A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Pentecost 

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Pentecost 

Count to  Pentecost — From the Morrow After Which Sabbath by Fred R. Coulter, 2014 (36 pages).

Fred Coulter — How to count Pentecost

Pentecost, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Firstfruits, Wave Sheaf, Omer

See the source image
Wave sheaf – is this the Omer?

This is a Critique of Fred Coulter’s Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Firstfruits. The Counting to Pentecost is an extremely interesting subject and we’ll follow it in every issue discussed. Besides the main issue of how to count is when to start counting towards Pentecost. Included are some issues on the Passover, which are also critiqued, but for the most part, it has been critiqued earlier on Fred Coulter’s Passover series (see A Study Index of Fred Coulter’s Passover).

Quoted are Fred’s work from a PDF version from his website. They are indented, in PINK, and in block form so as to differentiate his from other 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:

Chapter One

In The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, these verses have been properly translated so that it is clear and the wave sheaf offering day itself was, in fact, the 1st day of the 50-day count to Pentecost. It reads: “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it…. And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete; even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall proclaim on the same day that it may be a holy convocation’ ” (Lev. 23:10-11, 15-16). (Count To Pentecost From the Morrow After Which Sabbath by Fred R. Coulter, pg 1)

Fred Coulter would be using his translation, The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, or the “Faithful” Version, but unsure of his Hebrew proficiency I’ll compare his translation with KJV, KJ21, the Masoretic version, the Septuagint, or the Targum.

The Pharisaic Method of Counting to Pentecost

When the Pharisaic Jews reinterpreted God’s commands for the wave sheaf offering, they began the count to Pentecost from the day after the annual Sabbath of Nisan 15, which may fall on any day of the week, instead of counting from the first day of the week—the day after the weekly Sabbath—during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This change was apparently made to solve the problem caused by the elimination of Nisan 14 as the Passover day. Since the Pharisaic Jews had ceased to observe Nisan 14 as part of the spring festival season, they could not use that day in determining the correct day for the wave sheaf offering. Thus, when Nisan 14 fell on a weekly Sabbath, the only weekly Sabbath they could use [to count] was the following weekly Sabbath which fell on Nisan 21, the annual holy day which ends the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But if the wave sheaf were offered “on the day after” the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Wave Sheaf Day would fall on the first day of the week outside the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Wave Sheaf Day must always fall within the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is contrary to Scripture to place the Wave Sheaf Day outside of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Pg 4)

Fred Coulter’s use of the word “reinterpreted” is not just being misguided for himself but misleading to those who follow him. He has already made his conclusion before he has even started. What really happened is that where the Scriptures in the Torah appear contrary, they need to be read and interpreted taking all related Scriptures as a whole. The existence of an oral law was deduced from the character of the written law as well as of the other books of the Torah and the Prophets.

Many of the Mosaic laws are worded very briefly, and some are almost unintelligible without certain presuppositions which were assumed to be generally held, like circumcision (where to cut); and a few other examples that seem to contradict one another, for example, on the Sabbath day “let no man go out of his place” Exodus 16:29 and Leviticus 23:3, where ye are to have “an holy convocation.” If the written Torah is regarded as a complete code, it must be assumed that on certain points some of the laws supplement the others, so that the written law might be interpreted in a way that makes sense as a whole. It makes no sense to attend Sabbath and yet not allowed to leave ones home. So a Sabbath boundary was established and defined roughly as a distance of about 2000 cubits (about 1km) as measured from the edge of a settlement to all directions as one could venture out of his/her home, known as a Biblical mile.

Second, the Pharisaic Jews had never ceased to observe Nisan 14 as part of the spring festival season. This is a blatant lie. In fact the Pharisees used the spring festival, the “morrow after the sabbath” which is the wave sheaf to count toward the Feast of Weeks. That is, all the annual feast days are related. The weekly Sabbath runs on its own and has no relation to the annual Holy Days, but the Sadducees had made them seem so.

