Fred R. Coulter—April 1, 2000

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This is number one in a series which is an extension from the Holy Sabbath series. This will cover the reasons why Sunday-keeping is not Scriptural. In other words, what we will do in this series, we will refute Sunday-keeping from the Scriptures.

As we saw last time in going through the first day of the week that there were no meetings whatsoever that were held on Sunday as a church meeting, with the exception of Acts 20, where we saw that it was really a Sabbath night, first day of the week affair that they were doing there. So it was an extension of the Sabbath and not the first day of the week.

Now I have a book and it’s called Sunday Facts and Sabbath Fiction, Twenty-Five Reasons Why Christians Keep Sunday by Dr. Russell K. Tardo, and we’re going to cover every one of these twenty-five reasons. Now I don’t know how long it’s going to take us, but I tell you what, in that are all of the militant objections that the Sunday-keepers have and where they are striving to make a case for the first day of the week.

Some of the things are so outlandish that they really need to be answered directly. So we’ll start out and we’re going to do number one, which they claimJesus rose on Sunday. So, therefore, since Jesus rose on Sunday it’s okay to keep Sunday. That has nothing to do with the fact that it’s okay to keep Sunday and [it was] never authorized it out of the Scriptures.

So let’s begin here with this and let’s just begin from just a little bit different point of view. Let’s understand something that’s very, very important.

  1. All through the New Testament we know that sin is the transgression of the law and the wages of sin is death.
  2. The law is that which then shows us what we need to do, shows us what sin is, and that is how we understand that we need to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament.

We will thoroughly go through every one of these things to see exactly how these things are done.

First of all we need to understand something very important which Christians do not understand, that is Christians in the world. So I will call them ‘professing Christians,’ or ‘worldly Christians,’ that is those who claim that they are worshiping Christ, who keep Sunday and Easter and Christmas. Because they keep those days they do not understand anything concerning

  • the Passover
  • the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • the Day of Pentecost
  • Trumpets
  • Atonement
  • Tabernacles
  • the Last Great Day

Those are the only Holy Days that are in the Bible which we are to keep.

So let’s start with the one concerning Christ, which has to do with His sacrifice, because it’s very important that we understand exactly when Christ was crucified. That is so important because it’s basic to understanding when, then, He was resurrected. So let’s begin.

Let’s go to Matthew 26, and let’s see what Jesus Himself said. Then we will understand: Jesus was crucified on the Passover Day. That’s important to understand. So let’s see what He says here in Matthew 26:2: “You know that after two days the Passover takes place, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified.” On the Passover Day was when He was betrayed and when He was crucified. Now we’re going to see some very important things concerning why then it was on that day.

Let’s go to 1-Corinthians 5, and let’s understand what Jesus is called. Many people, not knowing that He was crucified on the Passover Day, the fourteenth day of the first month according to the calculated Hebrew calendar, so they do not understand that He is called ‘our Passover.’ As a matter of fact, we are going to examine this from a little bit different point of view, and we are going to see that here is a direct command by the Apostle Paul to Gentiles that they are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Now we need to understand something: Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the very next day. Now we’ll see that command in just a minute here back in Lev. 23, but what is important here is what is said in the New Testament. A lot of people say, ‘Well, all of that was nailed to the cross and we don’t have to keep those days.’ We will answer that in this series about the Twenty-Five Reasons Why Christians Keep Sunday. When we are done, we are going to see that it will amount to twenty-five reasons why Christians ought to keep the Sabbath.

Now let’s begin right here in 1-Corinthians 5:6: “Your glorying is not good.... [They were glorying in sin. There was a man there who was actually committing incest with his stepmother.] ...Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?.... [Now that may sound strange to people who have never kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but leaven during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a type of sin, and how it comes into our life and it grows and it multiples and it increases. So God wanting us to live sinless lives, God wanting us to be aware of what sin is that we won’t transgress the law, therefore we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread.] ...Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (vs 6-7).

That’s why the Passover is so important. Now if you don’t have the book, The Christian Passover, you write in for it and we’ll send it to you. It goes through and shows every detail of the Passover, all about the various facets of it, beginning with the covenant that was with Abraham all the way down through the children of Israel and on into the time when Christ was crucified. He was crucified on the Passover Day; therefore, He is called our Passover. Because of what He did, God passes over our sins. Just like on the Passover Day God passed over the firstborn of the children of Israel in Egypt before He led them out of the land of Egypt.

Now notice v 8: “For this reason, let us keep the Feast... [Now this is not referring to the feast of Passover, this is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which follows the very next day after Passover. We’ll see that in just a minute.] ...not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” That’s the whole reason for Christianity that inside there is the change, inside Christ is in you, and the Truth of God is in you, and the Holy Spirit is in you that you become a new person through conversion.

Now let’s understand something else before we get back to the Old Testament. Let’s come to the Gospel of John, the very first chapter, and let’s see that Jesus is called the Lamb of God. Now you put the two Scriptures together.

  • Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
  • Therefore, let us keep the Feast, that’s the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

So what we’re really dealing with here is not an endorsement of Sunday at all. No, there is no endorsement of Sunday at all. What we’re dealing with is the Scriptural endorsement of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which we will see is both Old Testament and New Testament.

It’s not just that these things were done away. We’ll see a little bit later they never were done away, but the meaning was added to, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ superseded all of the animal sacrifices. John 1:29, this is John the Baptist talking: “On the next day, John sees Jesus coming to him, and he says, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” So He is the Lamb of God, Christ our Passover, so you combine the two together and Christ is our Passover Lamb.

