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The Feast of Pentecost – Sivan 6 or Sunday?


By Neville V. Stevens


New International Version used throughout unless otherwise stated.

There continues to be much debate over the date of this Holyday.  Some argue that it must always fall on Sivan 6, while others say it must always fall on a Sunday.  Those who say it must fall on Sivan 6 claim the Jewish people are the final authority, and since they hold to this date, it’s their right to legitimately make the call.  But is it?

First of all, let’s be very clear about one thing!  The Tribe of Judah is not the priesthood tribe.  The Tribe of Levi is.  The Levitical priesthood sits in Moses’ seat, not the Tribe of Judah!  They do not now, nor ever will, sit in Moses’ seat.  The Scripture plainly states that if Christ were on earth today, He would not be a priest (Heb 8:4).  And He wasn’t.  Today He is the High Priest administering before the heavenly sanctuary, of which the earthly sanctuary was an exact copy.  Christ spoke of the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sitting in Moses’ seat, and as long as they taught according to God’s Law, He said they must be obeyed.  Truth is truth no matter who states it.  The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees had already contrived to pervert the Law of God with their own renditions and additions.  In reality, Christ was acknowledging the administration of the Temple, which He called His Father’s House.  This administration was conducted by priests and Levites (John 1:19), but it was the Jews who were calling all the shots (same verse).  God foretold of a later time when those who truly sit in Moses’ seat would administer the priesthood and the Covenant (see the Book of Malachi).

It should also be borne in mind that the Jews have close traditional ties with the Temple.  In fact, the Jewish people are represented by one of the pillars of the Temple.  Of the two main pillars at the entrance (1Kings 7:21), one is called Boaz (the grandfather of David), and the other is called Jachin, who was the grandson of Zadok.  Zadok was the faithful friend and priest of David.  God has made it clear that the Levites and the Jews are the pillars of the Temple.  Jachin is also the twenty-first course of the Temple administration (1Chron 24:17).  In God’s description of the Temple that is yet to be built, He says this: Eze 40:45 “The room facing south is for the priests who have charge of the Temple, and the room facing north is for the priests who have charge of the altar.  These are the sons of Zadok, who are the only Levites who may draw near to the LORD to minister before Him.” 

Concerning those who speak without authority, God says this:  Jer 8:8 “How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the Law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?  The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped.  Since they have rejected the Word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?”  Today, everyone thinks he’s a scribe!  And what they write are reams of nonsense. 

The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost is the time of the second wave offering.  The first wave offering occurs on the day after the Sabbath that occurs during the Passover season.  The first wave offering is a cut sheaf of grain, the second consists of harvested grain, ground to flour and baked into bread with leavening.  And incidentally, the English language should have preserved the correct spelling of ‘leaven’ as ‘levin’ to reflect God’s purpose.  Christ spoke of this ‘levin’ used to bake the bread and likened it to the Kingdom of God (Matt 13:33).  This ‘levin’ is the Levite priesthood. 

To make it even more abundantly clear, God identifies the Levitical priesthood as the wave offering.  Num 8:11 “Aaron is to present the Levites before the LORD as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the LORD.”  V13 “Make the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the LORD.  In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.  After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the Tent of Meeting.  They are the Israelites who are given wholly to me.  I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman.  Every firstborn male in Israel, whether man or animal, is mine.  When I struck down the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself.  And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel.” 

You will note that God set the Levites apart: When I struck down the firstborn in Egypt”.   This was the time of the Passover, which occurred in Egypt.  The day after the Passover is a Holyday.  It’s the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread followed by another Holyday on the seventh day of the Days of Unleavened Bread.  God speaks of the Sabbath that occurs during the course of these eight days: Lev 23:9 “The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give to you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.  He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so that it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.”  V14 “You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God.  This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.” 

This is surely plain enough, but God goes further to reinforce it.  He begins to speak of calculating the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost: V15 “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.  Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD.”  Now a week can be seven days, but a full week is one where the Sabbath is the seventh day, and Sunday is the first day.  Now those who like to imagine that the Sabbath mentioned is an annual Holyday, which can fall on various days of the week, do they also imagine that God changed the rules in the middle of a sentence when He begins speaking of the seventh Sabbath?  What seventh Sabbath?  Is God speaking of annual Holydays?  No!  He’s speaking of weekly Sabbaths!

