Christian Churches of God

No. 256

 

 

 

Law and the Fourth Commandment

(Edition 4.0 19981007-20050717-20080320-20120711-20120806)

 

It is written: Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy as the Lord your God commanded you. The Fourth Commandment covers the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, the monthly New Moons, the annual Feasts and Holy Days, the Seven Year Land Sabbaths and the Jubilee system.

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

 

(Copyright © 1998-2012 Christian Churches of God, ed. Wade Cox)

 

This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included.  No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies.  Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

 

This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org

 

 


Law and the Fourth Commandment



“The Sabbath Day is holy to the Lord according to the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:8-11). This is so that all may rest (Deut. 5:14). It is calculated as the Saturday from the creation. It is noted by all nations as being the Sabbath and as falling on Saturday of the current calendar. The seventh day is in a continuous cycle and cannot be allocated to another day” (Cox, W.E., “A” The Sabbath (No. 31), CCG. 1994-2008, p. 2).

The Sabbath Day

The legislation dealing with the weekly Sabbath is found in Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5.

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 "`Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.  13 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your manservant, or your maidservant, or your ox, or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day. (RSV)

 

The word sabbat (SHD 7676, from 7673) to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate; (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.

Exodus 23:12  "Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your ass may have rest, and the son of your bondmaid, and the alien, may be refreshed. (RSV)

 

“The Sabbaths are coupled with fear of the Lord and the reverence of His Sanctuary (Lev. 19:30), of which we are. The Sabbath day was thus made for man so that the Sanctuary of the Lord could be made holy and a proper dwelling place for God. Similarly, the Sabbath is coupled with honour of mother and father (Lev. 19:3)” (Cox, “A”, ibid., p. 4).

 

The seventh day begins at dark (EENT) at the end of the sixth day of the week, our Friday (Gen. 1:5; Ps. 104:20; Lev. 23:32; Acts 27:27-33). The seventh-day Sabbath remains for the observers of the renewed covenant (Heb. 4:9; Col. 2:16-17).

Hebrews 4:9-11 So then, there remains a sabbath rest [SGD 4520] for the people of God; 10 for whoever enters God’s rest, also ceases from his labors as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience. (RSV)

 

“Keeping the Sabbath holy includes assembling ourselves together, as taught by the Apostle Paul (Heb. 10:23-25).

 

Congregating on the Sabbath is commanded by God in Leviticus:

Leviticus 23:1-3  The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Say to the people of Israel, The appointed feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed feasts, are these. 3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings. (RSV emphasis added)

 

The Hebrew word for convocations is migra, meaning a calling (together), according to Young’s Analytical Concordance. Migra is the Hebrew word used in Leviticus 23:4-44 for all the holy convocations commanded for the High Sabbaths also. To help His people keep the Sabbath holy, God gave them the sixth day as preparation day (cf. Ex. 16:1-21).”

 

Sabbath Observance

 

Prepare for the Sabbath

“We are obligated to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day (cf. Lk. 23:54). Through adequate preparation we are all enabled to partake in the Sabbath-rest of God, and to keep the Sabbath holy. When our Father gave His preparation day and Sabbath commands, He was clearing the way for us to follow Him (cf. Gen. 2:2-3). If we obey His words and do not pursue our own “pleasures” on the Sabbath, we can come to know the only True God and His Christ, which is eternal life (Jn. 17:3). See also the paper Eternal Life (No. 133).

 

When we use the day of preparation, looking forward to the Sabbath as a time with God away from the world, we are more likely to put aside our own concerns, and over-concerns, about worldly matters when Sabbath arrives. As we assemble ourselves together on the Sabbath and are taught by the Word of God, like Mary we have ‘chosen the good portion’” (Cox, W.E., “B” The Juma’ah: Preparing for the Sabbath (No. 285), CCG, 1999-2008, pp. 2,9).

 

No work on the Sabbath

“We are not to be idle. Whatsoever our hand finds to do, do it with all our might (Eccl. 9:10). For what we sow, that we reap (Gal. 6:7). Also render service as a loyalty to the brethren, especially to those who are strangers (3Jn. 5-7).

 

There is to be no labour on the Sabbath by any individual of any social group in the control of Israel. The Law is to be kept by all in Israel – stranger and Israelite alike. Nehemiah gives us examples as to the manner in which the law should be kept in regard to the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 10:28-31 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding, 29 join with their brethren, their nobles, and enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God's law which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord and his ordinances and his statutes. 30 We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons; 31 and if the peoples of the land bring in wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or on a holy day; and we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. (RSV)

 

No burden is to be borne on the Sabbath, nor is it to be brought in by the gates of Jerusalem Jerusalem (Jer. 17:21). Therefore, we are to rejoice in the Sabbath and bring joy to the House of God. Thus, work on one's property is also forbidden on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is to be hallowed. It is the prerequisite to the inheritance of the kingdom of Israel. No burden is brought in through the gates of the city. Kings and princes shall sit upon the throne of David. However, if this warning is not heeded then the city shall be destroyed by fire (Jer. 17:27).

 

Thus the Sabbath is the sign and the source of scorn in affliction for those of the House of God. The king and priest will bear the indignation of his anger for the profanation of the Sabbath (Lam. 2:6).

Lamentations 2:6  And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. (RSV)

 

The Sabbatical system must be understood as being representative of a system which is peculiar to the people of God.

Leviticus 19:30 You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. (RSV)

It extends to all in its charge and there can be no trading on the Sabbath or Holy Days with any person either of the people or of the Gentiles (the nations).

 

Anyone who defiles the Sabbath shall be put to death (Ex. 31:14; Num. 15:32-36). This punishment refers to the forfeiture of eternal life granted to the elect. They are cut off from among their people, being denied eternal life. It is a sign between God and the children of Israel forever (Ex. 31:17). The word forever is Olam (SHD 5769) and means always, continuance, eternal, ever (lasting), perpetual, etc.

 

Work of the Priests on the Sabbath

More particularly, the priests in the Temple profane (render common) the Sabbath and are blameless (Mat. 12:5; cf. Num. 28:9-10; see also Neh. 13:7; Ezek. 24:21; Jn. 7:22-23). Thus our work on the Sabbath as the elect in the worship of God is blameless. In fact, there were more sacrifices carried out on the Sabbath than any other day.

 

An offering by fire is to be made every Sabbath by the priesthood on behalf of the people of Israel forever (Lev. 24:8). This offering is a command to the elect to offer prayer and thanksgiving before the Lord each Sabbath. Thus, we are commanded to make offering in assembly. Moreover, from this text in Leviticus 24:1-4 the priesthood is to keep the lamps filled on a daily basis with pure oil from beaten olives. Thus, the preparation of the elect is a daily responsibility, and the oil of the lamps of the virgins must be maintained on a daily basis from Sabbath to Sabbath. They are required to hallow God’s Sabbaths (Ezek. 44:24).

 

Nehemiah commanded that the aliens also kept the Sabbath. He is our example as to the manner in which the Law should be kept. Nehemiah 13:22 shows that it is the responsibility of the priesthood of the Lord – the new priesthood of the elect – to cleanse themselves and keep the gates to sanctify the Sabbath.

 

When it is in our control to stop labour, or not work on the Sabbath, or not to buy or sell, we must do so, and we must fight any opposition. We cannot buy on Holy Days. We cannot go to restaurants on Sabbaths or Holy Days.

Nehemiah 13:15  In those days I saw in Judah men treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on asses; ... (RSV)

 

Nehemiah 13:19  When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, that no burden might be brought in on the sabbath day. (RSV)

 

Nehemiah 10:31 And if the peoples of the land bring in merchandise or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy it from them on the sabbath or on a holy day; and we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. (RSV)

 

Lighting fires on the Sabbath

The command, “you shall not kindle a fire throughout your habitations” refers to braziers or forges and not to household appliances (Ex. 35:1-3). Obviously, in the Temple there were sacrifices all the time. People were kindling fires all the time. If we look back in the original texts, in terms of their application when the Laws were given, this command was dealing with the concepts of construction. No construction work or moulding by fire is to be carried out on the Sabbath Day” (Cox, “A”, op. cit., pp. 2,3,4,5).

 

The text in Exodus 35:4-35 explains the extensive work being referred to for which no fires are to be lit on the Sabbaths.

 

“This also does not affect the lighting of fires for heating, which is necessary for survival in many parts of the Earth. Where such is required, the preparation day is to be used for the gathering of wood, as the gathering of wood for fuel and cooking on the Sabbath is also expressly forbidden. It was for this reason that Christ ate the raw grain in the field on the Sabbath (Mat. 12:2). The punishment for gathering on the Sabbath is death. Hence, any work of this nature on the Sabbath is a breach of the Law and places one in the Second Resurrection and subject to the second death” (cf. Num. 15:32-36)” (Cox, “B”, op. cit., p.6).

 

“Thus the actions of the Lord in picking ears of corn on the Sabbath was condemned. The Lord, however, demonstrated that he was Lord of the Sabbath not by intention that it need not be kept but rather that it was kept in the manner that it was. It is lawful to pick enough food to eat on the Sabbath from this text and also from the Law of the Testament (Mat. 12:1-12).

 

Tending the sick on the Sabbath

Christ also gave commandment regarding the healing of the sick. This is to be conducted on the Sabbath. Thus, it is lawful to heal and to feed the sick and maimed on the Sabbath.  

John 7:23 If on the sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the sabbath I  made a man's whole body well? (RSV)

 

Mark 3:1-5 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." 4 And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (RSV)

(cf. Lk. 6:8-10; 13:14-16; 14:3; Mat. 12:10-13).

 

As it is lawful to circumcise on the Sabbath, so also is it lawful to circumcise our hearts with giving and the power of the Spirit. Judge each other with righteous judgment by the good we do on the Sabbath (Jn. 7:21-24).

 

Ox-in-the-ditch situation

The lesson of the ox in a ditch is that of emergencies. It is not enough to do something from practice that should be planned for in advance. Luke 14:5 shows that it is important to deal with emergencies on the Sabbath. This, in fact, dealt with the concept of healing on the Sabbath. The proper care and preparation for the sick and the afflicted on the Sabbath is a major problem. In Deuteronomy 5:14, the Law is specific for both humans and animals.

 

Right attitude towards the Sabbath

The right attitude must be kept on the Sabbath. One must not look to its cessation to undertake business, because that carries on into the attitude of honesty, sacrifice and giving (Amos 8:5).

