Understanding What the Truth Is

Many people today assume that going to church on Sunday—or perhaps just going to church for Easter and Christmas, or perhaps not even going to church at all but just being a “good person” is an adequate profession of Christianity.

After all, “aren’t all those laws and requirements of the past done away—and aren’t we free to do whatever we want whenever we want?”

Very few actually look into the Bible—the Scriptures—the Word of God, to see what it says. To see if God does have a message for us; and to find out whether He has any Commandments or requirements that He expects His people today to recognize and to acknowledge and to keep.

Yet, if God is love—would not a loving God provide help and guidance for those who seek to know Him? Indeed He does (Deut. 4:29. Mat. 7:7-11, Luke 11:9-13).

Some, who do seek to understand the Word of God (the message that He has prepared for all of human kind), truly realize that all of His Commandments are written and recorded for our own good (Deut. 5:29), and that through keeping and living according to His Commandments, true understanding and lifetime benefits are gained (Ps. 14:2; 53:2; 111:10; 119:73, 100, Mat. 19:17, John 14:15-21).

As we begin to better understand God’s Truth and His purpose for our human existence, we then realize that much of what we have been taught—or casually assumed to be correct—is so often the exact opposite of what the Truth really is.

We find that what is commonly accepted as true, is contrary to the very purpose we are created for, opposed to the way to truly fulfill the will of God. Counterfeits actually prevent the opportunity to live a truly fulfilling spiritually abundant life!

Within the context of obedience we find that sacred occassions, given by God in His Holy Word, have much —indeed everything— to do with being able to live acceptably in His sight, being able to fulfill this human life we have been given!

The Most Understated Critical Vital Event in All of Human History

Judaism considers Passover a most vital holy occasion in their repertoire of observances, while they wait for their Messiah. Christianity recognizes Christ’s Sacrifice as the central reality in their worldview and belief—yet they do not memorialize it. Seldom does either religion do genuine justice to the Truth as signified, and fulfilled, by Jesus Christ our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7). He was Immanuel—God with us—the Messiah. As the Savior He has fulfilled the most critical pivotal event in ALL of history.

It cannot be overstated what this event is—what its vital importance is—and what this event achieves for all of humankind.

Tragically, all too often the sacrifice of Christ is assumed, essentially taken for granted as if it were a casual consideration. May God help us to understand essential vital Truths, to guide our perspective in sound awareness and thoughtfulness:

