Why Passover is the first day of the unleaveneds?

Fred R. Coulter—March 18, 2017

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

This week I got a call from a man in the Church who has been in the Church for 30 years or more, and he did not understand why the Passover Day is an unleavened bread day. It says, 'seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.'

How do we know? A lot of people in the Church didn't understand that and they would get up and go to McDonald's and have their mcmuffin and eat the last bit of bread at their house and all of that sort of thing. They don't realize that the Passover is called the first of the unleaveneds!

Everything we do is that we search for the Truth, rightly divide the Word of God and put it together the way that it should be put together. The Bible does not contradict itself. There are some 'apparent' contradictions, like we covered with Deut. 16 and so forth, but there are no actual contradictions.

Also got an e-mail from a man that wanted to know why there is war. I told him because of human nature and Satan the devil and rebellion against God. How come God is called a God of war and a God of peace? How can that be? It looks like an apparent contradiction!

  • God is a God of war to fight against those who disobey Him
  • God is a God of peace to those who are His

That's why Paul starts out, 'Peace be to you from God the Father and Jesus Christ.'

  • What did Jesus say about peace? My peace I give you, not as the world gives it!
  • What did Jesus say about what it would be like with the Truth and even your closest relatives? The son against the father, daughter against the mother, mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, and so forth.

So, the man wanted to know why Jesus came to 'bring a sword.' That would be the result of it. What is the answer to that? What kind of sword did Jesus bring? The Word of God! 'The Word of God is like a two-edged sword.'

Exodus 12:3: "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying…" Of course, they had to transmit the information from Moses to the elders to the people. But it had to go to the whole congregation.

"…In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb for a father's house, a lamb for a house. And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take according to the number of the souls…" (vs 3-4)—referring to your whole being; these are not immortal souls flitting around. Immortal souls do not eat roasted lamb.

"…each one, according to the eating of his mouth, you shall count concerning the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…." (vs 4-5).

The way that lambs are born in the spring, they're generally born in late February or early March. So, you couldn't have a large lamb that was a year and three or four weeks old, because it would be in its second year.

"…You shall take it from the sheep or from the goats" (v 5). There are good goats, even though the goat—Azazel—is the evil goat.

Sidebar: For shepherding lamb and sheep generally they have a goat doing the leading.

Verse 6: "And you shall keep it up until… [that does not mean through and passed to the next day] …the beginning of the fourteenth day of the same month…." We know the day ends at sunset. As soon as the sun goes down it is 'ben ha arbayim.'

"…And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings" (v 6). What you had was all the Israelites out there in the land of Goshen. They had their house, their herds and everything, and they were all getting ready to go.

This is not a trip to the supermarket! They were leaving the country! You saw how the refugees left Syria and streamed into Germany.

Sidebar: The meeting between Trump and Merkel didn't go too well. She may be responsible for the total destruction of Europe through that policy unless the political will is to get them out. That may happen. If it doesn't, bad news!

Between the two evenings: What you can visualize is that they had houses with flat roofs, generally speaking, so you can visualize people on top of their houses watching the sun go down so they could let them know when it disappeared over the horizon. In Egypt it's all flat so you don't have any problem with seeing the sun go down. I imagine they said, 'Sun is down!' It was the beginning of 'between the two evenings' and they shall kill the lamb.

As we've discussed, it takes about 20 minutes to slit the throat, open it up and get the guts out and skin it and get it on a pole to roast it.

Verse 7: "And they shall take of the blood and strike it on the two side posts and upon the upper doorpost of the houses in which they shall eat it."

The instructions are very specific, v 8: "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs."

What did they have to have prepared ahead of time? Unleavened bread! They had to have everything ready to go, packed up and ready. I imagine that for most of the women, that was a horrible frustration, because they couldn't take a lot of things that they wanted to take.

Verse 9: "Do not eat of it raw, nor boiled at all with water…" That's a very important phrase when you compare it with Deut. 16. the reason that you get the thing all mixed up with Deut. 16 is because the King James Version and some other versions translate it as roast.

In The Christian Passover book, there are 12 differences between the commands of Exo. 12 and Deut. 16; a compared, very detailed study. Unfortunately, after being in the Church for 30+years, this man did not have the Passover book. I mailed him one.

As we go along here, think about the things that God has said that must be followed. What happens if someone doesn't follow it.

