VOL.4 NO.2 ©1995INTERNET EDITION
IN THIS ISSUE:
From Passover Lamb To Easter Ham
Passover, 14th or 15th Which?
The Simple Truth
FROM PASSOVER LAMB TO EASTER HAM
by Charles Kimbrough
We have had several inquiries about events taking place in a large Church organization that is changing its doctrines. They're changing some of the basic foundational truths they used to teach about the Sabbath and God's Holy Days. Many things have happened over the last 15 years within that organization. In the past, members have been excommunicated for as little as asking questions. Today it seems like anything goes. In 1978, the present head of this Church was actively involved, along with the chief council and others, in causing the elder patriarch to excommunicate his son. The excuse for this was that the son was wearing too many hats. However, I believe it was for preaching a sermon in Montgomery, Alabama in June of that same year. In that sermon, the son stated that the Gospel (the good news of the coming Kingdom of God) had to be preached in the name of Jesus. This contradicted what his father was saying to world leaders. His father was preaching that an unseen hand "from some place" was needed to straighten out world problems, and never mentioned the name of Jesus.
Since then many things have taken place. The son is on his own, still preaching the truth over radio and television and busy building his own organization. The father died in 1986 leaving the present head in charge in perpetuity (the primacy of Peter doctrine all over again). It was after the leader's death that the changes began. At first these changes were very subtle consisting of recalling the booklets and writings of the patriarch. Soon, all the efforts of the patriarch passed from the scene. Then, doctrinal changes started. Some of the doctrinal changes were good (those out on the limb of the tree). Now they have gone to the trunk of the tree, the very foundational stones of the Church. The Ten Commandments have now become the 10 suggestions; the HOLY DAYS have become OPTIONAL.
My article in the last Sentinel expounded some of the scriptures about the man of sin who would rise up and attempt to take the place of Jesus Christ. He will say the law is done away with and will sit in the Temple of God saying that he is God. This man is called the ANTICHRIST. The reason he is called the man of sin is because he changes God's TIMES and SEASONS. Dan 7:25, "He shall persecute the saints of the most high GOD, and shall intend to change the times and laws." THUS, HE PUTS HIMSELF IN THE PLACE OF GOD AND JESUS. When you or I or any teacher start rewriting scripture and turn away from what Jesus and ALL of his disciples taught, it is the first sign of becoming an ANTICHRIST.
When we analyze what has been happening in this large Church organization we see how this parallels with 2 Thes 2:3. The similarity is most mind-boggling. "Let no one deceive you by any means for that day" (referring to the 2nd coming of Jesus) "will not come until a falling away comes first" (falling away from the truth) "and that man of sin is revealed." Continuing in verse 7-8, "for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" (even in Paul's day) "only He who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And the lawless one will be revealed." I find the parallel literally ASTOUNDING! The SON WAS KICKED OUT FOR PREACHING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GOSPEL. The changes started immediately with the death of the 92 year old patriarch who had been sick for over 10 years. The one who is preaching NO LAW in the Church has now been revealed. That's an astounding parallel.
THE EARLY CHURCH
To understand the significance of these events, it is necessary to look at the early Church and the problems it had. The greatest controversy for all of so-called Christianity is the following question: What did Jesus do away with and what was NAILED to the STAKE? Some say it's the Ten Commandments, others say it's the entire old covenant, inferring that everything God gave Moses on Mount Sinai is obsolete. Some say the first 39 books of the Bible should no longer to be used by Christianity for salvation. Then there are those who say that the sacrificial laws and paying a penalty for committing sin are abolished.
We would like to address this whole question this way: If you were GOD, how would you approach the salvation of mankind? Would you give a set of laws, statutes and judgments to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Would you give those same laws, statutes and judgments to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai? Would you send your only Son to be beaten to the point of death and taken out to the place of the skull (Golgotha), to be nailed to a torture stake by His hands and feet? Would you have Him lifted up and hung there from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM, for six solid hours until He died? Would you then have Him put in a grave for the better part of three days, resurrect Him from the dead, and then start a ministry to tell the world that He came to do away with these laws? Would you teach that we do not have to do anything but accept Christ as our personal Savior then PRESTO, ZIPPO we are saved? IS THAT THE WAY IT IS? IS IT? Well, THAT IS NOT WHY CHRIST CAME AND DIED! HE DID NOT DIE TO DO AWAY WITH THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD! Let's tell it like it is.
If you were Satan the Devil, and you wanted to thwart GOD in His effort to save mankind, how would you go about it? Let's look at how Satan has BEEN DOING IT.
The first lie that was ever told to mankind was by Satan in Genesis 3:4 when he said to Eve,"you will not surely die." THEY DID DIE DIDN'T THEY? If GOD was going to do away with His laws, why did He punish Adam and Eve for NOT OBEYING them? Why did GOD punish Cain for killing Abel if there was no law? Understand this: Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel knew what sin was! Later God destroyed all of mankind because of sin. He saved only eight people. To dispute GOD's word, Satan says GOD does not know what He is talking about, that He doesn't know what He is doing, and He doesn't mean what He says. Satan tries to convince us that what GOD says through the Scripture is not RELIABLE. In other words, don't use the Bible for the TRUTH, only use whatever part of it you want, and leave out any part that you don't want.
The practice of changing GOD's Laws was so bad in Jesus' day that the traditions of the elders WERE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SCRIPTURES. It's the same way today, nothing has changed. Lets look at Mat 15:1-9 when the Pharisees asked Jesus why His disciples transgress the traditions of the elders. Jesus answered them and said, "WHY DO YOU ALSO TRANSGRESS THE COMMANDMENTS BECAUSE OF YOUR TRADITIONS?"
QUESTION: If Jesus was going to do away with GOD's laws, statutes and judgments and nail them to the stake, why did He charge the Pharisees with breaking the laws he was going to do away with? WHY? Obviously, He didn't come to do away with the law of God.
A FORERUNNER TO THE MAN OF SIN
The present head of this large Church wrote an article to its members in January. In that article he said, "Why don't we find the Sabbath commanded in the new covenant?" This is ludicrous! What version of the Bible does this man study from? It has to be one that we've never heard of. Obviously, it doesn't contain John 14:15 where Jesus said, "If you love me, keep My commandments." It must not contain Matthew 19:17 where Jesus said, "...if you want to enter life, obey the commandments." It must not contain Acts 13:14; 13:42-44; and 18:4 where it makes it perfectly clear that Paul and the disciples observed the Sabbath every week with the Jews AND the Gentiles! There was not one day for the Jews and another for the Gentiles!
