03/15/2014 Sabbath Meeting Transcript


"Introduction to Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread"


EliYah's message:

We are ready to move forward with our study portion of today's broadcast. In about a month away, or so, we are looking forward to observing the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. And so, we are going to take a little break here from our "Precepts and Principles in the Torah" series and focus in on the coming observance.

Every year we do this where we kind of go over the Passover, what it is about, what is expected of us, when it is going to be and why do we know when it is going to be. And so, we are going to do that again this year as we do every year. And so, our study topic today is: Introduction to Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

And last year we went over the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread in great detail. It was a part of our "Precepts and Principles in the Torah" series. And we did four studies on this in all if you include the study on Yahweh's Calendar. Today's study, however, will be an overview.

And so, rather than rehashing the same material a second time for two years in a row, today we are just going to do an overview. If you are interested in a lot of detail, I would encourage you to go to the transcripts page on EliYah.com. It is: http://www.eliyah.com/transripts/, OR click "Archives" at the very top of the main page of www.EliYah.com.

And you scroll down to 2013 about this time last year, in the month called March (third month of the year in the Roman calendar), and you will see a full listing of those four studies. The first of them is on the calendar, a couple more, three more, actually, on Passover. So, hopefully, those will be helpful to you.

And you can also access this archive by visiting the main page of EliYah.com, and then at the very, very top you will see a link "Video Broadcast" and next to it "Archives." And you click the "Archives" page, and it will pull up, well, I would say at least a hundred videos, or so, from the last couple or three years.

And three of those, four of those, would be related to the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

We do want to go over this because I know a lot of the folks who are listening in to the broadcast are new. A lot of the folks listening in to the broadcast, maybe you need a refresher. Maybe it is your second or third year or fourth year. Maybe you have been doing this for a while and it may not be of any use to you, and that is fine.

But there are a lot of folks that either need to hear this for the first time or at least get a good refresher course or reminders on what the Passover is all about and how to observe it, and so on. And we are going to start from square one.

So, anyway, did you know that the good news of salvation is actually found in the Old Testament, the Torah, the first five books of Scripture? Yahushua says "If you believe Moshe, you would believe in Me, because he wrote of Me." And where did we find Yahushua spoken of in what is called the Torah, the first five books of Yahweh's Scriptures?

Well, one of those places is in the Feasts. And in Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 2, it actually says:

 Hebrews 4:2 - For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard [it].

And so, they did not have the faith necessary, and so it did not help them at all. And the same is true today. If we hear this good news, and yet, we do not receive it by faith, then we are going to have a little trouble because it is not going to profit us.

Now, the good news being preached to them, it was in a hidden or a parable kind of way-- a symbolic kind of way. And it is somewhat of a mystery, but it can be found there.

So, where can we find this good news in the Feasts that Yahweh has given us? Well, the Feasts are a very beautiful picture of Yahweh's awesome plan of salvation through Messiah.

You know, whenever I read about this, whenever I see this, whenever I think about the Passover and just how Yahweh was able to write the message of salvation in the history of a nation He chose, this is one of the many things that causes me to just stand in awe of the divine origin of the Scriptures, the inspiration of the Scriptures.

Because no one could have made this up. You are talking the history of a nation is a picture of our salvation today. And we see this full picture when Messiah came for us. But the way we can find this is in the Passover.

We will start with Passover and the selection of Abraham, and then Abraham's offspring being in bondage and them being delivered from bondage.

And we find that we today are saved in the same manner as they were saved from their bondage. But we first need to go over this. How were they saved? What was involved? And we are going to cover this this week.

We know the children of Israel were specifically in bondage to Pharaoh, who was the king of Egypt. And likewise, we, also, at one time were in bondage to the ruler of this world-- the Pharaoh, Satan. And yet, we are delivered, likewise, as they were delivered by the blood of the lamb.

And we also need to realize that not just the children of Israel were saved from the land of Egypt. Not just the children of Israel. There were a large number of Gentiles who joined with Israel as they came up out of the land of Egypt.

 Exodus 12:37 - Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.

Then it says:

 Exodus 12:38 - A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds -- a great deal of livestock.

39 - And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.

And so, we have not just Jews, or Israelites, exiting the land of Egypt, but also this mixed multitude. And so, Gentiles, also, went up out of Egypt. And the picture is complete, because, likewise today, although the New Covenant is made with Israel and Judah, Gentiles, also, are able to join in and become a part of His people.

And so, the people went out of Egypt, and there were these Gentiles. And they were saying, "We want to go with you." And the same is true of the New Covenant. And, in fact, it has always been that way.

And some people, they think, "Well, you know, the Old Testament, that is with the Jewish people way back then. That doesn't have anything to do with me, whereas, the New Covenant does."

We just went over this in the book of Hebrews, which is a quote from Jeremiah 31. It says here:

 Hebrews 8:8 - Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says YAHWEH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah --

With whom? With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

 Hebrews 8:9 - "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says YAHWEH.

10 - "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YAHWEH: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.

Whom is the covenant with? The covenant is with the house of Israel. These things we discussed at length here earlier in January and February. And you can go back in the archives and read about that.

But, you know, this common misnomer is to think it is only with the Gentiles. The traditional Church almost has it backwards where, "Okay, well, we are Gentiles. We are the recipients of the New Covenant. And do you know what, Jews? If you want to join us, you go right ahead."

No, no, no, no, no! That is not what it says. It is with Israel and Judah. And He is talking about, yes, the physical descendants of Israel and Judah, to join Him in this New Covenant.

So, how do Gentiles become a part of this if it is only with Israel and Judah? Then how can Gentiles become a part and party mentioned in this New Covenant?

Well, we know from Galatians chapter 3, verse 29. It says:

 Galatians 3:29 - And if you [are] Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

We need to not have this mindset that we replaced Israel in some fashion, but that we joined TO Israel. We become a part of Abraham's seed. And, also:

 Ephesians 2:11 - Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--

That means, one time ago, you were Gentiles.

 Ephesians 2:12 - that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world.

At what time? Back in the days when you were Gentiles. You were without Messiah. At that time you were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.

What about now? That must mean you are not aliens anymore. And you used to be strangers. From what? The covenants of promise, including the New Covenant.

 Ephesians 2:13 - But now in Messiah Yahushua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.

