Fred Coulter - January 9, 2002
The title of this sermon is The Passover - Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and Christ. Most people believe that the Passover began with the children of Israel in Egypt. However, we’re going to see that that is not true. It began long, long before then. And most people today believe that the Passover is only for the Jews. However, the Jews have it on the wrong day, and I’ve covered that very thoroughly in the book The Christian Passover. So let’s approach this from an entirely different point of view. That’s why I said, The Passover - Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and Christ.
Let’s first of all go to Galatians 3. Now I’m going to read to you from my translation. Here, Galatians 3:29, and I found in translating that God inspired the Greek in such a way that if you’re going to be honest in translating it, almost all the versions will be similar. And the reason being is because you can’t translate it any differently.
Now, Galatians 3:29 (AT), “Now then, if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Now we’ll take a look at that in detail here, in a little bit.
Let’s go to the book of Hebrews, and again I’m going to read from my translation. Let’s come to the sixth chapter. And I think if you go through and look at the writings of the New Testament you will be very surprised how much of the New Testament is keyed to Abraham, and then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but more in particularly to Abraham.
Now let’s begin here in Hebrews 6:13. “For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself, since He could swear by none greater, saying, “In blessing I will surely bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.” Now after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the unchangeable nature of His own resolve, confirmed it by an oath;…” (Heb. 6:13-17, AT). Now I want you to understand “the unchangeable nature of His own resolve”, because that does tie in with God’s plan, and God’s plan ties in with the Passover and the holy days, as well as the weekly Sabbath. So that’s important to understand.
“So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil; where Jesus has entered for us as forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec” (vs. 18-20, AT).
Now also this tells us a very important thing. That we always have to have the hope that God gave to Abraham, the hope of eternal life. We need to have that as secure and steadfast for the anchor of our soul. That way we’re not going to be tossed to and fro by everything that comes along. And as we have been finding in the series in the book of Hebrews, as we’re coming to now, that the thing that is important is that we have a High Priest Who is in heaven at the right hand of God, and this is the greatest most supreme thing that God could do for us while we are in the flesh.
Now let’s come to Hebrews 13:8 (AT). And here is something that’s very important that we need to understand and remember. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday [that is, when He was the God of the Old Testament], and today [that is, under the New Covenant], and forever [that is in carrying out God’s plan into the ages of eternity].” So these things we really need to have as a preface before getting into the Passover concerning Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and Christ.
Now let’s come back to Galatians 3, and let’s see something that is important, something that is profound. Now let’s pick it up here in Galatians 3:6. “It is exactly as it is written: “Abraham believed God,…” Now that is a profound statement. He believed God. And that’s what we have to do in the New Covenant as well, see. He didn’t believe in just what God had told him. Well, he did, but he believed God. And this is what it needs to be for all of us, that we believe God. When God says something, we believe it because God said it. So therefore we believe God. Now notice, “…And it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” This is telling us then, when you believe God, wholly and completely, you are righteous before Him. Righteousness is imputed to you. Now we’ll see how this comes when we get back to the book of Genesis in just a minute. “Because of this, you should understand that they who are of faith, these are the true sons of Abraham” (Gal. 3:6-7, AT). That is, the spiritual sons. There were the physical sons through Isaac and Jacob, and Israel.
“Now the Scriptures seeing in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and God preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham,…” Now when have you heard that the gospel was preached to Abraham? There it is. And the gospel begins with what He said to Abraham, “…saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” It is for this reason [because Abraham believed] that those who are of faith are being blessed with the believing Abraham” (vs. 8-9, AT).
So let’s go back to the book of Genesis and see this. And we will see that the Passover did not begin with Israel, but rather it began with Abraham. And we’ll see that it’s the same day that God gave the Passover to Israel. And we will see the reason we keep the Passover today is because of Abraham. That’s what it says. “If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” And so likewise, when we partake of the Passover, because we’re coming up to it very shortly here, we need to understand that the words that Jesus gave, the words of the New Covenant, we need to believe.
