A Critique of Wade Cox’s Wave Sheaf Offering (I)

Christian Churches of God

Wade Cox

The Wave Sheaf Offering — No. 106b (dd 2014-05-18)

How to count Pentecost

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Wave Sheaf, Wave Sheaf Offering, Pentecost, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Firstfruits, Heptad, Feast of Heptads, Wave Sheaf, Omer

Draft I

This is a Critique of Wade Cox’s Wave Sheaf Offering, Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Firstfruits. The Counting to Pentecost is an extremely important subject and we’ll follow it in every point discussed. Besides the main issue of how to count is what exactly is the Wave Sheaf Offering.

Quoted are Wade Cox’s transcript “Wave Sheaf Offering” posted on his website. They are indented, in pink and in block form so as to differentiate his from my comments. The Scriptures, in red, must be our primary focus and guide, and sometimes the Scriptures, which include the Septuagint and the Targum, say things very different from what we think!

And so with that in mind, we’ll begin:

The Wave-Sheaf Offering needs to be kept in order to understand the full implications of Christ’s sacrifice and the power that he was given in terms of his resurrection from the dead. The Wave-Sheaf Offering is an ancient requirement of Israel within the Torah. The ordinance is found in Leviticus 23:9-14, and also in Exodus 29:24-25 and other texts. It is poorly understood by scholars and ignored by many (e.g. it is absent as a category in Schürer’s index in The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ). It is often thought of as being “done away,” as a part of the sacrificial aspects of the law. So why is it to be kept now? It is a day that commences the count to Pentecost. Whilst we don’t physically wave the sheaf of grain, we celebrate the acceptance of Christ before the Throne of God. In the same way we no longer sacrifice the animals at the Temple but we celebrate the actual days on which they were made. The days themselves represent aspects of the Plan of God fulfilled in Christ and the elect. The Wave Sheaf in like manner represents part of the Plan and part of the Story.

At least it is “poorly understood by scholars” rather than misunderstood by the CoG Communities. First, let’s understand the process of the wave sheaf. The barley grain was actually cut by members of the Sanhedrin at the end of the “Sabbath,” the evening before. The heads of grain were separated from the stalks and the removed grain was thrashed, parched with fire and ground into flour in the courtyard of the Temple that night. The flour were then sieved through thirteenth sieves until it was pure and of very fine texture. Oil and frankincense were added. From this the omer was taken and then offered early the next morning at about 9 AM, the time of the morning sacrifice in the Temple as a special annual offering waved before God. The Wave Sheaf Offering, composed of MANY individual grains, offered together, represents the FIRSTFRUITS! The “he lamb” in Leviticus 23:12, representing Christ, wasn’t waved:

Leviticus 23:9 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying,
10 “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: ‘When ye come into the land which I give unto you and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest.11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf a he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

This Lamb wasn’t waved! Why wasn’t this Lamb waved if it were to represent Christ? Weird! The Blind Guides couldn’t even notice the Lamb there! It is nice to believe that Christ was waved before the Throne of God, but where are the evidence. Not a single one is given.

It is a mandatory ordinance associated with the Feast of the Passover and controls both the timing of Pentecost and the consumption of the new harvests (Lev. 23:9-14). To put it in its modern perspective, we should look at the significance of the timing of Christ’s death.

The sign of Jonah had to be completed in all of its phases. The only sign that was given to Christ’s ministry was the sign of Jonah. Christ said that the function of three days and three nights in the belly of the whale or great fish of Jonah was the same as his ministry, and he would be three days and three nights in the belly of the Earth (as the great fish). The sign of Jonah is much more than three days and three nights in the belly of the fish. The sign of Jonah was related to the ministry to Nineveh, where there were three days consisting of one day’s journey into Nineveh and two days preaching to Nineveh, and 40 days for repentance. Nineveh repented. Judah was given approximately three years under John the Baptist and the Messiah, and then 40 years to repent. Nineveh repented but Judah did not repent.

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What a great observation! Yes, many living in Jerusalem and surrounding areas were burnt off like Sodom and Gomorroh, others limped off but survived. Interesting. Who were those who escaped from the fire and brimstones of Sodom and Gomorroh?

Let’s get back to a basic parable, a parable where the tares and wheat were growing together:

Matthew 13:1 The same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a boat and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore . . .

24 Another parable put He forth before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blades had sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath come the tares?’ 28 He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then have us go and gather them up?’

