Yet another publication has crossed our desk. The publication is the spring edition of "Yahweh's Watchmen" and is published by the "Philadelphia Congregations of Yahweh." Unhappily this publication demonstrates the general lack of scholarship or quality that is widely evident throughout the modern religious world. From the intelligence we have been able to gather, there also arises the question of personal issues influencing the teachings set forth.
The article that most illustrates these issues is "Abib and Passover" by James A. Meyer. Let us look at the doctrinal issues first.
In paragraphs one and two are brought up an edict of the Sanhedrin (a group that the Messiah and Apostolic Assembly had major problems with doctrinally) that the sixteenth of Abib cannot be before the Spring Equinox (please see the article "Abib by Equinox?"). The problem? Why go to an openly anti-Messianic group (as some do to this day) for doctrines when Scripture plainly shows the truth: in this case, the Spring Equinox has NOTHING to do with the observance of the month of Abib: the Spring Equinox is never mentioned (we'll leave the sixteenth of Abib problem alone for this article). Is there an attempt to align with modern Judaism? If so get out the phylacteries, tzit-tzit and yarmulkes (and throw out 1 Corinthians 11 while you're at it!) (Also see the article "Yarmulke")
Are there American farmers in Brazil? Paragraph three would lead you to so believe: "It is popular for large corporate farmers to farm in the US during the six months of summer and farm in South America mainly Brazil the other six months." Aside from there being no American farmers outside the United States what does the agricultural cycle in Brazil have to do with setting Abib? This is never explained; the answer being, Nothing! (Yes there are those who go to instruct in foreign countries but this would hardly make them "American farmers" any more than a firefighter from Italy who works here for half year periods would be classified as an "Italian firefighter.")
What about personal issues influencing teaching? Paragraph four shows this. "In a month we will be commemorating the exodus... This paragraph brings several questions to mind:
1. Where is there a "divorce of Israel" mentioned or implied in the exodus? Answer: nowhere.
2. Where is there a "new marriage" mentioned or implied in the exodus? Answer: nowhere.
3. Am I wrong in thinking that the spiritual application of the Passover is a passing over of OUR OWN, PERSONAL sins via the sacrificial blood of Yahshua the Messiah and not the "sins of our fathers?"
This begs certain questions:
1. Was/is a divorce a factor in the life of the author?
2. Was/is a re-marriage a factor in the life of the author? It is known that the author was "living in sin" at one time. Has this been dealt with?
3. Is there an attempt to transfer this, and/or other sins to those referred to as "our fathers?"
Some of the issues seem to be dealt with in paragraph five, but are they? Let's see: "The forgiveness of past sins creates within us the possibility of a clear conscious to be more aware of what is required of us by As before Yahweh and Abraham." This would indicate that our personal sins are indeed being referred to and thus contradicts the "our fathers" clause above. "This renewal is a birth for us into the family of Abraham so that we might have part in the covenant of eternal life." Is this an entry into the physical family of Abraham, thus contradicting Isaiah 56, Acts 10 & 15, Romans 5:16 and Revelation 7:9-17 and making it a work of the flesh; or does he mean the spiritual family of Abraham? "Many of us were not part of Abraham's descendants but through Messiah Yahshua we receive adoption into a heavenly family." It would now indicate that a spiritual family of Abraham is indicated. At best somewhat confusing language, at worse hedging so there can be association with those who believe the physical adoption to be necessary also.
Are there other articles that could be dealt with? Yes indeed; but for the sake of brevity I will condense.
In the article "Unleavened What?" it is asserted that those using wheat matzos for Passover are wrong, it had to be made of barley. This could be picked apart scripture by scripture but the bottom line is this: by using the Scriptures we see that it was forbidden for Israel to use the barley of any year until after they had made the wave sheaf offering which cannot be made on Passover night but the next night at the earliest. So what would they have used? Whatever grain they had in stores from the previous year, this most likely would be wheat or rye.
"And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you have come into the land which I will give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest to the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it." Verses 12 & 13 show the accompanying sacrifices. Verse 14: "And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor fresh ears, until this very day, until you have brought the oblation of your Elohim: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings." Leviticus 23:9-14. (S.S.B. Emphases authors)
This is a lead-in to the next article "The Omer (Sheaf) and the Count to Feast of Weeks." The point is that the feast of Pentecost can float by three days. The mistake: following the rabbinical ruling that the wave sheaf is to be the day after the first High Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Solution to the problem: the phrase used for determining when the wave sheaf is to be offered is "the day after the Sabbath." The word "Sabbath" is indeed "Sabbath" (the weekly Sabbath) and not "Sabbathon" (a high Sabbath). This completely torpedoes the rabbinical ruling IF SCRIPTURE IS HELD IN HIGHER REGARD THEN MEN'S TRADITION. As to the charge that the command to count fifty days would be unnecessary if the feast fell on the same day of the week is refuted by simply stating that there are several statements in the Scriptures which are repeated in different ways allowing a sincere person to fulfill the instructions, and there being only one way that will allow all the variations to be carried out.
Any other observations to be made? There are two. First: the cover has a very nice depiction of Israel encamped around the Tabernacle with the pillar of fire emanating from the Holy of Holies and the Tetragrammaton in large square script above. The problem? Each letter has a dot (suppose to be a dagesh or vowel point?) within them. Although this looks nice it is wrongly vowel pointed. The second: on the inside the Tetragrammaton is written backwards two times in the same paragraph. They got the letters right on the cover and wrong on the inside.
Over all, the magazine is poorly written, barely edited and abounds with mistakes: scientific (as in "Debunking the Moon-Sabbath Cycle" [sometimes there are two 30 days months back to back, not always alternating between 29 and 30]) as well as doctrinally. The writing style is that of someone who is assigned to write a 500-word theme so they pad the report with rambling nonsense just to make the count.
Run; do not walk away from this publication and organization. Doctrinally this abounds with doctrines that are not supportable. Contradictions abound within and between the articles. These are people who do not think things through, and there are questions of character about most, if not all!
Yours in Messiah;
AKA The Mick
AKA The Mick
(Article quoted as appeared)
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