“Eyes on Christ”

Eyes on Christ 

A WARNING in love, “Eyes on Christ” DOES NOT mean being in membership of –

– the Roman Catholic church;

– the 38,000+ Protestant Denominational churches;

– the Jehovah Witnesses, the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, (add in your religion), etc.

IT IS NOT following the RC catechism classes, the Westminster confession, the Baptist confession, or any man made custom, tradition or confession of faith.

IT IS NOT following the Pope, Mary, Calvin, Arminius, your favourite pastor and theologian or any other guru or false teacher, or making and worshipping a ‘god’ of your own choosing which is idolatry.

IT IS NOT using God’s or Jesus Christ’s name to score religious piety. That is blasphemy.

IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED, DEAD, BURIED, RESURRECTED AND ASCENDED TO THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER.

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”);
Sola Fide (“faith alone”);
Sola Gratia (“grace alone”);
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”);
Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”)

Soli Deo Gloria

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Which Resurrection Sunday?

It is Sunday April 16, 2017, time is 23:50 and for the past hour or so I have had thoughts mulling around in my head and have felt compelled to fire-up my laptop and record what needs to be written.

So which resurrection Sunday are ‘Christians’ referring to as a plethora of social media has been shared this Sunday April 16, 2017. For starters can we be certain that this is the correct Sunday to be remembering our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection day? When does the calculations actually start to find out when the Lord Jesus Christ was actually crucified at 33 years of age. To start, does the calculations commence at 6BC? or is it 5BC? or maybe it should be 4BC? The only problem is how was the Son of GOD born pre-dating His birth when Christ’s first advent separates History into B.C. and A.D. – Before Christ and anno Domini (in the year of the Lord). Christian Theologians and Historians have this quandary of ever-trying to explain the nativity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that is His birth Before Christ. Perplexing as this might seem, let’s move to A.D. 2017 and see whether we as ‘Christians’ are supposed to be celebrating Christ’s resurrection on the correct Sunday?

According to the Bible our Lord Jesus Christ was raised to life after His crucifixion and death on the first day of the week (Sunday). Jesus raised to life in the Resurrection “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). According to the Bible that would be three days after His death at the Passover which is Nisan 14 into Nisan 15 the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, according to the Jewish calendar, if the Passover in 2017 fell on Monday April 10, 2017 at sunset which is the beginning of the Jews’ Passover Nisan 14, 5777, and on April 11, 2017 at sunset was the Feast of Unleavened Bread (see Leviticus 23) when Yeshua haMessiach, our Lord Jesus Christ, ate the Passover, i.e. the Passover is prepared and the Passover lamb is killed (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13) and “Now when the even was come,” in the evening the Passover meal is celebrated and eaten (Matthew 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:14-18), and Christ being crucified thereafter, that would make resurrection Sunday April 16, 2017 five (5) days later and not the biblical three (3) days!*

Using man’s customs and traditions to celebrate Easter is akin to the Roman Catholic Mass of re-crucifying Jesus Christ over and over again in their transubstantiation practice when you continually ‘celebrate’ His resurrection every year. As Christ died only once and so He was also only resurrected once, as we read,

9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 
10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. ~ Romans 6:9,10

How many times is Christ resurrected? Surely, yes, we do remember that Christ was resurrected, but to ‘celebrate’ “the tomb is empty He is risen” every year would imply that He has resurrected again, and again, and again, . . . when Christ was raised once and “I am alive for evermore” (see Revelation 1:18). The problem arises that His resurrection is not even being ‘celebrated’ on the correct date and day in accordance with the Biblical time frame. Even the apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthians to keep the feast with “sincerity and truth”, as we read,

7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 
8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ I Corinthians 5:7,8

But we must be careful that we do not end up in bondage practicing the “weak and beggarly elements” of legalistic day observances as we are to be wise and heed this warning, as we read,

9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 
10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. ~ Galatians 4:9,10 

Please DO NOT misunderstand me – I certainly rejoice at the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it needs to be done orderly and in accordance with GOD’s Holy Word. Therefore, our Lord and Master Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper for all born-again believers so that there would not be contentions surrounding “days, and months, and times, and years”, as we are commanded to remember Christ until His second coming as follows, for it is written,

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ I Corinthians 11:23-26

Otherwise, the practices all look like the pagan Roman Catholic traditions that unfold with the various assortment of cross bearing processions that take place at the Vatican, in Jerusalem, amongst the Egyptian Copts, Eastern Orthodox and many other religious acts the world over (even including crucifixions enacted!) that shows no unity of faith and practice. We Christians are to be a peculiar people in unity serving and worshipping Christ in spirit and in truth with no division.

Soli Deo Gloria

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* See a related blog posting Man’s Tradition of Easter Misses the Mark Again!!! (April 11, 2017)

The Lamb of GOD

This is a new Gospel tract . . .

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The Lamb

of

GOD

~ An Easter Message of the Passover Lamb ~

~ With Compliments ~

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Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

The True meaning of Easter has nothing to do with easter bunnies and chocolate eggs.

It has all to do with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD, offering Himself as a Saviour for sinners who will repent and believe upon His Name. In the Gospel of John we read, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) and the apostle Paul also said, “. . . For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:” (I Cor. 5:7). We need to stay away from man’s customs and traditions and hold fast to GOD’s Word. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus Christ gave a prophecy concerning His death in Matthew 12:39,40 as we read, “39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

And according to the Bible Scriptures this prophecy was fulfilled and so Christ was not crucified on ‘Good Friday’ according to man’s customs, traditions and religious beliefs. Here are the Biblical facts why.

ELEVEN-DAY BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT (From The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Gary Stephen Crous)

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Sunset (9th Nisan) – FRIDAY [sixth day of the week]

Sunrise

1Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. ~ John 12:1

This was when Mary, Martha’s and Lazarus’ sister, anointed Jesus Christ’s feet with a pound of ointment of spikenard (see John 12:3) the day before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see John 12:12).

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Sunset (10th Nisan) – SATURDAY (Sabbath Day) [seventh day of the week]

Sunrise

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1,10; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29,37,38; John 12:12). The Messiah is the paschal lamb of the Jewish Passover as God Almighty had commanded that a lamb without blemish was to be set aside on 10th Nisan (Exodus 12:3) and this lamb would be killed on “the fourteenth day of the same month: . . . in the evening” (Exodus 12:6).

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Sunset (11th Nisan) – SUNDAY [first day of the week]

Jesus went to Bethany with His disciples (Mark 11:11).

Sunrise

On the morrow when they came from Bethany, Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14), He cleansed the Temple and taught (Mark 11:15-18).

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Sunset (12th Nisan) – MONDAY [second day of the week]

And when even was come He went out of the city (Mark 11:19).

Sunrise

And in the morning they passed the fig tree and He speaks of the Power of Faith (Mark 11:20-24) and He teaches on forgiveness and addresses the question of authority (Mark 11:25-33). Jesus then teaches extensively (Mark 12:1-44, 13:1-37; Luke 20:1-47, 21:1-38).

1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. ~ Mark 14:1,2 (Cf. Matthew 26:1,2 and Luke 22:1,2)

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Sunset (13th Nisan) – TUESDAY [third day of the week]

Sunrise

Judas Iscariot plans to betray Jesus. This event took place sometime after Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and before the first day of Unleavened Bread as we read in the Apostle Luke’s account:

1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover . . . 7Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. ~ Luke 22:1,7

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Sunset (14th Nisan) – WEDNESDAY [fourth day of the week] – Passover (Leviticus 23:5)

Sunrise

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Sunset (15th Nisan) – THURSDAY [fifth day of the week] – First Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6)

The Passover is prepared and the Passover lamb is killed (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13).