Many people have become completely bent out of shape over the issue of Sivan 6.  If you know the Feast of Weeks always falls on Sivan 6, then what’s the point of counting?  The fact is, it doesn’t fall on this day, therefore the day has to be calculated.  One thing you can be sure of is that the Feast of Weeks must be calculated from the day after the weekly Sabbath that falls within the Passover season.  And as some versions state it, seven weeks must be complete.  If the seven weeks are calculated starting at the day after the Sabbath, that is, Sunday, then seven weeks will be complete at the seventh Sabbath.  It’s the day after this Sabbath that the second wave offering is offered.

God made it clear that a wave offering was to be made when the Israelites entered the land God had given them (Lev 23:9), so was this done?  Joshua recorded the event: Josh 5:10 “On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.  The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.”  If, as the preachers of Sivan 6 contend, the Sabbath spoken of was the annual Holyday which comes after the Passover, then it would have to be a day later, that is, after their Holyday, which they claim is the Sabbath to calculate from, that the Israelites ate of the produce of the land.  Yet Joshua records that it was the day after the Passover – and that very day that the manna was stopped and they ate of the produce of the land.  How could this be except the Passover occurred on the seventh day (Saturday) and the next day – the day the wave sheaf was offered and accepted – was the first day of the week and also the First Day of Unleavened Bread.  Clearly, the Sabbath and the Passover were the same day, when the day after, they ate of the produce of the land.  So nothing concerning the Sivan 6 theory can be supported from the events recorded by Joshua in fulfillment of Lev 23:9. 

Those who hold to the Sivan 6 theory claim the Jews have the right to determine procedures regarding the Holydays and therefore their views must be acknowledged.  But is this true?  God says this concerning the Passover:  Lev 23:4 “These are the LORD’S appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The LORD’S Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.  On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’S Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast.”  Here’s the test for those who believe the Jewish people are right concerning the Sivan 6 theory.  The Jewish people observe the Passover on the fifteenth day of the first monthone day late – and in direct conflict with God’s instructions.  Do the Sivan 6 theorists also keep the Passover on this day?  And if not, why not?  Perhaps they don’t because the mistake is too obvious, but they seem to have no trouble following along for a Sivan 6 Feast of Weeks or Pentecost.

The Jewish people don’t keep the Passover at all!  Or at least, not as God instructed!  Instead, they combine the Passover with the First Day of Unleavened Bread on the fifteenth day of the first month, and use a lamb-bone seder as a substitute.  This is done without any Biblical authority whatsoever!  Little wonder God says the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely (Jer 8:8).

                It’s not my purpose to single out the mistakes of the Jewish people, and particularly when one considers that the vast majority of Christianity has never kept the Passover at all!  There are many valuable lessons to be learned from the proper conduct of the appointed Feasts and the sacred assemblies.  The most important of all at this time is the Passover since this is the very start of the events that will illuminate all that God has said.

                When the Mighty Christ arises from the Father’s throne to restore everything, there will be many people trying to justify adverse weather conditions, using the crock of global warming, El Nino, ad nauseum.  Massive natural calamities will be evident everywhere, and they will have no answers for them – but they will continue to theorize from the recesses of their diminutive minds.  But one thing they will have no answer for is the reality of the meaning of the Passover and its fulfillment. 

                The Passover procedure involved the slaying and eating of a lamb from the day it was instituted, and those who obeyed were spared from the consequences of the Passover.  These consequences brought death and destruction to all those who refused to let God’s people go.  Pharaoh refused to release God’s people as his slaves. 

Jesus Christ became the Passover for all those who would be spared God’s wrath.  By obedience to the Mighty Christ’s instructions, they can be spared God’s wrath and look forward to a better resurrection (Heb 11:35).  Those who don’t will be cursed, and they certainly won’t receive a better resurrection.  Those who hold God’s people captive will be targeted with the reality of the Passover – and they won’t escape!  And at the time of the second wave sheaf offering, it will be obvious to all whom God has accepted as the wave offering in place of the firstborn.

So the warning is going out now to all those who hold God’s people captive to their lies and deceit.  All those who have elevated themselves above God’s people are considered to be brute beasts made to be slaughtered.  If you don’t believe me, at least believe Jesus’ brother Jude: Jude 1:12 “These men are blemishes at your love Feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm – shepherds who feed only themselves.  They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted – twice dead.  They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever.” 

