40 PROOFS Pentecost

Is Sivan 6th!

 

                                 The truth about Pentecost cannot remain buried under error

                                 and deception forever.  The day is soon coming when the

                                 WHOLE WORLD will celebrate God's Holy Day on the

                                 right day -- at the right time -- in the right manner!  Here

                                 are 40 Questions -- and 40 Proofs -- you need to ask your-

                                 self, and your minister or church -- about Pentecost!

 

                                                            William F. Dankenbring

 

Proof #1 -- Regarding Pentecost, Deuteronomy 16:9 says to "count seven weeks" (49 days).  Leviticus 23:15 says "seven . . . sabbaths shall be complete  to you."  There is no such thing as seven complete or full Sabbaths!  Therefore, this word "Sabbath" must here be understood as the command is given in Deuteronomy 16:9, as "weeks."  Leviticus 25:8 says "number seven sabbaths of years."  The context shows "sabbaths" here must mean "weeks" or "sevens" of years.

 

Question:  Why does Worldwide Church of God, Church of God International, and others, insist the word in Leviticus 23:15 can only refer to the weekly Sabbath -- what is a WHOLE OR COMPLETE "SABBATH"?

 

Proof #2 -- Pentecost is known as the "Feast of Weeks," or Shavuot, in the Hebrew -- not the "Feast of Sabbaths" (Num.28:26; Deut.16:10). 

 

Question:  If Pentecost is to be figured by counting 7 literal "Sabbaths," then why isn't its Hebrew name "Feast of Sabbaths" instead of "Feast of Weeks"?

 

Proof #3 -- 15 Bible translations translate the Hebrew shabbat  and shabbatoth  as "weeks" in Leviticus 23.  For example, the Moffatt, New International Version, and Hebrew Tanakh. 

 

Question:  If "shabbat" CANNOT be translated as "week" or "weeks" as CGI, WWCG, and others maintain, WHY DO LEADING SCHOLARS AND TRANSLATORS OF THE BIBLE translate it that way?

 

Proof #4 -- Deuteronomy 16:9 uses the word shavuah  which ALWAYS means "week," NEVER "sabbath."  It parallels Leviticus 23:15, and therefore interprets it's meaning as counting "weeks." 

 

Question:  This being the case, HOW can "shabbat" in Leviticus 23:15 possibly refer to "sabbaths,"  since the parallel expression in Deuteronomy 16:9  can NEVER refer to the sabbath?

 

Proof #5 -- The Greek Septuagint, translated by 70 Hebrew priests and scribes about 250 B.C., translated the passage in Leviticus 23 as "weeks," and states clearly that the counting is to begin the day after the "FIRST SABBATH" or holy day of Passover and Unleavened Bread! -- NOT the "weekly sabbath" during the Feast!

 

Question:  How could the Septuagint have been in error on such a most important matter, and the calculation of one of the annual holy days?

 

Proof #6 -- The Septuagint was the OFFICIAL Jewish translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, during the time of the Second Temple, showing how the counting of Pentecost was understood by the scribes and priests of that time.

 

Question:  If The Septuagint was in error, then, WHY didn't the priests and scribes back in Jerusalem criticize it publicly, and denounce its "flagrant errors" on such a vital doctrine?

 

Proof #7 -- The Septuagint was often quoted and used by Christ and the apostles in the New Testament.  Their quotations from this version shows that it was accepted by them for instruction, and highly valued in spreading the message of Christ to the whole Greek-speaking world. 

 

Question:If the Septuagint was wrong in Pentecost, then why didn't Christ or the apostles ever point this fact out, and state it clearly, so people would not be confused?

 

Proof #8 -- In the Greek and Syriac languages, the word "week" and "sabbath" are interchangeable -- that is, the word "sabbath" can and does sometimes mean "week" (Matt.28:1; Mark 16:2, 9).

 

Question:  Since all scholars admit in the Greek language "sabbath" can and often should be translated "week," and Greek is very similar to Hebrew and derived from Hebrew originally, then why wouldn't the same be true of the Hebrew language?