“Now when the even was come,” in the evening the Passover meal is celebrated and eaten (Matthew 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:14-18)

The Lord’s Supper is instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20)

After the meal, they depart for the Mount of Olives and Peter’s denial is predicted (Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38)

Jesus and His disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 17:1-26)

Jesus is betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11)

Jesus’ Trials –

· Before the Sanhedrin by Annas and Caiaphas the high priest (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54, 55, 63-71; John 18:12-14, 19-24)

Sunrise (First Day – part)

Jesus’ Trials continue “And straightway in the morning …” (Mark 15:1)

· Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Matthew 27:1, 2, 11-28; Mark 15:1-14; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-40, 19:1-16)

· Herod Antipas (Luke 23:8-12)

· Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Luke 23:13-25)

Jesus is lead away to be crucified at Calvary (Golgotha)–

· 3rd Hour (9am) – Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24, 25; Luke 23:33; John 19:18)

· 6th Hour (12pm) – 9th Hour (3pm): There were three hours of darkness over all the earth (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)

· 9th Hour (3pm) – Jesus died giving up His spirit (Matthew 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30)

Fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Part of One Day, No Night

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Sunset (16th Nisan) – FRIDAY [sixth day of the week] – The Preparation Day (First Night – full)

Jesus is taken off the cross and buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathae and Nicodemus – when evening was come, the day before the Sabbath (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42).

54And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. ~ Luke 23:54

As it was the day of preparation and the Sabbath drew on no body could remain up on the cross on the holy preparation day and the Sabbath day. Also, according to Deuteronomy 21:23, it commands that “a body shall not remain all night upon the tree”. When this is mentioned in John 19:31 the high Sabbath day is in reference to a Sabbath day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Sunrise (Second Day – full)

Fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Two Days (1 part + 1 full), One Night (1 full)

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Sunset (17th Nisan) – SATURDAY [seventh day of the week] – Sabbath Day (Second Night – full)

In the grave (Luke 23:56).

Sunrise (Third Day – full)

Fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Three Days (1 part + 2 full), Two Nights (2 full)

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Sunset (18th Nisan) – SUNDAY – First Day of the Week – The Third Day (Three days dead Thur./Fri. – Fri./Sat. – Sat./Sun. and raised on the Third Day) (Third Night – part)

Jesus raised to life in the Resurrection “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10)

Fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = THREE DAYS (1 part + 2 full), THREE NIGHTS (2 full + 1 part)

Sunrise

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Born-again Christians (see John 3:3,5-7) are commanded how to remember their Lord Jesus Christ, “23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (I Cor. 11:23-26)

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Man’s Tradition of Easter Misses the Mark Again!!!

This is why our Lord Jesus Christ gave us His table to remember His death,

26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ I Corinthians 11:26

The world over ‘celebrated’ Palm Sunday on Sunday April 9, 2017 when in actual fact our Lord Jesus Christ would had ridden into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey on Nisan 10, which according to this year’s Jewish calendar Nisan 10, 5777* fell on Thursday April 6, 2017. So the custom of man missed the Scripture instruction. Nisan 10 in Jewish tradition is related to the reading of Torah as can be seen at the link hereunder,

י׳ בְּנִיסָן תשע״ז

Parashat Tzav / פרשת צו

Next read in the Diaspora on 08 April 2017. Parashat Tzav is the 25th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

On Monday April 10, 2017 at sunset was the beginning of Passover Nisan 14, 5777, and on April 11, 2017 at sunset will be the Feast of Unleavened Bread when Yeshua haMessiach, our Lord Jesus Christ, ate the Passover.

ט״ו בְּנִיסָן תשע״ז

Pesach / פסח

Passover (Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesach) commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

Pesach begins at sundown on Mon, 10 April 2017.

So dear friends, how does Easter/Passover now take place on this coming Friday April 14, 2017 after the true Biblical Passover? A very similar situation took place in 2016 as can be read here: Which Date in 2016 for Easter or Passover? As Christians we should stick to what the Holy Bible instructs us,

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 [my emphasis]

And by the way, our Lord Jesus Christ was not crucified on ‘Good Friday’. Here are the Biblical facts why.

ELEVEN-DAY BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT (From The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Gary Stephen Crous)

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Sunset (9th Nisan) – FRIDAY [sixth day of the week]

Sunrise

1Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. ~ John 12:1

This was when Mary, Martha’s and Lazarus’ sister, anointed Jesus Christ’s feet with a pound of ointment of spikenard (see John 12:3) the day before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see John 12:12).

_______________________________________________

Sunset (10th Nisan) – SATURDAY (Sabbath Day) [seventh day of the week]

Sunrise

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1,10; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29,37,38; John 12:12). The Messiah is the paschal lamb of the Jewish Passover as God Almighty had commanded that a lamb without blemish was to be set aside on 10th Nisan (Exodus 12:3) and this lamb would be killed on “the fourteenth day of the same month: . . . in the evening” (Exodus 12:6).

_______________________________________________

Sunset (11th Nisan) – SUNDAY [first day of the week]

Jesus went to Bethany with His disciples (Mark 11:11).

Sunrise

On the morrow when they came from Bethany, Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14), He cleansed the Temple and taught (Mark 11:15-18).

_______________________________________________

Sunset (12th Nisan) – MONDAY [second day of the week]

And when even was come He went out of the city (Mark 11:19).

Sunrise

And in the morning they passed the fig tree and He speaks of the Power of Faith (Mark 11:20-24) and He teaches on forgiveness and addresses the question of authority (Mark 11:25-33). Jesus then teaches extensively (Mark 12:1-44, 13:1-37; Luke 20:1-47, 21:1-38).

1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. ~ Mark 14:1,2 (Cf. Matthew 26:1,2 and Luke 22:1,2)

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Sunset (13th Nisan) – TUESDAY [third day of the week]

Sunrise

Judas Iscariot plans to betray Jesus. This event took place sometime after Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and before the first day of Unleavened Bread as we read in the Apostle Luke’s account:

1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover . . . 7Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. ~ Luke 22:1,7

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Sunset (14th Nisan) – WEDNESDAY [fourth day of the week] – Passover (Leviticus 23:5)

Sunrise

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Sunset (15th Nisan) – THURSDAY [fifth day of the week] – First Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6)

The Passover is prepared and the Passover lamb is killed (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13).

“Now when the even was come,” in the evening the Passover meal is celebrated and eaten (Matthew 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:14-18)

The Lord’s Supper is instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20)

After the meal, they depart for the Mount of Olives and Peter’s denial is predicted (Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38)

Jesus and His disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 17:1-26)

Jesus is betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11)

Jesus’ Trials –

  • Before the Sanhedrin by Annas and Caiaphas the high priest (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54, 55, 63-71; John 18:12-14, 19-24)

Sunrise (First Day – part)

Jesus’ Trials continue “And straightway in the morning …” (Mark 15:1)

  • Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Matthew 27:1, 2, 11-28; Mark 15:1-14; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-40, 19:1-16)

  • Herod Antipas (Luke 23:8-12)

  • Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Luke 23:13-25)

Jesus is lead away to be crucified at Calvary (Golgotha)–

  • 3rd Hour (9am) – Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24, 25; Luke 23:33; John 19:18)

  • 6th Hour (12pm) – 9th Hour (3pm): There were three hours of darkness over all the earth (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)

  • 9th Hour (3pm) – Jesus died giving up His spirit (Matthew 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Part of One Day, No Night

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Sunset (16th Nisan) – FRIDAY [sixth day of the week] – The Preparation Day (First Night – full)

Jesus is taken off the cross and buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathae and Nicodemus – when evening was come, the day before the Sabbath (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42).

54And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. ~ Luke 23:54

As it was the day of preparation and the Sabbath drew on no body could remain up on the cross on the holy preparation day and the Sabbath day. Also, according to Deuteronomy 21:23, it commands that “a body shall not remain all night upon the tree”. When this is mentioned in John 19:31 the high Sabbath day is in reference to a Sabbath day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Sunrise (Second Day – full)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Two Days (1 part + 1 full), One Night (1 full)

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Sunset (17th Nisan) – SATURDAY [seventh day of the week] – Sabbath Day (Second Night – full)

In the grave (Luke 23:56).