Now let’s come back to Genesis 12, KJV. Let’s begin here in verse 1. “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:…” Now just hold your place here, and let’s go to Luke 14, because I want to make something very clear. That what Abraham did fulfilled this requirement that Jesus gave in the gospel of Luke, beginning in verse 26. Let’s read verse 25 and then we’ll read verse 26. “And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them,…” Now this is also important to understand. Multitudes of people like to use the name of Christ, like to claim that they are Christian, like to think of themselves as Christian, but they are the glad-handers just like the people who were here because they came because they were looking for the physical things. They remembered the feeding of the 4000, the feeding of the 5000, and so forth. So Jesus turned and He made a very important point here. He said, “If any man [one] come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” So it is not like the Protestants say, “All you have to do is give your heart to the Lord.” No, you have to do the same thing as Abraham did. This is a requirement of Abraham, now detailed a little more closely for us. And where it says, “cannot be My disciple”, it means the impossibility of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. So we can tie that together. If you do not believe God, if you do not believe Christ, if you do not keep His commandments you are not of Christ. You may claim to be, you may think you are. You may even have some important people whom you look to in this world as your spiritual leaders, but unless you do what Jesus said here, you’re not His disciple.
Verse 27, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me,…” Meaning that you have to go through whatever trials and difficulties you go through and you bear your cross. “…Cannot be My disciple.” So remember what Jesus said, the broad way, the easy way. Many are going that way with the name of Christ, but it’s going to end in destruction. So then He gives a little more and He says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower,…” You can read the rest of it there. You calculate whether you have enough to finish it or not. And if you don’t, people are going to mock you and say, “You began but didn’t finish.” Or a king, going against another, he figures out whether he can come against 20,000 with his 10,000, and if he can win or not. And if not then he goes ahead and makes peace.
Now verse 33 says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Now what is the hardest thing to give up? Many people have walked away from lands. Many people have walked away from countries. Many people have left families, but what is the hardest thing to give up? Self. You are to give up self to become a new creature in Christ.
Now let’s come back to Genesis 12. Let’s see how the gospel began. And what we read in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and all the New Testament is a detailed fulfilling and carrying out of this promise, which was given to Abraham by God directly in Genesis 12:2. “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Now that is a broad, broad promise, isn’t it? So therefore literally, the rest of the Bible from this point on shows how God fulfilled those promises and was carrying them out. And how that the carrying out of these promises are going to go clear on down through into the millennium, down into the Last Great Day, down into New Jerusalem coming on this earth, and on into all eternity. So that’s quite a thing. “So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him;…” (Gen. 12:2-4).
Now let’s come to Genesis 15. Let’s see where then, God then gives a little more understanding of what He promised him. Now he believed Him. He didn’t give him any details. He said, “Just go, I’ll bless you.” So he left. Now please understand this: that’s the same with us. Many times God has us do things that we don’t understand right away. Later, He reveals it to us. Here’s the later part that He revealed a little bit more to Abram, or Abraham. Now we’re going to look and see that there are two things here. We’re also going to see that this took place over a period of two days, and that these two days are the Passover, the 14th of the first month, and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of the first month. Now, we’ll prove that after we get into it.
Let’s look at this now. So He gave the promise, beginning in verse 4. He said, “…Out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” So there is a physical seed. First there is the physical, then there is the spiritual. That’s what Paul said. The first man, Adam, was of the flesh. The second Adam, Christ, was from heaven. There is a natural body, which is sown in the resurrection, and raised a spiritual body. So here we have the same thing. God is giving the promise of a physical heir - a son.
Now then we have a second promise given. Verse 5, “And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” Now that’s quite an awesome thing. And remember, at that time there was no smog around to obscure the vision of the stars. Now, you see the stars when? At night. What God is doing here, He is bringing the words of the covenant to Abraham. These are the words of the covenant that God gave to Abraham. Now, He expands upon that because there are two parts here: the physical seed and the spiritual seed.
Now, hold your place and let’s come to Matthew 13, and we will see the promise of spiritual seed is likened unto the stars. So He is giving two promises to Abraham here. One a physical seed from his own bowels. One of spiritual seed, which would come through Christ, as we now know, Galatians 3:29, that if you be Christ’s then are you Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.
