Passover

Are You Worthy to Take the Passover?

Are You Worthy to Take the Passover?

What does the Passover mean to you? Do you really know why Jesus had to suffer and die — and what is required of us?

  By Allen L. Stout  The Good News Magazine, March 1984    Paul wrote to Christians: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (I Cor. 11:26-27). Paul was writing about the Passover, the annual memorial of the death of Jesus Christ, which God commands His people to observe. How few professing Christians understand! If you have not been aware of God’s annual festivals, write immediately for our free booklet Pagan Holidays — or God’s Holy Days — Which? Many have not fully comprehended the significance of Paul’s warning. Some, feeling they were not worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice, have not taken the Passover. Others have taken the Passover in a casual or ritualistic manner. It’s time we all understand! The Passover is the first of the Christian festivals commanded by God (Lev. 23:5). It is not to be taken lightly.   Purpose of the Passover   The Passover originally represented the turning point in the separation of Israel, God’s chosen people, from Egypt, which symbolized sin. The blood of the Passover lamb, sprinkled on the doorposts, distinguished those whom God was sparing (Ex. 12:13-14). The Passover for Christians today is a memorial, an annual reminder or renewal of our spiritual covenant with God. It reminds us not only of when God called ancient Israel out of Egypt, but, more important, of God calling us today out of sin. Let’s make the meaning of Passover clear by examining what the Bible says. What was required to free us from the bondage of sin? God’s sacrifice of His firstborn, Jesus — the blood of the Lamb. Why? Why couldn’t God just forgive our sins without a sacrifice? Why did Jesus have to give up His glory with God, take upon Himself the form of a servant, become a human being and suffer and die for our sins (Phil. 2:7-8)? Because there was no other way to save man from the consequence of sin.   God will not compromise His law   God can do all things, but God will not compromise His law (Matt. 19:26, 5:18). God’s law is perfect (Ps. 19:7). It would, if kept, produce and maintain a peaceful and happy society. Tragically, no human has kept God’s law perfectly — all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). The Bible likens sin to leaven — if sin is not disposed of, it grows and spreads rapidly (I Cor. 5:6). The whole world is suffering under the curse of sin (Gal. 3:10)! Death is the penalty for sin — breaking God’s law (Ezek. 18:4, 20, Rom. 6:23). God will not allow anyone into His holy Family and Kingdom who will compromise His law (Gal. 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-10, Rev. 22:14-15). God’s law requires that blood be shed for the remission of sin (Heb. 9:22). Thus blood had to be shed in order that the sins of every human might be forgiven, upon repentance.   The sacrifice of Jesus   The only way God could redeem humanity — all of us! — from the death penalty without compromising His law was to have our penalty paid. Enter Jesus Christ. Notice what God’s Word says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…. when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son … through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Rom. 5:8, 10-11). Our sins had separated us from God (Isa. 59:1-2). We had the death penalty hanging over us. But Jesus’ sacrifice paid the death penalty for sin in our stead (Rom. 3:24-25). Does Jesus’ death save us, then? Let’s see what the Bible tells us.   What is required of us?   What is our responsibility, given Jesus’ sacrifice, in God’s plan of salvation? Notice Acts 2:38: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus’ sacrifice does not redeem us from the death penalty until we have repented of breaking God’s law, turned from sin and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master. We must submit to God’s government over our lives and begin to live God’s way. Then what happens? Notice Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Jesus actually lives His life in us (verse 10). We strive to follow Jesus’ example as revealed in the Bible (I Pet. 2:21). We shall, then, be saved by Jesus Christ’s life (Rom. 5:10)! By obeying God’s law with the help of God’s Holy Spirit and by submitting to God’s government, we actually begin to take on God’s very nature. We gradually overcome sin — sin no longer has power over us. We are God’s servants rather than the servants of sin (Rom. 6:12-16). We have embarked upon a new way of life that leads to every blessing and joy for eternity. To turn back from it — to reject God’s way and Jesus’ sacrifice, which paid our death penalty — brings the death penalty on us again, this time with no chance for redemption (Heb. 10:26-29). Now what about observing the Passover?   Are you worthy?   God’s redeemed people are commanded to observe the Passover annually, in its New Testament symbolism, as a memorial of Jesus’ death and to picture what God has done in our lives (Matt. 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:14-20, John 13:2-5). And we are to do so in a “worthy” manner, as we have seen from I Corinthians 11:26-27. What, exactly, does it mean to be worthy? Paul warned, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup” (I Cor. 11:28). What is your attitude? John wrote: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15-17). As long as we live in this evil, Satan-ruled society, there will be tests and temptations to break God’s law. We are tempted through our own lusts (Jas. 1:14) to cheat, to lie in business, to boast, to swear, to gossip, to commit adultery (Matt. 5:28) and to put other things before God. And we as Christians — yes, as truly called and redeemed Christians — will slip occasionally and sin! But, as long as we are repentant, striving to overcome sin, God accepts us, applying Jesus’ sacrifice (I John 1:9). God continues to lead us. We live under grace (Eph. 2:8). No one is worthy of Christ’s sacrifice, but not to take the Passover is to deny Christ. To take the Passover in a worthy manner, we must repent of our evil desires and ways, come to hate the sin that Jesus had to suffer and die for and set our will not to compromise God’s law. “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned [judged] with the world” (I Cor. 11:29-32). Our goal, as Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:48, is to become perfect, as God the Father is perfect. Keeping the Passover and understanding all it pictures, as well as striving to keep all of God’s other laws, is vital to attaining that perfection. So, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”!]]>

An Important Reminder —How Leaven Pictures Sin By George M. Kackos

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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?  

LORDS 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?

NEXT ARTICLE – The Feast of Unleavened Bread: Does It Begin the 14th, or 15th, Abib?

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PASSOVER AND FESTIVAL OF UNLEAVENED BREAD  

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PASSOVER AND FESTIVAL OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

by Herbert W. Armstrong Good News March 1979

CREATION 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 Days

Now 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.

The Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread

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.

Passover only the start

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.

Passover 14th, not 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.

Exodus 24 hours after Passover

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 covenant

Observe 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 Festival

But 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 utterly

To 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 incident

Just 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 picture

But 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 originally

Thus 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 Sabbath

Let 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 Testament

And 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 Church

It 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.”]]>

MINISTUDY – The Passover Begins God's Master Plan  

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. ]]>

Passover Examinations

Passover Examinations

By Herbert W Armstrong

Given March 04,1982 DOWNLOAD AUDIO (Right click, select “Save Link As”)

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[TRANSCRIPT]

In just two weeks and three days will come the Passover once again. What, after all, is the real meaning of the Passover? We take it every year. I forgot to count the number of years that this will be for me. I think it’s about fifty-six at least, maybe fifty-seven. I’ll have to count it again. (Probably longer than any of you.) And it seems that we just take it year after year; and, if we’re not careful, we’ll just take it for granted like so many other things, as routine, without thinking of the meaning of it. But it’s one of the most important occasions in our lives. And it comes every year to remind us of the meaning of it every year. And I wonder: Are we all really ready for it? Well, we have two weeks and three days to get ready, if we’re not.