Sunrise (Third Day – full)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Three Days (1 part + 2 full), Two Nights (2 full)

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Sunset (18th Nisan) – SUNDAY – First Day of the Week – The Third Day (Three days dead Thur./Fri. – Fri./Sat. – Sat./Sun. and raised on the Third Day) (Third Night – part)

Jesus raised to life in the Resurrection “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = THREE DAYS (1 part + 2 full), THREE NIGHTS (2 full + 1 part)

Sunrise

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Soli Deo Gloria

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Footnote:

* A date converter from the Gregorian calendar to the Hebrew calendar can be found at: www.hebcal.com/converter/

[The same unbiblical situation with secular feast days plays out every December 25th, too!]

Open emails to brother Jesse Boyd ~ Part 2

Dear Reader,

Birth of Christ ~ Click to enlarge Continuing on from Part 1 – please read Part 1 before reading this Part 2 as this will not make much sense – here are brother Jesse Boyd’s and writer’s email responses to the initial email.

As mentioned in Part 1 this blog post does not question the salvation of our dear brother Jesse Boyd, but these open emails are shared here to show the error of teachings where one tries to reconcile man’s ‘Christmas’ with GOD’s Scriptures. Whilst brother Jesse has made it clear that he does not want writer to make contact with him whilst accusing writer of being presumptuous, writer merely received “. . . the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11) and responded in love examining those words spoken by brother Jesse. It appears that brother Jesse only wants his hearers to accept what he has to say without ever being questioned. These blog posts are not to demean our brother Jesse in any way, but they will show that what has been spoken by our dear brother Jesse has not always lined up with what truly took place and that in this instance regarding his teaching on ‘Christmas’ he has missed the mark on certain issues.

These blog postings are not about trying to smear our brother Jesse’s name or his testimony for our Lord Jesus Christ. It is solely about Truth!

Please read first writer’s email to brother Jesse in Part 1 to get the context before reading our responses hereunder.

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From: Jesse Boyd [mailto:jboyd@fpgm.org]
Sent: 11 March 2017 05:37 AM
To: Gary Crous
Subject: Re: YOUR TEACHING SERMON PODCASTS ON "CHRISTMAS"

Gary, I’ve been through this with you before, and frankly, I’m not interested in taking the time to answer you point by point. It would be a fruitless waste of my time out here on the foreign mission field. Considering the  history of these diatribes that come from you out of nowhere, it’s very hard for me to take you seriously. The sermons that you have nit picked and misrepresented remain as is. I stand by my words, and I stand by those teachings. If the "public forum" mention was some sort of threat, be my guest. Say whatever you want. As I have told you before, I am surrounded by those who hold me accountable in ministry and have a local church and a faithful pastor who do the same.  These are aware of everything that I teach and preach. I may be obligated by my testimony in Christ to consider what you have to say, but as I in no way answer to you in matters of ministry, I am not obligated to heed your words nor take them seriously in their presumptuousness. Find something better to do with your time brother. Vain and profane babblings only increase unto more ungodliness. And without the covering of a biblically-organized local church, you are only asking for trouble in ministry.

As we are persistently laboring for the Gospel in very difficult fields and doing so with the blessing and commission of the local church and a long record of faithfulness, I have a personal policy. If I never hear from you with a word of encouragement, a response to a prayer request, or just something positive and for edification, criticism that pops out of a hole is suspicious at best. Once, I’ll consider it. The second time, I usually ignore it and sever Facebook contact. In your case, because of the labors we shared together in South Africa, I have given you more grace. Brother, this is the third or fourth you have done this following a long period of silence. Since 2015, it became hard to take you seriously after you contacted me and assured me that some support was being sent to help with the earthquake victims here in Nepal. Of course, that support never showed up and some excuse was made about a bank transfer problem. Bottom line, you contacted me and you told me you were going to do something that you never did. Before you start nitpicking my sermons, it might be better to consider what Psalm 15 says about a righteous man swearing to his own hurt and still changing not. And brother, this has absolutely nothing to do with the money. I don’t need you money, and I don’t need your support. But, don’t tell a brother you are going to do something, then you don’t do it, then you crawl out of a hole of silence with a presumptuous diatribe of criticism, and then expect that brother to take you seriously. Still, I gave you grace through the last of these diatribes that came last year (you seem to be on a once-a-year schedule of some sort) and have kept the lines of communication open. Today’s email is the last straw. There is so much wrong with what you wrote, but I will not waste the time debating with you. You are obviously off-base and unbalanced spiritually and theologically (something as simple as your constant use of "YHVH" reveals a whole lot brother). The best thing you can do is put yourself under the accountability and spiritual authority of a Bible-believing local church, and spend less time straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.

Say what you want to say in your "public forum." I’ve got more important things to do than respond or defend myself. The LORD judge between me and thee.

Goodbye Gary. Please do not contact me again.

Jesse
Sent from my iPhone

From: Gary Crous [mailto:luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com]
Sent: 18 March 2017 12:16 AM
To: ‘Jesse Boyd’
Subject: RE: YOUR TEACHING SERMON PODCASTS ON "CHRISTMAS"

Dear brother Jesse

Thank you for your response. Whilst you say you do not want to hear from me again, I think you have made serious allegations against me that needs to be corrected. You might think it is a “diatribe” and “nit picking”, but I can assure you that there are errors that I have lovingly pointed out to you and you will not humbily accept the corrections. It appears that you are of your own opinion that you never err and that no one including me can question your teachings even when they are erroneous in parts. Brother, you are a fine biblical scholar and teacher and I have learned a lot from you, but on the issues I “nit picked” I do not agree with your errors and I can assure you I have not “misrepresented” them. Must I remain silent and not be a Berean in testing all things? Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Gal. 4:16)

Brother, the “public forum” was not a threat. I mentioned this as you and many other brothers, including myself, have publicly addressed and rebuked professing and true Christians publicly. I prayed about this and sought counsel before addressing you. Once you censured me for addressing you and Ricky in a private email when in my understanding both of you were present at your karate graduation, and it wasn’t a matter of you offending me personally that I needed only to have come to you alone. More on this later. Brother, I will address your response to me in point form as you made certain accusations against me that needs to be corrected.

“I in no way answer to you in matters of ministry, I am not obligated to heed your words nor take them seriously in their presumptuousness.”

Brother, I have never asked you to answer to me in matters of your ministry. However, you are answerable for what you preach and teach. If you are not answerable then you cannot question the “teachings” of others. And my words were not in their presumptuousness. I presumed nothing but addressed your words spoken.

“I have a personal policy. If I never hear from you with a word of encouragement, a response to a prayer request, or just something positive and for edification, criticism that pops out of a hole is suspicious at best. Once, I’ll consider it. The second time, I usually ignore it and sever Facebook contact. In your case, because of the labors we shared together in South Africa, I have given you more grace.”

Brother, if you go back on your Facebook wall you will notice that I have been in agreement with a thumbs up on many of your posts or pictures. I have at times made some comments, but I do admit that they have been very brief. I do not have to broadcast that I am praying for you or your ministry or your family. Believe me we as a family pray often for these mentioned items if and when they come to mind. We are reminded to pray in the closet, right? Dear brother, communication is a two way thing. When last did you comment, thumbs up or have something positive to say to me without me asking for it? Or does everything revolve solely around the ministry of Jesse Boyd? Brother, I have longed to labour with you again, and even made my intentions known to you, but if you were serious about labouring together you might well have helped in some way. You are blessed to have the strength of the US Dollar against foreign currency as apposed to the poor value of the SA Rand. Consider these Scriptures,

Act 20:33  I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
Act 20:34  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Act 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

“Brother, this is the third or fourth you have done this following a long period of silence. Since 2015, it became hard to take you seriously after you contacted me and assured me that some support was being sent to help with the earthquake victims here in Nepal. Of course, that support never showed up and some excuse was made about a bank transfer problem. Bottom line, you contacted me and you told me you were going to do something that you never did. Before you start nitpicking my sermons, it might be better to consider what Psalm 15 says about a righteous man swearing to his own hurt and still changing not. And brother, this has absolutely nothing to do with the money. I don’t need you money, and I don’t need your support. But, don’t tell a brother you are going to do something, then you don’t do it, then you crawl out of a hole of silence with a presumptuous diatribe of criticism, and then expect that brother to take you seriously.”