Third, Fred Coulter has got confused with his own writings. The second half of the above quote (starting with “Thus” to the end) is a problem about counting toward Pentecost “when Nisan 14” fell the weekly Sabbath. When the high day falls on the weekly Sabbath it becomes a problem, because then which weekly Sabbath is to start the count, since there are two weekly Sabbaths that qualify. The problem is that different CoGs have different interpretations. This problem is only confined within those who use the Sadducaic interpretation. But for the Pharisees and Rabbinics, when the weekly Sabbath fell during the Jewish calendar has no bearing in determining which day to start counting Pentecost.

To solve this problem, the Pharisaic Jews decided to reinterpret the meaning of “the morrow after the [weekly 7th day] Sabbath.” They transferred the meaning of the word ha shabbat—“the Sabbath” in Leviticus 23:11—from the weekly Sabbath to the first holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15. It is true that Nisan 15 is an annual Sabbath, shabbat, but ha shabbat which always refers to the weekly Sabbath. According to this Jewish reinterpretation, the day after Nisan 15 is Nisan 16, which to them became “the morrow after the Sabbath.” As a result, the Pharisaic Jews always begin their count to Pentecost with Nisan 16—regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. (Pg 4-5)

Abraham Geiger - New World Encyclopedia
 Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874)

Again, the Pharisees didn’t “reinterpreted” God’s commands for the wave sheaf offering in any of their writings as Fred Coulter alleges. The Samaritans were the ones to reinterpret the Scriptures, though it was first started by King Jeroboam of the Northern Kingdom, spearheaded by those with the Birthrights — Ephraim and Manasseh. The Rabbinics have their Scepter, their Oral Law which were written in the Talmud.

Fred’s assertions are gathered mostly from the Jewish Reform Movement writers who were keened to avoid the “bondage of Judaism.” Started by Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874) in Germany, they succumb to the Samaritan narratives in how the Torah should be interpreted. These Reformers believe in “a process of constant evolution” and “rejects any fixed, permanent set of beliefs, laws or practices.” They stated that the old mechanisms of religious interpretation were obsolete and sought a more coherent ideological framework to justify innovations in the liturgy and religious practice.

The Septuagint, one that the NT writers most often used, translates “the day after the sabbath” as “on the morrow of the first day.” Is this “first day” the weekly sabbath? Obviously not. It is the first day of the Days of Unleavened Bread. If we follow the Saddusaic reasoning, then the counting of the omer would begin on Monday, the day after “the first day” i.e. Sunday. 

The Hebrew translators of the Septuagint knew that the omer counting began after the first Day of Unleavened Bread on the 16th of Nisan. Most New Testament writers had relied much on the Septuagint when quoting the Old Testament, and is a great testimony to clarify “the morrow after the sabbath” to mean the first Days of Unleavened Bread. Hence the count is always on the 16th of Nisan.

Besides the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, another source of our Scriptures is the Targum. And note the Targum portion in Leviticus 23:9-16 is even more clear:

And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: 10 Speak with the sons of Israel, and say to them: When you have entered into the land which I give you, and you reap the harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest; 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, 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. (Leviticus 23:10-16, Targum)

The Targum, a translation and interpretation started by Ezra for the returning Jewish exiles, makes it absolutely explicit. The Aramaic interpretation confirms the Septuagint translation “on the morrow of the first day” as “on the morrow after the first day,” which is the sixteenth. Have anyone wonder why the end-time church is described as “wretched” and “blind” and “naked”? 

