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Scripture Calendar vs. Rabbinic Calendar Debate: Part 1

In this first part, the letter writer tries to deceive the brethren that the Bible does not mean what it says. 

Only by discrediting the scriptural command to set the beginning of our months by the LIGHT of the moon, can he go on with his false arguments based on the false premise that there is no such thing as instructions in the scriptures on a calendar.  Only after discrediting the Word of God, can he then go on with his numerous spurious arguments; trying to confuse the brethren from whom he has first tried to remove the only foundation of truth which is the Word of God.

The words of this letter, are almost a copy of the COGWA doctrinal Paper on the subject than an answer to the Henderson Paper.  He does not clearly address the material in the Henderson Paper but rather restates the COG position and ends with a not to subtle hint to withdraw their Paper and:agree with us or leave. 

The Henderson paper authors instead of taking the hint to go away, responded to this letter by reminding the writer of his promise to submit their paper to the COGWA DC. 

More than a year ago after firing elder Ed Oliver over this issue and COGWA having many problems with trying to defend the Jim Franks teaching compiled a doctrinal Paper on the subject and sent it out top teh ministry while not publishing it to the members. 

This COGWA paper was merely a rehash of the Paper he had compiled with the UCG DC in 2002.  I was sent a copy which I posted with my comments on the extremely shoddy scholarship and the willful blindness to both history and scripture, as well as deliberate attempt to deceive with truncated quotes and false statements. 

The COGWA Doctrinal Paper falsely named the “Hebrew Calendar”  which this letter largely copies is here  A Response to the COGWA Calendar Paper: Part 1   and here    A Response to the COGWA Calendar Paper: Part 2   Please see the COGWA Doctrinal Paper on this subject at these links.

My comments in this letter will be highlighted in purple.

A Reply to “A Case for the Biblical Calendar”

The Letter

A belief system generally has a “trunk of the tree” concept.   From that foundational concept (or concepts), logic and reasoning and sometimes assumptions are used to develop the belief system more fully.  Logic, reasoning and assumptions can be compared to the branches, twigs and leaves of a tree.   When a person cuts down a literal, physical tree, once the trunk of the tree falls, the branches, twigs and leaves fall with it. 

You have already read the COGWA paper, “The Hebrew Calendar”, and I have read your paper.  I won’t attempt to rehash the COGWA paper or go point-by-point through your paper.  Instead, in this reply to your paper, my focus will be limited to the “trunk of the tree” concepts of both papers.  As I’ve tried to analyze the “calendar” subject, it seems to me that there are 3 major components:  1) What the Bible says  2) Secular and Jewish history/traditions/writings  3) The matter of authority over the calendar.

What constitutes each of those components, and how the 3 components are put together, makes all the difference.

Obviously the beginning point – and ending point, for that matter – is “What does the Bible say?”   That was your starting point, and it’s the starting point of the COGWA paper. This is a false statement since the COGWA Paper ignores what the scripture says.

The foundational scriptures that you give, relating to the calendar, are Gen. 1:14, 15 and Psalm 104:19.   I’ve thought long and hard about both Gen. 1:14,15 and Psalm 104:19.   I certainly agree with you that God intended the sun and moon to be used for marking time and for determining God’s festivals.  What I cannot see, however, is that these verses are in any way saying that a month must be reckoned from the light of the moon – or specifically from the observation of the visible first crescent.  This is willful blindness brought on by habit and loyalty to his boss.  The scripture plainly says that you shall determine seasons [Festivals] by the LIGHT and not by the darkness. The modern Rabbinic calendar which they are trying to defend goes not by the LIGHT as the Creator commanded; but by the darkness of the conjunction, and than by only the average time between conjunctions.

There is nothing evil about a day beginning with darkness.  Why, then, would it be evil or wrong for a month to be reckoned from a period of darkness?  [Watch out for the insertion of false premise’s:  What is wrong with beginning the month withj darkness is that it defies the Word of God.  This is all human reasoning to attempt to justify defying the clear Word of God.]

The man refuses to believe God’s command and tries to generalize that command away by his own personal assumptions. So I do not believe that Gen. 1:14 is requiring a day to begin with light, and logically, it cannot be requiring a new month to begin with light.  This scripture is much more general than that in its intent.  Psalm 104:19 is also general in its intent – simply alerting us to the fact that calendar rules must take into consideration the moon and its phases.

Now we go to more nonsense since God plainly commanded to use the light and later placed his name at Jerusalem. I believe the COGWA paper gives us an important principle when it says, “In reality, one should consider the new moon to be like the full moon – one of the phases of the moon that lasts for several hours and can carry over as  many as three evenings, since the early crescent can only be seen in the evening just after sunset.  The critical question – if you are developing a calendar based on the sun and moon – is, ‘Which day during this period of time should be proclaimed as the official new moon?”  (page 2)

An ADMISSION OF TRUTH; almost! History and tradition may define the “new moon” as the first crescent.   The Bible does refer to “new moons” or “new months”, [Now the BIG LIE!] but the Bible does not give us a definition.  God did not see fit to do that in His Word.   

Now a false conclusion based on a self invented false premise or BIG LIE that God did not mean what he commanded!] Without a biblical definition of a “new month” or a “new moon”, the only conclusion I can come to is that God did not give enough information in the Bible for individual readers of it to formulate a calendar.

Once they have dispensed with the Word of God on the issue with their BIG LIE they conclude 

As our COGWA paper mentions, what we’re left with then is to either accept the Hebrew calendar or devise one of our own.  [The Bible absolutely gives us a starting point, it is just that these men reject the scriptures]  It’s not possible for a person to formulate a biblical calendar if the Bible does not even give us a starting point of how to determine the beginning of a month.

Another lie; there was darkness already and God created the light.  As something of an aside, I don’t believe we can superimpose the evil of “spiritual darkness” onto certain biblical references to physical darkness.  Here he twists the references to dakness; no one has said that all darkness is evil!  It is only in certain clearly manifest situations that physical darkness is symbolic of spiritual darkness.  He misrepresents what Andrew has written and then attacks the misrepresentation. Not every biblical reference to physical darkness is intended to be associated with spiritual darkness.  God Himself created the condition of physical darkness.  Physical darkness, in the natural course of day and night — or in the natural cycles of the moon — is not evil.  

The fact that future punishment of humanity will involve the sun becoming “dark”  (Joel  2:10) and  black as sackcloth of hair (Revelation 6:12)  does not therefore mean that it is evil for a day in its natural course to begin with darkness.  The fact that the moon will grow dark (Joel 2:10) as punishment for evil does not mean that it is evil for a month to be reckoned from a period of the natural, God-ordained cycle of the darkness of the moon.