 

The Sabbath must be kept in spiritual purity (Isa. 1:13). It must not be polluted (Isa. 56:2, 4-7).

Isaiah 56:2  Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. (KJV)

 

The Sabbath is a delight, not a day of mourning (Isa. 58:13-14). Sabbaths are for mirth and rejoicing and bring joy to the House of God (Ps. 118:24).

Isaiah 56:4-7 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. (KJV)

 

Christ was greater than the Temple, as we are greater than the physical Temple. We are the Temple and the Temple was made for us (Mk. 2:27), so too we must keep the Sabbath as a preparation for the home that we must be to God” (Cox, “A”, op. cit., pp. 2,3,4,5).

 

The Sabbath as one sign of the Church

The Sabbath is listed as a sign of God’s people. It is a sign between us and God who makes us holy.

 

Sign (SHD 226) is owth or oth and means a signal, mark, token, evidence, etc. God uses signs to identify those in a specific relationship with Him.

Exodus 31:12-18 And the LORD, said to Moses, 13 Say to the people of Israel, ‘You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; every one who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign for ever between me  and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was  refreshed.'" 18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (RSV)

You shall keep my sabbaths (plural). “The Sabbaths are extended to the entire range of worship over the Holy Days listed as God’s Sabbaths. Being put to death is spiritual.

 

The Sabbath is not exclusively a sign of the Church. It is also a sign of the covenant people not yet called into the Church. If it were the sign of the elect, then Judaism would be part of the First Resurrection, which it is not.

 

The centrality of the Faith was the doctrine of God. The Sabbath, the New Moons and the Feasts were distinctive aspects of the worship of that God. This was also accompanied by the adherence to the food laws on a fairly widespread or general basis (see also the paper The Food Laws (No. 15)). Thus the Sabbath and all that flowed from it was a sign of worship of the One True God (Jn. 17:3). This God, Eloah, was exactly the same as that worshipped by Judah and revealed in the Old Testament. See also the paper The God We Worship (No. 2).

 

The biblical basis of the common doctrine is centred on the First and Great Commandment (cf. the paper The First Great Commandment (No. 252)). In this way we see that the fourth commandment is merely a fourth facet of a greater structure. The Sabbaths and Holy Days in turn are substructures of the fourth commandment and interrelate to the other commandments.

 

Thus, from the mouth of Jesus Christ, God the Father is central to and the primary point and end object of the Faith (Mat. 22:37-38; Mk. 12:30; Rev. 1:8). The knowledge of the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ, whom He sent, is central to the receipt of eternal life (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20). The fourth commandment is not an end in itself but merely a primary indicator of the elect and the fact of their obedience to God.

 

The fourth commandment extends to embrace the entire system of biblical worship of the New Moons, Feasts and Holy Days and also of tithing (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)) which relates to the system of first-fruits and the Covenant Harvest (see also the paper The Covenant of God (No. 152)).

 

The Sabbath is a sign of the Church of God. It is not the sign. The primary sign is the Godhead, which is the biblical Unitarian structure.  

 

Other signs of the Elect

The outward signs of the elect are the Sabbath, and the Lord’s Supper/Passover, followed by the New Moons and Holy Days.

 

Baptism is the second sign and the receipt of the Holy Spirit is the inner seal. “The initial and primary sign of the covenant people was circumcision (Gen. 17:10-14). This was removed to the state of baptism (see the paper Repentance and Baptism (No. 52))” (Cox, W.E., “C” The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170), CCG, 1996-2000, pp. 2,3,18).

 

“As from the time of Christ, our baptism is our promise to adhere to the covenant. This baptism is the sign with the nations, which acts in the same way as the original sign of circumcision acted with Israel. The symbolism was taken from a physical circumcision to a spiritual circumcision of the heart.

 

The Church was placed at a level of responsibility of obedience to God’s Law, which resulted from the circumcision of the heart (Deut. 30:6; Jer. 4:4)” (Cox, W.E., “D” The Covenant of God (No. 152), CCG, 1996-1999, pp. 2,13).

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (RSV) (cf. also Deut. 10:15-16)

 

“Baptism in the Holy Spirit, then, is the primary sign of the elect through the blood of Jesus Christ into the one Body (Mat. 28:19; Acts 1:5; 11:16; Rom. 6:3; 1Cor. 12:13; Heb. 9:11-28).”

 

Another sign is the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as we see from Exodus 13:9-12.

Exodus 13:9-12  And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year. 11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S. (KJV)

 

“This extension of the fourth commandment is to mark the Laws of God in our actions (hands) and in our minds (foreheads, between the eyes). It is the sign of the Law of the Lord (Deut. 6:8) and of His redemption of Israel (Deut. 6:10).

 

These signs of the Sabbath and the Passover are the seal on the hand and the forehead of the Lord’s elect. With the Holy Spirit they form the basis of the sealing of the Last Days in Revelation 7:3. The sign of the elect is thus centred on the first commandment. Christ said, “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you worship (or serve)” (Mat. 4:10; Lk. 4:8). Service is worship in biblical terms.

 

Atonement is another sign of the covenant people. Failing to keep Atonement is punished by removal from one’s people; in other words, from the covenant body of Israel which is the Church (Lev. 23:29) (Cox, “C”, op. cit., p3)

 

 “As a reminder of the Law of God, the Bible also commands that we wear blue ribbons placed on the fringes or borders of our garments (cf. Num. 15:37-41).

 

Since this legislation does not relate to time, place, or corporate activity, it remains a matter of personal practice. Furthermore, no penalty is stipulated for neglecting it. As a personal reminder, however, it certainly expresses a desire to remember, love, and fulfil the commandments of God” (McElwain, T., et.al., “E” Blue Ribbons (No. 273), CCG, 1998, pp. 1, 4).

 

Application of the Law

In summary, “The seventh day Sabbath is to be kept (from Ex. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15) as an express commandment of the Lord and one of the Ten Commandments. These are inviolate statutes forever to all people. The Sabbath is holy. Anyone who profanes the Sabbath suffers death and is cut off from their people (Ex. 31:14-15).

 

It is a perpetual covenant between the people of Israel and is a sign forever between them and God, acknowledging Him as creator (Ex. 31:15-16). All Christians who keep the law of God are spiritual Israel and all Gentiles are ultimately to come into the nation of Israel. Therefore, the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people for all time. The punishment for profaning the Sabbath is the death entailed in forfeiting the Holy Spirit and being consigned to the second resurrection (see Rev. 20:5). The Sabbath is a delight and is to be honoured as the Holy Day of the Lord. It is not a day of idle pleasure but of sacred assembly (Isa. 58:13-14). No work or burdens are to be carried out on it (Jer. 17:21-22).” Neither are we to buy (Neh. 10:31) or sell (Neh. 13:15) on the Sabbath (Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1), CCG, 4th ed., 1997, p. 22).

 

“The Sabbaths are inseparable from the first commandment and the Law. The nation is punished for failing to keep all of the aspects of the Laws of God” (Zech. 14:16-19). However, the Sabbaths are denied to humanity because of idolatry” (Cox, “C”, op. cit., p. 18).

 

The New Moons

“The Feast of the New Moon is one of the Feasts of the Lord. It is listed at Numbers 10:10.

Numbers 10:10  Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God. (KJV)

This text also tells us that trumpets were blown on all of the New Moons, Holy Days and Sabbaths when the burnt and peace offerings were made. (See also the paper The Shofar and the Silver Trumpets (No. 47).)

 

The sacrifices were fulfilled in Christ. The Feasts or Sabbaths themselves were not eliminated.

 

The Feast of the New Moon was treated as a Shabbatown or Holy Sabbath. Sacrifices were offered as a memorial, as we see above” (cf. Num. 28:11-15).

 

The same requirements apply to the New Moons as they do to the other Feasts and Sabbaths.

1Chronicles 23:31  And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD: (KJV)

 

We see that the New Moons are in fact intermediary between the Sabbaths and the Feasts. Like the Feasts and the Sabbaths, the nexus between the sacrifices and the New Moons was fulfilled in Messiah; however, the observance of the moons themselves was not eliminated.

2Chronicles 31:3 The contribution of the king from his own possessions was for the burnt offerings: the burnt offerings of morning and evening, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, the new moons, and the appointed feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. (RSV)

 

We also note that the New Moons were restored under Ezra (Ezra 3:5). Thus, both major restorations involved the restoration of the New Moons.

Ezra 3:5  and after that the continual burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the appointed feasts of the LORD, and the offerings of every one who made a freewill offering to the LORD. (RSV)

 

This observance is not to be construed with the worship of the moon, which is expressly forbidden.

Deuteronomy 4:19  And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. (KJV)

 

Deuteronomy 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; (KJV)

 

The observance of the Sabbaths and New Moons together with the set Feasts is given to mark the Plan of God and the flow of the cycles of the creation. The solar calendar does not perform this function.

 

The lunar calendar is the mark of the Holy People. In its notation to Exodus 12:2, the Mekilta states that “the nations” reckon by the sun, but Israel by the moon.

 

“The New Moon is the beginning or the first day of the month (Num. 10:10; 28:11). No system that bases itself on the relocation of the beginning of the month is valid. The Hillel calendar is invalid because of this fact.

 

The New Moon was noted as significant for the giving of visions and prophecy, perhaps from 2Kings 4:23 but certainly from Ezekiel 26:1; 29:17; 31:1; 32:1 (cf. Isa. 47:13; Hag. 1:1). This directly refuted the astrologers and stargazers of the Babylonian system as we see from Isaiah 47:13.

 

The Sabbaths and the New Moons both enjoined rest from work, as we see from Amos 8:5. It was a day of rejoicing. The mirth intended for the Holy Days was removed from Hosea 2:11.

Hosea 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. (KJV)

 

This was because of unfaithfulness and idolatry. God destroys His people because they do not keep His Laws. The end result is that He destroys the wealth of the nation.

Hosea 2:12  And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. (KJV)

 

“We see from certain texts that the New Moon of significant months is kept with explicit instructions (1Sam. 20:5ff.; Ezek 45:18-20).

Ezekiel 45:18-20  Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: 19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. (KJV)”

 

The cleansing of the sanctuary commenced on the New Moon of the First month (Nisan) beginning the Sacred Year (cf. Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241)). This cleansed the inner court, which was to represent the elect as the inner wheel of Ezekiel’s vision. The cleansing of the simple and the erroneous was effected from the Seventh day of the First month or Nisan. The priesthood had prepared themselves and the nation.