Brought near to what? The covenants of promise and the commonwealth of Israel, right? What else could he be talking about? At one time you were aliens. At one time you were strangers. At one time you were a Gentile, but now you are brought near. That is what you are near.

It goes on to say, and we are going to skip down to verse 19, because we have a whole theological discussion we could get into otherwise, but verse 19 says:

 Ephesians 2:19 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,

And, also, Romans chapter 11. It says:

 Romans 11:16 - For if the firstfruit [is] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]; and if the root [is] holy, so [are] the branches.

17 - And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,

"And if some of the branches were broken off..." That is Israel according to the flesh. "And you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them." You become grafted in among the children of Israel.

And so, we have to understand, we have taken on a new identity. As believers in Messiah, we take on a new identity. And that identity is: We have become Yisrael. That is what we have become.

And so, when the heavenly Father says, when Yahweh says, that when He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, He brought this mixed multitude of Gentiles with Him, too, who joined themselves to Israel.

Therefore, even if we are Gentiles in the flesh, we should not feel as though this is some event that occurred only to some other person, you know, some other peoples, some Jewish people way back when.

We do not need to look at it in those terms. And we should not look at it in those terms. We should look at it as though our forefathers went through this because we now have taken on this identity as Israelites.

So, we do not think of this as something that happened to somebody else's dads and moms. We are adopted into this new family. And even if you do not believe that, Gentiles were a part of this, too, because He said He brought the mixed multitude out. And so, in light of this, we need to recognize our new identity.

 Galatians 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Elohim, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Do you get this? It is no longer you who live, Mr. Gentile, Mrs. Gentile. It is now Messiah who lives in you. And what is His lineage? Israel. That is how you became Israel, whether you are a Gentile, or whatever. That is how it happened. And that is why it says:

 Galatians 3:29 - And if you [are] Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

And so, we have identified ourselves with Him and His identity. He is the One who lives through us. And so, we do not look at this so called Old Testament as something that happened to "those people" over there. We look at this now as the history of us-- our history, our ancestors, our forefathers. And so, we accept it.

And we do not look at that as a bunch of "Jewish stuff." And so, the seed of Abraham is what we are. What does it mean to be a seed of Abraham? What does that mean if you are a seed of Abraham? Well, what did Paul say when he said "seed of Abraham," and in his case, being of the tribe of Benjamin?

 Romans 11:1 - I say then, has Elohim cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [of] the tribe of Benjamin.

So, which is easier to say, "I am a son of Abraham," or, "I am a son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"? It is through Messiah that we become the seed of Abraham. And He is the physical descendant of Abraham.

But, you see, some out there will tell you, "Oh, if you cleave to the Jewish stuff, you are denying the work of the Messiah. He set us free from all that Jewish stuff. He did away with it." But do you see how the enemy has turned everything around?

But if we reject these things... These things are all about Him. All these Festivals, what they call the "ceremonial law"-- it is all about Messiah!

And so, if we think, "Oh, I am still a Gentile and I don't keep those kinds of things," you know, we are kind of denying the work of what Messiah has done for us, because what He has done for us is He has brought us near to the commonwealth of Israel.

And yet, they say if you keep this "Jewish stuff," then somehow you are denying Him. That is backwards! It is totally backwards. I mean, do you see how the enemy switches stuff around and flips the switch and "light for darkness and darkness for light" and "good is evil and evil is good"?

It is amazing what he is able to accomplish through the hearts of men. You know, in the Christian history, there is a lot of anti-Semitism there. Horrific things were done. And so, the thought of a Christian doing a Jewish thing was just unfathomable.

The reformers couldn't fathom such a thing back in the 15th/16th century. They couldn't imagine someone doing that. And so, it kind of blinded their eyes to these things. But we became joined to Israel through Messiah-- not as a replacement theology, but one who joins into this nation of Yisrael.

We have this identity, and you know, somehow, it seems as though a new identity has sprung out of the reformers to Protestant Christianity to the evangelicals. You know, the Baptist with his suit and tie and the clean cut.

You know, on the day of Judgment, if some of these Christians see a bunch of men with long beards and tassels hanging off their garments and they are not wearing the suit and tie, they are going to say, "Well, who are those weirdos?"

They are going to look, and someone is going to say, "Oh, that is David, that is Ezra, and that is Nehemiah," you know, because the identity has been so flipped around (I got that from a parable that Brother Don Bacco gave), you know, because we just think certain ways because that is what everybody else does.

But that is amazing how everything has been flipped over to do the opposite. I am not saying it is bad to wear a tie, by the way, but my point is: We have to accept what Yahweh has given as our identity in Messiah. We have to accept it. And which is better to say-- you are a seed of Abraham or that you are a child of Israel?

And so, Yahushua is our identity now. And if you reject something because it is Jewish, then what are you going to do with the Savior, who happens to be Jewish? You cannot go by that unless you reject Him, too.

And so, the fact is: This New Covenant with the house of Israel and Judah, if we want to be among the named parties, we have to embrace this identity. And so, in light of this, yes, we do keep Passover. We do keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And they GLORIFY our Savior in ways that may amaze you. It just may amaze you.

But we study these things, we examine these things, in detail, and we find gold nuggets of treasure-- things that are even better than gold-- in these things.

And so, how do we observe Passover? How do we observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread? What is involved? Some of the things I am going to share with you will be very foreign to some of you, but I encourage you to stay with me on this journey. And I think that you will find here that there is a great blessing in it.

But first we have to know, okay, how do we observe it? How do we know when it is? We are going to start here with Deuteronomy chapter 16 and verse 1. It says:

 Deuteronomy 16:1 - "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to YAHWEH your Elohim, for in the month of Abib YAHWEH your Elohim brought you out of Egypt by night.

So, in the month of Aviv. The word "Aviv" here, in the Hebrew, is referring to the state of the barley harvest there in the land. The Hebrew actually reads "month of the aviv"-- the month in which we would find the barley ready for harvest.

We went through this in great detail last year. We did a full study on Yahweh's calendar, and I suppose I could be redundant and share it again this year, but, once again, I would point you to the transcripts, or the "Archives" page: http://www.eliyah.com/transcripts/.

But to explain it briefly, we are going to examine another verse here in Exodus chapter 12, verses 1-3.

 Exodus 12:1 - Now YAHWEH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

2 - "This month [shall be] your beginning of months; it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.