Now let’s come to Matthew 13:43. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Now again let’s come to 1 John 3, and let’s see something very important here…how we will be when we are glorified spirit beings. 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-2).
Now let’s come to Revelation 1 so we can show that when God took Abraham out there and showed him the stars, he was literally showing him the glory of his coming spiritual seed through Christ. Now, Revelation 1:13, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [that should read, lampstands] one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the [chest] paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance [now notice] was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev. 1:13-16). Now, what is a star? A star is a sun. We know that, don’t we? Yes. So when God told Abraham they’d be like the stars, so shall your seed be, this is talking about the spiritual seed.
Now let’s come to Philippians 3:20. “For our conversation [or that is, citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body [bodies],…” In the Greek you can use a plural subject in a singular antecedent, but here in English it should be plural. “…Who shall change our vile [bodies], that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body [and we just saw that in Revelation 1], according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil. 3:20-21). So when God told Abraham that his seed was going to be as the stars of heaven for multitude, He’s not only showing the number, He’s also showing the kind of glory that they will be.
Now let’s come back to Genesis 15, and let’s read that again. Now some people may ask the question: “so shall your seed be”, does that not just refer to physical seed? Well, what is God’s plan overall for human beings? To become the sons of God.
Now let’s come back here to 1 John 3 then and I’ll answer the question. Because when we receive the begettal of the Holy Spirit, we receive the seed of eternal life. And in the Greek the seed is called sperma. Now unfortunately in 1 John 3:9 we have one of the worst translated verses in all the King James Version of the Bible, which reads, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin;…” That’s an entirely incorrect translation. And incorrectly interpreted by the Protestants who say that if you are born again you cannot sin. That is, if you have a conversion experience you cannot sin. Now that is not true.
Come over here to chapter 5 and let’s show the contradiction right within the translation of the King James. Verse 16, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death,…” Does this not say that a person who is converted is capable of sin? Does it not? Is not a brother converted? Yes. And if he sins a sin not unto death, that means it’s a sin he can repent of. “…He shall ask [that is, you pray for him], and He [God] shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it” (1 John 5:16). This shows two things. Converted people can sin. Converted people, according to Protestants, are born again. But that is not a correct interpretation. No one is born again until the resurrection. However, with the proper translation of verse 9, which I’ll read the one that I have, which bears out in the Greek and should read this way: “Everyone who has been begotten by God [does not practice] is not practicing sin because His seed [that is from God the Father, which is the begettal, so I put in italics of begettal ] is dwelling within him, and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten [of] by God.” So when it talks about seed back here in Genesis 15, now we see that there’s physical seed, and we also see that there are spiritual seed. That’s why I started out that if you are Christ’s then are you Abraham’s seed (spiritual) and heirs according to the promise.
Ok, now let’s come back to Genesis 15 because we’re going to find how important this is. And I remember when we first understood this, what, about four years ago, three years ago, somewhere around there. It was really, really quite an eye-opener. So we’ll go through it and we will clarify it for you. Ok, now let’s come back here again to Genesis 15:5. “So shall thy seed be.” Now in both instance, physical and spiritual. Verse 6, “And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Now, let’s understand something here. There was no work for Abraham to do because it’s impossible to count the stars, correct? He could not have children at this point, so there was no work for him to do. He believed God. It counted to him for righteousness.
Now then, God gives him an instruction here. “And He said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” So God then, did a very profound thing. And this has to do with the very crucifixion of Christ and His death, and being put in the grave. “And He said unto him, Take Me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon” (Gen. 15:7-9). Now this means that they’re all mature.
“And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst [meaning he cut them down the middle], and laid each piece one against another:…” Meaning the spine was close to each other and there was a path down between these animals cut and laid out. Everything was there, the blood, the guts, everything. “…But the birds divided he not.” He probably put one bird on one side and one bird on the other side. Now what was the purpose of this? We’ll see what the purpose of this is. This is a special maledictory sacrifice and oath, that when one takes an oath such as this they cannot break it. Now verse 11, “And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away” (vs. 10-11).