 

The New Moon of the Seventh month (Tishri) was also important (see also the paper Trumpets (No. 136)).

Leviticus 23:24  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. (KJV)

 

Nehemiah 8:2  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. (KJV)

 

The New Moon of the Seventh month thus commences the restoration through the Reading of the Law, which occurs every seven years of the Jubilee cycle over every day of Tabernacles (cf. Deut. 31:10-12 and also Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250)).

 

 

Nehemiah 8:18  Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner. (KJV)

The symbolism here is that the Seventh or Sabbath year represents the millennial cycle of one thousand years, which commences with the return of Messiah, who issues the Law from Jerusalem. The Law then spreads throughout the world from the subjugation of the nations. The reading on the Day of Trumpets, in the restoration of Nehemiah, was to point towards the restoration of Messiah and from Trumpets (cf. also the paper Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272)).

 

From the wilderness of the dispersion God will then deal with Israel and restore it. The elect of Christ are part of Israel and are dealt with as the nation (Hos. 2:14-23).

 

The New Moons were kept in the Christian Church both under the Apostles and in the dispersion and the method of keeping them is not a matter for judgment. They were still being kept in Europe in the seventeenth century (see General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122); and The Sabbatarians In Transylvania by Samuel Kohn (1894), (English translation published by CCG Publishing, 1998).

Colossians 2:16-17   Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (KJV)

 

The New Moons are necessary for man’s well being. They have been replaced in the so-called civil calendar by the pagan days of human sacrifice. In the USA, the civil calendar has its major holidays on these pagan days. This should not be overlooked.

 

The Sabbaths and the New Moons were treated in the same way for the conduct of business. The conduct of commerce or of buying and selling is and was prohibited on both the New Moon and the Sabbath.

Amos 8:4-6  Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? (KJV)

 

This restriction is a serious problem to modern day Israel. However, there is in fact no exception that seems to enable the Sabbath to be divorced from the New Moons, other than with the Feasts through distinction from the Ten Commandments, as Shabbatown. However, all must be kept.

 

Amos goes on to pronounce sentence upon Israel for the failure to keep the Sabbaths and the New Moons correctly.

Amos 8:8-12  Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (KJV)

 

The direct punishment for not obeying the word of God is that what we have is removed. The famine of the word comes as punishment for disobedience. The profaning of the Sabbath and the New Moons by traffic and commerce in dishonest breach of the law is the prime cause. The House of Jacob was dispersed for these offences, yet they were kept and not lost, like as corn is sifted through a sieve (Amos 9:8-15).

(Cox, W.E., “F” The New Moons (No. 125), CCG. 1995-2007, pp. 5-10).

 

Significance of the New Moons in the Plan of God

“Genesis 1:14 shows that God set the lights in the heavens to determine the days and the nights and as signs and for seasons. The New Moons determine the order and timing of the Feasts and logically precede the Sabbath, which represents the act of completion as the seventh day, whereas the Moons commenced from the fourth day. The lights are to separate light from darkness (Gen. 1:18). The moon demonstrates the light of the world within the darkness that rules it. The sun is used to depict Christ (Mal. 4:2).

Malachi 4:2-5  But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. 4 "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 "Behold, I will send you Eli'jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. (RSV)

 

The moon is also symbolic because it is in phases. The New Moon represents the beginning of the activity of each cycle. There are twelve months in the year (apart from intercalation) (1Kgs. 4:7; 1Chr. 27:1-15). They are generally reckoned to be 30 days in length (Gen. 7:11; 8:3-4; Num. 20:29; Deut. 21:13; 34:8; Esth. 4:11; Dan. 6:7-13). See also the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156).

 

The New Moon is the “beginning of the lunar month, namely the period between one conjunction and the next, the length of which has been accurately calculated in the astronomical schools” (Judaeus Philo, The Special Laws, II, XXVI, 140, F.H. Colson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1937).

 

In addition to this quote there is another text regarding the New Moons and their determination that deals with the exact day of the New Moon.

The Festivals according to Philo

In dealing with the Feasts under the commandments we read what Philo has to say in The Specials Laws about the fourth commandment inter alia:

 

THE SPECIAL LAWS, II*

{**Yonge's title, A Treatise on the Special Laws, Which Are Referred to Three Articles of the Decalogue, Namely the Third, Fourth, and Fifth; About Oaths, and the Reverence Due to Them; About the Holy Sabbath; About the Honour To Be Paid to Parents.}

....

Yonge's translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On the Number Seven. His next division begins and ends with roman numeral I (= X in the Loeb). The text follows the Loeb numbering.

X. (39) The next commandment is that concerning the sacred seventh day, in which are comprehended an infinite number of most important festivals. For instance, there is the release of those men who by nature were free, but who, through some unforeseen necessity of the times, have become slaves, which release takes place every seventh year. Again, there is the humanity of creditors towards their debtors, as they forgive their countrymen their debts every seventh year. Also there is the rest given to the fertile ground, whether it be in the champaign or in the mountainous country, which also takes place every seventh year. Moreover, there are those ordinances, which are established respecting the fiftieth year. And of all these things the bare narration (without looking to any inner and figurative signification) is sufficient to lead those who are well disposed to perfect virtue, and to make even those who are obstinate and stubborn in their dispositions more docile and tractable. (40) Now we have already spoken at some length about the virtue of the number seven, explaining what a nature it has in reference to the number ten; and also what a connection it has to the decade itself, and also to the number four, which is the foundation and the source of the decade. And now, having been compounded in regular order from the unit, it in regular order produces the perfect number twenty-eight; being multiplied according to a regular proportion equal in all its parts, it makes at last both a cube and a square. I also showed how there is an infinite number of beauties which may be extracted from a careful contemplation of it, on which we have not at present time to dilate. But we must examine every one of the special matters which are before us as comprehended in this one, beginning with the first. The first matter to be considered is that of the Festivals. [Yonge's translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: To Show That the Festivals Are Ten in Number. This "treatise" begins with roman numeral I (= XI in the Loeb), enumerates each of the ten festivals individually, and extends through Loeb number 214. The text follows the Loeb numbering.]

XI. (41) Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down.

The first is that which any one will perhaps be astonished to hear called a festival. This festival is every day.

The second festival is the seventh day, which the Hebrews in their native language call the sabbath.

The third is that which comes after the conjunction, which happens on the day of the new moon in each month.

The fourth is that of the passover which is called the passover.

The fifth is the first fruits of the corn--the sacred sheaf. [Note the Wave Sheaf is one of the Ten festivals of the Temple period]

The sixth is the feast of unleavened bread, after which that festival is celebrated, which is really

The seventh day of seventh days.

The eighth is the festival of the sacred moon, or the feast of trumpets.

The ninth is the fast.

The tenth is the feast of tabernacles, which is the last of all the annual festivals, ending so as to make the perfect number of ten. We must now begin with the first festival.

 

[Note Philo here combines the Last Great Day with the Feast of Tabernacles making Ten instead of Eleven]

 

We notice here that in the introduction in dealing with the third Feast, namely the New Moon, Philo uses the term which has been rendered after the conjunction and some others have rendered as following in the sense of “according to” or “as determined by” the conjunction. However, he qualifies this matter by saying which happens on the day of the New Moon in each month. The text is thus quite clear that the New Moon is the day on which the conjunction occurs. In the later explanations Philo then goes on to state that the month is from one conjunction to the next as determined in the astronomical schools, as was quoted above.

 

Yonge’s translation lacked part of 140 and the texts of 142-144 (which is supplied here) and explains the timing and the theology behind the New Moon and why it runs according to the conjunction and the New Moon day is the day of the conjunction.

 

THE THIRD FESTIVAL

XXVI. (140) Following the order which we have adopted, we proceed to speak of the third festival, that of the new moon. First of all, because it is the beginning of the month, and the beginning, whether of number or of time, is honourable. Secondly, because at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light. (141) Thirdly, because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders. And this is, as it seems, an evident lesson of kindness and humanity to men, to teach them that they should never grudge to impart their own good things to others, but, imitating the heavenly bodies, should drive envy away and banish it from the Soul. {17}{sections 142-144 were omitted in Yonge's translation because the edition on which Yonge based his translation, Mangey, lacked this material. These lines have been newly translated for this volume.} (142) The fourth reason is that of all the bodies in the heaven, the moon traverses the zodiac in the least appointed time: it accomplishes its orbit in a monthly interval. For this reason the law has honored the end of its orbit, the point when the moon has finished at the beginning point from which it began to travel, by having called that day a feast so that it might again teach us an excellent lesson that in the affairs of life we should make the ends harmonious with the beginnings. This will happen if we hold the reins on our first impulses with the power of reason and do not permit them to refuse the reins and to run free like animals without anyone in charge of the herd.

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/philo/book28.html

 

There can thus be no error. The New Moon is on the day of the conjunction as determined by the schools from Jerusalem. To postpone the New Moon as is done by Judaism is to postpone all the festivals and make them of no value. It is simply thumbing one’s nose at God and His Laws. On the New Moon hang all the subsequent festivals.

 

The entire Plan of Salvation is demonstrated from each New Moon through the calculation of the Feasts and their demonstration in the cycle of the actual physical harvests” (Cox, W.E., “G” The New Moons of Israel (No. 132), CCG, 1995-2008, pp. 3,5,6,7).

 

“The entire congregation – leader and people – is commanded to worship on both the Sabbath and the New Moons (see also Ezek. 46:6,9-10).

Ezekiel 46:1-3  Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. (KJV)

 

The sacrifice of the New Moon is in fact greater than that of the Sabbath (Ezek. 46:4,6). There is no distinction made between the New Moon and the weekly Sabbath. Both days are holy and no trading is permitted on either day.

Amos 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? (KJV)”

(Cox, W.E., “H” The Harvests of God, the New Moon Sacrifices, and the 144,000 (No. 120), CCG, 1995-2007, p. 13).

 

“The New Moon is a precise astronomical event which is perfectly predictable. It must be determined from the time in which it occurs in Jerusalem to ensure the uniformity of religious worship throughout the world, given increased communication. This is based upon the Scriptures that place Jerusalem as the Throne of the Lord (Jer. 3:17), the centre of the Law and the point from which it will issue under Messiah (Isa. 2:3) and through the waters of the Spirit (Zech. 8:22; 14:8-21). God has placed His Name there for ever (2Chr. 33:4)” (Cox, W.E.,”I” God’s Calendar (No. 156), CCG, 1996-2008, p. 13)

 

Holy Days and Feasts

“The annual Holy Days are found in Leviticus 23:1-44, Numbers 28:16-29:35 and Deuteronomy 16:1-16. These annual Holy Days mirror the Plan of Salvation of the Lord. They are mandatory and carry specific requirements as signs between God and His people. The Holy Day is treated as a Sabbath.

