TheShiningLight

Worldwatch News and Prophecy

Scripture Calendar vs. Rabbinic Calendar Debate: Part 2

We know that we are commanded to keep the whole Word of God with a whole heart.. Num 12:32   What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.  Therefore we should know that all authority belongs to God! 

Deu 5:32  Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

This is further brought out when we understand that the Mosaic and the New Covenant are both Marriage covenants with the Messiah, and that as the espoused wife of the Creator we are obligated to fully obey our Husband and NO other!  This is then made even more binding that obedience to a Husband when we see the commandments to honor our father, which refers first and foremost to our Father in heaven.  Therefore no man has any authority to make any change to any part of the Word of God. 

This means that any human authority delegated by God: MUST be consistent with the whole Word of God at all times.  As soon as a person or group decides to change from the Word of God to do as they want; they have LOST all authority; for they are in rebellion against the foundation of all authority: which is the whole Word of God!

Paul himself said that we should follow men ONLY as they are faithful to follow God.  1Cor 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Ask yourself if God respected the authority of the kings and high priests who turned against his Word? or did he send the enemy upon them?  Look at this world and ask yourself if any ruler who gives authority to anyone will allow that person to rebel and change his word with impunity?  

It is just crazy to say that the Rabbins have the authority to change the Word of God; whether it be changing the command to begin the month with the LIGHT into their beginning the month with the darkness of conjunctions; or changing Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost.  

You cannot have it both ways as today’s COG groups think;  consider that, IF the Rabbins actually did [which they do not] have authority to add to and change from the scriptural calendar; and if we are obligated to bow to that authority; then we are sinning by not following their Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost dates!  They either have authority or they do not, and if they are in authority why do the COG folks pick and choose what to follow?  That is pure hypocrisy!  Consider this in connection with mainstream Christianity;  if religious leaders do have power to bind and loose or to change God’s Word; why do we reject Sunday for Sabbath?

Of course the Rabbins [and no other persons either]  have absolutely NO authority to alter God’s Word!  The Rabbinic teaching on the date of Passover, Wave Offering, Pentecost and on the Rabbinic calendar itself are false, non scriptural and anti Moses!  At one point Jesus said that the Pharisees sat in Moses seat; he was talking about the Mosaic Pharisees in Judea; who were destroyed in the Romans wars; 

After the Roman wars and the destruction of the Mosaic Pharisees; it was the Hellenic Pharisees who used Greek reasoning and the lie that there was extra biblical instructions to them; twisted and changed the Word of God in many areas! and this in opposition to the Scribes who preserved the scriptures!

We need to really understand that the Mosaic Covenant was a Marriage Covenant and that covenant ENDED with the death of the Husband!  From the moment of the death of the Husband; the Mosaic Covenant AND the seat of Moses ended, and from the moment of Jesus ascension and acceptance by the Father; the New Covenant of a spiritual priesthood was confirmed.  Then Jesus Christ became the High Priest of the New Covenant; see the whole book of Hebrews. 

Those who have been called out of all nations to a New Covenant; and accepted that calling by the ordinance of baptism, become part of a NEW NATION of a spiritual Israel!  After the washing of baptism, the laying on of hands and the gift of the holy spirit; is an ORDINATION into the Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ! 

Brethren, while their are different responsibilities; ALL the called out are priests of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

With the death of the Husband the Mosaic Covenant and the seat of Moses ended! and a NEW spiritual priesthood of the High Priest Jesus Christ began!  As the priests in training of Jesus Christ, we are to follow our High Priest the very Lamb of God, withersoever he goeth; and not follow  any other!  Is our head some group of Christ cursing men who reject and change the scripture to their own imaginations, mainly in order to cast aspersions on Messiah the Christ?  

It is time that we remembered who the true head of the faithful called out is!  There is only one godly line of authority:  1 Cor 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God

Did you get that?  The Head is God the Father in heaven, next is Jesus Christ and then is the man as head of the woman; and finally by the commandment the parents are in authority over their children.   Certain offices or responsibilities are given to some in the Ekklesia for the good of the body, but their authority is limited to being consistent with the Word of God.  Any departure from the Word of God and they lose all authority, for they have NO authority apart from God’s Word. 

To summarize at this point:  Moses seat ended with the death of Messiah the Christ; the priesthood and all authority has been transferred to a new spiritual priesthood, which is faithful to its Head and to the whole Word of God.  No human has the right to change the Word of God in any matter. Any person who knowingly rejects any part of the Word of God is either unconverted or an apostate. 

No Rabbin has any authority to make up a calendar.  It is the Creator alone who has authority over HIS calendar as per his acts of creation in Genesis 1

The Rabbinic Calendar is a non scriptural non Mosaic compilation of men contrary to the Word of God, and as such should be rejected, that we might remain faithful to our HEAD! 

There is NO authority apart from the faithful keeping of the whole Word of God, the second anyone departs from a zeal to keep God’s Word, he or she is cut off from Christ and the Father until they sincerely repent.  It is the sin of rebellion, spiritual adultery and idolatry to follow anyone, whether the Rabbins or false elders away from the Word of God. 

The scriptures are full of warnings of a large number of false elders in the COG, deceiving very many in the last days.

ONLY God’s Word has authority, for it is the authority of Almighty God; No Rabbin or other man has any authority beyond the authority of the whole Word of God.  To depart from the Word of God; to cook or buy on Sabbath and High Days, or to change the biblical calendar; is to lose all godly authority, as a false teacher!  

Let me be very clear; these folks who deny and reject God’s Word on any point  or who teach people to follow those who do; are FALSE teachers and wolves, leading the brethren away from faithfulness to Almighty God.  

God delegates responsibility to faithfully teach his Word:  God NEVER delegates authority to make changes to his Word; like the Rabbinic changing from the LIGHT to darkness to begin God’s months!

Make no mistake, in these latter days the Master Builder is testing and training us to look to him and the Father above all else.  That is the reason for all the things that have been happening over the past 90 years. 

The elder who wrote this letter was a nearly life long friend of the Henderson’s The letter represents this elder’s sincere attempt to convince the Henderson’s to recant their paper.  I know this is very lengthy and tedious, but it is presenting me with a “bully” pulpit to carefully rebut the entire arguments that are being used to reject the Word of God for their own ways.   This is an issue that transcends the corporate boundries of most COG Groups and the importance of posting this information cannot be underestimated. 

Jesus taught that man must live by every word of God.  Mat 4:4   But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  Mat 4:10  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 

Again Jesus taught that no part of the Word of God shall fail as long as heaven and earth exist.  Mat 5:18   For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

In truth God gave a Levitical priesthood and the Seventy [Sanhedrin] and later a ministry with the responsibility to faithfully teach and keep the whole Word of God; yet that priesthood and ministry NEVER had any authority to make any change in the Word of God! Their authority was limited to teaching and keeping God’s Word! 

When we think that some man has a right to change God’s Word; we are getting into the Catholic “Primacy of Peter” heresy adopted by Herbert Armstrong; that men have been appointed by God to bind and loose the scriptures.  This blasphemous teaching which is held by most COG Groups today; places man as sovereign over the Word of Almighty God! 