This is the new year.

 Exodus 12:3 - "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: `On the tenth [day] of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of [his] father, a lamb for a household.

So, He is telling us, and telling Israel at this time when He is about ready to share with them about the Passover, that this month would be the beginning of months. This would be the first month of the year.

Now, what is a month, biblically speaking? What is a month? Well, it just so happens that the word (anciently) for month is actually tied in with the moon cycle. According to the "Douglas Harper Etymology Dictionary" online, we see it is related to "moon." And so, "moonth" or "month." The two words are related to each other.

Now, the Hebrew wood translated "month" is the Hebrew word "chodesh." Strong's Lexicon: 2320 chodesh kho'-desh. It is from 2318; the new moon; by implication, a month:-- month(-ly), new moon. The root word here, 2318 chadash khaw-dash', is a primitive root, meaning: to be new; causatively, to rebuild:-- renew, repair.

So, the Hebrew word translated "month" has to do with something "being new" or "renewed." Now, this definition does not specify what is being renewed. However, we do find other scriptures which do specify the moon as being the object that is renewed.

In Exodus chapter 2, and verse 1:

 Exodus 2:1 - And a man of the house of Levi went and took [as wife] a daughter of Levi.

2 - So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he [was] a beautiful [child], she hid him three months.

The word translated "months" is the Hebrew word "yerach." Strong's Lexicon: 3391 yerach yeh'-rakh. It is from an unused root of uncertain signification; a lunation, i.e. month:-- month, moon.

Now, notice the pronunciation here: yeh'-rakh. The word in Hebrew for "moon" is "yereach." But we also see this word "yerach" in Isaiah 60, and verse 20:

 Isaiah 60:20 - Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For YAHWEH will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended.

There is the word "yerach" (3391), the same exact word found here (Exodus 2:2) as "months." The same exact word in the Hebrew.

So, we definitely see the month tied in with the moon phase. And here is an interesting one here. In 1 Kings chapter 8, verse 2, it says:

 1Kings 8:2 - Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which [is] the seventh month.

1 Kings 8:2 - Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month <3391, Heb. yerach> of Ethanim, which is the seventh month <2320, Heb. chodesh> -- (that word meaning "to renew").

So, "chodesh" is tied in with this word ("yerach") referring to the moon. So, it is clear to me, based on these verses, that the moon is certainly what is being renewed. And we see the two being used interchangeably here in 1 Kings chapter 8 and verse 2.

Now, when is a moon renewed? Well, if I am a shepherd boy looking up at the sky and I want to know when the new month begins, I am watching the phases of the moon. I notice that the amount of light on the moon goes from a full... to half... to nothing. The moon seems to disappear for a while.

And then, just about a half hour to an hour after sunset, we see the moon reappearing again. And to me, the most logical conclusion would be that would be the new moon-- when we see the moon show itself again. If it was not visible, then I do not know why they would call that new.

But the modern Jewish calendar today goes by the dark moon-- when the moon is in conjunction, or the moon is lined up with the sun. Basically, from the perspective of us here on the earth, when we are looking at the moon, here, it is dark. And so, it is considered to be a new moon. That means the sunlight is facing the back of the moon.

Now, this is what is called the "scientific new moon." This is not the visible new moon. The scientific new moon is when the sun is shining perfectly on the back of the moon, right here. Now, that means we are not going to be able to see it because the moon is not showing any light to us.

And so, this is called the dark moon, the scientific new moon or the conjunction. But, eventually, as the moon begins to progress in its orbit in this direction (the sun is out here, straight on), the moon sets a little bit after the sun does.

And so, as it progresses in its orbit, the sun will go down, and then we will see just a slight little sliver that actually looks like this after the sun has gone done.

And when we are able to see this moon, to me, that makes a whole lot more sense than trying to get out a calculator and figure out when the conjunction is. I don't even know if a person could do that with just a calculator. So, in my mind, the crescent represents a new moon, not a scientific or conjunction or a Jewish new moon.

Actually, the Talmud, that the Jews claim to follow, talks about the crescent moon being the new moon. And so, ironically, the Jewish people, while they cleave to the teachings of the Talmud and in other areas that are not correct, they reject the one part that is, which shows that they were observing the new moon according to the crescent observance.

And since Messiah kept the Feast Days, as far as we can tell, on the same days everybody else was, then we would go with what they were doing back then. But, anyway, to me, just looking at it from a logical perspective, I am looking at the new moon being when the moon reappears.

Scripture does not say "conjunction." Scripture does not say "sliver." It just says "new." I don't even know if they could figure out when the conjunction was down to the minute and second in ancient Israel. I don't think they could have, actually.

I don't think anyone knew how until, I think it was, a little bit before the first century sometime. I am not sure exactly when.

But, anyway, getting back to Deuteronomy chapter 16. Yahweh says to observe the month of Aviv. And the month in which we have a new moon that is representing a time when the barley is "aviv," that would be the beginning of a new year.

And so, if we were to look at a Roman calendar here, this is the current month that we are in. We are currently on the 15th day right here, and we are trying to figure out, okay, when is this sliver going to reappear? Where is the crescent phase? And so, we are looking at this Roman calendar.

Now, the last time we had a crescent moon was on the night called March the 2nd, right here, which would mean on that night of what is called March 2nd, since Yahweh's days begin at evening (it was after dark on March 2nd), that would mean the 3rd of the month of March would be the first day of Yahweh's new year.

And that is why, currently, we see here, if we were to count forward the days, this is the first day (the 3rd), second day (the 4th), third day (the 5th), four (the 6th), five (the 7th), six (the 8th), seven (the 9th), eight (the 10th), nine (the 11th), ten (the 12th), eleven (the 13th), twelve (the 14th), thirteen (the 15th).

We are on the thirteenth day of Yahweh's thirteenth month. This was the end of the twelfth month here on the 2nd. But there was no barley found in Israel. And so, we cannot say that this is the first month of Yahweh's new year. And so, we have to add a thirteenth month to His calendar.

And if this all seems confusing to you, I encourage you, please watch the study on Yahweh's calendar. But we are going to transpose this into Yahweh's calendar. We are going now into Yahweh's calendar. The twelfth month was here and here. Now we are in the thirteenth month right here, this being the first day of the thirteenth month.