WHEN PIGS FLY! DON'T BELIEVE HIM!
1 John 2:1-4 tells us that if we claim to know Jesus but don't keep the commandments, WE ARE A LIAR WHO DOES NOT KNOW HIM! This leader would like us to believe that the law is done away with and that it was part of the old covenant and not the new. Hebrews 10:16 tells us that the LAW is written in our minds and on our hearts with the new covenant. What are the books of the law? The five books of Moses! Does the leader of this large organization think that Exodus 20 contains the TEN SUGGESTIONS?
Early in the history of the Church a dispute arose between the Jewish and the Gentile Christians. The Jewish Christians linked the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with the Jewish Feast of Passover and maintained that it should be observed on the 14th of Nisan at sundown regardless of the day of the week on which it fell. This dispute persisted into the fourth century. The Western Churches generally celebrated an "EASTER SUNDAY" while the Eastern Churches FOLLOWED THE JEWISH TRADITION. They kept the direct commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples on the night he was betrayed. 1 Cor 11:23-26 "For I received from the Lord...that He took bread and blessed it and said `take and eat, this is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' Also the cup after supper saying `this cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.'" The word remember is the key. The taking of the bread (His body) and drinking of the wine (His blood) is a memorial of His death. A memorial is just like an anniversary, it happens once a year.
NOTE: POLYCARP, who was a disciple of the apostle John, was burned to death for keeping Passover with the Jews and rejecting Easter Sunday. He gave his life rather than observe a pagan festival to a fertility god. He observed Passover on the 15th like the Jews. We should follow his example. Do you think the apostle John understood when Passover was? Polycarp would have learnt it from him.
In 325 AD, Constantine convened the Nicaean council, where the decision was made that "EASTER" SHOULD BE OBSERVED ON SUNDAY. This dispute has persisted down through history to this day; the Catholic Church and most Sunday keeping Churches follow this tradition. Did that council, which was convened to do away with the Jewishness in the Church, have the AUTHORITY from GOD TO DO SO? To answer that question and what is happening in the Church today, we need to see what JESUS, THE APOSTLES, AND THE EARLY CHURCH TAUGHT. We need to know what their practices were. In other words, what does the New Testament say?
NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMS OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES
Did you know that the New Testament Scriptures are the best Commentaries available to us today? They teach us how Jesus and the early Church viewed the Old Testament Scriptures. Think about it.
Christ says in Mat 5:17, "think not that I have come to destroy the LAW" (TORAH). Jesus is referring to the first five books of the Old Testament, the PROPHETS (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.) and the WRITINGS (Psalms, Proverbs, etc.), all the books that we call the Old Testament. You might ask yourself a question: Do I believe and do I teach that Jesus came to die on the stake to DO AWAY with GOD'S LAWS? If you DO, how do you get around what Jesus said about "think not"? He said DON'T YOU EVEN THINK THAT IS WHAT I CAME TO DO. How do you answer that? Most Sunday keepers would say He came to FULFILL. They would say that word means COMPLETE, and that when he died the law was complete, THUS DONE AWAY WITH. Any good Greek Lexicon or exhaustive concordance will tell you that the Greek word for fulfill means to fill up or to AMPLIFY, to make it GREATER, NOT to do away with or complete.
The proof of this is in the context of what Christ is saying in Mat 5:18, "for assuredly I say unto you till heaven and earth pass away not one jot or tittle will by any means pass from the law." (Not even a period would change in the first five books of Moses, the Torah, till all be fulfilled). That word "fulfilled" is a different Greek word than the word "fulfill" in verse 17. The word "fulfill" in verse 17 is Strongs #4137 (pleroo). It means literally to cram, to level up, to amplify. A thorough reading of Matthew 5, 6 and 7 shows Jesus was raising, not lowering, the standards of the physical law which was given to the children of Israel. He taught that we are to observe spiritual laws written in our hearts. Christians must now observe not only the letter of the law, but the spiritual intent as well! It is now murder if you hate any one; it is adultery to even look on a woman to lust after her (Mat 5:27-28).
The word "fulfilled" in verse 18 is the Greek word Strongs #1096 (ginomai). It means to come into being, or till all comes into being. Can anyone honestly say all things written in the law and the prophets have been completed? QUESTION: DOES the Lion eat straw? Does the Lion lay down with the Lamb? Can a little child put his hand in the hole of a rattlesnake and not be harmed? Has HEAVEN AND EARTH PASSED AWAY? HAS CHRIST RETURNED?
Let's look at Zachariah 14:1-4, "Behold the day of the Lord is coming and your spoils will be divided in your midst for I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city shall be taken, half the city shall go into captivity. Then the Lord shall go forth and fight against those nations." This is the day of the Lord as mentioned by John in Revelation 1:10. He was NOT talking about Sunday. The setting of the book of Revelation is at the time of the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, "AND IN THAT DAY HIS FEET WILL STAND ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES..." This has NOT happened yet, HAS IT? All has not been completed, has it? We need to start being honest with the Scriptures.
That leads us to ask several questions. What do you do with New Testament Scriptures such as 2nd Peter 3:10-18? "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works that are in it shall be burned up." Then Peter says, "what manner of persons ought you to be, in HOLY CONDUCT and GODLINESS?" On to verse 14, "therefore beloved, looking forward to these things BE DILIGENT TO BE FOUND BY HIM IN PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT AND BLAMELESS." Question: What determines holy conduct if it is not the Old Testament Scriptures?
Verse 15 and 16, "and account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation -- as also our brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you. As also in all of his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which those who are UNTAUGHT AND UNSTABLE TWIST TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION, as they do also the REST of the SCRIPTURES".
Then, in 2nd Peter 3:17, "You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, BEING LED AWAY WITH THE ERROR OF THE WICKED." That is doing away with GOD's commandments. People do not realize that a change in any of the commandments, such as changing the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day, DOES AWAY WITH THEM ALL. GOD FORBID!!!
Verse 18, "but grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." Question: HOW DO YOU GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST WITHOUT THE ENTIRE SCRIPTURES as the STANDARD and GUIDE? As you can see, Peter did NOT think for ONE MINUTE that the Old Testament teachings WERE DONE AWAY WITH.
I will paraphrase the first few verses that the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-17. Paul is talking about these last days as being a stressful time when men will be lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than LOVERS OF GOD; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: And from such turn away!! (Paul is talking about people IN THE CHURCH).
