Christian Churches of God
The Ascents of Moses
(Edition 4.0 20031012-20050814-20080310-20110528)
Moses was to take Israel out of Egypt and take them before their God to receive the Law through the hands of the Being that spoke to them from Sinai. Moses was to ascend the Mountain of God six times to speak with the elohim who later became Jesus Christ. The journey has great significance for the Calendar and the spiritual journey for all of the faithful.
The Ascents of Moses
The story of the salvation of mankind begins in microcosm with the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.
Moses was made an ‘elohim’ or ‘god’ to Egypt and Pharaoh. He spoke for God. Aaron was made a prophet for him and they were sent to take Israel out of Egypt.
The Exodus really starts with the New Moon of Abib where the battles of Moses with Pharaoh come to a head.
The full story of the battle is told in the paper Moses and the Gods of Egypt (No. 105).
From the 15th of Abib, the First month, Israel was taken out of Egypt after the Angel of Death passed over Israel. They had spread the blood of the Passover lamb on their doorposts and lintels. This sacrifice was to point towards Jesus Christ as their Messiah and the salvation of all mankind in this act.
The true Calendar is kept according to the Laws of God, and when the calendar of Islam is reconciled the sequence is clear and the purpose is also clear (see the paper Hebrew and Islamic Calendar Reconciled (No. 53)). The period of the Omer count is the sequence of prayer and preparation for receipt of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which is the Feast of Weeks or the true Eid el Fitr. This Feast system begins with the New Moon of the Third month, Sivan, which is a Feast of the Lord. These months begin with the conjunction and not an observed crescent.
The name Ramadhan itself suggests heat and refers to the coming of the summer months with Pentecost in Sivan.
In 30 CE Christ was resurrected at the end of the Sabbath day and he ascended into Heaven at 9 a.m. on Sunday as the Wave-Sheaf Offering. This was at the time of the Temple service for the waving of the sheaf, which was the first-fruits of the harvests of Israel.
This ascension on the Sunday began the Omer count to Pentecost. The period of the count was for fifty days ending at the Sunday in Sivan, or the Third month. From the accounts in the Gospels and Acts, it is deduced that Christ spent forty days on Earth after his return from the Throne of God and of Grace, after his acceptance as our sacrifice. He spent those forty days preparing the Church – of which he is head – for the receipt of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The forty days commenced from the evening of his return at the end of the first day of the week. In that year of 30 CE, it was on 18 Abib. There were 11 days remaining in Abib and twenty-nine days in Iyar. This was forty days. Thus his ascension took place at the beginning of the New Moon of the Third month, which was Sivan in Judah, or Ramadhan in Ishmael. Hence, the beginning of the New Moon of the Third month marked the final ascension of Jesus Christ. This left the Apostles to pray and fast for this period during the Third month for the receipt of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, nine days later on Sunday.
This period is the basis of the celebration of the Church, and at the end forms the celebration of the giving of the Law at Pentecost. The fast of Moses was for forty days and forty nights. However, the end of the first period of his obligations was during the Omer count, and he was not on the mountain for the period up until the New Moon of Sivan on the Third month. The end of this period of his obligations, which was by mixed fasting, was with the first provision of the Law at Sinai and before Moses’ fourth ascent, and his later return with the tablets of God. The first forty-day period began from the New Moon of Iyar or Zif or Sha’aban – the Second month – and proceeded to the day of Pentecost.
This is the basis of the fast of Ramadhan in Islam. The fast derives its name from the fact of Moses’ devotions and the emulation of the behaviour of Christ prior to his ascent. It is not a full fast in Islam as eating is undertaken each evening after dark and before dawn. The Church of God has persons who fast for full days and nights over this period and who do not fast at all on other days. Both practices are and have always been acceptable. The period of prayer and dedication is over the Omer count from the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is numbered from the Wave Sheaf but not begun until the period after 21 Abib or Nisan in Judah, or Rajab in Ishmael. Moses began the Omer count from Unleavened Bread in Abib. The period is fifty days from Wave Sheaf to Pentecost. Hence, the first period was not forty days. If we are to take the period as ending at Pentecost with the Law then this must be counted from the New Moon of Iyar, the first day of the Second month. Moses was not on the Mountain of God. He had to take Israel and the mixed multitude – which was to extend under Christ to include the elect of the Gentiles – out of Egypt and through the wilderness to the Mountain of God and the Law. On the last day the nation moved only a very short distance, arriving at the place of the Law on 1 Sivan, being already in location at the foot of the mountain.
