A new variant emerging in India is uncontrollable

•April 29, 2021 • Comments Off on A new variant emerging in India is uncontrollable
Johns Hopkins’ Daily cases in India – 28/4/21

Why India’s Covid crisis matters to the whole world

A new variant emerging in India called B.1.617 is uncontrollable. It has 13 mutations that result in amino acid changes; and it has been described as a ‘double mutant.’

By Rebecca Morelle
BBC News 28/04/2021

The harrowing scenes from India have shocked the world, as the country struggles with soaring cases of Covid.

But the outbreak isn’t just a crisis for India – it’s a crisis for everyone.

“The virus doesn’t respect borders, or nationalities, or age, or sex or religion,” says Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist.

“And what’s playing out in India now unfortunately has been played out in other countries.”

Millions of Devotees take holy dips in the river Ganges

The pandemic has revealed just how interconnected the world is. And if a country has very high levels of infection, then it’s likely to spread to other countries.

Even with travel restrictions, multiple tests and quarantine, infections can still leak out; and if a traveller has come from somewhere where the virus is very prevalent, they have a higher chance of taking the virus with them. On a recent flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong about 50 passengers tested positive for Covid-19.

A new variant has emerged in India called B.1.617. It’s been dubbed by some as the “double mutant” because of two key mutations on the spike of the virus. There’s some lab evidence that suggests it’s slightly more transmissible and that antibodies may find it harder to block the virus, but scientists are still assessing how much immunity is lost.

“I don’t think there’s any evidence that it’s an escape mutation [which would mean] it fundamentally can’t be stopped by the vaccines,” Dr Jeff Barrett, director of the Covid-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, told BBC News.

“I think we have to obviously watch carefully, but there’s at present no reason to panic about it.”

Globally, the pandemic shows no sign of easing, with the virus devastating country after country.

The situation in India is a bleak reminder that none of us will be safe until everyone is safe.

And earlier the Australian Strategist reports India being ‘the global nerve centre of … multinational supply chains in the post Covid-19 world’ and endoses Prime Minister Modi misplaced confidence:

In his virtual address to the UN General Assembly on 26 September, Modi boasted that India’s pharmaceutical industry had sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries and promised: ‘India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis.’

And The Malay Mail and many other news report 28 Apr 2021 the setbacks

Covid pyres make Uttar Pradesh build iron curtain - Telegraph India

WHO: Indian Covid variant found in at least 17 countries.

The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 first found in India had as of yesterday been detected in over 1,200 sequences uploaded to the GISAID open-access database “from at least 17 countries”.

“Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA and Singapore,” the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic.

I create darkness; I create evil; I, the LORD, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7).

Huawei Soaring Ahead with 6G

•April 27, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Huawei set to launch test satellites for 6G technology verification

Excerpts from Global Times: Apr 24, 2021

An even greater danger: China claims to have launched world's first 6G  satellite

Chinese technology giant Huawei is reportedly set to launch two satellites together with two Chinese partners in July this year, with aims including the verification of the 6G network technologies that the company has taken the lead in the research and development (R&D) around the world.

Compared with the construction of 5G networks that rely on base stations to transmit signals, 6G networks, conveying higher frequencies, need using satellite for communications instead of base stations where there will be low penetrability.

Late last year, China launched world’s first 6G experiment satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in North China’s Shanxi Province, marking a breakthrough in the exploration of terahertz space communication technologies in China’s space field.

Actually back in 2019, Huawei proposed its vision to launch more than 10,000 small satellites to provide 6G services covering the world, during a global 6G summit.

engineering.com - Forget 5G. What's in Store for 6G?
Huawei sets its 6G target for service with 10,000 small satellites by 2030

The satellite, carrying a terahertz satellite communication load, planned to establish a transceiver link on the satellite platform and carry out terahertz load tests.

Huawei’s rotating chairman Xu Zhijun announced at Huawei global analysts conference held earlier this month that the Chinese tech giant will launch its 6G networks in 2030.

The Register says on April 27, 2021

China’s State Intellectual Property Office has proclaimed the nation already dominates the world in development of patents pertinent to sixth-generation mobile networks.

The Office (CNIPA) chose World Intellectual Property Day (April 26th) to assert China’s 6G dominance, telling state-controlled media that its analysis of patent applications relevant to the next-gen standard found 38,000 relevant pieces of work of which 35 percent come from China (from 5G: China 19.3%; S Korea 23%).

Currently, there are over 38,000 patents globally related to 6G technologies, the report says. With 13,449 6G patents, or 35% of the global total, Chinese institutions and companies have filed the most patent applications than any other country. The United States comes in second place with 18%.

Speaking of Ephraim:

And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee,” Deuteronomy 28:37

TSMC founder Morris Chang’s Gloomy Prediction

•April 27, 2021 • Leave a Comment
TSMC's Announcement Of A New U.S. Semiconductor Fab Is Big News
Morris Chang’s gloomy prediction for US plant

TSMC founder Morris Chang says China’s semiconductor industry is five years behind, but chip making will not flourish in the United States.

SCMP by Josh Ye – 22 Apr, 2021

In a rare public appearance since retiring nearly three years ago, Morris Chang, the 89-year-old founder of the world’s largest contract chip maker, said China is not yet a competitor in chipmaking and that Taiwan should defend its leadership in semiconductor manufacturing.

Chang, who established Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) in 1987, is seen as the father of Taiwan’s success in the foundry business. At a forum hosted by Economic Daily in Taipei on Wednesday, Chang spoke about separate efforts by China and the US to build up their own chip-making capabilities.

In his speech, Chang also took a swipe at US chip giant Intel, describing its recent decision to enter the contract chip making market as “very ironic” because it turned down an opportunity to invest in TSMC more than three decades ago. Contract chip makers like TSMC typically take orders from so-called fabless chip makers like Qualcomm, which design their products but outsource the manufacturing.

As well as the efforts in China and the US, the European Union (EU) is looking to bring core semiconductor manufacturing back to the continent. Even before US President Joe Biden pledged to invest US$50 billion to strengthen chip manufacturing at home, the EU announced a goal of doubling its share of semiconductor production to 20 per cent of the world total by 2030.

Chang said the US is at a disadvantage compared with Taiwan because it lacks engineers dedicated to the semiconductor manufacturing sector, adding that the “US level of dedication to manufacturing was absolutely no match for that of Taiwan.”

“What I need right now are capable and dedicated engineers, technicians and operators. And they have to be willing to throw themselves into manufacturing,” he added. “In the US, doing manufacturing isn’t popular. It hasn’t been popular for decades.”

“Computers of different brands can often be hooked together but not people of different culture,” he said, referring to the preponderance of Taiwanese and Taiwan-trained managers and technicians at TSMC.

TSMC Responds to Pressure for US-Based Fab, Announces Plans for $12 Billion  Chip Factory in Arizona - News
TSMC to build a $12 billion fab in Phoenix

“It was a breeze for us to rotate technicians and staff among the three fabs across the island and when employees change over from one location to another, they even do not need to move their homes thanks to Taiwan’s bullet trains and highways and well-rounded transport and logistical support.”

“It’s unlikely we can replicate all these in Arizona.”

Refering to its $12 billion semiconductor fab in north Phoenix, Chang said the unit cost of chipmaking in the US is higher than in Taiwan, adding that subsidies from the federal and state governments “will not last forever” and are not enough to offset the long-term competitive weakness of making chips in the US.

Eventually, competing against an even more strict and disciplined 996 culture across the Pacific, TSMC American workers will unionize themselves which will inevitably and consequently destroy their newly found establishment as they had destroyed their car manufacturing industry as demonstrated by their now bankrupt Detroit.

Chang said that Samsung Electronics remains TSMC’s biggest rival in outsourced wafer fabrication, adding that South Korea enjoys many of the same advantages as Taiwan, which include an ability to foster top-notch talent for the industry.

“South Korea has similar competitive edges as Taiwan,” he said. “However, what is good in South Korea is not necessarily good if they need to operate in foreign countries.” He meant, of course, Samsung’s still undecided next chip plant in Texas, Arizona, or New York as the prime example of such a fab in a foreign country, the United States.

Currently, about 75% of semiconductor manufacturing capacity, as well as many suppliers of key materials, are concentrated in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, according to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association. The SIA further pointed out that Taiwan accounted for 92% of global production of advanced chips below 10 nanometers, a number that refers to the linewidth between transistors on a chip and is used as an indicator of performance — the smaller the number, the more advanced the chip.

Speaking of Ephraim:

“In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished” Ezekiel 6:6.

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds

•April 26, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Excerpts from Wikipedia

Sibel Deniz Edmonds is a former contract translator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the founder and editor-in-chief of the independent news website NewsBud.

The FBI hired her as a translator shortly after 9/11 but fired her after less than seven months. She identified herself as a whistleblower and challenged her termination; however, the courts dismissed her lawsuit for wrongful termination because the FBI would need to disclose privileged information. She accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals, alleged serious security breaches and cover-ups and that intelligence had been deliberately suppressed, endangering national security. Following her accusations, the US attorney-general imposed a state secrets privilege order on her, which prevents her from revealing more information about the FBI. The PEN American Center awarded her the PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award in 2006 for her claims. She published a memoir in March 2012, titled Classified Woman – The Sibel Edmonds Story.

Sibel edmonds on RT.png

Sibel Edmonds is the founder and publisher of the Boiling Frogs Post, an online media site that claims to offer nonpartisan investigative journalism. In 2016 as editor-in-chief Sibel expanded and founded NewsBud independent news media with associates, partnered with BFP.

There is clearly a focus on bringing China down. It has been happening for many years. For example, in 2006, the US military came up with findings as follows:

The US Quadrennial Defense Review of 2006 stated that China has “the greatest potential of any nation to militarily compete with the US and field disruptive military technologies that over time offset traditional US advantages”.

The above findings confirm China as the country that the US must bring down so that it does not overtake the US as the top economy of the world and the top superpower of the world. But as Sibel testifies above, the US has been trying to contain China’s rise as early as 1996.

