Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Jack Davis

The word translated “hour” in scripture is sometimes used to express the duration of any given event. It doesn’t always speak of a period of time just 60 minutes long, but of an expended period of time; the time when a designated or appointed action is to take place.

Rev. 14:6-7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

We here read of an important hour on God’s clock. Just preceding this hour John views this heavenly messenger flying with the everlasting gospel. Flying here expresses swiftness of movement, telling us of the quick spread of the message. His declaration in more demanding than pleading, entreating, or imploring. This is one of the last calls of grace. This merciful warning is centred around the “HOUR of His judgment.” The message of the everlasting gospel tells the hearers to do three things. FEAR GOD, GIVE HIM GLORY, WORSHIP HIM. The Creator of all things.

This message offsets the ministry of the false prophet, who is at that time trying to induce the world to revere, honor and adore the Antichrist. Unmerited mercy, rejected, brings unmeasured judgment. To refuse the Truth is to believe the Lie. Reject the light and blindness will result. Ignore the only Way and gain eternal loss. Resisting the true life brings eternal death.

Jesus is the Judge: all the universe awaits the time of His eternal decisions. He, the sinless Son of man, bore the full wrath of God’s judgment for sinful men. He was made sin for us and tasted death for every man; therefore all judgment was committed unto Him. The hour of His judgment cometh. There is no putting it off nor getting around it when it is time to come. Believers will not face the white throne judgment, but praise God there is a judgment seat (throne) of Christ.

Rev. 11:17-18, “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” There is coming a time when He the righteous Judge will judge the world, in righteousness, The nations will come before Him. He will put down all rule, authority and power, yea, all things under His feet.

As he walks in the midst of the candlesticks today, and as we submit to His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit we are being made ready for such an hour, to receive the Judge’s decision. That Hour we hail with gladness, as a time of blessing and reward. We shall stand before Him and receive incorruptible crowns of righteousness, gold, and glory.

Moses said, “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear” – Acts 7:37. When God interrupted Peter at Christ’s transfiguration, He said, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; HEAR YE HIM” – Mt. 17:5. He shall be heard, now and later.

John 5:24-26, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.”

He Who is Life and has life in Himself, puts life into our hearts and ears. He gives a hearing ear and a believing heart to those who were dead, for His is a life-giving voice. Today is the time to hear His voice, by His Word, through the spirit and live; to pass from death unto life, enjoy an abundant life, and inherit all the rich benefits of eternal life. Now is the time for listening the partaking of a full salvation. “Now is the accepted time” – II Cor. 6:2. “Knowing the time… Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” – Rom. 13:11. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…I said in my heart God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time for every purpose and for every work” – Eccl. 3:1,17. We cannot afford to waste our opportunities but must redeem the time, Eph. 5:16.

John 4:21-24, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Jesus, in teaching this woman of Samaria of the place and power of true worship, sought to bring her thoughts from location to salvation. It is only through the experiencing of a spiritual birth that we come to know God as our Father, the Object of true worship. Salvation’s outflow is worship that is sincere. He said unto her, “Believe Me.” He was leading from external rites into internal and eternal realities. Knowing God as our Father, our worship is not dependent upon location, for we may now enter the Holiest of Holies, which is not so much a physical place as a spiritual realm. Jesus, here on His first advent was bringing in the hour of true worship. He was fulfilling all the law’s demands, and laying aside ritualistic observances. Now especially since the cross, spiritual worship is according to truth and true worship is in the spirit.

“Must” – we find in the gospel of John three essentials to true worship. These are absolute and unconditional – Jn. 3:14, The Son of man “MUST” be lifted up to die on the cross. “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me. This He said signifying what death He should die” -Jn. 12:32-33. Jesus said that the “hour” is come that the Son of man should be glorified. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit” – Jn. 12:23-24.

Worship is indeed a result of redemption. Jesus death on the cross made provision for true worship  in the spirit, and that of many sons brought to glory, or “Much Fruit.”
Glory to God! We may now lift up our hearts and hands in praise and our tongues may lift up the testimony of His being lifted up. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye MUST BE BORN AGAIN” – Jn. 3:6-7.

Regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit by Whom we are brought into the realm of true worship. “Ye must be born again,” for this is becoming a new creation. Since God is now our Father, let us worship Him now as our chief present occupation. Worship Him now, with what we are first, then with what we have and with what we do, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve Me let him follow Me; and where I am there shall My servant be: If any man serve Me him will My Father honor” – Jn. 12:25-26.

