Sabbath 3/1/32/120

Dear Friends,

We seem to have added a new category to the list of Lies, Damnable Lies, and Statistics. That category is the even more blatant and outrageous one of WCG Theological Explanation.

Stephen Flurry of the Philadelphia Church of God (PCOG) has put out a paper on God’s Sacred Calendar in an obvious attempt to counter the historical position put forward by CCG in the papers on the Calendar, such as those in The Moon and the New Year (No. 213) and God’s Sacred Calendar (No. 156).

Like most texts trying to defend Herbert Armstrong and WCG’s errors of logic and fact, the text is a farrago of fiction and illogic.

Nowhere in the text here, or elsewhere for that matter, do these Armstrongists mention or try to explain the function of the Postponements that were introduced under the Hillel calendar from the year 358 CE.

The function of the Postponements is explained in the text The Calendar and the Moon: Postponements or Festivals? (No. 195). It is a known historical fact that postponements were never in place in the Temple Calendar, and even as late as the compilation of the Mishnah ca. 200 CE the postponement system was not in place.

Christ and the apostles in the NT are silent on them because they were never in operation in the Temple system. The NT does not mention them because they did not exist. The Pharisees did not have control of the Temple and their system of traditions was not in place in the Temple Calendar. Any academic with any training knows that to be so and the Jews themselves admit that fact; however, not the deluded Armstrong worshippers.

Stephen Flurry seems to begin his argument on the Calendar with the 1940 year, which has the year start a month late in Hillel, and then builds on his argument. He makes no mention of the postponements nor does he mention the history of the Hillel calendar. The letter of 1940 saw Herbert Armstrong adopt the Hillel system rather than argue against postponements.

To defend the Hillel calendar, which was the calendar adopted by Armstrong in the 1940s, he and the others of the WCG offshoots cling to the statement of Paul in Roman 3:1-2. Paul’s line says God had committed His Oracles to the Jews. The fact that every Christian accepts that the books of the OT were the Oracles that were in question is not advanced. The fact that the Calendar was entrusted by God to the tribe of Issachar and not to the Jews is also ignored (1Chr. 12:32).

This argument is a deliberate misrepresentation by these offshoots that we dealt with many years ago in the paper The Oracles of God (No.184). The problem is that the PCOG does not read any papers that might present a view contrary to Armstrong or the Flurrys themselves and, consequently, they can never produce a balanced or well-informed work. The other offshoots are not quite as biased as is the PCOG but they still advance the same false arguments based on faulty reasoning or illogic. They do that because the same flawed reasoning was endemic in the WCG over the years.

The post-Temple period corruption of the Calendar by the rabbinical system, which is an offshoot of the pharisaic movement condemned by Christ, has been examined also in the paper Distortion of God’s Calendar in Judah (No. 195B). These people never exhibit any sign of actually doing any real study on an issue; moreover, their logic is seriously incoherent or flawed.

The obvious conclusion that salvation was being extended to the Gentiles, as was stated by Paul, is ignored. The reference to the Jews preserving the Oracles of God was a reference to past events.

The Jews do not accept the Books of the NT that are also classed as Scripture. If they still have command of the Oracles of God it follows as a matter of logic that the NT is not and never has been Scripture.

It also follows that if that is so and they have changed Pentecost from Sunday to Sivan 6 then these Churches of God that claim such a thing have a moral and ethical obligation to adopt the Hillel system of a Sivan 6 Pentecost. However, we all know that they never made that claim and the entire WCG system did not keep the Sivan 6 Pentecost and refute the Jewish claims to do so. In other words, they do not really believe that the Jews have the Oracles of God. It is simply a ruse to silence the valid criticism that Armstrong and the Radio Church of God/WCG adopted a false calendar through ignorance of the Church history over the centuries.

Armstrong could have adopted the calendar of the Caldwell Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) which was correct, and which kept all the festivals and had the Godhead correct but he would have had no reason for not joining them. Moreover, he was on the payroll of the other element of the COG (7D) for a number of years and up until as late as 1940, by their own statements. The Eugene conference became the Denver conference and never kept the Feasts and their opposition to Caldwell prevented them from doing so, either correctly or at all.

Herbert Armstrong is quoted by Stephen Flurry from a Good News letter in 1940: “Unless God has preserved His sacred calendar through the Jews, then we do not know how to figure Passover or any of the holy days this year. For there is no authority for any other way. There is no Bible authority whatsoever for figuring the first day of the first month from the new moon nearest the spring equinox.”

Carefully read that last sentence again, because there are those who argue along this line: Just find the new moon nearest the spring equinox and calculate from there. (The spring equinox is when the time of the day and the night are equal in length—March 20 or 21 on the Roman calendar.) It is true that God says keep His holy days in season (Numbers 9:2-3). In other words, His spring festivals should be kept in the spring and the autumn festivals in autumn. And that is exactly what the Hebrew calendar ensures—that these days will be kept in their proper season. But nowhere does God tell us to find the new moon closest to the spring equinox and begin counting for yourself. God did not leave that responsibility to us—He left that to the Jews!

