Fred R. Coulter—March 28, 2009

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Before we get into the main study today, let's answer a couple of questions concerning things relating to the Passover.

One question is, and the comment was made that he had searched out in a concordance search of the word wine which was found a hundred and twelve times; and by the way God commanded that there be wine offerings given at the temple. Because there are some people who are saying that Christians should not drink any alcohol at all. Let's come back to Psalm 104. Now this is talking about what God has done in the earth.

Psalm 104:1: "Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with honor and majesty, Covering Yourself with light as with a garment, and stretching out the heavens like a curtain" (vs 1-2). And then it tells all about what God did in creation, and so forth.

So let's come down here to v 13: "He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; the earth is full of the fruit of Your works. He causes the grass to grow for the livestock, and herbs for the service of man, to bring forth food from the earth, And wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil that makes his face shine, and bread to strengthen the heart of man" (vs 13-15). So God is the one Who made the things concerning wine. So I know I have received a lot of emails from one man in particular, and he is just insisting that Christians should not drink any alcohol at all and that the fruit of the vine, as Jesus referred to it for the Passover, does not mean wine.

Well, it does mean wine and even Samuel Bacchiochi, his worst book that he ever wrote was one to try and justify that we should not drink any wine at all. He has since died just recently here a few months ago from pancreatic cancer. He was a Seventh Day Adventist and he wrote the book From Sabbath to Sunday which was actually printed on the Vatican's press. And when you read it you wonder, how that is printed on the Vatican press and received the Pope's imprimatur when it nails them dead for changing the Sabbath and also the Passover to Easter. Well, I think there's a movement within the Catholic Church to take away that now. But nevertheless, he wrote it. But the worst book he wrote was that they had grape juice back in the days of Jesus; and the way that they could preserve it was to add sulfur to it. Well, you think about that. If you're going to take grape juice and add sulfur to it, now why is the sulfur added to it? To preserve it and it probably kills the yeast spores that are naturally in grape juice. So the long and the short of it is: for the Passover when we eat the unleavened bread, that's symbolic of the Body of Christ. And when we drink the wine, that is symbolic of His blood. And wine when it's gone through the whole fermentation process and then the sediment and leaves that are left over, when that is all filtered out; there is no leaven at all. So if God says He 'made wine to make glad the heart of man,' that takes away the whole argument that Christians should never drink any alcohol. Now having said that, you need to read allthe sections in the Bible which talk about drunkenness, because alcoholism and drunkenness obviously is a sin against God and a sin against ones body. So the reason that we have wine for the Passover is because it is unleavened.

Now in Samuel Bacchiochi, in writing this book, I think that he really understood he was catering to the SDAs only. And I think later he wrote a retraction of it and said, 'Well, no, that's not quite correct.' So if we just stick to the Bible and don't go off on our own ideas and traditions and things, then we can understand what the Bible is telling us.

Now, we can just add one other thing into it also. It was said of the high priest that he should not enter into the Holy of Holies after having drunk wine. So there is a restriction on that, but that is not related to the Passover at all. But what does that tell us? That tells us though they had the wine offering and some of it was poured upon the altar, that just like the priest ate of the meat and ate of the bread offerings, whether leavened or unleavened, because peace offerings could have leaven cakes, that he also drank of the wine. So he ate the meat, ate the bread, drank of the wine. And who did the priest represent? He was a figure of Christ as an intercessor for the people of Israel. We need to keep that in mind.

One other thing concerning the Passover: let's come to Numbers 9. Now if you do not have the Passover book, I again encourage you to write for it. We'll send it to you no cost. Now you better be prepared to read, because it's five hundred pages, and it covers more than just the Passover. It covers the purpose of the Passover, the timing of the Passover, etc.

Now, one of the arguments that still is around is that the Passover of the Old Testament was on the fifteenth of the first month and that the term between the two evenings was between noon and sunset. Some other people take it to mean between sunset of one day to sunset of another day, meaning that anytime during that whole twenty-four hour day they could keep the Passover.

When we come to Numbers 9, we find something different. Put in your notes there Exodus 16 and the footnote at the bottom, because as I explained in a recent sermon when this first came up within the Church of God that we were with, after having written The Harmony of the Gospels, and showing when the Passover of the New Testament was and showing when the Passover of the Old Testament was, in summary form, I said if there was any more information concerning the Passover, I'll be sure and write about it. So I was stuck with this proposition. Just hold your place in Numbers 9, we'll come back.

We'll go to Exodus 16 (pg 188). They were complaining against Moses and Aaron, and God said, 'You're not complaining against Moses and Aaron, you're complaining against Me.' They said, 'Give us flesh, give us flesh, give us flesh.' And this was on the fifteenth day of the second month after they came out of Egypt, and that day was a Sabbath, as shown by the context here. So we'll go through and see the context. So I asked the question, if we cannot find in the Bible how it defines sunset, evening, and between the two evenings; if we cannot find a clear-cut definition of that from the Bible, then we're probably stuck with the Jewish interpretation of it.

So in studying it out, it became very clear here in Exodus 16:11. We'll go through the important things that we need to cover here. "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, "Between the two evenings… [Now that is a correct translation of the word ben ha arbayim] …between the two evenings you shall eat flesh... [Now we're going to see that's very important] …and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'" And it came to pass at sunset, that quails came up and covered the camp" (vs 11-13).