I’d like to read to you from 1Corintians 11, beginning with verse 27: I Corinthians 11:27  Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread [at the time of the Passover], and drink of the cup of the Lord, UNWORTHILY, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. Now, “unworthily” doesn’t mean that you are worthy to take it. It’s referring to the manner in which you do it, and the condition in which you are when you do it, as to whether you do it worthily or not. But then it continues: I Corinthians 11:28  But let a man EXAMINE himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. Now verses 29 on to 30, the next two verses, refer to the meaning of the bread—the broken body of Jesus Christ. You and I have sinned. Every one of you has sinned. The trouble is a lot of people don’t stop to really confess and admit that. We seem to take it for granted, we’re just pretty ‘good’. We don’t realize how unworthy we really are ourselves. But it’s talking here about both the blood and the body of the Lord. Now, Jesus’ body was broken for us—for our healing. So we read in the next two verses here, the 29th and 30th: I Corinthians 11:29-30  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily [that is, the manner in which you do it], eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body [which was broken for us, and for our healing when we’re physically sick]. (30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. Many have had some kind of a sickness or disease that they have died, and they “sleep”. That is the Bible language for the fact that they are dead. It really represents death as being in a type of sleep. When you’re asleep, unless you have a dream, you’re unconscious until you wake up; and even in a dream you seem to be in some crazy circumstance. You wonder why and how it ever happened, and we dream some very funny and foolish things sometimes.

But Jesus’ blood was shed because of our spiritual sins—the transgressions of His spiritual law. ALL sickness and disease is the result of sin, and a lot of you don’t realize that. It doesn’t always mean that you have deliberately had a wrong attitude or wrong intention, and have deliberately sinned and caused it by your own wrong thoughts, motivations, and actions. It could be an accident. It could be a germ in some water you drank. It could be a contagious disease I suppose, or something of that sort. But nevertheless, it is something that disrupted the natural rhythm of the laws of your body. The body was made to function in a certain way. Sometimes I wonder how the heart keeps on beating so long. I know sometimes, if I turn in my bed in sleeping over on the left side, on the pillow I will hear my heart thumping; and I sometimes have to turn over on the other side to get away from hearing it. And it’s strange that that heart just keeps going, going, going. Now, of course, we have to fuel ourselves with food and water from the ground; and we came from the ground ourselves. But nevertheless, as long as we have the fuel and we breathe the air… We breathe the air automatically, and you don’t even think about it when you’re sleeping. It just, I guess, the condition of the heart just keeps you automatically breathing. Something does. But it’s a remarkable thing. I often think, when we’re flying in the G2 across the ocean, what if something happened that the engine stopped? There’s no place to land out there, absolutely no place! Sometimes I think of that funny record that came out several years ago about the, let’s see, it was Mrs. Ferguson’s Airplane & Storm Door Company I believe it was. It’s just a comic thing. It was a little small plane, a little small prop plane, economy class going to Hawaii. And the captain gave an announcement after they had taken off. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.” (This is not a case where he says, “We have both good news and bad news.” It sounded to me like it was mostly bad news, but it was funny.) And he said, “Of course, we believe that what the people want is economy. So, he said, “Now we do have just one little bit of luxury.  You people traveling first class have straps to hang on to. The rest of you don’t have any straps.” Everybody had to stand. There were no seats. And someone then asked the captain… He asked for questions. Someone asked him, “Well, what if we should have to ditch. How long would we remain afloat?” “Oh, well.” he said, “Lady, that’s hard to tell; but some of them just go down like a rock!” [Audience laughs.] I have to think: I hope that that engine keeps going just like the human heart does. And yet you don’t know what second your heart’s going to stop. You just don’t know. Did you ever think to be thankful to God that He keeps your heart just going, going, going, and going? And it just goes automatically. You don’t have to wind it up or anything, except by eating food and drinking water.

But the thing is that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” So there’s one thing I’d like to get straight. I often think of this, and I think this is the time of year when we need to be thinking about it. Does the blood of Christ alone save you? Does that get you into the Kingdom of God? Now, Catholics and Protestants believe that, if you are “saved”, that you go to heaven when you die. Otherwise, I think that Catholics believe you go to purgatory; and after that you’ll go to hell, if they don’t pray you out of it. But Protestants believe you go straight to hell (a fire that is burning, burning, burning); and you keep burning forever and ever, but you never burn up. You’ll have to go through that torture continuously forever. That’ll keep going just like your heart does for a lifetime. But this heart only pumps for a lifetime. The average age is about seventy. Some of us live about twenty years longer, as I have now; but not many. And no one that we have any record of ever lived the first thousand years. Methuselah lived nine hundred and (What was it?) sixty something. Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years. But they don’t live that long any more; and they haven’t, not since the time of Abraham, shortly after the Flood. But they believe that all you have to do is accept Jesus Christ, and the blood of Christ saves you. Now, the blood of Christ does not save anybody! You read of that in the fifth chapter of the book of Romans, I don’t want to take time to go into that this afternoon. But you will find there that we’ll be saved by Christ, but not by His shed blood. And we’re not saved by the death of Christ. We are reconciled to God the Father by the death of Christ. But we are to be SAVED by His resurrection—and through our own resurrection, made possible by His resurrection. Now again, a lot of people think if they’re baptized they’re saved. And I’m afraid too many of us in this Church have believed that; and that’s one thing I hope to correct now, today. “O yes, I’m a baptized member.” Well, if you’re baptized, that means you’re a Christian—you’re in the Church? OH, NO, IT DOES NOT, BRETHREN. I don’t care how many times you’ve been soused in water (and I don’t mean to ridicule the very sacred ordinance of baptism); but for many that’s all it is—just a sousing in water. I’d like to read just a few scriptures along that line right now, before we pass on. Mark, the seventh chapter, verses 6 on to 9. Jesus said: Mark 7:6-9  This people honoureth me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me [They not only accept Christ, they not only BELIEVE in Christ; but they WORSHIP Him, and they do it in vain. “In vain do they worship Me…”], teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. {1} [Let’s see.] (8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold to the tradition of men… (9) And he said unto them, Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition. I was thinking of another scripture right along that line.

Notice in Luke 13 now. Luke 13 and verses 3 and 5, Jesus said: Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except you REPENT, you shall all likewise perish. Now, He repeated that for emphasis in verse 5. Luke 13:5  I tell you NAY: but, except you REPENT, you shall all likewise perish. Regardless of how many times you’ve been baptized, if you have not REPENTED, you shall also likewise perish. I was thinking of, and I’d like to turn to that just a moment, it’s in John. Let’s see. In the eight chapter of John, I just happened to turn to it. John 8:30-31  As [Jesus] spake these words, many believed on him. [Now here are people that believed on Christ.] (31)Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And they began to dispute Him right away. They didn’t believe what He said. And so later Jesus said: John 8:43-45 Why do you not understand my speech? [That is, what I’m saying: “My speech.”] Even because ye cannot hear my word. (44)Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there was no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (45) And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. They believed ON Christ, but they did not BELIEVE Christ. They did not believe what He said. So just accepting Christ, just believing on Christ, doesn’t save you. You have to believe what He says, and YOU HAVE TO REPENT. There are the two conditions: One is repentance, and the other is faith. Now, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. You read in Mark, verse one, chapter one, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Then in verses 14 and 15: Mark 1:14-15  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL [What gospel? “The gospel…] of the kingdom of God, (15) and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye, and believe the gospel. Repent and believe. “And except you REPENT.” And I think a lot of people don’t fully know what that means. They say, “Oh, I’ve repented. Yes, I know I’ve sinned.” They haven’t really repented, because I think we do not understand what we mean by the word REPENT. Very few seem to understand it.