Brother, it appears that you keep a record of wrongs and you might have a spirit of unforgiveness. Our Lord Jesus said, For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Mat. 6:14,15) You have harboured this issue since 2015. I sent you many emails dealing with the support that was to come from [shortened LHBC], where I was a member at the time. As I do not hold records of wrongs, the emails I sent to you have long been deleted. You are welcome to send me copies so that my memory can be refreshed what I said. However, from what I recollect you were at the time very supportive of me and said something along the lines that “these things happen” when there was a problem with the transfer according to an elder and his wife of LHBC. They did not want to do a ‘paypal’ payment for reasons they afforded. We even asked for your physical bank account details. I expressed my dismay at the whole problem that existed back then. I genuinely was unhappy with the whole issue surrounding the Nepal Earthquake Relief funds. In fact when I told you I was going to leave LHBC you were very supportive of my move and truly encouraged me in finding a new place to worship. Of all the emails that I have left, this one is what I sent to LHBC upon my resignation as a ‘member’ from a church that offered me the right hand of fellowship and commissioned me to “go and evangelise” when [DELETED] was the previous pastor. Here is the email [it has been shortened],

From: Gary Crous [mailto:luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 13 October 2015 21:23
To: [DELETED]; [DELETED]; [DELETED]
Subject: EKKLESIA ATTENDANCE

Dear Brothers [DELETED], [DELETED] and [DELETED]

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you [DELETED] for your telephone call making inquiry concerning the Crous family the other week. I pray and hope you all will receive this mail in the love to you that it is sincerely intended. I write this mail to advise you – as the leadership of the [shortened LHBC] – that I have been praying and seeking the LORD regarding where we should be at this time. I had hoped to find a fellowship that had an evangelical heart for the lost. I was once told by our dear Brother [DELETED] that my frustration was showing, and it surely was as a result of a cry for my beloved LHBC brothers and sisters to be active and join me. Sadly, before becoming disillusioned, I think it is time to move one. In the past two years or so opportunities have presented themselves where we could all have worked together on missionary work – some going, some organising, some providing, all praying – to reach out to the heathen lost world, but the presented opportunities to provide and labour with our Saviour sadly escaped us. Our Master stated it best, as it is written in Luke 10:2 ~

2  Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Evangelism is not a one-man commissioned-to-go show left to one to go, to provide for his own and only rely on the prayers of the remaining rest. For the latter, it is often easier to speak to God about men than to speak to men about God! We, the saints, are to be perfected for the work of the ministry which leads to the unity of the faith as we read in Ephesians 4:11-16 ~

11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 
14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

clip_image001

Here is a sermon preached on the evening of September 20, 2015 by Brother Jesse Boyd titled “Christian is a Bible Word.” Jesse raises the following question: “You may SAY you are a Christian; you may IDENTIFY yourself as being a CHRISTIAN; but can the world rightly ACCUSE you of being a Christian?” The early church turned the world upside down. Not so today. I wonder if the “church of today” – not to be confused with the beautiful and pristine Bride of Christ – has become docile and asleep due to Bible translations, men’s programmes, and the Holy Spirit being quenched and grieved by churchianity! Some weeks ago while we were going through Colossians 1:24-29 (23 August 2015: The School of Christ-like Maturity) I was saddened to hear again a mention that the scriptures will not be the same due to our different translations. By the way, I do download and listen to the podcast sermons and am encouraged! Without me becoming longwinded, the LORD commands us neither to add to nor take away from the Bible. We see this in Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Proverbs 4:20-21, 30:5-6; and Revelation 22:19. The Bible says: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11). Which Word is it if it changes so often? I would therefore ask that you kindly read the following articles if you have not already done so:

Here is also a video (https://youtu.be/bUR1-ewrHs4) that shows the various ‘contradictions’ in the modern translations that I request that you kindly view. . . . [shortened]

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Further, due to all the ecumenism that is taking place around the world and denominational teachings in the 37,000+ “types of churches”, to play it safe and not be attached to any I hereby wish to terminate my “membership” at [shortened LHBC] with immediate effect. I cannot trust “church organisations” and any “church denomination” affiliated to a man-made church council who is promoting man-made systems. Therefore true assemblies (ekklesia) of God should be autonomous. As a family, before God, we will not be affiliating ourselves with any denomination, church building or organization, as we hold to the Truth that born again believers have our names “written in the Lamb’s book of life” (see Revelation 21:27) and therefore need not to have our names on a man-made membership church roll! I acted in haste with my membership of LHBC when my convictions and conscience have always warned me. We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves (see Hebrews 10:25), but will freely meet at home and with other believers as our LORD directs. [The Holy Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. However, I would suggest that you add “Pagan Christianity?” by Frank Viola and George Barna to your library.]

Further, in closing, I am afraid I might fall into sin if I continue in fellowship with LHBC due to the following issues:

  • Edifying one another with different translations that ‘contradict’ the meaning of GOD’s Word. This will also diminish unity: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • A lopsided budget that diminishes any other evangelical costs. [An email titled SOME SERIOUS CONCERNS dated Monday 16th March 2015 bears reference]
  • A non-payment of a committed Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund collection for FPGM (Bro. Jesse Boyd). [Not sure if Jesse has been notified by LHBC of the non-payment]
  • There is no Biblical corporate evangelism as a “ministry of reconciliation” (see 2 Corinthians 5:18).

Pro 27:5  Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Pro 27:6  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

With regards to the LHBC’s R500.00 monthly payment to the Crous family, you are at liberty to discontinue the same as you deem fit.

In Christ’s service,

From: [DELETED]
Sent: 07 November 2015 09:34 AM
To: ‘Gary Crous’
Cc:[DELETED]‘; ‘[DELETED]
Subject: RE: EKKLESIA ATTENDANCE

Gary,

Thank you for the email you sent on the 13th. Although we are saddened by the situation, we appreciate your email and the expression of your concerns. As it seems that most of your main concerns are long-term issues which have been addressed before by [DELETED], we think it wise not to revisit them all, and therefore accept your resignation.

We continue to pray for you, your family, and your street evangelism. With regard to the R500 monthly contribution, we would like to use it for our church’s missions work, and will therefore redirect it elsewhere. We will continue the support of your ministry till the end of December, but will then stop the payments.

Much love and prayers,
The elders of [DELETED]

[DELETED]

Pastor,
[DELETED]

Sadly brother, your mention, quote: “And brother, this has absolutely nothing to do with the money. I don’t need you money, and I don’t need your support. has everything to do with the money. Then why do you mention this? To try discredit me and my witness and testimony? Your scathing comments are not Christ-like. I hate stooping to a level of bringing up past events, but this incident is very relevant. Brother, do you remember your reaction when you were in South Africa the first time and a brother in the USA was withdrawing his support from your FPGM and how you openly verbally vented your frustration? I am sure it wasn’t about the money and your travels, right? Brother, you have held a record of wrongs for close on two years now. Don’t you think you should let it go?

“Still, I gave you grace through the last of these diatribes that came last year (you seem to be on a once-a-year schedule of some sort) and have kept the lines of communication open. Today’s email is the last straw. There is so much wrong with what you wrote, but I will not waste the time debating with you. You are obviously off-base and unbalanced spiritually and theologically (something as simple as your constant use of "YHVH" reveals a whole lot brother). The best thing you can do is put yourself under the accountability and spiritual authority of a Bible-believing local church, and spend less time straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.”