If you want your sins taken away, you have to keep the Passover; you have to keep the Christian Passover. Easter comes from Babylon. Easter is pure paganism and should never have anything to do whatsoever with Christianity. How that lie got into the Church is another whole story, but we won’t cover that at this present time.

Let’s go back to Leviticus 23. Now, I know a lot of people are going to say, ‘Well, that’s the Old Testament. That’s the old law and we have been delivered from that.’ Well, no we haven’t! God is going to judge the whole world by His commandments. As a matter of fact, God is going to judge your life by how you keep the Ten Commandments, including Sabbath-keeping. And also then including if you keep Sunday, Sunday is the day that God never authorized at all for anything except one Feast day, called Pentecost, which we’ll cover a little later.

Now let’s concentrate here on what God says right here. I want you to understand something that’s very important: The first three verses have to do with the weekly Sabbath. The weekly Sabbath is that, which then gives overarching structure to the Holy Days, which follow. Leviticus 23:1: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, “Concerning the appointed feasts of the LORD... [So the Sabbath is a Feast of God and it belongs to Him—the Feast of the Lord. He owns it.] ...which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed feast. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a Holy convocation. You shall not do any work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings”’” (vs 1-3).

As we’ve seen—the admissions of the Catholics, the admissions of the Protestants—that you search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and there is not one single word authorizing the keeping of Sunday. Everywhere it enforces the Sabbath and that is Old Testament and New Testament. Now some are going to say that these are ceremonial laws and that the ceremonial laws were those laws, which were the rituals of the priesthood. Well, these are not ceremonial laws. These are Feasts of God on which some ceremonial laws were added.

Now let’s notice right here, v 4: “‘“These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons.... [And it does not include Christmas, and it does not include Easter. It does not include any other of the pagan days that are now called ‘Christian’ whatsoever.] ...In the fourteenth day of the first month...”’” (vs 4-5).

Now that’s according to the calculated Hebrew calendar. Because the way God has set His Feasts in season are according to His calendar. That calculated Hebrew calendar—we can go back and prove that clear back in 538B.C., 515B.C., 5B.C. when Jesus was born, and 30A.D. when He was crucified—is accurate to the very day as substantiated and evidenced in the Scriptures; no other calendar system is authorized by God. The Roman calendar we live by, we have to coordinate the calculated Hebrew calendar with it so we can understand it in terms of today’s day. But the first month generally in God’s calculated Hebrew calendar is in March and April, just depending on how it falls.

“...the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD’S Passover…. [The Christian Passover book explains everything concerning this, so I won’t spend much time on this.] …And on the fifteenth day of the same month... [the very next day] ...is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. You must eat unleavened bread seven days. On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation”’” (vs 5-7). Meaning, it is a Sabbath. So we’re going to see something very important concerning the crucifixion of Christ, because that has a bearing as to when He was resurrected. We will understand that the three days and three nights cannot bring you to Sunday. Furthermore, we need to understand that in 30A.D. the calculated Hebrew calendar shows that the Passover, the fourteenth day of the first month, was on a Wednesday. Of course the days in the Bible begin at sunset, so sunset to sunset—Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset.

Now in line with this, we need to understand—I have a sermon that I gave, Which Came First, the Day or the Sacrifices? You will see that the day came first. The Sabbath day, as we saw, was given at creation. The Sabbath was given before any of the sacrificial laws were given. It’s the same way here with the Holy Days, because, the Passover in Egypt for Israel was on the fourteenth. And on the fifteenth they came out of Egypt, beginning the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Those are the days and the time in which Jesus was crucified.

Now let’s go back to the New Testament and let’s come to Matthew 26:18, because we’re going to see that Jesus and the apostles kept the Passover. There is where Jesus changed the meaning of the symbols from the roasted lamb and bitter herbs to the unleavened bread and the wine. That’s important to understand. Now let’s also realize this: Since God gave the laws, which He did, and God gave the commandments, which He did, if there is going to be any change in the meaning or there’s going to be a fulfillment of that day as Jesus said He came to fulfill, and He came to fulfill the Passover to be our Passover, then God is the one in the person of Christ Who gave us the new meaning of the Passover Day. Not just passing over the firstborn in the land of Egypt, as God did in Exo. 12, but now it is Christ our Passover, and Christ passing our sins, as those who are the called and chosen of Christ.

Now let’s begin in Matthew 26:18 after the disciples asked the question: Where will You that we prepare the Passover?: “And He said, ‘Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is near; I will keep the Passover with My disciples at your house.’”’” Now let’s just stop here and emphasize something very important:

  • Jesus kept the Passover.
  • The apostles kept the Passover.
  • Paul commanded them in 1-Cor. 5 & 11 to keep the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

That’s after Christ was already resurrected and ascended into heaven. Those were the days that were being kept.

“Then the disciples did as Jesus has directed them, and prepared the Passover.... [Not an inkling of Easter.] ...And after evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. And as they were eating, He said, ‘Truly I say to you, one of you shall betray Me’.... [Now remember, He said that the Feast of the Passover coming when the Son of man would be betrayed and crucified, all done in that one single day.] ...And being sorely grieved, each of them began to say to Him, ‘Am I the one, Lord?’ But He answered and said, ‘He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish, he shall betray Me. The Son of man indeed goes, as it has been written concerning Him...’” (vs 19-24)

Now if you don’t have the series The Prophesies of Jesus in the Old Testament, you will be absolutely amazed how down to the very words of Christ, while He hung dying on the cross, were recorded in the Old Testament. Everything concerning what Christ would do and what He would be was prophesied in the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms. They are so specific. What is in the Old Testament is not to be rejected—no way! The Old Testament and New Testament come together as one book. Most people who are professing Christians do not understand that. Most of them have never read the first five books of Moses to understand what the law is, to understand about the Feast days of God. But here is Jesus keeping the Feast days, the disciples keeping the Feast days.