Then Paul says, "For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captive of gullible women loaded down with SIN, led away by various LUSTS, always LEARNING but never able to come into the knowledge of the TRUTH. But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance..." Then Paul talks about the persecution that he suffered for preaching the gospel.
Verse 14, "But as for you" (Timothy) "continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of KNOWING FROM WHOM YOU HAVE LEARNED THEM. And that from CHILDHOOD you have known the HOLY SCRIPTURES" (all 39 books of the Old Testament) "which are able to make you wise for SALVATION, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is PROFITABLE for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness. That the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Chapter 4:1-4, "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead. Preach the word"! (The Bible, the OLD TESTAMENT and those things concerning Jesus) "Be ready in season and out of season," (WE WILL DISCUSS SEASONS LATER IN THIS ARTICLE) "convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their OWN DESIRES, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the TRUTH, and be turned aside to fables." The apostle Paul makes it very plain to Timothy that the OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES are to be used to learn KNOWLEDGE and TRUTH.
This has been THE PROBLEM, trying to BEND the scriptures to prove whatever the writer wants to prove. Most of man's deception deals with the Sabbath and the keeping of GOD'S Holy days. Notice I said GOD'S HOLY DAYS, NOT THE HOLY DAYS OF THE JEWS. Let's now look at several examples of man misinterpreting the New Testament writings of Paul. SUNDAY CHURCHES twist these writings, saying that the day of worship was changed from Saturday the seventh day, to Sunday the first day of the week.
Acts 20:6, "But we sailed away from Philippi after the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD..." The disciples with Paul in Philippi were keeping the DAYS of UNLEAVENED BREAD. THEY WERE KEEPING THE FEAST OF PASSOVER. They were celebrating the death of Jesus during the days of UNLEAVENED BREAD, NOT SUNDAY MORNING (MORE ON THIS LATER). Verse 7, "Now on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to BREAK BREAD, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight."
The breaking of bread means just what it says. They were EATING A MEAL after the Sabbath that had just ended at sundown. A Biblical day always starts at sundown, not at midnight, which is the Roman start of a day. In this example Paul preached until midnight that SATURDAY NIGHT. Notice, Verse 11, "NOW WHEN HE HAD COME UP, and had broken bread and EATEN, and talked a long while, even until day-break, he departed". Notice that Paul walked over 12 miles on the day called SUNDAY, the day that most Sunday Christians are in Church supposedly taking the Lord's supper. Paul WALKED on a WORK DAY, the 1st DAY of the WEEK, SO SAYS YOUR BIBLE!
Here is another scripture that is used to try to change the Sabbath from the seventh day to Sunday, the first day of the week. 1 Cor 16:1-3, Paul writes, "Now concerning the collections for the Saints, as I have given orders to the Churches in Galatia, so you must do also. On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper. And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem."
Question: What is Paul talking about? Why was he giving them the same orders that he gave to the Churches in Galatia? Was it a collection during Church services on SUNDAY morning as a lot of Sunday Churches claim? Or was it a work day out in the fields? Why were they taking the collection to Jerusalem? Why were they laying it up in storage?
To answer these questions and to understand what Paul was talking about, we need to look at several other scriptures. Acts 11:25-30, "Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch" (a town in Galatia). "And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the spirit that there was going to be a great FAMINE through all of the world which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Jerusalem. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul, who's name was changed to Paul."
The answer to all of the questions is that Paul was telling the Churches to gather up food stuffs because of the persecutions that were being leveled against the Jewish followers of JESUS by their own countrymen because of their dedication to Jesus as the Messiah. THAT IS WHY THEY WERE LAYING IT BY IN STORE. THEY WERE GATHERING THE FOOD STUFF ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. Paul, as well as others, was going to take it to Jerusalem. When Barnabas and Saul had fulfilled their ministry they returned from there (Acts 12:25).
Their ministry was the food goods that they delivered from all of the Churches. A reference is made in Galatians 2:1-2, "Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, and also took Titus with me. I went up by revelation" (REMEMBER AGABUS; Acts 11:28). Verse 10, "They, the Apostles, desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I was also eager to do." That is why he was there in the first place.
Let's look at another scripture that some people use to do away with the Sabbath and the Holy days of God. Colossians 2:8-23, "Beware lest any one cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the TRADITIONS OF MEN, according to the basic principles of the WORLD, and NOT according to CHRIST." Verse 9-12, "for in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body" (the sins) "of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, Buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God who raised Him from the dead." Then in verse 13 Paul says, "You being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you your trespasses." We were forgiven when we repented of our sins and were baptized which portrayed Jesus' death, burial and resurrection). Verse 14, "Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us."
Note: Were the 10 commandments against us? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Then what was against us? The penalty for breaking them which is DEATH. Go back and read verse 13, which says "you being dead in your trespasses," or SINS. Continuing on with verse 14, "And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."
Christ died for the sins of the world. It is the death penalty mankind was under for breaking the LAW THAT IS NAILED TO THE STAKE not the LAW of the TORAH, the first five books of Moses. Christ died in our place; HE bore our sin for us. He paid the penalty that we deserve - DEATH! The followers of Jesus who have repented of their sins no longer have to present animal sacrifices at the temple to do away with the sins that they commit. It was not possible for those sacrifices to do away with sin. They were only a shadow of the sacrifice that Jesus would make. Jesus is the ultimate Sacrifice (Hebrews chapter 10).
NOTE: Man is NOT able to describe or even to try to express the love that our GOD has for us. A man would not even think of such an act, much less to actually perform it by dying on a TORTURE STAKE.
Now to the clincher, verses 16-17, "Let no one judge you, in food or in drink, or regarding a FESTIVAL OR A NEW MOON OR SABBATHS, WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME, BUT THE BODY" (CHURCH) "OF CHRIST." Who is to do the judging? The Church! NOT those who are in the world. The same thing is happening today. People are saying, "YOU don't have to keep those Old Testament shadows, those old holy days. We can now KEEP CHRISTMAS". Where in the scriptures does it tell us to observe Jesus' birthday, Valentines day, Easter Sunday or Halloween? All these are SUBSTITUTES for GOD'S HOLY DAYS. Talk about picking and choosing what scriptures you WILL obey and what you WILL NOT obey. It's just like saying God doesn't know what He is doing or doesn't know what is best for mankind. This sounds like what Satan said back in Genesis 3:4, "you shall not surely DIE", THE FIRST OF MANY BIG LIES, and the LIES GO ON.