In ancient times, not all Jews followed the Pharisaical method of counting to Pentecost. The Jewish sects known as the Essenes and the Sadducees used different methods. The Essenes were an ascetic sect that combined Judaism with pagan sun worship and lived in monastic religious communities. Because of this strange mixture of sun worship and Torah law, they always counted Pentecost improperly. They reckoned the last holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 21, as the Sabbath for beginning the count. As a result, the first day of their count was always Nisan 22—the day after the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because they began their count on Nisan 22, their Pentecost always fell on the fixed date of Sivan 13. (Pg 5-6)

Who Were the Essenes? - Biblical Archaeology Society

The Essenes were indeed sun-worshippers. This Qumran community has their own 364 day solar (and no regards to the moon) calendar which were totally at odds with the calendrics of the Sanhedrin. Their sacred year always began on the vernal (spring) equinox and is, by definition, Wednesday (because God Created the “lights in the firmament” for “signs and seasons” on the 4th Day), 1st day of the 1st month (Nisan or Abib). Consequently, the Essene Passover will always begin at 6 PM Tuesday, 13 days later (Nisan 14). The key point being Essene Passover always began “Tuesday” evening, 13 days after the vernal equinox. To outsiders, the Essenes would appear to observe the vernal equinox and (regardless of whatever the previous day was) declare that day to be Wednesday 1 Nisan, their New Year.

Interpreting their calendar from the Book of Jubilees 6:1-38, their 12 months were either 30 (for 8 months) or 31 days (for 4 months). Meaning, they didn’t follow the phases of the moon. Essenes also celebrated each Equinox and Solstice on the first day of those months (the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th months).

The Essenes calendar had a year of 364 days. The first day of the first month always begins at sunset on Tuesday evening following the vernal equinox. Their counting — counted from the first Sunday after the Feast of Unleavened Bread — the offering of the wave sheaf (Leviticus 23:11) always fell on Sunday the 26th of their first month. Consequently after 50 days the day of Pentecost is set on Sivan 15 (not 13th as Fred quoted above, a show of his shabby research), and is always on a Sunday in their third month. 

While the Pharisees and the Essenes based their counts on the holy days, which were annual Sabbaths, the Sadducees followed the biblical injunction to begin to count to Pentecost “beginning with the next day after the weekly Sabbath. The priests and the high priests who were in charge of the temple during Jesus’ physical life were Sadducees. They did not set a fixed date for Pentecost because they based their count on the weekly cycle, as God had commanded. When a weekly Sabbath fell on any of the first six days of Unleavened Bread, they began counting to Pentecost from the day after that weekly Sabbath—the first day of the week. But a problem arose in years when the weekly Sabbath fell on the last day of Unleavened Bread. In the following chapter, we will examine this problem and learn why “the day after the Sabbath” is always the first day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Pg 6)

Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, was himself a priest and a Pharisee. In his Antiquities of the Jews, he informs us that the Pharisees were the dominant religious party in Judaea during the time of Christ, and that they controlled the worship services. 

See the source image

Now, for the Pharisees, they live meanly, and despise delicacies in diet; and they follow the conduct of reason; and what that prescribes to them as good for them they do; and they think they ought earnestly to strive to observe reason’s dictates for practice. They also pay a respect to such as are in years . . .  on account of which doctrines they are able greatly to persuade the body of the people; and whatsoever they do about Divine worship, prayers, and sacrifices, they perform them according to their direction (Ant 18,3).

The common people followed the Pharisees. And although the Sadducees were occupying the upper stratum of the Jewish aristocracy, they were few and unable and unwilling to carry out their own beliefs in the Temple service, but to carry out “the notions of the Pharisees”:

But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this: That souls die with the bodies; nor do they regard the observation of any thing besides what the law enjoins them; for they think it an instance of virtue to dispute with those teachers of philosophy whom they frequent: but this doctrine is received but by a few, yet by those still of the greatest dignity. But they are able to do almost nothing of themselves; for when they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addicted themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them. (Ant 18,4)

The Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells us further political-religious amalgamation called the Sadducees:

“Their political supremacy was, however, of no long duration. Greatly as the spiritual power of the Pharisees had increased, the Sadducean aristocracy was able to keep at the helm in politics. The price at which the Sadducees had to secure themselves power at this later period was indeed a high one, for they were IN THEIR OFFICIAL ACTIONS TO ACCOMMODATE THEMSELVES TO PHARISAIC VIEWS. With the fall of the Jewish state the Sadducees altogether disappear from history. Their strong point was politics. When deprived of this their last hour had struck. While the Pharisaic party only gained more strength, only obtained more absolute rule over the Jewish people in consequence of the collapse of political affairs, the very ground on which they stood was cut away from the Sadducees” (“Sadducees,” pg 954).