Brother, last year was not a “diatribe” either. And I do not have a “once-a-year schedule of sorts”. Here is the opening salutation and warning that I offered you in 2016:

From: Gary Crous [mailto:luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com]
Sent: 05 June 2016 09:36 PM
To: ‘Jesse Boyd’
Subject: RE: Just Checking In

Dear brothers Jesse and Ricky

Grace to you, and peace in God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. In response to your email hereunder, we say many thanks to you for the updates that you send out periodically and we assure you we keep praying for you and your ministry when you come to mind with a need as we hold the ropes here in South Africa. Our prayers are for the work of evangelism where ever you go. I must admit that I am at fault where I have not communicated with you as often as I should, both in private conversation or on social media. Please do accept my apology.

I still follow your and Ricky’s Facebook postings so we know your thoughts, your actions and your mission work and we are mostly encouraged by what we see and read. However dear brother Jesse, I watched a video that Eva Tsai posted on FB which was linked to your wall on April 5, 2016 with regards to your martial arts’ black belt graduation in California after your return from Israel. Brother Jesse, I was deeply saddened to see you and the parties present all bow to a framed photograph (?) on some steps. Brother, can you kindly explain this practice! What I am concerned about is that this video is in the public domain and it clearly shows a violation of the Second Commandment by bowing to an object (idolatry). What further concerns me is that it appears that the brethren have not picked up on this, whilst yet congratulating you and liking your martial arts’ postings. I am not sure whether anyone else has approached you concerning this matter.

I do believe I am in the faith and led of the Holy Spirit, so I am surprised at your outburst, quote: “You are obviously off-base and unbalanced spiritually and theologically (something as simple as your constant use of "YHVH" reveals a whole lot brother).” For you (FPGM) that reach out to Israeli backpackers in Nepal and South America and who give them the Tanakh as well as the B’rit Chadashah it is common knowledge that in Hebrew the LORD’s Name appears as “Yod He Vav He” (YHVH). I merely state the True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So what is wrong with that since many people mention a false ‘god’?

Brother, it appears that you are trying to deviate the issues at hand away from what you said in your sermons. If I am wrong please point out my error so I can apologise. Besides, why would you, a learned man. even want to hold to a false “holiday” that has no Biblical foundation? And remember the Bride of Christ is one body. We are all accountable to each other in Christ Jesus,

1Co 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20  But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

With much love,
In Christ’s service,

From: Jesse Boyd [mailto:jboyd@fpgm.org]
Sent: 18 March 2017 10:02 AM
To: Gary Crous
Subject: Re: YOUR TEACHING SERMON PODCASTS ON "CHRISTMAS"

Gary, I asked you not to contact me again. I disagree with your conclusions and presumptions. Period. The LORD judge between me and thee. I stand by the teachings that you failed to hear and recall in their proper context, and I stand by every correspondence I have sent to you in response to your criticisms over the years. Frankly, I’m done. I never reached out to accuse you; you have done this to me numerous times. And, your comment about the dollar versus the Rand, I’m not interested in partnering with anyone in ministry that has  this man-centered mindset. I partner with South Asian believers who know far more about  devalued currency and financial struggle than you could ever know, and the Lord has used them to do mighty things for His Kingdom. I will say no more. Please don’t waste your time trying to contact me again to debate things I am not interested in debating with you. You write long emails, but they are not serving to prove any point. In fact, "in the multitude of words, there wanteth not sin" (Proverbs 10:19). Ecclesiastes 5:3 is also pretty clear. I’m really busy over here in South Asia with the work of the Gospel, and its time to cut out the distractions. I sense no call from the Lord at this time or any time in the near future to return to or labor in South Africa, so  partnership with you is a moot point anyway. Stop concerning yourself with me, I’m a nobody, and do something better with your time in what the Lord has called you to do in your own country.

Maranatha, 
Jesse

P.S. Future emails from you attempting to debate with me or argue about "Christmas" will be ignored and will not receive a response.

Conclusion:

One point which will be made here as brother Jesse does not want writer to contact him by email, without addressing each issue to the last email here above, is that writer never made reference to labouring alongside brother Jesse in South Africa, but he presumed such. Brother Jesse was well aware that writer made his intensions known that he wished to labour alongside him in South Asia and/or the USA and/or Israel, and therefore he quoted Acts 20:33-35 to be read in context with the preceding sentences thereto.

Since brother Jesse will, quote: “stand by the teachings that you failed to hear and recall in their proper context, and I stand by every correspondence I have sent to you in response to your criticisms over the years” [unquote] writer does not understand how he “failed to hear and recall in their proper context” when the sermons were transcribed and addressed from the very words spoken. The context was certainly taken into consideration for there was no other way to take what was said any other way. If you think writer has criticised you over the years, writer was asking questions and pointed out certain facts what he believed to be true. If i transgressed in any way against you which was personal criticism (which i would ask that you give me proof thereof), i humbly ask for your forgiveness for any wrong committed. However, what has been said in these blog posts, i stand by what has been written.

Soli Deo Gloria

Open emails to brother Jesse Boyd ~ Part 1

Dear Reader,

Birth of Christ ~ Click to enlarge This blog post and Part 2 which follows does not question the salvation of our dear brother Jesse Boyd, but these open emails are shared here to show the error of teachings where one tries to reconcile man’s ‘Christmas’ with GOD’s Scriptures. Whilst brother Jesse has made it clear that he does not want writer to make contact with him whilst accusing writer of being presumptuous, writer merely received “. . . the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11) and responded in love examining those words spoken by brother Jesse. It appears that brother Jesse only wants his hearers to accept what he has to say without ever being questioned. These blog posts are not to demean our brother Jesse in any way, but they will show that what has been spoken by our dear brother Jesse has not always lined up with what truly took place and that in this instance regarding his teaching on ‘Christmas’ he has missed the mark on certain issues.

These blog postings are not about trying to smear our brother Jesse’s name or his testimony for our Lord Jesus Christ. It is solely about Truth!

In Part 1, writer’s email to brother Jesse is recorded, and in Part 2 you can read brother Jesse’s and writer’s various email responses.

_______________________________________________

From: Gary Crous [mailto:luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com]
Sent: 11 March 2017 12:37 AM
To: Jesse Boyd (jboyd@fpgm.org)
Subject: YOUR TEACHING SERMON PODCASTS ON "CHRISTMAS"

Dear brother Jesse

Greetings to you from South Africa. I come to you in love and I pray that you will receive these corrections in the spirit of love as my brother-in-Christ. I have taken time to pray and seek our Lord’s guidance hence the lengthy delay and really considered what would be the best way forward and how YEHOVAH will be glorified in all that needs to be said. I have prayed and considered coming to you privately, but you have not trespassed against me personally (Matthew 18:15). Since you have shared these teachings with a world wide audience and made them available via podcast I am at liberty to address these issues in the public forum. However, prudence and discernment has won the day, and after consulting with another brother-in-Christ on this issue I have humbled myself before God our Father and will approach you privately asking you to recant your false teachings concerning the Doctrine of Christ’s nativity.

Before addressing the corrections here, I am reminded of these two Scriptures,

Pro 18:13  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Pro 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

I have therefore listened to your sermons on more than one occasion and as a result thereof large portions of the sermons conducted at New Testament Christian Fellowship in Conover, NC have been transcribed here in order to deal with certain points of error. Whilst every effort has been made by me to record your exact words, it is not clear as to where the punctuation would appear, having not seen any written text from your sermons, if any. Certain emphases have been made by me based on the pitch and emphasis made by your voice recordings.

I pray that I have been a Berean who has “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Whilst much more can be written, not every issue has been dealt with. For each portion of your text transcribed is preceded by JB (and the text is in green) which represents you, Jesse Boyd. Each answer is preceded by GC which represents me, Gary Crous.

