Monday, April 14, 2014

Pressing On

Yesterday it was cold and windy with a chance of snow/rain.  There is now room in the house to have our sale so we had it inside.  Didn't have too many come.  But that is OK as we are exhausted after last week.  Now we are at 6 days left before leaving and counting.  We are beginning to move into the camper.  There is a slight glitch.  I need to figure out what is going on with our electrical system.  The lights and heat are working intermittently.  The outlets still have their power.  So I am thinking it may have something to do with the breaker in the camper for those items.
  We had a great time visiting with friends made over the last 6 years here in Danube.  Danube has made quite an impression on our family and I also believe it has worked the other way.  We as a family have made an impression here.  There are tears in our eyes and the eyes of neighbors as we say our goodbyes.  We had a few over on Saturday evening.  One couple has told us they will look after Michaelle as though she were their own daughter.  Wow, what a blessing to have.  Michaelle spent the night with us on Saturday and will be back this evening to celebrate Passover with us.
  Please pray for strength as we diligently work this next week to be ready to leave by the end of the week.  We are looking forward to seeing Manasseh, Sarah and John soon.  Tomorrow being a high Sabbath we will not be getting much done except to celebrate the goodness of our Messiah Yahshua in His salvation for us.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Passover Celebration

Before the ceremony begins there are some things you’ll want to have done. Because Elohim commands that there be no leaven products in the home it’s necessary to go through your cupboards and refrigerator and take them out and either trash them, burn them or give them to the poor or a neighbor who isn’t keeping the Feast, but who would appreciate getting it.
Keep back a very small piece of leavened bread (one inch by one inch is fine) for each participant, placing the pieces in a plastic bag. At the appropriate time after the Passover Meal, after you’ve had His body and blood, they can be taken out and each person can burn or throw away his piece, symbolizing his cleansing from sin by the blood of Messiah Yahshua.

You’ll also want to have enough lamb,  matza  and bitter herbs for everyone present, as well as other foods of your liking, along with enough red wine and grape juice for all.  Four wine glasses and a water glass for each person is nice, but not necessary, although it does enhance the symbolism of the meal. It would also be good to have a silver coin to give away to the one finding the hidden  matza . Print up a sheet with the three questions on it so the boy can practice it before the ceremony.

Begin the ceremony before dark by blowing the shofar (ram’s horn) and lighting the lamps.  You can sing some songs unto the Yahweh after the shofar or the lighting, or you can go directly into the ceremony. The meal should be eaten after dark, darkness beginning the next biblical day. This is 15 Aviv in the first biblical month (called Nisan today by the traditional Jewish community). The Passover meal is eaten on the first day (night) of the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread, a holy Sabbath (Lev. 23:5-7).

This paper is a guideline for the Passover ceremony. Feel free to embellish as Yahshua leads you.

The Passover Ceremony

The blowing of the shofar announces the beginning of the Feast (Num. 10:10) . Do it with all your might as onto the Yahweh. It’s a feast that honors and glorifies Elohim for delivering us from slavery to Pharaoh and Satan and bringing us into His glorious Kingdom.

Light the oil lamps and bless Abba El for Yahshua, the Light of the World (John 8:12). Let the mother of the home do this for it was through a Jewish woman by the name of Miryam that Yahshua, the Light of the world, came into the world.

The First Cup  is called the Cup of Sanctification. It is used to ceremonially sanctify or set apart the Passover ceremony which Yahweh commanded to be kept (Ex. 12:14). Fill the first cups with wine or grape juice. A full glass signifies fullness of joy. Then bless Elohim for the fruit of the vine:
‘Blessed are You, Abba El, King of Eternity, for creating the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You for having chosen us from among all the people of the Earth and sanctifying us by Your living Word, Yahshua. You have made our hearts to overflow with your goodness and mercy. Thank you for this first day of Unleavened Bread, a set-apart Sabbath, which pictures the time of our freedom from slavery to Pharaoh and Satan.’

‘We ask You, Yahshua, our Passover Lamb, that Your Presence, by Your Spirit, would be at this Table with us. Ah-main!’

Foot Washing

Yahshua springboards off the traditional hand washing ceremony  (which we don’t do–Mt. 15:1-20; Lk. 11:38) to start His own tradition: read John 13:1-17. Become a servant like Him and wash the feet of your spouse or someone else. Generally, males with males and females with females. This sets the spiritual tone for Passover.

If the group consists of more than two or three people, ‘background’ singing, praising of Yahshua, can go on while people pair-up and take their turns washing their partner’s feet. After everyone is done, continue with the Three Questions.

The Three Questions

The traditional Jewish community has four questions they ask, of which only two are biblical. In our ceremony there are three biblical questions. These questions are usually asked by the youngest son old enough to read. Over the years it allows for each son to be a significant part of the Passover. The father answers his son, addressing the son and everyone present after the questions are asked. The son begins:
  1. Why is this night different then all other nights? On this night we must not eat leavened bread, but we must eat matza .
  2. On this night we must eat something bitter. Why?
  3. On this night we must eat lamb. Why?
We don’t eat any leavened bread, but must have  matza  tonight because we were slaves in Egypt, but Elohim sent Moses to deliver us from Pharaoh’s hard slavery, which had humbled and humiliated us. When we left Egypt (Ex. 13:8) we didn’t have time for the dough to rise because we quickly left Egypt (Ex. 12:39). The matza reminds us both of how we felt in Egypt, but also, how quickly Elohim caused us to leave.

Matza is known as the Bread of Affliction, and also, as the Bread of Freedom because we eat it in remembrance of our freedom from Egypt.

Matza also pictures Yahshua who referred to Himself as the Bread of Life in John 6. He spoke of Himself being the true Bread/Manna/Matza from Heaven. This Bread would not have been leavened because leaven is symbolic of sin and pride (1st Cor. 5:6-8), but there was no sin in Yahshua and He is very humble. That’s why Elohim originally commanded that no leavened bread be eaten at Passover and why we must eat  matza . It reflects Yahshua, the sinless Matza from Heaven who came to give us freedom from sin.

We were slaves in this world to Satan before we gave our lives to Elohim through Yahshua, who was afflicted and humbled for us. This  matza  is not a proud bread, but a humble bread. Elohim commanded us to eat this bread because it pictures Yahshua in His humility, purity and holiness, which Elohim has called us to. When we eat this  matza  we are truly free, which is the essence of Passover. We become like Yahshua. Bless Abba El for the  matza  of Life:
‘Blessed are You, Abba El, King of Eternity, who causes the  matza  that we eat to come forth from the ground and who caused the Matza of Freedom and Life to come forth from the grave that we might eat of Messiah Yeshua and become like Him.’

Eat a piece of matza .
We eat something bitter tonight because God commanded us to eat bitter herbs in remembrance of our life of bitterness as slaves under Pharaoh. Three times in Scripture (Dt. 4:20; 1st Kgs. 8:51; Jer. 11:4) Egypt is called an ‘iron furnace,’ which Yahweh delivered us from. An iron furnace is a furnace that is so hot that it melts iron. It symbolizes the intense suffering, agony and bitterness we all felt as slaves of Pharaoh (1st Cor. 10:1).

We also realize that our life before we fully surrendered ourselves to Yahshua was one of bitterness, anger, deception and confusion. We trusted in ourselves, which is a very bitter slavery to Satan. Yahshua, too, died a very bitter death, having taken our place so that we wouldn’t have a bitter eternity.

