For God So Loved…

Passover, to Unleavened Bread, to First Fruits. All a beautiful leading up to the Risen King.

What does this mean?

This is how we are no longer bound by sin and shame but we are set free in Him and can worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Death is now defeated and we are alive in Him forever.

What did Yeshua do for us? 

He made a way. When you feel bound by your sin, when you feel defeated, when you feel hopeless, remember what He did for you. He died FOR YOU. He died and then He rose so that you could live a life with Him by your side everyday. He came as a man and left as a King. You know all that sin you are embarrassed about? Ashamed of? He can forgive it, and He can give you eternal life. Lay your sin out before Him and confess it because He is just to forgive it.

I am Unworthy

You feel unworthy of His sacrifice? So do I. I daily say, “Lord, why me? I am so unworthy. Why did You die for me?” He is so kind, so good, so loving. He says that we are beautiful in His sight, we are white as snow when we confess our sins to Him. He moves mountains for us, He heals us, He fills us with His presence. He does so much for us that we do not deserve. He doesn’t want Heaven without us, so that is why He tore the veil. He desires to be close to us, to have a relationship with us. Without Him dying on the cross we would not have that closeness with Him. You ARE worthy, you are worth it to Him. Don’t ever forget it. In your time of distress, remember Him, remember His love…

He Loves Us

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16

“Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed…”Isaiah 53:1-12

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Today we celebrate the Risen King. We worship Him, give Him thanks and honor for what He did on the cross. He is coming again.

For God so loved the world… He made a way where there was no way. He freely gave His life, now I owe my life to Him. Make that commitment today. Give Him your all. He deserves all the glory and honor. Amen! He is risen and He is coming back again!

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.
Helpful products from Restoring the Way to help your study time in this portion:

Unleavened Bread- Chag Hamatzot

Chag Hamatzot/Feast of Unleavened Bread
The Facts:
What do the Scriptures say about it?
Exd 12:15 KJV –
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.
Exd 23:15 KJV –
Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)
Exd 34:18 KJV –
The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
Lev 23:6 KJV –
And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

When is it?
Exd 12:18 KJV – In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
Exd 12:19 KJV – Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses:
What should you do?
1. The first day and the seventh day of the feast is a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. (Exod. 12:16)
2. There is a holy convocation on the first and seventh day sabbaths of the feast
3. No ordinary or servile work should be done on the first and seventh day of the feast
4. Remove all leaven or yeast from your home. (Exod. 12:19)
5. Eat unleavened bread for seven days. (Exod. 12:18)
Messianic Fulfillment-
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is significant of several things:
1. We are to strive to get all of the sin or leaven out of our lives and homes.
2. Yeshua was the sinless lamb, the bread of the earth without leaven.
3. We are to eat or internalize the bread of heaven which is the word of God.
Leaven in scripture is an analogy of sin or pride. Just as leaven or yeast causes the bread to be puffed up or raised, sin and pride in our own lives can cause us to be puffed up. Listen to what Shaul (Paul) teaches about it:
Col 2:18 KJV – Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…”
It is very clear in scripture that none of us are completely sinless before the Father. So do we just throw up our hands and say “well none of us are perfect” and go ahead and sin anyways? God forbid! What we learn in the Feast of Unleavened Bread is that even though sin and/or pride is present in all of us we still strive to get it out of our homes. As we search through our pantries and cupboards for every last crumb of leavening we should reflect on our own lives in searching out every dark corner of our souls to cast out prideful and sinful things. Shaul admonished the New Covenant brethren of his day to re-evaluate why they were eating the Feast of Unleavened bread without understanding what it meant and applying its significance to the believer’s life:
1Cr 5:7-8 KJV – Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us: 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.
Isn’t that interesting that if Shaul supposedly taught that the Torah and feasts were no longer necessary in the New Covenant believer’s life then why would he say, “let us keep the feast.” The problem wasn’t in the feast itself but in how it was being observed in this particular assembly. Even today we have those that go through the motions lacking any spiritual zeal for what the feasts are about and what they represent. Let us keep the feast with sincerity of heart and in truth.
Yeshua came as our Passover Lamb who was the Son of God and without sin. The unleavened bread is a representation of His body that was without sin or leaven. Yeshua also removed the leaven from the temple by chasing out the moneychangers:
Mat 21:12 KJV – And Yeshua went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Not only that, but Yeshua removed the last piece of leavened bread from the disciples when he told Judas to leave.
Jhn 13:26 KJV – Yeshua answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped [it]. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave [it] to Judas Iscariot, [the son] of Simon.
Jhn 13:27 KJV – And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Yeshua unto him, that thou doest, do quickly.
Jhn 13:30 KJV – He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
The third thing we are to understand about the Feast of Unleavened Bread is that the Word of God is likened unto bread.
Mat 4:4 KJV – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The Word of God does not have leaven or sin but religious men add leaven to it with false interpretations and bad doctrine meant to glorify themselves and not God. That is why it is so important to honor the Torah commandment:
Deu 12:32 KJV – What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
During the feast we are not only to refrain from eating leaven but we are also commanded to eat unleavened bread. It is not enough for us to merely cease from sin but to also to what is right in the sight of the Lord. We have to not only be hearers of the Word but doers also:
Rom 2:13 KJV – (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Jam 1:25 KJV – But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.