The Last Countdown

Originally published on Friday, 22 October 2010, 21:51 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 counsel them frequently that we are not to read the texts without pauses. We should take breaks to contemplate the time, culture and the 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 raised issues of the Passover of the first part of the Shadows of the Cross, we exactly need to do what I have just explained. We must transport ourselves back in time, to the culture which still remembered how the Passover was to be celebrated. The scholars of Christianity appear to assume that we would have "transported ourselves back in time" already far enough, if we accomplish a mental journey to the time of Jesus, about 2,000 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 1,500 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 has 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 it 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 would deal with "non amazing facts". This is a very sad, and a 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 that a messenger of God was given to us, helping us with loads of information and advices on finding the truth!

But God in His providence, knew already before the creation of time, that we one day would 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 had been. The biblical account includes a character, who like us, also knew nothing of how a Passover feast would work, and who was interested as well, to keep it exactly the way the Lord wanted. 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, or not? Didn't he have to know how the Jews handled all this?" If you think like this, you have not made ​​the "contemplation pause" of which I spoke earlier. "Who really was Moses?", or at least ... "Who was Moses at the time when he received God's instructions for the exact course of the exodus at the 10th 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 215 years of slavery of the Israelites in Egypt. According to current state law, he would have probably had a dual citizenship: Israelite and Egyptian. The next question we must ask ourselves is, in what culture Moses was 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 2 years, by the orders 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 the 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". All this, you can read 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 the 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 also had been shaped by his biological mother and their environment, for 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 to believe that Moses had learned the rituals and the religion-specific features of the Israelites from his biological family. They believe therefore, that Moses, e.g., also understood the Sabbath and that the Israelites could not only keep the Sabbath, because the Egyptians had banned it. They assume that the Jews could retain all their religious and cultural knowledge. But we must not forget that Moses himself was the first Bible writer, and before that, there existed 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 for him the beginning of the month, and how did he understand the beginning of the year? Only if we can resolve these questions, we can 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, respectively, the sequence of the ritual processes through the exodus from Egypt; what we already examined a little in the first part of "Shadows of the Cross".

Only if we include this in our consideration, we will draw the right conclusions. But if we leave these questions unanswered, and assume without further investigation that Moses, as 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 lived already 350 years in the land of the Egyptians, their feudal lords, when Moses was born. When God spoke to Moses, even 215 years of most violent slavery had passed over the nation and culture of the Israelites. No nation could preserve completely 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 to adapt completely to the Egyptians. The Egyptian culture, like all cultures of sun worship, 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 why the Babylonian sun worship still maintains its "hidden" place in the papal system.

The Israelite Sabbath to worship God the Creator was abolished by decree and replaced by the sun-day (Sunday), to worship the god of the sun. A slave does not choose the day on which he rests; this was stipulated to him if he even was allowed to rest a 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 visit 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 looses completely 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 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. Just after 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. But, God guarantees us as the spiritual Israel today, that He will intervene personally that this may not happen again. But we must persevere and stay faithful under a pressure that in this vehemence never 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. Because he was under the influence of two cultures that did not know about the true creation calendar. The first culture was the Egyptian's, who kept a very special hybrid of a lunar-solar-stellar nature calendar, and the culture of his biological parents' had forgotten the creation calendar. Thus it was for Moses like us, when God spoke to him in Exodus 12: he was "ignorant in terms of ancient Jewish practices" in two respects:

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

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

Therefore, we may confidently feel 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 this 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 that was the actual and valid calendar of Moses at that time.

But do not 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 of 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. Who searches the Internet for the appropriate terms, will find many web sites 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 at the morning, the first dawn became visible, Re, the sun, began to reign. However, if the sun had set completely, for them began a terrible time. The night was the time of terror and fear, because their god "had gone to sleep". I hear similar statements of 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 study enough in prayer, and do not have the remedy against this "leaven of the Sadducees". Finally, they become completely controlled by them.

The mindset that the day would begin in the morning at sunrise, was introduced already 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 started the creation definitely in the darkness (at night) when there was no light. "Let there be light", was the first act of creation, and these words had been spoken in the night when there was no light. Only the sun worshippers understand the night time 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 associated in prayer with His Father, and prepared Himself by watching and praying for the tasks of the next day, or even the time when He began His passion in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He made it possible that all our sins were laid on Him, and repeatedly warned the disciples not to fall asleep but to watch and pray, as an "unimportant intermediate state". This is that we may 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 by his fellow servants. But we always discover his tricks through the study of the ancient Babylonian religions and their offshoots, such as the Egyptian sun worship.

