Sunday, March 2, 2008

EASTER THE PAGAN FESTIVAL OF ISHTAR



THE GREAT EXODUS...PART ONE

The term "Passover" originates from Exod. 12:13, "...when I see the blood I will pass over you..." This event commemorated the time when Yahveh passed over the Hebrew homes (which had blood on the sides and on the top of the door frame), and killed all of the firstborn in Egypt. Exodus 12:3-5 states that the Passover lamb, or kid, was selected on the tenth of Nissan/Abib (Exod.12:3, 23:15). The animal, either from the sheep or goats, was to be a male in its first year without defect or blemish (Exod. 12:5). The lamb was slaughtered at dusk on the 14th day of Nissan/Abib (Exod. 12:6) and the blood of the lamb was smeared in a specific manner over the lintels (sides) and doorposts of the homes (Exod. 12). Let’s stop right there for a moment so Yah can reveal something to us.

If you look real close at verse seven you will see that it says to apply the blood on the sides and the top of the door.
Have you ever wondered why it was to be done in this exact manner? When the blood was applied in such a manner it reveals to us the Hebrew letter “chet”, pronounced as “het”. “Chet” is the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet and means “fence”, or “inside door”, “inner room”. The “angel of death” had to passover the homes of the Hebrew people because the “fence”, “inside door” was covered with the blood of the lamb. There is power in the blood!!! HalleluYah!!! Following the Torah is the fence protecting all those truly “born again”. Death cannot overtake us when Yah has protected us with His Torah (fence).

The lamb was roasted over fire (Exodus 12:. The meat was not to be eaten raw or boiled (Exod. 12:9) and its bones could not be broken (Exod. 12:46). There were to be no left-overs (Exod. 12:10). The meat was also to be eaten with bitter herbs (maror) and unleavened bread (matzah) (Exod. 12:. Not much is said further regarding the bitter herbs. It is mentioned here in Exod. 12:8 and Numb. 9:1. The bitter herbs (maror) are a symbol of the bitter lives the Israelites had when they were slaves in Egypt. The rabbis teach that each generation should experience the Exodus. You were to eat it with your belt fastened, your shoes on, your staff in your hand, and hurriedly (Exod. 12:11). The Mishnah (oral Torah) gives further instruction regarding how to roast the meat, "One uses a split of pomegranate wood, inserting it through the animal’s mouth so that it reaches to the buttocks; the animal on the spit is hung inside the oven, above the fire. Pomegranate wood is used for the spit because this type of wood does not give off liquid when heated - for any liquid might cause part of the sacrifice to be cooked rather than roasted." (Mishnah, Pesachim 74a).

Passover usually starts about April/May of the Gregorian calendar, depending on the moon.

The Fifteenth of Nissan was the first day of Unleavened Bread proper. Exod. 12:15-20 and Lev. 23:5-8 gives us several commands concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

1) This Feast is to be observed for seven days.

2) All leaven is to be removed from your homes. Failure to obey this regulation meant expulsion from the community.

3) The first and last days of this Feast were recognized and observed as high Sabbaths. These days didn’t necessarily have to be on a seventh day Sabbath; they were special holiday High Sabbaths.

4) These commands applied to both the native born citizen as well as the alien living among the Hebrews.

Imagine if you will, the Israelites being in bondage to the Egyptians for 430 years and then one day everything changed. Yah came in the form of Yeshua and transformed life as they knew it with the shedding of blood. Like some of us in our spiritual walk, Yah comes out of nowhere and answers our prayers to their fullest. It’s not hard to imagine how excited and relieved the Israelites were when Yah led them out of bondage by the hand of His appointed servant Moses.

We learn in Lev. 23:9-14 that the day of First fruits will occur after the regular weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

NOTE The reason the Christian church almost always has the wrong date for Passover is because they base their goddess of Ishtar celebration, (Easter), on the vernal equinox. Christianity uses the first SUNday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox as their guide. This is as per the sun, whereas Yahveh’s (Jewish) calendar is established by the moon (lunar). It’s sad, but it’s true, most of Christianity’s customs at the core, are based on witchcraft (paganism).

