Fred R. Coulter—February 27, 2010

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If someone from a Sunday keeping, so-called Christian church would walk in and hear us talking about the Holy Days and the Passover, they wouldn't have a clue as to what we're talking about. Now hearing Passover, they might think, 'Well, you're Jews, or Messianic Jews.' But we're neither. You see, the world has been so deceived, when it says that Satan has deceived the whole world, he has literally put a mountain of myth and lies, and pagan practices over the Christian religion, which they have whole heartedly embraced, because they are not from God.

So, as I was explaining to one man, and I took with me The Two Babylons. It's about 40-years-old that I have. As a matter of fact, that's the first book I read. That was 55 years ago, 1960. Since I've never been in a Sunday-keeping church and my only recollection with Catholicism was when I was a paperboy in Seattle. I heard that there were sunrise services at Volunteer Park in Seattle. So that's up on a nice little hill in Seattle. So I thought, I'd go over and see what this is all about. So I went over there, knowing nothing. I knew nothing about the Catholics. So here are thousands of people out there. They've got this big cross. They all gather around the big cross. I got up early and delivered my papers early so I could be there at sunrise. I got there at sunrise and here's this priest waving, holding up this wafer toward the sun, and everybody bowing down toward the sun. I thought, what is that? Why do they do that? And so I just went on my way. I was about thirteen at the time. In my own way I just went on and 'I didn't think very much of that. I didn't say it to myself, but that's what my reaction was. Why do that? I had no training in the Bible.

When I was nine years old I went to Vacation Bible School and I made a little house out of lollipop sticks. Now what does that have to do with the Bible? They gave this thing, 'If any of you want to give your heart to the Lord.' Of course, all the children are out there looking around. If you don't raise your hand and go, you're a bad boy, so I raised my hand and went. That was my total exposure to religion except a little later on my Aunt Grace, who was Presbyterian and Sunday school teacher, would always come around and I would always clear out of the way and have nothing to do with it. I did have one other experience before. When we were over in Poulsbo, Washington, I guess my folks were attending a Lutheran church and I don't remember going there, but they wanted me to take confirmation. Now confirmation is so you can be indoctrinated as a 'kiddy' in the church, so that you will be a good Lutheran.

My mom would drive me up to the pastor's house and I would get out and I would wave, and I would stand up on the porch where she couldn't see me. Then when I knew she was gone, I jumped over the side of the porch and went down and played at the park. So when my Aunt Grace would come over and she had what was a felt board. You know what a felt board is, that's before they had Velcro. And the felt would stick and she would have this little outline of a town or whatever, and then here's Jesus, and here were the three shepherds, here are the sheep, here is the donkey, and there's Mary and there's Joseph, and she would tell her little story. So I would always try and get out of that. I did with the exception of I think maybe twice. And the only thing I knew about grace was that was my aunt's name.

So I was never indoctrinated in it. I knew nothing of the Sabbath. I knew nothing of Sunday. I knew nothing of any of these things. Later when challenged in class in college and that must have been 1959, went into this college class which was required. You had to take it or you couldn't graduate, which was paleontology—six weeks biology, six weeks geology, and six weeks paleontology. I told this one before. When all the students came on the first day for orientation in this class, the professor was down right up on about a one foot stage and the class seats went back at a gradual angle and we must have had 200 students there. He just waited until everyone got quiet. The bell rang and everyone was still talking and he just stood there and looked at everyone. Gradually he got them all quiet.

This is what God used to start me really searching, because he stood up there and the first words out of his mouth was, 'If any of you believe in God and the Bible, there is the door. We will have none of these arguments in this class. You are here to learn what I have to teach.' Well, being rebellious—which God used for a good cause—'Who is he to tell me I can't believe in God and can't believe in the Bible!' So that's what got me started.

Shortly after that then I heard the World Tomorrow program. Shortly after that I met Richard Dunlap down at the health food store where I would go get my carrot juice every day. Then I later met his brother, Wayne, who was from Ambassador College and I was getting the Plain Truth at that time, so that worked out really good. They were running at that time a series called, Satan's Great Deception. It was based upon the book The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. So I went out and bought one of those books and that's really quite a book! That gave me all the truth I needed to know about Catholicism, that it came out of the dregs and the cauldron of Babylon.

I was learning about the Bible and learning about things, but not very much, because I was just listening to the program and I'd get a booklet, and so forth and so on. I never, never knew that here in Ezek. 8, but that they were doing when I went to that sunrise service up in Volunteer Park when I was about twelve or thirteen, I did not know that they were practicing a pagan thing in the name of Jesus Christ. I didn't know any different. I didn't know right from wrong. When I was getting the Plain Truth, I was beginning to learn about the Sabbath and beginning to learn about clean and unclean meats, and beginning to learn about—then I heard a little bit about the Holy Days, but not too much. Now I know that here in Ezek. 8 and we'll see also in Jer. 7, that God tells us we are to have nothing to do with those days, and yet those days are accepted and embraced as mandatory for Christians today. So how deceived can they get!

