The Last Countdown

Originally published on Friday, October 22, 2010, 5:51 pm in German at www.letztercountdown.org

If I want to explain to the members of my small home group something about a theme in the Bible that lies far back in time, I frequently counsel them that we are not to read the texts without pauses. We should take breaks to contemplate the time, culture, and situation of the individuals described there. We must put ourselves directly in the position of the players and observe everything as if we had just made a journey back in time and would be directly in the shoes of the participating characters. Those who fail to do so will always have trouble understanding the Bible texts that were written 3500 - 2000 years ago. Because of this poor way of reading ancient texts and the problem that we are shaped by our own traditions and ways of thinking, interpretation errors creep in that obscure our vision for the truth.

If we want to solve issues raised regarding the Passover in the first part of the Shadows of the Cross, we need to do exactly what I have just explained. We must transport ourselves back in time to the culture that still remembered how the Passover was to be celebrated. The scholars of Christianity appear to assume that we have “transported ourselves back in time” far enough already if we accomplish a mental journey to the time of Jesus, about 2000 years before our time. They admit that “we have here one more instance where our present-day ignorance of ancient Jewish practices appears to be the cause of our inability clearly to harmonize the seemingly conflicting statements of John and the Synoptics.” {Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5, p. 537, English edition}

But this is—as I will show now—by far not far enough. We need to make greater efforts mentally and go back another 1500 years to the roots of the Passover, to the time when it was instituted by the Lord, and we have to slip into the shoes of one who received the instructions directly from Jehovah. We have to put on...

The Shoes of Moses

Reading the honest statement of our scholars—that it is today’s ignorance of the ancient Jewish practices which prevents us from understanding what happened back then in AD 31, we must first recognize that our Lord’s highest interest is that we fully understand what happened at that time, so that we can face the attacks of false teachers. To dismiss our ignorance with: “Well, we just do not know it, so it is not important for our salvation”, as was written by our BRI-commentators in a figurative sense at the end of their declaration of ignorance, is a pitiful attempt to cover their inability to find solutions to the problems through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, using the argument that we are dealing with “uninteresting facts”. This is a very sad and questionable way of thinking for the professed people of God, who should endeavor to know what happened at the crucifixion of the Savior to the most infinite detail and to harmonize this with the biblical types, especially since a messenger of God was given to us, helping us with loads of information and advice on finding the truth!

But God in His providence already knew before the creation of time that we would one day run into a problem with the Passover feast, and that is why we find in the Bible multiple reports that when taken together, perfectly clarify how the exact course of the Passover feast went. The biblical account includes a character who, like us, also knew nothing of how a Passover feast would work, and who was also interested in keeping it exactly the way the Lord wanted it. He was the first author of the Bible, Moses.

He was in the same shoes as us. He was in complete ignorance in terms of Jewish practice. Perhaps some of you may ask, “Why? He was a Jew, right? Didn’t he have to know how the Jews handled all this?” If you think like this, you have not “paused for contemplation” that I spoke about earlier. “Who was Moses, really?”, or at least... “Who was Moses at the time when he received God’s instructions for the exact course of the exodus at the tenth plague of Egypt?” These should be the issues that should concern us if we want to slip into the shoes of the one who received these first Passover instructions from Jehovah.

Moses was the son of Hebrew slaves and was born about 80 years before the expiration of the Israelites 215 years of slavery in Egypt. According to current state law, he would probably have had a dual citizenship: Israelite and Egyptian. The next question we must ask ourselves is, in what culture was Moses brought up? We all know that he was hidden in the rush basket to escape the persecution of the Egyptians, who wanted to put to death all children under the age of two years, by order of the Pharaoh. But God in His wisdom guided the rush basket with the little son of slaves so close to the banks of the Nile, that it was spotted by one of the daughters of Pharaoh, and she saved the little boy. Because she herself could not feed the child, she sent for a Hebrew woman and God brought it about that it was the mother of Moses himself, who was allowed to breastfeed her son. When the child was weaned, he was given to the daughter of Pharaoh and became “her son”. You can read all this in Exodus 2:1-10.

Where did Moses grow up? What cultures influenced him? First, it is obvious that Moses, as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter and grandson of Pharaoh, must have received an excellent education in the palace by the Egyptian scholars. His main formation was through the Egyptian culture, and as we know, this was a political-religious system characterized by sun worship and the worship of a living human being as a God, the Pharaoh.

But many see in the following verses that Moses had also been shaped by his biological mother and their environment, because he became angry about an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave, and slew him (Exodus 2:11-12). This shows that he was sympathizing with the Hebrew slaves, and that his birth mother influenced him. And now, many people make the mistake of believing that Moses had learned the rituals and the religion-specific features of the Israelites from his biological family. They believe therefore, that Moses also understood, for example, the Sabbath and that the Israelites just could not keep the Sabbath, because the Egyptians had banned it. They assume that the Jews could retain all their religious and cultural knowledge. However, we must not forget that Moses himself was the first writer of the Bible, and before that, there was absolutely no record of the cultural and religious heritage of the Israelites!

