Are You Worthy to Take the Passover?
God offers Christians vital lessons through the Days of Unleavened Bread. What do these days picture, and how can they help you lead a happier life?
The apostles were jolted! First, the sound of a violent windstorm filled the house where they were meeting. Then, almost before they had time to think, glowing flames of fire began leaping upon them. Continue reading…
LORD‘S SUPPER — Shall We Take It On the Eve of 14th, or 15th? After the verbal discussion to now, let us now strip our minds of confusing non-essentials, and try to get to the CRUX POINTS IN QUESTION. What, then, is our question? What are we trying now to settle? The sole QUESTION to be settled is: AT WHAT TIME SHALL WE TAKE THE BREAD AND WINE TODAY? Such points as time of killing of lamb, or time of eating of lamb, or time of going out of Egypt, enter the discussion only in so far as they have bearing on the CENTRAL QUESTION: When shall we, today, take bread and wine. If that point is fixed in mind, to gain UNDERSTANDING, let us ask, What IS the ordinance in which we take bread and wine (regardless of whether it ought to be called “Lord’s Supper,” or “Passover,” or “Communion,” or “Eucharist.” WHY do we take it, WHAT IS it, and HOW do we find in God’s Word WHEN to take it? These are the questions we must UNDERSTAND. And we must avoid getting so close to a tree we can’t see the forest. We might be in a forest of 999 fir trees, and one oak tree, and get so close to the oak tree that we could see none of the others and so declare we were in an oak forest. Let’s not get so close to whether “passover” means “sacrifice,” or eating of roast lamb, or death-angel PASSING OVER that we lose sight of the UNDERSTANDING of the meaning, the purpose and the TIME of the bread and wine today. Let’s ask, then, “WHAT MEAN YE by these things?” and HOW? and WHEN? First, then, what is the bread and the wine? What do they represent? “Jesus took bread, . . . and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” What is the wine? “He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28). What does the bread mean? Paul explains that to take it unworthily is to eat damnation to ourselves, “not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep,” (I Corinthians 11:29-30). Jesus Himself took our sicknesses and diseases. How? “By His STRIPES we are HEALED.” His body was BROKEN that we might be healed — He thus suffered our sicknesses in our stead. Because many do not discern this and TRUST in it for healing, they take it unworthily and are weak, sick, and some die. His body was broken for our healing. Therefore we break the bread. Our BREAKING it, or the minister’s breaking it, does not heal us. It means nothing till we ACCEPT it, by EATING it. When we do so we show we ACCEPT His broken body, lashed with stripes, that we may be healed. When we DRINK the wine, we show again (annually) that we ACCEPT the blood of Christ for the remission of sins, that we may be spiritually saved. Jesus’ ministry was devoted to healing the sick (his broken body) and preaching he Gospel (his shed blood) — and the efficacy is not accomplished merely by His having shed His blood and been sacrificed, or by His body having been broken, but by OUR ACCEPTANCE of these in faith believing. We testify to this anew annually by TAKING, into our mouths, the bread and wine. The PURPOSE of the sacrifice and the stripes is not accomplished until WE ACCEPT AND PARTAKE of them. And today, regardless of the ancient passover, the ORDINANCE which is the crux of our question has to do with our EATING, and actually TAKING into our mouths, of these emblems. What does this ordinance of bread and wine MEAN? What does it PICTURE? Jesus said, “This do IN REMEMBRANCE of me.” (I Corinthians 11:24 etc). It is a MEMORIAL. In remembrance, or a memorial OF WHAT? “Ye do show THE LORD’S DEATH till He come.” It is a memorial of CHRIST’S DEATH. Now memorials are observed ON, not a day after, the EVENT they commemorate. But we must look to Scripture to see if that, which rings true, is correct. Why do we, unlike other worldly denominations, take this ordinance ANNUALLY? We turn to the accounts of Luke and Matthew, and find that WHEN Jesus introduced the bread and wine it was “AS THEY WERE EATING” that Jesus took the bread, and the wine. Eating what? EATING THE PASSOVER (Matthew 26:17, 19-21, 26; and Luke 22:13-15; Mark 14:12, 18, 22, etc.) IT IS BECAUSE OF THESE TEXTS, IS IT NOT, THAT WE LOOK BACK INTO THE INCEPTION OF THE PASSOVER, BEGINNING EXODUS 12, TO SEE WHEN JESUS WAS EATING THIS PASSOVER AT WHICH HE INTRODUCED BREAD AND WINE, AND COMMANDED US TO PARTAKE OF IT TODAY? Now the BREAD AND WINE, clearly as proved above, MEAN the blood and body of Christ, which, if we accept, cause the penalty of sickness, and the angel of eternal death to PASS OVER us — to spare us from these penalties, since Jesus, by His shed blood and broken body paid these penalties in our stead. That is what this service PICTURES and MEANS. It means the DEATH of Christ, not the resurrection, not our putting sin out of our lives, not the coming of the Holy Spirit, not the Second Coming of Christ. Let’s HEW TO THE LINE, bear that constantly in mind, and NOT BECOME MIXED AND CONFUSED as to what this is, how, or WHEN. Now we say one of the KEYS to UNDERSTANDING is knowledge of GOD’S PLAN as pictured by the FESTIVALS. Each has its MEANING. And one of them MEANS the same thing as the BREAD AND WINE today. Let’s keep it straight and clear. The FESTIVALS begin (annual festivals) with the PASSOVER. Now, whatever Passover is, or MEANS, or pictures, or represents, it IS on the 14th of Abib. That point is not in question. No scripture says Passover begins on the 14th. But such expressions as “IN the 14th day of the first month is the Passover.” and “ON the 14th” etc. and “they kept the Passover UPON the 14th” — not beginning the 14th. Now turning back to OT passages re: Passover, to see WHY Jesus introduced and commanded the bread and the wine, we find these points: They took a LAMB, a type of Christ, without spot or blemish. It’s legs were not broken. It had to be entirely eaten at once, for its body must not begin decay or see corruption. The type is perfect. Now the KILLING of the lamb — the shedding of its BLOOD was INSIDE OF the 14th of Abib. On the we are agreed, the only question being which time of that particular day. In any event, the BLOOD was shed ON and STILL WITHIN the 14th, which ended when the sun WAS SETTING at its end. But they did not STOP with the blood sacrifice alone. The lamb was ROASTED, and then EATEN — the Israelites PARTOOK OF IT, took it into their mouths. Its BODY was broken, but no bone of it. The same with Christ. And that night, whichever night it was, the death angel PASSED OVER every house where the blood was splashed on the door-front. Now notice Exodus 12:26 — “When your children shall say unto you, WHAT MEAN YE BY THIS SERVICE? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s PASSOVER, who PASSED OVER the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt.” STUDY THAT CAREFULLY. It is a KEY to our solution. Now what was included in “THIS SERVICE?” The paragraph begins verse 21. Moses gave instruction, take a lamb for a house, and kill the passover, sprinkle its blood on door-fronts, REMAIN INSIDE YOUR HOUSES UNTIL MORNING — the Lord will PASS OVER and spare YOU — and “ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and thy son FOREVER.” What is THIS THING? What is to be OBSERVED? Is there any meaning to the killing of the lamb UNLESS THE DEATH-ANGEL PASSED OVER them, sparing them? What does it MEAN? Does it mean coming out of Egypt? NO! Not a word is here mentioned in connection with THIS SERVICE about their GOING OUT OF EGYPT. It MEANS, according to verse 27 in answer to the question in verse 26, that “THE LORD PASSED OVER THE HOUSES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL IN EGYPT, WHEN HE SMOTE THE EGYPTIANS, AND DELIVERED OUR HOUSES.” It means, not going out of Egypt, but DELIVERANCE FROM DEATH. It — this thing — this service which means DELIVERANCE FROM DEATH — was to be observed FOREVER — WE ARE TO OBSERVE IT TODAY. Now when Jesus took bread and wine, He merely CHANGED the eating of the roast body of the lamb to the eating of unleavened bread. BOTH MEAN THE SAME, there can be no question about that. Today, instead of eating the roast body of a typical lamb, we eat the unleavened bread to represent the broken body of our Lord. Then, they ate it LOOKING FORWARD to that event. Today, we eat the bread looking BACK, as a MEMORIAL, on the exact anniversary of the event it commemorates. Then they shed the blood of a typical lamb, to picture the shed blood of Christ, looking forward — today we take what Jesus substituted, the wine, looking back, BUT PICTURING THE SAME THING. What does the bread and wine MEAN? It means the SAME as this service instituted FOREVER in Exodus 12:24-27. Then they looked forward to it, now we look back as an annual MEMORIAL. And the SERVICE which MEANS all this included, — verses 21-23 of Exodus 12, the killing of the lamb, the accepting of the blood and dipping (on that one original time) on door-fronts, and the PASSING OVER of the death-angel, SPARING them. And also, as other texts, the EATING of the lamb, which was BEFORE the PASSING OVER of the angel. Plainly, when we see what this MEANS, to give PURPOSE to God instituting it, if nothing was done but kill the lamb, it would have been MEANINGLESS. They had to TAKE the blood, accept it, put trust in it, and sprinkle on door-posts, as we now TAKE IT, and accept it by drinking the wine. They also had to EAT THE BODY — and all BEFORE the PASSING OVER. The purpose was not the killing of the lamb nor eating its roast body, but the sparing from death by the passing over of the angel. This ordinance, therefore, means nothing unless ALL THOSE THINGS ARE INCLUDED as they indeed ARE included in God’s Word. If YOU dare exclude them, you take away from the holy Word of God, and endanger having your part in the Book of Life blotted out. Regardless of getting SO CLOSE to technical meanings, such as meaning of word “passover” — if you try to say, as I understand, that the word “passover” does NOT include the eating of the body, or the PASSING OVER of the angel — the ordinance MEANS NOTHING unless it included all the events including the accepting and utilizing of the blood, the eating of the body, (thus accepting), and the SPARING FROM DEATH thereby. The OBJECT of the sacrifice and everything else was to SPARE THEM FROM DEATH by the PASSING OVER — and the OBJECT of the bread and wine today is the SPARING US from sickness and first death, and from eternal death, by being PASSED OVER if we accept, and partake of, the body and blood of Christ. Now verses 21-27 DO INCLUDE, specifically, the events of the service from killing of lamb to final PASSING OVER, after the eating of the bread. It is not TWO services, but ONE SERVICE. It is to be OBSERVED FOREVER. It means DELIVERANCE — verse 27. That’s its MEANING. It does not symbolize going out of sin, but deliverance from its consequences — from past guilt. That is what is called PASSOVER. The Hebrew word means “to skip over,” — and the LAMB was called by the term “passover” ONLY because it’s sacrifice WHEN APPLIED AND ACCEPTED — and WHEN SOMETHING WAS DONE BY PEOPLE FOLLOWING ITS KILLING — did PASS the people OVER from death. If you try to say the EATING OF THE BODY was no part of the Passover, THEN WHY DO YOU EAT THE BREAD TODAY. FIRST, consider this: The Scriptures plainly state that “IN the 14th day of the first month is the Passover” — IN, not out of, or after. And “ON the 15th day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread.” If ancient Israel was commanded to actually OBSERVE the Passover ordinance — or EAT the passover — on the beginning of the 15th, after having killed the lamb during afternoon of 14th, then is not this true: The BLOOD of the lamb, one half of the ordinance, representing the blood of Christ, was shed on the 14th, but the BODY of the lamb, the other half of the ordinance, was eaten and accepted by the people on the 15th — actually on a different day of the month! Is it consistent to DIVIDE the ordinance representing the BLOOD and the BODY of Christ, into two different days of the month — one of the two emblems on one day, the other on another day? And if they ATE the Passover — OBSERVED the ordinance — on the 15th, how could they be observing the DEATH of Christ annually, looking forward to it, on its anniversary, when He died on the 14th? AND, if that be considered what God commanded, then when we come to the NEW Testament time, since the ONLY CHANGE is in the emblems (PASSOVER WAS COMMANDED AN ORDINANCE FOREVER) — the bread and wine being now substituted for the blood and roast body of a literal lamb — then, those who so believe MUST TAKE THE WINE ON THE AFTERNOON OF THE 14th, and then wait until the next day, and TAKE THE BREAD IN THE EVENING OF THE 15TH. Those who take the Passover on the 15th believe the BLOOD was spilled, in literal lambs, on afternoon of the 14th. But they take the wine on the beginning of the 15th. IS THIS CONSISTENT? AND, since Jesus said, “This do in REMEMBRANCE of me,” it is a MEMORIAL, showing HIS DEATH till He comes. Now WHY is it ONCE A YEAR? Because MEMORIALS are observed annually on the SAME DAY OF THE YEAR as the event they commemorate. The EVENT commemorated by the Passover is CHRIST’S DEATH. He died on the 14th, not the 15th. Those who observe it on the 15th DO NOT OBSERVE IT ON THE SAME DAY OF THE YEAR on which it occurred. Can’t we see this is CONFUSION — and not consistent?