 

Proof #9 -- The word "sabbath" can also be translated "cease, celebrate, rest, put away, fail, rid, still, take away," as well as "week," "seven" (Lev.25:8).  See Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Hebrew dictionary word #7673. Obviously, it does NOT always have to mean "sabbath."  Of course "Sabbath" comes from "shabbat"!  That is not the issue.  The issue is, whether"shabbat" can ever be translated OTHER than "sabbath" -- and all Bible Concordances and Lexicons show it can!

 

Question:  Then why do CGI and Worldwide and others belabor the point that 'sabbath" can NEVER mean "week," and try to prove this point by showing a whole page from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, listing the places the word "sabbath" occurs, and pointing out that in every case IT derives from "shabbat"?    Am I missing something here?  SO WHAT????   My dear friends -- what else would you EXPECT "Sabbath" to be translated from?

 

Proof #10 -- The word Ha-Shabbat, "The Sabbath," in Leviticus 23:11 denotes one of the preceding festival days.  The context is talking about the Sabbaths or Holy Days of Passover and Unleavened Bread.  If the weekly Sabbath were intended here, then to avoid confusion, the verse should clearly show that fact by stating "from the weekly  sabbath" -- but Ha Shabbat clearly would suggest that the ANNUAL Passover Sabbath just discussed was the subject of the verse.

 

Question:  In order to avoid this confusion, then why didn't God inspired Moses to speak of the "weekly sabbath" here?  Could it be because He didn't mean the weekly Sabbath?

 

Proof #11 -- The word "sabbath" is also used in Leviticus 23 in reference to the holy day of Atonement (verse 32), the Feast of Trumpets (verse 24), and the Feast of Tabernacles (verse 39).  Therefore, the use of the word "sabbath" in verse 11 to refer to the First Day of Unleavened Bread is not unusual or out of place.

 

Question:  Since "Sabbath" can and often does refer to the annual holy days, WHY do CGI and Worldwide and others insist that it cannot mean the First Day of Unleavened Bread in Leviticus 23:11?

 

Proof #12 -- Most of the early Christians were Jews, Pharisees, who were staunch upholders of the Law, Torah, and customs of the Jews.  The Jewish people during the time of Christ, led by the Pharisees, observed Pentecost on Sivan 6th.  Jesus began His ministry by preaching a sermon in a Jewish synagogue on the "day of weeks," or "feast of weeks" -- Pentecost (Luke 4:16).  Although He corrected the Pharisees countless times for hypocrisy, being too rigid in their Sabbath observance, etc., He never once  criticized them for observing Pentecost on the wrong day!

 

Question:  If the Pharisees were observing Pentecost on the wrong day, why did Jesus preach to them on that very day in their synagogue?  Why was He worshiping with them on that very day?  And if they were meeting on the wrong day, why didn't He take that opportunity to tell them so?

 

Proof #13 -- Jesus Christ said that the Pharisees "sit in Moses' seat" and that we are to observe and do "everything" they tell us to from the law of Moses (Matthew 23:1-2).  Thus Jesus acknowledged the authority of the Pharisees in matters of the law, including the holy days.  Where He disagreed with their severity, He plainly showed us in the gospel accounts.  Thus His quiet acceptance of the Jewish Pentecost PROVES He did not disagree with their reckoning.

 

Question:  Since Jesus Christ acknowledged the authority of the Pharisees as  "sitting in Moses' seat," shouldn't we do the same?  What right do we have to criticize what our Messiah and Saviour has endorsed? 

 

Proof #14 -- The apostle Paul said he was a Pharisee, was taught at the feel of Gamaliel, and as a Pharisee observed all the laws of God blamelessly (Acts 23:6; Phil.3:4-6).  Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ" (I Cor.11:2).  He kept Pentecost on Sivan 6, setting us an example. 

 

Question:  Was Paul a liar?  Was his example invalid for us? 