We transpose them together. Here is man's calendar. Here is Yahweh's calendar. Man's calendar-- the month of March. Yahweh's calendar-- being the twelfth and thirteenth months. And we are currently on this thirteenth day right here.

The barley reports from Israel on this particular day, the first, were negative. The barley was not ready for harvest, and so would not be a month called Aviv if there was no barley available to make it Aviv. The barley would not have been ripe enough for harvest.

But this coming new moon down here, the barley will be quite ready for harvest. And it just so happens, interestingly, that the first day of Yahweh's new year happens to fall on what is called April the first. Because if you go back to March/April, here we are.

And so, the first day of Yahweh's new year is also the first day of what is called April on the Roman calendar. And so, that should make it easy for you. So, we are going to slide up now to what is called April. And we are also going to call it the month of Aviv because on this first of April it happens to be also the first day of the month of Aviv.

And that usually does not happen, but it did this time. And so, Yahweh's calendar and man's calendar, as far as the days of the month are concerned, are going to be identical.

And so, what we are going to do on this night of the 31st is we are going to look into the western sky, and just after the sun goes down, we are going to look for this crescent moon. That will mark Yahweh's new year.

And also, there is something I am planning on doing for the first month of Yahweh's new year. I am planning on hosting a live broadcast. We will be talking about that in the coming weeks.

But we are going to have a live broadcast on this night called March 31st, which in Yahweh's calendar will be the 29th day of the 13th month. But on man's calendar, March the 31st. So, on this evening right here (the 31st), we are planning to have a live broadcast.

And we will be encouraging people to call in with music-- it is going to be a shorter broadcast than the regular Sabbath broadcast, maybe an hour or two max-- and have people call in and blow the shofars and Skype in, and do that. And so, that is what we are planning at this point.

But when exactly is the Passover? Well, let's take a look. Leviticus chapter 23, verses 4-5 says:

 Leviticus 23:4 - `These [are] the feasts of YAHWEH, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.

5 - `On the fourteenth [day] of the first month at twilight [is] YAHWEH'S Passover.

That is when it is. So, the fourteenth day of Yahweh's first month is the day of Passover. And so, if we look on our calendar here, we have the first day of the month highlighted, which, incidentally, coincides with the first day of April. The first day of April and the first day of Aviv are the same day of the week.

And so, if we look on our calendar, we see that first day highlighted. That is the first day of the new year. That is New Year's Day according to Yahweh. And so, when is the fourteenth day? Right here, the 14th day.

So, Passover day is on the 14th of Aviv, also corresponding to the 14th of the month of April. And that doesn't happen very often. I think it happened in one month earlier this year, also. And actually, it is going to happen again at the end of April. But the days of man's calendar coincide with the days of Yahweh's calendar.

 Leviticus 23:6 - `And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the Feast of Unleavened Bread to YAHWEH; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

So, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is going to fall on Day 15. And He said what? "Seven days you must eat unleavened bread." That means for seven days we do not partake of any food with leavening in it, any food with yeast in it.

And so, these are the seven days-- from the 15th day to the 21st day is going to be seven full days in which we are to have no leavening in our bodies. We are to not eat any leavening.

So, getting back to the scriptures here. It says in verse 7:

 Leviticus 23:7 - `On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.

That means the first day of these seven days of the festival. A holy convocation is a gathering for hearing the Word of Yahweh.

So, on this particular day we do not do any normal work. And so, looking at our calendar here, the 15th day would be the first day (of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) in which no work is to be done. And so, we don't do any on that day.

 Leviticus 23:8 - `But you shall offer an offering made by fire to YAHWEH for seven days. The seventh day [shall be] a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work [on it].'"

So, the first day and the seventh day of this Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh are days in which no work is to be done. So, we add this--the 21st and the 15th. That also means, what is called April 15th and April 21st-- we need to make sure we have time off work.

And we rest on those two days. And that is, of course, in addition to the Sabbath there on the 19th. So, on the first day and the seventh day of Unleavened Bread, we observe those as a day of rest. No customary work is done on those days.

And during the Feast of Unleavened Bread there is also something called "firstfruits." Continuing in Leviticus 23:

 Leviticus 23:9 - And YAHWEH spoke to Moses, saying,

10 - "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: `When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.

11 - `He shall wave the sheaf before YAHWEH, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

So, on the day after the Sabbath. The Sabbath is on the 19th, therefore on this 20th, right here, is when he would wave this sheaf, this firstfruits, of the barley harvest. And it just so happens that this particular day is also the day in which Yahweh had Messiah ascend into heaven, this first day of the week.

And so, the Holy Days are actually picturing things that Messiah has done for us. And we will see that the Holy Days are on different days of the week during the first century.

But Yahweh had Messiah raise up on the day of firstfruits. He died on the fourteenth day, which is Passover, and He was raised again and He ascended to heaven on the day of firstfruits. So, He was the firstfruits of those who fell asleep, right? And so, He was our Passover, and He is the One that was ascended into heaven on the day of firstfruits.

Now, if you have never kept this Feast before, this study today is going to tell you some things you need to know. And first of all, the Holy Days are not like the holidays of traditional Christianity. These Holy Days are actually found in the Scriptures.

And unlike the unholi-days of Christmas and Easter, they are not inspired or rooted in the worship of idols and demons. And they are actually commanded by Yahweh to be kept.

For instance, Easter is named after a demon or idol worshipped by man. The name "Easter" itself comes from "Astarte" or "Ashtoreth," something that Yahweh specifically said He hated.

And this goddess was a fertility goddess and explains, being a fertility goddess, why Easter observance is associated with fertile animals like rabbits and other things like eggs. These things, obviously, have nothing to do with Messiah, nothing to do with His resurrection. Everything to do with the pagan goddess Easter or Astarte.

But the Feasts of Yahweh? They have everything to do with Messiah. Messiah was our Passover. He was ascended up to heaven on the day of firstfruits, being the firstfruits of those who fall asleep. We partake of Messiah at this time of Passover and our bodies become unleavened, our bodies become sin free, as a result of Messiah's offering.

And so, this has a lot to do with Messiah, and we are going to get into more of that another time, but we want to go through this. I wanted to show you exactly when Passover was going to be this year, and then you have a framework for your planning.