Now the Hebrew word for sunset is ba erev It says in Leviticus 23:32 that you shall observe your Sabbath from ba erev to ba erev, from the ninth day of the month to the tenth of the month, referring to the Day of Atonement, which is an absolutely clear verse in the Bible showing that as one day ends at sunset the ninth, then the whole day of the Day of Atonement is to sunset at the tenth. So ba erev, sunset, means the end of the day. Now unfortunately in the King James Version, they do not translate these because they didn't know the difference nor does the Strong's Concordance show the difference between the two words here, simply because Strong's Concordance only shows the word erev. And ben ha arbayim is a derivative of erev, so this causes great confusion when people just use the Strong's Concordance. However, it would be like you not knowing English very well, and you look up a phrase in English which says I will have been. Now that's a long phrase: will have been—three words. You say, 'Okay, I will look it up in an English concordance.' And you come to the base word to be. And you look at will have been, and you look to be. How can will have been be to be? Because the root verb or the base verb is the infinity of the verb which covers all the variations of it: is, are, was, were, have been, has been, shall have been, will be, shall be, all of those come from the base to be. So likewise, ben ha arbayim comes from the base of erev, but it is spelled entirely different to show that it is different from erev or ba erev. That's why God used it this way.

Now notice what happened at sunset. "And it came to pass at sunset, that quails came up and covered the camp" (v 13). So He just dropped the quail right on the camp. Now why did He do that? Because they were there keeping the Sabbath and the Sabbath was ending at sunset. So right at sunset the quail came.

Now what does this also show us? Because this is the lesson: don't go out and work on the Sabbath, remember that? So if God would have sent them like in the afternoon on the Sabbath and they would have started gathering all these quail, what would they be doing? Laboring on the Sabbath. So God would not break His Sabbath day to send them the meat. So He sent it at sunset, but He said, 'Between the two evenings you shall eat flesh.' Now what happens if at sunset you have a whole bag of quail? What do you have to do to them? You have to wring their necks and skin them. And the quail breast is just a very small thing. So they probably kept their fires going during the Sabbath, so when the quail came, how long does it take to wring their necks and skin them, clean them out? Couple of minutes. I know people today, it's hard to understand today because when you go buy your meat, it's already cut, skinned, and you know, put out there and in a refrigerator. But these are live birds. Now if you're really hungry and want the meat, what are you going to do? You're going to do that.

So the long and the short of it here, is that: you can't eat the quail until they come, correct? And they came when? At sunset. Sunset is how long? From the beginning of ba erev to the end of ba erev is three to five minutes, depending on the time of year and the latitude where you are. Immediately after that begins ben ha arbayim, between the two evenings, between sunset and dark. So here comes the quail, they kill them, skin them; they roast them quickly and they eat them.

Now let's continue you on here. "...and covered the camp. And at sunrise the dew lay all around the camp… [not on the camp. What did they have to do? Go out and gather, right? Yes, we'll see that.] …And when the layer of dew had gone up, behold there was a small round thing upon the face of the wilderness, small as the hoar-frost upon the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, 'What is that?' For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, 'This is the bread which the LORD had given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD has commanded. "Each man gather of it according to his eating, an omer for each one, according to the number of persons. Each one shall take for those who are in his tent."' And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, and some less. And when they measured with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, he that gathered little lacked nothing. They gathered each one according to his eating. And Moses said, 'Let no man leave any of it until the next morning'" (vs 13-19). And you know the rest of it there.

When you count it, the Sabbath ended when sunset came; they ate the quail, at sunrise‑‑when they actually killed it and ate it was on the first day of the week, because the day begins at sunset. So then in the morning of the first day of the week, they went out gathered it; and then was instructed how to do it every day. Then notice v 22: "And it came to pass, on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said to them, 'This is that which the LORD has said, "Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath to the LORD."'" So you've got a whole week's time involved here, don't you? Yes. And then you know what they did. Some of them kept it over and it stank, and he said, 'You're not going to find any out there on the Sabbath.' Verse 26, "Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass that some of the people went out on the Sabbath day in order to gather, but they did not find any. And the LORD said to Moses, 'How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?'" (vs 26-28).

So this was quite a lesson for the Sabbath, but also it defines for us the difference between ba erev and ben ha arbayim. So therefore, the Jews in saying that the sacrifices at the temple which were never really intended; (and that's why you need to get the Passover book) the sacrifices for the Passover at the temple God never really intended to be there. The Jews later added that as part of their tradition.

But there's one other thing that God said concerning the Passover, so let's come back to Numbers 9:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 'Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at its appointed time'…. [So there's a set time that God gave to keep it—fourteenth day.] …In the fourteenth day of this month, between the two evenings… [now this means, after sunset on the thirteenth, which begins the fourteenth] …you shall keep it at its appointed time…. [so God says twice 'appointed time'] …You shall keep it according to all its statutes, and according to all the ceremonies of it…. [we find that recorded back in Exodus 12] …And Moses spoke to the children of Israel to keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month between the two evenings in the wilderness of Sinai. According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, the children of Israel did" (vs 1-5).

