Passover 2022 Message

(No video today; sorry, but you’ll have to read this one)

As I write this it is the beginning of the 14th day of Nisan 5782, which is the same as the evening of April 14, 2022.

In the morning Jews all over the world will be engaged in preparing for the Seder, and Christians will be preparing for their Good Friday activities. In my house, Donna and I will also be preparing for our Seder, which will be blessed with the addition of a friend of mine from my high school days who lives close by. She is a Gentile and was happy to be invited to join us.

Donna and I have been inviting friends to join our Passover Seder for almost as many years as we have been having one, which is close to some 26 years now- maybe more- and every one who has joined us has been impressed and happy they came.

We use a Messianic Hagaddah, so our Gentile friends, many of whom aren’t “Born Again” get to see how Jesus and Passover go together.

Speaking of which, some will be celebrating Good Friday by having their own version of the Last Supper, but they will not be performing it as Yeshua did. And come Sunday, they will be celebrating his resurrection from the dead, most likely eating the ever-popular Easter Ham, which Yeshua would consider to be an abomination on his table.

Yeshua is often referred to as the Passover Lamb of God, but in truth, he wasn’t the Passover lamb, per se’, because his sacrificial death was a sin sacrifice, and the Passover lamb was not a sin sacrifice- it was a Peace, or Thanksgiving offering.

Read the first 7 chapters of Leviticus, where God gives us the rules for the different sacrifices. The only sacrifice where the person bringing the sacrifice shares in eating of it is the Thanksgiving sacrifice. A portion of the lamb that is sacrificed for Passover is taken home and eaten at the Seder, so this is not a sin or guilt or cleansing sacrifice- it is a Thanksgiving sacrifice.

And that makes sense: after all, having the Angel of Death pass over your house is certainly something to be thankful for, isn’t it?

Yeshua’s sacrifice is more akin to the Yom Kippur sacrifice.

Actually, Yeshua’s sacrifice acts as both the Thanksgiving and sin sacrifice. By means of his substitutionary sacrifice, we no longer need to bring an animal to sacrifice at the Temple, which the Torah required, in order to be forgiven of sin. And, by means of the cleansing blood of the sacrifice, we can be forgiven of our sin and, thereby, draw near to God to commune with him. That is what the Thanksgiving sacrifice was all about, and that is why we shared the meat of that sacrifice, and only that sacrifice; and, not only that, but it was to be eaten in the presence of the holy place.

When archeologists discovered shards of plates and cups all around a high place at a dig in Shiloh many years ago, when they told a Rabbi about it he danced with joy. When they asked why he was so happy, he said that they found the place where the Tent of Meeting had been. He knew that because the broken pieces of plates and cups all around the area, but not on the high ground, meant that sacrifices were eaten there, which meant that had to be the Tent of Meeting (I heard this story from the Israeli guide we had when I was in the Holy Land.)

The Torah, as I mentioned, required the people to sacrifice only where God placed his name, which he commanded in Deuteronomy 12:13-14:

“Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt-offerings in every place that thou seest; but in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt-offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.”

That is why it was so devastating to Jews when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed- that was where God placed his name, and as such was the only place where the sacrifice to remove our sin could take place. With no temple, there was no means of having our sins removed.

That is why Yeshua is now our only means of removing sin: his sacrifice replaced the need to bring an animal to the temple.

Passover always falls on a different day because Jews use the lunar calendar, and Good Friday and Easter are also based on the moon, but in a different way. To determine when Passover begins, the new moon for the month of Nisan (it used to be called Aviv, which means “spring”) is when we start to count. The evening of the 14th day (which begins after sunset of the 13th day) is when we have the Seder, and that is also when we begin Hag HaMatzot, or Festival of Unleavened Bread, which lasts for 7 days.

For Christians, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after 21 March (a fixed approximation of the March equinox). Often Passover and Easter come very close to each other, but rarely ever fall on the same day.

The one significant difference between the Jewish Holy Day (meaning God-commanded) of Pesach and the man-made holiday of Easter is just that- Passover is a Holy Day that God created and Easter is something men created.

God tells us we must celebrate the Passover; in fact, it is one of the three pilgrimage festivals when the people had to go to the temple in Jerusalem. The other two are Shavuot (which Christians celebrate as Pentecost) and Sukkot. That is why, when you read in the Book of Acts, Chapter 2 about the giving of the Spirit to the Apostles, there were thousands of people in Jerusalem.

They weren’t Christians, they were Jews who were there for the commanded appearance for Shavuot. Often when they came for Pesach they just stayed there another 50 days to wait for Shavuot.

There are many people who have been Born Again, especially Gentiles, who have rejected Easter and all the traditional Christian holidays, and celebrate the ones God tells us to celebrate- you can find them in Leviticus 23.

There are many more Christians, Born Again or not, who say that whatever is in the Old Covenant is just for Jews. They seem to ignore the fact that Jesus was, is, and always will be a Torah-observant Jew.

It’s sad that so many people wearing that WWJD bracelet (What Would Jesus Do) have been taught by their religion to do anything BUT what Jesus would do.

I think what pleases God (which would also please Yeshua) more than anything is to do as he said we should do, so I leave it up to you to celebrate what God says to celebrate, or to reject God’s commandments and instead do what men tell you to do.