I highly recommend that we refresh ourselves on this subject by reading the following articles.   The Primacy of Peter and Ecclesiastical Authority     

The Nicolaitanes and the Primacy of Peter    

The Primacy of Peter 

Please remember as you read through this man’s arguments, that his contention is that the Rabbins have the authority to change God’s Word from  the command to use the LIGHT to begin months; to the exact opposite of using the darkness to begin the months! 

This is not some false invented “calculation vs. observation” issue; since BOTH the LIGHT and the conjunctions have always been subject to calculation.  This is a direct change and defiance of the Word of God!  By extension if they have the right to change God’s Word on this point they have the authority to change the Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost dates as well.

The real question is:  Does a man or group of men have the authority to change the Word of God at their own will and for their own convenience?  This man thinks so; and he must think so; because to admit that there is no authority to change God’s Word; destroys the COGWA [Armstrong and other COG groups] position that they are in authority and can take decisions to bind and loose the Word of God in regards to the Sabbath and other commandments. 

Brethren, authority exists to teach zeal for keeping the whole Word of God!  Absolutely NO authority exists for any man or group to bind and loose or to make changes in the Word of God!  2 Ti 4:2  Preach the word [of God]; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and [God’s sound] doctrine.

To passionately keep and to diligently teach is the duty, the function, the responsibility of the priesthood and the ministry; they have absolutely NO authority to bind and loose or to make changes in the Word of God as the Rabbins and the ministry have done.  They are empowered to keep God’s Word [NOT CHANGE IT] as an example and to teach a faithful zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God; they have NO authority to bind and loose or make any changes from God’s Word! 

This entire letter is an attempt to deceive the brethren into thinking that God did not provide instructions on a calendar in His Word.  They look right at God’s instructions and deny them in an attempt to justify not following them!  This entire letter is also an attempt to  deceive the brethren into following men and not to follow God, as a basis to claim power over God’s Word themselves. 

The very bottom line at the end of this intellectual and spiritual travesty is the claim that we said so and your must obey us no what the scriptures say.  All of this denial of God’s Word and support of the supposed right of men to decide to go contrary to, or change, binding and loosing God’s Word; is in support of their own supposed authority to go contrary to the Word of God to be faithful to their own false teachings and traditions.  

Peter made a bold statement to the religious “authorities” of his day; and I make the same statement to these apostate men today:  Acts 5:29   Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Response to The Henderson Paper by the Local Elder:  Part 4

 

To this point I’ve given some thoughts about the two areas of:  1) What does the Bible say and [No you rejected what the Bible says and falsely denied that it says anything on the calendar] 2) History/tradition/writings.   The other factor that seems to me to be vitally important is the matter of “authority over the calendar”.  There is only ONE authority over the calendar and that is they authority of Almighty God and his Word!  religious authority is to teach and to keep the Word of God.  No man has any authority to make changes to God’s Word.

Determining a calendar was not an individual responsibility in Moses’ day.  [It was NEVER any man’s or groups responsibility to determine a calendar even today; it is God’s Word that determines the Biblical Calendar.  See how he creates a false premise and then argues based on that false premise.]  That responsibility was delegated to Moses, Aaron and the priesthood. [No, not at all.  Moses was given the calendar by God; he was not given the right to determine the calendar for himself; Moses was given the responsibility to follow GOD’S Word and Calendar, and to teach it.]    While only God could make “holy” certain days on the calendar, the calendar itself was a delegated responsibility [Absolutely false!  Nonsense!] .  As a result, individual Israelites did not determine calendar matters for themselves.  The new month days were proclaimed to them – individual Israelites didn’t figure out new moon days for themselves. 

Very slick, however when the priests apostatized, the faithful individuals had no choice but to look up into the heavens and see what Almighty God has set in motion for all to see.  In this dispensation the Mosaic Covenant and its priesthood has ended! it is the Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ, which Jesus knew would be scattered until the very end; Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Today it is every converted person, and collectively their groups which have the responsibility to keep God’s command to observe the LIGHT of the moon to begin God’s months; and to keep the Biblical Calendar, not departing from the Word of God to follow idols of men and their false traditions. 

If these groups shirk their responsibility to follow God, as the Mosaic priests often did, and instead relies on apostates; then it remains the responsibility for each individual faithful called out person to fulfill his responsibility to keep God’s Word.  Here the real issue that the COG is shirking its responsibilities in favour of following idols of men instead of being faithful to God’s Word. 

Below is an another lie in that it asserts that the Sanhedrin [the Seventy] of Moses is the same as the modern Hellenic Rabbins; which it most assuredly is NOT.  The Mosaic Pharisees were wiped out by the Romans in the first century and the Hellenized Rabbins in Babylon, Egypt and Rome took the  leadership to apostatize from Moses through Greek logic [The logic of Aristotle which is also used to justify the errors of Catholicism and the COG Groups.[ 

Beginning with setting up a false premise and then using false statements, truncated quotes and torturous  twists of logic, this letter is a classic example of the logic of Aristotle and was doubtless written by the AC trained leaders of COGWA and sent through this elder.

Maimonides put it well – believing that this authority went back to the time of Moses and still applied at the time of the Sanhedrin:  “The authority over the observation of the new crescent was given not to everyone – as is the case with the Sabbath day, with respect to which everyone counts six days and rests on the seventh day – but only to the court.  The day sanctified and proclaimed by the court as the beginning of the month was New Moon Day.  For it is said: ‘This month shall be unto you’ (Exod. 12:2), that is to say, accepting or rejecting evidence concerning this matter is put into your hands.”  (Sanctification, chapter 1 paragraph 5)

Also in Jesus’ day, calendar matters were determined by an authority. [Another false premise!  In Jesus day the first LIGHT of the moon was observed by two witnesses who reported before the Mosaic Sanhedrin and were examined to confirm by two or three witnesses; then the New Moon was confirmed and signal fires were lighted to inform the country. Then in the morning the New Moon offerings were made after the Morning Daily was offered. 

The Mosaic Pharisees were slaughtered by the Romans and the false Hellenizing Rabbins fought the Scribes to take over and apostatized from scripture to their own ways, completely changing from the biblical LIGHT calendar to a calendar based on darkness; defying Moses and the teachings in Jesus’ Day. Jesus did not deny the authority of the Mosaic Seventy but he would condemn the false teachings of the Rabbins today!]  Jesus did not challenge their authority in that area.  Individual Jews did not determine calendar matters for themselves.   Even after the crescent had been sighted and confirmed, the new moon day was not official until a special proclamation was made.

Your entire paper was very clearly laid out, and very easy to follow.  The one area where I have some confusion is your understanding and beliefs relating to the concept of an authority over a calendar.   It would seem that your approach is one geared to individual calendar determination. 

Now the writer finds a way to falsely claim that the simplicity of God’s calendar, and the complexity of the Rabbinic calendar, to mean that keeping God’s Word is a denial of authority.  In doing this he has twisted good into evil and evil into good! 

