Gerald Flurry has probably put forth the main arguments for
the contention that when the first day of the feast of Unleavened
Bread is on a Sunday (which only occurs on average about every 5
or 6 years in the Jewish perpetual calendar) that day is also the
wave sheaf day even though the Sabbath before is not during the
days of Unleavened Bread. At the present (year 2000) the UCG;
LCG; GCG; CGI; CBCG; and probably others, would argue as does
Flurry. Only John Ritenbaugh and his CGG organization that have
split from the WCG mother church, have come to see the truth of
this matter. There are some independant people like Richard
Nickels and others, who have also come to see the truth and facts
presented in this study. The next year when this study will need
to be applied is the year 2001 and then 2005.
I desire only the truth of this matter and I do not want to
uphold a certain position just for the sake of proudness. We
should all tremble before the word of God and seek with all
our heart and mind His truth from His word that is truth.
Let me further say, when I was making out the calendar of
God's feasts and new month days for 1994 to send out to our
mailing list, I had May the 15th for Sunday Pentecost. I was
later given an article by another minister of the Church of God
who was deliberating on points I had not taken the time to
ponder. That started my indepth study of the subject at hand.
I am reading and meditating on Flurry's arguments with an
open mind but also with logic and as much scholastic ability as
the Lord has given me. I have prayed for guidance.
JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS
I agree with Flurry when he says: "Jesus Christ is that
wave sheaf offering! Christ is the first of the firstfruits (1
Cor.15:23). God's people called out of this world will make up
the rest of that spring harvest which is pictured by the day
of~Pentecost. Before the firstfruits is the first of the
firstfruits - or THE WAVE SHEAF OFFERING. The spiritual wave
sheaf offering(Jesus Christ) occurred during the days of
Now I see him writing it this way to somehow try and prove
that the RULE of Lev.23 is that the wave sheaf day MUST BE within
the days of unleavened bread. What he does not tell his readers
is that in the year Jesus was put to death the Sabbath(weekly
Sabbath) was ALSO DURING the feast of Unleavened Bread. So the
question still remains:
"What basic rule does Lev. 23 tell us to follow in our counting
to Pentecost?" Is the key "the Sabbath" during the feast or is it
the wave sheaf day must be during the feast. In the year Jesus
died BOTH days were during the feast, so that argument can be
used by both camps to prove their point - still a stalemate.
Many have used "spiritual types" to try and prove that the
wave sheaf day MUST BE DURING the feast of Unleavened Bread.
Interesting as they may be, and as humanly appealing as they may
sound, I have not yet been presented with Scriptural verses that
clearly prove their "types" are founded on the word of God.
Let me try and make it plain. I can give you chapter and
verse that the Passover lamb was a type and representation of the
true Lamb of God -Jesus Christ It is found in 1Cor.5:7.
I can give you the chapter and verse that shows the wave sheaf
offering of Lev.23 was a type of Christ - 1 Cor. 15:23 with John
20:17 and Matthew 28:9.
The Passover lamb was a type of Christ ONLY - no other
person, not the Church, not you, not me - it represented Jesus
The wave sheaf was a type of Christ ONLY - not anyone else,
not the Church, not you, not me. The first harvest and day of
Pentecost is type of the children of God in the first
resurrection, but the FIRST cutting of that harvest is type of
The 7 days of the Unleavened Bread feast is the people of
God - the first harvest people in type. Chapter and verse - 1
Cor.5:1-8. These days of Unleavened Bread - putting out
sin(leaven) putting in truth and righteousness(unleavened bread)
- is US, the Lord's people, NOT Christ. Jesus was sinless EVERY
SECOND OF EVERY DAY of His life.
The wave sheaf of barley is naturally unleavened(sinless) at
whatever time of whatever day it is cut and presented to the
Lord. It is not dependent on the days of Unleavened Bread
to somehow tie it in with being sinless, or make it unleavened -
barley grain is by nature unleavened at any time when it is cut.
There is no scriptural verse that by command or type says
the sheaf of Barley (Christ Jesus) had to be cut and offered to
the Lord ALWAYS during the seven days of the feast of Unleavened
Those who dogmatically claim that is the rule and give fancy
analogies to so prove it to you, do so out of the ideas and
imagination of their own mind - they have no word of the
Lord to back their reasoning.