In the steps to Pentecost (see Pentecost at Sinai (No. 115)), the advance guard would have arrived at Sinai long before the rear guard and even the main body would have left the previous camp. Moses did not fast for the full period at this time. The confusion lies in the number of ascents he made and when the forty days occurred. He went on to the mountain for the full forty days at the end of Sivan or Ramadhan. The timing is probably from the 20th of Sivan with the seven days of fire and smoke after the Elders had eaten with elohim, who was Yahovah that spoke for Yahovah of Hosts.
This whole exercise was to teach us about the sacrifice and dedication required to attain the Kingdom of God. The period of the Omer count was observed in Israel. Jesus Christ and the Church also observed this period. Christ gave his own life that we might have eternal life in God. The Church prepared for and received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Now, it is a matter of fact that in this day and age, in the weakened physical and spiritual condition we are in, we cannot fast for forty days and forty nights without food or water. Nor indeed could the vast majority of people do it at the time of Christ and later. That is why during the fasts of the Omer count people never fasted for the entire period. It became a matter of each person’s spiritual dedication as to how long and how often they fasted. The practice of fasting during the day and eating at night also developed in Judah and in Ishmael. This is the basis of the comment on fasting twice a week. This practice became widespread in the Church. The Omer count of Pentecost and the fast of Moses were counterfeited by the pagans, becoming the Lenten fasts. These fasts, which were held a month earlier, were dedicated to other gods and culminated in the pagan Easter festival (see the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).
People decided on what days they would fast and prepare for Pentecost, which was the harvest of the Church. This practice spread to Ishmael and the Church in Arabia. Thus, people could and did decide what part of the forty-odd days they were in fast or devotions. The Koran says that what parts of your determined days of fast are not done you must fulfil later.
Remember that the period of the Feast ended after the Omer count and so no fasting was undertaken either at Unleavened Bread until 22 Abib (or 22 Rajab in Ishmael) or during Pentecost, which was the Feast of Weeks and was never a fast by God’s Law (except for the leaven in bread). The general view was to emulate Moses and proceed from the New Moon of Iyar and end at Pentecost, which was the Feast of Weeks in Israel or Eid el Fitr in Ishmael. The fasts of the seven Sabbaths of the Omer count long preceded the Hejira of 622 CE. The Hejira is the flight of the party of the prophet from Mecca to Medina.
The second fast of Moses, which was the forty days of Moses after he returned at Pentecost, was undertaken from Sivan at Pentecost on into the Fourth month of the year. Following the timetable of the year Christ was sacrificed, for example, the end of the forty days on the mountain and the giving of the tablets of the Law would have occurred at the end of the Fourth month called by the name of the god Tammuz, or the Chaldean Dumuzi.
The timing of the ascents of Moses is important in seeing how God intervened in the affairs of Israel. On the Fifteenth day of the Second month, which is the Second Passover, God again intervened. The children of Israel had left Elim and had entered the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the Fifteenth day of the Second month. On this day the whole congregation of Israel had murmured against Moses and Aaron (Ex. 16:1-3). As a result God gave them manna to eat and the manna lasted for forty years from that time. In the evening, the Lord sent quail of such quantity that in their greed the people gorged themselves on the meat. However, in his anger the Lord sent a great plague against the people and many died (cf. Num. 11:31-33). The next morning on the Sixteenth day they began eating manna and had bread to eat and they knew that their Lord Yahovah, He was God (Ex. 16:13-16).
The 22nd day of the Second month, called Zif or Iyar, in the year of the Exodus was a Sabbath, and on the 21st day of the month of the second Passover there was twice as much manna gathered so that the Sabbath was kept holy and the manna did not go bad. The quail had fallen on the evening after the Sabbath and the manna began on Sunday morning. Thus the second Passover was also a period of preparation and setting aside to the Lord.
From this point on, the First day of the week, which is the 23rd day of the Second month, they moved to Rephidim; and they had no water and again they murmured against Moses. Moses was told to stand there before the Rock in Horeb and they were fed with water from the Rock. They all ate of the spiritual food and drank of the Rock which was Christ.
