SABBATH

God's Gift to Us
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Library Topic: Passover


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Unleavened Bread and the Holy Spirit

Egypt is not directly a symbol of sin, but instead the world. The Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize what God did for us, not what we did by our own power.

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Was Jesus Christ's Body Broken? (Part Three)

Christ's body was not broken, and the bread of Passover, broken so it can be shared, is a symbol of being joined to His sinless life rather than death.

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Was Jesus Christ's Body Broken? (Part Two)

Christ's bones had to remain unbroken to fulfill the Passover. Additionally, His self-maledictory oath to Abraham required an unseperated—unbroken—body.

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Was Jesus Christ's Body Broken? (Part One)

How often have we heard the phrase 'Christ's broken body'? Is it a valid and accurate concept? What effect does it have on our observance of the Passover?

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Passover and the Blood of Jesus Christ

David Grabbe, reminding us that many biblical themes are multifaceted (such as the four distinct roles of Christ as depicted by the four Gospels), shows that blood—particularly Christ's blood—has several distinct aspects. First, blood symbolizes life, and can symbolize a record of life. Consequently, God forbids us to eat the blood of animals, which is the life. Symbolically, the blood of Abel called out after Cain murdered him. Second, God seals covenants with blood. Significantly, there were no sin offerings in the sealing of the Old Covenant. The instructions for sin offerings came after the covenant was made. Third, the only blood God permits humans to consume is the blood of Christ, indicating that an internal change must take place displacing carnality with spirituality. Finally, Christ's blood does exceedingly more than remit sin—it gives eternal life and a familial relationship with our Heavenly Father. The wine at Passover represents Christ's blood of the covenant, by which we will be made complete.

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Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (Part Two)

Despite the Council of Laodicea's condemnation of the Sabbath, a group of believers termed Paulicians kept God's laws and resisted the heresy from Rome.

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Was Jesus Christ's Body Broken?

Was Jesus Christ's body actually broken? If so, it would have symbolized disqualification and a broken covenant. Only the bread of Passover was broken.

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The Lamb of Revelation

David Grabbe, marveling that John, in the Book of Revelation, refers to Christ as the Lamb of God more than any other designation, examines the characteristics of the lamb. The significance of the Lamb goes back to the Passover instructions where God lays claim to all the firstborn. All firstborn of unclean animals, as well as human beings, must be redeemed by a lamb. God gave this instruction before He gave the holiness code and the instructions about the Sabbath. The redemption of the firstborn was no small matter to God. God required the firstborn of Egypt as a redemption for Israel's release. The original Passover was the redemption of Israel as God's firstborn. At this time, the price for the firstborn of Israel was a sacrificial lamb, not to atone for her sins, but to redeem her from slavery. God claims the firstborn males as His own. Jesus Christ's blood covers our sins and redeems us from the death penalty. Christ must redeem us from this body of flesh to completely reflect the nature of our Creator. We are in the process of being redeemed, but redemption will not fully occur until our resurrection. It is when we are completely redeemed that we will bear the image of the heavenly. The Lamb, described in Revelation 5:6-13 as having seven horns and seven eyes, is symbolic of our Redeemer, opening the title deed of His property—those whom He has called, saved, justified, and sanctified. All things are within His legal claim (including Israel and the Israel of God) as He exercises His fearful mighty power.

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Truly Unleavened

God has imputed righteousness to us as His Children because we are in Christ. Our state before God is unleavened provided we maintain this relationship.

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To Do Your Will, O God!

Martin Collins, maintaining that there never has been , and never will be, another death like Jesus Christ's, reminds us that Our Omniscient God, who cannot sin, knew that we would sin and, therefore, pre-ordained a sacrifice that would satisfy all legal requirements, but would also motivate us to repent of sin and pursue righteousness, building character, living by faith, and exercising moral responsibility. The result? We grow into sharing the exact character of our Savior. The sacrifice of Jesus constitutes the death of an innocent, sinless, worthy victim for the entire human race. When Adam and Eve sinned, their overwhelming guilt and shame forced them to hide, dreading the consequences of their sin. God dealt with the transgression directly, covering their nakedness with the skins of animals—the first-time death literally appeared in Eden. These clothes of animal skins reminded them of the reality of death and symbolized how their redemption would ultimately come, namely through the sacrifice of an innocent victim at Golgotha, satisfying the wrath of God toward sin through propitiation and reconciliation, repairing the broken relationship between all of mankind and the Creator. While Passover is personal in nature, the sacrifice symbolized by the Day of Atonement is universal, pointing to God's reconciliation of the entire world, as Satan is punished by separation. Redemption refers to buying back something that was lost. The necessity for Christ's death stems from God's holiness and absolute intolerance of sin and His obligation to judge righteously. A substitutionary sacrifice is required to propitiate for God's wrath against the sins of mankind. His death brought to a climax a plethora of Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. Christ took on our poverty and lowliness so that we might become His co-heirs as God's children. Like Paul and Peter, we have been called for a pre-ordained purpose, and are obligated to follow His example, looking forward to His coming both as a Savior and a Judge.