But we do want to go over Passover, what is meant by it, what was done anciently in Israel. We are going to start with Exodus chapter 1, and verse 7:

 Exodus 1:7 - But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8 - Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

9 - And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel [are] more and mightier than we;

 Exodus 1:10 - "come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and [so] go up out of the land."

Interesting. Pharaoh was concerned that the children of Israel would leave Egypt. He did not want them to leave Egypt. He did not want them to go up out of the land. And I have wondered if somehow he knew they were being blessed because of the children of Israel.

 Exodus 1:11 - Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.

12 - But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.

13 - So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor.

 Exodus 1:14 - And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage -- in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve [was] with rigor.

15 - Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one [was] Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah;

16 - and he said, "When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see [them] on the birthstools, if it [is] a son, then you shall kill him; but if it [is] a daughter, then she shall live."

 Exodus 1:17 - But the midwives feared Elohim, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

18 - So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?"

19 - And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women [are] not like the Egyptian women; for they [are] lively and give birth before the midwives come to them."

 Exodus 1:20 - Therefore Elohim dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty.

21 - And so it was, because the midwives feared Elohim, that He provided households for them.

22 - So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

But Yahweh says:

 Proverbs 6:16 - These six [things] YAHWEH hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him:

17 - A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,

18 - A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,

 Proverbs 6:19 - A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

So, the children of Israel are oppressed. They are in bondage to slavery to the Egyptians. They are commanded by Pharaoh to throw their newborn sons into the river. But Yahweh despised it, especially those sons being the sons of Abraham.

And so, do you understand why Yahweh judged Pharaoh the way He did, hardening his heart on purpose so that he would not let the children of Israel go? It was an act of judgment on Pharaoh for what he had done. And He told Pharaoh, "I will kill your firstborn son."

Now, most of you have read the first part of Exodus, I hope, where Yahweh allowed one of the sons to remain alive to grow up in the household of Pharaoh, the son being named Moses, or Moshe.

Yahweh calls Moshe to lead the children of Israel out of the land of bondage and slavery and promised to lead them into the beautiful land of Yisrael, a land flowing with milk and honey. Now, Moshe's purpose was to lead them, show them the way into the promised land and to reveal to them the way of righteousness through the keeping of the commandments.

So, Yahweh heard the cry of the children of Israel who wanted to be delivered from this bondage.

 Exodus 3:7 - And YAHWEH said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who [are] in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

And so, Yahweh tells Moshe to go to Pharaoh and partition him to let the children of Israel go into the wilderness and worship Him. But Pharaoh would not allow it. And every time Pharaoh refused, Yahweh would send plagues to cause Pharaoh to change his mind and let the people go.

After some of the plagues, Pharaoh would say, "Okay, you can go," and then he would change his mind again. Now, the first plague was that water was going to be turned into blood for seven days. There were other plagues that followed-- frogs, lice, flies, disease on the animals, boils on men and animals, hail, locusts and darkness.

But the final plague is the one that we are going to zero in on here. And that is found in Exodus chapter 11, and verse 4:

 Exodus 11:4 - Then Moses said, "Thus says YAHWEH: `About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt;

5 - `and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who [is] behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals.

6 - `Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it [before], nor shall be like it again.

 Exodus 11:7 - `But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that YAHWEH does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.'

So, Yahweh planned on making this distinction as He did before in the other plagues. The Israelites who cried out to Yahweh were going to be saved from death, but they had to listen to what Moshe told them to do.

The instructions and the events of Exodus chapter 12 is the manner in which Yahweh gave instruction to Israel, and they were saved from the death that was coming upon the land of Egypt. And understanding these verses is crucial to understanding how to observe the festival overall.

And so, Exodus chapter 12, verses 1 and 2 and 3:

 Exodus 12:1 - Now YAHWEH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

2 - "This month [shall be] your beginning of months; it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.

As we discussed earlier.

 Exodus 12:3 - "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: `On the tenth [day] of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of [his] father, a lamb for a household.

And so, Yahweh had to teach Israel His calendar, which He did. And He said on this tenth day (that is the 10th day of the month, right here) they would take a lamb aside, and they would inspect it to see if it was without blemish, because the lamb had to be without blemish.

And so, they would inspect it for a few days, and then they would know whether or not the lamb was worthy. And He said:

 Exodus 12:4 - `And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take [it] according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb.

5 - `Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take [it] from the sheep or from the goats.

So, on the tenth day of Yahweh's month, the households of Israel would take for themselves this unblemished lamb and set it aside and keep it separated from the others.

It is helpful if we understand that in many ways in those days a person's prosperity was determined by the number of animals and livestock that they owned. And so, to take a male lamb of the first year out of the flock was a sacrifice. I mean, it was something they had to give of themselves.

And so, when we think of a sacrifice, we may think something different in our age today. But it really was a sacrifice for them to give up one of their male lambs, especially if it was the first male lamb coming from a ewe.

Now, several years ago, we slaughtered a couple of sheep, a couple of lambs, that a brother had brought to eat during the Festival of Tabernacles. Back then we actually had the Feast on our property. It wasn't a sacrifice or anything. It was just a learning experience.

And we slaughtered them, and it was very interesting because when he cut the sheep's throat, the animal, as it died-- slowly, because of the loss of blood-- it started to moan. I'll tell you what, you want to talk about something that sends chills up your spine. Because when it moaned, it sounded like a human. It just kind of went, "Oh.. h.. h.."

It was just... I mean, it put tears in your eyes. And I could see why Yahweh would choose the sheep. I could see that made sense. And a strange thing was, as we were doing this (kind of a side note), we had just cut his throat-- and the school bus comes down the road.

We were on this grassy area right next to the road, and the school bus turns around right there. All the children are gawking at it and we are trying to cover it up. But, you know, it is normal. I mean, this is how we get meat, right? This is how we get meat.

But when you have little lambs, baby lambs-- as in suckling lambs-- when you hear them, the way they sound, they sound like a baby. I mean, it is almost indistinguishable, the way they yell, the way they bleat-- this little cute sound.

And several years ago we had the opportunity to... we had sheep (we have raised sheep for a number of years now) and we had a mother who had rejected its babies. And so, rather than let the babies die, we had to bottle feed them. But it was still very cold out, and so we decided to bring the lambs into our house.