At Rephidim, from the 23rd day after they had been given water, Amalek attacked them. After a fierce battle they won and Moses erected the altar of Yahovah-Nissi, for Yaho had sworn that the war between He and Amalek would continue from generation to generation (Ex. 17:15-16).
At Horeb, before the Mountain of God, the Judgment was established in Israel and the Elders were set aside from the placing at the Rock of Horeb to be judges in Israel. Jethro, priest of Midian and father-in-law to Moses, sacrificed for them and set them aside to eat bread with Moses before God (Ex. 18:11-12).
In the last week of the Second month the captains of the tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands of the Host were set aside and the leadership in Israel was established. Moses heard the cases too hard for them all; and Jethro departed into Midian (Ex. 18:24-27).
Then on the Third New Moon, on the same day (i.e. on the First day or New Moon of Sivan) that they left Egypt, they arrived in the Wilderness of Sinai (Ex. 19:1-2).
Exodus 19:1 On the third new moon after the people had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the Wilderness of Sinai. (Annotated RSV)
They had departed from Rephidim and had entered the desert of Sinai, and they pitched in the wilderness. Israel pitched before the Mountain of God there. In all this period they were being taken out of Egypt, and over fifty days they were taken from Rameses to the Mountain of God to receive the Law.
Moses had been preparing himself over this period of the Omer count. The manna was given during this period in the measure of one omer per man each day. This was the measure of ‘heavenly’ food that was given to Israel in preparation for the occupation of the Promised Land.
On the year of the Exodus, the Day of Pentecost fell on Sunday 6 Sivan. The period between 1 and 6 Sivan was spent in preparing Israel to receive the Law of God. Moses ascended the Mountain of God six times.
The ascents and descents were from the Book of Exodus:
Ascent Number Descent
19:3-6 First 19:7-8
19:8-13 Second 19:14-19
19:20-24 Third 19:25
24:9-32:14 Fourth 32:15-30
32:31-33 Fifth 32:34-34:3
34:4-28 Sixth 34:29-35
Ascents one, two and three were in the first six days of Sivan, prior to the fourth ascent.
The fourth ascent was after Pentecost towards the end of Sivan, and went for forty days until the end of Tammuz.
The two sets of three ascents are marked off by the two great events, which are the “giving of the Law” and the “setting up of the Tabernacle.” Bullinger has notes on these aspects listed in his notes to Exodus 19:3 (The Companion Bible). The sequence of the giving of the Law and the establishment of the Tabernacle was to herald the giving of the Holy Spirit through the activities of Christ and the final building of the Temple of God from Pentecost 30 CE, which Temple we are.
In this sequence God set Israel aside as a possession reserved for Himself. This was the sense of the wording of a peculiar treasure used in the text in Exodus 19:5. The nation of Israel was to become the first of the nations to be brought into the Plan of Salvation. Ultimately, the entire world would be given salvation as the prophecies foretell, and since Pentecost 30 CE this has been happening on a progressive basis.
First to the Third Ascent
Over the first six days of the Third month Moses spent his time ascending and descending the mountain three times. The fourth and the sixth ascents are marked by the giving of the first and second sets of tablets of the Law. Moses spent over forty days and nights in fasting on the Mountain of God, but not for the period before the giving of the first set of tablets, and Moses was not on the mountain exclusively for the Third month called Sivan or Ramadhan. Moreover, the Third month was not entirely spent before the Law was actually given. Furthermore, the second set of the Law was not given in the month of Sivan or Ramadhan. Thus the end of the Third month signifies nothing other than the arrival of the New Moon of the Fourth month.
The Fourth Ascent of the Third and Fourth Month
The fourth ascent saw the Elders of Israel set aside before God. The Law in its structure had been given on the earlier occasions, but the set of tablets had not been made. Moses ascended with the Elders of Israel, and the elohim that was the Angel of the Presence of God appeared to them. Moses was with the Elders and then left them in charge of Aaron and Hur, and Moses and Joshua went to the mountain. For six days the cloud covered the Mountain of God and then God called Moses from out of the cloud. Moses then went forward and was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. Thus we might deduce that the period of forty days occurred well after Pentecost.