It is during the darkness that God “gives His beloved sleep”.   Notice another positive reference to darkness, verses that follow Psalm 104:19 that you referenced.  Starting in verse 20:  “You make darkness and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about.  The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God.  When the sun arises, they gather together and lie down in their dens.”)

This man claims that like the rest of COGWA ministry; he can never accept the clear command of God. I could never in good conscience believe or teach that Gen. 1:14, 15 and Psalm 104:19  lay down a law of God – and an unchanging law – that a new month must begin with light, and specifically with the observation of the first crescent of the moon as a marker.  I would fear to do that.  In my view, a proper understanding of those verses basically chops down, at the trunk, the “tree” of your beliefs.  I take exception to many of the “branches”, “twigs”, etc. of your line of reasoning, but it’s only essential to deal with the “trunk of the tree”.

(In no way do I mean that to be a disrespectful statement, Andrew – especially since your understanding of the meaning of Gen. 1:14 chops down, at the trunk, the “tree” of my beliefs.  I’m simply trying to lay out our beliefs, side by side, for your consideration

Now he admits that during the Temple period the months were begun with the first light of the new moon;  What is not mentioned here is that Jesus Christ the Creator and the one who commanded the LIGHT be used to begin the months; followed this system without any correction or criticism of it.  Since He commanded that men use the LIGHT of the moon to begin the months and followed that system himself;  The LIGHT of the moon to begin the months was accepted and condoned by the Creator, our LORD Jesus Christ!

Extra-biblical sources refer to periods of time when observation of the first crescent was used to declare a new month (especially during parts of the Second Temple period and into the first centuries A.D.).  Does that mean that God had commanded observation as the foundational calendar method – and for all time?   

 More false human reasoning and false logic: Is it not possible that something else was taking place?  Is it not also possible that God allowed or guided the use of observation at certain time periods – and then later allowed for and guided the process of omitting the use of observation?  Is it possible that, if a person is not careful, the extra-biblical sources relating to specific time periods unintentionally take on the weight of Scripture— and even unduly influence an understanding of particular scriptures? 

Beware that false assumption! It was the Creator that commanded to use the moon’s LIGHT and confirmed that by personally doing so.  Once they have thrown out God’s Word, all their lovely reasoning is then based on a false premise; that they must decide for themselves because they will not obey God: Is it possible that it requires a huge leap in logic to say that because history shows that observation was used at certain times, it is therefore God’s fixed and unchanging law and requirement for a calendar?   Is it possible that an erroneous foundational assumption is then being made? – especially when the concept of “a God-ordained authority for a calendar” is overlooked.

I can see that if a person were to “reason backwards” from the knowledge that observation was used at certain times, and if a person concluded from that practice that observation was a command for all times, that a person looking for a scripture to support his belief might hope to find proof in Gen. 1:14, 15.   But I can’t agree that the proof is there.

The Henderson Paper is based on the Word of God and the facts; this man’s and the COGWA position, rejects the Word of God for their own false reasoning’s: Your understanding of Gen. 1:14 and mine are obviously in conflict – we have two different “trees”, with two different “trunks”.   If that continues to be the case, I guess we will simply have to “agree to disagree”.   I hope, though, that you might continue reading the rest of what I have written.  I hope that you might come to see some things in a different light.  And I hope that I might be able to answer certain questions you raised in your paper.

He now goes into more false reasoning, saying that because God did not place his name in Jerusalem until the time of David;  that somehow God’s Biblical Calendar did not exist before David.  This is absolutely ridiculous because God, the sun and  the moon existed before David; it was only the point of observation that became fixed at Jerusalem when God chose that place as HIS Capitol for the whole earth; and being the capitol of the whole earth God is working in this latter day to focus us on HIS Holy Place!

Here is another concern I have about the concept of a “biblical calendar” – ie, the belief that God gave enough information in the Bible to construct a calendar.  If your statement, “God gave us His holy calendar” is true, it would seem to me that this biblical calendar and its major principles would be fixed and unchanging.   In other words, the 6 calendar principles you listed on page 17 of your paper would define the one, true biblical calendar for all time – or at least starting with the time of Moses.   That doesn’t seem to have been possible.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that observation of the first crescent had been the foundational calendar principle given to Moses by God and used continuously from the time of Moses.  Even in that case, there would’ve been calendar changes and different calendar rules, over time.  The six calendar principles or rules you listed in your paper could not have been utilized at all times. 

For example, during the 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness, Jerusalem could not have been the designated site for observing the new crescent moon.  A crescent sighting  from their desert locations might well have resulted in seeing the first crescent at a different time than it would’ve been seen by a theoretical observer in the locale of Jerusalem.  That would mean that Moses could have proclaimed a different time for a festival or holy day than would have been theoretically proclaimed from a Jerusalem sighting. 

Here is another false argument since the Wave Offering was not instituted until AFTER Israel took possession and began to cultivate the land, just as the Holy Days were not instituted until the coming out of Egypt.. 

And the ripeness of grain in the Jerusalem area could not have been one of the calendar rules during those years in the wilderness.  The calendar used during the 40 years in the wilderness would’ve had to have been intercalated by some other method.  What rule or method was used?  We don’t know.

During the times of Joshua, Samuel, and during part of David’s reign, the new crescent would not have been sighted from Jerusalem, since the city had not yet been conquered.  For a number of reasons, a sighting from a different part of the nation could’ve resulted in seeing the crescent on a different day than it would’ve been seen in Jerusalem.  It could’ve resulted in keeping a festival or holy day on a different day from the theoretical observer in Jerusalem. 

In David’s case, Pure false and nonsensical speculation! The ONLY difference is that before Jerusalem had been chosen they observed the commanded LIGHT wherever they were.  For thousands of years men observed the LIGHT wherever they were; and then when God chose Jerusalem they were to observe the moon at Jerusalem.  This was a change of location:  NOT a change from observing the commanded LIGHT!   Man was never to use the darkness to begin the months as the Rabbinic Calendar does; we are commanded to use the LIGHT!  This is false human reasoning to dismiss the scriptures; as subtle as Satan’s arguments.

In David’s case, it could have meant using two different sets of calendar rules during his lifetime — in essence, two different calendars.    One calendar would be an earlier one, during the time he ruled from Hebron, with the crescent observed from a location other than Jerusalem.  After David was established in Jerusalem, a later calendar with this new observation point could’ve been in effect (if Jerusalem, due to the ark being moved there, was indeed chosen as the observation site even before the temple was built).