Why Are You Here? God’s Purpose For Man |Passover Day Sermon
Given by Herbert W. Armstrong
April 06, 1955
by Herbert W. Armstrong Good News March 1979CREATION is the proof of the existence of God. Creation identifies God. The Sabbath is a weekly memorial of creation. A weekly reminder of God’s power to create. Therefore it identifies God to us — keeps us in the true memory and true worship of the true God. No other day but the SEVENTH DAY OF THE WEEK could have that great significance and MEANING. It was designed to keep us in the true worship of God.
The purpose of Holy DaysNow in like manner, God gave His Church seven annual Sabbaths. These Holy Days were given to keep God’s children in the true memory and worship of God by keeping us constantly in the understanding of God’s great plan of redemption. For these annual days picture the different epochs in the plan of redemption, mark the dispensations and picture their meaning. The whole story of the redemption of man was, in these feast days, to be reenacted year after year continually. They have vitally important symbolism and meaning. God purposed to impress the truths these high Sabbaths picture upon the minds of His children through ALL time, keeping His Church in the true understanding of HIS PLAN. Most churches teach that Christ finished the plan of redemption on the cross. But the very FIRST event in God’s great PLAN for man’s redemption was the death of Christ on the cross. We find the operation of this great sacrifice beginning in Eden, when God killed a lamb or goat, in order to COVER the nakedness (type of sin) of Adam and Eve with skins. We find it operating when Abel sacrificed a substitute lamb. And so the PASSOVER is theFIRST of these events picturing to God’s children year by year His great PLAN. Let us understand it. Egypt is a type of SIN. As God’s people Israel are today in “BABYLON,”and soon are to be delivered after God pours out His PLAGUES upon Babylon, so they once were in Egypt and were delivered after the pouring out of the plagues. And, as Rome has changed times and seasons and days, professing Christians have been deceived and have lost sight of true TIME and God’s DAYS, as well as the true WORSHIP of God. So it was with the children of Israel in Egypt. For years they had been in severe BONDAGE in Egypt -forced to work with taskmasters over them. There was no Bible – no written Word of God. They were not permitted to worship God as He had ordained. They were forced to work seven days a week. They had lost sight even of the true Sabbath – and that is why God REVEALED to them the Sabbath in the wilderness of Sin (Exodus 16). Just as Rome has changed times and seasons, so had Egypt. And so, on delivering His people from Egypt (sin), God straightened them out as to TIME. And, as the BEGINNING of our salvation was wrought by Christ’s death on the cross, so God said,”THIS month [in the spring] shall be unto you the BEGINNING of months … “(Exodus 12:2). Some few keep the BEGINNING of this first Feast of salvation in observing Passover, but never go on to know the “depth of the riches” of God’s grace pictured by the following feasts! Christ is not only the author or beginner, but the FINISHER of our salvation! On the 10th day of this first month the Israelites were instructed to take a lamb without blemish. They kept it UNTIL — not after — the 14th day of the same first month, AT EVEN, at DUSK as the Jewish translation has it — between the two evenings, or between sunset and dark, when it was killed. This was IN, not AFTER the 14th day. They shed the blood of the lamb, picturing Christ’s sacrifice to come. They ate the flesh IN THAT NIGHT. At midnight the death angel came, but PASSED OVER every house where the BLOOD had been sprinkled. There are some very important details it is vital that we notice at this point. Perhaps we have not seen them before. It proves that the Passover shall be observed the 14th, not the 15th. Notice Exodus 12, verse 6, they shall kill the lamb AT DUSK (Jewish official translation). Verse 8, they shall eat the flesh in that night – still the 14th. Verses 9 to 11 continue to describe how it shall be roasted and eaten — theTIME is still the same night – the 14th. Verse 12: “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn” — still same night – 14th. Now notice carefully the paragraph beginning verse 21. Here are more detailed directions for striking the blood on the doorposts – the TIME this was done, as proved above, was the night part of the 14th. Notice carefully verse 22 ” . . . strike the lintel and the two sideposts with the blood that is in the basin; and NONE OF YOU SHALL GO OUT AT THE DOOR OF HIS HOUSE UNTIL THE MORNING.” Notice that carefully! NONE were permitted to leave their houses that night. They remained IN their houses UNTIL MORNING! They remained there all night! Now read on. Verse 29, at midnight (the 14th) the Lord smote the firstborn of Egypt. Verse 30, Pharaoh rose up in the night. This was, of course, after the death angel passed at midnight, and therefore, after midnight. He called for Moses and Aaron. This must have taken some time, but still the same night. Verse 33, the Egyptian people were urgent to get rid of the Israelites. Verse 35, the Israelites borrowed of the Egyptians silver and gold and clothing and spoiled the Egyptians. When? Surely this borrowing and spoiling of the Egyptians took several hours. The Israelites were forbidden to LEAVE THEIR HOUSES UNTIL MORNING — SO this spoiling and borrowing took place through the DAYTIME of the 14th day. But — notice this highly important point – the Israelites did not GO OUT from the land of Egypt UNTIL THAT NIGHT — the 15th Nisan! Notice the paragraph composed of verses 41-42: ” . . . Even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord WENT OUT from the land