“‘...as it has been written concerning Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would be better for him if that man had not been born.’ Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, ‘Am I the one, Master?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it’” (vs 24-25). So then John 13 records that he took the sop and left.

Now another thing that is accompanied with the Passover ceremony, there are three things. John 13 shows that there is foot-washing, and we are to do the foot-washing. Let’s go to John 13 and let’s see what Jesus said concerning foot-washing. How many of the professing Christian churches have foot-washing? Even if they keep their communion service, and you will learn and see that communion service and Eucharist are not from God. You need that book, The Christian Passover, so that you can read and know and understand it. If you think that you understood about Christianity in the past and if you’ve been a professing Christian and a Sunday-keeper, you’ve got so many things you need to learn, it’s absolutely going to be an amazing thing for you to understand.

When you get into the Scriptures and you study the Scriptures and you study the Word of God, and you put it together as the Bible says, ‘line upon line, here a little, there a little, precept upon precept,’ to put it together, and when you understand how profound it is and what God did to send Jesus Christ to be our Savior, to be our sacrifice, then you will understand and realize that you can’t take this lightly. You can’t just flippantly say, ‘Oh, well, we’ll keep Sunday because Christ rose on Sunday.’ We’ll see, no He didn’t rise on Sunday at all whatsoever!

Now let’s read it here concerning foot-washing. John 13:2: “And during supper… [not ‘ending’ (KJV)] …(the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Him), Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments; and after taking a towel, He secured it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a washing basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel which He has secured. Then He came to Simon Peter; and he said to Him, ‘Lord, are You going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you shall know after these things.’ Peter said to Him, ‘You shall not wash my feet...’” (vs 2-8). ‘That’s too demeaning for you, Lord.’ There’s a great lesson.

So when you begin to analyze what should I do as a Christian, where will you find a true Christian church? One that keeps the commandments of God, a true Church of God—

  • that believes in Jesus Christ
  • that believes in His sacrifice
  • that believes in the grace of God
  • that believes in the imputed righteousness which Christ gives to us

—and yet still keeps the commandments of God, that’s what you need to investigate.

That’s why you also need to get our booklet, The Beliefs of the Christian Biblical Church of God. In that you’ll really see they’re not what we believe aside from the Bible, it is what the Bible tells us that we should believe in. There’s a vast different. People can believe things and they can believe it intently. They can even believe a lie so intently that they will die for it, but you have to believe the Truth. You have to believe God’s Word.

  • Do you think that God the Father and Jesus Christ would ever tell us a lie?
  • Do you think that They would come and do away with the righteousness that God has established?
  • Do you think that God is going to take the sacrifice of Jesus Christ lightly?

No, but there are some people who do. Then they do that with foot-washing and they say it’s too demeaning. One person said, ‘Well, we don’t do foot-washing today, because we don’t walk on dusty roads.’ That’s a carnal excuse, not asking what is the truth of Scriptures, not asking what did Jesus command, what did Jesus do. So foot-washing becomes a very important thing.

Verse 7: “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me’.... [Now Jesus said this, ‘If you do not participate in foot-washing, you have no part with Me.’ That means you have no eternal life and to Peter, you have no apostleship. So it’s pretty serious.] ...Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head’ ... [He thought, ‘Well, boy, let’s do it like the priests did.] ...Jesus said to him, ‘The one who has been washed... [or that is bathed. And that refers to baptism, as you’ll see when you read in The Christian Passover book.] ...need to wash anything other than the feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all.’ For He knew the one who was betraying Him; this was the reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean’” (vs 7-11).

“Therefore, when He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and had sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?.... [He wanted to teach a lesson. And here’s the great lesson, brethren]: ...You call Me the Teacher and the Lord... [And that literally means in Greek ‘the Master’ or ‘the Teacher’ and ‘the Lord,’ which is profound in itself, because that means there is none other really.] ...and you speak rightly, because I am. Therefore, if I, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also are duty-bound to wash one another’s feet’” (vs 12-14). Now the word ‘ought’ (KJV) in the English comes from the Greek which means you are obligated or duty-bound to wash one another’s feet. How many Sunday-keeping churches do you know actually obey the command to wash one another’s feet? They may take the communion, but as you will see in the Passover book, communion is not the Passover. That’s a substitute for it. Just like Sunday is an illegal substitute of Sabbath, communion is an illegal substitute for the Passover. Or ‘the Lord’s Supper,’ as they call it, is an illegal substitute for the Passover. This happened on the Passover night. He washed their feet and He says, ‘You are duty-bound to do so.’

Verse 15: “‘For I have given you an example, to show that you also should do exactly as I have done to you…. [So wherever there is a true Church of God who believes in keeping the commandments of God, who believes in the Passover and Holy Days, will be washing each other’s feet as Jesus said. That is important and that is profound.] (Now notice what He said. Here’s the lesson): …Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, nor a messenger greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed [happy (KJV)] are you if you do them’” (vs 16-17). And the Greek is ‘to practice’ them.

