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Today is the 8th Month in God's Year

By Bob Barney

New month

 I often mention that God's calendar is NOT like any other calendar on earth today.  It is not the Roman calendar that we follow, or the equally pagan Jewish calendar that many churches believe is the calendar of God.  To read more about God's Calendar click here .  There is a mistake that those who follow a Jewish calendar has made, and that refers to the word for new moon.  That is a mistranslation, as the proper rendering should be NEW MONTH, as I did in The Plain Truth's Red Letter Bible.

The Hebrew word 'chodesh', which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance simply means "new" or to "rebuild." Chodesh does not mean "new moon". It means 'new' with an implication that a month is about to begin again.

Originally, when the earth had a perfect 360 day rotation around the sun, and the moon's journey around the earth was exactly 30 days (today it is 29.5 days), new moons where on the new months. The calendar was in balance. However, probably after the flood, the weight of water slowed the earth rotational spin (this is NOT mentioned in the Bible) to 365.25 days a year and the moon's rotation to the present one of 29.5 days.

 

Calendar.1

 

 

The ancients noticed that the months were no longer 30 days and the years were not 360 days, but now over 365. A calendar needed to be made to reflect this. Egypt made the first perfect calendar, one Moses was very familiar with, which had 12 - 30 day months and then 5 days at the end of the year that did not count. This is also seen in Enoch's calendar (see illustration on left).God's calendar was like the Egyptian one except that year no longer started on the first day of summer, but on the first day of spring. Springtime is the birth of the new year in nature, as morning is the start of the day as well. The term for new moon became "new month" as the new moons and new months no longer matched up. This is not hard to conceive as the English word for month comes from moon! Yet our months have nothing to do with new moons! The same applies to God's calendar.

 

 

Happy NEW MONTH!

 

 

Last Great Day Study: Christian God is having offspring

Joe Kovacs, a Bible-believing Christian, was just interviewed by the Good News magazine, and was asked by reporter Jerold Aust, “Who are the children of God? What makes them so, or is this simply in-house religious talk?”

Kovacs responded, “If you just look at the natural world around us, you realize that everything reproduces. They have children or offspring after their own kind. I mean, the children of giraffes are giraffes. The children of cats are cats. And what are the children of God? You know people have to come to that conclusion: we’re not here for no good reason. The Bible calls us “the OFFSPRING of God.” (Acts 17:29) It uses the word offspring.

“God is having offspring. And countless times, you will see the phrase ‘children of God’ or ‘sons of God’ in the Bible. In fact, in the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ Paul says in Romans 8:14, ‘For as many are as led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.’ I show you many more verses in ‘The Divine Secret’ but over and over again, the Bible calls us ‘sons of God,’ ‘children of God.’ He (God) says ‘I will be your Father and you will be my sons and daughters,’ (2 Corinthians 6:18), so Jesus is not the only son of God. He’s the only begotten Son of God from the way He came into the Earth, but God wants all of us to be sons of God and children of God.”  MORE>>>>>>>>>>

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Today is the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles

By Bob Barney- The Plain Truth

image from lifehopeandtruth.comIn the past, I have written much concerning the last Day of the 7-Day Feast of Tabernacles, a time of great joy and “vacation” for the members of God's Church. The Feast week symbolizes the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth known as the Millennium. During this time we leave home and dwell in booths (temporary dwellings) for seven days, to teach us that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, looking forward to a New Heavens and New Earth. Today is yet another Holy day. It is known as the 8th Day of the Feast, but in all reality, it is a separate holiday called THE LAST GREAT DAY, and this day has a very important message. It is called in the Bible a special Sabbath Day. It is to be treated as any Sabbath. We are not to work, and we are to hold a sacred church service. Leviticus 23:36, 39, . . . “on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly [margin: "day of restraint"]; and ye shall do no servile work therein . . . on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.”

Exodus 23:14-17 states , “Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year . . . the feast of unleavened bread . . . the feast of harvest, the firstfruits [Pentecost] of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the [agricultural, civil] year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.”

 

In the New Testament, we read: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive . . . ." Jesus chose this day because it has great significance in the plan of God and the salvation of mankind and our rebirth as members into the God Family!

Yesterday, the last day of the feast is the forerunner of Revelation 20:11-15, "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

During the Last Great Day of the Feast we are to visualize God THE FATHER leaving heaven, and moving His throne to earth to live here with us! We are not going to heaven- Heaven is coming to us! In Revelation 21: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God (the Father) himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever." ”

Yes, there is a paradise coming. It is a paradise on earth, where we are to live with God (Jesus and the Father) for all eternity, as actual members of the God Family.


THE FEAST- DAY 7 --Sights and Insights: Succot and the waters of Siloam

Succot’s priestly tradition of drawing water from the Pool of Siloam drips with meaning.

    Wayne Stiles is an author who has never recovered from his travels in Israel—and loves to write about them from his desk in Texas.Photo: BiblePlaces.com

While enjoying the movie Ushpizin several years ago, I laughed out loud when the family’s uninvited visitor sliced the flawless etrog and casually ate it. Clearly, he had no clue to its significance! Although the movie’s English subtitles translate the language, the movie leaves the traditions of Succot for the viewer to decode.

How puzzling the holiday must seem to those unacquainted with its modern customs—much less its biblical foundations. Succot marked the most joyful of the biblical feasts because the harvest’s labor was complete, and the people would be grateful to God and expectant for the latter rains. 


In addition to the name Succot (translated “Booths” or “Tabernacles” in Deuteronomy 16:13 and Leviticus 23:34), the Bible also refers to the holiday as “the Feast of the Harvest” (Exodus 23:16), the “Feast of Ingathering” (Exodus 34:22), “the feast” (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 7:8-9; John 7:37), and “the feast of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:39). At Succot, every seven years on the sabbatical year, the Law was read in the hearing of all Israel (Deuteronomy 31:10-11).

The original purpose of feast centered on an essential reminder: “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. . . . You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God’” (Leviticus 23:34, 42-43). It was a time to remember how God had delivered them from bondage and how the Lord had provided for them in the wilderness.

 

Continue reading "THE FEAST- DAY 7 --Sights and Insights: Succot and the waters of Siloam" »


Tabernacles Day 6----Holy Day Overview

Feastofthelord Just as it keeps the weekly Sabbath, the Church of God also observes the annual holy days that were ordered by God, kept by the ancient Israelites and continued by the early New Testament Christians. These seven annual "appointed feasts" picture God's plan of salvation for man.

The annual holy days are named the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. These days occur on specific dates of the current Hebrew calendar, with the exception of Pentecost which is counted in a biblically prescribed manner. Like the weekly Sabbath, each is reckoned from sunset to sunset. The functions of these annual holy days are partly the same; those of the weekly Sabbath.

The primary importance of the festivals is their function as spiritual symbols, outlining God's plan of salvation for the individual and the world. These days include religious instruction and worship which provide for spiritual renewal on a regular basis. The holy days serve as spiritual, psychological and social high points of the year. They allow people to get together in an atmosphere of leisure and enjoyment.

 

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The Feast of Tabernacles-- DAY 5--- Jesus Christ Reigns Over All the Earth

image from www.ucg.org

In his first inspired sermon after receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the apostle Peter summed up God’s instruction for mankind: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshingmay come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

But what are these “times of refreshing” and “times of restoration” of which Peter spoke?

God’s plan for mankind involves restoration. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the restoration process, which will start with the return of Jesus Christ, pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and the banishment of Satan, depicted by the Day of Atonement. Once these events have taken place, as represented by the previous Holy Days, the foundation is in place for the restoration of the creation to peace and harmony with God.    MORE


The Feast Day 3-----Understanding God's Calendar

God's Calendar is NOT the Jewish Calendar!

