Symbolic Wave Sheaf
Weekly Sabbath / High Sabbath?
William P Goff
Scriptures from the KJV.
I am happy to see that more and more brethren in God’s church, are continuing to become more unified and united, as they grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior (like we are supposed be doing). Many continue to grow from studying and searching the Scriptures, wanting to acquiring more knowledge, more Truth. And then when opportunity arises, and one can converse with others of like minds, the growth in knowledge and grace accelerates even faster, as the “Iron Sharpeneth the Iron.
At the same time, the “C’sOG” in general, continues to split and become more divided, as many continue to follow the pulpits of men for direction. Men, who Christ, Paul, Peter, Jude and more, have repeatedly warned us to be careful of, because “man” Scripture tells us, is our big culprit, yes, a big obstacle to all of us when it comes to learning and walking in Truth. Men are good at spreading deception, and leading many astray. So let us continue to study our Bibles, and search the Scriptures to rightly divide Truth from err, and let’s thank God for giving us a love for His Truth
As we approach the Spring Holy Day Season, independents (for lack of a better word) are looking into this year’s Holy Day calendar again. Funny thing, I often hear church pulpits claim that “there’s no calendar in the Bible, and that’s why we have to look to, and rely on the Hebrew calendar”. Nothing could be further from the Truth. The Bible is quite clear on the calendar, and when the Appointed times are. After all, is God going to give us so much commanded instruction concerning keeping His Holy Days, and then make it impossible or difficult for us His church to know when His Holy Days are? I think not, let us remember, God is not the author of confusion, that’s Satan’s MO (and too often many “men’s” MO’)
Once again this year, after checking the Holy Day dates according to the sun & moon shown in the Scriptures, it didn’t take long to conclude this year’s calendar. Then, after contacting two people that I know (One in Arizona, and the other in Florida, who are also independent, and also search & study the Bible for the correct Holy Day dates). I checked to see what they came up with for Holy Day dates, and Once again, turns out the dates they come up with are the exact dates I found. (And this is nothing new; we’ve been finding our calendars becoming more the same for some years now) And the three of us had absolutely no conversing or influence, or even contact for that matter with one another while figuring out the dates (my Florida and Arizona friends don’t even know one another.) But yet all three of us concluded our independent studies with the same exact dates. God’s Holy Day calendar is in the Bible, but maybe it’s too simple for some to comprehend, like we’re told in Matthew 11:25.
Now, although the three of us were on the same page with the spring & fall H D Dates, we did differ on the date of one H D date, “Pentecost.” My two friends (like the majority of the COG) keep a Sunday Pentecost. Well, I want to discuss that today, because I believe that Scripture show that Sunday Pentecost is incorrect. In this study, I want to discuss a subject that I believe many in God’s church have been lead astray on, the “Wave Sheaf Offering” both its meaning, and the proper day that “Scripture” tells us to observe it. This is important subject, because the Wave Sheaf Offering “triggers” the count to (our Feast) the Feast of Pentecost.
Most pulpits in the church continue to insist that the word “Sabbath” in Leviticus 23:15 (the day that precedes the count to Pentecost) can only mean the weekly Sabbath. So the majority of the churches of God, continue to follow their teaching, and continue to begin counting to Pentecost the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which always concludes with a Sunday Pentecost. But is Sunday correct, or are we off track on this important issue?
First lets look at the word translated “Sabbath” in Leveticus 23:15, and see if the pulpits are correct telling us that that word can only mean “the weekly Sabbath” and can never mean “week”.
In Matthew 28:1, we read, “In the end of the SABBATH, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the WEEK came Mary Magdalene” The Greek word translated “WEEK” here is the exact same word translated SABBATH in the first part of this verse! (Sabbaton – Heb 7676) (And same exact word in the Hebrew used in Lev 23:15.) .
The emphasis of Pentecost is on “weeks”. It is called in the Scriptures, the “Feast of Weeks.” The emphasis is not on 'Sabbath days' at all, but weeks! As God instructed the Israelites. (Num 28:26 reads: "Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, AFTER YOUR WEEKS BE OUT, ye shall have an holy convocation..."
The NIV say it liked this: "On the day of firstfruits, when you present to the Lord an offering of new grain during the FEAST OF WEEKS, hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work".
In Leviticus 25:1-4 we read of the Sabbath year of rest for the land, even as the seventh day is a day of rest, God also ordained that year of rest for the land, so farmland is not worn out or depleted. Notice! Lev 25:4 "But in the seventh year shall be a SABBATH unto the land, a Sabbath FOR THE LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vine. "But notice verse 8: "And thou shalt NUMBER SEVEN SABBATHS OF YEARS unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven SABBATHS OF YEARS shall be unto thee forty and nine years". "Here we clearly see that the same word 'shabbat' H7676 in the Hebrew can also refer to WEEKS -- in this case, WEEKS OF YEARS! Seven Sabbaths, or weeks, of years, would total forty nine years -- as this very verse clearly says!