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Humble Service

Ted Bowling focuses on the foot-washing aspect of the Passover service, which is an annual renewal and re-dedication of our baptismal cleansing. Foot-washing was a common practice in antiquity, where the lowest servant was assigned to wash the soiled feet of a weary traveler. A disciple was similarly expected to be willing to perform the same tasks for his rabbi as a servant was for his master—except for untying his sandals, which was considered to be the very lowest of degradations. Jesus Christ, reversing the cultural expectation, took the role of a Gentile slave, and to the shock of his disciples stooped below what a disciple could be expected to do and washed their feet. He modeled the practice of foot-washing to dramatize the need to be submissive to one another, to serve one another—including those who betray—and to be one's brother's keeper, safeguarding our relationships with our brethren.

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Atonement Goats and Passover Lambs

The Day of Atonement is not about Satan, but about the complete cleansing from sins through Christ. The Passover is not a sin offering, but a peace offering.

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The Signs of God (Part Three)

God equates belittling His signs with rejecting Him. The signs of the weekly and annual Sabbaths are emphasized by God, but commonly cast aside by men.

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The Faith of Israel

David Grabbe, reminding us that the trek through the Red Sea occurred on the seventh day of Unleavened Bread, points out that other historical events also occurred on that day, including the toppling of the walls of Jericho and the healing of the lame man near the Pool of Bethsaida, after his having endured his infirmity 38 years. The ancient Israelites moved in the desert but had made no progress in getting Egypt out of their hearts. When God restored Israel through Joshua, He gave them credit for the time that had walked, indicating that in all cases, He was doing virtually all the heavy lifting, but was demanding that the Israelites exercise faith, doing something concrete to indicate their willingness to participate in the covenant. The walls of Jericho were, in effect, already history when Joshua's men began their march around the city. When we make our covenant with God, we must move forward exercising faith, doing our part in the overcoming/ sanctification process, realizing God is in charge of the entire process.

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Should Passover Be Observed for Seven Days?

The words in Ezekiel's Millennial vision seem to say that the Passover should be observed for seven days. However, this contradicts other clear scriptures.

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Jesus' Sufferings on Passover

The sequence of events that took place on Passover, from Jesus' arrest through His death, was orchestrated so we could appreciate what God did for us.

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Is Passover on the First Day of Unleavened Bread? (Part Two)

Jesus and His disciples are shown observing the Passover in a home at the beginning of Abib/Nisan 14. However, a few verses seem to indicate the next day.

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Is Passover on the First Day of Unleavened Bread? (Part One)

Matthew, Mark, and Luke each seem to put Passover on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but a closer look reveals the consistency of Scripture.

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Why Was Jesus Not Crucified as Passover Began? (Part Two)

The timing of Christ's crucifixion does not coincide with the Passover, but instead lines up with the covenant God made with Abraham, marking a major fulfillment.

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Why Was Jesus Not Crucified as Passover Began? (Part One)

The gospels show Jesus observing the Passover at the beginning of the 14th. Should we use the time when He observed it or the time He died as our guide?

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Why Wasn't Jesus Christ Crucified at the Start of Passover?

Jesus was crucified late on Abib 14, yet the Passover lambs were to be killed at the beginning of the 14th. The time of Christ's death is highly significant.

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Passover and Friends United in Truth (Part One)

Out of the entire world, we have been chosen now to develop friendship, not with the world, but with those placed in the love and friendship of the Body of Christ.

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Passover Preparedness

We are to seriously consider this season, examining ourselves carefully and soberly, measuring ourselves against the sinless life of Jesus Christ.

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Passover of the Most High God

Among God's many names and titles is one that proclaims His supremacy over all others: "Most High God" or "God Most High." This name is first used when Melchizedek meets Abram after his victory over the kings who had taken Lot and his family captive. David Grabbe traces the usage of this divine name through the Bible, illustrating how it should give us confidence in God's governance over our lives.