Bullinger dates the six days and the seventh as the 20th to the 25th and the 26th of Sivan, being the fourth Sabbath of Sivan (cf. fn. to Ex. 24:16-18). Thus the forty days on the mountain began at the end of Sivan and not at the beginning. It certainly could not have begun any earlier than the 13th day of the Third month. In the case of the ascent, the forty days ended on the Twentieth day of Sivan, whether or not the six days are inclusive of the forty or not, on the New Moon of the Fifth month, Ab after the Fourth month, which was named for the god Tammuz or Dumuzi derived from the Babylonian Mystery systems and associated with the idolatry of Israel.
Any argument that Moses was on the mountain in cloud for the six days, and the forty days commenced on the seventh day, is dependent upon an unnecessary distinction in Exodus 24:15-18.
Thus the testing of Israel continued after the first disclosure of the Law, while Moses was waiting to receive the tablets of stone and the capacity to erect the Tabernacle. He broke the first set of tablets on the descent well after Pentecost, probably at the beginning of the New Moon of Ab. Thus we are tested continually. Moses ascended again and received another set of tablets and another set of instructions. Each time Israel was tested in waiting and obedience. So too are we tested as the Church of God.
All these things were done to serve as examples for us. The Tabernacle was constructed as an example for that which lies in Heaven and which will come to us and which we will join as the City of God (see the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
Moses was given the tablets of stone on which were written the Laws of God in the form of the basic Ten Commandments. Israel was tested under its priesthood for this period. While Moses was away with the elohim, who was the Angel or Messenger of Yahovah of Hosts, Israel went into sin. They forgot the basic Ten Commandments that they had been given not two months before. Israel had turned back into idolatry and away from the Laws of God. They had already been given the Law verbally by Moses before he went to the mountain. He went to receive detailed instructions on the entire system of Law and bring back the Commandments engraved by the finger of God. The Elders had actually sat down and eaten with the great Angel of the Law. This was that spiritual Rock that was with Israel in the wilderness (1Cor. 10:4) (see the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 24)). Aaron, their High Priest, was left in charge of them.
This was no small matter. The priesthood and the Elders of the nation were all given clear responsibility for the welfare of Israel in Moses’ absence. So also the responsibility rests with the Church and the nations in the Last Days. The Laws of God are left in the protection of the Church, and the churches and their priesthood are to learn to protect their understanding and implementation. The lips of the priesthood should preserve knowledge (Mal. 2:7).
In the last week at the end of the month of Tammuz Moses returned from the mountain with Joshua and the tablets of the Law. They were greeted by noise. The elohim we now know as Jesus Christ said to Moses after he had carved the Laws of God out in stone tablets: “Go, get you down for your people have corrupted themselves.” Joshua said he thought that there was a noise of war in the camp but Moses recognised it for what it was. The noise was revelry, for the people had made themselves a golden calf (see the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)). They had thrown away the Laws of God and were worshipping a false system. When questioned, Aaron said simply, “I just put it in the fire and out came this calf.”
False ministers often teach that the Laws of God were done away along the same lines. They taught that the Law was done away when Christ came to preach the coming of the Holy Spirit. Why would Christ give a set of Laws to Moses and then kill people for not obeying them only to allow his Church to ignore them when he came to give the Holy Spirit to mankind? We are taught that the Holy Spirit is necessary to the keeping of the Law properly. Without the Holy Spirit we could not properly keep or understand the Law.
The Bible is quite clear that sin is transgression of the Law (1Jn. 3:4) and that we are to obey or keep the Commandments of God (1Jn. 5:2-3).
On this evening at the end of Tammuz and the beginning of the New Moon of Ab, Moses returned to find Israel in sin and he broke the tablets of the Law and held the priesthood accountable. He took a number of Levites and then began to kill the ringleaders of the heresy. He killed 3,000 idolaters and then went back up the mountain to receive another set of tablets uncorrupted by the sins of the congregation, as had occurred in the Fourth month of Tammuz.
Oftentimes, God is dealing with the actions of His Church to coincide with the timing of the fall of Israel at Sinai with idolatry. The period of the golden calf and the destruction of the tablets of the Law all occurred in that last week of the Fourth month, and the culmination was on the First day of the Fifth month or the New Moon of Ab. In this way He brings us to repentance.
