May 23, 2011 © Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
— 2011 —
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall celebrate the Feast of the Passover, and for seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten. On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a young bull for a sin offering. And on the seven days of the festival he shall provide as a burnt offering to the Lord seven young bulls and seven rams without blemish, on each of the seven days; and a male goat daily for a sin offering. And he shall provide as a grain offering an ephah for each bull, an ephah for each ram, and a hin of oil to each ephah. In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month and for the seven days of the feast, he shall make the same provision for sin offerings, burnt offerings, and grain offerings, and for the oil. (Ezek 45:21–25 emphasis added)
The mirror image of the Passover doesn’t occur thirty days after the Passover, but in the fall of the year at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles—the mirror image of the Passover that is eaten on the First Unleavened (i.e., when the sacraments are taken) is the Great Last Day. The mirror image of the Passover isn’t the second Passover that happens in the second month. The mirror image of the seven-day-long Feast of Unleavened Bread is the seven-day-long Feast of Tabernacles [Booths]. However, Yom Kipporim, when all of Israel afflicts itself by fasting, symbolically represents all of the Passover season when Israel eats the bread of affliction, unleavened bread.
Leavening—traditionally, yeast—represents sin, or better, the ways of this present world in which all of human persons are born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32); i.e., born as slaves of the Adversary.
Traditionally, the former Worldwide Church of God and now its Sabbatarian splinters have kept Passover on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month as established by rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar. These Sabbatarians took the sacraments of broken unleavened bread and wine that represent the body and blood of Christ Jesus in their Passover services, then returned to consuming leavened bread during the daylight portion of the 14th day of the first month, symbolically returning to the ways of this world before spurning all leavened products at sunset on the dark portion of the 15th day of Aviv, the beginning of the High Sabbath, the great Sabbath of the Sabbath [the Feast of Unleavened Bread] according to John (see 19:31 in Greek).
The Sabbatarian Christians that followed and still follow the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong through the long established practice of eating a last hamburger or a last sandwich made with raised bread during the daylight portion of 14th of Aviv—i.e., returning to the ways of this world after having been cleansed from sin—accurately reflect in their history the history of the Church of God … on a macro scale, the last Eve [the greater Christian Church] was initially given life when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples (see John 20:22) on the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering, the day when He was accepted by the Father, one day after the Sabbath of the calendar week and the midday of the seven days of Unleavened Bread. But as the first Eve began life in the Garden of God but died outside the Garden and remains dead in the dust of this earth to be resurrected in the future, the last Eve died when the Church lost the breath (pneuma) of God [ca 100–102 CE, when the Apostle John died] and remains dead, awaiting resurrection at the Second Passover, when heavenly life is returned to all of Christians, not just to a representational sample through the last Elijah laying over and breathing His breath into the few disciples Armstrong made so that all patterns in Scripture would be fulfilled.
On a macro scale, the first Eve and last Eve [the greater Christian Church] died because of their disbelief and remain dead, awaiting resurrection. On a micro scale, the last Elijah [the glorified Christ Jesus] breathed His breath into the dead Body of Christ in the 16th-Century as the first Elijah laid over the son of the widow of Zarephath a first time. Then the last Elijah laid over the still dead Church a second time in the Great Awakening … in the last Elijah’s first attempt to return life to the dead Church via the Protestant Reformation, only a few disciples actually returned to keeping the commandments of God, principally Andreas Fischer and those Sabbatarian Anabaptists that followed his teachings. A historical trace of Fischer’s disciples clung to life long after Fischer was “killed” a second time, a story in itself and not one for here, for from the Great Awakening came additional Sabbatarian Anabaptists, each generation advancing the recovery of truth lost when the Church died at the end of the 1st-Century CE, with Herbert W. Armstrong being simply one of a string of pastors and teachers that kicked the figurative can down the road a little farther.
Armstrong returned the Body of Christ to Passover observance on the night that Jesus was betrayed, the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv, and for that he deserves credit. He deserves no credit, though, for using rabbinical Judaism’s calendar that starts the year in the Fall [the 1st of Tishri]; for Judaism’s calendar frequently begins the month of Aviv before the spring equinox, or begins Tishri before the fall equinox. The check for Judaism’s calendar is the full moon of Aviv occurring after the equinox, not the sighted new moon crescent.