 

Proof #15 -- Josephus plainly says the wave sheaf offering was made on Nisan 16, the day after the Passover feast, and that the count of the omer began on that day (Antiquities, bk.3, chapter 10, part 5). He was also of the priestly line, and a Pharisee.  He shows that the people all followed the teachings of the Pharisees -- not the Sadducees (Ant., 13:10:5-6).  Thus the Pharisees taught the people and ran the synagogues, which were a Pharisee invention. 

 

Question:  Why then do critics of the Sivan 6, Pharisee calculation of Pentecost, reject the Pharisees and cling to a practice of the small number of Sadducees, whom the people did not follow? 

 

Proof #16 -- Who were the Sadducees?  Josephus tells us they were a sect to which only the rich, priestly class belonged, and did not believe in angels, demons, a resurrection or afterlife.  Paul, in the book of Acts, confirms this (Acts 23:6-8).  The Sadducees, therefore, were far from the truth of God.  They set no example for the Church of God to follow!

 

Question:  WHY then do the modern remnant churches of God REJECT the Pharisees, and embrace the error of the apostate Sadducees?  Why do the CGI and WWCG and others side with the Sadducees who were after Paul's head -- the ENEMIES of the gospel?

 

Proof #17 -- Jesus Christ also rebuked the Sadducees, saying, "Ye do ERR, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God" (Matt.22:29).  He had nothing good to say about them.  Although He rebuked the Pharisees on occasion because of their spiritual hypocrisy and wickedness (Matt.23), at other times He acknowledged them when they were right.  But He never said that about the Sadducees, whom He called "ignorant"! 

 

Question:  Why do the modern churches of God follow a sect of whom Jesus Christ had NOTHING GOOD TO SAY, BUT CALLED THEM "IGNORANT OF THE SCRIPTURES"?

 

Proof #18 -- The Sadducees, who counted the wave sheaf from the Sunday following the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, were antedated in this practice by the Samaritans.  The Samaritans were a religious sect north of the Jews, who were Gentiles that settled in the land of the northern ten tribes after they went into captivity (II Kings 17).  They were pagans.  They blended or amalgamated their pagan beliefs, and combined them with the Torah, or laws of Israel, which they learned from the pagan, apostate priests of Jeroboam (II Kings 17:24-41).

 

Question:  Should we follow the practices of the apostate Samaritans?

 

Proof #19 --  The Sadducees, therefore, were following the apostate tradition of the Samaritans, who learned it from the apostate priests of Jeroboam -- whose kingdom was taken into captivity because of their sins and idolatry and error!

 

Question:  If we follow this example and practice, then won't we suffer the SAME PUNISHMENT, and go into captivity and slavery? 

 

Proof #20 -- Jesus Christ discussed the Samaritan religion.  He said to a woman of Samaria, "Ye worship ye know not  what [demons]:  we know what we worship:  for salvation is of the JEWS" (John 4:22).  Therefore, we should follow the JEWISH practice -- and the Jews as a people have always kept Pentecost on Sivan 6, or counting from Nisan 16!

 

Question:  Should we follow the pagan Samaritans, whom Jesus said worshipped they know not what?  Should we follow the customs of the IGNORANT and idolatrous Samaritans?

 

Proof #21 -- Jesus Christ said the Sadducees had no legal authority or spiritual power or understanding or knowledge (Matt.22:29-34).  Nor did the Samaritans, He stated (John 4:22).  Therefore they have no authority over our worship whatsoever, and we should ignore their customs and teachings.  If the ignorant lead the ignorant, they both remain ignorant!

 

Question: Should we follow the ignorant and spiritually bankrupt if we hope to achieve and receive salvation?  If salvation is of the JEWS, as Jesus said, should we follow the Samaritans and Sadducees instead?

 

Proof #22 -- Paul was taught by Gamaliel, a highly regarded scholar and leader of the Pharisees (Acts 5:34; 22:3).  He was taught the exact legal requirements of the Torah, or Law of God.  Jesus said except our righteousness EXCEED that of the super-righteous Pharisees, we will not even be in the kingdom of God! (Matt.5:20).