Mr.Flurry is wise enough to know that he has a problem with
trying to use an analogy that has no basis in scripture, and that
Lev.23 cannot be used as the proof text for understanding the
rule to follow is that the wave sheaf day must be during the
feast of Unleavened Bread. He realizes he still has a
difficulty and when talking about the year Jesus died, he says:
"And on that particular year, the weekly Sabbath and the
wave sheaf both did occur within the spring holy days. But THAT
IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. When there is not a consecutive
Saturday-Sunday within the days of Unleavened Bread(like this
year), it is impossible for the WEEKLY SABBATH and the MORROW
AFTER to both occur within these days. In such a case, we must
determine whether it is the WEEKLY SABBATH that falls within
those days, or the actual WAVE SHEAF OFFERING" (emphasis his and
Ah! Do you see where he has come full circle to again? He
is back to....
WHAT IS THE BASIC RULE OF LEV.23 ?
Then G.F. dogmatically goes on to say, "It is the WAVE SHEAF
which always must occur within the days of Unleavened Bread." He
gives no Bible verse to back his statement.
What proof does he give? Here it is: " Mr. Armstrong"
(Herbert Armstrong) "confirmed this on page 23 of the 1976
version: '...The first sheaf of grain was cut. This event ALWAYS
occurred during the days of unleavened bread. ' In his later
years, Mr.Armstrong taught, and so does the PEG, that in years
like 1994, the counting begins on the morrow after the weekly
Sabbath just prior to the first day of Unleavened Bread - The
Sabbath on which the Passover falls on this year."
Flurry's first proof text is NOT FROM THE WORD OF GOD, but
from the writing of a man - namely Herbert Armstrong. And HWA
could not give a chapter and verse to back his pronouncement
either. Flurry has made an IDOL out of HWA as I had exposed very
clearly in a back issue of our publication THE TRUTH OF THE
MATTER (no longer in print).
God's word teaches us not to put our trust in man. HWA was
WRONG on MANY points of teaching at numerous times during his
ministry and especially during his last 20 years of life. He had
been wrong about the day to observe Pentecost for decades, he had
been wrong about the truth on divorce and remarriage, about the
use of make-up, about the medical world and how to use it, about
the place of safety, about the year 1972. HWA was teaching a
false doctrine of Church GOVERNMENT, a false doctrine of Church
DISFELLOWSHIPPING, a false doctrine that he was the Elijah to
come, a false teaching that the WCG was the 144 thousand of
Revelation 7, AND OTHER ERRORS.
Do you want to pin your beliefs and practices on men that
say but can give you no scriptural proof for their lofty
HWA did not write the Bible nor did he give the instructions
of the only rule we have as found in Lev.23 to count to
This kind of so called "proof texting" frankly turns me
right off, makes me angry and disgusted. How about you?
Well, putting aside my glandular emotions, the writings of
ANY MAN without the backing of the word of the Lord, is proof of
NOTHING. Any man who tries to establish doctrine such as how to
count to Pentecost WITHOUT the word is walking on very thin ice -
really no ice at all.
GERALD FLURRY'S OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLE
G.F. has one OT example of Israel observing the spring
feasts that he claims is the proof that the Passover occurred on
the Sabbath and the wave sheaf was offered the first day
of Unleavened Bread - a Sunday - as in this year of 1994.
He says let's first begin by going back to Lev.23 and
reading verses 10-14. So please do so - read it carefully He
wants you to note verse 14 - okay we will, but I also want you
to note verse 10. I will come back to this section of scripture
Concerning verse 14 Flurry comments: "In other words, they
were expressly forbidden to eat any of the produce of the land
until the sheaf of grain had been waved before God. After the
wave sheaf, the spring harvest began and they could begin to eat
of the produce from the land. Now notice Joshua 5:10..... Then in
verse 11, it says..... The Hebrew word here for 'old corn' is
actually translated better as 'the produce.' This scriptural
example gives us the actual days these events occurred." Flurry
thinks this example gives the days - we shall see later if that
is really so. Continuing, "On the fourteenth, they kept the
Passover. On the morrow after the Passover, the fifteenth, they
began to eat the produce of the land - something they were
CLEARLY FORBIDDEN TO DO UNTIL the sheaf of grain had been
offered before God. The only possible explanation then is that
the wave sheaf occurred that day, the FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED
BREAD, before they began to eat of the produce of the land. AND
THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY THE WAVE SHEAF COULD OCCUR ON THE FIRST OF
UNLEAVENED BREAD IS IF THE PASSOVER FALLS ON THE WEEKLY SABBATH.
