Sermon given 10 May 2008

The Calendar's Unseen Hand

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Do you remember the story of Esther? The story of Esther is a very interesting story. It is certainly almost amusing to read about Mordecai and Haman and King Ahasuerus. As far as Haman was concerned he was very miffed that Mordecai wouldn't go ahead bow down to him in the streets so he made all his plans to get even with this Jew, and all of his kind.

But then King Ahasuerus couldn't sleep one night and he just 'happened' to be reading in the chronicles; and just 'happened' to come across a page about Mordecai. And Haman just 'happened' to be in the palace at that time and he just 'happened' to ask him; "What should you do for the one that the king delights in?" And he therefore thought he was talking about himself as far as Haman was concerned. And gave him this idea that he would go in front of a horse and proclaim this is what is done to the one that the King delights in. And he said; 'Yes go and take Mordecai and do that to him.' (Esther 6:1-10)

And you can almost just imagine to the actual expression on Haman's face. But you know when you look at the book of Esther and you actually search through it and you search it from beginning to end; there is no mention whatsoever there at all of the word 'God,' it doesn't exist. There is no mention of the word 'Lord' - either Adoni or the word 'LORD' in caps which is the Eternal. It isn't there, it's completely missing throughout the entire book.

And yet the entire book when you look at it, you can see this unseen hand throughout the book. The way things were being manipulated. The way things were being done. The way Ahasuerus just 'happened' to think. Just 'happened' not to be able to sleep one night. Just 'happened' to pick up a certain chronicle. Just 'happened' to do these various things. And here was a carnal king, nothing about him that was spiritual or righteous or anything else. And yet God was in complete control. God was there all the time. This unseen hand was there.

Last week I talked about the oracle of the calendar and if you just turn over to Acts 7:38 and just remind ourself of a couple of scriptures I quoted in the sermon last week; here in Acts 7 it says talking of Moses:

"This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the [living] oracles to give unto us:" (Acts 7:38)

So they received the oracles. They brought them all the way through that time and they gave them to that time then, Nand also delivering them to us now. We are not reading it here, but the account even in Esther refers to it. Acts 7:39:

"To whom our fathers would not obey [notice], but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt," (Acts 7:39)

So even though the living oracles were delivered and were there to be taken all the way down to the time when Christ would come and right the way down to our time now, yet the people that actually had them didn't obey, they weren't obedient. We find that even more over in Romans 3:1, which I also quoted last week, you find the same thrust within this section where it says: Romans 3:1:

"What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision [what is the purpose of the Jewish race, what is the purpose of the Israelites and them being handed down to Judah]? Much every way [notice]: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." (Romans 3:1-2)

Now there are three things: the seven-day cycle - the seven day week that we have today, we know where the Sabbath is because that has been preserved all the way though and Christ certainly kept the same Sabbath the Jews were keeping. The Hebrew scriptures is another area. The Hebrew scriptures were faithfully copied all the way down, all the way though the centuries and millennia. And the third thing is the calendar , because without the calendar you can't keep the Holy Days basically. But is says here in Romans 3:3:

"For what if some did not believe? [because some didn't believe! They certainly didn't believe the way that Christ believed, they opposed Christ when He came] shall their unbelief [nullify] the faith of God [should God's faith be nullified by them not believing? And he says..]? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar..." (Romans 3:3-4)

Every man can not believe but God will be true because that is the way He is. That is the way He is. And it is interesting that when you look at, let's take the Hebrew scriptures as an example. When you look at the Hebrew scriptures you go to certain people who do not recognise the unseen hand that is there. I am thinking of one particular couple of people which is Westcott and Hort.

If you go and look at anything about Westcott and Hort and if you read anything about their Greek New Testament and find out what is the criteria; they have a list of various criteria. The one that sticks out from the time that I was actually reading this New Greek New Testament that came from Westcott and Hort, the ideas that they had - which is higher textual criticism - is that if you get something that is worse in a text, and something that is better you always put the credence on the worse one. You don't put the credence on the best one.

Why? Because people tend to improve things. Therefore that worse one must be the original. That is the logic. But you see, in that entire logical frame of mind, and let's face it, the modern translations have gone with them - they have gone with their ideas, with a high textual criticism. The problem is that they did not recognise that there is a Higher Unseen Hand which supervised, which controlled, which allowed us to have it. As it says in Acts, "which delivered the oracles to us," these living oracles to us.(Acts 7:38)

And in the same way today when you look at the Church, you wonder. When look at the Church today, the fragmented way it is; and I do wonder, I wonder whether it is because when you are looking at something like the calendar - here is something which is carnal, a thing that you can really get your teeth into. Numbers and figures and you can kind of write things down and work things out; it is very much a physical thing that you are looking at. And could it be that because the carnal mind tends to go towards that thing? Remember the carnal mind can understand physical things. But it cannot understand spiritual things. And yet Mr Armstrong, very, very clearly, the one through whom the truth came, as he mentioned in the World Tomorrow that was played today. {1}

He said there were certain things that were hidden from the people back in the apostles' time. Things within Daniel that were not to be revealed until the end time. Daniel was told to; "...Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed [reserved] till the time of the end." (Daniel 12:9). The apostles also didn't understand them and they were revealed in this time along with the very Plan of God, the Holy Days and all the things that are necessary for us to understand what God is doing in this world.

And is it logical that He wouldn't also at least have led that same man to understand the calendar that those Holy Days have got to be hung on? What I want to do today is I want to continue speaking on the calendar. And if you want a title for the sermon, it will be: 'The Calendar's Unseen Hand.' Because as we get into the details of the calendar there are things that you will start noticing that - "hang on a minute, this isn't just human." I am not saying that God has put everything that is in the calendar according to His divine way of doing everything. I am not saying that that is the way at all. But I am saying, just as Ahasuerus was guided - and he was a carnal individual - so the Jews here have been guided so that what we have been delivered is what we need. What we have been delivered is what we need, even though there is no mention of the details of the calendar in scripture. You are not going to find all the details listed. The unseen hand of God is clearly there. The faithfulness of God is clearly within it when we look at it.

The areas I have broken it down to for this week, and I hope I will get through them all, if I don't then we might have another sermon on it, but we will see how it goes.

Review (PLAY FROM 09:52)

So let's just review briefly last week's points about the oracles; and the point that I really wanted to get across last week, was the fact that somebody has got to be in authority. And I talked, if you remember, about the Date Line. How you go from Greenwich, and the reason we have Greenwich, Greenwich in London, as the 'zero' longitude is that it was Harrison that came up with the chronometer that allowed us, the British, to basically colonise the seas, because they were able to determine longitude. As they went east to west they knew where they were. Other people were crashing on rocks and things and that was the reason, therefore zero went through Greenwich, which is the Royal Observatory.