What does Paul mean by "shadows" and what do they represent? First, the shadows are signs of the future. They tell God's plan of salvation for all of mankind. Lets start with the choosing of the lamb for Passover on the 10th of Nisan by the children of Israel in the original Passover. Its fulfillment is found in John 12:12-15, when the disciples choose their King. The killing of the Lamb on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan was fulfilled by the death of Jesus on the preparation day (John 19:30-31). The counting to PENTECOST from the morrow after the Sabbath IN the Days of Unleavened Bread represents the FIRST FRUITS, Jesus, being resurrected from the dead on the first day of the week. The original day of Pentecost occurred 50 days after the children were baptized in the Red Sea, BECOMING THE FIRST FRUITS of a physical salvation. The original PENTECOST and the giving of the 10 Commandments to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai were a shadow of an event to come. The fulfillment of this shadow was on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to the Church. This was an internalizing (writing in our hearts) of the 10 commandments for a spiritual salvation.
The next shadow to come on the scene is the Feast of Trumpets which has not had a fulfillment yet. The full understanding of the Feast of Trumpets, which is the NEW MOON (the first of Tishri) that Paul is referring to, will help us to know and to discern the scriptures relating to the 2nd coming of Jesus. The Feast of Trumpets represents the return of Jesus Christ, and the first resurrection. The apostle Paul makes many references to the blowing of the last trumpet. 1 Cor 15:51-52, "Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST Trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
1 Thess 4:13-17, "But I do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the TRUMP of God. The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."
Rev 11:15, "And the seventh angel" (the last trumpet) "sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
After Trumpets comes the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri). This represents the day that Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan and ate the forbidden fruit; the day that Adam and Eve transgressed God's laws and received the death penalty. That is why it is a commanded Fast day. The final fulfillment will be when Satan is thrown into the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1-3).
Finally comes the Feast of Tabernacles from the 15th of Tishri through the 21st day, which represents the 1000 year reign of Jesus and those that are in the first resurrection. We could write volumes on the Feast of Tabernacles, but we suggest you read the next issue of the Jerusalem Sentinel where it will be discussed in detail.
We will mention, however, that the Feast of Tabernacles is a time when the spirit will flow from the throne of God like a river. John 7:37-38, "that last day the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus stood and cried out saying, `If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the SCRIPTURE has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'." Jesus said this as the priest took a pitcher of water and poured it on the altar. This was a custom at the Feast.
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT
The white throne judgment is a separate Feast after the Feast of Tabernacles. In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world, he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life." A careful look at the 8th, 9th, and 10th chapters of John will show these chapters are all about the same day, the 8th day of the Feast.
This represents a time when everyone that was not resurrected in the first resurrection will come forth out of the grave and be given their first opportunity for salvation. They will be taught from the very scriptures that MOST people are now rejecting. That GREAT HIGH DAY will last for 100 years (Rev 20:11-14). Read about the dry bones in Ezekiel, Chapter 37, then read Isaiah 65:17-25. Believe what you read. You don't need anyone to interpret for you. God's plan of salvation cannot be done away with by anyone. Not one of God's Holy Days can be abolished.
NOTE: What sin is committed when the Holy days are observed? For the life of me, WHY WOULD ANYONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY REPRESENT EVEN TRY TO DO AWAY WITH THEM?
Now, let's continue on in Colossians 2:18, "let NO ONE defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not (implied) seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind." We are not supposed to worship angels. A lot of people to this day worship angels and have statues of them in their homes and in their Churches. Paul says DON'T DO THAT.
Verse 19, "and NOT holding fast to the head, from whom all the body nourished and knit together by joints, ligaments, grows with increase which is from God." The body is the Church, being fed by God. Paul is warning the Colossian Church not to be led astray by WORLDLY things and WORLDLY TEACHINGS. Verse 20 says, "Therefore, if you died with Christ FROM the basic principles of the world why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations." Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle. "Which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the COMMANDMENTS and DOCTRINES of MEN." Paul is NOT talking ABOUT GOD'S LAWS OR HIS COMMANDMENTS.
THE PETER DILEMMA
In Acts 10:12, Peter had a vision where he saw all kinds of unclean animals. Then in verses 13-14, "A voice came to him out of heaven saying RISE PETER, KILL AND EAT." His answer was, "NOT so LORD. For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." Why did he say this? His statement gives us great insight to how he was living. Peter was still keeping God's food laws. This is several years after the ascension of Jesus and the day of Pentecost. YOU see, PETER DIDN'T KNOW THAT THE LAW HAD BEEN CHANGED. He was keeping it in its entirety. Jesus NEVER TAUGHT HIM THAT ALL THE LAWS, STATUTES AND JUDGMENTS WERE TO BE DONE AWAY WITH AT HIS DEATH. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT ABOLISHED!
However, Peter did find out from this experience that the LORD was showing him that he was to go preach to the Gentiles and he should call NO MAN common or unclean (Acts 10:28). Jesus was calling the gentiles to repentance. Notice the character of Cornelius: he was a God FEARER and had a GOOD REPUTATION AMONG ALL THE NATIONS OF THE JEWS, Acts 10:22. A thorough study of these gentiles who were living in the holy land will show that these God FEARERS were keeping all of God's laws including the Holy days. The only thing they did not do was keep Passover because they were uncircumcised.
THE PAUL DILEMMA
Now, let's look at some scriptures in the book of Acts as it relates to Paul. In Acts 13:14, Paul returned to Antioch and on the Sabbath day was asked to stand if he had anything to say. Paul stood up and preached a sermon giving the history from the fathers to the children of Israel and concluded with Jesus, His death and resurrection (Acts 13:16-41). Verse 42, "And when the Jews went out of the synagogue the Gentiles BEGGED that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath." Verse 44, "And the next Sabbath the whole city came together to hear the word of God."
If the SABBATH had been CHANGED from Saturday to Sunday, if the Laws, Statutes and Judgments had been done away with, why didn't Paul tell all of the Gentiles there was no need to wait until the next Sabbath. Why didn't he say that it had all been CHANGED, that now SUNDAY is the CHRISTIAN SABBATH? WHY?
If the Sabbath was changed, how do you explain Acts 16:13? "And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the river where prayer was customarily made." Paul is meeting with the GENTILES on the SABBATH day.
PAUL TAUGHT THESE GENTILES THAT THE CHURCH WAS TO MEET ON THE SABBATH. GOD DID NOT MAKE THE SABBATH BINDING ON THE ISRAELITES AND THEN TEACH THE GENTILES THAT THE SABBATH DAY WAS DONE AWAY WITH! GOD WOULD THEN BECOME THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION. A LEADER OF A LARGE CHURCH ORGANIZATION CLAIMS THAT "THE SABBATH DAY WAS NOT RE-AFFIRMED IN THE NEW COVENANT". THIS IS LUDICROUS.