29 But he said, ‘Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Image result for jerusalem on fire ad 70The wheat and tares grew together. And forty years later, it was decision time — to put the tares into the fire. And who were those that met their fate during the fire and brimstones of the 70 AD inferno? Everyone seems to understate the significance of the destruction of Judea in 70 AD. Nobody equates it to sin as it was in Sodom and Gomorrah, or the days of Noah. John the Baptist had given a stern warning about another consuming fire recorded in Luke 3:16. John warns with a prophetic taint:

“I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with FIRE unquenchable.” Luke 3:16

Who died in the AD 70 inferno some 40 years after these warnings were given? Those burnt into ashes like Sodom and Gomorroh were the Sadducees and their allies — the Herodians and Boethusians. The Essenes (who had a different calendar), also ended in the inferno. The Blind put no significance to John’s warning because they are blind. The AD 70 inferno were only a microcosm, how would the CoG Communities, who have similar fabricated beliefs as the Sadducees and Boethusians, escape John’s warning during the Last Days? And why is it so coincidental that the end-time Laodicean church his been described as “wretched” and “blind” and “naked”? Blind Guides!

The Wave-Sheaf Offering seems to have been waved at 9 a.m. on the Sunday morning within the Feast of the Passover. The general wave offering was brought by the worshipper and made in conjunction with the priest (Ex. 29:24-25). We know that the Samaritans and the Sadducees kept a Sunday Wave Sheaf and a Sunday Pentecost. That is an important factor in history. The Jews do not keep the Wave Sheaf because they keep a Sivan 6 Pentecost, which came from the traditions of the Pharisees in rabbinical Judaism after the Temple was destroyed. We know that the Samaritans keep the 14th and 15th and the concept of the Wave Sheaf, and count the Omer from Sunday within the Feast. So the Temple period structure and right throughout, including the Samaritans, always kept Pentecost on a Sunday. The early Church kept Pentecost on a Sunday. Only the Jews kept a Sivan 6, and only after the Temple was destroyed.

See the source imageI just seem to smell a rat, but don’t know where it is. When Daniel prayed his knee bent and he turned his face toward Jerusalem (Daniel 6:10). But for the Samaritans, they turn their faces toward Mount Garizim whenever they pray, except during Passover on top of Mount Garizim, where, exactly at twilight, they turn West to pray at the setting down of the sun. The Samaritans would deny they were sun worshippers, nor idol worshippers, but they are. Even while these people were pretending to worship the LORD, and made unto themselves from the lowest of them priests of the high places, they were in fact, serving their idols. TO THIS DAY (and even in 2019), their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did (II Kings 17:29-41).

Hayyim Schauss points out that these Samaritans would go up to Mount Gerizim every year, and half an hour before sunset, as the 14th of Nisan draws to a close, their high priest leads the assembly in silent prayer:

“Exactly at sunset the High Priest faces westward and reads that portion of the Pentateuch which orders the slaughtering of the Pesach sacrifice. About twelve or fourteen of the younger Samaritans busy themselves, meanwhile, with preparing the sacrificial animals. They form a circle about the pit of fire, holding the lambs between their legs, and as the High Priest utters the words, ‘And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk,’ they utter a benediction and throw the lambs, throats to the pit, where they are slaughtered by two ritual slaughterers. Six or seven sheep are slaughtered” (The Jewish Festivals, pg.63).

Their priest taught them a schismatic system to worship the Lord, the system imposed by Jeroboam to wean his people away from the worship of the Jews and the Temple at Jerusalem. “Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places. . . . They were actually pretending to worship the Lord as they appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at their high places. Indeed, they were actually serving their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

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Look at the photo above — the Samaritans were SUN worshippers. After sending the Northern Kingdom into exile in 721 BC, the king of the Assyrians brought the pagans from Babylon — Cuthah, Avah, Emath, and Sepharvaim — to place them in Samaria. So let’s continue with Wade Cox’s Samaritan version of Wave Sheaf Offering:

Modern Judaism does not do this now. Pentecost was then counted from this day. This (the Sadduccean) position was held up until the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE (see F. F. Bruce, art. ‘Calendar’, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, ed. by J. D. Douglas and N. Hillyer, IVP, 1980, Vol. 1, p. 225). After the dispersion, the Pharisaic position became the accepted practice, and the conflict is noted in the Mishnah (Hag. 2:4). After the dispersion, the Wave Sheaf was understood to be waved on the first Holy Day of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost was then determined to fall on a fixed date, namely, Sivan 6. This practice was not followed during the days of the Temple priesthood and up until 70 CE and, hence, at the time of Christ.