of Egypt. It is a NIGHT to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt: THIS IS THE NIGHT of the Lord to be observed … ” Which is the NIGHT to be observed? The NIGHT they came out of Egypt. They went OUT of Egypt, not during the daytime the 14th, but after that day had ENDED — after the sun had set the following NIGHT — on the 15th Abib! And THAT night, the 15th, is to be observed! The following verses, beginning verse 43, form a new paragraph and refer again to PASSOVER — the 14th day. Now, notice Deuteronomy 16:1. “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Eternal thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt BY NIGHT.” Notice it, they did not GO OUT of Egypt until NIGHT. And this night was the 15th, not the 14th. Further proof? Notice now Numbers 33:3. “And they DEPARTED from Rameses in the first month, ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH; ON THE MORROW AFTER THE PASSOVER the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.” There it is, in plain language. Now some believe that they killed the lamb between noon and sunset the 14th — about 3 p.m., near the END of the day – ate it that night, the 15th (claiming that is when the Passover was eaten, and when we should take it today) and then went on out of Egypt THAT SAME NIGHT. But this theory will not hold water, in view of ALL. these scriptures, and following through Exodus 12. The Israelites were not permitted to leave their houses that night after eating the lamb. They remained in their own houses – up in the land of Goshen – until daylight. Then they went to their Egyptian neighbors, and borrowed from them and spoiled them. There were millions of them. It took TIME to notify them. It took TIME to do all this. It could not have been done after midnight, when Pharaoh rose up, and still have gotten out of Egypt the same night. The Israelites were in their houses in Goshen ALL THAT NIGHT. Exodus 12:10 further proves this. Whatever remained of their roasted lamb uneaten UNTIL MORNING they were to burn with fire. That shows they stayed in their homes UNTIL MORNING. They did not LEAVE Egypt until after that day ended — after night fall again, during the NIGHT part of the 15th.
In, not after, 14th!Now to connect one other vital point, turn to Numbers 28:16-17. … IN the fourteenth day [not AFTER it]. . . IS the PASSOVER of the Lord. And IN the FIFTEENTH day [not BEFORE it] of this month is THE FEAST: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.” Leviticus 23:5-6 says the same thing. Notice the PASSOVER is not the 15th, but IN the 14th. IN it is not after it is past. And notice too, the FEAST mentioned here is not the 14th (though the Passover is elsewhere called a feast), but the FEAST DAY is the 15th. The SEVEN-DAY period begins the 15th. The 15th is the FIRST of the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. However, since leaven was put out of the houses during the 14th day, it came to be called one of the Days of Unleavened Bread by New Testament times, but when this is done EIGHT DAYS are included as Days of Unleavened Bread. The entire EIGHT-DAY period is, in New Testament usage, called by the name PASSOVER. But the SEVEN-DAY period begins the 15th, after the 14th, or Passover, has ended. The 14th day is the Passover. It is the first of God’s festivals. It is NOT the FEAST DAY mentioned here. In the 15th day is the FEAST. Let us get that distinction clearly in mind. It is the 15th that is the FEAST — the 14th is the PASSOVER. This FEAST day begins after PASSOVER has ended. Now with these facts well in mind,let us turn back to Exodus 12. Notice beginning verse 14. “And THIS DAY shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it A FEAST to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it A FEAST by ordinance FOREVER. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread . . . And in the FIRST DAY there shall be AN HOLY CONVOCATION . . . to you” WHAT DAY is established as a MEMORIAL – not a shadow, a MEMORIAL — a FEAST – to be kept FOREVER? Notice, it is the day that is the FEAST — “Ye shall keep it a FEAST.” It is the day that is the FEAST DAY — the 15th Abib, not the 14th – not the Passover! This day is the FEAST DAY – a MEMORIAL, to be kept a Sabbath or holy convocation, FOREVER! SEVEN DAYS are included, and we have shown that the seven-day period begins the 15th, after Passover has passed. “In the fourteenth is the PASSOVER, but IN THE FIFTEENTH DAY is the FEAST – seven days.” Many have always believed the day here spoken of, and ordained for-ever, was the PASSOVER, or 14th. But it is not – it is the 15th day. Now this day — the 15th — is established a HOLY CONVOCATION. Look in the dictionary. A convocation is an assembly of the people where their presence is commanded, under power and authority. A holy convocation is a religious assembly, for purposes of worship. The weekly Sabbath is a holy convocation. So is Abib 15th. Our presence is COMMANDED, under God’s power and authority. But let us continue on. Notice, now, beginning verse 16: “And in the first day [of the seven, 15th Abib] there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day [21st Abib] there shall be an holy convocation to you . . . And ye shall observe the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD; for IN THIS SELFSAME DAY [the 15th Abib] have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe THIS DAY [the 15th, not the 14th] in your generations by an ordinance FOREVER”(verses 16-17). There it is! Before the ceremonial law of Moses! The day established as a Sabbath or holy convocation forever is the Feast day, the selfsame day on which they WENT OUT of Egypt, and they went out on the 15th, not the 14th (Numbers 33:3). This day is a MEMORIAL, not a shadow of the cross. A memorial of DELIVERANCE from EGYPT, which pictures DELIVERANCE from SIN! To keep us constantly in the MEMORY of the great fact that, having had our sins FORGIVEN by Christ’s BLOOD (pictured by the 14th)we are not to stop there and REMAIN in sin, but to GO OUT away from sin! Why should we observe the 14th, picturing remission of PAST sins, and then we, COMMANDMENT-KEEPERS of ALL people, refuse to continue the Feast of Unleavened Bread, picturing the COMING OUT of sin — seven days of unleavened bread symbolizing and picturing COMPLETE putting away of sin or, in other words, THE KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS! These FEAST DAYS picture the KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS!