Jesus said, “FOLLOW Me.” It is evident that the believer is losing any part of his life that he is trying to hoard to himself. On the other hand the part of our life that we yield, laying it down for Him, we retain with eternal gain. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” – Eccl. 12:1. Thank God we may all worship Him with whatever remains of the rest of our lives, and we begin giving to Him one day at a time. But if we have neglected Him formerly, remember that He can still do a quick work in us if we so desire. REDEEM THE TIME! We will be so glad that we did when we come to the “Hour of His coming.”

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which they that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” – Jn. 5:28-29. Jesus made some interesting statements concerning this exciting hour (Mark 13:31-37 and Acts 1:7). “No man knoweth the day nor hour,” but the Father hath put them in His power (authority). This hour will be a surprise to most. It will come as a thief in the night. This marvelous Hour will be the time for the universal exercise of Jesus’ authority and power. Oh Yes, they which are in the graves shall hear His voice, Praise God, and they shall come forth. The hour is certainly coming when our dear Lord Himself “shall descend with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and the trump of God…” He shall be heard! We will be moved by that voice,  and ascend with a shout! Are you Listening?


Anita Clark

“And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...” Matthew 24:6

When we see the troubled end times, we think of the Scripture in Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Again we look at the Scripture, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (II Timothy 3:1). The word, “perilous” means “difficult dangerous, loss of strength.”

For some months this article has been about the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. At this time there has not been any progress, although much pressure is being put upon Israel. Recently Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington speaking to 14,000 pro-Israel activists, and he said, “Israel is ready to make a historic peace with the Palestinians.” He urged Abbas to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” once and for all with “No excuses. No delays. It’s time.” He read from the Bible, Deuteronomy 30, and said, “My friends, on behalf of the people of Israel, I bring you a message from Jerusalem, the cradle of our common civilization, the crucible of our shared values. It’s the message from the Bible, ‘I have put before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life so that you and your offspring may live.’ Ladies and gentlemen, my friends, never forget – America and Israel stand for life. We stand together on the right side of the moral divide. We stand together on the right side of history.” It is so unusual to hear a leader of Israel quoting from the Bible.

The Scripture also admonishes us to, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.” Soon a peace will finally be accomplished, but it will be a false peace promoted by the nations, from which will come a mighty leader with the answers to world peace (Dan.9:27). Israel and the world will be fooled into thinking that finally things are settled. This peace will only last for a short time (I Thess. 5:1-4). The Antichrist will be revealed as to who he really is, and whom he represents, which is Satan, God’s enemy, and the enemy of mankind. We are fast approaching that day. Be watching and waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus is near.

This is a time of tumult and danger in the Middle East. The danger from Iran is still very real. They may have deceived some of the nations, but they are still treacherous and hate Israel. Recently, Israel seized an Iranian ship carrying 40 missiles and 400,000 rounds of ammunition headed for Gaza and Hamas. Netanyahu warned that future ships could conceal nuclear weapons which are a threat to Israel and the world. “Peace, peace and there is no peace.”

Recently, Netananyahu came to Washington to talk with President Obama and received what the press described as a “wintery welcome.” Israel is being blamed for the impasse with the peace deal, while Abbas is proclaimed by our government “a willing partner and Israel as the obstacle to peace.” A warning was given by Secretary of State John Kerry that if Israel didn’t comply so that peace can be brought in, “They will face a third Intifada,” referring to the terroristic times of bombings and chaos in the past. We truly must heed the Scripture about praying for Israel.

According to the Scripture terrible times are ahead during the seven years of tribulation, when the false peace will be broken and the Antichrist will persecute Israel worse than ever before. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “ Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. It shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of Hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him; But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David [Beloved Jesus] their king, whom I will raise up.” Also, referring to that time, Daniel 12:1, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book.” The last three years of the seven years of tribulation will be terrible for Israel. God will deal with them, and a small portion will endure until the end of the tribulation and be saved. (Matthew 24:13).

The crisis in Syria continues after three years of fighting with no end in sight. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has annihilated many in mass killings. According to Global Research News, President Putin of Russia in September, 2013 gave Syria advanced weapons called S 300 SAM, and has threatened to also give them a more advanced missile called S 400, ranked as the World’s most advanced missiles, which Russia has, far superior to the Patriot missiles, made by the U.S.A., which NATO has given to the rebels in Syria to fight against Assad. In a subtle way we are fighting Russia.