 

The Holy Days consist of:

·        Passover/Unleavened bread (Lev. 23:5-8; Num. 28:16-18,25; Deut. 16:1-8);

·        Pentecost (Lev. 23:16,21; Num. 28:26; Deut. 16:9-12);

·        Trumpets (Lev. 23:24-25; Num. 29:1);

·        Atonement (Lev. 23:27-32; Num. 29:7); Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-35; Num. 29:12; Deut. 16:13-15);

·        Last Great Day (Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35).

(Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1), CCG, 4th ed., 1997, p. 24.)

 

Three Annual Feasts

The three annual Feasts are:

Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost/Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles/Booths (Deut. 16:16).

Exodus 23:14  "Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. (RSV)

 

Passover

Passover saw mankind redeemed from sin and the Feast of Unleavened Bread represents the removal of sin from the elect of Israel. The Feast of Unleavened Bread has two Holy Days: Passover on the fifteenth day, and the last day of Unleavened Bread on the twenty-first day of the First month (Abib).

Deuteronomy 16:1-2 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. 2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there. (RSV)

 

The first 36 hours of the Passover, including the Lord’s Supper and the meal of the 15th may not be kept at home or within our gates. This commences with the preparation day of 14 Nisan.

Deuteronomy 16:5-7 You may not offer the passover sacrifice within any of your towns which the LORD your God gives you; 6 but at the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the passover sacrifice, in the evening at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall boil it and eat it at the place which the LORD your God will choose; and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. RSV)

Lord’s Supper

“We are required to participate from obedience and keep all of the laws and regulations that Christ set for the Lord’s Supper and Passover meal. If we do not take this ceremony we have no part with Jesus Christ (Jn. 13:8).

John 6:53-56 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. (RSV)

 

The first ceremony of the Lord’s Supper is the act of foot-washing, which is followed by the partaking of the bread and wine. “The simple symbolism of Christ’s sacrifice is reflected in these two symbols of bread and wine” (Cox, W.E., “J” The Lord’s Supper (No. 103), CCG, 1995-2008, pp. 4-5).

 

Leavened bread may not be used at the Lord’s Supper service (cf. also Ex. 23:18).

Exodus 34:25   "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning. (RSV)

 

See also the papers Significance of the Footwashing (No. 99) and Significance of the Bread and Wine (No. 100).

 

Passover Legislation

The relevant legislation for the Passover is found in Exodus 12.

Exodus 12:1-51 The First Passover Instituted

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. 18 In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread. 21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. 24 You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. 25 When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. 26 And when your children ask you, “What do you mean by this observance?” 27 you shall say, “It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.”’ And the people bowed down and worshipped. 28 The Israelites went and did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn 29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians; and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, ‘Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord, as you said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!’ The Exodus: From Rameses to Succoth 33 The Egyptians urged the people to hasten their departure from the land, for they said, ‘We shall all be dead.’ 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading-bowls wrapped up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites had done as Moses told them; they had asked the Egyptians for jewellery of silver and gold, and for clothing, 36 and the Lord had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians. 37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38 A mixed crowd also went up with them, and livestock in great numbers, both flocks and herds. 39 They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt; it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. 40 The time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 At the end of four hundred and thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42 That was for the Lord a night of vigil, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. That same night is a vigil to be kept for the Lord by all the Israelites throughout their generations. Directions for the Passover 43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45 no bound or hired servant may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the animal outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47 The whole congregation of Israel shall celebrate it. 48 If an alien who resides with you wants to celebrate the passover to the Lord, all his males shall be circumcised; then he may draw near to celebrate it; he shall be regarded as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it; 49 there shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you. 50 All the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 That very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. (RSV)

 

The Feast is to be celebrated with unleavened bread (Ex. 12:8, 15-20; 12:3,6; 23:15; Lev. 23:6; Num. 9:11; 28:17; Deut. 16:3, 4; Mk. 14:12; Lk. 22:7; Acts 12:3; 1Cor. 5:8).

Deuteronomy 16:3-4 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning. (KJV)

 

Exodus 13:6-8 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory. 8 And you shall tell your son on that day, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' (RSV)

 

The penalty for neglecting to observe the Feast is to be cut off from the people or the congregation (Num. 9:13), except where unclean or on a journey as stated above. There is one statute for both stranger and sojourner (Num. 9:14).

 

Those who are not prepared to take the Passover, or who are travelling, are to take the Passover in the second month (Num. 9:6-12; 2Chr. 30:2-4).

Numbers 9:1-23 And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2  "Let the people of Israel keep the passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, in the evening, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its ordinances you shall keep it." 4 So Moses told the people of Israel that they should  keep the passover. 5 And they kept the passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. 6 And there were certain men who were unclean through touching the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day; 7 and those men said to him, "We are unclean through touching the dead body of a man; why are we kept from offering the LORD's offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?" 8 And Moses said to them, "Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you." 9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 "Say to the people of Israel, If any man of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is afar off on a journey, he shall still keep the passover to the LORD. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day in the evening they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute for the passover they shall keep it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, yet refrains from keeping the passover, that person shall be cut off from his people, because he did not offer the LORD's offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 14 And if a stranger sojourns among you, and will keep the passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the passover and according to its ordinance, so shall he do; you shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native." 15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony; and at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16 So it was continually; the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel encamped. 18 At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they encamped; as long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the LORD they remained in camp; then according to the command of the LORD they set out. 21 And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning; and when the cloud was taken up in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud was taken up they set out. 22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out; but when it was taken up they set out. 23 At the command of the LORD they encamped, and at the command of the LORD they set out; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by Moses. (RSV)

 

We have an obligation to keep the festival properly and for the full seven days. From Exodus 12:16 above we see that on the first and seventh days we are to hold a solemn assembly, and no work is be done on those days; only what we are to eat.

Deuteronomy 16:8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. (KJV)

Wave-Sheaf Offering

The Wave-Sheaf Offering is held on the first day of the week, Sunday (at 9 a.m.), within Unleavened Bread. This offering pictures Christ’s ascending into the Throne room of God to be accepted after his resurrection from the dead, as shown in Daniel 7:13-14 and John 20:17. Christ was the wave or sheaf offering, which was the first-fruits of all the harvests (Ex. 29:24-27; see also Lev. 7:30,34; 8:27,29; 9:21; 10:14,15; 14:12,24; 23:11-20; Num. 5:25; 6:20; 18:11, 18)” (Cox, W.E.,  “K” The Passover (No. 98), CCG, 1995-2008, pp. 2,3,8,9).

 

“The Wave-Sheaf Offering is a mandatory ordinance associated with the Feast of the Passover and controls both the timing of Pentecost and the consumption of the new harvests” (Lev. 23:9-14) (Cox, W.E., “L” The Wave Sheaf Offering (No. 106b), CCG, 1995-2008, p. 2).

 

Pentecost

Deuteronomy 16:9-12 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. 12 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes. (KJV)

 

The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (cf. Ex. 23:16; 34:22) is fifty days from the Wave-Sheaf Offering on the first day of the week, Sunday, following the seventh complete Sabbath. The Feast of Weeks represents the harvest of the elect, which is symbolised as the wheat harvest. See the paper The Omer Count to Pentecost (No. 173).

 

Trumpets

Trumpets on the First day of the Seventh month (Tishri) is a day of rest and a sacred assembly (Lev. 23:24). This Holy Day is traditionally viewed as the coming of the Trumpet of the Archangel and within the Churches of God represents the return of the Messiah. See also the paper Trumpets (No. 136).

Numbers 29:1-6 "On the first day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It is a day for you to blow the trumpets, 2 and you shall offer a burnt offering, a pleasing odor to the LORD: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish; 3 also their cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for the bull, two tenths for the ram, 4 and one tenth for each of the seven lambs; 5 with one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you; 6 besides the burnt offering of the new moon, and its cereal offering, and the continual burnt offering and its cereal offering, and their drink offering, according to the ordinance for them, a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD. (RSV)

 

Atonement

Atonement is a day of sacred assembly and on this day we deny ourselves (Lev. 23:27). It falls on the 10th day of the Seventh month and represents the reconciliation of Israel and the Earth to God under Messiah. See also the paper Atonement (No. 138).

 

Atonement is called a Sabbatised Sabbath and a Holy Gathering.

Numbers 29:7-11  "On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation, and afflict yourselves; you shall do no work, 8 but you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing odor: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; they shall be to you without blemish; 9 and their cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for the bull, two tenths for the one ram, 10 a tenth for each of the seven lambs: 11 also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering and its cereal offering, and their drink offerings. (RSV)

Both Trumpets and Atonement are called Holy Days and not Feasts.

 

Feast of Tabernacles

Deuteronomy 16:13-15 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. 15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. (KJV)

The Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering (cf. Ex. 23:16; Num. 29:12-40) represents the millennial rule of Messiah. It begins on the Fifteenth day of the Seventh month as a Holy Day. This is followed on the 22nd day by the Last Great Day, as a Feast in its own right (Lev. 23:34; Deut. 16:13-15; 31:10-13). The Last Great Day shows the final resurrection occurring after the thousand years of the Millennium and the coming of the City of God See the paper Keeping the Feasts (No. 56).

 

Numbers 29:12-40  "On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work, and you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days; 13 and you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD, thirteen young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old; they shall be without blemish; 14 and their cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two tenths for each of the two rams, 15 and a tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; 16 also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its cereal offering and its drink offering. 17 "On the second day twelve young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, 18 with the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 19 also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and its cereal offering, and their drink offerings. 20 "On the third day eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, 21 with the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 22 also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and its cereal offering and its drink offering. 23 "On the fourth day ten bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, 24 with the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 25 also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its cereal offering and its drink offering. 26 "On the fifth day nine bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, 27 with the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 28 also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering and its cereal offering and its drink offering. 29 "On the sixth day eight bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, 30 with the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 31 also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, its cereal offering, and its drink offerings. 32 "On the seventh day seven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, 33 with the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 34 also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering, its cereal offering, and its drink offering. 35 "On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly: you shall do no laborious work, 36 but you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish, 37 and the cereal offering and the drink offerings for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, by number, according to the ordinance; 38 also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the continual burnt offering and its cereal offering and its drink offering. 39 "These you shall offer to the LORD at your appointed feasts, in addition to your votive offerings and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your cereal offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings." 40 And Moses told the people of Israel everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses. (RSV)

 

Preparation for attending the Feasts

“There are regulations governing our preparation in order to get to the Feasts. Not only do we have to have the faith and determination to put our work down and go, but also we have to realise that all of us have an obligation, financially as well as physically. That is, we should prepare to go to the Feasts. Deuteronomy 12:17-19 says there is a regulation in the expenditure of second tithe. We are required to put away a second tithe for our attendance at the Feasts.