The Talmud records such an instance, when a Sadducee attempted to circumvent a procedural ruling of the Pharisees concerning the high priest entering the Holy of Holies and offering incense. The Talmud shows that the Pharisees came to require that a sitting high priest who was a Sadducee give an OATH that he would perform the ceremony according to Pharisaical teaching. 

         Says the Talmud:

“And why do they require an oath of him?  Because of the Boethusians [a family from Alexandra installed by King Herod as high priest, subsequently becoming a close ally to the Herodians and the elitist Sadducees], who said: let him cense from outside and let him enter from inside. We are told of one who did so, and when he came out, someone said to his father: ‘Though ye have taught this all your lives, ye have never done so until this man came and did it.’ The other replied: ‘Though we have taught so all our lives, we have done as the hakhamim [Pharisees] willed and I wonder if this man will live long.’ It is said that there were no easy days until he died; and some said that worms came out of  his nose” (Jerusalem Talmud, Yoma I,39a).

High priests, showing the ephod and linen robes - Stock Image - C042/7458 -  Science Photo Library

Although the High Priests were often from the Sadducees, they were under the authority and supervision of the Pharisees and were rigorously taught and trained and required to perform every act of worship according to the dictates of the Pharisees. The people feared that if the High Priest offended the Most High in any way, while in the Holy of Holies, he might never come out alive again. Therefore a rope was tied to his ankle, so that just in case something went wrong, and he stayed in the Holy of Holies much too long, they could pull him out with the rope! 

And finally, the Sadducees were all dead from the AD 70 inferno: John the Baptist warned in Matthew 3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with FIRE.” 

If the AD 70 inferno is a microcosm for the CoG Communities of the Great Tribulation to come, what would stop these resurfaced “Sadducees” from disappearing into another end-time inferno?

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? Amos 3:6

Chapter Two

Like the Jewish sects of old, Christians today, hold differing interpretations of God’s instructions for counting to Pentecost. While most follow the scriptural injunction to count beginning the next day after the weekly Sabbath, sometimes there is disagreement as to WHICH weekly Sabbath is the correct Sabbath. (From the Morrow After Which Sabbath by Fred R. Coulter, pg 7)

This is very true, which weekly Sabbath, one is as good as the other. In singling out one, we read all the human reasoning above, but there is not a single scripture to back up any statement. This is only a doctrine of man. The real problem is that there are over 50 weekly sabbaths during the year, why choose one instead of another? 

This conflict of opinion is greatest in years when the Passover day—Nisan 14—falls on the weekly Sabbath. When this occurs, the first holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread— Nisan 15—falls on Sunday, the first day of the week. When the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on Sunday, the seventh day of the feast falls on the next weekly Sabbath. In this sequence of days, the only weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the last day of the feast—which would cause “the day after the Sabbath” to fall outside the feast. Therefore, the critical connection that God established between the Wave Sheaf Day and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is severed. Yet some Christians follow this practice because they believe that the Wave Sheaf Day must always follow the weekly Sabbath that falls during the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Pg 7)

Again, this is a typical doctrine of man, and what they do year after year becomes a tradition, not a single Scripture is quoted to back up any statement. Outside of the written word of God, men wonder with all sorts of new ideas. Beginning with Jeroboam, they started with changing the feast days, with two different places of worship, but proclaimed the same old maxim: “Behold, these are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”