The Feasts of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits represent the work of Yah in us that enables us to live this holy separate life. The Bible calls this transforming work of Yah “sanctification” (1Ths. 4:3-4, 2Ths. 2:13, 1Pet. 1:2). This is a cooperative walk with Yah whereby we allow Him to conform us into the moral image of Yeshua Hamashiach (2Cor. 3:1. That is what Sha’ul (Paul) had in mind when he wrote Phil. 2:12-13, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is Yahveh who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure”.

You might say the Feast of Passover is the first step in our walk with Yah. It relates to our position of justification. The Feast of Unleaveaned Bread and First Fruits symbolize our next two steps. They relate to our condition of sanctification. The Feast of Unleavened bread teaches us to put off the old man by appropriating the finished work of Messiah Yeshua as the true bread of Yahveh who took our sins with Him in the grave.

TRADITION INCORRECTLY STATES

The pastors, preachers, teachers, (proclaimed shepherds), of the mainline churches would have you believe that their Jesus was crucified in the afternoon of a GOOD Friday and rose again early in the morning SUNday. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that if this was correct, it is only two days. Where is the third day? According to their understanding Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on Palm SUNday, the first day of the week. This Palm Sunday is a major event in most churches.

According to the pagan customs, Yeshua celebrated the Last Supper on Thursday night, (5th day), was betrayed and tried early friday morning (6th day), then was crucified on Friday afternoon, was placed in a tomb late Friday, and rose from the dead early SUNday morning on the first day of the week. The simple fact is, none of this silly teaching lines up with the prophesy fulfilled in the spring Feasts that has/had been rehearsed for thousands of years by the oracles of Yah, the Jewish people, and the Messianic Gentiles.

Does this chronology agree with Scripture? The answer is NO. Let us examine the chronology of Messiah’s last week. Matthew 12:40 states that the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Jonah 1:17). This is the sign of Jonah. The only sign Messiah said the people would receive. I interpret this to mean a literal three days and three nights (72 hours in the grave); we have no indication the Messiah intended otherwise. If the Messiah was placed in the grave at the close of Friday, then His resurrection should have been early Tuesday morning. It is obvious that you cannot mathematically get three days and three nights between Friday and early Sunday morning. You cannot count Friday as a full 24 hour day because Messiah wasn’t in the grave all day Friday, and you cannot count Sunday as a full 24 hour day because He wasn’t there early Sunday morning according to Matt. 28:1-6. They say the day that Messiah was resurrected was the first day of the week (SUNday). According to tradition Yeshua entered Jerusalem the previous SUNday and was executed the following Friday. If this is correct, then Yeshua was crucified five days after His entrance into Jerusalem. It just doesn’t ad up, no matter how much you twist it around.

THE SIGN OF JONAH

Lets have a real close look at the bible in regards to the three days so misunderstood by organised religion. Then we will examine Messiah’s last week prior to Calvary.

Yeshua was asked if there would be a sign that He was truly the Messiah, and He said the only sign that they would know of, was the sign of the prophet Jonah, which was the following: Matt. 12:40 "for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." It is made obvious that the three days (see Matt. 26:61/27:40, Mark 15:29) and three nights referred to were referring to the resurrection of Messiah. It clearly states THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS (72 hours) Yeshua would be gone prior to His resurrection. If we take Good Friday evening, (just before sunset) as the time when Messiah was buried, then THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS later would mean that Yeshua was resurrected MONDAY. This is done with obvious simple addition and yet many have accepted SUNday as the day of resurrection. This, in itself is in error of course, because Yeshua was not crucified on Good Friday any ways.

The name Jonah means: Dove. Dove is a Hebrew idiom meaning: "Righteous and Pure." This is a very significant Hebraism that points to the Messiah. Now let us look more closely at Yeshua in the Jordan and maybe we can see something fresh in the Living Word of Yah. The sign of Jonah, the dove, was upon Yeshua from that day in the Garden, i.e. Jordan when he was immersed - baptized. What we are told is that "the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily FORM, like a DOVE upon Yeshua, and a voice - a Bat-Kol (daughters Voice) came from Heaven saying, "Thou art My Beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased." Anyone who was standing by would have seen this great SIGN, and heard the Voice. To some, the Voice may have sounded like thunder, yet I believe from this text in Luke 3:22, many SAW and HEARD the Voice of El Shaddai.

