Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

The New Testament Passover

Correcting Misconceptions

The New Testament Passover
Bread and Wine

Article Preview: There has long been confusion over the night of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) bread, wine and foot washing ceremony. Was Yeshua celebrating the ancient Israelite Passover a day early as a “New Testament Passover”, or on the original day, or not at all? This treatise resolves many Scriptural issues. The Scriptures cannot be broken. Here is some missing harmony. But with this explained, fascinating new implications come to light—that will hopefully affect you the next time you take the symbols of His body and blood.

As we prepare to study the New Testament Passover, let’s review the major points that were demonstrated in When did Ancient Israel Keep the Passover?

Previously we looked into the word translated “evening” (at even, etc., Strong’s # 6153). At the onset of our investigation into this word, for the purpose of this summary, we did not object to its meaning possibly including the period of time immediately after sunset, which we typically call “dusk”, or “twilight”. Considering the conclusion of our previous investigation, we hope that it is now apparent to everyone that the parameters of the time period, covered by the Hebrew word (#6153) and translated into the English as “evening”, (or any of it related expressions) may include any time from noon through sunset. It is often a direct reference to sunset specifically, but it can also be shown to be referring to other times of the afternoon, depending upon the context of the verse. We also hope that we have demonstrated to you that the word, “evening”, never includes any time after sunset. A simple study of the 137 uses of this word in the “Old Testament” will demonstrate this. Not one reference can be proven to include so much as a single second of time after sunset. We may have always assumed that it had in the past, but upon closer examination, we must concede that is does not include time “after” sundown. Please consider all 137 appearances of “ereb”. Must any of them to be at night, or after sundown? Could not all of them just as easily be between noon and sundown? Thus, we can see that anytime that there is “evening”, there must also be daylight and the sun cannot have set below the horizon. What this means, upon honest evaluation, is that “evening”, in the Bible, is actually the latter part of the 24 hour day that ends when the last ray from the setting sun has been extinguished below the horizon. A new 24 hour “day” is then begun at the completion of the setting sun. (Further scriptural evidence of precisely when the Biblical day is begun is contained later in this article). Therefore, if the sun has just finished setting, and is no longer visible, then it can no longer be “evening” (#6153) because the “Biblical evening” ended when the sunset was completed.


Those of us who speak English have a difficult time relating to another language as we tend to operate where we are most comfortable, which in most our cases is strictly with our mother tongue, English. We also then tend to presume that even a word correctly translated into English must, or will, carry with it all, or at least most of, any other of the possible “definitions” of English, whether or not they exist in the Hebrew or Greek. This proclivity has contributed to misunderstandings that the minds of even the sharpest teachers, who were in Pasadena, and elsewhere, right up to the present time, have been prone to overlook entirely. In English, we consider “evening” to be any time beginning in the “late” afternoon and extending through a few hours after sunset into the nighttime. Even within the United States, “evening” is somewhat ambiguous. However, when we are using a much less familiar language, whether in speaking or writing, it can readily lead to misunderstandings such as have occurred with “evening”, in which there is no direct English equivalent. Thus, even though the English word “evening” includes the period of time AFTER sunset, the Hebrew word (#6153) NEVER does.

The general sequence of events of the Passover in ancient Israel, as was covered in the previous article, explained that the sacrifice of the Passover lamb took place in the late afternoon toward the end of the 14th day of the month “at even” (#6153). The blood was splashed onto the houses at that time and the roasting of the lambs, if it had even begun before sunset, would more than likely have stretched into the early night of the 15th. At this point in time, AFTER the sunset that started the 15th, the Israelites began their meal, which consisted of the roasted lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. They then remained in their homes all night (#3915) until at least the sunrise of the 15th, and during the middle of that night (#3915) the “Destroyer” passed through the land of Egypt. After the sun was up on the 15th, the Israelites began their journey out of Egypt. In Deuteronomy 16:1 we explained that the verb “brought forth”, (because of the verb stem for that usage in that particular verse), actually refers to the time of the “event”, the passing over of the “Destroyer”, which made it possible for Israel to finally be released by Pharaoh. “Brought forth” does not refer, as we have thought in the past, to the time in which the Israelites physically walked out of Egypt. In literal fact, the WCG “explanation” is in reality “prohibited” in the Hebrew! The Israelites actually began their exodus from Egypt after the sunrise of the 15th, again, because the “Destroyer” had passed through during the night of the 15th.