So obviously on the other side of the world you have got another line which is 180 degrees west and 180 degrees east of Greenwich. In other words the opposite, on the other side. But even there you have some traditions, you have the way in which you go to Tonga you are coming from Australia out, but when you go to the Aleutian Islands you are coming from America out. Even though you cross this 180 degrees and the result is that even when we are keeping the Sabbath if you are in Tonga, you would keep the Sabbath on the day that the people in the Aleutian Islands would be calling Friday. And when they keep the Sabbath, they will be keeping it on the day that you in Tonga will be calling Sunday.

And yet it is done because somebody has got to be in authority. Somebody has got to say, look there is the line. That is the way the line is and Mr Armstrong made it very clear. And we do have members over in Tonga, I say we, the Church generally has had members in Tonga. There was a Church in Tonga with ministers and so on.

There were people who went fishing over in the Aleutian Islands, so there were people keeping the Sabbath on those two different days. It was the same sunset for both of them but one was a Friday and the other one was Sabbath. And the other one was Sunday and the other one was Sabbath. Same sun, same set, same longitude, and yet because of the authority that is there it was right. Christ and God the Father did in fact, fellowship with the brethren in both places.

I also dealt with how the oracles went to the Jews and the oracles went to the Jews really when we start to understand that, and we understand that somebody has got to be in authority when we look at something like Genesis 1:1-2 where there is chaos, where they is 'tohu and bohu.' We know that the reason for that, is that somebody has gone against God.

In other words; it was Satan who produced the 'tohu and bohu' which we find between the first two verses of Genesis. And when we look at the Church today unfortunately there is only one source that we can see as where the chaos is coming from. There is an authority, there is an authority from the revelation that we have been given and that revelation did not come by the might of Mr Herbert Armstrong doing research. It came because God sent him; because God revealed that to him and he was willing to listen to what was being revealed to him.

I also went into the details of how the sun, moon and time work. Remember there was your rocket-ship, going at 900 mph on the equator. And incidently, the moon on the equator is almost like a goblet. The new moon would be almost like a goblet. It is when you come up here to the northern hemisphere that you put your left hand in. And if you go to the southern hemisphere you put your right hand in. Because you are looking at it from different angles.

But if you imagine going as this rocket-ship at 900 mph and the earth is rotating underneath you so that you are at the same relative position to the sun all the time, keeping that, you will then see the moon slowly arise, if you do it just before sunset, or just at sunset, after sunset, you will see the sun going down, or the sun will be just below the horizon. And you will see that moon come as that first crescent. That first crescent is the new moon. And is would then go over the back of you to the quarter, which would be first quarter. Then is would go right around the back to the full moon, then it would go underneath the earth, you wouldn't be see that because you are in your rocket-ship looking at the rising. You are in the wrong place, you would have to round with the earth to see the rest of the progression of the moon until it finally comes to the other side.

But the person on the earth does see the whole cycle. It starts in the west, you see it one day, it's just a faint crescent, then the next day you will see a little bit more. Now if you are a bit further west, a bit further towards the sun and you go a bit further,then obviously the moon has had time to rise a bit more. If you go further east, going backwards away from it then the moon hasn't had time to rise so you will lose it, so people in different places on the earth see the new moon at different times.

And then the next night, the moon will be that little bit more brighter when it rises. And then it will go as the earth tilts it will disappear as it follows the sun. The next night it will be a little bit higher in the sky and it will disappear. What it actually happening is that when it is daylight, the moon is actually up there now, but we can't see it. It is just that the light of the sun is too bright and we can't see it. So I talked about how the moon actually moves and how it is viewed from the earth.

The Molad is where you have a line from the earth to the sun and the Molad is when the moon crosses the line. If you imagine you are in the rocket-ship again, you are stationary relative to the sun. The earth is rotating underneath you, and the moon you see ever so slowly - it goes round once a month, it goes all the way round - and ever so slowly it comes through and if you go a little bit further you could see the line between the earth and the sun and it would cross that line. Now it will always be dark. You can't see it as it crosses that line from wherever it is crossing it. If you were in the sky during the day then it is right above you and you can't see it. Wherever it is when it crosses that line, it crosses at a certain point and it is very, very precise. That is called the Molad.

I talked about the Julian going into the Gregorian calendar in 1582 and how October the 4th in 1582 was a Wednesday and the following day the Thursday was October the 15th. And the reason for that is they had to go ahead and get rid of 10 days. Even the Julian calendar as they had it then, there wer in fact 10 days too mmany that had to be got rid of.

Now there were actually 13 days that have been removed in that way from the Gregorian calendar that we have got today because the astronomical year is not 365 and a quarter days. It is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds. That is the astronomical year. So in 125 years it gets a day out. You have got a day too many in the calendar and that has to be got rid of. And they do it now by having another rule in the Gregorian calendar.

But you see somebody had to make the rule. And in that case it was Pope Gregory. Because he was the one that was in charge within the European theatre making the rules for the calendar because his was the Roman calendar. It was the Roman calendar that was being dealt with. And we will go on and talk a little bit about the Roman calendar.

But the key point is faith and this I hope we brought out. The key point is faith; that God remains faithful to His people. And we have got to understand that. That there is this unseen hand that is guiding this entire process - of our conversion, of our understanding when we keep the Holy Days. The whole thing is in God's hands and that faith is really what I want to continue on into today.

The Sabbath and the Holy Days Came First (PLAY FROM 18:36)

So looking at how the Sabbath and the Holy Days came first. If Mr Armstrong was dealing with this subject of the calendar, how would he begin? How did he begin any subject? "In the beginning God..." (Genesis 1:1). Didn't he? That is how he would begin, and really you have got to go back to John 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1). And there were these two individuals. One was God and one was the Word and the Word was with God; and so on.

And you go on and say how did they live? They lived, they existed, they lived, but how did they live? Well they lived the way of LOVE. The way of outgoing concern, the way that is concern for the other person. And this then became the Law, this then became a law. And what did they do? They were Creators, that is what they did for a living, if you like. It then goes on to understand; that now you come to the greatest creation ever, which is the creation of something that is like them. With the same character that they have. This is the way Mr Armstrong would approach almost any subject.