The most important and fundamental issue for our consideration is, which calendar did Moses understand? How did he understand the beginning of the day, what was the beginning of the month for him, and how did he understand the beginning of the year? Only if we can resolve these questions can we comprehend what God wanted to tell Moses when He spoke to him in Exodus, Chapter 12, and began to teach him the type of the Passover, namely the sequence of the ritual processes through the exodus from Egypt, which we already examined a little in the first part of “Shadows of the Cross”.

Only if we include this in our consideration will we draw the right conclusions. But if we leave these questions unanswered and assume without further investigation that Moses, as an Israelite, received the instructions of God having a complete understanding of the old Jewish calendar, we come to the confusing contradictions of the two-Passover problem.

Many believe that Moses understood both calendar systems (the Jewish and the Egyptian) and therefore God would have spoken to him in Exodus using Israelite time measures. But as we will see, this is a fundamentally wrong assumption, because it does not take into account that the Hebrews had already lived 350 years in the land of the Egyptians, their feudal lords, when Moses was born. When God spoke to Moses, even 215 years of the most violent slavery had passed over the nation and culture of the Israelites. No nation could completely preserve its culture under these conditions. And this was certainly even worse for a people that had no written records of its culture and could only transmit their knowledge from generation to generation by the spoken word. For 215 years, they had been forced into service at those working hours that the Egyptians determined for them according to their calendar. The Israelites built the pyramids for the cult and the gods of the sun worshippers—buildings which overwhelm us with wonder still today. They were not just intertwined with the Egyptian culture. As they were serving the Egyptians as slaves, they were forced to give up all their religious services and adapt completely to the Egyptians. The Egyptian culture, like all sun worshiping cultures, was a purely despotic culture, and the statue of Daniel shows that all these cultures pass their basic doctrines from one age to the other, and this is the reason Babylonian sun worship still keeps its “hidden” place in the papal system.

The Israelite Sabbath to worship God the Creator was abolished by decree and replaced by sun-day (Sunday), to worship the god of the sun. A slave does not choose the day on which he rests; it was stipulated to him, if he was even allowed to rest one day. A slave does not choose when his day begins; it is stipulated to him, and a slave does not determine the beginnings of months or years. They are determined for him by his feudal lord. A slave does not attend a school of his people but is educated for slave labor in the “schools” of his feudal lord, at least the lucky ones who did not have to just stomp bricks. Slavery is a condition in which a human completely loses his autonomy and free will by force.

Even today, a small group of elite criminals who control all the money in the world are preparing a new enslavement. This time, not just for a small minority, but for all mankind. They want to force the whole of humanity to keep the sun worship religion like it was done long ago with the Israelites in Egypt. Under this circumstance, there is no room for your own calendar or a special day of rest like the Sabbath. After just a few years in slavery, the Israelites had probably already started to “forget” their special calendar and submitted to the military pressure of the ruling power. However, God guarantees us, as spiritual Israel today, that He will personally intervene so this will not happen again, but we must persevere and stay faithful under a pressure more vehement than has ever before existed in the history of mankind.

So, even if Moses was exposed to the influences of two cultures, he never learned the true creation calendar of Jehovah. He was under the influence of two cultures that did not know about the true creation calendar. The first culture was the Egyptians’, who kept a very special hybrid calendar of a lunar-solar-stellar nature, and the other was the culture of his biological parents who had forgotten the creation calendar. Thus, when God spoke to Moses in Exodus 12, it was for him like it is for us: he was “ignorant in terms of ancient Jewish practices” in two respects:

  1. He didn’t know the true creation calendar and it was never taught to him.
  2. He didn’t know the Jewish holidays because they had not yet been instituted by God.

The only special day that had been instituted by God, through creation long before, was the Sabbath, recurring every seventh day, and even this had been buried in oblivion during the slavery. Before the exodus from Egypt, the Jewish festivals had not even been set in their types. The Sabbath had existed 2500 years since the creation of Adam and had been kept by the patriarchs, like Noah and Abraham, but the Israelite culture 215 years after the beginning of slavery probably only knew that there was once something “special”, but they had stopped keeping the Sabbath.

Therefore, we may feel confidently comfortable in the shoes of Moses, if we now try to understand anew what God wants to explain to us in Exodus, Chapter 12. We do not know anything; we do not understand anything of the Jewish culture! We must be willing to think in the same way as Moses would have thought when he received the instructions for the type of the Passover. We must put on the shoes of Moses, who understood only one calendar, and that was the Egyptian one!

The Third Calendar

Whether we like it or not, if we want to put on the shoes of Moses, we have to learn the basic features of a third calendar: the ancient Egyptian calendar, which was the current and valid calendar of Moses at that time.

But don’t worry! The brains of my readers are already trained to think in different calendar systems, so it won’t be too difficult for you to understand this apparently rather complex Egyptian calendar. I will confine the issue to what is important to us. Fortunately, the hieroglyphs have been deciphered by the Rosetta Stone that was found in a marvelous way, so many ancient Egyptian writings in the impressive pyramids and tombs make it pretty clear today how the Egyptians understood their calendar. Actually, we know about this calendar far more than the creation calendar of God. Anyone who searches the Internet with the appropriate terms will find many websites that deal with this calendar.

