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Dear Friends -
I thank Brother Ted for almost all of the research on the following.
Thanks also to Greg, Tom, Joe, Mary and Rusty.
Does it really matter when we celebrate God's holy days? Do the rabbis have the authority to change the calendar and manipulate when the days of the month fall, or has God already done this and shown us in the Bible how and when we are to worship Him? What are the oracles of God?
There are many different tools Satan uses to divide the Body of Messiah; doctrine, greed, lust for power and worship of a man just to name a few.
Most people look at this and say it is men "playing Church" or "games".
Well it isn't, it's Lucifer attacking us with his divide and conquer tactics. The men involved are only his puppets, not the instigators.
The Encyclopedia Judaica says the current calendar was forced upon the Jew's in the fourth century by the Roman Government right about the time that they forced Sunday on the Christians. That's right, I said the Romans instituted it not the Jew's.
Let's examine the true calendar given to us in the Bible free from man's rules and corruption. This is the calendar that Yeshua kept as our example, the calendar that the disciples taught to the converts. Let's look at its origin, how it works and it's purpose. God appointed certain times of the year as holy. He made an appointment for us to observe these holy convocations. He made a covenant with man and said these set times were a sign to the world that whoever belonged to Him would observe these days (Exo 13:3-9, 31:12-17). If we are going to observe them we must do it on the right day or we're covenant breakers, not keepers.
PURPOSE OF THE CALENDAR
The first thing we have to understand is the purpose of the calendar that God gave us and how it works. The best source for that is the Bible. Gen 1:14, "Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years." Did everyone catch that? God made the lights in the heavens (the sun and the moon) for days and years. There is another verse we need to read. Psa 104:19, "He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down."
God made the sun and the moon to determine when the seasons are. Are you beginning to understand? He intended us to have a calendar that was governed by the sun and the moon so we could tell the day, the season and the year. The reason we need to know this is so that we can determine when to celebrate God's commanded holy days. A quick look at Leviticus the 23rd chapter shows us that God commands us to worship Him on certain days of specific months. In order to do this He has given us a visible sign (the sun and the moon) so we know when these times occur.
Why do we have to know these things? Don't the rabbis take care of this because it's part of their duty? Let's look at one of the most effective smoke screens ever devised by Satan on this subject. It kept me from learning the truth for over a year from the first time I heard the argument.
The first time I was told we were supposed to determine the months by the sighting of a new moon I asked a few questions and was informed that the Jew's control this because they were given the "Oracles of God" and was cited Romans 3:2. I looked it up and sure enough there it was. I didn't know what the oracles were but it sounded pretty important with God's name beside it.
Unfortunately, most of the people who cite this verse don't know what it means either. It's a deceptive tactic used by a minority of men who want to manipulate us into doing what they say, not God. I believe they know better. Let's examine this verse and see what it says and more importantly what it means. Rom 3:1-2, "What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God." What does the word oracles mean? It is Strong's number 3051 (log'-ee-on) an utterance (of God). Does everyone understand that? It is an utterance of God. What does this mean? First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God."
What are the oracles of God? It's so simple! It is the preservation of the scriptures, God's words or utterances. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with the calendar! Now, do you see why I call it a smoke screen?
The Jew's were to preserve God's words for the world and they did that.
They did not have the authority to change or alter them, they could only preserve them.
ROME FORCES CALENDAR CHANGE
I used to think that it was the rabbi's idea to change the calendar in 358 A.D. I said that no man could change God's laws; not the Pope nor even a Jewish rabbi named Hillel II. God gave us a visible calendar to observe and He told us how and when to observe it in the Bible. It's not confusing or complicated like some people want to believe. It's a little different, but so is everything else associated with God, from keeping the Sabbath and the holy days, to tithing. God tells us to "come out of Babylon" to be different.
Little did I realize that the calendar I was attacking was pagan to the core and directly from Babylon.
Let's look and see how the Romans forced a corrupt calendar on the Jews. After the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., the high priest was without a sanctuary. He was like a minister without a Church. The position he held could no longer be carried out without the temple. Instead of a high priest as their spiritual leader, the Jew's had a NASI, pronounced (naw-see). He was the head rabbi or chief leader, like the Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church.
In 351-352 A.D. the Jew's revolted against the Roman emperor Gallus & his commander Ursicinus and lost. After this, the Romans limited the power of the NASI and forced him to give up the authority to proclaim the new moon and the fixing of the festivals. Hillel II agreed with this to save his neck and sold out God's law. A calculated calendar was instituted and published with its rules in 358 A.D. (Encyclopedia Judaica, Hillel II).
