemics”. I said to the student body at the university they had better look at the problem. They said to me later, “The problem seems to be that you know more about this subject than professor x”. They appointed a very knowledgeable Cambridge scholar to review the matter and he said, “Well x is not going to agree to give you high marks for this work”. I said, “Well even a pass is better than zero isn’t it old chap?” He laughed and agreed on that point. All this in an environment where truth and facts are supposedly valued above all else one might say.
Another example during this phase that was to annoy me to action was in the religious studies section. We were reviewing the work by Lessa and Vogt, which contained a work by the anthropologist Mary Douglas on “The Abominations of Leviticus”. She claimed that there was no basis to the food laws in Leviticus chapter 11 other than taboos based on locomotor functions. Now even I was not that stupid or gullible. I then set about writing a paper based on the most up to date scientific knowledge of the time, examining the scientific basis of the food laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. I also used the Australian Government study into mercurial and other toxic levels in Australian fish species. It showed how the food laws in all types of species limited the harmful effects of toxins and disease. Nothing was done about it. It has since been published in many languages and is studied all over the world. Despite it being written in 1989, and being on the web since 1995, it was not until 2004 that the Australian Government began conducting an advertising campaign warning people of the dangers of mercurial poisoning in fish species. To this day, the authorities refuse to understand the relationship between clean species of fish and the availability of mercury levels in clean and unclean species. They at least now are warning people, but fail to understand the distinctions and the effects of selenium in clean species making mercury unavailable to humans and the role of arsenates in limiting selenium. There is no mention of clean and unclean fish species (see the paper The Foodlaws (No. 15)).
Truth is cast to the ground and many people try to suppress truth to shelter their own religious ideas from the hard and searching light of day. I listened to the most extraordinary episode of rationalisation in the US Senate inquiry into the Iraq prisoner abuse. I heard a US Republican senator say that these people were all in blocks 1 and 1A because they were involved in killing US citizens. He seemed to be arguing that it was Ok to abuse and kill these people, because they had been accused of actions against the American people. They had not been tried. They were detainees after the cessation of hostilities and had a right to the due process of law and order and the application of the Geneva Convention. That seemed to be ignored. Another Democratic senator did not even bother to ask a question of the witnesses, but used the entire time for political grandstanding. One can scarce believe that these people are in charge of the affairs of the most powerful nation in the world.
If we do not conduct ourselves with honour, and in diligence of justice and truth, how can we expect better conduct from others?
This week I read a transcript of an interview with a former German politician by a US announcer. The German ex-politician has now written a book, “The CIA and 911”. I think this is a sobering interview and work, and confirms what many suspect. It also is reported that the military officers refused to torture the captives, and they were allegedly moved elsewhere for torture by the intelligence system. The system that behaves like this is not worthy to be named a civilisation.
Remember that it was from this time at Pentecost onwards that Israel was brought into sin. The ascents of Moses to receive the Law saw also the transgression of Israel. Review the paper The Ascents of Moses (No. 70)). Where the Law is, there also is sin and grace for sin is transgression of the law (1Jn 3:4).
We can only progress in truth. Only by caring for one another in truth can we grow in the faith. Love one another. Care for one another and grow in the faith through sincerity and truth that we all might see and hear, and thus turn and be converted.
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