Now then we have a problem arise. "Now there were certain men who were defiled by the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. And those men said to him, 'We are defiled by the dead body of man. Why are we kept back that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in its appointed time among the children of Israel?'" (vs 6-7). Now where was that offering to be offered? Probably right at the door of their tents, just like it was right at the door of their house when they were in Egypt.

Verse 8: "And Moses said to them, 'You wait here and I will hear what the LORD will command about you.' And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel saying, "If any man of you or of your generations shall be unclean because of a dead body, or in a journey afar off… [now that's a key important phrase‑‑in a journey afar off. This tells us something important and will also help answer the question as to why the Jews today insist on a fifteenth Passover. Let's read on.] …he shall still keep the Passover to the LORD. They shall keep it in the fourteenth day of the second month, between the two evenings, eating it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs"'" (vs 8-11).

And then the rest is the same. "'They shall leave none of it until morning, don't break any bone of it. According to all the ordinances of the Passover you shall keep it. But the man that is clean and is not in a journey, and holds back from keeping the Passover, even that soul shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the LORD at its appointed time. That man shall bear his sin'" (vs 12-13).

Now the question comes up, what if the journey is far enough that they can't make it back to the land by the fourteenth day of the second month? The answer is: if you are to keep it at its appointed time and you are not in the land, and you don't make it back by the fourteenth day of the second month, then you don't keep the Passover. But you can keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which begins what? At sundown as the fourteenth ends and you have the Night Much to Be Remembered (to be observed).

What happened to the Jews because of sin? I have a chapter in the Passover book that explains this in detail and gives quotes from the Karaite which say, 'The reason we are scattered in the Diaspora is because of our sins and we are walking in the footsteps of our forefathers and therefore, we cannot keep a fourteenth Passover'—because they are not in the land.

Now, Bo Riskin, a Jewish rabbi, in writing about this problem, and in looking forward to the temple being rebuilt (which it will be) said that the Jews who are now in the land will now be able to keep Passover on the fourteenth. So they know the difference. Those who are in the Diaspora, which most of the Jews are, cannot keep a fourteenth Passover. Now since most of them reject Jesus Christ, and even the Messianic Jews do not understand the difference of some of the teachings of Christ concerning it, then they insist that the Passover can only be on the fifteenth. What they have done is this: they have labeled the whole Feast of Unleavened Bread the Passover and they know that it's to be eight days. So what they have done, they have taken seven days of Unleavened Bread, then added an eighth day at the end. So when we understand that, that's important. I remember talking to Jew one time and I said, 'The Jews are right, on a fifteenth Passover for those who are not in the Promised Land, back there in the Middle East.' Because they cannot keep a fourteenth Passover, because why? Except for a few of the ones who are Messianic Jews, they reject Jesus Christ.

Let's just come to the book of Matthew and we will see something very interesting, what Jesus said. Matthew 28. Now remember, Jesus kept the Passover at the right time according to the instructions of the commands of God. And then He was crucified on the day portion of the Passover day. Now we explain all of that in the Passover book. This Passover book, being five hundred pages, answers every question that has come up concerning the Passover. I have not yet heard a question come up that is not answered by the Passover book. Now, if there ever is, then when we reprint it, we will add that into it.

Jesus showed them how to keep the Passover, right? With the footwashing, with the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine. Now let's come here to Matthew 28:18 (pg 994), right at the end. "And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me…. [that includes everything; all authority that there is. You can tie that in with Hebrews the first chapter] …Therefore go and make disciples in all nations... [Now are all nations outside of the land of what is called Israel or Judah? Yes.] …baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit… [That's not a Trinitarian formula; we have that explained in other literature, so I won't go into it here. Now verse 20, notice what He commanded, and all authority was given to command this, right?] …Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you'" (vs 18-20).

What did He command on the Passover night? Footwashing. What did He command concerning the bread? He said, 'Take eat, this is My body which is broken for you.' What did He command concerning the wine for the Passover? 'Take drink, this is My blood of the New Covenant.' So what is Jesus telling them here? That in all nations of the world, wherever there are true Christians, He has given the command that they are to take the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, becauseHis is an all-inclusive authority, all authority, teaching them to 'observe all things that I have commanded you.' And of course, how can you be in covenant with God, with Christ, unless you take the Passover:

  • on the right day,
  • at the right time,
  • with the right symbols,

and with the commands of Jesus, and the teachings of Jesus to do it? You can't do it! This also is one of the reasons why the so-called Christian world has gone to Easter instead of Passover; why they have the Eucharist and the Lord's Supper instead of the Passover. Now, Church of God Seventh Day calls it the Lord's Supper, but they keep it on the right day.

Now notice how long this command was to be: "'…And lo I am with you always even until the completion of the age'" (v 20). Now did the apostle Paul follow those commands? Yes. Let's come back here to 1-Corinthians. We will see, yes, he did, without a doubt. Who taught Paul? Jesus did in vision and personally in the desert of Arabia.

Now he had to correct them for allowing gross sin in the congregation, we won't go into that now. We've covered that at a time earlier, but too many people glory in their sins. 1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good…. [now here's a key very important part of this verse, which is an absolute principle that follows through in everything.] …Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump." And leaven during the Days of Unleavened Bread symbolizes sin. It's only during that time that it does.

