Sabbath Message 060137120B

Dear Friends,

This year, the 37th of the 120th Jubilee, the Hillel or Modern Jewish Calendar is out due to the postponements and does not keep one Holy Day on the correct day but postpones those days. Many of the WCG offshoots use the outrageous false statement that it was in use in the Temple period.  The Restored Church of God claims that if the Jewish calendar along with the postponements had been in error, Christ would have pointed this out to the religious establishment while he was here on earth.

It is frustrating in the extreme to see people so brainwashed that they cannot comprehend that the Temple system could never have used a calendar that did not even exist at that time and did not even come into existence for 288 years after the Temple was destroyed and 328 years after the death of the Messiah.  One person wryly observed in the discussion that: "Tradition is what one has left after their mind goes reprobate."

A person who knew anything about the situation at all would have understood that the fact that Christ did not comment on the postponements was because they did not exist and would not exist in a formal sense for another 328 years.

The fact is that Christ absolutely castigated the Pharisees for their traditions and those same traditions were what caused the postponements much later.

It is difficult to determine whether the ministry of the offshoots are just plain lazy and dumb or they are completely unprincipled in what they say. It is not at all difficult to prove categorically that the postponements were not in operation during the Temple system and for at least 130 years after it.

Let us look at what the Mishnah says and that was compiled ca 200 CE 130 years after the Temple was destroyed.

The Mishnah shows that the Holy Days fell before and after the Sabbath on repeated occasions, which means that the traditions and the system that the Pharisees had invented to protect the traditions were not in place even as late as the compilation of the Mishnah (cf. Soncino Talmud: Shabbat 114b; Menachoth 100b; and Mishnah Besah 2:1; Shabbat 15:3; Sukkah 5:7; Arakhin 2:2; Hagigah 2:4). Back-to-back Sabbaths were common. The text in Hagigah 2:4 shows the conflict developing at that time (200 CE) between the pro- and anti-Sunday Pentecost advocates (cf. ibid. (No. 195) and see below).

It is impossible for the postponement system and the current or modern Jewish calendar to have been in place at the time of Christ.

The Mishnah also states that there are four new years and that the First day of Nisan is the New Year for kings and festivals. This is also examined in the paper The Night to be Much Observed (No. 101) which looks at the Samaritan practices for the Passover. We can also see from these timings in the Mishnah that the datings regarding Ezra and Nehemiah were according to 1 Nisan and not 1 Tishri (cf. Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250)). Tishri was used at that time for the reckoning of years, for Sabbatical years and for Jubilees (Rosh Hashanah 1.1 E (3)). We see that the notion of Tishri, which came in from Babylon, was first recorded in the Mishnah as being put forward by R. Eliazar and R. Simeon (ibid. 1.1 D). It was not observed as a New Year in the Temple period. The Mishnah also makes an attempt to divorce the beginning of the tithing of cattle to 1 Elul (ibid. 1.1 C).

The House of Shammai held the New Year for trees was 1 Shebat, whereas the House of Hillel held it was the fifteenth day of that month. The New Year on the Full Moon is a directly pagan practice, also introduced from Babylon and no doubt associated with the plantings by moon charts. All of this determination is in post-Temple period rabbinical Judaism. Only in the third century do we see Tishri being established by the rabbis. It and the postponement system now hold sway over Judaism, contrary to the word of God. Trumpets is often not on the molad (the conjunction), and the Holy Days of God are postponed by disobedience to other days that God has not ordained.

The Encyclopedia Judaica admits this fact in its article on Fixing Rosh HaShanah (New Year's Day).

Fixing Rosh HaShanah (New Year's Day). The year begins on Tishri 1, which is rarely the day of the molad, as there are four obstacles or considerations, called dehiyyah, in fixing the first day of the month (rosh hodesh). Each dehiyyot may cause a postponement of two days: (1) mainly in order to prevent the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10) from falling on Friday or Sunday, and Hoshana Rabba (the seventh day of Sukkot; Tishri 21) from falling on Saturday, but in part also serving an astronomical purpose... (2) entirely for an astronomical reason, if the molad is at noon or later Rosh HaShanah is delayed by one day (ibid., p. 44).

The third and fourth dehiyyah are more complex rules involving specific times of the molad and the consequent postponement of 1 Tishri. These moladot are tabulated with specific postponements, as outlined in the Encyclopedia Judaica article. This rule of postponement was not known at the time of Christ and at the time of the compilation of the Talmud. The Mishnah, and the Talmud as commentary, clearly show that the Day of Atonement fell on a Friday or a Sunday up to the time of the compilation of the Mishnah and, hence, at the time of Christ two centuries before that.

We also see that the occurrence of months was different from what it is under the Jewish calendar.

(Arakhin 2:2): They do not count less than four full months in the year, and [to sages] never have appeared more than eight.