 

Question:  If we must be MORE righteous than the Pharisees, who obeyed God's Law and observed Pentecost  on Sivan 6, what will happen to us if we are LESS righteous, and BREAK God's Law, and observe Pentecost on a DIFFERENT DAY?

 

Proof #23 -- Paul observed the "day of weeks" or "feast of weeks," even on his missionary or evangelist travels to Europe.  He entered a synagogue and preached "on the sabbath day" (Acts 13:14-16, Greek, "day of weeks").  This was Pentecost.  Since the synagogue was OPEN that day, and the Jews were holding a sacred service, Paul was able to preach to them.  If he was not observing the same day they were, the synagogue would have been empty!

 

Question:  Why was Paul going into a synagogue on Sivan 6, to observe the "feast of weeks," if he followed a different tradition and observed a different day?

 

Proof #24 -- Paul "hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the DAY OF PENTECOST" (Acts 20:16).  The book of Acts nowhere shows there was any dispute between Paul and the religious leaders of the Jews about the day of Pentecost.  All Judaism, all the people of Judea except for the few Sadducees, observed Pentecost on Sivan 6th.  If Paul did not, as a Christian, continue observing the same day all the Jews observed, there would have been much controversy over this fact -- it would have been an explosive issue in the book of Acts, and New Testament.  The silence in the New Testament about any such controversy is deafening -- and proof positive that there was no disagreement on this issue.

 

Question:  Why does the entire New Testament nowhere mention ANY CONTROVERSY AT ALL if Paul and the early Christian Church observed a different day than the Pharisees and the vast, overwhelming majority of the Jews?

 

Proof #25 -- Paul told king Festus, when brought before him, "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all" (Acts 25:8).   If he were observing a different Pentecost than Sivan 6, this statement would have been an outright lie, and Paul would have been guilty of perjury. The Pharisees would have easily repudiated his testimony.  To declare the Pharisees wrong on Pentecost would have been a "great offence"! 

 

Question:  Since Paul did not transgress the law of the Jews, or offend in any thing AT ALL concerning the Law, how could he have been observing a DIFFERENT DAY OF PENTECOST?

 

Proof #26 -- Paul told the Jews in Rome, "I have committed nothing against the people, OR CUSTOMS, of our fathers" (Acts 28:17).  If Paul were observing a different Pentecost, then he would have been transgressing the CUSTOM of the fathers!  Since he did not do this, he obviously observed Pentecost when the Jews did -- Sivan 6th!

 

Question:  By following the traditions and teachings of the Samaritans and Sadducees, in this matter, are not the Worldwide Church of God, Church of God International, and others, COMMITTING AN OFFENCE and VIOLATING the "custom of the fathers"?

 

Proof #27 -- Paul came to Philippi, rested a few "days" (Acts 16:12), and then "on the sabbath" ("day of weeks" or Pentecost) went down to the river "where prayer was wont to be made" (verse 13).  If Pentecost was on a Sunday, like the Sadducean Pentecost, Paul and his company would not have abode in the city for several days, and then gone down to the riverside on Pentecost -- he would have also gone there on the weekly Sabbath to worship!  The fact that he did not do this shows that Pentecost was not on Sunday or Monday!  Neither of the two days before this "day of weeks" or Pentecost was a sabbath day, proving Paul did not celebrate a Sunday Pentecost that year!  The Pentecost in Philippi did not follow a weekly Sabbath!

 

Question:  If Pentecost had followed right after the weekly Sabbath, wouldn't Paul and his company have gone down to the riverside, 'where prayer was wont to be made," on the weekly Sabbath as well? 