“For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people” Isaiah 7:8

Australia’s rising military suicides

•April 20, 2021 • Leave a Comment
Chart of the day: The complex link between defence and suicide - ABC News

ABC News (April, 19, 2021)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that a Royal Commission will be established to investigate the rising number of suicides among military personnel, after public outrage pressured the government to act.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Morrison unveiled the plan to establish the independent inquiry into the number of current and former military personnel committing suicide, after government figures showed more than 500 had taken their own life since 2001.

If a Royal Commission is established, Australia, which has more than 3,000 troops deployed around the world, would join the United States, Britain and Canada in exploring ways to prevent suicide rates among serving and former military personnel.

The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart; and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness,”(Deuteronomy 28:28-29)

The Scary War Game Over Taiwan

•April 16, 2021 • Leave a Comment

“The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle” Psalm 78:9

The Scary War Game Over Taiwan That the US Loses Again and Again

By Richard Bernstein, RealClearInvestigations
August 17, 2020

Around a large table with a map and icons representing ships, submarines, planes, missile batteries, land-based forces, space-based sensors, and other apparatuses of modern warfare, officials from the Pentagon and the Rand Corp. fight a thus far unimaginable conflict.

The Red Team, composed of experts on the Chinese military, aims to use all available forces to capture Taiwan, the island 90 miles off the coast that China regards as a renegade province and that it has repeatedly vowed to retake, by force if necessary.

China’s strategy would be to get an invasion fleet across the Taiwan Strait before the US could come to its tiny ally’s aid. “And once that happens we’d face an Iwo Jima situation,” says a defense analyst, referring to a costly campaign to dislodge occupying Japanese in World War II.China 'is gearing up to invade Taiwan' amid calls in US for American troops  to defend island if it's attacked

The Blue Team, made up US military personnel with operational experience — fighter pilots, cyber warriors, space experts, missile defense specialists – must try to defeat the Chinese invasion.

It doesn’t generally go well for the Blue Team.

“It’s had its ass handed to it for years,” David A. Ochmanek, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development and now a defense analyst at Rand, told RealClearInvestigations. “For years the Blue Team has been in shock because they didn’t realize how badly off they were in a confrontation with China.”

War game simulations are not the real world, of course, where an array of economic, diplomatic and cultural considerations inform a country’s military decisions and actions. And few experts on China seem to think that the country will actually go to war over Taiwan anytime soon.

But as the US seeks a closer alliance with Taiwan – illustrated by the visit of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar there last week, the highest-level official US delegation to the island in 40 years – the possibility of war between the two superpowers may be more than theoretical: A bill now before both houses of Congress, the Taiwan Defense Act, would end the long-held American policy of “strategic ambiguity” – which aims to keep China guessing as to the US response to any attempt to take Taiwan by force – and require the US “to delay, degrade, and ultimately defeat” an attempt by China “to use military force to seize control of Taiwan.”

David Ochmanek, ex-Pentagon official and defense analyst: The American side in Taiwan war-game simulations has “had its ass handed to it for years.”

The proposed legislation reflects strong bipartisan support for Taiwan in Congress. But it’s hard to predict. whether public opinion, already tired of long American wars in Asia, would support the faraway island, where the US maintains has no US military presence now although it maintains forces in the region. Nonetheless, if passed the measure would be far more than a tough talk statement of belief – it would impose serious legal obligations that would demand action. This adds an urgency to the questions officials are now asking: What would happen if China launched an all-out military effort to seize Taiwan? Does the United States possess the wherewithal to meet the obligations of the Taiwan Defense Act?

These questions are hotly debated among military specialists and within the Pentagon, but at a time of national preoccupations over COVID-19 and the looming presidential election, they have received scant notice in the mainstream press. And yet, given the rise of tensions with China, they are perhaps among the most important facing the country.

If China Invades Taiwan, This Is What The Fleet Could Look Like

Taiwan became a separate entity from Mainland China in 1949, when the defeated Nationalist forces retreated to the island, 90 miles off China’s southeast coast, and set up a rival government. Over the years, even as every major country has officially recognized Beijing as the rightful government of all of China, Taiwan has become a full-fledged democracy, with public opinion there overwhelmingly opposed to any formula that would reattach the island to the mainland and its authoritarian ways.

Despite China’s often warlike rhetoric and its continuous efforts to isolate Taiwan diplomatically – not allowing it, for example, to participate in World Health Organization meetings even during the coronavirus pandemic – most analysts think it does not want to use military force against Taiwan.

Taiwanese amphibious troops in exercises this year to show determination to defend Taiwan from Chinese threats.

David Ochmanek, ex-Pentagon official and defense analyst: The American side in Taiwan war-game simulations has “had its ass handed to it for years.”

In the short term China seems to be hoping that the Trump administration’s hard line is more a matter of electoral politics than a permanent American position. US intelligence has also concluded that Beijing hopes Trump loses in November to former Vice President Joe Biden (who faces criticism over his son Hunter’s lucrative deals in China.)

Still, China’s tense relations, not just with the US but many Western nations, are not rooted in electoral politics. There is a more general alarm over aggressive Chinese policies, including the mass detention of Uighurs; its claims in the South China Sea; its crackdown on Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms; its cyberattacks against other governments; and fears that it is using high-tech products it exports to spy on citizens of other countries. China shows no sign of moderating its policies, especially in areas that it regards as its “core interests,” and no core interest is more important to it than establishing its sovereignty over Taiwan.

As China faces more criticism, there’s no question that achieving what Beijing calls the “reunification of the motherland” would be a crowning glory for the Chinese Communist Party and its authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping. Senior Chinese officials continually issue warnings that they are ready to use force if other means of achieving reunification fail, and that is the reason for China’s massive military buildup, which, as the Pentagon’s war games show, has created a new and unprecedented challenges for the United States.

China staging large-scale war games in 2016 featuring mock beach landings, helicopter assaults and tank battles along its east coast facing Taiwan.

As several military analysts put it, the days of unfettered American military superiority in the Western Pacific are over. China has, the analysts say, achieved what’s called anti-access area denial, or A2/AD, which would prevent American forces from being able to penetrate anywhere near Taiwan once a war there started.

Given this capability, China, with its 2-million-strong military, might directly attack Taiwan, with a standing force of 220,000, hoping that the US would stay out of the conflict. But the US would have powerful reasons for not allowing that to happen. Aside from the destruction of a friendly democracy, a Chinese seizure of Taiwan would enormously expand China’s power and position in Asia, especially if combined with its absorption of the entire South China Sea into its maritime territory. This would be a major step forward for China, now clearly a strategic revival and an enemy of democracy, in its goal of replacing the US as the dominant power in all of Asia.

If China felt that the US would intervene, military planners from the Pentagon and Rand who have gamed out scenarios believe a war over Taiwan would most likely begin with a massive attack by advanced Chinese missiles against three American targets: its bases on Okinawa and Guam, its ships in the Western Pacific, including aircraft carrier groups, and its air force squadrons in the region.

Military analysts predict the American side would initially counter with Patriot anti-missile missiles. But the sheer number of Chinese missiles would mean that hundreds of them would reach their targets. American submarines operating near Taiwan would be able to sink some Chinese ships, including amphibious landing craft bringing the Chinese invading force to Taiwan. But the number of submarines near enough to the battle zones at the time of the Chinese strike would, analysts say, be around 20 or 25, each armed with about 12 torpedoes and 10 or so Harpoon missiles, not nearly enough to overcome China’s flood-the-zone strategy. Military analysts seem to agree that in the first day or two, there would likely be thousands of American deaths and the loss of billions of dollars’ worth of materiel.South China Sea: Beijing FEARS Taiwan's “Aircraft Carrier Killer” Could  Destroy Warships World | New | FR24 News English

“We’re playing an away game against China,” Rand’s Ochmanek said. “When bases are subjected to repeated attacks, it makes it exponentially more difficult to project power far away.”

“The casualties that the Chinese could inflict on us could be staggering,” said Timothy Heath, a senior international defense researcher at Rand and formerly a China analyst at the US Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii. “Anti-ship cruise missiles could knock out US carriers and warships; surface-to-air missiles could destroy our fighters and bombers.”

Lyle Goldstein, US Naval War College: “My appraisal is that Taiwan would fold in a week or two.”

China would have its own challenges. At the same time as it worked to keep the US out of the battle zone it would have to address the trickier and riskier part of the operation: getting an invasion force, consisting of tens of thousands of troops, across the 90 miles separating Taiwan from the Mainland.

“They are giving off a lot of signals about how this campaign would unfold,” Lyle J. Goldstein, a China and Russia specialist at the Naval War College in Rhode Island, told RCI. “They’re talking a lot about airborne assault in two varieties, by parachute and by helicopters. It’s what’s called vertical envelopment. Amphibious assault is old school. It may be necessary but it’s not the main military effort. The new school is to bring lead elements over by air, secure the terrain and then bring in more forces over the beach. The intensity and scale of training in the Chinese military now for airborne assault is, to me, shocking.

“There would be 15, maybe 20 different landings on the island, east, west, north, and south, all at once, some frogmen, some purely airborne troops,” Goldstein continued, saying he was expressing his own views, not official assessments of the US “The Chinese high command would watch these bridgeheads to see which of them is working, while the Taiwan command is looking at this amid decapitation attempts and massive rocket and air assaults. The Chinese would seize several beachheads and airports. Their engineering prowess would come into play in deploying specialized floating dock apparatuses to ensure a steady flow of supplies and reinforcements—a key element. My appraisal is that Taiwan would fold in a week or two.”

In short, China’s strategy would be to get an invasion fleet across the Taiwan Strait before the US could come to its ally’s aid. “And once that happens we’d face an Iwo Jima situation,” Ochmanek said, referring to the small Japanese-held island in the Pacific that the US took in one of the most casualty-heavy battles of World War II. “Once Taiwan was occupied, the option of retaking it with an amphibious assault of our own would be very unattractive.”