If someone wants to tell us, that the Jews would have understood the beginning of the day at the morning, and that we should agree with that, he wants to lure us into the trap to misinterpret the creation calendar and to draw false conclusions, which ultimately bring us to keep pagan practices, and to transgress the commandments of God. Some believe that in heaven different belief systems will coexist, and that moon 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 about the fraud and the leaven (the false doctrines) of false teachers. If the verse that says that each one is only judged according to his knowledge, should be understood in the way that anyone who searched for the truth and has gone astray, and drew wrong conclusions would also be saved, a warning of a scam would not have been necessary at all, because in this case, anyone who was deceived would also be in heaven because he just would have committed a mistake. Then, there even would be no 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" do exist? According to the Universal Church there are as many truths as different religions and faiths. Indeed, they are gathering now in the worldwide ecumenical movement to be burnt up like straw. According to the Biblical statements of 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 moon sabbath would be the correct interpretation of God's fourth commandment, all would be lost, who kept the Sabbath "stubbornly" every seven days. If the reverse is true, God may be merciful to those who believed the Lunar Sabbath Lie and 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 it would be an issue about life and death. Indeed it is an issue about our eternal life.

Jesus on the question of the disciples, what the signs of the end would be, answered that they should 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 in its core, is 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 may 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" excludes this already. There is no plural of truth! There are no "truths". No one who will be brought to transgress the commandments of God by fraud has an apology. Because, if they would have been pure vessels, they would have received the Holy Spirit to be led into all truth. This was promised by Jesus. Will we make Him a liar?

Whoever believes that the Jewish nation kept the beginning of the day at sunrise, 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 re-taught the Israelites the correct beginning of the day. More about that later. The ancient Egyptian days can be studied quite detailed at Ancient Egyptian Facts.

2. The beginning of the ancient Egyptian lunar month is explained very well on Wikipedia - The ancient Egyptian moon calendar [in German, please use google-translator]. I limit myself to a summary that represents the key differences 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, existed different calendar types, including a distinction between an administrative calendar and a religious calendar. We learnt all this by temple records.

We can read on the mentioned web page, 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 from Jehovah the creation calendar, we have evidence that there existed 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), what is idolatry, worship of created things.

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

Unlike the other ancient Near Eastern countries, the lunar month did not begin 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 lunar month beginning 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 report 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 exactly the 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 Nile flood and they were already familiar with the 365-day cycle as we are. But they did not have any leap days or leap years. This 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 Nile flood. Later, there was also introduced an administrative calendar which depended also 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. But, 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 re-established 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 Nile flood in the 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 that - as we shall see later more clearly - on a legend about the gods of the Egyptians, which was associated to 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 the ancient Egyptian sun worship still takes place even today, is evident in the largest sundial of the planet - the 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, which show the sundial of the Vatican in function, and that it points since 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 reading the Bible superficially. Moses and the Israelites of the captivity had lost their original culture. One can not assume that Moses would have understood God, if He had spoken to him in the nomenclature of the Jewish calendar because it never had been taught to him.

But, God doesn't speak to us in riddles. He wants that we 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 after some centuries or millennia by later generations. It was about clear instructions. Because 10 days after the declaration, the lamb already had to be taken aside, and another 4 days later it had to be slaughtered, so that the Israelites could escape that terrible angel of death that was ordered to kill all the firstborn. They had to understand the exact day when to paint their doorposts with the blood of the Lamb.

If God, at that moment, would have required of Moses to decrypt first what kind of day and time reference in which calendar system God really used, this plague probably would not have passed by the Israelites, because Moses would have failed, because 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 has been said. Any misunderstanding would have been fatal, and it was about life or death.

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

God's Marching Orders

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

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

But, God then already began to teach Moses some differences to lead him slowly back to the original creation calendar that was instituted by Him. 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 Nile flood and Sirius defined the first ancient Egyptian month, and probably the wandering year calendar was 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. Ex 12:2

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

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

This 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 " that he had to look out at sunset for the first crescent, nor that this would be the first month, because he was used to a completely different calendar system. It is important to understand that to Moses was not explained that once a leap month would be added and also the beginning of the day was so far not re-established. This would come much later after the Exodus from Egypt. We should not read in 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 after dawn and lasted until the next morning.

Now we read the next instructions of Jehovah:

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: Ex 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.
Ex 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, existed in March a time difference of 30 hours, and in April of 33 hours 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, at 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, respectively morning and evening of the same day, in our comprehension of a day. But, 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 moon days, and that there existed two special moon days, which are already regarded in the above chart. Those cement that only the shown order of the determining events could occur in practice. In the same article we read on Wikipedia:

First and Second Day of the Lunar Month

The ancient Egyptian lunar month began similar to the ancient Egyptian day always at sunrise. 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 Re "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 "day of his coronation and appearance": "Your appearance belongs to the second day of the lunar month."