“And when the sun was going down,…” That’s very interesting, isn’t it? First of all, back here in verse 5 we have a night, don’t we? Then in the day portion of the day, which was the 14th of the first month as we will see, he did the sacrificing of the animals. Now notice there was no altar, there was no sprinkling of the blood, there was no burning of it by Abraham. Just laid out there. So much so that the fowl, which then would be the vultures and buzzards, were circling up overhead. And they came down upon the carcases, and Abram drove them away. “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram;…” Now you can read in the Passover book how this is very likened to the time when Jesus died. He died at the third hour, and the sun was going down at the third hour, is it not? Yes. Then two things happened here. “…A deep sleep fell upon Abram;…” Now, a deep sleep. What is a person who dies in Christ? They are sleeping. So here’s a deep sleep. This is a type of death. A type of the death of Christ, perhaps precisely at the same time that Jesus died, when He was crucified on the 14th day, the Passover, when He was crucified. “…And, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land thatis not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (vs. 12-16).
Now then, notice verse 17. “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down,…” Now we are into the second day, aren’t we? When do the days begin and end according to scripture? At sunset. So we have the sun going down, don’t we. Now remember, we started out at night in verse 4 and 5. Then we had the day portion with the sacrifice, and we’ll explain the sacrifice here in just a minute. Now, we come, the sun went down and it was dark. Then God did something very profound to give to Abraham the guarantee of the promises beginning in verse 4, carried on down through verses 13, 14, and 15. Then He did something very profound. “…Behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.” Now what happened when God went through those parts? It doesn’t tell us directly, but I would say from the context of it is here, when God walked between the parts of the sacrifice, those animals were consumed and there was nothing left but ashes.
Now verse 18. “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites,…”, and so forth, all of the different tribes of Canaan. Now where else do we find a two day sequence? And how do we know this is the 14th and 15th? We can’t prove it from right here, because it doesn’t say 14th day of the first month, here. And it doesn’t say the 15th day of the first month, here. However, if we go to Exodus 12 we do have the days numbered, and we do have it told us exactly when it took place.
Now let’s come here to Exodus 12. Now again, I refer you to The Christian Passover book. You can go through in detail because we have great detailed explanation of everything that is here because there is great confusion over the Passover. And of course it’s only logical that Satan would confuse everything concerning the Passover, because if you keep the Christian Passover today the way that Christ wants you to, at the time that He says, and the manner that He says, then you belong to Christ. So Satan’s objective is to confuse it, to cause problems with it, to change the day if possible. And because the Jews today keep the Passover on the 15th, which I fully explain in the book The Christian Passover, they do not recognize Christ at all. Because in order to truly recognize Christ you must understand the truth of the Passover, because Christ, as we will see later, died on the Passover day, the very time that the sacrifice took place that Abraham gave and fell into the deep sleep.
Now let’s read the instructions here for the children of Israel, concerning the Passover. Now we’re not going to go in great detail, but what I want to point out is this, ok? Let’s begin in verse 3. “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish [because that’s a type of Christ], a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:…” Which then is the first month because he said in verse 2, “This month is the beginning of months for you.” So it’s the first month. “…And the whole [congregation] assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening” (vs. 3-6). Which means between the two evenings, between sunset and dark, which is amply proved in the book, The Christian Passover.
Now then, they were to eat it in that night, after taking the blood and the so forth and roasting it, and so forth. Because He says, verse 12, “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 against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment:…” Then He said, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon [your] the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you,…” (vs. 12-13). Now let’s understand something here very important. All of Israel was blessed because of the Passover, but the Passover spared whom? The firstborn, correct. Now there is a great parallel with that for today with God’s church who are the church of the firstborn, as we will see a little later, and also the rest of the world. So how important is the church of God to the world? Far more important than we have ever calculated. As important as the firstborn of Israel in relationship to the rest of the firstborn of Israel, so the church of the firstborn, which we are today, is as important to God as the rest of the world. So then, they were to keep that as a memorial.
Then we have this. Let’s understand something very important here, which I cover. Here is the Passover. Let’s come over here verse 21. “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.” And that literally means sunrise. So they could not leave that night. We explain all of that in TheChristian Passover book. “For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not [allow] suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as He hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they” (vs. 21-28). Then at midnight He smote all the firstborn.