Taiwan’s military fired missiles from the air and the island’s shore facing China in a live-fire exercise to demonstrate its ability to defend against any Chinese invasion.

Goldstein has likened an American commitment to defend Taiwan, of the sort that would be required by the proposed Taiwan Defense Act, to be a kind of Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse, a reference to the 1962 confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, which ended when the Soviets backed away from its effort to put nuclear missiles on the island just 90 miles from Florida.What if China and Taiwan Went To War? - YouTube

The overwhelming American advantage on Cuba then mirrors what Goldstein sees as an overwhelming Chinese advantage on Taiwan today – “vast conventional superiority” in a region of the world far closer to it than to the US, combined with “the wide recognition that the island’s fate is a ‘core interest’ that united Chinese citizens behind the cause.”

China also seems aware of the comparison. A typical statement earlier this month in Global Times, the nationalist mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, put it this way: “The Mainland has many cards, including military cards, and it is very important that our will to play those cards at critical moments will be far better than Washington’s.”

Other experts, however, believe that the situation is not quite as bleak as the war games would indicate, or at least that it can be remedied. They argue: 1) that the American deterrent even now is still strong enough to make China very hesitant to use force on Taiwan, and 2) that the US can and should adapt to China’s capacity with new weapons and new tactics that would enable the country to prevail if it did come to an armed confrontation.

According to most analysts, the key to defending Taiwan would require stopping China’s ability to transport a large occupying force the 90 miles across the Taiwan Strait. Chinese military publications are full of pictures of what such an assault would look like – hundreds of amphibious tanks landing on Taiwan’s beaches, troops arriving on new landing craft called 075 units (now being built), and thousands of troops parachuting into the country at night. They have also been heralding the use of helicopters flying below Taiwan’s radar to land advance troops.

American long-range anti-ship missiles, LRASMs, can be fired from ships as far as 600 miles away. Turning back invading Chinese in this way “comes down to sinking about 300 Chinese ships in about 48 hours,” Ochmanek said.

American long-range anti-ship missiles, LRASMs, can be fired from ships as far as 600 miles away. Turning back invading Chinese in this way “comes down to sinking about 300 Chinese ships in about 48 hours,” Ochmanek said.

Some analysts say that the US could counter that threat by shifting from a reliance on aircraft carriers and long-range bombers to weapons such as stand-off missiles – that is, missiles fired from beyond the range of any Chinese attack, especially a new generation of long-range anti-ship missiles, or LRASMs, that can be fired from ships as far as 600 miles away.

A second component of a Taiwan defense would be space-based reconnaissance using artificial intelligence to locate enemy targets, which the LRASMs would hit; a third would be an American version of flooding the zone, with unmanned undersea drones that could fire torpedoes at Chinese landing craft.

“All of these things are doable,” Ochmanek said. “There’s no magic here, no technological breakthroughs.” He estimates that the Defense Department could make the needed changes if it diverted about 5 percent of its budget— about $35 billion — a year. Taiwan, he said, also needs to move away from the glamorous, showy weapons, like F-16 fighter planes, that it buys from the United States. “The F-16s are not going to get off the ground once the war starts,” Ochmanek said. “They need anti-ship cruise missiles, sea mines, mobile artillery, mobile air defenses, unmanned aerial vehicles.

“It comes down to sinking about 300 Chinese ships in about 48 hours,” he said.

Analysts believe Taiwan could spend more on defense than it does – currently about $13 billion a year, which is a small fraction of the estimated $225 billion to $260 billion that the mainland spends. But, they say, it already possesses sea mines and coastal missile defenses that could take a heavy toll on a Chinese invading force – assuming they aren’t wiped out in an initial Chinese missile attack. It could shoot down helicopters with Stinger missiles, which the US has agreed to sell Taiwan.

Taiwanese forces could shoot down Chinese helicopters with Stinger missiles, which the US has agreed to provide.

“What both sides can do is turn the sea and air space around Taiwan into a no-go zone,” Heath said. “China could do that, but we could make it very hard for any surface ship to survive near Taiwan, including Chinese transport vessels loaded with troops. That alone might stop an invasion.”

And if it doesn’t? China would face the risk of a larger war with the United States, which might involve nuclear weapons and an outcome Beijing could not guarantee. “The biggest threat to China is that a regional anti-China coalition forms,” Heath said. “And so if the United States can succeed in building its alliances in Asia, that would be a powerful deterrent, because China can’t afford to go to war with Asia.”

Others, like Goldstein, fully agree that China would be reluctant to go to war, but they argue also that if war should happen, it’s unrealistic — indeed, Goldstein says it’s dangerously self-deluding – to think that the combined forces of Taiwan and the US would prevail.

“I don’t agree that all we’d have to do is sink 300 ships,” he said. “Chinese war planners would expect to lose a thousand ships. They would put 10,000 boats, ferries, barges and fishing craft into the water, with thousands of decoys, far more than there would be LRASMs or submarines to sink them.”

“The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle” Psalm 78:9
Gill: but turned back in the day of battle; fled from the enemy, could not stand their ground when the onset was made:
Trapp: Carnal confidence seldom comes home otherwise than weeping.

For the full report, click HERE

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See the source image

Read How The US 7th Fleet Could Meet Its Waterloo In The South China Sea HERE

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Sleep Disorders Skyrocketing Among US Military

•April 14, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Sleep Disorders Are Skyrocketing Among US Military Personnel, Study Finds

Excerpts from Military.com

12 Apr 2021
Military.com | By Patricia Kime

A new study has found that serious sleep disorders are on the rise in the US military — conditions that can affect readiness and cause short- and long-term physical and mental health problems for troops and veterans.

Army Reserve wheeled vehicle mechanic sleeps

According to research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, insomnia diagnoses increased 45-fold, and obstructive sleep apnea rose 30-fold, among US service members from 2005 to 2019.

The increases should concern military leaders and doctors as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides medical treatment for veterans with service-related conditions, said retired Army Col. (Dr.) Vincent Mysliwiec, a sleep expert and one of the study’s authors.

“A large percentage of military veterans have insomnia and sleep apnea. We’re trying to develop a better understanding of the factors that go into sleep disturbances that can develop into sleep disorders in the military,” he said.

Rates for insomnia across the services rose consistently beginning in 2005 and peaking in 2015 before dropping slightly. Sleep apnea diagnoses peaked in 2016, but remained higher than they had been previously, according to the research.

The highest rates for both disorders were found in the Army, with more cases diagnosed than expected; the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps had lower-than-expected rates. Yet all services saw increases.

Those most likely to be diagnosed with either disorder were married, male, White, age 40 or older, and higher-ranking enlisted soldiers.

“These findings are concerning because service members across the military branches are otherwise healthy and have similar physical requirements. Their sleep disorders developed and were diagnosed while they were in the military,” Mysliwiec said.

Mysliwiec said he’d like to see more focus on healthy sleep habits and scheduling to ensure that service members don’t suffer from disrupted sleep or run the risk of developing a sleep disorder.

“There’s this perception that military personnel, in some way, shape or form, cause their sleep disorders. That’s just wrong,” he said. “‘Oh, they drink lots of caffeine. That causes their sleep disorders.’ Well, they drink lots of caffeine because they have to work 12-, 14-, 16-hour days and need to stay awake. They have to have a coping mechanism.

“How do we prevent people from needing to get these drinks to stay awake and perform their military duties? And if we do make them work 36 hours, do we give them time to sleep and recover after?” he added.

The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart; and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness,”(Deuteronomy 28:28-29)

A Critique of John Ritenbaugh’s Pentecost 

•April 10, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of John Ritenbaugh’s Pentecost 

Sermon: Pentecost, Consistency, and Honesty
The Basics of Counting to Pentecost
Given 26-Feb-05; Sermon #707; 77 minutes

John W. Ritenbaugh

Church of the Great God
PO Box 471846
Charlotte, NC 28247-1846

Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16), Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22), Feast of Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26), Festival of Fifty Days, Heptad, Feast of Heptads, Festival of Seven Heptads, Wave Sheaf, Omer, Shavuot, “the firstfruits of thy labors which thou hast sown in the field (Ex 23:16).”

See the source image
A Sheaf of Grains – is this the Omer offering?

This is a Critique of John Ritenbaugh’s 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 when to start counting towards Pentecost is the issue of what the firstfruits meant. Does the sheaf represent humans or does it represent Christ?

Quoted are Ritenbaugh’s transcript “Pentecost, Consistency, and Honesty” posted on 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 and, often, say things very different from what we believe.

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

I am giving this message because there is much confusion within the Church of God regarding the subject of Pentecost. I do not know whether peoples’ salvation hangs in the balance because of disobedience, but at the same time I know that the subject is not unimportant.(The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

This is very true, the subject is extremely important. In Acts 2, had the disciples waited for the wrong day in Jerusalem when the rushing mighty wind came they would have missed receiving the holy spirits. Today, many churches ignore such significance to their own detriments. So identifying the right day is extremely important.

The year 2005 is a year in which Passover falls on a weekly Sabbath, and this always creates disputing because the Church of God is not unified as to the proper counting method for locating Pentecost. The result of this disagreement is that various groups will observe Pentecost one week apart. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

There is certainly unity in truth, but God’s enemies are usually scattered (Psalm 68:1 “let His enemies be scattered,” so this year 2021, some churches have Pentecost on May 16, others like CGG have it on May 23 despite supposingly all counting from the weekly sabbath) in different opinions.

The proper keeping of the Sabbath is a major sign giving direction. That is what a sign does. A sign gives direction by pointing to certain things. Most important in this case is that it points to the relationship between God and His people. In regard to Pentecost, the weekly Sabbath points to the proper day that the sheaf was to be waved, and thus to Pentecost—another Sabbath to be observed.

Leviticus 23:9-16 is the foundation of this particular doctrine.

Leviticus 23:9-11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you: on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

The Septuagint, one that the NT writers most often used, translates “the day after the sabbath” as “on the morrow of the first day.” Obviously this “first day” is not the first day of the week, but the first Days of Unleavened Bread, which is the 15th. It is a high day, one of the annual Sabbaths. The day after the first Days of Unleavened Bread is obviously the 16th of Nisan. 