You are not Christ’s until you have the Holy Spirit of God, and you cannot have the Holy Spirit of God until you have repented. If you turn now to Romans 8 and verse 9, which you ought to have memorized anyway: Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man  [or woman, either] have not the SPIRIT of Christ, he is none of his. Without the Holy Spirit in you; and more than being in you, it must be leading you, and you must be following—must be led by the Spirit of God. Because then you will read beginning in verse 11: Romans 8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [or make immortal] your mortal bodies BY his Spirit that dwelleth in you. The Holy Spirit of God is the impregnation of ETERNAL life, which you don’t have. You were not born with LIFE. You were only born with a chemical temporary existence, just to exist a little while and then die. A lot of people die long before they’re seventy years of age. Many people are facing death all of the time; and people come and go. A generation comes, and passes on; and another generation comes along. But notice verse 14: {2} Romans 8:14  For as many as are LED by the Spirit of God. Now, the Holy Spirit of God won’t get hold of you and pull you. It won’t get behind you and push you. It doesn’t force you. It leads by opening your mind to understand the Word of God. The Holy Spirit itself does not teach you. It opens your mind to comprehend what IS taught. Jesus came and taught people who didn’t understand. They didn’t have the Holy Spirit. They didn’t understand. Actually, the disciples were with Him three and a half years; and they didn’t comprehend and understand what He told them—not all of it, not the spiritual part. And He said that, when the Holy Spirit came upon them (which it did on the day of Pentecost), then He said that the Spirit of God would remind. And, of course, even the spirit of man too would bring to their remembrance what things He had taught them. Then they would come to understand it, after the Holy Spirit came. You see it is God who must teach you. And He teaches through Christ, who is the Word of God. And Christ teaches through His apostles and others under them. But it all comes from God.

When Jesus was here, He said he’d spoken nothing of Himself. He only spoke what the Father told Him to speak. And so all the teaching emanates originally from God Almighty, God the Father—NOT from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in you will open your mind to comprehend the spiritual truth, the spiritual knowledge. So you read in I Corinthians 2, and beginning verse 9: “Eye has not seen nor ear heard,” that is, “neither has it entered into the [mind] of man” [the spiritual truths] “the things that God has prepared for [us].” Then the next verse says, the 10th verse, “But GOD has revealed them unto us.” See, it comes from God. But He reveals it by and through His SPIRIT, if you have the Holy Spirit. Otherwise you WILL NOT comprehend the real spiritual Truth. Now, many people will understand a certain amount of the Bible because there’s so much of the Bible that is, well, relating to ordinary materialistic or physical knowledge (as well as the spiritual portion of it). And much of it is history, and they can understand a great deal of the history. But when it comes to the real deeper spiritual teaching, the natural mind of man CANNOT comprehend. It takes the words of the Bible that came from Christ, though, to teach—and not the Spirit. Without the Bible and just having the Holy Spirit, you will never know any more. It is the Holy Spirit that OPENS THE MIND to comprehend.

Now, it’s just like the spirit in man. I’ve talked to you so much about the spirit in man. We’re all born with a spirit—a human spirit. But that’s quite a different spirit than the Spirit of God. That is, the spirit that is in humans; and I know of no way to designate it than just to call it “a human spirit” because it is not flesh, as we are. But it is IN US who are flesh. It is in our flesh, and it does empower the physical brain with comprehension of materialistic knowledge.

For example, a cow has a brain just like you do. You can take it apart and look at it. It’s composed of the same thing your brain is, formed and shaped just like your brain. Now your brain might be a little bigger. But an elephant’s brain is bigger than yours is. And it’s just as good as yours, and bigger, and shaped and formed exactly (precisely) like it. And yet even an elephant can’t think; can’t reason; can’t come to comprehend physical knowledge. You stand by an elephant and try to teach the elephant some scientific facts about physics, chemistry, some of the laws of physics, some scientific knowledge; he doesn’t know what you’re talking about. He can’t! His brain won’t comprehend it, even though you teach him.

You see it is a spirit in us that causes our brain to comprehend materialistic knowledge. Still that knowledge has to come either through the eye into the brain; or the brain hears through the ear; or it tastes through the mouth; smells through the nose; and then the nervous [system] through the sense of feel or touch, or through the nerves, knowledge is transmitted. But the spirit itself doesn’t transmit any knowledge to you. The knowledge has to come through sight or hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling. No other way knowledge comes into your mind. Spiritual knowledge comes by teaching from God, but it can’t be COMPREHENDED, and it can’t be UNDERSTOOD, except by THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN YOU. With the spirit of man—the human spirit—YOU CAN understand physical materialistic knowledge (that a dog, a cow, a horse, an elephant cannot understand, cannot comprehend) IF you are taught. Still, someone must teach you. And the knowledge must come through the senses of sight, or hearing, or smelling, or tasting, or feeling.

Likewise, the Holy Spirit does not teach you. You must be taught by (from) God—by the Word of God. And Christ is the Word of God. And [that’s] the only way we have any knowledge, even the apostles. If I’m an apostle, I can teach you. But where did I get the knowledge? Where did Paul get the knowledge? Where did Peter? James? Andrew? Where did the early apostles get the knowledge? FROM CHRIST!  Well, I get it from the same Source because Christ is the Word of God in person. The Bible is the SAME Word of God in writing. So, I got it from the Word of God; but I got it in writing. And they got it through the ear, from what they heard, by His teaching. But it all came through Christ. He was the one who taught, not the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit OPENED THEIR MINDS TO COMPREHEND. Brethren, we have not understood that until within the last year. It’s a marvelous teaching that God has opened to us within the past year or so, and I hope that we can all come to understand it. I certainly thank and praise God for giving us that wonderful knowledge.

Now, the conditions to receiving the Spirit: As Jesus said, REPENT ye, and BELIEVE the gospel (the message, the truth). And the message comes from God. Believe what He says, in other words. Believe what He says. Turn now to Acts, the second chapter. On the day of Pentecost, after Christ had ascended to heaven, He had been crucified. He had lived without sin. He never sinned. He did not have to repent because He had never sinned. But He paid the price of sin, even though He didn’t pay it for Himself. He paid it for you and me. And He took your sins and mine on Himself, and paid the penalty for us. It’s just like God is a great banker, and you owe the bank a lot of money. And Christ is the banker’s son. And you can’t pay what you owe the bank. But His Son, the son of the banker, pays it for you and says, “Well, I paid that off for you. So you don’t have to worry anymore about it. It’s all paid.” That is, you don’t have to worry about the past sin. But you’d better worry about whether you sin anymore in the future, from now on; because then, then you bring the penalty right back on yourself again, IF you do go on sinning any more. Well, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came on those that been taught by Christ, and on a total of 120 people (more than just the original Twelve). There were about ten times that many, a total of 120. And Peter preached the first really Spirit-inspired sermon by a human man on that day. And there were thousands there who heard him. And after Peter had finished his speech, it says in verse 37 of Acts the second chapter: Acts 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart. It touched their hearts, emotions. They were really hit. It wasn’t just any old common ordinary thing. It was something that really hit them emotionally. They were touched in their hearts. Acts 2:37-38  And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? [What are we going to do now, now that we’ve heard what we did and heard how Christ had been crucified.] (38) Then Peter said unto them, REPENT [But so many people don’t know what he meant when he said repent. “Repent…] and be baptized [Now, that follows repentance.] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit].