They were looking for the Messiah to come, and many were blessed to see this Sign showing them that Yeshua was a Righteous person, a Dove! The sign of the "Dove" was evident to all who had eyes to see. Even Yeshua knew this sign was unmistakably His. Yeshua explains in Matt. 12:38-41 "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a Sign from thee. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a Sign; and there shall no Sign be given to it, but the Sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented (made tishuvah) at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here."

What we see is that Yeshua Himself speaks that no SIGN was to be given, but the SIGN of Jonah, the Dove. So a Sign was given that day at the Jordan, at the beginning of His 70 week ministry, and the Sign of Jonah would be given one more time at the end of His ministry. And NO OTHER SIGN would Israel be given apart from the Sign of Jonah.

We have no idea as to how many were at the river Jordan on the day of His baptism, but I dare say there were many. I believe YHVH saw fit to open His Sons ministry with many in attendance. Just like Jonah, Yeshua had a MESSAGE from Yahveh, and that message was almost the same, "Shuvah - Repent and turn to Yahveh and His Messiah, the Sent One before judgement falls." Many did return and repent, and many did not.

Look at Yeshua in the garden of Gethsemane, before the agony of the stake, before the SINS of the world were placed on Him. He could have run like Jonah did, but praise Yah, the GREATER Jonah did not! The SIGN of Jonah is a SIGN of the Son of the Living God.

In Lev 23 it lists the seven annual Holy Days. Each of these Holy days was considered a "Sabbath" no-matter what day of the week it occurred on. All "High Days", or annual Sabbaths (except Pentecost, which always occurs on the first day of the week) fell on particular calendar dates rather than set days of the week. John 19:31 "The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high {day} ), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and {that} they might be taken away." This tells us that the body of Messiah was removed from the stake on the preparation day, one day before the ANNUAL SABBATH or HIGH DAY. Messiah kept the Passover/Last Supper (not Seder meal), with His disciples the night before His death, Tuesday, as per Luke 22:15 "And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;" The Passover Feast that year was on Tuesday and it was also the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Messiah died the next day, which was still the day of Passover (14th. of Abib or Nissan as per the Hebrew calendar Lev 23:5). As per Lev 23:6-7 it tells us that the next day, beginning the evening after His crucifixion, was not a WEEKLY Sabbath, but an ANNUAL Sabbath (high/holy day), the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Lev. 23:6-7 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahveh; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work." 1Cor. 15:20 "But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep."

Messiah was crucified at 9:00 am. (Mark 15:25 "And it was the third hour when they crucified Him.") and died at exactly 3:00 pm., that afternoon. He was buried by Joseph prior to sunset, (Mark 15:34 "And at the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" which is translated, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?" on Passover afternoon, which is also the Preparation day for the Annual Sabbath. It is also clear that Messiah was resurrected at the exact same time of day, in the late afternoon. Since the women found Him already gone Sunday morning, we conclude that He was resurrected the Previous afternoon, on SATURDAY. This would mean, without a doubt, that He was buried three days and three nights earlier; WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. Indeed, Passover, Nissan the 14th, that year, A.D. 31 fell on a Wednesday. Yeshua was crucified on a WEDNESDAY (the 14th.) at 9:00 am., (the same time and day that the Passover lambs were slain), as was done on the day when the Jews were told to slaughter a lamb and smear the blood on the door on preparation day (the day before the Passover). Yeshua was also slain like the lamb. Yeshua died on that same day at 3:00 pm. and rose again on SATURDAY (the 17th.) at 3:00 pm. (the day of the Feast of First Fruits) the exact same time of day he died, 72 hours later, as stated in Matt.12:40. Yeshua was divine, He arose from the dead on the divine day of Yahveh, the seventh day of the week (Saturday). All those familiar with what numbers represent in the Bible understand the significance of the number seven. It represents the divine nature of Yahveh, and was the appropriate seventh day of the week that Messiah was resurrected. This was a divinely appointed day of Yahveh, Yah’s sabbath.