It's like they say, you believe something long enough, and it's taught to the masses over generations, but when someone speaks the Truth, he will be counted as a raving lunatic. But the Word of God was here before us.

There are quite a few abominations that are listed here in Ezekiel 8. So let's look at one here. And who was involved during these days? The leaders. And if the leaders do it, it's okay. Remember what happened with the Monica Lewinski thing and President Clinton? After that, because he did it, there was an absolute plague and a rage among teenagers doing the same thing. What happened? A lot of them came down with gonorrhea of the throat.

Ezekiel 8:11: "And seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, standing in front of them, these were before them, and each man with his censor in his hand. And the sweet smelling cloud of incense was rising." So what were they doing here? They were having a lodge meeting where they belonged to a secret society, because he told them earlier, 'You dig through this wall and see what they're doing in secret back there.' Much like the Masons and Knights of Columbus today.

Verse 12: "And He said to me, 'Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, each man in his room of idols? For they are saying, "The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the earth."' He also said to me, 'You shall see greater abominations that they are committing.' And He brought me to the opening of the gate of the LORD'S house, toward the north. And behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz" (vs 12-14). Now this is where what is so-called 'Good Friday' during the Easter week of Catholicism where they have a midnight mass and they're all weeping and crying and then at midnight the bell rings and they say, 'He is risen.' Then they're all happy. Because Tammuz was the false messiah from the Babylonian religion and they took the practices that they did to Tammuz and they brought them wholesale into the Catholic church. Tammuz, Mithras, all the same thing with different names.

"And He said to me, 'Have you seen this, O son of man? You shall see greater abominations than these.' And He brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house...." (vs 15-16). Now the Lord's house was what? That's the temple that Solomon built, dedicated to God, where God said He would put His presence there, and His name there. So here right at this point, and you go back and read what happened during the days of Manasseh. They turned the temple area into an absolute abomination of pagan idols and everything like that. They even set up, because you know we have to be diverse, we've got to accept everyone's religion and so forth. And that started with Solomon because he didn't remain faithful. He made incense altars and temples for all his three hundred wives that he married who came from different countries and they had to make an alliance. And they would say, 'Well, won't you make a temple for my god, so I can worship my god?' So he did, on the hill across from the temple and that was called the Mount of Abominations. He ended up worshiping their gods. This thing polluted all of Israel, polluted all of the priesthood, right on down. They would have some revivals. Then they would slip back, revivals, and slip back, and that's the history of Israel. So here's what they were doing in the inner court, right before you go into the temple.

"...and behold, at the opening of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east" (v 16). Sunrise services. Isn't that amazing? So that's quite something.

Now come over here to Jeremiah 7 and let's see what Jeremiah says, and the practice that they had. Just the other day, as a matter of fact it was yesterday, I went into Knob Hill. That's one of the local supermarkets here. It's one that we shop at all the time. Right as I walked in, what did they have? Bags and bags of plastic Easter eggs. I thought, 'They just got done with Valentine's Day, and now here they've got Easter going.' Even if people don't go to church, they practice all of these things—don't they?—and everyone is brainwashed from a little kid right on up. So if someone talks to them about the Bible, well, that seems kind of strange or if you don't go through the things that they go through in the Bible, that's got to be odd, because you're not believing what we hear from the pulpit.

Let's see what Jeremiah was faced against here. They had a society just like ours. Jeremiah 7:1: "The Word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this Word, and say, "Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD."' Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Amend your ways and your doings... [In other words, change and repent.] ...and I will cause you to dwell in this place'" (vs 1-3).

Now we're seeing very similar things taking place here in America. Now we don't know if there's going to be enough repentance by enough people, and the repentance for the people in the world is not the same standard that it is for us in the Church, but if they would stop a lot of their sins and if they would quit looking for all of these things to be given to them, if they would quit abortion or at least a good portion of it or good steps toward getting rid of it, and if they would be able to teach people, cut down on crime and everything like that, maybe that would be enough to hold back what's coming for awhile. But there, for most part of the year, it's looked like we've been facing the real punishment of God with the things that were coming down on us. So we'll just have to wait and see.

Here is the key and this is what happens when people get set in their religion. This is very similar to 'once saved, always saved.' Verse 4: "'Do not trust in lying words... [Isn't that what we trust in? Lying words, everything is lying! The greatest lies are from the pulpit. There are plenty enough coming out of Washington, D.L.C., the district of liars and corruptors.] ...saying, "The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these."'" Today, what do we say? 'We're Americans. We're good people. We have ingenuity, we'll take care of it.' So back there they said, 'Well, as long as we have the temple of the Lord, we're in good shape. God says, no, there's got to be change.