Let's just say it was an experience. We diapered them. We fed them and everything... so, here they are. The two ewe lambs. And do you know? Diapers work pretty well, and we were able to maintain a sanitary household. And they were actually in a playpen here, in spite of the fact they were not potty trained and couldn't be potty trained.

So, there they are. They were sleeping. It was really neat. We learned a lot about sheep at that time. And they sound like little babies when they yell for you. And the next year we had another thing happen again, and because it was a male lamb, we had a little problem with just one diaper. We had to use two diapers.

So, we fed them goats milk that we had bought from someone in the community. And it was a really good experience. Our closeness with the baby lambs, it was just really neat. They are very adventurous. They like to run around and hop around the house. And they will follow you everywhere. Wherever you are, they will follow you. No matter what.

They are like glue. And if you play hide-and-seek with them a few times, then they cry for us. And they sound like a baby when they cry for us.

And so, during this time this is all happening, I am picturing in my mind the children of Israel having to give up one of their lambs. And, you know, for me, there would be this twinge of guilt if I had to slaughter one of these little creatures. And maybe Yahweh chose the lambs for that reason.

I think about Yahushua, an innocent man, and how He cried out to His Father, "Let this cup pass from Me." But, nevertheless, He declared, "Not My will. Your will be done."

The picture there is so powerful. And it was the will of our Father in heaven that it would be done. And so, He said, "Your will be done."

And this is just a little lamb. I couldn't imagine it being my only begotten son. And so, this will, ultimately, we know, became the salvation for the entire world as Yahushua bore the iniquity of us all.

But I wanted to kind of give you a little bit of insight into what the children of Israel could very well have been experiencing even on that night of Passover. And so, they kind of experienced what our Father in heaven-- in a very much greater way-- experienced. And so... this loss. And so, that is why it is a sacrifice, for that reason.

And so, we are going to move on to verse 6.

 Exodus 12:6 - `Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Now, that is a poor translation here (twilight). That was an interpretation, not a translation. So, when is this time?

There is some controversy as to when the Passover is supposed to be slaughtered, but we do know that Yahushua is called our Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7, and He died at the ninth hour on the day of Passover, which would correspond to about three or four o'clock in the afternoon, depending on where you are in the world.

And so, it just so happened that, anciently speaking, according to the testimony of Josephus, that the Passover was being slaughtered at this ninth hour. And that is the exact hour that Yahushua died for our sins.

And so, in my mind, this time that is translated "twilight" (it is actually in the Hebrew "ben ha arbayim" or "between the evenings"), that would refer to the time about three to four in the afternoon when Messiah died for our sins.

Now, there are other people who believe it is on the fourteenth of the month, but after sundown, between sundown and dark on the fourteenth day of the month instead of the afternoon when Messiah died for us. I respect those that hold that view. And so, they will eat the Passover on the night of the fourteenth.

Because Messiah died on the fourteenth at the ninth hour, we will eat the Passover that night, which will actually be the beginning of the fifteenth. But, again, I respect those who hold either opinion. I do not make a big deal out of it. My family and I regard the timing of Yahushua to be our identifier to when the Passover is supposed to be killed.

And so, that is why we observe it at that time. Now, if you disagree or you are interested in a point of view on that, or some things that would point out to that, you can go to: http://www.eliyah.com/15th.html and that will take you to a study I did on this particular timing issue.

So, on this night, right here, after the 14th is over and the sun goes down, that is when we are going to be partaking of Yahushua the Messiah, our Passover, because He is our Passover who was sacrificed for us, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7.

 1Corinthians 5:7 - Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

So, that is when we partake of the body and blood of Messiah. I hope that makes sense to you, because He is our Passover, right?

So, continuing in Exodus chapter 12.

 Exodus 12:7 - `And they shall take [some] of the blood and put [it] on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

8 - `Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it.

9 - `Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire -- its head with its legs and its entrails.

 Exodus 12:10 - `You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

So, that is how they were supposed to do this process.

Continue to read:

 Exodus 12:11 - `And thus you shall eat it: [with] a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It [is] YAHWEH'S Passover.

12 - `For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] YAHWEH.

13 - `Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you [are]. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy [you] when I strike the land of Egypt.

And so, the children of Israel were to kill this Passover lamb, place the blood on the lintel in the doorposts of their homes, roast and eat the Passover lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They also were specifically commanded not to break any of the lamb's bones, to eat it quickly, because they were to be departing from Egypt very quickly.

And so, when the death angel passed over the children of Israel, they would be spared from death that would be brought upon the firstborn of the Egyptians, because when Yahweh passed over, He would see the blood on the doorposts, and they would be saved.

And so, it becomes quite evident that the children of Israel's lives were spared, but one of their lambs lost its life. And the picture here, obviously, is that the lamb died instead of them.

And so, when Messiah comes and He is hanging on a tree at the ninth hour, when the Passover lambs were being killed, we can see why He would be called our Passover.

 Exodus 12:14 - `So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to YAHWEH throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

15 - `Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

 Exodus 12:16 - `On the first day [there shall be] a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but [that] which everyone must eat -- that only may be prepared by you.

So, if you are working for the purposes of preparing a meal (in this case it would have been a Passover) that was permissible.

 Exodus 12:17 - `So you shall observe [the Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.

And so, what we like to do is go ahead and prepare ahead of time and get the leavening out of our homes. We start getting rid of the leavening because, according to the next two verses, no leaven shall be found in our houses.

 Exodus 12:18 - `In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

19 - `For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether [he is] a stranger or a native of the land.

20 - `You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"

So, during this time, my family and I do not eat anything with leavening in it during this festival. That is how we observe it. We prepare ahead of time. We will gather all the food items in our home. Right now is a good time to do that. It is a month away.

Maybe after Sabbath you can go through your house and look for any kind of leavening agent-- anything that might cause bread to rise-- and put it in a box. And then eat the food from that box throughout the rest of the month.

And that way, by the time the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes, most, or all, of the leavening will have already been eaten and you do not have anything to actually throw away.

But there are all kinds of leavening agents now-a-days. There is not just yeast coming from the air. There is baking soda, called sodium bicarbonate.

Actually, how it reads in Hebrew is "sourdough." They would take a sourdough ball full of leavening and put it next to a pile of dough that was not yet leavened. And they would put it next to each other, and the yeast would transfer. And then they would be able to have a leavened bread.