Let’s look at v 16 again. “‘Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord...’” So any minister, or any servant, who claims that he represents God, if he says you don’t have to wash feet, he is making himself greater than Christ, because Christ said you are duty-bound to wash one another’s feet. This becomes very important, because we’re going to see the other things concerning the Passover. On Jesus’ last Passover, He instituted the New Covenant which we are under, and He instituted it with the Passover. That becomes important because Christ is our Passover, He is the ‘Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, that takes away the sins of the world.’ It’s only through the Passover sacrifice of Christ that you and I have forgiveness of sin. We can’t take that lightly. We can’t go ahead and add things to it that Christ never said we should do, that God never gave us permission to do. We can’t go ahead and arbitrarily change the commands of God, because then we make ourselves greater than Christ.

Let’s pick up the rest of it here. Let’s see what Christ did after the foot-washing. Matthew 26:26: “And as they were eating, Jesus took the bread... [Which is unleavened bread.] ...and blessed it; then He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take eat; this is My body.’…. [Now it says in another place, ‘which is broken for you.’ So in order for you to have the sacrifice of Christ applied to you, you must participate in the Passover, the New Covenant Christian Passover. There must be the foot-washing, then the unleavened bread.] …And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘All of you drink of it; for this is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant... [Now the King James says ‘testament,’ but the Greek there is ‘diatheke,’ which means covenant and should be so translated as covenant.] ...which is poured out for many for the remission of sins’” (vs 27-28). So that is so important.

The reason I’m bearing in on this, is because I want you to understand the profound significance of the fact that Jesus, as He said, would be betrayed, and He would be crucified on the Passover Day. I want to emphasize something also very important concerning that. And that is: The day following the Passover is a Sabbath day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So when you have the Passover beginning Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset, that makes the day portion in the middle of the week. That makes Thursday a Sabbath, from Wednesday sunset to Thursday sunset. In the week that Jesus was crucified we have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sabbath. So Thursday is called a high day, a Sabbath day. Then there was Friday, which was the day in between in preparation for the weekly Sabbath. So now when we get that, then we will examine the three days and three nights to see when it was that Jesus was resurrected. This is so basic and profound and important, because Jesus was not resurrected on Sunday. He had to be resurrected just as the weekly seventh day Sabbath was ending.

Let’s come here to John 18. I want you to try and figure this out. We’ll cover some other Scriptures concerning the three days and three nights here in just a minute, but I want you to see if you can figure from Friday evening to sunrise on Sunday three days and three nights. Now if you can figure that, you are slick. But I want to tell you something about that slickness—liars figure, but figures never lie. Jesus never lied!

Now let’s understand one other thing that’s important here. I need to make this clear to you, also, and this is well explained in The Christian Passover book. That’s why it’s so important that you get it. The Jews keep their Passover a day late. They have combined the first day of Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover together, and they keep that on the fifteenth. Whereas we saw the command by God was on the fourteenth. Now the book The Christian Passover explains all about that. So that will help you understand a little bit here.

John 18:28—Jesus was led away, He was taken to trial: “Now then, they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the judgment hall, and it was early. But they... [That is the religious leaders] ...did not go into the judgment hall, so that they would not be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.” Jesus already ate the Passover the evening before. The Jews were going to eat a day late, but the reason that they would be defiled by going there is because they knew that murder brought blood guiltiness. So they didn’t want to be there to judge Him, so that the guilt would be upon them. They didn’t go into the hall, rather they let Pilate do the judgment, thinking that the blood would not be upon them.

Let’s come over here to John 19:13, and we’ll see a little bit more concerning that Passover Day. He was brought in early in the morning to Pilate, and He was tried by Pilate after the Sanhedrin already tried Him before that. They tried Him actually during the night leading up into what we call the morning hours.

John 19:13: “Therefore, after hearing this say, Pilate had Jesus led out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement; but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. (Now it was the preparation of the Passover... [That is the Jews’ Passover.] ...and about the sixth hour)... [Six o’clock in the morning. John wrote figuring it by Roman time. Six in the morning was at the sixth hour, because Romans calculated time from midnight, so that was right at sunrise.] ...and he said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ But they cried aloud, ‘Away, away with Him! Crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’” (vs 13-15).

Now we’re coming up to a point that’s going to be very important to understand. Verse 28 goes through the whole thing, the sacrifice of Christ. “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had now been finished, so that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst.’ Now a vessel full of vinegar was sitting there. And after filling a sponge with vinegar and putting it on a stick of hyssop... [a long stick] ...they put it up to His mouth. And so, when Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished’.... [He died.] ...And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit” (vs 28-30). Now that’s important to understand that when He died, we’ll see a parallel account here in just a minute, to show exactly when He died, and this time then is calculated according to Hebrew time rather than Roman time.

Now let’s come to the Gospel of Mark 15; Jesus died at the ninth hour, which is approximately 3 p.m. in the afternoon, our time today. Mark 15:33: “Now at the sixth hour... [In this case noon, Hebrew time. Sixth hour Roman time is in the morning.] ...darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour; And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is, being interpreted, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’.... [The very words prophesied in Psa. 22 that David recorded for us.] ...And after hearing it, some of those who were standing by said, ‘Look, He is calling for Elijah.’ Then one ran and filled a sponge with vinegar, and after putting it on a stick gave it to Him to drink, saying, ‘Let Him be. Let us see if Elijah comes to take Him down.’ And after crying with a loud voice, Jesus expired. And the veil of the temple was split in two from top to bottom. Then the centurion who stood facing Him, witnessing the words that He cried out as He was dying, said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God’” (vs 33-39). Christ died at 3 p.m. in the afternoon on the fourteenth day of the first month, as our Passover sacrifice.