The following is again a easy question to answer:  The called simply went back to calculating and  observing the LIGHT wherever they were, until we are now being led by God’s spirit to turn again to Jerusalem which is now to be imminently restored as City of God once again. However they were not to turn to the daerkness of the heathen against the LIGHT commanded by God.

And what about the various and long periods of time after 70 A.D.  – including the Middle Ages — when the NT church would not have had access to Jerusalem for a crescent sighting or for determining the ripeness of grain?  Could your 6 basic calendar rules have been in effect for God’s called and chosen people at that time?

Absolutely false statement God commanded us to use the LIGHT and we are obligated to obey God: My point is that, even under the assumption of a biblical requirement to observe the crescent, there would’ve been no single “biblical calendar” from the time of Moses, containing one consistent set of rules (and specifically the 6 rules or principles you listed on page 17 of your paper). 

Man was commanded to use the LIGHT from creation, only the location of observation was changed, so the following is a False assumption. By this man’s reasoning we need not keep the festivals since they did not preexist Israel leaving Egypt!  This man would also have us reject the whole Word of God since it was revealed over time and not all at once at creation.

If your 6 principles could not apply to God’s OT or NT people for large spans of time, even when leaders or people were faithful to God – or when God was not in the process of correcting them — then how can your proposed calendar be the one and only true calendar God has commanded for all time (or from the time of Moses)?

They falsely claim that they have the “Hebrew calendar” when it is a modern Hellenic Pharisee Rabbinic Calendar which was instituted to replace the Biblical Calendar to exalt the Rabbins over the Scribes.  Even the Rabbins admit that their calendar is NOT biblical and is a temporary expedient during the dispersion until a new Sanhedrin can restore the LIGHT calendar!  It is absolutely amazing that these folks reject the very Rabbins whose present calendar they are trying to defend!

So my thought is that your paper, in reality, is making a case for a possible modern-day  observational calendar.  That might be a more accurate description than the phrase, “the biblical calendar”.

Here he lies again;  nearly all Jewish and calendar source admit that the Temple and pre Temple calendar was based on  observation of the first LIGHT of the moon to begin the months.  The predominance of evidence is overwhelming and not iffy as the letter write tries to falsely imply.

Going on in regard to analyzing calendar fundamentals, what about the factor of history/tradition/writings?     One challenge here is that it’s easy to find experts and scholars who give contradictory information (and often very dogmatically) on any number of calendar issues.  Also, some information is more up-to-date than other information, although more recent sources are not necessarily more accurate than older sources. 

But as we consider extra-biblical sources, what do they say in regard to the observation of the first crescent?   [Another false statement; to obey the command to use the LIGHT entails the need to see that LIGHT!  How these people twist to deceive themselves and others!]  While nothing is said in the Bible about observing, looking for or spotting the new crescent moon, and no examples of observation are given, it’s clear that there are many indications of the practice during at least part of the Second Temple period and for a considerable time after the temple was destroyed. 

[We can say that Godly men obeyed God’s command to begin the months by the LIGHT wherever they were, until God moved the observation point to Jerusalem!]  As to much earlier biblical times, I don’t believe we can dogmatically say what role observation played in calendar matters.  What evidence is there of what was specifically done, for example, at the time of Abraham or Moses or Joshua – or even during the First Temple period?  When God spoke to Moses (a man highly educated, in Egypt) in Exodus 12:2, what specific information and instructions did God give to him in regard to a calendar?   Obviously, we don’t know.  

He now tries to make keeping an ungodly  non biblical by darkness calendar a requirement for eternal life.  Amazing that he says that breaking the Word of God leads to life eternal.  Satan said that in the garden!   He and COGWA are pitching a; deny the clear command to set months by the LIGHT; rebelling against the Word; to do the exact opposite and use the darkness. And then threatening people with damnation for obeying God!

Could we stake our lives on the belief that God instructed Moses to observe the new crescent, and to pass it on as an unchanging law?  I don’t believe so.  But we could stake our lives on God’s instruction to observe His festivals and holy days at very specific days on a calendar.

The following statement is mind bogglingly contradictory.  It is patently obvious that the Sanhedrin could not confirm the New Moon before its existence.  Nevertheless this man is apparently ignorant that the Sanhedrin was a continuation of the Seventy given by God to Moses and that they have existed as the Mosaic 70 and formalized as a body called the Sanhedrin [The Seventy].  The NATIONAL observation of the LIGHT began with God’s inspiration to Moses, and the process of formalizing a declaration of seeing the LIGHT for the nation began at that time. 

In my reading of various resources, I noticed that when they use the terms “antiquity”, “originally”, “ancient times”, etc.”, it’s not unusual for them to be referring specifically to the later Second Temple period – and not to the much earlier biblical times.

This below is most definitely NOT the only source of information on the sucject and is being cherry picked by the letter writer for its ambiguity.

One example of that is from the Jewish Encyclopedia online article, “New Moon”.  It says, “Originally the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculations but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon.”  Immediately the article goes on to define its statement, limiting it to the High Court in Jerusalem after the time of the Diaspora.

Again the BIG LIE that the Bible says nothing about the LIGHT of the moon to begin the months.  God commanded us to begin the months with the LIGHT and of necessity that commands us to see that LIGHT!  Such a case of willful blindness and self delusion  to cleave to falsehood is truly awesome. 

So what exactly is known about observing the first crescent during early biblical times?  The Bible tells us nothing, but here are a few quotes from secular references:

Notice that when he thinks he has deceived us that there is no biblical command; he begins moving away from God’s command, into vain and pointless speculation. In fact the Israelites did not exist until Jacob!

“From extensive discussions of calendrical matters in the Mishna and Talmud, we may be fairly certain of the main features of this calendar during New Testament times.  However, the further we regress into Hebrew history, the greater our uncertainty becomes.  Although it is obvious from numerous OT passages that the ancient Hebrews possessed at least a roughly calculated calendar (or calendars), they have nowhere given us a complete account of their system.  The precise determination of this system remains one of the major problems of biblical research.”   (from The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 483 article, “Calendar”)

The error in conclusion of this dictionary in no way expunges from the Bible the commandments regulating days and months [Gen 1 Evenings and Mornings]  months [Gen 1 the LIGHT of the moon] and years [Exodus 23:2].

“The Old Testament mentions days, months, and years, the basic elements of a calendar; but it has no prescription for regulating one.”  (from Holman Bible Dictionary, article “Calendar”)

“Present knowledge of the Jewish calendar in use before the period of the Babylonian Exile is both limited and uncertain.  The Bible refers to calendar matters only incidentally, …”   (from The Encyclopaedia Britannica online, article, “The Jewish Calendar.  The Calendar in Jewish History” by E.J. Bickerman.)