1. The ancient Egyptian days began at sunrise. The sun was their supreme god (the father of the light bearer, Lucifer). So, when the first dawn became visible in the morning, Ra, the sun, began to reign. However, if the sun had completely set, a terrible time began for them. The night was the time of terror and fear, because their god “had gone to sleep”. I hear similar statements from the supporters of the lunar Sabbath doctrine, who say that the Jewish day began early in the morning and not at sunset. Thus, they violate the Bible and gain followers by seeding doubt and uncertainty. It’s interesting how they use the ancient Egyptian way of thinking to advertise their pagan worship to those Adventists who do not prayerfully study enough and do not have the remedy against this “leaven of the Sadducees”. They finally become completely controlled by them.

The idea that the day would begin in the morning at sunrise was already introduced at the very beginning of human history when Satan wanted to place his alleged father, the sun, in the position that belongs only to God the Creator, who definitely started the creation in the darkness (at night) when there was no light. “Let there be light” was the first act of creation, and these words were spoken at night when there was no light. Only the sun worshippers understand the nighttime as an intermediate state that does not really exist, and this causes them anxiety and discomfort. So, they try to discredit the time in which Jesus spent the most hours in prayer associated with His Father, preparing Himself by watching and praying for the work of the next day—or even the time when He began His passion in the garden of Gethsemane, where He made it possible for all our sins to be laid on Him, and repeatedly warned the disciples not to fall asleep but to watch and pray—as an “unimportant intermediate state”. This is so we can believe their “creation story” with a day beginning in the morning, which is diametrically opposed to the biblical account, “And the evening and the morning were, the first day”. Satan always tries to create confusion through his fellow servants, but we always discover his tricks when we study the ancient Babylonian religions and their offshoots, such as Egyptian sun worship.

If someone wants to tell us that the Jews understood the beginning of the day at dawn, and that we should agree with that, he wants to lure us into the trap of misinterpreting the creation calendar to draw false conclusions, which ultimately brings us to keep pagan practices and transgress the commandments of God. Some believe that different belief systems will coexist in heaven and that lunar Sabbath keepers will live there in perfect harmony with traditional seventh-day Sabbath keepers. No, brothers and sisters! Jesus warned us in the Bible hundreds of times of the fraud and the leaven (the false doctrines) of false teachers. If the verse that says that each one is judged only according to his knowledge is to be understood to mean that anyone who searched for the truth and went astray and drew wrong conclusions would also be saved, it would not have been necessary at all to warn of a scam, since in that case anyone who was deceived would also be in heaven, having only made a mistake. Then there would not even be a need to search for God and the truth, because there would be no difference between those who had found the “real truth” and those who had found the “false truth”.

How many “truths” are there? According to the Universal Church, there are as many truths as there are different religions and faiths. Indeed, they are gathering now in the worldwide ecumenical movement to be burnt up like straw. According to the statements in the Bible from the Creator, the only begotten Son of God the Father, there is only one truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) If the lunar Sabbath were the correct interpretation of God’s fourth commandment, everyone who “stubbornly” kept the Sabbath every seven days would be lost. If the reverse is true, may God have mercy on those who believed the lunar Sabbath lie, replaced the day of God the Creator with a day to worship of the mother of Satan, the moon goddess, and thus kept a pagan day of rest. It is therefore very important to know what the truth is, and we must search for it as if it were a matter of life and death. Indeed, it is a matter of our eternal life.

Jesus, on the question of the disciples as to what the signs of the end would be, answered that they should take heed that no one would deceive them. That means that in these last days, fraud will be particularly rampant. Therefore, examine the things that are brought before you in these days! Check the Orion message, examine the lunar Sabbath! Prove what is, at its core, in accordance with the teachings that were given to the last church of God through the messenger of God, Ellen G. White! Use your Bible! Check the prophets who were sent to you by the Bible and pray, pray, pray that the Holy Spirit might be given to you to distinguish the lies from the only existing and only real truth! There cannot be two differing truths about an issue. The word “truth” already excludes it. There is no plural of truth! There are no “truths”. No one who will be brought to transgress the commandments of God through fraud has an excuse, because if they were pure vessels, they would have received the Holy Spirit to be led into all truth. Jesus promised this. Will we make Him a liar?

Anyone who believes that the Jewish nation held sunrise to be the beginning of the day is right only for the period during the 215 years of slavery in Egypt when they had no other choice. But God, soon after the Exodus from Egypt, reeducated the Israelites as to the correct beginning of the day. More about that later. The ancient Egyptian days can be studied in quite a lot of detail at Ancient Egyptian Facts.

2. The beginning of the ancient Egyptian lunar month is explained very well on Wikipedia - The ancient Egyptian moon calendar [it is in German, so please use an online translator]. I limit myself to a summary that represents the key differences with respect to the Jewish calendar, as it was determined in the first part of the Shadow Study. In ancient Egypt, which was an important culture for various millennia, there were different calendar types, including a distinction between an administrative calendar and a religious calendar. We learned all this through temple records.