 

Proof #28 -- Those who insist we must follow the example of the Sadducees insist that they were the ones in control of the Temple services in ancient Judea.  Is this true?  Not at all.  Historically, the Pharisees had COMPLETE TEMPLE CONTROL from 75 B.C. until 70 A.D. when the Temple was destroyed!  Says Unger's Bible Dictionary,

 

                                 "Amid all the changes of government under the Romans and Herodians

                                            the Pharisees maintained their spiritual authority.  Consistency with

                                            principle was on their side, and this consistency procured them the

                                            spiritual supremacy.  Although the Sadducean high priests were at the

                                            head of the Sanhedrin, the decisive influence upon PUBLIC AFFAIRS

                                            was in the hands of the PHARISEES.  'They had the bulk of the nation

                                            as their ally, and women especially were in their hands.  They had the

                                            greatest influence  upon the congregations, SO THAT ALL ACTS OF

                                            PUBLIC WORSHIP, PRAYERS, AND SACRIFICES WERE PER-

                                            FORMED ACCORDING TO THEIR INJUNCTIONS.  Their sway over

                                            the masses was so ABSOLUTE that they could obtain a hearing even when

                                            they said anything against the king or the high priests. . . . Hence, too,

                                            THE SADDUCEES, IN THEIR OFFICIAL ACTS, ADHERED TO THE

                                            DEMANDS OF THE PHARISEES, BECAUSE OTHERWISE THE

                                            MULTITUDE WOULD NOT HAVE TOLERATED THEM"'  (p.854).

 

Clearly, then, there is nothing to the claim that the Sadducees, because they were priests, and often the high priest was a Sadducee, controlled the Temple Worship!

 

Question:  Why, then, do the WWCG, CGI, and other churches still continue to insist that we must follow the Sadducees and observe Pentecost on a day it was NEVER kept in the Temple, with the Temple services, during the time of Christ?

 

Proof #29 --- How did the Pharisees see to it that the Temple rituals were performed according to the true Torah and interpretation of the Law, since Sadducees were the high priests?  Says the Encyclopedia Judaica,

 

                                 "At the end of the Second Temple period the Pharisees ensured that the

                                            high priests, who were of the Sadducean faction, nevertheless performed

                                            the service in the proper Pharisaic manner.  One of the means of Pharisaic

                                            control was the segan,  who attended the high priest when he ministered

                                            and so could see that HE DID NOT DEVIATE FROM THE FORM

                                            PRESCRIBED BY PHARISAIC TEACHING.  The holders of the office

                                            of segan  who are known by name were ALL PHARISEES" (vol.15,

                                            p.974).

 

With the Pharisees exercising absolute and total control of the Temple services, they also controlled completely the observance of the Feast of Pentecost! 

 

Question:  Since the Sadducean high priests performed all Temple rituals and sacrifices ACCORDING TO THE PHARISAICAL DICTATES, including Pentecost services at the Temple, then WHY ON EARTH DO WWCG, CGI, and others STILL FOLLOW Sadducean theology and interpretation, which was NEVER VALID or used for the public Temple worship during the time of the 2nd Temple?  WHY?

 

Proof #30  -- Those who cling to the Sadducean Pentecost often resort to criticizing the Pharisees, claiming that Jesus rejected them totally, and referred to them as  snakes, hypocrites, and warned His disciples to beware of their doctrine (Matt.16:6).  But clearly Jesus took issue with particular teachings of the Pharisees, where they added human customs to the divine words of God, such as their condemnation of healing on the Sabbath (Mark 2:28-29), and different washings (Matt.15:1-11).  Says the Encyclopedia Judaica,  Jesus

 

                                 "did not oppose any prescription of the Written or Oral Mosaic Law, and

                                            that He even performed Jewish religious commandments . . . Jesus' major

                                            polemical sayings against the Pharisees describe them as hypocrites, an

                                            accusation occurring not only in the Essene Dead Sea Scrolls and, indirectly,

                                            in a saying of a Sadducean king, Alexander Yannai, but ALSO IN RAB-

                                            BINIC LITERATURE, which is an expression of TRUE PHARISAISM.

                                            In general, Jesus' polemical sayings against the Pharisees were far meeker

                                            than the Essene attacks and not sharper than similar utterances in the

                                            talmudic sources.  Jesus was sufficiently Pharisaic in general outlook to

                                            CONSIDER THE PHARISEES AS TRUE HEIRS AND SUCCESSORS

                                            OF MOSES" (vol.10, p.13).