By Bob Barney

image from encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

For those readers confused why our dating of the red;igious holidays varies from other churches, let me explain God's Calendar.... In a nutshell, the real Calendar given to Moses was SOLAR based on fixing the new year on the spring equinox. Moses was raised as an Egyptian, which also followed the SOLAR and not a Lunar-Solar Year. The Egyptian calendarused at Elephantine, Egypt in consisted of 12 months of 30 days length. The Egyptians knew this was not acceptable and simply added and additional 5-6 leap days each year, at the end of their year. The days were simply not counted until the summer equinox came, and thus they began their new year! Day 1 all over again. Very simple.

The Hebrew Calendar given to Moses by God was the same as the Egyptian, but starting with a different month. The year started on the spring equinox (March 20-21) instead of the summer solstice (The Egyptian new year about June 21). See Exodus 12:2 for the Bible reference to this. Notice God wasn’t changing Moses’ calendar, just the date of the new year! The Bible shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that God's calendar only has 12--- 30-day months (that's only 360 days, the true year BEFORE the Flood of Noah) and that 5 1/4 days of each year are simply NOT COUNTED!

Look at the book’s of Daniel and revelation.

Revelation 11:2a-3b?They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. ...And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days

Divide 1,260 days by 42 months and you will get a 30-day month. Twelve months of 30 days equals 360-days in a year. What is the meaning of this divine number in contrast with the fact that we know the time required for the earth to circle the sun is approximately 365.25 days?

When 1,260 Days = a time, times and half a time In the Book of Revelation

Revelation 12:6?The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days

Revelation 12:14?The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach

In verse 6 above, the time given is 1,260 days. But in verse 14, the time given is described as a time, times and half a time. This is most often interpreted as 3 and one-half years or 42 months. So verses 6 and 14 as noted above yield a 30-day month. Twelve months of 30 days equals 360-days in a prophetic year.

The answer is that the Bible has been written with a "PROPHETIC YEAR" defined as 360 days in length. This is only applied to biblical prophecy. And it is important that to attain the 360-day year, you must let the Bible interpret the Bible.

When 1,260 Days = a time, times and half a time In the Book of Daniel

Daniel 7:25?He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time

Daniel 12:7?The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time

In both Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7, the time given is described as "a time, times and half a time". This is most often interpreted as 3 and one-half years or 42 months. When the prophecy of the 70-weeks is interpreted using the 360-day prophetic year, divine guidance appears to be revealed in human events from ancient history into the 21st century.

In each 42-month period foretold, the earth is to be directed by unrestrained evil. The 360-day year makes for a good relationship between the books of Daniel and Revelation.

image from encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comMany today do not believe in the flood, but the evidence of the great flood of Noah is found everywhere and no place better than the calendar, any calendar!  Before the flood, the earth was formed perfectly and the calendarwas also perfect! The pre-flood humans followed a 360 day, twelve month calendar with each month have exactly thirty days! After the flood however, all hell broke out for mankind trying to keep the old "perfect" calendar. The earth had trillions of tons of extra water weight and slowed down! 5 1/4 days slower to be exact! Ever since, man has tried to make the calendar perfect again, but we cannot! The moon now circles the earth in only 29.5 days, so lunar months are no longer accurate (a lunar year is only 356 days long) Post flood mankind worked on calendars for generations.

Genesis Proves the 360 Day Year

Based on the book of Genesis, the calendar at the time of Noah consisted of 12 months of 30 days. At the beginning of the flood, the water came forth on the 17th of the month. Five months later on the 17th day of the month, the book of Genesis reveals that 150 days had passed. Dividing 150 days by 5 months supports that the early calendar contained 12 months of 30 days length. Therefore, the book of Genesis supports the 360 days per year calculation. Here are the supporting Scriptures.

Genesis 7:11?In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened

Genesis 8:3?The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days (150 days) the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month (5 months later) the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat

Since the book of Genesis is attributed to Moses by conservative scholars, it is credible that the 360 days per year was in use at the time of Moses.

The Egyptians finally decided on a fix for the calendar that is actually more accurate than the calendar we follow today! Even with our modern calendar, we lose a day every four years (leap year) and we almost never know how many days are in many months (28, 29, 30 or 31????) The Egyptian and Moses' calendar had 12-30 day months EVERY YEAR and 5 and 1/4 "no days". This calendar never needed adjustment! Passover, and all Holy Days (except the weekly Sabbath fell on the same date each year!)

 In Moses' calendar that "fixed date" is the spring equinox to make sure Passover always fell on the same solar day! Proof of a 12 month 30 day month year? Revelation says that 1260 days ARE 3-1/2 years OR 42 months! Do the math! It is PLAIN and simple. The Bible answers all of it's own mysteries. Proof that Jesus did not follow the Jewish Calendar? His Passover was 1 Day BEFORE the Jewish Passover! Nobody ever notices that fact..... Even the Armstrong's can't figure out the holidays because they never understood that the calendar Christ was following was the one that Moses followed and NOT the one the Jews were following then.


The Feast-Day 2----God's Sabbath to be Kept by Jesus during His 1000 Year Reign

BY BOB BARNEY

image from i.pinimg.com

Yes you read the correctly!

Many, who claim that God did away with and The Sabbath Day have a problem, and that problem is with the Bible! In fact, their problem is not only with the words in the Bible concerning the Sabbath Day (as well as Holy Days and even sacrifices) these words SHOULD BE IN RED (like in the Plain Truth's Bible)...   You see, The Lord God Himself (non-other than the being who became Jesus Christ) tells us plainly that during the millennium, that animal sacrifices, The Sabbath Day, CIRCUMCISION, and the Holy Days will be observed by God's people, or they will be thrown out of the kingdom!  The LAW (which most Christian Churches teach has been abolished)  will be in full force!  Even God's DIET will be enforced!

The Sabbath:

Revelation 21:1-5:  

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Isiah 66:22-23  “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.  From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord (Jesus).

The Sabbath WILL NOT START AT SUNSET!:

 The sun and moon and stars will no longer shine,  yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how! There will be no normal day and night—at evening time it will still be lightLife-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean, flowing continuously both in winter and in summer.

Sacrifices and Holy Days: 

The reading of Ezekiel 42-46 shows that during the millennium there will be all the principal offerings that were introduced in the Levitical system, namely, the burnt offering, the oblation, the peace offering, the sin and trespass offerings, and the drink offering. In the coming day the sacrifices will look back on the life and death of Christ in this world, whereas the sacrifices of the Levitical system looked forward to the coming and sacrificial work of Jesus.

The same chapters also show the feasts that will be celebrated. There will be a special ordinance when the new order is introduced, in the day when the altar is made and sprinkled with blood. Sacrifices will be offered on the altar for seven days, the blood being put on the four horns, the four corners of the settle [ledge], and upon the border round about (Ezek. 43:20-26). Atonement for the house will be made on the first of the first month and the first of the seventh month (Ezek. 45:18-20); and on the new moons the prince will offer his offerings, and with the people shall worship the Lord (Ezek. 46:2-7).

Holy Days:

16 In the end, those who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, to celebrate The Feast of Tabernacles.  And any nation anywhere in all the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship The Feast of Tabernacles of the King, the Lord Almighty, will have no rain. 18 But if Egypt refuses to come to The Feast of Tabernacles, God will punish her with some other plague. 19 And so Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they refuse to come to The Feast of Tabernacles.

 

Circumcision:  

We heard it said, The New Testament abolished circumcision, yet once again we know that Passover is to be observed in the millennium, and we have Jesus Christ saying, as LORD: "If there are foreigners living among you who want to celebrate the LORD's Passover, let all their males be circumcised. Only then may they celebrate the Passover with you like any native-born Israelite. But no uncircumcised male may ever eat the Passover meal."     How can that be?