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The Selfsame Day

John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 3:1, reiterates that God is in control of time all the time; He is intricately involved. We must learn that events are not occurring randomly; everything develops from inexorable law, and God appoints the timing for each thing to be done. God has made everything beautiful for His time, not necessarily for us. The word "selfsame" refers to a very specific commemorative calendar date. When a historical event is applied to a calendar date, such as the wave-sheaf offering or Pentecost, we realize that we are to recognize the significance (the giving of the Law and the Holy Spirit). Such an event occurred with the blessing of Abraham by Melchizedek. The Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread have been precisely marked by this selfsame day, a signal that God is faithfully in control of time over multiple centuries.

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Evaluating the Price of Redemption

Of all of God's appointed times, the Passover is one that we should not rush into without thought and preparation, lest we miss the awesome depth of its meaning.

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A Look at Christian Suffering (Part One)

If we are merely seeking a crown of glory, hoping to skirt by Christ's suffering, we must ask ourselves whether we really accept the Passover cup.

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Discerning the Body

David Grabbe, focusing on the behavior censured by the apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11, admonishes that we must properly discern the Lord's Body, not taking the Passover in an unworthy manner. The Body, in this context, refers not only to the literal body of Christ, which was tortured and beaten for sins we have committed, but also to the body of believers of which we are a part, consisting of our Heavenly Father, our Elder Brother, and our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. The bread and wine symbolically binds us together in one fellowship; what we partake of is what we become: the Body of Christ. We are to remember that Jesus Christ saw value in us, in our brethren, and even in the people that we do not yet like, to pay the price for all of our sins.

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How Do We Keep God's Festivals?

Many of us have been members of the church of God for decades, and because of our long association with God's festivals, we forget that new members have little or no idea how to keep them and can be intimidated about what God requires of them during these appointed times. Richard Ritenbaugh points out the foundational principles new members need to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.

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Why Passover and Not Easter?

The Catholic Church did not forbid keeping the Passover until AD 325. The controversy over Passover or Easter boils down to following Scripture or Roman tradition.

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Are God's Holy Days To Be Kept Today?

If we do not keep God's holy days, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge of God's purpose. Jesus and the first century church observed and upheld these days.

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The Awesome Cost of Love

We assess costs and values all the time in our daily lives: Is it better to buy used or new? Should we prefer traditional or contemporary? Paper or plastic? John Ritenbaugh employs the same process to God's love for us in giving His Son as the sacrifice for sin. What costs have been paid for our redemption?

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In Honor of Jesus Christ

It is our responsibility to glorify God. As obedient children, we bring Him honor; as disobedient children, we bring shame on Him and blaspheme His name.

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Why We Observe Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread

We keep Unleavened Bread because of what God did to bring us out of sin (typified by Egypt). While God compels us to make choices, He is with us all the way.

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Chronic Difficulties

Richard Ritenbaugh observes that over two billion people faithfully observe an annual "holy week," consisting of Palm Sunday, Good Friday (the supposed time of the crucifixion), and Easter Sunday. Human tradition and Bible truth do not square. The overwhelming historical chronological evidence clashes with the traditions of billions of people. The sovereign God has been in control of history from the beginning of mankind. God makes things happen when He wants them to happen and in the way they happen. Whether the event happened in 30 AD or 31 AD, the crucifixion occurred on a Wednesday rather than a Friday. Extensive scholarship into the lunar eclipses occurring near the death of Herod, the ascendancy of his son Archaleus, and the reign of Tiberias Caesar corroborates this conclusion. Scripture gives us internal evidence with the accusation that Jesus could tear down a temple constructed by Herod 46 years earlier. Other internal evidence comes from the careful marking of the Holy Days occurring during Christ's three and one half year ministry (prophesied by Daniel's seventy weeks prophecy) in both the synoptic gospels and John's Gospel. The crucifixion took place in the middle of a literal week, with Christ remaining in the grave a full three days and three nights, and resurrected at the end of a Sabbath at sunset. Nowhere in any of the gospels does it say Christ rose on Sunday morning, but that He had already risen. The triumphal entry (labeled by the world as Palm Sunday) actually occurred on Thursday, Nisan 8. Jesus was selected as Passover Lamb on Nisan 10 (John 12:28).

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Themes of I Corinthians (Part 5)

I Corinthians gives ready instruction in the order and decorum that is fitting for church organization, as well as the Passover and weekly service.

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Deuteronomy 16, Passover, and the Night to be Much Observed

In Deuteronomy 16:1, the word 'Passover' is out of context. It applies to the whole season, including the Night to be Much Observed and the Days of Unleavened Bread.