Now isn't it true that when people start sinning a little, they sin a little more; they compromise and sin a little more; compromise and sin a little more? Yes. So 'don't you know that a little leavens the whole lump.' And that's exactly how Satan works in bringing in his false doctrines, and it's called incrementalism, a little at a time. And just like we're seeing in America, we've had creeping socialism for how long? Long time, probably since Woodrow Wilson. And that creeping socialism then did what? Well, they had the Scopes Trial and got rid of God in the schools. Then they had challenges about using the name of God and commandments in the general population and the ACLU got the Supreme Court to say, 'Well, you can't do this concerning God, and you can't do that concerning God.' Also now we have it that it's gone so far that the chaplains down in Florida, I think it's Orlando down there, one of the cities, that they were told they cannot use the name Jesus in their prayers in helping people who are dying. Now that shows the evil and meanness and the absolute, how shall we say, corruption of the thinking of Satan the devil. And yet some people think Satan is going to be saved; no, he can't be saved. Some people even think, 'Well, God could change him into a human being and burn him up.' Well, no, God hasn't changed any of the angels into human beings, and he's not going to; and Satan is not going to be burned up. So that's part of the false things that people come up with.

So likewise here, and we'll see when we get to chapter eleven, they were doing things that they should not do. "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump" (v 6). And that's why we're to get leaven out of our houses, for us to understand its everywhere in our lives; we have to be on guard. That's why we are to eat unleavened bread for the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread to realize that we must 'live by every Word of God,' as Jesus has said. That's the whole purpose in it.

Here's what he tells them, v 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven, that you may become new lump... [now this is the old leaven of sin within you. So you have to:

  • do the purging,
  • do the repenting
  • ask God to help you,

to cleanse your heart and mind and soul and being. That's what he means by 'purge out the old leaven.'] …that you may become a new lump… [that:

  • you may become converted;
  • your mind may be transformed;
  • your mind may be renewed;
  • God can mold and shape your mind and your heart and your thought

to prepare you for eternal life.] …even as you are unleavened" (v 7). Meaning they unleavened their homes, but they lost the whole purpose of it because they allowed sin. What good does it do to put out leaven, if you do not yield to God? It does no good, because what you're wanting to do then, you're saying, 'Oh, God, we've done this ritual and now even in our sins, You have to bless us.' Well, God isn't going to bless anyone in their sins at all any way.

Now here's the reason why: "…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7). He bore the sins of the world; He bore our sins individually; Christ died for each one of us personally, and down through God's plan then, as we know, it will apply to the whole world eventually.

Verse 8 is a very important thing concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So what we find here is the Feast of Unleavened Bread connected with the Passover, correct? Then we will see in 1-Corinthians 11 that he commanded them to keep the Passover and they were doing it the wrong way, just like right here in chapter 5 they were allowing the sin of incest to go on. So they were corrupting the Passover.

"…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For this reason, let us keep the feast…. [that has to be the Feast of Unleavened Bread.] …not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness…. [See we are to change, we are to grow, we are to overcome continuously. And every year when the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes, we examine ourselves, as we will see, before the Passover. And then because conversion is a process, conversion takes time, overcoming sin is through the use of the Holy Spirit and drawing close to God; and that is the process of conversion.] (That's why he says): …nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (vs 7- 8).

And what did Jesus say concerning Himself on the Passover night? 'I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me.' Now I don't care how broad minded you are or now diverse your thinking is, that is the narrowness of God's way, as Jesus said. You're not going to do it through any other but Jesus Christ. None other. It won't be through any of the other gods of this world, or prophets of those religions thereof and it will not be through a counterfeit Christianity, which many of the Jews know better that the Catholic Church cannot be rooted in the Bible, and so they call it baptized paganism. Well, I think it's kind of just rank paganism and the way the Catholics baptize is with sprinkling, and so it's just sprinkled paganism, not baptized.

"…Let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (v 8). That's why I've been saying here, the three most important things are:

  • Sabbath,
  • Passover, and Passover is the fulcrum of it
  • Holy Days.

Versus Sunday, I've been saying the Eucharist, Lord's Supper, and so forth, but let's just label that Easter:

  • Sunday,
  • Easter,
  • And the pagan holidays.

Those are the three counterfeits versus the three that God has showed that are the most important. So if you leave these off‑‑if you don't keep the Sabbath, you don't keep the Passover, you don't keep the Holy Days, then you don't know anything about God. Because it's through those that we learn, we grow, that He teaches us with His Holy Spirit. So if you keep Sunday, Easter, and the holidays of this world, though you may use Scripture, you don't know God. You don't know His plan.

Now in the case of Church of God Seventh Day, they keep Sabbath and Passover (most of them). Some of them keep the Holy Days and even some Seventh Day Adventists keep the Holy Days. We have on our mailing list a minister who has a whole organization of probably twenty, thirty thousand Seventh Day Adventists that affiliate with him, that keep the Sabbath, the Passover, and the Holy Days. So Church of God there are some who keep the Holy Days, too. But those who do not, what happens? What happens when you just keep the Sabbath and Passover? Well, then you have a lack of understanding of the plan of God. You probably have a weakness in your faith, because you are not truly following God. You're partially doing that and God recognizes that. So His admonishment to those is this—strengthen the things that remain. In other words, don't lose those basic things. Then He said they would walk with Him in white.