Now, we bless Abba El for taking us out of that life of anger and bitterness. We take and eat some bitter herbs  tonight on a piece of  matza  to remember the life of grief, hostility and heartbreak we led before coming to Messiah Yahshua. If tears come to our eyes that’s alright. They will help us to remember the slavery and affliction of Egypt and Satan, and what our sins put Yahshua through. We eat it with  matza  to show us that even if there is bitterness and suffering in Messiah, He is always with us and uses the bitter things of life to transform us into His Image.
Thank Abba El for taking us out of our bitter lives into the Joy of His salvation.

Eat some bitter thing and  matza  now.
We eat lamb tonight because Elohim commanded ancient Israel in Egypt to sacrifice and eat the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:1-8). When Elohim saw the blood of the lamb over the doorposts He spared the lives of Israel’s firstborn sons, but He killed all the firstborn sons of Egypt because Pharaoh was very stubborn and wouldn’t let us go. Elohim had warned him many times, but Pharaoh, a type of Satan, was stubborn to the core and it cost him his kingdom, his firstborn son, and his life. The only difference between life and death for the firstborn sons of Egypt and the firstborn Sons of Israel was the blood of the lamb.

The first Passover lamb in Egypt was a picture of the Second Passover Lamb in Jerusalem who would take our sins upon Himself (Is. 53:3-7; Jn. 1:29). Elohim took His own Lamb, His Son Yahshua, and sacrificed Him for both Jew and Gentile that we might come to know Elohim, who is eternal life, and not be condemned to Hell on Judgment Day, but spend eternity with Elohim. The only difference between those sent to Hell and those brought into the New Jerusalem will be those who have Messiah’s blood upon them and eat of the Lamb of Elohim. We eat lamb on Pass-over because it pictures Yahshua as the Lamb of Elohim.

(Don’t eat lamb now, but during the meal.)

The Hagada

Hagada means ‘story.’ Traditionally it speaks of the telling of the Passover story. I like to begin with,
  1. Elohim creating the heavens and the Earth, Adam, Eve and Satan,
  2. and then I go to Noah and then,
  3. to Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and his 12 sons,
    a. who went down into Egypt and became slaves of Pharaoh.
  4. Then Moses and the great deliverance of Israel from Egypt,
    a. the Red Sea split open and

    b. their Wilderness wandering because of unbelief.
  5. Under Joshua, they entered the Land and conquered the giants.
  6. Then King David, whose Son would sit on the Throne forever,
    a. and then a reference to the many wicked kings in both the northern and southern kingdoms

    b. and the Babylonian captivity because we had worshipped other gods and broken our covenant with Yahweh,
  7. and then to Messiah Yahshua, Son of David the King, who came as the Lamb of Elohim that we might live with Him in glory in the New Jerusalem and who was crucified for us, but rose
Tell the Story, using whatever characters and points you like, and then come to:

The Three Pieces of Matza

Hold up and say that the three pieces of  matza  represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The middle piece is broken to picture the breaking (crucifixion death) of Yahshua. Break the middle  matza  in half, wrap it in a linen napkin (Mt. 27:59; or a paper napkin if you don’t have linen) and hide it during the meal, not letting anyone know where you’ve hidden it.

The matza  in the linen and the hiding of it pictures the death and burial of Yahshua.

The Second Cup: The Cup of Remembrance

Fill the second cup, but don’t drink from it, yet.

We don’t need to dip our finger in the wine or grape juice. That’s a rabbinic tradition, that our Joy at being freed by Yahweh ‘is diminished ever so slightly because the Egyptians suffered.’ Taking this concept and paralleling it with Yahshua we can see that the Rabbis would have us acknowledge that Satan has suffered at the Hand of Yahweh and feel sorry for Satan. I don’t see Israel holding back on their Joy at the Red Sea upon witnessing the death of Pharaoh’s Army that was coming to murder them (Ex. 14:1-15:21). Do you? I also don’t see that the Apostles held back their joy at seeing Yahshua resurrected and glorified, even though Satan and his demons will be tormented for eternity.

The Egyptians drank deeply of the wrath of Yahweh because of their stubbornness and so will Satan and all who follow him. We recount with joy, the plagues that Yahweh performed against Egypt on our behalf, culminating in the Red Sea crossing. Yahweh made a way for us to go where there was no way—first out of Egypt and then across the bottom of the muddy Red Sea on dry ground because He loves us! This parallels the Way He made for us to dwell with Him forever—by the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son:
  1. Nile to blood! A picture of the tenth plague.
  2. Frogs!
  3. Lice!
  4. Flies!
  5. Livestock diseased!
  6. Boils on all the Egyptians!
  7. Hail, like Egypt had never seen!
  8. Locusts that covered the entire sky!
  9. Thick darkness!
  10. Death of the firstborn of Egypt!
    a. This parallels the death of Yahshua, the uniquely Firstborn Son of God.
  11. Red Sea splits wide open for us to walk on dry ground! The enemies of Yahweh and Israel are destroyed forever! HalleluYah!
    a. This parallels the resurrection of Yahshua confirming His victory over death and Satan that we might walk into the New Jerusalem, which is pictured in the crossing of the Red Sea!

In the book of Revelation there are similar plagues that Elohim will perform upon the whole Earth. This is Elohim giving Man opportunity to repent and come to Him, as Elohim did so with Pharaoh and Egypt. At any time during the first nine plagues Pharaoh could have given way to Elohim’s will, but Pharaoh chose to walk with Satan, and so, he lost everything. As for Satan’s end, it’s written in Revelation:
‘And the Devil who deceived them was thrown into the Lake of Fire and brimstone where the Beast and also the false Prophet are and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever’ (Rev. 20:10).

Look what Elohim has done for us! He has sent Yahshua to die for us that we might have forgiveness of sin and life forevermore. Yahshua has transformed us into His Image and destroyed death for us! Bless Abba El for His two great Passovers and drink from the 2nd Cup of Remembrance!

Now, let us rejoice! Sing (or read) the first two Psalms of the Hallel  (Psalms 113 and 114).

The Passover Meal

Bless Abba Elfor the lamb and eat the meal.

Hide the broken matza during the meal.

Toward the end of the meal, release the children (or adults) to search for the hidden matza .

Give the one who finds the hidden matza a silver coin. Silver pictures redemption (Ex. 30:11-16; 38:25-28), which speaks of us being redeemed by the death of the Lamb of God.

This piece of matza now becomes half of the next ceremony—the body and the blood of Yahshua.

The Third Cup: The Cup of Redemption

Put some wine in the cup, but don’t drink from it yet.

The invitation: (After having received the hidden matza , hold it up and say):
‘This is the Bread of Affliction which our Fathers ate in the land of Egypt at the First Passover. It pictures our affliction in Egypt and in this world and what Yahshua went through for us to become the broken and crushed matza of Life.’

‘It also pictures Yahshua as the sinless Bread from Heaven; pure and holy and able to give eternal life to all who hunger for Him who is eternal life.’

‘All who are hungry for Freedom from sin and desire life eternal come to this table, the Passover Table of Elohim, the Table of Messiah Yahshua, and eat of His flesh and drink of His blood! Yahshua is freedom from sin, sickness, death and Hell!’

“I hear the cries and see the tears of many Jewish people asking, ‘Where is Messiah?!’ May they all come to this Passover Table and find Him!”

(Don’t eat the matza yet.)

The blood of the lamb is pictured in the wine. That’s why it should be red because just as the grapes were crushed in order to make this wine, so too, Yahshua was crushed (by His crucifixion) that we might drink of His blood. In Ex. 12:14 Yahweh calls us to celebrate and remember the Passover. This speaks of four different concepts:
  1. REMEMBER: The word ‘remember’ (or memorial) in Hebrew means ‘to re-experience’ and at Passover it means to enter into the First and the Second Passover (by the Holy Spirit). What did it feel like to be a slave in Egypt, coming out under Moses after all the plagues, and also, seeing the Red Sea split open and walking across to the other side (Ex. 12:21-27; 13:8; Heb. 7:9-10)?
    We also enter into the Passover that Yahshua celebrated with His Apostles, asking Abba El to give us an understanding of what happened that night and the feelings that Yahshua felt at the Table, at the Tree and at His resurrection. This is what it means ‘to remember.’