If the COG Groups would only fulfill their responsibilities to declare the Word of God and begin the months on God’s commanded LIGHT of the new moons; they would have the authority of the Word of God behind them!  Instead they stand on the false non biblical teaching of Christ cursing enemies of Christ; and have there lost any scriptural authority.  The authority of Almighty God is the important thing; not the false teachings of our idols of men

You said:  “Everyone Can Understand God’s Biblical Calendar” (page 17),  and  “God’s way is simple and clear.  Even our children should be able to understand and learn the basics of all God’s commandments.”  (page 17) [My comment:  The rules for the formulation of a calendar are not a part of God’s commandments.   Observing the holy days He specifies on a calendar, is a command.  There’s a big difference there.]  You also used the phrase, “How to ‘calculate’ your own Holy Day Calendar.” (page 45)

Once again it seems that we’re dealing with two different paradigms.  You believe that God has given enough information in the Bible for an individual Christian [Notice that he leaves out the collective groups to push his false position that the simplicity of God’s Word is somehow rebellion against God!  Truly amazing the false logic here!  If God’s Word is simple enough for individuals then it is simple enough for collective groups, so why rely on paganism?], with His Spirit, to come to see – and then use — the one and only true calendar God has ordained since the time of Moses.  (Once again, a question I would have in that regard would be, “Why then was it not possible for all 6 of your calendar principles to be implemented at all times, [It was possible for the Rabbins to calculate based on the LIGHT; but they chose NOT to abide by the scriptures and added to God’s Word, changing the beginning of the months by turning from calculations based on LIGHT to calculations based on conjunctions!  The Rabbinic calendar is the Babylonian calendar with its Greek Hellenic Metonic Cycle based on the CONJUNCTION; NOT on the LiGHT and with the Festivals added!]  including times when God’s OT and NT people were faithful or were under faithful leadership and God’s blessing?”)

Now he places the word of his group above the Word of God. “The church says so” he maintains, which is the Primacy of Peter abomination of exalting men as idols of the brethren above the Word of God.  I maintain that the “church” should begin to obey Almighty God!  and if a “church” does not obey God; it is NOT a church of God! 

The Church’s paradigm [which is patently false] is that God very clearly chose not to give calendar specifics in the Bible.  Instead, He delegated that to an authority, but revealed which days on a calendar He would set apart as holy.  And if God determines to use a designated authority, we can put our trust in His guidance of that method.  It would be presumptuous for us to take that authority to ourselves.  Claiming this he condemns himself for not following this apostate calendar concerning the Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost!

In the YouTube video, one of the men interviewing Dr. Hoffman was confirming the fact that Rosh Chodesh did not become official until it was proclaimed by the authorities.  Then the interviewer said, “That’s exciting.  So as it says in the Torah, you decide you’re really controlling time (I’m assuming he’s referring to scriptures such as Lev. 23:2)  [This is another false statement;  the Mosaic Sanhedrin of the Mosaic 70 did not control anything! They heard witnesses and on the basis of two or three witness made a formal declaration for the people.  They did not control, they acted based on the evidence and the Word of God.  The Rabbins supported by this COG group do none of these things; and have set up their own system contrary to God’s LIGHT based calendar; in order to control and lead the people to exalt them above the Word of God!  and it is CONTROL that all of the big COG Groups want!]

I don’t believe that we, as church members, would use the phrase, “you’re really controlling time”. [That is exactly what you are doing following the anti God anti Christ Rabbinic Calendar; setting themselves sup to decide time contrary ot the Word of God!]  But if the Sanhedrin had the freedom to, in one sense, “control time” by intercalating a year when the bridges were out or when roads were impassable or when ovens were not ready for roasting lambs, it clearly indicates that God had indeed delegated authority over the calendar to human beings.[We all have authority in the case of the “Ox in the ditch,”  that does not justify habitual law breaking.  Further in the case of the first month Almighty God gave His authority for a second month Passover.  God Never gave any authority to change his calendar from the LIGHT to the darkness of conjunctions! Never!  Further The Rabbins are NOT and have nothing to do with the Mosaic Sanhedrin!  Today’s Rabbins HATE the Sanhedrin and work night and day to prevent one form forming because it I sviewed as a challenge to their power. See: The Israeli Rabbinate Fights: Mosaic Sanhedrin, Biblical Calendar ]   Their decisions could not violate a clear scriptural principle, but they were free to go beyond what was specifically written in the Torah.

If God chose to use that method (of not revealing and entrusting calendar details to individuals, but rather only to a designated authority) [He did not!] — who are we to take exception to the way He has chosen to work?  On  the other hand; Who are we to reject God’s Word to follow the false teachings of the enemies of our LORD? 

God sets his calendar in the scriptures, while the apostate Rabbins change what God has commanded.

The Church’s paradigm would be in disagreement with your final sentence on page 46 of your paper:  “The Biblical Calendar allows God to determine His appointed times, and the Rabbinic Hebrew Calendar grants that authority to men.”  The Church would say that God Himself gave certain individuals the authority for the calendar, and then He alone determines His appointed times on that calendar – and puts His presence on those days, making them holy.  [This is a false statement because they reject God on his High Days through the Rabbinic postponements.  This man has been so incredibly deceived that he is convinced his lies are the truth even when they are clearly contradictory] God is still sovereign and still in control of the process.

It seems to me that the two paradigms are mutually exclusive.  It’s a question of “whose authority?” – the individual? or a God-ordained authority?  [Here he tries more double talk; but has condemned himself that following men contrary to  the Word of God is somehow the same as following God; justifying himself by using the Primacy of Peter heresy to exalt the words of men above the Word of God.] 

(I understand that you believe the Bible does indeed give calendar specifics, or at least enough of them.  I understand that your foundational concept is your understanding of Gen. 1:14, 15.   All I’m doing is presenting ideas that I hope might cause you to reconsider your foundational concept  [Might lead you away from God’s Word]. So much rests on that foundational concept, and it certainly will greatly affect your lives from here on out.)

By using the phrases that I quoted above (emphasizing “the individual”), it may be that you didn’t intend to promote a reliance on an independent approach to calendar matters – but instead you may have simply been saying, “It’s very easy for any individual to see God’s prescribed calendar in the scriptures, so there’s no reason why the Church cannot and should not adopt it.”

A correct statement below!

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your thinking about the matter of a “calendar authority”, but I’m wondering if your view would be this:  that God delegated calendar responsibilities to Moses and Aaron in their day – and also entrusted calendar matters to the authority of the Sanhedrin in Jesus’ day.  But once the Jews turned away from observing the crescent, they had abandoned God’s foundational requirement.  So God took that authority from them.  Since then, Christians, with the help of God’s Spirit, should search the scriptures and use the 6 principles you gave – in order to formulate and use God’s true biblical calendar.

A correct statement!

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but unless I’m missing something, there’s a glaring problem with that: for large spans of time, Christians would’ve been unable to use two of your most important rules:  spotting the crescent from Jerusalem and using the ripeness of grain in the Jerusalem area for purposes of intercalation.  That being the case, what calendar could they have used for observing the festivals?   

Yes the calendar was lost over time and so were the Festivals, now they are being restored!!  Only in the nineteenth century did the Ekklesia begin to restore the Festivals!  It is not for nothing that God told Daniel Dan 12 that at the end knowledge would be increased, and Jesus said that all things would be restored Mat 17:11.  WHY do you reject the promises of God?