Let's come to 1-Corinthians 11:34 (pg 1169): "But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that there will be no cause for judgment when you assemble together. And the other matters I will set in order when I come." Now what does that verse mean? We'll see it means that when you come together for the Passover, as a church, you are to have already eaten before you comeat home. Doesn't he say 'if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that there will be no cause for judgment when you assemble together.' In other words, you eat at home before you come to assemble for the Passover, right? Now we'll see that is true, yet there are some today who say, 'Oh, we ought to have a meal, just like the Jews.' Now the closest thing you can come to that is this: if you keep the Passover at home, say just you and your wife and your family is there, and then you eat your meal say at about six o'clock. And then by the time you wait for sundown and for it to be dark, because you don't start right at sundown, you start when it's getting dark (between the two evenings); then you take the Passover, but you don't combine the two together.

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Now before we get into 1-Corinthians 11, there are a couple of things that I need to clarify so that we will understand it. Now I realize in some of these things I probably went over them a little quickly concerning sunset, between the two evenings and the Hebrew phrases ba erev, which means sunset, and ben ha arbayim which means between the two evenings.

So let's go back and review just a little bit, so we can understand the difference. Let's come to Leviticus 23. Let's first all look at ba erev, sunset. Now this is a key verse which clearly defines for us when a Sabbath should be. Now even the Jews are divided on this because of their different traditions.

Some say that the Sabbath begins a considerable time before sunset because they believe that's ba erev. Others say Sabbath does not begin until its dark enough that you can see three stars. That's a period of what? Five hours, six hours, depending on the day. So the Bible defines it for us here in Leviticus 23:32. This is talking about the Day of Atonement. Now the reason why it is so clearly defined here is for this reason: so that everyone will know when the Day of Atonement begins and when it ends, so that everyone will be keeping the Day of Atonement at the same time. What if you had some begin the Day of Atonement from three in the afternoon and others didn't start until eight at night when they saw the three stars? So God defines it here. And the reason is, is because the Day of Atonement is the most severe of all the Sabbaths.

So let's come here, Leviticus 23. (We will work our way to v 32 in just a minute). Let's read about the Day of Atonement, because this is a special Sabbath or a Sabbath of extreme rest, if we could put it that way. Leviticus 23:27 (pg 240): "Also, on the tenth day of this seventh month, is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls… [And afflict means that you will fast without eating food or drinking water, with the only exception being if there are some people who are on absolute required medication, then that would be allowable.] …and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD." That was when they had the temple and they had the burnt offerings, and so forth.

Now here becomes the key important thing as to why God really defined the Day of Atonement as specifically as He did. And this is a little different from 'the evening and the morning were the first day.' From that we understand that the day begins at evening and then the day is finished with the day portion. And we'll see that a little bit later here as Christ also used the word. But let's go on here. "And you shall do no work in that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, in order to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whoever is not afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people" (v 28). Now that's pretty severe. That means you will be reckoned as a stranger in the land as uncircumcised. God is not going to come down and cut you off or remove limbs or your head, but you will not be recognized as part of the people of Israel though you might physically be.

Verse 30: "And whoever does any work in that same day, the same one will I destroy from among his people…. [So that means then, there are other penalties that come along which will destroy your life.] …You shall do no manner of work. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings…. [Now, because it's so severe: you shall not work, you shall not do any work, no manner of work. Then he says v 32 to define it because the questions is: 'When Lord? I don't want to get cut off. I don't want to be destroyed; I don't want to do any work. When, Lord?']  …It shall be to you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at sunset, from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath" (vs 30-32). This defines the whole day of the Sabbath. When the sun goes down on the ninth day of the month and it's below the horizon that begins the tenth day until the next sunset. So that begins it and the whole day is from sunset to sunset. So when sunset comes along at the end of the tenth day that ends the tenth day. That's how a day is defined, from sunset to sunset.

That's why in Exodus 16 the quail were sent at sunset because that ended the Sabbath day. God said they would eat them between the two evenings, 'between the two evenings you shall eat them.' So the two different words are: sunset is ba erev; between the two evenings is ben ha arbayim, that's between sunset and dark. Because when it's dark, it is night. Night in Hebrew is lailah; morning (sunrise) is boqer. So these give us the parts of the day: sunset, between the two evenings, night, sunrise, till the sun sets, so that's a complete division of the days.

The question is in v 32, does it use both phrases: ba erev and ben ha arbayim? No, because this is defining the whole day of fasting. Ben ha arbayim was the time when they were to kill the lamb and begin roasting it, and then they would eat it in that night, after it was roasted. So there was a period of time, and that period of time, between the time of killing it—so what did they do? The sun set, went below the horizon, the day is over. As soon as it goes below the horizon that begins ben ha arbayim (between the two evenings). So in Exodus 12 that's when they killed the lamb. Then they took the blood, put some of it on the side-posts and on the lintel over the top of the door so that the firstborn would be spared. Then they would skin the lamb, take its innards out, break no bones of it, and they would put back in the liver, the kidneys, and the heart. Those are the pertinents that would be eaten. If you took an animal and just slit its throat without skinning it and without taking out the innards, and you put it on a spigot to roast it, it would soon reach the point that it would explode. So that's why it has to be skinned and handled that way. So they were to eat it in that night; and they were not to go out of their houses until morning, which was boqer, sunrise. Now all of this is in the Passover book.