Exodus 31:13 “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you.

The Hebrew translators of the Septuagint living around 300 BC knew that the omer counting began after the first Day of Unleavened Bread on the 16th of Nisan. Most New Testament writers had relied heavily 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 Sabbath referred to in Leviticus 23:11 is always the 16th of Nisan.

Leviticus 23:11 and he shall lift up the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you. On the morrow of the first day the priest shall lift it up. (Septuagint, translated by Brenton)

The Septuagint is backed up by the Targum, whose existence was attributable to its founder, Ezra (480–440 BC), a high priest. Ezra led a large body of exiles back to Jerusalem, where he discovered that when he read the Torah in Hebrew, the exiles couldn’t understand him. The Targum was in oral form initially but later on it was written down in Aramaic. 

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

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 from the Hebrew to the Aramaic version. 

“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.

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. 

As a result, the Targum portion in Leviticus 23:9-16 is even clearer:

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 . . . (The Targum, translated by J.W. Etheridge)

Ezra was a man of God, and “the good hand of God is upon him” (Ezra 7:9). For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Why would any modern mere man doubt him? It is rather contemptuous to do so!

37 Nehemiah ideas | nehemiah, bible, old testament

The Encyclopaedia Britannica says: 

The status and influence of the Targums became assured after the Second Temple was destroyed in AD 70, when synagogues replaced the Temple as houses of worship. For it was in the synagogue that the practice of reading from the Old Testament became widely observed, along with the custom of providing these readings with a translation into Aramaic. When Scripture was read aloud in the synagogue, it was translated aloud by a meturgeman, or professional interpreter (hence the name Targum), for the benefit of the congregation. The translator tried to reproduce the original text as closely as possible, but since his object was to give an intelligible rendering of the biblical text, the Targums eventually took on the character of paraphrase and commentary, leaving literal translation behind. To prevent misconceptions, a meturgeman expanded and explained what was obscure, adjusted the incidents of the past to the ideas of later times, emphasized the moral lessons to be learned from the biblical narratives, and adapted the rules and regulations of the Scriptures to the conditions and requirements of the current age. The method by which the text was thus utilized as a vehicle for conveying homiletic discourses, traditional sayings, legends, and allegories is abundantly illustrated by the later Targums, as opposed to the more literal translations of the earlier Targums.

After the Babylonian exile, most Jews spoke Aramaic as their first language, so translation became necessary to understand the Biblical readings. Many of the Targum contained interpretations or explanatory notes in addition to the literal translation. Though the written Targums gradually came into being, it was the living tradition of the Oral translation and exposition that were recognized as authoritative throughout the Second Temple period and the early centuries of the Christian Era.

This waving, according to historical records, could be either of an actual cutting of grain (the sheaf), or the grain could be cut, with all of the berries shaken off it, and then an omer (a couple of quarts) was put in a bottle, and it was raised before God. That is all that was done. It was lifted up there as if it were being raised up for Him to see. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

THE OMER BARLEY OFFERING Leviticus... - The Temple Institute | Facebook
Only one-tenth has Oil and Frankincense added

The waving of the wave sheaf gives a false implication. It’s the omer that is waved. First, let’s understand the process from the wave sheaf to the omer, from the grains to a more finished product. 

First, let’s understand what the “wave sheaf” is. The wave sheaf as firstfruits must be reaped by three men, each with his own sickle and basket and each had his basket full. They then brought them to the courtyard of the Temple to be thrashed and parched (on a pan perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire and exposed to the wind) and then to go through all thirteen sieves until they became clean, and only one tenth of the measure selected.

Oil and frankincense were added. Now known as the omer, it was offered early the next morning at about 9 AM, the time of the morning sacrifice in the Temple as a special offering waved before God.

The Wave Sheaf Offering, composed of MANY individual grains, representing the FIRSTFRUITS, but it’s only when only one-tenth taken, oil and frankincense added and processed into a final cake, is it the omer offering! But the “he lamb” in Leviticus 23:12, which the Blinds couldn’t see, 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! Weird! Why wasn’t this Lamb waved if it were to represent Christ? These end-time CoG Communities have produced many insightful interpretations of the Scriptures, but have also had its share of nonsensical interpretations which have caused great delusions. Most of these Blind Guides didn’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. 

Those who count Pentecost (meaning the churches of God, the Jews, and any Protestant group that still observes Whitsunday) are in unanimous agreement that it is a Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. This therefore narrows the choices to no more than 3 (three) Sabbaths: the first day of Unleavened Bread on the 15th, the last day of Unleavened Bread on the 21st, and the weekly Sabbath that always falls between those two holy days.

Remember that the count to Pentecost always begins the day after the weekly Sabbath that falls within the days of Unleavened Bread. The day that follows the weekly Sabbath within the days of Unleavened Bread will always be Wavesheaf day—the day the sheaf was waved. That is the rule arrived at from the information contained within Leviticus 23, and especially verses 15 and 16. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

Whitsunday, a pagan holiday that takes place 7 weeks after Easter Sunday, is a fallout from the Samaritans who were and are actually Sun-worshippers. The Sadducees followed suit, contended that the seven weeks from the first barley-sheaf-offering (“‘omer”) to Pentecost should, according to Lev 23:15-16, be counted from “the day after Sabbath,” and, consequently, that Pentecost should always be celebrated on the first day of the week (Meg. Ta’an. i.; Men. 65a). Then at the tail end, Sunday has been used as the focal point by the CoG Communities to determine when to start and when to end the count toward Pentecost.

Again, the above testimony runs contrary to the Targum in 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 . .  . (The Targum)

The word “Pentecost” does not appear in the Old Testament because it is a Greek word. Pentecost means “fiftieth”—the 50th day—the one on which the count ends. In the Old Testament it is called the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Firstfruits.

Here is another interesting fact that needs to be considered. This is part of the general understanding of this. If one begins counting after the first day of Unleavened Bread, which will always be the 15th, then you would begin counting with the 16th. You would have a Sabbath there, and the next day would be the 16th. But if you do that, then Pentecost will always end up on Sivan 6. Once you do that you have effectively removed the reason for counting, because, just like all the other holy days, it will be on a fixed date every year. This is the way that the Pharisees during Jesus’ day counted and the way that modern Jews count. But as I said, following that practice effectively eliminates God’s command that one count. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

Why do we count? We learn several lessons by counting. The foremost is that the count demonstrates our thrill for the impending occasion of receiving our spiritual blessings, celebrated on Shavuot. When the Israelites were in Egypt some 3400 years ago, they had assimilated many of the pagan ways of the Egyptians. 

A countdown is when we all have obstacles removed between our uncleanliness and our spiritual goal. When the days pass, our spiritual goal is becoming more achievable. Every year we are not counting down the days that pass. Rather, we are counting toward the end, climbing one step higher in our spiritual growth each day.

There are other Jewish groups that do not count the way the Pharisees did. There were the Essenes, who no longer exist, but we know the way that they counted. There were the Falashas. I do not know whether any of them still exist. They were Ethiopian Jews. Then there were the Karaites, who were never really an organized group. They were more or less independent. Those three groups all counted using the last day of Unleavened Bread. But if one does that, you always end up on Sivan 12, and that too effectively removes the reason for counting. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

False; this isn’t true. Very sloppy research everywhere! Nehemia Gordon is a prominent Karaite. He wrote that both the Essenes and Sadducees always begin their count “on the morrow of a weekly Sabbath.”

35 Nehemia Gordon & Keith Johnson videos:Collaborations on Jewish aspects  of the Bible | bible, scripture study, gordon
Nehemia Gordon, a prominent Karaite

Writes Nehemia Gordon on his “The Truth About Shavuot” website (May 22, 2020):

“The Sadducees and Essenes agreed that the 50-day count to Shavuot had to always begin on the morrow of a weekly Sabbath. They only differed as to whether this referred to the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread or the Sunday following the Feast of Unleavened Bread.”

The Essene/Qumran has their own 364 day solar calendar 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 of their calendar. 

The Essene’s 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 set the day of Pentecost on Sivan 15 of their calendar. Also Pentecost on the 15th, is always a Sunday in their third month on their calendar. 

Although the Karaites observe the new moon separately to establish their calendar in Jerusalem they were pretty united under Nehemia Gordon until he gave up in 2016. Other than establishing their calendar by observation, they start their count from the weekly Sabbath, like the Sadducees and Samaritans. Says Nehemia Gordon, “Karaite Jews have accepted the Sadducee reckoning as the only one to be consistent with the plain meaning of the biblical text.”

The day Passover falls on determines the date one must begin to count from. Therefore the count must begin on the day following the weekly Sabbath which, like Passover, is constantly changing. That is the day in which the sheaf is waved and the count begins. Since the weekly Sabbath always falls on a Saturday, the count to Pentecost always begins with a Sunday.

It may interest you to know that this is the way the Sadducees in Jesus’ day counted. In Jesus’ day the Sadducees still retained control of the Temple, and they determined when Pentecost was to be kept. That is one of the reasons why you will find no disagreement between Jesus and the Sadducees regarding the celebration of Pentecost. They were in agreement. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

The above is again false — all lies and bulls, all pure Speculations and Magics. First, Josephus states that “whatever they [the Jewish people] do about divine worship, prayers, and sacrifices, they perform them according to their [the Pharisees’] direction. Insomuch, that the cities give great attestations to them, on account of their entire virtuous conduct, both in the actions of their lives, and their discourses also,” (Antiquities 18:1.15); and that the Sadducees “addict themselves to the notions of the Pharisees: because the multitude would not otherwise bear them.” (Antiquities 18:1.17; translated by W. Whiston).

And second, the Samaritans are SUN worshippers — they turn their faces toward Mount Gerizim whenever they pray, but during Passover on top of Mount Garizim, where at twilight, they turn West to pray at the setting down of the SUN. They infiltrated the Sadducees during the early era of the Second Temple period, and like the CoG Communities today, they would lie through their teeth that their beliefs don’t have anything to do with Samaritan SUN worship. 