A calendar by its very nature requires an authority.  [That authority is the Word of God; not those who reject the authority of God’s Word.] Calendars would be useless unless a group all agrees to use the same calendar – and even with “observational calendars”, there would be many decisions to be made.  (The fact that so many different observational calendars have been proposed also proves the need for a calendar authority.  There is certainly not unity among those who base their calendars on observation.)  Many folks have come up with their own observational calendars; but if only the scriptures were followed there would be only one calendrical conclusion. 

Even with observational calendars, it’s clear that someone in authority would have to make any number of decisions.  This is especially true due to the fact that observation of the first crescent can be a rather challenging task, dependent on many factors.  As Dr. Hoffman said in the YouTube video, “It is not as simple as you think to see the moon.”

(That’s an important concept.  Dr. Hoffman mentioned that practice and training are necessary in order to see a new crescent.  I’m sure you’re aware of the many variables: altitude, dust cover, fog, clouds, glare, humidity, atmospheric pressure, temperature, etc.) 

Obviously a group of trained experienced witnesses is preferred.  Why not start this NOW?  and be ready for the restoration of the sighted moon calendar when Christ comes to reestablish it? 

The writer now launches into a series of pointless questions in an attempt to discourage the zealous for God.

Let’s assume that the Church took on the authority for an observational calendar, and Jerusalem was accepted as God’s designated site for observation of the new crescent.  An authority would have to decide exactly what it means to observe the crescent from Jerusalem[Obviously to see the first moon LIGHT after sunset] Exactly how far could a witness go outside the city limits and still have his testimony be acceptable?  [Obviously within a nights walking distance from the Sanhedrin buildings] the Church’s rules for witnesses match as closely as possible any known rules used by the Sanhedrin in Jesus’ day?  Or match as closely as possible the description given by Maimonides?  Should our witnesses be church members?  [If the LIGHT is visible it does not matter who the witnesses are, as long as they are honest and reliable, which is why it is necessary to have multiple witnesses; just like in a court of law.] Or should we accept Jewish authority, using the determination of the Israeli New Moon Society?  If we use the latter, should we accept their decision even if there is controversy over its findings ?

The High Court apparently had the authority to speed up or prolong a new crescent sighting, choosing a favorable location, in order to avoid, if possible, a festival occurring on a Friday or Sunday.  [This is absolute nonsense.  No matter whether one sees the moon from a valley or hill; it makes no difference as to establishing the day of the new moon; the variance in sighting time is only a few minutes; NOT a day or more!] How much of that principle would a church calendar authority be free to use in our day?   When it would affect a festival, could that principle be applied in the sense of using binoculars or a telescope simply to alert witnesses to the possibility of their ability to see the first crescent with the naked eye?

Or perhaps binoculars and telescopes could replace naked eye sighting at times, when it would affect the determination of the festivals. [Absolutely NOT] Why would God not allow advances in technology to be used in the sighting, since He allowed [another falsehood slipped in; God did not allow changes in his Biblical calendar; men departed form his Word by themselves!] past calendar authorities to make critical calendar decisions based on changing social or other conditions, over time?

(It was interesting to hear what Dr. Hoffman said about why the naked eye must be used.  He said, “It’s clearly supposed to be with the naked eye, because it says that ‘someone who looks in a crystal and sees the moon in a crystal, it’s not a valid observation.”  The Bible doesn’t require the naked eye [The scriptures most certainly do require a sighting with the naked eye, since the LIGHT was to be seen to set the months from creation, thousands of years before modern optical devices.], but apparently Jewish writings do.).  [Amazing, he teaches that today’s Rabbinic calendar was used form Moses and now admits that naked eye observations of the first LIGHT were made before the modern based on the darkness of conjunctions false Rabbinic Calendar was created.  In so doing he proves that Before Hillel they DID use naked eye observation and that the Rabbinic darkness of conjunction calendar is a much later invention.  This man is incredibly contradictory.]

If the Church had its own witnesses, but conditions in Jerusalem became especially dangerous, should the witnesses stay there and do their job, trusting God to protect them?  [Of course;  obeying God is not tempting God!  How ridiculous!] Or would that be tempting God, making it a better course of action to rely on Israeli witnesses or on calculations?  How would the decision be made, and by whom?

Would the witnesses be tested for accuracy as they apparently were in Christ’s day?  Would they be interrogated with the types of questions used by the Sanhedrin?  Or would it be permissible for photos to be taken and shown to the authorities?

There would be many other calendar decisions that would need to be made.  Would it be necessary to inform the church membership of all the rules for making decisions?  [Yes] In regard to the myriad of decisions that would need to be made, would you (or other church members) be willing to go along with all the decisions of a church calendar authority?  If members disagreed with certain decisions, would or should they be encouraged to keep their own calendar and their personally determined festival days?  (In Jewish writings, there are accounts of major calendar disagreements, but of the willingness to yield, for the sake of unity and in acknowledgment of the Sanhedrin’s authority.)   [These are all nonsense questions if the COG were united. Even if not united; if they acted in a godly manner these things could be worked out.  I have announced the monthly new moons for years and also have published a most likely calculation for years in advance.  This fellow is like the man who will not work because it MIGHT rain. Rather than rejoicing in God’s  Word he is looking for a reason to say it is difficult and ought not to be tried. Truly an unprofitable servant]

If God has given calendar principles in the Bible, and Christians, with the help of His Spirit, can construct a biblical calendar on their own – would it not logically follow that when an individual Christian disagreed with the Church on certain calendar rules, the individual could and should follow his own calendar?  How would unity be maintained in that situation?  [No we are to follow the calendar that Almighty God has commanded.  No, organizational unity without unity with God is the wide road to damnation.  We are each one to be always united with God and God’s Word.  COGWA us in rebellion against God on many issues; what poingt is there in being united in rebellion against God?]

(As I read about the differing views on “observational calendars”, and the different end-product calendars, I noticed that some were very generous in their acceptance of the calendars of others who looked for the first crescent.  Comments were made along the lines of “at least they’re trying to do it right, and I think God would be pleased with their efforts”.) [We are to obey the Word of God, and today many are in that learning process; is that a reason for the COG Groups to reject even trying? and instead follow what is so obviously totally wrong by the scriptures.]

How would today’s church calendar authority know how much flexibility it had in making the many decisions related to sighting the new crescent?  The calendar committee of the Sanhedrin apparently had a great deal of authority and latitude in their practices and determinations. Who would compose the calendar committee?  If its membership changed, would new members be free to implement new rules and procedures?  How would these things be decided?

Would a year be intercalated only according to the ripeness of the grain?  If Maimonides is accurate, grain could be examined in areas outside of Jerusalem.  [Maimonides was a Hellenized Rabbin and he was wrong, since the grain was cut in the valley beside the walls of Jerusalem sunset beginning Sunday of Wave Sheaf; then  processed and then offered that afternoon.  If they held a service on the Wave Offering Sunday to learn these things they would not be so easily misled.  Please see: The Wave Sheaf and the Ascension of Christ to be Accepted For Us  ] How would the Church determine the permissible location of the grain?  Would we plant our own grain, or do it some other way?  [These are all absolute nonsense questions;  There are already people in Jerusalem looking for the New Moon LIGHT and COG men who travel to Jerusalem [and have been doing so for years] to inspect the harvest, the lambing; to determine the new year!  This site has been posting the New Moons and the new years for years!  This is not nearly as difficult as you try to make it appear.]