Not abolished with old covenantObserve that the Days of Unleavened Bread are a PERIOD, having two high-day SABBATHS. And this PERIOD is established FOREVER — while the Israelites were still in Egypt — before the ceremonial law of Moses had been given or written — before God even proposed the old covenant! What the law of Moses, or the old covenant, did not bring or institute, THEY CANNOT TAKE AWAY! In Fenton’s translation, the 16th verse is translated: “consequently KEEP THIS PERIOD AS AN EVER-LASTING INSTITUTION.” The whole period is included. This ALONE ought to prove that the HOLY DAYS — and the seven Days of Unleavened Bread — are binding today, and FOREVER! Now, if these texts apply to the 15th, not the 14th, as they assuredly do, and is here conclusively proved, then is the Passover established FOR-EVER? Indeed it is! But THESE texts above refer to the FEAST and not the PASSOVER. In the paragraph beginning Exodus 12:21 the PASSOVER is again referred to, and verse 24 establishes it FOREVER!
Purpose of FestivalBut let us learn the full significance of this. WHY did God ordain these feast days? What was His great PURPOSE? Turn now to Exodus 13, verse 3: ” . . . Moses said unto the people, Remember THIS DAY, in which ye CAME OUT from Egypt … ” This was the 15th of Abib. Verse 6: “Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and the seventh day shall be a FEAST unto the Eternal . . . This is done BECAUSE of that which the Eternal did [ a MEMORIAL] . . . and it shall be for a SIGN” — (miraculous PROOF of identity) — “unto thee upon thine hand, and for a MEMORIAL between thine eyes” — WHY? —”that the LORD’S LAW MAY BE IN THY MOUTH . . . Thou shalt therefore KEEP this ordinance … ” Oh, beloved brethren, do you see the wonderful meaning? Do you grasp the true significance of it all? Do you see God’s PURPOSE? The PASSOVER pictures the DEATH OF CHRIST for the remission of sins that are past. The accepting of His BLOOD does not forgive sins we SHALL commit — it does not give LICENSE to continue in sin — therefore WHEN we accept it, our sins are forgiven only up to that time — PAST SINS. But shall we stop there? Past sins forgiven. But we are still flesh beings. We still shall suffer temptations. Sin has held us in its clutch — we have been SLAVES to sin, in its power. And we are powerless to deliver ourselves from it! We have been in BONDAGE to sin. Let us understand the picture — the meaning.
Quitting sin utterlyTo what extent shall we put away sin? Not partially, but COMPLETELY! And, as leaven is also a type of sin — leaven puffs up, and so does sin — and, as SEVEN is God’s number symbolizing COMPLETENESS, we are to follow the Passover with the seven Days of Unleavened Bread! The picture — the meaning — the symbolism, is not complete with Passover alone. Passover pictures the acceptance of Christ’s blood for the REMISSION of past sins. It pictures the CRUCIFIED — the DEAD — Christ. Shall we leave Christ hanging on the cross? The seven Days of UNLEAVENED BREAD, following Passover, picture to us the COMPLETE putting away of sin, the KEEPING of the Commandments — after past sins are forgiven. They picture the life and work of the RISEN CHRIST — who ascended to the throne of God where He is actively at work in our behalf as our HIGH PRIEST, cleansing us of sin — delivering us completely from its POWER! To observe Passover alone, and then fail to observe the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, means, in the symbolism, to accept Christ’s blood, and to continue on in sin — to say with the Sunday churches the LAW is done away, we are under grace, meaning license, to continue in sin! The seven Days of Unleavened Bread picture the keeping of the Commandments, which is another way of saying the putting away of sin. And, as Rome’s followers have the MARK of the BEAST in their right hand and forehead, so God’s true Church is to have these feast days, the first of which is a MEMORIAL picturing deliverance from sin, in OUR right hand and forehead, as God’s SIGN, in order that we shall KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. And since the forehead is the seat of the intellect and symbolizes ACCEPTANCE, and the right hand symbolizes WORK, we have this SIGN OF GOD thereby accepting this truth about the Holy Days and Days of Unleavened Bread, and by NOT WORKING on these Holy Days! Not only is the weekly Sabbath God’s SIGN (Exodus 31:12-17) but annual Sabbaths are SIGNS as well!