Example: There was a prophet sent from God from Judah to go to Jeroboam and the altar that was there at Bethel. He was told that he was to go one way and come back a different way. He was not to eat nor stop. He went there and cursed the altar and it fell apart. Jeroboam's hand withered up and he asked the prophet to heal it, and he prayed to God and it was healed. Then he left to go. Here came another man saying, 'I'm a prophet of the Lord.' But he wasn't!

This 'other prophet' spoke to the prophet that God had sent, and this 'other prophet' told him to come and eat, and he said, 'No, I can't eat, I have to go back; that's what God told me to do.' This 'other prophet' said, 'God told me that you can come and eat with me.' So, God's prophet went in and ate with him.

Think of all the things involved in it, what God had said, 'Go one way and come back another way; do not eat anything, go!' He listened to this 'other person' who said that he was a prophet of God and ate with him, and when he left, God struck him down, and there was a lion standing right next to him but didn't eat him up. So, the false prophet took him and buried him.

The story is that when God says something, He means it! This is a tremendous lesson when you compare this with Protestantism and Catholicism and so forth. If someone comes along and says that God didn't mean that, He meant this.

How do you solve that problem? By going to the Word of God to find out IF God did, in fact, gives this other alternative!

That's why, to stand in the pulpit and say that God has done away with His laws is a terrible and evil thing to do!

  • What if they didn't put the blood where it should have gone?
  • What if they boiled the lamb instead of roasting it?
  • What if they ate it with leavened bread instead of unleavened bread?

Verse 9: "Do not eat of it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire, its head with its legs, and with its inward parts." This meant that they had to have the heart, the kidneys and the liver put into the cavity to be roasted with the lamb that was skinned. You can't take a whole animal without gutting it out and start roasting it, because it will reach a point that it will explode!

Verse 10: "And you shall not let any of it remain until the morning. And that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire." In other words, when you finish eating it you burn what is left.

It also makes me wonder if they took the hides and cut that up and put it in the fire as it was going. Very possible!

Verse 11: "And this is the way you shall eat it: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in trepidation…. [not haste] …It is the LORD'S Passover, for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD" (vs 11-12).

When you come to Rev. 11, Jerusalem is called Sodom and Egypt! Out of Jerusalem flowed all the evil! It should not have been, but it did!

Why is it trepidation instead of haste? Because at midnight God was coming through and destroying the firstborn of Egypt, man and beast! When they started dying, there were great yells and screams and 'you better do this thing right—in trepidation—as I'm telling you, or you're going to die with them!'

  • How would it be if you were standing inside a building and every fifth person outside—because the firstborn is about 20% of the population—was dropping dead?
  • Would you want to open the door?
  • Would you even want to take a peek?

This is in trepidation, in fear of the awesome power of God, what He was doing. When it's translated as 'eat it in haste' (KJV) someone comes and says that as soon as the firstborn were killed they were able to leave their houses, even in the dark.

Granted, it was a near full moon, but are you going to move your flocks and your herds in the dark? How are you going to keep track of them? Pilgrimage feast today means that you come to Jerusalem. That's a little different.

Verse 13: "And the blood shall be a sign to you upon the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you. And the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt. 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" (vs 13-14).

What does God call the Passover? It says these are the Feasts of the Lord to be kept in their season; the first one is Passover! (Lev. 23). This is not referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and that's where they get a lot of confusion.

That's why, in going through and translating for the Faithful Version, we corrected every one of these mistaken translations and assumptions, because the Passover is so important that it's got to be right. If one of the firstborn had stepped out of the house, he would have suffered death.

Verse 21: "Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them… [here's the instruction] …'Draw out and take a lamb for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip in the blood that is in the bowl, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood in the bowl. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until sunrise" (vs 21-22).

Remember the paper I gave you by Robert Kuhn and Lester Grabbe, because this says in the King James 'morning.' They say they kept the time then like we keep time today, and midnight began the new day. So, after they were dead they could go out of their houses. God didn't say that! He said, "…And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until sunrise."

How much education does it take to know when sunrise occurs? Even a little kid, a two-year-old, would know.

Verse 23: "For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians. And when He sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as a law to you and to your children forever" (vs 23-24). That ties right in with v 14.

Verse 25: "And it shall be when you have come to the land, which the LORD will give you, according as He has promised that you shall keep this service. And it will be, when your children shall say to you, "What does this service mean to you?'" (vs 25-26). It was done at home.

Verse 27: "'Then you shall say, "It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S Passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our houses."' And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron; so they did" (vs 27-28).