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Purge Me With Hyssop

The Bible frequently uses the hyssop plant as a symbol of cleansing and purification. In relation to Christ's sacrifice, this herb has a connection to the Passover.

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Passover and Hope

Richard Ritenbaugh urges us to look upon the Passover as a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless milieu. The book of Job, initially a seeming extended treatise of hopelessness, turns into Job"s speculation about a possible resurrection, realizing from his prior experience that God enjoys the company of men and wants men to be like Him. Hope can be defined as "confident, enduring expectation," and the heart of hope is faith in God. The strength of our hope depends upon how deeply we know God. Abraham, after 50 years of experience trusting God, knew He would provide despite the visible circumstances. Jesus provided hope to His disciples at His last Passover, exuding confidence and hope, despite His knowledge of what was immediately ahead. In Hebrews, we are counseled to emulate Jesus, who endured due to the joy before Him. We can have rock-solid hope that God will provide despite the intensity of our trials.

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What Is the Passover Anyway?

Here are the basic points of the Christian Passover, showing from Scripture what God commands and why.

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What Does 'Examine Yourselves' Mean?

Christians prepare for Passover by engaging in a thorough, spiritual self-examination. An analysis of II Corinthians 13:5 shows us what we need to look for.

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An Unpayable Debt and Obligation

When God calls us and redeems us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, we suddenly come under obligation—a debt we cannot pay. John Ritenbaugh pursues what this means to us as we continue on our Christian walk toward God's Kingdom.

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The First Day of Unleavened Bread (Part 1)

Passover takes place at twilight as the 14th of Abib begins. Unleavened Bread begins 24 hours later on the 15th of Abib. The Passover is a preparation day.

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I Am Barabbas

To some, Barabbas is nothing more than an interesting detail in Christ's trial. However, his presence during that event contains significant implications for us.

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The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering

The peace (or thank) offering was the most commonly given in ancient Israel. It pictures God, the priest, and the offerer in satisfying fellowship.

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The Law of the Firstborn

It is an unusual fact that the subjects of God's spring holy days and firstborns appear in the same contexts. Here is what this means to us.

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Another Look at Footwashing

We in the church have often considered footwashing merely as a ritual to remind us of the need to serve one another. Bill Keesee, however, explains how footwashing teaches another godly attribute: forgiveness.

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Eating: How Good It Is! (Part Four)

John 6 has always been a difficult chapter to explain. However, within his series on the physical/spiritual parallels in the Bible on eating, John Ritenbaugh shows how clear Jesus' teaching is and what it means to us.

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The Wavesheaf and the Selfsame Day

The wavesheaf offering is reckoned from the weekly Sabbath within the Days of Unleavened Bread. It had specific requirements that were not met in Joshua 5.

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Christ Our Passover

The focus of our self-examination should not be self-centered or comparing ourselves with others, but on the awesome significance of His sacrifice.

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Death of a Lamb

Since the church no longer keeps the Passover with the slaughter of a lamb, we miss important and poignant details that could enhance our observance.

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The Beatitudes, Part 6: The Pure in Heart

Purity before God is far more than just being clean. John Ritenbaugh explains that to Jesus being pure in heart touches on the very holiness of God!

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Are You Drinking of the Master's Cup?

When we partake of the cup of wine at Passover, we usually think of Christ's blood shed for sins. However, the cup and its contents have another meaning for us.

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A Pre-Passover Look

John Ritenbaugh affirms that the New Covenant seals the agreement with the body and blood of Christ, which is consumed inwardly. Partaking of this cup indicates that we are in unity with those in the body—fellow heirs of the world, as Abraham's seed, participating in the death and resurrection of our Savior. We must thoroughly examine ourselves, exercising and strengthening our faith, actively giving love back to God, to avoid taking this solemn event in a careless, irreverent, or nonchalant manner, jeopardizing our relationship with God, our relationship with our brethren, and our Christian liberty.

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die by Crucifixion?

Crucifixion is man's most cruel form of punishment. Why did Jesus need to die this way? What does it teach us? And was Jesus stabbed before or after He died?

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Holy Days: Passover

Passover may be the most important festival ordained by God. Not only does it memorialize Christ's death, it also symbolizes our redemption and the covenant.

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Christ, Our Passover

Many people believe that our sins are the focus of Passover—but they are wrong! Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, should be our focus. How well do you know Him?

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Holy Days: God's Plan in the Holy Days

Leviticus 23 not only reveals God's holy days—it also provides, in symbol form, a detailed schematic of God's plan!

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Does Paul Condemn Observing God's Holy Days?