One incidentJust a personal reference showing how marvelously this ordinance pictures the PLAN OF REDEMPTION. It happened years ago at Eugene, Ore. As we assembled in holy convocation the last of these Sabbaths, 21st Abib, one sister mentioned she had found a half slice of leavened bread behind some things in her home, during the Days of Unleavened Bread. She had put it out of the house immediately. Another said she had found a can of baking powder half full, which she did not know she had. Another found a slice of bread and some yeast. All had put the leaven out as soon as discovered. How true to life is the picture! How often do we, after we think we have put away sin, discover hidden sins or habits we did not know we had — or thought we had overcome? They must be put away and overcome as soon as discovered.
The perfect pictureBut let us notice the wonderful picture further. The children of Israel started out of Egypt, the night of the 15th Abib, as we must, of our own accord, start out of sin as soon as we accept the blood of Christ. They started out on their own power — and we must make the start of ourselves. But they did not get far until Pharaoh pursued after them. If Egypt is a type of sin, then surely Pharaoh must picture Satan, the army of Egypt Satan’s demons. While Israel was IN EGYPT they were Pharaoh’s slaves, helpless and powerless under his taskmasters — just as the sinner is in the power of the devil. But when Israel took the blood of the Lamb when God acted, and as a result of God’s act of the plague of the firstborn, Pharaoh released Israel. When we accept Christ’s blood, GOD ACTS, and the devil must release us. And, as the Israelites went out WITH A HIGH HAND (Numbers 33:3), probably in great exultation and elation over their deliverance from bondage, so does the newborn Christian start out his Christian life — up in the clouds of happiness and joy. But what happened? Exodus 14:5 — Pharaoh immediately began topursue after them with soldiers in 600 chariots. So the devil immediately pursues after the new-born child of God with his demons — and soon the new and inexperienced Christian finds he is down in the depths of discouragement and tempted to give up and quit. Notice, beginning verse 10 — as soon as the Israelites saw this great army pursuing them, they lost their courage. Fear came over them. They began to grumble and complain. They saw it was IMPOSSIBLE for them to get away from Pharaoh and his army, because he was too powerful for them. And they were helpless. So it is with us.
Our strength not sufficient!But notice the message of God to them through Moses: ” . . Fear ye not, STAND STILL, and SEE THE SALVATION OF THE ETERNAL . . . for the Egyptians . . . ye shall see them again NO MORE for ever. THE ETERNAL SHALL FIGHT FOR YOU! . . . How wonderful! Helpless, we are told to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. He shall fight for us. We cannot conquer Satan, but He can. It is the risen Christ — our High Priest — who will cleanse us — sanctify us — deliver us — who said He would never leave us or forsake us! We cannot keep the Commandments in our own power and strength. But Christ IN US can keep them! We must rely on HIM, in faith. Notice verse 19. The angel who had gone before, showing the Israelites the way, now went behind them, getting between them and their enemy, protecting them. And then God parted the waters of the Red Sea. ” … and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (verse 23). In Isaiah 55:1 and John 7:37-39, the WATERS are a symbol of the HOLY SPIRIT. The LIVING WATERS,of God are a wall to us, on our right hand and on our left, guiding us in the true path, making the path, protecting us in it. But when Pharaoh and his army attempted to follow Israel in this divinely created path, these same waters completely COVERED THEM, as the Holy Spirit removes and covers our sins, and the Israelites SAW THEM NO MORE! What a wonderful picture!
No sacrifices originallyThus we see, the FEAST of Unleavened Bread as well as the PASSOVER, was ordained and established FOREVER, PRIOR to the ceremonial law of Moses — PRIOR to the old covenant. Let us be consistent about this. Opponents tell us these are IN THE LAW OF MOSES. We reply they existed before the law of Moses, are carried over in the New Testament, and therefore are binding today. Notice especially, that originally there were NO SACRIFICES — no MEAT AND DRINK ordinances — held on these days. See Jeremiah 7:22-23. These days were not instituted FOR THE PURPOSE of the sacrifices as some have wrongly supposed. These Holy Days are not shadows — they are MEMORIALS, and twice called such. Where do we find such plain language calling the Sabbath a memorial? (See also Leviticus 23:24.) The Sabbath, too, existed BEFORE the law of Moses — was made HOLY UNTO THE LORD before the Mosaic law was given. When the law of Moses came, with its sacrificial ordinances, its meat and drink ordinances, then THESE SACRIFICES AND MEAT AND DRINK OFFERINGS WERE INSTITUTED, TEMPORARILY — until Christ — TO BE HELD, some daily, SOME ON THE WEEKLY SABBATH, AND SOME ON THE FIRST OF EACH MONTH AND SOME ON EACH OF THE ANNUAL HOLY DAYS. But, mark well this fact! Where we find these sacrifices and meat and drink offerings instituted on the Holy Days we find them also on the weekly Sabbath. The same chapters in the law of Moses adding them to the annual days ALSO ADD THEM TO THE WEEKLY DAYS. The argument that these sacrifices held on these days does away with the days APPLIES EQUALLY TO THE SABBATH! If this argument abolishes one, it abolishes also the other. The Sunday preachers argue that these sacrifices do away with the Sabbath. We deny it — why? The Sabbath existed BEFORE these sacrifices were added. THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE HOLY DAYS! They began, too, BEFORE the ritualistic law of Moses! This is SO PLAIN that none will deny it except those whose hearts are rebellious against Almighty God and His TRUTH!