Now let’s come here to Numbers 33:3 because we do want to get a little chronology here. Let’s begin in verse 1 and not 3. “These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out. And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month;…” (Nu. 33:1-3). When does the 15th begin? Right after sunset of the 14th, correct? Yes. They went out by night, as we will see. They couldn’t have gone out on the night of the 14th because they had to stay in their houses. And if they kept the Passover on the 15th then they could not have left until morning. And if they left in the morning they could not leave at night. Now that’s as simple as can be. If you’re going to go to work at six in the morning, you don’t show up at six at night. It’s that simple, see. So they left on the morrow, or that is, the day after the Passover.
Now let’s come and see this. Let’s see what they did when they left their homes. Now where were the homes of the children of Israel? We’ll see a little later they lived in the area of Goshen. So it was in the northwest part of the delta, the very choicest part of Egypt, and they had their little villages scattered there. And so for them to leave Rameses means they had to assemble at Rameses and then leave there. So they assembled at Rameses on the day portion of the 14th. And here’s what they did. Let’s go back to Exodus 12:33. “And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.”
“And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they [spoiled]…” It says borrowed. They had no intention of bringing it back. “…They [spoiled] borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they [gave] lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians” (Ex. 12:33-36).
Key verse beginning in verse 37 down to verse 42. Let’s read it. “And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.” So this is where we get the figure of 1.8 million. If we have one woman and one child per man, then you get 1.8 million people. “And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual” (vs. 37-39).
Verse 40, according to the commandment of God. Remember that we read back there in Numbers 33. “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations” (vs. 40-42). This is not the Passover because the Passover they stayed in their homes. They came out by night. Now how does this tie in with Genesis 15? It ties in this way, verse 41. “It came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass,…” Selfsame day in reference to what? In reference to Genesis 15.
Let’s go back there. Let’s pick it up in verse 17. “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down [which we know begins a new day, correct?], and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day [being nighttime] the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land,…” Also, “this same day”, what also has part of the covenant? Come back here to verse 13. “And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land thatis not theirs [that’s all they were in Egypt], and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years [it was actually 430]; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge:…” And God said He did judge them on the Passover night, correct? Yes. “…And afterward shall they come out with great substance.” Did they do that? Yes. “And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Gen. 15:13-16). So when the sun went down, beginning the 15th, that same day God made the covenant that He would bring them out and that they would inherit the land. So that’s what the “self same day” is referring to. And God did it by walking through this special sacrifice which is called a maledictory oath. Meaning that once you make this oath you cannot change. And of course then, the smoking furnace burned up all the sacrifice completely.
So then, since verse 18, “the same day” equals to the same day in Exodus 12:41, “self same day”, that is the 15th day of the first month. So therefore when we come back to Genesis 15, the promises that God gave to Abraham was then on the night of the 14th, which is the same night in which we take the Passover, in which we have the promises of eternal life given to us by Jesus Christ in the words of the New Covenant, correct? Yes.
Now before we go on let’s come to understand a little bit more about this maledictory oath. Let’s see it here in the book of Jeremiah 34. This tells us what kind of oath this is. There is no greater, no stronger oath. And of course, in doing this not only did He make the covenant with Abraham to bring the children of Israel out, but He also foretold of His coming crucifixion. So let’s see this oath, and we will see what happens when people don’t keep it. This is the most solemn oath that you can have.
Verse 8, “This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;” Now here’s the liberty. They made a covenant. We’ll see how they made the covenant. “That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother. Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go” (Jer. 34:8-10).
Now notice what happened here. “But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids” (vs. 11). Almost like Pharaoh, right, when Moses said, “Let my people go.” They couldn’t get along without the servants. So the Jews, when they let them go they said, “Oh, look what we did. We’ve got to do the work ourselves.” Too bad.
Verse 12. They went back on their word. They went back on a covenant, see. And I want you to also remember that in relationship to the coming Passover, which is a renewing of the New Covenant. “Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto Me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and had done right in My sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name: but ye turned and polluted My name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto Me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth” (vs. 12-17). Now how serious is a covenant? Mighty serious. How serious is it when you break it? And remember, they did this in the house of God. And also remember, that when we do things, we have access to God the Father in heaven above. So this is not just in a physical house upon the earth where we have a covenant, you see.