The simple answer is that Christians, like the Israelite's 40 year wandering in the desert also did not circumcise their children!  Read it for yourselves in Joshua.   However, after the 40 years, and before entering into the promised land (think of the millennium) they GOT CIRCUMCISED!  Christian, who are raised to SPIRIT on the day of Christ's return are no longer flesh, so those raised immortal will not undergo circumcision, BUT THE REST OF THE physical world WILL BE CIRCUMCISED AGAIN!

The 10 Commandments and THE LAW are FOREVER!

Yes friends, what you have probably been taught, just is NOT what the Bible says about the coming reign of Jesus Christ. He is coming for His saints, and to be King over this Earth, bringing with Him HIS Sabbaths, His Laws, and His will.   Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).


The Feast - Day 1 - Finding Christ in Tabernacles

FROM CBN 

God gave the biblical festivals to teach the people about His character and to help us understand His plan of salvation. But all Christians who have been "grafted in" to the olive tree (Romans 11:17) share our rich heritage and roots. So as we approach the last of the High Holy Days, we hope you will find it meaningful. The Feast of Tabernacles is an eight day festival, on the seventh month of God's calendar

The Gospels record that our Lord Jesus not only celebrated the festival, but He took traditional elements of the celebration and applied them to His own life and mission. We find this particularly in John 7 and 8 where Jesus uses two traditional symbols from the Feast of Tabernacles celebration, water and light, to help the people understand who He is and what He offers.

In order to understand Jesus' teaching here, we need a bit of background fromLeviticus 23. There, Moses instructed the people that the first day and the eighth day of the festival were to be special days of rest, set apart from the others. But the seventh day became known as Hoshana Rabba, "the Great Day." My people developed special observances and traditions to mark this special day in Israel. The most spectacular of these was the water drawing ceremony.

Imagine a whole parade of worshipers and flutists led by the priest to the pool of Siloam (where Jesus told the blind man to bathe his eyes after He put clay over them). The priest has two golden pitchers. One is for wine. He fills the other with water from the pool. As the flutes continue to play, a choir of Israelites chants Psalm 118. The whole procession heads back to the Temple through the Water Gate. A trumpet sounds as the priest enters the Temple area. He approaches the altar where two silver basins are waiting. He pours wine into one of the basins as a drink offering to the Lord and water from the pool of Siloam into the other.

The whole ceremony, with the parade and the flutes and the singing, was such a joyful occasion that one of the ancient rabbis wrote: "Anyone who has not seen this water ceremony has never seen rejoicing in his life."

The ceremony was to thank God for His bounty and to ask Him to provide rain for the crops in the coming year. Today, many people take water for granted. We simply turn the tap and voilà—water! Not so in the Middle East during the first century. Water was often scarce. The people were very much aware of their dependence on God for the rains that were so vital for the preservation of life. No wonder the prophets came to see rain as a symbol of salvation and the work of God's Holy Spirit:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean… (Ezekiel 36:25).

No wonder then that Jesus stood in the Temple on this great day of the feast and cried out:

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).

The Apostle John commented on this speech in verse 39.

But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

As the rain falls to nourish the crops, so the Ruach ha Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, falls upon those who have identified with Jesus in His death and resurrection. It is that Spirit that refreshes us, and causes us to grow in grace and in faith. It is that Spirit that allows us to experience Immanuel, God with us. That Spirit is available to us today and every day.

Y'shua's promise to give mayim chayim, living water, prompted even greater discussion and debate during the last day of the festival of Sukkot. The leaders grew angry because the Temple guards refused their order to arrest Jesus. Even when one of their own, Nicodemus, came to Jesus' defense, they still dismissed His claims saying, "A prophet does not come out of Galilee" (verse 52). Apparently, those leaders had forgotten about Isaiah chapter 9:

There will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; of those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned (Isaiah 9:1-2).

And that brings us to the second Sukkot symbol that Jesus used to point to Himself as the fulfillment of Scripture. God had indeed promised that a great light would shine out of Galilee. Y'shua reminded His critics of that powerful and prophetic claim, by using an image that would have been very fresh in the memories of all who heard. Light.

You see, at the end of the first day of the Feast, the Temple was gloriously illuminated. According to the Mishnah (part of the oral tradition of the rabbis), gigantic candelabras stood within the court of the women. Each of the four golden candelabras is said to have been 50 cubits high. A cubit is somewhere between 18 and 22 inches, so we're talking about candelabras that were about 75 feet tall! Each candelabra had four branches, and at the top of every branch there was a large bowl. Four young men bearing 10 gallon pitchers of oil would climb ladders to fill the four golden bowls on each candelabra. And then the oil in those bowls was ignited.

Picture sixteen beautiful blazes leaping toward the sky from these golden lamps. Remember that the Temple was on a hill above the rest of the city, so the glorious glow was a sight for the entire city to see. In addition to the light, Levitical musicians played their harps, lyres, cymbals and trumpets to make joyful music to the Lord. What a glorious celebration! The light was to remind the people of how God's Shekinah glory had once filled His Temple. But in the person of Jesus, God's glory was once again present in that Temple. And He used that celebration to announce that very fact. He was teaching in the court of women just after the Feast, perhaps standing right next to those magnificent candelabras when He declared to all who were gathered there,

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).

Many refused to have their own darkness exposed by that light. But there were those who were drawn to the light, whose hearts burned with the truth of Jesus.

*The Scriptures actually speak of the Feast of Tabernacles as being seven days, but it also speaks of an eighth day on which a holy convocation is to be held, with sacrifices made and no traditional work done on that day. See Leviticus 23:34-36.


Today Mark's God's Feast of Tabernacles ... Feast of what?

Carrying Branches To Make Booths (illustration...Carrying Branches To Make Booths (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Bob Barney
      Most of our readers probably have never heard of the Feast of Tabernacles, but it is in the Bible! In fact, this week meaning to God is so important that the Bible predicts that after Jesus returns to this earth, he will punish all who refuse to keep this feast! Read on for the proof. Again, like for the Day of Atonement, I am going to use the writing of Herbert Armstrong concerning this holiday. He does the subject much better than I can. The only difference that I have with his argument is the date he and most of the other feast keeping churches follow. Since they follow the Jewish calendar, and not the calendar of Moses (e-mail us for proof on the true calendar) and Jesus, they are often following the feast days on the wrong days. I am not sure if God is all that worried about this however....

FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND LAST GREAT DAY
Herbert Armstrong

NOW WE come to the festival of Tabernacles -- or Feast of Booths -- the sixth festival. Let us notice the instruction concerning this occasion:

Continue reading "Today Mark's God's Feast of Tabernacles ... Feast of what?" »


Feast of Tabernacles Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow Starts the Feast of Tabernacles, an 8 Day Celebration of Christ in the Millennium 

Feast of Tabernacles

In John 1:14 we read,

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt (Greek word we translated “dwelt” is “tabernacle”) among us.

It was 3,500 years ago / 1,500 before Christ / God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle.

Tabernacle was a tent. “The tent of meeting.”

The tabernacle was filled with symbolism.

image from voice-wilderness.orgSomething that stands for something else by reason of relationship, association, resemblance; a visible sign of something invisible. The lion is a symbol of courage.

Tabernacle / everything in it/ a symbol / or a type / picture / an object lesson / picture story Person / work/ Jesus /salvation.

Theologically, it is of immense importance; Genesis only 5 words are given to the creation of billions of galaxies.

Gen. 1:16, “He made the stars also.”

For the tabernacle, its construction, its significance, 50 chapters.

