Sabbath and New Moon Message 1/13/36/120

Dear Friends,

The Passover will be here in Six Weeks. The Sanctification of the Temple of God begins with the New Year which is the New Moon of Abib. The Fast for the Simple and Erroneous will be on 7 Abib.  We should be at our locations for the Passover on the evening at end 13 Abib for the Lord's Supper usually, however this year as the 13th Abib is on the Sabbath we will need to be in our accommodation for the Sabbath. We stay in the accommodation for the full eight days and return home after the Last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread.

The law concerning the Passover sequence is in Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

Deut.16 [1] "Observe the month of Abib, and keep 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] And you shall offer the passover sacrifice to the LORD your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place which the LORD will choose, to make his name dwell there. [3] You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction -- for you came out of the land of Egypt in hurried flight -- that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. [4] No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days; nor shall any of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. [5] You may not offer the passover sacrifice within any of your towns which the LORD your God gives you; [6] but at the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the passover sacrifice, in the evening at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. [7] And you shall roast it and eat it at the place which the LORD your God will choose; and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. [8] For 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.

The RSV translates the text as "boil it" but that is an error. The MT states it is to be roasted both here and in Exodus. The Soncino confirms the translation. The three commentators in the Soncino text are Abraham Ibn Ezra (E) Rashi (R) and Rashbam (Sh). They all agree that the first two days involve being outside their gates on 14 and the Night of 15 Abib and returning to their accommodation on the Morning of 15 Abib. We have seen unprincipled people deliberately misquote Ibn Ezra to assert he supported a Passover at the beginning of 14 Abib, which is an absolute fabrication. Ibn Ezra stated unequivocally that whilst the people should "return to their temporary dwellings around Jerusalem they may not return to their homes outside the city until after the festival." The festival had to be kept for the full eight days and the Churches of God have always done that until the WCG dispensed with the requirement in 1965-1967 and then corrupted the feast since that time, and it is still corrupt in the offshoots and ignored elsewhere except in CCG.

The Soncino provides comment on Deuteronomy 16. and Ibn Ezra says that concerning the legislation it requires that in the Morning of the First of the Seven days of Passover [i.e. on the morning of the Holy Day of 15 Abib as provided for in the legislation after the evening of the Passover sacrifice] they shall return to their temporary dwellings around Jerusalem but they may not return to their homes outside the city until after the festival (E). Rashi says that this refers to the Second day of the three day period i.e. on the 15th. Thus the 14th was the day of the sacrifice in the afternoon and the morning of the 15th saw a return to the temporary feast accommodation in Jerusalem. There is no suggestion in Ibn Ezra's comments regarding a sacrifice at the beginning of the 14 Abib and the legislation specifically prohibits it (cf. also Soncino Chumash fn. to v. 7). Had he suggested such a preposterous idea the rabbinical authorities would have rebuked him. Indeed he says no such thing.

The Sadducees controlled the Temple at the time of Christ. The Pharisees did not do so at all except for 9 years under Queen Alexandra. The law as explained in Deuteronomy 16:5-8 was kept correctly and is recorded as being kept correctly and no sacrifice was made for the Passover on the afternoon of 13 Abib nor at the beginning of 14 Abib. To suggest there was is just drivel. The Karaites were not in existence during the Temple period and emerged from the post Temple period exilarchs but did not become a real force until the twelfth century. They have no relevance to the Temple period. The origin of the Karaites is at

The Samaritans and the Sadducees moved into temporary accommodation at the beginning of the 14 Abib and ate their evening meal in common as required under the law. On the 14th day of Abib they prepared the Passover and killed the lamb at the 9th hour of the afternoon of 14 Abib. They then began the Night of Observation at the beginning of 15 Abib at the beginning of the Holy Day. They stayed up in observation until the early hours of the Morning of 15 Abib and then at Morning after First Light they returned to their feast accommodation. The Soncino comments of Ibn Ezra and Rashi reflect this position. The difference with the Samaritans was that they did it on Mt. Gerizzim and often in the Second Month of the Temple Calendar. Christ and the apostles and the church subsequently did the same thing except the sacrifice was not made but the lamb was usually eaten.