In addition to the ripeness of the grain, would the Church apply other methods of intercalation, methods used by the Sanhedrin:  Passover in relationship to the vernal equinox, newborn lambs and pigeons, ripeness of fruit on the trees, weather, conditions of roads, social conditions, etc.?   How would these things be decided in our day?  [Simply by looking as certain COG men do today.  [If I can post these things; how is it that you cannot?  These are all only pathetic excuses for having no zeal to even try obeying God’s Word] ] Would we be required to duplicate exactly what we know for sure of procedures from Jesus’ day?  Would we have the freedom to use only the principles from that time to make new and updated decisions relating to our modern age?   Even with God’s Spirit to guide us, there would no doubt be differences of opinion. 

Was there ever a time in the history of the NT church where the Church took on authority over calendar matters?  [Almighty God and His Word have ALWAYS been in authority!  Not apostate Rabbins and not apostate corporate COG Groups either!] Is there any indication that God ever gave that authority to the Church or to church members?  [Absolutely!  Jesus Christ was made our High Priest and we are to follow HIS Word; NOT the false teachings of Rabbinic fables.] From the Bible, that doesn’t appear to be the case for the early NT church.  And it has not been the case since God raised up our modern era of the church, beginning around 1930.  I agree with COGWA’s conclusion that the Hebrew calendar is the appropriate calendar for observing God’s festivals.

What about this matter of God entrusting important responsibilities to the Jews?  Rarely in history were the Israelites or Jews faithful to God.  The Jews of Jesus day, regardless of what sect they belonged to, did not practice or teach according to God’s standards. [and today the Rabbins do not teach or practice according to the scriptures; so why depend on them?] Jesus was in continual conflict with the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes and the majority of the masses of His day.  He was in conflict with them over their doctrines and over their practices.  And the Sanhedrin that controlled the calendar condemned Jesus and turned Him over to the Romans to be crucified. 

This is classic bait and switch.  1. Jesus confirmed their use of the scriptural calendar by keeping the Festivals on the days the Mosaic Seventy sanctified without a single criticism or correction.  2.  That in no way means that they agreed with everything he taught.  3. Why then  do you depend on the apostate Rabbins for your calendar instead of depending on the scriptures?

The faithlessness and disobedience of the Jews (before, during and after Jesus lived on earth) did not limit God from using them to copy, pass on and preserve the Hebrew Scriptures.  Long after 70 A.D., the Masoretes (500 A.D. to 900 A.D.) were used by God to preserve the Scriptures and provide us with the authoritative Masoretic Text.  The Masoretes had rejected Jesus Christ just as much as any other group of Jews.  

The Hebrew Scriptures were never copied or preserved by the NT church.  And the thousands of Greek manuscripts of the NT were not preserved by converted individuals or the NT church.  [This is not quite true;  the scriptures were canonized by James and others in Pella and then spread with the persecutions of the true Christians.  The scriptures most definitely were preserved by the New Testament called out.] God was able to preserve the Scriptures through a process of entrusting them to unconverted and sinful human beings who were not associated with His Church.  [Ah Ha!  He is now equating a perversion and changing of the calendar from the commanded LIGHT to the darkness of conjunctions; as somehow preserving the scriptures!!!  What  a subtle and wicked deception!]

The same is true when it comes to calendar matters and God’s decision to entrust the Hebrew calendar to the Jews.  When it comes to the Jews, one sect or group is not more “righteous” than another.   The beliefs and practices of all Jewish sects were (and are still today) part of the “broad way that leads to destruction”.   That includes Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, Essenes and Karaites.  It would include modern orthodox Jews and “Reform” Jews.  It would also include Messianic Jews with their beliefs and practices—and all the various branches of so-called Christianity. [So why do you follow the obviously false calendar of the Rabbins?  Obviously you do not personally “Hate every false way.”]  In Psalm 119:104, the author reflected God’s mind when he wrote, “… I hate every false way”.

2 John 9 says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.  He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

(I listened on the internet to a short presentation by Nehemiah Gordon.  He explained why Isaiah 7:14 cannot rightly be used by Christians to apply to Mary and the birth of Jesus.  I am sure that God has very strong feelings about Nehemiah Gordon taking it upon himself to teach such things.)  [This begs the question:  Why do you love the false ways of the Rabbins and hate the teachings of the Word of God?  The Karaites reject Christ but do have some truths on the calendar; while the Rabbins openly acknowledge that their calendar is NOT scriptural. My mind boggles at this condemnation of the Karaites while defending the non scriptural Rabbinic calendar.   It is God’s Word that we are to follow; not the words of any man.]

Apparently there are different modern-day sects of Karaites, but at karaite-korner.org, it’s stated that “Karaism is not a ‘monolithic’ faith in which every believer agrees on every detail of understanding of Scripture.  Because the burden of interpretation rests on the individual and not a central authority it is inevitable that there will be differences of interpretation and understanding.”   Once again, I’m sure that God has strong (negative) feelings about their stated belief and approach, in this case relating to doctrine.

The original Karaites rejected the additions to the Torah, but had their own additions to Scripture and their own misunderstandings of Scripture.   [You repeat  this false Rabbinic statement without even studying the issues?] At amazon.com I noticed a couple books covering the subject, but wasn’t interested in ordering them or taking the time to read them. 

My point in mentioning all this about sects of Jews from the past or present is to say that none of the Jewish groups I mentioned has understood and practiced God’s way of life, as given in the OT.  (Perhaps for a short time under the leadership of Ezra, the Jews got as close to that ideal as at any other time in their history.  And we know that God has wonderful plans for all Jews, during the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment period.)  [We are to obey the scriptures and not men; including not obeying the false calendar of the Rabbins.  You keep contradicting yourself; the Rabbins have changed the Biblical calendar from a first LIGHT for the Month calendar, to a false system based on the darkness of conjunctions; you condemn the following of Jewish tradition and then support following false Rabbinic tradition; in an amazing continual repetition of contradictions.]

None of the Jewish groups I listed “abides in the doctrine of Christ” — and none “has God”.  God didn’t look for a “scripturally-based and obedient” group of Jews to preserve, copy and transmit the Hebrew Scriptures over the many centuries.  He didn’t look for converted Greek-speaking church members to preserve, copy and transmit the NT Scriptures. 

A conclusion that I’m drawing here is that when Jews at the time of Hillel II replaced observation/calculations with a fixed calendar, it was not a case of “apostate” Jews taking control of the calendar.  [Here you go wrong again.  The Mosaic Covenant ended with the death of Christ and all religious authority reverted to the NEW High Priest Jesus Christ.  Yes, God can work through the unconverted, but he has NEVER given them or anyone else the authority to change his law;  that is the work of satan! ]  God has always been able to work through unconverted human beings to accomplish His will, and I believe that has also been the case in regard to the calendar.

Until I had read material related to the calendar, I hadn’t realized that there were a number of sectarian Jewish calendars during the late Second Temple period (and onward) – along with a great deal of controversy and division.  There was, at times, controversy over calendar decisions even within the Sanhedrin. [Why even mention that there are always individuals who want to rebel against the scriptural calendar as you  yourself do? They were not in authority and those in authority at that time kept the scriptural calendar and Jesus approved of what they did until the changes after his resurrection]  But the calendar authority of the Sanhedrin – and its decisions — prevailed for “mainstream Judaism” in Jesus’ day, and He did not challenge it [because they correctly followed the scriptures!  Jesus would never have held back from challenging a false calendar like the Rabbinic.].   