When we understand the full meaning of the wave sheaf offering, all confusion concerning the determination of the Wave Sheaf Day is eliminated. The offering of the wave sheaf in Old Testament times on the first day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread foreshadowed the acceptance of Jesus Christ by God the Father as the First of the firstfruits after His resurrection from the dead. Thus, in order to understand the ultimate fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering, we must go to the New Testament. (Pg 7)

Although the New Testament could add further meaning, the people during Old Testament times should be able to understand how to count during their days, rather than waiting one and a half thousand years later. During Ezra’s time, the returning Jewish exiles understood this ambiguity when their Aramaic interpretation confirms the Septuagint translation “on the morrow of the first day,” as the day “after the first day of Pascha.” Why are the end-time churches so cocky to think they are so much better than Ezra when these end-timers are described as “wretched” “blind” and “naked”?

When we accept this biblical truth, we are acknowledging the true Wave Sheaf, Jesus Christ, Who ascended to God the Father and was accepted on that day. No other day can commemorate His fulfillment of the offering of the wave sheaf. Some Christians have not understood this truth because they were taught that the Wave Sheaf Day must follow the weekly Sabbath which falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Pg 9)

Most in the CoG Communities believe that the wave sheaf represents Christ. But this is too simplistic on several fronts. First Christ is always represented by the Lamb. In the most critical Scripture, the lamb is mentioned in Leviticus 23 but most have chosen to ignore its presence:

Leviticus 23:11 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.

Second, there are numerous problems to identify Christ as the “wave sheaf” above. If the wave sheaf represents Christ, then what did the “he lamb” represent in Leviticus 23:12?

And if this he lamb represents Christ, then why was this he lamb wasn’t waved?

. . . and if waving means going up to heaven and back, then why the 3000 on Pentecost (Acts 2) didn’t similarly go up to heaven as they were also waved (Leviticus 23:20), each should be warning the others “don’t touch me” along the way up and back from heaven on that day of Pentecost, wouldn’t they?

William Tyndale Valued The Bible—Excerpt | JW.ORG Videos
William Tyndale (1494 – 1536)

Lastly if that he-Lamb were to represent Christ, which it is, then the wave sheaf must be representing something else, the human saints. The “wave sheaf” is made of MANY grains from a BUNDLE of barley grains. This could only represent human beings, rather than Christ, and that humans need to go through numerous trials and testings, to be acceptable before God. The high priest represents Christ, who does the wavings and mediates for us.

Before we start, as good an intention William Tyndale may have, “wave sheaf” is also a mistranslation, so is “firstfruits” plural. It is “omer” in Hebrew, a finished product (grains that had been thrashed, dried and roasted, and only a tenth part taken), now a tenth of this is called the omer and given the the priest, who laced it with oil and frankincense before waving it before the altar, not some freshly cut grains from the field, which is misleading. A leading figure in the Protestant Reformation, Tyndale had his translations heavily influenced by the works of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Martin Luther i.e. anti-Jewish and biased toward Catholic and Protestant dogma. His work was later plagiarised for subsequent English translations, including the Great Bible, the Bishops’ Bible and in 1611, by the 47 scholars who produced the King James Bible.

This is from the Jewish Encyclopedia

Manner of Waving the Omer.

After the grain had been gathered it was brought to the courtyard of the Temple, where, it was first thrashed and then parched (dried and roasted over a fire). The grain was ground into coarse meal and then sifted through thirteen sieves until it became very clean, after which the tenth part was taken, the measure of the ‘omer, and given to the priest. The priest proceeded with the ‘omer as with any other meal-offering: he poured oil and frankincense over the meal, “waved” it, and then burned a handful of it on the altar; the remainder was eaten by the priests (Men. vi. 4). The “waving” was done in the following way: The offering was placed on the extended hands of the priest, who moved them backward and forward and then upward and downward. As soon as the ‘omer ceremony was completed the people of Jerusalem were permitted to eat of the newly harvested grain; people of towns far from Jerusalem might not do so until after noon, when it was certain that the ceremony at Jerusalem had been gathered (Men. vi. 7).