In their commentary on Lev 23:11, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown also concur that the High Holy day Sabbath is spoken of in that verse, not the weekly Sabbath, and they write this concerning what it says in verse 11: (first I want to read that verse again, being it’s an important verse for us:
“Ye shall wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you on the morrow after the Sabbath.” (Pretty important instructions, considering they are direct commands from God Himself, and it has to do with us, His First Fruits being accepted.) Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown write this:
“The day after the Sabbath, not the weekly Sabbath, but the day after the first day of the Passover week, which was observed as a Sabbath.” (p. 497, vol. I, A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical.)
Now, just one more (Deut 16:9 please) this verse also speaks of 7 “weeks” that precede Pentecost, and when to begin counting those 7 “weeks”.) Deut 16:9 “seven weeks shall thou number unto thee, begin to number the seven weeks from the time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.”
So far everything we have looked at shows the count to Pentecost beginning the day after the 1st day of UB, which is the Passover – Not the day after the weekly Sabbath.) We even have some Scriptural information showing that Christ and His disciples were going by the “High Holy Day” Sabbath, and Not the weekly Sabbath to begin the count.
Luke 6:1 “And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first” (This is believed to be the weekly Sabbath during the feast of Unleavened Bread) the 1st Sabbath being the 1st day of Unleavened Bread, the second Sabbath the weekly Sabbath during the feast of UB.) Now let’s see what the disciples were doing on this particular weekly Sabbath.)
Luke 6:1 “He went through the corn fields, and His disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.” If this was the second Sabbath after the first, during Unleavened Bread, The only way the disciples could be plucking & eating corn on this day, was if the wave sheaf offering had already been waved on the day after the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread.
I do believe that no matter how you cut it, the more you study this subject, the more the Sunday Pentecost doesn’t fit with the Scriptures.
Let’s stop here for a moment and put things in perspective. Why the “count” to Pentecost in the first place? Let’s try to comprehend what is being said here in these verses.
“Ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbaths (or seven weeks, or better put, seven “churches” shall be “complete”, that’s what this feast of unleavened bred is all about, God’s firstfruits) shall be complete.” there’s a lot of significance concerning that 8 letter word “Complete” that all of us in God’s church need to comprehend. The Hebrew word translated “complete” is normally used in Scripture only when referring to Christ, the word means “unspotted” “unblemished.” But here in Leviticus 23:15 its referring to US God’s church becoming “complete”, His firstfruits becoming “unspotted, “unblemished.” Take a look at that Hebrew word translated “complete” in Leviticus 23:15. It’s not talking about seven “weekly Sabbaths” being unblemished and unspotted, its talking about seven churches becoming unspotted and unblemished.
Remember, Pentecost is “our” feast, it’s the Feast of “Firstfruits” This is not the “feast of sabbath days” this is the “Feast of Weeks” the “Feast of Firstfruits” according to the Scriptures. We’re the “Firstfruits.” Those seven weeks represent us, God’s “Firstfruits” His church. (All seven of them!)
What is this count all about? This count to Pentecost is very significant for the members of God’s church, more that most in God’s church realize. In the past (ever since I’ve been in the church) seems we didn’t pay much attention to the “count” I can remember in WCG that occasionally on Sabbath, the “Song Leader” would make some mention to it, but that was about it. (The count seemed kind of “insignificant”. Well, the “count” may seem a bit insignificant to us, but it’s far from being insignificant to God, especially when you consider the “Rich Meaning” of the Hebrew word translated “count” in that verse.
The word “count” means “to score with a mark as a tally or a record.” (God keeps a record – a book of life & a book of remembrance.) The word also means: “To count a flock.” “To Enumerate” (That means to: “name one by one” That’s what our Creator does with the stars in the sky as they come out at night, He counts them, and names them “one by one” Those stars in the heavens represent us. This counting is nothing to take lightly. This counting is a continuation of what we learn from keeping the feast of UB. The feast of Unleavened Bread lasts seven days…. It pictures us, coming out of sin. It has to do with us becoming like Christ. It starts with the Passover Sacrifice, (The sacrifice of an “unblemished Lamb”) Christ dying in our stead, so that we might live. During the week long feast of unleavened bread, we’re commanded to de-leaven our houses, a physical lesson with much spiritual meaning, it teaches us to put sin out of our lives.
If we stumble across some leaven during the week of UB, we know what to do, we take it and put it off of our property, and we know that we are to do the same with transgressions. (When we find ourselves doing something wrong, we have to change and do it right.) We are also commanded to eat “Unleavened” bread each day during the seven day feast…. (Picturing us putting “Christ” into our daily lives.) Now at the end of the 7 day feast of UB, we can go back to eating “leavening” but we can’t go back to “sinning.” The seven week count to “completion” is just a continuation of what the seven day feast of Unleavened Bread is all about, coming our of Egypt, coming out of sin. Changing our ways, changing our walk, changing our natures.