  • In infinite time—for eternity past—God, Elohim, always has existed; eternally always will exist (Rom. 1:20, Heb. 7:3).
  • Elohim is a Hebrew word that signifies a single unit with multiple members—like “Nation,” or like the word Family.
  • God is revealed to us in the Father; and in the one Who became His Son (Mat. 11:27, John 1:18; 3:35; 5:19-26; 17:1-5).
  • These beings are perfect in every way (Deut. 32:4, 2 Sam.22:31, Psa. 18:30, Ecc. 3:11, Isa. 46:10, Col. 2:3, Rev. 19:6).
  • Of unlimited power, goodness, love, knowledge, understanding, wisdom: in perfect accord, oneness (1 Jo. 4:8; 10:30).
  • In the past the Son created eternal spirit beings whos lives began as His creation (Psalm 104:4, Isa. 40:26, Rev. 4:11).
  • Millions of these angels were created (2 Sam. 5:24,  Dan. 7:10,  Mat. 25:31,  Eph. 3:9,  Col. 1:16-17,  Heb. 12:22,  Rev. 5:11).
  • These beings possess great power and glory given to them by God (Luke 9:26, 1 Cor. 15:40, 2 Thes. 1:7, Rev. 12:7-10).
  • Of these powerful angelic beings He created, a third of them fell in rebellion (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6, Rev. 12:4, 9; 12:7-9).
  • The same powerful Creator also created the physical universe—completely stretching it out (Isa. 42:5, 12, Jer. 10:12).
  • He calls the stars by name (Psa. 147:4). His angelic beings rejoice over His physical creation (Job 38:4-7, Luke 15:10).
  • Yet this physical universe is merely temporary (Psalm 102:25-27, Isa. 34:4; 51:6; 65:17; 66:22, 2 Pet. 3:13, Rev. 21:1).
  • Then the Son created terrestrial (physical) life, and created beings made in Their own image (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6).
  • Humankind has been created with a purpose—and a destiny (Rom. 8:28, Eph. 1:5, 11; 3:11, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 Pet. 1:20).
  • He created a Nation of Abraham’s family to exemplify, in type, the Spiritual Kingdom to come (Ex. 19:3-6, Isa 66:8).
  • God knew that this nation would fail—but He would use that failure to invite all nations (Jer. 16:19, Rom. 11:11-25).
  • Because They knew what would happen with humankind, how we would need Help—the Same Powerful Creator Who created and controls all things—willingly became human, became part of His creation—lived a perfect life, with no sin, no error, no mistakes; then He, the God of all creation, chose to willingly DIE, to pay the penalty in our place, for all of mankind’s sins—our violations of God’s perfect Law (Jer. 10:12, John 17:24, Rom 5:8, Phil. 2:6-9, 1 Tim. 1:15).
  • God’s plan for this was in place, before  the  world  was  created (Rom. 8:28-31,  Tit. 1:2,  Heb. 4:3,  1 Pet. 1:20,  Rev. 13:8).
  • His plan absolutely will succeed (Zec. 14:5-9, Mat. 25:34; 26:29, John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7, Eph. 1:4, Phil. 1:6, 2 Pet. 1:11).
  • He will start by overtaking the kingdoms of this world (Isa. 2:2-3, Dan. 2:44; 7:18, 22, 27, Hos. 2:23, Rev. 11:15; 17:14).
  • His Kingdom will bring needed change (Isa. 11:6-9; 30:20-21, Eze. 47:1-12, Mic. 4:4, Zec. 3:10, Amos 9:13, Rev. 22:1-3).
  • His  spiritual  kingdom,  His  ultimate  intent,  will  never  perish  (Psa. 102:27-28; 145:13, Isa.45:17, Dan. 7:18, 27, Eph. 3:21).

The shocking reality, and yet simple Truth, is that the very God of all creation—the God Who created and upholds and sustains everything that ever has been, is, and ever will be (Rom. 1:20, Heb. 1:3, Rev. 4:11)—He himself became human.

Though being completely innocent of any crime or guilt or sin, He willingly DIED for us—to pay the penalty for our sins.

As God, as the Creator of all things, His life was and is worth more than the sum-total of all creation.
Therefore He, and He alone, could die and atone for the sins of all humankind, in one Sacrifice of Himself.

Do We, Can We, Really Understand and Comprehend?

The very God of the universe, the very God of all that ever has been and all that ever shall be—willingly emptied Himself of His incomprehensible glory, became human, and died for us, because of His boundless love and compassion for us (Jer. 29:11).

Eternity stepped into a moment in time. Immortality became mortal. The Creator and very Source of our life, willingly died.

This event was actually the day that God died. His body laid for three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, until He was resurrected by the Father, and then restored to the Glory that He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5).

Again, it is beyond our normal human ability to grasp . . . Why would God love us so much He would be willing to die for us?

Yet, the reality is, were it not for this earth-shaking momentous event—for His love for us—we would all be dead . . . forever!

The History and Significance of the Passover

The first event in God’s great plan for man’s Salvation is the death of Christ on Calvary’s tree. The original Passover, and the Christian Passover that God has ordained, depict and memorialize this profound event of Christ’s crucifixion (1 Cor. 5:7).

It is the first sacred event to occur in the sacred calendar, year by year; it is the first of God’s holy commanded services. Passover is the first of God’s Holy Annual occassions picturing to God’s children year by year His great plan of Salvation. These occasions “. . . are a {fore} shadow of things to come . . .” (Col. 2:17). These occasions also serve as memorials.