Now, there is no promise in the Bible that anyone will receive the Holy Spirit until after he has repented and been baptized. And being baptized is only an outward physical form (or ceremony) typifying, picturing, representing your real repentance and belief. You go down into the water. It’s a picture of death—the death of the old self and, as a type, of the death of Christ. Coming back up out of the water is a picture of the resurrection of Christ and your coming up to live a new and a different, a much-changed type of life, a different life-style. You’re going a different direction from this time on. You’re not going to be like the same person any longer. But some people haven’t ever undergone any change. They’re still just the same. They’ve just accepted a few additional instructions, or teachings, or doctrines that they’ve heard. And they’re so, they’re really so ‘good’ that they said, “Well, you know, I want to be good. I want to do what’s right; and that, I see that’s true and that’s right. So I’m so good I’m just going to accept it.” HOW MANY OF YOU ARE LIKE THAT, BRETHREN? You’ve just heard the truth. And you’re so ‘good’ that you say, “Yes I—I, in my goodness—I’m certainly going to accept that, because I’m so ‘good’ I want to believe what’s right. I don’t want to do what’s wrong.” THAT WON’T SAVE YOU AND WON’T GET YOU THE HOLY SPIRIT!

I don’t think that many of us have ever quite understood that yet, and we need to before we take the Passover. I sometimes have to wonder, and I’ve had to all through these years, if many of us understand just what it really means to repent. I read (about fifty, fifty-five years ago back—about that time, about the time of my conversion. It might have been shortly after.) of a story of a Methodist preacher. In fact, he was the bishop that visited a church. He was a bishop, you see; and he was quite a celebrity, coming to this small church. He’d come from a bigger city and was over a good many churches. And he was preaching on repentance; but, somehow, the people couldn’t understand. He wasn’t able to make them understand what he meant. (And I think many of us perhaps do not understand just what we mean by repentance.) So there was a black gentleman in the back of the church building, and he finally raised up his hand. “If you please, sir,” he said, “I believe I can explain what you all mean, if I might.” Well the bishop said, “Certainly, certainly. Go ahead, if you can make it more plain or clear to the people.” “Well sir,” he said, “I, this is what I think you all mean.” And he started walking right down the aisle, down towards the platform. And he says, “I’m going to hell. I’m going to hell. I’m going to hell. I’m going to hell, I’m going to hell.” And he got down to just in front of the platform, and then he turned around. And he started and he walked rapidly back, even a little faster now. And he said, “I’m going to heaven. I’m going to heaven. I’m going to heaven. I’m going to heaven.” And when he got back up there; he said, “I think what you all meant, sir, is we must TURN AROUND AND GO THE OTHER WAY.” And some of them began to understand it. It meant you have to ADMIT you’ve been going in the WRONG DIRECTION. You have to ADMIT YOU’VE BEEN WRONG. YOU’VE BELIEVED WRONG! YOU’VE LIVED WRONG! YOU’VE DONE WRONG! YOU ARE WRONG, THROUGH AND THROUGH. And many of you have NEVER admitted that!

I’ve come to KNOW even MEN THAT HAVE RISEN UP IN THIS CHURCH to the rank of apostle—well, not apostle but of EVANGELIST. And [they] apparently have NEVER ADMITTED THEY HAD BEEN WRONG. THEY ARE JUST SO ‘GOOD.’  THEY ACCEPTED THE TRUTH, and they’ve BEEN ACCEPTING it. They BELIEVE and ACCEPT the DOCTRINE, in THEIR OWN ‘goodness’ and THEIR OWN ‘righteousness’—SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS! And they haven’t got any more real salvation than a cat, a dog, or a cow. A lot of people have come into this Church, and a lot have become ministers and have gone through Ambassador College. They’ve been taught. But they never had the Spirit of God, and they NEVER REALLY COMPREHENDED THE SPIRITUAL TRUTH.

Now, the Holy Spirit doesn’t teach you spiritual truth. (It must be taught you.) But the Holy Spirit enables your mind to understand it WHEN YOU ARE TAUGHT. And I’m afraid some have not received the Holy Spirit even. Well, you’d better be sure, brethren, before you take the Passover. I want to speak on it this afternoon, because I won’t be here (I’m sorry.) this year for the Passover. I’m going to have to be in Jerusalem. I’ve been there before on the Passover. I don’t know why it’s happened. At least three or four years already, I’ve been in Israel at the Passover time. And I’ve been there for…I know, once at least, I took the Passover in Bricket Wood. And then, on the preparation day after the Passover, I flew back over to Tel Aviv and was in Israel for the holy day. And I’ve been there for either the Passover or the holy day after about three or four times. And it seems like that’s the way the schedule runs for this year once again. Now, we are commanded to repent and believe before we are baptized because baptism is only the outward ceremony picturing your belief and picturing the fact that you have repented—that the old life is gone, you’ve admitted how wrong you are, and now you’re starting a totally new type of life.

I would like to show you how the founder of the false church was baptized. And he wasn’t converted! I hope that you’re more converted than he was, because he was just not converted. That’s in the eighth chapter of the book of Acts. Acts 8, beginning with verse 13. This was Simon the sorcerer. And this was the time when Phillip had gone up to Samaria, you know; and preached the Kingdom of God up there—preached Christ to them and the Kingdom of God. And so, well in verse 12: Acts 8:12-13  When they believed Phillip [Now, they believed.] preaching the things of the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [Well, I think it’s given to us to assume that they had repented. It does say they believed.] Then Simon… Now, he was the head of the Babylonian Mystery religion there. And they ALL looked up to him as a man of God, from the least of them to the greatest, in Samaria there. Acts 8:13  Then Simon himself believed [Now HE BELIEVED. He BELIEVED Christ. He BELIEVED the truth. I want you to notice that. He believed.] also: and when he was BAPTISED… And he was baptized! How many of YOU have BELIEVED, you’ve accepted the doctrine, YOU’VE BEEN BAPTISED? Well, that happened to the founder of what the Bible calls “Babylon” and tells us to come out of it! (I’m going to read you that in just a minute.) Acts 8:13  And when he was baptized, he continued with Phillip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and the signs which were done. Now then, beginning with verse 20 on to verse 22. Peter and John came down. And they didn’t understand that they should lay hands on them for receiving the Holy Spirit. They did not receive the Holy Spirit when they were baptized—UNTIL the apostles came down, and laid their hands on them, and prayed that they would receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:20  But Peter said unto him… Now, this Simon came and offered Peter money for the Holy Spirit. He had BELIEVED and he had been BAPTISED, and I want you to notice that. And now he came to Peter and said “I will pay money so you will give me the Holy Spirit” because he didn’t get the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:20-21  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the GIFT of God [the Holy Spirit, the gift of God] may be purchased with money. (21) Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter. You know after Judas had dropped out and there were only eleven of the apostles left, they let THE LOT (which meant it was God’s choice) fall on Matthias; and he became one of them, so he could have part in that apostleship. The part and lot referred to being an apostle. And Peter said to him, “You have neither part nor lot.” You see he wanted to be AN APOSTLE. And he made himself an apostle—pretended he was anyway—afterward. Acts 8:21-22  You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. (22) REPENT therefore [Peter said to him].

HE HAD NOT REPENTED! BUT HE HAD BELIEVED. HE HAD BEEN BAPTISED. Brethren, how about YOU? HOW ABOUT YOU? DO YOU KNOW WHAT REPENTANCE REALLY MEANS? Too many say, “Yeah, yeah I guess I was a sinner. So I’m just gonna believe now.” And, in your own goodness, you do. I don’t believe that you…I don’t believe that is repentance brethren. I know it wasn’t for me. I didn’t get it that way. I didn’t receive God’s Spirit that way. I had to go through something that meant the DEATH of this old self. It was already dead, and I didn’t know it. But I had to let it DIE, and let Christ put LIFE in me through His Holy Spirit. I’ll come to that a little later. But Peter said to [Simon Magus]: Acts 8:22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. He had a wrong motive of heart. He had NOT repented! {3} But he had believed, and he had been baptized.

