Behold the Lamb of God

An article by Joel Allen

1 Corinthians 5:7b “…Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.” For who, you might ask and what is exactly the Passover lamb? The Apostle Paul the author of this epistle uses the comparison of an ancient Hebrew feast symbol to teach a Biblical principle that God’s people are saved and set free from the slavery of sin through the sacrifice of a chosen spotless lamb. Paul clearly emphasizes that this is not an ordinary lamb like so many Hebrews had slain but this lamb was in fact, Yeshua Messiah. Ever since the days of Abraham and the offering of Isaac, his only begotten son, there was an expectation of a perfect ram/lamb sacrifice to come in the form of another son…the son of God:

Genesis 22:2, 6-7 KJV 2 “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, 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. … 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And 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: but where [is] the lamb for a burnt offering?

It is important to note here that Solomon, the son of David and King of Israel, built the Temple of God on the same mountain region as where Abraham and Isaac were when God provided the sacrifice ( 1 Chronicles 3:1). And just as Abraham lifted the knife of sacrifice toward his bound son, the voice of the Lord tells him three times to stop and that God Himself will provide a sacrifice, as a ram is caught in the thicket by Abraham. Ever since these days there has been an expectation on Israel for God’s lamb sacrifice to come and take away the sins of the world. It is the love of God that would give of His most precious offering, His only son, Jesus. In fact, the Hebrew word for love is ahav אהב and the very first time this word is mentioned in the entire Bible is found in this passage dealing with Abraham giving up his son whom he “loved.” There is no greater love than this according to the Biblical definition of love. Indeed it was John the Baptist that proclaimed on the banks of the Jordan river that Jesus, the embodiment of His love, was that lamb chosen by God to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

So where did the term “Passover” come from? The mention of Passover is in the story of the people of Israel bound in slavery in the land of Egypt. The sons of Jacob (Israel) came down into Egypt and settled in the land of Goshen. Scripture tells us that a new Pharaoh rose up that did not know Joseph or the God of Joseph (Exod. 1:8). This Pharaoh saw the blessing of God upon Israel because they prospered at all they did. Their cattle and their crops were greater and even their sons and daughters multiplied greatly (Exod. 1:12). Pharaoh became fearful that the children of Israel would try to take over Egypt so he devised a plan of putting them under slavery to keep them from multiplying any further. For 400 years the children of Israel served Mitzrayim (Egypt) and it became known to the Pharaoh that a deliverer was coming to set the people of Israel free who would be born among the Hebrews. Moshe (Moses) was that deliverer  and through 10 judgments or plagues the hand of God through the prophet Moses slew the “Goliath” nation of Egypt and cut off the head or posterity of the King of the known world. It was at the 10th judgment that the children of Israel would be set free. It was the judgment of death to the first born and the only judgment that offered instruction for those that would obey to escape this death penalty. Through the blood of a spotless yearling lamb placed on the door posts and lintel anyone (Hebrew or non-Hebrew) would be saved from death.  The blood was a sign so that the death angel would “pass over” the homes that had this sign and only enter the homes that did not. The Passover meal is a remembrance of this day and includes elements that are to remind and teach future generations about the deliverance of the children of Israel with a “mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” It is during this strange feast in the evening instructed by God Himself that we see a remarkable picture of salvation and deliverance.

Exodus 12:21-23 ESV 21 “Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.”

If you have read this story before or maybe have seen the popular movie, “The Ten Commandments,” with Charleton Heston you sort of get the picture that the Lord entered Egypt and killed the first born of anyone that didn’t have the blood applied to their doorposts. However, at closer investigation you will see that it is the “Destroyer” that kills the first born of Egypt and the Lord is the one that sees the blood and places Himself over the doorway and keeps the Destroyer from entering into those homes. Exodus 12:23b… “the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.” It is worth noting here that in the Ancient Near East during this time there were customs that sacrifices would be killed at the threshold of the door of houses and that in some cases this would protect the home from invaders and bad spirits1. Later in history the Jewish people added this theme to a commandment of the Torah to write the commandments upon the doorposts of their homes. This was called a mezuzah and modern day mezuzahs on the doorways of Jewish homes bear the Hebrew letter shin, representing “shaddai” or the protector of the door.