See the source image
The Samaritans (and their various spinoffs) are SUN worshippers

The significance of the firestorm to Jerusalem 70 AD and should not be understated. Because of sin, the God of Heaven destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah during Abraham’s time. John the Baptist had given a stern warning about another consuming fire recorded in Luke 3:16-17 John said unto those who heard him:

“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 3:16-17

The Blind couldn’t see the FIRE part. When we look back, one cannot avoid concluding that God deemed that the Sadducees and the Essenes were worthy of extinction during the 70 AD inferno like Sodom and Gomorrah. Everything about the Sadducees and the Essenes were destroyed (except perhaps the scrappy Dead Seas Scrolls). A large portion of the Shammai Pharisees also followed suit in the conflagration, but the Hillel branch limped off to Yavne and survived. If the 70 AD inferno were only a microcosm, how would the CoG Communities, who have similar beliefs as the Sadducees, 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”?

I said I was going to give you absolute proof that the sheaf is to be waved on the day after the weekly Sabbath that falls within the days of Unleavened Bread. Believe it or not, it is in the New Testament. Let us go to John 20. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

Only one-tenth of an ephah finally accepted

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.” So is Ritenbaugh admitting he couldn’t prove it from the Old Testament?

In the New Testament

The New Testament is built on the foundation of the Old Testament, and not the other way round. Whenever the concept of firstfruits (G536 aparchē) is used in the New Testament context it could mean principally as (1 and 2) produce of the land and (3) firstborn, or person of superior excellence.

Should Moses have any question or doubt he had full access to God who sits between the Cherubim in the inner Sanctuary to make an inquiry. Also the High Priests, should they have any doubt, they could inquire from the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:30, Numbers 27:21) if they want to seek clarification of anything? 

In ancient Israel the Urim and Thummim were entrusted by the LORD, first to Moses and through him to the high priest as the representative of the LORD and as the mediator between God and the nation whose decisions, through the Urim and Thummim, even kings were expected to obey.

Josephus maintained that the Urim and Thummim continued to be used until the Maccabees, if not then, perhaps during Ezra’s time (Ezra 2:63, Nehemiah 7:65). All those decisions made knowledge gained would form the foundation and collection of what eventually emerged as the Oral Law.

So exactly seventy-two (72) hours after He was put into the grave, He rose from the dead and came out of the grave. Seventy-two hours from the time He was put into the tomb on Wednesday as the sun was setting, the sun was setting on the weekly Sabbath—Saturday—when He walked out of that tomb. This brings us to Matthew 20:1 in the time element. On Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene showed up at the tomb. She found it empty. Christ had already been resurrected, probably somewhere close to ten hours by that time. We will pick up the story in verse 11.

Matthew 20:11-17 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre. And seeing two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain. And they said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. [She thought He was still dead.] And when she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener said unto him, Sir, if you have borne him hence, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said unto her, Mary. [And she melted, because she recognized the voice.] She turned herself, and said unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; [It actually says, “Do not cling to Me.” She had already grabbed Him.] for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Remember, the sheaf was raised up before God. Jesus is the Firstfruit of God’s spiritual harvest. You can see this in I Corinthians 15:20 where Paul calls Him that.

I Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

And so Jesus, as the first of the Firstfruits, was the reality of the Wavesheaf. Everything else was a type and a symbol. The reality had to ascend to the Father, and He did. He just ascended to the Father and was accepted on our behalf by the Father. When did this occur? The reality occurred on Sunday morning—the day after the weekly Sabbath. That nails it down. (The Basics of Counting to Pentecost)

In Leviticus 23:12: And if the he lamb represents Christ, which He is, then the sheaf of firstfruits couldn’t be Christ. Hence the logical conclusion drawn from the Old Testament is that the sheaf as firstfruits should represent human beings. And in parables, Christ was the husbandman, the sower, a landowner, the true vine, the good shepherd, etc, but never was He portrayed as a firstfruits in the sense of a produce of the land. It is a heresy to infer that Christ was part of a harvest.

The Omer Offering | Holy temple, Third temple, Priest
The Grains sifted through thirteen Sieves, and only one-tenth Accepted

We can conclude from these observations is that Christ after He had fulfilled being a sacrifice for us as the Lamb at Passover, presents Himself as the High Priest, interceding for His younger brothers to the Father. But He was never the sheaf of firstfruits in the OT context. He was the Lamb and the Lamb wasn’t waved, only the sheaf of many grains did, known as the omer, was waved.

Second, the “wave sheaf” is also a mistranslation. It is “omer” in Hebrew, a finished product, not some freshly cut grains from the field. 

And 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 other nine-tenth rejected!

The omer is an end-product made from the sheaf, a bundle of grains, MANY STOCK OF GRAINS. The grains (or the stock of barley) are all the same, it would be derogatory to infer that Christ is on the same level as other humans. Christ was and is always referred to as the Lamb. Even before Christ was born, He was already the Son of God, divine (Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the Lord (Father) hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee). Before each one of us humans were born we were dust. It is a heresy to think we are of the same level of the Son of God. Christ was YHVH (Psalm 110:1,5) before He was born.

In a brief summary, from the Old Testament: (1) Christ isn’t the firstfruits of Leviticus 23:10, only humans are; (2) The Lamb symbolizes Christ but He wasn’t waved, only the firstfruits were waved.

In Hebrew, the wave sheaf is h6016 `omer (Leviticus 23:10); and firstfruits are h7225 re’shiyth (Leviticus 23:17,20).

Exodus 23:19 The first H7225 of the firstfruits H1061 of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. — the firstfruits from, perhaps, the Old Testament times (Leviticus 23:10) to New Testament times, at Pentecost (Leviticus 23:17, 20; Acts 2).  Note, both were produce of the land. But Christ was the Lamb.

The New Testament is built on the foundation of the Old Testament. Whenever the concept of firstfruits (G536 aparchē) is used 8 times in the New Testament context it could mean principally as Strong indicates:

(1) & (2) firstfruits as produce of the land Rom 8:23; Rom 11:16; Rom 16:5; 1Co 16:15; Jas 1:18; Rev 14:4.

(3) firstborn, or person of superior excellence.

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits G536 of those who slept. — only category (3) applies above.

1 Corinthians 15:23 but every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits G536; afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. — again, only category (3) applies above.

As Christ is the firstborn as in Acts 26:23 “the first G4413 protos who should rise from the dead,” and a person of superior excellence, the King James version and many related translations as “firstfruits” above are misleading: 

However other translations listed below give a more accurate concept of Christ being the first person to rise from the dead or the firstborn, the first to be born from the womb. 

1 Corinthians 15:20 

But now Christ has come back from the dead. He is the very first person of those who have died to come back to life. GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

But the glorious fact is that Christ did rise from the dead: he has become the very first to rise of all who sleep the sleep of death. PHILLIPS

But the fact is that Christ did actually rise from the dead and has become the first of millions who will come back to life again someday. Living Bible (TLB)

But now Christ has come back from the dead. He is the very first person of those who have died to come back to life. Names of God Bible (NOG) 

But Christ has truly been raised from the dead—the first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised. New Century Version (NCV)

But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise from the dead. New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

But it is true! Christ has been raised from the dead! He was the first One to be raised from the dead and all those who are in graves will follow. New Life Version (NLV) 

1 Corinthians 15:23 

This will happen to each person in his own turn. Christ is the first, then at his coming, those who belong to him will be made alive. GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

But the glorious fact is that Christ did rise from the dead: he has become the very first to rise of all who sleep the sleep of death. PHILLIPS

Each, however, in his own turn: Christ rose first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will become alive again. Living Bible (TLB)

This will happen to each person in his own turn. Christ is the first, then at his coming, those who belong to him will be made alive. Names of God Bible (NOG) 

But everyone will be raised to life in the right order. Christ was first to be raised. When Christ comes again, those who belong to him will be raised to life. New Century Version (NCV)

But here is the order of events. Christ is the first of those who rise from the dead. When he comes back, those who belong to him will be raised. New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

This is the way it is: Christ was raised from the dead first. Then all those who belong to Christ will be raised from the dead when He comes again. New Life Version (NLV) 

But each one has his turn. Christ rose first. Then those who belong to Christ will rise when he comes again. Worldwide English (WE)

But Christ really has been raised from death. He was the first one to rise of all who have died.  Worldwide English (WE)

The evidence from the above is clear. If not, the three main questions to ponder are: 

See the source image

(1) If the wave sheaf in Leviticus 23:11 represents Christ, then what did this “he lamb” without blemish of the first year in verse 12 represents?

(2) And if this he lamb in verse 12 represents Christ, then why this “he lamb” wasn’t waved?

. . . and (3) 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 (Lev 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?