HOW THAT CALENDAR WORKS
According to Rosh Hashanah 1:3-8, during the time when Yeshua was on earth, the high priest would hold court in the Temple to determine when the new moon was. It was based on the testimony of three credible witnesses who had seen the crescent of the new moon. Once a new moon had been declared fires would be lit on the Mount of Olives to notify those who were not in Jerusalem. According to the Mishna, six witnesses were dispatched with a hand-delivered message that the new moon was sighted over Jerusalem.
This was done because God designed a calendar for Israel to keep and it was their duty to follow and observe it properly. The high priest had no authority to hear testimony that the crescent of the new moon was sighted and then declare the month would begin one or two days later! That would have been a sin. That is in essence what happens today with the Hebrew calendar and that is why once we realize this, it can NEVER be followed!
One of Hillel's rules is that no two Sabbath's fall consecutively. Therefore the calendar is manipulated so that Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets) never falls on a Sunday, Wednesday or a Friday. This keeps the Day of Atonement from falling on a Friday or a Sunday, which would make two Sabbath's in a row. There is no biblical authority for this. In fact, the Mishna contains rules for an altered service when this happens. This proves that the calendar Yeshua observed was not altered like it is today!
In order to keep two consecutive Sabbaths from occurring, Hillel inserted and deleted days which God has not commanded. The normal year which God commands us to follow has 354 days with a leap-year-month added seven times every nineteen years. The present Hebrew calendar has 353, 354, 355, 383, 384 and 385 days! SIX DIFFERENT TYPES OF YEARS! Hillel took out or added days to different months in the year to change which day of the week all of the feasts fall on.
Do you see the problem with Hillel's calendar? It doesn't always begin a month with a new moon. God intended the month to begin with the sighting of the new moon crescent over Jerusalem. Why Jerusalem you might ask? Because that's the place He chose as His headquarters. The temples were built there and when Yeshua returns His kingdom will be there. It is the city of our appointed feasts (Isa 33:20). That is why the calendar is determined from the new moon crescent over Jerusalem! We can't set it from Texas, Pennsylvania, or anywhere else.
Some people want to pretend that calculating the new moon calendar is a complex and difficult thing. This couldn't be further from the truth. God designed a system that a child could understand. If Israel ever lost track of time, all they had to do was look up in the sky and when they saw a small crescent of the moon that just appeared, they knew it was the first day of the month. If you wanted to know what month it was, look at the fields. Was the barley green and ready for harvest? The month was Nissan.
Were the fall crops ready for harvest? It was Tishri, the seventh month.
Exo 9:29 And Moses said unto him (pharoah), As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's.
Exo 9:30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.
Exo 9:31 And the flax and the BARLEY was smitten: for the BARLEY was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.
Exo 9:32 But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
We know the True God delivered the children of Israel out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt on Passover. Nissan 14, the 14th day of the FIRST month. The time of the Barley Harvest.
Holeman Bible Dictionary tells us: The barley harvest (Ruth 2:23) began in late April or early May and preceded the wheat harvest by about two weeks (Ex. 9:31-32). At the beginning of the barley harvest, the first fruits were offered as a consecration of the harvest (Lev. 23:10).
We are at the identical latitude of Jerusalem. The Agricultural extension service here was asked when the spring Barley Harvest is, and here is his reply: WE have harvested some barley for silage in early April. I would guess around the middle of May or just before wheat. We do not grow barley in this area as a general rule because its feed value is lower than other grains either in forage or grain.
It's not impossible to have a calculated calendar that accurately predicts when the new moon will be over Jerusalem. The lunar cycle is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds. New moon calendars exist today and are available to anyone who requests them. Computer programs also exist that can determine when the new moon crescent will be visible over Jerusalem. These programs are accurate to within two minutes over a period of 4,000 years forward or backwards in time.
So why don't the rabbis who realize this correct this situation? They are no different than any other men. Just like the SUNday keepers make arguments for a SUNday worship, or Christmas observers make feeble arguments for a pagan celebration, the rabbis say it really doesn't matter and that it is too much of an inconvenience to have two Sabbaths in a row. SINCE WHEN IS THE SABBATH A BURDEN?
The truth is that this is now their tradition and the Jewish people follow this tradition even though it is not Scriptural.
What do you think God says about that? He tells us to use the sun and the moon to calculate dates and to let Him worry when they fall in the week. We can't tell Him we don't want the year to start on a Sunday, a Wednesday or a Friday for convenience sake because its easier to worship Him on days we choose rather than when He chooses!