Well, who are the followers of that Simon today? He went out anyway, and he organized what became finally the biggest religion in this world, what is known today as “Christianity.” He was the real founder of what the world looks on as “Christianity” today. And you find it described in Revelation 17 and verse 5 (and its in capital letters in my Bible, and probably is in yours). Rev.17 verse 5, “And upon HER”—she’s pictured as a great whore, a great mamma whore. Revelation 17:5  And upon her forehead… And a church is always regarded in the female sense, because the true Church of God is the affianced Bride of Christ, to marry Christ at His Second Coming. But here was a false church. And she is a harlot, a WHORE; and she’s a mother of harlots. Revelation 17:5  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT [or, the Babylonian Mystery religion having become great, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Her daughters came out of her IN PROTEST, as a daughter comes out of her mother at birth. And the Protestants came out of the Roman Catholic Church in protest. And that is called “Christianity” and that was started by that same Simon. And he had the title of “Peter.” And he is the Simon “Peter” of the Roman Catholic Church.

PETER is often called—because “e” is often pronounced as “a” and it would be pronounced—“PATER”. (Now “mater” means mother. And alumni graduates of the university look on their university as their alma mater, or mother.) Jesus surnamed… Now wait, not Peter but Simon [Simon Peter, John 21:15]. His name originally was Simon too—“Simon bar Jonas”, or “the son of Jonas.” {4} Jesus surnamed him. And “surnamed” means gave him a TITLE. And the title is… (Look in the dictionary for surname.) You’ll find twice in the Bible it says that he was surnamed “Peter.” And surname is a title to designate your occupation. And that was the title that designated religious head, religious leader. And that’s what they call the papacy, the Pope, today.

Well, now let’s take a case history or two. Let’s take the apostle Paul. And if I could turn to Acts the ninth chapter, we’ll go back to Acts again now, the ninth chapter and beginning with verse one. I’d like to read the first sixteen verses. I want you to get this experience that Paul went through, and I want to give you some case histories and see if you had an experience anything like this. His name originally was Saul, from the city or town of Tarsus. Acts 9:1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest. He had hatred. He was energized by it, and he was emotionally wrought up with hatred and vengeance against the Christians. He wanted to destroy them. He wanted to have them killed. So he: Acts 9:1-2  …went up to the high priest, (2) and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way… Now you see, “this way” is a Way of Life. You repent of your old way of life and turn to GOD’S WAY OF LIFE. And what is God’s Way of Life? It’s the way God has always lived.

You read of the first beginning of God in John 1 (verses one, two, three, and four for example, and in verse five and so on) where God and the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God.” The Word was a personage. “ The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” and became Jesus Christ (verse fourteen). But the Word was with another personage, called GOD; and the WORD also was GOD. Well, John can be with Smith; but John is also Smith. Maybe John is Smith’s son or Smith’s father, one or the other. But Smith is the family name. And, in this case, “God” is the Family name. That’s why we coming into His Family [are] begotten children, if we have really been begotten and received the Holy Spirit. We’re begotten into the Family of God, and that’s why we’re called the CHURCH of God. Now, in the Old Testament they were not the children of God. They were the children of Israel. They weren’t called the congregation or church of God. They were called the congregation of Israel, and Israel was Jacob. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. And that was the name of Jacob—Israel, a human man. They were his physical descendants. But we are ALREADY; if we have the Spirit of God, His Spirit witnesses with our spirit. We are now already begotten as the CHILDREN OF GOD. So we bear the Family name—Church of God.  We’re not Methodists. We’re not Presbyterians. We’re not Congregationalists. We’re not Roman Catholics. We’re the PEOPLE OF GOD. Brethren, do you realize this?

Now notice: He [Saul, or Paul] wanted letters going up to the city of Damascus, which is today the oldest city in the world still existing. Acts 9:2-6  To the synagogues, that if he found any in this way [That is, God’s Way of Life, the Christian Way that Christ had taught.], whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. [to be punished. They were going to imprison them.] (3) And as he journeyed [Now he’s breathing slaughter, wanting to kill them. “As he journeyed…], he came near Damascus: [Now he must have gotten close to the outskirts of Damascus.] And suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: (4) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, Why persecutest thou me? (5) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (6) And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt thou have me do? Something happened to him. He knew GOD had struck him down, and he was hit emotionally. He, all of a sudden, realized that he was actually persecuting GOD. And he was struck down blind. This was an emotional thing with him. But just emotion alone isn’t enough. It wasn’t really an emotion thing. It was a spiritual, mental thing. But I mean it had an emotional context, content, because he really… It was a very serious thing with him. Acts 9:6-9  He trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. [Now he was given an order, to see if he was going to obey.] (7) And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (8) And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened [You see he had been blind.], he saw no man: [He was blind.] but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. (9) And he was three days without sight [blinded], and neither did he eat nor drink. Now, he went through quite an experience that shook him up. Believe me, this shook him up! This was no just easy thing. He just heard something. “Yeah, I’m so ‘good.’ I guess I’ll accept that.” I wonder how many of YOU got into the Church that way? How many of you were struck down until it really shook you to the root—realizing how WRONG you had been, admitting how WRONG you were through and through? Acts 9:10-13  And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold I am here, Lord. (11) And the Lord said unto him, “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus:  for behold, he prayeth, (12) and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias [who Christ was now talking to] coming in, and putting his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. (13) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he has done to the saints at Jerusalem. You know we’ve ALL been doing evil, but have we recognized it? Have we realized how EVIL we have been? Some of us have been so ‘good’ we’ve never had to REPENT. Some of YOU have been so ‘good’ you never had to repent. Well, brethren, I DID! Or I wouldn’t be up here teaching you today. Acts 9:14-15  And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. (15) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way:  for he is a chosen vessel unto me.” Oh, [Paul] didn’t volunteer at all! He wanted to go the other way. GOD CALLED HIM. God knocked him down. God CHOSE him. If YOU have been called, it’s because God called you. But some of YOU weren’t knocked down quite that bad. And some of YOU haven’t undergone any such experience that really shook YOU up like this.

Acts 9:15-16  …chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and before kings, and the children of Israel: [He had to go before kings.] (16) For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Paul had to suffer many things for Christ. Brethren, I have had to suffer many things for Christ. And when I gave myself to Him (fifty-five, fifty-six years ago, back in the very spring of 1927), I knew that Jesus said if they persecuted Him, they would persecute us. And I knew I would be persecuted! I counted the cost. And when I gave myself over to Him, I did it knowing what I was going to have to suffer. And I have suffered it. And I’m suffering it right now, this minute, in ways that most of you don’t understand at all. And I’m not going to reveal a lot of it to you. Acts 9:17  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house.