Well these shepherds are about to be demoted!  They are the product of a single shepherd whom God raised up in the endtime – a man who loved to enjoy the choicest and finest of everything.  He was everything that God prophesied he would be.  Totally selfish, and exuding arrogance, God described him as foolish, and in the latter part of his life, he is described as worthless.  Zech 11:15 “Then the LORD said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd.  For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs.  Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock!  May the sword strike his arm and his right eye!  May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded 

You need to ask yourselves if God fulfilled this prophetic parable!  And if He did, then who is the man?  If God didn’t fulfill this, then prophecy has failed.  There are not too many who keep the love Feasts, so your search is narrowed considerably.  And who are the shepherds who eat with you at these love Feasts without the slightest qualm or concern for the weightier issues?  Who are the shepherds who gloss over vast sections of the Bible and understand nothing?  Who are the clouds without rain, and who are blown along by the wind?  According to Jude, it’s the shepherds who eat at your love Feasts.

The odd thing about Zechariah’s prophetic parable is that it clearly identifies who God’s true Church is.  It’s odd because those who reject it do so in order to protect a man whom God describes as a worthless shepherd.  Not only are they denying God’s Truth, and God’s ability to bring unerring accuracy to His message, but it’s the only absolute proof of who God’s Church is!  For those who have Wisdom, God has actually named the man.  Who do you know who was a shepherd who kept the Feasts, who was blind in his right eye and called himself ‘Armstrong’?  In fact his arm was no longer strong, but weak and withered, and God calls him worthless.  But like the shepherds whom he appointed, and who eat with you at your love Feasts, and who no longer feed the flock, Armstrong was the appointed shepherd whom God chose to gather the flock.  It was just a small flock rather than the greater flock of the House of Israel, but they were never-the-less gathered from the vast sea of Israelites.

Is God obligated to choose only perfect men to lead His flock.  Doesn’t God reserve the right to form the clay in any way He wishes?  Jude spoke of both the flock and the shepherds, but his criticism was for the shepherds.  God calls the Church His flock of sheep because sheep have the potential to be utterly stupid, but they also have the potential to be utterly obedient under the guidance of a righteous shepherd.  There doesn’t seem to be too many righteous shepherds around anymore.  But there are two!  God is raising up a shepherd who will teach the Truth of God and instruct his flock on what God requires of them.  This shepherd will be teaching his flock that there is no place of safety for them, but rather, they are the flock marked for slaughter.  This shepherd will set the example for all others to follow, and this shepherd and his flock will be led away to slaughter – in accord with God’s instructions (Rom 8:35-39).  Others will follow this glorious example of love and obedience towards God and the rest of His flock.  All who do so will have their names written in the Book of Life.  Those who don’t will be thrown into the lake of fire and cease to exist forever (Rev 20:15).

This is the role of the Church, and this is what God requires of them.  God will allow this little flock to be decimated – not because He hates them, but because, like His Faithful Son, He loves them.  He required it of the Son he loves, and He will require it of Christ’s true offspring.

Amid all this, others will be accepted as the wave offering in place of the firstborn.  This is a different ministry altogether, and quite apart from the Church.  In Bible parlance, the Church is the offspring of this ministry.  This ministry is like that of John the Baptist, and it will precede the appearance of the Mighty Christ.  The Book of Malachi speaks exclusively of this ministry.  It’s not a ministry for the fainthearted.  This ministry is also described in Luke 1:66-79.  It is very clearly not the Church, but a ministry “to prepare the way for the Lord and to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the Rising Sun will come to us from heaven to shine on all those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (V76-79). 

It should be obvious who the Rising Sun is.  Like the sun, Christ is also described as the Lamp (Rev 21:23).  See also Psalm 50:1-7.  God further says that the heavens declare His glory (Ps 19:1) and night after night display knowledge (V2).  And adds this in V4 “….In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.”  Presently, this Bridegroom is the Faithful Witness (Rev 1:5), and the Faithful Witness is presently described as the moon: Ps 89:35 “Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness – and I will not lie to David – that his line will continue for ever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the Faithful Witness in the sky.”  Presently, the moon is a lesser light, but when the Mighty Champion arises from His pavilion, things will be very different.