Like that old song says, “The bear went over the mountain.” The Russian Bear is still alive. President Putin warned the US, and France in 2013 in response to NATO’S statement that they would arm the rebels in Syria, that he would arm the Syrian government, which he has done, giving them the most advanced anti-ship missiles that Russia has, and this illustrates the depths of its support for the Syrian government. These missiles have a range of 180 miles, and can do an extraordinary amount of damage. If being fired from the Mediterranean Sea they can easily hit Israel, or if fired out to sea, they could easily sink US Navy vessels. If this would happen, some are saying, “It will be impossible to stop a full-blown war between the United States and Syria and it’s ally Russia.” The situation in Syria is very dangerous and serious.

Prophecies in the book of Isaiah, chapter 17:1, where the prophet speaks of the “Burden of Damascus” concerning Damascus, Syria being destroyed. The word “burden” means “doom.” So, the prophecy is about the doom of this ancient city, which has stood many thousands of years until our day. Abraham mentions Damascus in Genesis 15:2, when questioning God about who would be his heir. He said, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?” So that city was there at that time, approximately B.C. 1913, at the time of Abraham. Yet the prophecy is still future at this time. With the tremendous civil war going on in Syria, one wonders if this will be the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy and Damascus will be destroyed.

This war in Syria has killed at least 150,000 counting both sides, with many by the Syrian government in mass executions, and has displaced thousands of refugees into neighboring countries, such as Israel and Jordan. Israel has been a major contributor in helping the refugees. Recently, the USA closed the Syrian embassy in Washington, giving the reason that the Syrian ambassador had left Washington over a year ago and had “suspended consular services," so there was no need to keep the building open any longer.

The Russian Bear has moved into part of Ukraine, and has annexed Crimea. Putin is on the move. He doesn’t seem to fear the USA. Perhaps he thinks that we are weak and will do nothing. What I see in their ascendency is what we see in Ezekiel 38 & 39. Gog and Magog [Russia] will unite with Persia, Libya, Turkey, Gomer [Germany] and Ethiopia and come against Israel in this end time. They will be slain by the Lord upon the mountains of Israel. There appears to be prophesied a nuclear war because Ezekiel 39:12-15 tells of “men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth to cleanse it; after the end of seven months shall they search.” It seems that this might be the war that is represented by the Red Horse in Revelation 6. First the white horse, representing the first part of the tribulation, when it will seem that peace is finally attained. This will be brought about by the “covenant “ of Daniel 9:27, then the peace will be broken. It remains to be seen how it will all be played out. But God’s Word is absolutely true and will be fulfilled in God’s due time.

This whole chapter, Isaiah 17, speaks of the time when nations will be in turmoil just before the Lord Jesus Christ will come in power and glory at the end of the tribulation period. All the nations will be judged as to how they have treated Israel, according to Matthew 25, as the “sheep nations” (those who have respected and treated Israel right, and the “goat nations” (those who have persecuted and been aggressive toward Israel) will be divided on God’s right hand and upon His left hand, while the “sheep nations” will be allowed to be in the earthly Kingdom of Christ, but the “goats” will be dissolved as nations.

Truly, we are living in the last days just before the tribulation. Next on the agenda is the rapture of the overcoming saints, known as the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us of that blessed time. The Lord is working right now, as He has been doing all through this Grace Age to enable the people of God to be this dedicated group by the working of the Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God which works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.” It is not by our own goodness that we win this race (I Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 3:7-14; Hebrews 12:1), but by His divine work in us. Our part is to yield - His part is to work. And He does. He is faithful! Praise his name!


“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

We all experience fear at one time or another. Some fear is actually healthy, as it keeps us from doing stupid things that could cause us great harm. Some fears are irrational, as they are based only on lack of knowledge or failure to believe the truth. Some of our fear is just about the unknown.

Paul draws a connection between fear and bondage. Fear of death brings bondage. "And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:15. The bondage of sin brings fear. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15. Fear and bondage go together. However, we see that God wants to free us from bondage and fear.

God's grace has provided freedom for those that believe. Only as we begin to understand and accept the love of God can we find release from our fear. When we come to the realization that God's love for us cannot be moved or changed, and that in His love, He has provided all that we need, we can rest from our fear of the unknown. God will never leave us nor forsake us. If God be for us, who can be against us. "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:6.

God's love casteth out fear, because it covers us and provides for us and protects us. By His love, we are given the spirit of power and of a sound mind, which keep us from fear. 2 Timothy 1:7. There are many today, that are afraid because they are not certain of their final destiny. Too much religious teaching that leaves people with so much uncertainty. God's love provides us with certainty. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28. 1 “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” John 2:25.

So, the way to rid ourselves of fear is through faith. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. As we study God’s Word, our faith is built up. We understand better His promises and His love. We realize more and more His faithfulness.

We have nothing to fear. We have great and precious promises that are based on God’s perfect love. We need simply to rest in His love and or fears will be cast out.