The Feast was still kept for the eight days to the last Holy Day on 21 Abib. The church has done this for 2000 years until WCG abandoned the eight days system in 1965-1967 and it is obvious that those baptised after 1967 and not in CCG don't understand it at all. The Bible is quite clear: "Give your ways to God and He will establish your thoughts" and not the other way around.

The Sadducees and the Samaritans sacrificed the Passover from the 9th to the 11th hour on the afternoon of 14 Abib and we know that for an absolute historical fact.

The legislation required the party to go into their temporary quarters outside their gates for 36 hours from the evening beginning of 14 Abib to the Morning of 15 Abib and the Passover was to be sacrificed on the afternoon of 14 Abib and cooked for the evening meal of the Passover at beginning 15 Abib. Deuteronomy 16:5-7 requires all to leave their gates for the 36 hours from the beginning of the preparation day on 14 Abib and return to their dwellings at the morning of 15 Abib. That is what the entire church was doing. Christ stated that he was not going to eat the Passover with them in Luke 22:15. Some unscrupulous people add the word "again" to Luke 22:15 to seek to assert that Christ ate the Passover meal but that is fraudulent.

The Jewish Hillel Calendar was not invented until 344 based on Babylonian intercalations and introduced by R. Hillel II in 358 CE. It has nothing to do with the Passover and the Temple system. It intercalates often in the wrong years. The Jews killed Christ at exactly the right time of the Passover on Wednesday 3pm 14 Abib and he was placed in the tomb before EENT on the beginning of 15 Abib. The Church of God kept this sequence for 2000 years and it was only under the WCG and Armstrong that the fiction that Christ ate the Passover with the apostles and the Jews had it wrong was advanced. These people were apostate heretics and the entire WCG system has to unlearn the heresy. Fortunately the COG (SD) was not completely infected with this error. In 2013 the Temple Calendar and Hillel were in accord by sheer unavoidable fluke due to the postponement rules but in 2014 it is out by one day and the Hillel system does not keep the Lord's Supper or the Holy Days on the correct days and nor do the Churches of God who follow the Jews and Hillel systems. It is a fact that the members of WCG and the Offshoots have virtually never kept a Passover and Holy Day on the correct days except by accident with the exception of Pentecost in all their existence.

How many evening meals were there at the Passover according to Deuteronomy 16:5-7? There were and are always two meals. The first is the chagigah meal at the beginning of 14 Abib when church goes into its temporary quarters (See Bullinger notes to Comp. Bible). The Lord's Supper is held in memory of Christ's sacrifice and suffering at this evening. Then the Passover meal is prepared by roasting and is eaten with Unleavened Bread and Bitter Herbs to commemorate the death and burial of Christ. The church waits and discusses the Passover until late on the night of the 15th and then in the morning, if the Passover is in their city, they return to their accommodation or if they are at another joint location they remain there for the full eight days. The church has done this for 2000 years with the exception of the US COG (SD) at the Denver Conference and the WCG after 1967. The Caldwell Conference always kept the Passover as does the CCG and the Thyatirans, and before, have always done so.

Why was not the entire church with Christ and the apostles in accordance with the Law in Deuteronomy 16:5-7? Because they had to have between ten and no more than twenty people present for the Passover meals. The church does not usually have more than twenty people present on the Night to be Much Observed but they have larger numbers for the Lord's Supper. These were the so-called love feasts that got out of hand at Corinth and were then reduced and people ate at home within the normal limits. The twelve apostles ate with Christ. The seventy were located in at least three or more other locations and the families as well.

Mariam, Maria and Clophas were with their children and the others. Joseph and Nicodemus were also at their locations but were summoned for the Sanhedrin meeting at midnight. It was not until later that they understood what Christ had done for the Lord's Supper. Joseph's daughter Anna was in Britain with Bran and the royal family there. Linus son of Caradog brother of Arviragus had gone to Jerusalem with Joseph and was ordained by Christ as one of the LXX (Lk. 10:1,17).