There are many problems with the above paragraph, but I’ll only mention the main one.
(a). The Targum could be traced all the way back to Ezra (480 BC – 440 BC). And the Targum states clearly that the counting is the morrow after the first festal day of Pascha.

Leviticus 23:11-13 And he shall uplift the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you. AFTER THE FIRST FESTAL DAY OF PASCHA (OR, THE DAY AFTER THE FEAST‑DAY OF PASCHA) on the day on which you elevate the sheaf, you shall make (the sacrifice of a lamb of the year, unblemished a burnt offering unto the Name of the Lord . . . 15 and number to you AFTER THE FIRST FEAST DAY OF PASCHA . . .

(b) The Targum is like a mirror. When placed against the end-time CoG Communities, it reflects the nakedness of the Laodecians. When the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon in the 6th century BC, most of them couldn’t speak Hebrew; they spoke Aramaic, but they still retained the Torah, which were read to them in Hebrew.

But the people couldn’t understand Hebrew. Something had to be done so that the people would understand God and His Word. The sages, starting with Ezra, found an answer. After hearing Ezra read a few verses of the Torah scroll in Hebrew, either he or other Levites translated it to Aramaic, hence it set the stage for the Aramaic version of the Bible, called a Targum, which simply means translation. Hence the Targum is an entrenched translation of the Hebrew Bible that was written or compiled in Judea from the Second Temple period until the early Middle Ages (late first millennium).

“The Levites … instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” (Nehemiah 8:7–8)

Nehemiah 8:7 NKJV and the Levites helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

The Targum translates and explains the counting of the wave sheaf from the Hebrew in Leviticus 23 into the vernacular, in a very simple language, and verse 15 is extremely clear: “And number to you after the first feast day of pascha from the day when you brought the sheaf for the elevation, seven weeks; complete they shall be. 16 Until the day after the seventh week you shall number fifty days, and shall offer a mincha of the new bread unto the Name of the Lord.”

These “seven weeks” do not have the same connotation as “seven Sabbaths” but have the same meaning as the “seven weeks” of Deuteronomy 16:9. They are both seven blocks of seven days, or heptad. So what is a heptad? A heptad is a BLOCK OF SEVEN — either days or weeks — and a heptad can start on any day of the year.

We will get the timing of the Wave-Sheaf Offering from Leviticus 23.

Leviticus 23:9-14 And the LORD said to Moses, 10 “Say to the people of Israel, When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest; 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, that you may find acceptance; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 And the cereal offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, to be offered by fire to the LORD, a pleasing odor; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (RSV)

Before we start, “wave sheaf” is also a mistranslation. It is “omer” in Hebrew, a finished product, not some freshly cut grains from the field. Secondly, the “wave sheaf” is made of MANY grains from a BUNDLE of barley plants? It represents human beings, that humans need to go through numerous trials and testings, to be acceptable before God. The priest represents Christ, who mediates before us. The omer as firstfruits have to go through ALL of the thirteen sieves. Only humans were required to go through numerous trials and testings. The role of the Messiah was on a much higher plane, He was the sacrifice, the Passover sacrifice.

Jesus told many parables, but not a single one indicates he was a product of the land, a firstfruits. He was always the Lamb, he was the “he Lamb” in Leviticus 23:12. And in parables, He was the husbandman, a landowner, the good shepherd, etc, but never was He portrayed as a firstfruits or produce of the land.

The offering of the he-lamb and the waving of the first-fruits symbolised Christ as a first-fruit ascending into Heaven to his Father. Compare the passage concerning Mary Magdalene. In John 20:1,14-18, we find that Christ had waited that night. He was resurrected and he was waiting to ascend to the Father, and that ascension took place on the Sunday morning. The resurrection did not take place on Sunday morning at all; it took place on the Saturday night, and Christ waited until Sunday morning in readiness to ascend into Heaven.

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When Moses went up to Mt Sinai to meet God, his face shoned white when he returned, but why wasn’t Christ’s face shoned after He returned, neither his clothes glistened in white? Was His seeing God inferior to that of Moses? Weird!
But when Jesus met His Father in heaven nothing happened.

The disciples should have fallen backward.
“What happened?”
Not only did His face shone, but His whole garment too.
“Why is your face blaring at us?”
“I can’t see, I’m blind.”
“I just came back from seeing my Father face-to-face. No worries.”
No, nothing happened like this as Moses did in Exodus 34.

Also when there is a prophecy fulfilled, there is normally something supernatural accompanying it — lightning, earthquakes, darkening of days, etc.
But there was none! Nothing! Something is obviously wrong! What happened? Was Jesus acceptance postponed? Not accepted? Delayed?