Now notice John 19:31: “The Jews therefore, so that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, because it was a preparation day (for that Sabbath was a high day).” And a high day means a Holy Day and that means that this Sabbath was not the seventh day weekly Sabbath, but this Sabbath was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, being a Holy Day. So most people don’t understand that there were two Sabbaths in the week in which Jesus was crucified. That’s profound and important to understand, because most people know nothing about the fact that He was our Passover. But they understand He was crucified.

Most people think He was crucified on a Friday, and rose Sunday morning. That’s why I’m going through this in detail, so you can see the whole flow of things is entirely different from what the professing ‘Christian’ world believes. And what they believe is a lie.

  • Do you want to believe a lie?
  • Do you think that people can receive salvation when they believe lies?
  • Do you think that the God of Truth is going to be worshiped with lies?
  • Do you think that God is going to honor that lie?

No, the truth is:

  • there was the Passover on the fourteenth
  • the first day of the Feast of Unleavened on the fifteenth, which then was a Wednesday and a Thursday
  • then you have Friday, which is preparation for the regular weekly Sabbath
  • then you have the regular weekly Sabbath

Now that’s important to understand.

Now in a book that I’ve written, called The Harmony of the Gospels, I’ve got that all charted out and laid out so you can see it step-by-step-by-step. Remember the profound and important thing that’s so important: Christ is our Passover, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, which takes away the sins of the world. So therefore, that’s why He was crucified on the Passover Day.

Let’s look at some of the things concerning how long He would be in the tomb, how long He would be there. Let’s look at what Jesus said so that we can understand how we can come to the three days and three nights. First of all begin in the gospel of Matthew. We’ll just sort of take these right in a row. We’re going to see some statements that Jesus made, and we will put them all together so that we understand concerning exactly when He was resurrected from the dead.

We’re also going to learn something very important. Let’s come here to Matthew 16:21. I’ll tell you what it is right now.

  • Jesus Christ was the only One Who prophesied how long He would be in the tomb.
  • He was the only One Who prophesied when He would be resurrected.

None of the prophets of the Old Testament testified how long, some of them testified that He would die. Some of them testified that He would live forever, but none of them prophesied concerning the resurrection except in one of the Psalms where it says there, Psalm 16, that ‘You shall not leave My soul in hell, or that is in the grave, and You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ But that doesn’t settle the three day and three night controversy that most people go through.

(go to the next track)

Now let’s come to Matthew 16:21 and understand something that you will see here. The disciples didn’t understand this, and when Jesus was raised from the dead at first they didn’t really believe it, because no one has been raised from the dead other than Christ.

Matthew 16:21: “From that time Jesus began to explain to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem, and to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised the third day…. [Now Peter didn’t believe it.] …But after taking Him aside, Peter personally began to rebuke Him say, ‘God will be favorable to you, Lord. In no way shall this happen to You’.... [In other words he’s saying, ‘Lord, You’re so good. This won’t happen to you and we aren’t going to let it happen. We’ll fight for you so it won’t happen.’] ...Then He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan!.... [That’s quite a statement—isn’t it? In other words, Peter was tuning in to the things of Satan and Satan was right there.] (That’s why He said): …Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, because your thoughts are not in accord with the things of God, but the things of men’” (vs 21-23).

Christ had covenanted that He would die. The whole covenant with Abraham is based upon the fact that He would die. And the whole New Covenant is based upon that. That’s why we are called ‘Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.’ Now there are some people who don’t like the fact that Jesus died.

Let’s come to Matthew 17:22: “And while they were dwelling in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; but the third day He shall be raised up.’ And they were exceedingly sorrowful” (vs 22-23). The question is: how many times must you tell someone before they believe it? Well, that’s kind of true of all of us. That’s why

  • we are to prove all things
  • we’re to search the Scriptures whether these things be so or not
  • we are to hold fast that which is good

Sometimes there are things that we have to be told over and over again, so we can really get the point.

Matthew 20:17: “And while they were going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside in the way and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death; and they shall deliver Him up to the Gentiles... [Now He’s revealing that He would go from the religious authorities of Judaism to the Roman authority, which was actually the conquering ones who occupied the land. The Jews were actually subservient to the Roman authority.] ...deliver Him up to the Gentiles to mock Him, and to scourge Him, and to crucify Him; but He shall rise again the third day’” (vs 17-19). So He told them that.

Let’s look at another one. Let’s come to Luke 9:22 [corrected]. Let’s see here another account where He told them: “Saying, ‘It is necessary for the Son of man to suffer... [Now ‘must’ (KJV) means ordained, destined, necessary or obligatory.] ...to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised the third day.’” So He’s really getting to it here—isn’t He?

Let’s come to Mark 9:31, and let’s see where the account is given, where He told them there. “Because He was teaching His disciples; and He said to them, ‘The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; but He shall arise on the third day after He has been killed.’ Now they did not understand the saying, but they were afraid to ask Him about it” (vs 31-32).

Mark 10:33—we’re going to see the same thing again: “‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to the chief priests and the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him up to the Gentiles; and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit on Him, and shall kill Him; and on the third day He shall rise again’” (vs 33-34).