Bullinger states in his footnote to the text of Luke 22:15 that this was not the Passover meal that Christ ate. It was the "chagigah" or feast meal that was held on the night before in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:5-8. We have studied the issue at length and it accords with the Bible text and the understanding of the church up until Armstrong adopted this heresy that Christ ate the Passover meal. If the WCG and the offshoots had kept the Feast as they did prior to 1967 they would not have lost sight of the Passover and the meaning of the Lord's Supper and the Passover Meal and Night of Observations as it was correctly called. They failed to keep the Passover legislation of Deuteronomy 16:5-8 and no one baptised after 1967 and not in CCG has ever kept the Passover correctly in any church and by their writings show they understand nothing of it.

Also no one keeping the Hillel Calendar has ever kept a Feast and Holy Day on the correct days except for rare coincidences like 2013. In 2014 they fall out again and in the next Babylonian intercalation they will be a month out keeping the Passover in the Second Month but incorrectly and the Feast of Tabernacles in the Eighth Month for which Jeroboam and the Samaritans were condemned.

The Samaritan practice over 2500 years confirms this understanding and that of CCG is correct. Their practice ensures they sometimes keep the Passover in the Second Month and the Feast in the eighth from Jeroboam's error. The Textus Receptus is the Received Text from which the early Bibles of the Reformation were translated. The Churches of God understood it all perfectly until the WCG and their errors. The assertion that the Passover was killed between Sunset and EENT on the previous day is a fabrication with no support whatsoever and runs contrary to Biblical law and the practices of the Temple and the church.

The Passover lambs were slaughtered at 3pm to 5pm at the Temple for the sins of Israel and pointed to the Messiah. The lamb had to be roasted and eaten with Unleavened Bread and bitter herbs. That is exactly what Christ and the apostles were doing when they went into temporary accommodation on the night of 14 Abib. Christ however knew he was to die as the Passover lamb in atonement for Israel and the sins of the world.

The nation was able to eat any animal of the herd at the Passover after they entered Canaan. They could eat a giraffe if they had a herd of them. Once Christ was killed on 14 Abib at 3pm as the Passover lamb he became the atonement for sin. The Churches of God have kept this Lord's Supper and the Passover following and usually eat a lamb and bitter herbs with unleavened bread as it commences the feast of Unleavened Bread which lasts for a further seven days. CCG does this and also eats unleavened bread with the Lord's Supper in commemoration of the beginning of the sacrifice of Christ and the ritual he set up of the footwashing and the bread and the wine. No leaven is to be eaten with any sacrifice of God.

No Church of God since 30 CE has ever sacrificed a lamb in place of the sacrifice of Christ at the afternoon of 14 Abib 30 CE. Christ was the Passover lamb killed at exactly the correct time for the Passover lamb at 3pm on the afternoon of 14 Abib and at precisely that time the Temple veil was torn in two. The law is specific and the church has been doing the same thing for almost 2000 years.

The apostles did not kill any lamb on the end of the 13th day between sunset and EENT and they did not eat any roast lamb at any Passover meal. They had the normal meal after EENT and then Christ introduced the Footwashing and the Bread and Wine. They then went to Gethsemane where he was betrayed and the prophesies began to be fulfilled one after another. There is absolutely no possibility of any Passover meal being eaten in Israel or Judah prior to the beginning of the 15th day of Abib and we know this from a multitude of historical resources.

The Temple priesthood up until 70 CE kept the law correctly and observed the Passover with a minor exception concerning the time of the preparation day trading in Jerusalem differing from that in Galilee.

It is a matter of prophesy that Christ had to be killed at the exact time the Passover lamb was sacrificed and to fulfil Zechariah he had to be pierced by a spear at 3pm on 14 Abib. If he did not do these things he was not the Messiah. It is that simple.

There is absolutely no historical evidence that supports any sacrifice at the end of 13 Abib and beginning of 14 Abib. There is no refutation as to Josephus' account even though some Rabbinical/Pharisees attack him. Shurer accepts his account in Wars of the Jews and the Legislation in Exodus and Deuteronomy shows exactly what is required. Christ was the Passover and every event he experienced in his activities in 14 Abib was related to the Passover legislation and prophecy. The lambs were killed from the 9th to the 11th hour on 14 Abib. Christ was the first of those lambs. No one is permitted to return home during the entire feast and they are not permitted to work between the Holy Days as the offshoots incorrectly do and all have done since 1967.

Look at the paper The Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)for further details on the timing. 

Wade Cox
Coordinator General