Verse 18, “And I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before Me, when they cut the calf in twain,…” Just like Abraham did. He cut it in two. “…And passed between the parts thereof,…” Because when anyone made that kind of covenant and passed between the parts of the animals that were sacrificed for that covenant, what they are declaring by their action is this: if I break this covenant I will be like these animals that have been sacrificed - cut down the middle.
Now continuing, verse 19. “…And [they] passed between the parts thereof, the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth” (vs. 18-20). Did not the fowls of heaven come down to try and get the sacrifices that Abraham made? Yes. So now He’s going to say, “I’m going to do this to you.”
“And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you. Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant” (vs. 21-22). Apparently, God fought their battle for them, drove back the king of Babylon. So they said, “Thank you God for doing that. We repent. We’ll let our slaves go free.” And then they changed their minds. So He said, “Now I’m going to cause the king of Babylon to return, and now he’s going to do in the whole city.” So this tells you the seriousness of the kind of oath that there is when you make a covenant and pass between the parts. That’s the oath that God made with Abraham to guarantee that he would have 1) physical seed, 2) spiritual seed, 3) that He would take them out of the land of the stranger in the same day that He made the covenant with Abraham. That very same night. So you see, the Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread really began with Abraham and not with Israel.
Now let’s look at the extension of this covenant, the physical seed, which would be Israel. And they would come through Isaac. Let’s come to Genesis 17. And oh, the Arabs would that it would have been Ishmael. But it wasn’t. So here then is a continuation of the covenant, now giving in detail the requirements for the physical seed. Let’s begin in verse 1. Abraham had to wait a long time, didn’t he? Now this was a year before Isaac was born. And Isaac was then the promise of the physical seed. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine,…” Well now let’s see. He left at 75, didn’t he. Here we are 25 years, inclusive counting, alright? “…And [He] said unto him, I am the Almighty God [El Shaddai]; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” Now just put in your margin there, Matthew 5:48, because we are told to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. So you see here again, it’s the same requirement. It is the gospel as preached to Abraham, right? Yes. Matthew 5:48.
Now verse 2 of Genesis 17. “And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” And that was before Isaac was even born. Because you see, when God says something it is as good as done. That’s what’s important. So when God says you will be in the kingdom of God, it is as good as done. The only condition is, you have to endure to the end and be faithful. You’ll make it.
Now verse 6, “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations…” Now this is, then, the physical seed. “…For an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep My covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised” (vs. 6-10). So here’s the covenant of circumcision. Now remember that he was blessed of God, had righteousness imputed to him, his sins forgiven him for 25 years while he was in uncircumcision so that he could be the father of the uncircumcision who receive the promise of eternal life, as well as the father of the circumcision.
Continuing verse 11, “And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant” (vs. 11-13). And that was until it was continuous to that time. And I think for all the descendants of Israel should be, to this day. Not for salvation but for the keeping of the covenant here because we live today in the land that God gave to the descendants of Israel. Not for salvation, but for this part of the covenant because whoever are the descendants of Israel should.
Now, verse 14. “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.” Now you see, God has not required this of the Gentile and their own nations. We know that in the New Covenant circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the circumcision of the heart, and faith in Christ. But this is for the physical seed.
Now, verse 15. “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be amother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, shall achild be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before Thee!” The easy way out. “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year” (vs. 15-21). It’s important for us to understand that God does things at the set time. So then they had the circumcision party.
Now, Isaac was born, sure enough at the set time that God had said, and then we have something profound. Here, let’s come to Genesis 21:1. “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age,…” You see, God does the impossible things. That way it can never be said that it’s of a man. Now you show me any 100 year old today who has a pregnant 90 year old wife, and then we will know that this was not a miraculous thing. “…At the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him” (Gen. 21:1-5). So that means he was pretty close to the end of his 100th year, because remember when God told him back here in chapter 17:17, he said, “Shall a child be born of him that is a hundred years old?” So apparently he was just 100 at that point. No more than three months into his 100th year, and Isaac was born before the 100th year was out. That’s how we have the chronology.