"'For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor; If you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your hurt... [Now what is innocent blood? They had sacrifice of children, little different form of abortion. At least they waited for them to be born and the crime then was even  more heinous.] ...Then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever" (vs 5-7).

"'Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know... [If that doesn't describe our society today and England today, and the world today. Absolutely true.] ...And then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, "We are delivered to do all these abominations?" (vs 8-10).

In other words, we can do these things because the priest has blessed it. Remember what happened with Aaron and the people of Israel when Moses was on the mountain? He made the golden calf and he blessed it and said, 'Oh, tomorrow's a feast unto the Lord.' A prophecy of what would happen later on. So that's what they were doing. 'Oh, well, Sunday's the day everybody does, and it's been blessed. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, all of those things, but Passover and Unleavened Bread and Pentecost and Trumpets and Atonement and Tabernacles—what on earth is Tabernacles?' You see, they get so far away from God, they don't know.

"Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it,' says the Lord" (v 11).

So He says, I want you to learn a lesson here and we can learn the lesson today, which is this: 'Go now to Jerusalem and see where My temple was.' And that's not where the Mosque of Omar was. What you see with the Wailing Wall is what's left over from Fort Antonio when that was Roman property. But from there south was where the temple was, and there's not one stone left upon another as Jesus said. You want to learn a lesson? You want to know how bad it is? Go look at Israel today. Look at the strife, look at the hatred, look at the murder, look at the intrigue, look at the threat of war, and fear all the time. Same thing with us here today.

"'But now go to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first...'" (v 12). That's when they came into the land and Joshua and the children of Israel. That's where they put the tabernacle and because of sin He destroyed it. See, the rise and fall of nations are because of sin. They don't fall at the beginning of their rise. They fall after they have hit the pinnacle of their power and wealth and prestige and they start going down. As they start going down, they don't recognize they're going down.

Just like today, they don't recognize that we are going down. And then all of a sudden, Bam!—it's gone! Look at Babylon, doesn't exist. What happened to Hussein when he thought he was going to rebuild it? Gone, God said they wouldn't rebuild it. Look at Egypt. Oh, the great pyramids! Those are monuments to deficit spending. Oh, look at the Greeks! Let's go to the Parthenon. Look at the Romans, oh, the Coliseum, isn't that a wonderful piece of engineering. Yeah, where they killed thousands and thousands of Christians and slaughtered and murdered people and had games where murder was the thing to do. Where's the Roman Empire today?

How about the Muslims? Oh, they conquered all of north Africa and had such a wonderful civilization. What has it turned into? A murderous bunch of insane thugs who want to kill everybody. So you see it everywhere. Go to Southeast Asia. Look at the temples that they had, the temples of Ankara, all grown over with jungle. Wherever you want to go. Yes!

"'...where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel. And now because you have done all these works,' says the LORD, 'and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear; and I called you, but you did not answer; Therefore I will do to this house, which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, the whole seed of Ephraim'" (vs 12-15).

Did God send the ten tribes into captivity? Yes, He did! Did He send the Jews into captivity into Babylon? Yes, He did! He told them why. He told them the things that they were doing, but they wouldn't listen. So there comes a time—notice this. There comes a time when God says, "'Therefore, do not pray for this people, nor lift up cry nor prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you…. [Then He says, 'Now here's another lesson, Jeremiah.] …Do you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire... [Oh, a nice wonderful, family affair.] ...and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger'" (vs 16-18).

Now what are the cakes to the queen of heaven? You can buy them today—they are called hot-cross buns. And it comes at a time what? Most often right in the time of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And these are wonderful, nice puffy, delicious special little cakes and rolls. If you told them, 'Hey, don't you know you're not to eat leaven during this time, leavened bread? God says get all leaven out of your homes?' Well, what is leaven? Some people like this kind of slice and dice the expression and say, 'If it's a leavening agent, it's not leaven.' Pray tell then, what is leaven?

"It's a lump of dough that is fermenting.' Well, what do you think is in yeast? That is leaven!—baking powder, baking soda, anything that leavens. I can't figure it out, every once in awhile you come across something that you just can't figure it out. Everyone wants to have—come right to the edge and so someone says, 'Well, if I make an angel food cake with whipped egg whites, is that leavening?' Technically, it's not leavening, but can you go seven days without an angel food cake? Is it that hard? Can you go seven days without having yeast, and baking powder, and baking soda in your house? Is that difficult?

Do we do the things God wants us to do with love and obedience and understanding and willingness? All that is, is just an attitude of rebellion that you know more than God. That's not right. I think there came a time in the Church of God that we know where v 16 applied: "'Therefore, do not pray for this people, nor lift up cry nor prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you.'" Because a Church of God that was the biggest Church of God in the history of God's Church no longer exists because of doing sins that were of the same effect as what was going on here. Their idols were not idols that they put up of beasts and creatures, but their idol was a man that they worshiped. Their idol was the buildings and things that they had. Did God take them away? Yes, He did! 'Remember what I did to Shiloh,' God says.