There is a saying which goes, “one swallow doesn’t make a summer.”

~~~~~

A Critique of Frank Nelte’s Pentecost 

•April 7, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Frank Nelte’s Pentecost 

Frank W. Nelte, Ex-WCG Minister

— attended the Bricket Wood campus of the memorable Ambassador College in the 1960s and upon graduation in 1971 was hired by the Worldwide Church of God to pastor several congregations in South Africa until early 1994 when he was sacked.

When Should We Keep Pentecost? — (January 1998)

How to Count Pentecost

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

This is a Critique of Frank Nelte’s 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 when to start counting is how restrictive is the term “Sabbath.” Is it restricted only to a weekly Sabbath or was it meant to be an annual Sabbath, the first day of Unleavened Bread, the 16th of Nisan.

Quoted are Frank Nelte Bible Study article “When Should We Keep Pentecost?” posted on his website, dated January 1998. They are in pink, indented 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 he assumes! 

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

We need to recognize that the Jews have developed MANY customs which have no biblical basis at all.

Most people do not understand that Hebrew as a spoken language had basically DIED OUT long before the year 1800 A.D.! Two thousand years ago the Jews had already abandoned speaking Hebrew in favour of speaking Aramaic. Even Jesus Christ conducted His whole ministry in the Aramaic language. Christ’s final words, as He was dying on the stake, were in Aramaic. They were “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” (Matthew 27:46), or as recorded by Mark “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” (Mark 15:34). (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Obviously the above are false on many fronts. The writer shows his hatred for the Jews more than a cool headed willingness to find the truth. The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew by George Howard testifies that the original was written in Hebrew.

Another book “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus” by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, has been devoted to understanding the structure of poetry, and literal translations of Hebrew idioms which involve the case for claiming that Jesus spoke and taught in Hebrew instead of Greek or Aramaic and that the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) were originally written in Hebrew, and when translated caused formidable problems for translators, resulting in the text that makes little sense to English (or even Greek) readers. 

Second, many of Christ’s sayings that have in the past been difficult to understand were presented and analyzed in the light of their Hebrew origins. The authors explain that lack of knowledge of Hebrew literary forms, especially the structure of poetry, and literal translations of Hebrew idioms caused formidable problems for translators, resulting in text that makes little sense to English (or even in Greek) readers. So, according to the authors, Hebrew, is the language that needs to be understood to correctly interpret the teachings of Christ in the synoptic gospels. This approach would yield a clearer understanding of the sayings of Christ that are puzzling or confusing, thus making the gospels much more readable. 

Third, had Hebrew been forgotten and DIED OUT two thousand years ago, how could the Aleppo Codex being developed, which were formulated around the ninth or tenth century? If they have forgotten how to read Hebrew, how could they remember suddenly to incorporate the vowels and turn it into the Masoretic Text? So much lying, deceits and bullshit! 

Now if we want to be clear about the meanings GOD attached to specific Hebrew words, then the best way to establish this is to look at ALL the places where God has inspired those specific words to be used. When any word is used a large number of times, then in most occurrences the intended meaning will be quite plain and easy to discern from the context.

When a Hebrew Dictionary CLAIMS that a certain word had a secondary meaning in biblical times, which meaning is NOT supported by actual usage ANYWHERE in the whole Old Testament, then this claim must be questioned. Is the claim perhaps based on a preconceived false interpretation of some biblical teaching? Is the claim perhaps made in order to support a non-biblical “tradition of the elders”? WHY is this claim made when there is no biblical usage anywhere in the entire Old Testament to support this claim?

THE HEBREW WORD “SHABUWA”:

Of the 20 times this word is used in the Old Testament, in the KJV it is 19 times translated as “week/s” and one time as “SEVEN”. That one place is Ezekiel 45:21.

In the first [month], in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of SEVEN DAYS; unleavened bread shall be eaten. (Ezekiel 45:21)

An examination of the 9 occurrences in the above-quoted 8 verses should make it quite clear that THIS is indeed the Hebrew word for “week” and “weeks”. This word really has no other meanings! It is NEVER used in any way to IMPLY any other meaning! Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, was obviously familiar with this word. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

This is very true, and you don’t wait for a few days till the weekly Sabbath to start along with Shabuwa (H7620). The important point is that it starts IMMEDIATELY.

The critical verse is in Deuteronomy 16:9 “Seven weeks H7620 shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks H7620 from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 

Deuteronomy 16:9 Seven weeks [H7620 shabua] — Strong translates shabua as seven, period of seven (days or years), heptad, week:

A. period of seven days, a week — Feast of Weeks or Heptads
B. heptad, seven (of years)

In the Scriptures there are a total of nine times (out of 20) where Shabua H7620 is used to designate Pentecost. Here they are:

(1) Exodus 34:22 And thou shalt observe the Feast of Weeks, H7620 of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven)

(2) Numbers 28:26 “‘Also on the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks H7620 be out, ye shall have a holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work. after seven blocks of sevens

(3,4,5) Deuteronomy 16:9-10 “Seven weeks H7620 shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks H7620 from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10 And thou shalt keep the Feast of Weeks H7620 unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. seven blocks; Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven)

(6) Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times 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, H7620 and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the Lord empty.Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven) 

(7) II Chronicles 8:13 according to a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses on the Sabbaths and on the new moons and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year: on the Feast of Unleavened Bread and on the Feast of Weeks H7620 and on the Feast of Tabernacles. Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven) 

(8) Jeremiah 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserved unto us the appointed weeks H7620 of the harvest. Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven) 

(9) Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven H7620 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. the days of unleavened bread didn’t wait until the following weekly sabbath to start counting the seven days

All the above show that the Feast of Weeks could also be called the Feast of Heptads. However, the important point is that it starts IMMEDIATELY, not waiting even a day. This is shown best below:

Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a Feast (a block of seven) H7620 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. — seven days, the most obvious example where it occurs IMMEDIATELY and is not connected to the weekly sabbath.

And here we have a non-Feast of Weeks example:

Leviticus 12:5 But if she bears a daughter, then she shall be unclean two weeks H7620  as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days. — two weeks, this occurs IMMEDIATELY after birth and not waiting until the weekly sabbath to start counting the two weeks of uncleanliness.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread follows Passover immediately without waiting for even a day. 

THE HEBREW WORD “SHABBATH”

This word “shabbath” is used 108 times in the Old Testament. It is thus quite common. Another word, which has been formed from this word “shabbath”, is the word “shabbathown”, which is used 11 times in 10 different verses, all 11 occurrences being in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. This word “shabbathown” is translated (in the KJV) 8 times as “REST” and 3 times as “SABBATH”. It is an intensive form of the word for “rest” and that is precisely what it means … EMPHATIC REST!

And ye shall count unto you from the morrow AFTER THE SABBATH, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; SEVEN SABBATHS shall be complete: (Leviticus 23:15)

Even unto the morrow AFTER THE SEVENTH SABBATH shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. (Leviticus 23:16) (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Strong designates the 108 times using sabbath H7676 to include (a) sabbath, (b) day of atonement, (c) sabbath year, (d) week, (e) produce (in sabbath year). Note that the use of “week” is being included as one of Biblical usage.

The ambiguity of the phrase “from the morrow after the Sabbath” has offered much confusion over the millennium. Unfortunately, the Masoretic Text doesn’t provide an answer. But fortunately the Septuagint, one that the NT writers used most often, helps in presenting the truth. It translates “on the morrow after the Sabbath” as “on the morrow of the first day.” 

Leviticus 23:9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, When ye shall enter into the land which I give you, and reap the harvest of it, then shall ye bring a sheaf, the first-fruits of your harvest, to the priest; 11 and he shall lift up the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you. On the morrow of the first day the priest shall lift it up. (Septuagint)

The first day is, of course, the first day of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And the morrow after the fifteenth is, of course, the sixteenth! Thus count from the sixteenth!

And secondly, this is backed up by the Targum which states it even clearer. To ignore any of these Scriptures as testimonies to the truth is to ignore to our demise!

Leviticus 23:11-12 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 . . . 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. (Targum, translated by J. W. Etheridge)

Same thing, the day “after the feast-day of Pascha” is, again, the sixteenth! The evidence from both the Septuagint and Targum are overwhelming. At times they are superior to the Masoretic Text. Here is an example:

How do you solve the problem of Genesis 15 where it says 400 years and in Exodus 12 says 430 years? Is there an error? Also, how does this tie into the age of Isaac when he was offered as the burnt offering? So where do we begin?

Genesis 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years (Masoretic KJV)

Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.(Masoretic KJV)

The Masoretic Text above says “in Egypt” but the Septuagint read “Egypt and Chanaan.” Chanaan is Canaan

From the Septuagint:

Genesis 15:12 And about sunset a trance fell upon Abram, and lo! a great gloomy terror falls upon him. 13 And it was said to Abram, Thou shalt surely know that thy seed shall be a sojourner in a land not their own, and they shall enslave them, and afflict them, and humble them four hundred years. (Septuagint)

Exodus 12:40 And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, [was] four hundred and thirty years. (Septuagint)

From the Targum:

Genesis 15:12-13 And when the sun was nearing to set, a deep sleep was thrown upon Abram: and, behold, four kingdoms arose to enslave his children: Terror, which is Bavel; Darkness, which is Madai; Greatness, which is Javan; Decline, which is Pheras, which is to fall, and to have no uplifting, and from whence it is to be that the children of Israel will come up. And he said to Abram, Knowing, thou must know, that thy sons shall dwell in a land not their own, because thou hast not believed, and they will subjugate and afflict them four hundred years; and also that the people whom they shall serve I will judge with two hundred and fifty plagues, and afterwards they shall go forth into liberty with great riches. (Targum)

Exodus 12:40 And the days of the dwelling of the sons of Israel in Mizraim were thirty weeks of years, (thirty times seven years,) which is the sum of two hundred and ten years. But the number of four hundred and thirty years (had passed away since) the Lord spake to Abraham, in the hour that He spake with him on the fifteenth of Nisan, between the divided parts, until the day that they went out of Mizraim. And it was at the end of thirty years from the making of this covenant, that Izhak was born; and thence until they went out of Mizraim four hundred (years), on the selfsame day it was that all the hosts of the Lord went forth made free from the land of Mizraim. (Targum)

Abraham (75 years old when he left Ur for Caanan: Gen 12:4; was 100 when Isaac was born: Gen 21:5) If the Covenant was made 30 years before Isaac was born, then Abraham would be 70 years old, i.e. when he was still in Ur?

Isaac (60 years old when he had Jacob: Gen 25:26)

See the source image

Jacob (130 years old when he entered Egypt: Gen 47:9. When Jacob descended to Egypt at the age of 130, 190 years of the 400 years had already passed, thus leaving 210 years. This is the number of years that the Israelites lived in Egypt.

Levi (137 years old: Ex 6:16)
Kehath (133 years old: Ex 6:18)
Amram(137 years old: Ex 6:20)
Moses (80 years old when God called him: Ex 7:7; a fourth generation: Gen 15:16)

To elaborate the problem with the Masoretic text, presuming that Kehath was even only one day old when entering Egypt, he is recorded as living 133 years (Ex. 6:18). Kehath’s son is Amram who lives 137 years (Ex. 6:20) of which some presumably overlap with those of his father Kehath. Amram’s son is Moses who is 80 when standing before Pharaoh (Ex. 7:7) – presumably some of those years overlap with his father Amram’s years. Even without the issue of overlapping years, the total maximum number of years would only be 133 + 137 + 80 = 350 years. This would mean that even if Kehath entered Egypt on the first day of his life, had Amram on the last day of his life, and who, in turn, had Moses on the last day of his life, the longest period of time that the nation could have been in Egypt is 350 years.

Genesis 15:13 And he (God) said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

The count of the 400 years as recorded in Genesis 15:13 should start with the birth of Isaac. Isaac was 60 years old when he had Jacob (Gen. 25:26) and Jacob was 130 when standing before Pharaoh (Gen. 47:9). Therefore, when Jacob descended to Egypt at the age of 130, 190 years of the 400 years had already passed, thus leaving 210 years. This is the number of years that the Israelites lived in Egypt.