MEN BLOWING MORE SMOKE
If you ask most organizations who sets the holy days they will give you a couple of false answers. Since God created the heavens and the earth does not God get final say on His appointed Feasts? Should not God almighty and Him alone determine the calendar? Do men presume to have such authority? The rabbis will tell you that the head rabbi has this authority, (and of course since they run the organization this means them and not God). THIS IS A LIE! It is the same lie that the Catholics use to argue that the Pope's authority is equal to Messiah's when they substituted SUNday for God's Sabbath. The rabbis can only TEACH others about God's holy days, they have absolutely no authority to sanctify one day or the other.
The Jew's today celebrate the new moon every month at the Synagogue but not always on the correct date because sometimes Hillel's calendar is off by more than two days from the crescent over Jerusalem.
"Rabbi, because in the Hebrew calendar days are inserted or deleted so no two Sabbaths fall consecutively, Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets) might not fall on the day of a crescent. Does a man, even a well intentioned Jewish rabbi have the authority to change the day a Sabbath falls on?"
Answer: "I don't know, I think so. But that's why we celebrate them for two days in a row, just in case". That's right. The Jewish people celebrate the annual holy days and the new moon for two days in a row.
Look at any Jewish calendar that is sold in a Synagogue and you will see that the annual holy days, Trumpets, New Moons, etc., are observed for two days. In all fairness, this is not the real reason it is done. This is a practice that dates back to the dispersion. The bad part is that it allows people to rationalize the change in their minds.
The most important thing to remember is that Trumpets is the only feast that is celebrated on a new moon. That is why there was a Hebrew Idiom that Yeshua used to describe the Feast of Trumpets. The feast of Trumpets is the ONLY feast that "OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NOT EVEN THE ANGELS, BUT THE FATHER ONLY." In Yeshua's day that was the most common way of referring to the Feast of Trumpets. That should click in a few minds.
TWO EXCUSES NOT TO OBEY
There are basically two reasons Messianic leaders give for following the present day adulterated Jewish calendar:
(1) Matthew 23:2-3, The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
(2) Mat 18:18, The leadership can bind what it wants.
Lets look at the seat Moses sat in. Mat 23:1-3: "Then Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: `The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do'".
Does this mean we should obey and follow whatever the rabbi's do today? In John 9:13-16, Yeshua was accused of violating the Sabbath for healing a blind man. He obviously rejected the Pharisees interpretation on how to observe the 4th commandment. In Matthew 15:1-3, the scribes and Pharisees said the disciples broke their tradition of washing their hands before they ate. Yeshua told them they broke the commandment of God for the sake of their traditions. In verse 6, Yeshua said the scribes and Pharisees violated the commandment of God with their traditions. They do this today with changing the calendar.
So what did Yeshua mean in Mat 23:3 when He said, "Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do..." Is this a contradiction?
Yeshua taught His disciples to disobey the traditions of the elders when it contradicted the Bible. He said some of their traditions conflicted with the law of God. The scribes and Pharisees do not have the authority to change God's laws.
What is Moses' seat? Moses had a different function than Aaron in ancient Israel. The Levitical priesthood were descendants of Aaron, not Moses. Moses was in charge of the civil government (Ex 18; Num 11:11-17;12:8; Deu 1:9-18). Moses was not a priest, his brother Aaron was. (John 1:17; Ex 4:14-17; Heb 7:11). Moses' seat means the civil governmental authority, the scribes and Pharisees were in charge of the civil government. Yeshua referred to the authority of civil government in Mat 23:1-3, not the law of God. Most Pharisees were not priests, they were not the descendants of Aaron.
Yeshua compared everything they said with the Bible, and when it disagreed with the Bible, He rejected it. When they added extra rules to Sabbath keeping, He rejected them too. This is what we have to do with their rules and traditions on changing God's calendar. Some people think Yeshua taught that we should follow the Pharisees; well the Pharisees rejected Yeshua as the Messiah, does that mean we should too? I think everyone understands that argument is without merit. Shaul said that everything he learned as a Pharisee he counted as dung (Phil 3:8).
Lets look at the other reason, in Matthew 18:18 Yeshua said what the Church bound on earth would be bound in heaven. Does this mean that Yeshua gave the Church leaders the authority to rewrite God's law? NO!
So what was Yeshua talking about then? He was giving the Church authority to make decisions settling grievances and problems with the membership. Read the verses before this. Matthew 18:15-17 talks about going to a brother with a grievance. Verse 18 is talking about disfellowshipping, NOT the binding of an adulterated calendar that changes God's holy convocations!
Yeshua gave the Church authority to settle grievances in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6. He gave the Church authority to decide things such as meeting in the morning or the afternoon, to rent a building or buy one, etc. Yeshua never intended for us to use His statements to violate the law by observing a corrupted calendar.