The Overlooked “Hiphil” Verb Stem, the 15th, the “Destroyer”, and the “Exodus”: There Can Be No Doubt About the Timing Now.

One further comparison of three scriptures will clarify this. The comparison is between Exodus 12; Numbers 33; and Deuteronomy 16. Beginning in Exodus 12 we read of the instructions Moses gave to Israel as he received them from the Eternal. Notice in particular verses 12-20.

Exodus 12:12-20 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 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, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 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, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of 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 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. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

This particular portion of scripture creates numerous difficulties for anyone trying to support the old WCG doctrinal position that most of us are familiar with. The subject contained in these verses, and essentially all of chapter 12, is that of the “Destroyer” and the Days of Unleavened Bread, again with special emphasis and instruction for the First Day of Unleavened Bread. Why is that such a problem? This chapter makes the day (verse 14) that the Destroyer passed through Egypt a part of the ordinance that Israel was to keep and observe (keep, guard, observe, give heed) forever. This chapter also establishes the Feast of Unleavened Bread, including the first and seventh days as Holy Days. Furthermore, it includes the establishment of Unleavened Bread as a “feast”, or chag in the Hebrew. There are several reasons why is this a problem! First of all, in verse 17, we find that the verb, “brought” is #3318, and just as in Deuteronomy 16:1, it is in the “hiphil” verb form, or “verb stem”. This indicates that the meaning of verse 17 can ONLY be referring to the time of the “cause”, again, that is the “Destroyer” that made it possible for Israel to depart from Egypt. According to Hebrew grammar it cannot be referring to the actual time of their departure!

Another problem is found in verse 14. The “night” that the Destroyer passed through was to be a “memorial” and Israel was to keep it as a chag (feast) forever. Well, if the Destroyer passed through during the night of the 14th, then anyone supporting the Jewish calendar has a serious dilemma. How can they justify “keeping”. a different time than the Jews? Actually, all of Israel, not just the Jews, was commanded to “guard” (vs. 17, observe is shamar-guard, keep, observe, take heed) this time and night forever. If Passover should be observed on the night of the 14th, then the Jews do not comply! Have the Jews failed to “preserve the oracles of God”? Yet, these same individuals will testify that the Jews have “preserved” the Sabbath and Holy Days, sort of anyway, and we are to look to them for Divine understanding. Both approaches cannot be right, however both could be wrong.

Furthermore, this night, along with the entire 24-hour day that this night is a part of, is a chag. This presents two additional problems for the old teaching. Please notice the following scriptures relevant to chags. Leviticus lists two of the chags which Moses was to “proclaim” to all of Israel, namely, Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles. Deuteronomy 16:10 introduces Pentecost as a chag feast as well. A further comparison of Lev. 23:6,34,39; Numbers 28:17; & 29:12; Deuteronomy 16:10,13,14,16 reveals that there are only three distinct chags mentioned in the entire Bible. They are, 1) the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 2) the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and 3) the Feast of Tabernacles. Interestingly enough, the Day of Trumpets is not a chag, it is a “Holy Day” (“mow’ed” #4150), but it is not a chag (#2282) feast day, nor is Atonement or the Last Great Day, although both are holy “mow’ed” days. These scriptures state that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is specifically to be commemorated for seven days and all seven days are a part of the chag. The Feast of Weeks is only a single day, but the Feast of Tabernacles is also a “seven”-day chag feast. The Eighth day is holy and a “mow’ed” (a “mow’ed” is only holy when made so by God), but not a part of the chag. Should anyone desire a more detailed explanation, please feel free to contact us concerning this matter, however, we believe that we have referenced a sufficient number of scriptures to initiate a beneficial personal study. Asking the right questions is half of the battle.