So when we are asking the question, what about the Sabbath and Holy Days? What came first the chicken or the egg? The calendar or the Sabbath and Holy Days, what came first? Well the concept behind the Sabbath and Holy Days comes first. The plan comes first. Turn over to Isaiah 45:17 and this is vitally important because so many times when we are looking at the internet, you go on line, you read some of these web sites that are waxing eloquent about the calendar. They don't seem to realise - they think that the calendar is everything and the Holy Days are tacked onto it. That is not the way it works at all. It is the Holy Days that are everything because that reveals God's plan. And the Holy Days need a framework to hang on to. The framework has then got to be provided by an authority. That is basically the way we need to look at it, here in Isaiah 45:17:

"But Israel shall be saved in the [Eternal] with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end." (Isaiah 45:17)

Notice - what is God's plan? His plan is for Israel, and it is world without end, this is what it is all about; the whole thing is going to go on for eternity. Israel is going to be saved with an everlasting rescue; something that is everlasting. This is the plan of God. Isaiah 45:18:

"For thus saith the [Eternal] that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth [what do we have in the calendar? We have the earth, we have the sun, we have the moon, and here is the one who made it;] he hath established it, he created it not in vain [not in tohu, the word 'vain' here is 'tohu' that you find 'tohu and bohu' as in Genesis 1:2, this is the same word 'in vain'], he formed it to be inhabited..." (Isaiah 45:18)

In other words, this earth and the sun and moon that goes around this earth was formed, was made to be inhabited. There was a plan there first. It wasn't just formed and created, willy-nilly. It wasn't just something that happened. It was just something that He woke up one morning and thought it would be a nice idea to make an earth and a sun and a moon. "Let's just see what we can do." That is not quite the way it worked. It was that He had a plan; the plan was ultimately that there would be world without end, an everlasting salvation for mankind, and it was a case that it was made to be inhabited. It was made for people to be on this earth.

So what came first? Was it the calendar, was it the sun, the moon? It was the plan, it was the plan; now that is predominate. And we have got to make sure that we understand that and the calendar then, what is the calendar for? The calendar is the framework on which that plan hangs. The calendar is the framework on which the Holy Days can actually slot into place. Because in the Holy Days is the plan. And the plan as Mr Armstrong was talking in the World Tomorrow, is hidden from the world. The world doesn't understand it - deliberately hidden. But revealed to those who God chooses, that God sends, that God is working with; and revealed for a certain purpose. If we turn over to Matthew 7.

It is so easy that we can get ourselves so bug-eyed about molads and postponements and all the rest of the bits and pieces involved with the calendar, which are carnal things. And the carnal mind will tend to go down that route. But we have got to get off that. We have got to make sure that we don't put doctrine in that way. As Mr Armstrong says; you don't make doctrine by going into it in little tiny ways, I think he was saying at one time in a sermon. {2} That is not how things are done. You will never understand the truth that way. You have got to understand what is the mind of God? Then work from there. The mind of God is that the earth was to be inhabited, therefore there had to be a plan. And the plan then, you go from the plan to the Holy Days. In Matthew 7:9 notice it says:

"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?" (Matthew 7:9-10)

I mean, these are such simple things. We know full well you don't do that to your child. You love your child, you want the best for the child. Oh; you might go ahead and spank him occasionally. You might go ahead and say; "No you can't have a fish, you've eaten ten already." Or whatever it might be. But you are doing it for the best good of the child. Matthew 7:11:

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11)

And here, if people have the right attitude and frame of mind, is it logical that God would have gone ahead and revealed His Holy Days to Mr Armstrong, and the understanding of the plan that is in the Holy Days and not given a framework to actually hang those Holy Days on? Absurd, because it doesn't fit with the way God is. It just simply does not fit at all.

It is another thing as well, as we go along and have a look at some of these things. The average church member does not wake up in the morning and say; "Oh, I think I will go and do something about molads today." That is not really a thing that goes through the average church member's mind. In fact, I have got a confession to make; I had never worked out the molad, that the day the molad falls until this past week. For forty years I have never touched the things, for forty years since actually doing it in class. And the first one I tried I got it wrong. And I said; "I'm not going ahead and doing this, I am going to write myself an Excel spreadsheet." And it is up on the web site now because I got my sums wrong. Another thing I did, I actually did a Excel spreadsheet then to calculate the Julian or Gregorian date from the Hebrew and that is still not quite working properly. Half of it works, the other half I am missing something. Something still has to go in there so it is not posted. {3} But here the average church member does not wake up in the morning thinking; "Oh goody, I am going to do molads!" It is just not the way it is and yet here in Matthew 7:11 says:

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11)

So the oracles that were left in the hands of the Jews -as you will go on and see - you will be very glad that the Jews are actually looking after this side of things for the church. And this is the understanding Mr Armstrong had and there is not reason whatsoever to change that authority there.

Jesus Christ didn't kind of say; "Oh we forgot to tell him about the calendar, and he died! Now what are we going to do?" It didn't work that way. It just didn't work that way. When Mr Armstrong died, what we needed to hold onto was there. The when we kept the Holy Days was there. There is nothing new that has come up since. The only one piece of new, a new item which has come up since, I will go into hopefully on the fifth point and it actually proves the opposite. The opposite to what so many people are saying today.

Even in creation you find this unseen hand so often. You open your eyes and you see this creation. Where's God? Have you ever met God? I wouldn't say you have never had a word with Him, I hope you have, I hope you have had a word with Him today. But has He actually come along and sat down with you and had a cup of tea with you? Is that something that has happened? All you have to do is open your eyes and look at this creation that is outside the window here. And you see the evidence, the evidence of the designer. The evidence of this master programmer as far as I am concerned - that is the way I tend to look at it. And you see this unseen hand in creation and the Sabbath is therefore something to recognise this, to recognise that unseen hand.

So what we need to understand when we are looking at the subject of the calendar and we are looking at the subject of the Sabbath and Holy Days. The Sabbath and Holy Days came first, because the plan came first. The plan is within those Sabbath and Holy Days and they need a framework on which is hang. It is not the other way round. It is not that the calendar comes up here and the Sabbath and the Holy Days are almost like an afterthought and, oh we will have a Sabbath on this day and I think we will have a Hoy Day on this day over here. It didn't work that way.

And as we start looking at the actual calendar, you will see this unseen hand start to reveal itself. And how the Holy Days are sacrosanct, are there and the frame work is constructed, made ready for the Holy Days just to slot straight on to.

Nineteen Year Time Cycles (PLAY FROM 29:44)

The third point, 19-year time cycles. Now, you can go into the Co-worker letters, I have got a selection of them here. One is from ' Co-worker Letter 19 March 1981' it talks about:

"...For many shall come in my name saying I am Christ; and...the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD was suppressed."