However, 2011 is a year when Judaism’s calendar and circumcised-of-heart Israel’s calendar align, an uncommon year in that if the Second Passover liberation of Israel had occurred on the second Passover, the day-to-date alignment of events that had the High Sabbath of the 15th day of the first month in the year Jesus was crucified, a Thursday, occurring on rabbinical Judaism’s calendar as the 15th day of the second month, the second Passover, this year a Thursday, May 19th, an alignment that suggested the resurrection to life of greater Christendom could have occurred in the three day window between the 19th and the 21st; with 2011 being 483 years after Andreas Fischer began teaching Christians to return to Sabbath observance.
Before the Second Passover of Israel occurs, humanity will be as far from God as it can get—and humanity wasn’t as far from God as it could get as evidenced by the few Christians who heeded the warning of Harold Camping that the Rapture would be on May 21st … the Rapture as Camping understands the concept is a doctrine of demons and will never happen.
In answering an e-mail correspondence, I relayed an incident from my past, an incident that has an embedded principle of God that does have relevance here at this time:
As I have written elsewhere, I graduated from high school when 16 and applied to University of Alaska Fairbanks; for I had wanted to go to Alaska for number of years. But I didn’t have the money to travel North so I accepted a scholarship to an Oregon college and put plans to go North on hold.
In October of my freshman year, Mom committed suicide. Dad had died five years earlier, and I was declared (because I was in college) an emancipated minor, which left me out on my own at 16. I didn't worry much about having nothing but a couple of rifles and a change of clothes; for with the rifles I could feed myself—and did.
I continued to want to go north, but I married at 18, opened a small gunshop, then was drafted into the Body of Christ in 1972. With baptism came a need to mend my ways, but old habits were hard to break, and I had been feeding myself and now a young family (my third daughter was born spring 1972) with a rifle for a decade. It had become too easy to "harvest" an animal whenever we needed meat.
Coastal Oregon was changing, and changing rapidly: the street people of the 1960s had become a back-to-nature movement that had hippy squatters living wherever they could on abandoned homesteads in the coastal hills. State Forestry burned down these farmsteads so that squatters wouldn’t occupy them, and while State Forestry didn’t get all of them, they got most of them, including some buildings that should have been preserved for historical purposes.
New residents were arriving on the Coast, and my generation was drifting North to Alaska, to British Columbia, where I had looked to relocate in 1967 and again in 1969.
But then, my world changed in 1972 when I was drafted into the Church and began to keep the Sabbath, which cut me off from my main source of income—and I struggled financially throughout 1973 until the Yom Kippur War shut everything down: for two and a half months, I was unable to buy gasoline locally.
In January 1974, while running a trapline behind where I lived upriver from the town of Siletz, I killed a buck that had already dropped his antlers (bucks look and move differently than does). The only problem, I missed the snap shot. I hadn't gotten down in the sights before the buck dived into thick brush. Nevertheless, the bullet struck the buck in the head--and I gave God thanks for the kill, for we needed the meat. But a day or so later, I killed a domestic goat that I couldn't keep out of the chicken house and keep from eating precious chicken feed. I hung the little billy in the woodshed … I could tell the difference between a dressed deer and a dressed goat as far away as I can see either one, but apparently some new neighbors, while trespassing, couldn't and they called the State Police.
I could no longer afford the $45./month rent that I was paying and knowing I needed to move closer to town, I had rented the place at Abbey Creek (Elk City, Oregon) about which I wrote in the sonnet cycle, At Abby Creek, for what was then substantially less money ($30./mo). And I was in the process of moving when I returned home to find State Police officers parked in my driveway … I showed the officers the goat and they acknowledged that indeed it was a domestic goat, but the officers already had a search warrant and they wanted to look around, and on the kitchen drainboard were portions of the buck that hadn't yet gone into the freezer.
I was guilty and didn't deny it. The judge asked if I thought it was better to violate the law than take public assistance. I asked him if he was asking me if I thought it was better to kill a deer than take welfare, and I said, “If that’s the question, yes I do.”