Scholars believe that after the prophet of Malachi finished his written scroll there was approximately 400 years of “silence” when no prophet spoke to Israel and the land was void of a voice from heaven. During this 400 years Israel was taken over by the Babylonians, the Medio-Persians, Greece, Egypt, Syria, and finally Rome. Instead of slavery to one nation they were slaughtered and pillaged by many nations and during the reign of King Herod (not from the lineage of David) there arose a rumor of a King of the Jews and deliverer to be born at this time. Like in the days of Moses, the ruler of the Jews decreed for the slaughtering of innocent male children in a futile attempt to debunk the Sovereign’s plan (Matthew 2:16). In fact the similarities don’t stop there. Joseph and Mary were told by the Angel of the Lord to flee to Egypt and to return when it was safe. Mary’s name would have been the Hebrew name Miriam and in the Old Testament Miriam was the sister of Moses that hid him in Egypt. Was this coincidence or God’s prophetic plan? It was in a town called Bethlehem, that the deliverer was born. This was the town that Rachael, Jacob’s wife died (Gen. 35:19), and the place that she would be “weeping for her children” as they were slaughtered by the evil King Herod (Matthew 2:18).  In this desperate time a deliverer named Yeshua not Moses was born and the one promised to be a prophet like unto Moses (Deut. 18:15). Born to be rejected, beaten and torn and just like Isaac who carried the wood of sacrifice upon his back so He would be destined to carry the heavy wood of the cross upon his back as he climbed the same hill as God’s spotless lamb caught in the thickets of a crown of thorns upon his head.  It would be the blood of Yeshua that would set the captives free not from the grips of Egyptian slavery but the pangs of slavery of sin that leads to death. Just as the blood of the lamb caused the Lord to protect the first born from the Destroyer, so the blood of the Lamb of God brings freedom and protection from the enemy of our souls. This is why the writer of Hebrews in chapter 11 states that “Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” He adds a very important clue in this statement that it was by “faith” that the Passover was kept. There are many believers that think today that the observance of Passover is an empty Jewish tradition but in all reality this feast of the Lord is a symbol of the passing over from death into life and entering into a covenant protection and blessing in the Lord. When we drink of the cup and eat of the unleavened bread, called matzah, we discern the body and blood of Jesus. As believers in Yeshua Messiah as the Passover lamb, this feast is not about leaving Egypt but it is about celebrating the feast of freedom from sin and death.

1Corinthians 11:23-25 KJV “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Yeshua the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.”

Bibliography:

1Turnbull, H. Clay (1896) The Threshold Covenant

Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles Messianic Teaching

an article by Joel Allen

Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles

What do the Scriptures say about it?
[Lev 23:33-43 KJV] 33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD. 35 On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [therein]. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a solemn assembly; [and] ye shall do no servile work [therein]. 37 These [are] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. 39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day [shall be] a sabbath, and on the eighth day [shall be] a sabbath. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. [It shall be] a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.

When is it?
Lev 23:34 … “The fifteenth day of this seventh month…”
What are we commanded to do?
1. Keep the first day and the eighth day Holy as regular Sabbaths, doing no servile work or the things associated with the seventh day Sabbath.
2. Keep it at its time and season on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei/Hebrew Calendar).
3. Have holy convocations on the first day and the eighth day. This is a calling of the assembly or community of like-minded believers to assemble together and rejoice together. If no one is able to convocate then call together your own family or travel to where another group of believers are assembling and keeping this feast Holy.
4. Build a Booth or Sukkah. This is a temporary shelter usually made of wood and natural elements such as tree limbs, dried flowers, gourds, pumpkins, or even tents. We dwell in booths or sukkot so…” That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

How do I celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? What are some practical ways to enjoy and teach this feast to my children?

It is important to know that Sukkot along with all of the Feasts of the Lord are only shadows and not substance. What do I mean by that? Paul tells us in the letter to the Colossians that dietary laws, the sabbaths, and holy days (feast days) are a shadow but the substance is the Messiah.

[Col 2:16-17 KJV] 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

This is also echoed in the book of Hebrews…

[Heb 10:1 KJV] 1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things…

That being said, take a deep breath and tell yourself to relax. Tell yourself you won’t get all of this overnight but little by little. It is very sad when I see people starting to get excited about the Feasts of the Lord but only to get frustrated by details. To make matters worse I also see believers that have been learning about the feasts for a longer period of time and they are not gentle with those that are new to the feasts and they overwhelm people with too much information. Let’s remember the focus. The focus is the substance. The substance is the Messiah.