Deuteronomy 12:17-19  You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herd or of your flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the offering that you present; 18 but you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and the Levite who is within your towns; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake. 19 Take heed that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land. (RSV)”

(Cox, W.E, “M” Keeping the Feasts (No. 56), CCG, 1994-2007, p. 8).

 

The second tithe is to be used for attendance at the Feasts in your own areas where the distance is too great to go to the appointed sites.

Deuteronomy 12:21  If the place which the LORD your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your towns as much as you desire. (RSV)

 

As we can see, the tithe system is tied to the Feasts.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 "And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24  "But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the LORD your God has blessed you, 25 "then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. 26 "And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 "You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. 28 "At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. 29 "And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do. (RSV)

The Feasts operate within the Jubilee system. See also the paper God's Feasts as they relate to the Creation (No. 227).

 

Feasts as part of the Plan of Salvation

The purpose and Plan of God is revealed by the structure and sequence of the Feasts, established as ordinances in the Bible.

 

The Feasts were given to Moses by Yahovah (or Jehovah). These Feasts were to be proclaimed as holy convocations. These were Feasts of the Lord and he called them My feasts (Lev. 23:2). They are referred to as the feasts of the Lord in Leviticus 23 and 2Chronicles 2:4. The term your feasts was also used in Numbers 15:3 and 29:39. The term their feasts is used in Isaiah 1:14 and 5:12 in a negative aspect. The Feasts were thus not of secular or earthly provenance. They could not logically be changed or abandoned unless the Plan of Salvation, which they represent, had been changed or abandoned.

Leviticus 23:4-44   "These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is the LORD's passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. 8 But you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD seven days; on the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work." 9 And the LORD said to Moses, 10 "Say to the people of Israel, When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest; 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, that you may find acceptance; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 And the cereal offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, to be offered by fire to the LORD, a pleasing odor; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 "And you shall count from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven full weeks shall they be, 16 counting fifty days to the morrow after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a cereal offering of new grain to the LORD. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven, as first fruits to the LORD. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one young bull, and two rams; they shall be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their cereal offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs; they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 And you shall make proclamation on the same day; you shall hold a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work: it is a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 "And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field to its very border, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God." 23 And the LORD said to Moses, 24 "Say to the people of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no laborious work; and you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD." 26 And the LORD said to Moses, 27 "On the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present an offering by fire to the LORD. 28 And you shall do no work on this same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on this same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no work: it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves; on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your sabbath." 33  And the LORD said to Moses, 34 "Say to the people of Israel, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the feast of booths to the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. 36 Seven days you shall present offerings by fire to the LORD; on the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work. 37 "These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the LORD offerings by fire, burnt offerings and cereal offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day; 38 besides the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts, and besides all your votive offerings, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. 39 "On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD seven days; on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD seven days in the year; it is a statute for ever throughout your generations; you shall keep it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days; all that are native in Israel shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." 44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the LORD. (RSV)

 

Christ kept all the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts. The apostolic Church also kept the Sabbaths, New Moons and the Feasts (Col. 2:16) as has the Church for over two thousand years. The nations in the Millennium will also keep all of these Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts (Isa. 66:23; Zech. 14:16-19).

 

The entire process of the introduction of the elect within Christianity is predicated on the Holy Day sequence occurring up until the general or Second Resurrection. The Holy Days cannot be abolished until the Last Great Day completes this portion of the plan. Each Feast represents an ongoing part of the Plan of God and are, by definition of the harvest system, still existing and presently unfolding.

1Peter 2:5 … you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (KJV)

 

Modern Christianity does not adhere to these Feasts and consequently is without direction and understanding concerning the biblical Plan. The modern churches are disregarding the instructions which the Bible (the basis of the Judeo-Christian religion) shows were established in the creation narrative in Genesis and were provided by God to Moses and His servants the prophets. These Laws detail the conduct of the Faith and expressly denote His festivals.

 

The Feasts are thus given by God to Christ and Christ maintains and enforces those structures within his elect and ultimately throughout the nations for the millennial structure. Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Heb. 13:8). God is immutable (Mal. 3:6; Jas. 1:17). Thus neither change and, therefore, the days they hold as sacred for humanity as given by Law do not change.

 

The Holy Days and the Sabbaths are impugned deliberately. That is a promise that God Himself had made through the prophets. God spoke through the prophet Amos and likened Israel in the Last Days as a basket of summer fruit (Amos 8:1ff.). The failure to obey God is the key element. The punishment for failure to obey God is that the Sabbaths and the Feasts are turned into mourning. That is followed by the famine of hearing the word of Yahovah (Jehovah) (Amos 8:11-14). Because of the failure to understand the nature of the One True God (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20) the people are punished (Hos. 8:5-9).

 

The elect are judged by their knowledge of the One True God, from which the understanding of the Law flows and becomes entrenched within the mind and heart of the individual.

 

The issue is not the Sabbath, or the Feasts, or the Law, but the fact that God the Father is the One True God (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20) and that He alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16). One can keep the Sabbath and still be a heretic. If we do not hold fast to this truth we will be removed from the elect and be given over to strong delusion and the belief in a lie (2Thes. 2:11).

(Cox, W.E., “N” The Holy Days of God (No. 97), CCG, 1995-2007, pp. 2,5,6,7,8,11).

Festival Offerings

“Part of the preparation for all of these Feasts is to consider the blessings which God our Father has bestowed upon us, and appear with an offering in accordance with those blessings. We cannot just show up at the Feasts and make a spur of the moment decision based on what we have in our pocket at the time, or write a cheque and think we have done our duty as Christians.

2Corinthians 9:7 Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (RSV)

 

We must consider what God has done for us and give an offering that is appropriate.

Deuteronomy 16:17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you. (RSV)

 

Three times a year God commands us to gather together at the location where He places His name, and we are not to appear before the Lord empty-handed.

Deuteronomy 16:16 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place which he will choose: at the feast of unleavened bread, at the feast of weeks, and at the feast of booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed; (RSV)

The term “place which He will choose” has been varied over time and depends on the locations of the nations that God has given us for an inheritance. The Feasts have been celebrated in the nations we are given and are not dependent upon Jerusalem” (Cox, W.E., “O” Offering (No. 275), CCG, 2006, pp. 2,3).

 

“The legislation regarding the collection is found at Exodus 23:17-19.

Exodus 23:17-19 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD. 18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning. 19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. (KJV)

 

The “fat” is the offerings at the Feasts. It does not mean that fat, as prohibited under the Law, can be consumed (cf. Lev. 3:17). The same term is found in Genesis 45:18 and Nehemiah 8:10.

Leviticus 3:17 It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood." (KJV)

 

“By Law, the offerings are to be made three times a year only – not on each Holy Day. Also, the collection is to be taken up on the first evening of each Feast; it cannot be left to the morning. There are good reasons for this: the poor and the Levites had to eat and the preparations were done before the Feast. Messiah will enforce this system under the Millennium, but it is part of God’s Law now” (see also the paper Ingathering (No. 139)).

 

The Day of Trumpets is not mentioned in Deuteronomy 16. Similarly, it is strictly forbidden to give an offering on the Day of Atonement. Thus, three times is what is said and what is meant. The relationship is tied to the three harvests of God: Messiah as Wave Sheaf; the elect of the First Resurrection (the wheat harvest at Pentecost); and the general harvest of the world at Tabernacles.

 

Weekly collections at Church are against God’s Laws. The collection referred to on the first day of the week, or Sunday, ordered by Paul was not an endorsement of either Sunday worship or of weekly offerings (1Cor. 16:2-4)” (Cox, W.E. “P” Tithing (No. 161), CCG, 1996-2007, pp. 12,13).

 

“The offerings required were altered in their necessity to that of spiritual offerings each day of the Holy Day sequence, from Sabbaths to New Moons to Feasts. The sacrifices under the Law were provided for from a special levy allocated under the responsibility of the national authority. The Prince’s levy is examined in the paper Tithing (No. 161).

Ezekiel 45:14-17 Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: 15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. 16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. (KJV)

 

This offering was a tithe of a tithe of oil and a half-tithe of the tithe for the meat offerings. The Prince collected this for the sacrifices on Sabbaths, New Moons, Holy Days and offerings. Thus, it is incorrect to claim that the tithe was eliminated with the sacrifices because they were obviously provided for separately” (Cox, “F”, op. cit., p. 5).

Numbers 31:50-54 And we have brought the LORD's offering,  [SHD 07133 qorban, (898d) meaning: offering, oblation] what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and beads, to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD."  51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest received from them the gold, all wrought articles. 52 And all the gold of the offering [SHD 08641 terumah] that they offered to the LORD, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels. 53 (The men of war had taken booty, every man for himself.) 54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting, as a memorial for the people of Israel before the LORD. (RSV)

 

Numbers 3:44-51 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 "Take the Levites instead of all the first-born among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD.  46 "And for the ransom of the 273 of the first-born of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 48 and give the money, [SHD 03701, keseph] the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons."  49 So Moses took the ransom money [SHD 03701 keseph] from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites; 50 from the first-born of the sons of Israel he took the money [SHD 03701 keseph] in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365.  51 Then Moses gave the ransom money [SHD 03701 keseph] to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. (NASV)

 

The tithe of the tithe was given to the High Priest for the upkeep of the Temple and its administration (2Kg. 12:1-19; 22:5-6; Ezra 6:8).

 

Seventh/Sabbath Year Land Rest

This includes:

1. The seventh year release of servitude (Ex. 21:2-6, Deut. 15:12-18),

2. The forgiveness of debts (Deut. 15:1-6), and

3. The land sabbath or rest (Ex. 23:10-11; Lev. 25:1-7, 19-24).

 

In the Sabbath or Seventh year, we are to read the Law of God on each day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 31:10-13; Neh. 7:73; 8:1-18).