The judge's eyes got real big and he raised up and looked like he was going to come after me. He sentenced me to 60 days, with 50 days suspended on the condition that I violate no law for one year. No fine was levied; no court costs were assessed; and the judge ordered the Welfare Office to enroll me for three months. So I spent ten days in the county jail, ten days in the drunk tank with six marijuana farmers, a fellow sentenced to 45 days for stealing a gallon of gas, and two older fellows in for DWI. And I had to take the second Passover my second year after being baptized, for the ten days I spent in jail included all of the Feast of Unleavened Bread — every day, lunch was a cheese sandwich, which I gave away, and a bowl of tomato soup so I was a little hungry before the ten days were up; for virtually everything that wasn’t leavened was unclean.
Thanks to the judge’s sentencing, the State of Oregon somewhat reluctantly paid me $930. in a lump sum, making my time sitting in the drunk tank worth $93/day. And it was that money that allowed me to move Alaska; for the day I got out (the court delayed imposition of sentence) was the last high Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and I had to walk ten miles of the sixteen miles home. We were out of meat: I killed meat the following morning, and had the deer hanging in the woodshed when the troopers cruised by on the river just to let me know they were watching.
I decided that it was time I did something else: a fellow asked if I would drive his second vehicle to Alaska, and I jumped at the chance. So with him buying the gas and with a few dollars in my pocket, I went North, took a job falling timber (i.e., what passes as timber on the Kenai), and moved my wife and daughters up in August after I got a few paychecks ahead. They lived on the money the State provided until we moved North.
Again, the gas shortage following the Yom Kippur War adversely affected the Central Oregon Coast: we were unable to buy gas for two and a half months. I had plenty of work to do (i.e., guns to build), but the customers were almost all in Portland, 125 miles away, and no one had enough gas to take delivery of a gun until the shortage eased. As a result, I was trapping and sending pelts to Seattle, getting small checks in return, but getting enough money that I could pay the utilities.
I had wanted to move to Alaska ever since high school, but the money was never there. That buck cost me ten days, but was both directly and indirectly responsible for me moving to Alaska. That buck proved to be the blessing that I thought it was, but a blessing for different reasons than I thought at the time. For truly, I missed that buck …
I should here add that a change of location is often necessary to change a habit … I had to learn to be legalistic; I wasn’t naturally so. I suckled the same Zeitgeist of rebellion that caused peers to wear flowers in their hair—only that Zeitgeist of rebellion produced a different effect in me than in my San Francisco peers.
The reason for relating the rather long biographical incident has everything to do with Harold Camping and his million+ dollar effort to warn the world that the end was at hand … in January 1974, that bald-headed buck provided us with some meat—the goat wasn’t mine to eat, but belonged to another Church member who could no longer keep it, the reason it was hanging in plain sight—but if the State Police and the Court hadn’t become involved, I would have killed another deer either not pregnant or without fawns in another few weeks and we would have continued struggling along on the central Oregon Coast. I certainly wouldn’t have gone to Alaska where I was figuratively placed in cold storage throughout the remainder of the 1970s and early 1980s—I returned to college in 1988 when I entered University of Alaska Fairbanks’ graduate writing program without an undergraduate degree and with no English coursework beyond the Freshman Comp sequence. It was as if the 25 years between when I graduated from high school in 1963 and wanted to attend UAF but couldn’t afford the $525./year room and board, and when I entered UAF as a graduate student had been compressed into a four-year-degree.
The Second Passover liberation of circumcised-of-heart Israel is not far in the future, but is near in time. The year 2014 is a possible year if the Second Passover is to occur on the second Passover, and a year that is not in the distant future. So too is 2017. But there is another possibility, one that is concealed in the mirror: the Great Last Day of the Fall Feast, a High Sabbath, (October 20th) falls on a Thursday (as does Trumpets and the first day of Tabernacles).
Again, the mirror image of the First Unleavened and the Feast of Unleavened Bread—all of which John identifies as Sabbath [from John 19:31] is the Great Last Day and the Feast of Tabernacles, all of which will also be Sabbath. So the second Passover of 2011, which saw Camping warning the world that the Rapture was at hand, might well be the dress rehearsal for his world and the world of greater Christendom ending five months later, not on October 21st, but on October 20th; ending because of the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Regardless, disciples who have prepared for the Second Passover liberation of Israel need to remain prepared as best they can, for what will happen will shortly occur, a circular statement that bites itself on the tail, thereby creating a dance hoop through which all Christians will have to jump.
The disappointment of Camping’s disciples reveals that humankind could still get farther from God than it was; however, the worldwide mocking of Camping also reveals that humankind cannot get much farther away.