Passover (and the Holy Days, seven Annual Sabbaths) reveal foundational and vital aspects of God’s holy Plan of Salvation. God instituted these holy occasions to illustrate for us, and to remind His people what His great plan of salvation really is— and to help His called and chosen people fully understand what the very purpose for this human life, our existence,  really is.

Christ’s sacrifice is foundational in a plan that God has had in place from the very beginning (Mat. 13:35, 25:34; Heb. 4:3). Christ’s sacrifice is the only way to life; He is the only way to receive the salvation that He provides and that He plans for us. The purpose for our human creation is wrapped up in God’s plan for His Kingdom—His perfect Governance—yet to come.

God has provided types to foreshadow and illustrate Christ’s sacrifice throughout Scripture.

Early—in Eden—when God killed the lamb or goat to cover the nakedness (type of sin) of Adam and Eve with skins, and later when Abel offered a substitute lamb as a sacrifice (Gen 3:21, 4:2-4), these events foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice to come. As well, the entire sacrificial system of Israel is predicated on illustrating what Christ would accomplish in His atoning death.

Christians accept the forgiveness that God has provided for all of us through Christ’s sacrifice. Yet there is a divine purpose for this human life. The fulfillment of our salvation is so much more than most suppose or understand (Isa. 64:4, 1 Cor. 2:9).

Most do not realize that being called by God is necessary in order to even begin the fulfillment of the purpose for our own human existence (Rom. 1:6-7; 8:28-30; 9:23-24; 1 Cor. 1:2, 9, 24-26).

We are utterly unable to even begin that journey on the path to eternal life without a divine call from God!

Many churches teach that Christ finished the Plan of Redemption on the Cross. They acknowledge this vital element of our Salvation—Christ’s sacrifice. Yet not realizing that God has had a PLAN and PURPOSE for mankind from the very beginning, they then consider this the end of everything.

God’s plan does begin with Christ as our Passover Sacrifice—as the only Savior for the entire world (1 Cor. 5:7-8, John 3:16). Indeed, Passover—Christ’s sacrifice—is foundational in God’s plan. His plan unfolds from there (Eph.  1:11; 3:11, 1 Tim. 1:9).

Time from God’s Perspective

In ancient Biblical Egypt (as in our society today), the proper time for commencing the year had been altered. When God delivered His people from Egypt (Egypt was a depiction of evil or sin) He also helped them to understand time (days, weeks, months, years) from His perspective—the way He created and intended time to be viewed from the beginning (Gen. 1:14).

For centuries God’s people had been in severe bondage in Egypt, forced to work with cruel task-masters over them. There was no Bible then. There was no easy access to the Word of God or His truth. And they were not afforded the time or the freedom to do what they desired to do.

As slaves they were forced to work seven days a week. They were not free to worship God as He had ordained. They had lost sight of many of God’s Commandments. They had forgotten the Sabbath day—and were not able to keep it holy.

So, God  re-revealed the Sabbath day to them through the provision of the manna, which did not fall on the Sabbath day (Ex. 16). Perhaps God even had to re-reveal to Israel that His days begin, and end, at sunset (Gen.  1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2-3, Lev.  23:32).

In our society today, many Christians have the freedom to allow them to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). Yet few realize how to faithfully worship Him (Mat. 22:14). Again, as in the past, the calendar has been completely changed. Christians have lost sight of time and have lost sight of the true worship of God as He has intended from the very beginning.

“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months” (Ex. 12:2). God re-revealed His true calendar to His people (called the Hebrew or Jewish calendar). It is God’s Calendar; and God has always been, is, and always will be: the same (Heb. 13:8).

The beginning of our salvation, wrought by Christ’s death on the stake, is the first holy event that occurs in the Biblical year, in the spring of the year. The first events in God’s calendar occur when new life is budding and blossoming in the Promised Land and throughout the northern hemisphere. (New life is appropriate, intended from creation, for beginning the new year.)

Some churches do observe Passover; thereby essentially acknowledging the beginning of the new year on God’s calendar.

