Most people do not even know that the Great God of the Bible has a marvelous, meticulous, awesome PLAN, for the ultimate saving of most of mankind. Many might exclaim:
“Saved?! Saved from what?” It’s sort of like the character of “Mad Magazine”, where he made the statement: “What? Me Worry?” Also, it’s because most people are woefully ignorant about God and never take the time to investigate His Word or to prove whether it has any relevance to their lives. IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HUMAN EXISTENCE!
Whether you want to believe it or not mankind is poised on the brink of total annihilation of himself; cosmocide! That’s why it is absolutely important that you understand His great Plan!
God Began to reveal His Plan to Old Testament Israel;
It’s revealed in the keeping of the annual Holy days in seven steps.
Those who have been “called of God” ( John 6:44; I Corinthians 1:10 ), to become a part of the Work of Jesus Christ, can relate to the story of the bringing out of Egypt those ancient Israelites by Miraculous events. It was a type of New Testament Christians as we will see.
Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house: 5. Your lamb shall be without blemish (flawless), a male of the first year…6. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 13. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
So this FIRST STEP OF GOD’S PLAN was to provide them a Passover lamb to be slain and it’s shed blood to shield or save them from the “death angel”. Again, this was a type of Jesus Christ, whose shed blood atones for the sins of all mankind (John 1:29). I Peter 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (All of these things have been explained and enacted by a minister at a Passover Service, commemorating the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the evening of the 14th of Abib. (For a FREE copy of this service write The Church of God New World Ministries, P.O. Box 5536, Sevierville, TN 37864., or click here to order it online)
THE SECOND STEP IN THIS PLAN is shown by the observance of the seven days of Unleavened bread. Exodus 12:14 “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation (an annual Sabbath), and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 17. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day (the first Day) have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.”
Other verses show this to be on the night time of the first day of U.B. which began at sunset and would be the 15th of the month, Abib, or the eve of April 2nd, on our “Julian” calendar.
Exodus 12:41 “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42. It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: This is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.”
The Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread
Why is this DAY so important? Why would these ancient Holy days, which God labels, “My Feast Days“, be imposed on New Testament Christians? They are very important because they teach valuable lessons for us today and will be applicable for all eternity! Leviticus 23:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. 4. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” Note, they are not “Jewish” feasts, as some assume, but God’s Feasts Concerning these Holy Days God says, Verse 5 “In the fourteenth of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover. 6. And on the fifteenth day of the same month (1st day of U.B.) is the feast of unleavened bread: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: In the seventh day is an holy convocation: Ye shall do no servile work therein.”
I want to insert an explanation here about the offerings given on these days. Some cleverly twist the Scriptures to say the Holy Days of God are no longer obligatory because these sacrifices have been “done away with” by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That’s true. We no longer offer carnal sacrifices in worshiping God. BUT THAT DOESN’T DO AWAY WITH THE HOLY DAYS! Notice what is says in Jeremiah 7:22 “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23. But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it might be well with you.” This would include observance of all the annual Holy Days that He commanded! These sacrifices were added to the observance to teach them obedience. Galatians 3:19 “Wherefore then serveth the law (the law of sacrifices!)? It was added because of transgressions (of God’s Spiritual Law), till the seed (Christ) should come to whom the promises was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”
Don’t forget! These Holy convocations (commanded assemblies) were to be observed “throughout your generations”, in Exodus 12:17,42. Certainly, it is evident that Jesus Christ, Himself, observed these Festivals, even as a child.
Luke 2:41 “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
42. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.” After reaching full maturity, He was still keeping the Passover and the days of unleavened bread. Mark 14:12 “And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said unto Him , Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the Passover?” (He did eat the O.T. Passover meal with His disciples, before instituting the N.T. Passover, with the symbols of the Unleavened Bread and Wine.)