Some have interpreted between the two evenings, from one sunset to another sunset, but that's not the Bible interpretation. The Bible interpretation of a whole day is ba erev (from sunset to sunset); ben ha arbayim means from sunset until dark. Now if you measure it this time of year, it's about an hour and fifteen minutes. So if people have the wrong interpretation of it, the various different ways which are all defined in the Passover book, they would be eating the Passover at all different times, from the afternoon, and so forth.

To clarify Numbers 9: when they were not in the land they could not keep the fourteen Passover of the first month. If they got back into it and their journey ended at that time, or say maybe they were on a long journey, maybe they left two weeks after Passover one day; they kept the Passover while they were in the land. And they were gone a whole year, say a whole year and two weeks after the Passover again. So when they got back in the land, then they were to keep the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month. But if they missed that and were not back in the land, they couldn't keep the Passover. So this is how the Jews came to keeping a fifteenth Passover, which was really not the Passover, and they know it's not the Passover because they don't have a whole lamb. They use a lamb shank. They could keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread out in the Diaspora, that is scattered all over, and God scattered them. But they couldn't keep the Passover and that is very interesting, because unless you keep the Passover, as Christ said, 'you don't have any part with Him'—the footwashing, the bread, the wine. You don't have any part with Him. If they didn't keep the Passover and they were in exile, they were in punishment for their sins. So they couldn't keep a fourteenth Passover, according to the commands of the Bible. So what they did, they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread and renamed the whole feast as Passover. Instead of having the fourteenth day, followed by seven days of Unleavened Bread, they kept the Passover on the fifteenth, with a Seder meal which was not a Passover meal, but they called it a Passover meal. So this becomes quite complicated. That's why I have the whole book. But the Jews, understanding the true meaning of the fourteenth, have said, 'That's why when we are in the Diaspora we cannot do anything on the fourteenth.' And even the Messianic Jews today, even many of them claim that they are to keep it on the fifteenth, which is the wrong day and is not the Passover.

It's just like today. How many people keep Sunday and how many of those call that the Sabbath? A lot of them do, especially up in Mormon land. I remember when I was pastoring the Salt Lake, Utah, I was driving down one of the back roads there, and here's a big billboard up there: 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' I thought, Ooo, are there people up here keeping the Sabbath? And then there was a little smaller print down there and says, 'See you in church on Sunday.' So the same thing applies. If the Jews call what they do a Passover, but it's on the wrong day, it's not the Passover.

That's why Jesus was our Passover, crucified for us. He kept it on the fourteenth day the way it should have been kept, and He commanded the apostles to 'go into all nations and teach them all things that He commanded.' And the Passover was one of the key central things. The comment was made (a little humorous) that's why pro-football's on Sunday because God loves football and so we can watch it on Sunday.

Before we come back to 1-Corinthians 11, let's come here to Luke 22:11. We'll add some things in there and then we will end up coming back to what Jesus said to Peter, because a little portion of what He said there helps also explain something else concerning the timing of the Passover. "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?'.... [And we know the Passover's on the fourteenth day of the first month. We also know that it begins at sunset; we also know that the preparation of the Passover was to be from sunset until the time that the Passover lamb was ready to eat. So time would be going on.] …And he shall show you a large upper room furnished; there prepare.' Then he went and found everything exactly as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover" (vs 11-13). Now what did they prepare? I don't think that they prepared a lamb, but I think the master of the house already had the lamb prepared, and they finished everything else.

"Now when the hour had come… [that is the specific time for eating the Passover] …He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, 'With earnest desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you that I will not eat of it again until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.' And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He said, 'Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I say to you, I will not drink at all of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God has come'" (vs 14-18). As we covered, since God made wine, then this had to be wine; they had no way of preserving grape juice. As a matter of fact, how is grape juice preserved today? They pasteurize it. So it had to be wine, though it's called the fruit of the vine here.

The reason I'm bringing this out because we've already covered that Jesus said he commanded them to teach all nations everything that He commanded them. Verse 19: "And He took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body, which is given for you. This do in the remembrance of Me.'" Now in the Greek it's very specific with the definite article, the remembrance and the remembrance means a memorial which remembers Jesus Christ. And a memorial comes once a year; and the Passover comes once a year.

"In like manner also, He took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you'" (v 20). So here we have, when you put all three references together which we do with the Passover ceremony, it is for the remission of the sins of many; it is for the remission of our sins personally for you.

Let's come down here to v 29: "And I appoint to you, as My Father has appointed to Me, a kingdom; So that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and may sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Then the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, listen well. Satan has demanded to have you, to sift you as wheat…. [Can you imagine what it was if he would have gotten the first Peter for the first pope? That's what he was aiming for.] …But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.' And he said to Him, 'Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death'…. [very interesting] …But He said, 'I tell you, Peter, the cock shall in wise crow today before you have denied Me three times'" (vs 29-34). So you see the night portion is called today.