 

Deuteronomy 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. (KJV)

“The term for the book of the law is understood as Torah or the Torah Scroll. Bullinger makes the same comparison and refers also to 2Kings 22:8 and 23:25, and he makes a note on Exodus 17:14 to which he refers. 2Kings 22:8-13 in comparison with 23:25 shows that the entire Book of the Law was to be observed and because it was not the nation would be punished (vv. 14ff.).

 

We see from Nehemiah 8:18 that the Law was read day by day and so it is not acceptable simply to read it on the Last Great Day, or on any day alone. The Feast was kept each day according to Law, and the Eighth day was a solemn assembly as the Last Great Day (cf. Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35ff.) with its specific sacrifices (cf. Soncino).

 

The Reading of the Law eliminates the intrusion of traditions and enables the restoration of the Jubilee and the land Sabbath. It also obeys the will of God and empowers our people and gives a vision of the Plan of Salvation” (Cox, W.E., “Q” Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250), CCG, 1998-2007, p. 11).

 

Land Rest

“The Sabbath year requires the land to be rested from commercial cropping. The legislation of Leviticus 25:1-7 forbids the planting of the fields or pruning of vineyards or olive orchards (Ex. 23:10). The produce of the fields and the grapes of the undressed vines are not to be gathered in the seventh year of the cycle. It is to be used for food by the owners, the household and the poor or sojourner in the land. The land is thus freed from being worked and will in fact produce whatever grows of itself” (Cox, “P”, op.cit., p. 13).

 

All of the land is God’s and it is not to be sold permanently. We are God’s tenants.

Leviticus 25:23 The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me. (RSV)

 

We have no claim on the rivers, because God made them and they are His.

Ezekiel 29:9 And the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste. Then they will know that I am the LORD. "Because you said, 'The Nile is mine, and I made it,' (RSV)

 

When the land is defiled God punishes the land and the inhabitants are vomited out.

Leviticus 18:25-30 … and the land became defiled, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you shall keep my statutes and my ordinances and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you 27 (for all of these abominations the men of the land did, who were before you, so that the land became defiled); 28 lest the land vomit you out, when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29 For whoever shall do any of these abominations, the persons that do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs which were practiced before you, and never to defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God." (RSV)

 

Breaking God’s Law carries its penalties. The punishment if we will not listen is listed at Leviticus 26:14-33.

Leviticus 26:14-15 "But if you will not hearken to me, and will not do all these commandments, 15 if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, …(KJV)

 

Leviticus 26:43 But the land shall be left by them, and enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; and they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they spurned my ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes. (RSV)

 

When we plant any kind of fruit trees, the fruit is forbidden to be eaten for the first three years.

Leviticus 19:23-25 "When you come into the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden; three years it shall be forbidden to you, it must not be eaten. 24 And in the fourth year all their fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat of their fruit, that they may yield more richly for you: I am the LORD your God. (RSV)

 

Also, as we see in the fourth year all the fruit is considered holy and is handed over to the priests as an offering to the Lord.

Numbers 5:9-10 And every offering, all the holy things of the people of Israel, which they bring to the priest, shall be his; 10 and every man's holy things shall be his; whatever any man gives to the priest shall be his." (RSV)

 

“The keeping of the land Sabbaths is critical to the nation’s continued prosperity. The punishment for not keeping the Law and land Sabbaths and the Jubilee period is national captivity (Lev. 26:33-35).

 

Judah was sent into captivity because the spirit of the Law was profaned. Land Sabbaths were being profaned and the Jubilee system became lost to the extent that Jews were selling land, in the Seventh year of individual ownership to third parties and reclaiming the land the following year; and so on with business sold or leased during the Feasts etc. This practice mocks God.

2Chronicles 36:20-21 He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfil seventy years. (RSV)

Judah had not kept the Sabbaths and the Law properly for some 70 weeks of years previously: i.e. from the construction of Solomon’s Temple, which was the period of Israel's history signified by the second Cherub of Ezekiel's vision. It should also be noted that the nation that was used to destroy Judah was itself destroyed after the period, and Judah was re-established” (Cox, W.E., “R” The Meaning of Ezekiel’s Vision (No. 108), CCG, 1995-2008, pp. 3,4).

 

As promised, they were returned to the Promised Land after the land had received its neglected Sabbaths.

Jeremiah 29:10 "For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. (RSV)

 

The various inheritances of the tribes of Israel are given in Joshua chapters 14 to 19.

Joshua 18:1-9 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; the land lay subdued before them. 2 There remained among the people of Israel seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been apportioned. 3 So Joshua said to the people of Israel, "How long will you be slack to go in and take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you? 4 Provide three men from each tribe, and I will send them out that they may set out and go up and down the land, writing a description of it with a view to their inheritances, and then come to me. 5 They shall divide it into seven portions, Judah continuing in his territory on the south, and the house of Joseph in their territory on the north. 6 And you shall describe the land in seven divisions and bring the description here to me; and I will cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. 7 The Levites have no portion among you, for the priesthood of the LORD is their heritage; and Gad and Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan eastward, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them."  8 So the men started on their way; and Joshua charged those who went to write the description of the land, saying, "Go up and down and write a description of the land, and come again to me; and I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh." 9 So the men went and passed up and down in the land and set down in a book a description of it by towns in seven divisions; then they came to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh, 10 and Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD; and there Joshua apportioned the land to the people of Israel, to each his portion. (RSV)

 

Joshua 19:51 These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the people of Israel distributed by lot at Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land. (RSV)

 

The cities of refuge (48 in all) were also included in this assignment of tribal inheritance.

Joshua 20:2-9 "Say to the people of Israel, 'Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, 3 that the manslayer who kills any person without intent or unwittingly may flee there; they shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood. 4 He shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and explain his case to the elders of that city; then they shall take him into the city, and give him a place, and he shall remain with them. 5 And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not give up the slayer into his hand; because he killed his neighbor unwittingly, having had no enmity against him in times past. 6 And he shall remain in that city until he has stood before the congregation for judgment, until the death of him who is high priest at the time: then the slayer may go again to his own town and his own home, to the town from which he fled.'" 7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, and Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriatharba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8 And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they appointed Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland, from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh. 9 These were the cities designated for all the people of Israel, and for the stranger sojourning among them, that any one who killed a person without intent could flee there, so that he might not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, till he stood before the congregation. (RSV)

 

“The cities chosen were among those also assigned to the Levites, where ideally the law of God would be especially known and honoured” (fn. to Josh. 20, The NIV Study Bible, p. 318).

 

Sabbaticals

“The Sabbath year allows each person to be freed from the legal obligation implicit in the fourth commandment to labour on a weekly basis throughout the year, with the exception of the Feasts and Holy Days and the occasional leave from labour granted for the normal day-to-day functioning of the society. People may use the Sabbath year for the study they have chosen to undertake and, in particular, biblical studies that might confer no economic benefit. In a normal year, if a man decided simply to take the year off and do nothing, he would legally be in breach of the fourth commandment.

 

The requirement to refrain from commercial exploitation of the land and the annual cropping during this year absolves each person from producing an annual tithable income by regular labour. It is a matter of fact that not all people are farmers and relatively few are dependent upon the produce of the land. Within today’s society the majority of people work on a regular basis and only the very, very few are privileged enough to be given paid Sabbatical leave. However, that does not limit the application of the Law or the rights and entitlements of the individual under the Law. It is a matter of choice as to whether an individual works and earns income from labour other than commercial cropping.

 

God promised that we would be given a treble harvest in the years preceding the Sabbath and the Jubilee years. This was to ensure that enough tithe and produce and tithable income would be available to enable us to keep the Sabbath and Jubilee years.

 

“With the greater degree of freedom extended to the individual in the Sabbath year, the tithe system is made freer, and thus the onus is on the individual to determine what constitutes tithable income.

 

“It is up to the individual to determine what has been set aside from the second tithe income of the previous six years and what is available in the Seventh year. In Sabbath years all moneys payable to the Church are classed as offerings(Cox, “P”, op. cit., pp. 13,14).

 

Release from Debts

“God has issued a specific law concerning debts and the release in the Sabbath Year, which is called the “year of release”.

 

It is written:

Deuteronomy 15:1-17 At the end of every seven years you shall make a release. 2 And this is the manner of release: Every creditor that lends anything unto his neighbour shall release it: he shall not exact it of his neighbour or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.

 

We are all required to forgive debt in the Sabbath year if we are asked for release.

3 Of a foreigner you may exact it again, but that which is yours with your brother your hand shall release. 4 Save when there is no poor among you: for the Lord shall greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God shall give you for an inheritance to possess it.

 

However, we can collect debts owed to us from those who are not our brothers.

5 Only if you carefully hearken to the voice of the Lord your God to observe to do all these commandments, which I command you this day. 6 For the Lord your God blesses you as He promised you and you shall lend to many nations but you shall not borrow; and you shall reign over many nations but they shall not reign over you.

 

The Law of God sanctions us lending to foreign nations due to the blessings God has given us, but we should not borrow from them. However, we are not permitted to charge usury or interest on those debts. God has said in Psalm 15:5 that this person shall stand in the congregation of the Lord: “He that does not put his hand out to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.

 

 7 If there be a poor man of one of your brethren within any of your gates in the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother. 8 But you shall open your hand wide to him, and you shall surely lend him sufficient for his needs in that which he is wanting. 9 Beware that there is not a thought in your wicked heart (i.e. heart of Belial), saying: The seventh year, the year of release is at hand; and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing; and he cry to the Lord against you and it be sin against you.

If people are in need we have an obligation to lend. “Simply because the Sabbath is approaching, we are not allowed to harden our hearts and not give to our brothers. 

 

10 You shall surely give him and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; because it is for this thing that the Lord your God shall bless you in all your works and in all that you put your hand to do. 11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command you saying ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to the poor and to your needy in your land. 12 "If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.

Foreigners and Jews owned the banking system and misused the Law of God under improper distinctions regarding neighbours and Hebrews (vv.1-11) and those against slavery (v. 12). The British monarchy established the banking system in order to fund and support its wars. This system is contrary to God’s Law and will be abolished by the Jubilee of the Messianic system (Cox, “P”, op. cit., p. 14).

 

13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed; 14 you shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your wine press; as the LORD your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 But if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your bondman forever. And to your bondwoman you shall do likewise. (RSV)

 

“Thus, we can lend but not charge interest. It is immoral to bankrupt people and nations by charging usury or interest. The writing-off of the debts of the developing nations is thus mandatory for any Bible believer and Bible believing nation.