הג פסח סמח

Hag Pesach sameach! (Happy Passover)

What Happened to the First Commandment?

The 10 Commandments were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, also called Mount Horeb. These commandments, which are often referred to as “The 10 Words” are the keystone for every religion that falls under the general title of Jewish or Christian.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

So, if God gave these 10 commandments to everyone who worships him, why is it that within Christianity, when they list the 10 Commandments, the first commandment that God gave is missing?

“What do you mean, Steve? The first commandment is there, and it says that you shall have no other gods before me.”

You’re right, that is what it says, but that isn’t the first commandment!

I did an Internet search for “What are the 10 Commandments” and this is what I got on the first “hit”, which are the first 2 commandments:

I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. You shall not make to thyself any graven thing; nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. You shall not adore them nor serve them.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

In fact, I went through the first 10 or so results and not even one of them- NOT ONE! – had the first commandment listed.

So, what is this missing, mysterious first commandment? Am I telling you that it isn’t “Thou shall have no other gods before me?”

Yes- that is EXACTLY what I am saying!

Here is the listing of the first commandment, directly from the Torah, which is what God told Moses to write down (Exodus 20):

After searching far and wide on the Internet, I finally found this when asking for the Hebrew commandment from the Torah.

The first commandment that God gave to Moses is NOT about having any other gods before him- that is in the second commandment. The first commandment, the very first thing that God, himself, thought to be the most important thing to learn is that he is the LORD, our God, who brought us out of slavery!

So why is it that Christianity, which is supposed to be worshipping the same God Jews worship, have not just rejected, but totally erased from God’s commandments the first one he gave, and replaced it by splitting the second commandment into two different ones?

The probable answer, if you ask me, is that by the end of the First Century the original Messianic Jews who accepted Yeshua as their Messiah had died off, and the number of Gentiles accepting Yeshua (at that time being called Jesus) overwhelmed the Jews within this movement, which was being transformed into a totally new religion.

You see, because of the political issues the Jewish population was having with Rome, these new Gentile Believers did not want to be associated with the Jews. As Roman citizens (supposedly) worshipping the Roman gods, they were safe; however, worshipping as the Jews did meant they would probably be considered by Rome as Jews, and that put them in a tenuous position.

So, the Gentile leaders of what was now called Christianity started to change their form of worship, beginning with celebrating the Shabbat on Sunday (which was a Roman day of celebration) and rejecting most of the Jewish lifestyle, such as kosher laws and the Holy Days. Later on, by the time Constantine got involved, Christianity became a totally different religion.

Knowing the history, we can understand why these Christians wanted to seem separate from the Jewish population, and the best way to do that was to remove any reference to being God’s chosen people. By removing the first commandment and replacing it with the first part of the second commandment, they completely disassociated themselves from the God of the Jews.

Later, when they decided that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit were really all the same entity, they could justify worshiping Jesus as God without violating their first commandment.

The result is that today, Christians have no relationship at all to the God of the Jews and within most of the different Christian religions, they have replaced Adonai completely with Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but from what I have read in the Gospels about Yeshua (Jesus’ real name) and his devotion to his father, I would guess that what modern Christianity has done probably doesn’t go over very well with Yeshua, and especially not with God.

I can’t speak for either of them, but I am pretty sure that God doesn’t like the idea that men changed his commandments, and I’ll also bet the farm that Yeshua is teed-off that men have replaced worship of his father with worship of him.

I have often seen or heard Christians saying that when a Gentile accepts Jesus as their Messiah, they are now a spiritual son or daughter of Abraham, yet in the very same breath they reject the God of Abraham by rejecting his Torah worshiping Jesus.

Worse than that, if you can get any worse, they profess to follow the 10 Commandments but have deleted the first commandment, which is the one that tells us who is our God!

How can anyone say they worship God by deleting the commandment that tells us who he is?

That’s a question I really can’t answer.

Oh, yes, we know that they didn’t want to be associated with Jews, but that doesn’t excuse removing one of his 10 commandments.

In Matthew 7:21-23, Yeshua says that many who call him “Lord” will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. More than that, Yeshua will say he never knew them! How can that be?

Well, maybe it’s because they erased a commandment God gave, replaced God’s Holy Days with man-made holidays, and worship him instead of his father?

Maybe Yeshua will reject those who are totally obedient to whichever sect of Christianity they follow because by doing so they reject nearly everything God said to do?

Maybe God will reject Jews obedient to the Torah but who have rejected Yeshua as their Messiah?

It’s not my call who God will accept or reject; but, based on what God tells us in the Torah, on what Yeshua taught, on how mainstream Judaism has taught us to reject Yeshua, and how Christianity has rejected God’s commandment and (within many Christian religions) even replaced him with his son, well…I believe it safe to say that those things ain’t gonna please either God or Yeshua.

And when the Acharit HaYamim (the End Days) are upon us and we find ourselves in front of God on his Throne of Judgment, when we say “But, Lord, that is what they told me I should do!”, I believe he will say something to the effect of:

“I understand that is what they told you to do, but it is what I say that counts!”

When we come before God for judgment, and Yeshua is standing to the right of God, he will either say “This one is mine, Father” or “I never knew you.”

So, you can choose to follow the religion of men, or you can choose to obey God, and that decision will determine which one of those statements you will hear.

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That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!