Therefore the Masoretic KJV of 430 years of “dwelling in Egypt” is a BLATANT ERROR. The Septuagint and the Targum gives an accurate account, but the Targum translates and elucidates with great insights. 

The Targum is like a mirror. When placed against the end-time CoG Communities, it reflects their nakedness. 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. Something had to be done so that the people would understand God and His Word. 

Starting with Ezra, the new communities 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.

So they read in the book of the lawand gave the sense — i.e., they read and translated the meaning of the Hebrew words, and expounded them in the common language. And caused them to understand the reading — So they gave them both a translation of the Hebrew words, into the Chaldee or Syriac, and an exposition of the things contained in them, and of the duty incumbent upon the people by virtue thereof; to declare and teach these things were a great part of the duties of both priests and Levites.

Adam Clark comments on Nehemiah 8:8: I beg leave to make a few observations: – So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading . . . but it appears that they had in general lost the knowledge of the ancient Hebrew to such a degree, that when the book of the law was read, they did not understand it: but certain Levites stood by, and gave the sense, i. e., translated into the Chaldee dialect. This was not only the origin of the Chaldee Targums, or translation of the law and prophets into that tongue but was also, in all probability, the origin of preaching from a text; for it appears that the people were not only ignorant of their ancient language, but also of the rites and ceremonies of their religion, having been so long in Babylon, where they were not permitted to observe them. This being the case, not only the language must be interpreted, but the meaning of the rites and ceremonies must also be explained . . . 

John Gill comments on the above “they first read it in Hebrew, and . . . not hereby how to read it, but chiefly to understand what was read, that they might clearly know their duty to God and men.”

Ezra and those with him expounded obscurer passages, and in doing so naturally translated into the vernacular Aramaic dialect. This simply explains the former: they expounded as they read. They gave the meaning though the scriptures on how Ezra and those with him would understand the meaning from the Torah. 

THEREFORE IF GOD INTENDED FOR US TO “COUNT” FROM THE DAY AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD:
THEN SOMETIMES we would have to count “1 week” as being:

– from a Monday to the following Sunday; or
– from a Wednesday to the following Tuesday; or
– from a Friday to the following Thursday; or
– from a Sunday to the following Saturday. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

This is correct. Pentecost is never called the Feast of Sabbaths, it’s the Feast of Weeks, or Feast of Heptads (blocks of seven days). The Feast of Weeks could start at any day of the week. The best illustration is Ezekiel 45:21 where the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread could start at any time of the week — it DOESN’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE WEEKLY SABBATH TO START!. 

How could God possibly tell us: “counting FROM A WEDNESDAY TO THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY, COUNT SEVEN FULL WEEKS, COMING TO THE SEVENTH TUESDAY, AND THEN GO TO THE MORROW AFTER THAT TUESDAY TO ARRIVE AT A WEDNESDAY PENTECOST”?? How could God possibly refer to a period of time from a Wednesday to the following Tuesday as “A SHABBATH”?? (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Look at Ezekiel 45:21 again: In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a Feast of Weeks (Haptads) H7620 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. — the seven days of UB starts any day IMMEDIATELY after Passover, so it could be a Monday, a Wednesday, a Friday or a Sunday. By your double question marks above, it demonstrated the opposite of what you intended, that the “Sabbath” could be translated as “weeks” as Strong shows below:

A. period of seven days, a week — Feast of Weeks or Heptads; B. heptad, seven (of years)

Leviticus 23:15-16 seven sabbaths [h7676 shabbat] according to Strong, this shabbat could be translated as:

(a) sabbath
(b) day of atonement
(c) sabbath year
(d) WEEK
(e) produce (in sabbath year)

James Strong (1822 – 1894)

According to Strong, both shabua (H7620) and sabbath (H7676) could be translated as weeks. Has Frank Nelte had a higher level of Hebrew degree at the angelic but uncredited Ambassador College than Strong’s? Who were his Hebrew lecturers at the now fallen Ambassador College can we ask him? James Strong was both acting President and Professor of Biblical Literature at Troy University; Professor of Exegetical Theology at Drew Theological Seminary, and was honored with a degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) by Wesleyan University in 1881. 

And Strong’s definition allows the JPS 1917 and many other translators to transcribe the seven Sabbaths as seven WEEKS:

Leviticus 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest (footnote: Sabbath), from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete; 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD. (JPS 1917)

Other versions that translated “seven weeks” in Leviticus 23:15 are:

The Companion Bible (Bullinger)
Common English Bible (CEB)
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Darby Translation (DARBY)
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
English Standard Version (ESV)
Expanded Bible (EXB)
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Good News Translation (GNT)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
International Children’s Bible (ICB)
International Standard Version (ISV)
Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The Message (MSG)
Modern English Version (MEV)
Names of God Bible (NOG)
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
New Century Version (NCV)
New English Translation (NET Bible)
New International Version (NIV)
New Life Version (NLV)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Voice (VOICE)
Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
The Septuagint (LXX
The Targum

Adam Clarke comments on “Ye shall count unto you – seven Sabbaths” – “That is, from the sixteenth of the first month to the sixth of the third month. These seven weeks, called here Sabbaths, were to be complete, i. e., the forty-nine days must be finished, and the next day, the fiftieth, is what, from the Septuagint, we call pentecost.”

DO JEWISH CUSTOMS AND AUTHORITIES STICK TO THE BIBLE?

If you are on the lookout for it, it is quite easy to find evidence that the Jews actually do not stick to what is revealed in the Bible at all. It is fairly easy to discover that for the Jews TRADITION is of far higher importance than what God actually instructed in the Old Testament. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Some of their traditions are bad, but some are great. Only the wise know how to separate the good from the bad. The stupid renders all traditions as bad. Here is what Paul says:

“I profited in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers” Galatians 1:14.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle” II Thessalonians 2:15.

Paul being a Pharisee, and son of a Pharisee’ and in all thirteen epistles are littered with Pharisaic precepts. He grew up and was “zealous for the traditions of my fathers” – namely, those of the Pharisees, bred up at the feet of Gamaliel. “Tradition (paradosis) embraces everything which is handed down orally or in writing from generation to generation,” says the Schaff’s Commentary. The Whedon’s commentary on Zealous — “The inspiring motive; zeal for the ancestral traditions; not merely the sacred books, but hereditary customs and rabbinical maxims, as afterwards embodied in the Talmud.”

Second, if traditions are always untrustworthy, then the Masoretic vowel points should also be considered untrustworthy. They are based on traditions and should be rejected, because how to read any single Hebrew word comes from oral tradition. Plain and Simple!

In the March 1992 edition of “Prophecy Flash” Mr Dankenbring has an article entitled “A Letter to the Chief Rabbi, London – on Passover and Pentecost”, and another article entitled “Reply from the Office of the Chief Rabbi”. This second article is interesting in that it clearly reveals the Jewish thinking. The last two paragraphs of that article are most revealing.

Firstly, the “Chief Rabbi” points out that

“… according to the Sadducees, PENTECOST WOULD ALWAYS FALL ON A SUNDAY”. (my emphasis)

THIS IS A STAGGERING ADMISSION!

During the time of Jesus Christ the Pharisees controlled the local synagogues, but THE SADDUCEES CONTROLLED THE TEMPLE AND THE TEMPLE WORSHIP! The priests, with very few exceptions, were Sadducees!

Therefore during the time of Christ Pentecost at the Temple in Jerusalem was always observed on a Sunday … and this information is given to us by the “Chief Rabbi” (Christ said to call no man ‘Rabbi’!) of London, England. Thus, when Christ observed the Day of Pentecost and when the disciples observed it at the Temple in Acts chapter 2, IT WAS ON A SUNDAY!

Church of God Photo Library - Letter 'N'

But continue reading this “reply from the office of ‘the chief rabbi'”. Notice the last paragraph of that article – it’s only six-and-a-half lines long. How did the Pharisees try to argue with the Sadducees? Notice! [The parenthetical statements are my comments.]

“The Pharisees … tried to do this from text [i.e. they tried by using THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES!] WITHOUT relying on the oral traditions, [what “oral traditions”? – the ones Christ addressed in Matt 15:1-3 and Mark 7:8-9?] since their adversaries were not ready to accept all of the oral tradition [i.e. the Sadducees said: unless it’s in the Bible, we don’t believe it].”

But now notice this candid admission concerning pharisaical teachings:

“But the real reason they [i.e. the Pharisees] insisted on this interpretation [Pentecost on the 6th of Sivan] is based on two factors …”

WHAT ARE THOSE TWO FACTORS THAT DETERMINE PHARISAICAL BELIEFS?? God’s Word? the Bible? NO!! Continue with the quote:

“…1) The oral tradition which [they falsely claimed!] had come down from Moses’ time which they maintained and passed on; 2) Logic which dictated that …” (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Who was that “Chief Rabbi” of London who wrote “… according to the Sadducees, PENTECOST WOULD ALWAYS FALL ON A SUNDAY”.  Actually there is nothing wrong with what he wrote. The truth is that no sensible Orthodox Rabbi is that stupid to say that such is the truth. Keep your head cool: he only wrote that “according to the Sadducees, Pentecost would always fall on a Sunday.” The Rabbi didn’t say that’s what he believes nor that that is the truth. If the “Chief Rabbi” believes such is the truth, the only possibilities are that he is either a rabbi from (a) a Karaite Organisation, or (b) a Reform Movement. 

Both the Karaites and Reform Jews have Sadducaic leaning. And they, of course, claim that during the first century, the Sadducees had control over the Temple functions. But Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, wrote in his Antiquities of the Jews, informing us that the Pharisees were the dominant religious party in Judaea during the time of Christ, and that they controlled the worship services:

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 “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)

Sadducees | Life-Giving Water
Sadducees – “Disappeared” during the AD 70 Inferno!

Also, 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).

And keeping your head cool again, using Oral Traditions could be true and valid. The Talmud tells the story of a Gentile who went to Hillel the Elder and said to him, “I want to convert, but I want to accept only the Written Torah, and not the Oral Torah. I don’t wish to accept the words of the Rabbis. So teach me only the Written Torah.”

But Hillel knew that the man wanted to do the right thing, but he didn’t understand the purpose of the Oral Torah. So Hillel began to teach him the Aleph Bet (Hebrew alphabet). The first day, Hillel taught him the first two letters, aleph and bet.

The next day, Hillel taught him the same two letters in reverse. He showed him the letter aleph, but called it “bet.” 

The man objected, “but yesterday you taught it the other way!”

A Critique of Frank Nelte's Passover (I) | The mystery of life blog

“Well, then, you need me, a Rabbi, to teach you the Aleph Bet? So you have to trust my knowledge of the tradition of the letters. What I tell you is the Oral Tradition. You can’t read the alphabet if no one tells you how they are pronounced. And you think you don’t need the Rabbis’ knowledge of Jewish Tradition in order to understand the words of the Torah? Those are much more difficult! Without an Oral Tradition you will never be able to learn the Torah.”

So it is clear that an Oral Tradition is needed, and that one exists. If you don’t agree, try to define: (a) what circumcision is, and (b) when is Sabbath — from the Bible alone and without tradition! and (c) how do you pronounce the 22 Hebrew alphabets when you don’t have the Oral Traditions? And how to identify and pronounce each of the vowels with the 22 alphabets?

But did you notice one other point in this statement by the “Chief Rabbi”? When the Pharisees tried to argue with the Sadducees based purely on the written Word of God, they couldn’t succeed. Did you notice this? What does this tell you?

It tells you that about 2000 years ago already the Sadducees, the keepers of the Temple Scriptures, the ones who were of the priestly line and who were responsible for all of the Temple services, DID NOT ACCEPT THAT “SHABBATH” MEANS “WEEKS”! And those learned Sadducees knew more about the Hebrew language than all of the “noted Biblical scholars and Bible dictionaries” of today put together! It makes clear that the Pharisees tried to attach the meaning of “weeks” to the word “shabbath” and that the Sadducees did not accept this as valid. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Yes, the above were very true, but not all, especially this line: “When the Pharisees tried to argue with the Sadducees based purely on the written Word of God, they couldn’t succeed.” On almost every issue they debated frequently. And it was left for Christ to judge. John the Baptist prophesied about judgement time and the Messiah:

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, “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.”

Let’s get back to a basic 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.”’”

As the Pharisees and Sadducees thrived together for a designated time only, and forty years later, it was decision time, judgement 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? The Sadducees and their allies — the Herodians and Boethusians. The Essenes (who practiced an anti-Sanhedrin calendar), all ended in the inferno. Every Blind Guide ignores the significance of the destruction of Judea in the 70 AD conflagration BECAUSE THEY ARE BLIND!

How did the Sadducees and Essenes just “DISAPPEARED” from this 70 AD 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?