Some people find a group of believers that are camping and celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. There are many great camps throughout the United States. Traveling and camping for eight days can be costly but the reward oftentimes far outweighs the cost. Some people setup a sukkah or booth in their yard or deck and decorate it. You can also eat meals outside as a family underneath the sukkah or maybe go out at night and try stargazing underneath your booth. All of this should accompany explaining and teaching to your children (if you have some) as to why you are doing this. A great importance on all of the feasts are to pass them on as a heritage to your children and grand children.

Idioms in Scripture about Sukkot:

Feast of Ingathering- This is a time when the pilgrims of Israel must return to Israel for the last of three pilgrimage feasts (Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot). This is when the tithes of the land were brought in and the males presented themselves before the Lord in Jerusalem. [Exo 23:16 KJV] 16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, [which is] in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.[Exo 34:22 KJV] 22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. This is also prophetic of the Messianic kingdom when Yeshua returns to Jerusalem and reigns for a thousand years (AKA the Millennial Reign). At this time the nations will be required to come up to Jerusalem and keep the Feast of Tabernacles or plagues will be poured out upon them. [Zec 14:16 KJV] 16 And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Feast of the Nations- It is during the days of Sukkot that 70 bulls are offered up as an atonement for the nations. 70 in the Bible is connected to “nations.” It was 70 souls of Jacob that went into Egypt and became a nation called “Israel.” We can also see this fulfillment in Zech. 14:16-21

Feast of Booths- Sometimes the Feast of Tabernacles is called the Feast of Booths in the Bible. This is the same feast but translated differently. You can see the naming of booths and the name given to a place by Jacob called Sukkot (also spelled succoth). [Gen 33:17 KJV] 17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

Sukkot- This is the Hebrew name for this Feast because it is the Hebrew name for the booths or temporary shelters that were made. The singular form is a “sukkah” while the plural form is “sukkot.” You can see this name in Genesis 33:17.

lulav-and-etrogArba Minim- The Four Species of Sukkot :

“And you shall take for yourselves on the First Day the fruit of a beautiful tree, the branches of date palms, branches of the myrtle tree, and branches of the willow tree, and you shall rejoice before YHVH for Seven Days.” (Leviticus 23:40)

There is a great tradition that originates from the gathering of specific species of trees and fruits that teach us about the nations in this Feast of Ingathering. These are the breakdown of those four specific species:

  1. Etrog- Shaped like a heart it symbolizes the driving force behind all of our actions.
  2. Lulav- The Lulav comes from a date palm, the fruit has a good taste, but no smell. It symbolizes someone with knowledge of the Torah but no good deeds.
  3. Hadas- The myrtle has a wonderful smell but no taste, this symbolizes the good deeds, but not knowledge of the Torah
  4. Arava- The willow branch has neither good taste or smell. This symbolizes someone who has neither good deeds or knowledge of the Torah.

feasts-chart

Sukkot is also called the Sabbath of the Feasts. This is because Sukkot is the seventh feast that occurs in the seventh month and it lasts seven days. The eighth day is not technically Sukkot but a separate holiday known as Shemini Etzeret (the Eighth Day).

However you celebrate the Feast of Sukkot or on what calendar, may you do it with joy as this season is a time that God commands His people to rejoice before Him. At Yom Kippur God commands our souls to be afflicted while during Sukkot He commands us to be full of joy! If we repent during the Feast of Trumpets, seek YHVH’s redemption at Yom Kippur then we will be able to rejoice during Sukkot. It’s always in that order. This Sukkot may your joy be full!