 

Each nation is required to govern themselves according to the Laws of God and to fund themselves. If they cannot pay their way then as a group they are living above their means.

 

There is also a requirement placed on our brothers in all nations to support themselves and not to be constantly asking for financial support from their brothers. We cannot enslave our own people through usury and with corporate slavery. Each of us is judged by the way we treat each other, both as a people and as nations.

 

The way the world has been set up in current times in its corporate structure is unsustainable. It will collapse under its own weight with the inequitable system it has created. God will allow the collapse and He will restore His system under His Laws at the end of the trouble.

 

Without usury and with God’s Laws we can create wealth and live securely. If we work contrary to that system we will create inequity. The Law of God and His system work on a theory of obligation and not one of rights.”

http://www.ccg.org/_domain/ccg.org/Sabbath/2005/S_07_09_05.htm

 

From the Scriptures below we see that lending money at interest is forbidden in the Old Testament. This usury is not to take any form of money, provisions or assets. Interest is the sum paid for the use of money borrowed (the principal), or for the forbearance of a debt” (Macquarie ABC Dictionary).

Exodus 22:25  "If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 25:36-37 Take no interest from him or increase, but fear your God; that your brother may live beside you. 37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. (RSV)

 

Deuteronomy 23:19 "You shall not lend upon interest to your brother, interest on money, interest on victuals, interest on anything that is lent for interest. (RSV)

 

Usury/interest is tokos (SGD 5110) and is used twice in the New Testament, in Matthew 25:27 and Luke 19:23, in the parable of the talents.

 

Matthew 25:27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest (usury: KJV). (RSV)

Christ was not condoning the taking of interest in these Scriptures. The comments by Christ relate to the Kingdom of God and not to money.

 

Lending money at increase is usury and theft and God condemns this practice and the people who do it. Under the reign of Messiah, every person lending anything and taking money by way of interest will be brought to judgment and made to repay according to the penalties associated with theft and dishonest gain. See also the paper Law and the Eighth Commandment (No. 261).

 

The Jubilee

When Adam and Eve sinned not only were they banished from the Garden of Eden but also God cursed the land they would live and eat from (Gen. 3:17-18). However, in order to protect man and the planet until Messiah restored all to God at the end of 7000 years, the Jubilee system was introduced. The Jubilee system works for the benefit of all the planet when we follow God’s Laws.

 

“The entire Calendar system is based on the Jubilee. The Jubilee is a fifty-year cycle, which is reflected in the construction of the Temple and the Church and the Bible structure. It is made up of seven cycles each of seven years. The Jubilee pointed towards the life of man and his fifty years of growth.

 

The Jubilee year is counted from Atonement on the Forty-ninth year to Atonement in the Fiftieth year or Jubilee, when all lands return to the tribal possessors. All land values are calculated from this basis (Lev. 25:15). This year is kept and the Jubilee blown at Atonement in year forty-nine (Lev. 25:8-9), and then kept holy for one year to Atonement on the Fiftieth year (Lev.25:9-13), so that the lands can then be ploughed and sown for the spring harvest in Abib of the First year of the next Jubilee. This year (50th) is an eighth normal year of the cycle (Lev. 25:22) (Cox, W.E., “P”, op. cit., pp. 27, 28).

 

The word holy (SHD 6944, kodesh) has one meaning and that is to be set apart for God. The term eat what it yields has the meaning of eating of that which was the lawful increase of the triple harvest of the previous Sabbath year and the saved increase of the harvests.

 

“The same view of the provision and preparation for the Sabbath system extends over the entire Jubilee period and continues on even to the treble harvests in the year before the seventh Sabbath of the Jubilee. In that year, God provides for the following two Holy Years.”

 

In other words, a treble harvest is granted at the Forty-eighth year of the Jubilee in the sixth year of the last cycle so that the two years of the Sabbath and the Jubilee can be kept (cf. Lev. 25:18-22 below).

 

 “This process occurs every seven-year cycle on the sixth year and a double portion is given, but on the sixth year before the Jubilee we see the treble harvest is promised. In the Jubilee year, named here as the eighth year of the cycle, planting is permitted after Atonement for the harvest from Passover of the ninth year.

 

God pours out physical blessings on Israel when they obey His commands. He blesses spiritual Israel that walks in His ways with greater knowledge and understanding and power in the Holy Spirit” (Cox, “B”, op. cit., p. 6).

 

Everything belongs to God (see also Lev. 11:2, 11, 21).

Exodus 19:5 'Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine. (RSV)

 

The Levites had had no allotment or inheritance in Israel. Towns and pasturelands were set aside for use by the Levites, as well as tithes and parts of the sacrifices.

Deuteronomy 18:1-8 "The Levitical priests, that is, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings by fire to the LORD, and his rightful dues. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.  3 And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 The first fruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever. 6 "And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives--and he may come when he desires--to the place which the LORD will choose, 7 then he may minister in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow-Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD. 8 They shall have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony. (RSV)

 

The daughters of Zelophehad, who died and left no son, were concerned about their inheritance and their father’s name in the clan.

Numbers 27:1-11 Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph. The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the door of the tent of meeting, saying, 3 "Our father died in the wilderness; he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah, but died for his own sin; and he had no sons.  4 Why should the name of our father be taken away from his family, because he had no son? Give to us a possession among our father's brethren." 5 Moses brought their case before the LORD. 6 And the LORD said to Moses, 7 "The daughters of Zelophehad are right; you shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren and cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. 8 And you shall say to the people of Israel, 'If a man dies, and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. 9 And if he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 And if he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it. And it shall be to the people of Israel a statute and ordinance, as the LORD commanded Moses.'" (RSV)

As we see above, from Moses consulting with the Lord, the inheritance of the lands was to remain in the father’s line through the daughters. Their future husbands would take the female’s family name. The inheritance is based on the family lineage.

 

God had adopted Israel as His first-born (Ex. 4:22). Therefore, all the first-born in Israel were his.

Exodus 13:2 "Consecrate to me all the first-born; whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine." (KJV)

 

The first-born are to be redeemed. The first-born of pack animals could be redeemed by sacrificing a lamb. Humans were to be consecrated to the Lord by their life, not by their death (see fn. to Ex. 13:13, The NIV Study Bible, p.105).

Exodus 13:13-22 Every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 And when in time to come your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 15 For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of cattle. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem.’ 16 It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes; for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt." 17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, "Lest the people repent when they see war, and return to Egypt." 18 But God led the people round by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for Joseph had solemnly sworn the people of Israel, saying, "God will visit you; then you must carry my bones with you from here." 20 And they moved on from Succoth, and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night; 22 the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. (RSV)

 

The first-born or oldest male is to inherit a double portion of the inheritance (cf. Deut. 21:15-17).

 

Ezekiel shows hereditary ownership of land. Family inheritances are protected under the Jubilee system and none are to be oppressed and dispossessed of their property.

Ezekiel 46:16-18 "Thus says the Lord GOD: If the prince makes a gift to any of his sons out of his inheritance, it shall belong to his sons, it is their property by inheritance. 17 But if he makes a gift out of his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his to the year of liberty; then it shall revert to the prince; only his sons may keep a gift from his inheritance. 18 The prince shall not take any of the inheritance of the people, thrusting them out of their property; he shall give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people shall be dispossessed of his property."

 

We are reminded that there are severe penalties for neglecting the Jubilee.

Jeremiah 34:17  Therefore, thus says the LORD: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, says the LORD. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. (RSV)

 

As we see above, the inheritance system based on the Jubilee structure protects future offspring in the family lines. However, new questions arose from the account of Zelophehad’s daughters (who were entitled to inherit their father’s land, cf. Num. 27:1-11), as to what would happen to the family land if they married into other tribes.

Numbers 36:1-4 The heads of the fathers' houses of the families of the sons of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manasseh, of the fathers' houses of the sons of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the heads of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel; 2 they said, "The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel; and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. 3 But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; so it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance.  4 And when the jubilee of the people of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; and their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers." (RSV)

 

The decision was that every daughter who possessed an inheritance in her father’s tribe was to marry within that tribe so that the family and the tribe were protected. 

Numbers 36:5-9 And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, "The tribe of the sons of Joseph is right.  6 This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, 'Let them marry whom they think best; only, they shall marry within the family of the tribe of their father. 7 The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another; for every one of the people of Israel shall cleave to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8 And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers.  9 So no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another; for each of the tribes of the people of Israel shall cleave to its own inheritance.'" (ESV)

 

The daughters of Zelophehad obeyed as the Lord commanded, and their inheritance remained in their father’s family.

Numbers 36:10-12 The daughters of Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded Moses; 11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to sons of their father's brothers. 12 They were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father. 13 These are the commandments and the ordinances which the LORD commanded by Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. (RSV)

 

God promised that someone in this family line of Rechab through Jonadab would always stand before Him.

Jeremiah 35:16-18 The sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have kept the command which their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me.  17 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing on Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered." 18  But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done all that he commanded you, 19 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me." (RSV)

This family line will remain because they followed their father’s command. Our children will receive long-term benefits from our obedience to the commands of our Father in Heaven; and none of His Laws have been abolished.

Matthew 5:18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. (RSV)

 

The entire plan is not yet accomplished and the Law remains complete. Messiah’s acceptable sacrifice did not abolish the Law but opened the next phase of the Plan and allowed the Gentiles access to the Spirit and the adoption into spiritual Israel.

 

The descendants of Rechab who obeyed their forefather’s commands were held up as an example to the men of Judah who disobeyed God.

Jeremiah 35:12-15 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? says the LORD. 14  The command which Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept; and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father's command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. 15 I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, 'Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land which I gave to you and your fathers.' But you did not incline your ear or listen to me. (RSV)

 

Valuation of Property

If a man dedicates his house to the Lord, whatever value the priest puts on it remains.  If he then wishes to redeem it the man must add one fifth (20%) to the set value and the house will again belong to him (Lev. 27:14-15).

Leviticus 27:14-15 "When a man dedicates his house to be holy to the LORD, the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.  15 And if he who dedicates it wishes to redeem his house, he shall add a fifth of the valuation in money to it, and it shall be his. (RSV)

 

Houses in walled cities belong permanently to the buyer and his descendants. They are not to be returned in the Jubilee. However, houses in villages without walls around them are included in the Jubilee legislation (cf. Lev. 25:31 below).