    We can also remember, all too well, how our life was before we came to Yahshua. We have come out of the Kingdom of Satan and into Messiah Yahshua’s glorious Kingdom because of God’s love for us!
  2. FRIEND: Because we are eating with Yahshua at the Passover table, He calls us His friends. This is an ancient Middle Eastern concept. Anyone who breaks bread with another is considered their closest friend. Now we, like Father Abraham (Is. 41:8), are Elohim’s friends. Ask the Yahweh to reveal His friendship to you.
  3. HEALING: In the sacrificial death of our Messiah there is healing for our soul and for our body. The matza pictures Yahshua being pierced through and crushed for us:
    ‘But He was pierced through for our open rebellion. He was crushed because of our perversions and guilt. He took our (just) punishment, which brings us shalom (peace with Abba El) and by His stripes we are healed’ (Is. 53:5).

    Matza is a perfect picture of Yahshua crucified, the true Bread from Heaven, the matza of Heaven. matza is always pierced through in the baking process to keep the heat from making bubbles in it. Yahshua was pierced through for our transgressions, our open rebellion to Elohim. He took our well deserved punishment.

    As grain is crushed into flour, so Yahshua was crushed by His death that we might be able to eat of Him. He was crushed for our iniquities, perversions and crookedness.

    Notice the burn marks on the matza . These are called bruises or stripes. Isaiah says that by His stripes we are healed! Oh, what a mighty Messiah we serve!

    At His last Passover Yahshua washed the feet of all His Apostles (Jn. 13:3-17), which pictures Him also washing our feet because we were also there, in the loins of the Apostles.

    If we have any bitterness or resentment or unforgiveness, whether toward another or ourselves, Yahshua asks us to give it to Him. This is what Paul meant when he said that we must discern Messiah’s Body (1st Cor. 11:29). Unforgiveness is poison. Let us put away from us all the poison of Satan, all the leaven of sin (1st Cor. 5:6-8), by the blood, flesh and Spirit of Yahshua our Messiah.

    Ask Him to take it from you. This is why He died and we must believe that He will hear us and that He will do it. This is our faith or trust in Him.

    Now we are properly discerning His Body, Who He is and who we are in Him. We are almost ready to eat of His body and to drink of His blood.
  4. REJOICE! Bless our Father from our hearts for His Son who sets us free and gives us life! In Ex. 12:14 Elohim commands us to rejoice! He has destroyed our greatest enemies: our carnality, death and Satan by the death of His Son. This is the great and mighty deed of our Elohim! Let us enter into what Yahshua has done for us and rejoice as our Fathers did at the other end of the Red Sea and as the Apostles did when they saw Yahshua alive from the dead! Look what the Yahweh has done for us!
    The Scriptures record of the Passover night:

    “As they were eating Yeshua took some matza , blessed His Father and broke it and gave it to His disciples and said, ‘Take and eat it for this is My body.’”

    “Then He took the cup and gave thanks to His Father and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the removal of sins.’”

    Yahshua describes Himself, who is Freedom, as now being pictured in the matza and the wine, which already meant freedom from Egypt. Now we can more fully understand why Elohim set up the First Passover like He did: matza always pictured His Son, our crucified King. Elohim set it up this way so that when Messiah came He could walk into, and amplify, the meaning and symbolism of the First Passover.

    Yahshua gives us to eat of His flesh and His blood that we might be free and delivered from sin, sickness, death and Satan. Just as we need natural food and drink to live, which the matza and the wine symbolize, so too, we need the flesh and blood of our Messiah for life eternal, which the matza and wine also symbolize.

Bless our Father for the matza and the wine, the flesh and blood of His Son and the New Covenant that Elohim promised Israel (Yahshua is the New Covenant, torn asunder for us; Gen. 15:1-21; Is. 42:6; Jer. 31:31-34). Eat the matza and drink the wine. Receive the new life that is Yahshua! Let us experience Abba El’s  great Redemption now, today, this moment! Take a theme and lift it up to the Yahweh: Remember, Friend, Healing and Rejoice!
Wait upon the Holy Spirit to move among the people. Then, after awhile, ask if anyone would want to share what they just experienced. After that then say…

Let any that need healing come forth for prayer. Let any that desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit come. Let any that need forgiveness of sin, come for prayer. Invite others to come and pray with the people for their needs.

The Removal of Sin

We symbolically remove sin from us by removing all the yeast or leaven products from our homes. This is what Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures: Elohim removing sin from us so we can be holy, pure, humble and modest (which is a facet of holiness). Leaven is a picture of pride in our life. Passover is a living reminder that Elohim delivered us from Egyptian slavery and the Kingdom of Satan, not to do his own thing, but to be holy unto Him and be like His Son.

Now, it’s time (Ex. 12:15; Mt. 26:26-28; Heb. 12:1-2) for our remaining sin to be consumed by the fire. After having taken of His flesh and His blood it’s time to symbolically remove the last remnant of sin (pictured in a small piece of regular leavened bread). Place it in the fire of either an open fire or a barbecue grill so that it totally goes up in flames (or flush it down the toilet if you can’t burn it). Do not put it in the garbage as leaven is not to be found in your home. Thank Yahshua that He has taken all your sins upon Himself and transformed you into His Image!

Yahshua’s Place at our Table

In recognition of what Yahshua has done for us, and His Presence with us, we have a place setting for Yahshua. Traditional Jews have a place setting for Elijah because they believe, and rightly so, that the prophet Elijah would come before the Messiah comes (Mal. 4:5) to announce the Messiah’s coming. We know that Elijah, in John the Immerser, and Messiah, have already come.

What better time for Elijah to have come, announcing Messiah who is freedom, then at the Feast of Freedom—Passover?! Scripture says that John was born six months before Yahshua (Lk. 1:26). With Yahshua coming at the Feast of Trumpets  it seems that John was born around, during or on Passover. Thirty years later, John most likely began proclaiming to all Israel at Passover time:
‘Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ (Mt. 3:1-13; 11:14; Lk. 1:17).

About six months later, Yahshua was immersed in the Jordan with John acting as witness. Now, we honor Yahshua as our Messiah by having a place setting for Him at our Passover Table.
Take time to thank Yahshua for all He has done for you!

Tell Him how much you love Him and how grateful you are for what He has done for you, as though He were sitting at the Table with you.

The Fourth Cup: The Cup of Praise

The fourth cup praises Elohim for His completed work of redemption: Passover and the Red Sea, but Matthew (26:29) writes that Yahshua didn’t drink from this cup. After the third cup Yahshua says,
‘But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom.’

It’s as though time has stood still for 2,000 years and allowed us, who weren’t literally at that Passover Table with Yahshua, to sit and eat of the matza and drink of the wine from that third cup that pictures His flesh and His blood. This is the Passover table that we invite all to eat from. It’s a Table of Life and Freedom.

This open-ended time period will cease on the Day of Yahweh, the Day of Judgment, when all those who have really eaten of His flesh and drunk of His blood will be glorified and be just like He is now. Then we will drink of the fourth cup with Him because our Redemption will be complete, to the glory of Abba El at the eternal Passover, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9).

Overturn the fourth cup.

HalleluYah!

Matthew 26:30 says, ‘After singing the Hallel (hymns) they went out to the Mount of Olives.’