It's impossible that any of them could have left at midnight, or shortly after midnight. Also, think of what may have occurred. If they had gone out, the firstborn would have died, but the Egyptians—being victimized by God—do you think they would just stand by and let them go?

God would not have prevented them from taking swords and spears and going after the children of Israel if they left at night, because they were out of their houses moaning and wailing and crying because of the death of their firstborn.

Verse 29: "And it came to pass at midnight the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the captive that was in the prison, also all the firstborn of livestock."

The next two verses are the correct translation, but it says in the King James that Pharaoh called for Moses. So, people say that Moses went to Pharaoh right after midnight. It doesn't mean that at all.

Verse 30: "And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And during the night he sent word to Moses and Aaron saying…" (vs 30-31).

When did the destroyer come? Midnight! Kuhn and Grabbe said that right after midnight is morning. This is why you have to be careful of listening to Jews who have a motive, and a so-called scholar who is a disgrace. If you have an objective and motive in mind, that's going to change what you're going to say. They weren't seeking the Truth. That's why this phrase is very important.

"…during the night…" what is the time after midnight called here, written in the Word of God? The time right after midnight is night! It's not called morning.

"…'Rise up! Get away from my people, both you and the children of Israel! And go serve the LORD, as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone. And bless me also.' And the Egyptians were urging the people, that they might send them out of the land quickly, for they said, 'We are all dead men.' And the people took their dough before it was leavened…" (vs 31-34).

What kind of bread did they have on the Passover Day and the day portion of the Passover after eating unleavened bread for the Passover? They had unleavened dough, so when they stopped they could have a quick little fire! How quick can you heat up a little tortilla? A few minutes!

Now, concerning leaven, how did they leaven most of their bread? Sourdough! You take a little bit of sourdough—you can even mail-order special sourdough and you can start your own—and you keep the yeast going all the time and you have it. It wasn't leavened. If they just left it out in the open three or four days, it would start to leaven, because leaven is a type of mold.

So, they had it before it was leavened in "…their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders" (v 34).

What were they to have done the night before the morning that they left? Everything ready to go!

Verse 35: "And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses. And they asked for articles of silver, and articles of gold, and clothing from the Egyptians." And then they spoiled them!

Is there anywhere here that we can find that on the day portion of the Passover that they ate leavened bread? No! It's very important to understand.

I'm not going through the Feast of Unleavened Bread because we'll cover that in Exo. 13. What we are going to see that with the Feasts of God it starts out with one day plus seven, then it ends up with seven days plus one when you get to Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.

Passover is a separate unleavened bread day, and here is why. Moses is talking about the Feast of Unleavened Bread;

Exodus 13:3: "And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt…'" That's different from the passing over, because coming out of Egypt they had to leave their homes and gather at Rameses. They left the next night.

"…out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand. There shall be no leavened bread eaten…. [not for the Passover nor for Unleavened Bread] …On this day you are going out, in the month Abib" (vs 3-4)—which was he 15th day of 1st month; Passover being the 14th day.

Verse 5: "And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service… [of the Night to be Remembered] …in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders" (vs 5-7). Not just leavened bread, but leavening agents!

Did they have leavening agents? Yes, you have to have leavening agents to make beer! That was one of the drinks of Egypt!

Sidebar: What is leavening? Yeast, sourdough, baking powder and baking soda! Now, baking soda is slightly different from this point of view: any baking soda that is designated for cooking should be thrown away. If you have baking soda in your laundry soap, you don't have to get rid of the soap because that is not designated for leaven; that is designated for cleaning. Likewise if you have it in toothpaste. Are you going to take your toothpaste and mix it up with your flour? What are you going to come up with?

No leaven in all your borders: That's why we have in the Passover book how they unleavened their cities and their towns. What do you do with the leaven? Well, you can burn a lot of it, but how do you do it? They had special crews that would come around and gather the leaven and take it and burn it! That was done before the Passover Day.

How else are you going to fulfill this verse: "…there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders" (v 7). I don't recall ever seeing a whole town unleavened.

I suppose when WCG had the colleges that was the closest you could have an area big enough where you had to get rid of all of the leaven everywhere. But today, what do we do? We get rid of it in our homes!

What if you have a package of baking soda in your refrigerator to keep it from smelling? Generally speaking, that is baking soda designated for baking rather than in a soap or in a toothpaste, so throwing it out is what we've always done! Same way with baking powder.