John 20:15-17 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo’ni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (RSV)

What would happen if Magdalene had touched Him? Would He be defiled? But numerous other translations say she held Him. Yes, she held Him.

Adam Clarke adds:

“Verse 17: Touch me not. . . . Cling not to me. APROMAI has this sense in Job 31:7, where the Septuagint uses it for the Hebrew dabak, which signifies to cleave, cling, stick, or be glued to. . . . our Lord seems to have spoken to her to this effect: ‘Spend no longer time with me now: I am not going immediately to heaven — you will have several opportunities of seeing me again: but go and tell my disciples, that I am, by and by, to ascend to my Father and God, who is your Father and God also. Therefore, let them take courage.'”

Cambridge Greek writes:

17. μή μ. ἄπτου. This is a passage of well-known difficulty. At first sight the reason given for refraining from touching would seem to be more suitable to a permission to touch. Comp. John 4:44. It is perhaps needless to enquire whether the γάρ refers to the whole of what follows or only to the first sentence, ‘I am not yet ascended to the Father.’ In either case the meaning would be, that the Ascension has not yet taken place, although it soon will do so, whereas Mary’s action assumes that it has taken place. If γάρ refers to the first clause only, then the emphasis is thrown on Mary’s mistake; if γάρ refers to the whole of what is said, then the emphasis is thrown on the promise that what Mary craves shall be granted in a higher way to both her and others very soon. The translation ‘touch Me not’ is inadequate and gives a false impression. Ἄπτεσθαι does not mean to ‘touch’ and ‘handle’ with a view to seeing whether His body was real; this Christ not only allowed but enjoined (John 20:27; Luke 24:39; comp. 1 John 1:1): rather it means to ‘hold on to’ and ‘cling to.’ Moreover it is the present (not aorist) imperative; and the full meaning will therefore be, ‘Do not continue holding Me,’ or simply, hold Me not. The old and often interrupted earthly intercourse is over; the new and continuous intercourse with the Ascended Lord has not yet begun: but that Presence will be granted soon, and there will be no need of straining eyes and clinging hands to realise it. (For a large collection of various interpretations see Meyer.) The reading πρὸς τ. πατέρα (without μου) agrees better with πρ. τ. ἀδ. μου. The general relationship applying both to Him and them is stated first, and then it is pointedly distinguished in its application to Him and to them.

See the source imageMatthew 28:9 And as they (Mary Magdalene and other women) went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “All hail.” And they came, and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. — That means, they had all touched Him. But Jesus’ face didn’t shine like Moses! What happened? Moses needed a veil to cover his face when he returned to face his people (Exodus 34:35). And again, Jesus’ face didn’t radiate when two disciples met Him on the road:

Luke 24:13 And behold, two of them were going that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about seven miles. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass that while they communed and reasoned together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.
16 But their eyes were held, that they should not know Him.
17 And He said unto them, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another as ye walk and are sad?”
18 And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which have come to pass there these days?”
19 And He said unto them, “What things?” And they said unto Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people;
20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death and have crucified Him.
21 But we trusted that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel. And besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women of our company, who were early at the sepulcher, made us astonished.
23 And when they found not His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive.
24 And certain of those who were with us went to the sepulcher and found it even so as the women had said, but Him they saw not.”
25 Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village whither they were going, and He made as though He would have gone further.
29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent.” And He went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread and blessed it, and broke and gave it to them.
31 And their eyes were opened and they knew Him. And He vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the way and while He opened to us the Scriptures?”
33 And they rose up that same hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them,
34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed and hath appeared to Simon!”
35 And they told what things were done on the way, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

It would be a great opportunity for a risen Christ to tell His disciples He had been accepted by the Father, but He didn’t! Maybe He forgot!

The Septuagint, one that the NT writers used most often, is also a great testimony to the truth. It translates “on the morrow after the Sabbath” in the KJV as “on the morrow of the first day.” The first day is, of course, the first day of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And the Targum states it even more clear. TO IGNORE ANY OF THESE SCRIPTURES AS TESTIMONIES TO THE TRUTH IS TO IGNORE TO OUR TREPIDATION!



~ by Joel Huan on October 8, 2019.

One Response to “A Critique of Wade Cox’s Wave Sheaf Offering (I)”

  1. […] A Critique of this Wave Sheaf article is given here: https://wulfstein.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/a-critique-of-wade-coxs-wave-sheaf-offering-i/ […]

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