The tabernacle also gives us a glimpse of what the throne room in heaven is like! Heb. 9:24

For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

One of the lessons God wanted to teach was that He wanted to be in the midst of His people.

The Tabernacle was situated right in the middle of the Israelite encampment. When the Tabernacle was set up, the nation of Israel surrounded it. Three tribes set up their tents to the North, three to the South, three to the East, and three to the West.

And right in the middle of them all was God’s tent… His tabernacle.

But even when the people moved from place to place and the tabernacle had to be torn down and moved, EVEN THEN, God’s Tabernacle was the center of His people.

Read CHRIST in THE TABERNACLE


Atonement is over- Tabernacles is NEXT!

The Day of Atonement just ended, so what comes next in God's Holy day Schedule?  It's a week long celebration of feasting and fun called Tabernacles, or tents...  It when God's people where told to live in temporary tents for 8 days.  Why? You may ask.  The reason is that this celebration is central to the message Jesus brought forth!

Feast of Tabernacles

In John 1:14 we read,

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt (Greek word we translated “dwelt” is “tabernacle”) among us.

It was 3,500 years ago / 1,500 before Christ / God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle.

Tabernacle was a tent. “The tent of meeting.”

The tabernacle was filled with symbolism.

image from voice-wilderness.orgSomething that stands for something else by reason of relationship, association, resemblance; a visible sign of something invisible. The lion is a symbol of courage.

Tabernacle / everything in it/ a symbol / or a type / picture / an object lesson / picture story Person / work/ Jesus /salvation.

Theologically, it is of immense importance; Genesis only 5 words are given to the creation of billions of galaxies.

Gen. 1:16, “He made the stars also.”

For the tabernacle, its construction, its significance, 50 chapters.

The tabernacle also gives us a glimpse of what the throne room in heaven is like! Heb. 9:24

For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

One of the lessons God wanted to teach was that He wanted to be in the midst of His people.

The Tabernacle was situated right in the middle of the Israelite encampment. When the Tabernacle was set up, the nation of Israel surrounded it. Three tribes set up their tents to the North, three to the South, three to the East, and three to the West.

And right in the middle of them all was God’s tent… His tabernacle.

But even when the people moved from place to place and the tabernacle had to be torn down and moved, EVEN THEN, God’s Tabernacle was the center of His people.

Read CHRIST in THE TABERNACLE


Isaiah 53- The Suffering Christ and The Day of Atonement

The following is from The Plain Truth's Red Letter Bible, where every word of Christ is in RED, including in the Old Testament!  

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The Prophets:

Isaiah 53

 

THE SUFFERING CHRIST:

            The part of Isaiah not usually read by Jews today. It is about the suffering Christ.

Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD(Jesus)'s power been revealed?

                        The answer to this is Christians. JOHN 12:38   Romans 10:16

He grew up in his presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him.

                        Jesus was ordinary looking! In fact, people could not pick him out in a crowd. Even though he taught everyday in the Temple, the High Priest needed Judas to point Jesus out to the soldiers! He was that ordinary          looking!

3 He was despised and rejected. A man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. He was despised like one from whom people turn their faces, and we didn't consider Him to be worth anything.

                        Jews today, claim their Messiah would come as a king. This shows that he was to come like Jesus        did! Adam his his face from Jesus, so did the Jews, so do many today!  Matthew 27:30    Hebrews 4:15                John 1:10

He certainly has taken upon himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we thought that God(Elohim/Theos) had wounded Him, beat Him, and punished Him.

                        The Jews believed him to be a sinner, beat him and killed him.  Matthew 8:17     1 Peter 2:24

                        literally, "But yet He hath taken (or borne) our sicknesses," that is, they who despised Him because of His human infirmities ought rather to have esteemed Him on account of them; for thereby "Himself took           OUR infirmities" (bodily diseases). So Matthew 8:17quotes it. In the Hebrew for "borne," or took, there is probably the double notion, He took on Himself vicariously (so Isaiah 53:5Isaiah 53:6Isaiah 53:8Isaiah       53:12 ), and so He took away; His perfect humanity whereby He was bodily afflicted for us, and in all our       afflictions ( Isaiah 63:9Hebrews 4:15) was the ground on which He cured the sick; so that Matthew's          quotation is not a mere accommodation. See Note 42 of ARCHBISHOP MAGEE, Atonement. The Hebrew        there may mean to overwhelm with darkness; Messiah's time of darkness was temporary (Matthew 27:45),       answering to the bruising of His heel; Satan's is to be eternal, answering to the bruising of his head (compare          Isaiah 50:10). 
                        carried . . . sorrows--The notion of substitution strictly. "Carried," namely, as a burden. "Sorrows,"     that is, pains of the mind; as "griefs" refer to pains of the body ( 
Psalms 32:1038:17). Matthew 8:17might       seem to oppose this: "And bare our sicknesses." But he uses "sicknesses" figuratively for sins, the cause of             them. Christ took on Himself all man's "infirmities;" so as to remove them; the bodily by direct miracle,           grounded on His participation in human infirmities; those of the soul by His vicarious suffering, which did      away with the source of both. Sin and sickness are ethically connected as cause and effect ( Isaiah 33:24,     Psalms 103:3Matthew 9:2John 5:145:15). (Jamieson)

5 He was pierced for our lawlessness. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace.  He was whipped, and {by His wounds} we were healed!

                        He was killed because of sin. Sin is the breaking of the Law! Christ did not come to take away the       Law, but to take away the punishment for breaking the Law. The Law is still in force and always be – we are   freed from the PENALTY of sin.   Romans 4:25  1 Peter 2:24

                        -a bodily wound; not mere mental sorrow; literally, "pierced" as I used here; minutely appropriate to   Messiah, whose hands, feet, and side were pierced ( Psalms 22:16). The Margin, wrongly, from a Hebrew        root, translates, "tormented."

We have all strayed like sheep. Each one of us has turned to go his own way, and the LORD(Jesus) has laid all our sins on Him.

                        We are all sinners (1 John).  In fact, if we say we have no sin, we are liars and the truth is not in us!    Why is there suffering today? This is the answer. We have all gone our own way, a way opposite of God's Way           (HIS LAW). And death and sorrow is our reward! Christ came to pay off this debt-with His blood. In         2 Corinthians 5:21; He was not merely a sin offering (which would destroy the antithesis to   "righteousness"), but "sin for us"; sin itself vicariously; the representative of the aggregate sin of all    mankind; not sins in the plural, for the "sin" of the world is one ( Romans 5:16Romans 5:17); thus we are      made not merely righteous, but righteousness, even "the righteousness of God." The innocent was punished        as if guilty, that the guilty might be rewarded as if innocent. This verse could be said of no mere martyr.

He was abused and punished, yet He never said a word! He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. He was like a sheep that is silent when its wool is cut off.

                                    He is our Passover lamb!            John 19:9

He was arrested, taken away, and judged. Who would have thought that He would be removed from the world? He was killed because of my people's sins.

                        Matthew 27:11-25    removed from the world-- He is in Heaven

                        Acts 8:33; translate as the Septuagint: "In His humiliation His judgment (legal trial) was taken          away"; the virtual sense of the Hebrew as rendered by LOWTH and sanctioned by the inspired writer of Acts; He was treated as one so mean that a fair trial was denied Him ( Matthew 26:5914:55-59). HORSLEY     translates, "After condemnation and judgment He was accepted."

He was laid in a tomb like a criminal. He was put there with the rich when He died, although He had done nothing violent and had never spoken a lie.

                        Christ fulfilled this by dying (by crucifying Him with two thieves, Matthew 27:38 and being buried in a rich man's unused tomb; his uncle two rich men honored Him at His death, Joseph of Arimathæa. Christ  never lied, only truth was in Him. The Devil is a liar and no truth is in him.