Yet we should go on to know the depth of the riches of God’s grace (Rom 11:33) as pictured by all of God’s holy convocations.

Christ is not only the author or beginner of our salvation. He is also the finisher of our salvation (Heb.  12:2)!

It is not Christ’s death—it is His life in us, that saves us (Rom. 5:10, Col 1:27, Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21)!

Yet Christ’s sacrifice, as our Passover (1 Co. 5:7), is the only way we have to that life (1 Co. 2:2, John 6:53-57)!

Christ is the door, or gateway, of the sheep (John 10:7, 9), and He is the way (John 14:6). Christ opens the door and shows us the way to life. This is a new beginning and is our first opportunity to truly begin to live. We can start the new year with a clean slate; with the burden of our sins removed and new hope restored (John 10:10, Col. 1:5, 23, Heb. 9:4; 10:22, 1 Pet. 3:21).

The Very First Passover

For Passover the Israelites were instructed to take a lamb without blemish on the tenth day of the first month. They kept it until the fourteenth day of the same month. At even (“between the two evenings,” between sunset and dark) it was sacrificed in the evening portion of the fourteenth day of the first month—the beginning of the fourteenth day just after sundown.

They shed the blood of the lamb, picturing Christ’s sacrifice to come, at dusk (Ex. 12:16). And they ate the Passover lamb in that night (Ex. 12:8), the fourteenth day of this first Biblical month.

At midnight the death-angel came to Egypt, but passed over every house where the blood had been sprinkled (Ex. 12:23-30). “. . . I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn” (Ex. 12:12).

The night of Aviv 14—the fourteenth day of the first true month of the year—is when Passover takes place (Lev. 23:5, Jos. 5:10).

“. . . and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning” (Ex. 12:22). None were allowed to leave their houses that night. They remained in their houses until morning. Then—in the morning—they burned what had not been eaten at night (Ex.12:10).

At midnight (Aviv 14) the Lord smote the firstborn of Egypt (Ex. 12:29). Pharaoh rose up in the night (Ex. 12:30). Of course, this was after the death angel passed at midnight and there was a great cry in Egypt. He then called for Moses and Aaron. This would take some time to accomplish—sending messengers from Pharaoh’s home to Goshen where the Israelites lived.

By Ex.  12:33 the Egyptian people are urgent to get rid of the Israelites; every house lost a firstborn that night (Ex.  12:29-30). In Ex.  12:35 the Israelites ’borrow’ of the  Egyptians  silver,  gold  and  clothing; thus  the  Israelites  spoil  the  Egyptians (Ex.  3:21-22).

The spoiling would take several hours. The Israelites were apart from the Egyptians in Goshen, and were forbidden to leave their houses until morning. This activity took place during the daytime portion of this fourteenth day of the first Biblical month.

(In time we will see why it is important to understand this simple timeframe. Some do not keep Passover on the correct day.)

Even Christ our Passover is Sacrificed for Us

Jesus Christ, the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” is our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7, Rev. 13:8).

He was betrayed and crucified on the very day of the Passover (Mat. 16:17, Luke 22:11-13, John 19:31).

At the Passover supper Christ changed the emblems of roasted lamb and bitter herbs to broken unleavened bread and red wine (symbolic of His broken body and His shed blood). “. . . as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come” (1 Co. 11:26).

Passover is a memorial. It is an annual reminder of Christ’s death. It is a memorial to remember all He has done. It is a remembrance that He has given His blood and His very life in our behalf to pay the penalty that we deserve (in our place)—so that we can be forgiven—justified—in God’s holy sight.

It was the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month that the Israelites partook of the Passover. They stayed in their houses all night. It was on this very night that Christ was betrayed (John 12:23; 13:31, 1 Cor. 11:23).

Let us understand the Christian significance, the vital importance, of this annual memorial and affirmation of the New Covenant.

The Truth of God vs. Customs of this World

Sadly, the same forces that changed the calendar (to a calendar of pagan origins and trappings), have also substituted pagan days and pagan concepts (in the common calendar) in place of the true times that God has ordained for His people.