[It says:] "Paul wrote of the suppressing of the Gospel of the Kingdom at about A.D. 53. That Gospel was not preached until 1934. By 1953, a 19-year time cycle, it had gone coast to coast in the United States. In 1953 - a century of time cycles from the suppression of the Gospel - it went out on the most powerful radio station on earth - Radio Luxembourg - and has continued worldwide since. God DOES THINGS ON TIME!" ' Co-worker Letter 19 March 1981'

And you think, what is this time cycle nonsense? What is he talking about, time cycles? What does he mean? Another one ' Co-worker Letter 22 January 1982 ':

"Dear brethren and co-workers, I began proclaiming CHRIST'S Gospel of the Kingdom of God the first Sunday in 1934. A time cycle later, the first week in 1953, I began proclaiming that Gospel to all of Europe over the world's most powerful radio station, Radio Luxembourg...That was also about a century of time cycles after the apostle Paul wrote to Galatia about the Kingdom Gospel being suppressed!" ' Co-worker Letter 22 January 1982 '

Another one;' Co-worker Letter 24 August 1982 ':

"Jesus QUALIFIED to restore God's government - to set up the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling over the earth, administering the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Jesus' Gospel Message was...proclaiming it - within the United States beginning 1934, and going worldwide beginning 1953 - precisely a century of time cycles after it had been suppressed!" ' Co-worker Letter 24 August 1982 '

And then we have this work restored, and on it goes, I have got several of them here from the Co-worker letters. But why? What is Mr Armstrong talking about - time cycles? What is this time cycle? Well let me just say this: that when you are looking at the figure 19. What makes up the figure 19? Well, 12 and 7. 12 and 7 makes 19. And you say; "OK, is that all there is to it?" Well there is a good deal more to it, a great deal more to it; but 12 and 7 do indeed make 19.

And it just so happens when you look at the calendar that we have and which we use and on which the Holy Days are hung, there is a frame work: there just so happens to be 12 normal years ie. years of 12 months; and 7 intercalary years which are years of 13 months. And these things are not arbitrary, they are real because you are actually tied up with not only the sun, you are tied up with the moon as well. The two are working in tandem together. And it just so happens that the only way to get the thing to fit is; that you have to go in 19-year lumps as it courses through the heavens. And also from the perspective of the earth, if you are having months, you have got 12 normal years ie. years of 12 months and 7 intercalary years of 13 months.

Now let's have a look at the solar part. First of all, turn over to Exodus 34:21 and notice:

"Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end." (Exodus 34:21-22)

So here in those two verses you have one talking about the Sabbath and the necessity to keep the Sabbath right the way through regardless of what is happening as far as the cycle of work on the land. And the very next verse talks about how the other, the Feast of Weeks - Pentecost in other words - is actually to be observed at the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. So it is a certain time of year that is necessary.

And the Feast of Ingathering, that is Tabernacles basically, at the year's end and the words 'years end' is actually 'the turn of the year. It is after or during the autumn equinox. When you have the daylight and night time as equal portions within the day when it crosses. When it goes from autumn into wintertime, it is that precise time. So there is your solar. So you are going to have a calendar of some description that is tied to the solar year. If you turn over to Leviticus 23:1, it says:

"And the [Eternal] spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the [Eternal], which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations [notice, they are to be proclaimed. Again, you have got to have an authority to proclaim them, the authority has got to proclaim when. That's got to come from a central source], even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done [so you have got these seven-day cycle]...These are the feasts of the [Eternal], even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons." (Leviticus 23:1-4)

Now the words, 'in their seasons' there is 'moed', m-o-e-d. You will find how you determine these seasons in Psalm 104:19, and it is very clear when you see what it says here:

"He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down." (Psalm 104:19)

It is the moon that is there for these moeds, moed is the word there. The word moed carries with it the sense of assembly. Of getting together for Feast Days. And so the moon then governs the months. It is the proclaiming in their seasons within their months: with their moeds, within their seasons. And so you are looking at a lunar. You have got solar, but you are also looking at lunar as well.

What happens is this...You imagine you are up in space and you are looking down; you've got the sun in the middle, you've got the earth going round the sun and around the earth goes the moon. And you sit there on your asteroid and you sit on your asteroid looking at this and you are watching this. And you stay there for 19 years. It doesn't matter where you start. When the 19 years comes to its close or round about that time, you will find that the moon, the earth and the sun come into alignment again. They all line up again. That is the 19-year time cycle.

Now it is not precise. You don't get it on the same day of the week for instance; there are certain other parts that need to be considered. Each 19-year time cycle is actually when you are looking at the days of the week, 2 days, 16 hours and 595 parts later than the previous time cycle. You will find that on the calendar calculations for the Molad of Tishri for 2008 or 2007. That is one of the constancies there.

Now when I talk about 595 parts, now the Hebrew for part is 'halakim'. I didn't use the word 'halakim', I used the word part. That is all it means and there are 1080 'halakims' or parts in an hour. Now you say, that is a funny number, well 1080 is divisible by every number from one to 10 except the number 7. Again whether that is the reason for being chosen I am not really sure. But we see here how when you are looking at the 19-year time cycles and you are looking at the way in which the sun, the moon and earth actually travel in the heavens. They all come into conjunction, they all come aligned up again with that slight off-set, they are aligned up every 19 years.

Now what then happens is that you have also got the moon going around the earth and it goes around the earth in, let's make it simple, let's say 29 and a half days. You can't keep a month of 29 and a half days. Where are you going to draw you line, in 6 o'clock in the morning at one time or 6 o' clock at night or is it going to be midday or how are you going to draw it? You don't do it like that. You are going to have to keep the month of 30 days one month and then 29 days another. And then 30 days another, 29 days another and it that way you are going in an average of 29 and a half days.

Now if you have then 12 months of 29 and 30 days or 29 and a half days. You can work it out. You can have a year, then 12 months, you have got say - well it is 180 anyway and then 174 for the 29 day months. Making a total of 354. So you have got 354 days for the 12 months. You see what I mean when I say 12 months? When I say months I mean moons. Actually the 12 times the moon goes round and you count that as a year, you end up with 354 days.

The problem is the year isn't 354 days. It is 365 days, so you end up with 11 and a quarter days. Now what then happens? So you have got 12 months and then you end up with 11 and a quarter days off. You are actually short of 11 and a quarter days. You are moving backwards in the year.

And then then you go another 12 months so you go 22 and a half days off that you have moved backwards in the year. Now you go again and you have got 33 and you are over a month. So what would then happen? So the first year, you go ahead and say right, we will just keep 12 months for that one. Second year 12 months for that one. Third year - no you can't do that you have to add an extra month and bring the thing up into its cycle again.