And please notice in Leviticus 23:15 that we (the church) are given a deadline to become “complete” (unblemished & unspotted.) Yes, we are given a deadline to become like our Chief corner stone and Elder Brother Jesus the Christ. The verse says seven Sabbaths (seven weeks, seven churches) shall be “complete” (unspotted/unblemished) before the Day of Pentecost. Verse 16 of Leviticus 23 says: “Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number 50 days.” Completion (perfection of the firstfruits) comes before the day of Pentecost.
We covered a lot of ground here in this study. I think it’s time to stop and consider all that I’ve stated before moving on. But first let me mention one more thing. As I stated previously, the “wave sheaf offering” refers to more than just Christ. We can elaborate on that more later. But for now, let’s clear up a common misconception concerning the wave sheaf. Many believe that the wave sheaf represents Christ, and that Christ couldn’t be touched the morning He was resurrected, that Mary Magdalene could not touch our Lord that morning at the tomb until He ascended to the Father to have His sacrifice accepted, and to be glorified. NOT true.
The Kings James mistranslates Christ’s words as “Touch Me Not” John 20:17. So some reason just as the physical wave sheaf of barley was not to be touched until after it was waved, same here with Christ. But, if that were so, then you can assure that no one would have touched Christ on the morning of His resurrection. But they did touch Him, check the Greek out concerning that verse “touch me not” and you find a different picture.
When Mary first saw Christ, she DID touch Him, fact is she embraced him so tightly, He had to tell her to let go. Check other Gospel accounts on that and you will see that “many” were touching and embracing Him that morning (Mat 28:8-10.)
Christ didn’t have to wait for days after His crucifixion and death to finally ascend to the Father’s throne to have His sacrifice accepted. The Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice immediately when He died on that tree. There sure is plenty of proof of that with the Vail being torn top to bottom, doors swinging open, dead rising out of their graves etc.
Earlier, I questioned whether or not the wave sheaf offering actually represented Christ in the first place, or if the offering of the wave sheaf could possibly represent more, or something else.
The Hebrew word translated “sheaf” is “Omer” and that Hebrew word “Omer” doesn’t describe anything singular (denoting one person or thing) but the word actually means: “a heap” or “a handful.”
The ingredients of the “Omer” or “Sheaf” that was waved, came from a previously selected plot of Barley that was cut down, and put through a rather lengthily process.
We read about that process from a book titled: “The Temple - Its Ministry & Service”, written by an “Alfred Ed-er-sheim” (considered the greatest Jewish-Christian Scholar of the 19th Century.)
In Ed-er-sheim”s book, He elaborates on the ingredients of the “wave sheaf” the “omer” and how it was prepared.
Stating that the ears of grain (after being cut down) were first brought into the court of the Temple, and thrashed out with canes & stalks, as not to injure the corn.
Then the grain was parched on a pan that was perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire, and finally exposed to the wind.
He went on to tell how the corn was then ground in a barley-mill, which left the hulls whole. Then he states that the flour was sifted through thirteen sieves, each closer than the other.
(Yes, the grain went through quite a lengthily process.)
(And there is something quite interesting to note here :)
Although one ephah, (measuring ten omers) of barley was originally cut down and began the process, only ONE “Omer” actually completed the process, and was offered as the wave sheaf offering.
And it’s important to realize, that
the one “Omer” that was waved, didn’t consist of only “one”
grain, or the grain from only “one” plant, but the “wave sheaf omer” that was “waved” consisted of many plants, many grains.
Yes, there were multiple thousands of grains that “qualified” (if you will) and made up the “Wave Sheaf” or “Omer” that was waved.
Lets note here what a grain symbolizes according to the Scriptures. We read in Amos 9:9 where it says: “For low, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among the Nations, like a corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth”.
The “grain” seems to represents Israel! And this “wave sheaf” (or omer) represents the “firstfruits” of Israel.
(The Israel of God, that is, which according to Gal 6:16 - is the church.)
Rev 14 speaking of those “firstfruits” says this: And, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with Him a hundred forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.
These were redeemed from among men, being the “firstfruits” unto God and to the lamb.
Brethren, I believe the “wave sheaf” represents the church, the firstfruits.
God’s “little flock” the ones that Christ said: “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
Yes, His “very elect”, “Pre selected” – “Called” by the Father Himself, and then put through a lengthily process of “cleaned up” & “scrubbed down” and sifted, repeatedly sifted (just like fine flour is sifted) until all the lumps & all the imperfections are removed. Yes, unblemished, unspotted, complete like it says in Leviticus 23:15.
And we must always remember that God gives us the physical, so we can better understand the Spiritual. Here’s the physical: Although one ephah, (measuring ten omers) of barley was originally cut down and began the process, only ONE “Omer” actually completed the process, and was offered as the wave sheaf offering.
We can compare that to the sobering verse in Matthew 22 that states: “Many are called, but few chosen. Many began this process at baptism & hands, but how many are still completing the process? We have to be pure to qualify. How pure? As pure as he is pure. 1 John 3:3.