Time went on, and controversies continued.  But what emerged for mainstream Judaism, was the fixed calendar in Hillel II’s day and its ongoing development over time.  I do not see any evidence that God transferred authority for the calendar (from those who influenced mainstream Judaism) to some other group – whether to a Jewish group who practiced observation or to leaders among true Christians, or to individual Christians for that matter.

This is the pure willful blindness of following men as they turn away from God;’ Word.  No Jew or Israelite or anyone else,  at any time; ever  had a right to go contrary to the scriptures; and that includes the apostate from scripture modern Rabbinic Calendar.

The ancient Greeks discovered the Metonic Cycle which was then spread throughout the world by the conquests of Alexander and adopted by Babylon when Alexander conquered that city. 

In circa 359 AD Hillel 2 who was president of the Sanhedrin adopted the Hellenized Babylonian calendar and added the Festivals for the Jews.  The reason given for the proposed change was to unify the dispersion; however the dispersion had been unified by calculations based on the LIGHT of the moon and there was NO need for a new calendar system.  This Hillel change resulted from the animosity of the Rabbins and their attempts to gain authority in the Jewish world from the Scribes.

The history of the Scribes, from the Ezra restoration is divided into five periods; indicated by the names given to Scribes during successive times:

  • The Sopherim : lasting from the return from Babylon and ending with the death of Simon the Just, from about 458 to 300 B.C.
  • The Tanaim (recorders, repeaters, or teachers of the law): in New Testament times.
  • The Amoraim (Heb. the expounders) “wise men” and “doctors” of the law, who alone constituted the authorized recorders and expositors of the Halachah (220A.D. to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud, About 500 A.D.)   The Rabbinic Babylonian Talmud was written to present the Hellenized reasoning’s or arguments of the Rabbins in an effort to change the meaning of teh scriptures in opposition to the scribes.

 

The Hillel 2 apostate calendar was an attempt to raise the Rabbins above the Scribes as the authorities of the Jewish people. 

The Rabbins falsely claimed secret revelation, a secret oral law; that claimed to exalt the Rabbins above the Scribes and the scriptures; to interpret,  bind, loose, add to, or change the scriptures [in parallel to the Catholic Nicolaitane “Primacy of Peter” accepted by  Herbert Armstrong]. 

The Rabbins wanted to use their own Hellenized reasoning’s to depart from the scriptures and decide for themselves on many issues and the calendar was used as a part of this struggle against the Scribes and the scriptures. Instead of following God’s Word they wanted the preeminence, exalting themselves above the scriptures and the scribes who the Rabbins contemptuously called “Scripture Fanatics.”  

Do not mistake the scribes as being converted; they rejected Christ, however they were far more faithful to Moses than the Rabbins.  The Rabbins were NEVER entrusted with the scriptures; the scriptures were entrusted to the Scribes! The Rabbins  were avowed enemies of the Scribes!

  • The Saboraim (from Heb. to think or to discern): teachers of the law after the conclusion of the Rabbinic Babylonian Talmud, 500 to 657 A.D., who determined the law from a careful examination of all the considerations urged by the Amoraim in their controversies on divine, legal, and ritual questions contained in the Talmud.
  • The Gaonim, the last scribes doctors of the law, from 657 A.D. to 1034; before the Rabbins gained full control of Judaism, and Moses Maimonides was able to fix and cement the apostate Rabbinic calendar as the official calendar of Rabbinic Judaism in 1078 AD. 

Hillel a Hellenized Rabbinic Jew had gained control of the Sanhedrin and then used the Sanhedrin in his fight with the Scribes and the scriptures, to adopt the Hellenized Babylonian Calendar and reject the scriptural calendar used  by the scribes until then; changing from calculations based on the first LIGHT of the moon, to the Hellenic Metonic Cycle based on the average time between the conjunction darkness. 

This Hillel system was rejected by most Jews for hundreds of years, during which it further developed with the addition of the anti scriptural postponements, and was finally codified in 1178 AD by Moses Maimonides, and from that time this apostate calendar gradually gained acceptance. 

This letter and the Franks “Hebrew calendar” paper continually falsely claims that the Mosaic and the Rabbinic calculations are the same; when the Mosaic is based on the first LIGHT, and the Rabbinic is based on the darkness of the conjunctions: two completely and totally different things

For information on The Metonic Cycle see Wiki

The Jewish Encyclopedia online, in its article on the Sanhedrin, lists “arranging the calendar” as one of the “functions and authority” of the Sanhedrin.  According to the Encyclopedia Judaica online, article “Bet Din and Judges”, the religious Sanhedrin continued to function during the Talmudic period:  “After the destruction of the Temple, Johanan b. Zakkai established his bet din in Jabneh as the cultural and political center of the Jews, and it succeeded the previous Sanhedrin Gedolah.  The Jabneh bet din was responsible for regulating the calendar and thereby became the religious and national center not only of Erez Israel, but also of the Diaspora.”

The same article mentions that “The bet din became the stronghold of Jewish autonomy in the Middle Ages …”.  

Precisely:  the Mosaic 70 continued on as the Sanhedrin, but its membership changed from Mosaic to Rabbinism; over the years until Hillel 2 made the gross error of departing form teh LIGH of the moon to begin the months as had been kept by the Mosaic and scriptural loyalists, and adopted the Babylonian Calendar based on the Greek  Hellenic Metonic Cycle of conjunctions.  For the history of the division of the Jews into Mosaic and Rabbinic factions please see: Hellenism and the Birth of Modern Rabbinic Judaism

This brings me to Romans 3:2.  The COGWA paper, on page 12 (and quoted on page 25 of your paper) comments on the verse and says “The word translated ‘oracles’ is the Greek logia meaning ‘words’, a reference to the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures we know as the Old Testament.  God entrusted the sacred writings of the first two-thirds of the Bible to the Jews, for them to preserve and pass on for His people down through the ages.”  That does not mean that they kept what they wrote. 

Both Israel and Judah apostatized time after time and then lost their authority by killing their Husband, Further their authority was to preserve the Word of God; NOT to change it!

On page 26 of your paper, you wrote, “ … the advantage Paul spoke of was the blessing granted to the Jews by being given these oracles first, before the Gentiles.”   That certainly was an advantage, but I don’t believe your statement conveys the primary meaning of the verse in regard to God giving the Jews the Scriptures.  The Greek word translated “committed” in Rom. 3:2 has the meaning of “to be entrusted with something, to have something committed to one’s trust or charge”. 

This man’s error is in lumping the various Jewish groups together.  The Rabbins who authored the modern Rabbinic calendar were NEVER entrusted with preserving the scriptures; that was the job of the scribes who the Rabbins hated.  By the fourth century ad the Rabbins were looking at the scribes with contempt because they were faithful to the scriptures; while the Rabbins claimed a kind of “Primacy of Peter” authority to interpret, change, bind and loos the scriptures

The Scribes did preserve the scriptures, but the Rabbins changed the scriptures from LIGHT to darkness, changed the date of Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost and much else; changing their explanations and understandings away from the scriptures to suit themselves.  Just like the COG Groups of today have done.