They are literal months. These 29 and a half days is the revolution of the moon around the earth. So you are literally looking at these number of months. You are going into this number of months for a year, if you go for 12, which is just short of the 365 and a quarter and then another 12. By the time you get to number three. You have got to stick another month in. And that is exactly what happens. And then you go another one and you get your remainder and you add your 11 and a quarter to that and you go another one and you add 11 and a quarter to that and you stick another one in. And so on the 3rd year, the 6th year, the 8th year, the 11th year, 14, 17 and 19 - seven of them - you have 7 altogether; you have got these intercalary years. This 13 months in the year.

The other ones, the normal years, you have got 12 months in the year, so in a 19-year time cycle what do you have? You have 12 plus 7 and it is not something which is arbitrary. It is something which is there in the actual mathematics itself. You are going to have to have it. If you are going to have a solar/lunar calendar, you have got to have it as 12 plus 7. The 12 plus 7 making 19 and it goes round in a cycle.

Now if you get your printout that I had, what do I actually call it. Years with months with the present 19-year time cycle. https://members.cogiw.org/misc/calendar/index.html

So we are looking at the present 19-year time cycle (This sermon was first given in 2008). You can see this. Year one 1997, the year is normal. See how the leap years come. It comes on the 3rd, the 6th, the 8th, the 11th, the 14th, 17th and 19th years. There are your seven leap years. And this is not an arbitrary thing. This is something which is taking place according to the solar year and according to the rotation of the moon as it goes around the earth. You are putting the two together and this as I say, this unseen hand is there. It is built into the very fabric of the sun, the moon and the earth and the relationship between it all. You are looking at the very fabric of this, it is built in there. And the number 12 and the number 7 comes out loud and clear.

And incidently, when you are looking at this particular page here. Year 1, year 2, year 3, I want you to notice that just before Nisan is Adar II. Now Adar II is actually the same month as Adar, it has got 29 days in it. It is the Adar and what has happened is Adar that is shoved in before, is a 30 day Adar, and that therefore makes your leap year. Why on earth they use Adar II. They changed Adar to Adar II, shoved Adar in just before it and give that has a different month. Don't ask me why they did that, I have no idea. It would be much better to call it something totally different or Adar I or something like that. But basically it is shoved in just before Adar II. Adar becomes Adar II and Adar becomes the one that gets shoved in.

Remember you are sitting on your asteroid looking at the sun, moon and the earth and the way the things are going round and it doesn't matter when you start. 19 years later minus the discrepancy of 2 days 16 hours 595 parts, 19 years later it is going to come into exact conjunction: exact conjunction. And it doesn't matter where it starts. So there has got to be a starting point. How do you know when your 19 years starts? Your 19 year time cycle, because it can be now. We could say that from now we will start; and 19 years down the line, minus taking this slight discrepancy into account, it will come into the conjunction again. From whatever it happens to be today, right now.

So there has got to be a starting point and the way that the actual calendar is started and this is - do not take this as creation because creation, almost certainly, I would say certainly, 'certainly' doesn't have any bearing on it; but they take it has a benchmark. The start date is Tishri 3761, BC. 3761 BC and therefore from 3761 BC you take 19 years, 19 years, 19 years all the way through until you finally come to 1997 as a start of a 19-year time cycle. And that is why there are 19-year time cycles. The 19-year time cycle is an astronomical event. It is an astronomical fact. The way in which you would have months and then you would have to put extra intercalary months is an astronomical fact.

Now you could start it in such a way you'd maybe start with the 13 month. Why not put a 13 month somewhere else. It doesn't have to start with a 12 month, 12 month then at 13 month. You could do whatever you wanted. But it is an astronomical fact. But the actual starting date, the start date that they chose is this 3761 BC.

Molad of Tishri (PLAY FROM 47:43)

Now what about molads? We talked a little bit about molads, about the conjunction, when you have got the earth and the sun and you imagine a line....... Get a piece of string and you have got the earth and the sun on a piece of string, and the sun is whizzing the earth round and round and it is on this piece of string. Now that piece of string that goes between the sun and the earth; you have also got the moon on a piece of string on the earth and the earth is whizzing the moon round and round on its piece of string.

How how it can do that and also have this other piece of string not catch the sun, I'm not quite sure about that, but let's forget that. It is when those two pieces of string cross. That is what you are looking at - the conjunction. That is what you are looking at as far as the molad is concerned and it is the molad of a particular place, a particular event; and that is the molad of Tishri.

Now if you want to go back to this calendar again: download for https://members.cogiw.org/misc/calendar/calendarYearsOfThis19YearTimeCycle.html. Years with Months for this Present 19-year time cycle,

I want you to notice something very, very interesting here. If you go from Nisan - look at year 1 - I want you to notice that always the month before Nisan is 29 days. Then you get Nisan which is 30 days. Notice where is then goes; 29, 30, 29, 30, 29, 30. And every single time that you go from Nisan to Tishri or even the month before Nisan to Tishri you will do 29, 30, absolutely religiously. That is like something set in concrete. You can always know that.

So basically if you want to know when was the 1st of Nisan and you know what Tishri is. It is 177 days before, every year. Doesn't matter what the year is. Now why is the important? Because there are your Holy Days. There is your framework. It is the calendar that gives the framework for the Holy Days. The Holy Days come first. The plan of God comes first. The calendar is then just simply made so you can take these Holy Days and you can slot them onto the framework. But the framework gives this rigidity, this rigid portion, between Nisan and Tishri, right the way through. It doesn't matter where it is. It is always there, it will always be there.

And there is more to it than that. Because not only are the days fixed as far as that is concerned, but the entire period of time, when you are actually looking at the days themselves, Tishri, or the molad of Tishri is crucial. Now the molad of Tishri, or the 1st of Tishri is the Day of Trumpets. That is the only feast day that actually occurs on the new moon. The beginning of the month. The only feast day that occurs on the first of the month is the Feast of Trumpets and that is crucial.

Once that is set, once that has been determined then all the other Holy Days, both sides, both the ones that go into the rest of Tishri which is, Atonement, 1st Day of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day and also the ones going all the way back into Nisan, with the one exception, which is Pentecost, which floats according to where the Sunday within Unleavened Bread falls. They all move with Tishri, the 1st of Tishri.

Now when you think about it. Did the Jews know any of that? What were they thinking when they did that? When they decided that. When this was actually constructed. When you think about the symbolism, what is the symbolism? And where is Tishri? Right in the middle, 1st of Tishri, the Day of Trumpets, you have got three Holy Days either side. And right in the middle of the whole Holy Day period is this crucial, crucial Day of Trumpets, which is the return of Christ; and the axial period from one age into another age. Totally crucial, as Mr Armstrong actually described it:

"...the greatest event that has ever happened in the history of THE UNIVERSE." not in this world; but within the universe. Not just the history of man, not just the history of this earth; but the greatest event that has ever happened in the history of the universe..." ' Feast of Trumpets 1985'

Because you see, the Holy Days came first. The Plan came first and then he had to have somewhere to hang it on and Trumpets is so crucial in the Plan. It is the actual axial period from the time of man, the time of Satan, into the Kingdom of God. And there is the return of Christ. Did the Jews know it? No, of course they didn't, no concept of that. They had various scriptures they could have gone back to about the trumpet being blown, but they didn't know the absolute crucial point of the Feast of Trumpets. But the calendar is absolutely rooted onto the molad of Tishri. In fact the calendar is actually rooted on the 1st of Tishri, on the Day of Trumpets, and that has got to be determined first.