Hallel means ‘praise.’ It’s a specific reference to Psalms 113–118. These Psalms are sung at Passover because they exalt Elohim, His creation and His salvation. Matthew Levi wrote that Yahshua and the Apostles sang these praise psalms to the Father Yahweh (Yah).

As we’ve already sung (or read) Psalms 113–114, let’s sing (or read) Psalms 115–118 now. Hallelu-Yah means ‘Praise Yahweh!’ (Let the Holy Spirit lead you in making up the tunes for the Psalms.)

The Ceremony Concludes

Because Elohim commands that we thank Him after we eat for the good Land (of Israel) that He has given to us (Dt. 8:10), we use Psalm 145:16 for it and other things:
‘You open Your hand and you satisfy the desire of every living creature, and we thank You for the good Land, Messiah Yahshua, Your holy Torah, the people of Israel, and our family.’
The Passover ceremony concludes with, ‘Next year may we celebrate Passover with Yahshua in Jerusalem!’

The Passover ceremony is officially over now, but there is more. Until dawn we read Scripture, sing praise and pray for one another and others, and try to encourage each other to stay awake. Praise and worship music will help us to stay awake and focused on Yahshua when we grow tired and weary.

Yahshua commands us to stay alert! and God commands us to stay awake all this night (Ex. 12:42). Why?

On this night, 15 Aviv , Yahweh moved in Egypt in such a way that He never did before and would never do again. At the First Passover He freed the Sons of Israel from Egyptian slavery by the blood of the lamb and the death of Egypt’s firstborn sons.

At the Second Passover Abba El moved in such a way that He had never done before and would never do again—He sacrificed His Firstborn Son to free us from slavery to sin, sickness, Satan, death and Hell and to give us life eternal with Him and Yahshua in the New Jerusalem.

Yahweh commanded that Israel remain awake all night (Ex. 12:40-42) in honor of what He did that First Passover and in recognition that the Hebrews didn’t get any sleep, as they left about dawn. They were coming out of the Kingdom of Darkness and into the Kingdom of Light, an appropriate time (dawn) to leave Pharaoh.

Staying awake all night is a way of identifying with our Fathers in ancient Israel in their loneliness, agony and pain, and also, in their anticipation of freedom and new life.

This time period, of being awake all night, figures prominently into the Second Passover with Yahshua. He also remained awake all that night. He wanted His friends to do the same and pray for Him (Mt. 26:36-46), but they were very tired and probably had too much wine to drink and thought that this was going to be ‘just another Passover.’ They didn’t realize that what was about to happen was the ultimate event of the Universe and would never be repeated again. The Creator Son was about to be sacrificed—for His Creation.

Remaining awake for us symbolizes our night in Egypt and our night with Yahshua, and also, that we won’t be asleep in the darkness of this coming year when the Yahweh, by His Spirit, would want to move upon us in a way that the Spirit never did before and might not ever do again.

It’s symbolic of our not being ‘asleep in the dark’ when the Spirit of Messiah would want to move upon us during the coming year. One day, a unit of time, symbolizes another unit of time; the coming year. The darkness of this night symbolizes the darkness of the world that we live in, even when the sun is shining brightly. The darkness of Passover night pictures our life in this world of darkness; in it, but not of it. These are the reasons we remain awake all night, singing praise, reading Scripture and praying, eating and rejoicing in Messiah Yahshua.

Staying awake all night also speaks of us being attentive to our walk with Messiah in this world, that we would not fall into complacency. Yahshua is returning and we must not be ‘asleep.’ We, too, like the faithful virgins, must always have oil in our lamps (Mt. 25:1-13).

At the Passover meal we eat the Bread of Affliction, which is a perfect picture of Yahshua crucified. Isaiah 53:5 says that Messiah was pierced through. He was crushed  and bruised and with His stripes  from the lashes of the Romans we are healed. We are commanded to stay awake all night as Yahweh did when He brought Israel out of Egypt (Ex. 12:40-42) and as Israel did that night, also, and as Yahshua did that last night in Jerusalem. This begins our ‘affliction.’ Affliction or humbling makes us like Yahshua, and in the natural as we do our part by obeying Abba El, He does His part by making us like Yahshua.

Matza is the bread that pictures our crucified Messiah. This is what the Feast of matza is all about: Abba El making us holy, like Yahshua, as we humble ourselves before Him, pictured in the eating of the matza of Affliction-Life, the drinking of the wine of His sacrifice and in our staying up all night. Yahshua, always obedient to His Father, stayed up all night (Matt. 26:26-30, 36-50ff). He was very much discomfited that night and the next day—for us.

The ‘affliction’ continues for the seven day Feast of matza (Unleavened Bread) where we are commanded to eat this bread every day. These seven days are Elohim's perfect, holy number and symbolize that He will cause us to become like His Son
. We can trust Him to do that as He gave His own Son crucified as a guarantee of His promise.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yahshua and Passover

In the days of Yahshua (the Hebrew Name of Jesus) as caravans of Jews made their way to Jerusalem each year for the Passover celebration (Ex. 23:14-17) the men, women and children would sing praise to Elohim, especially the Psalms of Ascent (Ps. 120-134). These Psalms glorify Elohim as Creator, as the Redeemer of Israel, the One Israel can trust in, Jerusalem as His city and Israel as His holy people.

As excitement mounted the closer they came to Jerusalem, the city that harbors all the hopes and pain of the Jewish people, thoughts would turn toward the First Passover. Great was the redemption that Elohim did in freeing Israel from Egyptian slavery by slaying all the firstborn of the sons of Egypt. The Hebrew firstborn were spared or saved from death by the blood of the lamb (Exodus 12:12-14).

This great deliverance set in motion a yearly celebration, a time to remember and to re-experience that mighty deed of Elohim. The Hebrew word zahar זָכַר means to remember or memorial, and it has profound significance. When the people of Elohim sit down to eat the Passover meal we envision ourselves back at the First Passover. Elohim commands that we tell our sons that we who are alive today (even 3,400 years after the First Passover) were delivered out of Pharaoh’s Kingdom (Ex. 13:8). This is known as corporate identity (one body). All Israel at the time, giving a tithe to one greater than he…yet Levi would not be born for another 120 years.

When the Apostle Paul speaks of taking the physical reminders of Yahshua’s body and blood (1st Cor. 11:23-34) we are told that as often as we do it we are to remember His death. What the Apostle is presenting in Hebraic terms is that we are not only to identify with Yahshua in His death (Rom. 6; death to self; new life in Him), but of special importance, that we are to understand that we, too, are there with Yahshua, at what I call the Second Passover, receiving the bread and the wine from Him, and also, being crucified with Him in a very painful and humiliating death.

We are to consider ourselves as having been ‘in the loins of the Apostles,’ or more exactly, Yahshua. We are to re-experience that moment of time and its significance by entering into it by the Spirit of the Holy One, whenever we take His body and blood.

The Passover that Yahshua celebrated before His death is a picture of the sacred banquet that is seen in Luke 13:28-30 and Rev. 19:6-9. Abba El, in Yahshua, and Man at that Passover table, were eating and fellowshiping together. It’s the strongest possible picture of the Father’s friendship with us. In the ancient Middle East, if two hostile enemies ate at the same table they became the closest of friends. That’s how powerful table fellowship is. We who were once enemies of Elohim because of our rebellious Adamic nature, are now friends of Elohim because of the table fellowship that we have with Him at the Passover table—and look what it is that we are eating—the true heavenly food, the Lamb of Elohim, which makes us like Him!

The Apostle Paul would tell us that the body and blood are living reminders to us that Abba El is our Friend. He’s the kind of friend that will help us whenever we need any kind of help. It also shows us the kind of love that we must have for the Body of Messiah that also takes Messiah’s body and blood.