The final clincher is acts 18:14. Paul returned to Corinth from Athens and was staying with Priscilla and Aquila because they were tent makers, the same trade as Paul. He "reasoned every Sabbath day persuading both JEWS AND GREEKS." Every one in the early church was keeping the Sabbath day, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. This action of Paul stands as a beacon and reaffirms the Old Testament teaching on the Sabbath.
WHY is it those PERSECUTED in the last days, before the return of Jesus, will be keeping the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:17)? Let's read Rev 14:12, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the Commandments of God and faith in Jesus Christ." Everyone should read and understand the 14th chapter of Revelation.
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is addressing sin in the Church and the sexual immorality of one man who had taken his father's wife. In Verses 7-8 Paul says, "Therefore purge out that old leaven that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our PASSOVER, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us KEEP the FEAST, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Paul is telling them not only to get the leaven out of their homes but to get it out of their lives and KEEP it out of the Church.
QUESTION: Does your Church KEEP the FEAST of PASSOVER and the days of UNLEAVENED BREAD?
We have just given you a small PEEK at how most of those who do away with the Sabbath and the Holy Days got from killing of the Lamb on the 14th, and observing Passover with the new symbols of bread and wine on the 15th of Nisan, changed to observing Sunday the 1st day of the week as a substitute Sabbath and Passover, with a wafer god and grape juice every Sunday morning. Then they have an Easter sunrise worship where they get the kids to hunt Easter eggs.
This has nothing to do with the death or resurrection of JESUS CHRIST. Then they top off the day by eating HAM! The very thought of substituting any animal, especially SWINE, for the LAMB OF GOD is an ABOMINATION!
PASSOVER, 14TH OR 15TH WHICH?
by Charles Kimbrough and Mark Carr
THE PASSOVER CONNECTION
On Thursday, April 13, people all over the world observed the Lord's Supper. On Friday, April 14, people all over the world observed Passover with a meal, unleavened bread and wine. These people observe the Jewish calendar, but do not agree on the time of the observance of Passover. On Friday, April 14, people all over the world observed the Lord's Supper by God's New Moon calendar. Then others, on Saturday, April 15, observed Passover by the same calendar. All were partaking in what they believed was the correct way to observe the Passover or Lord's Supper, and all were sincere.
So how did so many people get so confused on something as important as which day we observe the holy day that commemorates the death of the Messiah? TRADITION. The mere fact that there are so many different interpretations from a book called the Holy Bible is BLASPHEMOUS. Think about it! Some people claim that the entire Old Testament is done away with and the only Scriptures that count are the 27 books of the New Testament. Others claim that the covenant with Israel is not in effect today.
Then there are those who pick and choose verses in the Old Testament and twist them into saying something they don't. Then they reject the verses that prove them wrong. They claim that Ezra changed and rewrote Scripture in an attempt to prove THEIR theory about the day the original Passover occurred. They espouse the ridiculous theory that Jesus was keeping a different day for Passover than the Jews were. Lets take a look at what some of these "theories" say about Passover.
One heresy is the belief that Deuteronomy 16 was changed by Ezra. Those who espouse this lie do so because they want to follow Church tradition instead of the Word of God. We don't tear out parts of the Bible that don't agree with our tradition, we abandon the false ways we're following and obey God! Instead, they pretend to be Hebrew scholars and THEY change the scriptures despite solid proof that the Bible is accurate. In their attempt to preserve tradition they perform the very act of which they falsely accuse Ezra! Deuteronomy 16 clearly tells us the Passover begins at the end of the 14th, not the beginning. The Passover is something to be observed, not "remembered".
Another theory states that the eating of the Passover lamb occurred on the beginning of the 14th. They claim the children of Israel then spoiled the Egyptians during the daylight hours of the 14th, and then after sundown at the start of the 15th left Egypt. This same group claims that Jesus kept a different day for Passover than the Jews. They would like us to believe the Jews forgot which day Passover was! They claim Jesus and his disciples kept the correct day of Passover with the Lord's supper 24 hours early. To make this fit their theory they claim Christ was not the Passover Lamb, that He was the peace offering. We do not challenge their sincerity, JUST THE WAY THEY MISINTERPRET AND TWIST SCRIPTURE TO ARRIVE AT THEIR CONCLUSIONS.
Other groups claim that Christ changed the date Passover is to be observed and called that change "the Lord's Supper". They say it supersedes the Passover and does away with the Church's observance of the Jewish Passover.
Then there is a vast army of Sunday keepers who say that everything was changed to Sunday because that was the day that Christ was resurrected from the dead. This group totally disregards the fact Christ said we are to "REMEMBER HIS DEATH" (the day he died) NOT HIS RESURRECTION. Although it is important for us to preach His resurrection, we must participate in REMEMBERING HIS DEATH as He commanded us to do. Remembering Jesus' death and preaching His resurrection are two different events.
How can so many good people read and study the same book and come up with TOTALLY DIFFERENT conclusions? They all CLAIM to be Bible students, some even CLAIM to be Greek or Hebrew scholars. In a lot of cases they read one scripture and misunderstand it's meaning. Then they attempt to make the rest of the scriptures fit that one scripture.
We make the following statement at this point in this article; JESUS CHRIST WAS THE PASSOVER LAMB! He was slain on the 14th of Nisan and died at 3 PM in the afternoon. John 19:14 says it was the preparation day. Jesus died at the exact time the Passover lamb was killed by the high priest on the altar in the temple. He was the fulfillment of the "Lamb without blemish" that the children of Israel killed for the original Passover on 14th day of Nisan, in the afternoon, at the going down (setting) of the sun (NOT AFTER SUNDOWN). The children of Israel prepared to leave Egypt on the 14th. Then the BLOOD of the LAMB was put on the doorpost and the LINTEL for the PROTECTION against the DEATH ANGEL that came through around MIDNIGHT on the 15th.
Exo 12:6, "You shall keep it until the 14th DAY of the month of ABIB (NISAN). Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening." Verse 8, "they shall eat the flesh on that night roasted by fire with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs." Verse 10-11, "You shall let none of it remain until morning. You shall eat it with your belt on your waist and your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand so you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD'S Passover." Verse 14-15, "So this day shall be to you a memorial and you shall keep it as a Feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread...for whomever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel." Then in verse 18, "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening you shall eat unleavened bread, until the 21st day of the month at evening."