As I say, did the Jews know it? No they didn't; but there is an Unseen Hand that did. The Unseen Hand that could have quite easily have done it a different way but didn't and He allowed the Jews, just in the same way as King Ahasuerus was tired one night, but he couldn't sleep so he was up; so he was up reading the chronicles and he said; "Yes, what shall I do for the man the King delights in?" And he just happened to be old Haman who came through the door.

You see God is quite able to do whatever He chooses. He is able to look after the Jews. He is able to make sure that the Jews are doing what is necessary for the framework to exist. The oracles have got to be there. The oracle of the calendar as got to be there for what? For the Holy Days to slot on to. And when you look at what they have done, not only in the way that it is a rigid position and you can see the 177 days from the beginning of Nisan down to the beginning of Tishri, but also the way the whole thing revolves around Tishri 1, the Day of Trumpets. You see this unseen hand very much in evidence.

Calendar Calculations (PLAY FROM 54:56)

Now let's have a look at the calendar calculations, and just briefly go through some of these. Now this as I said, let's take 2008 first of all; https://members.cogiw.org/misc/calendar/calendarCalculatorForMoladOfTishri2008.html And you have got two pages, one of them is 2008 which gives you the actual year within the 19-year time cycle. The other is the calendar calculation for the molad of Tishri after 142 AD which we will come onto.

The year in question is 2008. The benchmark for the year of creation in 3761, as I said they go back to that benchmark of creation. That is what they do for calendar purposes, and that is all. You add those two together and you get 5769, because it goes from BC to AD and there is no year zero. If you were going from 1 BC to 1 AD that is not two years, that is one year. Because 1 AD was the year at one time and 1 BC was the year before, so 1 AD was the year following. So you take one off and therefore you come up with 5768.

Now that works out at 303 19-year time cycles which would give a total of 5757 plus 11 extra years. Now if you notice on 2008, this is year 12, so 11 extra years will come in addition to make you arrive at the 1st of Tishri. That would therefore be made up of four intercalary years and seven normal years. Now four intercalary years, because in 11 years; you have got 3, 6, 8 and 11. Those are your four. But you have got seven normal years. There are your constants where you have got each 19-year time cycle, lunar month and benchmark, and then you start doing your actual calculations.

Your 303, that is the number of 19-year time cycles would therefore be, because each 19-year time cycle is 2 days 12 hours and 595 parts later than the previous one. So, you are going backwards all the time. So you going to have to add these together. You have got 606 days, all I have done is multiply them to come up with the days, hours and parts.

Your put your benchmark at creation. That wasn't just on any day, this day that is taken is on the 2nd day, so it is a Monday. Monday is the day that is taken, the 2nd day, it is after the light and dark was created, you go with the Monday. But it wasn't just a Monday, it was 5 hours after sunset and 204 parts. As I say, it is totally meaningless. It is not the day of creation, it has nothing to do probably with the day of creation, but they worked it back as this is the benchmark. This is where they start from. This is how they calculate it. This is how is starts flowing forward from this point.

You then add on the difference between the lunar months - you have got lunar months there, and you have got 4 lots of 13 lunar months and you have got 7 lots of 12 lunar months. Because you have got 4 intercalary years and you have got 7 normal years. You add all those up and you end up with so many parts remaining, so many hours remaining, so many days remaining. So you get a sunset, weekday 3 at 7 hours 1057 parts. That is the precise time of the conjunction. It is the time when the two strings cross.

Now these calculations are not something that someone has dreamed up recently down in the Astronomers Royal somewhere down in the Greenwich Observatory. These things are thousands and thousands of years old, several thousand years old. And yet they had the calculation and the ability to do this. And if you notice over in 2008 the Jewish year begins on Tuesday. September the 30th. So it says day 3, that is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. There is day 3, September the 30th.

If we go onto the next one which is 2007, the year before, last year, same basic thing but you are coming up with 3 intercalary years and 7 normal years, instead of 4 intercalary years and 7 normal years, being added to the 303 years. So it is all exactly the same. You do all your sums and you come out finally at sunset week day 4, plus 10 hours and 486 parts. In other words that is, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So it is a Wednesday at 10 hours, 468 parts - the two strings cross. There is your molad, this is the molad of Tishri. This is the conjunction; the molad that starts Tishri.

So if you go then to 2007, year 11, notice, it says: year 11 begins on Thursday, September the 13th. Day 4, so that is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, oops Wednesday, and it says it is Thursday. Why? So we are a day out and this is where you come into postponements. Now if you go to the back of this sheet. On the internet, if you go to postponement rules, let's take a little bit of extra time:

"Now when the molad of Tishri occurs at a time of the week that is unaffected by the four postponement rules, then the Feast of Trumpets is on the same day as the molad." Now that happened in 2008. That is for this particular Tishri, but:

"Rule 1: When the molad of Tishri occurs at noon or later, 18 hours..." (That is 18 hours from sunset. If sunset is at 6'o clock, you draw sunset always at 6'o clock, 18 hours through, that is noon)..."the Feast of Trumpets is postponed until the next day." Now the reason for that is in Genesis 1:14:

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:" (Genesis 1:14)

There has got to be lights in the sky. Therefore you have got to wait. When the two strings are crossing, it's dark and you can't see it, because it is going in front of the sun. You have to wait a little bit until the moon rises. Remember when you were in your rocket-ship. You are going along and you have to wait until the two strings cross, you can't see it. But then a little bit later - about 6 hours - you are then able to see the actual moon itself. And that is where it is coming from.

"Rule 2: When the molad of Tishri, or a postponement occurs on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed one day, to a Monday, Thursday or Sabbath respectively." Now what can we work this out at? Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. It was a Wednesday, so it is the second rule that is applied here in 2007. The second rule, and you say why?

What is this all about? Well again you go into the Mishnah and all the various Jewish areas and they come up with all kinds of ideas. Many are to do with Kabbalah, they have all kinds of ideas about palm branches and the ceremonies that they have got involved with. But quite frankly, remember - the calendar was kept secret. The Beth-din did not let out the way in which this calendar was worked out; they just did not let it out at all. And the idea that what we are told today bears any relation at all, to the reason why the original postponements rule came into being, we cannot say that with any certainty at all. We simply do not know.