It just so happens that the Passover occurs when the moon is full, and so does the first Holyday of the year: Psalm 81:3 “Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full on the day of our Feast; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.  He established it as A STATUTE FOR JOSEPH when He went out against Egypt, where we heard a language we did not understand.”  Not surprisingly, Joseph again controls the whole House of Israel today.  Joseph’s youngest son Ephraim wields the big stick today, and this Feast Day is specifically for the Tribes of Joseph.  It’s a warning to get rid of the old leaven of the enemies of God – the false teachings that they so love – and to come to their senses!  It’s not likely to happen, but if it did, Almighty God stands ready to change the whole course of events in their favour (Joel 2:12-14).  The ‘language we did not understand’ is the language of the rulers of the heavenly realm: John 8:42 “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.  I have not come on my own; but He sent me.  Why is my language not clear to you?  Because you are unable to hear what I say.  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the Truth, for there is no truth in him.  When be lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” 

On thing that has become very evident in this day and age is that people are listening to the language of Satan the devil.  It seems to make so much more sense to them than the Word of God.  Their conduct is typified by lying slander and murderous intent.  They are quick to ridicule the very Word of God if it doesn’t comply with their own preconceived ideas of doctrine, and without any conscience whatsoever!  God’s language is not clear to them, but the language of Satan the devil is!  And anyone who understands the language of Satan is well on the way to lunacy anyway.

God has set a time when the Passover will strike, as the Passover does, with the deaths of the firstborn – both man and animals.  And when it does, be aware the following day is when the leaven of Satan the devil must be eradicated (Matt 16:6, 12).  Those who clean up their act will be purified and set aside for a holy purpose.

It’s one thing to keep the Feasts of Almighty God, but it’s another thing to understand their importance and meaning.  Up until now, it’s been a test of obedience, but now the time has come to understand God’s purpose for it all.  But not with just words!  After 400 years of wandering and uncertainty, and finally in slavery, the ancient Tribes of Israel were thoroughly corrupted in Egypt.  True to His Word to his faithful friend Abraham, God raised up a saviour called Moses to rescue them in the fourth generation of their captivity (Gen 15:16).  God began His rescue mission by raining plagues down on the ruler and his nation.  At the same time, God hardened the ruler’s heart so that he couldn’t acknowledge the final consequences of his stubbornness.  But there was worse to come!  This time God involved the whole House of Israel in His strategy; He announced the Passover, and provided the means to escape His wrath.  By obedience to the instructions, God’s wrath passed over them.  And this is where the word ‘Passover’ is derived.

When Christ ordained the Passover for His followers using different symbols, it was nevertheless to achieve the same purpose.  The Passover has no other meaning than what was originally intended – but with one exception!  The death of the Lamb foreshadowed a right to life – eternal life – for all those who acknowledged the Lamb as their Saviour.

Would you say that a lamb is a fitting representation of God’s Church?  If they are like the Lamb of God, and God describes them as His offspring (Isa 53:10, Acts 17:29), then surely they must fulfill the ultimate destiny of a lamb.  God describes seven of these lambs as the seven Churches, and gives details concerning each one. 

God also describes them in relation to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost: Lev 23:17 “From wherever you live, bring two loaves made from two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD.  Present this with seven male lambs, each a year old without defect, one young bull and two rams.  They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings – an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.  Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering.  The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits.  They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest.” 

These two lambs are also described as being Jews like their Saviour.  Even at a year old they have put out the yeast or false teachings of the rulers of the heavenly realm, and clung to the teachings of their Saviour, and His Covenant – which continues through the Bread of purity – which is Christ (John 6:35).  And God uses leaven (Levin) to make that bread grow.

Of the seven lambs, God singles out two as a fellowship offering.  He makes the point that they, like their Saviour, are Jewsinwardly!  Rev 2:8 “To the angel of the Church in Smyrna write: These are the words of Him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.  I know your afflictions and your povertyyet you are rich!  I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are of the synogogue of Satan.  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you a crown of life.”  Yes, these people will be persecuted by slanderous liars who claim to be Jews, yet exhibit none of the characteristics of the most famous Jew of all – Christ!  There are plenty of pretend Jews around who make an outward show of being ‘Jews’, but they are certainly not Jews inwardly.  These pretend Jews are of the synogogue of Satan.  These cowardly dogs are not even Jews by descent, and they are frequently caught out by their monstrous lies.  And they love to blaspheme!  Surely you’ve already seen them in action.  Well, their season will be short, and they will rue the day they ever blasphemed the Name of God’s Glorious Son.  And one other thing!  When God reveals His glorious Truth to you, you should consider yourselves rich and blessed, regardless of your economic circumstances.  Yet if you don’t value God’s Word and Truth above all else, then you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Rev 3:17).  You will have to purchase gold tried in the fire (Mal 3:3).