This letter is full of false statements and outright lies; by that I do not mean to call the writer a liar since he may genuinely believe what he has been told.

Remember that this is a Christ rejecting  Rabbinic source, defending the modern Rabbinic Calendar and it refers to a comparison between the commands of God in scripture as not being the same as the man made rules of the modern Rabbinic Calendar.  Their arguments for rejecting God’s Word are the real source of where COGWA gets its own arguments.  The COGWA arguments rejecting scripture are not their own from their own study; but taken directly from today’s apostate Hellenic Rabbins. 

The Bible contains some basic references to solar and lunar elements, but it does not lay out clear rules.”  (Elisheva Carlebach, professor of Jewish History, Culture and Society at Columbia University in New York City, from JewishWorldReview.com, article “The second month of Adar begins today”)

“[Biblical origins to the end of the Roman Period]  Biblical sources: Sources from the beginning of our period are remarkably uninformative about the calendar.  Although the dates of annual festivals and of historical events are frequently given in biblical sources, the Bible has no apparent interest in explaining how these dates were reckoned… Genesis. 1:14 suggests that both the sun and moon are to be used for reckoning festivals, days and years…  Psalm 104:19 is more ambiguous … these verses, however, are too brief and too vague to be treated as conclusive.  Consequently, the calendar of Israel in the pre-exilic period remains, among scholars, an extremely controversial issue.  (from Calendar and Community, Sacha Stern, p.2)

They look to sources other than the scriptures, and rejecting the scriptures they decide for themselves in rebellion against the Word of God.

“One may assume that the ancestors of Israel and the early Israelites themselves followed some sort of calendar (or calendars), but the extant sources do not permit one to determine what its (their) nature may have been.  No part of the Bible or even the Bible as a whole presents a full calendar; information about these matters must be gleaned from occasional, often incidental references to dates, days, months, seasons, and years… Biblical literature which was written just before, during, and after the Exile provides many dates and calendrical hints but again offers no systematic statement about the nature of the calendar(s) employed in Judah … [This statement is patently false, the nature of the Temple Calendar is very well known]  The Hebrew Bible, then, exhibits at least traces of three methods for naming months: with names, some of which are attested in Canaanite sources; by ordinal numbers; and by Babylonian month names.  But in no case does one learn the lengths of all the months, nor is intercalary procedure ever described. … One also learns nothing about the methods used for determining the beginning of a monthThis is a totally false statement!  (from The Center for Online Judaic Studies, article “Calendars, Anchor Bible Dictionary” by James C. Vanderkam, author and professor of Hebrew scriptures)

God commanded Moses to begin the days at sunset and to begin the months with the first LIGHT of the moon.  Actually, whether they did so or not is irrelevant twaddle, as they apostatized from all the other commandments at various times as well.

It became very obvious to me, in my readings, that there are periods of biblical history where nothing – or very little – is known about the calendar(s) that would’ve been in use. That is also true for the rules of those calendars.   It also became obvious, as I mentioned earlier, that there are a lot of conflicting ideas.  This difference of opinion is especially true starting with the “middle period” of biblical history and onward (ie, beginning with the captivity of Judah).

Again God’s commandments are very clear; all of this leaning to men is simply placing the confusion of men above the Word of God. Further there is absolutely NO disagreement among historians as to the Temple calendar as this man spuriously tries to imply.

Of course my reading on the subject only scratched the surface of the sub-specialty of the biblical calendar(s).  And it’s true that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.  But I have read enough to know that experts often disagree on history and tradition, and much is simply not known.    

Now he adds the observation versus calculation fallacy. 

This is NOT the issue at all, it is a deception! 

Anyone can see the moon’s LIGHT and then simply wait for four weeks [a form of calculation] and then look for it again, because the moon has a 29 1/2 day cycle! 

There was obviously a kind of calculation and then a confirming of that calculation by observation happening for a very long time before the Rabbins came up with their own calendar beginning in the fourth century ad.  That is not the issue and is a false straw man argument! 

The real issue concerns what the calculation was based on:  the LIGHT as God commands; or the darkness as the Hellenic Rabbins have decided long after the expulsion of teh Jews from Jerusalem by the Romans!

Below another blatantly false statement; Israel is well known to have kept the calendar by calculation and then confirmation by observing the first LIGHT of the moon, until Hillel 2 accepted the Babylonian calendar and its Metonic cycles and added the Festivals.  Even then the Hillel calendar was rejected by most Jews until Maimonides in 1178 declared it official.

And yet it is clear that there have been differing calendar methods used over time.  At times “observation” was a part of the method, later, when the calendar became fixed, it was not.   This is only a concern if God has clearly stated, in the Bible, that observation of a new crescent moon must be a necessary and foundational principle of every calendar method for every historical period (or at least from the time of Moses).  The LIGHT calendar  was and remains the command of God to begin each month by the moon’s new light; and NOT by the darkness of conjunctions used by the modern Rabbinic Calendar.

Believing that God instructed and required for all time a new crescent moon sighting to determine a new month creates one paradigm.  [That of obeying God] Believing that God gave no such instruction in the Bible, but rather entrusted and delegated calendar matters to a designated authority – and guided that authority, accepting its calendar decisions – creates a totally different paradigm. 

Here he implies that certain Jews were empowered to create a calendar of their own devising; and then somehow these Jews rejected their own  calendar of Moses and of Christ; to produce a  new calendar almost three centuries AFTER the Roman wars!  Of course he has to claim that the calendar in use today is the same as was used by Moses; which he cannot do; because every Jew knows this to be totally false! 

(When I use terms like “entrusted”, “delegated”, and “designated authority”, I’m factoring in the very important truth that a designated authority is never free to violate God’s clear instructions in His Word.   Ah So:  he rejects God’s command which the Rabbins also reject; and then says that we must keep God’s command, while rejecting God’s commands; what classic double talk and wicked deception.