The Church does not bind the calendar, nor do the rabbis. God determines when we will worship Him. He did this when He created the sun and the moon to govern the seasons. For those who won't accept this, do you refuse to drive your car on Sabbath like the orthodox Jew's in Jerusalem? Do you observe Pentecost on Sivan 6? Do you worship God in a Synagogue and not in a Church? Do you observe the holy days in the Synagogue? Do you SEND YOUR TITHES TO A SYNAGOGUE!!!
(Lets see how long they continue this tune.) If not then you don't believe your own teachings. If the Pharisees are in charge of the calendar, they are in charge of everything else, too! You can't pick and choose selected teachings, if you are going to follow the Pharisees then follow them on everything. Join a Synagogue, that is where they are today!
The leaders who knowingly observe an erroneous system for determining God's holy days are guilty of the same sin that Jeroboam committed in 1 Kings 12:32. He ordained a counterfeit feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month at Bethel. Because of this sin, Israel was destroyed and taken into captivity.
THE JEWS WILL OBSERVE GOD'S CALENDAR AGAIN
Gershom Salomon, of the Mount TsION Faithful in Jerusalem would tell us that the Jews will revert back to the new moon calendar that God gave Moses. They will do it as soon as the temple is rebuilt. The Sanhedrin will be reestablished and they will once again hold court each month and take testimony from witnesses who have seen the new moon and declare the beginning of the month.
These rabbis are not stupid men. They realize that when God says the high priest is to enter the holy of holies on the tenth day of the seventh month; he better enter on the real tenth day, and not in the sixth or eighth month. They might not want to change today because of tradition, but they have already decided to abandon Hillel's calendar when the temple is rebuilt.
What about you? Are you going to follow men and their tradition, or are you going to follow Yeshua, His disciples, the prophets and Moses, and obey God? You can't have it both ways; YOU MUST CHOOSE WHOM YOU WILL OBEY!
The question is should we disobey God for convenience or just to keep harmony in the Church? Do the rabbis really have the authority to have the High Holy Days in the Sixth month according to reckoning method God instructed Moses to determine the month?
There are some people who get upset when this subject is brought up.
They say we should keep quiet about the facts and not "rock the boat".
Should we also keep quiet about the weekly Sabbath? If we did, we could all meet on Sunday in unity with our neighbors, and preach soothing doctrines that would assure the Church would be full. I DON'T THINK SO!!!
We need to teach the truth and reach out to our brothers with love, NOT compromise our beliefs in an attempt to make ourselves more appealing to refugees and dissidents from other groups. I say since God is the one who created the calendar, follow it and let Him work out the problems.
We should be keeping the Passover and the other feasts according to the heavenly calendar like Yeshua did. We should try to the best of our ability to be as accurate and as faithful as we can. As long as we're human we will never be perfect but that's not an excuse to disobey God now. Like all of our other shortcomings when we did them in ignorance, as soon as we learned the truth we went to God in repentance and asked His forgiveness. This can also be done with observing God's annual holy days at the wrong time. However, if you know the truth and continue to disobey God, you will suffer the consequences.
In other words, God expects nothing less than complete faithfulness and obedience. Pick up your cross and follow Messiah letting the others bury the dead. Like the song goes "trust and obey, there's no other way".
Where does the Bible say we should hide truth? Where is one example of Yeshua or the disciples compromising God's laws to promote harmony?
Yeshua lost 120 disciples because He told them something they found hard to accept. Shaul caused untold riots by preaching the truth that the leaders wanted to hide. It was because he refused to compromise that the people hated him so much that they beat him and tried to kill him.
What is wrong with keeping the holy days with the same calendar Yeshua used? When Messiah returns will you have to tell Him you knew that you worshipped Him on the wrong day but it was more convenient? If the high priest entered the holy of holies on the wrong day God struck him dead.
This is the God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Jos 24:15, "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
...But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
This year the high priest would be going into the holy of holies in the Sixth month according to how God instructed Moses to reckon it. This year everyone would get to know why that rope was tied to the high priest's ankle.
Most people will celebrate the Feast of Trumpets in 1999 in the Sixth month according to the time reckoning method for which God created the sun and moon and instructed Moses to give to the people of God.
In 1999 it is especially true that the feast of Trumpets is that feast that "OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NOT EVEN THE ANGELS, BUT THE FATHER ONLY."
In 1999 the feast of Trumpets, the Day of Judgment, Rosh Hashanah is the "no man knows the day or hour" festival, the celebration where the "last trump" is played; is October 10-11, 1999. Rosh Hashanah the "day of judgment" and "repentance." Many are saying this is rapture time. For those at ground zero when Russia cuts loose her nuclear subs off the American coasts, that is what it will be like.
Shalom & Simcha,
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