10Yet it pleased theLORD(Jesus) to punish Him with suffering. 

When YOU{God the father} make His life a sacrifice for our wrongdoings, He will have a multitude of children, many heirs. The will of the LORD(Jesus) will succeed through Him.

                        They were voluntarily borne by Messiah, in order that thereby He might "do Jehovah's will" ( John      6:38 , Hebrews 10:7Hebrews 10:9), as to man's redemption; so at the end of the verse, "the pleasure of the     LORD shall prosper in His hand."

                        The Margin rightly makes the prophet in the name of Yahweh Himself to speak in this verse.

11When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of what He has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins.

                        Yahwehis still speaking according to Jamieson. my . . . servant--Messiah ( Isaiah 42:152:13).

            

12 So I will give Him a share among the mighty, and He will divide the prize with the strong, because He poured out His life(soul-nephesh) in death and He was counted with  the sinners. He carried the sins of many. He intercedes for those who are lawless {sinners}.

                        IN DEATH-- Jesus died, just as we do. His soul DIED! The word here in Hebrew is nephesh, translated “soul” by the KJV. The same word used in Genesis chapter 1 “and man became a living soul-nephesh.  The best translation for nephesh is a living being- and when speaking of death, the best translation is dead being, or as I translated this here “his life in death.” If not for the power of the FATHER and the resurrection, Christ would still be in the grave awaiting the resuurection of the dead. We see later that ONLY Christ, thus far, has been “born again,” or resurrected from the dead. All of the rest of mankind are still in their graves sleeping! See 1 Corinthians 15.

                        Isaiah 53 plainly speaks of the suffering Messiah – and only Jesus Christ fulfilled this prophecy- HE IS OUR LORD and SAVIOR.


Is the Devil Your Scapegoat?

The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910)The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Bob Barney- The Plain Truth

 

Today is the Day of Atonement, a day in Old Testament times with great symbolism and ceremony about the forgiveness of sin, and restoration to God's presence for all mankind. In Leviticus 16, we read about the Day of Atonement, and learn some fascinating facts often overlooked. For one thing, we read that the Day of Atonement is a 24 hour period covering two days of the week. Contrary to the Jewish practice of beginning the day in the evening, God's Day begins in the morning, at sunrise. In Leviticus 23:32 we can clearly read that the day of fasting and prayer starts at sundown on the 9th day of the 7th month, and ends 24 hours later on sundown on the 10th of the month. 32 This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and on that day you must deny yourselves. This day of rest will begin at sundown on the ninth day of the month and extend until sundown on the tenth day.”

 

 

Continue reading "Is the Devil Your Scapegoat?" »


Tonight is the Day of Atonement and IT IS FOR CHRISTIANS!

By Bob Barney

image from wp.production.patheos.comI know many Christians in the world understand that Jesus Christ, a Jew, followed the Old Testament (Mosaic) holidays.  Probably fewer comprehend that for nearly 100 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, His followers still observed the same holy days.

One of these annual Holy Days is called in English "The Day of Atonement."  It is a very solemn 24-hour period of time over 2 calendar days, when we are to "deny ourselves."  This means to fast- or abstain from food and water for the 24 hour period.  The Day of Atonement does not occur on one day, as the Jews, and most of the observant Christians think it does!  Just a simple reading of scripture proves this. Many have read Leviticus 23:27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD." and assume that it is. However, when one understands that God's day begins at dawn, the next few verses become very clear. "It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.

Clearly, if the day began in the evening, the writer would not say that the fast starts on the evening of the 9th!  It would have been, the evening of the 10th!  NOWHERE ARE EVENING DAYS JUSTIFIED IN YOUR BIBLE!  Any honest biblical scholar knows that the Bible shows the day beginning with LIGHT. "Let there be light"- and the first day began!

Clearing up the misconception of the true calendar, why do Christians observe this Holy Day? The answer is simple. They are following the example of Jesus Christ, His apostles, and the true Church of God of the first century! The church of the Apostles continued to observe the annual holy days established by God in the Old Testament, including the Day of Atonement for over a hundred years, until a great FALSE CHURCH in Rome changed it! They claimed the right to do so! "The Pope has the power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ." "The Pope has the authority and often exercised it, to dispense with the command of Christ." -Decretal, de Tranlatic Episcop. Cap. (The Pope can modify divine law.) Ferraris' Ecclesiastical Dictionary.  

image from www.cofac.orgOn the Day of Atonement, Christians humble themselves before God by fasting, remembering the awesome sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whose blood atoned for our sins. The Hebrew word for Atonement literally means “to cover over.” Our death penalty has been paid for us, and our sins have been buried, or “covered over.” In ancient times, the high priest enacted a fascinating, meaning-laden ritual of purification and atonement for his sins and the sins of the people. Study Leviticus the 16th chapter to understand all the types. Two goats were to be presented by the priest before God. One was "for the Eternal," and the other an Azazel, called a "scapegoat." The Azazel goat was to have all the sins of Israel symbolically placed upon its head, and then was to be led in the hands of a "fit man" who would not allow the goat to turn back into the distant wilderness, where it would be released. Contrary to popular belief, this goat represent Satan and NOT CHRIST!  God's gracious act of love toward us, is taking our sins (forgiving them through the blood of Christ-the first goat) and placing them on our scapegoat--- SATAN!  Yes, we blame Statn for our sins, but in reality, most of our sins are OUR SINS, not Satan's!  Satan just gets the punishment fore them, hence Satan is our scapegoat!

In the New Testament we read, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us..." (Hebrews 9:7-12).

Paul wrote, "Moreover He sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

"For Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

"Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year [on the Day of Atonement!] with blood of others...but now once in the end of the world [age] hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:21-28).

image from www.ingodsimage.comAs you can see from Paul's example, to understand Christ's mission for us, we have to understand the Holy Days that Christ Himself created!  Christ is the LORD of the Old Testament, not God the Father!  These Holidays were made to show the way to HIS EARTHLY MISSION! Without these days, we cannot understand the gift of God!

We are to follow this day, like all of the Holy Days, not in remembrance of ancient Israel, but as a tribute to the God who freed our souls from death!

This is way we do the Fast CHEERFULLY and with a solemnity as well. 

 


3 Things Christians Should Know about the Day of Atonement

By Bob Barney

Tomorrow nite starts the Day of Atonement (Sept 24th) at sunset and ends the following day (25th) at sunset.

image from www.theplaintruth.com

#1 The Day of Atonement proves when the Day begins

(The following excerpt is from Joe Kovacs' book The Divine Secret -click on link to buy it!)
In the fall, in the seventh month, the Day of Atonement (called Yom Kippur in Hebrew) takes place, and the Bible specifically instructs:
 
"It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath." (Leviticus 23:32 NKJV)
 
Now, I can understand why many people rush to these two verses and assert something like, "See?! The words on the page show us that every single day starts in the evening!"
 
But do they actually say that? As a matter of fact, they don't. Let's be clear. These two verses do not say anything specifying when days in general begin or end. They are ambiguous at best. They are merely telling when to observe the festivals. The very fact that they mention evening here while other annual sabbaths such as Pentecost or the Feast of Tabernacles (or even typical calendar days) do not mention evening suggest they're an exception to the pattern of the morning day which had long been established since creation week!
 
Day of Atonement
 
Let's look at the Day of Atonement to help you understand what I mean. Here's what the Bible says about it in the Torah:
 
"Also the TENTH DAY of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.
 
"And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.
 
"For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.
 
"And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.
 