Even out of religious reasons, the two lunar days had to be placed so that at the first occurred a non-sighting at dawn and at the second at dawn could be reported the sighting of the first crescent. Therefore, all other possibilities to arrange the diagram above in a different way are excluded. There existed only this possibility. This makes a difference of half a day. The ancient Egyptian month started always 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 began at the morning of the day on which Jehovah showed him at the evening the first crescent. However, let us remember: the start of the day, yet had not 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 true to the reintroduction of the Sabbath observance, as it had been maintained 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 for the order of the Passover preparations by God in Exodus 12.

Hence, Moses at that time 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" at which Jehovah spoke to him, was the first day of the month. For the Egyptians and 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.

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 after Moses' comprehension? Still in the morning and not in the evening.

When should the Passover lamb be eaten? On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. And this was after 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. Ex 12:6

Hence, at 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, first to ponder about these questions, before you look at the solution!

...

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

Passover of Moses

Against all current doctrine, we found that the preparations for the Passover had not to be carried out 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 and understood God's instructions at that stage of his calendar knowledge. Therefore, the entire Passover preparations move 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 anti-type, 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, at what weekday of the year 31 AD "the anti-typical Passover Lamb" Jesus would have to be separated, results from a simple reading of this new graph and is: Sunday the 20th of May 31 AD.

Let us recall the preceding article. Quite early on, we recognized a big problem with some statements of Ellen White, where she compared the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with the separation of this sacrificial lamb, and said at the same time that it had been 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, for then the anti-typical separation of Jesus at his entry into Jerusalem should have been 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). Only in this case, the Sunday fits perfectly into the overall picture. Jesus separated Himself from His people on the first day of the week in anti-typical correct 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 the synoptic evangelists, Matthew, Mark and Luke, all made ​​no specific mention that Jesus and His disciples would have advanced any particular rite by 24 hours, and would have slaughtered or eaten the sacrificial lamb against the conviction of the people or priests one day ​​earlier. 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 anti-type to which the slaughter and eating of the Passover Lamb pointed? So far, the doctrine was always that the anti-type for the slaughter and eating of the Passover Lamb would have been Jesus' death on the cross, about the ninth hour. But that does not correspond in this new arrangement of events. Therefore, we have to correct our original diagram of events of the Passover 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 accord 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 does not directly mark 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 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. {GC 399.3} In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. {GC 400.1}

She said that this would have been the very same day on which for 1,500 years the Passover lamb had been slaughtered. 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 had been slaughtered on Thursday afternoon. For Ellen 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 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. Mt 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 to 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" (Jn 19:31), because the ceremonial Sabbath of the first day 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. Mt 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 Jonas was separated from any communion with God or man, feeling the large burden of sin. To some extent, Jonas 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 courts had been followed by the day courts, the strokes, the taunts, but the biggest burden of all had been 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 rested literally 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. For the fulfillment was still missing one day. 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." Jn 20:17

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

And Mary went her way to the disciples with the joyful message. {DA 790.2} 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 790.3}

Jesus' suffering service did not end before He had ascended to heaven on the morning of the first day of the week and brought the entire burden of sin of mankind into the heavenly sanctuary, and sprinkled it to the curtain of the sanctuary. Then He was ready to receive the confirmation of 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 the brief visit of Jesus at His Father in heaven before He returned to earth to stay still another 40 days with the disciples until He would ascend to heaven ultimately, and interecede 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 never had been contaminated. The exact understanding of the types and anti-types lead us now to the comprehension 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 the time schedule of God is when it comes to the fulfillment of the types and anti-types. The sheaf of first fruits 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, then this is just correct in the core, but does not meet exactly the type. Jesus was the firstfruits 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 Magdalena just after dawn, but later in the day He allowed it to the Apostles. The difference was that He had already appeared at the Father: the firstfruits 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 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 that Friday would 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 in the ninth hour the daily sacrifice didn't take place. According to the Mishna (Pesachim 5:1), in this case, the evening sacrifice would have taken place already between 12:30 PM (slaughter) and 1:30 PM (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. {DA 756.5}

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 757.1}

This Friday, the 25th of May 31 AD, was a normal preparation day for the Sabbath during the spring festivals and Nissan 14. It did not coincide with the preparations for the Passover that had to be done always on Nissan 13, as I hopefully was able to demonstrate in this article. This statement of Ellen White is true and again concords exactly with the real events. Jesus died on the ninth hour, and this was exactly the time to slaughter the daily evening sacrifice. Now it becomes clear that the Passover lamb wasn't the direct symbol of Jesus' death on the cross, but the daily sacrificial lamb that had to be offered for the sins of the people. The sacrificial system itself was abolished by the death of Jesus on the cross at once. 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 fulfilled the prophecy. The daily sacrifice was no longer necessary.

In the next article, I will explore other important aspects of this solution of the two-Passover problem and answer a counter-attack of the Lunar Sabbath Keepers against my studies ...

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