We can read on the aforementioned webpage how old these calendars really are:

The oldest documented references to lunar calendar data can be found from about 2350 BC in the pyramid texts. The use of astronomical records is already documented by King Wadji at 2880 BC.

Hence, some 800 years before Moses received the creation calendar from Jehovah, we have evidence that there was a definite satanic calendar in Egypt, in a nation of sun worship.

Let’s read more about this lunar calendar:

About 70 BC, Geminos of Rhodes described the ancient Egyptian lunar calendar as a “peculiar principle, which the Egyptians, in contrast to other cultures do not use for the determination of their year. For them, the sacred festivals are important. Their calendars are focused on this.” The declaration of Geminos aptly shows the mythological role of the Egyptian lunar calendars, whose central function was limited on the dating of the heavenly feasts, while the Egyptian administration calendar acted as a year calendar.

The priesthood had the task of determining the heavenly feasts. This was done by competent astronomers, who announced the festival days by the “Provost” (“The Greatest of Observers”) through observations and calculations. After the proclamation, the actual date was marked in the administration calendar and recorded in the diary of the temple.

We see from the text that the ancient Egyptian lunar calendar had nothing to do with determining the years, but with the determination of the “sacred” heavenly feasts. We can already see from the term “heavenly feasts” that it was about the worship of heavenly bodies (sun and moon), which is idolatry, the worship of created things.

But, how did the new lunar month of the ancient Egyptians begin?

Unlike the other ancient Near Eastern countries, the lunar month did not begin a short time after the new moon with the first crescent (new light), but with the first day of non-visibility of the moon at dawn. The length of the period between the old (last waning) and the new light (first crescent) is dependent upon factors including the geographical location of the observation site. In southern latitudes of the northern hemisphere, the duration of non-visibility of the moon is shorter than in northern latitudes, leading to longer observation phases of the moon in the southern areas compared to northern regions.

First, we recognize that the ancient Egyptians—as explained before—depended heavily on the sunrise. Hence, their lunar month beginning logically would not depend on a sighting of the first visibility of the first crescent at sunset, but on its counterpart, the first non-visibility of the waning moon at dawn. Thus, while the ancient Jews began their months according to the first crescent (“new light”), the ancient Egyptian lunar month always began with the astronomical new moon at dawn, when there was no “old light” visible anymore.

This leads to a shift of the beginning of the lunar month between Egyptians and Israelites, which results from the difference of the duration of the astronomical new moon. The time range of the non-visibility in this ancient time period, can be seen for all months in a table that has been attached to the article on Wikipedia. The duration is about 30 - 33 hours in the months that are important for us (March, April). We will come back to this table in detail, and we will determine the exact beginning of the ancient Egyptian lunar month and how it relates to the ancient Jewish calculation. We still want to put on the shoes of Moses, who understood all this, as he had been taught by the ancient Egyptians in the school of Pharaoh’s palace.

3. The ancient Egyptian year was dependent on a star (Sirius) and the flooding of the Nile and they were already familiar with the 365-day cycle like we are, but they did not have any leap days or leap years. That was introduced later in the third century before Christ.

At Wikipedia - The ancient Egyptian year [in German, please use Google translator] we read regarding this theme:

The Egyptian calendar was a calendar based on nature with a stellar orientation.

The beginning of the year since the earliest times was determined by the heliacal rising of the star Sirius and the flooding of the Nile. Later, an administrative calendar was also introduced, which also depended on Sirius as a “wandering year calendar”. The calendar reform of Ptolemy III in 237 BC resulted in the introduction of a leap day every four years as the sixth Heriu-renpet-day that was added to the normal year. With the death of Ptolemy III, the leap year rule ended for the moment in the official administrative calendar. However, the two Egyptian calendar forms continued to be used in parallel in the aftermath. It should be reserved for Augustus to be the first Roman emperor, in the year 26 BC, who reestablished the calendar form of Ptolemy III according to the Julian calendar.

The New Year’s Day of the Egyptian calendar in early times was tied to the flooding of the Nile in lower or upper Egypt. Possible periods are considered as 4213-4186 BC for Elephantine and 2783-2764 BC for Memphis. As an additional criterion we have to watch for the seventy-day invisibility of Sirius, which was chosen in ancient Egypt as the period of mummification. Taking Elephantine as the observation point, this event only happened in the time period from 4280 to 4160 BC, while for Memphis as reference point the required time was given just since the New Kingdom. Ancient Egyptian texts show that the seventy-day invisibility was already known before the 18th Dynasty, and Memphis can be excluded as source of reference.

In this ancient Egyptian calendar, we clearly see once more the worship of the heavenly bodies as gods. The day was dependent on the birth of the sun (sunrise). The beginning of the month was tied to the moon and—as we shall see later more clearly—to a legend about the gods of the Egyptians, which was associated with the death and resurrection of one of their deities, Horus. And the year was dependent on the star Sirius.

In many religions, there is a symbol representing the “trinity” of the sun, moon, and a star...