"You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
 
"It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the NINTH DAY of the month AT EVENING, FROM EVENING TO EVENING, you shall celebrate your sabbath." (Leviticus 23:27-32 NKJV, emphasis added)
 
God places the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the month, but interestingly, it's commanded to be observed from the ninth day of the month at sunset, to the following evening, the evening of the tenth. Many people think this is saying the ninth day of the month ends at sundown and that's when the tenth day of the month begins. But those words are simply not on the page. Again, the very fact that two different calendar days – the ninth and the tenth – are mentioned instead of one calendar day is more proof that there's a calendar-day change between the start and end of this Atonement festival.
 
To put this in modern perspective, if you're renting a car for a 24-hour period, you actually rent it over two calendar days. Let's say you need a rental car from 6 p.m. on the ninth day of the month until the following evening, 6 p.m. on the tenth day of the month. That's a 24-hour period, but there is a change in the calendar day from the ninth to the tenth of the month in the midst of the rental. In our modern age, the day change takes place at midnight. But in ancient Israel, the calendar-day change for the Day of Atonement would have been at sunrise! Again, there are TWO calendar days mentioned for this holy day. The ninth and the tenth! If every single day truly started at sunset in the evening, there would be absolutely no need to tell us to observe the day from evening to evening, since everyone would already be aware that ALL days began at sundown. If such were the case, Scripture would just say to observe it on the tenth of the month, without having to give any extra language about observing it from evening to evening. The reason the evening is mentioned for Atonement and not for the Feast of Tabernacles, for instance, is because Tabernacles is following the general rule of days beginning at sunrise, and Atonement is something out of the norm.
 
Now, why might God be instructing the Day of Atonement to be observed from evening to evening instead of morning to morning? Let's remember that God commands His people to afflict their souls, and this is understood to mean going without eating and drinking for 24 hours. It's a full day's worth of fasting. The New Testament even refers to this holy day as "the fast" in Acts 27:9. So, by having this holy day begin on the previous calendar day of the ninth day of the month at sundown, it means by the next morning, when people are awake, they would already be hungry. For this annual Sabbath, God actually wants people to have some sense of hunger, afflicting their souls, during the time they're awake! By commanding them to stop eating at sunset from the previous day is a guarantee they'd be afflicted with hunger pangs all through their waking hours on the tenth day. Otherwise, if the festival started at sunrise, people could have eaten all through the night and then not be quite as famished throughout that tenth day.
 
#2 Christ is in Atonement!  All of God's Holy Days represent Christ. Many Christians think atonement is only some Old Testament, Mosaic law thing, but in reality the Bible shows us that the ancients saw the need for atonement long before the time of Moses. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, they hid from God because they were ashamed (Gn 3:8). God, by killing an animal, and using the skin to cover the naked bodies of the two, began the redemption of sin thru blood, that was finished with Christ Himself dying for our sins. CHRIST IS OUR ATONEMENT! While animals served as temporary sacrifices for our sins during the OT era, they could not ultimately atone for humans (Heb 4:10). We needed God Himself, who created everything to die for His creation to take away all sin!

Jesus Christ is both the subject and fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Read Isaiah 53 for yourself.   It is NEVER READ by most Jews today!

#3.   The Day of Atonement will be observed in the millennium! Reading of Ezekiel 42-46 shows that during the millennium there will be all the principal Holy Days first seen in the Old Testament. The early church also followed this day. Acts 27:9 "Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them..." 

Although NOT REQUIRED, God is pleased when people follow this Holy Days that He will command you to follow when He returns!  How do you follow?  Simply eat no food, drink no water from 6PM tomorrow night (Sept 24th) until 6 PM the following Day.  Ask God's Blood to atone for your sins, love God and obey His every word, found in ALL Bible translations.

 


Today is Pentecost

image from sp.yimg.comReaders of The Plain Truth are aware that the calendars that most Christian and Jewish Observers follow are wrong.  God's calendar is perfect, and the same holidays fall exactly the same time each year. Today is the 50th day since the Feast of First Fruits (The last day of Passover Week).  For Christians, Pentecost is a holiday on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the early followers of Jesus. Before the events of the first Pentecost, which came a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were followers of Jesus, but no movement that could be meaningfully called “the church.”

Thus, from an historical point of view, Pentecost is the day on which the church was started. This is also true from a spiritual perspective, since the Spirit brings the church into existence and enlivens it. Thus Pentecost is the church’s birthday.

Pentecost is actually the Christian version of  the old Greek and Latin name for the Jewish Festival of Weeks (Hebrew חג השבועות Chag ha-Shavuot) which can be found in the Hebrew Bible. It is called by that name in Exodus 34:22 and Deuteronomy 16:10. It is also called the Festival of Reaping (Hebrew: חג הקציר, Chag ha-Katsir) in Exodus 23:16, and Day of the First Fruits (Hebrew יום הביכורים, Yom ha-Bikkurim) in Numbers 28:26.  Jews traditionally read the Book of Ruth at Pentecost, as the story links with the grain harvest theme of the festival.

 

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Pentecost and the Torah ( Law )

1Pentecost. The Feast of Firstfruits. Feast of Weeks. There are many beautiful applications to this Feast. It symbolizes God’s first harvest of those called in this age, as a ‘kind of firstfruits.’ Christ is called the first of the firstfruits.

It represents a seven-week harvest period, the early harvest, and so is sometimes also referred to as the Feast of Weeks.

But the Holy Day we call Pentecost also has a deep significance to the law of God, both in the Old Testament and in the New.

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FIRST FRUITS

By Bob Barney.   APRIL 10th is the FEAST of FIRST FRUITS!

1One of the most obscure holidays in the Bible is the one called "First-fruits."  Confusion concerning this day is that the celebration of Pentecost is also referred to as first-fruits in scripture, but  a careful reading of scripture shows us that the actual Feast of First-Fruits occurs directly after Passover, and it is the day that one starts county 50 days until the arrival of Pentecost, called counter the Omer.  However the actual date that First-fruits falls on is another, in a long line of mistakes often followed by God's Church.  Because Christ rose from the dead after 3 days, most agree that the date of First-Fruits is Abib 16th.  There are several problems with that date however. First Christ did not raise from the dead on Abib 16th,  but rather the 18th day of the first month.  Christ died on a Wednesday, the 15th day of the month. Thursday, the 16th, he was dead, and so Friday the 17th.  He rose late Saturday night on the 18th of the first month (See are article on God's Calendar).

Over the years, the above statements by myself has received  the most objection.  Most want to place First-Fruits within the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and on the day Jesus rose from the dead.  It could not be so, and here is the Bible verse which makes it doubtful: " From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering[c] and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the first-fruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live."

Reading Leviticus 23 can be confusing, as some read the above verse as pertaining to Pentecost, however, verse 20 makes it quite clear that the two loaves with YEAST happens on First-Fruits. Since we can not consume bread with yeast during unleavened bread, it makes sense that this day must be after the days of unleavened bread.  The Sabbath could be the Saturday Sabbath, but most likely it is the High Sabbath that occurs on the last day of Passover Week.  Making the twenty second the date of First-Fruits.

Although it may make sense that Jesus rising from the dead seems to be First-Fruits, possibly there is something different in it's meaning.  I think the clue to this is what Jesus told Mary in John chapter 20.  After Jesus has left the tomb, He appears to Mary. At first she does not recognize him.  When she does, she apparently grabs and hugs him in excitement. Jesus says to her, " Do not hang on to me, for I have not ascended to My Father..."  What could that possibly mean? This passage has given rise to a variety of interpretations. Jesus required Thomas to touch him John 20:27, and it has been difficult to ascertain why he forbade this now to Mary. It seems likely that the Feast of First-Fruits IS NOT symbolizing the day Jesus rose from the dead, but the day Jesus presented his Blood in Heaven to the father the day after Passover week.