And if you do it that way, the bread is actually a little more sour tasting than just the yeast packets that we buy today. But now-a-days we have sodium bicarbonate, baking powder, just different things that can contain yeast. In fact, there are a ton of things that can leaven bread, and how detailed you want to go is up to your own conscience.

But I do have a web page where you can learn about the different kinds of leavening agents: http://www.eliyah.com/leaven.html. Some of them you may not feel are necessary. Some of them you may say, "Well, I want to get rid of this." It is entirely up to you. We are still a month away from having to get rid of them.

So, if you want to just go ahead and set everything you feel led to get rid of aside, put them in a box somewhere. Just start using that, like I said earlier, and start eating away at those things. Then by the time the Feast of Unleavened Bread rolls around, you will be leaven free.

And then, us, we like to go ahead and just sweep out the couches and different areas where there was leavening-- perhaps breadcrumbs, or whatever, clean out the toaster. We make a grand event out of it, you know, getting rid of everything. And it is just a picture of how we are supposed to get the sin out of our lives.

It is a time of remembering that, the diligence with which we want to get rid of the sin that we have. So, it is an object lesson that is really good for the children and for us adults, too.

But, yes, we want to get rid of the leavening, and I want you to notice here (Exodus 12:19), whether you are a stranger or a native. So, whether you are a Jew or Gentile, it does not matter. One Law. Get rid of that leavening.

Now, we accepted Messiah. We are partakers of a New Covenant. And so, we join ourselves to Israel, as we shared earlier.

 Ephesians 2:11 - Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--

12 - that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world.

13 - But now in Messiah Yahushua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.

At one time we were aliens. We are not anymore. We are not strangers now. And so, we partake of it. We partake of the commandment to get rid of the leavening.

We have joined ourselves to Yisrael. We are no longer strangers, right? We are brought near.

Now, getting back to Exodus 12, it says:

 Exodus 12:21 - Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover [lamb].

Actually, "kill the Passover." The word "Passover" is actually referring to the lamb itself.

 Exodus 12:22 - "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that [is] in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

 Exodus 12:23 - "For YAHWEH will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, YAHWEH will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike [you].

24 - "And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

25 - "It will come to pass when you come to the land which YAHWEH will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service.

 Exodus 12:26 - "And it shall be, when your children say to you, `What do you mean by this service?'

27 - "that you shall say, `It [is] the Passover sacrifice of YAHWEH, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'" So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

28 - Then the children of Israel went away and did [so]; just as YAHWEH had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

And I encourage you to read the rest of that chapter to find out how it all transpired.

But us, we are partakers of this because we are, as we shared earlier, we are Yisrael. We are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.

 Galatians 3:29 - And if you [are] Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

And for that we rejoice! And we enjoy this Feast, and we find joy in it. We also find it to be a somber occasion.

Now, toward the end there of Exodus chapter 12, He says, as far as eating the Passover is concerned:

 Exodus 12:45 - "A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.

46 - "In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.

Just like Messiah's bones were not broken, right?

 Exodus 12:47 - "All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

48 - "And when a stranger dwells with you [and wants] to keep the Passover to YAHWEH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.

Now, if Messiah is our Passover and we are partaking of His body and His blood during this time of Passover, how would we relate this commandment? Well, we know that the circumcision of the Messiah (Colossians chapter 2 and verse 11) is baptism.

 Colossians 2:11 - In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah,

12 - buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with [Him] through faith in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead.

13 - And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

So, if you have never been circumcised with the circumcision of the Messiah-- that is baptism-- you may want to consider whether or not you partake of it. And I just say that because of the ordinance there in Exodus 12.

I am not going to give this like it is a command. I do not want to add to the Word, but I do want to go by its principles. And maybe if you have never ever been baptized, of any type of baptism, maybe you might want to consider that. Just pray about it.

And so, it behooves us to get baptized. It is an important thing for us to observe. It is part of what is commanded of us as believers.

Now, we are called to purge out this old leaven. We are called to keep this Feast.

 1Corinthians 5:7 - Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

8 - Therefore 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.

Now, another thing we want to think about before we actually partake of the body and blood of Messiah-- we have to get this leaven out of our lives. We cannot just take it lightly. We should be considering the importance of what we are doing. And to me, this verse here is one of the clearest evidences. Look, Yahweh wants us to keep these Feasts.

And most churches today will practice this (only they call it the "Eucharist") either every Sunday or once every Roman month or once a year, maybe, some of them... Easter, or something.

But, you know, most of them do not teach what actually Yahushua has instituted, because what He did was share with us how we can still partake of Passover-- no matter where we are.

1 Corinthians 11:23 says:

 1Corinthians 11:23 - For I received from the Master that which I also delivered to you: that the Master Yahushua on the [same] night in which He was betrayed took bread;

24 - and when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

25 - In the same manner [He] also [took] the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink [it], in remembrance of Me."

So, we are partaking of the Passover as part of this New Covenant. He brings us into this New Covenant.

And so, just as the blood of the physical lamb brought ancient Yisrael into a covenant relationship with Yahweh and the Old Covenant was established, we, also, are brought into a relationship with Yahweh as we partake of our Passover, Yahushua the Messiah, in the New Covenant.

And it makes the most sense, to me, if you are going to do it in remembrance of Him, that you would do it during the time, you know... if He died on Passover and He is our Lamb, then wouldn't it make sense to partake of the Lamb, as our Passover Lamb, at the appropriate time that the children of Israel were doing so and at the anniversary of His death?

After all, it is supposed to be done in remembrance, as a memorial of Him. We all have memorial days, right? We have days and events and anniversaries of things that happened. The anniversary of Messiah's death is going to be coming up on what is called April 14th. And then that night the Passover is eaten.

And so, that night we partake of Yahushua the Messiah. And the reason why Yahushua is even called the Lamb to begin with, the reason why He is called the Lamb of Elohim to start with, is because He is our Passover.

 John 1:29 - The next day John saw Yahushua coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!

 Revelation 5:11 - Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

12 - saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

And many people in the mainstream churches may not even understand why Yahushua is even called the Lamb. It is because He is the Passover. And when we are partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, we are partaking of Messiah our Passover.

So, when do you keep it? At Passover! And so, when we look at the time that He died, and we look at the time that the Passover lamb was eaten, and we match that up, that would seem to me to be the most logical time when we would partake of Yahushua. That makes the most sense to me.