~~~~~

A Critique of Wade Cox’s Wave Sheaf Offering

•April 5, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Wade Cox’s Wave Sheaf Offering 

Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369,
Woden ACT 2606,
Australia

Wade Cox

The Wave Sheaf OfferingNo. 106b (2014-05-18; 2020-04-11)

How to Count Pentecost — Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16), Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22), Feast of Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26), Festival of Fifty Days, Heptad, Feast of Heptads, Festival of Seven Heptads, Wave Sheaf, Omer

Image result for Wave Sheaf
Wave sheaf – is this the Omer?

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. Are they the firstfruits, and what do the firstfruits mean if they are. Are they humans or is it Christ?

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 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:

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. (The Wave Sheaf Offering No. 106b)

At least it is “poorly understood by scholars” rather than misunderstood by the CoG Communities. First, let’s understand what the “wave sheaf” is. The original word is omer which is rendered “wave sheaf” in English translations, which gives a wrong impression. 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.

Second, the barley grain was cut by three people appointed by the Sanhedrin at the end of the “Sabbath.” The heads of the grain were then 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 resultant flour were then sieved through thirteenth sieves until it was pure and of very fine texture. Only ten percent of an ephah were chosen while the other ninety percent were rejected, From this, now known as the omer, oil and frankincense were added, which is a weight of about 1.6 kg (the same weight the children of Israel were allowed to collect for their morning manna Exodus 16:16), was taken and then offered 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 omer, composed originally of MANY individual grains, offered together, is the wave offering. If the omer represents Christ, why was it composed of many stalks of grains? It should be of one grain. Further if the omer represents Christ, why the “he lamb” in Leviticus 23:12, which definitely represents 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! If waving represents acceptance by God in heaven, why this Lamb wasn’t waved?

Leviticus 23:19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord with the two lambs; they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

Weird! If on the day of Pentecost, waving represents acceptance by God in heaven, why weren’t the “one kid of the goats” “two lambs of the first year,” and these that wave “with the bread of firstfruits” gone into heaven and be similarly accepted by God in Heaven?:

These end-time CoG Communities have produced many insightful interpretations of the Scriptures, but they are Blind Guides! In the first instance, they didn’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. (The Wave Sheaf Offering No. 106b)

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 13:24 Another parable put He (Jesus) 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.”’”

So as the wheat and tares grew together, the Pharisees and Sadducees thrived 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’s “a little taste of God’s judgment” in the words of Australian Israel Folau. John the Baptist had given a stern warning about another consuming fire recorded in Luke 3:16. John warns with a prophetic taint:

Image result for jerusalem on fire ad 70

“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 practiced an anti-Sanhedrin calendar), also ended in the inferno. The Blind put no significance to John’s warning because they are blind. And why is it so coincidental that the end-time Laodicean church has been described as “NAKED” “WRETCHED” and “BLIND”? If the AD 70 inferno were only a microcosm, how would the CoG Communities, who have similar misguided beliefs as the Sadducees and Boethusians, escape John’s warning during the Last Days?

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. (The Wave Sheaf Offering No. 106b)

See the source image

Reading the above, the smell of a rat is all over the place. In this paragraph alone, the word “Sunday” is mentioned six times. Today, it’s no coincidence as the CoG Communities cuddle with the Samaritan Sun-worship. 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 sunset, 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 2021), their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did (II Kings 17:29-41). 

“So these nations feared the Lord, and also served their graven images, both their children and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day,” (II Kings 17:41)

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 King 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 pretended to worship the Lord as they appointed all sorts of people to officiate 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 from. 

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Look at the photo above — the Samaritans are 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 — and placed them in Samaria. Today their modern followers would deny that they are SUN-worshipers and they would lie through their teeth that their beliefs are based in the Scriptures. So let’s continue with Wade Cox’s Samaritan version of his 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. (The Wave Sheaf Offering No. 106b)

There are many problems with the above paragraph, but I’ll only mention the main ones. 

(a). The Targum could be traced all the way back much earlier than AD 70 to Ezra (480 BC – 440 BC). And the Targum states clearly that the counting is the morrow after the first festal day of Pascha:

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 . .  .  (Leviticus 23:11-15, Targum)

(b) The Targum is like a mirror. When placed against the end-time CoG Communities, it reflects their nakedness. 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, first orally by Ezra for the returning Exiles in Judea, and was written or compiled from the Second Temple period until the later part of the 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 says “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 in verse 15 only the blind couldn’t see: “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.”

This unique truth is captured by the GOD’S WORD Translation and the Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

Leviticus 23:15 “Count seven full weeks from the day after Passover (the day you bring the bundle of grain as an offering presented to the Lord) 16 until the day after the seventh week. This is a total of fifty days. Then bring a new grain offering to the Lord. GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) 

Leviticus 23:15 Therefore ye shall number from the tother day of the sabbath, in which ye offered handfuls of the first fruits, seven full weeks, (And so ye shall count seven full weeks from the day after the sabbath, that is, after the Passover, in which ye offered the sheaves as a special gift,) (Wycliffe Bible)

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)

As we have established at the beginning, the expression “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? Of the bundle of grains only about ten percent made it to the end. Old and frankincense were added. Now known as the omer, 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 the thirteen sieves. Only humans were required to go through numerous trials and testings, many fell by the waysides. 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. (The Wave Sheaf Offering No. 106b)

Did Christ go up to heaven and saw the Father? When Moses went up to Mt Sinai to meet God, his face shone brightly when he returned, but why wasn’t Christ’s face shone after meeting His Father, neither his clothes glistened in white? Was His seeing God inferior to that of Moses? Weird! 

See the source image

But when Jesus met His Father in heaven nothing happened.
No earthquake, no lightning, nothing!
When He returned, His 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?”
“Help! I can’t see, I’m blind.”
“I just came back from seeing my Father face-to-face. Don’t be afraid.”
No, nothing happened like this as Moses experienced 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? Or not accepted? Or being 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 . . . 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.

See the source image

Matthew 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 has 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 clearer. TO IGNORE ANY OF THESE SCRIPTURES AS TESTIMONIES TO THE TRUTH IS TO IGNORE TO OUR DOWNFALL!

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