Sacrifices on weekly SabbathLet us notice,Numbers 28 and 29: First, the offerings by fire DAY BY DAY, the “morning-evening” sacrifice. Second, verses 9-10, burnt meat offerings and drink offerings every SABBATH. Third, verses 11-15, NEW MOONS. Then, verse 16, to end of chapter 28, the annual days. Now we know these MEAT AND DRINK offerings, by fire, were TYPICAL and were DONE AWAY. But are the seven week days DONE AWAY? Is the weekly SABBATH done away? Is the first day of each month DONE AWAY? Only in BABYLON — not in God’s sight. Neither are the annual HOLY DAYS OF THE LORD done away! The sacrifices were typical, and they came with the law of Moses, and they WENT with it. But the DAYS on which they were held were not typical, did not come with the law of Moses and did not go with it. The DAYS are binding FOREVER! As the Sabbath is a MEMORIAL, so are the Holy Days!
Commanded in New TestamentAnd now we wish to show a NEW TESTAMENT COMMAND — more plain, more direct, than any we can find for the weekly Sabbath — to keep these annual HOLY DAYS! Observe again Numbers 28:16-17: ” … IN the fourteenth day of the first month is the PASSOVER of the Lord. And IN the fifteenth day of this month is the FEAST: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.” This FEAST was not the 14th, but the 15th. It was the PASSOVER, when the LAMB was killed, the 14th. The daylight part of the 14th was the PREPARATION for the FEAST. (Mat-thew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14.) (NOTE, in Jesus’ day the Jews celebrated their Passover one day late according to the tradition of the elders — John 18:28.) Let us get this point thoroughly established in our minds, for if this is true, as it is, THEN ALL OF THESE DAYS ARE STILL BINDING UPON US BY NEW TESTAMENT as well as Old Testament AUTHORITY! Notice Matthew 26:5: The Jews, conspiring to kill Jesus, said: ” . . . Not on the FEAST DAY, lest there be an uproar among the people.” They hastened so they could take and kill Him the day before the feast, or on the 14th Nisan. Mark 14:2 says the same thing. Now to establish that the Feast day was the day after the Passover Festival, and that it was the high-day Sabbath — the day AFTER Jesus was crucified, notice John 13:29: “For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag — was treasurer — Fenton, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the FEAST . . . ” This was at the Passover supper. They thought Jesus was sending Judas out to buy provisions to prepare for the FEAST. Surely this proved the FEAST was the following day — the 15th Nisan, as all these scriptures positively affirm. Now let us examine carefully I Corinthians 5:7-8. Churches have applied this to the PASSOVER. Notice it does not say, or apply to, PASSOVER at all. Let us willingly, prayerfully, study to see what it does say: ” … For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:Therefore LET US KEEP THE FEAST … ” Notice it. Because Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed, therefore let us of the NEW Testament dispensation — BECAUSE Christ has died — keep, WHAT? Notice it! NOT the Passover, which was on the 14th Nisan — but let us keep the FEAST — which was the 15th! The high-day Sabbath of John 19:31! The annual HOLY DAY. And, in a large sense, the FEAST included all seven of the Days of Unleavened Bread including the SECOND Holy Day or Sabbath on the 21st Nisan! We cannot escape this, if we are yielded to the Lord and the Wordof God! There it is, in plain language, in the New Testament! Because Christ was crucified, therefore let us keep the FEAST! The 14th was the Passover, but in the 15th day of this month is the FEAST! Let us no longer apply that to the Passover, for it SAYS “feast.”
Days of Unleavened Bread kept by Paul and New Testament ChurchIt is faithfully recorded in the New Testament that, during the period its history covers, the Church was keeping those days! In Acts 20:6, ” . . . we sailed away from Philippi AFTER THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. .. ” Paul and companions plainly had observed the Days of Unleavened Bread at Philippi. The Holy Spirit could never have inspired such words otherwise. Notice also Acts 12:3-4: “… Then were the days of unleavened bread . . . intending after PASSOVER [see Greek] to bring him forth to the people.” Could the Holy Spirit have inspired the direct affirmation, “Then WERE the days of unleavened bread” if those days had, in God’s sight; ceased to exist? Notice, it is not any blinded Judaizers, ignorant of what was abolished, making this statement — it is Almighty God saying it through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This was YEARS after the crucifixion. The Days of Unleavened Bread still existed, or the Holy Spirit could not have inspired “Then WERE the days of unleavened bread.”]]>
The Passover Begins God’s Master Plan Prepared by Richard H. Sedliacik The Good News, February 1983 The great God of the universe created mankind for a stupendous, awe-inspiring purpose! That purpose was first revealed in the Garden of Eden. God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). Your Bible reveals that God is reproducing Himself in man. God made mankind for the purpose of being fashioned into the very character “image” of God — ultimately to be born as spirit members in the universe-ruling Family of God. Previous ministudies have made this clear. God has mapped out a plan by which He is fulfilling His awesome purpose for mankind. God’s master plan is outlined in the form of seven annual festivals that Christians are to observe every year to keep themselves in the knowledge of His plan. It was not until after the Israelites were delivered from Egypt that God revealed His annual festivals. Through Moses, God formally introduced these festivals to His nation Israel — His “church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38, Authorized Version). God used the yearly agricultural harvests of Palestine as symbolic types of His spiritual “harvests” of mankind. In Palestine there is a spring harvest followed by a much larger fall harvest. Today, we can understand from the teachings of Christ and the apostles that God intends the spring festivals to illustrate to His Church yearly that all those He has called to become His Spirit-begotten children since Christ’s first coming are only the “firstfruits” (Jas. 1:18) — only the relatively small beginning of His great spiritual harvest of mankind into His spiritual Family. Later, as pictured by the festivals of the much larger autumn harvest season, God will call the rest of the billions of humanity to salvation and sonship in His glorious Family after Christ’s return. A summary of these annual festivals is found in Leviticus 23. Let’s commence this revealing seven-part study of God’s annual festivals and learn exactly what they signify for Spirit-begotten Christians today. 