Let’s see. I wanted to read… No, that’s as far as I needed to read. I just wanted to read that far to you, to show you that experience that Paul went through. It was AN EXPERIENCE—this conversion that he went through. Now, Paul wasn’t tortured physically. But the very knowledge it was God striking him down shook him up, and shook him in his mind spiritually. And, suddenly, he realized that he was WRONG. He was going the wrong way. He was doing the wrong things. He was EVIL, and he was doing an evil thing; and he suddenly realized that. And his whole attitude and his intent in life changed. He had been persecuting in dynamic ZEAL! He was. You know some people are just (oh, I don’t know) so insipid that there’s no life in them, it seems. They’re not dynamic. They’re not forceful. They just go along so easily. Paul was NOT like that! He was a real, vigorous, man. And now, when God turned him around the other way, he became a vigorous crusader for Christ. Maybe “crusader” is the wrong way because he wasn’t going out trying to get people saved, anymore than Christ was. But his life was wrong. He was going the wrong way. And he made A SURRENDER. Notice again in verse six: “He trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” And he began to obey from that minute on, and his whole life changed. He turned around and started to go the other way, started to live a different kind of life altogether. So, Paul didn’t become a Christian just in his own goodness. He was so ‘good’ that he said, “Well, I’m going to accept Christ.” No! In his goodness, he was breathing out slaughter to the Christians. He wanted to see them slaughtered, if he could. He had to realize how wrong he was.

Now, how was I struck down? I’ve often said, “I was struck down in an entirely different way than Paul was.” Well, I was. I was struck down! The course I was living in was altogether different. When I was just a kid, sixteen years of age, I was suddenly inspired with ambition. A man that employed me on a summer vacation job told me that I was going to just do great things in life. I was going to go places. He, he flattered me; but he encouraged me, and he gave me pats on the back and told me I was really going to do things. And I began to almost believe it. I never believed anything like that before. And then I became ambitious, at age sixteen. But I knew that ambition meant a desire, plus the hard effort and the work to accomplish that desire; and I knew it meant putting forth a great effort. Now, what I became desirous of was all carnal and physical, in this world. I wanted to be… I began to want to be considered when I was mature, and I was only sixteen then, but I wanted to be considered successful by successful men. It wasn’t that I wanted a lot of money. I wanted some of the things money would buy. That’s true. But I wasn’t thinking about just hoarding money, anything like that. But I wanted to be looked on as successful by successful men. And I became filled with self-confidence. And I began, while I was still in high school, spending a lot of time in the public library—studying other books besides the high school assignment (in philosophy, and in business administration, and other things of that sort that I’d find in the library), not fiction. I had been reading a lot fiction. I read about Dick Merriwell and Frank Merriwell and all of those things, and even Mick Carter. I don’t think any of you remember that far back. That was before I was sixteen. But now I began to read serious things. I was filled with ambition, and I became quite successful. I made a self-analysis, an examination, to avoid fitting the proverbial “square peg in a round hole,” to find where I belonged, where I could be a success in life. I chose the profession I was succeeding in. And, by the time I was twenty-eight, I was making what in today’s dollar value would be at least a quarter of a million dollars a year. Not very many young men of twenty-eight have gone that far. And I had been quite successful. And then in 1920, I was struck down. In 1920, there was a temporary flash Depression. It was a very serious Depression—following the end of World War I, which ended in 1918. In 1920, it struck this country. And all of my clients (that were responsible for my income) were firms like the J. I. Case people, and farm implement people, and like John Deer & Company, the Moline Plow Works, the Avery Company, a great adding machine company, and other companies like that. And EVERY ONE of them went into the receivership and lost everything they had! But companies… Oh, Goodyear Tire and Rubber was another one of my clients at that time. They also failed. Now, the company name was continued, but new management was put in.  New, well, new stocks were offered; and new capital came in.  New management was installed. And the companies came back up again, but the same people that were in it lost everything they had. And my business was totally swept away from under my feet. And it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t bring on that Depression. In 1924, I took a trip that took eighteen days—from Des Moines, Iowa out to Salem, Oregon. There were no cross-country highways in those days. It was just either mud roads in Iowa, dirt roads, or some gravel roads when we got farther west. And we had blow out of tires, and everything else, in a Ford. But we finally arrived out in Oregon in, well, we were eighteen days through that summer of 1924. Well, I had begun to build another business in the advertising field, and I was doubling the business of all my clients. My work was eminently successful. And it had been hard to come back. I’d been struck down. Now I was regaining confidence again. And then all of a sudden something happened that all of my clients were stricken and could not expend money for local advertising any further. My business was suddenly swept away from me! (And I had every client, all through Oregon and Washington, in my field.) It took the life out of me. I’d been ambitious. I wanted to succeed. Everything, and it just seemed… I said I was King Midas IN REVERSE. You know everything King Midas touched turned into gold. Everything I touched turned into nothing. I just thought “I’m King Midas in reverse.” And all the confidence had gone out of me. I was a whipped, beaten man. I was reduced to poverty. (That’s the time when you’ve heard me say that I had been making a quarter of a million dollars a year before that.) I had those “righteous” shoes you’ve heard me talk about—they had “holey” soles. One pair, that’s all I had, with holes in the soles. Yeah, and I had a suit for every day in the week—the one I wore was it—the only one I had; and it was threadbare, hardly presentable any longer. It was winter up in Oregon. I had a hole that big in the hip of the only overcoat I had, and it was only a topcoat; and it was a cold winter. But I had finally been converted. And then, when I was in that condition, I was CHALLENGED; and I had to begin studying the Bible. And I began to realize that everything I had been taught was wrong! And I let God erase everything I’d ever believed out of my mind. I turned around, and started to go the other way. I had been whipped, I had been beaten, and finally I was CONQUERED BY GOD. I didn’t just ‘get’ and ‘receive’ and ‘accept’ Christ. I gave myself to Him! Of course, I accepted Him; but you know what I mean. It was more than just getting something. It was giving my whole life to Him! And I did it in poverty. I was beaten down. I had gone through an emotional BEATING, a terrible beating. And now I began to have a new kind of confidence, totally different. It was not self-confidence. I began to have the faith of Christ. I began to have a confidence that Christ… Well, like they had in the morning service this morning, the song “I’ll Never Walk Alone.” I knew I wouldn’t have to walk alone—that Christ would be with me—if I would be with Him. But I had to go His Way. I had to be CONQUERED by Him. I don’t believe anyone receives the Holy Spirit until the human spirit has been conquered by God and His Spirit.

I often think of a spirited young colt. You try to get on him, and he’ll try to throw you. You can’t do a thing with him. You’ve got to break him. He’s got to be CONQUERED; and then you do have a still spirited horse, but he becomes of great value. But he has to be broken. Do you know God has to break our wills and break us? And we have to be brought to the place of surrender to Him. How many of you have gone through such an experience? Or have you just, in your own goodness, seen the truth; and said, “Oh yeah, that’s true, I’m gonna accept it. I’m so ‘good’ that I just want to accept it. And I’m gonna be a Christian from here on.” I wonder if you have really received the Spirit of God? I wonder if you get it that easily? I didn’t. The apostle Paul didn’t. I didn’t, and Paul didn’t. I had to be whipped. I had to be conquered. I wrote something here I wanted. Well, I had to confess and admit how wrong I had been. Not only that I had done wrong, but that I WAS WRONG; and I was wrong through and through. I had to come to a new attitude in life, a new purpose in life, altogether something new and something altogether different.