The Fifth and Sixth Ascents of the Fifth and Sixth Month and their Spiritual Significance
The fifth ascent is covered in Exodus 32:31-33 and the descent in Exodus 32:34-34:3.
The sixth ascent is covered in Exodus 34:4-28, and the descent from 34:29-35.
Over the Fifth and Sixth months, Moses was again on the mountain at Sinai with the Angel of the Presence. Moses received the details of the Law which was to guide Israel and the entire world through the years ahead, and which would ultimately control and guide the world under the millennial reign of Christ and the elect until they reached the end of the physical existence of mankind. Man was to be made a spiritual being and granted eternal life and thus immortality. We are to become gods as Christ was granted that glory and eternal life by God before us (cf. Zech. 12:8; see also the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 1)).
Remember, Moses had come down at the end of the Fourth month to find Israel in sin and the tablets of the Law were broken. He slew the unfaithful leaders – some three thousand in number – and returned up the mountain to speak again with Christ and receive a new set of tablets and the full explanation of the Law of God in its entirety from the mouth of Jesus Christ himself.
It was the exposure to the glorification that God had given Christ in power as His representative to humans that illuminated Moses and made him glow with a radiance that was visible to all when he returned from speaking with Christ. This was the reason that the Angel of the Lord was spoken to by Gideon who said: “Alas O Lord God (Adonai Yahovah) forasmuch as I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.” And the Lord said unto him, “Peace be unto thee; fear not thou shalt not die.” Gideon knew that in full glorification a man would die, and many had died when confronted with such a Being in power. Gideon built an altar there and called it Yahovah shalom meaning the Lord gives peace. The Being seen by both Moses and Gideon was the Prince of Peace who spoke for Yahovah Shalom, who was Yahovah of Hosts and the One True God.
Purging Israel of Sin and the Restoration
The Fifth month or Ab is traditionally a month of disaster in Israel.
The problems that arose through the failure of the Levites under Aaron at Sinai and with the Elders of Israel were allowed so that we might understand that the heresy of the Church is with us, even at the highest levels, during the absence of Christ, and is to be purged from us. The major churches that purport to be Christian have in fact adopted the very same system from the Sun-cults worshipping on Sundays and keeping Christmas and Easter to a Triune God (see the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).
Moses purged the leadership and returned to Christ during Ab and Elul for forty days. So too does the Spirit purge the Church constantly.
The month of Ab has seen God deal with Israel often, and the destruction of the Temple occurred in this month under the Babylonians. The Temple was destroyed and Israel was sent into captivity because they had not kept the Laws of God properly, and the land had to be given its Sabbaths under the Law.
Remember that during the month of Ab and into the Sixth month, Moses was on the mountain again with Christ receiving detailed instruction on how to keep the Law and how the Law subtended from the Ten Commandments, and how it was divided into the two Great Commandments. On these two Great Commandments hang all the Law and the prophets. Scripture cannot be broken. God will not allow any diminishing of the Law in His Church under Jesus Christ.
The Jewish traditions make much of the 9th of Ab and say that many events took place on this day which did not in fact take place. Some claim the spies came back and they rejected the Promised Land on this day, but Bullinger probably more correctly places this event in Elul and, in fact, he claims it is in the end of Elul (cf. The Companion Bible fn. to Num. 13:25). Thus we would have inherited the millennial system of Messiah, as seen from the Seventh month, had we all accepted Messiah when he died forty Jubilees earlier. Solomon’s Temple fell to the Babylonians on this day in Ab and some erroneously assume that the second Temple also fell on this day. It actually fell at Atonement in 70 CE, and the Temple at Heliopolis, or ancient Goshen, in Egypt was closed in early 71 CE by order of Emperor Vespasian. The Temple in Egypt was the last continual place of sacrifice anywhere in the world for Judah.
The significance of the month of Ab was that it followed the worship of the false god Tammuz or Dumuzi in the golden calf whose false worship is commemorated in the name for the month. The transition to Ab (root word for father) is actually the transition to the worship of the Father alone. That is why the New Moon of Ab is the time for repentance and change. From the New Moon to the Ninth day is the period of completion. The Tenth of Ab brings the cycle of change to a close. Many of those who do not change are removed by this date. Thus the Babylonians destroyed the Temple of King Solomon because Judah did not repent. They were removed and the old Temple was completely destroyed. It lay in ruins for well over a century and until the reign of Darius II when it was rebuilt from 419 BCE (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13)). Many Christian religious groups erroneously place the reconstruction in the reign of Darius I, contrary to the biblical sequence in Ezra.