THE ACRONYM (EPITATH OF YESHUA)

On a plaque directly above Yeshua’s head on the stake, Pilate had four words inscribed. It read (right to left):
Ha Yehudim vMelech Ha Nazarei Yeshua

If you take the first letter (consonant) from each word and use it as an acronym, it reads correctly “YHVH”. That is why the Pharisees got so upset and told Pilate to change the writing. They realized what it said, and were afraid. Pilate didn’t even realize the acronym he had writen until it was done.

The well known scholars; Cassiodorus, Wescott, Epiphanius, Lactantius and Gregory of Tours all rejected the idea of Yeshua dying on a Friday as misread by most.

Most scholars agree that there is an obvious error in Matt. 28:1 and Mark 16:1, the "Sabbath" written, should be plural. Matt. 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.”

What is the correct day of our Passover Lamb’s execution/sacrifice? Lets quickly go through it again from another angle. In order to figure out when Messiah was risen, we have to establish the day of His resurrection. We must work it out backwards from the order we have in the scriptures. According to Lev. 23:10-11 Messiah, the First fruits from among the dead, had to be resurrected on the day after the high Sabbath during the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

What does Scripture teach? This rehearsal of the slaughter of the lamb was a shadow of the lamb of Yah to come. Exodus 12:3 clearly states that the selection of the lamb occurs on the tenth of the month, and Exodus 12:6 states that the lamb is to be slaughtered at dusk on the fourteenth of the same month. According to Exodus 12 there should only be four days between the selection of the lamb and its slaughter and not five days. John 12:1 indicates that Messiah arrived in Bethany six days before Passover. If John is correct (which I assume he is), then Messiah would have arrived in Bethany on the ninth of Nissan. John 12:12 states that on the next day the Messiah went up to Jerusalem. If Messiah was in Bethany on the ninth, then He must have rode up into Jerusalem on the tenth. On the tenth of Nissan/Abib the high priest would leave the temple and go down to the sheep pens at Bethany to select a lamb for Passover. After the high priest selected the lamb he would return back up to the temple carrying the lamb, least it should stumble and become blemished. Pilgrims who had come up to Jerusalem for the Feast lined the road to praise the lamb that the high priest had selected for Passover. Are you beginning to see the picture? Let’s look at a type here.

Messiah the Lamb of Yahveh comes up from Bethany on the same day and at the same hour as the high priest. But instead of the people praising the high priest’s lamb they were shouting praises to the Messiah and the religious leaders told Messiah to rebuke His disciples (Luke 19:39). After the high priest returned to the temple he would examine his lamb the next four days to insure it was unblemished and fit for sacrifice. During the next four days Messiah too was examined by both the chief priests and the elders (Matt. 21:23-27, 21:15-22, 21:23-33, 21:34-40), and after four days neither they nor Pilate could find any fault with Messiah the Lamb of Yahveh (Mark 12:35 and Luke 23:14).

Now lets dig a little deeper. Heres a nugget most will miss if it is not pointed out to them. John 1:29-31 The next day he saw Yeshua coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of Yah who takes away the sin of the world! “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” As we just previously read, only the High Priest (or a descendent of the High Priest), could ever offer up the Passover lamb at the Temple.

Yeshua came to John at the river Jordan and what does John declare to all those who witnessed Yeshua’s baptism of the Holy Spirit? John The baptist was from the line of the High Priests of Israel. John’s father was Zechariah (Luke 1:5). John had the authority to declare Yeshua as the “Lamb Of Yah” who came to take away the sins of the world. Long before Yeshua’s death, John had proclaimed Him as the shadow of things to come.

Let look at another non-coincidence John The Baptist was born on Passover. The Jews had been expecting the Messiah to come, but they knew according to scripture (Malichi 4:5) that a man had to come to them with the “spirit of Elijah” first. To this very day, the Jewish people still set a plate for Eliyah at the table during Passover. Yeshua revealed John’s having the “spirit of Eliyah” in Matt. 11:14And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Now what day was the Lamb of Yahveh slaughtered? If Messiah was resurrected early on the first day of the week, (Roman/Gregorian Calendar), then we need to count back three days and three nights and we will arrive at Thursday for Messiah’s execution. This is how it would work out if the practices of the pagan churches (proclaimed Christian churches) of the world were correct. Even looking through their eyes, it doesn't work out to a Friday for Calvary.

The Last supper & foot washing will be covered in another post, please watch for it.

Have a great day
Jerry