1. Who does the Bible say instituted these annual festivals? Lev. 23:1-2, 4. Notice that these are not the “feasts of the Jews” or “feasts of Moses,” as some have falsely assumed. They are God’s own feasts, which God originated and gave to His people to keep year by year. 2. What is the first festival to be observed each year? Lev. 23:5. When was the first Passover? Ex. 12:1-14, 21-27. The Passover, the first of God’s commanded annual festivals, is the beginning, the very first step, in God’s great master plan of salvation for mankind. Although the original Passover was to be a yearly memorial to remind Israel of God’s intervention in delivering them from slavery in Egypt (a type of sin — Heb. 11:25-26), it also pictured, in advance, the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, “our Passover” lamb (I Cor. 5:7, I Pet. 1:8-19), for the sins of mankind. The sparing of the Israelites’ firstborn from the death angel through the shed blood of the first Passover Iamb is a type of our being spared today from the eternal penalty of sin (Rom. 6:23) through Christ’s sacrifice. After Jesus’ death, the Passover, celebrated with the new symbols of bread and wine, became a yearly memorial of His sacrifice, for Jesus became the reality that the Passover lamb had foreshadowed. 3. Did God command, before Sinai, that the Passover be kept forever? Ex. 12:14, 24. Did Jesus Christ observe the Passover? John 2:13, 23. Jesus kept the annual festivals. He, as the God of the Old Testament, was the One who originally gave them to Israel. 4. Did Jesus observe the Passover with His disciples on the night before He was crucified? Matt. 26:17-20. What was one new command He gave them regarding the observance of the Passover? John 13:1-5. 5. Did Peter, at first, refuse to allow Jesus to wash his feet? Verses 6-8. Could Peter have any relationship with Jesus unless he allowed Him to wash his feet? Verse 8. Why did Jesus institute this new observance of foot washing during His last Passover meal? Verses 12-16. Foot washing in Jesus’ time was a menial task that only servants performed, when visitors entered a house. Open-toed sandals were the customary footwear of that time and feet would become dusty. Jesus was illustrating to His disciples that He had come to earth to serve mankind. Shortly afterward, He proved the extent of His extreme service for this world when He gave His very life for the sins of all mankind. Foot washing depicts the attitude of humility and service to others that Christ desires every Christian to have. 6. Did Jesus plainly command His disciples to wash each other’s feet? John 13:14-15. Were they to teach the world to do likewise? Matt. 28:19-20. Are those who obey Christ’s words by partaking of this meaningful ceremony promised a special blessing? John 13:17, 14:23. 7. What completely new way of observing the Passover did Jesus institute shortly before His death, as He ate the Passover meal with His apostles? Luke 22:14-20, Matt. 26:26-29. What command did He give regarding this new manner of keeping the Passover? Luke 22:19, Matt. 28:19-20. Jesus did not abolish the Passover — He merely changed the symbols used. Instead of shedding the blood of the lamb and eating the roasted body, we are now to use wine and unleavened bread. The Passover is now to be kept as an annual memorial of Christ’s death. It reaffirms year by year “till He comes” (I Cor. 11:26) the true Christian’s faith in the blood of “Christ, our Passover” (I Cor. 5:7) for the remission of sins, as symbolized by the drinking of wine. Eating the broken bread symbolizes our faith in the body of Christ, broken for our physical healing. Jesus Christ allowed His body to be literally ripped open in dozens of places by scourging, until He could not even be recognized. He suffered this torture so we, through faith in His broken body for us, may have the forgiveness of our physical sins — the healing of our bodies when we are sick (Isa. 53:5, I Pet. 2:24, Ps. 103:2-3, Jas. 5:14-15) — as well as the forgiveness of our spiritual sins through Christ’s shed blood. And so the bread is a reminder to us that it is by “His stripes we are healed.” (If you have not read it, send for our free booklet, The Plain Truth About Healing.) As Christ Himself commanded, true Christians today should be observing the Passover on the eve of His death — on the 14th day of the first month of God’s sacred calendar, in the evening, after the beginning of the day. 8. Did the apostle Paul teach New Testament Christians to keep the Passover by partaking of the new symbols of bread and wine, just as Jesus had done and commanded? I Cor. 5:7-8, 11:23-26. The original true Church that Jesus built annually kept the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread — not Easter. 9. Will the Passover be kept by Christ and born-again Christians when He establishes the Kingdom of God on earth? Matt. 26:29, Luke 22:15-16. In the meantime, was the Passover to be kept by God’s Church as a memorial of Christ’s death? Review I Corinthians 11:25-26. Jesus commanded His disciples to keep the Passover in remembrance of Him until He returns. The apostles did keep it, and today, God’s true Church is still keeping the Passover. This study of God’s annual festivals will continue next month. You will also be interested to know that plans call for new lessons of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course to include in-depth studies of God’s festivals. Readers wishing to receive these lessons should enroll in the course today. ]]>
By Herbert W Armstrong
Given March 04,1982 DOWNLOAD AUDIO (Right click, select “Save Link As”)[embed]http://sermons.wwcg-archives.com/1982-04-03%20-%20Passover%20Examination.mp3[/embed]