Also, I’m not using those terms with the same meaning they have at the strictly human level.  I’m referring a process we can’t fully understand – ie, how it is that God gives human beings free moral agency and at the same time ensures that His will is done at any given time.  The Jews’ copying and preservation of the Hebrew Scriptures is an example.  God entrusted them with that responsibility.  Nowhere in the Bible do we see “rules” for scribes to follow.  But God made sure that His will in regard to the preservation of the Scriptures was accomplished through human beings.)    The scribes faithfully copied the scriptures; does that mean that the Rabbins are entitled to teach contrary to the scriptures? No wonder the Rabbins despise the scribes calling them Karaites [Scripture Keepers]

This para is a massive accruement of contradictions. First show me in the Bible where anyone was ever delegated to form a calendar that contradicts the Word of God. I believe that the correct paradigm is one that involves God entrusting a designated authority with the details of the calendar.  This paradigm keeps God in charge just as much as any “observational calendar” claims to do.  God is not limited by entrusting calendar decisions and calendar changes to His designated authority.  This paradigm allows Him to guide and rule over calendar matters according to His will and His long-range plan for OT Israel and the Church.  [Here he uses the observation lie again;  the issue is the first LIGHT as commanded by God, not the average time between the dark conjunctions  as used by the Rabbins in defiance of God’s Word.] This paradigm also allows for omitting the practice of observation.  It allows for changes, modifications and corrections of the calendar, over time, and as needed.

I read quite a bit of a translation of the Jewish scholar Maimonides’ “Laws Concerning the Sanctification of the New Moon”.  Is Maimonides’ account of certain calendar practices and rules of the Sanhedrin correct and accurate?  I don’t know, but Arthur Spier apparently believes that to be the case, at least in regard to certain sections.  Also, in the YouTube video you referenced, some of Dr. Hoffman’s comments were identical to what I read from Maimonides. 

 Below is another deceitful statement.  These things ARE found in the Bible.  It is just that the writer of this letter rejects the scriptures.

In Maimonides’ description of procedures surrounding the declaration of a new moon,  there is mention of quite an extensive set of rules (but rules found nowhere in the Bible).  And rules that could hardly seem to have been used in the days of Moses, or even David.   This constitutes calendar-related change, over time.  It also implies that God accepted those changes.

Another source (the Yerushalmi Talmud – Rosh Hashanah 2.1) mentions that although the calendar council intercalated an extra month between Adar and Nisan, sometimes the extra month was added between the summer months of Av and Elul.  

Another example of ignorance or deception.  The intercalary month was always added after the twelfth month of the year; it was the Rabbinic calendar that changed this and added an extra month, BEFORE the normal Adar.  The man then speculates on what he admits he does not know; how’s that for intellectual and spiritual honesty?

Is that true?  I don’t know, but if it is, it indicates that God accepted the use of this non-biblical rule.  It constituted a change in procedure. 

Now another attempt to deceive.  The writers plainly state that they had followed the scriptures until the Roman expulsion in Judea and then invented a TEMPORARY calendar with the hope that the scriptural calendar would be restored when they could return to Judea and establish a new Sanhedrin when Messiah comes .

Yes all of the pre Rabbinic calendar used by Jesus Christ; can be proved from the Bible; it is the current  modern Rabbinic which is based on non biblical rules as the Rabbins openly admit.

And Jewish writings certainly expound for us many calendar practices that cannot be found in the Bible. 

The statement below is mind boggling in its ignorance. To claim  that Jesus kept a calendar that had its beginnings hundreds of years after his ascension and was not finalized until 1078 ad is truly appalling!

We have no reason to believe that Jesus challenged the calendar committee or its rules and decisions.  [Because the modern Rabbinic calendar did not exist for hundreds of years after his ascension]   It appears that He accepted the authority of the Sanhedrin, in regard to the calendar – which is not surprising, since He was the One who originally entrusted the calendar to a designated authority.

Another false argument;  it Is NOT possible for the biblical calendar to be changed lawfully away from God’s commands.  Therefore the modern Rabbinic calendar which does do away with God’s commands for a man devised system: IS NOT LAWFUL!

How is it possible that any number of calendar rules and principles can change [They cannot be changed for we are to keep the whole Word of God and not the imaginations of men]  – but the need for observation of the first crescent must never change?  (I understand, of course, that your answer to that question would be your understanding of Gen. 1:14, 15 and the need for first crescent observation – and your equating of the dark phase of the moon with evil.   But I hope you might be willing to question your interpretation of those verses, especially in light of the paradigm it creates – a paradigm which I believe, and the Church teaches, is an inaccurate paradigm.) 

Now we come down to the issue and why they are fighting so very hard against the truth; which is who will be obey:  God or man?  In their minds this is not about seeking truth; it is perceived as a challenge to their supposed authority!  They see any desire to seek truth, as a challenge to their supposed authority; and by doing so place themselves in conflict with Almighty God, exalting themselves ABOVE the Word of God!  They do not realize that they have no authority whatsoever over the Word of God. 

Herbert Armstrong thought he had  Authority, and those ordained by him think they have authority!   No they have absolutely NO Authority at all!  Neither do the Rabbinic Jews have any authority at all! These people were and are WRONG, to think they change God’s Word!  They have been deceived to exalt themselves above God!

Almighty God has AUTHORITY and the Word of God has AUTHORITY;  NOT any man!

ALL religious  authority belongs to God; and when any man is not consistent with the Word of God; he has absolutely NO authority at all!

Going back to Maimonides and his insights into the functioning of the calendar authorities, he stated that if roads were in bad shape, preventing people from traveling to Jerusalem for the Passover, the court of the Sanhedrin that held authority could intercalate the year.  If bridges had been destroyed and rivers were high, the year could be intercalated, giving time for repairing the bridges.  If the needed ovens in Jerusalem that were used to roast the Passover lambs had been destroyed by rain, the year could be intercalated (postponing the Passover), giving the ovens time to dry out.  If these things are true, God accepted them.

So What?  These are genuine ox in the ditch speculative situations which never happened, because the biblical rules that the barley must be ripening and the lambing must be completed to begin the first month, which prevents the year from being started too early.   

Further, this is absolutely biblical since God gave instructions that if it were impossible to take Passover in the first month; we may take it on the same day in the second month. Num 9:10.  This is about an unexpected “Ox in the Ditch” and certainly not postponements in the later Rabbinic sense!

Here he quotes the Rabbinic fairy tales, they told similar falsehoods to justify moving Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost.   This begs the question; if it is imperative to accept the false Rabbinic calendar only finalized in 1178 ad:  Why do you not follow them concerning Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost? 

The Encyclopedia Judaica online, in its article “Calendar” mentions that the Sanhedrin could actually deviate from their standard procedure for declaring a new moon:  “Proceedings were at times deliberately prolonged or speeded up, with the occasional choice of some observation post favorable for early sighting of the new crescent (Ein Tov), in order to avoid whenever possible a festival day, especially the Day of Atonement, falling immediately before or after the Sabbath. 

This is absolute nonsense! since the LIGHT seen from a low or a high place would still be seen on the SAME evening!  This would change NOTHING as far as the new moon day being declared!  This is mere Rabbinic fairy tale to attempt to justify their non biblical calendar by attacking the truth.