Islam

The fact that ancient Egyptian sun worship still takes place even today is evident in the largest sundial on the planet—St. Peter’s Square in Rome, whose “clock hand” is an original Egyptian obelisk... Search the web for it! You can also find some movies on YouTube that show the sundial of the Vatican in operation, and that it has been pointing for centuries to a certain date in 2012.

St. Peter's Square

Perhaps I will write more on this later in the category Behind Enemy Lines.

If we put on the shoes of Moses, we realize that God must have had a problem with Moses—a problem that we completely ignored by reading the Bible superficially. Moses and the Israelites of the captivity had lost their original culture. One cannot assume that Moses would have understood God if He had spoken to him in the nomenclature of the Jewish calendar, because it had never been taught to him.

But God doesn’t speak to us in riddles. He wants us to understand Him. Much of what God says to the prophets is hidden in symbols and even in images, but when God began to speak to Moses in Chapter 12 of Exodus, it was not about prophecies that were to be decoded by later generations after centuries or millennia; it was about clear instructions, because ten days after the declaration, the lamb already had to be taken aside, and another 4 days later it had to be slaughtered so the Israelites could escape that terrible angel of death that was ordered to kill all the firstborn. They had to understand exactly which day to paint their doorposts with the blood of the lamb.

If God, at that moment, had required Moses to first decrypt what kind of day and time reference, and in which calendar system God was really speaking, this plague probably would not have passed by the Israelites, because Moses would have failed, since he did not understand the Jewish calendar. This is the first chapter in the Bible where God gives clear instructions concerning the times of the Passover, and this in a situation that requires the clear understanding of what was said. Any misunderstanding would have been fatal, and it was about life or death.

Let us read some verses of Jehovah’s instructions again, and this time, we entirely put on the shoes of Moses:

God’s Marching Orders

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, (Exodus 12:1)

All of the following verses that we will consider came directly from the mouth of Jehovah. This is how they were heard by His servant Moses, who did not understand the time measures as Jewish times, like we had previously and incorrectly assumed. He did not know the Jewish creation calendar, like how we do not know it nowadays. He understood the verbal information that came from God in accordance with his reference system, the ancient Egyptian calendar.

However, God already began then to teach Moses some differences to lead him slowly back to the original creation calendar that He instituted. God taught Moses the creation calendar, and if we understand those lessons in the reference system of Moses, He is teaching us too.

First, God declared that the number of the creation calendar month was not in conformity with the number of the current Egyptian calendar month which Moses thought to be correct. The Egyptian months were called “Pesdjenet” and were numbered from 1 to 12 (X). As the flooding of the Nile and Sirius defined the first ancient Egyptian month, and the wandering year calendar was probably still valid, which was also determined by Sirius, the moment when Jehovah spoke to Moses was neither in the last nor the first ancient Egyptian month of the year. For Moses, the following statement must have been a big surprise:

This month [chôdesh = first crescent, new light] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (Exodus 12:2)

With these words, God referred to the first visible FC moon in late March or early April in a year around 1500 B.C. and with this simple phrase explained to Moses two “novelties” for his understanding of the calendar.

  1. The first crescent at sunset is the sign of a new month.
  2. Exactly this month that is beginning should be the first month of the “new” Jewish calendar. All the other months were dependent on it.

That is easy to understand—for Moses and even for us. And yet, it was very unusual for Moses, because for him it was not “normal “ to look out at sunset for the first crescent, nor for this to be the first month, because he was used to a completely different calendar system. It is important to understand that it was not explained to Moses that at some point a leap month would be added, and furthermore, the beginning of the day was not reestablished yet. That would come much later, after the Exodus from Egypt. We should not read into the text something that isn’t there. For Moses, it was hard enough to digest that he had to learn a new method for the monthly count and the determination of the beginning of the month. Moses still persisted in his view that the days began with the appearance of the sun at dawn and lasted until the next morning.

Now we read the next of Jehovah’s instructions:

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: (Exodus 12:3)

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (Exodus 12:5-6)

At this point I would like to talk about the table of the time differences between the first non-sighting of the “old light” and the “new light” (FC moon) that I mentioned earlier. This small table at Wikipedia - Ancient Egyptian lunar calendar tells us that in the region of Memphis, there was a time difference of 30 hours in March, and of 33 hours in April, between these two phases of the moon that are interesting for us. We must now try to figure out how many “date days” difference this means, if we compare the different beginnings of the month of the two calendar systems. At first glance, 30-33 hours seems to point to a time difference of more than one “date day” (24 hours). But is that really so?

To examine this, I’ve created a summary table that shows the relationship between the two month beginnings, Egyptian and Israelite.