In other words, when I take the physical reminders I must realize that I am to forgive and love all those who call themselves believers in Messiah Yahshua (and everyone else), just as His blood and body have made it possible for me to experience the forgiveness and love of Papa God.

Daily Reminders

Yahweh commanded Israel to remember every day what He had done for them. Deut. 16:3 states,
‘you must remember every day of your life, the day that you came out of the land of Egypt.’
This means that they would envision themselves being delivered by Elohim from Egypt every day, and of course they would be very grateful. Elohim also gave them a daily concrete reminder that reflected their salvation. Every morning and every evening (Ex. 29:38-42) Israel would sacrifice a lamb with its complement oblation (grain offering) and libation (wine offering). These sacrifices allowed them to remember or to re-experience the salvation from Egypt of Yahweh twice a day.

In those daily sacrifices we see the body and the blood of Messiah Yahshua. The oblation (fine grain) is the body and the wine represents His blood. The daily lamb sacrifices would point to both the First Passover in the past, and the Second Passover in the future (Yahshua’s), as well as being an immediate reminder of Elohim their Savior and how He is an ever present help in times of need.

The blood of the Passover lamb is represented by the wine of Passover. That is why the Rabbis say that the wine must be red. To make wine, the grapes must be stomped. To make flour for bread, the whole kernels must be crushed.

Yahshua is the grape and kernel (wine and bread) crushed for us that we might be able to sit at the Passover Table and eat the Food of Elohim, heavenly Food. Isaiah 53:10 speaks of this transformation process for Messiah when he says, ‘Yahweh has been pleased to crush Him.’

Matza Unleavened Bread

The bread that Elohim requires us to eat at Passover is a special type of bread that reflects the purity and humility of our Messiah. Israel was commanded to eat this bread at the First Passover (Ex. 12:8, 15-20; 13:3-10) and every subsequent Passover thereafter. This bread is called matza מַצָה (Hebrew for unleavened bread) and would remind them of Elohim's great salvation and desire for them to be holy.

Matza is the bread that Yahshua uses to picture His body when He holds it up and declares that ‘This is My body’ (Matt. 26:26).1 In 1st Cor. 5:6-8, the Apostle Paul presents to his mostly Gentile congregation how even,
‘a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened, as you are meant to be.’
Leaven or yeast has always symbolized the sin of pride because pride, like yeast, puffs one up. That’s why the Israelis were commanded to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. For seven days Elohim wanted Israel to especially remember that He had delivered them out of Egypt, not to do their own thing, but to be a holy people consecrated unto Him. Seven is the number of perfection (Creation week), wholeness and completion as well as representing holiness (Elohim's holy Sabbath is on the 7th day of the week; Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11). Seven is a unit of time, and as such, represents another unit of time; a year. When we eat matza for seven days we’re symbolically saying that we will walk in holiness, and not sin, for the coming year.

This is why Yahshua, the Sinless One, was able to picture Himself in the matza, for it symbolizes sinlessness, purity, holiness and affliction. It’s without yeast—it’s not puffed up, but humble (Mt. 11:28-30). It pictures affliction in that it not only looks ‘less full’ than bread with yeast, and therefore, ‘poorer’ or afflicted, but it has stripes and holes in it, which allow for the matza not to bubble over when it’s being baked. Of course, the stripes and holes picture the scourging, crucifixion and piercing that our Messiah took so that we could be healed (Is. 53:5; Zech. 12:10; Mt. 27:26, 35; Jn. 19:34; 1st Peter 2:24). Yahshua our Shepherd was afflicted for us (Is. 53:3-12; Jn. 10:11f.). Yahshua is the pure Bread (Matza) that has come down from the Heavens (Jn. 6:26-40). Any bread with yeast in it pictures Yahshua as sinful. This is why it’s so important to have matza for remembering His death.

The Never Ending Matza

When Yahshua multiplied the loaves for the multitudes (John 6:1-15) the immediate reference was obvious to the Jewish people there. God, through Moses, provided manna (bread) for Israel in the wilderness. Yahshua, performing a similar miracle, revealed Himself as the Messiah, the King of Israel, to His Jewish people (Dt. 18:15-18; Jn. 6:14-15).

What that also revealed was that in the Matza (Bread) of Life there is more than enough for all of us, just as there was for the Jewish people back there in John 6. After 1,900 years, we who are alive today are still being fed off of the breaking (crucifixion) of the Matza of Life. He continues ‘to multiply’ Himself to feed us.

Whenever we take the body and the blood we are to remember that we are back there at the Second Passover with all His followers; past, present and future. Israel is at the Passover Table with her Elohim. We are not only His friend, but because we are eating and drinking of Messiah Yahshua we are becoming like Him. It’s a spiritual reality that ‘we are who we eat.’

His blood is not only a symbol of His sacrificial death, but of the Joy of our salvation, wine having this double meaning in Scripture (Ps. 104:15). In Ex. 12:14 God declares,
‘This day is to be a day of remembrance for you and you must celebrate it as a feast in honor of Yahweh.’
The word for ‘celebrate’ means ‘to rejoice mightily.’ This is the proper attitude for taking His body and His blood and can only come from the Holy Spirit. This is the proper attitude for acknowledging what Abba El has done for us in setting us free from our enemies—Satan, sin and death.

In ‘discerning Yahshua’s Body’ (1st Cor. 11:29) before eating, we must lift up to Him any anger, resentment and jealousy that we might have toward others (as not being able to forgive the other from our heart), and any resistance that we might have to Yahshua Himself (to be fully surrendered to Him). It may not mean that Elohim will take away our resentment or bitterness right then and there, but as we continue to look to Him in faith, trusting Him, we know that He will do it, and also, set us free from any inhibitions against freely offering ourselves to Him.

Now we are ready to eat of His body and drink His blood without incurring guilt. It’s for these very reasons that we need His cleansing blood and healing body. As we yield ourselves to Yahshua, He feeds us what we need to grow into His Image and His Holiness—to have His heart of sacrificial and forgiving love.

Helpful in dealing with our stubborn carnality is the scene at the Second Passover (Jn. 13:1-30) where Yahshua washes the Apostle’s feet. Peter strongly objects, but finally consents. Most rightly understand this as a lesson in humility, but do we realize why Peter objected? The only person who washed other peoples’ feet in Israel—was the lowest slave in the house! Howard Marshall relates that a midrash on Exodus reveals that even Jewish slaves weren’t to wash the feet of their master:
‘Only non-Jewish slaves were required to perform this menial duty for their masters.’2

The Master of the Universe

had assumed the role of the lowest slave in the Land

Realize, too, that Yahshua also washed the feet of Judas, the one He knew would betray Him. Yahshua washed the feet of Judas to show Judas, the other Apostles, and all of us today that there is nothing that He will not do to serve us—to see us set free from sin and death—to help us to grow into His Image in this lifetime—to help us to overcome every physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and any other thing that would seek to keep us from walking in intimate fellowship with Him now, and to live eternally with Him in the future manifestation of the New Jerusalem. This is our Messiah.

Now imagine when you are angry with someone and the Master Yahshua begins to wash your feet. He looks into your eyes and asks you to give Him that anger. I dare say that your anger would melt away as awe, gratitude and deep humility overwhelm you. That is how Yahshua transforms us—by His forgiving-loving service. In this we see that there is nothing that we will ever need that He cannot supply for us. He came to serve us and this service enables us to walk along the Highway of Holiness, giving us what we need to be holy, to be like Him, whenever we need it.

Yahshua wants to give us His love, a love that is strong enough to love our enemies—a love much more powerful than hate. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is one of our greatest needs that Yahshua brings to us and it’s pictured in His body and His blood, the First Passover and the daily sacrifices. As we eat of our Messiah we become like Him, to the esteem of Abba El who has wrought this Great Redemption!