The second fellowship lamb is described in Rev 3:8 “See, I have placed before you an open door that no-one can shut.  I know you have little strength, yet you have kept my Word and have not denied my Name.  I will make those who are of the synogogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews and are not, but are liarsI will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” 

These two lambs will be great!  Those who persecute them will be brought groveling at their feet: Rev 20:4 “And I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.  And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their Testimony for Jesus and because of the Word of God.”  

The other five lambs will need to emulate the glorious conduct of the two fellowship lambs, or any hope of a glorious future will quickly evaporate.  God makes the point that the five lambs are half-hearted and lukewarm, yet a few of them will be gleaned from the horde to fulfill their destiny and to receive their rewards.  In fact, just a few thousand will receive the Spirit of Christ and His Testimony, and their job will be to illuminate God’s purpose to the whole House of Israel.  Bear in mind that Christ was sent only to the lost sheep (or Tribes) of Israel.  Not to the lost sheep of the Church!  He sent His Church to the Tribes of Israel and that’s where they are today.  To reinforce this, Gabriel appeared to the blessed Mary and confirmed this to her:  Luke 1:21 “You will be with child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the House of Jacob for ever; His Kingdom will never end.”  The House of Jacob is, of course, the whole 12 Tribes of Israel.  And His Kingdom is the whole House of Israel.  All the nations of the earth that want to receive God’s blessings must emulate the whole House of Israel or they will receive only cursing (Zech 14:16-19).

God has made it clear that the House of Joseph is the initial recipient of God’s warnings (Ps 81-3-5).  Rachel was the mother of Joseph, and Joseph had two sons called Ephraim and Manasseh.  Two of the seven heads of the beast (Pharaoh and Herod) slaughtered innocent Israelite babies.  Matthew’s description of Herod’s slaughter is correctly linked to Rachel.  Matt 2:16 “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.  Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”” 

So was God’s prophecy through Jeremiah fulfilled in its entirety?  Not quite!  The prophecy is far more extensive!  Matthew was pointing us back to the full extent of what Jeremiah wrote.  In fact, Jeremiah covered the full spectrum of events that are about to unfold.  The whole prophecy is too extensive to cover here, but let’s hit some of the highlights: Jer 31:1 At that time,” declares the LORD, “I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people.”  This is what the LORD says: “The people who survive the sword will find favour in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel.”  V6 “There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.”  V8 “See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth.  Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour; a great throng will return.  They will come weeping; they will pray as I bring them back.  I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s Father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.”  V10 “Hear the Word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in the distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over His flock like a shepherd.  For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.’” 

And then we have the verse Matthew quoted in V15 “This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”  V16 “This is what the LORD says, “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD.  They will return from the land of their enemy.  So there is hope for your future,” declares the LORD.  Your children will return to their own land.”  V18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me as an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined.  Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God.  After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast.  I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’  Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight?  Though I often speak against him, I still remember him.  Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD.”  V21 “Set up the road signs; put up guideposts.  Take note of the highway, the road you will take.  Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns.  How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter?  The LORD will create a new thing on earth – a woman will protect (margin) a man (Ephraim).” 

God has put it in the mind of the Tribe of Ephraim to have strong links with the Israelis, and their destiny is linked.  Both are to be purged by fire, and the rebels who rebel against God’s instructions are to be targeted.  Yet God offers them hope for the future, and confirms that He will again redeem them as the flock of His pasture.  Micah 2:12 “I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely gather together the remnant of Israel.  I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.  One who breaks open the way will go before them; they will break through the gate and go out.  Their king will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” 

It’s very clear that Rachel’s weeping is for her grandchild Ephraim.  In the days of Matthew, the beast that then was (Herod) went out to slaughter the children of Israel.  The beast, that is to come, will also.  It’s no secret that the offspring of the beast hate the Israelis and the American people.  The warning bells should be ringing in the ears of all Americans since almost all the venom in the world is directed against them and the Holy Land.  Islam is spreading its satanic tentacles into virtually every continent on earth, and Islam is Satan’s chosen vehicle of hatred.  Trying to appease these satanic hordes will bear no fruit.  Ephraim is soon to learn this the hard way!