Thus we have scriptural proof from the Old Testament example,
proving that the wave sheaf occurred on the morrow after a weekly
Sabbath that was not within the spring holy days!" (emphasis
Wow! Sounds pretty good at first glance. Surely that is the
Bible proof you may be saying. Weeelllll...... first of all he
has got to get you to believe the Hebrew for "old corn" should be
translated "produce" which some Bible versions so give. But the
truth is different and I will present that later. I want to zero
in on the MAIN fault of Flurry's deduction from Joshua 5. For now
we'll say "old corn" should be translated "produce."
Let's set the picture again. Israel had crossed the
Jordan, they camp, all the corn they have is the barley corn
growing in the fields around about them. Flurry wants you to
believe that is the setting. He's told you Lev.23 says they could
not eat of that corn until the wave sheaf had been offered to the
Lord. He wants you to believe the Passover - the 14th - was on
a weekly Sabbath, then the next day, the 15th, they could offer
the wave sheaf, partake of the grain and make unleavened bread to
start eating it on that Sunday the first day of 7 days of the
Unleavened Bread feast.
BUT WHAT HAS GERALD FLURRY FORGOTTEN? He's told you they
DID observe the PASSOVER on the 14th, and to him that was on a
weekly Sabbath. Think now, take your mind back to Exodus 12 -
better still, turn to it and see it for yourself, in your
What I want you to find is in verse 8.
Ah! Yes, you have it. What was to be eaten WITH the
Passover? The one thing was bitter herbs, but the other thing
was UNLEAVENED BREAD!
Now here is Israel encamped, just arrived, not yet
inheriting all of the land, still fresh from being a wandering
people, but ready to keep the Passover on the 14th - Flurry's
Friday evening, or Dankenbring's Saturday evening, whichever you
want to choose(but both before Sunday morning when G.F. says the
wave sheaf took place). Israel had no "old corn" only the
produce of the land according to Flurry. They start to get ready
for the Passover - they had to eat it with unleavened bread. The
produce of the land is all around them - the barley grain. Out
they go to get some grain to make unleavened bread to eat with
the Passover for the 14th. They really convince themselves they
did not take any grain from the fields, just did not happen they
say, we'll forget we did it BEFORE WE SHOULD HAVE, BEFORE THE
WAVE SHEAF WAS OFFERED ON THE 15th - the Sunday of Flurry's
Do you see the folly of Flurry's interpretation of Joshua 5?
If they had no "old corn" from last year's harvest to bake
unleavened bread for the Passover meal on the 14th, but only
the NEW STANDING GRAIN CROP in the spring fields, then they went
out and cut some down to make flat bread for the Passover meal,
when it was against the LAW OF GOD to use any grain from the new
spring harvest UNTIL the wave sheaf had been offered, and that
according to Flurry was not until the Sunday of the 15th in his
setting for Joshua 5.
There is no contradiction in God's word. His laws do not
conflict with each other. The new spring grain could not be used
for baking, not even gathered in, cut down, UNTIL the wave sheaf
was offered. That was the law of the spring harvest.
The PASSOVER on the 14th always came BEFORE the wave sheaf
day, and that Passover meal was to be eaten WITH UNLEAVENED
BREAD(Ex.12:8). That was also a law of the Passover observance.
In Israel observing the Passover meal BEFORE the wave
sheaf day, they would have always had to use OLD CORN - OLD GRAIN
for the unleavened bread of the Passover. And remember, some
years the Sunday after the weekly Sabbath during the feast would
come near the middle or near the end as it does to this very day,
so in such years "old grain" was very important for baking the
unleavened bread up to the day of the wave sheaf, which can come
LATE in the 7 days of the UB feast.