We find, if we look at the Greek, that we’re talking about a couple of very important things: it is

  • on the third day
  • in the third day
  • after three days

So that gives a very close timeline, because there’s only one moment in time when it can be in, on, and after, to all fit. We will see when that occurs.

Let’s come to Matthew 12 now and let’s see something that’s very important. Here is one where again most professing Christian ministers do a sleight of hand, or they try and tell you something to kind of make it appear acceptable that you can get a Friday crucifixion and a so-called Easter sunrise resurrection. But they’re stuck with this verse. They do not know how to explain it, because it literally means what it literally says.

Matthew 12:38: “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Master, we desire to see a sign from You.’ And He answered and said to them, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as [exactly as] Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights’” (vs 38-40).

Now that’s very clear. It is generally explained by professing Christian ministers that this means parts of three days and three nights, but notice it says ‘three days and three nights He will be in the heart of the earth.’ Now I read one example where one man said, ‘Well, the darkness that covered the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, that was the first night.’ But you have one big problem: Jesus was not yet dead, because He didn’t die until the ninth hour. And He was not yet put in the tomb, but He was still on the cross, so you cannot count that dark part of that day as one night. But that’s a sleight of hand that ministers who believe the lies that they have been taught about an Easter resurrection try to justify with a Friday crucifixion. You stop and think of it: a Friday crucifixion, you have

  • one night, which is Friday night
  • one day, which is Saturday day
  • second night, which is Saturday night

—and you don’t even have a day portion on Sunday, because He was resurrected supposedly on a Sunday. But if you go from Friday you have

  • Friday night
  • Saturday day
  • Saturday night
  • Sunday day
  • Sunday night
  • Monday day

—and then just before Monday ends at sunset, that’s when He would be resurrected if there was a Friday crucifixion. But it doesn’t work.

Now let’s go back to the book of Jonah, the prophet Jonah. That’s back in the minor prophets and let’s see something what it means here, because they will go back there and they will say, ‘Well, this was an idiomatic expression,’ meaning that it really didn’t mean three days and three nights, just parts of three days and three nights. Well, you can’t even get parts of three days and three nights from a Friday crucifixion to a Sunday morning resurrection.

Jonah 1:17: “And the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” That means literally three days and three nights. Let’s understand something also very important here: Jonah—when he finally came out of the belly of the whale and was spewed out on land, and began to preach and prophesy—did not say, ‘As I was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so shall the Messiah be in the grave three days and three nights.’ He knew nothing of the coming of the Messiah and the three days and three nights. Not a thing of it. So that supposed idiomatic expression to explain it away falls on its face, because it means back there literally three days and three nights and it means here in Matthew 12 literally three days and three nights. So that’s why it’s important that we understand that He was crucified on a Wednesday, and then we will see when He was put in the tomb. Then we will know three days and three nights later He was resurrected from the dead, just as He had said.

Now let’s come back and we’ll see one more Scripture reference here. Let’s come back to Mark 8:31, where He talks about the three days again. Let’s see what He says here and then we’ll begin to put this together. “And He began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, but after three days to rise from the dead.” So we have three days and three nights:

  • in three days
  • on the third day
  • after three days

When you calculate the time, there’s only one point in time when that could have taken place. So now let’s see when was Jesus put into the tomb.

Let’s come to Mark 15; this tells us when He was put in the tomb. It leads right up to that first Sabbath, being the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Mark 15:42: “Now evening was coming, and since it was a preparation (that is, the day before a Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, an esteemed member of the council, who himself was waiting for the Kingdom of God, came; and he went in to Pilate with boldness and requested the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if He were already dead; and after calling the centurion, he questioned him, whether He had been dead long. And when he knew it by the report from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Now he had bought fine linen cloth; and after taking Him down, he wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone to cover the entrance of the tomb” (vs 42-46).

Now let’s come to the account in the Gospel of John, and let’s see what happened there. John 19:38: “Now after these things, Joseph (the one from Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but having concealed it for fear of the Jews) asked Pilate that he might take Jesus’ body away; and Pilate gave him permission. Then he came and took away the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus by night at the first, also came, bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took Jesus’ body and wound it in linen cloths with the aromatics, as is the custom among the Jews to prepare for burial. Now there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because of the preparation of the Jews, they laid Jesus there; for the tomb was near” (vs 38-42).

So Jesus was placed into the grave sometime just as that Passover Day was ending at sunset. Then they rolled the stone over it and He was in the heart of the earth now and He was to be there three days and three nights. So let’s count this and then we will answer some other questions concerning the third day also.

  • Wednesday night is the first night
  • Thursday day is the first day
  • Thursday night is the second night
  • Friday day is the second day
  • Friday night is the third night
  • Sabbath day, the regular weekly Sabbath, is the third day

So after three days, within three days, after three days and three nights He was to be raised from the dead. And that takes you to the end of the weekly Sabbath during the week that Jesus was crucified.

Now then, that’s the only way you can get three days and three nights, because it has to be keyed to the Passover. The Passover in 30A.D. when Jesus was crucified was on a Wednesday. The day after that, the Passover Day, was the first day of Unleavened Bread, which was a Sabbath. That’s why there’s the confusion concerning the Sabbath, because most people don’t understand that there were the two Sabbaths. And Jesus being in the tomb began to be in there on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is very appropriate, because Christ is our Passover sacrificed for us, that we can have sin removed from us. So it’s very appropriate that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was when He began His three days and three nights in the tomb. So let’s just go through that again:

  • Wednesday night is the first night
  • Thursday day is the first day
  • Thursday night is the second night
  • Friday day is the second day
  • Friday night is the third night
  • Sabbath day is the third day

Now when He was resurrected, we need to understand this: no one saw Him. That’s why last time we went through and we saw all the places where they came early in the morning on the first day of the week. The tomb was already open. It didn’t have to be opened for Jesus to get out of there, because as a spirit being He can walk through material. But it was open so that the women coming to the sepulcher could see that He was gone. He was raised. And the angel, as we saw said, ‘You’re seeking Jesus of Nazareth. He is not here, but has raised just as He said.’ I just want to review one verse here.