You see, we’re all a lot like Judas…

but oh, what a Friend we have in Yahshua!


ENDNOTES:
1.  The Roman Catholic idea behind their eucharist is not biblical. The Roman Catholic Church says that when a priest prays in Latin over their wafer and the wine, that the wafer and the wine literally become the real body and blood of Jesus. As such, they actually bow down, do homage to and worship the wafer, something that has no biblical foundation. When we take the matza and the wine (or grape juice) we are proclaiming in no uncertain terms that we are ‘one’ with Him and that His sacrificial death is sufficient for all our needs; spiritual and physical, pictured in our eating the matza and drinking the wine. It’s the presence of the Holy Spirit that brings the reality of His body and blood into our lives. Yahshua using the matza and the wine means that everything that Yahshua is, is pictured in them. He is salvation and life eternal and with the Holy Spirit we enter into His reality, and any needs that we have are provided for.

2.  I. Howard Marshall, Author; I. Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque, Editors, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978), p. 146. Taken from Midrash Exodus 21:2 (82a); Keth. 96a.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For!!

Or, Yahweh Elohim is faithful in answering prayer. 
Wednesday was a slower day at our moving sale.  We were extremely thankful for the relief from the day before.  That being said, we still did pretty well.  That night at supper I asked our 7 year old to pray, that was my first mistake ( not really).  She asked Abba El to send 110 people to our sale.  We also prayed that the cabinets and sofa's  would sell.  In bringing the stuff back out Thursday morning ( we took them to the garage for the night as it threatened to rain) I no sooner finished putting out the cabinets than a young lady pulled up in a pickup and asked about the cabinets.  I originally purchased these to make a sewing center for Laurie.  We still had all the sale stuff in boxes to put out yet.  She made two trips and took them all. She told us she had been watching us all week and just loved how hard the girls were working.  She gave them $10 for all their hard work.  The girls have decided to save this to bless someone with along our way.  We started to load up the second time when two more cars pulled up.  Wow, it was quite a day!!  One of the cars also made two trips as they purchased 5 of our bookcases.  We had to move books around.  When we started to sell our library we had twenty bookcases full.  We are now down to 5.  Anyone out there need some good books?  Great rates!!  Laurie has a list on the computer we can e-mail you and I will mail them anywhere in the US.
  Pray that our sleeper sofa's will sell and also our ceiling fans.  I think those are the big items that need to go yet.


The girls made a list of people here in town who have been a blessing to us over the last 6 years.  They came up with a list of 16 or 17 families or individuals.  We gave them all an invitation to come and visit with us for the evening meal on the Sabbath.  I took the girls around to deliver them late yesterday and forgot to stop and pick up our laundry at the Laundromat. 


Laurie and Abigail started to move things into the camper also yesterday.  We are really looking forward to the Sabbath as we can all use a day of rest.  Lots to do today on this preparation day.
May Elohim grant us all His Shalom.
Blessings on you all

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Update

I haven't updated in quite awhile concerning our status of moving.  So, this is it.  This is really going to happen and Elohim is working fast at this time.
  We will leave on or before the 20th of April.  Our first stop will be for a few weeks in the sw corner of Missouri.
We are currently in the middle of a moving sale.  We started on Sunday and Monday with just a few things being sold.  I then had an ad posted for Tuesday through Fri and Sun.  Yesterday was incredible!  Let me back up a moment though to Monday.
There was a nice looking young couple that stopped by in the early afternoon and were looking at one of the girls violins.  As I was packing up for the night they pulled up to the curb and I was wondering if something was wrong with what they purchased.  The gentleman got out and said something to the effect that pulling something the size of our camper must use quite a bit of gas and they would like to give us a gift to help us on our way.  The lady said she couldn't stop thinking about us all afternoon.
Wow!! the blessing of our Abba El is truly amazing.
  Yesterday was more of the same.  Not only were there people buying our household items, but there were a few who also blessed us with gifts to help us on our way.  The morning started out cold and windy and it stayed that way most of the day.  It was very slow in the morning but by the end of the day we were all worn out  and sore from all the hard work.  During the morning we were able to keep moving things outside, but by afternoon we had all we could do to keep up with those who were there to purchase.
  Another blessing was the opportunity to share homeschooling with a young couple who are not happy with what is happening with their daughter in the public school system.  Talking about raising a family and how a husband and wife work together in the raising of the family.
   There was also a blessing of a young lady who stopped by and purchased one of my watercolors.  She was here for quite awhile and seemed to love talking with the girls.  And my girls reciprocated.  While outside it seemed like my girls were talking nonstop for an hour or more.  She has no children of her own and her husband is a teacher.  The girls asked if it was ok to pray that our Abba El would bless her with children of her own.
  Well, we are off to see what Yahweh Elohim has in store for us today.  Be a blessing to those around you.  People are watching your lifestyle.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What is Passover? Why Celebrate it?

Why Celebrate Passover Today?
1. Passover is a picture of salvation.
• The Hebrew people went from slavery to freedom and from darkness to light. With the Second Passover, both Jew and Gentile were released from slavery to sin, Satan and eternal death, to walk in the Kingdom of Yahshua, the Light of the world.
2. Passover remembers the death of the lamb in Egypt, which freed the Hebrews from slavery.
• Yah­shua is called the Lamb of God. When Yahshua dies, He tells us that as often as we eat His body and His blood, we do it in remembrance of His death, which means that we, too, must die to self.
3. The essence of the Passover is where the Lord’s Supper comes from.
• The Lord’s Supper was in the ancient Passover all the time. When Yahshua says that the ancients said not to murder, but that He says that we are not to hate our brother in our heart, Yahshua isn’t making up a new commandment and discarding the commandment not to murder. He’s explaining that the essence of the commandment not to murder is not to hate your brother. It was there all the time at the commandment’s very core, center or essence. So, too, with the Lord’s Supper in the First Passover.
4. Yahshua and every Apostle celebrated Passover all their lives.
• If we really want to know Who Yahshua was, and is now, we must realize that He not only celebrated Passover all His life on Earth in Israel, but that He commanded it to come into existence in the beginning. As we’ll see, He will also be celebrating it with us in Eternity.
5. Passover is the ancient Hebraic heritage of every Gentile who has been grafted into the House of Israel.
• It’s your time to start learning some of the God-given Family values.
6. Passover also offers you a great lead in with Jewish people.
• Tell a Jew that you celebrated or learned about Passover and their ears will perk up. They’ll think, ‘A Gentile knows about Passover?!’ It’s a great way to start a conversation about the Passover Lamb whose blood will deliver us from the wrath of God on the Day of Judgment, just as the blood of the lamb saved the Hebrew people from the wrath of God that First Passover.

The Dual Reality of the Three Spring Feasts

Passover proclaims the death of the lamb that freed Israel from Egyptian slavery. With the death of the Lamb, Israel was freed from slavery to sin and eternal death.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a seven day picture of ‘death to self’ for Israel. Yahweh demanded that Israel walk in holiness and sanctification. This was symbolized by the eating of bread without yeast; matza (unleavened bread). It’s during this Feast, that begins a couple of hours after the death of the lamb, that Yahshua dies as the Grain from Heaven that was crushed in order for His followers to eat of Him who is the Matza (Unleavened Bread) of life:
‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the round and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life will lose it, but he who hates his life in this world, will keep it to life eternal’ (Jn. 12:24-25).
In this period of a week we are called to evaluate our position in Yahshua: are we dying to self daily that His life might be seen? Are we seeking to be made into His Image? This is pictured in the Lord’s Supper: death to self, which is eaten on the first day of the Feast of Matza and every day thereafter.