The Jews like to say that baking powder is not a leavening agent, but they use it to leaven their unleavened things.

Verse 9: "And it shall be a sign to you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD'S Law may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt." That's different than passing over. God sent the destroyer, and here He brought them out with His strong hand.

Verse 10: "You shall, therefore, keep this law in its season from year to year." That's the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Notice that God brings in the redemption of the firstborn at this point, which ties in with v 2:

Verse 2: "Sanctify all the firstborn to Me, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, of man and of beast. It is Mine."

Verse 11: "And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the LORD all that opens the womb, and every firstborn that comes of any animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD'S" (vs 11-12). That's why we did the parallel column with Deut. 16 and Exo. 13.

Verse 13: "And every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. And it shall be when your son asks you…" (vs 13-14).

Notice the difference with what we read in Exo. 12 when the son said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'Because God passed over our houses in the land of Egypt and spared the firstborn.'

Now notice the difference of this during the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; and they probably had many other firstborn offerings during the Feast, as well. I mean, if you have a large group there, it's going to take a long time to get them all with the firstborn redemption.

"…in time to come, saying, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'The LORD brought us out of Egypt by the strength of His hand, from the house of bondage. And it came to pass when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, the LORD killed all the firstborn of the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of animals. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD all that opens the womb, that are males. But all the firstborn of my sons I redeem'" (vs 14-15). The firstborn were spared and then brought out of Egypt the next night.

Let's look at something in the New Testament. We've read the quotes where Philo and Josephus says that 'we do this, every head of household, is raised to the level of the priesthood for the sacrifice of the lamb and we do it in our homes. We also saw in Num. 28 that there is no required sacrifice at the temple on the Passover Day—only the morning and evening sacrifice. Num. 28 & 29 has all of the required sacrifices that they were to burn.

By the way, since I advertised the Passover book, let me advertise A Harmony of the Gospels. This will help you understand it even more, too. Everything that is there, going through the whole life of Christ with commentary and everything. Since the Passover is the most important of all, and Jesus was sacrificed for us, applied to the Church now, applied to the patriarchs when He dealt with them, because He was 'slain from the foundation of the world.' So, the patriarchs, prophets and certain kings of Judah, as Peter wrote in 1-Peter 1, had he Spirit of Christ and His sacrifice, though not yet given, covered their lives.

When you come to the New Testament, Paul wrote that 'Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.' That is the people in the Church, those who have the Spirit of God. John said that 'Jesus' sacrifice is the propitiation for our sins and he world's sins.'

But when does the sacrifice of Christ apply to the world? When Christ returns and Satan is removed! That's why you have 'our sins are forgiven though the Passover of Christ' for the New Testament. In the Old Testament all the sins of Israel were forgiven on the Day of Atonement when the priest went in with the sacrifice and there was that special live goat sacrifice of Azazel who pictured or was a type of Satan the devil.

The sacrifice of Christ applies only to those who have been baptized and received the Holy Spirit of God! Yes, people can have sins forgiven—not for eternal life—if they ask for forgiveness. But Christ's sacrifice is for us!

Now back to what they were doing before the Passover; Mark 14:1: "Now, after two days was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread…"—two different things, not combined!
Verse 12 becomes a very key, important verse, because the King James reads: "On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when they were killing the Passover lambs…"

Why is that an absolute blatant mistranslation, showing that they knew nothing about the Feasts of God or the Passover? Why? Because the translators of the King James Version of the Bible were keeping Sunday, Easter and all of that, so they didn't understand the flow and sequence of events concerning the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Nor did they understand about Christ being our Passover.

This verse shows that this was not the first day of the Feast. You have Passover one day and Unleavened Bread another day. But people say, 'Well, they combined this into one.' But if this was being killed at the temple late in the afternoon of the 14th, to be eaten on the 15th—as some Jews were doing—you have too many distinct problems here.

  • Jesus did not keep a 14th day Passover
  • if this were actually the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that means that Jesus would have kept the Feast on the 15th and those Jews kept it on he 16th

But that never happened! They misunderstand what it's saying.

Verse 12 (FV): "And on the first day of the unleaveneds…" There's a reason why I translated it that way. That is a literal translation.

"…when they were killing… [present tense participle] …the Passover lambs, His disciples said to Him, 'Where do You desire that we go and prepare, so that You may eat the Passover?'" (v 12).