 

Question:  Since Jesus was far more Pharisaic in His general outlook than Sadducean, and considered them the true heirs and successors of Moses (Matt.23:1-2), THEN WHY DO THE WWCG, CGI, AND OTHERS  identify themselves with the SADDUCEES?

 

Proof #31 --  The Sadducees denied the existence of angels, spirits, and the resurrection (Acts 23:8).  But the Pharisees confessed the existence of all three.  These are major tenets of the true followers of Christ!

 

Question:  Then why should God's people orient themselves and identify with those who deny such basic, underlying, spiritual TRUTHS?

 

Proof #32 -- The Sadducees denied the inspiration of the Prophets and Writings of the Old Testament.  They only believed in the first five books of Moses.  This fact alone suggests that their theology dates back to the time of Jeroboam and the Samaritans, his successors, because at that time most of the prophets and writings were not yet written!  Thus the Sadducees had a very limited and narrow view of the Word of God and denied the inspiration of the vast majority of Scripture, which Jesus and the apostles taught was divinely inspired (John 17:17; 10:35; II Tim.3:14-16).

 

Question:  Does it make any sense that God's people should follow such a narrow, restricted, limited vision of the truth of God, which denies ALL the major teachings of Christ and the early New Testament Church? 

 

Proof #33 -- The Sadducees hated Jesus because of His prophecies of the destruction of the Temple (Matt.21:12; Luke 19:44).  The chief priest who struck a bargain to betray Christ to the authorities was a Sadducee (Mark 14:53-55).  Caiaphas, the high priest who condemned Christ, was a Sadducee (Matt.26:57). 

 

Question:  Does it make any sense for God's people to IMITATE the religious practices of the very sect which was instrumental in CONDEMNING CHRIST and  having Him crucified?

 

Proof #34 -- The Sadducees were also the prime movers in the persecution of the early church and the apostles and had them put in prison (Acts 5:17-18).  It was a Pharisee, Gamaliel, who defended the apostles before the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:34-39). 

 

Question:  Should true Christians follow the teachings and precepts of our PRIMARY PERSECUTORS? 

 

Proof #35 -- Some have argued that if Pentecost is Sivan 6, then why doesn't Leviticus 23 just state that it is Sivan 6 -- in other words, WHY "count" Pentecost?  If the count is from Nisan 16, they argue, then there would be no need to count!  It would always be Sivan 6!  But this argument falls flat on its face, because there are three distinct reasons why Pentecost must be counted.  First, it  is directly connected to Passover, and is really the "final feast day" of the spring festival, beginning with Passover.  Therefore, it is directly linked to Passover (in Leviticus 23 it is not even "named").  Secondly, Pentecost was the date the Law was given to Israel on Mount Sinai, representing the completion of liberty and deliverance.  God not only saved His people, He gave them His law to guarantee their liberty and safety, if obeyed!  On Pentecost, God "married" Israel.  Thus, we "count down" till Pentecost, with an air of excitement, a looking toward fulfillment, and completion, a looking toward Liberty and the Marriage of Israel, even as a young bride counts the days of her betrothal until the marriage ceremony!  Thirdly, the Hebrew calendar was not fixed in the days  of old, and therefore months could have 29 or 30 days, and Pentecost could fall on Sivan 5, 6 or 7! 

 

Question:  Why should we count Pentecost from the weekly Sabbath which has no real connection with Passover, since Pentecost is directly linked to Passover and completes the spring harvest? 

 

Proof #36 -- Jesus was crucified on Passover, a Thursday, and was in the grave for three days and nights (Matt.12:40).  He arose early Sunday  morning before daybreak (John 20:1-2).  He was the "firstfruits" from the dead (I Cor.15:20-23).  Some claim that the wave sheaf offering had to be done on the Sunday after the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, and this perfectly pictures Jesus as our "firstfruits."  But this picture does not hold up for most years.  When Passover falls on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, or Tuesday, the wave sheaf offering on Sunday would NOT be exactly three days after the crucifixion!  It might be one or two days later, or as many as seven days later!  The wave sheaf represents the sacrifice of Christ being accepted by the Father, but this acceptance was NOT after His resurrection, but immediately, when He died on the stake and was buried -- when He PAID the penalty of our sins!  Thus, the wave sheaf was offered the day AFTER the high holy day -- the first available "work day"! 