And who are Satan’s hordes – his disciples – who follow his way and listen to his language?  Virtually every nation that is not of the House of Israel!  In the Song of Moses (which will be sung by those who are victorious over Satan’s lying deceit – Rev 15:2-3) God makes it clear who His chosen people are:  Deut 32:8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He divided all mankind, He set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel (Jacob).  For the LORD’S portion is His people, Jacob His allotted inheritance.”  So God has said that He has divided the peoples of this earth into 12 portions.  Only one portion – or one-twelfth – is His allotted inheritance.  On today’s population numbers, this gives a total count of around 500 million Israelites.  The other eleven- twelfths or 5.5 billion are not God’s people, and what is more, they are the enemies of God and of His people!  Concerning the enemies of God, God say this in the Song of Moses: Deut 32:43 “Make His people rejoice, O nations (see margin), for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will take vengeance on His enemies and make atonement for the land and people.”

Showing mercy to these satanic hordes is not God’s Way, and the nation of Ephraim is soon to be disciplined for their stupidity.  God is going to create a new thing on earth!  He’s going to raise up a woman – the House of David.  The House of David consists of the descendants of David and the Levites (Zech 12:10-14).  This woman is like her most famous Son – the Mighty Christ.  And this woman will take vengeance on those who desecrated the tomb of Rachel’s son Joseph – namely the Palestinian dogs who live in Nablus (Shechem).  And there will be no mercy shown!  Ephraim is about to learn what action they should have taken when his father’s tomb was desecrated!  And the tomb of a prophet of God no less!

Samuel confronted a disgusting beast whom King Saul sought to save.  His name was Agag.  1Sam 15:32 “Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”  Agag came to him confidently, thinking, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”  But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.”  So Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal.  Then Samuel left for Ramah…”.  This illustrates a point!  No matter what the Palestinians do, including desecrating the tomb of Joseph, Ephraim is like Saul; they try to justify everything to make the enemies of God look blameless.  The Levites are a little different as Samuel’s actions show.  Samuel hacked the disgusting creature to death – without mercy!  Ephraim would have tried to rehabilitate him.  Interestingly, only Samuel knew God’s will on this matter.  And what he did, he did before the LORD.

In the Book of Acts, Peter makes an interesting observation: Acts 3:24 “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.  And you (men of IsraelV12) are heirs of the prophets and of the Covenant God made with your fathers.  He said to Abraham, “Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.  When God raised up His servant, He sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”  It’s interesting because God sent Samuel to anoint the greatest and most righteous of all the kings of Israel – David!  Every legitimate king or ruler of Israel should be anointed by God’s Levite representative!  Hos 8:2 “But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.  They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.”  There was a time when princes were princes by right of birth, but now, it seems, they are chosen through election.  And they rule, but not according to God’s Way.

Almost everything that the prophet Hosea wrote concerns the mighty Ephraim, the prince among his brothers.  During the time when Joseph and Mary took the Male Child to Egypt, Herod was busy slaughtering all the male babies.  Matthew knew this was a prophecy for the future, and quoted Hosea: Matt 2:15 “…And so was fulfilled what the LORD had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”  In Egypt, Pharaoh had, anciently, devised a plot to kill all the Israelite babies, and if he had succeeded, he would have killed Moses.  Herod’s plot was very plainly to kill the King of Kings – the Christ.  Again the plot failed.  Then in V18 we have the reference to Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more.

When God speaks of His allotted inheritance, He is speaking of the Tribes of Israel – and Ephraim in particular: Hos 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved Him, and out of Egypt I called my son.  But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.  They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.  It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.  I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.”  Like an ungrateful brat of a son, Ephraim thinks they did it all without God’s help.  They like to listen to armies of scientists and psychologists who are ever willing to deceive them into believing it all happened by chance.  They present clever arguments that there is no Creator, but rather the whole world evolved from microorganisms.  God says these brainless morons are without excuse (Rom 1:18-20).  So God is plainly warning Ephraim to beware!  God has grown weary of their constant insults against His Holy Name.  And the device they have chosen is the language of Satan the devil.

God’s Faithful Son and Heir is the Mighty Christ.  Yet He had to endure the insults of Satan’s brood, and finally submit to death – and He was innocent of any wrongdoing.  What right do the guilty have to demand any less than He endured?  Those who think they can publicly ridicule God’s teachings and attack His very Word are in for a big shock!  James warned of this, and called the tongue a world of evil: James 3:5 “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”  If you act like Satan’s brood, then he is your father!  God’s true people would rather die than insult their Heavenly Father.  How often do you see people enduring gross insults against God, yet remaining silent?  But if they perceive disparaging remarks about one of their own, they turn into foaming madmen.  You have to wonder about their priorities!