A New Month

The table shows that Egypt’s new month must have begun at sunrise of the morning of that day on whose evening the first crescent moon became visible, now spoken in our reference system. This corresponds to a time difference of up to 12 hours, or morning and evening of the same day, in our conception of a day. However, someone might argue that the time difference of 30 - 33 hours in some cases could be shifted in a way that a difference of an entire date day would occur. First, I thought so too, until I discovered that the inscriptions of the Egyptian tombs tell us even more about the lunar days, and that there were two special lunar days, which are already represented in the above chart. Those cement the fact that only the order of the determining events shown could occur in practice. In the same article on Wikipedia we read:

First and Second Day of the Lunar Month

The ancient Egyptian lunar month always began at sunrise, similarly to the ancient Egyptian day. Normally, the first non-sighting of the waning moon after the last “old light” fell upon the twelfth night hour of the day before. Just as the sun god Ra “renewed” himself in the night of his invisibility, in the ancient Egyptian mythology the first day of the lunar month symbolized the “Day of the renewal of Horus” with the subsequent “birth” that began in the first night of the first day of the lunar month, and was finished at sunrise of the second day of the lunar month.

The last sighting of the old light represented therefore usually always the last day of the lunar month. In the coffin texts, the second day of the lunar month is considered as the day when the moon is small.” [The first small crescent after the astronomical new moon.] A Ptolemaic text from the Khonsu Temple at Karnak, describes the first two lunar days of the month, “The conception of the moon is on the day of invisibility and it is born on the second day of the lunar month.” It is clear from the pyramid texts of the Old Kingdom that the second day of the lunar month was connected with the “celestial ascent of the dead king” as the “day of his coronation and appearance”: “Your appearance belongs to the second day of the lunar month.”

Even for religious reasons, the two lunar days had to be placed so that at the first occurrence of a non-sighting at dawn and at the second at dawn, the sighting of the first crescent could be reported. Therefore, all other possibilities for arranging the diagram above in a different way are excluded. There was only this possibility. This makes a difference of half a day. The ancient Egyptian month always started half a day earlier than the Jewish, on the morning of the same day on which at the evening—in our time understanding—the new Jewish month began.

In the reference system of Moses, at the moment when God began to speak to him, the ancient Egyptian month had already started a little earlier. To be more precise, it had begun in the morning of the day on which Jehovah showed him the first crescent at evening. However, let us remember: the start of the day had not yet been corrected by God! This should happen later, after the Exodus from Egypt. We all know the corresponding verse in Leviticus 23:32, that they should celebrate the Sabbath “from even to even,” and we relate this very truly to the reintroduction of Sabbath observance, as it had been kept by the Israelites until their captivity in Egypt. But we hadn’t come that far in the “calendar course” of Jehovah when Moses received the instructions from God for the order of the Passover preparations in Exodus 12.

Hence, at that time, Moses still believed that the day had begun in the morning. That God had shown him the first crescent in the evening just confirmed for him what the Egyptians believed, namely that the “day” on which Jehovah spoke to him was the first day of the month. For the Egyptians and for Moses, this first day had already begun in the morning and Moses had not yet received the information that the day would begin in the evening. He certainly was surprised to have received a new method for determining the beginning of the month in the evening, but he could not even grasp why God had so ordered it.

On which day should Moses therefore separate the Passover lamb? On the tenth day of the month. And when would this tenth day begin for Moses? Still in the morning and not in the evening.

On which day then was Moses to slaughter the Passover lamb? On the fourteenth day of the month. And when would this fourteenth day begin according to Moses’ understanding? Still in the morning and not in the evening.

When should the Passover lamb be eaten? In the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. And this was according to Moses’ understanding still the same day on which he should kill the lamb, and not yet a new day.

Therefore, if Jehovah spoke to Moses and said:

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (Exodus 12:6)

Hence, on which Jewish day AFTER the redefinition of the beginning of the day (which was done later) would the Passover lamb have to be slaughtered and prepared? And, on which Jewish day would it have to be eaten?

I would like to ask you to first to ponder over these questions before you look at the solution!

...

If we now draw a diagram of our new findings with Moses’ understanding of the day in the reference system of the ancient Egyptian day, we will find something truly amazing:

Passover of Moses

Against all current doctrine, we found that the preparations for the Passover had to be carried out not before the evening of Nissan 14, but already before the evening of Nissan 13, because this corresponded to the ancient Egyptian 14th day of the month (Pesdjenet-X 14). This is how Moses thought about and understood God’s instructions at that stage of his calendar knowledge. Therefore, the entire preparation for Passover moves forward by exactly 24 hours.

Finally, having deciphered the ancient type of the Passover correctly, we can now venture out to correct our ideas about the Passover feast. First, we add the corresponding weekdays of the antitype, the Passover feast in AD 31, to the chart as we did at the beginning of this part II of the Shadow Series. And we will realize that we have solved two problems at once:

Passover of Moses 2

The answer to the question of what weekday of the year AD 31 “the anti-typical Passover Lamb” Jesus would have to be separated, follows from a simple reading of this new chart, and is: Sunday, May 20, AD 31.