The first problem is that this chag (Exodus 12:14) that includes the “Night of Watchings”, when the Destroyer passed through Egypt, is a part of the seven day long chag of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Nowhere is the 14th of the month specified to be included in any chag. Please compare Lev.23:6, Numbers 28:17, Deuteronomy 16:3, and Exodus 12:15.

Leviticus 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

Numbers 28:17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast : seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

Deuteronomy 16:3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

Exodus 12:15 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.

The first day of eating unleavened bread is the 15th, not the 14th. Yet HWA/WCG had taught that the Destroyer came on the 14th-but the Days of Unleavened Bread do not begin until the 15th. This leads to the question of whether we were to eat unleavened bread for “seven” or “eight” days. Many wondered just what Exodus 12:18-20 really meant:

Exodus 12:18-20 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19, Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20, Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

Were they to be “unleavened” on the 14th, as well? The church acknowledged that Atonement was to be kept on the 10th day of the seventh month (Numbers 29:7 and Leviticus 23:27). So when Leviticus 23:32 states, It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath-they had no difficulty determining that “the ninth day” “at even, from even to even”, actually means the 10th day of the month and nothing more! However, probably because they were committed to a doctrine, they determined to find another way around Exodus 12:18. They persuaded us to believe that the 14th “at even” was the beginning of the 14th rather than the end, as “at even” is observed for Atonement. This very inconsistent doctrine also led to confusion over the church’s treatment of the 14th. Was it a “feast” day or not? Yet, oddly enough, there was no real question that the 14th was not a Holy Day. This led to much more confusion in the church, at least for those who studied into the subject. Many, even today, are perfectly content with the old doctrine, but is this because they have studied into the “teaching” of the church and not the “teaching” of the Bible? It also led to much discomfort as many wondered whether it was acceptable to eat pancakes for breakfast, or a hamburger for lunch on the day “after” receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, but still before the beginning of the 15th. Many have felt a little “guilty” and uneasy about that “in between” time.

Still another problem arose due the WCG teaching, which tried to harmonize the “passover” with the New Covenant ceremony. Since the “old” Passover was a chag (festival) and everyone was to participate, including men, women, children, and the strangers within your gates, in other words, those willing to be led by the God of Israel, then why did WCG only allow “baptized” members to partake of the “New Covenant” ceremony which they thought was to commemorate the very night that the “Destroyer” passed over? It was not possible to keep it both ways. The chag required the presence of all Israel, while the “new” ceremony excluded all “others”. Of course this problem vanishes when the two nights (the night the Destroyer passed over and the night Christ instituted the ceremony of the bread and wine) are two different nights and commemorate two separate events. Also, in Exodus 12:17 we read that this memorial, from verse 14, is carried over to be both, the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread, and the “selfsame” day that the “destroyer” passed over (again the “hiphil” of “brought” refers to the cause of their armies being able to come out of Egypt). By comparing Exodus 12:8-20 and 37-42 (in verse 42 “bringing” is #3318 and is “hiphil” verb stem), with Deuteronomy 16:1, and then Numbers 33.3 we will see two things that must be acknowledged. First, that Israel left Egypt on the same day that the Destroyer passed through. Remember that Exodus 12:37 and Numbers 33:3 agree as to the departure from Rameses and Numbers 33:3 gives the “day” that they left, the 15th. Exodus 12:17 and Deuteronomy 16:1 (“brought [you] forth” is also a “hiphil” verb stem and therefore references the “cause” of Israel’s release, hence the Destroyer, and cannot refer to the time they left Egypt) reveals that this day is also the same calendar “day” that the “Destroyer” passed over. None of this occurred on the 14th; it was all on the 15th. The only event that occurred on the 14th was the slaying, or “sacrifice” of the “passover” lamb, and that was at the end of the 14th.