What about this Hebrew for the words "old corn" - let's take
a close look.
You will notice in Josh.5 there are NO WORDS OR PHRASES,
that give ANY hint as to the day of the week all this happened
on. There is NOTHING that says anything like, "They kept the
Passover on the 14th day which was the seventh day of the week."
Or, "On the morrow after the Passover which was the first day of
the week, they ate......."
Joshua chapter five is SILENT on giving ANY particular day
of the week for anything. The 14th day of the month is mentioned
but no day of the week (first, second, third etc.) is mentioned
anywhere. It is IMPOSSIBLE from Joshua chapter five to know what
day of the week the Passover of the 14th came on. It is just not
given for us to know, nor does it matter quite frankly.
THE HEBREW FOR "OLD CORN"
This Hebrew is #5669 in Strong's Concordance. It is used
ONLY in Joshua 5:11,12.
Strong's concordance says: " the same as 5668; passed, i.e.
kept over; used only of stored grain:- old corn."
The Hebrew/English Interlinear Bible by Jay P. Green,Sr.
Vol.1 page 568 translates the Hebrew #5669 as "of the old grain."
Flurry in his article quoted from the Adam Clarke's Bible
Commentary when it seemed to agree with what he was saying, but
from the same page of the aforementioned book is this comment by
Adam Clarke that G.F. did not give to his readers:
"Verse 11. They did eat of the old corn of the land. The
Hebrew word 'abur,' which we translate old corn, occurs only in
this place in such a sense, if that sense is legitimate.
The noun, though of doubtful signification, is evidently derived
from... abar, to pass over, to go beyond; and here it may be
translated simply the produce, that which passes from the land
into the hands of the cultivator; or according to Cocceius, WHAT
PASSES FROM PERSON TO PERSON IN THE WAY OF TRAFFIC: HENCE,
BOUGHT CORN, WHAT THEY PURCHASED FROM THE INHABITANTS OF THE
LAND" (emphasis Clarke and myself).
As I have stated, in order for the Israelites to have
observed the Passover meal they would have had to also eaten
unleavened bread with it, according to the instructions of
Ex.12:8. Old grain, passed grain from previous years would have
been used as new grain could not be harvested until after the
wave sheaf day which ALWAYS comes after the Passover of the 14th.
If they had old grain for the unleavened bread of the
Passover, they had that same old grain for the days of the feast
of Unleavened Bread, hence verse 11 "And they did eat of the
OLD CORN of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened
cakes, and parched corn in the self-same day."
Yes the same old corn they used for the Passover meal was
used for the 15th holy day of the feast - the first day of the
feast of UB.
With this truth all revealed Flurry's scenario is dunked to
the bottom of the deep blue sea, thrown out of the window to fly
away like the dew of the morning.
With this plain truth(to use the famous words of Flurry's
mentor) the idea put forth that this Passover of Joshua 5 was on
the weekly Sabbath is unfounded and just CAN NOT BE KNOWN FOR IT
IS NOT RECORDED ON WHAT DAYS OF THE WEEK ALL THIS TOOK PLACE.
Then add to all this the fact that the Israelites under
Joshua were not following the Hebrew perpetual calendar(it was at
least 2,000 years before that calendar would be formulated) and
Flurry's only "Old Testament example" falls like a house of
MORE TRUTH FROM GOD'S WORD
I said earlier that we would go back to Lev.23 verse 9-14.
Now is the time.
You may not have realized that some parts of God's laws to
Israel COULD NOT BECOME EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE ISRAELITES HAD
INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND AND HAD SETTLED IT!
Turn to Deut.14. Verses 22-29 could not be obeyed and
observed DURING the 40 year wandering of Israel in the desert.
These laws could only be observed AFTER the people had entered
the promised land, settled it, and started to plant and harvest
crops in that land.
Now I will ask you this question: DID ISRAEL KEEP GOD'S
FESTIVALS DURING THE DESERT WANDERINGS?
Israel kept the Passover and days of Unleavened Bread going
into the wilderness - Exodus 12 and also see Numbers 9.
