This is the last week before the Sabbath and Feast of Trumpets. Many of us will be overseas or getting ready for the Feast of Tabernacles. In a few days I leave for Africa and then Europe on the way to the Reading of the Law in Canada. This year is a large task for the brethren who have volunteered for the mission to Africa. There are some 5-6000 baptised members to induct in East Africa alone. The teaching task is somewhat daunting for anyone.
One of the things that is often not fully understood in relation to CCG doctrines is the holding of the Wave Sheaf service and its place in the determination of Pentecost. One of the things that is most problematic for those coming into CCG from the Churches of God with an Armstrong type background was that they did not implement the Wave Sheaf Offering. One of the national leaders of the WCG system said to us that when they studied the problem of Pentecost, before they realised they were wrong and finally made the change from Monday to the Sunday Pentecost, they came to understand that the Wave Sheaf offering had to be kept as it was fundamental to an understanding of the determination of Pentecost. Because Herbert Armstrong would not admit to Ernest Martin that he was wrong, they did not implement the change from Monday to Sunday until after Ernest Martin left WCG. After he left they did make the change to Sunday, but they failed to implement the Wave Sheaf Offering in the WCG due to an oversight. Thus the WCG never came to understand the importance of the Wave Sheaf.
The Wave Sheaf is cut from the first green ears of barley that can be cut in all Israel (Lev. 23:9-14). This Wave Sheaf of the green ears of barley made during the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the symbolism of which Christ, as the First fruits, was the antitype (1Cor. 15:23). Bullinger makes this note in the margin to Leviticus 23:10. We are the second part of the harvest being harvested at the return of the Messiah. We are symbolised by the Wheat Harvest at Pentecost. That is the reason that the determination of Pentecost is tied to the Wave Sheaf and not to the final ascent of Christ some forty days later. Christ mirrored Moses in the aspects of the ascents. He made two ascents to the Father. The first was at the Wave Sheaf as an acceptable offering to the Lord. The second was some forty days later after he had appeared to the disciples and given them further instruction. John shows clearly that Christ was to ascend on the First Day of the week and he later appeared to the disciples and blew on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The comment he made to Mary was that she was not to touch him, as he had not yet ascended to His Father. He then told her to go to the brethren and tell them that he was going to his Father and their Father, and to his God and their God. He then reappeared to them later that day. Now, in the interim, he had to have done what he said. His breathing on them with the Holy Spirit showed that he had accomplished what he had set out to do, and had been accepted as the Wave Sheaf, and retuned with the power to grant the Holy Spirit to those whom he had baptised.
Christ went from not allowing Mary to touch him to allowing Thomas to place his fingers in the holes in his body on the same day. Obviously, he must have had the meeting and acceptance between those two events. Otherwise his words recorded in John are meaningless.
This issue is not a small thing. It is critical to the understanding of the place of the Wave Sheaf in the harvests of God and the placement of Pentecost. This is doctrine in the Christian Churches of God. No person can remain in the CCG and not keep the Wave Sheaf as the symbolism of the acceptance of Jesus Christ by God as the First-fruits of the Plan of Salvation. No person is permitted to teach against that doctrine.
One of the ways in which this doctrine is attacked behind the scenes is to claim that Christ was in fact touched after dark on the beginning of the First Day of the week. That view is advanced so that an attack on the doctrine of the Wave Sheaf can be made and thus, deny the acceptance of Messiah as the clean, and holy, Wave Sheaf.
If he had been touched, the argument runs then he was unclean until sundown and, thus, could not have ascended to God and returned as an acceptable sacrifice. They thus hold that he had ascended some forty days later as the only instance.
Thus, the Wave Sheaf is separated from Messiah and the Omer count to Pentecost is not seen as the critical sequence from the First Day of the week (Sunday) Wave Sheaf of the barley harvest to the First Day of the week (Sunday) of Pentecost, which varies in the early part of Sivan. They can deny this link and thus, this denial frees them to make claims for Judaising aberrations such as a Sivan 6 Pentecost.
When people start arguing for the touching after dark on Sunday, they generally will not be forthcoming about where such argument leads. When pressed, they will often finally admit that it negates the Wave Sheaf, although not always. They get this view from Judaisers yet seem not to understand the significance for Pentecost or are silent about it. Sometimes they simply are unable to admit that Herbert Armstrong got something wrong and did not restore everything he was supposed to restore. That sort of man-worship is idolatry and has to be repented of. However, mostly it is a Judaising mentality and agenda and has to be exposed.
This discussion is not a harmless discussion. It is a direct attempt at introducing Judaising aberrations into the Church of God and attacks the sequence of the harvest as the Plan of God.
The Wave Sheaf is significant for the entire calendar as it also demonstrates that the Jewish Hillel Calendar is wrong. That is why they don’t keep it or even draw attention to it. The Wave Sheaf is listed in Leviticus 23 along with the other feasts, and so the ministry that keeps the feasts has no excuse for not keeping the Wave Sheaf. This year, as it was in 1997, the Jewish Passover was a month too late. The rabbis admitted it as was shown in the article Why is Passover so Late in 1997? (No.239). In this year the same problem occurred and Judaism held Passover a month too late and after the barley harvest had been completed. Certainly it was a month after the first sheafs were ripe as many observers attested. The Samaritan calendar falls into this error almost half of the time and has the Passover, and hence all the Feasts, a month late some fifty percent of the time, noting also that their equinox is on 25 March as a fixed date. This is the basis of the error of Jeroboam holding the feasts in the Eighth Month, which God regarded as an abomination (see the paper Jeroboam and the Hillel Calendar (No. 191)).
The Wave Sheaf starts us off on the road to Salvation in Jesus Christ. Pentecost is the harvest of the Church and the Feast of Tabernacles represents the harvest of the world under the government of Messiah.
This Feast of Tabernacles will be an important feast in the sequence of the Plan of God and the history of the Church. This second Reading of the Law is important in the Plan and restoration of God.
Next week is the weekend of Trumpets and is a two-day festival of Sabbath
Until then may God bless and protect us in our travels.
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