Confidential to 'A Friend'
I have again placed the study that I did five years ago ("The Two Leavened Wave Loaves: Firstfruits Unto the Lord") in this issue of The Journal [on page 12] with some edits.
After the first placement of this study you sent me a study of Brian's. I am very familiar with Brian and his studies. We have some different conclusions. At this time I still stand by my conclusions.
Friends do not withhold their names. As you withheld your name, I was unable to respond to you, which could have been of mutual benefit.
G. Joan Henderson
The Christian Passover
Are those who observe the Passover, renaming it Communion, on a monthly, weekly or more-frequent basis guilty of the death of Jesus? Do they eat and drink condemnation to themselves? (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
That's not for me to say, but the admonition is as follows: Individuals must determine whether what they are doing is proper when they eat the bread and drink from the cup (see verse 28).
With this in mind, Christians who observe God's Passover know they are observing Jesus' death at the right time and with a right, unleavened, attitude of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8).
Leslie A. Turvey
Via the Internet
Daniel Botha's article prompts more questions
Regarding Dan Botha's article "To Kill a Lamb Takes Time, Therefore 14th Passover Impossible" [issue No. 159, dated Feb. 28, 2014]:
This was a very interesting article that brought out some of the questions that had been niggling in my mind and were never satisfactorily answered.
One was why was there no lamb ever mentioned on the Last Supper if it was truly a Passover meal? Only bread and wine and sop. I assume sop was some type of meat juice or gravy.
The other was the discrepancy in the dates between Jesus' supposed last Passover and the Jews'. But Dan explains this all clearly.
However, this does bring to mind that, since what we always thought was Christ's last Passover was actually the Lord's Supper, as so many mainstream Christians assert, does that mean we can partake of the Lord's Supper as often as we wish?
As 1 Corinthians 11:26 says: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes."
We have always explained that it has to be annually since the Passover is celebrated annually. But, since it wasn't the Passover, what does that mean for how often it can be celebrated? Would that be still tied to once a year, or more often as the Protestant churches have it?
This obviously was a church function. 1 Corinthians 11:33: "Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
In the Jewish Messianic church I visited a couple of times they had the bread and wine at each service. A man and woman came up to the stage during a specific time and spoke a blessing over the bread and wine and partook of it. Then after the service everyone was invited to take a little piece.
But it was not always the same man and woman since they gave this opportunity to all the church members on a rotating basis.
I believe Dan's research is correct and we as Churches of God must change accordingly.
A hug for Linda
It's always great when I get a new copy of The Journal. Give Linda a hug, and I hope this finds you both well.
Laceys Spring, Ala.
Mr. Armstrong speaks out
Regarding "Mr. Armstrong Speaks Out on the New Morality," issue No. 157, dated Dec. 31, 2013:
I want to congratulate you on running the reprint of the old Plain Truth article in regards to the current Sturm und Drang [about homosexuality] that has been going on in the pages of The Journal.
Whenever I see these back-and-forthings and to-and-froings, I usually don't get involved (with the exception of responding to Tina Engelbart's original column because I felt she did a grave disservice to the many contributions the women in the Church made when I was growing up).
When I do glance through the responses, reactions and rebuttals to the rebuttals, it's with a vague bemusement and a series of questions.
A. "Is this what the Church used to teach, before the apostasy?"
If the answer is no, then whatever the current calendar debacle, or "doctrinal" debate, is can safely be ignored. Proceed to step C.
B. What did the Church used to teach about this, whatever it is we're arguing about now?
Determining the answer to this can shed a lot more light on whatever is being bandied about like a very hot (and often political) potato -- and is usually achieved by checking the old literature and sermons.
The next question to ask is the final and most important one, because the Church always told us to "prove all things!"
C. What does Scripture say about this? As other correspondents to the letters section have noted, the key to avoiding these controversies, debates and arguments is to be "of one mind" as the Church always tried to be.
This is most easily accomplished by referring to Church literature and modern translations (not paraphrases) of the Bible.
Interestingly, most modern translations of Scripture now agree more with the Church's original teachings than the KJV does!
To see the original doctrines and teachings of God's true Church being given more attention once again is definitely a positive step in the right direction. Do keep it up!
Corner Brook, Nfld., Canada
The Last Supper
What about the Last Supper? Maybe this gives well-meaning Christians hope that they can continue to keep the Last Supper as often as they, their church and their leaders say they should.
Jesus said He would not eat "any more [of the Passover] until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
If you are keeping it (in spite of what Jesus said, no matter at what frequency), you know for sure that Jesus is not in your observance and you are keeping it without him.
We see that the Last Supper that Jesus kept with His apostles, and the betrayal by Judas and the subsequent arrest of Jesus, was done after the eating of the Last Supper on the 10th of Nisan, and He was incarcerated from the 10th to the 14th so that all these trials and examinations of Him could be made.
This is the amount of time that God allotted for Jesus to be found perfect.
Therefore we see that the Last Supper was on Nisan 10, not on Passover night (the 14th).
Paul and Micki Herrmann
Being retired, I have the time to travel quite a bit. On Sabbath Iattend services at whatever COG church is in that area.
I'm surprised at how many independent congregations there are. When I ask why they want to be independent rather than belong to a larger COG offshoot, Iget the same answer:They are tired of COG politics.
San Francisco, Calif.
Finish the work
God's people must "repent" for leaving Christ's spiritual church, then begin a "reconciliation process" to become "one" church once again -- and then finish the work that began through Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
Charlotte M. Stith
Location of AC library
On the back page of issue No. 157 in "Notes and quotes," the article about the demolition of the AC library has a slight error. It states, "The building was on Orange Grove Boulevard" in Pasadena.
The library was not on Orange Grove but about a half block off that boulevard on what at the time I was in Pasadena was Grove Street. It was later closed as a street, as were several other streets that crossed the campus back in the 1960s.
The 360 and 380 Grove Street apartments were on the opposite side of the street from the library.
Will the churches repent and begin to teach from Leviticus 27:31 that it is an option to pay a tithe in money and if you do you must add 20 percent?
Will the churches ever understand that the word feasts in Leviticus 23:1-4 should be "appointed times" (NASB) to avoid contradicting Exodus 23:14-16, which names three feasts, not three seasons, and God's appointed times in Leviticus 23 include not just feasts but the annual sabbaths and the weekly Sabbath (verse 3)?