WHAT IS EVEN?
If the 14th "at even" means the beginning of the day, why do the people that claim this interpret the above verse differently. They observe "at even" on the 21st of Nisan as a holy day until the end of the day? They don't follow their own rules!
All the misunderstanding can be cleared up if we simply let the Bible interpret itself. When does the Bible say Passover begins? Lev 23:5 "In the fourteenth day of the first month AT EVEN is the LORD's passover." The Passover begins at even. Is there another day that uses the same terminology to tell us when even is? Yes, let's look in the same chapter at Lev 23:27. "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls..." When does this day begin and end? Lev 23:32 "It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month AT EVEN, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath."
That proves it. At even means the END of the day, not the beginning. There is no disagreement when the Day of Atonement begins. Everyone who observes it will fast from sundown on the 9th to sundown on the 10th. The next time someone tries to tell you that Passover is to be observed on the beginning of the 14th, not the end, ask them why they don't observe Atonement that way!!
Since this is written in Hebrew, how does the Jewish Tenach translate this? Lev 23:5, "On the fourteenth day of the month towards evening is the Lord's Passover." There is also an important historical record of when the Passover occurs. Josephus records in Wars of the Jews, book VI Chapter 9:3 that the priests slayed the lambs in the temple from the ninth hour to the eleventh, (3:00 PM to 5:00 PM).
You see there really is no valid reason to observe Passover 24 hours early at the end of the 13th other than TRADITION. Lets follow the Bible instead of the traditions of men. Observe the Passover like Jesus and the disciples did with a meal, the symbols, and footwashing, NOT a copycat Catholic communion on one night and then a meal the next.
The term "Lord's Supper" itself tells us the Passover is a meal. You can't separate the symbols from the meal. They are a part of it. If you observe Passover a day early you turn a seven day festival into eight. This doesn't make sense. Why can't people accept the clear teaching of God's word? Why do they have to cling to their traditions?
People who observe a "Lord's Supper" at the end of the 13th have a major problem that they choose to ignore. They assemble at sundown on the beginning of the 14th and consume the new covenant symbols of unleavened bread and wine without a meal like Jesus had for the disciples (although they claim they are doing this 24 hours early because of His example). Then they go home after partaking of this ceremony that pictures putting sin (leavening) out of their lives for seven days, to a home full of leavening. Since the next day is the preparation day they will remove the leavening (and eat a hamburger or two etc.) and put the sin (leavening) right back into their body that they purged the night before! Then at sundown they begin a seven day celebration of the Days of Unleavened Bread with an unleavened meal. DOES THIS SOUND LOGICAL TO YOU?
Since this meal is not Passover (they don't consume the new covenant symbols of Jesus' body and blood), they call it a "night to be remembered". Like we said, PASSOVER IS TO BE OBSERVED, NOT REMEMBERED! Why do people who we care about, who are our friends and family go to such lengths to preserve TRADITION? I apologize for trampling someone's "sacred cow", but truth is truth. We refuse to participate in the perversion of one of the most important holy days of God; the day that His only Son died for us. We will "blow the trumpet and warn the people".
CHRONOLOGY; 14TH OR 15TH?
Most of the misunderstanding over the timing of Passover is due to a misconception of when Israel plundered Egypt and what day they left. Some believe that Israel plundered Egypt during the daylight hours after the meal. This is incorrect, and a reading of Exo 11:2-3 and 12:35 will show that the Egyptians were plundered on the day before the meal!
There is also a belief that Israel could not have journeyed from Rameses to Succoth and left the same night. Despite the fact that the Bible says they did, some think it is impossible. The Israelites were slaves and many probably made this journey every day twice, just like the journey we make back and forth to work, they were prepared! As soon as they got the word, it took about thirty seconds to walk out the door. They didn't even have to stop and put their shoes on!
Lets look at the chronology of Passover. On the 10th day of Nisan, a male lamb without blemish, perfect in every way, was selected (Exo 12:3-5). The next four days were spent checking or testing the lamb for imperfections.
Then, on the 14th day of Nisan, the lamb was killed, put on a wooden pole or spit and roasted. This took place about 3:00 in the afternoon so there was time to cook and prepare for the meal that began after sundown. In preparing the lamb, one had to make sure that none of it's bones were broken and that the entire lamb was consumed during the evening. None of it could remain the next day.
On Sunday, Nisan 10 in 1449 BC, the children of Israel chose a lamb without blemish (Exo 12:3). On Thursday, Nisan 14 they sacrificed this lamb and put the blood on their doorposts (Exo 12:6-7). That night, (the beginning of the 15th) they ate the Passover meal. At midnight on Friday, the death angel struck the firstborn in Egypt. Pharaoh ordered Israel out of his country and they immediately left (Exo 12:29-31).
Sometime between dawn and noon that Friday the 15th, the people arrived at Succoth to retrieve Joseph's body. They had marched there like an army in orderly divisions (Exo 13:18-19). From there they marched to Etham and camped for a few hours. On Saturday the 16th, they left and marched to Pi Hahiroth where they camped again (Exo 14:2). They marched both DAY AND NIGHT, stopping only long enough for a short rest, food and water (Exo 13:21).
Also that night, Pharaoh and his army arrived at Pi Hahiroth and an Angel held them back while the Lord parted the Red Sea for Moses (Exo 14:19-22). As it began to dawn on the 1st day of the week, (Sunday) the 17th, Israel emerged from the Red Sea, then Pharaoh and all the Egyptians were drowned (Exo 14:23-30).
The salvation of the children of Israel coming through the Red Sea just before dawn on Sunday morning pictures the resurrection of Jesus at this same hour.
That is why it's so important to understand the chronology of the first Passover. It shows us what was to happen in the future when Jesus came. The Rabbis' understood that the first Passover lamb was slain on Thursday the 14th. That Passover was on Friday the 15th, the day of the Exodus. They also know that Israel emerged from the sea before dawn on Sunday morning the 17th. They know that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish from Thursday, Nisan 14, to Sunday, Nisan 17 (Mat 12:40). These are not only the same dates that Jesus was crucified and resurrected in 30 AD, THEY ARE THE SAME DAYS OF THE WEEK!!! Think of the mind of God that His plan was so perfect that everything would match down to the day of the week.
That Sunday, Nisan 17, when Israel emerged from the Red Sea was a shadow of the fulfillment of the day of Firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14). This was the first of God's people to emerge from sin (Egypt). It was fulfilled 1,478 years later on Sunday, Nisan 17, 30 AD when Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven as our high priest, the Firstfruit of the resurrected (John 20:17). The original Firstfruits pictured the physical salvation of Israel emerging from the sea on Sunday Nisan 17. Firstfruits today pictures our spiritual salvation with Jesus being resurrected and emerging from the tomb.
