New Years Day 1/1/36/120

Dear Friends

Today is the New Year’s Day of the 36th year of the 120th Jubilee and the beginning of the First year of the Sixth cycle of the Jubilee. Look at the paper The Moon and the New Year (No. 213).  We need to take time out to focus on our personal spiritual needs and then go on to the problem of organising the churches of God for the coming of the Witnesses and then the Messiah with the Heavenly Host. This job in the last days rests with us as we know from Jeremiah 4:15 and 31:6. That is dealt with in the paper Warning of the Last Days (No. 044).

Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread are rapidly approaching and we have to plan ahead for this very important Feast period and today we commence the Sanctification Process which will take us then to the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. If we do not commence today we can find ourselves not properly prepared for the Passover (Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241)). It is the spiritual preparation that needs the most care and attention and we now work on to the Seventh of Abib where we pray for the Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous. We will deal with this for the next week from Sabbath (see the paper Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous (No. 291)). We will take the details from a previous New Year’s message so that the new members may benefit.

Traditionally the women spend a lot of time house cleaning and ensuring all leaven is removed from the premises before heading off to their assigned Feast site. Sometimes, so much time is spent cleaning that they do not take enough time focusing on their spiritual condition and cleansing the Temple, which we are, often arriving at the Feast in a state of exhaustion.

We do not need to wait until 1 Nisan to commence the cleansing process. The removal of leaven is a must, being critical in the keeping of the Commandment, but the spiritual cleansing is equally important. There are many papers that deal with the spiritual meaning of the Passover period and a list of these is attached at Appendix A. Some of these may be part of the Feast Services or pre-Feast Services.

Take the time now to assess your situation and plan your activities accordingly. Ensure you take the time to pray and read your Bible and the papers. Most importantly: Is there anyone with whom you still need to make peace?  (Mat. 5:24) If so deal with it now. Don’t wait for a person to come to you – you take that first step. The day before the Feast is too late!

Look at your pantry now and assess what leaven you have that needs to be used before 14th Nisan. Organising the pantry early will make the final de-leavening much quicker and easier.

Confirm your travel and accommodation arrangements and costs. If driving, don’t forget the safety check on your vehicle. If something needs fixing it might take time to do it or to get that spare part. Again, don’t leave it until the last moment.

Think about your offering and Feast expenses. Your second tithe is an ongoing matter and should be set aside all year to ensure you have the funds for each Feast period and those who are financially able may wish to assist those who are in more difficult circumstances. Feast Coordinators and Caterers should provide an estimate of costs to those attending to assist them to assess and manage their finances for the period.

If the necessary physical activities are planned, prioritised and started early there will be less stress at the last minute and one’s spirituality will be better dealt with. It is good to arrive at the Feast ready to fellowship and enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones and ready to feast both physically and spiritually before God in joy and thanksgiving.



2013 Passover Papers for Study

12 March 1 AbibNew Moon/New Year: Sanctification of the Nations P077
18 March 7 AbibSanctification for the Simple and Erroneous P291
FAQ on Ezekiel 36-48 & the Sanctification of the Temple P292
24 March -
1 April
14 – 21 Abib Passover and Unleavened Bread: See CB33
(Remember the Lord’s Supper and the Passover Meal are held at dark on the previous evenings)

Papers for Children’s Study Periods