Every Family Apart (Zech. 12:9-14) Sermon (Part 3 of 5) (Audio)

JB: [1:01:20] “. . . These fields near Bethlehem were not the wilderness, and it would have been culturally taboo for just regular old shepherds to be keeping flocks near Bethlehem, it wouldn’t have happened, they were in the wilderness away from the towns unless it was sheep used in temple sacrifice. These shepherds in Luke chapter 2 were Levites, of the House of Levi, they were Levitical shepherds keeping watch over flocks used in temple service. These Levites Levitical shepherds would have descended from Levi, maybe through Shimei, who were of the Gershonites, remember the Gershonites took care of things related to the outside of the tabernacle, makes sense that at some point, the descendants of Gershon would continue to minister to things concerning the outside of the temple – one of which would be keeping the temple flocks it would have made them unclean so that they weren’t able to come into the temple, but they had the very important job of inspecting the sheep to make sure they were unblemished. . . . [1:02:25]”

GC: Brother, the shepherds were not Levites. There is no Scripture that confirms the shepherds of Luke 2 to be Levites. Making reference to, quote: “These Levites Levitical shepherds would have descended from Levi, maybe through Shimei, who were of the Gershonites, remember the Gershonites took care of things related to the outside of the tabernacle, makes sense that at some point, the descendants of Gershon would continue to minister to things concerning the outside of the temple” [unquote] is simply not true and at most is speculation. Further, the duties of Gershon’s family recorded in Numbers 3:21-26 does not include shepherding, nor does it make reference to “care of things related to the outside of the tabernacle” which you are alluding to, to include shepherding or sheep husbandry, for their duties were to minister in the tabernacle / temple as we can read specifically from Numbers 3:25,26,

Num 3:25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,
Num 3:26 And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.

Levites were set apart for tabernacle / temple duties and no other. The Levites’ assignments can be read in Numbers 1:50-54 and further the duties of the Levites in Solomon’s temple can be read in I Chronicles 23:3-32, assignments for priests and Levites in I Chronicles 24:4-31, divisions of musicians in I Chronicles 25, divisions of porters in I Chronicles 26, and duties of priests, Levites and porters can also be read in II Chronicles 8:12 and 13. To use conjecture concerning the shepherds is to tread dangerously in the area of eisegesis and not exegesis.

JB: “[1:03:45] . . . When people try to talk about when Christ was born and they try to make a statement like, “Jesus could never have been born on December 25th because December is winter in Israel and shepherds never would have been out in the fields keeping watch over their flocks in winter.” So none of that is true. I’m not saying Jesus was born on December 25th, I don’t know when He was born specifically, but it makes sense to me MOST that He would have been born in the fall around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, but He just as easily could have been born in December – if He was born in the fall it means He was conceived around December 25th – so the end of December one way or another is someway related to the birth of Christ and it is our culture to celebrate in it, it might have come from all kinds of stuff, whatever, . . . [1:04:31]”

GC: Brother, if you say, quote: “I’m not saying Jesus was born on December 25th, I don’t know when He was born specifically, but it makes sense to me MOST that He would have been born in the fall around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, but He just as easily could have been born in December” [unquote], you are hedging between two opinions. It brings to memory the account with Elijah and the Baal worshippers, as we read,

I Ki 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

If you are “not saying Jesus was born on December 25th” then why do you celebrate and hold to the day as the birth of Christ wishing all a “Merry Christmas” on December 25th? To say you don’t know when Christ was born, but you go along anyway and celebrate His birth at December 25th then you are not being honest with those around you and therefore your statement and your actions create an oxymoron! This particular issue is dealt with later hereafter which will show the error of your ways. If you have not done so already, kindly do read this article https://luke923evangelism.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/tishri-15-or-december-25/.

JB: “[1:04:32] . . . just like our marriage ceremonies do. Then those who would would accuse us of committing sin against God because we use the word Christmas, or, maybe we got a Christmas tree in our home are the same ones who would give their daughters away in marriage in a ceremony that involves a ring, a white dress, a preacher and a licence. That all came straight from the Catholic church. So, be careful how you criticise other people when you’re guilty of the same thing. I, I get so sick of hypocrisy about, it’s these young bucks that have no right to experience that think that they know everything. . . . [1:05:03]”

GC: Brother, please consider my preceding comment. With regard to the word “Christmas” and the “Christmas tree” can you kindly provide a Scripture command given to us Christians in Book, Chapter and Verse from the Bible. We are reminded whilst praying, “9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9,10). If we are to do the Father’s will on earth as in heaven, would you think Mary and Joseph had a ‘Christmas tree’ up and decorated at the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the succoth (booth) at the Feast of Tabernacles? Or does Father God in heaven erect a decorated ‘Christmas tree’ every year in heaven to commemorate His Son’s birth? These are rhetorical questions and both answers are of course No! So why would disciples of Jesus Christ do that which is contrary to what the Bible teaches. In fact there is even Scripture where God says, “Learn not the way of the heathen” concerning idolatry when we read Jeremiah 10:1-4.

Brother, concerning your analogy regarding persons giving their daughters “away in marriage in a ceremony that involves a ring, a white dress, a preacher and a licence” this is not the issue here at hand. But since it has been raised, that would make everyone who is married guilty of wearing a wedding ring. However, let us not forget that the practice of wearing “something” comes from before the Roman Catholic days when Abraham’s eldest servant was sent to find a wife for Isaac, as we read concerning Rebekah,

Gen 24:47  And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.

So brother, you should be very careful about criticizing people when you too conduct marriage ceremonies “that involves a ring, a white dress, a preacher and a licence.”

JB: “[1:05:04] . . . But anyway, this idea that shepherds wouldn’t be in the fields in the winter is foolishness, because Levitical shepherds had a had a year round responsibility. That’s like me saying, just because [pause] President, President-elect Trump wants to repair relationships with Vladimir Putin it automatically means that the Russians hacked the elections and they are the reason why Trump was elected. That’s the kind of, that’s the same type of a statement when someone says there is no ways shepherds could have been in the field, that just reveals your ignorance about the Scriptures. They would have been in the fields in winter. In fact there is a sheep that’s used in the Middle East – that most sheep give birth once a year in the spring, but there’s sheep, a sheep in the Middle East that is native to the land of Israel and other places nearby – the Awassi sheep that is known to give birth in both the spring and in the autumn. If rams are introduced into the flock right after they finish weaning their spring ah…ah litters, I don’t know if the word litters, litter wouldn’t be right for sheep, I don’t know what they would call it, ah… but, right after they weaned their new born lambs in the spring, if you introduce the rams they will get pregnant again and have another ah cycle in the autumn. They’re very fertile sheep and they are native to the Middle East, and so there would be lambs having to be cared about, cared for throughout the year. . . . [1:06:30]”

GC: Brother, whilst the Awassi sheep is native to the Middle East and known for its hardness and exceptional milk production, this type of sheep is found worldwide from Canada to New Zealand, and even in my home nation of South Africa. “The Awassi is the most common sheep breed in the Arab countries and the name allegedly comes from the El Awas tribe which roamed between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.” The information gleaned and quoted here is from a website titled http://kenanaonline.com/users/YasserTawakol-SheepAndGoatPage/posts/193738. “However tough the Awassi may be in hot climates, it may succumb to ill-health if a succession of rainy or cold days, plus a lack of feed, leads to the depletion of the fat reserves in the tail leaving the animal susceptible to death from exposure and starvation.” This preceding quote is very interesting concerning sheep being out in the rainy or cold days (winter). Further, in my research I was unable to find any information that the Awassi ewes were able to have two lambs – once in the spring and again in the autumn during one breeding cycle. However, I did come across this Israeli website:

Sheep Farming in Israel (Source: http://www.dairyschool.co.il/sheep-farming-in-israel/

“Sheep farming in Israel is some of the most productive in the world, with carefully developed breeds of sheep that produce high quantities of milk. This success is perhaps no surprise when you consider the history of sheep farming in Israel. In the Old Testament, Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve, became a shepherd. Many other important Biblical figures, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rachel, and King David, kept flocks of goats and sheep. For early Jews, sheep provided wool, meat, and milk. Because flocks of sheep were transportable, shepherding was an ideal occupation for Jews as they travelled in search of a permanent homeland.