Teshuvah & the 10 Days of Awe

an article by Joel Allen

We are in the season known as Teshuvah. This occurs every year in the Hebrew month Elul and usually falls in the summer month of August. Teshuvah is a period of time between Elul 1 and Yom Kippur that is a traditional observance calling God’s people into repentance and returning back to the Father’s heart. Typically this season is called a 40 day journey of repentance and reflection on your life for the past year as you head toward Yom Kippur, which is also known as Yom Hadin or the “day of judgment.” Most scholars agree that the Messiah Yeshua is coming again in the fall season of Holy Days according to the Biblical calendar. So the timing of God’s people returning to Him in prayer, worship, and repentance right before His return I believe is quite remarkable and timely. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of this very meaningful but traditional observance of the Jewish people?

teshuvah-cycleSo I wanted to share with you in this article some treasures that I have come to know about Teshuvah as I have been observing it for a while now and have been blessed, along with my family as a result. Also what I have found is that this season is not always exactly 40 days depending on the calendar but is mostly 39 days but is always referred to as 40 days according to the Rabbis. Sometimes we see this in scripture where a rounding of numbers takes place. For instance when Yeshua sent out the 70 disciples to preach the kingdom it was actually 72 according to many scholars, and some translations still translate it as 72 instead. Okay moving on…

You will notice in the chart I made above that Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) falls within the days of Teshuvah. In fact, it falls on the first day of Tishrei or the seventh Hebrew month. Traditionally, this day is called in Judaism, Rosh Hashanah, which means the head of the year and is one of four New Years celebrated in Judaism. However, according to Leviticus 23 this Feast day is known as Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets or the Feast of Blowing. From Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur is 10 days and marks the final 10 days of Teshuvah. These 10 days are traditionally referred to as the “10 Days of Awe.” These are the most intense days of fasting, praying, and repenting leading up to the climax of return, which is Yom Kippur. This was a time that traditionally though t that YHVH would draw His ear close for the prayers of the repentant.

[Isa 55:6 ESV] 6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

It was on Yom Kippur that the High Priest (Cohen HaGadol) would enter into the Holiest of Holies and sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, as an atonement for the nation of Israel. This could only happen one time a year on Yom Kippur. Traditionally it has been taught that on Yom Teruah the Books of Remembrance before YHVH were opened and you were inscribed in the book if your deeds were righteous but you would not be inscribed if you did not repent of your wickedness. These 10 days of Awe were the time of Judgment with the books opened but once Yom Kippur closed at sunset the books were closed for another year. It was during Yom Kippur that men would traditionally tear their outer coats in an outward sign of repentance and mourning and place ashes on their heads. Some would beat their chests violently in a show of repentance and pain. It is the Prophet Joel that saw hypocrisy in what the religious men were doing as they were only doing the outward things to be seen of men while their hearts were still full of wickedness.

[Joe 2:12-13 ESV] 12 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”

How do we know this is talking about Teshuvah and Yom Kippur? We can see that YHVH is called His people back to Him with weeping and fasting. We can also look at the Hebrew word for “return” used twice in these verses. It is the Hebrew word “shuv” (שׁוּב shuwb) which is Strong’s number H7725 and is the three letter verbal root for Teshuvah.

With Teshuvah the theme is always drawing near to God so that He will draw near to you. It is the step we make first. He doesn’t draw near to us but we draw near to Him first and then He comes running just like the Prodigal Son’s Father when he saw his wayward son return, coming just over the hilltop. The Prodigal Son’s Father never went to the pig pen pleading with his son while he was in his rebellion and sin. However, the moment the son realized his sin he made Teshuvah and the Father ran to him. Listen to the words of James as he talks about this season:

[Jas 4:6-10 ESV] 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Here is where it gets really interesting… Do you know what constellation is in the sky during Teshuvah? No I am not advocating the horoscope or star readings but I do believe that the stars, including the constellations were named by YHVH and He placed them and named them to tell a story…

[Psa 147:4 ESV] 4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

The constellation clearly seen in the sky during Teshuvah is called Virgo, the Virgin Maiden. Also known in Hebrew as Betullah. Why am I bringing this up you may ask? The Month Elul is named so because of a Hebrew acronym which spells out:

[Sng 6:3 ESV] 3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” Which in Hebrew is Ani, L’dodi, V’dodi, Li

E- alef- Ani

L- Lamed- L’dodi

U- Vav- V’dodi

L- Lamed- Li

Jeremiah 31:21 … Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities.”

We can clearly see that the stars point to a Virgin Maiden during a season that God is calling for His Bride to shuv or return to Him. What’s even more remarkable is that the constellation that precedes Virgo is Leo, or the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!!! It is as if He is pursuing His bride in the sky during this season. And if that wasn’t enough, the next constellation is Libra, or the Scales of Judgment. Remember that the Bride is making Teshuvah and it ends on Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment! Wow. Isn’t our God amazing to leave us so many witnesses to His sovereign ways and plan? I hope this season you will join us and the Jewish people making Teshuvah. I pray it will never be a show but a time of true repentance as we prepare for the Return of the King!

