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   Should we keep Passover or Easter? Should wine or grape juice be served? Should we keep Passover on the 14th or the 15th? These are just a few of the questions that have been asked of us, who, as True Believers, keep Passover on the even of the 14th and who serve unleavened bread and grape juice as the Scriptures instruct us to do.

   There are several spring festivals celebrated by many different religions. Most have their origins in the pagan beliefs of long ago. Where did the Passover originate? Do we still celebrate it the same way as the first one? Do the Jews still keep it the same way? In order to answer these and other questions, we need to go to the Scriptures and look in the book of Exodus. This is where we will find the events leading up to the first Passover. The first six chapters and the first seven verses of chapter 7 explain how and why Moses and Aaron were sent to Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped many pagan mighty ones. The Pharaoh was worshiped as the incarnation of the sun deity, the deity of light. On his head he had a coiled snake as the symbol of his power. We read in Exodus 7 verse8thruchapter10verse20howeachandevery one of these so-called deities were defeated by Yahweh, using Moses and Aaron as HIS spokesmen.
Then YAHWEH said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings, Exodus 10:21 -23, NASU.
   Yahweh brought this darkness over the land and the Pharaoh, the deity of light, could do absolutely nothing about it. He was defeated, but with a hardened heart he would not let Yahweh’s people go. Now, in chapter 11 we read of the last plague to be sent upon Egypt:
Now YAHWEH said to Moses, "One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold." YAHWEH gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people. Moses said, "Thus says YAHWEH, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well. Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how YAHWEH makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. All these your servants will come down to Me and bow themselves before Me, saying, Go out, you and all the people who follow you,' and after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. Then YAHWEH said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt." Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet YAHWEH hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land, Exodus 11:1-9 NASU.
Now YAHWEH said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, " This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 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. 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. 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. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 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. And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 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 shall eat it in haste--it is YAHWEH's Passover. 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 elohim 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,’” Exodus 12:1 -13 NASU.
   They were told to take some of the blood of the sacrificed lamb and to put it on the doorposts and lintel over the door of the house in which they ate of the lamb. This was to be a sign of their protection. They had to roast the sacrifice over fire; it could not be boiled. They could not eat it raw. It had to be roasted with the head, legs and entrails intact. The Egyptians had to know that something was going to happen that night. Everything had to be eaten that night, whatever was leftover had to be burned. They ate with their loins girded, sandals on their feet and staff in hand. They ate in haste and were ready to travel. This was the first Passover.
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 elohim 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, Exodus 12:12 -13 NASU.
   The blood on the houses was the saving redemption from that plague. We don’t see an orderly service with the drinking of wine and all the other trappings. This came later.
   There was to be a memorial of this redemption every year at the same time. Chapter 12 continues on with the exodus out of Egypt. Verses 42 - 51 gives the ordinances of Passover:
   It is a night to be observed for YAHWEH for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for YAHWEH, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. YAHWEH said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; but every man's slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it. A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it. It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this. But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to YAHWEH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you." Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as Yahweh had commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that same day YAHWEH brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
   The Jews of today keep a Passover that is a memorial of the Exodus. However, over the centuries things have been added and other things may have been dropped. For example, several glasses of wine and several courses of foods are served and a ceremony that the family participates in.
   Also, the Passover has been merged into the Feast of Unleavened Bread by some. We as true believers do not believe that this should be. We are to keep the Passover that Yahshua instituted just prior to His death on the stake. Most of churchianity has abused the memorial by the improper use.
Some serve it daily, some weekly, some monthly, or every other month, or quarterly. It has been called by many names and served in different ways.
   How do we observe it? We have to follow the example set forth by Yahshua. In Matthew 28:20, He admonished us to go and teach others to observe all that He had commanded us to do. In order to do this we must DO as He did.
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of Elohim." And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of Elohim comes." And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood, Luke 22:14 - 21 NASU. (see also Matthew 26:26 - 29; Mark 14:22 - 25).
   There are similarities between the first Passover that seem to foreshadow the new. In Exodus chapter 12 we learned that the Israelites had to put blood on their doorposts and lintels above the door and stay inside to be saved from the last plague: the death of the first born in Egypt. It is by the blood of Yahshua that we receive the forgiveness for our sins. Just as the first Passover lamb had to be perfect, so also is Yahshua, our Passover Lamb, perfect. Have you ever wondered why the first lamb had to be roasted? In Exodus 12:9 tells us they were not to eat it raw or boiled in water. What is the significance here? If it were boiled in water, chances are they would have had to break bones and cut it up. Remember this is a foreshadow of Yahshua on the stake. He had no bones broken. The ordinance of Passover in Exodus tells us that a sojourner or hired hand was not to eat of it. Only those who were circumcised could take of it. Likewise today, we serve only to those who have been baptized into the Name of Yahshua. This is our circumcision of the heart and qualifies us to receive the new Passover. What are we to serve? We serve unleavened bread and grape juice. It would make little sense to clean your house of all leavening and then turn around and serve leavened bread. We do not offer wine as some assemblies do as it is fermented. Nowhere does the Passover cup contain wine, only grape juice, the fruit of the vine.
   Leviticus 10:8 - 9 gives a very good reason not to serve wine.
   YAHWEH then spoke to Aaron, saying, "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die ‒ it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations ‒ and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean.
We will be priests in the new kingdom and should not come before Yahweh or Yahshua drinking wine or strong drink.

Foot Washing
   The foot washing is done prior to the receiving of the symbols of the body and the blood of the Messiah. It is overlooked by most of Churchianity and seldom done even when they do remember.
Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, "Yahshua, do You wash my feet?" Yahshua answered and said to him, "What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter." Peter said to Him, "Never shall You wash my feet!" Yahshua answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Yahshua, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head." Yahshua said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, "Not all of you are clean." So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Master; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Master and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them, John 13:1 - 17 NASU.
   There is a blessing for doing these things. Yahshua gave us an example and we should follow it. Each person needs to search his or her own heart and mind to be sure that you are worthy to receive the Passover emblems.
   Most of Christianity keeps Easter in place of Passover. I have not been able to understand what eggs, bunnies, baby chicks and the other trappings have to do with Passover. There are instructions on keeping Passover in Scriptures, but I have been unable to find anything on the pagan holidays, other than to not keep them. Easter is found only in Acts 12:4 in the KJV translation. This is a mistranslation and has since been corrected in newer translations.

-Elder Dick Vaow (deceased)

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