So He says, 'Now they're still doing it, Jeremiah. Look what they're doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven... [And who is the queen of heaven today? Mary, the mother of Jesus. No, she's not the queen of heaven. John said, 'No one has ascended into heaven.' She's not in heaven. All you Catholics out there that pray to her for intercession—I had a man tell me that at age nine he figured out that she couldn't intercede for you because she wasn't God. He was a Catholic. How much have you been deceived?] ...and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. Do they provoke Me to anger?' says the LORD. 'Do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?'" (vs 18-19).

And then people get so set. Now you can read later on after Nebuchadnezzar took most of the people out of Jerusalem back to Babylon, Jeremiah was told to tell the people, 'Don't go down into Egypt.' They said, 'Well, you pray to the Lord, and let us know what your answer is.' So he came back a few days later and God says, 'Don't go down into Egypt. I'll protect you here.' They said, 'No, we remember when we offered cakes to the queen of heaven, we had food, we had plenty, we had everything.' So they went down to Egypt and God said, 'I'm going to chase you there and you're going to be punished. All of Egypt is going to be punished because you won't obey Me. You won't listen to Me.' So it's to the confusion of their own faces.

Now let's put it just in very simple terms: if you obey God with a willing heart and attitude and love Him, you're going to be blessed. And the greatest blessing is having contact with God and having His Spirit—right? Yes! Now notice, this is an Easter celebration here. Easter comes from the Chaldean word Ishtar, which was for their Easter.

So then He says: "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD 'Behold, My anger and My fury shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on beast, and on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be put out.' Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Add your burnt offerings... [That's your burnt offerings, the ones to the false gods.] ...to your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices'" (vs 20-22). Not those, no! Even the ones that He gave were not the ones that they were doing.

But here's what God desires and this sums up everything as what God wants. "'But this one thing I commanded them, saying, "Obey My voice... [Now we're going to look at some of the things that God told them to do to obey.] ...and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you."…. [Isn't it something, everyone wants the sin, but wants the blessing of God to come to them even in their sins. It doesn't work that way.] …But they did not obey, nor bow their ear, but walked in their own counsels, in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them, yet they did not hearken to Me, nor bow down their ear, but hardened their neck. They did worse than their fathers'" (vs 23-26).

So, that's what we're faced with, with the nation today. It all gets back to the religious leaders. It all gets back to all of these false practices. Now in America, they're getting worse and worse. They're going after new age religion, eastern religion, mixing that in with their 'Christianity.' And you look at any of the 'Christian' programs on television, or hear them on radio, very few really get down and say you have to obey God. Now some do, some are out there trying to do it, but very few.

"'Yet they did not hearken to Me, nor bow down their ear, but hardened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. Thus you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not hearken to you; you shall also call to them, but they will not answer you. But you shall say to them, "This is a nation which does not obey the voice of the LORD their God, nor receives correction; truth has perished, and is cut off from their mouth"'" (vs 26-28). Isn't that what happens? Yes, indeed!

Let's go to Exodus 12. Let's see what God says concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Here we have the Passover that God gave to Israel. As I covered last week and the time before, there are three major events on the Passover that happened in the middle of the week.

  • The one with Abraham
  • The one with the children of Israel
  • When Jesus died

All of those happened when the Passover came in the middle of the week. This one was to spare the firstborn. Now spiritually, the same thing applies to us, because we are the church of the firstborn. So God passes over our sins.

Let's see what He says concerning the Passover. Exodus 12:14: "'And this day shall be a memorial to you. And you shall keep it a Feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it a Feast as a law forever.'" Because when Christ came, He was the Passover. He's called the Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He died on the Passover day, the same day of the month and week that this Passover was. The same day of the month and week that God made the covenant with Abraham.

Now here's an easy way to remember which day it is, just by the verses. Passover's on the fourteenth and v 14 is about the Passover. That's to be kept as a memorial. That's a separate Feast in addition to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread starts when? Fifteenth day, so there you have an easy way to remember it. Verse 15, "You shall eat unleavened bread seven days; even the first day you shall have put away leaven out of your houses; for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel." That means you're cut off from God. You don't have contact with God.

Is it hard to put leaven out of your house? Once in awhile it's hard to find. I don't know who did it. Maybe Jonathan can answer the question for me. We had, I forget which car it was that we had—we cleaned the car, get all the leaven out, and everything like this, make sure it was out. One year something went wrong with the seatbelts in the back seat of the car, so we had to take out the back seat. Guess what was under the back seat for at least five years? A hamburger from McDonald's!