Shalom-

Getting out the leaven!

As we head toward the season of Unleavened Bread and the Spring Feasts of the Lord I am quickly reminded as I flip through commercials on television and stroll through store isles that this is also a season that many people, whether religious or not, celebrate Easter. I want to make a disclaimer before I dig into this subject that I am a Messianic Torah Teacher today but I grew up in the Christian church being involved in several denominations for nearly thirty years of my life. I do not condemn Christianity or well-meaning Christians because God chose my journey to start through this path. Without Christianity I would not have come to know the God of Israel. I celebrated Christmas and Easter and was involved in Resurrection Sunday plays and skits depicting the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That being said, I also do not agree with all of the doctrinal stances that I have grown up to learn as “God said biblical truth,” but later after further study and revelation from God discovered were in fact doctrines and traditions of men. It was this issue that Yeshua confronted the Pharisees about in Mark 7 referring to ceremonial washing of hands, which was tradition, being taught as commandment of God:

[Mar 7:5, 7, 9 KJV] 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? … 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. … 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

I could preach this in any church today speaking against certain aspects of Judaism and I would get a hardy, “AMEN!” However, Christianity follows a similar crooked path that Judaism followed, relying on elders and church fathers to establish doctrine that puts emphasis on tradition over commandment. The Jewish people by in large reject Yeshua as the Messiah not because the Bible supports it but because the Rabbis say so and in the Talmud and Mishnah, certain “post Yeshua” teachers of Judaism wrote about Yeshua being a false Messiah and false prophet. So the words of the Rabbis trump the obvious and numerous prophesies and writings that support that Yeshua is in fact the Messiah. To Christians this seems absurd. It’s so obvious! Why can’t they see it? Well setting aside the fact that “blindness in part has happened to the Jewish people until the fullness of the gentiles comes in” (Romans  11:25), there is a huge reliance on false information and sources. Now lets turn this around because the problem also exists in Christianity as much as in Judaism. When someone tries to explain the Torah or the Feasts of the Lord to the average Christian doctrines and sources being relied on are not biblical but that of “church fathers.” Instead of relying too much on the rabbis like Judaism, they are relying too heavily on church fathers to shape and form their interpretations and conclusions of the bible. When the question is asked, “when was Jesus crucified?” the knee jerk reaction is- “Good Friday!” Then when you ask when Jesus was resurrected, again the resounding, tested by the ages response of “Easter Sunday!” Does the Bible support this claim? No. Is it even possible for three days and three nights to exist between Friday at 3pm and early Sunday morning? No. Where did it come from? Church fathers and their writings, not the Word of God Himself. To someone that keeps the Passover and the Feasts of the Lord it seems obvious, just like the Christian explaining Jesus to Jews, but again the walls go up, defenses are raised and the blindfold that the Jews are accredited to having in part is partially pulled over the eyes of Christians as well. The bible says that the Old Testament is veiled to the Jews when they read it but is taken away when they come to Messiah Yeshua (2 Corinth. 3:14-16) but is that veil being cast over the New Testament when read by many Christians because of falling into the same sin of willful ignorance and pride? Listen to Paul’s warning in Romans 11 when speaking to the “wild olive branches,” who are non Jewish believers being grafted into the tree of Israel:

[Rom 11:18-21 KJV] 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee.

We, as New Covenant brethren, whether Jewish or not, have to be very careful not to fall into the same sin as unbelieving Israel or the judgment will be the same upon us. Paul uses the words, highminded and boast. Take a moment and think about your walk with the Father. Does this describe you? Do we think we have all of the answers just because our Pastor said so or some church father wrote a paper hundreds of years ago?

So why did I take this time to go over these concepts? Because whenever I talk to a lot of Christians about Christmas and Easter and the deceptions associated with them, I get a boastful and highminded response instead of being like the Berians and searching the scriptures to see if it is true. I plead with you to please study for yourself:

[2Ti 2:15 KJV] 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

So what does all of this have to do with leaven? It is at this season that God calls and requires a removal of leaven from all of Israel’s households. What is leaven and why is it symbolized as something bad to remove before the Passover?