The Scriptures being given to the Jews, with an expectation of their obedience to those Scriptures, is not the same thing as being entrusted with them.  I believe the Church has rightly taught that Rom. 3:2 refers to the concept of Jews being entrusted with the preservation, copying and transmitting of the Hebrew Scriptures. 

The broad body of the Jews were NOT entrusted with the scriptures; it was the scribes who were entrusted with preserving the scriptures.  The Scribes and the Rabbins were NEVER associated and despised each other.  The Rabbins despised the Scribes for being faithful to scripture; and the Scribes despised the Rabbins for exalting themselves above God to falsely claim a secret authority to change the Word of God.

The COGWA quote goes on to say, “While the term logia does not refer in the narrow sense to the calendar, it would seem to be a fair extrapolation that if God entrusted the sacred writings to the Jews, He would also entrust them to correctly construct and preserve a calendar …”.  

Watch their premise!  It is the only way to defeat the false logic of Aristotle!  First they make a plausible reasonable appearing  false statement, and then they reason based on that false statement;  Stand on the solid rock of the Word of God and well established FACTS as your foundational premise!  Here a very false premise indeed:  God NEVER entrusted the Rabbinic  Jews to preserve the scriptures! God entrusted the Scribes NOT the apostate Rabbins, who changed from the scriptural calendar and Holy Day dates! 

I’ll make another statement here that I do not mean to be offensive.  It’s simply an explanation of how I see things:  I believe that what the COGWA paper draws from Rom. 3:2 about the calendar is much more logical, reasonable and supportable than the extrapolating from Gen. 1:14 that a month must begin with the light of the moon and the sighting of the first crescent moon. 

What Paul said was correct when you understand that it was the Scribes that preserved the scriptures and NOT the Rabbins; and that the scribes used the LIGHT in setting the months while it was the Rabbins who departed from the scriptures; Hundreds of years AFTER Paul wrote!  This man is trying to artificially create a division between Paul and the scripture of Genesis which DOES NOT EXIST!

As a related point, in regard to your comment on page 23 of your paper, “In the COG we reject the Jews reckoning for the day of Passover and Pentecost.  Are we to pick and choose when we follow the Jews in their ‘authority’?”   My reply to that is that we are dealing with two separate issues.  One issue is the belief that God entrusted two specific areas of authority to the Jews: the preservation of the scriptures and the development of the calendar.   

This is double talk in all its awesomeness!  Of course the Passover, Wave Offering and Pentecost dates are based on a calendar; but the really important issue according to what this man has been saying; is the supposed “Authority” of these Rabbins to change God’s calendar from God’s Word and rewrite it according to their own ways!   If they are in “authority:” on one thing, then they are in authority in all things.  This goes to the question of authority and to whether their judgment is to be accepted,  

The second issue is whether or not the Jews rightly understand the scriptures relating to the proper day for Passover or Pentecost.  The two issues are completely different – and separate.  It’s a fact that the Jews preserved the scriptures.  False; the Rabbins had nothing to do with preserving the scriptures, which was done by the scribes, who the Rabbins hateFurther the scribes who did preserve the scriptures say go by the LIGHT, while the Rabbins decided hundreds of years AFTER Christ to reject the scripture and go by the darkness, because it was convenient to simply adopt the Babylonian Calendar and add the festivals to it. The Church has never believed that Christians must therefore accept a Jewish understanding of the OT.  Only the Church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). 

Then why do you stand on the apostate Rabbins?  and why do your go out of your way to transgress the Word of God? It should be explained here that this man is using the word “church” to insinuate that his corporation has the authority to decide to idolize the apostate Rabbins no matter what the scriptures say.  In fact NO corporate organization Is the “church” at all; and anyone who says so is either extremely ignorant or a liar.  The church of God is the Ekklesia; which consists of all those who passionately follow the lamb and KEEP the whole Word of God; which these men reject; proving that they are NOT God’s “church” at all!. 

This might be a good place to comment on your questions, “What will we do when the Jews return back to the ‘former system’?”, “What will the COG do when their ‘authority’ changes its calendar?”  It’s a hypothetical question, but deserves an answer.

I can’t speak for the Church or its doctrine committee, but I can give you my thoughts.  I’ve given the matter a lot of thought.  Once again, it comes back to one’s paradigm.  If there is no biblical command inherent in Gen. 1:14, and if God has entrusted calendar matters to the Jews, He is also easily able to take care of this issue any way He chooses.  It would not be a difficult thing for Him to cause even a new Sanhedrin to continue to use the Hebrew calendar. 

This is more double talk indicating that this man will himself not accept any change towards the scriptures.  The Rabbins are moving heaven and earth to PREVENT a new Sanhedrin as they would consider that a challenge to their “authority;”  Nevertheless when Christ comes he will change these things back to teh scriptures that he inspired and he will strongly rebuke those who have  rejected his Word like the COG groups. 

The Israeli Rabbinate Fights: Mosaic Sanhedrin, Biblical Calendar

An equally relevant question would be, “Will a particular group of Jews ever be able to establish a Sanhedrin and change the calendar?”  If it’s God’s will that His festivals continue to be observed on the dates of the Hebrew Calendar, He could very easily prevent the new Sanhedrin from coming to a consensus on a change.

Arthur Spier wrote that it was his hope that a new Sanhedrin would be established in his time – and one that would be recognized by the “whole people of Israel”.  The need to be recognized by the whole people of Israel could be quite a daunting task.   I did some reading on the internet about efforts to reestablish the Sanhedrin. 

It will not be the apostate Rabbins who change back to the scriptures; it will be Messiah the Christ that will force the whole world to turn to God’s Word! Then they like this letter writer, will be ashamed for their tireless efforts to justify defying the Word of God.  The following paras about any future Sanhedrin is just useless extraneous verbiage as Christ will come in just a few years to force the calendar issue.  This man cannot impress with the truth so he tries to dazzle with mountains of pointless words.

At the website, thesanhedrin.org,  (article “The Nascent Sanhedrin”), the following was said:  “In his speech accepting the position of Nasi, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz said that the task of building the Sanhedrin will take some time.  He spoke about gradually building up the ancient institution, which would take several generations… It is no longer a matter of a religious council … It’s something that has historical meaning.  A basic change, not of one small system, but of fundamental systems.”

(continuing)  “It’s no wonder that these things frighten people.  There are people who are concerned about what is emerging here.  And where is it headed? … We will do things with an eye toward future generations ….  A lot of patience and a lot of work are needed.”

The article went on to say, “The strategy to gain wider acceptance and ‘provide a smooth transition from current halachic leadership to a full Sanhedrin’, is to follow these guidelines:  Absolute adherence to traditional Rabbinic authorities and procedure; Caution and conservatism; Independence from any other organization; Scholarship; and an open dialog with the Torah sages and current halachic leadership (with the eventual goal of their participation).  On their forum it was put this way, ‘the [new] Sanhedrin should hold no surprises.  It should be as comfortable as opening a gemoro [Talmud] or as familiar as reading the Shulchan aruch.  It should be the embodiment of Judaism as we know it today.”