Although He told Mary he had not yet ascended to the Father (John 20:17), which is First-Fruits, His blood was to be offered on the mercy seat (Hebrews 8:3-6) in the Heavenly Temple on the Day of First-Fruits.  Eight days later (and after First-Fruits), He appeared to Thomas and the other disciples after this had happened which is why he said peace (Shalom) to them and allowed him to feel his wounds and hold on to Him as proof (John 20:19). So, it is MY OPINION (not scripture friends) that on the Day of First-Fruits (TODAY, the twenty-second day of the first month of Abib, He had made peace for us by His blood to our Father in Heaven. (Colossians 1:19-20).  Today, not on the day of His resurrection, Christ became our First-Fruits!  1 Corinthians 15:20..." But now Christ is risen from the dead, and became the firstfruits of those who slept."


The real Passover ends tonight, as others start to celebrate it on the 20th

Bob Barney
    Tonight marks the end of Passover, the seven days of unleavened bread that God told us to Feastofthelord observe as an everlasting memorial where nobody is supposed to eat anything that contains yeast. Yeast, or leaven, symbolizes sin as unleavened symbolizes God's sinless nature. The Bible only has one definition of sin that most just don't like to know. "Sin IS the transgression of the Law." If the Law has been "done away with" then there is no sin! We are instructed to follow the Biblical rather than our pagan holidays in order to understand just how we are supposed to live in our present moral lives. God's true holidays paint a picture of the perfect world that is coming with Jesus when he returns to earth. No, he will not be following Easter, but he will be commanding all of us to observe the holidays set forth by Him in the Bible.

Most of the world, including Jews, Messianic Jews and seventh-day Christians observe Tonight as the start of Passover, as they follow a lunar, Babylonian inspired calendar. So for those observers... Happy Passover!

Tomorrow is yet another holiday for God's church, it is called The Feast of Unleavened Bread! Then afterwards comes the last spring Holy Day called FIRST FRUITS.  That's after the seven  days, we call Passover week Starting the day AFTER Passover week on First Fruits, we are to begin counting 50 days to the next big holiday in God's seasonal plan called PENTECOST. On Pentecost, two major events happened. The first was it was on Pentecost that Moses received the TEN COMMANDMENTS from Jesus (The God of the Old Testament) and second, it is the holiday that the New Testament church received the Holy Spirit! Now can you understand better why both events happened on this day? It is because God's Law is still in force today, but in the New Testament, the Law has moved from stone, to our hearts and minds by the power of the Spirit!

When we follow God's seasonal holidays, God's plan becomes simple to see.


Yes, New Year's Day is Pagan too....

In the earliest days of the Church (the first and second centuries after Christ) there were no such celebrations as Christmas and New Year’s Day. 

The New Catholic Encyclopedia states:  “According to the hypothesis … accepted by most scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian [Roman] Calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the sun began to return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun)” (1967, Vol. 3, p. 656).

Those customs carried over in the observance of Christmas (with its many traditions and practices steeped in paganism), and the “birth” of the “new year” of the sun. This is why the Roman calendar in use today designates Jan. 1 as the beginning of the new year as opposed to God’s designation of the spring month of Abib or Nisan on the Hebrew calendar as the beginning of the year (Exodus 12:1-2).

Much of the symbolism associated with New Year’s celebrations today has very definite pagan origins. Kissing at the moment of transition to the next year is rooted in pagan sexual practice and superstition. And evergreen wreaths associated with Christmas were originally part of the pagan Calend celebration of Jan. 1.

Because we live in this secular society and most of the world operates according to the commonly used Roman calendar, it’s common to think of a new calendar year as beginning Jan. 1. Yet involvement in the celebration of that is not appropriate.   Read the Rest


The Meaning of Christmas

Forward by Bob Barney:  The following is an article that was published around 1900!  I think those who still think Christmas has something to do with the birth of Jesus (which it doesn't) will be surprised that even over a 100 years ago, when WE THINK people knew the so-called "true meaning of Christmas," THEY DIDN'T!

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.
Frank Leslie's Weekly - The Meaning of Christmas

Frank Leslie’s Weekly – The Meaning of Christmas

The Meaning of Christmas

By SIGMUND SPAETH

THE FIRST man I addressed was of the brisk business type. He had the gruff air of complete absorption which most business men consider it necessary to assume.

“What does Christmas mean to you?” I asked.

He looked at me sharply and answered, “I have no time for either reporters or lunatics.”

“But this is a serious question,” I insisted. “I desire information. How can I discover the meaning of the whole thing if nobody will answer me?”

He relented a little and replied, in a more friendly tone, “To me Christmas means prosperity. It means the busiest time of the year. It means big sales and big profits. That’s all I know about it.” And he hurried off.

I next accosted a well-known lawyer. He was a big, kindly man, and he listened to my question with interest. But his face clouded as he answered, “Christmas is to me an annual reminder of all the crime and misery in the world. The peace and good-will of the rich only serve to accentuate the wretchedness of the poor. The criminal courts are filled each year with those who would be honorable men if they possessed only a very small share of the Christmas gifts which are a natural part of our own care-free lives. It is a sad thought.”

I pondered over these words, but soon hastened on to find a new victim for my questioning. It happened to be a clerk, a small, nervous man, obviously over-worked.

“What does Christmas mean to me?” he asked. “Well, for one thing it means a holiday—and that is always a relief. I get a chance to see something of my family, to spend a day with the children. But it’s embarrassing, too. It has its unpleasant side. I can’t afford to do what I would like in the way of gifts, and I’m always afraid that the fact is noticeable. My wife and I decided several years ago to omit all presents to each other and concentrate on the children. But even at that our celebration is a very modest affair. I wish the cost of living were not so high.” And he also hurried off, with a feeble imitation of the absorbed air of the business man.

My next question was addressed to a successful physician. He laughed as he answered, “It’s pretty hard for me to get away from my profession. I suppose Christmas means no more to me than so many extra cases of indigestion to be cured and so many more colds to be attended to. It merely adds one more to the many occasions on which the power of medicine can be proved.”

I turned to an actor of world-wide reputation. “Does Christmas mean anything to you?” I asked.

“It means my busy day,” he answered gruffly. “We stage people have no real Christmas. There is always an evening performance and usually a matinee as well. We are worked harder on Christmas Day than at any other time in the year.”

I was disappointed, but hastened to take up the subject with a singer, one who was chiefly noted for church work.

“Oh,” he answered enthusiastically, “Christmas means much to me! There are so many services and the Christmas music is so wonderful. I always look forward to it. There is nothing that brings out the beauties of my voice so well as the Christmas carols, and the more elaborate things give me an opportunity for a really fine display of technique.”

Again I was disappointed, but again I turned hopefully, this time to a teacher. Here at least, I thought, I shall find a deeply spiritual reply, full of a mystic meaning. So I asked my question confidently, and I listened with hopeful attention as I saw the gleam of pleasure in his eyes.

“The meaning of Christmas?” he fairly shouted. “It means joy! Joy! Joy! Two full weeks of vacation! No classes to teach! No papers to correct! No unruly boys to reprimand! Could anything be pleasanter? Sleigh rides, theaters, books, dinners! Oh, the joys of Christmas are countless!”

I left him to his ecstatic ravings and sought out a social worker of long experience. This man, at least, must have some truth to impart. “Christmas,” he said slowly, “to me means simply hard labor. It means days of unpleasant begging, sometimes on the street corners, sometimes at the homes of the rich. It means the stupendous task of feeding and clothing thousands of the poor. And it means that when our work is done we get very little gratitude, very little appreciation. It is expected of us. Some keep their cheerful faces year after year and imagine that they really enjoy their work. To me it has become mere drudgery.” Even after this rebuff I did not give up hope altogether. But I said to myself, “I must find a real interpreter of Christianity. I shall ask a minister of the Gospel.” The reply which I received proved most disappointing of all.