Let’s come to Mark 16:9, because here is one where they go to and here is one where they say, and it is improperly translated in the New English Bible, the NIV, the New American Standard, they all incorrectly translated this verse because they are reading into it a Sunday resurrection. Now you can’t do that. Anyone who translates the Scriptures cannot read doctrine into it, which is not doctrine upheld by the Bible.

Mark 16:9: “Now after Jesus had risen, early the first day of the weeks... [comma (KJV)] (The Greek should actually read this way): …Now after Jesus was risen… [because He was risen at the end of the Sabbath, not in the morning on Sunday. The Greek here is then a past tense aorist participle, which means, ‘now after Jesus was risen,’ and that’s where you put the comma, right after the word ‘risen.’] ...early the first day of the weeks He appeared first to Mary Magdalene...” Now that’s the way that it should read.

Now almost every one of these translations mistranslate it because they want to uphold an Easter resurrection. You cannot do that. That is contrary to the Scripture. That is contrary to the Truth. Christ is our Passover, He was raised at the end of the Sabbath. And “…early the first day of the weeks…” after He was raised, He “…appeared first to Mary Magdalene…” Now that’s the true meaning of it.

Let’s look at some other Scriptures, because there were some other things that have gone on. There are a couple of Scriptures in the last chapter of the book of Luke, which gives the appearance and credence to a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection. That is the reason that I saved this for last. So let’s go to Luke 24 and let’s read it. Then we will ask some other questions: are we dealing with a statement called the ‘third day,’ which is different from the ‘third day’ that Jesus said? We will see, yes, that is true, and we will see why it is true.

Luke 24:8: “Then they remembered His words; and after returning from the tomb, they related these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary, the mother of James, and the others with them, who told these things to the apostles. But their words appeared to them as idle talk, and they did not believe them. Then Peter rose up and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen clothes lying alone; and he went home wondering about the things that had come to pass. And behold, on the same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which was about sixty furlongs from Jerusalem. And they were talking with one another about all the things that had taken place....” (vs 8-14). That statement includes things that happened on the Holy Day of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and also happened on Friday, because of the things that the women did. So ‘all things’ includes those, ‘all things that had taken place.’ Now you can’t leave those out, because they happened.

Verse 15: “And it came to pass, as they were talking and reasoning, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you walk, and why are you downcast in countenance?’ Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, ‘Are you only traveling through Jerusalem, and have not known of the things that have happened in these days?’ And He said to them, ‘What things?’ And they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus the Nazarean, a man Who was a prophet, Who was mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the judgment of death, and crucified Him. And we were hoping that He was the one Who would redeem Israel. But besides all these things as of today, the third day has already passed since these things took place’” (vs 15-21). Now you need to mark that because we are dealing with a different ‘third day’ here, because this indeed is the first day of the week in the morning, later in the morning, when He comes by and talks with them. They say, ‘It’s the third day for all these things that have been done.’

What was done after Jesus was put in the tomb, and when was it done?—because it has to be counted as all these things. It can’t be just from the time He was put in the tomb, because Sunday, in that case, would be the fourth day. So we need to understand it. So that’s why they go here in Luke 24 to say the third day is Sunday morning, but this third day starts from a different time, because other events transpired after Jesus was put in the tomb.

Now let’s look at them; let’s see what was done on the Holy Day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now, Matthew spells it out just a little differently. Matthew 27:62: “Now on the next day... [Which was after Jesus was crucified, being the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.] ...which followed the preparation day... [And the preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the day portion of the Passover. So this is on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now notice of the things, all these things that happened, here we have an explanation of it. So this is then on a Thursday.] (Here’s what happened): ...the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, Saying, ‘Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while He was living, “After three days I will rise.” Therefore, command that the sepulcher be secured until the third day; lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, “He is risen from the dead”; and the last deception shall be worse than the first.’ Then Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you know how.’ And they went and made the sepulcher secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard” (vs 62-66).

So not only had Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus rolled the stone over the face of the sepulcher which was hewn in the side of the rock, but now they came with the guard on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, being the fifteenth day of the first month, and they set the guard and they sealed it. In other words, they made sure that that stone could not be moved and that the cracks of it were all sealed up that He could not get out.

Now let’s see what else transpired to be included in the statement ‘all these things.’ We saw now one day had already expired coming clear into Thursday. Did something happen on Friday? All these things includes coming up to Friday.

Let’s go to the Gospel of Mark 16:1: “And when the Sabbath had passed... [that Sabbath was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] ...Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic oils...” Now the only time they could have bought the oils would be on Friday after the Holy Day Sabbath which we saw in John 19 was a high day, a High Sabbath. So they got the oils. So that has to be included in the event.

Something happened on Thursday and something happened on Friday, which is included in ‘all of these things.’ You can’t start counting that third day in Luke 24 until you have accounted for ‘all things.’ That’s important to remember. So we are going to see, and we’ll come back to Luke 24 in just a minute, that where it says ‘the third day’ there, is a different ‘third day’ than when Jesus rose. It starts at a different point and ends at a different point.

