Keith Hunt - The Calendar Question Restitution of All Things


The Calendar Question

                                    
PAST EXPERIENCE

From about 1992 there has been an upsurge in the Churches of God
and among individuals who have come out of the Worldwide Church
of God, regarding the use of the perpetual Hebrew(Jewish)
calendar, for setting the days to observe the festivals of the
Eternal as outlined in Leviticus 23.
The arguments presented of late against the Jewish calendar are
not new to me. Nothing I have seen since 1992 over the calendar
question is new, I have heard it all before way back in 1980 and
during the early years of that decade, when a number of
individuals were pouring out articles claiming the Jewish
calendar was in error. Many of the so called "Sacred Names"
organizations were also very busy trying to prove they had the
true calendar of God, which was different than the Jewish one.

I came into the Biblical Church of God(founded by Fred Coulter
who left the WCG in 1979) as a minister in 1982. The first
priority for all the Elders(about 10 at the time) was
the issue of the calendar. I was given paper after paper to
answer, all were arguing against the perpetual Jewish calendar.
The same arguments presented today were the ones used yesterday.
As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun.

For those interested, after about one and a half years of intense
study, the BCG said they would continue following the beginning
of the months of the year as laid out in the Jewish calendar. I
believe I was largely responsible for their decision because of
the answers I gave to all the arguments, and nailing down the
trunk of the tree foundation to the calendar issue.

THE CALENDAR IS AN IMPORTANT FOUNDATIONAL DOCTRINE

This issue is not the same as Romans 14, between those wanting to
eat meat and those believing only eating herbs (vegetarianism)
should be followed. God allows BOTH practices, there is freedom
and liberty within Christ for both views as long as one does
not "condemn" the other. God does not command anyone to eat meat
if they do not want to.
The Lord does on the other hand, command that His festivals with
7 annual Sabbath days included,  be observed on SPECIFIC days of
the months. How could this be if God did not give someone in
authority the right and knowledge of a calendar that was to be
set down and passed on to the people of God at large?

We are talking about 7 annual holy days that are HOLY to God,
that are to be kept holy.
And it is only possible to keep something holy that has been MADE
holy. God has made holy the 15th day of the first month, not the
13th day, or the 16th day!  He has made holy the 1st day of the
7th month, not the 2nd day or the 4th day. God is quite specific,
not "there abouts" or "close encounters" of the near kind. The
words of Lev.23 are very plain and clear, even a child can
understand the dates given. They are as clear as the words
of the 4th commandment - the 7th day of the week is the 7th day
not the 6th or the 1st day.
Someone from the beginning has had to preserve the 7day cycle so
no one could have the excuse that the 7 day week became lost. So
likewise someone has had the authority to arrange  the yearly
calendar from the beginning so it also would never be lost and
would be a witness to the world that God's festivals can still be
observed, with no excuse that the beginning of the months can not
be known.

The calendar question IS IMPORTANT!  It is not a question of
"doing your own thing" or "picking the calendar of your choice"
as like "picking the church of your choice." We are not given the
freedom to pick the day of the week to keep holy - God had
already chosen that for us - the 7th day of the week, when it
arrives in our part of the world. The festivals are also SET for
us, given to us from God as to when we shall observe them, on
what days of which months. Simple?  Yes indeed!  Specifically
important?  Oh, you bet!

So someone must have been given the authority over the calendar
FROM THE BEGINNING!

IMPORTANT DOCTRINES

Some say baptism is to be done either with sprinkling or pouring,
others say no, it is only to be performed with complete immersion
in water. Do you believe God wants us to know the truth of the
matter? Can you know the true way to baptize or are both ways
correct?
Is it possible to find the answer through study?
What about the question of the state of the dead. Does a person
continue to live on after death or are they resting in sleep,
oblivious to anything going on? Do you believe the Lord wants you
to know the truth on this subject? Can you find the truth by
study?
Will Jesus literally return to this earth in bodily form? Some
teach He will not, others say He will. Does our Father in heaven
want us to know the truth? Can we find the truth through study?

We could go on with other fundamental doctrines that churches
teach one way or the other, but the above three examples are
enough for our purpose.

If you believe in observing the festivals of the Lord as outlined
in Lev.23 then you will believe they are a part of the important
doctrines of God. If God wants us to observe them on the days and
in the months He states, then do you believe the correct calendar
He sanctions can be found? Do you believe those in authority to
sanctify the new month days for each month of the sacred year are
in existence?