Was this ever put into effect?  I doubt that we can know for sure one way or the other.   But if, on occasion, the procedure was deliberately prolonged or speeded up, a type of postponement was taking place.  (One article that I read on the subject of the calendar made what I thought was a helpful point: at the very least, calendar postponements, in principle, were used before the time of Hillel II and the fixed calendar.) 

This is again a Rabbinic falsehood.  The writer found “ONE” source when all other sources together agree that In fact the postponement rules of the Rabbinic Calendar were not established until Maimonides in 1178 ad!   

Now the false premise is again inserted. There were no postponements before hundreds of years after Christ. 

If the above-mentioned types of adjustments and “postponements” were accepted by God, what is wrong with fixed postponements being part of the later calendar?  Especially since the Bible is silent about the any specifics regarding postponements.   Again, so much of this has to do with whether God gave a complete calendar system in the scriptures [The scriptures do contain a complete calendar; if we open our eyes to see it.]  – or, on the other hand, whether He deliberately left that information out of the Bible and instead gave certain human authorities responsibility for the calendar. 

Here the letter writer raises the false “Calculation Vs. Observation” argument.  The issue is NOT about calculation versus observation:  the issue is about what to base the calculations upon!  Do we base our calculations on determining when the first moon LIGHT may become visible; or do we base our calculations on the average time between conjunctions ignoring the Biblical injunction to begin the month with the LIGHT of the moon!  Are our calculations based on the Word  of God; or are they based on the unbiblical ungodly words of men? 

This entire calculation vs. observation thing, is a false straw man irrelevant argument. In the time between Moses and the Roman wars the next possible sighting of the moon’s LIGHT was calculated, and then witnesses were sent out to confirm that calculation by direct observation.  The moon’s cycle is 29 1/2 days; therefore to count 28 days and then begin to look for the LIGHT, instead of looking every day when it was known that the first LIGHT could not be seen was appropriate.   

This Mosaic calculation was still concerned with the first LIGHT; and not with the later Rabbinic calculation of the average time of the full darkness of a conjunction.

To confuse the determination of when the first LIGHT was likely to appear; with the much later Rabbinic calculations of the average time between the darkness of conjunctions is pure foolishness which makes the following section irrelevant foolishness.

History/tradition/writings also include information on the use of calculations.  This is another area of controversy and of strongly held opinions — especially the question of “when” and “to what degree” they were used.  

(If you haven’t already seen Richard Fiedler’s website, you might enjoy going to: http://sodhaibur.com/sacha-stern-2.html.   I looked over this article, as well as the many articles at the tabs at the top of the page.  I can’t begin to understand the Jewish references/writings and the lines of reasoning, but the articles are a good example of experts disagreeing – with each citing his set of “facts” and information.  Does Fiedler make some valid points?  I don’t know.  But in his articles, Fiedler concludes, among other things, that from the time of Ezra, a calculated calendar had been established.  Here’s a quote, after presenting his evidence:  “The adoption of the calculated calendar before even the construction of the Second Temple explains why the origin of the calculated calendar has been so elusive to Rabbi’s and Historians alike[The calculated LIGHT calendar was used at least from the days of Moses; but that calculation of the first LIGHT; had absolutely NOTHING to do with the modern Rabbinical calculations based on a totally different criteria.]  It was simply out of their field of vision.”  He also claims that shortly before 200 A.D., a calculated calendar was in use.)

The following is absolute nonsense. Of course scholars from as far back as Babel studied these things.  That does mean that the Biblical Calendar was the same as the modern Rabbinic anti scriptural system of the darkness of Molads.  This man continually says that he does not know or does not understand; and then asks us to depend on his “lack of” “understanding.”  Of course they had astronomical science; that does not change the fact that they set the months by the LIGHT and not by the later Rabbinical conjunctions [Molads].

My understanding of the “calculations” used along with observation is that they were at times quite complex (as opposed to involving only the counting of 29 or 30 days).  Calculations are described by various sources in terms of being “a science”, “requiring mathematical or astronomical expertise”, “being done with great precision”, etc.

Then the writer says about Dr Hoffman that “he seems” while connecting two disconnected points.  Dr Hoffman was saying that some sightings were indeed difficult; in that case since the month can be no longer than 30 days due to the moon’s 29 1/2 day cycle; the new month was declared at the end of thirty days even if not seen due to cloud cover etc. Where does the calculation come in?  They had to calculate the thirtieth day after the previous sighting!  That has nothing to do with the modern Rabbinic calculations of the conjunction! 

(In the YouTube video you referenced, Dr. Hoffman commented about the fact that some new moons are difficult to observe, and can be seen only briefly.  He went on to say, at around 6 minutes into the video:  “There were experts who would calculate it, not using a computer, but you can calculate it to within a half a degree like Maimonides did, with a few hours’ work.  So there would be experts who could do that.”   He seems to be referring to a time when observation was still in use.  Was this more complex type of calculation used by the Sanhedrin?   Some scholars and experts believe it was.)

AGAIN he confuses the Mosaic calculations of the first visible light and the later Rabbinic calculations of the conjunctions!

No doubt you’re aware that Maimonides claimed that calculation secrets had been handed down from ancient times.  He claims that although observation of the new crescent was in effect, calculations took precedence (in the Sanhedrin’s decisions) over the actual sighting of the new crescent.  Is it possible that he was correct?  Of course, other authors propose differing opinions.  It’s interesting that Maimonides made note of the problem of having several months in a row where the crescent could not be seen – and as a result, an eventual declared New Moon day could be out of sync with an actual crescent sighting. 

This is not true since if a sighting is missed, the new month would automatically be declared at the end of the thirtieth day, and the cycle would be continued with the next month’s sighting.  The above is a double minded argument meant to deceive; since NO New Moon day ever remained out of sync with the visible LIGHT!  If the LIGHT was not seen one month and the month was declared because of the thirty day interval; then the next SIGHTING would be the next new moon, and if the moon was not seen the next month the thirty day rule was again applied;  however NO month would ever have been sanctified BEFORE the first visible light was seen!   This is an error in a irrelevant issue.

I won’t repeat here the quote at the top of page 11 of the COGWA paper, where Avraham Yaakov Finkel states his belief the “calculation of the calendar was transmitted to the sages in an unbroken chain going back to Moses …” 

This is again a deception. These people [Including the COG leaders] take a very small part of the truth and use it to deceive about the whole truth. Finkel was speaking of calculation; not about the Rabbinic change in those calculations. To say that calculations took place from Moses, in no way means that there have been no changes in those calculations.  They did change big time from being based on the biblical LIGHT, to being based on the darkness of conjunctions. 