The “wave sheaf” as firstfruits, must be reaped by three persons, each with his own sickle and basket, until each had his basket full. They then brought them to the courtyard of the Temple to be thrashed and parched and then to go through ALL of the thirteen sieves until it became very clean, and only one tenth the measure of the ‘omer’ were selected. 

Only humans were required to go through numerous trials and testings. Only ten percent of an ephah (about 40 litres or 9 gallons) or about 1.5 to 1.8 kilo in weight, were chosen while the other ninety percent were rejected, but could be redeemed and eaten even by laymen; these ninety percent, so to speak, fell by the wayside. 

Thus the “wave sheaf” analogy doesn’t fit the role of the Messiah where ninety percent were rejected. Leviticus 27:32: “a tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.” Our messiah has a far higher role; He was the sacrificial lamb, unblemished. His death at 3PM at Calgary was accepted immediately when thunder and earthquake displayed God’s eminence, and this lamb wasn’t waved.

The New Testament reveals the fulfillment of the things pertaining to Jesus Christ which were prophesied in the Old Testament. When we understand the New Testament fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering by Jesus Christ, we can understand why God commanded that the first of the firstfruits, the premier sheaf, must be waved and accepted during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Pg 8) 

The firstfruits are better explained in Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. . . 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits (G536 aparchē) unto God and to the Lamb.

Here, as in Leviticus 23:11-12, the “firstfruits” or “wave sheaf” (omer) and the Lamb are shown to be TWO DIFFERENT entities.

Chapter Three

The account of the original Passover in the book of Exodus makes it clear that the Passover was both killed and eaten on the 14th day of the month. . . The lambs were roasted and eaten that same night, and any remains were burned before the morning of the 14th day. (From the Morrow After Which Sabbath, pg 11)

Passover is a sacrifice, an event, not a day. The Scriptures references of Passover as the sacrificial lamb are being made as follows:

(a) ”to kill the Passover” — Exodus 12:21, II Chronicles 35:6;
(b) “to sacrifice the Passover” — Deuteronomy 16:2;
(c) “to roast the Passover” — II Chronicles 35:13.
(d) “to eat the Passover”— Exodus 12:43;

Passover isn’t a day; it’s a sacrifice. You couldn’t kill a day, you couldn’t sacrifice a day; neither could you roast nor eat a day! Coulter’s quote above is contrary to what the Targum says, which translates and explains the ordinances of the Passover from the Hebrew in Exodus 12:8 into the vernacular, in a very simple language that the people could understand: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .

In another way of saying: When the Exiles returned to Jerusalem, the Law was read by Ezra, verse by verse, and each verse was followed by a recitation by the Levites in the Aramaic language. 

See the source image
Ezra with the Exiles

Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading. (Targum)

John Gill comments on the above “they first read it in Hebrew, and then translated it into Chaldee, that the people might better understand it, being just come out of Babylon . . . not hereby how to read it, but chiefly to understand what was read, that they might clearly know their duty to God and men.” The action of Ezra narrated in Nehemiah 8:8 implied not only the reading of the Law, but also the interpretation of its language — its translation in fact from Hebrew to Aramaic, and that, further, this practice was long followed in all the synagogues among the returning Exiles in Judea. And they understand that the flesh eaten on that Passover night, was the fifteenth of Nisan.

The account of the original Passover in the book of Exodus makes it clear that the Passover was both killed and eaten on the 14th day of the month. God commanded the children of Israel to kill the Passover lambs on the 14th at ben ha arbayim, or “between the two evenings” (Ex. 12:6). Other passages make it absolutely clear that this Hebrew term refers to the beginning of the 14th—after ba erev, or the sunset of the 13th. (Pg 11)

MAGIC! According to Fred Coulter, ben ha arbayim comes AFTER ba erev. If his junky theory is correct, then two lambs would be needed to be killed for the Passover, one for ben ha arbayim (Exodus 12:6) and the other to satisfy ba erev (Deuteronomy 16:6). One lamb definitely couldn’t fulfil two sacrifices. Fred Coulter’s analysis can only add confusion to more confusion. His definitions for ba·erev and ben ha arbayim are both sleights of hand! Suddenly from nowhere, you see two pigeons, out of the hands of Simon Magus. His non-thinking faithfuls would always admire his skills with veneration and mesmerization!