Come to Mark 14:29 (pg 1013). Let's see the parallel account to see how He phrases it here, which is the point that I want to make. "Then Peter said to Him, 'Even if all shall be offended, yet I shall not.'" Now this is very interesting what Jesus said, which also shows this: though you may have good intentions, though you may feel this way, this is a carnal emotion that many people have like suicide bombers that we have today, and the suicide planes during World War II and so forth. Which means this: you are not going to do anything for God based upon your own feelings, your own thoughts, your own ways, and have God say, 'Oh, that was good.' Because we have nothing we didn't receive, and we have no goodness except what comes from Him. Peter had not yet learned that lesson.

But notice v 30: "And Jesus said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today, in this very night… [Now that defines it even more, doesn't it? This shows the day began at sunset, they had the Passover ceremony, then Jesus was arrested at midnight, went through all of His trials and so forth, and was crucified in the morning on the Passover day and died at about three in the afternoon and was put in the tomb just before sunset. So this is interesting. Today—which means that sunrise does not bring another day, part of the same day.] …today, in this very night, before the cock crows twice, you shall deny Me three times.' But he spoke more adamantly, 'If it were necessary for me to die with You, I would not deny You in any way.' And they all spoke in the same manner also" (vs 30-31). You know what happened, he did deny Him. And it's interesting that in Luke's account, when he denied Him the third time, while Peter was there warming himself, and Jesus was over there being questioned by the religious authorities, when the cock crowed the third time, and Peter had denied Him, Jesus looked at him and Peter looked at Jesus, and then went out and repented.

So that also helps define things we have covered, but the key thing for the New Testament is this: His command to teach them everything He taught them included the fourteenth Passover. So with all authority given to Him in heaven and earth, what is He saying? He's saying now because the Gospel is going to go to all nations, now the Passover can be kept anywhere you are. You do not have to be in the land to keep the Passover, but wherever you are in the world. So this is why the Jews who reject Jesus say it has to be on the fifteenth because they have the substitute Passover, which in the Passover book I call the Passover of the Rejected, which I should probably re-title in another printing, the Passover of the Diaspora Jews. That probably would be a better title.
Now let's come back to 1-Corinthians 11 and we will see here. Let's just comment on one thing. Since the Passover is so important and Jesus said unless you do this, particularly footwashing, but that also has to do with the whole Passover, 'you have no part with Me.' If you were Satan the devil, what is the one thing that you would love to confuse more than anything else? Because if you confuse people, what do you do? You begin to move them away from the truth. That's how Satan works—incrementalism. So we saw that they didn't understand in 1-Corinthians 5 about the sacrifice of Christ, didn't really understand that leaven pictured sin, so he said therefore, 'Christ our Passover was crucified for us. Therefore let us keep the feast not with the leaven of wickedness and malice, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.'

Now in 1-Corinthians 11 we find another problem they were having with the Passover and that was eating a meal with it. Now the reason that they probably were was because they saw that in ending the Old Covenant Passover there was a meal with the lamb. But now for the New Covenant Passover, which Jesus changed, and by the way He had to finish the Old Covenant Passover first before introducing the New Covenant Passover. Very important to remember. The meal was over. Now, some people even today say, 'Oh, we need a meal,' which I explained earlier. But that's why we go to the last verse in 1-Corinthians 11 to read that first, that when we have the Passover we are not to have a meal with it. It is not a meal. Let's read it, v 34: "But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home… [and that's before you come, obviously] …so that there will be no cause for judgment when you assemble together. And the other matters I will set in order when I come." Sounds like he had a lot of them there in 1-Corinthians.

I started doing a series in 1-Corinthians years ago and we only had about eight people at that time and I got to thinking, (because it was back in, say, about 1985-6, or somewhere around there), 'well, we don't have any of these problems here at this time' and so I suspended it after about chapter six. Maybe I ought to go back and do it because that's the world we're living in today.

Let's finish this off with the Passover here. Let's come to v 17 and we will read it through. "Now in this that I am commanding you, I do not praise you… [read v 34 again: 'If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home so there will be no cause for judgment when you assemble together.'] …I do not praise you, because when you assemble together, it is not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, I hear that there are divisions among you when you are assembled together in the church, and I partly believe it…. [I think he was later more convinced of it. Now here's another key verse:] …For it is necessary that heresies be among you… [why?] …so that the ones who are approved may become manifest among you" (vs 17-19). Now that's very interesting, isn't it? Why does Paul say it's necessary that there be heresies among you? What do problems and misinterpretations do? If you really want the truth, what do they force you to do? Seek out the truth, correct? Prove all things, right? Hold fast to which is good. Yes, that's why. And another reason is so that 'those who are proved among you may be manifest,' which means you're going to know the true teachers from the false teachers. Now that's quite an introduction, isn't it, those three verses?

Verse 20: "Therefore, when you assemble together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's supper." Now the Greek here is very, very strong. The impossibility of eating the Lord's supper:

  • Because He already had eaten His last supper, right?
  • You are not to call it the Lord's supper, because it is the Passover, as Jesus said.

Now notice what they were doing. So they couldn't come together and have a meal and call it the Lord's supper that's what he said, 'it's not to eat the Lord's supper.' Now, most commentaries tell you, 'Oh, well, he was just correcting a wrong understanding of eating the Lord's supper.' No, he was eliminating it.