All these events were given to us as examples. God will send us the prophet Elijah in the Last Days before the Day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the son and the sons to the fathers, or God will strike the Earth with a curse (Mal. 4:5-6).
It was in this month that Ezra and Nehemiah finished construction of the wall at Jerusalem. They began work on the wall in the Fifth month on the second or third day of the month and work was completed in fifty-two days on the Twenty-fifth day of the Sixth month, Elul. In other words, it was constructed from the days after the New Moon of Ab to the end of the month of Elul, and for the New Moon of the Day of Trumpets. The timing is examined in the paper Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250).
Moses had returned at the end of Elul to keep the Holy Days of the Seventh month with Israel, which culminated in the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. From that time, Israel began to construct the Tabernacle, which was then erected in the First day of the First month of the following year. This symbolism was to be reflected again in the restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah.
The Feast of Booths or Tabernacles was kept under the Reading of the Law, under the restoration of Ezra and Nehemiah, for the first time in booths or tabernacles made of boughs. This was the first time it was kept in booths since the Feast had been kept that way under Joshua son of Nun, in the conquest of Canaan.
This at first appears as a simple statement of no real consequence; but is it? What does it actually mean? It means by direct inference that the Feast was never kept in booths of branches during the period of the Tabernacles from Joshua, neither also at Shiloh and Hebron under the Judges, or under the kings Saul and David, nor during the entire first Temple period under Solomon and all the kings of Judah down to the destruction under the Babylonians.
This is a very important fact. It was not kept that way subsequently under Judah, nor indeed has it been kept that way under the Church for two thousand years. It was only during the restoration of Ezra and Nehemiah and only for one year at the Reading of the Law for the Jubilee.
What does that signify or point towards in the Plan of Salvation? It means that the restoration is to the entire extent of the Law, and that the Jubilee of Ezra began a system or countdown towards the restoration under Messiah. The Day of Atonement in 2026 will commence the Jubilee that will end on Atonement in 2027. The lands of the entire Earth will be restored and the plantings will commence for the harvests of the First year of the millennial system, which is the barley harvest at the Wave-Sheaf Offering in Abib of 2028.
The Jubilee commencing from the restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah was the first of forty-nine Jubilees leading to the restoration under Messiah. Jesus Christ as the Messiah was born in the Ninth Jubilee from the restoration, and declared the Ninth Jubilee in 27 CE by his reading of the scroll of Isaiah and declaring the Acceptable Year of the Lord or the Jubilee. After Passover of 28 CE, he began to teach when John was imprisoned. In other words, his ministry began at the beginning of the Tenth Jubilee from the restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah. The forty Jubilees in the wilderness began from this date and end in 2027 at the Jubilee. The millennial system begins from that time and restoration. The Fiftieth Jubilee is the Jubilee of Jubilees of the restoration of God. It begins in 2028 and is completed in 2077 with the restoration of the Earth to a productive state by that Jubilee. Between now and 2027, the Earth will be almost destroyed. A people that will not repent and obey God but follow doctrines of demons will bring it almost to utter desolation. Does that sound far-fetched? It will come to pass nevertheless.
What then of the wall and the period of reconstruction in the Fifth month Ab and the Sixth month Elul? The building of the wall symbolises the preparation and defence of the people of God over the period leading up from Pentecost to Tabernacles and the millennial system of God. What wall do we build? The City of our God is built by plan. Groups despatched to various tasks in various places are allocated sections to construct. In this way, much is done in the period involved and it is difficult to stop the work. This is the period signified by Moses on the mountain with Christ. That itself was meant to show us that we would work on the Temple and the City of God whilst Christ was with God, and not physically with us at Jerusalem. In the same way, Ezra could be at Babylon with Artaxerxes II and still be credited with the work on the Temple of God, even though he was subject to a foreign king whom God allowed to reign over Judah as He allows Satan to rule the world while the elect are being brought to the birth. Even Artaxerxes played a part in the provisioning of the Temple of God (see the paper Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250)).