We know that in John 18 that some of the Jews did not want to go into the judgment hall so they could eat their Passover. So, you see the problem that this presents. It presents great problems.

If Jesus did not keep the 14th Passover, what would He have done? He would have sinned! If He sinned He's not our sacrifice.

Verse 13: "And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, 'Go into the city, and you shall meet a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. And whatever house he shall enter, say to the master of the house that the Teacher says, "Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"'" (vs 13-14).

We know that they were eating Passover and they got up and left about midnight and Jesus was arrested. So, this had to be the 14th.

Why is the 14th day—the Passover—called the first day "…the unleaveneds…"? Because they were not to have any leaven within all of their borders! I've got a whole section in the Passover book on that. That was the first day of the unleaveneds being the Passover Day, being separate from the seven days of Unleavened Bread after that.

Since God told the children of Israel that they were not to eat leavened bread on the Passover Day—they had no leaven bread—that is the first of the unleaveneds.

When the Church says that the Passover Day is not an unleavened bread day, then why couldn't you take the Passover with leaven? The reason you can't is because God says unleavened bread! When Jesus kept the Passover and broke the bread, that was unleavened bread. The Orthodox believe that that was regular bread. What they do they get a nice loaf and on their Easter Mass that the Orthodox have, they break off a piece of bread and given it to the participants. Complete nonsense!

Verse 15: "'And he shall show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. There prepare for us.' And His disciples went away: and when they came into the city, they found it exactly as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover" (vs 15-16).

They found everything exactly as He said. Jesus had this all planned. Why did the disciples ask Him—v 12 when they saw that they were killing Passover lambs—where do You want to keep the Passover? You have to eat it to keep it!

(go to the next track)

Let's look at the parallel account in Matt. 26 and there's a footnote in the Faithful Version Bible explaining about the phrase the first of the unleaveneds!

Matthew 26:17: "Now, on the first of the unleaveneds, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, 'Where do You desire that we prepare for You to eat the Passover?'" You have to eat the Passover to keep it, and you have to keep the Passover to eat it.

Verse 18: "And He said, 'Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, "The Teacher says, 'My time is near; I will keep the Passover with My disciples at your house.'"'

Luke 22:1: "Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching." There's a whole chapter in The Christian Passover book on this.

Verse 7: "Then came the day of the unleaveneds in which it was obligatory… [commanded by law] …to kill the Passover lambs. And He sent Peter and John, saying, 'Go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat.' But they said to Him, 'Where do You desire that we prepare it?' And He said to them, 'Watch, and when you come into the city, you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters; and you shall say to the master of the house, "The Teacher says to you, 'Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?'"'" (vs 7-11).

Mark 14:3: "Now He was in Bethany…" You have to get the geography and the circumstances to understand everything that was going on.

Where is Bethany? From the Mt. of Olives and comes down to the Brook Kidron {see map in Bible} Bethany and Bethphage were priestly villages. They're just down below the summit of the Mt. of Olives. So, they were coming up to the top of the Mt. of Olives. Jesus deliberately did it this way; He did not want anyone to know where He was keeping the Passover. Why? Because Judas had already agreed to betray Him! So, he could have gone to the authorities and said, 'He's in this house.' So, Jesus didn't tell them. But He had it all arranged.

Verse 12 is why it is necessary to know Greek: "And on the first day of the unleaveneds, when they were killing the Passover lambs…"—present tense participle meaning they—whomever was killing—was doing it then.

As they came to the top of the Mt. Of Olives there were thousands of pilgrims with their tents all around. They all had their lamb. So, the disciples seeing all the pilgrims up there killing the lamb where their tent was. They had the fire ready to go; there were lots of fires, and Jesus hadn't said a single solitary word! 'Where are You going to keep the Passover?' So, that's why they came to Him and said…because when you see this going. The people were actually killing, they could see the lambs being killed.

"…His disciples said to Him, 'Where do You desire that we go and prepare, so that You may eat the Passover?' And He sent two of His disciples… [Peter and James] …and said to them, 'Go into the city, and you shall meet a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. And whatever house he shall enter, say to the master of the house that the Teacher says, "Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"'" (vs 12-14).

This was a large house. There were guests. The master of the house probably had already killed the Passover lamb and already being roasted by the time they got there. So, there was a large upper room. They had to set out the unleavened bread, they had to get the wine ready and make sure that everything was set. I imagine the man who was carrying the water to that house was the water that Jesus used to wash the disciples feet.