The following refers to the intercalated month in the pre Rabbinic period.  The writer first mentions that the intercalation was influenced by the equinox; and then tries to equate that with the ripening barley in the spring.

In fact if the Hebrew months were late in regards to the equinox it was a heads up to be extra careful in regards to adding an intercalary month, based on the ripening barley, the time of the lambing and other factors. A whole series of factors were involved in adding an intercalary month; the chief was the necessary  lambing  and the ripening grain. In this he is admitting that these facts were the basis for intercalation before the Rabbinic calendar was begun in about 359 ad.  He is here admitting that there is a calendar difference before the Rabbins, after trying so very hard to deny it!

Here’s a reference to a particular type of calculation of solar and lunar years being handed down over apparently long periods of time.  The reference also mentions intercalation using the vernal equinox (a method of intercalation obviously not exclusively based on the ripeness of the grain):  “Empirical Determination of Leap-Year:  Every two or three years, as the case might be, an extra month was intercalated.  The intercalation seems to have depended on actual calculation of the relative lengths of the solar and lunar years, which were handed down by tradition in the patriarchal family.  Moreover, it was possible to judge by the grain harvest.  If the month of Nisan arrived and the sun was at such a distance from the vernal equinox that it could not reach it by the 16th of the month, then this month was not called Nisan, but Adar Sheni (second).   On the evening before the announcement of the intercalation the patriarch assembled certain scholars who assisted in the decision.  It was then announced to the various Jewish communities by letters.  To this epistle was added the reason for the intercalation.   A copy of such a letter of Rabban Gamaliel (who lived in the early part of the first century A.D.) is preserved in the Talmud (Sanh. xi.2)  (from The Jewish Encyclopedia, online, article “Calendar, History Of”)

Another falsehood.  Of course calculation have existed since Babel; the issue is not calculations at all.  The issue is; on what basis the calculations were made!  The LIGHT of the moon as God commanded; or the Rabbinic darkness of conjunctions which came into place when Hillel 2 adopted the Babylonian calendar taken from Meton of the Greeks; and added the Festivals to it;  Only later came the Rabbinic postponements.  The so called Hebrew calendar is not Hebrew at all; it is a Hellenic Greek Babylonian calendar with Festivals added.

I won’t repeat more material from the COGWA calendar paper on calculations.  As you know, it concludes that calculations were used (in secret) before Hillel II – and those calculations were only revealed at the time of A.D. 358/359.    The calendar paper also acknowledges that the fixed calendar was developed over time, up to the time of Maimonides

Below: Another falsehood as the Bible sets the month by the LIGHT of the moon and of necessity this requires seeing the LIGHT;  This is mind boggling semantics to avoid admitting the truth.  This is the same as saying the day ends at sunset and then forbidding one to see the sunset to determine when the day ends!  It is willful blindness and rejection of God’s Word.

 

Once again, if it’s true [again the slipping in of the falsehood; It is NOT true] that the Bible nowhere requires a visual sighting of the first crescent – and that God entrusted calendar matters to a designated authority — then there is no problem with the use of calculations (along with observation – or without observation) at any time in history.  There is no problem with the exclusive use of calculations in Hillel’s calendar.  [This falsely implies that there IS a problem with calculating the first possible LIGHT, when there is NO SUCH PROBLEM.  This is a  manufactured false and non existent “Calculation vs. Observation” straw man argument.  The ancients certainly DID calculate the potential arrival of the first LIGHT; while the Rabbins changed from the scriptures to calculate the time of the darkness of conjunctions.]  There is no problem with adjustments to the calendar over time.  There are no critically important problems resulting from debated or conflicting extra-biblical information (such as what calculations – if any — were used at any specific time).   

After all, calculations are not wrong or sinful in and of themselves, just as the fields of mathematics and astronomy are not wrong or sinful.  They are simply a way of studying God’s own creation.  The use of complex calculations could only be wrong if God has forbidden them, or if they take the place of something else that God has very explicitly ordained for all time.  PRECISELY!  The Rabbinic calculations based on the Molad or average time between the darkness of conjunctions; DOES replace the Biblical command to calculate based on the first LIGHT of the moon! 

Once again; calculations were made to determine when to look for the first LIGHT from the greatest antiquity!  Calculations are a “Red Herring” non issue!  It is the basis of the calculations which is the real issue; either calculating the possible time for the LIGHT to become visible, or calculating the time of total darkness at the conjunctions!

There is evidence that calculations were relied upon in the time period after the destruction of the Second Temple, but before the time of Hillel II.  “Under the patriarchate of Rabbi Judah I., surnamed “the Holy”(163-193), the Samaritans, in order to confuse the Jews, set up fire-signals at improper times, and thus caused the Jews to fall into error with regard to the day of the new moon.  Rabbi Judah accordingly abolished the fire-signals and employed messengers …  [The conclusion of this resource is Rabbinic gloss and supposition and NOT established fact, and In  fact is contrary to the facts just mentioned which state that messengers were then used.] By this time the fixing of the new moon according to the testimony of witnesses seems to have lost its importance, and astronomical calculations were in the main relied upon. (JewishEncyclopedia.com, article, Calendar, History of, Talmudic Period)

Once again; calculations were made to determine when to look for the first LIGHT from the greatest antiquity!  Calculations are a “Red Herring” non issue!  It is the basis of the calculations which is the real issue; either calculating the possible time for the LIGHT to become visible, or calculating the time of total darkness at the conjunctions! This calculation thing is a Red Herring non issue, meant to distract and deceive!

The same article, under the heading “The Month” presents the possibility that, at various times, it may have been necessary to use calculations solely:  “Although the Jewish calendar was thus regulated by direct observation, the members of the court seem to have been in possession of a recognized system, called ‘Sod ha-‘Ibbur’… which enabled them to test the accuracy of the evidence of the eye-witnesses, and which was probably resorted to on exceptional occasions (R.H. 20).  There were times of persecution when the president and the Sanhedrin could not exercise their authority; times of trouble and war when neither witnesses nor messengers could travel in safety.  On such occasions calculation had to be relied upon.  The substitution of calculation for observation became gradually permanent …”

This deceitful irrelevant drivel continues on and on, as this letter writer tries to distract us from the truth by multitudes of totally irrelevant words.  This is the continual repetition of the BIG LIE! 

In regard to the matter of possible calendar calculations at various times in biblical history,   questions are certainly raised by the fact that David said, in 1 Samuel 20:5, “…Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon …”.  How could he make that statement, a day ahead of time, if the nation had to wait on crescent observation?    And in Nehemiah 8, people from Jerusalem and surrounding cities had set a date to assemble in Jerusalem to hear the law read, and that date was the first day of the 7th month.  They were assembled by dawn of that day.  As the COGWA paper asks, is this evidence of a calculated calendar from before the time of Christ?  