Galatians 4:9-10 is a favorite crutch of those who claim Christians no longer need to observe God's holy days. However, Paul's meaning is quite different.

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The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 17)

The Law (including the judgments, ordinances, and statutes), far from being done away, shows us our faults and outlines the way of mercy and love—how to live.

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'After Three Days'

A scriptural explanation of the time of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, showing that He died on a Wednesday and rose from the dead on the Sabbath.

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Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension

Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Old Testament types, slain as the Passover Lamb, resurrected with the cutting of the wavesheaf, and ascended to His Father at the time of the waving of the sheaf.

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Footwashing

Footwashing is the initial part of the Passover ceremony. Why did Christ institute it? What is its purpose?

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The Night to be Much Observed

The Night Much to be Observed is a memorial of the covenant with Abraham, and God's watchfulness in delivering ancient Israel as well as spiritual Israel.

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Head 'Em Up and Move 'Em Out!

Is the Passover the 14th or the 15th? Does it matter when we keep it as long as we keep it? Mike Ford shows how the logistics of Israel leaving Egypt prove that Passover should be kept on the 14th.

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Time for Self-Evaluation

Prior to the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are told to examine ourselves. How can we do that? Here are a few pointers on doing a thorough, honest once over.

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Passover, Obligation, and Love

John Ritenbaugh discusses how Christ's redemption of us obligates us to obey and serve Him. We show our gratitude for this priceless gift by doing good in acts of love and service to others.

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Freedom and Unleavened Bread

Christian freedom has nothing to do with location or circumstance but how we think. By imbibing on God's Word, we will incrementally displace our carnality.

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The Awesome Cost of Salvation

We need to be sobered at the awesomeness of the cost to set us free from sin—what the Creator endured. We have been purchased, and are obliged to our Purchaser.

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Passover and I Corinthians 10

In this sermon on the admonitions of I Corinthians 10, John Ritenbaugh warns that, like our forebears, we can lose our salvation if we live a life of divided loyalty even though we have mechanically and physically gone through the ordinances. Like the Old Testament examples, the Corinthians also developed a careless presumption (having its roots in pride), allowing themselves to be drawn to lust, fornicate, tempt God, and murmur. We need to soberly reflect on these examples, finding parallels in our own lives.

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Passover (Part 10)

At the time of Christ, because of historical deviation, some kept Passover at home at the start of the 14th and others kept it at the Temple at the end of the 14th.

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Passover (Part 9)

The context of Deuteronomy 16:1-3 indicates the focus of these verses is on the Night to be Observed and the Days of Unleavened Bread rather than the Passover.

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Passover (Part 8)

The temple Passover commanded by Hezekiah was a very unusual circumstance in which the king centralized worship to keep Baalism from defiling the Passover.

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Passover (Part 7)

John Ritenbaugh suggests that people who opt for a fifteenth Passover do not do so from a pure motive for seeking the truth, but instead reflects an irresponsible grab for power. Unfortunately, major reinterpretations and alterations have significantly distorted the meaning of Passover and Unleavened Bread, blurring the distinction between the two events. Even major Protestant theologians realize the drastic changes which placed humanly devised practices on the same status as the commands of God. Beside rendering themselves blind to the true significance of Christ's sacrifice, proponents of the fifteenth Passover (old and new) unwittingly follow Jeroboam's precedent of leading his people into rank paganism.

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Passover (Part 6)

Some believe in a late-14th Passover on the basis of II Chronicles 35:10-11, but this overlooks the context. The Passover was originally a home-based observance.

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Passover (Part 5)

Using subterfuge, some proponents of the 15th Passover muddle up otherwise clear, day and night issues by surreptitiously inserting modern English language usage.

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Passover (Part 4)

The proponents of a 15th Passover discount clear scriptural details and instead speculate. One cannot build doctrines on implication, distortion, and traditions.

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Passover (Part 3)

Nine steps had to be included with the Passover observance, all within the house until morning. It takes place between sun's setting and complete darkness.

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Passover (Part 2)

The Passover is to be kept on the twilight of the 14th, while the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th. The Word of God supersedes tradition and heritage.

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Passover (Part 1)

The annual reaffirmation of the covenant through the Passover is at the core of an on-going relationship with the Father and Son, beginning the perfecting process.

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How Often Should We Partake of the Lord's Supper?

The biblical proof that God's people should keep the Passover (the Lord's Supper), explaining that it occurs annually on the evening of Nisan 14.

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The Plain Truth About Easter

Easter is not a Christian name, but belongs to the idolatrous 'queen of heaven.' Here are the origins of Easter eggs and sunrise services, which pre-date Christ.