Dolores had the same experience. She was getting leaven out of the house and she was cleaning, doing a thorough job, and she looked at the bookcase and said, 'Nah, I don't have to worry about it.' Then she thought about it again, and said, 'Yeah, maybe I better do it.' So she proceeded to clean everything out and about the fifth shelf down she found a mummified cheeseburger. Sounds like someone was trying to sabotage the Days of Unleavened Bread, just a little bit.

Now let's continue on here with the instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Let me just mention this: in the Faithful Version of the Bible, the Holy Bible in Its Original Order, all of the hard-to-understand and difficult-reading Scriptures of the King James Version—Old Testament and New Testament—have been corrected. So when we come along here, it's clear so we know what is happening. In the King James you can't tell what evening is what evening by the way that they translate it and it's great confusion. The first time that I was keeping the Passover and Unleavened Bread, I heard the minister speak there about the evening in v 6 and then about the evening in v 18 and he says, 'The first one's at the beginning of the day and the second one's at the end of the day.' I sat there with my King James Version of the Bible and I said, 'Okay, but how am I to know?' Because one said at even, the other one said at even, so that's been corrected.

At the beginning of the day, back here in v 6 it is between the two evenings, which is right after sunset of the thirteenth. Beginning the fourteenth is between the two evenings. Sunset ends the day. So when we come here a little further on, it's easy to understand it. So we'll go through it and make sure that we understand it.

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We can all have unusual stories about what happened during the Days of Unleavened Bread. And, yes, they're humorous, but the whole point is this: People get so used to sin that they don't recognize what sin is. So during the Days of Unleavened Bread, God has us put leaven out of our home, so we will learn the point. Do not become so accustomed to sin that you can't tell right from wrong.

Let's go on here Exodus 12:16 "And in the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be a Holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you.... [Now here's the purpose of the night to be much observed, which begins the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.] ...And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this very same day I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall keep this day in your generations as a law forever" (vs 16-17). Today we keep it because Christ has passed over us with Him being our Passover and our sins are forgiven and we are to no longer live in sin. So there's the spiritual thing. Just like I pointed out in the previous message: There is the letter of the law and there is the spirit of the law.

Now then He clarifies exactly when these days begin, v 18: "In the first month... [Now that's according to the calculated Hebrew calendar. God gave the calculated Hebrew calendar, so all of His people could keep the Feast days on the days that they're supposed to be kept. But someone always has to have their own calendar leaven, and you have a plethora of foolish calendar devices out there that are just another way of men trying to figure out how they can be better than God. That's why He gave the calculated Hebrew calendar.] ...on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset..." That sunset ends the day. Come to Lev. 23 and we will see the proof for it.

  • Sunset ends the day. And in ending the fourteenth, what day begins?
  • When do you begin the fifteenth day, in the middle of the fourteenth day?
  • Do you wait until it's dark and you can see three stars?
  • What is it that you do?

Leviticus 23:32—this is speaking of the Day of Atonement: "It shall be to you a Sabbath rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at sunset... [Does that not end the ninth day and begin the tenth day? Yes!] ...from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath." Now why did God clearly define it here, because you can't have different methods of determining when the Day of Atonement begins. Some would begin at dawn, some would begin at noon, some would begin at 3 o'clock, some would begin at sunset, others would begin when they saw three stars at night when it's dark. How can you all be keeping the same Day of Atonement if you start it all at a different time? You can't do that, so God made it very clear. Everyone, even the most uneducated and simple minded can understand when sunset is. Would you not agree? Even the youngest, 'Oh, look, Daddy, the sun is going down'—right?

That reminds me of a time when we were coming back from church and it was in the middle of the drought and this was about 1977. It hadn't rained for two and a half years. We were driving home and this field was all being sprinkled out there and Rachelle had never seen rain. We're driving along and she says, 'Look, Daddy, look at the rain.' That was innocent and that was funny, but think about that in relationship when do you keep the Day of Atonement? Did God specify it? Yes. What were the instructions? 'From the ninth day of the month at sunset, from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath.' Now even the King James, though it's translated a little awkwardly, has that correct as well. So we agree that sunset ends the day. When it says the ninth day of the month at sunset.

Now let's come back here to Exodus 12:18 and we will see how this clarifies it: "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset... [That ends the fourteenth and begins the fifteenth—does it not? Yes.] ...you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at sunset." That ends the twenty-first day—right? Seven days. Now let's count. We'll do a simple test. You all have enough fingers for this. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one—seven days. There you have it.

Verse 19: "Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. You shall eat nothing leavened...." Now how do you get something leavened? You can have sourdough. You have to let it sit and it gradually gets the yeast spores from the air and then you have naturally leavened sourdough dough. That's one way. Another way is you have yeast, baking soda, baking powder, and whatever leavening agents are there that they have for leaven. Cream of tartar if it's combined with certain things, that's correct. Should we get those things out of our houses? Yes!