Let’s see what happened. Luke 23:53: “And after taking it down... [the body of Jesus] ...he wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb hewn in a rock, in which no one had ever been laid. Now it was a preparation day, and aSabbath was coming on.... [that Sabbath is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] ...And the women also, who had come with Him from Galilee, followed and saw the tomb, and how His body was laid. And they returned to the city, and prepared spices and ointments... [You can’t do any work on a Holy Day, so they didn’t prepare those spices on Thursday, the Holy Day. They prepared those spices on Friday after the Sabbath Holy Day had ended. Now remember, we come up against another Sabbath—don’t we? The seventh day weekly Sabbath and that’s what it is explaining here.] ...they returned to the city, and prepared spices and ointments... [That is on Friday.] ...and then rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” (vs 53-56). Distinguishing this Sabbath from the other Sabbath.

Then we saw in Mark 16 how after the Sabbath they bought the spices and you can’t prepare the spices before you get them—can you? So they had to have purchased the spices on Friday, prepared them on Friday, and then they rested the regular Sabbath.

Now let’s come back over here to Luke 24 and let’s cover this again. So what we have is this:

  • Thursday the guard was set and the tomb was sealed, which was the Holy Day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  • Friday the women bought the spices and prepared them.
  • Then they rested the Sabbath.

So Friday you count Friday, including the last thing that the women did in preparing the spices. Friday, Sabbath, and Sunday, so there you get the ‘third day,’ which is a different third day than when Jesus said He would be resurrected. That’s where all the confusion comes in, because people do not realize what is being said back here in Luke 24.

Now let’s go back and read it again. Luke 24:14: “And they were talking with one another about all the things that had taken place...” They were with the disciples, too, when the news came in. They were there when they were preparing the spices, so when they talk about all the things that were done, it includes those things that were done on Thursday and Friday. Then

  • Friday becomes the first day
  • Sabbath becomes the second day
  • Sunday or the first day of the week becomes the third day

This is not connected with the resurrection of Christ on the third day, because His third day expired right at the end of the weekly Sabbath. Now I hope you understand how that falls in line there. Now let’s read on. Jesus came, they didn’t discern Him.

Verse 21: “And we were hoping that He was the one Who would redeem Israel. But besides all these things, as of today, the third day has already passed since these things took place.”

No longer can anyone take this third day phraseology in Luke 24 and apply it to a Sunday resurrection from a Friday crucifixion. It was from the completion of things done on Friday, being one day; resting on the Sabbath being the second day; and then the third day Sunday morning, the first day of the week, they were walking going to Emmaus.

I hope that helps us understand that Jesus was not resurrected on a Sunday whatsoever. So the very first reason that is given by those who profess Christianity, or in the Christian-professing religion, that the reason they keep Sunday is because Jesus rose on Sunday, He didn’t!He rose at the end of the Sabbath.

Now let’s understand something very carefully here and really, really realize it which is this: He rose at the end of the Sabbath, and the tomb was empty on Sunday, and people say, ‘Well, then He rose on Sunday.’ It’s not true. Even if He did rise on Sunday, what does that have to do with the Sabbath commandment anyway? Did Jesus rise and say, ‘Oh, behold, now it’s the first day of the week’? No! Remember what we started out, the only One Who can change any of the commandments of God is God. God never by command, nor by example, nor by inspired teaching to the apostles, at anytime, anywhere, any place, endorsed Sunday worship as the weekly day of worship. Everywhere the Bible enforces the Sabbath.

Now I realize that this is a little complicated in following through on it, but if you get the two books, The Christian Passover and The Harmony of the Gospels, that will explain it in great detail to you, so you can understand that Jesus did not rise Sunday morning. He rose at the end of the Sabbath after being in the grave a full three days and a full three nights and His Word is true. God’s Scriptures are true and it all fits together and it upholds everything the way that it should

So no longer can anyone say that Jesus was raised on the first day of the week.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  1. Matthew 26:2
  2. 1-Corinthians 5:6-8
  3. John 1:29
  4. Leviticus 23:1-7
  5. Matthew 26:18-25
  6. John 13:2-17
  7. Matthew 26:26-28
  8. John 18:28
  9. John 19:13-15, 28-30
  10. Mark 15:33-39
  11. John 19:31
  12. Matthew 16:21-23
  13. Matthew 17:22-23
  14. Matthew 20:17-19
  15. Luke 9:22
  16. Mark 9:31-32
  17. Mark 10:33-34
  18. Matthew 12:39-40
  19. Jonah 1:17
  20. Mark 8:31
  21. Mark 15:42-46
  22. John 19:38-42
  23. Mark 16:9
  24. Luke 24:8-21
  25. Matthew 27:62-66
  26. Mark 16:1
  27. Luke 23:53-56
  28. Luke 24:14, 21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Acts 20
  • Exodus 12
  • 1-Corinthians 5, 11
  • John 13
  • Psalm 22
  • Psalm 16

Also referenced:

  • Sermon: Which Came First, The Day or The Sacrifices?

Sermon Series:

  • The Prophesies of Jesus in the Old Testament
  • The Holy Sabbath

Books:

  • Sunday Facts and Sabbath Fiction, Twenty-Five Reasons Why Christians Keep Sunday by Dr. Russell K. Tardo
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

Booklet:

  • The Beliefs of the Christian Biblical Church of God

 

BOOKS