No one will take Camping seriously about the world—the present way of life in this world—ending on or about October 21st, but that warning is out there and has been heard by virtually everyone. That is not something I can do from ignominy. I can write about the Second Passover liberation of Israel, which is, again, certain to happen. But without asking for support, the amount of money with which I have to work isn’t much greater now than in 1963, or in 1973. So Camping may have done in his ignorance what I cannot do … I missed that buck in January 1974. I could then call my shots, and I was three feet high when the rifle fired. Yet that buck was hit in the head and died instantly. Somehow, the cast lead bullet of the .38-55 I shot hit where I looked, not where I shot. And that buck introduced a period of turmoil and tribulation that saw me land in my land of promise after taking the second Passover my second year in the Church.
Camping has warned the world that its way of life will traumatically change on October 21st, and this might be the case—and will be the case if the Second Passover occurs on the Last Great Day [the word order deliberately reversed]. And no one, even hearing the warning, will believe that this present world will end this year; yet the signs are there, and the warning given.
When thanks is given for a missed shot striking home and an unlawful act, the person is and isn’t far from God; for the work of conversion that needed to be done was getting done but not in a human manner or in a way that would seem humanly logical. If I had come up with some lame excuse for why I killed the buck or if I had denied killing it—because I hadn’t spent the previous night in the unlocked house, the State would have had difficulty proving that I was in illegal possession of venison, the actual charge, especially considering new neighbors had turned me in and could well have placed the butchered meat on the kitchen drainboard where it was covered by a towel—it is doubtful that the judge would have ordered the State to give me three months of welfare, or would not have fined me. But because I said what I did, acknowledging guilt while spurning welfare, taking Public Assistance was part of my sentencing: instead of a fine, I had to receive money from the public coffers, which did mean swallowing pride, for I had the type of pride that typified America fifty years ago … I had made it on my own, eating out of grocery store dumpsters when 16 and 17 and not having killed anything to eat, working where and when I could before I reached my 18th birthday; for even though I had been declared an emancipated minor, employers were reluctant to hire.
The reason for this Commentary is simple: the second Passover for 2011 (May 19th — to have been observed by Christians on the evening of May 17th) has come and gone. Christians who have covered their sins by drinking from the Cup are covered; Christians who are to be covered by grace and come to Christ between now and Tabernacles will fast on Yom Kipporim, thus identifying themselves as being of God. But the above doesn’t seem right: what about the remainder of Christendom? Are these Christians not also covered by grace? No, their sins are not counted against them because of their lack of spiritual life, not because they are under grace. They are as Israel was in Egypt, before the Law was given.
The First Unleavened and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, together, an eight day period, represents the affliction of Israel. These same eight days represent the entirety of the Christian era, from when the spirit was given on the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering in 31 CE to the Second Advent, when Christ Jesus returns and the judgments of firstborn sons of God are revealed (1 Cor 4:5). And the mirror image of these eight days appear as the left hand does to the right hand, with the first being the last and the last being the first, with the Passover appearing as the Great Last Day.
It might be that Camping and his warning that the end of the world will come on a specific date (October 21st), a warning that will not be believed because of what he falsely proclaimed about the Rapture, will prove to be like the shot I snapped-off at a fleeing buck that broke from cover behind me, a shot I missed even though a kill was made, a kill for which I was responsible and for which I took responsibility, but not a kill I should have made (for several reasons).
President Obama hasn’t yet taken absolute control of governance in America, but he is closer to that goal today than ever before. The debt crisis that should have shut down the government in May was kicked down the road to August. The budget crisis was averted by $100 billion in promised Republican budget cuts morphing into $353 million. The Arab spring that quickly toppled the Egyptian government has slowed to a crawl in Libya and Syria. But the conditions are such that worldwide destabilization of governments is still on track even if traveling more slowly than initially anticipated—and on track to come to fruition in 2011.
This year—2011—remains a probable year for the Second Passover liberation of Israel to occur, and remains a more probable year than 2014 or 2017, but if the Second Passover is to occur on the second Passover, then that second Passover will have to be the mirror image of the Passover, with the kingdom of this world being given to the Son of Man on the first day of Aviv in 2015.
That buck in January 1974 that I missed but killed indirectly caused me to take the second Passover that year and to take the Passover the following year (in 1975) on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, where the Night to be Much Observed was celebrated by a greater assortment of salmon dishes that I had imagined possible.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."