For the rest of chapter 3 (pages 11-17; and again from chapter 4, pages 18-20), Fred went on to explain Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:17.

Matthew 26:17 Now the first day (G4413 protos) of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?

The natural reading of this verse seems to suggest the disciples asked Jesus where to keep the Passover when Passover was already over. But G4413 protos could be translated as ‘a time before’ as in John 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before G4413 me.

Thus Matthew 26:17 could be translated as: “Now before the Days of Unleavened Bread have arrived, the disciples came to Jesus, asking, Where shall we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?”  — the intention to eat the Passover was there, but the actual eating was yet to happen.   

Mark 14:12 And the first (G4413 protos) day (G2250 hemera) of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the Passover?

Same translation problem here. G2250 hemera could be translated as ‘a period of time or days’ as in Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days G2250 of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

So Mark 14:12 could well be translated “Now before the Days of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the Passover?” — the unleavened bread period was the time they killed the lamb. Yes the context of this question indicates that the time asked could be a couple of days before the fourteenth when they killed the lamb. And yes, the Passover was a composite festival in the NT (as well as the Old), also called Days of Unleavened Bread when the lamb was to be killed.

Same thing with Luke 22:7 Then came (G2064 erchomai) the day (G2250 hemera) of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lambs had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.”

G2064 erchomai could be translated “to come” or “to go” as in Matthew 2:2, 8. In Matthew 14:29 And he said, Come. G2064 And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go G2064 to Jesus.

Thus Luke 22:7 could be translated as “As the Days of Unleavened Bread were approaching when the Passover lambs had to be sacrificed, 8 Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.”” — again, the intention to eat the Passover was there, but the actual eating had yet to happen.  

Chapter Four

When we examine all three Gospel records of Jesus’ instructions to His disciples, it is obvious that Jesus kept the domestic Passover on the 14th—“the first day of the unleaveneds.” (Count To Pentecost From the Morrow After Which Sabbath pg 19)

If Jesus and His disciples had kept a “domestic Passover” they would have stayed back in Galilee, in their own homes as in the original Exodus. A “domestic Passover” would have to be kept in their houses “as commanded by God in Exodus 12.” 

See the source image
Foot washing

Notice what Fred Coulter had written in chapter 6 of his book, The Christian Passover:

If the children of Israel had gathered at one place before the Passover, as Josephus pictures, they would not have been in their houses but would have been camping in tents. And if they were in tents, how could they purify their houses with the blood of the lambs? Did they run back to their houses with bowls of blood and sprinkle the blood on the two side posts and lintel, and then frantically return to their tents in Rameses? This ridiculous scenario shows the gross internal contradiction in Josephus’ account. (The Christian Passover Pg 61)

Fred Coulter makes a scene that if the Israelites have to keep the Passover in their houses, they would have to run back from Rameses to Goshen to keep their Passover in their houses. Fast forward to Jesus and His disciples, they would also need to run back from Jerusalem to their houses in Galilee with bowls of blood and sprinkle the blood on the two side posts and lintel to keep it in their Galilean houses. Did they? Is this not ridiculous? Just substitute “Josephus” to “Fred Coulter” above. Blind Guides and WHAT FOLLY, that’s how he concludes about himself:

WHAT FOLLY! What foolishness to accept a traditional belief that directly conflicts with the truth of God’s Word, and to use interpretations of Scripture that promote the false ideas of men! No wonder God says that He entraps the intelligent in the foolishness of their own human wisdom. (ibid pg 61)

Moreover, in Deuteronomy 16:16 it commands “three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.” And God had chosen Jerusalem, a Temple-centered place where He had chosen to place His name there.