Debra Isenbletter

In the following verses, Boaz meets Ruth, but first Boaz speaks to his servant (vs 5-7) and then Boaz speaks to Ruth (vs 8-9). From his conversation we get a wonderful glimpse into the character of this man. When Boaz arrives we see the way in which he greets those that serve him and the way they greet him. (vs 4). Now Boaz takes note of who is gleaning in his field and notices someone new. He notices everything!

Ruth 2:5 – Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

Who does Boaz speak to? He speaks to his servant and he asks a question and it is an important question. The word for servant here is “steward” or “one who managed the estate.”

What was this servant’s responsibility? He was “set over the reapers.” Here we see the details of his stewardship. The reapers were the laborers in the field, these are those bringing forth a harvest. The responsibility of this servant is to see that the work is well done and that each person performed his task.

This was a man who had great responsibility. Eliezer was the steward of Abraham’s house (Gen 15:2), and as his steward he “ruled over all that he had” (Gen 24:2). He was given a great responsibility also, he was sent to find a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. Joseph became the steward of Potiphar while he was in Egypt and “his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Joseph’s testimony was that “he served him” and as a result of that faithful service Potiphar “made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” (Gen 39:4-5). There we see the great responsibility of the steward and the faithful service.

Sister Erline Spickard taught two types from this portion, one concerning the servant and one concerning the reapers. She taught that this steward, this servant of Boaz, can picture the Apostle Paul. Paul was a steward “of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4:1-2). As a steward he had great responsibilities, and exercised them faithfully. Just as this steward watched over the reapers, Paul watched over the saints. He “visited the brethren in every city” (Acts 15:36) where he preached. He traveled everywhere “confirming the churches” (Acts 15:41). He “went over all the country…strengthening all the disciples” (Acts 18:23). He felt the burden and the “care of all the churches” (2 Cor 11:28). Paul watched over the saints to see that the work was done well. He still watches over us today for it is his gospel that instructs, corrects and guides us! She also taught that the “reapers” can picture the church officials. These are those that the Lord has set in the Church for “the perfecting of the saints” (Eph 4:12). These are the bishops, elders, deacons, pastors and teachers that are mentioned throughout Paul’s epistles. They are laborers, they are helping to bring forth a harvest in the Lord’s fields!

What did Boaz ask his servant? Boaz asked, “Whose damsel is this?” This is an important question. Boaz notices Ruth immediately. We see how he views her, she is a “damsel,” which was a “maiden” or a “young woman” that was of marriageable age or untouched. He saw her from a distance and noticed two things. He saw her labor, her service and he saw her need! Sister Mary Bodie says: “And then he beholds Ruth, and his heart is won immediately, by the poor Moabitess who has nothing in herself to command his attention except her helplessness and need.” This was love at first sight. He loved her first. He had heard about her (2:11), now he is about to meet her. Christ loved us first and heard about our need and came to meet that need. He came “to minister, and give his life as a ransom” (Mt 20:28). It is through our relationship with Christ that we begin to see and realize the depth of that love and to know the “love of Christ that passeth knowledge” (Eph 3:19). For Ruth, this is a love she is about to know and comprehend. She will begin to understand that love as Boaz meets her needs. We begin to understand and love Jesus as He meets our needs!

What is the answer to the question Boaz asks? She is his damsel, she belongs to him! She doesn’t know it yet, others don’t know it yet, even Boaz doesn’t know it, only God does, for He has brought these two together for a purpose. This is a picture of God’s provision and purpose for Christ, that He have a Bride. Just as God took a rib from Adam and builded a wife for him (Gen 2:20-23), God is taking a rib from the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 5:30-32), the Last Adam, and building a wife for Him, a Bride. Just as Adam’s body was asleep, many in the Body of Christ are asleep today (1 Thess 5:6-8) and God will take from that sleeping body a group of saints that are awake and watching. This unique relationship with Christ is that “espousal” that Paul speaks of, these saints are that woman he describes, that “chaste virgin.” (2 Cor 11:2). That topic in itself is another lesson.