The First Sheaf Wave Offering always came on the Sunday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread week (except when Passover began on the seventh day Sabbath [Saturday], which meant that it would come a week later on Sunday). It was the time that Israel recognized that Yahweh provided grain (food and life) for His people and that giving the first of it to Him sanctified all the rest of the harvest for Israel. All the harvest is Yahweh's, for He caused it to come forth and He was seen as giving it to Israel for her needs.

This also pictures Yahshua as that Grain from Heaven risen from the dead, caused to rise by Yahweh, and that all that who follow Him will be acceptable to Yahweh. The First Sheaf is dedicated or given to Yahweh, thereby making the rest of the harvest acceptable for consumption by Israel and also making Israel acceptable to Yahweh. Yahshua, rising from the dead, is seen as the First Sheaf. We as priests can eat of Him because He has been given to us by Yahweh for our food for life. As we walk with Him and are made into His Image, others are able to eat of Messiah Yahshua from us. The Aaronic Priests were the only ones able to eat of the First Sheaf Offering.1

The Meaning of Passover

The first Passover in Egypt was a time of entering into God’s covenant, of being cleansed or protected by the blood of a lamb and of release from bondage or slavery. It’s a time of new beginnings or new birth. Israel was birthed out of the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light. The new birth that Yahshua speaks of is a picture of what Yahweh had already done for His people in Egypt.

In Adam we have the Creation of the World. In Moses we have the Creation of the people of Yahweh, Israel. In Yahshua we have the re-Creation of the people of Yahweh—Israel; both Jew and Gentile.

Romans 8:18-25 says that everything in history awaits this new Creation. In Gen. 1:3 God’s first recorded words are ‘Let there be Light!’ and Light was. Now, that Light is in us! For the Light that appeared on the first day of Creation was not the sun, as the sun was made on the fourth day. The Light that manifested that First Day was the Light of the World, Yahshua, the uniquely begotten Son of God. Yahshua was not created. He is not a creature. He is the uniquely begotten Son of the Father, fully deity and with His conception in the womb of Miryam (Mary), fully human. With His death and resurrection He is now the God-Man glorified.

Israel was conceived in one man: Abraham and the re-created Israel is conceived in one Man, also: Yahshua. Abraham left his family and all behind him, to come to Israel, and so did Yahshua.

Three thousand, four hundred years ago, Yahweh moved in a way that He had never moved before. To Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He appeared in dreams and visions. To Joseph, He worked behind the scenes. In Moses, Yahweh, the great I AM, exploded upon history!

Egypt was the United States of its day, the superpower in the world, and therefore, the gods of Egypt were considered invincible by everyone. The Hebrew slaves were not in any position to negotiate their freedom. There was nothing that they possessed that they could offer Pharaoh in exchange for their freedom. Pharaoh owned them as slaves, and therefore, everything they had was Pharaoh’s. There was no way out. Before Yahshua died this was a perfect picture of our position to sin, eternal death and Satan.

Passover begins in Exodus 3 when the Messenger of Yahweh, commonly mis-translated as the Angel of the Lord, and Yahweh appear to Moses and send him to save the Hebrew slaves from Pharaoh and Egyptian oppression. In the Great News according to John, Yahshua refers to Himself as the Sent One at least 39 times.2 Here are just two of those references:
‘ I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me’ (Jn. 5:30).

‘ As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me’ (Jn. 6:57).
A messenger is ‘a sent one.’ Someone sent with a message. In Hebrew, the word used for ‘angel’ is mahl-ahch מַלְאַךְ, literally, a ‘messenger.’ Now, generally, messengers sent from God are angels, but in the case of ‘the Angel’ of the Lord, this Messenger is none other than Jesus. The text should be translated, ‘the Messenger of the Lord’ with a capital ‘M’ for this Messenger (and of course, even more properly, it should be translated as the Messenger of Yahweh). In the places where the Messenger of Yahweh is seen, the Messenger not only receives worship, something that only should be given to God, but also speaks in the first person as God Himself, something an angel of Yahweh never does in Scripture.

The ten plagues in Egypt are judgments against Egypt and her gods. The first plague, the Nile being changed into blood, gets the attention of the Egyptians in two very powerful ways. First, the Nile was the source of ancient Egypt’s rich fertility, and therefore, her life. Without the Nile there never would have been an Egypt as we know it.

Second, because it was seen as the source of life (water), religious hymns were song to the Nile for it was also considered a god. The Nile was deified by the Egyptians. These hymns can be found in museums in Cairo and London today. They are prolific.

The Nile being changed into blood would also picture the last judgment upon Egypt, death; the (red) blood of the firstborn of Egypt being required because of Pharaoh’s stubbornness. The number ten is the number one with a zero after it. The significance is that the number one remains the same in essence, but it’s magnified.

The second plague was frogs. They also symbolized a god of fertility to the Egyptians. It’s as though Yahweh were saying, ‘You like to worship frogs, I’ll give you frogs!’

All the ten plagues were directed at a particular god of Egypt. The ninth plague was darkness upon all the land of Egypt, except where the Hebrew slaves dwelt, in Goshen. It was directed at the highest Egyptian god, Ra, the sun god. Pharaoh was worshipped as an incarnation of Ra (the son of god in the flesh). Sound familiar? The incarnation of the sun god was a common ancient pagan concept before Yahshua wedded Himself to humanity. Satan is the master deceiver and has set up pagan religions to mimic the true religion of the God of Israel. Many get caught in his trap, thinking that if the ancient religions of the world had an incarnate sun god, with him dying and being resurrected, surely Christianity’s Jesus is just another version of that.

The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn of Egypt. Pharaoh and Ra (Satan) could do nothing to protect their people or stop it. Pharaoh’s son, next in line to the throne of Egypt, was killed, as well as all the other firstborn sons and all the firstborn of their animals. Yahweh struck at the very heart of Egypt. The firstborn son signifies the strength of a man or nation (Gen. 49:3).

Just as Adam is the head of all mankind, so the firstborn of Egypt were the head of their race. In the Passover, Yahweh claims all the firstborn of Israel for Himself. They belong to Him in a special way. They would have all been priests unto Yahweh, from every Tribe and family of Israel, had Israel not rebelled in the incident of the Gold Calf.

Israel’s firstborn sons were spared in Egypt, saved or delivered from death by a ceremony that sacrificed a lamb and placed its blood upon the doorposts and the lintel of their homes. Passover literally means, ‘to leap over; to pass over.’ This pictures the Lord Yahweh passing over the homes of the Hebrews because of the blood of the lamb that ‘protected’ that home.  Exodus 12:23 reads:
‘For Yahweh will pass through to smite the Egyptians and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door and will not allow the Destroyer to come into your houses to smite you’ (Ex. 12:23).
This is a picture of what will happen to all believers in Yahshua on the Day of Judgment. Having the blood of the Lamb within us means that the wrath of Yahweh will ‘pass over’ us. We will be saved from eternal death. Exodus 12:27 reads:
“you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to Yahweh, who passed over the houses of the Sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes,’ and the people bowed down and worshiped."
The 10th plague of death shattered the very fabric and core of Egyptian reality. It was not only the death of the firstborn of Egypt, but the total destruction of their religious understanding and of how they perceived the universe. They were completely shattered. The Egyptian gods could do nothing against Yahweh, the God of the Hebrew slaves—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Passover is a mini-Judgment Day. Yahweh could have destroyed all the Egyptians, but chose to keep some around to proclaim what He had done.