Again in Chapter 6 of his book, The Christian Passover:

The children of Israel kept the Passover in their houses, just as the Bible records for us. The inspired record in Exodus 12 makes it clear that the children of Israel were not dwelling in tents at Rameses when they kept the Passover. The Hebrew word bayith, which is translated “house” or “houses” in Exodus 12, does not refer to a tent or a temporary dwelling. (ibid pg 62)

There is no question that the children of Israel were in their houses “bayith” when they observed the original Passover in Rameses, but in the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples didn’t keep any Passover back in Galilee. Fred Coulter may have good intentions but he has foolishly made his savor a sinless life unattainable! And if they have to keep it in Jerusalem in houses, tents, or inns it would be a fake domestic Passover. Because Jesus and His disciples lived in Galilee in their houses – “bayith.”

The Gospel accounts do not specify whether the disciples’ preparations included the killing of the Passover lamb. However, since everything was “furnished and ready,” there can be little doubt that the master of the house had already killed the lamb and it was already being roasted by the time Peter and John arrived. In that case, they would have begun setting out the other foods for the meal, making sure that the unleavened bread and wine were ready. They completed whatever was necessary to prepare the Passover meal. Luke records, “Then they went and found everything exactly as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover” (Luke 22:13). (Count To Pentecost From the Morrow After Which Sabbath pg 20)

The above are all pure speculation. Magic. The master of the house must have killed the lamb early, before the fourteenth, and to sin on behalf of Jesus and His disciples. Ridiculous Bulls!

One of the requirements of partaking Passover is for members of a group of about ten to kill as well as roast the lamb to be eaten. Why would the master of the house roast and had the lamb ready for Jesus and His disciples? He and his family don’t have to kill his lamb for his family? 

But Fred Coulter had unknowingly given warning to himself:

The apostle Peter warned the believers to be on guard against false teachers: “As he has also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them concerning these things; in which are some things that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable are twisting and distorting, as they also twist and distort the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (The Christian Passover pg 13)

How true it is, that Fred Coulter could be seeing his own destruction, like the AD 70 inferno!

Sound doctrine should be firmly based on Scriptures. Here he is basing his doctrines on pure speculation —  everything is done so that Fred Coulter could deceive his dumb sheep?

Until the destruction of the temple in 70 AD the domestic 14th Passover was apparently the predominant practice. However, after the destruction of the Temple, the Jews observed only a 15th Passover; and thus, only viewed the 14th of Nisan as a preparation day for their traditional Seder meal on the 15th—the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. By replacing the 14th Passover with a traditional Seder meal at the beginning of the 15th, the Jews have changed the original eight-day festival to their own eight day observance ending on the 22nd day of the 1st month. These eight days of are now known to Jews as “the Passover,” rather than as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Pg 20-21)

The significance of the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD should not be understated. Because of sin, the Heavenly Overseer of this Universe had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah during Abraham’s time. The God of this Universe had also destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 587 BC. John the Baptist had given a stern warning about another consuming fire recorded in Luke 3:16 John said unto them:

The Fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE: A Story of Roman Revenge

“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 (pyr g4442). 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 (pyr g4442) unquenchable.”

When we look back, one cannot avoid concluding that God had given judgement that the Sadducees and the Boethusians were deemed worthy of extinction during the AD 70 inferno like Sodom and Gomorrah. Everything about the Sadducees and the Boethusians were destroyed. A large portion of the Shammai Pharisees also followed suit, only the Hillel branch survived. If the AD 70 inferno were only a microcosm, a foretaste, how would the CoG Communities, who have similar deceptive 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 was described as “wretched” and “blind” and “naked”? How could these “virgins” escape a coming FIRE?

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? Amos 3:6

~~~ CRITIQUE OF FRED COULTER PENTECOST ~~~

~ by Joel Huan on April 2, 2021.

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