“Yes, I like Christmas,” said the clergyman pleasantly. “It is what I may call my easy day. The sermon requires almost no preparation. The congregation enters into the spirit of the day and helps me in every way possible. I receive many substantial evidences of the generosity of my parishioners, so that, on the whole, I am always happy, contented and possibly a little lazy on Christmas Day.”

The unexpectedness of this answer so upset my calculations that I jumped at once to the opposite extreme. I picked out a miserable tramp, the very type of neglected humanity, arguing that all my attempts so far had been directed too much toward the higher and more prosperous classes. The tramp grinned cheerfully as he answered my question.

“Christmas? That’s somethin’ like Thanksgivin’, ain’t it? Them’s my two big feed days for the year. You can work a graft so as to eat three full charity dinners in the same afternoon, if you can hold ‘em. I generally fills up fer about a week, countin’ what I stows in my clothes. But it makes the rest of the year all the worse. Rich people seem to think that us poor guys don’t have to eat no more than once or twice in twelve months. If it wasn’t for the cold weather, I’d want Christmas every day.”

I might have foreseen this. My first track was the right one, after all; yet I seemed to have exhausted all the possible sources of information. No; there was one left. “Out of the mouth of babes,” I said to myself, and hunted up a child.

“Christmas? Don’t you know what Christmas means?” the child asked, in wide-eyed wonder. “I guess you haven’t been educated very well. But I’ll tell you all about it. Christmas is the day when Santa Claus was born and all the angels sang a song for the shepherds to listen to. And they told them to go around and give presents to each other forever after, world without end, amen. That’s why I always go to two Sunday schools a whole month before Christmas. They have trees and lights and candy and oranges in pink tissue paper, and Santa Claus is there himself and gives the things out, and the superintendent tells us what good children we are, and everybody eats a lot, and we get presents at home and turkey and hang our stockings up and everything. Didn’t you know that?”

“Well, not quite in that way,” I answered, catching feebly at a straw. “Isn’t there anything else?”

“Oh, parties and ice cream and candy canes and dolls and holly berries and mince pie and— —”

“And the people are just the same as any other day?” I interrupted.

“Well, no,” the child answered reflectively. “I think everybody tries to be a little extra nice. Papa doesn’t say a cross word to mamma all day, and I let my little brother play with my toys if he wants to, and the cook doesn’t chase us out of the kitchen when we come to smell the turkey roasting. She gives us little heart-shaped ginger cakes instead. I guess everybody loves everybody else on Christmas Day.”

“At last!” I breathed, with a sigh of relief.

Frank Leslie's Weekly - The Meaning of Christmas

Frank Leslie’s Weekly – The Meaning of Christmas

Source: Frank Leslies Weekly, December 5, 1912
Top image: Frank Leslies Weekly, December 10, 1913
Middle image: Frank Leslies Weekly, December 10, 1908
Bottom image: Frank Leslies Weekly, December 13, 1906

 


Was Jesus Born Away in a Manger at Migdal Eder?

Why were the Shepherds the first people to find out about the birth of Jesus? And what an amazing way they found out about it! Another interesting theory..... from https://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithwalkers/2012/12/was-jesus-born-away-in-a-manger-at-migdal-eder/      Although Jesus was not born on Christmas (as the article hints at, they do admit that special sheep were raised near Bethlehem to be sacrificed at The Temple- as Jesus was)

The three wise men who likely weren’t three and didn’t show up until two years later.  The star hovering just above the quaint wooden structure that looks more like an English countryside barn than the back end of an inn. The all-too-pristine setting after an impromptu birth.

I thought I had heard it all.

I even shared a take on The Christmas Message based on the traditional interpretation just a few days ago. I thought I understood the Christmas story pretty well after nearly four decades of being steeped in Christianity.

Until I heard the theory that Jesus was born away in a manger — but at Migdal Eder and not in a cramped and filthy cave behind a crowded inn.

Migdal What?!

Migdal Eder seems to have been known as the “Tower of the Flock” located not far outside Bethlehem proper. The exact location is unknown though several credible sites have been suggested. Heretical, I know. But bear with me. I think the imagery alone makes it a theory worth considering.

It was Pastor Mark Spansel who offered the theory on the birthplace of Jesus in a recent sermon at our church, although it seems to have been Alfred Edersheim (1899) who gets most of the credit for breathing relatively new life into it. In Chapter 6 of The Life and Times of Jesus Messiah, he allegedly wrote:

And yet Jewish tradition may here prove both illustrative and helpful. That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, was a settled conviction.

Equally so, was the belief , that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, ‘the tower of the flock.’ This Migdal Eder was not the watchtower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheepground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem.

A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds.

The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism, on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if not absolutely impossible.

The same Mishnaic passage also leads us to infer, that these flocks lay out all the year round, since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before Passover–that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine [Israel] the average rainfall is nearly greatest.

Thus, Jewish tradition in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from that Migdal Eder, where shepards watched the Temple-flocks all the year round. Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak. [emphasis mine]

Here’s the theory in summary. There was place just outside of Bethlehem city, but still within the region commonly known as Bethlehem, where Passover lambs were kept by specially trained and purified shepherds. The lambs were born in this “tower of the flock” known as Migdal Eder under the watchful eye of the shepherds who would then inspect and either certify them for use as sacrifices in the temple or designate them to be released for common use. The new lambs would, according to some sources, even be wrapped in special swaddling clothes once certified.


Happy Hanukkah - a non-Biblical Holiday that JESUS DID OBSERVE!

By Bob Barney

Thanksgiving is not a biblical holy day, but it is recognized by God as a Holy Day!  The same applies to Hanukkah!  Although the holiday is found in the The Book of Maccabees, which some consider part of the Bible (Catholics) it is not a authorized canonized book in scripture.  That being said, there was a miracle, that was written about in Maccabees, and Jesus must have accepted that truth.

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that commemorates the purification and rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev 25, 165 BC (usually in December). Three years prior, Antiochus IV, the Seleucid (Syrian) king, defiled the Temple by erecting an idol to Baal Shamen (the Canaanite counterpart for the Greek god Zeus), sacrificing a pig on the altar in the Temple and proclaiming himself to be a god. Some of the coins he minted had his features on the face of Zeus along with the words “Theos Epiphanes” meaning “the god manifest.” He also decreed that Torah (the Law of God) could not be studied under penalty of death; also Jewish males were not to be circumcised and it was forbidden to keep the Sabbath. This brought an internal struggle within Judaism out in the open. On the one hand there were the observant Jews who wanted to keep Torah, continue circumcision and observe the Sabbath. On the other hand, there were Hellenized Jews who wanted to assimilate into the Greek culture around them and become “born again” Greeks! That included wrestling in the gymnasium wearing nothing but their “birthday suits”!

Hellenized Jews. They wanted to become “born-again” Greeks, participating in Greek-style wrestling in the gymnasium. (source)

Many Christians do not know that The Lord Jesus observed the celebration of Hanukkah in the Temple during the winter of AD 29 (Jn 10:22–39). Just prior to this account in John 10, the Apostle John gives two “illustrations” (10:6) of Jesus as the Good Shepherd (10:1–5 and 10:7–10) and records Jesus’ interpretation of these parables (10:11–18).  It is the only mention of Hanukkah in the Bible, but one can only accept the idea that Jesus observed it every year, as all of Judah did.

For more on the history of Hanukkah read: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/11/17/Jesus-Celebrates-Hanukkah!.aspx#Article