You can't say these are leavening agents, therefore they are not leaven. What do you suppose is in them? But that which causes leaven in a faster way than letting it sit and gather the yeast spores out of the air for sour dough bread. So it should be put out. "You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread" (v 20).

Let's come here to the end of the chapter and pick it up here in v 40: "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt... [We've covered this in recent sermons, so I'm not going to go back through the details of it.] ...was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day, all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed to the LORD... [The night to be much observed is a command by God—wouldn't you say?] ...for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations" (vs 40-42). Now, we're spiritual Israel. We are to rejoice in what God has done for us, bringing us out of spiritual Egypt, bringing us out of our personal sins.

Let's see some things in the New Testament. We covered some of the things in the Old Testament. Let's come to the New Testament here and let's see concerning the Passover and Unleavened Bread. Let's come to the Gospel of Luke, the second chapter. Now I might mention here, which is in the Passover book, and the Passover book is a very detailed book covering every aspect of the Passover and Unleavened Bread, physical and spiritual, and so forth. Because the Passover is the very heart and core of which salvation comes from God through Jesus Christ.

That's why Satan has done everything he can to cause confusion, confusion, and nit-picky little arguments—the fourteenth, the fifteenth, and all of those things. All of those are covered in the Passover book in great detail. Now we're about ready to reprint it and I like the big hardcover book myself, until I took it on a trip recently and I was marking it up, so we could add corrections to it for this printing, which will be coming up here very soon. Dolores kept saying, 'Fred, do a paperback.' No, I like the hard cover. 'Oh, do a paperback. Everyone'll love the paperback. It's easier to hold and easier to read.' So I had true confession to Dolores when I came home from the trip, visiting the grandchildren, and going to Waco and to Houston. I had the big hard cover Passover book and I was marking it for the changes and what to do. On the plane it was very awkward. And I thought, she's right. This is awkward. So I went one step further, though, not only to make it paperback, but we're going to downsize it to seven by ten, which will be very manageable. And we reduced the type just enough so it will match page for page for page all the way through.

I bring this up for this reason, because I want to explain to you that when you read Luke 4, there is where the Jews began to call all of the Feast of Unleavened Bread Passover and that has caused a lot of confusion. So if you have some things that are confusing to you concerning the Passover, you get the Passover book. If you're one of the lucky thirty that are left, we will send you a hard cover and let you struggle through that. Make sure you're strong enough to hold it up. We'll send it to you. Otherwise, you'll probably have to wait about three months before we get the other one done.

Let's come to Luke 2:40. There are a lot of missing gaps in the life of Jesus. Why did God do that? Because He wanted you to focus on the purpose as to why He was here, not what did Jesus do when He was a little kiddy boy. Why doesn't it tell us from age twelve as we're going to read here, until He showed up at age thirty to be baptized by John the Baptist? Why doesn't God tell us about that? Because that's not important—that's why.

Scholars of the world said, 'Oh, He went east during those years and went to the wise men of Tibet to learn the wisdom of the Tibetans.' They haven't read that Jesus was taught by the Father. He didn't go to those idiots over there in Tibet and sit straddle-legged with the monks and spin prayer wheels. Nonsense! But people get so excited about all of those things. Where did He go? We don't know. Some say maybe He went to England. Maybe there's evidence that He did, but there is no absolute proof that that is true. A lot of people get all excited and make great doctrines on that. Don't do it. It's not in the Bible. Don't worry about it.

Luke 2:41: "Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover." Does this tell us that they kept the Passover there in Jerusalem, and if they did it was probably at one of the houses and it was more or less a family affair that they had. It doesn't say that they didn't keep it there, but they were there for the whole Feast. As we will see, there is time involved for the whole Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, especially in Luke, when it talks about the Passover, in some cases it's talking about the Passover season. So they went up every year for that.

Verse 42: "And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the Feast. But when they departed after completing the days... [And what days had those to be? The Days of Unleavened Bread.] ...the child Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, and Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to be in the company... [They had the whole family. There were quite a few young kids about that time, too, that were the half-brothers of Jesus. You have the four brothers of Jesus plus who knows how many sisters were at that time. Jesus grew up in a family, because God is a family. And other relatives were there.] ...they went a day's journey, and looked for Him among the relatives and among the acquaintances. And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now it came to pass that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them and questioning them. And all those who were listening to Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.... (vs 42-47).

Why? Because He was taught of God the Father! Isa. 50 says that He was woken up every day by God to be taught. Jesus said, 'I do what I see the Father does.' So He saw Him. 'I do as the Father taught Me.' Who taught Him? The Father! Now know this, Jesus was so controversial that if He had been taught by the rabbis, think of what the Pharisees and their murdering attitude would have done to that rabbi for teaching Him all of these things contrary to what they were teaching.