 

Question:  How could the wave sheaf offering prove a Sunday Pentecost since  Sunday usually is NOT three days after Passover, the date Jesus was killed?

 

Proof #37 -- The Sadducean sect perished and disappeared from history with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.  They did not survive the Diaspora, but became extinct.

 

Question:  Does it make sense that God would have us follow a group who disappeared from history, whom God did not preserve or protect?

 

Proof #38 -- But the Pharisees survived, and prospered, and became the preservers of Judaism, and preserved the calendar and oracles of God (Romans 3:1-2).  They are the true predecessors and progenitors of modern Rabbinical Judaism.  They are the ones God has used, preserved, protected, and who in turn have built a "fence" around the law, published the Talmud, and the Mishnah, to preserve Jewish customs, faith and knowledge! 

 

Question:  Could the very ones whom God used to PRESERVE HIS LAW, ORACLES AND WORD be mixed up and confused as to the correct day and way to figure Pentecost? 

 

Proof #39 -- New evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls shows conclusively that the Pharisees were in charge of Temple services and religious rites during the time of the 2nd Temple, and the time of Christ.  Notice what Lawrence Schiffman, Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, says in Bible Review::

 

                                 "With new evidence from the DEAD SEA SCROLLS it is now possible to

                                            demonstrate that FOR MUCH OF THE HASMONEAN PERIOD PHARISAIC

                                            VIEWS WERE INDEED DOMINANT IN THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE.

                                            In short, the reports of the religious laws, or Halakhah, attributed to the

                                            Pharisees in late Talmudic texts ARE BASICALLY ACCURATE" (Bible

                                            Review, June, 1992, p.30-31).

 

The "Halakhah" that Schiffman mentions here is the obligatory, legal side of Judaism -- which includes Jewish practices and observances covering daily life, FESTIVALS, dietary laws, purity rituals and criminal and civil law. 

 

This means that the idea of some modern scholars that there is no proof that modern Judaism truly traces back to the Pharisees, and that there is no proof that the Pharisees really controlled the Temple and religious life of the Jews during the time of Christ, is proved to be patently FALSE!

 

One of the scrolls found in a cave in the vicinity of the Qumran community throws light on the PROMINENCE the Pharisees enjoyed in the period PRIOR  to the destruction of the Temple.  This text, known as MMT (4Q Miqsat Ma'as eh ha-Torah), is a diatribe against the community's opponents and often describes the views of the PHARISEES. According to Schiffman:

 

                                 "MMT is a foundation text of the Qumran sect. It was written in the early

                                            Hasmonean period when THE TEMPLE WAS MANAGED AND ITS RITUALS

                                            CONDUCTED IN ACCORD WITH PHARISAIC VIEWS. The Hasmoneans

                                            made common cause with the Pharisees in order to CLEANSE the Temple of the

                                            EXCESSIVE HELLENIZATION that they blamed to a great extent on the

                                            SADDUCEAN PRIESTS WHO HAD BECOME, IN THEIR VIEW, TOO

                                            HELLENIZED."

 

Schiffman continues:

 

                                            "Thus, evidence of the ideological underpinnings of Pharisaism and its halakhic

                                            principles can be found in the Qumran corpus [body of writings]. Sensitively

                                            read, the Qumran corpus reveals the role of the Pharisees as allies of the Hasmo-

                                            neans.  More importantly, it CAN NO LONGER BE CLAIMED  that there is no

                                            evidence for the Pharisees earlier than the tannaitic materials and the first-century

                                            Jewish historian Josephus, who wrote after the Roman  destruction of Jerusalem.