It is thus impossible for the postponements to have been in place at the time of Christ. We continue:

... the present system was expected to be replaced [emphasis added] again by a system based on true values [as opposed to mean values] more akin to the earlier Jewish calendar in which New Moons (days of the phasis [i.e., the length of the interval from the true conjunction to the first sighting of the new crescent]) and intercalations were proclaimed on the basis of both observation and calculation (ibid., p. 47).

Note the comments here show that the calculations were according to the true conjunction according to the phases (which is not visible) and the observations were introduced to confirm what was already known for months and years in advance. The term phases of the moon came from the term phasis and have always applied to the New Moon as full dark, the Full Moon and the first and second quarters. The crescent has never been considered a true phase of the moon in the sense that it is used for the New Moon.

Judaica notes:
Historical. According to a tradition quoted in the name of Hai Gaon (d. 1038), the present Jewish calendar was introduced by the patriarch Hillel II ... in 358/59 AD ... While it is not unreasonable to attribute to Hillel II the fixing of the regular order of intercalations, his full share in the present fixed calendar is doubtful (ibid., p. 48).

Note here that the modern Jewish calendar did not really even become fixed until the eleventh century, as Judaica admits. The Judaica then introduces the concept of irregularity in intercalation saying they were irregular.

…intercalation being in part due to the prevailing state of various agricultural products and to social conditions. ... the state of crops is ultimately determined by the sun's position in its annual path (ibid., p. 49).

However, we know that the Sadducees and the Samaritans had no such problem with irregularity and the New Moon was announced by fires lit from the Mt. of Olives, east of the Temple over Kidron (cf. the paper Messiah and the Red Heifer (No. 216)). It was only later that the Samaritans were accused of lighting misleading beacons when the Pharisees took charge after the destruction of the Temple and introduced the postponements by observations.

No such problem existed during the Temple period. John Hyrcanus had destroyed the Samaritan tabernacle on Mt Gerizim during the time of the Maccabees but their religion was left intact. Hyrcanus suppressed the Pharisees and only for nine years under Alexandra did they have sway. Herod suppressed them also for their intrigues. The Sadducees and their system had control of the Temple more or less continually until its seizure in the final period and destruction in 70 CE (cf. ibid., (No. 101)). The Pharisees accused Christ himself of being a Samaritan (Jn. 8:48). This was, as we see from the text, because he denied the truth of their teachings and traditions, as we see from the text. He kept the Temple festivals, which were based on the Sadducean and Samaritan system determined by the conjunction, which was the original Temple system (see below). In John Bowman's work: The Samaritan Problem: Studies in the Relationships of Samaritanism, Judaism, and Early Christianity (tr. by Alfred M. Johnson Jr., Pittsburgh Theological Monograph Series Number 4, The Pickwick Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1974, ch. 1, pp. 1 ff.) we see that the Samaritans were in the Northern Kingdom even after the dispersion of 721 BCE and a Samaritan diaspora existed in Egypt and Syria from antiquity until the 18th century. Bowman says:

Since many Samaritan manuscripts are available in European libraries, it has always remained a mystery to me why Christian scholars, who have known since the time of Joseph Scalinger (1540-1609) about the survival of the Samaritans, still repeat the same assertions about the Samaritans which were made by the Jews of post-Babylonian, Mishnaic and Talmudic times and which have come through the Church Fathers into the Christian scholarly tradition.

...The discoveries of Qumran have now induced some scholars to question the frequently used and all too easily accepted idea of "Normative Judaism" and the rabbinic sources as reliable criteria for the essence of Judaism in the 1st century, Consequently it appears to be appropriate once again to examine precisely whether or not the Samaritans, as the first Jewish sect who have no independent traditions and customs, have preserved customs and views which are older than those which the Rabbis of the 2nd century AD (and later) tried to make sacrosanct by passing them off as oral traditions from the time of Moses that had been handed down to them as the trustees of the only and true Israel.

It is an absolute impossibility that the Pharisees had control of the Temple and when they were in favour under Queen Alexandra they had no postponements developed.

Thus these elders are either bone idle and not that bright or they are passing off false information with the intent to mislead the COG.

See the paper God's Calendar (No. 156) for the details of the Temple Calendar and why Hillel could not have been in existence under the Temple and Christ and the church.

This year it appears that God is to address this false doctrine and will deal with the offshoots over the next sacred year. Certainly when the witnesses get here they will address the issue and these will be a lot of people suffering drought and the plagues of Egypt until they abandon the lies and false doctrine and get their act together.  Elijah may well kill these false teachers if they persist as he did with the Priests of Baal. 

These two men when they stand in Jerusalem will be obeyed and if they are not obeyed those in the church of God that disobey them may well be killed and at any rate will not go into the First Resurrection and will form part of the Sardis and Laodicean system that is rejected.  It is a death sentence to lie to the Holy Spirit. We are required to repent in fear and trembling.  So also is it a death sentence to hold to more than one True God.

God will address both these issues from now on.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General