The accounts of David and of Nehemiah 8 present only a possibility of a calculated calendar, but a thought-provoking one.  Whether the calendar subject is approached from your viewpoint or from COGWA’s, there are huge gaps in our knowledge – many things we simply can’t know. [WOW!  First the LIE that there are huge gaps in calendar knowledge; and then the admission that we should not follow the non biblical writings of the Jews! Which is exactly what the Rabbinic calendar he is defending does!  The modern Rabbinic calendar is a non scriptural TRADITION while the moon LIGHT calendar is the WORD OF GOD!  This man condemns himself with his own mouth! WOW! ]  To my mind, that underscores the importance of not allowing history/tradition/Jewish writings to carry the weight of Scripture – or to, in effect, interpret Scripture.

The following is more false teaching.  This is referring to the Feast of Trumpets where from the greatest antiquity two days were set aside due to the difficulty of new moon LIGHT observation at that time of year and the special holiness of that day.  It was usual to set aside two days so that if the first potential LIGHT were not seen; then they would be ready against the next night.  Outside of Israel where the Hellenic Jews held sway this came to set the FOT as two days; while the Mosaic Pharisees in Jerusalem only said to be ready against a failed sighting and kept the FOT as only ONE day.

In Sacha Stern’s book, Calendar and Community, I found a fascinating comment he made after describing the practice in the Diaspora of observing two festival days, to prevent, as he puts it, “the inadvertent desecration of the date observed in Palestine”.  Here’s his comment that I found so interesting:  “The concept of two festival days was in itself a paradox.  For it meant that the Diaspora would observe a different calendar – with two-day rather than one-day festivals – in order to observe the same calendar, ie, celebrate the festivals on the same day.  This paradox was perhaps the clearest expression of the impossibility, at least in the context of the ancient world, of implementing a worldwide calendrical unity with an empirical calendar.”  (p. 243)

Again anyone can know when the first LIGHT is expected and upon confirming it would know for certain the festival dates.  This is just more of the same “Calculation vs. Observation” hog wash.  The issue is whether we calculate the first visible LIGHT as God commanded, or do we calculate the darkness of conjunction like the modern Rabbins.

Stern’s statement brought two things to my mind:  One, when God gave the dates for His festivals in Leviticus 23, He stated them as if His people would be able to know, for certain, when those days would be, in terms of having an ability to plan in advance (individually and corporately) for those very special and important days.

Of course they calculated when the first LIGHT could be seen and then confirmed that calculation by observation!  Why even waste time on this nonsense?  Because they are trying to build an artificial case to deceive the unwary and uninformed!

That immediately raises the question asked in the COGWA paper on page 19, “The Feast of Trumpets falls on the first day of the seventh month, so there isn’t much time to get the word out if one is using observation.  Why would God declare a holy day on the first day of a month if He intended that observation would be the only correct way to develop the calendar?  It would be impossible to plan anything in advance if you had to wait to see the crescent before you declared that to be the first day and a day of worship.”  Later this man will destroy this argument himself by claiming that the Karaites do [As I do] calculate the first LIGHT years in advance!  Calculation is a NON ISSUE;  The Issue is: The basis for any calculations; the LIGHT commanded by God, or the darkness of the Rabbins!

(In reply, it could be said that a person would simply prepare for a couple possibilities for the date of the Trumpets, but then we’re back, in principle, to the paradox of “a different calendar in order to observe the same calendar”.)  This is pure double talk nonsense.

A second thing that came to my mind after reading Stern’s comment is that if God has always given (at least from the time of Moses) designated human authorities the responsibility for a calendar [God gave authority ONLY to teach what God has commanded and not to make changes in God’s Commandments!  By this man’s reasoning; if a body of men could change God’s Word on the calendar, then men can also redefine adultery or any other sin  into a good thing!] isn’t it possible that God guided them into the development of a fixed calendar, for the sake of His church in centuries to come – and for the sake of worldwide unity?  [NO Absolutely NOT!  God would NEVER guide men to change his Word!  Loyalty to the Word of God is the mark of God’s people; changing the Word of God is rebellion against Almighty God; it is the mark of Satan the Mark of the beast!] (That question is one of the “branches” or “limbs” on my “tree of belief”, but it seems a very reasonable question if indeed observation of the crescent is not a mandated foundation for a calendar, which I believe it is not.)  Here this man openly rejects the scriptures to maintain his false beliefs.  This is rebellion against the Word of God!  He has revealed himself and COGWA Leaders as false teachers who teach men to rebel against  God and who try to  deceive and lead men to follow themselves as idols in place of the Word of God!  The true nature of Jim Franks and company is now openly revealed.

As the COGWA paper states, again on p. 19,  “If for the sake of argument, we decide to use Jerusalem as the place where the visible crescent must first be seen, how was that information provided to people living in other parts of the world over the past 2,000 years? 

Obviously they would have had to calculate when the first light could be visible, further because of the situation people did observe wherever they were.  Now in this latter day Jesus Christ is again working to focus men on Jerusalem and to restore that which has been lost as Jesus promised would be done.  This promise of Christ that all things would be restored carried with it the warning that many things would be lost.  We all know this promise and there should be no reason for me to quote the scripture.

How would Church members living in England in 1500 find out that the crescent moon had been observed over Jerusalem?  How would Church of God brethren living in Virginia or Pennsylvania in 1860 know that the crescent for the month of Tishri had been seen?” 

Those are interesting questions – and we should keep in mind there were church members during those periods of time who were faithful Christians, having an understanding of the need to observe at least the vitally important NT Passover service.  What calendar did God provide for them to use for keeping His festivals?  It seems it could not have been a calendar that used your 6 calendar principles. 

Here he tries to imply that the calculated Rabbinic calendar has advantages.  This is false as the visible LIGHT calendar can also be calculated!  Further, going the way of Satan in Satan’s World does have its advantages; but the disadvantages in the judgment are enormous.  His concern is about some tiny possible inconvenience for obeying God instead of the convenience of following the godless.

In regard to God possibly inspiring the development of the fixed calendar for the sake of His Church down through the ages — a fixed calendar certainly has its benefits in our day and age for such necessities as booking halls, taking days off work, reserving airline tickets, etc.  On the other hand, if God had truly intended for there to be some uncertainty in His calendar, then we would have to deal with that.  But Lev. 23 certainly isn’t worded as though uncertainty would be a factor in His festivals.

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