Do you believe the Eternal wants complete unity for His children
to observe His festivals when He states they are to be observed? 
Or can any man/woman/group of persons, decide for themselves when
the first of each month will begin? If that is the case, why is
there NOT ONE WORD in God's holy word that states any person or
any local church can decide for themselves when the months will
begin, and how many months will be in any given year?

This is an important doctrine!  God wants us to get it right!  We
can know the one truth on this matter!

CONFUSION, CONFUSION EVERYWHERE

As I delved into this study way back in 1982 it soon became very
openly clear from all the papers on the subject, which claimed
the perpetual Jewish calendar was "not sanctioned by God," that
many were also claiming THEY had the true calendar. It was
rather funny(if it had not been so serious a matter), even quite
laughable, to see all these "this is the way, we are right"
persons and organizations, claiming to have the "biblical
calendar."  YET THEY DID NOT AGREE AMONG THEMSELVES!  They all
did the arranging of their calendar somewhat differently. They
were still all observing say the feast of Trumpets, on different
days. Some started the day of the Passover together but ended up
keeping the feast of Tabernacles days apart. While a few others
in some years were a WHOLE MONTH different than the rest. And to
be sure the late observers claimed they had the true calendar.

Back in 1982, 83, it was nothing but CONFUSION among many so
called "calendar experts."  There was unity in one respect, and
that was DIS-unity. Now among all this surely there was a single
truth, maybe even a plain truth to this calendar question.

One thing is sure, right from the very inspired word of the
Eternal. He claims that some may be confused, Satan may be
confused, but......" GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF
PEACE, as in all the churches of the saints" (1 Cor.14:33).

Those who claim they have authority over the calendar have caused
nothing but confusion, and God clearly says that does not come
from Him!

CONCERNING MY THREE TAPES

What is my basic stand on the calendar question?  Years ago,
about 1983 I think, I sent my tapes to Ron Dart and the CGI. In
1993/94 I sent them to Rod Meredith and GCG.
They were also sent to John Ritenbaugh and the CGG about a year
ago. Then six months(that was in 1996) ago or so they were sent
to Gary Antion in Toronto to help the UCG through this issue.
Other individual leaders have had them throughout the years. I
have never sent them to the Jerald Flurry of the PCG, I stay away
from them as far as I can. 

I am in agreement with the articles on the calendar(for the most
part) by Ron Dart,the GCG, and the recent one by John Ritenbaugh,
with one large exception to Ritenbaugh's.
He ends up his article by stating the Church of God was blessed
by the Lord under HWA, and he taught the Jewish calendar. It is
given as a proof for continuing with it. That argument is very
poor theology, one the other writers mentioned above have stayed
way clear of, to their wise move. For if we think a work is being
blessed by the Lord because it grows in numbers or media
outreach, then we are all in the wrong church and following
the wrong calendar. We should with that argument all join the
Roman Catholic church and observe the Roman calendar in keeping
the festivals. Then as God has blessed them with numbers and
world fame, we would not be observing the feasts of Lev.23 as
their great leader says we do not have to, and he is the vicar of
Christ on earth(I speak of course with tongue in cheek).

The three articles mentioned above by their respected authors are
quite good. My tapes cover about 4 hours. There is MUCH MORE
detail covered in them than in any articlesI have ever seen. I
answer many more arguments, cover more historical data, show how
the court of the Jews in the time of Christ sanctified the new
month days and when the 1st of Nisan would be. Some of their
rules are mentioned that just blow the mind. Rules that were in
force during the life of Jesus and which He never argued against.
Rules that make the so called "postponements" of the perpetual
calendar(which many seem to think are against God) look like a
Sunday afternoon picnic in comparison.
My tapes get to the "trunk of the tree" issue, and show just how
much authority the Jews have(not as much as you may think), while
asking the question "what authority do you have?"

I wish I could send them free to everyone requesting them, but I
have no financial backing from any church.  The postage is more
expensive to send from Canada to the USA than the other
way around. So I must ask for $2 a tape or $6 for the set of
three.

THERE IS A TRUTH ON THIS SUBJECT, THAT TRUTH CAN BE FOUND.

Written in Oct.1996
by
Keith Hunt

 
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