The cup is representing the New Covenant in His blood. And the bread is representing the Word. And, as Yahushua said, "I am the bread of life."

 John 6:47 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

48 - "I am the bread of life.

49 - "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

 John 6:50 - "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

 John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

And so, Yahushua, the unleavened bread that we partake of, is representing the Word, which convicts us. And then we have the blood of Messiah, which justifies us. And so, it all lines up and makes perfect sense.

That is Yahushua. He is the Word made flesh, dwelling among us, who also shed blood. And we partake of that blood, placing it on the doorposts of our hearts, symbolically.

And so, we need to observe this. We do not have to make up observances. We do not need to invent things like Easter. We can do what so awesomely manifests Yahushua, and that is observe this day of Pesach.

So, we want to get back to following Scripture. We want to beware of the potential of traditions circumventing Yahweh's Word.

 Mark 7:5 - Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"

"Why don't you do what the traditions are?" "Why aren't you doing the traditions of the elders?" they want to know.

 Mark 7:6 - He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: `This people honors Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me.

7 - And in vain they worship Me, Teaching [as] doctrines the commandments of men.'

I don't need Easter. I don't need commandments of men. I want commandments of Yahweh.

And so, they were doing it back then, and we have inherited a commandment of men, which, sadly, has caused men not to consider observing Passover.

And so, we have to be careful, because, yes, we have some things in traditional Christianity that are not biblical, and we have some things in traditional Christianity that they are not observing which they should be observing.

So, why throw out this beautiful festival of Passover?? And then put some pagan thing-- Easter bunnies and candy and egg rolling... why do we have to do that? Why do we have to do that? We don't have to do that. We don't have to be like the mob. We don't have to just follow the masses.

We want to do the things that Yahweh has commanded. He has come up with Holidays already.

Now, when we observe this, there is one thing that we need to be careful about.

 1Corinthians 11:20 - Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Master's Supper.

Paul is writing to them.

 1Corinthians 11:21 - For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of [others]; and one is hungry and another is drunk.

22 - What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of Elohim and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise [you].

 1Corinthians 11:23 - For I received from the Master that which I also delivered to you: that the Master Yahushua on the [same] night in which He was betrayed took bread;

24 - and when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

25 - In the same manner [He] also [took] the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink [it], in remembrance of Me."

The word "often" can refer to a once a year event. Go back to Hebrews chapter 9, verse 24:

 Hebrews 9:24 - For Messiah has not entered the holy places made with hands, [which are] copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of Elohim for us;

25 - not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another --

That (often) would be once a year because the high priest enters the Most Holy Place once a year.

 Hebrews 9:26 - He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

So, often can refer to a once per year event. It is the same Greek word there.

 1Corinthians 11:26 - For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Master's death till He comes.

27 - Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks [this] cup of the Master in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Master.

28 - But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

 1Corinthians 11:29 - For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Master's body.

 1Corinthians 11:31 - For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

32 - But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Master, that we may not be condemned with the world.

33 - Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

 1Corinthians 11:34 - But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

So, we need to remember this is proclaiming Yahushua's death, and we know He died at Passover. And we need to take it seriously. We cannot take it lightly.

Physical sicknesses took place. Some people were sick and others were asleep, it says, as a result of not taking things seriously. And so, at this time, we need to focus in on making sure we are partaking of Yahushua in a worthy manner.

And so, as this new year approaches, as Yahweh shows us the leavening in our home, ask Him to show you the leavening in your life.

Let us renew this commitment to serving Him with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our strength, all of our mind, and purge out, by the blood of Messiah, this old sin that keeps rearing its ugly head from time to time. And let us be ready to walk anew. That is His desire.

Aviv brings the first month and a new year in Yahweh's eyes. The world has their new year's resolutions. What are yours? What are we going to change this year? Let us make a resolution to Yahweh to serve Him in purity, in holiness, in truth. This year we are going to grow closer to Yahweh than we ever have been before.

This year let us grow closer to each other than we ever have before. This year let us work together and accomplish His will together, spend time together as his people and stay connected to each other as His people.

Because as the evil days approach, we are going to need each other. And most of all, we need Yahweh in our lives in a greater and mightier way.

We do not know what lies in store this year for the world we live in is unstable. It is not looking too good right now, but I know one thing-- Yahushua is going to return and straighten out all this crookedness. And the mountains of Yisrael and the valleys will be made into a plain south and west of Yerushalayim.

Yerushalayim will be lifted up on high. But Yahushua said to us: "Watch therefore!"

 Luke 21:33 - "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

34 - "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

35 - "For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

 Luke 21:36 - "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

We need to be praying that we are counted worthy.

Are we progressing? Are we taking back ground that the enemy had at one time? Are we closer to Yahushua's example than we were a year ago? in our life? in our conduct? the way we treat each other? our prayer life? These are the questions we have for the next few weeks.

If we can answer "yes," we are progressing and we have committed to do so. But if you are not, it is not too late. If you are backsliding, Yahweh knows. While our heart beats, mercy is available to us.

And these are the many things, brothers, that Passover has to teach us-- a time of drawing near, a time of reflection, a time of examining ourselves and judging ourselves so that we will not be judged, a time of remembering, remembering, remembering how we have been brought out of our Egypt.

We have been brought out of bondage, and the blood of the Lamb has brought us to victory. And for that, we can be thankful. And for that, we offer our thanks to Yahweh.

Father Yahweh, in Yahushua's name, we thank You, Father, for this time of year that we could learn more about Your Word, that we might reflect on our own actions this past year. And we ask, Father, that You would fill us with Your Ruach ha Kodesh, Your Holy Spirit.

Indwell in us in such a way, Father, that we manifest Your fruits-- Your love, Your joy, Your peace, Your strength, Your patience, Your kindness. And, Abba, in any ways that we have not met up with the measure of Messiah, that You would reveal it to us, open our eyes to see it and give us the strength to overcome.

And in everything, Father, we will glorify Your name. For truly Yours is the Kingdom and power and glory and majesty, and all praise belongs to You, Yahweh Eloheinu, forever and ever. In Yahushua's name, Amein.

HalleluYah!

Brothers and sisters, as we draw nearer to our heavenly Father in spirit and truth, may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.

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