Let us recall the preceding article. Quite early on, we recognized a big problem with some statements of Ellen G. White, where she compared Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with the separation of this sacrificial lamb, and said at the same time that it was a Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

Never before in His earthly life had Jesus permitted such a demonstration. He clearly foresaw the result. It would bring Him to the cross. But it was His purpose thus publicly to present Himself as the Redeemer. He desired to call attention to the sacrifice that was to crown His mission to a fallen world. While the people were assembling at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, He, the antitypical Lamb, by a voluntary act set Himself apart as an oblation. It would be needful for His church in all succeeding ages to make His death for the sins of the world a subject of deep thought and study. Every fact connected with it should be verified beyond a doubt. It was necessary, then, that the eyes of all people should now be directed to Him; the events which preceded His great sacrifice must be such as to call attention to the sacrifice itself. After such a demonstration as that attending His entry into Jerusalem, all eyes would follow His rapid progress to the final scene. {DA 571.2}

It was on the first day of the week that Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. {DA 569.3}

But this did not correspond to the doctrine that the Passover lamb should have been slaughtered before the evening of Friday, Nissan 14, because then the antitypical separation of Jesus at His entry into Jerusalem should have taken place on Monday, Nissan 10. Our new interpretation of the Passover feast type, which is ceremonial, correctly tells us that the slaughter of the Passover lambs was not to be executed on Nissan 14 (Friday) but on Nissan 13 (Thursday). Sunday fits perfectly into the overall picture only in this case. Jesus separated Himself from His people on the first day of the week in correct antitypical manner, in the knowledge that this triumphal entry would mean His death sentence. The Ellen White problem mentioned in the previous article is therefore perfectly solved!

We now understand why none of the synoptic evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, made any specific mention that Jesus and His disciples had advanced any particular rite by 24 hours, and had slaughtered or eaten the sacrificial lamb one day earlier against the conviction of the people or priests. We must logically assume that the Jews of Jesus’ time still had the correct understanding of the types, and the ceremonies had remained pure.

There is another question we must ask ourselves. What was the antitype to which the slaughter and eating of the Passover lamb pointed? So far, the doctrine has always been that the antitype for the slaughter and eating of the Passover lamb is Jesus’ death on the cross, about the ninth hour. But that does not correspond to this new arrangement of events. Therefore, we have to correct our original diagram of Passover events in relation to Christ’s sufferings and actions as we understand the process now.

Now we see which ceremonial rites correspond indeed with the real actions and sufferings of Christ:

The true Passover

Three events and actions agree precisely:

1. The eating of the Passover meal of the Jews and the eating of the Passover meal of Jesus with His disciples. Therefore, the time of eating the Passover lamb directly marks not the death of Jesus on the cross, but another important event: the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The body of the Passover lamb symbolizes the bread, the body of Christ, who would soon be sacrificed. And the blood of the Passover lamb symbolized the wine, Jesus’ blood, that was soon to be shed for us.

Again, this view is fully confirmed by Ellen G. White. I began this part II of the Shadow Series in the previous article with an appropriate quote from her to show how fast we skim through texts and do not understand them properly:

These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” That same night He was taken by wicked hands to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave sheaf our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, “the first fruits of them that slept,” a sample of all the resurrected just, whose “vile body” shall be changed, and “fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Verse 20; Philippians 3:21.

In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. {GC 399.3–4}

She said that this was the very same day on which the Passover lamb had been slaughtered for 1500 years. Which calendar reference system does she use here? Certainly not that of the Jews. She speaks to us and not to the Jews. Here, she makes use of our understanding of the days and uses her own reference system. Definitely the Jewish Nissan 14 began on Thursday evening and the lambs were slaughtered on Thursday afternoon. For Ellen G. White and for us this is the very same day, and Jesus instituted the feast of the Lord’s supper exactly at the beginning of the Jewish Nissan 14. All in harmony!

2. The waving of the sheaf of firstfruits coincided with the resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week. Ellen G. White also confirmed this concordance of the type with its antitype in the previous quote: And as the antitype of the wave sheaf our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, “the first fruits of them that slept,” a sample of all the resurrected just, whose “vile body” shall be changed, and “fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Verse 20; Philippians 3:21. {GC 399.3}

In this way, Jesus fulfilled His own prophecy, as He said that He would be able to rebuild the temple in three days. He spoke about the temple of His Body:

And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. (Matthew 26:61)

The time calculation of the Jews was inclusive. That is, even if just a small portion of a day was touched, the entire day was counted. Jesus died on the cross on at the ninth hour (about 15:00 hours) on Friday. This was the 14th of Nissan, the first day of the “destroyed” temple. Resting from His works on earth, Jesus spent the entire Sabbath, Nissan 15, in the grave. The Creator of the Universe rested once more on the seventh-day Sabbath from His work! This time, it was a “High Sabbath” (John 19:31), because the ceremonial Sabbath of the first day of the feast of unleavened bread fell exactly onto a seventh-day Sabbath. This was the second day of the “destroyed” temple. But Jesus still rested almost the whole night of Nissan 16 till the break of day. He rose in the darkest hour just before dawn. This was the first day of the week (Sunday) as mentioned several times in the Bible. And because a part of another day was touched, this half-day counted as the third day of the “destroyed” temple.

I am often asked what it means that Jesus spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth like Jonah in the belly of the whale...