In time of war, the armies are the frontline of a nation’s defense.  Strike down the army and the women and children are at the mercy of the enemy.  History graphically illustrates this point.  Traditionally, armies have known that to the victor go the spoils of war, and they know that if the battle is lost, then their wives and children and possessions will be the spoils of war.  Let’s not forget that Daniel said ‘wars will continue to the end’ (Dan 9:26), so as far as peace is concerned, it’s all an illusion!  But there seems to be a continuous chorus of people proclaiming peace when there is none!  Everyone thinks they know the way to peace, and apparently the magic formula is to listen to the enemies of God.  God knows the way to peace and He’s preparing to make war!  What is more, the spoils of war will be gathered by Judah (Zech 14:14) – who will also be a mighty fighting force!  Be thankful, you Churches of God, that Almighty God has made provision to bring peace to this earth and to return the whole House of Jacob to the Promised Land.

And now it’s time to face reality!  In the Garden of Eden God spoke of a Day – the Seventh Day – the Sabbath, which typified a millennial Sabbath – a time when Christ would arise to crush the rulers of the heavenly realm in preparation for handing the Kingdom over to the Father (1Cor 15:24-27).  Just as the weekly Sabbath points to that Great Day, so the annual Holydays also point to that Day.  With the reality of the Holydays, the intensity is raised several orders of magnitude.  God has clearly defined these days, and as Peter said: 2Pet 1:19 “And we have the sure Word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star arises in your hearts.”  And since prophecy has become the figment of the imaginings of people without the Holy Spirit, Peter added this rider: V20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation, for prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  Yes, Peter said ‘Above all’!  And what do these wretched ‘clouds without rain’ do?  They do the exact opposite of what Peter said!  They invent prophecy from the diminutive recesses of their crazed minds.  And they understand nothing!  These lying creatures would be prepared to kill in defence of their fabricated lies that cannot be supported from the prophecy of Scripture, but only from their own imaginations.

To be sure, some impressive vistas can be painted from human imagination, but who cares?  If they don’t accord with the prophecies of Scripturethey are worthless!  Today, worthless shepherds abound, and it seems the sheep are too stupid to recognize a true shepherd if they fell over one.  There is a vast array of ‘shepherds’ out there all vying for spoils, and none of them can agree on anything.  And if perchance they did find agreement on certain things, they would quickly find plenty of other incompatibilities to separate them.  The current crops of ‘shepherds’ thrive on disunity – even though they deny it!  They don’t really care about the flock of God.  Many have already forgotten that they have been called as advance emissaries for the greater flock of God – the whole House of Israel, if indeed, they ever understood this role.  You will notice that God’s promises to the Patriarchs were directed towards the Children of Israel, and a great deal of reverse psychology has been applied by Church leaders to water this down.  They want the Church to believe that God’s promises will be fulfilled in them, and the whole House of Israel is secondary to them.  The exact opposite is the reality! 

How can the Churches believe they represent the Kingdom of God when they have been given instructions not to fight?  They’ve been instructed to stand firm and to go as sheep to the slaughter like their Saviour.  They’re jumping the gun a little!  Jesus went as a Lamb to the slaughter, but today, He’s the Mighty Champion, the Promised Messiah, the One who will arise to bring destruction on the enemies of God.  In answer to Pilates question, He answered this: John 18:36 “My Kingdom is not of this [age].  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.  But now my Kingdom is from another [time].” 

The Churches need to decide whether or not they are the servants of God.  If they are, then they had better follow the Lamb.  The Kingdom will be established – but not by the Church!  Up to the time when the Kingdom is established, and it will be established like a tiny mustard seed, the Church has very clear instructions: don’t fight!  This is not your role.  The Kingdom of God is like the ‘Levin’ that a woman took and mixed into three measures of flour (Matt 13:33).  You’re either going to have to believe Christ or call Him a liar!  And calling Christ a liar is only a short step from your present conduct.  They are His Words, or more correctly, the Father’s Words (John 14:24).  Nothing the Son of God every said or did was outside of the express instructions of the Father.  And everything He plans to do if for the sole purpose of establishing the Father’s Kingdom.

The Church has an important role to play.  They must follow their Saviour.  And for those who think Christ was obligated to go through His horrific death, Christ said plainly that He could at any time call on the Father, and He would send legions of angels to His rescue.  Christ knew this, and He knew His rescue was certain – if He had backed out at the last moment.  But if He had, then He would not be the Mighty Messiah today!  He made it clear the time was not right for fighting prior to His baptism of death:  Matt 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.  Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will not at once put at my disposal 12 legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way? 