[Exo 12:15 KJV] 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

[Exo 13:7 KJV] 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

[Lev 2:11 KJV] 11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire.

Leaven is the agent that causes bread to rise. Without leaven bread is flat in an unrisen state. What sin causes someone to be puffed up? PRIDE! Pride is the leaven I believe God wants us to focus on getting out of our lives and our homes. Pride is the root of all kinds of sin. In fact, most if not all sins could be traced back to pride. Remember Paul’s warning: “Do Not be highminded!” This is what blocks us from receiving revelation from God Himself or through the agents He sends in our path to deliver messages we wouldn’t hear for ourselves from His Word. Yeshua took issue with the Pharisees and Sadducees  mostly I believe because of the pride and haughtiness they possessed.

[Mat 16:11 KJV] 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake [it] not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

Paul also spoke of this concept in 1 Corinthians 5 as he rebukes the assembly for allowing sin in their midst and being arrogant and puffed up about it instead of humbling themselves and repenting:

[1Co 5:2, 6-8 KJV] 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. … 6 Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.

What do we do when approached with teaching that challenges us to repent and change? Do we study for ourselves and seek truth with a humble unleavened spirit or do we get puffed up and resist any correction, boasting in our old leaven (doctrines). This season of Unleavened Bread lets get the leaven out! Let us keep the feast with unleavened bread  of sincerity and truth.

Chag Sameach Hamatzot (Happy Feast of Unleavened Bread)!

Pesach | פסח | “Passover “

(v) 21 Then Moshe called for all the leaders of Isra’el and said, “Select and take lambs for your families, and slaughter the Pesach lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop leaves and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame. Then, none of you is to go out the door of his house until morning. 23 For Adonai will pass through to kill the Egyptians; but when he sees the blood on the top and on the two sides, Adonai will pass over the door and will not allow the Slaughterer to enter your houses and kill you. 24 You are to observe this as a law, you and your descendants forever.

25 “When you come to the land which Adonai will give you, as he has promised, you are to observe this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this ceremony?’ 27 say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Adonai’s Pesach [Passover], because [Adonai] passed over the houses of the people of Isra’el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” The people of Isra’el bowed their heads and worshipped. 28 Then the people of Isra’el went and did as Adonai had ordered Moshe and Aharon — that is what they did.

(vi) 29 At midnight Adonai killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 30 Pharaoh got up in the night, he, all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was horrendous wailing in Egypt; for there wasn’t a single house without someone dead in it. 31 He summoned Moshe and Aharon by night and said, “Up and leave my people, both you and the people of Isra’el; and go, serve Adonai as you said. 32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you said; and get out of here! But bless me, too.” 33 The Egyptians pressed to send the people out of the land quickly, because they said, “Otherwise we’ll all be dead!”

34 The people took their dough before it had become leavened and wrapped their kneading bowls in their clothes on their shoulders. 35 The people of Isra’el had done what Moshe had said — they had asked the Egyptians to give them silver and gold jewelry and clothing; 36 and Adonai had made the Egyptians so favorably disposed toward the people that they had let them have whatever they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

37 The people of Isra’el traveled from Ra‘amses to Sukkot, some six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting children. 38 A mixed crowd also went up with them, as well as livestock in large numbers, both flocks and herds. 39 They baked matzah loaves from the dough they had brought out of Egypt, since it was unleavened; because they had been driven out of Egypt without time to prepare supplies for themselves.

40 The time the people of Isra’el lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years to the day, all the divisions of Adonai left the land of Egypt. 42 This was a night when Adonai kept vigil to bring them out of the land of Egypt, and this same night continues to be a night when Adonai keeps vigil for all the people of Isra’el through all their generations.

43 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, “This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb: no foreigner is to eat it. 44 But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it. 45 Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it. 46 It is to be eaten in one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you are not to break any of its bones. 47 The whole community of Isra’el is to keep it. 48 If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe Adonai’s Pesach, all his males must be circumcised. Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land. But no uncircumcised person is to eat it. 49 The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you.”

50 All the people of Isra’el did just as Adonai had ordered Moshe and Aharon. 51 On that very day, Adonai brought the people of Isra’el out of the land of Egypt by their divisions.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.
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