Verse 21: "For in eating, everyone takes his own supper first… [so they were all bringing their food when they came together for the Passover. That's why he said in v 34, 'If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home.' So they were doing it all wrong.] …But on the one hand someone goes hungry… [because he didn't bring enough or didn't bring anything] …but on the other hand, another becomes drunken…. [This was really getting down to be pretty wild Passover, wasn't it? So he says in v 22:] …WHAT! Don't you have houses for eating and drinking?.… [eating and drinking what? A supper, not taking the Passover, because he says v 34, 'If anyone is hungry among you, let him eat at home.'] …Or do you despise the church of God, 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!.… [because he said back there in 1-Corinthians 3, 'you're carnal.'] …For I received from the Lord… [now he's giving them the straight instructions from Jesus Himself] …which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread… [So that establishes when the Passover should be, 'in the night in which He was betrayed, He took bread.' And that was on the Passover night, the night of the fourteenth.] …And after giving thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take eat, this is My body which is being broken for you…. [That's very interesting, because in the Greek this is a present tense passive, being broken for you, showing how personal and particular the sacrifice of Christ was to be.] …This do in the remembrance of Me'" (vs 21-24).

Now the chapter in which I cover all of this: How Often Should the Christian Passover Be Observed? I go through the Greek very, very detailed so you know exactly what it means. But the remembrance means a memorial, once a year. They confuse 'as often as you drink it,' as meaning anytime you want to. So I'll explain the problem here as we go on the next couple verses.

"'…This do in the remembrance of Me.' In like manner, He also took the cup after He has 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'" (vs 24-25). Now let's see the qualifier here in just a minute. There are three qualifiers:

  • The remembrance, meaning a memorial on a particular day.
  • It is the Passover night
  • There is a qualifier for 'as often as.' (We'll see it here in just a minute.)

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." So the phrase 'until He comes' means that year-by-year, as often as you do this year-by-year, until the Lord comes; not as often as you desire to. And I fully explain that in the Passover book, so be sure and get it.

Now v 27. This is why we follow the Passover exactly as Jesus laid it out. "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." Now that's a pretty strong statement, isn't it? So what does worthiness mean? On the day, at the time, in the manner, and with the attitude that Jesus showed we were to have, an attitude of repentance. We don't want to be guilty of the body and the blood of Christ. So what is he saying? If you're coming together and if you're doing this in a way that you think and some of you bring food, some of you don't bring food, some of you are eating and are gluttoned, others are hungry, others are drunken, that's an unworthy manner, isn't it? That's what he is saying.

Verse 29: "Because the one who eats and drinks unworthily is eating and drinking judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord…. [In other words, not really fully understanding the purpose of the sacrifice of Christ.] …For this very reason, many are weak and sickly among you, and many have fallen asleep…. [that is died. Verse 31 is key. Here's what we are to do:] …Now if we would examine ourselves… [How we take the Passover, attitude in which we take the Passover, and the timing and the manner in which we take it.] …we would not be judged" (vs 29-31). What does this tell us? If we don't do it right, God is going to judge us. Correct? What did Peter say concerning the judgment of God? He said 'now is the judgment upon the house of God. And if the righteous are saved with difficulty, where will the sinner and ungodly be?' So the truth of the matter is though we are under the grace of God, have the sacrifice of Christ applied to us, God is still judging us, isn't He? Yes, He is. And that's why with:

  • daily prayer,
  • repentance,
  • study,
  • yielding to God,

we're under the grace of God and God looks at it and His judgment is, 'they are under Christ; therefore, there is no evil accounted to them.' And that's what we want.

Now v 32, so he explains what happens when we are judged. "But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord… [in other words, some correction that comes, through circumstances, through the Word of God, through the Spirit of God, or in this case, the apostle Paul.] …so that we will not be condemned with the world." Because we are not to be of the world, just as Christ wasn't, though we live in the world.

Now he says, "So then, my brethren, when you assemble together to eat the bread and drink the cup, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that there will be no cause for judgment when you assembly together…." (v 33). So that shows very clearly that there is not to be a meal, it is not to be called the Lord's supper, and the rest of the Bible shows that the Passover is to be kept on the fourteenth day of the first month.

Well I hope this answers some questions concerning the Passover and every year different heresies and interpretations come about and I know every year I get letters from the brethren saying, 'Well, I'm re-reading the Passover book again.' And when you get it, if you don't have it, you'll understand why. There's a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of information in there. That is genuinely a very thorough book and I don't take credit for it that I did it, because if I do something of myself, and it's not inspired and motivated by the Spirit of God, what does that account for? That would be no different than just other people going out there and just doing their own way.

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 104:1-2, 13-15
  • Exodus 16:11-19, 22, 26-28
  • Numbers 9:1-13
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • 1 Corinthians 11:34
  • Leviticus 23:27-32
  • Luke 22:11-20, 29-34
  • Mark 14:29-31
  • 1 Corinthians 11:34, 17-34

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 12
  • Leviticus 23:32
  • Hebrews 1
  • Exodus 12, 16
  • 1 Corinthians 5, 3

Also referenced: Books:

  • Sabbath to Sunday by Samuel Bacchiocchi
  • The Harmony of the Gospels by Fred Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred Coulter

Transcribed: 5-7-09
Formatted: bo—6/11/09