Now then, let’s talk about the Passover and Isaac, because this time it talks about Isaac and Abraham. Now this we find some tremendous types coming down to the prophecy, not only the prophecy but the actual crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Here we find that in type Abraham is a type of God the Father, who has only one son. And this son is to be sacrificed. Now we do not have anything dogmatic that we could say that this took place on the Passover day. It’s possible, but we don’t know for sure. So we can’t say that. Now here is a test that Abraham went through. Now remember what we read at the beginning in Luke 14:26. Here again he is going to be tested on this. Not only do we do that when it’s called “counting the cost” where in Luke 14:26 to the end of verse 33, but we always count the cost continually as we go through our Christian life. We’re confronted with many things where we must count the cost. Will we obey God or not? Will we believe God or not? Will we trust God or not? And that’s on an ongoing basis. It’s not just, you know, you do it once and it’s over with, see. No, not at all. So here he is. We don’t know how old. As we see a little later, Isaac is called a lad. So, we could say that he was probably less than 20. They even have an indication that he was say, not much more than 12. So between 12 and 20 was the age of Isaac when this event took place. Which means that from the time that God called Abraham we have 37 to 45 years when this event took place. So you see, God also tested Abraham all those years, didn’t He?
Now I’ve got another tape that I did, you know the Abraham and his human nature, and the things that he did. Now Abraham had a little deceitful streak in him, which Isaac inherited, and also Jacob inherited. And also Jacob’s mother, she had a little deceitful streak in her. So God uses some of those human weakness in His plan. But here we have between 37 and 45 years when this event took place in Genesis 22. Now let’s begin in verse 1. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt…” Now this means test Abraham. God does not tempt anyone with evil. Let’s understand that. God puts before us choices, whether we will obey Him or not. When we are tempted with evil and drawn away of our own lusts, and then the lust conceives and brings forth sin, God did not make us sin when we do that. That’s a wrong human nature. And of course that’s why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread continuously year by year, as long as we are in the church of God, so that we understand that our human nature is always here and we always have to be working on getting rid of it, just like we get rid of leaven out of our lives.
Now Genesis 22:1, “And it came to pass after these things, that God did [test, or prove] tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son…” Now was Ishmael Abraham’s son? Yes, he was. But not of Sarah. Not counted as the seed for the promise, so therefore He said, “Your son, your only son.” So this is very much a type of God the Father in relationship to Christ. In this case then, Isaac being a type of Christ, Abraham being a type of the Father. “…And get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Gen. 22:1-2). Now, there were mountains in Moriah. Now the Jews claim by tradition that this was the area where the temple was built. But also one of the mountains of Moriah then would be the mount that later became to be called the Mount of Olives. So could this be, and of course you need to understand the Mount of Olives is higher than the temple mount. So could this be the mount where Christ was crucified? If the parallel follows then that could be true so I just leave that as a question.
“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and [cut] clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son [that’s almost like a type of carrying the cross that Christ did, remember?]; and he took the fire in his hand,…” Now that means he took a kettle of hot coals for a fire, because obviously you are not going to carry it in your hand. Because if you carry fire in your hand you’re going to burn it. “…And a knife; and they went both of them together.” I imagine it was kind of a silent climb up that mountain. “And [finally] Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood [I see the fire and I see the wood]: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (vs. 3-7). Now we notice two things here. There are two acts of faith. 1) Abraham, he believed. 2) And Isaac, he also believed and did not complain. He could have said, “This is ridiculous. We’re going up here and you’re going to offer an offering, and I find out at the last minute it’s me!” But he didn’t do it.
Now verse 8. “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering:…” Now sometimes God waits until the very last minute for deliverance, doesn’t He? Yes, He does. “…So they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there,…” Now let’s understand something about sin offerings and burnt offerings. On the Mount of Olives, now let’s picture this in your mind. You’re looking at the temple area, and you are looking north. To the right is east. To the east of the temple is the Kiddron Valley going down 600 feet. Actually 450. They built a bridge across the Kiddron Valley to go into the East gate of the temple. This bridge went to the Mount of Olives. On the Mount of Olives right near the crest of the Mount of Olives was what was called the Miphkad Altar. Now this was a special altar outside the temple area. This is where they took all the sin offerings, and they took all the skins of the sin offerings and they burnt them in the Miphkad Altar. So this was like a huge pit. And these things were constantly and continually burnt. And at the bottom of the pit there was a conduit which went down into the Kiddron Valley, at which periodically they would push the ashes out.