“Today, Israelis have built upon this legacy of shepherding by improving their sheep breeds. Sheep farming in Israel is some of the most productive in the world. The Awassi is Israel’s native sheep breed. Israeli sheep farmers have been improving the Awassi breed over the last 85 years. . . . The one downside to the Awassi sheep is their rate of reproduction. Awassi ewes typically lamb just once a year and usually give birth to just one lamb.” [my emphasis]

Further, calculations can be made from this reliable information: “Awassi ram and ewe lambs reach puberty at around 8 and 9 months of age, respectively. The breeding season of Awassi ewes starts as early as April [spring] and lasts through September [autumn]. After puberty, Awassi rams are sexually active throughout the year. The normal oestrus cycle in Awassi ewes is 15-20 days (average 17 days). Oestrus ranges from 16-59 h (average 29 h) during the breeding season. The reproductive performance of unimproved Awassi sheep has been low while improved Awassi has the highest fertility and milk production and are the heaviest among all Awassi populations. The gestation length varies from 149 to 155 days (average 152 days). . . .” (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21509455)

JB: “[1:06:31] . . . And there would be temple sacrifices needed all year long. So these shepherds could have been out anytime of the year, in fact the Mishnahs the oral laws speak of shepherds in the field thirty days before Passover. Thirty days before Passover is in February which is the rainiest and at times the coldest month in the land of Israel. And if you think people couldn’t be attending flocks in the winter in Israel, then you have never been into Israel. Okay, Israel is not Alaska in the winter. It’s not here in the winter, it’s not that cold. It actually snows once in a while, but it’s not that cold. WE go to Israel in the winter and we CAMP OUT! And we see shepherds and sheep out in the fields. What a stupid statement people make sometimes without even thinking about it. . . . [1:07:19]”

GC: Brother, the Mishnah (Judaism oral law committed to writing about AD 200 – Source: GotQuestions.com) is not our final authority and we should hold to the Holy Bible as our only Authority for our faith, teachings and righteous living. The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month:

Song of Solomon 2:11  For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

And

Ezr 10:9  Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain. . . .

Ezr 10:13  But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.

The ninth month referred to in the preceding verses is the month Chislev (November / December) according to the sacred Jewish calendar which is the heart of Israel’s winter. Further, it appears according to your travel blog, and from what I am aware of, you and Ricky travelled to Israel on two occasions. On both occasions in 2015 and in 2016 you were there in the spring over the time of the Jews’ Passover – the latter one you were there a month earlier as the Jews’ Passover was in a leap year – and so you were not in Israel in the heart of winter camping out as you say. You might well have had seen shepherds and sheep out in the fields, but at the beginning of and/or in the spring time. Also certain modern farming practices might have changed the way things are done nowadays.

JB: “[1:07:20] . . . But when we consider that there were shepherds near Bethlehem, and that the Jews would not allow that to happen unless it involved the temple service, its very evident that these shepherds were Levites. In fact the word Bethlehem, the city of Bethlehem over the years became synonymous with sacrificial lambs, because they were kept nearby. It’s like the city of Nazareth. When Philip went and told his brother Nathaniel in the Book of John that he had found the Messiah, he was of Nazareth . . . Nathaniel saying said, could anything good come out of Nazareth? Nazareth became synonymous with rejected. It was a synonym. Rejected. Okay, just like the word ‘Hillary’ is synonymous with ‘Devil Witch.’ I mean you know it just means that . . . [background laughter] [pause] . . . So when the Bible says when Joseph took Mary and the baby Jesus to live in Nazareth, and it says, as it was written in the prophets He shall be a Nazarene, it never says specifically in the prophets He’ll be a Nazarene, but He’s referencing Isaiah 53 Messiah will be rejected. If, if you want me to sum up Isaiah 53 in one word, Jesus was a Nazarene – He was rejected. The city of Nazareth became associated with rejection. It meant rejected, Oh you Nazarene, you rejected one. We do the same thing. Bethlehem became synonymous with sacrificial lambs. When you spoke of Bethlehem the immediate thing that came to mind were the sacrificial flocks. Kinda like we say Ashville – Ashville means liberal. You say, “San Francisco” – what immediately comes to your mind “Homo”. The same thing with Bethlehem it was associated with these Levitical flocks. . . . [1:09:20]”

GC: Brother, when I think of Bethlehem, I think of the City of David, I think of the “House of Bread.” Also, Matthew 2:23 does not appear to be referencing Isaiah 53 as the Messiah being a Nazarene for nowhere in the chapter is Nazareth or Nazarene mentioned. However Judges 13:5 appears to be the cross reference of Matthew 2:23. Further, there is no Scriptural foundation to say “the city of Bethlehem over the years became synonymous with sacrificial lambs”. The same would apply to you saying “just like the word ‘Hillary’ is synonymous with ‘Devil Witch.’” That statement is disrespectful to your sister’s-in-Christ whose names happen to be ‘Hillary.’ Some would know you are specifically referring to ‘Hillary Clinton’, but others may not. What happened to meekness, gentleness and teaching all with humility? Brother, you are coming across as arrogant.

The Honor of Kings (Pr. 25:2) Sermon (Part 4 of 5)(Audio)

JB: [9:56] “. . . It’s our honor to seek the truth and take a stand and if we are shown to be wrong by the Scriptures to wilfully admit it, and change. . . . [10:06]”

GC: Brother, I hope by the end of these corrections given to you in love, you will stand true to your word.

JB: [12:45] “. . . But please understand that our authority is not tradition. It’s not fairy tales or fables we tell at Christmas time. It’s not the Catholic church, it’s not the Catholic encyclopaedia, it’s not Wikipedia. The authority is the Scriptures. And many times the things we assume [pause] are true, are based on tradition and we think that they are based upon the Scriptures. But the Scriptures are our authority so I want to ask a few questions today, and we are going to let the Scriptures answer them. . . .” [13:20]

GC: Brother, much what you have preached in these sermons are based on tradition and not Scripture.

JB: “[17:23] It’s funny. Turn to Luke chapter 12. Jesus makes a subtle reference to so called wise men. There was a lot of them in the Jewish religious circles, always debating, always doubting, always seeking for answers outside of the Scriptures. Luke 12:29, Jesus says to the people, and it’s a subtle reference, to such wise men, a rebuke of sorts, that we aren’t to be like this.  “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” You see the things that wise men seek, seek, seek, seek after and worry, worry, worry, worry about are the things we are not to be concerned with, because our Father knows our needs and we are to be seeking the Kingdom of God. And to seek the Kingdom of God is to seek Him in His Word. It’s funny because this phrase here in verse 29 “do not be of a doubtful mind”. If you look at it in the original language it’s the word from which we get meteor. The meteors floating around in the heavens. In other words Jesus said, “Don’t meteorise.” A subtle reference to those who would look at the heavens and try to discern the times and try to ah, ah, ah, prognosticate about what’s happening. We’re not to be like that. . . . [19:05]”

GC: Brother, “of doubtful mind” is not making reference to a heavenly body as a meteor, or referencing prognosticators, but in the context of the Scriptures Jesus is referring to having one’s mind suspended or fluctuating in space in the sense of being anxious – having one’s mind all over the place similar to the worldly saying “being an air head”. We should be careful of taking a Scripture verse in isolation and spiritualising the same to fit our own point we are trying to make.

JB: [41:35] “. . . Buddha prophesied a coming Messiah. I’ve actually got the writing at home. . . . [41:40]”

GC: Brother, with all due respect what has Buddha got to do with “Christmas”? Are you equating Buddha to the Old Testament prophets of old who prophesied the coming Messiah? Referencing Buddha can open up to referencing Nostradamus as a biblical sage! Very dangerous and heretical!