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40)

Please take a close look at the diagram above. In the night of Nissan 14 the suffering of Jesus began. After the Passover meal, He went with His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane and took upon Himself all our sins. This He compared prophetically with being in the belly of the whale, in which Jonah was separated from any communion with God or man, feeling the great burden of sin. To some extent, Jonah had been covered in darkness by the load of sin. So also Jesus. This was the first night in the heart of the earth for Jesus. Then came the day of Nissan 14. The night trials were followed by the day trials, the strokes, the taunts—but the biggest burden of all was our sins. He endured everything for us, even the crucifixion and death. This was the first day in the heart of the earth. Then, Jesus literally rested in the heart of the earth in the grave, another night (night 2, Nissan 15), another day (day 2, Nissan 15) and another night (night 3, Nissan 16) until He rose right before the morning of Nissan 16. One day was still missing for the fulfillment. Jesus said to Mary Magdalene at the grave when it was already daytime:

“Touch me not; 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.” (John 20:17)

The Spirit of Prophecy explains to us in the Desire of Ages on page 790:

And Mary went her way to the disciples with the joyful message.

Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father. He ascended to the heavenly courts, and from God Himself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sins of men had been ample, that through His blood all might gain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made with Christ, that He would receive repentant and obedient men, and would love them even as He loves His Son. Christ was to complete His work, and fulfill His pledge to “make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Isa. 13:12. All power in heaven and on earth was given to the Prince of Life, and He returned to His followers in a world of sin, that He might impart to them of His power and glory. {DA 790.2–3}

Jesus’ suffering service did not end before He had ascended to heaven in the morning of the first day of the week and brought the entire burden of the sin of mankind into the heavenly sanctuary and sprinkled it on the curtain of the sanctuary. Then He was ready to receive the confirmation from His Father that His blood had been accepted. He was thus relieved of the burden of sin and was sure that His mission had been successful. The missing third day was Jesus’ brief visit to His Father in heaven before He returned to earth to stay yet another 40 days with the disciples until He would ultimately ascend to heaven to intercede there for us as our High Priest until His second coming.

Many wonder why the heavenly sanctuary would have to be cleansed since 1844. They think it had never been contaminated. The exact understanding of the types and antitypes lead us now to the understanding of when exactly the moment was when the heavenly sanctuary was contaminated with all the sins of mankind, whether past or future: Shortly after the resurrection, Jesus Himself brought the sins there and “contaminated” the sanctuary so that He could later (since 1844) begin the ministry of reconciliation for our sins in the Heavenly Judgment Day and clean the curtain of the temple from all our sins.

And once again we see how accurate God’s time schedule is when it comes to the fulfillment of the types and antitypes. The sheaf of firstfruits was not waved just before dawn in the temple, but only in the course of the morning. So, when we say that Jesus’ resurrection was symbolized by the waving of the sheaf, it is only basically correct, but does not exactly meet the type. Jesus was the first fruits of all the risen and He had to present Himself before the Father in the heavenly sanctuary to receive the approbation of His work. He had refused to be touched by Mary Magdalene just after dawn, but later in the day He allowed the apostles. The difference was that He had already appeared to the Father: the first fruits of all had been received by the Father in the throne room of the heavenly sanctuary. This is what the waving of the firstfruit sheaf precisely symbolizes, and it fulfills the prophecy of the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth; Jesus’ entire passion from Gethsemane to the final approbation of His sacrifice by the Father.

3. The crucifixion of Jesus coincided with the daily slaughter of the evening sacrifice. As I said before, it was impossible for Friday to have been the preparation day for the Passover, because if the day of preparation for the Sabbath and the day of preparation for the Passover coincided, the times for the sacrifices were moved so that the daily sacrifice didn’t take place in the ninth hour. According to the Mishna (Pesachim 5:1), in this case the evening sacrifice would have already taken place between 12:30 p.m. (slaughter) and 1:30 p.m. (offering) and this would have created a problem with the following passage of the Desire of Ages:

When the loud cry, “It is finished,” came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. In this place the Shekinah had dwelt. Here God had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. No one but the high priest ever lifted the veil separating this apartment from the rest of the temple. He entered in once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people. But lo, this veil is rent in twain. The most holy place of the earthly sanctuary is no longer sacred.

All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God’s Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.” “By His own blood” He entereth “in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Heb. 10:7; 9:12. {DA 756.5–757.1}

This Friday, May 25, AD 31, was a normal preparation day for the Sabbath during the spring feasts and Nissan 14. It did not coincide with the preparations for the Passover that always had to be done on Nissan 13, as I hopefully was able to demonstrate in this article. This statement of Ellen G. White is true and again agrees exactly with the real events. Jesus died at the ninth hour, and this was exactly the time to slaughter the daily evening sacrifice. Now it becomes clear that the direct symbol of Jesus’ death on the cross was not the Passover lamb, but the daily sacrificial lamb that had to be offered for the sins of the people. The sacrificial system itself was abolished at once by the death of Jesus on the cross. The curtain ripped in two, destroyed by the hand of God the Father Himself from above. Type and antitype of a prophecy that had lasted for four millennia had met, and the prophecy was fulfilled. The daily sacrifice was no longer necessary.

In the next article, I will explore other important aspects of this solution to the two-Passover problem and answer a counterattack against my studies from the lunar Sabbath keepers...

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