This topic evokes further study; yet it is vitally relevant toward understanding God’s Truth, and time as He has ordained it and revealed it through His Sabbath and Annual Holydays.

Daniel 7:25 references a power that “…shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws.”

There are often short-term, more physical, fulfillments of prophecy—with long-term, more spiritual, fulfillments yet to come.

Students of the Bible and history know that in the time of the “fourth kingdom upon the earth” (Dan. 7:23), there arose a ruling religious hierarchical power—which in the fourth century AD did “change times and laws”—changing the calendar.

Days were changed from beginning and ending at sundown, to artificially “starting” in the middle of the night, at midnight. Months were changed from starting with the New Moon (as God created), to an erratic pattern named after Roman figures. Years changed from starting in the spring—when new life is budding and blossoming, to “starting” in the very dead of winter.

These changes are so taken for granted, so commonly accepted today; it seems “odd” to see in terms of what God ordained. Yet these changes are only a pretext for further cultural and spiritual alteration—further deviation, distance, from the Truth!

Easter has been ‘substituted’ in place of Passover. Easter: from Ēostre/Astarte, is a pagan goddess of sexuality and fertility. Eggs and rabbits (symbols of fertility) follow as pagan customs carried on in the supposed name of Christ and Christianity.

There is an effort to cloak this as a celebration of the resurrection of Christ; yet the sunrise service and other trappings of this counterfeit occasion are pagan in origin. Our article The Only Sign That Was Given may assist in showing what the Word of God truly says and what the truth really is regarding the crucifixion and resurrection—and God’s appointed times.

We Are to Keep the Passover

“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” (1 Cor. 5:7-8).

Paul is instructing the Corinthian Church. As with the weekly Sabbath, Gentile believers are keeping the Passover and Feast.

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

“After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Cor. 11:20-29).

Note the seriousness of this—he that eats or drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself!

Christ changed the roasted lamb and bitter herbs to broken bread and wine—the same night He was betrayed—Passover.

“This cup is the new testament in my blood” (1 Co. 11:25).

Therefore, how often do we eat “this bread” and drink “this cup”—in remembrance, as a memorial?

Annually, on Passover, the anniversary of His death as our Savior, ”for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Co. 5:7).

This memorial is an annual affirmation of the New Covenant that we have entered into with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The Christian Passover

The first ordinance for this age is water baptism, by immersion, into Jesus Christ (not a denomination) for the remission of sins. (Baptism is undertaken by Christians as an act of obedience and submission following genuine repentance.)

The second ordinance is the continuation of the Christian Passover, observed at night on the anniversary of the death of our Savior, the fourteenth of Aviv (Mat. 28:19–20, Rom. 6:3–7, Lev. 23:5, Mat. 26:17–20, 26–29).

In physical Israel only the circumcised were allowed and required to partake of Passover (Ex. 12:48). In Spiritual Israel, the Church, baptism is the parallel replacement for circumcision, and is necessitated in order to partake of Passover—for one must have entered into the new Covenant with God, in order to partake of the New Covenant’s meaning and fulfillment with Him.

Passover is not a holy day, but it is a holy occasion. Passover is the first of the holy occasions in the Biblical year; it typifies the beginning of God’s Plan of Salvation for all of human kind. It is a vital memorial and emblematic partaking of the broken body and the shed blood of our Savoir—for our forgiveness of the many sins we have all committed (Isa. 53:6, Rom. 3:23).

Few seem to realize that the events outlined in Luke 22:8-20 and Mark 14:22-25 are a transitioning of the Passover from the Old Covenant, to the New Covenant—from the physical types, to the spiritual reality.

The Truth, as revealed through the holy Word of God, the Scriptures, is that:

Passover is a sacred holy ordinance. Passover is a most sobering holy memorial when it is observed correctly (1 Cor. 11:20-34).

It is an annual reaffirmation of the New Covenant we have entered into through the shed blood of Christ.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53).