Passover—When to Celebrate It and a Quick Overview of the Seder

The exact timing of the Passover has sparked much controversy over the years among believers. In the early Christian church it was known as the “Quartadeciman Controversy.” Concerning this debate, which continued into the fourth century a.d. and was finally settled at the famous Council of Nicea in a.d. 325, church historian Philip Schaff in noted multi-volumed History of the Christian Church states, “Respecting the time of the Christian Passover … there was a difference of observance which created violent controversies in the ancient church [resulting in questioning] the genuineness of John’s Gospel” (vol. 2, p. 210). The Quartadeciman Controversy, although slightly different in nature to the subject of this present work, only serves to underscore the volatility of issues of dogma. With this in mind, let us not forget what Yeshua referred to as the “weightier matters of the law”: judgment, mercy and faith (Matt. 23:23). Now let’s begin our study of the timing of Passover.

First, there are some absolutes that Scripture gives regarding Passover:

  • Scripture states that Pesach/Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month (Lev. 23:5), and is called the month of Abib (Exod. 12:2,5–14; 13:4) of Elohim’s biblical calendar (Hag HaMatzot/Feast of Unleavened Bread starts on the fifteenth).
  • For Messiah Yeshua to be the literal fulfillment of the Passover Lamb he had to die at the same moment in time that the Passover lamb was slain.

When Is Passover and When Was the Passover Lamb Sacrificed in the Temple?

Exodus 12:6 says, 

And you shall keep it [the lamb] until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight [Heb. erev, marginal notes in KJV: between the two evenings].

According to ancient rabbinical sources, at the time of Yeshua, the term between the evenings or twilight had taken on a broader meaning than just twilight as in accordance with the literal meaning of the Hebrew word erev. For the Pharisees, it referred not just to the approximately 45-minute time period just before darkness that we in the west call twilight, to the time period from noon onward when the sun begins to decline from its Continue reading

 

How Did Yeshua Perfectly Fulfil the Passover?

Exodus 12:1–51, The Passover. 

How did Yeshua the Messiah perfectly fulfil all the types and shadows of the first Passover in Egypt?

According to the laws of statistical probability, what are the chances of an event happening and then fifteen hundred years later another event occurring bearing an uncanny resemblance to the first one? Now suppose that not only did fifteen hundred years separate the two events, but that they occurred in two different countries several hundred miles apart, which in the ancient world may as well have been halfway around the globe. Now suppose that the second event involved the death of a person, and that the events leading up to their death including the manner and timing of that death was beyond the control of the individual dying so that in no way could the person dying stage his death to mirror the first event. In fact, those killing the individual possessed no foreknowledge of the event that had occurred fifteen hundred years earlier. What are the chances of this occurring?

This is not a fictional story! Truth is stranger than fiction. The details of these two events are chronicled in the pages of the Bible. The first event occurred in ancient Egypt and is recorded in the Book of Exodus chapters eleven and twelve. There we find recorded the details of the Continue reading

 

13 Ways Hanukkah Is Different from Christmas

Hanukkah (a Hebrew word meaning “the Feast of Dedication” and also known as the Festival of Lights) is a minor holiday in Judaism and is only mentioned once in the Scriptures (John 10:22). It is the memorial of the cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem after the pagan Greeks had defiled it with idols. There is no scriptural command to celebrate it. There is no indication that Yeshua or the early disciples celebrated it, although John in his Gospel mentions that Yeshua happened be at the temple during this holiday. Nevertheless, Hanukkah as great positive spiritual ramifications.

Hanukkah 33399027

Although Hanukkah and Christmas occur in the same month, they are totally different from each other. Hanukkah is not a replacement for Christmas for those who have discovered the pagan origins and unbiblical nature of Christmas. Here are several ways how these two holidays differ: Continue reading

 

Chanukah or Christmas, Neither or Both?

Happy Chanukah/Hanukkah! Tonight begins the first night of the Festival of Lights. Want to know more? Please read on…

John 10:22, The Feast of Dedication [or consecration]. This is a reference to the annual Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah, and also known as the Festival of Lights) celebration lasting for eight days beginning in the 25th day of Jewish month Chislev (in the middle of our December). This minor Jewish feast was instituted by Judas Maccabaeus (164 BC) in memory of the cleansing of the Jerusalem temple from its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes, the pagan Greco-Syrian king.