Cyrus, who was the Lord’s anointed but not one of Israel, ordered the Temple. It was to be commenced under Darius Hystaspes but was not built, and construction of the Temple was stopped by Artaxerxes I and remained stopped until the reign of Darius II, called Darius the Persian in Ezra chapter 4. This construction sequence is very important in understanding the Plan of God. That is why the sequence and the prophecies have been misrepresented and distorted by so-called Christianity. Even some in the Church of God teach false doctrine on this matter contrary to the word of God and follow the Trinitarians in this error. Daniel 9:25 has been deliberately mistranslated and misdated so that the full understanding of the prophecy cannot be grasped, and both Judaism and Christianity are complicit in the falsehood to self-justification. Read the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13). The Sign of Jonah is the only sign given to the ministry of Christ and the Church. So we had better understand that sequence very well, as we will have no other sign.
The order to build the Temple of God was given fifty-two Jubilees before the Millennium by Cyrus. The building was commenced under Hystaspes but was half-hearted and the Jews did not live at Jerusalem. Artaxerxes I stopped construction due to the wars of rebellion and construction remained stopped until Darius (II) the Persian ca. 419. The provisioning decrees were made under Artaxerxes II when Nehemiah was made governor of Judea. At the end of the fifty-two days the walls of the City of God were completed. This was from the time of Pentecost, which symbolises the commencement of the harvest of the elect up until the period before the millennial system and the harvest of the world symbolised by the Seventh month of Tishri.
The time of Satan is limited to the end of the 120 Jubilees of the cursed Earth. This time is cut short. It follows as night the day that the time-frame for the 120 Jubilees ends in 2027, and thus the time to be cut short is the time of the end days, just before 2027. We do not know exactly what year it is at present as the Witnesses will be in Jerusalem for 1260 days and then 3.5 days (see the paper The Witnesses (No. 135)). Thus, the Messiah cannot or does not return until at least 1263.5 days after the Witnesses take up their place in Jerusalem clothed in sackcloth. But once they do commence we will be able to pinpoint the Advent fairly accurately.
It should be obvious by now that the period from 1 Abib to 21 Tishri is full of symbolism and that the activities of Moses over that period mirror the work of Christ with us in the Plan of Salvation.
The Fifth and Sixth months are the period of greatest activity and repentance. Once we are baptised it is not over; it has only just begun. That is why baptisms usually take place at the Passover period or the Tabernacles period. From Tabernacles we begin the process of preparation for Passover and then the unfolding of the Plan in the sequence of the three Feasts. The activities of Moses show us what is to be done and what is expected of us. The Exodus did not end at Passover; it began with the sanctification process and the witness to Pharaoh and Egypt and unfolded in its sequence until the Last Great day of the 22nd of the Seventh month.
From this time, in the original system, Israel then set about building the Tabernacle of God. We are the building blocks of the Tabernacle constructed with our own freewill offerings.
It was from the end of the Feast period up until the next New Year on 1 Abib that the Tabernacle was constructed and erected on that date (Ex. 40:2). This date is the beginning of the process of the construction and sanctification of the Temple of God on an ongoing basis (see the paper Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241)). The New Year is a solemn assembly of the Temple of God and commences the ongoing process of the construction of the Temple.
The Plan of God is mirrored in the annual Feasts, and the Ascents of Moses show that we are able to enter into a relationship of glorification with God through Christ. We who are predestined are chosen and called. We are then justified and then glorified through Christ.
Keep the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts of the Lord so that we might remember that which we are called to do. If God is for us who can be against us?
(Chart by Arnold and Ester Anderson and Wade Cox)
Salvation began with the Exodus from the New Moon of Abib. On the 15th, Israel was taken out of Egypt as the Death Angel passed over the blood on their doorposts. The lamb’s blood points us to Jesus Christ as our Lamb, our Messiah, for the salvation of all mankind.
The Ascents of Moses
This whole exercise teaches us about the sacrifices and dedication
that are required to attain the Kingdom of God.
The first three ascents were to prepare for the giving of the Law.
New Moon of the Third month or Sivan 1
Moses went up to be with God and the Lord said to him: “Tell the children of Jacob, you have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bare you on eagles wings… If you obey my covenant you will be a peculiar treasure to me above all people, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. Tell the children of Israel these words.” Moses did as the Lord commanded.