CHRIST, OUR PASSOVER LAMB
Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:36). He was chosen by the people on the 10th day of Nisan (Palm Sunday) as their lamb (John 12:12-13). After Jesus entered the city, He endured intense scrutiny for the next four days. During that time the leaders tried to find fault with or in Him (Matt 22 & 23). In a last desperate attempt they took Jesus to Pilot on Thursday morning who said in John 19:4, "...I find no fault in Him". Eventually Jesus was crucified. He was a perfect man without sin or blemish. Just like the innocent lamb, His blood was shed instead of ours so we could live.
Centuries after the original Passover where Israel was freed from slavery, Jesus took the symbols of the meal and instructed the New Testament Church how they represented our freedom from death. He explained that they depicted Him and, just like the sacrifice and blood of a lamb saved Israel from death, His sacrifice and blood would save us. The death of Egypt's firstborn saved Israel, the death of God's firstborn saved the world. God purchased us with the life of His only Son.
God spent 1,478 years teaching Israel how to identify the Messiah, but when He came they didn't recognize Him. It shouldn't surprise us though. Jesus explained it to us almost 2,000 years ago and most of the world still doesn't observe or know what and when the Passover is!
Some people think that Jesus changed the night of Passover. HE DID NOT. It was physically impossible for Him to observe Passover that year on the 15th with the disciples - He would be in the tomb! Let's all realize a very important fact: if Passover is on the 14th and not the 15th, then JESUS WAS SACRIFICED ON THE WRONG DAY AND DID NOT FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS!! If this is true, then JESUS WAS NOT THE LAMB OF GOD!! Why do we always have to think we are smarter than God? The Bible says that Jesus died on the 14th and that it was the preparation day, NOT the Passover (John 19:14). That makes the 15th the Passover. Do you really think that God would plan this so carefully that Jesus died at the exact minute the high priest sacrificed the lamb, but on the wrong day?
The disciples knew it was a day early and they understood that Jesus was teaching them something new. They understood they were not observing Passover that night. When Jesus told Judas to go so he could betray Him, the disciples thought he was going to buy supplies for the feast (John 13:27-29)! This was after the meal, bread, wine and foot washing. If Jesus was teaching a new day for Passover observance, everyone received an "F" that night.
The truth is, He did not change the day of Passover and they all knew it. He was showing them how they were to commemorate His death from then on. The purpose of this festival is to teach us how we are saved. This is how we renew our marriage vows each year with Christ. Jesus commands us to observe it and said He will keep it with us when He returns (Mat 26:29).
NEW TESTAMENT CONNECTION
THE EARLY CHURCH KEPT PASSOVER
If the only New Testament Scriptures that were available to us were the four Gospels and the first nine chapters of Acts, there would be no doubt that James, Peter, John and all of the other disciples, including Paul, kept the Passover of the Jews. Peter makes it plain in Acts 10 that even the food laws were still in effect and had not been nailed to the stake. It is only when we bring the Gentiles onto the scene that the confusion starts.
There was not a Passover lamb on the table during the meal that Jesus had with the disciples the night before He was crucified. Christ DID NOT consume the Passover Lamb when He ate the last supper! In fact, Christ was killed on the DAY OF PREPARATION. He could NOT have CONSUMED IT. HIS DEATH REPRESENTED THE PASSOVER LAMB BEING KILLED BY THE HIGH PRIEST. During His whole life Jesus observed Passover at the SAME TIME the temple priests and all other Jews kept Passover.
Jesus had His disciples prepare for Passover on the day of preparation, the day that they ate the last supper. Mark 14:12, "Now on the first day of unleavened Bread, when they kill the Passover (Lamb), his disciples said to him, `Where do you want us to go and prepare, that you may eat the Passover?'"
Now to Luke 22:13-17, "And they prepared (FOR) the Passover. And when the hour had come, He sat down and the twelve with Him. Then He said to them, `With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you I WILL NO' (longer) is not correct. It should be translated, `NOT NO NOT EAT OF IT UNTIL IT IS FULFILLED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Then, He took the cup and gave thanks, and said, `Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I say to you I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of GOD comes.'" Jesus not only didn't eat the Passover, He did NOT take part in the symbols of His death, the bread and the wine. BECAUSE HIS BODY HAD NOT YET BEEN BROKEN AND HIS BLOOD HAD NOT YET BEEN SHED, He was NOT YET DEAD.
The cup that He offered His disciples was NOT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW COVENANT. They were the symbols of the New Covenant that would come into effect after His death. Heb 9:16-22, "For where there is a testament there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives." (DID YOU GET THAT?) "Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." There you have it. THE NEW COVENANT CANNOT BE IN EFFECT UNTIL THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST, BECAUSE THE OLD COVENANT THAT HE MADE WITH ISRAEL WAS STILL IN EFFECT UNTIL HIS DEATH. The new covenant only comes into play after one has repented, been baptized and received of God's Holy Spirit. Then we apply His Blood and His body, His death on the 14th at the appointed time. To repeat, didn't Christ say "I came not to change the Torah"? The early Church always kept Passover with the Jews.
Jesus is the Lord of the Old Testament. He was married to Israel through the old covenant. If He actually partook of the new covenant symbols before His death, He would have committed adultery! He did NOT consume the new covenant symbols of His body and blood. He was fasting that day, like all firstborn Jews. Even the Jews today observe the fast of the firstborn on the 14th of Nisan. That is also why the early Church fasted on this day.
THE PASSOVER LAMB
In 30 AD there were over 250,000 lambs sacrificed in Jerusalem. They began to prepare them at 9:00 A.M. and killed them at 3:00 PM. At nine in the morning, exactly when the Jews were preparing their sacrifice (Mark 15:25), Jesus was nailed and bound to a tree, just like the lambs were sacrificed on a spit (1 Peter 2:24). At 3:00 in the afternoon when the lambs were killed, stretched out on a pole and fastened with wire or nails, our Savior had been sacrificed the same way. When the high priest slayed the lamb, Jesus died (Mark 15:33-37).
When they came to break Jesus' legs so that He would die before sundown they discovered He was already dead (John 19:33). This fulfilled Exo 12:46 and Deu 21:22-23, the lamb could not remain until the next day. It really shouldn't come as a surprise to us, after all, He had a feast to keep.