Could God cause all of this to happen with His angels conducting the whole affair? Yes! He had to keep it a secret place, and unknown place, because He wasn't to be arrested until midnight. So, they see all these lambs being killed, so they find the house.

Verse 15: "'And he shall show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. There prepare for us.'" Probably indicates that the lamb was already being cooked when He said this.

Think of all the thousands of people there, v 16: "And His disciples went away: and when they came into the city… [they didn't go to the temple] …they found it exactly as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. Now after evening had come, He came with the twelve" (vs 16-17).

Judas didn't know where it was going to be! Very important point. Judas had to come. What is the phrase for killing the lambs? Between the two evenings! After sunset, before dark! If you kill it right at the beginning, right after the sun goes down, then the other evening is when it's starting to get dark. That's about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Jesus and the rest of the 12 did not get there for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and the lamb was roasting and everything was going on.

The foot-washing comes first. It's not last! Some people say it's last, and, I tell you what, can you think of any other day or any other doctrine that has so many false ideas, teachings and practices than the Passover Day? Satan has gotten everything confused and everyone doing many different things.

Verse 18: "And as they sat and were eating, Jesus said, 'Truly I say to you, one of you shall betray Me, even he who is eating with Me.'" And Jesus dipped he sop (John 13).

Verse 19: "And they began to be extremely sad, and said to Him one by one, 'Is it I?' And another, 'Is it I?' But He answered and said to them, 'The one who is dipping a morsel into the dish with Me, he is the one of you twelve. The Son of man indeed goes, just as it has been written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born'" (vs 19-21). Then He gave Judas the sop and he went out.

That's why the book A Harmony of the Gospels is important to have, because all the Scriptures don't flow exactly in the same way.

Verse 22: "And as they were eating…" Probably eating some unleavened bread that they had with them. So, this becomes special.

"…Jesus took bread; and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to them, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body'" (v 22). This is the first time they could begin to understand about John 6.

Verse 23: "And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And He said to them, 'This is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you, I will not drink again at all of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God'" (vs 23-24).

They had problems in Corinth, lots of problems. I remember one man before the trouble started in Worldwide Church of God; he was a senior pastor and he says, 'With all the troubles that they had there in Corinth, I wonder why it's in the Bible?' It's in the Bible because we need to learn the lessons!

There's a little phrase that's not translatable, which becomes important in Greek, but no one translates it.

1-Corinthians 11:17: "Now in this that I am commanding you, I do not praise you, because when you assemble together, it is not for the better but for the worse." Have you ever been to one of those meetings?

Verse 18: "For first of all, I hear that there are divisions among you when you are assembled together in the Church…" that's the way it was in the big church in Southern California (WCG). They had this little group over here talking, and a little group over there talking about all the problems and difficulties going on.

"…and I partly believe it. For it is necessary that heresies be among you, so that the ones who are approved may become manifest among you" (vs 18-19).

How are you going be tested whether you have believed and have proved and are willing to obey on that basis? If you don't have something to come along and test you?

"…so that the ones who are approved may become manifest among you" (v 19). That is the ones who know the Truth and have been approved to teach.

Verse 20: "Therefore, when you assemble together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's supper."

  • What do the Protestants call their service? The Lord's Supper in the morning!
  • When did Jesus eat this? At night!

They had a problem because they were having a potluck meal with the Passover.

Verse 34: "But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home…" There are still people in the Church of God today who want to have a meal with the Passover. If you keep the Passover in your home, have your meal earlier so that it doesn't interfere with the Passover. Very simple!

"…so that there will be no cause for judgment…" (v 34). In other words, if you do something wrong, God is going to judge you for it.

"…when you assemble together. And the other matters I will set in order when I come" (v 34). Paul had to threaten them! How do you want me to come? Speak boldly? You say that Paul's 'presence is week and his speaking is poor.'

Verse 21: "For in eating, everyone takes his own supper first…" The truth is that when Paul wrote "…it's not to eat the Lord's supper" he's telling them:

  • it's impossible for you to eat the Lord's supper because He ate it years ago
  • you are not to have a meal when you come together for the New Covenant Passover; you eat at home

Notice what they were doing; "…now on the one hand, someone goes hungry; but on the other hand, another becomes drunken. WHAT!…. [astonishment] …Don't you have houses for eating and drinking? Or do you despise the Church of God… [the people] …and put to shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you!" (vs 21-22).

Then Paul let's them know the truth, v 23: "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you…" Doesn't that sound a little bit like what Jesus said?