Now, I’d like to show you something about David. You know a lot of people would never understand how David could ever be called “a man after God’s own heart.” Well, how could he be called “a man after God’s own heart”? Look at the things he did. God wouldn’t let him build the Temple in Jerusalem when he asked God. God thought it was a good idea all right, and wanted it built; but He said he wouldn’t let David build it because David was a man of war. He’d shed so much blood, in killing people in battle. And not only that; but, when God told him not to take a census of His nation, he went ahead and did it anyway, and disobeyed God deliberately. And God really whip-laid him and punished him for that. And another time he saw a woman taking a bath out of his window.  I guess her window was open. She must have been next door somewhere from his palace. Well, he was the king; so he told some of his servants, “Bring that woman over here.” And she became pregnant. And her husband was away from home in the war, in the battle. And now David was in trouble. He’d got this other man’s wife pregnant. And David didn’t know what to do. So he got word to the General of the Army and said, “Send this man back home.” And when he got there, he said, “You can stay home for a couple of nights with your wife before you go back.” But he said, “No.” He said, “I’m not going to enjoy going to bed with my wife when all the rest of my buddies down there are out there fighting. And they don’t get to be in a nice shelter, or a beautiful home, or anything like that.” So he, he just slept outside. He didn’t even go in the house. Now, David was really up against it. He didn’t know what to do. He was like a rat in a corner, trapped. And he tried anyway to get out of it. He did a worse thing yet. After he had committed adultery with another man’s wife, now he sent a note BY THIS SAME MAN to the General of the Army and said, “Put him up in the forefront of the battle where he’ll get killed himself.” And he was killed. David now became a murderer.  And God sent Nathan, the prophet, to tell him what he had done. I want to show you what David went through. In the 51st Psalm, here was a prayer of David when he woke up and finally realized what had happened. Most people would say, “Any man that’s done those things, he’s no good. God couldn’t use a man like that.” And yet I think they must sit in judgment of God’s calling a man like David a man after His own heart. Well, here’s why David’s “a man after God’s own heart.” Look at this prayer. He was crying out to God. He said: Psalm 51:1-3  Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. [Now he’s beginning to admit his transgressions. He’s admitting how wrong he was.] (2) Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity [MY iniquity], and cleanse me from MY sin. [Now he’s confessing it.] (3) For I acknowledge my transgression: and my sin is ever before me. And then, notice verse 10. I won’t read all of it, but just notice in this prayer. In verse 10 it says: Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit in me. He confessed his sins, and David never did it again.

Brethren, every one of you has sinned. You may think you haven’t sinned as bad as someone else. And most people think, if other people haven’t found it out, they’re all right just as long as nobody knows it. Well, let me tell you, GOD KNOWS every sin you’ve made. Every one of you has sinned, and God knows all about it. Every one! And you’d better be sure they’re forgiven before you take the Passover! Now, maybe they already are forgiven. I don’t mean asking a million times over to forgive it. Once they’re forgiven, they’re forgiven. But you’d better be sure they have been. And if they have, that’s wonderful. And I hope they have been already. Notice now from Ephesians the second chapter. The very beginning of the second chapter, “And you hath he quickened,” or made alive, “who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Every one of us has been spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. (Trespasses against God and God’s Law.) We were SPIRITUALLY DEAD! But now—IF we have the Holy Spirit, IF we have repented, IF we have been conquered and received the Holy Spirit of God—that changes every thing. Ephesians 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [who is Satan, and he’s a prince of the power of the air], the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. And every one of us is a child of disobedience, and has been; and the Spirit of God has worked in us.

I want to read something I hadn’t thought of, but I think of just now, in I John the first chapter: I John 1:3  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Here we are, having fellowship. Here we are, in a Church service. Do you know that in spirit both God the Father and Jesus Christ are right here in this auditorium this afternoon with us? And we’re having FELLOWSHIP and COMMUNION WITH THEM this afternoon, right now! I love that beautiful song that the choir sang in the morning service—You’ll Never Walk Alone. But two cannot WALK TOGETHER except they be agreed. And once we have really repented, once we have been conquered, you can’t walk with Christ if you don’t agree with Him. You can’t walk with God the Father until you’ve repented because, in your sins, you aren’t agreeing with Him. You’ve got to make a surrender! I mean A real surrender—and that’s a changed life, a changed attitude, a changed goal in life, a changed purpose altogether.

But then you’re going to sin again, even after that; and you all have. Since you’ve been converted I mean, every one of you has sinned more or less. So we read here in the ninth verse: I John 1:9  If we[We Christians. This is talking about Christians. “If we…”] confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We’ve sinned, but we have not disagreed with Him. We didn’t mean to sin, but we slipped up. We forgot, or maybe we got careless. Maybe we hadn’t continued in prayer as often as we should. Maybe we slipped up a little while. Maybe you’ve sinned since you were converted. But if we confess those sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Now it goes right on in the next chapter: I John 2:1-2  My little children, these things write I unto you [those in the Church], that you sin not. And if any man [That is, a believer.] sin, we have an advocate {5} with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not ours only, but also for the whole world. It shows that he meant, if we in the Church sin, He will forgive us. But you don’t change your main attitude and your main purpose, and you may still have the Holy Spirit. But if you do NOT repent, if you do NOT acknowledge it, and then you continue on, pretty soon you’ll just be lost entirely.

I like to picture it this way: You’re in a thick wooded forest. Trees are so thick you can’t see even ten feet ahead of you. Not as far as from me to the front row down there. I’ve been in a… Over in the Big Sandy campus, it used to be just that thick in woods and brush. You couldn’t even see ten or fifteen feet. But, if you’re in a big forest on a dark moonless night (no light, no moon), and there’s only one way out; and there is a light there and that light is going out, and you follow that light—it’ll lead you right out. But if you don’t follow that light, and you go any other way; you’re not going to see very far. And, I tell you, inside of a little time that light is lost. You won’t find it again. You don’t know which way to go now, to find it. And you can’t tell which is east, west, north, or south. Not at least until the next day. You’ll be lost in the woods. Now, the Bible is a lamp under our feet, but that lamp must have oil in it. You read of that in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, where just before Christ’s coming, it’s really speaking of the Laodicean Church then. And half of the virgins, who had been Christians, had let the oil go out of their lamps. Their “lamps” are the Bible. But THE OIL is the Holy Spirit within them (speaking, of course, in figurative or in symbolic language). And I’ve noticed those who go out from among us, they go off on some one point, or maybe two points. And ALWAYS, if they don’t repent, it is not long till they’ve gone off on another doctrine, and then another. And then, pretty soon, they’ve just gone all together; and it’s too late. Now, if you make a mistake—if you sin—and you CONFESS your SINS, YOU’D BETTER DO IT QUICK AND DO IT IMMEDIATELY; and it isn’t too late. And He will be faithful and just to forgive you your sins, and to cleanse you of all unrighteous. But, brethren, some have gone out from this Body and this Church; and they didn’t confess their sins right away. And then they began to make another sin, and then another; and they’ve just given up altogether. They don’t believe any thing any more. They’ve gone farther, and farther, and farther away.