The point I wanted to emphasize is the question “Whose damsel is this,” it reminded me of something said in Song of Solomon. Solomon describes the one he loves (Song 6:9) and says: She is Gentle: “My dove;” She is Pure: “my undefiled is but one” – Notice that she is his! She is Unique: “She is the only one;” She is Chosen: “the choice one.” When others hear his description, they ask: “Who is she?” doesn’t that sound like “Whose damsel is this?” When they see her, they describe her (Song 6:10). They see her faithfulness: “looketh forth.” They see her fairness: “fair as the moon” (constant). They see her glory: “clear as the sun” (Christ’s glory). They see her strength: “terrible as an army.” What is so striking about this woman is that when you see her in the beginning, she doesn’t see herself in this way. She sees only her service and suffering, she says, “I am black, but comely…Look not upon me, because I am black (sun burned), because the sun hath look upon me.” But this is what makes her beautiful, her labor, her suffering, her service! This is what Solomon sees, this is what Boaz sees, this is what Christ sees! What happens is that she is changed by her service and suffering, when she is seen later on, she is no longer “black” and ashamed to be looked at. She is seen as “the king’s daughter” who is “all glorious within” (Ps 45:13-14). Her inward beauty shines forth and overshadows everything else!
To be continued

My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.”
John 7:16
   The key to good doctrine is where it comes from. Jesus knew His doctrine was sound because He knew where it came from.
   Doctrines can tickle ears and excite our minds but that proves nothing. We can even love a doctrine with all our heart but that will not make it right. Crowds of people can own loyalty to a doctrine and it can still be false.
   Jesus did not figure out a doctrine; He received a doctrine. God gave the doctrine, Jesus faithfully spoke it.
   We cannot trust any doctrine that does not come from God. Men can be used of God only as they are faithful to speak His doctrine. Jesus was faithful and true to His Father, therefore His doctrine was always right.

The first man fell when he listened to half-truths. Most of what we hear today is also half-truths. That is why we have a fallen church. Only the whole truth can keep us whole. Paul preached the whole “counsel of God” for he wanted saints to have the best God could give them. Our greatest enemy is not the out-ward sin, but the half-truths clothed in a religious setting. If a church is teaching half-truths it may grow but it will never be spiritual.
John West
Willcox, AZ
The Feasts of Israel

Leviticus 23 – Part 2

by Earlene Davis

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Vs. 6-8, “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. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.”

This feast of unleavened bread occurs simultaneously with the Lord’s Passover. It begins the day after the Passover eve, and lasts for seven days. Because they are closely related in time and purpose, their names are often used interchangeably. During Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, God instructed the Israelites to eat only the pure unleavened bread. We read in Exodus 13:6,7 that they were to put out all leaven even from their houses. Leaven in Scripture symbolizes sin and evil. Because Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us, we have been separated from evil. An entire and immediate separation has been provided.

Unleavened bread, symbolized a holy walk with the Lord. “Seven days,” seven being the number of perfection has reference to the completeness of the work of Christ in putting away sin. All believers in Christ are cleansed from sin and empowered to walk in newness of life. I Cor. 5:7,8, “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: 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.” Keeping the feast signifies that we are not to tolerate sin in any way, but rejoice in our perfect deliverance in Christ.

Unleavened bread in the New Testament is the body of our Lord. He was born in Bethlehem, which means “House of Bread” in Hebrew. He also announced Himself as the Bread of Life. John 6:31-33,48, “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world…I am that bread of life.”

The very bread used by the Jews during the week of unleavened bread is Matzoh, pure without any leaven and is a good picture of our Lord. I John 3:5, “…He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” The Matzoh is also striped in the baking. Isa. 53:5, “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” You hold this bread in front of a candle and you can see the light through the holes pierced in it. Our Lord was pierced by the nails in His hands and feet and the Roman spear in His side. Zech. 12:10, “…I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for His only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

We cannot separate Passover and unleavened bread, for God has joined them. Now instead of Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, we observe the Lord’s Supper. We remember Calvary and feast upon the Lamb. I Cor. 11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come.”

In the Jews Passover ceremony they brake the bread, Matzoh, into three pieces. The middle piece is buried (by hiding it). Then later in the ceremony they resurrect it, by the piece of Matzoh being found. This pictures Christ’s death and resurrection. In the modern Jewish Passover celebration they are presenting the Gospel, the good news and don’t know it.

God performed this exact ceremony with the burial of Jesus, and He performed it on the exact day of the feast. His body was interred at sunset of Passover Day, the beginning of the 15th day of the first month. Crucifixion normally took three days. The Romans used this slow and terrible way of death to terrify the population of Israel as they passed by those crucified. Remember the centurion was not ready to believe that Jesus was dead in just six hours. But it is simple to understand when you consider the schedule of the first two feasts. Our Lord said no one could take His life from Him, “I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again…” John 10:18.

Again we see this feast was fulfilled in an unmistakable way. Our “Kernel of wheat” (John. 12:24) was placed in the ground at the appropriate time, to rise again in accordance with the schedule of the feasts.
Next issue:  The Feast of First Fruits.