'I of My own self can do nothing, but as I see what the Father does, I do; what He has commanded Me to do, I do; what I hear that He tells Me to do, I do; and speak what He tells Me to speak.'

Stop and think about Paul for a minute. I thought about this just this morning. When Paul, who was called Saul, was on his way to Damascus to take the disciples and put them in chains and bring them back to Jerusalem, he thought he was right up there with the best of all of them, next to the high priest. He had letters from he high priest.

Thinking about that, think of how zealous he was in doing that! God had other plans. Knocked him to the ground and made Paul blind. Why did God make him blind? To teach the lesson to Paul that everything that he had done, though he thought he was righteous and blameless, 'you're blinded and didn't know the Truth!' Made him blind for three days.

Then God had Ananias come and lay his hands on Paul so that he could see, and baptized him. Then Paul went to Arabia for three years to learn of the Lord. 'I received from the Lord' not from Peter, not from James, 'that which I also delivered to you.'

"…that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is being broken for you….'" (vs 23-24).

This is also interesting, because this is in the present tense passive, as well. A direct quote from Jesus, which is telling us that when that bread is broken we come together, we ask a blessing on the bread and that bread is broken and doing it on behalf of Christ. He is the One Who told us what to do. This is symbolic of His flesh and the wine is symbolic of His blood. This becomes very important that it's done right.

"…This do in the remembrance of Me." (v 24). Here's a very important key to understand:

Sidebar on 14th/15th Passover: the Jews in the Diaspora do not take a 14th Passover because they know they cannot do it unless they're in the land of Israel. So, they call the Feast Passover when it's really the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

They don't want to do like this one rabbi did, a Karaite, who said that they didn't keep a 14th Passover because 'we're walking in the sins of our forefathers and we are in dispersion.' So, they can't eat it. They cannot eat a 14th Passover unless they repent and accept Christ as their Savior, then they can. Why? Because Jesus said to go into all the world and teach all the nations everything I have taught you!

When did He do that? On the 14th, the regular Passover Day! So, when He says: "…This do in the remembrance of Me," we are to do it at the same time of day that Jesus said it. It's the covenant! The covenant binds us and conjoins us to the sacrifice of Christ, His shed blood and His beaten body!

Verse 25: "In like manner, He also took thecup after He had supped, saying, 'This is the cup of the New Covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of Me.'" Now, what are you going to do with the phrase: "…as often as…"?

Does that mean any time you want? It could! That same phrase in the Greek is used exactly the same way in Rev. 11. Here are the two witnesses:

Revelation 11:6: "These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will." That really means as often as. The exact same phrase is used in

1-Corinthians 11:25: "…as often as you drink it…" with the exception of a Greek particle, 'an' or an 'alpha nu'—pronounced on.

Whenever you see that in the Greek that tells you that there are conditions to be applied to limit 'often as.'

When you come to where Jesus said, 'Do not think I've come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.' There are two 'an' in the Greek, because He changed the offerings and the priesthood so radically that there had to be a condition added to that so that everyone would know that it was raised to higher level.

  • we still have a temple, in heaven
  • we still have a High Priest, in heaven
  • we still have a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ in heaven accepted by God the Father

That is saying that He did not destroy, but completed, fulfilled and raise it to a higher level. With this, as often as—'hosakis an'—means as often as you do it on these conditions:

Verse 26: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you solemnly proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes."

  • What did Jesus die on? The 14th of the 1st month according the Calculated Hebrew Calendar!
  • What is the condition that limits as often as? Right there, there's the condition, the day of the Lord's death!

Also, "…until He comes." Were they expecting Jesus to come in a few years? Yes! They did not have a clue as to how long it was going to be.

Verse 27: "For this reason, if anyone shall eat this bread or shall drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, he shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup accordingly" (vs 27-28).

That's what we are to do before the Passover. What are we going to find? No one has been perfected, yet! None of us! We are being perfected,and the greatest perfection is getting rid of all of the evil by the renewing of our mind.

You're going to find, especially in this age—it affects me, you, everyone in the Church—we all have a lot off garbage in our mind that comes in from the world much more than any other age, because of television, radio, movies and all this sort of thing. You also have personal experiences from a childhood coming up that when you get older you're going to have flashbacks to those. Some of them are very unpleasant. Some of them are filled with a lot of sins.