 The attitude of this man is that his mind is made up, that the ungodly anti scriptural apostate Rabbinic Calendar is somehow correct “because the church says so” and would be defended by God [against God’s own Word] against any change back to the scriptures by a potential Sanhedrin.  How twisted can a mind get in exalting Jim fFanks or any other COG leader over the Word of God?

Of course the fulfillment of prophetic events in the Middle East could speed things up and change the dynamics.  But the matter is in God’s hands, and the really pertinent question is whether or not the Hebrew Calendar is, in God’s mind, the appropriate calendar for observing His festivals.  If so, He can take care of any issues that come up with a new Sanhedrin. 

God’s Word already tells us that this apostate Rabbinic Calendar is NOT acceptable to Almighty God, because it departs from the scriptures.  The really pertinent question is whether we will obey man or God?

What I’ve written so far is my summary of how I came to the conclusion that COGWA’s calendar paper is correct. 

On the other hand, the Church’s position has only a limited need for extra-biblical material, instead building on clear scriptures (or perhaps better said, an obvious lack of enough clear scriptural instruction to formulate a calendar), along with the concept of a God-ordained calendar authority.  These are two different paradigms and two different approaches to the subject.  This is an incredibly contradictory paragraph.  First he claims that COGWA has little need for extra biblical material; then rejects the entirety of the scripture which clearly defines a Biblical calendar; in favor of the extra Biblical Rabbinic calendar. 

I agree with the COGWA position that there are ultimately only two choices: to accept the Hebrew calendar as valid for observing the festivals, or else a person must make his own calendar.  [Here he gives two choices, BOTH of them wrong and rejects and hides the third choice which is to obey God’s Word; he claims we must accept the human made up Rabbinic Calendar or make one up like the Rabbins did! and rejects obedience to God!  There is no calendar given in the Scriptures.  This is a BIG LIE! And although it can be said that there is no biblical description of the Hebrew calendar  [He admits that the Rabbinic Calendar is NOT biblical!  In fact he closes his eyes to the scriptures, and accepts the Rabbinic Calendar which rejects and defies the scriptures.], there is definitely no biblical support for a person making his own calendar [Which is  exactly what the Rabbinic Calendar is; a man made, contrary to scripture, calendar.  To claim that no one can make their own calendar and then support a group of men creating their own non biblical calendar is a huge contradiction.].

 

Below I’ll address a few other considerations, starting with your question at the bottom of pages 27 and on 28 of your paper — in regard to COGWA’s use of Arthur Spier’s quote.

————————————————————

  • Why was the first part of Spier’s quote omitted on page 8 of the COGWA calendar paper?

Here are my thoughts about the omission:

The preceding section of the paper, “The Sanhedrin and synagogue”, starting on page 7 and continuing on page 8, had already discussed the fact that the Sanhedrin used observation and witnesses.  In the first paragraph of page 8, it says, “The truth is that the Sanhedrin set these rules, chose the witnesses, [Not true in the intended sense;  they accepted any two or three witnesses provided they saw the LIGHT]   occasionally paid the witnesses [the witnesses all of them not just those who had successfully seen the LIGHT were fed and gave a small gift for doing the search.  They did not pay witnesses to report seeing anything as this man falsely implies.]  , and then calculated the dates for the holy days [Another false statement; they calculated when the next LIGHT could be seen; that is they counted from the first LIGHT 28 days to know when to begin to look, and when the LIGHT was seen regardless of whether on after sunset ending the 28th [to make the 29th the new moon] or after sunset ending the 29th; the new month was confirmed by the LIGHT] and announced them from the temple to all the Jews in Palestine.  The important point is that the Sanhedrin and its calendar committee, like Jewish religious leaders during the Second Temple period, did have the authority to maintain the Hebrew calendar.”   [The Sanhedrin MAINTAINED the scriptural system! They did not change the scriptures from the commanded LIGHT! It was the Rabbins, hundreds of years after Christ, who rejected the scriptures and the scribes to adopt the darkness [conjunction based] calendar of Babylon based on the Greek Metonic Cycle does.] 

A couple paragraphs later, the paper acknowledges that this system (of observation and witnesses) continued to work well until the fourth century.  If the COGWA paper had included the first part of Spier’s quote, it would’ve simply been repeating what was already said.  The paper was moving on to the time of Hillel. [This is just NOT true.  By omitting half of this quote they were deceiving the brethren as to what Spier actually said in that quote]]

Then, on page 15 of the paper, the substance of the omitted part of Spier’s quote is again [COGWA is highly twisting the Spier quotes; by trying to claim that they used the SAME calculation system as the Rabbins; which Spier never intended to say and which is an outright falsehood] given:  “Most historians agree that during the Second Temple period there were witnesses who watched for the early crescent and then reported to the calendar committee.  But the following sources note that the committee confirmed their report by calculation.” 

These folks are trying to imply the falsehood that the Temple calculations and the Rabbinic calculations are the same! It is absolutely  false to try and claim that the two systems used the same calculations.

Of course they calculated when to look and could do so for hundreds of years in advance; yet these calculations were used to ascertain when the LIGHT could possibly be seen; they were based  on the scriptures; while the much later Rabbinic calculations departed from scripture and calculated teh average time between the conjunctions of full darkness.  This entire “calculation vs. observation” is a false argument.  This issue has NEVER been “calculation vs. observation”; the issue has always been whether to calculate based on the LIGHT; or  to calculate based on the Rabbinic darkness of conjunctions.

It is absolutely  false to try and claim that the two systems used the same calculations.

Then on page 16 of the paper, under “Calendar calculation in Jesus’ time”, it’s again mentioned that observation was used, during the time of Christ.  On page 17, under the heading of “Difficulties with calendar by observation”, it’s again mentioned that virtually all historians state that during the Second Temple period, witnesses and calculations were used.  Observation is again mentioned, in the last paragraph of page 18. 

The intent to deceive concerned the falsehood that the Rabbinic calendar, which was merely the adoption of the Babylonian calendar with Festivals added, which itself had been previously changed adopting the Greek Metonic Cycle is the same as the Mosaic calendar!  the two calculation systems are NOT the same; and are NOT based on the same foundations!

So I don’t believe or see that there was any intent to deceive, when the information given in the omitted part of the quote is given in several places in the COGWA paper.  The paper is agreeing that observation and witnesses were used, but it does not agree that observation is a biblical command or that calculations are prohibited. 

Since God commanded that the LIGHT be used for months and festivals; and that command is rejected by these folks: Then why not reject the day ending-beginning at sunset. Show me one place where it Is commanded to observe the sun set!  [In Joshua 8:29 and Joshua 10:27 evening and sunset are used interchangeably] You should understand that since the scriptures say that days begin and end at sunset; there is an implied necessity to see or to know when the sun sets, to know when the day ends and a new day begins. The same is true of the months! 

God has commanded that we begin the months with the moon’s LIGHT; that obviously implies that we [someone] must see the light to know when God’s month begins.  To deny that is extreme willful spiritual blindness. God said to use the LIGHT; and to use the LIGHT we must of necessity see the LIGHT!  These folks are striving as hard as they can to deny God’s clear Word so that they can continue in their own false traditions

 

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