Verse 48: "But when they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, 'Son, why have you dealt with us in this manner? Look, Your father and I have been very distressed while searching for You.' And He said to them, 'Why is it that you were looking for Me? Don't you realize that I must be about My Father's business?'…. [What an answer!] …But they did not understand the words that He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He was subject to them. But His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (vs 48-52.). Again, it doesn't tell us where He was. This sort of indicates He was down there in Nazareth. So we'll leave it at that.

Let's see what it says concerning Jesus and the Sabbath. Luke 4:16: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read." Jesus kept the Sabbath. As we saw in the message previous to this, Jesus said concerning the Sabbath that the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Now take that one verse, do you need any other verse to tell you, you should keep the Sabbath and that the Sabbath, the seventh day, is the Lord's day? No, you don't!

We'll come back to the Passover, Jesus' last Passover, here in just a little bit. But let's go forward and see what did the Church do. Let's come to Acts 2:1. We know that the book of John talks about the Passover of the Jews a couple of times. It talks about the Feast of Tabernacles of the Jews. Now why would John write it that way? These are of the Lord—right?—to tell us that the Jews were not keeping them properly. They may have had the right day, but they weren't keeping them properly. So let's see when God began the Church. Don't you think that God would count that as an important day? Yes, indeed!

This is the spiritual parallel to the giving of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were given at Mount Sinai on the day of Pentecost. We also have some sermons on that and we have a map where you can plot all the days and how they got there, and so forth. That's when they heard the commandments given by God. Now here on the day of Pentecost at the beginning of the ministry of the apostles, God was giving them the power to do the spiritual work that they had to do.

Somewhat similar to Mount Sinai, where they had at the temple the trumpet would be blown on Pentecost. Now here we have 'the sound of a rushing mighty powerful wind,' and so forth. So it was similar to it, but in a way entirely different. But they didn't come there the day before Pentecost or the day after Pentecost, and God did not send the Holy Spirit on a day other than the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1: "And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day... [I translated it that way, because the fiftieth day is called Pentecost. Pentecost means count to fifty.] (Now notice what was happening here): ...the fiftieth day... [from what? The Wave Sheaf Offering Day. We'll get to that a little bit later.] ...was being fulfilled... [Now that is an exact, correct translation of that particular infinitive—was being fulfilled right when they were keeping it. The reason that's important, because there are some translations which say, 'And when the day of Pentecost ended.' When does the day end? At sunset! Is there anything in here which shows that this was done at night? No! What did Peter say? It's only the third hour of the morning—right? So it has to be when it was being fulfilled.] ...And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim" (vs 1-4).

Then they preached Christ. Important day, indeed—right? Let's come here to Acts 12. Let's see where it talks about the Days of Unleavened Bread again. This becomes a very important section here, because v 4 in the King James Version 'they intended to bring him out after Easter.' The only place where those translators of the King James Version figured they could put Easter and get away with it. But the Greek is 'pascha'—which is Passover. There appears to be a little conflict, but nevertheless it shows what the apostles were doing and what was taking place right there in Jerusalem.

Acts 12:1: "Now about that time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands to persecute some of those of the Church; and he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take Peter also. (Now those were the days of unleavened bread.)... [So Peter was keeping them. That's how they were able to get him. They knew where he was.] ...And after arresting him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four sets of four soldiers to guard him with the intent of bringing him out to the people after the Passover... [If the Passover comes before Unleavened Bread, how are you going to have him come out after Passover?] (It should read): ...the Passover season" (vs 1-4).

Couldn't be anything else, not Easter. You ought to read the justification that the Protestants give for that. They are so pleased that that word Easter is there, but it's not in the original. Then it's quite a humorous story how Peter got out of there. We won't go through that.

Let's come to Acts 16:12; let's see what Paul did: "And from there we went to Philippi, which is the primary city in that part of Macedonia, and a colony. And we stayed in this city for a number of days. Then on the day of the weeks... [In the King James, it says 'on the Sabbath,' but the day of weeks was Pentecost.] ...we went outside the city by a river, where it was customary for prayer to be made; and after sitting down, we spoke to the women who were gathered together there" (vs 12-13). So Paul in Greece was keeping Pentecost and all of those with him. Who did he have with him? He had Timothy, he had Silas, he had others who were with him. They were keeping it.

Let's go on. Acts 18:18: "And after Paul had remained there many days, he took leave of the brethren and sailed away to Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. Now Paul had shorn his head in Cenchrea because he had made a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. And when they asked him to remain with them for a longer time, he did not consent. But took leave of them, saying, 'I must by all means keep the Feast that is coming at Jerusalem... [Now what Feast would that be? Obviously, the Feast of Tabernacles. Someone brings up the argument, 'Well, if you go to Jerusalem, obviously you're going to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, because you're in Jerusalem.' Did he keep Pentecost when he was not in Jerusalem? Yes! Did he keep the Sabbath when he was not in Jerusalem? Yes! But he wanted to go there for a particular reason.] ...but I will return again to you, God willing.' And he sailed from Ephesus" (vs 18-21).