But I will tell you one thing, having that postponement rule; the postponement rule where it is not on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday it means that at harvest time you do not get two Sabbaths together. That is the reason. You don't get two Sabbaths. You can't get Trumpets followed by Sabbath, or Sabbath followed by Trumpets. Or Atonement followed a Sabbath or a Sabbath followed by Atonement. Or the 1st day or the Last Great Day. You can't do it - with having that rule, you don't get them side by side.

Now you can, if you go back in the year to the beginning of the year then you can. But in harvest-time it is a frenetic time, and you don't have that. This then builds this into the calendar and whether that was the reason for it we don't know. We don't know the reasons. What they say, what the Jews say, it stops them having this waving of palm branches as far as the Sunday one. The Wednesday, or the Friday is to do with Atonement. Having Sabbath either side of Atonement, but the Sunday one they reckon it is to do with these palm branches. I personally question that. I think it is more likely to be something to do with not having two Sabbath at harvest time side by side. So you have a proper preparation day in each case, you are able to prepare, you are able to get ready and be able to have that.

"Rule 3: When the molad of Tishri in a common year occurs on a Tuesday, at or after 3 days, 9 hours and 204 parts, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed to a Wednesday, and by rule 2, is further postponed to a Thursday."

"Rule 4: And the molad of Tishri in a common year immediately following an intercalary year occurs on a Monday after the 2nd day". You wonder how they sat down and worked these things out?

But basically, what those two rules - Rule 3 and Rule 4 - they allow the year, if it is a normal year, it will never be under 353 days and it is never going to be over 355 days. And in an intercalary year it is never going to be under 383 days or over 385 days. It keeps the years in order. But I want you to notice that what is actually happening here. It is interesting that when you are looking at postponement rules....turn to Matthew 24:48 it is interesting that it says:

"But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming [what is Trumpets all about? It's the return of Christ. He delays His coming - or postpones it.]; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of," (Matthew 24:48-50)

Now it is in interesting that that is exactly what people have felt, that Christ has delayed it. It looks like it but it is being deliberately postponed. You look at what is happening as far as the end time is concerned. It is being deliberately postponed. The time of the Judges that we are in now. The time of the shattering, the time of the testing is here. Something we did not expect. But God the Father is quite aware. He knows the day and the hour. He knows exactly where it is. And it is interesting when you look at postponement rules, you just do wonder whether in fact they do have a bearing on that particular scripture, that is here.

Now I am not coming up with any new doctrine in that regard. I am not saying that is definitely the case. But I am saying that when you look at the oracles being given to the hands of the Jews and they have applied these postponement rules and they do go back, they do go back. Now where they go back to you can't say, because it was kept secret. And it was kept secret until about 350 AD, when Hillel II actually allowed it to come out.

But I do wonder about the postponements and the way in which this Unseen Hand was there actually guiding things; and allowing these things to exist. I am not saying guiding it in a rigid way, I am saying guiding it in the same way as the book of Esther where King Ahasuerus was being guided by God to do certain things.

The Roman Calendar (PLAY FROM 1:08:23)

Okay let's see if I can just briefly deal with why the Roman calendar. Turn with me to Genesis 8. I am sorry if I've roared through the actual calculations. I could probably spend all the entire sermon on the calculations but I think quite frankly, eyes would simply glaze over. But it is much more important that we get the principles that are there and hold onto those principles. If you remember that the ground was cursed, remember in Genesis 3:17 God says to Adam:

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;" (Genesis 3:17)

But here in Genesis 8:22 notice:

"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22)

Why on earth would God put that there? Why would He make that statement, if there wasn't a problem with seed time, harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night? There were some problems probably at that time.

When you come to a little bit forward in time. From our garden here in Wales I can go up in the garden and can look out at Preseli, the Preseli Hills, and at the back of where our daughter is currently renting a cottage there is a range of hills called the Dragon's Back. And you can walk up there, and in the Dragon's Back there is load of stones at the top. All these huge stones and that's the only known place for this particular type of stone. And they took this particular type of stone all the way round, presumably by sea, to Stonehenge, which is in Wiltshire, it is near Bristol. So it is 200 miles, something like that, so they must have taken it right round by sea, 250 miles. Floated these things around and then erected them.

Now they are not all of this particular type of stone. I am not sure whether these stones are as big as that, but some of the stones at Stonehenge are 35 tons in weight. They are massive. Imagine moving something 35 tons and erecting something 35 tons. We would have a job moving them now. The average truck is what, 10, 15, at a push 20 tons, the average truck. You would have to get a low loader to move this thing and yet these stones were meticulously moved round and they were put in place. If you go and look at Stonehenge, at various sites you can see that. And if you look at what Stonehenge is all about; it is a lunar/solar calendar. That's what it is.

And the inner stones for the moon are the stones coming out of the Dragon's Back. I look from my garden across the Preseli Hills, they came from there, they dragged them all the way round. The inner circle came from Preseli. Why I don't know? I am not sure why, I do not know what all the details were.

Exactly when Stonehenge was built is very difficult to say. But it works even to this day. It has got a 19-year time cycle built into it. There are even certain places that the Celts which use it, the Druids, obviously came from the Celts, and the Celts are Israelitish tribes. So were the Israelitish tribes coming across before, way before? Were they actually using this place as a tin mine or something like that in Cornwall? There were certain things going on that we have no idea about. But that was way back. The year that they are thinking of is the year of Abraham, around that time. It could be later. I personally think it is probably a good deal later. It is difficult to actually date it, but it is lunar/solar.

You find the rise of Babylon, in Jeremiah 25, where it talks about Sheshach actually rising.... "And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them." (Jeremiah 25:26). There seemed to be an axial period at that particular time. And again we are not sure. When you go back into these early times to nail things down, it is very difficult. But there may have been an axial period; the calendar may have changed at that time. There is Velikovsky 'Worlds in Collision'; and all this kind of research that he has done. It does make you think.

However, when you come into the actual understanding that we see within our 19-year time cycle. I want to read you something from a web site. I won't say who the individual is but I will say this much, that I do know the individual, I went to College with him. He went through the same classes as I did. He was in the same class being taught this particular subject as I was; and he has a very different take on it. He says:

"Where does the idea of a 19-year time cycle come from? Around 432 BC, the Athenian astronomer Meton found that 235 lunations are nearly 19 solar years (normally referred to as metonic cycles) The Jewish calendar is clearly based on these metonic cycles." They are saying the Jewish calendar is based on these from Greece. "Around 146 BC another Greek astronomer Hipparchus also made some more accurate calculations of the lunar months and Hipparchus calculated at 235 lunations at 6939 days plus 16 hours 33 minutes 33.3 seconds. The exact figure which is employed in the calculation of the Jewish calendar." So what he is saying is that the Jews got it from the Greeks. And besides that they probably got is from the Babylonians as well. He says; "It is inconceivable that God would have given them a calculation that contains an error of over 2 minutes...." Because there is an error in this according to what he is saying.