I want to clarify a very important point here that has caused confusion to some concerning the number of days that unleavened must be eaten during this Festival. I’ll quote from the “Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course” Lesson 34, pg.6: “COMMENT: Because they had been chastened for not properly keeping God’s Sabbaths, it was not long before they added carnal, human restrictions to the laws of God, making the Sabbaths a burden to God’s people. One of these human restrictions was to prohibit using leavened bread during the daylight part of the Passover--the 14th of Abib. God had never made such a restriction! But the Jews thought they could be more righteous than God. So we find that during the time of Christ the Passover is referred to as “a day of unleavened bread”. The Jews were observing a total of eight days instead of the perfect, symbolic seven Days of Unleavened Bread God originally commanded. They had forgotten the spiritual lesson of obedience God intended for them to learn from these days!”
What is that spiritual lesson of obedience?
God’s Word, not men, shows the symbolism of leavening. LEAVEN TYPIFIES SIN!
Matthew 16:6 “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 11. How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12. Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”Luke 12:1 “In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trod one upon another, He began to say unto His disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
When you have accepted the truth of observing the Passover and these Days of Unleavened Bread, you will have been learning some of the most valuable lessons a human being could ever benefit from. You will have, hopefully, learned that by FORSAKING SIN, you will be developing the righteous character that God desires in each of us, in order be given ETENAL LIFE through Jesus Christ, our Passover! It’s absolutely vital that you understand this! Forsaking sin (the breaking of God’s Holy Law, I John 3:4) is required before you can obtain immortality, be given eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
The Lesson To Be Learned is To Obey God’s Royal Law. Matthew 19:16 “And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.” Then Jesus began to name at least five of the Ten Commandments, concluding with “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. (James 2:10)
The Apostle Paul was teaching the same lesson, during the observance of these Days, in,
I Corinthians 5:1 “It is reported commonly that there is fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” A case of gross sin was occurring in the Church where Paul ordered that the man should be removed from the congregation until he repented of it. Notice, it was likened to leaven, that would affect the whole group, unless gotten rid of. Verse 6. “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7. Purge out the old leaven (the ongoing sin), that ye may be a new lump (be made whole again), as ye are unleavened, (they were unleavened physically, because they had removed the leaven from their premises during the Days of Unleavened Bread, but they had allowed themselves to become leavened Spiritually, by the man’s sin). For even Christ, our Passover is sacrificed for us: 8. THEREFORE LET US KEEP THE FEAST (of U.B.), not with old leaven (physical), neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness (Spiritual); but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
DO YOU NOT SEE THAT THE PHYSICAL LEAVENING IS A TYPE OF THE SPIRITUAL! Yes!! That is why God commanded these Days to be observed forever!
It is vitally important that we obey God’s command to observe and learn the lessons from His Holy Days!!
This Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread Has More Significance!
We must be brief on this final point, but you’ll see how it applies to N.T. Christians.
(ibid) the A.C. Bible Correspondence Course, Lesson 34, supplement: “COMMENT: No names are given of camping places for Sunday and Monday nights ( the fourth and fifth days of Unleavened Bread ----). But by sunset Tuesday, the sixth day of Unleavened Bread, they had arrived and camped in a cul-de-sac---between the mountains and the sea--just as Pharaoh’s chariot spearhead legions thundered in behind...”---9. Did God Almighty get His people safely across the Red Sea before daylight? Ex. 14:21 (“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” --27). 10. Then on the daylight part of Wednesday, the seventh and last day of Unleavened Bread, was there great rejoicing? Since the seventh day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath, -----newly composed congregational hymns were sung in memoriam and thanksgiving to God. Ex. 15:1-18, 20-21.”
Yes, it was on the seventh, last Day of Unleavened Bread, that God delivered Israel from Pharaoh, a type of Satan the Devil, by bringing them through the Red Sea, a type of baptism!
I Corinthians 10:1 “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3. And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
When we are willing to give up a sinful lifestyle, repent of those sins and be baptized in Jesus Christ, as God’s Word instructs us (Acts 2:38), we can symbolize that, by observing God’s Passover and the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread. The number seven, being God’s number of perfection, shows our willingness to try to completely rid our lives of sin and strive to “go on unto perfection”: Hebrews 6:1, even though we know we won’t be able to, in this life.