Notice! Mr. Armstrong continued in his letter, “God did not commit His oracles or the preservation of His times, to profane history …. They have been preserved by the Jews. After thorough study of the Bible, of the Hebrew calendar, of history and every angle—after going into the matter with all the Eugene brethren and other brethren who have made a special study of this question, we have unanimously agreed that the Hebrew calendar has been preserved correct by the Jews.”

Now there are two serious flaws in the logic of this argument and the argument is directly aimed at CCG, as that is what we do. Few of the other Churches of God follow this practice, and no significant ones. Armstrong’s 1940 letter showed a profound misunderstanding of the Passover system as kept in the Temple period. That is explained in the papers The Passover (No. 98) and the Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection No. 159).

The first error is stating that the Hillel calendar follows this rule correctly. It does not follow the rule. It follows the Babylonian system of intercalations with the postponements, which were taken to Hillel II by two Babylonian rabbis in 344 CE. Their system of dating is not in accordance with the Bible dating of events. Their calendar start date is according to the Babylonian cycle and dates and that is why they are a couple of centuries out. The Hillel calendar is not taken from the New Moon nearest the vernal equinox. It is instead calculated from the Molad of Tishri and is postponed and the system is rarely ever correct and not just sometimes. Often they start in the true Second month and keep the Feast in the Eighth month. It is the greatest Satanic Hoax ever perpetrated on the Churches of God trying to keep the festivals of God. This heresy is perpetuated by lazy, incompetent ministers supporting an erroneous system for dubious reasons.

The second flaw is an outright lie: namely that the Hebrew calendar has been preserved correctly by the Jews. This is a known fiction. The Jewish academic system freely admits that the Temple Calendar was altered under Hillel II in 358 on the advice of Babylonian rabbis presented to him in 344 CE. They admit it is in error but claim that they will wait for the Messiah to fix it. We have no such argument as the Messiah was Jesus Christ and he took his position of power 1979 years ago.

The rabbinical system did everything it could to destroy the Temple Calendar and the 50-year Jubilee system of the Bible. To this day they maintain that the Jubilee system is 49 years, but they make no attempt to keep it.

Thus, if these people were genuine they would accept the rabbinical edicts that changed the Calendar and they would adopt a Sivan 6 Pentecost. They would also argue for a forty-nine year Jubilee and they would throw away the New Testament because it is rejected wholly by Jews.

The fact is that they do none of these things because they do not believe for one minute that the Jews have maintained their authority over the Oracles of God. If they do actually believe what they are saying then they are incapable of logical thinking.

The fact is that they will not admit error because they have to change and to change means they have to admit Hebert Armstrong was not Elijah, and to do that opens the flood gates of reason and Bible truth and may result in a loss of the gullible brainwashed members and, hence, money to other less scrupulous ministry in other organisations. See also the paper Elijah? (No. 233) for an examination of the absurd proposition that Herbert Armstrong was Elijah.

The understanding at the time of Christ was that the Calendar was in place from the earliest times and Seth preserved the Calendar on two pillars, one of brick and the other of stone. Adam had told Seth and his progeny of the coming destruction. One of the pillars was still extant in the land of “Siriad” at the time of Josephus (Josephus, A of J I, 11, 3). Thus the understanding of the ancient system was reported as being among the nations at the time of Christ and had not been lost. Flurry quotes this text but ignores the implications of what it means for the “Oracles being in Judah” falsehood.

Judah did not preserve the Oracles of God. They corrupted the Sacred Calendar and they tampered with the Bible, as we know from the emendation of the Sopherim and from the Dead Sea Scrolls. These alterations were made after the fall of the Temple. The responsibility for preserving the Bible passed to the Church where it rested. The authority of the Temple system had been passed to the order of Melchisedek of which Christ was the High Priest. The ordination of the seventy saw the authority pass from the temple priesthood and the Sanhedrin to the Church. The Church has responsibility for the Oracles of God and what we ordain is endorsed in heaven provided it is according to the Law and the Testimony (Isa. 8:20).

The previous month was an intercalary month of We Adar or Adar II. The Trinitarian churches observe the Bible system of Intercalation and even they have Pentecost correct this year. However, the Jewish calendar almost never keeps the Holy Days on the correct day and often not even in the correct month because the Babylonian intercalations are not in accordance with the true lunar cycle being fixed centuries before the Temple was destroyed.

The ministry of the WCG offshoots blandly say things that are not true and the people simply accept what they say and hand their crowns over to them on a platter. Roderick Meredith of LCG has apparently told his people that the New Moons are for the priests to keep. The others apparently do not have to keep them. UCG has also told their members that they do not have to be kept. That is not what the Bible says. They are to be kept and no trading is permitted on them (Amos 8:5). Armstrong did not keep them. Yet we know that no restoration has been complete without them (see the paper Commentary on UCG Doctrinal Paper Should Christians Observe New Moons (No. 124)).

Anyone who follows these blind guides will not keep God’s Laws and the Temple Calendar. If they wish to do that then fine, but do not pretend that you are doing God’s will and following His Calendar and do not mislead those who genuinely seek to do God’s will. It is better if millstones were placed around these men’s necks and they were cast into the sea than to mislead the people of God.

Wade Cox

Coordinator General