                                            In fact, the scrolls provide extensive and wide-ranging testimony about the pre-

                                            destruction history of the Pharisees and  their  ideology.  MMT AND THE

                                            TEMPLE SCROLL PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF PHARISAIC DOMINANCE

                                            OVER THE TEMPLE RITUAL IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE HASMONEAN

                                            PERIOD. These Pharisees held views similar to those claimed for them in rabbinic

                                            literature. Moreover, they also expressed many positions -- substantive and theological

                                            -- later found among the tannaim of the Mishnah" (ibid., p.54).

 

The corrupt Sadducees had become too Hellenized and apostate.  Therefore, the religious life of ancient Israel was dominated by the PHARISEES, from the early days of the Hasmonean period!  This means, therefore, that the Pharisee's calculation of Pentecost by counting from Nisan 16 was STANDARD PRACTICE DURING THE TIME OF CHRIST!  The Sadducees had no say in the matter at all.

 

Question:  What are the CGI, WWCG, and other churches going to do with this powerful new archaeological evidence straight out of the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves?  How will they answer this NEW PROOF that the Pharisees were indeed in charge of the Temple and religious life of the nation of Judea?

 

Proof #40 -- There is no archaeological evidence whatsoever  to substantiate a Sadducean dominance in the Temple ritual and religious life of ancient Judea.  The wicked Sadducean high priests, who were hand-picked by king Herod, and served at his convenience, obtained that post by seeking to please the king.  Some even bribed their way into the office.  It was primarily a "political office," purchased by the highest bidder. 

 

Says Flavius Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews:

 

                                 "Herod was then made king by the Romans, but did no longer appoint

                                            high priests out of the family of Asamoneus; but made certain men to

                                            be so that were of no eminent families, but barely of those that were

                                            priests . . . .  Accordingly, the number of the high priests, from the days

                                            of Herod until the day when Titus took the temple and the city, and burnt

                                            them, were in all twenty eight; the time also that belonged to them was

                                            a hundred and seven years" (Ant. XX, x, latter part).

 

These high priests served at the bidding and pleasure of such corrupt despots as Herod and his family.  On the average, they served for a period of 3.8 years, before they were replaced.  No wonder the people could not trust such leaders with their religious teaching, doctrine, and body of beliefs!  This duty therefore fell to the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, insofar as religious power was concerned, were mere "window dressing."  The had no spiritual power, but only political power.

 

Question: Would God have entrusted His oracles, and Pentecost, to a series of corrupt, jaded, politically-motivated high priests, such as the Sadducees who were utterly subservient to a wicked and despotic king, and whose primary purpose was to please him, not God?  

 

                                                  The Conclusion of the Whole Matter

 

Let's face it.  There is absolutely no reason for anyone to remain confused, misled, or deceived, on the matter of Pentecost, and how to count it!  In this article, I have demonstrated 40 MAJOR PROOFS that militate against the Sadducean Sunday Pentecost -- and I did not even mention that it also falls on a Sunday which is calculated by the  Roman Catholic Church as exactly seven Sundays or weeks from EASTER SUNDAY, thus showing its direct PAGAN connection and derivation!

 

The Sadducean Sunday Pentecost is pagan to the core.  The number "40" -- the number of Proofs I have set forth in this article -- is the "number of testing and trial."  These forty proofs should be enough for ANYBODY to "prove" the right day for Pentecost observance, once and for all!

 

What about you?  Are you convinced?  Are you willing to study this matter out thoroughly and completely? 

 

Or are you just going to follow men?  Are you going to follow a Church, or a man, whether he is right or wrong, because you are "comfortable," you don't want to "rock the boat," and you FEAR to change, and fear to have to leave your present Church affiliation?  Do you fear MEN more than you fear the judgment of Almighty GOD? 

 

It does   make a difference whether we observe the right day!  God says, "Choose you this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15).  God says, "I have set before thee life and death, blessing and cursing:  Therefore CHOOSE LIFE . . ." (Deut.30:19).

 

What about you?  May God help you to make the right  choice!