Yes, Israel kept the weekly Sabbath, new month days, and
the annual festivals with their holy days while wandering around
for 40 years. They observed they kept the feast of Unleavened
Bread, and they kept the feast of First-fruits or Pentecost. But
during that 40 years they would have NEVER OFFERED THE WAVE
SHEAF! Why? Read Lev.23:10.
They could have not observed THIS PART of the feast because THEY
WERE NOT PLANTING AND HARVESTING GRAIN CROPS IN THE DESERT
WANDERING AND MOVINGS!
Because this part of the feast could not be observed at that
time did NOT mean they did not keep the spring feasts. The
principle is the same for us and the Jews today. Just because it
is not possible to offer the feast SACRIFICES because there is no
Temple in Jerusalem and no Levitical priesthood, does not mean
we cannot observe the feasts. The Jews have no trouble in keeping
the feasts today without being able to observe certain parts
of those feasts as under the Old Covenant.
The instructions in Lev.23:9-14 was for the time when Israel
would settle and cultivate the land of promise.
Notice it: " WHEN YOU BE COME INTO THE LAND AND SHALL REAP THE
HARVEST, THEN you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of YOUR
It was AFTER they had SETTLED THE LAND, after they had
PLANTED SEED and were to reap the harvest - note it - "YOUR
The wave sheaf could not be observed until all those
circumstances were in place - being performed. The wave sheaf
offering was to start when Israel were about to harvest their
first grain crop after settling the land. And the harvest at the
years end, in the fall of the year was NOT GRAIN, but FRUIT. The
Barley and Wheat harvest was in the Spring, or specifically from
the wave sheaf day until the day of Pentecost - 50 days later. By
Pentecost all the wheat harvest had been gathered in.
Back to the book of Joshua. Turn to chapter 4:19. The people
had crossed Jordan, it was the 10th day of the first month. They
were camped at Gilgal and getting ready for the coming Passover
on the 14th.
They were still just a large group of people, just about to
start on the job of inheriting and settling the land promised to
them 40 years earlier. They were at this time FAR AWAY from
possessing ALL THE LAND promised to them and PLANTING SEED for
their first grain harvest that would not appear until the
Read through the rest of the book of Joshua. It would have
taken weeks and months for all the tribes to acquire their
portion of the land. Then and only then could they begin to
plant seed for the following years spring harvest.
The law of Lev.23:9-14 was for " When you come into the
land... .and shall reap the harvest.........YOUR HARVEST....."
The wave sheaf was to be from "YOUR HARVEST" not some other
When Israel first went over the river Jordan under Joshua,
did they immediately run off all over the land harvesting the
spring grain? OF COURSE NOT! It was probably the last thing on
their minds - they had a whole land to conquer and settle FIRST!
They had not planted that grain, the whole situation did not
qualify to be under the law of Lev.23:10-14.
God had said they would be 40 years in the wilderness for
their unbelief, and as the COMPANION BIBLE points out "The feast
of unleavened bread ended 21st Bib at even, exactly forty years
from Ex.12:41." So the FORTY years in the WILDERNESS, notice it,
mark it, DID NOT END UNTIL THE LAST DAY OF THE FEAST OF UB.
During those forty years in the wilderness the wave sheaf
could not be offered - the wave sheaf law could not be applied as
the requirements for its application were not in existence.
The Passover and feast of Unleavened Bread they kept on the
other side of the Jordan in Joshua 5 was within those 40 years.
The requirements to offer the wave sheaf as found in Lev.23
were not in existence at the Passover of Gilgai.
No wave sheaf offering would have been performed at the
Passover recorded in Joshua chapter five.
THE RULE OF COUNTING TO PENTECOST
As Flurry and others know, it is chapter 23 of Leviticus
that holds the only passage of scripture to show us the basic
rule of counting to the feast of first fruits.
How can we know what that rule is? Is the rule that the
Sabbath(weekly one) is to fall within the seven days of
unleavened bread, or is the rule that the wave sheaf day must
fall within the seven day feast?
It can be argued by both sides that 100% of the time you
will have a weekly Sabbath and a Sunday somewhere within the
feast, not together maybe, not one after the other maybe,
but both a 7th day Sabbath and a first day of the week will
always be in the spring feast of seven days.