God offered His covenant promise.
Between Sivan 1–6
Moses returned and told the Lord the people’s words. They said they would obey all that the Lord had commanded. The Lord said to Moses: “Go down and sanctify the people. I will come down to them, be ready the third day, wash their clothes, set the bounds so they do not cross and perish… On the third day the Lord came down on Sinai in a cloud with fire and a trumpet blast growing louder and louder. Moses spoke and the Lord answered him by a voice. Thus God gave the basis of the Law verbally to Moses and the Covenant was accepted by the people when told of it.
Between Sivan 1-6
The Lord called out from the top of the mount: "Come up Moses". Moses went up, and the Lord said, "Go down, charge the people, if they break through the bounds, they will perish." Again the Lord said to Moses, “Get down, and then you and Aaron come up, but charge the priests and the people to remain”. The Lord spoke the Ten Commandments and gave the judgments and ordinances to Moses. The people heard the thundering and the sound of the trumpet and saw the lightning and stood far off and were afraid.
Moses then descended and told the people not to fear as it was done so that they would fear and not sin. The first elements of the Law were reduced to writing at this time.
Ascent on Sivan 20
Descent at end of the Fourth month called Tammuz
Exodus 24:9 to
The Lord told Moses to come up with Nadab and Abihu and the seventy elders and worship some distance away. Moses alone was to come near to the Lord. Moses then further reduced the elements of the Law he had been given to writing at that time. Moses then built the altar of the Lord and appointed the twelve pillars according to the tribes of Israel and selected young men of the twelve tribes to offer sacrifice. Moses and Aaron and the other seventy-two elders of Israel ascended and saw and ate and drank before the Lord, the Elohim of Israel (cf. Deut. 32:8). Yahovah then said: “Come up Moses. I will give you tablets of stone, and the Law and the commandments that I have written that you may teach them” (Ex. 24:12). A cloud covered the mount six days, on the seventh day Yahovah called Moses out of the cloud, which was like a devouring fire to the people of Israel. In the 40 days and nights on the mount, Yahovah of Israel spoke many details, giving exact orders on how to construct the tabernacle, who and how to anoint, how to make the priestly garments, how to build the ark and covering, the conduct of the sacrifices, the Sabbaths and many other details. But the people grew weary of waiting and they sinned and had Aaron make the Golden Calf and they conducted themselves according to its lewd rites. When Moses came down the mount, he was so angry at the sight of the Golden Calf that he broke the tablets of stone.
Moses had fasted for 40 days yet the people broke the Law and so Moses symbolically broke the tablets as a breach of the covenant. He then stood in the gate and said, “Whoever is for the Lord come with me”. And they slew 3000 of the rebels that day. The calf was ground down and sprinkled in the water.
Ascent 5 probably
in the Fifth month called
Exodus 32:34 -
Moses returned to the Mount asking forgiveness for the sin of idolatry of the Golden Calf. Moses asked God to forgive them or blot him out of the Book. Moses came down and led the people to where God told him. There was a plague because of the calf. The Tabernacle was placed outside of the camp. The Lord descended and spoke to Moses. Moses was told the people were to be separate. God had said that He would show “my presence” and guide him and the people of Israel into their possessions. Moses was told to hew another set of tablets, and only Moses was to come up to top of the Mount and no one else (or their flocks) was to be on the Mount.
Ab and Elul
Moses took the second set of tables to the Mount. He worshiped there, asking God for forgiveness for the people. Moses was told not to make any covenants with other nations or else they will be a snare by them, that they would become involved with these nations who believe in other gods. The Holy Days are listed and given on this visit. During this second 40 days Moses was given more of the Law. Moses was to be given a partial glimpse of the Glory of the Lord. The Yahovah of the Presence could not be seen in his fully glorified state or that person would die. Moses was told to write these words of the Law given to him, but the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of the Yahovah in the tablets of stone. However, all of the Law of the covenant was given to Moses by the Yahovah of Israel. At this time Moses came down from the Mount and his face shone through exposure to the Glory of the Lord.
The Seventh and Complete Phase
Moses was able then, over the six ascents, to prepare himself and the people of Israel to keep the Feasts of the Lord in the Seventh month. The Feasts represent the final reconciliation of mankind with God.
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