Now, it’s good to have this Passover season come once a year. And it’s good to have us CHECK UP once and a while, and to remember that whenever we do make a mistake (maybe it was thoughtlessness, maybe it was deliberate even, but you’ve come to yourself and you come to realize it), REPENT and repent quick! Don’t say, “I’m not worthy to repent.” You’re never too unworthy to go to God and ask for forgiveness, and ask Him to get you back on the track. This whole Church has been going wrong, and we’ve had to get back on the track. Brethren, you have to keep yourself on the track privately and individually. I have to keep myself on the track. I know where I was beginning to get off a little bit. And maybe you didn’t realize I was getting myself back on the track while I’ve been getting you all back on it. You thought I was just so ‘good’—I was getting you all back Well, don’t kid yourselves. I’m human too, brethren. Well, I’ve been trying to get ME back on the track too, along with you. Let’s all get back because it isn’t going to be much longer until Christ is going to come! And I hope we’ll all be together—so we can rise and be changed from mortal to immortal in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye; and rise to meet Christ in the air as He comes. What a GLORIOUS time that CAN be; [but] only IF we really repent, IF we acknowledge when we’re wrong, IF we confess it, IF we’re willing to CHANGE. I’ve had to even confess that I’d mislead the Church on some things. We’ve had to change. When I found I was wrong, I CHANGED IT. I don’t have to prove that I can admit I’m wrong. I’ve proved that. I’ve proved it before the whole Church more than once. But the time has come to examine… Oh, there’s one more scripture. Well, I still have time. I want to read one more scripture. II Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is IN you, except you be reprobates? It’s not too late. You wouldn’t be here this afternoon if you were already a reprobate. It’s not too late! I don’t know, maybe some of you have sinned. Maybe you’ve gotten off the track a little bit. You can get back on. And get back quick, and don’t delay! Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t let the sun go down until you’re back on. Examine yourselves before the Passover. Now, it says, I read to you, “let a man examine himself,” and then let him take of that Passover. Of course, there it’s speaking of how you take it unworthily, rather than taking it worthily. But we have to examine ourselves, and we should before the Passover; and to know that we are back on the track ourselves—walking with Christ, as we should be. So, I wish I could be here with you for this Passover; but it seems like duty calls me away. I have to go to Amman, Jordan. And maybe someday you’ll realize how necessary it was that I go. And so I’ll pray that God be with all of you; and I would like to have your prayers continue for me, and I’m sure that they will. Thank you all.
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Are You Worthy To Take The Passover?

Are You Worthy to Take the Passover?

What does the Passover mean to you? Do you really know why Jesus had to suffer and die — and what is required of us?

 

By Allen L. Stout 

The Good News Magazine, March 1984 

  Paul wrote to Christians: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (I Cor. 11:26-27). Paul was writing about the Passover, the annual memorial of the death of Jesus Christ, which God commands His people to observe. How few professing Christians understand! If you have not been aware of God’s annual festivals, write immediately for our free booklet Pagan Holidays — or God’s Holy Days — Which? Many have not fully comprehended the significance of Paul’s warning. Some, feeling they were not worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice, have not taken the Passover. Others have taken the Passover in a casual or ritualistic manner. It’s time we all understand! The Passover is the first of the Christian festivals commanded by God (Lev. 23:5). It is not to be taken lightly.   Purpose of the Passover   The Passover originally represented the turning point in the separation of Israel, God’s chosen people, from Egypt, which symbolized sin. The blood of the Passover lamb, sprinkled on the doorposts, distinguished those whom God was sparing (Ex. 12:13-14). The Passover for Christians today is a memorial, an annual reminder or renewal of our spiritual covenant with God. It reminds us not only of when God called ancient Israel out of Egypt, but, more important, of God calling us today out of sin. Let’s make the meaning of Passover clear by examining what the Bible says. What was required to free us from the bondage of sin? God’s sacrifice of His firstborn, Jesus — the blood of the Lamb. Why? Why couldn’t God just forgive our sins without a sacrifice? Why did Jesus have to give up His glory with God, take upon Himself the form of a servant, become a human being and suffer and die for our sins (Phil. 2:7-8)? Because there was no other way to save man from the consequence of sin.   God will not compromise His law   God can do all things, but God will not compromise His law (Matt. 19:26, 5:18). God’s law is perfect (Ps. 19:7). It would, if kept, produce and maintain a peaceful and happy society. Tragically, no human has kept God’s law perfectly — all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). The Bible likens sin to leaven — if sin is not disposed of, it grows and spreads rapidly (I Cor. 5:6). The whole world is suffering under the curse of sin (Gal. 3:10)! Death is the penalty for sin — breaking God’s law (Ezek. 18:4, 20, Rom. 6:23). God will not allow anyone into His holy Family and Kingdom who will compromise His law (Gal. 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-10, Rev. 22:14-15). God’s law requires that blood be shed for the remission of sin (Heb. 9:22). Thus blood had to be shed in order that the sins of every human might be forgiven, upon repentance.   The sacrifice of Jesus   The only way God could redeem humanity — all of us! — from the death penalty without compromising His law was to have our penalty paid. Enter Jesus Christ. Notice what God’s Word says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…. when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son … through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Rom. 5:8, 10-11). Our sins had separated us from God (Isa. 59:1-2). We had the death penalty hanging over us. But Jesus’ sacrifice paid the death penalty for sin in our stead (Rom. 3:24-25). Does Jesus’ death save us, then? Let’s see what the Bible tells us.   What is required of us?   What is our responsibility, given Jesus’ sacrifice, in God’s plan of salvation? Notice Acts 2:38: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus’ sacrifice does not redeem us from the death penalty until we have repented of breaking God’s law, turned from sin and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master. We must submit to God’s government over our lives and begin to live God’s way. Then what happens? Notice Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Jesus actually lives His life in us (verse 10). We strive to follow Jesus’ example as revealed in the Bible (I Pet. 2:21). We shall, then, be saved by Jesus Christ’s life (Rom. 5:10)! By obeying God’s law with the help of God’s Holy Spirit and by submitting to God’s government, we actually begin to take on God’s very nature. We gradually overcome sin — sin no longer has power over us. We are God’s servants rather than the servants of sin (Rom. 6:12-16). We have embarked upon a new way of life that leads to every blessing and joy for eternity. To turn back from it — to reject God’s way and Jesus’ sacrifice, which paid our death penalty — brings the death penalty on us again, this time with no chance for redemption (Heb. 10:26-29). Now what about observing the Passover?   Are you worthy?   God’s redeemed people are commanded to observe the Passover annually, in its New Testament symbolism, as a memorial of Jesus’ death and to picture what God has done in our lives (Matt. 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:14-20, John 13:2-5). And we are to do so in a “worthy” manner, as we have seen from I Corinthians 11:26-27. What, exactly, does it mean to be worthy? Paul warned, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup” (I Cor. 11:28). What is your attitude? John wrote: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15-17). As long as we live in this evil, Satan-ruled society, there will be tests and temptations to break God’s law. We are tempted through our own lusts (Jas. 1:14) to cheat, to lie in business, to boast, to swear, to gossip, to commit adultery (Matt. 5:28) and to put other things before God. And we as Christians — yes, as truly called and redeemed Christians — will slip occasionally and sin! But, as long as we are repentant, striving to overcome sin, God accepts us, applying Jesus’ sacrifice (I John 1:9). God continues to lead us. We live under grace (Eph. 2:8). No one is worthy of Christ’s sacrifice, but not to take the Passover is to deny Christ. To take the Passover in a worthy manner, we must repent of our evil desires and ways, come to hate the sin that Jesus had to suffer and die for and set our will not to compromise God’s law. “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned [judged] with the world” (I Cor. 11:29-32). Our goal, as Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:48, is to become perfect, as God the Father is perfect. Keeping the Passover and understanding all it pictures, as well as striving to keep all of God’s other laws, is vital to attaining that perfection. So, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”!]]>

MINISTUDY – The Passover Begins God's Master Plan  

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. ]]>

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PASSOVER AND FESTIVAL OF UNLEAVENED BREAD  

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PASSOVER AND FESTIVAL OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

by Herbert W. Armstrong Good News March 1979

CREATION 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 Days

Now 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.

The Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread

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.

Passover only the start

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.

Passover 14th, not 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.

Exodus 24 hours after Passover

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 covenant

Observe 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 Festival

But 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 utterly

To 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 incident

Just 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 picture

But 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 originally

Thus 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 Sabbath

Let 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 Testament

And 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 Church

It 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.”]]>