It's recorded in our mind and in order to truly convert the mind and renew the mind, the Spirit of God is working within us to bring these flashbacks to us so we can understand how we have been saved from so much sin.

Think of how self-righteous we would be otherwise. We'd make Job look like a piker! I talked to a man recently and he said, 'I've had a problem with thinking that a flashback in my mind thinking of things I did when I was younger, and I thought I was all over that.'

I explained to him why; that's why we come and keep the Passover, renew the New Covenant, because He—Christ—is the propitiation for our sins. In examining yourself, here's what you do. You come to 1-John 1, and this is what it important. If this happens to you, repent and ask God to cleanse your mind. More study, more prayer will help erase that, but God says that He will remember it no more! That gives us a chance to repent.

1-John 1:3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship…" This is the important thing. This is the whole reason for the Passover and the whole reason for our conduct as Christians.

"…—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3). A direct connection to God the Father and Jesus Christ. Paul talks of that in Eph. 2:

  • you put aside all the traditions of men
  • you put aside all the religions of men
  • you put aside all the ways of the world

and have direct access to God the Father!

This is a terrible world that we live in. Nearly every single advertisement on television is a lie! Especially when they talk about the drugs, and they have been forced to tell the truth. But the participants who are advertising them are running around happy and smiling when it says, 'you may have dizzy spells, lapse of consciousness, excessive bleeding and in some cases death, but check with your doctor first.' What if I'm already dead? I have yet to see an ad come on where the people are not happy and smiling. I cannot help but think that that's the way that Satan comes. That's how he gets so many people.

Verse 4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full. And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is Light, and there is no darkness at all in Him" (vs 4-5).

Why did John say that? Because the Jews have kabala, and there are degrees of light! Same way with Masonry, another thing of kabala. The pagans have their kabala, and it was that there were demons who did this and did that and varying degrees of light.

So, John is letting them know that "…there is no darkness at all in Him."

Verse 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him… [through prayer, study, the Holy Spirit of God and the Word of God] …but we are walking in the darkness… [the way of the world] …we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth." This tells us an awful lot:

  • the carnal mind is deceitful
  • the way of man doesn't know where he is going

When you do that you're not practicing the Truth. So, this bring up: What is the Truth? Jesus said, I'm the Way, the Truth and the Life!

  • Your Law is Truth
  • Your commandments are Truth
  • Your precepts are Truth

Everything about God is Truth and God cannot lie!

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light…" What does the Light do? It exposes to us our sins!

"…as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (v 7). That is a continuous basis.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin…" A man wrote and told me that I was wrong, that he doesn't sin!

"…we are deceiving ourselves…" (v 8). John includes himself. In writing this, John was saying that He had to repent, too. Listen, brethren, I have to repent! You have to repent! We all have to repent!

"…and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins… [to God, not the priest] …He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (vs 8-9). That's the whole purpose of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
That's why we have the Passover first and then we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread follow right after it.

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." Here's why we study and pray.

John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin…." May is in the subjunctive showing that you will sin, but may not. Why? Because you're reading what he's written and reading the rest of the Word of God, as well!

"…And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins…" (vs 1-2). Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

"…and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (v 2)—and then you have to lay out the whole plan of God from there!

Isn't it interesting that about the middle of history Christ comes. He's the Passover Lamb!

  • all about Christ is in the 4th division of the Bible
  • He was crucified on the 4th day

There are so many parallels with the numbers and things in the Bible, it's almost unreal!

  • He was chosen 4 days ahead of time
  • He ascended to heaven the 4th day after

Four and four is eight, and that's perfection!

There are so many things we could go through with all of these with the calendar, it's just a marvelous thing that God has done! However, this the last thing I'm going to bring up before Passover. It's been years and years since I've covered these things in detail in a sermon.

Let me encourage you again to read The Christian Passover book, and look up the things in A Harmony of the Gospels.

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 12:3-14, 21-35
  • Exodus 13:3-7, 9-10, 2, 11-15
  • Mark 14:1, 12-16
  • Matthew 26:17-18
  • Luke 22:1, 7-11
  • Mark 14, 3, 12-24
  • 1 Corinthians 11:17-20, 34, 21-25
  • Revelation 11:6
  • 1 Corinthians 11:25-28
  • 1 John 1:3-10
  • 1 John 2:1-2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Leviticus 23
  • Numbers 28; 29
  • 1 Peter 1
  • John 13, 6
  • Ephesians 2

Also referenced:


  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 4/18/17

Copyright 2017—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.