JB: [46:00] “. . . It’s only 10 after 12 and half of you already look like you are asleep. Is this boring? Maybe it is, I’ll quit. . . . [46:08]”

GC: Brother, is it possible God was showing you something?

JB: [49:48] “. . . Wasn’t the same night as the shepherds when they came to Bethlehem that’s a Catholic myth. There’s a lot of Catholic myths out there that we believe. There’s a lot of myths that we believe in American history. Like the Civil War was fought over slavery that nobody questions because nobody seeks out historical records. Lots of myths so it isn’t surprising that we, is it at all surprising that we in the church falls for them. That’s a Catholic myth. I would tell you that [pause] Jesus had to be at least 41-days old before the wise men showed up in Bethlehem. Turn over to Luke chapter 2. The wise men obviously saw the star two years before they showed up in Herod’s court. The Bible never says that Christ . . . that there were two years between the star and Christ’s birth; it doesn’t say that at all. The star appeared two years earlier, it didn’t take them two years to get there. So there must have been a time of seeking and searching the Scriptures and then a four month journey [from Babylon]. So the two years could have started before Christ’s birth some time. All we know is that it was two years from the appearing of the star to Herod’s court. Christ could have been born any time in that two year period. . . . [51:09]”

GC: Brother, your statement is untrue, quote: “The Bible never says that Christ . . . that there were two years between the star and Christ’s birth; it doesn’t say that at all.” [unquote]. You appear to be contradicting yourself with your many references to the two years. When the wise men saw the star of Jesus it must have been a sign from God of the birth of His Son, or what was the wise men to have searched out, or known that Christ was born? In Matthew 2:2,3, when the wise men had arrived in Jerusalem, we read,

Mat 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Mat 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

The sighting of the star is connected with the birth of the “king of the Jews?” (Matt 2:2). Later, Herod then privately inquired of the wise men “diligently what time the star appeared” (Matt. 2:7). He wanted to know the exact time and the wise men told Herod, and later we read,

Mat 2:16  Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

The death of the children were “two years and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men”, so when the wise men saw the star signalling the birth of Christ it was two years from when they first saw it in the east.

If you say, quote: “Christ could have been born any time in that two year period” [unquote], then the time diligently received by Herod from the wise men could have been, let’s say, one year, then Herod would most probably only have had to kill the children from one year old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Brother, you are not being faithful to The Word.

JB: “[55:44] . . . Now we’ve talked about the time of Christ’s birth and when it could have been in times past and I don’t want to get into that again today, people that say it could not possibly have happened on December 25th, that’s not true. We can’t know exactly when Jesus was born. It makes sense to me that He would have been born in the fall around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles that symbolises God dwelling with His people – a partial fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles. We know that He truly fulfilled the first feast of the spring times season in His first coming and I believe those fall feasts will be ultimately fulfilled at His second coming, but it makes sense to me based on the course of Abijim (sic) and when Zacharias would have been in the temple that He would have been born sometime in the fall. And what’s interesting is that, in 5BC the Feast of Tabernacles would have started on October 16th 5BC. Herod would have been dead before April 10th 4BC. That means the forty-first day, if Christ was born on the opening day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the forty-first day when He was presented in the temple would have been December 25th 4BC. So this idea that we are way off base because we choose to talk about Christ’s birth on December 25th, most of that’s cultural, but Christ could have been born in December. If He was born to fulfil the Feast of Tabernacles then He was conceived around December 25th. Or it could be that He was presented in the temple forty-one days after His birth if He was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Scriptures don’t say. We can speculate, but to argue that December, the end of December has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Christ coming into the world is foolishness. It is, it’s just as much a possibility of December 25th as of any other day I suppose, because we can’t know. We know when Herod died, we know when the Feast of Tabernacles was. . . . [57:42]

GC: Brother, as we have dealt with previously it would be advisable to stick with what you MOST believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was born at the Feast of Tabernacles. To make the statement, quote: “. . . people that say it could not possibly have happened on December 25th, that’s not true” [unquote] is untrue on your part. The evidences of Scripture reveal the facts and you will be shown the error of your teachings here. In the Old Testament God tabernacles with His people continuously in the tabernacle and the temple of old. He then comes to tabernacle physically amongst His people in the New Testament Gospels. So why can He not partially fulfil the Feast of Tabernacles at His first coming? Well, you start believing this then you move away in the opposite direction.

Brother, you have greatly missed the mark in your calculations concerning your attempt to get the forty-first day to land on December 25th. Your statement, reads, quote: “And what’s interesting is that, in 5BC the Feast of Tabernacles would have started on October 16th 5BC. Herod would have been dead before April 10th 4BC. That means the forty-first day, if Christ was born on the opening day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the forty-first day when He was presented in the temple would have been December 25th 4BC.” [unquote]. Firstly, forty-one days from October 16th 5BC using the Gregorian calendar would land on November 26th 5BC (16 + 15 = 31 days in October. Therefore 15 + 26 days in November = 41 days in total). Secondly, it is not December 25th 4BC, but 5BC. And thirdly, the Feast of Tabernacles appears in the Hebrew month Tishri (which fluctuates between the Gregorian months September and October) so even if one had to move the date a month in advance to November the same will violate the Hebrew calendar. So dear brother, to say, quote: “So this idea that we are way off base because we choose to talk about Christ’s birth on December 25th, most of that’s cultural, but Christ could have been born in December” [unquote], yes, you are way off base and I plead with you to give up this foolishness and false teaching. And no, Jesus was not conceived on the Roman Catholic sun worshipping day December 25th, a day steeped in idolatry and heathenism – past and present, but He would have been conceived during the Feast of Hanukkah (early December not late December) – The Light entered the world. Remember brother, conception is different to the physical birth of the Messiah for which December 25th is professed by ‘Christians’ to be a birth day not a conception day!

JB: “[59:59] . . . If Christ was born on December 25th things would have happened much quicker, but these things are certainly possible. A man I respect greatly with regard to Old Testament chronology argues that, based on a lot of things, that, the shepherds came the night of Christ’s birth and the wise men showed up the next day in Jerusalem looking for the Christ. And by a day or so later Mary and Joseph were relocated into a house and the wise men showed up just two or three days after He was born. And then they, fled, almost immediately, and were gone for only a few weeks. I respect this man, . . . [1:00:47]

GC: Brother, whoever the scholar ‘man’ is who you respect, I would reject his teachings if I were you, as you and I will agree that he got it totally incorrect. We are reminded in Scripture, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9). We are to avoid error at all costs! Truth is 100%. A 0.1% error renders the 99.9% untrue! That is why we must strive to be perfect, for we read,

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

In conclusion my dear brother, there is error also in your part 5 “Tower of the Flock (Micah 4:8)” sermon and since there are many errors recorded here already there is no need to address any of your “Christmas” teachings further.

Brother, this is an important doctrine of God’s Holy Word concerning the birth of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. If these errors are being taught, new and old believers alike are practicing and teaching falsehood amongst the brethren and in the assembly of believers. We are commanded to be in unity of speech, mind and judgment when we read in I Corinthians 1:9-13,

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

We are also to keep the unity of the Spirit as we read in Ephesians 4:3-6,

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

We are to get away from the heretical teachings of men and hold to the true heroes of our faith as recorded in the Holy Bible. If you are holding to this foolish teaching of “Christmas” so you won’t offend your financial supporters and/or those already taught this fallacy, brother please repent and change so we can have unity in the faith.

In closing, this is why Christ Jesus gave us the Lord’s table to remember Him by to avoid all false teachings and divisions among brethren, as we read in I Corinthians 11:23-26,

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Brother, please head the call to recant of this false teaching. Do what is true and right. With much love in Christ,Soli Deo Gloria______________

Part 2 can be read Here.

Tishri 15 . . . or December 25?

Birth of Christ

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year. The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

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