The mind and plan of God is so great that we can only catch a glimpse of its majesty here and there! Our Messiah and savior came at the predicted time and died at the exact time, on the exact date, on the exact day of the week that God used to show the world who the "Lamb" was. He even died "between the evenings" at 3:00 P.M. when the Passover lamb was slain for the high priest. This can only come from God, the odds of this happening any other way are astronomical.
GENTILES KEEP PASSOVER
Nowhere does Paul or any other writer of the New Testament start a new day for observing the FEAST OF PASSOVER. In 1 Cor 11:2, Paul tells the Church, "Now I praise you, brethren that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you." Then in verses 20-21, "Therefore when you come together in one place, it is NOT to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others and one is hungry and the other is drunk. What do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you." Paul warned the Corinthians not to show up for the Passover starving or drunk because they were profaning it (1 Cor 11:21-22 & 33-34).
Question: What was the cause of this debacle? The Abington Bible Dictionary states: "Among the problems in the early Church that arose was that Pascha on the 14th of Nisan was observed as a FAST DAY, the day that the lamb was killed THE DAY THAT JESUS DIED", NRSV.
Christians have fasted on the preparation day since Jesus died. Before then, the firstborn would fast, recognizing only the blood of the lamb would have kept the death angel from killing him. Now all Christians should fast because the Lamb of God shed his blood for each of us so we can obtain eternal life.
JESUS PREDICTS THE CHURCH WILL FAST
Mark 2:18 "Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting and people came and said to Him, `Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?' Jesus said to them, `the wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken way from them, and they will fast ON THAT DAY.'"
Can we now begin to understand the importance of the sacrifice that Christ made? Satan caused our parents (Adam and Eve) to eat the forbidden fruit, thus disobeying God's law. After the first man Adam had sinned, the fast on the Day of Atonement was instituted. The 2nd Adam, Jesus, lived his life and did not sin. He died making it possible for all of mankind to be at-one with God. It is a fitting tribute to Jesus when we fast on the day He died, and then after sundown partake of the new covenant bread and wine. Understand this, nowhere in the New Testament did Christ or any of His disciples start or initiate a new day for holding the Passover. THE TORAH would have to be ALTERED and CHANGED to accomplish such an act.
by Mark Carr
As you know, the Feast of Tabernacles will be held from October 11 thru 18 this year. In addition to a site in Florida hosted by Neville Gilbert (407) 585-4580; we will have a site at Big Ridge State Park in Tennessee (see Vol. 4 No. 1). The Big Ridge site is nestled between the Tennessee mountains located in an area that is a beautiful part of God's creation.
As mentioned in the last Sentinel, we will provide some limited lodging. There is also a group dining facility where we will be providing meals for those who want to participate. FOR THIS REASON WE ARE ASKING YOU TO REGISTER NOW!
There is a lot of planning and effort to arrange for any Feast. This site requires a great deal of preparation on our part. Therefore, we are asking that anyone planning to eat at the group dining hall and/or who plans to stay in one of the lodge cabins which we will provide, send us a registration fee today of $30 for a family and $15 for singles. Please include a note stating how many are in your group, if you need lodging from us / or if you have rented a campsite, cottage, or motel room, and if you will need meals provided.
The reason for the registration fee is twofold. First, it will assure you a cabin. These are available on a LIMITED basis, first come, first served. Since there are only 18 available, if you wait until the last minute they will be gone. Second, this will give us an idea of how many people plan to attend. We will use this registration fee to purchase food for the first couple of days. More information will be included in the next Jerusalem Sentinel.
If you are planning to arrange your own lodging and want a campsite or cottage, CALL (615) 992-5523 TODAY! As of May 1st there were only two cottages left. Campsites are first come, first served.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH
BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE
Send for your free copy of The Simple Truth, a home Bible correspondence course available from The Jerusalem Sentinel.
We are pleased to announce The Simple Truth. A Home Bible correspondence course about the most important person who ever lived.
This course starts in the beginning, Genesis, and ends with Revelation. It is a study about the man Moses said was "greater than he" that would come. The man who all the prophets foretold. It took almost 4,000 years to prepare for His coming. When it happened the world rejected Him.
He was born in a captive nation in the obscure Judean village of Bethlehem in the fall of 5 BC. When He was very young, his parents, Mary and Joseph, fled with Him into Egypt to save His life. Herod, the reigning King, was determined to find Him and kill Him.
After the death of Herod, they returned to Galilee and settled in the village of Nazareth. Of His youth very little is known. At one time He was separated from His parents. After three days He was found teaching in the temple, amazing all who heard Him. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. He never went to college or held public office.
Of His public life, which lasted 3 years, more is known. He began as an itinerant preacher in Capernaum. He showed interest and great knowledge in all matters which affected one's life. He obeyed the religious and civil laws but, when they were misinterpreted, He pointed this out. He healed the sick, restored the crippled, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead and forgave sins. In short, He went about doing good. He claimed to be God's Son and as proof He performed miracles.
In 30 AD, when He was 33, the public, instigated by the ruling religious leaders, turned against Him. His followers, personally chosen and trained by Him, ran away. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. Found guilty, He was beaten and crucified between two thieves like a common criminal. While He was dying, He asked forgiveness for those responsible for His death. His executioners gambled for His clothing and He was laid in a borrowed tomb.
Almost 2,000 years have come and gone. Today, He is the central figure of the human race. Time is measured before Him (BC) and after Him (AD). All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the dictators that ever ruled and all the kings that reigned have not affected mankind as much as the one solitary life that He gave.
Many people follow Him. Hundreds of thousands have given up their lives rather than turn away from Him. Thousands more have given up home, family and friends to teach His doctrines. Thousands more have traveled to teach His gospel.
Friends, I speak to you of Jesus Christ the founder of the Church of God. His beliefs have captured the hearts and minds of vast multitudes. Why? What do Christians really believe? What does His Church really teach?
Many people have gained their impressions about His Church through hearsay, rumor and other unreliable sources. What many believe to be Christian teaching is not true at all!
Even though you may not want to share our faith, you may be interested in knowing what it is. Accept this as a personal invitation to learn what we really believe.
Bible study is the most important thing we can do in our life. If this man is who He claimed to be (and He is), the only thing we can do is dedicate our lives to Him. Learn why the patriarchs of old prepared the way for a Messiah and why God gave us a Book that contains everything we need to enter His Kingdom.
Write us today and you will be sent an interesting Bible correspondence course which is short, yet complete. You can study in the privacy of your home. There is no cost or obligation. No one will call on you.
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