What I want to do is, I want to read you something that has happened since Mr Armstrong was alive and this is being quoted from; 'The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, it is under the section on Astronomy 1, it is under the section within there called Seasons, that's section 5. And it is section 5 of that called; The 19-year Luni-solar Cycle. I will just read some of it, it says:

"We have lately learned from the discovery of a number of Aramaic papyri at Syene that there was a colony of Jews there who used a calendar construction, not from observation, but from calculation based upon a very exact luni-solar cycle...... This cycle, known to us by the name of its supposed discoverer, Meton, is one of 19 years which is only two hours short of 235 complete months. As this Jewish colony appears to have been founded after Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem by some of the refugees who fled to Egypt with Johanan the son of Kareah (Jer 40-44), this acquaintance with the Metonic cycle cannot have been due to Babylonian influence."

So it did not come from Babylon, it came directly from Judah.

"Nor can it have been due to Egyptian, since the Egyptians didn't use or require any such cycle, their year being a solar one of 365 days. Indeed no other nation appears to have been aware of it until, a generation later, Meton the Athenian won immortal fame by announcing it." So where did he get it from? He got it from the Jews. So where did Hippparchus get his from? He got it from the Jews.

"The evidence of the Syene papyri renders it probable that Meton did not himself discover this cycle but learnt it from Jewish sources...... it is clear from the evidence of the Syene papyri that the Jews there used the 19-year cycle both for fixing the day of the new moon and in order to determine when the thirteenth month had to be intercalated."

So where did it come from? It was there before Babylon. These people were fleeing from Babylon. They came to Egypt. They found papyri there before Meton came up with the idea, before Hipparchus came up with his ideas. It came from the Jews> It came from the Jews.

But you know you go then into the Quartodeciman Controversy which I briefly mentioned about last time. Basically, in 66 AD there was a change proposed by the Beth-Din. And there was then a revolt in the summer. Now 66 AD you are coming into the time when the temple was destroyed. It is round about the time that Hebrews was written, saying; "No, there has to be a change in the law." What was the change in the law? Who was the High Priest? Who was the one to whom the tithes were given? Christ was the High Priest and those who were representing Him.

But in 66 AD a change was proposed in the Beth-Din. There was a revolt in the summer. 67 AD Vespasian attacked Galilee. 68 AD then he went to Jerusalem but then he was recalled because Nero died, and then there were various wars. And eventually you are looking at the 70's AD when the temple was destroyed. But eventually 135 AD Bar-Kokhba revolt ended the Jewish nation. I mean, basically 'Aelia Capitolina' they actually renamed Jerusalem and they scraped the place off and they sowed it with salt. They forbade any Jew to go anywhere near it because of the trouble. The Romans had had so much trouble. And there were various controversies between Babylon and also Usher which is up in the Galilee area, the same latitude as Jerusalem. And it was finally Usher who won out. But it was settled in 142 AD.

Just as these intercalary months are - remember what we said about the Gregorian year from the Julian year. They had to go ahead and take 10 days out. Well exactly the same thing happened with the Jewish year as well. Because the Jewish year is not quite bang on with the solar year. And therefore in certain years 10 days have got to be removed. The only way we can imagine that it was actually removed is that these intercalary years were moved. In other words, instead of being the 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, 19, it became 2, 5, 7, or as it was once, 2, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 18. And you can imagine that before that it would be, 1, 4, 6, 9, and so on if you go back another few thousand years.

So the reason why this is important is because you also had around that same time, you had the beginning of what was known as the Quartodeciman Controversy. And it is why we have a Roman calendar within the western world today. It is the reason why the so-called Christian world today goes by a Roman calendar because the controversy was between Polycarp and also the Bishop of Rome. The Romans said, we are not going to listen to the Jews. What had the Jews done? Again it was all secret, it was still within the Beth-Din. They were not going to be revealed by Hillel II for another two hundred years.

So these secret negotiations - and they came up with this idea, that the calendar actually changed significantly but they weren't going to go ahead and say why. They were the ones to go ahead and dictate what the calendar was supposed to be and when Passover was supposed to be kept. And the Roman bishop said no, we are not having that. Because they had already slipped away from the Jewish customs.

But then Polycarp, who had learned what he learned from John held onto the Passover on the 14th of Nisan. That is why Quartodeciman, because it is quarto meaning four, deci meaning ten; 14th of Nisan. And so what you are looking at and these things that you see in the 'True History of the True Church' where it talks about us keeping the 14th day. How did they keep the 14th day? How did anyone keep the Holy Days? Did they have to go down to Palestine to have the new moon visible? Is that what actually happened? Or did they have to go down to Palestine to look at the barley harvest because these are ideas that are coming up on the internet at the moment.

Did they go to the nearest new moon to the spring equinox, after the spring equinox? Again all these ideas that come through. Is it visible? Is it a conjunction? Is it the molad that they use for the months or is it something that is visible? Who decides?

Well we have been given an apostle who gave us the truth. And that did not come from the apostle. It did not come from Mr Herbert Armstrong. It had to be revealed, about the meaning of life, the reason for existence. And it came from the Holy Days. And the Holy Days then have to have a framework in which they can be hung. When we look at that framework and we look at the framework that has been constructed by the Jews, we can see this Unseen Hand.

Now we have got to make sure that right now as His people, we have an Unseen Hand that is with us. That is actually guiding and directing ourselves, that we are keeping close to God and make sure that that first half of the Holy Days is actually fulfilled properly through us. We need to make to sure that we have faith daily that this is actually happening. That we are in contact with the same being that created all things. Who is in the process of the greatest creation ever, and it is actually encapsulated within the Holy Days.

But you know just in the same way, that same Unseen Hand also guided the Jews - guided them to administer the oracles of God in the oracles of the calendar. And they were administered for one reason. And that is so that God's Church today can also keep the Holy Days.


Footnotes:

{1} The World Tomorrow broadcast Mr Bowles referred to was 'Why Christ Used Parables'.

{2} The sermon Mr Bowles was referring to may have been; ' Warning to the Church'.

{3} These details can be downloaded from cog.org/audio 'The Calendar's Unseen Hand' 10th May 2008 or 11th May 2019.