 

The Jubilee legislation

The complete legislation regarding the Jubilee is found in Leviticus 25.

Leviticus 25:9-55  'Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 'And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 'That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 'For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. 13 'In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 'And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 'According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 'According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 'Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God. 18 'So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 'Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety. 20 'And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?" 21 'Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 'And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest. 23 'The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24 'And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land. 25 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 'Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 'then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28  'But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession. 29 'If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 'But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 'However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 'Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levite may redeem at any time. 33 'And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 'But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession. 35 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 'Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 'You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38  'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. 39 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 'As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 'And then he shall depart from you; he and his children with him; and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 'For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 'You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God. 44 'And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have; from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 'Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 'And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor. 47 'Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger's family, 48 'after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 'or his uncle or his uncle's son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 'Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 'If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 'And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 'He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 'And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee; he and his children with him. 55 'For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (NKJV)

 

New Testament confirmation

There are two texts that can be used to determine the Jubilee and can be placed against the texts in Ezra and Nehemiah where we find the Reading of the Law recorded. One reference is from the Old Testament, and the other is the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy in the New Testament by Messiah.

 

The reference from the Old Testament is in Ezekiel 1:1-3.

Ezekiel 1:1-3 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, 3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. (KJV)

 

Thus, based on a reconstruction from Ezekiel’s timings, the Jubilee fell in the year 574/3 and hence also 524/3, and thence 74/3 and 24/3 in the centuries BCE, and 27/28 and 77/78 in the centuries of this era. This view is further supported by another major fact of prophecy involving the Messiah.

 

After the commencement of the fifteenth year of Tiberius, which could have been no earlier than the civil year in October of 27 CE, John the Baptist began to preach and to baptise (Lk. 3:1-22). The Holy Spirit called Jesus from Nazareth to be baptised by John sometime after John commenced his ministry, in other words, from after October of 27 CE.

 

After Christ was baptised he went into the wilderness and was tempted for forty days (Lk. 4:1-2). From his return a significant and little understood fulfilment of prophecy occurs.

Luke 4:13-21 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (KJV)

 

Messiah had returned to Galilee from his temptation, and in Nazareth had fulfilled this prophecy of God through Isaiah. The text is found in Isaiah 61:1-2 and also a compound from Isaiah 58:6.

Isaiah 61:1-2 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (RSV)”

 

The “Reading of Isaiah” took place in a Jubilee year, if it is compared with the timing in Ezekiel, and Naves Topical Bible refers to these texts as referring to the Jubilee (cf. Jubilee p. 755). It is also the Year of Liberty (ibid., cf. Ezek. 46:17). Thus Christ proclaimed the Jubilee in 27 CE, prior to the commencement of the year at 1 Nisan.

 

This text concerning Messiah stands as second witness to Ezekiel, and confirms that the comments and timings in Nehemiah were of the Sabbath and Jubilee systems” (Cox, “R”, op. cit., p. 3).

 

“The Jubilee occurs in the years 24 and 74 BCE and 27 and 77 CE in each century. The next Jubilee, the fortieth Jubilee since the ministry of Messiah and the forty-ninth Jubilee since the reconstruction of the Temple and the restoration of the Law under Ezra and Nehemiah, is in the Sacred Year 2027/8. The year 2028 will start the Jubilee of Jubilees and the new millennial reign of Messiah as 1/50” (Cox, “I”, op. cit., p. 28).

 

Golden Jubilee

“From Atonement 2027 the world will be allocated its inheritance for the Millennium in all lands. This action then commences the Golden Jubilee, or Jubilee of Jubilees.

 

On the Tenth day of the Seventh month in the 49th year of the 120th Jubilee, or Sunday 20th September 2026, commencing from dark the previous day, the Jubilee year will commence.  Over that year the nations will be planned and organised into their inheritance. At Atonement in the Fiftieth year of the 120th Jubilee the Jubilee will be blown, and on the 23rd day of the Seventh month, immediately following the Last Great Day at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, the restoration of lands will take place. All people will take up their inheritance within those lands.

 

They will commence ploughing and sowing for the first harvest of the millennial system at Passover in 2028. The major harvests of the Southern Hemisphere will be organised in accordance with their seasons and harvests. The Northern Hemisphere will be seriously damaged through the wars.

 

The Earth will have to be restored from 2028 to 2077. This period will mark the change of the entire attitude and approach of the earth’s populace” (Cox. W.E., “S” The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300), CCG, 2006, pp. 4-5).

 

The correct application of the biblical system of both tithing and the Law is dependent upon the Jubilee. On this system depended the correct reading of the Law also.

 

We have an ongoing obligation to keep the Law, which does not pass away, nor is it altered (cf. Mat. 5:18; Lk. 16:17). The Law of God proceeds from the nature of God and it stands forever, as God Himself is unchangeable.

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (RSV)

See also the paper The Relationship between Salvation by Grace and the Law (No. 82).

 

Blessings and Curses

There are blessings and curses which apply to all of Israel for the keeping or otherwise of God's commandments. As seen in Deuteronomy 28:1-68, keeping the commandments is clearly identified with the approval and assistance or bounty of God. However, disobedience to the Laws of God is punishable both individually and collectively.

 

Curses will follow disobedience to God’s Laws. God deals with nations as He deals with families. Those nations are also judged, as are the Host that governs them improperly. All of the commandments and the statutes are to be kept. The punishment is then ongoing for disobedience, being reflected in the produce of the land. The nation is dealt with as a people. The people will experience famine. The bounty of the earth is interrelated with the Laws of God.

 

The blessings and curses are a sign and a wonder on Israel forever. Israel is also a spiritual people, hence the blessings and curses will remain forever on those who profess Jesus Christ and thus come under judgment. There is thus a promise to Israel in all of this sequence. This lesson is given so that we might see the full horror of our inactivity and failure to perform within our people. See the paper The Blessings and the Curses (No. 75).

The Future

“The Sabbath will be kept for all flesh when they come to worship before the Lord; from one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another (Isa. 66:23)” (Cox, “A”, op. cit., p. 5).

Isaiah 66:18-23 "For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. 22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, says the LORD; so shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. (RSV)

 

“This restoration of the Sabbaths and New Moons will be accompanied by the restoration of the Feasts.

Zechariah 14:16-19  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (KJV)

 

“Thus, there shall be no restoration that is complete until the New Moons are restored together with the Feasts. In this modern society that will be very difficult indeed. That is why Messiah will tear down this world’s system at his return. The nations will be restored under the Law that will emanate from Jerusalem” (Cox, “F”, op. cit., p.9).

 

************

 

Bibliography:

Christian Churches of God, Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1), CCG, 1994-1997

Cox, S., The Shofar and the Silver Trumpets (No. 47), CCG, 2003

Cox, W.E., “A”, The Sabbath (No. 31), CCG, 1994-2008

Cox, W.E., “B”, The Juna’ah: Preparing for the Sabbath (No. 285), CCG, 1999-2008

Cox, W.E., “C”, The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170), CCG, 1996-2000

Cox, W.E., “D”, The Covenant of God (No. 152), CCG, 1996-1999

McElwain, T., et.al., “E”, Blue Ribbons (No. 273), CCG, 1998

Cox, W.E., “F”, The New Moons (No. 125), CCG. 1995-2007

Cox, W.E., “G”, The New Moons of Israel (No. 132), CCG, 1995-2008

Cox, W.E., “H”, The Harvests of God, the New Moon Sacrifices, and the 144,000 (No. 120), CCG, 1995-2007

Cox, W.E., I”, God’s Calendar (No. 156), CCG, 1996-2008

Cox, W.E., “J”, The Lord’s Supper (No. 103), CCG, 1995-2008

Cox, W.E., “K”, The Passover (No. 98), CCG, 1995-2008

Cox, W.E., “L”, The Wave Sheaf Offering (No. 106b)

Cox, W.E, “M”, Keeping the Feasts (No. 56), CCG, 1994-2007

Cox, W.E., “N”, The Holy Days of God (No. 97), CCG, 1995-2007

Cox, W.E., “O”, Offering (No. 275), CCG, 2006

Cox, W.E., “P”, Tithing (No. 161), CCG, 1996-2007

Cox, W.E., “Q”, Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250)

Cox, W.E., “R”, The Meaning of Ezekiel’s Vision (No. 108)

Cox, W.E.,”S”, The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300), CCG, 1996-2008

Cox, W.E., Atonement (No. 138), CCG, 1994-2007

Cox, W.E., Eternal Life (No. 133), CCG, 1995, 2000

Cox, W.E., General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122), CCG, 1995-1999

Cox, W.E., God's Feasts as they relate to the Creation (No. 227), CCG, 1998, 2007 (based on a paper by A. Williams, 1997)

Cox, W.E., Ingathering (No. 139), CCG, 1994-1999, 2007

Cox, W.E., Law and the Eighth Commandment (No. 261), CCG, 1998, 1999

Cox, W.E., Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272), CCG, 1998, 2002, 2006

Cox, W.E., Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250), CCG, 1998, 2007

Cox, W.E., Repentance and Baptism (No. 52), CCG, 1994, 1998, 2007

Cox, W.E., Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241), CCG, 1998, 2000, 2007

Cox, W.E., Significance of the Bread and Wine (No. 100), CCG, 1995-2007

Cox, W.E., The Blessings and the Curses (No. 75), CCG, 1994-2007

Cox, W.E., The First Great Commandment (No. 252), CCG, 1998, 1999

Cox, W.E., The God We Worship (No. 2), CCG, 1994,1998

Cox, W.E., The Food Laws (No. 15), CCG, 1994-2008

Cox, W.E., The Omer Count to Pentecost (No. 173), CCG, 1996-2009

Cox, W.E., The Relationship between Salvation by Grace and the Law (No. 82), CCG, 1994-2007

Cox, W.E., Trumpets (No. 136), CCG, 1994-2007

Johnson, B., Significance of the Footwashing (No. 99), CCG, 1995, (ed. Cox. W.E., 1999, 2007)

Kohn, Dr. S., Die Sabbatharier in Siebenburgen, Budapest, 1894, tr. McElwain, T., & Rook, B., Intro. Cox, W.E., CCG Publishing, 1998

Early Jewish Writings: http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/philo/book28.html

Judaeus Philo, The Special Laws, II, XXVI, 140, F.H. Colson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1937

Sabbath Message: http://www.ccg.org/_domain/ccg.org/Sabbath/2005/S_07_09_05.htm

The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, MI, USA, 1985


 

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