Acts 20 is also just a little tricky, because of the way it's phrased. But you have to look at what really happened. Acts 20:6: "But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread... [Now why did they go after the Days of Unleavened Bread? Why would you stay someplace during the Feast? So you wouldn't interrupt the Feast. Then after the Feast was over, you would go. So that's exactly what happened.] ...and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days…. [Now v 7 presents a problem to some people and I can understand why and we'll solve it right here now.] …Now on the first day of the weeks..." What day is the first day of the weeks? That's during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. What is that doing there after the Feast of Unleavened Bread? How could that be?

I had someone write me recently and say, 'How can you have the first day of counting to Pentecost after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it always comes within the bounds of the Feast of Unleavened Bread?' Follow it carefully. Let's come back to v 1 and you will see the answer. "When the tumult was over, Paul called the disciples to him and embraced them; then he left to go into Macedonia.... [Paul went one way—didn't he?] ...And after passing through those parts and exhorting them with much speaking, he came to Greece.... [Greece, then, is down toward Athens and Corinth. Macedonia in those days was a northern part, and still is, of Greece.] ...Now after he had been there for three months, he was going to sail to Syria. But when he... [I want you to look at he, he, he.] ...learned that the Jews were lying in wait for him, he decided to return through Macedonia. And these accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater, a Berean; and of the Thessalonians..." (vs 1-4).

But they weren't going to see Paul ever again, so that's why he took all that extra time (v 7). Verse 10: "But Paul went down and laid himself on him, and embraced him, and said, 'Do not be anxious, for his life is in him.' And after he got up again, and had broken bread and eaten... [Now if they broke bread—now if break bread means the Eucharist or communion, did they take it twice on the same evening? No one's asked that question—right? Is not once sufficient? So they ate then. Then after it was late, the fellow came back to life again, they were all hungry again, so they had what? A midnight snack.] ...and talked for a long time, even until daybreak, and thus, he departed" (vs 10-11).

Notice, Paul was alone. Now why did he leave? This will help answer the question. This tells you that the account of Paul has to do with what he did. The other account has to do with the other two parties after Paul left them.

Verse 12: "And they brought in the boy alive, and were greatly comforted. Then we went on ahead... [Luke is picking up the story—we. Paul departed and left.] ...Then we went on ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take in Paul; for he had so appointed, since he himself was going on foot" (vs 12-13). So Paul went ahead and walked all the way down there to Assos. When he left his group up there, when they came to Asia, before they went to Troas, he says, 'When Luke and his party gets here and you all get together, well you come to Assos and I will meet you there after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.' So how long was he down there at Assos waiting for them to come? Doesn't tell us. But he waited there however long it was, because he told them to do so. Maybe this will help clarify the question here for you.

"And after he met with us at Assos and we took him in, we came to Mitylene" (v 14). And then it gives the rest of the story. Let's come down here to v 16: "For Paul had decided to sail by Ephesus, because he did not want to spend time in Asia; for he hastened in order to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, if possible."

So everywhere we find in the Bible in the New Testament what days did they keep, they kept the days that God gave to Israel. Those were the days that the Church were to keep, not the things of Sunday and Christmas and Easter and New Years, and Halloween and Groundhog's Day, the Easter bunny, and all that sort of thing.

I remember a minister saying, 'Well, when we came in here to this hotel so we could have our meeting during the Days of Unleavened Bread, the one in charge of it said 'Unleavened bread, what's that? That's weird.' He answered and he said, 'If we were a group keeping Easter and we asked for two thousand chocolate Easter bunnies, you would do it without hesitation—wouldn't you? You wouldn't say that that was weird.'

That's how the world looks at it, because they're used to one thing and everybody fitting into this mold of worldly 'Christianity'—which is carnal. When you get true Christianity and you have things from the Old Testament, but kept in the New Testament manner, that's weird! that's strange! Why would you put leavened bread out of your home and eat unleavened bread for seven days? The answer is: because God said so!


Scriptural References:

  • Ezekiel 8:11-16
  • Jeremiah 7:1-28
  • Exodus 12:14-18
  • Leviticus 23:32
  • Exodus 12:18-20, 40-42
  • Luke 2:41-52
  • Luke 4:16
  • Acts 2:1-4
  • Acts 12:1-4
  • Acts 16:12-13
  • Acts 18:18-21
  • Acts 20: 6-7, 1-4, 10-14, 16

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Isaiah 50

Also referenced: Books:

  • Satan's Great Deception
  • The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 03-17-10
Formatted: bo—3-19-10

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