But what of the Church?  Can they back out at the last moment?  Sure they can!  But the Scriptures won’t be fulfilled for them!  And there won’t be any 12 legions of angels come to their rescue.  We have some very good examples of faithful people in the Bible.  The Book of Hebrews records this:  Heb 11:35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again.  Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they could gain a better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.” 

Women received back their dead, raised to life again?  And others were tortured and refused to be released in the hope of a better resurrection?  This doesn’t seem to accord with the Church’s fanciful views of the resurrection!  The Church won’t acknowledge any resurrection in human form prior to Christ’s glorious return!  Yet it’s already occurred in the past!  It happened immediately after Christ’s death!  They simply don’t believe it can or will happen again.  Apparently Armstrong overruled God on this.

But let’s all try to come to our senses!  Let’s at least be unified in believing God.  Let’s dispense with the hocus-pocus of the lunatic fringers who believe nothing unless it’s been nailed to their heads.  Firstly, this is recorded:  Matt 27:52 “The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of their tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the Holy City and appeared to many people.” 

And secondly, this has been recorded: Eze 37:1 “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.  He led me to and fro among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.  He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?  I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”  Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD!  This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the LORD.” 

Does God need to put flesh and sinews on bones to make spirit beings?  Or is He speaking of the resurrection of an army?  Again, we recall the comment of ‘Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more!’  Hasn’t God said that the whole House of Israel will be led away into captivity?  Hasn’t He said their lands will be left barren and empty?  And hasn’t God also said He will turn His back on His people, and in the very place where He says this, He will again say, “They are my people”?  When they are driven far away from His presence, and no longer a people, the process of revival will begin.  God will begin by resurrecting an army in a great valley and putting flesh on their bones and breath in their bodies.  This great army will be the whole House of Israel, the embryo of a mighty nation of the lost Tribes of Israel.  And the birth of a great nation will begin.

Continuing in Eze 37:10 “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.  Then He said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel.  They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’  Therefore prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.  Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.” 

God says this:  Hos 13:12 “The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record.  Pains of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.  I will ransom them from the power of the GRAVE; I will redeem them from DEATH.  Where, O DEATH, are your plagues?  Where, O GRAVE, is your destruction?”  As a point of interest, God also says this (and especially in relation to the above verse): Hos 12:10 “I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them.”  And this parable relates to the names of the beast and the false prophet (Rev 6:7).

Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh (harvest the wheat) (Hos 10:11).  Of Ephraim, God also says this: Hos 10:12 “But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception.  Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of the battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated – as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.  Thus will happen to you, O Bethel (Ephraim), because your wickedness is great.  When THE DAY DAWNS, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.” 

God makes no secret of the fact that He will call Judah to service as a mighty force – an invincible army – and at a time when Rachel’s children are no more.  These are a remnant who loves God’s Holy City Jerusalem!  God says this: Isa 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.”  And of course, the time frame for this verse immediately precedes the appearance of the prophet Elijah, the latter day fulfillment of John the Baptist (see V3 and Luke 3:4).

Almighty God speaks of the time when Judah will again have their name written on a stick or staff, just as they did when God commanded all the tribes to bring their staffs before the Tabernacle (Num 17:1-10).  It was Aaron’s staff that budded.  At that time, God made it clear who His representative tribe was.  Figuratively, Aaron’s staff was preserved in the Ark, along with the manna and the Law (Heb 9:3-4).

Concerning the staff or rod of Judah, God says this: Eze 37:15 “The Word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’  Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the House of Israel associated with him.’  Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.” 

Yes, Ephraim wields the big stick today, and they are the only super-power on earth.  But they have forgotten their God and refused to serve Him as His chosen people.  During the course of their rich blessings, they have not acknowledged that it was God who bent down to feed them: Hos 13:9 “I will destroy you, O Israel, because you are against me, against your Helper.”  God has said that He has kept Ephraim’s sins on record for future retribution: V11 So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away.  The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record.  Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom, when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.  I will ransom them from the power of the GRAVE; I will redeem them from DEATH.”  When God takes away the ruler He gave you, then you will be in a lot of trouble, Ephraim!  Ephraim has yet to be ransomed from the power of the GRAVE and redeemed from DEATH.  The writing is on the wall.  Let’s hope it’s soon written on your hearts.

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