Exodus 12:1-14 records the commandment to keep Passover, along with the three foods that are required for a biblical Passover: lamb, matza and bitter herbs. Exodus 12:1-2 states:
“Now Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you. It’s to be the first month of the year to you.’"
This speaks of the month in which Passover falls, that it will be the beginning of the months for the Hebrews, in distinction to the Egyptian calendar.5 Exodus 12:3-5 has Israel separating the lamb on the 10th day of the month, four days before the Passover. Interestingly enough, Passover, 14 Aviv (the name of the first month in the biblical Hebrew calendar) is not a holy day, but the day the Passover lamb was slain, in the late afternoon at twilight, just before 15 Aviv when the Passover ceremony would take place:
“Speak to all the Congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now, if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.’"
Setting the lamb apart for four days would mean that it was like a pet. At the end of the four days it would have been very hard to sacrifice it. These feelings are also seen in the hearts of the Apostles as they watched Yahshua being crucified.


Yahshua came into Jerusalem four days before His death ‘to be inspected’ by the Elders of Israel for ‘flaws or blemishes’ (i.e. sins, and if He really was the Messiah). In John 12:1, 12-13 it states:

‘Yahshua, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead…On the next day the large crowd who had come to the Feast, when they heard that Yahshua was coming to Jerusalem took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!’”

In Hebrew counting the day of the Passover would have been included in John’s description, therefore, what we might think of as five days before Passover was actually four days before Passover. ‘Without blemish’ means that the lamb would be healthy. It doesn’t mean that it had to be pure white. It would be a male of the flock, one year old and it would picture Yahshua in the prime of His life. John the Baptist declared, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (Jn. 1:29). 


John’s disciples might not have understood that as we do today, but they would have associated it with the Passover lamb who brought them forth from Egyptian slavery. How they might have understood it at that time was that the Messiah would deliver them from Roman oppression.

Everyone ‘participated’ in the sacrifice of the lamb:
‘ You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the Congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight’ (Ex. 12:6).
The ‘whole assembly killing it at twilight’ meant that everyone, not just the ones slaying the lamb, and not just the firstborn whose lives were on the line, but everyone had to see the sacrifice of the lamb. Every Hebrew man, woman and child who was to be delivered from Egyptian slavery had to look upon the sacrifice of the lamb—to the Glory of Yahweh.

Anyone who desires to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven must look upon Messiah crucified—to the Glory of the Father. The heavenly work of Yahshua’s sacrificial blood must be upon their lives.

Exodus 12:7 speaks of where the blood was to be placed: upon the doorposts and the lintel:
‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.’
Houses are often used in cartoons as a picture of the face: the door is the mouth and the windows are the eyes. The blood of the lamb was symbolically being placed over the mouth of Israel. This is one part of the Lord’s Supper because wine is symbolic of blood. Blood is represented in Scripture as wine. In Gen. 49:11 it states of the future Messiah:
‘ He ties his foal to the vine and His donkey’s colt to the choice vine. He washes His garments in wine and His robes in the blood of grapes.’
The juice of the grape is called ‘blood.’ In an allusion to Yahshua defeating His enemies and their blood flowing like wine, Rev. 14:20 states:
‘ And the wine press was trodden outside the city and blood came out from the wine press up to the horses’ bridles for a distance of two hundred miles.’
In Deuteronomy 32:14 it has:
‘ Curds of cows and milk of the flock with fat of lambs and rams, the breed of Bashan and goats. With the finest of the wheat and of the blood of grapes you drank wine.’
This dual reference, wine picturing blood and vice versa, is why Yahshua could use the wine at the Passover table to picture His blood sacrifice. The wine was there on the table to symbolize the blood of the lamb that saved Israel from Egyptian slavery.

Exodus 12:8 reveals the three biblical foods for Passover: Roasted lamb, which pictures Yahshua’s brutal death. Bitter herbs, which stand for the life of bitterness that the Hebrews had in Egyptian slavery, and matza, which also speaks of their being afflicted. In Jer. 11:4 Yahweh calls Egypt an iron furnace:
“ which I commanded your Fathers in the Day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Listen to My Voice and do according to all which I command you so you shall be My people and I will be your God.’"
An iron furnace is a furnace so hot that it literally melts iron. It’s symbolic of the intense suffering and pain that the Egyptians perpetrated against the Hebrews. For us it pictures the bitterness of trusting in our self before we come to Yahshua and the fruitlessness of walking in carnality after we come to Him.

Matza (unleavened bread) is symbolic of pure bread because it has no yeast (corruption) in it. Yeast or leaven pictures sin. Yahshua is the Bread of Heaven pictured in the unleavened bread of Passover. Unleavened bread (matza) is a picture of sinless or holy bread. Yahweh continued to give directions to Israel for the celebrating of His Passover:
‘Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails’ (Ex. 12:9).
This pictures that in His sacrifice Yahshua would die a brutal death and that He would be ‘whole,’ with not a bone broken. In Ex. 12:10 it states,
‘And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning you shall burn with fire.’
This refers to the one-time sacrifice of Yahshua. He doesn’t have to come back in each generation and be sacrificed again (Heb. 9:23-28).

In Ex. 12:11 it speaks of how Israel was to eat it:
‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand, and you must eat it in haste—it is Yahweh's Passover.’
In preparation for leaving Egypt, the Hebrews were to have a belt or a sash on their waist, which meant that it would lift up the bottom of their garments to make walking a long distance easier.  Sandals on their feet spoke of the distance involved that they would travel and of the necessity for protecting their feet. A staff in their hand would also help them on their long journey.

Every time we take the Lord’s Supper we need to be ready to leave our life of sin and indifference in order to walk with Yahshua in His Kingdom. It’s a picture of what happened when we first said, ‘Yes!’ to Yahshua. He took us out of the Kingdom of Darkness and brought us into His Kingdom of Light.

Exodus 12:12-14 speaks of the destruction and judgment that Yahweh would cause to happen upon an Egypt that was stubborn to her core. She would not take the blood of the lamb. Egypt pictures the world that refuses what Yahweh has done for it in offering it His Son. When we take the matza and the wine, the body and blood of Yahshua, we are entering into, re-enacting, the Passover drama and taking upon our self Yahweh's provision for salvation. Without the blood of the Lamb it would have been just as impossible for us to leave Satan’s Kingdom as it was for Israel to leave Pharaoh’s Kingdom:
‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am Yahweh! The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live and when I see the blood I will pass over you and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Now this day will be a memorial to you and you must celebrate it as a Feast to Yahweh throughout your generations. You are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.’
This passage reveals that it was a ‘show-down’ between the powers of darkness and the God of Light. It also speaks of celebrating the Feast of Passover forever. Passover honors Yahweh and what He has done for His people Israel in giving the Passover Lamb; to free her first from slavery to Pharaoh, and then, Satan.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Grandparents.

We have become Grandparents for the first time.  What an awesome responsibility.  Not only have we influenced the next two generations with our children and the children they have for Messiah, but now we have the opportunity of reaching a third generation through our grandchildren.
I would like to introduce to you
Manasseh Samuel Zecca.  I have been praying for this little guy since Sarah and John were married.
He is the fruit of a marriage dedicated to Yahweh Elohim.  He is a blessing.  May you continue to be a blessing to Abba El as you seek to serve Him with your whole heart.  May you be yielded to Him in all you do and willing to allow Him to use you for the furtherance of His kingdom.  Shalom, little one, you are greatly loved.


Art Contest

Ok, I have a dilemma.  A magazine for artists worldwide is having an art contest.  If I entered there is a small entry fee.  My painting would be in the class for still life.  What are your thoughts.  Would it be a waste of my money?  Winners will have their art work in the magazine and a small amount of money.  I still have a little work to do on the background.  I will also have a higher quality photo to send in.