Now, question: could it be that where he built this altar was later where the Miphkad Altar was built? Even though this was a burnt offering, Christ was a sin offering, wasn’t He? Christ was not burned, was He? No, because He had to be buried and raised so the parallel breaks down when you get out of the physical parallel and you start getting into the real sacrifice of Christ. So he “…built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood” (vs. 9). Now this means that this probably tells us that he was more like 12 years old so that Abraham could pick him up and place him on the altar. If he’s a full grown man, probably he couldn’t do that.
Now verse 10, “And Abraham stretched forth his hand [he put down his hand], and took the knife to slay his son.” Now why did he do that? His only son and the one to whom, he was told, you would have physical seed. Why was he willing to do this? Well, 1) because God commanded him to. But also what was in his mind? Was he doubting God? Was he angry at God? Here, let’s come to Hebrews 11. Was he doubting God? Was he angry at God? What was it?
Now I’m going to read from my translation, Hebrews 11. Let’s begin in verse 8, because this gives a real good summary of the life of Abraham. “By faith Abraham, [after] being called of God to go out into the place which he would later receive for an inheritance, obeyed and went, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, like a foreigner, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the joint-heirs of the same promise; for he was waiting for the city with the foundations of which God is the Architect and Builder. By faith also Sarah herself received power to conceive seed, and gave birth when she was well beyond childbearing age, because she esteemed Him faithful Who had personally promised her a son. Because of this faith, there came into being from one man -- and moreover, one who was reproductively dead -- descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens, and as countless as the sand on the seashore” (Heb. 11:8-12).
Now verse 13, let’s just read right on. “All these named above died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar, and having been persuaded of them, and having embraced them, and having confessed that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth. For those who say such things make it manifest that they seek their own country, as promised by God. And if, on the one hand, they had let their minds dwell fondly on the place where they came from, they might have had opportunity to return. But now, on the other hand, they are aspiring to a more excellent country -- that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, because He has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when he was being tried, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac shall your Seed be called”; because he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from among the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative way” (vs. 13-19). That’s why he was willing to do it. Because he knew that if it came down to the point where he did offer his son as that offering, that God would raise him from the dead.
Ok, now let’s come back and we’ll have just enough time to finish Genesis 22. So he took the knife, verse 10, to slay his son.And then he heard a voice from heaven. I imagine before he took out the knife that he looked around everywhere and didn’t see a lamb. So then verse 11. “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.” And I imagine he said, “HERE AM I.” “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God,…” So how long was he tried before God really, really knew through and through that Abraham feared God? 37 to 45 years. Say, 37 years. Now is it any wonder that we still go through trials though we’ve been in the church for how long. See, same thing. And how many people have been in the church for so long and say, 10, 15, 20, 30 years, and then to leave? So that’s why we’ve had the trials come upon us that have come upon us, for the same reason.
“…For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” Now how did the ram get there? Well, either God drove it up there while his back was turned, or God supernaturally created a ram right there, which would be fitting, to supernaturally create one, because that would be a type of Christ who was a supernatural creation, correct? Yes. “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehova-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen” (vs. 11-14). Now I wonder if that’s also a prophecy of the sacrifice of Christ on the Mount of Olives? Just a question.
“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By Myself have I sworn,…” Now here is where everything becomes completely irrevocable. It cannot be turned back. Nothing can stop from what God has promised. All the promises of God will come as He said. “…For because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven [spiritual seed], and as the sand which is upon the sea shore [physical seed]; and thy seed [the physical seed] shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice” (vs. 15-18). Now that’s the only way we’re going to have the blessing of God, is if we obey the voice of God. And as we covered in our series concerning Hebrews, if you don’t listen to Christ there is no eternal life.
So we’ll continue on next time with Passover: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, and Christ.