So how can we know the rule? Here's the way.
If the rule was that it is the wave sheaf day - the first
day of the week - that must fall within the 7 days of the feast,
then as all know that the first day always follows the Sabbath
day, God could have simply had it written this way: "Then you
shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the
priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord ON THE FIRST
OF THE WEEK."
If the wave sheaf day is the rule then there would have been
NO NEED TO HAVE MENTIONED THE SABBATH AT ALL. As there is
ALWAYS a first day somewhere during the feast, mention of the
Sabbath would not have been needed and the rule would be that the
day of the wave sheaf must be within the seven day spring feast.
That is not the way God inspired it to be written. By the
very words used for the first day of the week "the morrow after"
shows a diminutive to the words THE SABBATH. The Pharisees could
see that was the truth of the matter, that the focal point of
this passage for the rule in counting to Pentecost was THE
SABBATH, they said it was the 15th of the month Sabbath. The
Sadducees had no trouble seeing the instructions in this passage
as far as the basic rule and guide to count to Pentecost was THE
SABBATH, they said it was the weekly Sabbath during the seven day
Other Jewish sects have disagreed with both of the above
groups. Some have said THE SABBATH was the last Sabbath day of
the feast (last of the month) while others say THE SABBATH is the
weekly Sabbath AFTER the feast because Lev.23:8 has finished
talking about the feast of Unleavened Bread.
But all of the above sects and interpretations AGREE ON ONE
THING - the basic rule in counting to Pentecost is found in the
wording of "THE SABBATH" not in the words "the morrow after."
Remember there is only ONE SUNDAY - FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK -
IN THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. There is ALWAYS a first day of
the week in the seven day spring feast, but only ONE and never
That is NOT SO with the number of Sabbath days that the
spring feast could have. Depending how it falls within the
calendar, there could be as MANY AS THREE sabbath days. The 15th
and 21st are always Sabbath days but there is often a weekly
Sabbath day BETWEEN THEM - making THREE Sabbath days within the
feast in some years.
Because of this fact and because all the Jewish sects agreed
as to the rule God was giving in Lev.23 - the rule of THE SABBATH
- they could NOT AGREE as to WHICH Sabbath was meant. Was it the
15th Sabbath, was it the 21st Sabbath, or was it the weekly
Sabbath within the feast(there always is a weekly Sabbath within
the 7 day feast). Hence the Pharisees taught one way, the
Sadducees taught another way, and still others taught a different
Sabbath was meant.
Let me repeat. If the wave sheaf day - the first day of the
week (and only one first day comes within the spring feast) was
the rule (it was always to be within the feast) to count to
Pentecost THEN THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO MISUNDERSTANDING, NO
ARGUING AS TO THE DAY, EVERYONE WOULD CLEARLY KNOW WHEN TO
COUNT FROM BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY EVER ONE FIRST DAY DURING THE
SEVEN DAY UNLEAVENED BREAD FEAST.
All the Jewish sects I am acquainted with read the Hebrew or
English of Lev.23:10-15 and see by the very structure and wording
used, the focal point for the basic rule in counting to the day
of the firstfruits feast is THE SABBATH. They could not agree as
to WHICH Sabbath was meant.
Three Sabbaths could be chosen. One sect chose the 15th
Sabbath, another sect chose the 21st Sabbath, and a third sect
chose the Sabbath (weekly) during the feast.
Who was correct?
Jesus was typified by the WAVE SHEAF. He fulfilled the wave
sheaf offering on the first of the week(when He ascended to the
Father), on the"morrow after" THE SABBATH which was the WEEKLY
SABBATH DURING THE FEAST.
The rule of Lev.23 is THE SABBATH - WEEKLY SABBATH - THAT
COMES WITHIN THE SEVEN DAY FEAST(most of the times, but now and
again it comes as the last day of the feast - the 7th day of the
feast and the 7th day of the week being the same day). When it
is found then "the morrow after" is wave sheaf day.
All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, printed,
e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit of the Lord.
Mr Hunt trusts nothing will be changed (except for spelling and
punctuation errors) without his consent.