The word Chanukah derives from the Hebrew word KH-N-K meaning “to dedicate.”

While Chanukah isn’t a biblically commanded observance, it is interesting to note that Yeshua happened to be at the temple in Jerusalem at this time as John mentions in his Gospel (John 10:22). Are there any spiritual significances to this? Perhaps.

Chanukah falls in the same time frame as the modern Christian festival of Christmas, which has its roots in the pagan Roman festival of Saturnalia, which culminated on December 25. Saturnalia was a pre-Christian festival held from December 17 to 25 in honor of the sun god characterized by drunken revelries, sexual debauchery, hedonistic indulgences of all sort, and human sacrifices. Saturnalia was a festival of lights in an effort to defeat the forces of darkness at the darkest time of the year and to woo the sun as earth’s life-giver back again thus insuring that the earth wouldn’t become an uninhabitable dark and frozen wasteland.

In the fourth century, Christian leaders “redeemed” Saturnalia by attaching the birth of Jesus Continue reading

 

More Photos from Sukkot 2018 in Central Oregon

As promised, here are some more photos from our local Sukkot gathering this year.

The campground and our campsite.

Natan talking to Rog while Dale (both from Nebraska) is making ice cream.

Natan giving a teaching.

Natan preaching next to the river.

The congregation listening to Natan teaching by the river.

A local resident drops in to hear the Word of Elohim expounded.

As in Yeshua’s day, some folks only come to get fed physically, not spiritually.

Some of the congregation.

And now for some spectacular  outdoor scenes from the local area…

Fall Creek en route to the Green Lakes at the base of South Sister and Broken Top mountains.

Another view of Fall Creek.

The headwaters of Fall Creek.

At the 6,600 foot level at the Green Lakes at the base of South Sister.

Natan swimming in the 47 degree temperature waters of Fall River near the campground during a mountain bike trail ride with Sandi.

The fall colors of Fall River.

 

The Youth—Spiritual Revival Vs. Spiritual Reversal

While hysterical and mindless young people are demonstrating on the streets of my home city (Portland, Oregon) and elsewhere, vandalizing, terrorizing and defying law and order, at the same time, YHVH is raising up a corps godly young people whom he is spiritually energizing to carry the gospel forward and to be salt and light to our generation. It is my extreme joy and  privilege to be contributive in some small part to this spiritual revival.

At our Sukkot this year in the wilderness high desert mountainous region of Central Oregon, we saw this revival occurring. As posted last week on this blog, you were able to read confessionary praise psalms from two young men—my sons—a 19 and 20 year old. But there was more.

Here is a photo of the young people that were at our Sukkot this year. Some of them are on fire for Yeshua, and some of them haven’t made the commitment yet, but at least they were there to hear the Word and see the Spirit in action.

While some godless, law and order hating, leftist, “progressive”/communistic hooligan youths were marching on the streets in a city near us, not far away, away from Babylon, YHVH was raising up and anointing the next generation to carry the light and truth of his kingdom forward.

Below are pictures of the baptism of a young man that Elohim is raising up.

Young Nathanael’s river baptism.

Young Nathanael was not only baptized for the remission of sins, made a public confession of his faith in and determination to serve and obey Yeshua, but he was baptized in the Set-Apart Spirit, as well, with the initial evidence of an overflowing of joy.

 

Previous to this wondrous event, Nathanael had secretly asked for three signs from heaven to confirm his receipt of the baptism of the Spirit: the wind, the fire and the sun to shine on him. Heaven answered his request. After coming out of the water, a strong and gentle breeze suddenly began to blow on us briefly. It was noticeably dramatic, since there had been no breeze previously all day. Then he felt the fire in his body. Then the clouds parted (it had been cloudy all day, and was even raining a little earlier) and the sun came out shone directly on him. Wow! We serve an awesome Elohim. I found out about his request of heaven’s confirmation after the fact.

Next, we had our young Levitical and prophetic minstrels leading praise and worship several times during Sukkot.

Jared leading praise and worship with the help of Kaleb and young Raphael.

Be encouraged…the kingdom of Elohim is advancing, slowly and quietly. What are you doing to help this occur?