In addition, Israel left in haste and they were indeed “thrust” out, just as it states in Exodus.

A comparison of Exodus 12:11, 33, 39; Deutonomy 16:3 and Isaiah 52:12:

Exodus 12:39 For ye shall not go out with haste , nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward (rear guard).

A close examination of Deuteronomy 16:3 reveals that the word “haste” refers to the actual “walking” out of Egypt. In Isaiah 52:12, God is telling Israel that at the time of the return of Christ, when Zion is re-gathered, they will not be “thrust out” of captivity as they were aforetime in Egypt. God is making a point in Isaiah that this exodus will be different in several respects from the one made from Egypt so long ago, and that one of those differences is that this time they will not leave in “haste”. Exodus 12:39 states that Israel was indeed “thrust out” and that they “could not tarry”. They could not have lingered throughout the 14th to get goods from the Egyptians because the Bible says that they were “thrust out”, lingering was not necessary anyway. The verb “mood” in Hebrew (our English “tense”) in Exodus 12:36 for the verb “gave” is “perfect” and represents a “completed” action. In English this would place it into what we would generally consider the “past”. It would be better rendered as “had given”. Therefore, if the Destroyer had passed over on the 14th then Israel would have been thrust out on the 14th as well. Yet we have just listed several scriptures that confine the God ordained “thrust out” to the 15th. This reveals two things; one relates to the WCG teaching and the other relates to “just when does the day start”. These scriptures confirm that the WCG’s traditional timetable for these events is not possible. The scriptures also pose a bit of a problem for those who believe that the day begins at dawn and that “night follows day”. How? Because these scriptures positively identify, and confine the events of the “night” of the “Destroyer”, and the actual physical departure of Israel from Egypt, and the First Day of Unleavened Bread to all being within the “selfsame day”. No one objects to the fact that the Destroyer passed over at “night”, but both of these groups (old WCG and “night follows day advocates”) claim that these events took place over the course of two separate days, specifically the 14th and 15th. These scriptures preclude any alternative to the explanation that these “events” all took place on the very same calendar day. Since Israel could not leave before the Destroyer made their departure possible, Israel had to leave after the night of the “Destroyer”, or the “Night of Watchings” was passed. To be specific, Israel walked out of Egypt (Rameses/Goshen) on the 15th, after dawn, the First Day of Unleavened Bread that was both a chag and a holy “mow’ed”.

Notice these quotes from Exodus:

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 [Qal verb stem. This means that “went out” can only refer to the physical exiting of Egypt by Israel] from the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:42 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.

[Bringing”, in this instance, uses the hiphil verb stem. This means that “bringing” refers to the “cause” that enabled the exodus to become possible and NOT the physical exiting of Israel.]

Exodus 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame 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.

[The hiphil verb stem used here means that “brought” can only refer to the “cause” of their being able to leave and not to “when” they left.]

Numbers 33:3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

(The “qal” verb stem of “went out” requires that the verb must be understood to refer only to the physical exiting of Israel. In addition, please review other “morrow” scriptures and you will find that it simply means: the next day, or the morning after an event. This does not necessarily have to mean the next calendar day and in this particular verse it simply cannot, due to the verb stem of #3318 which places the physical exodus on the 15th.)

The specificity of these four verses limit the timing of BOTH the “Destroyer” and the physical exiting, or walking out of Egypt to having occurred on the “selfsame” day (the Destroyer at night and the “exodus” the following morning). This day marked the very same day of the year that Abram entered the Promised Land, 430 years earlier. This is just as God had promised Abraham, and that ’same day’ is the 15th. In particular, Exodus 12:17 establishes the timing of the “First Day of Unleavened Bread”, which is the 15th day of the month, as being the same “day” that included the “Destroyer” passing through during its night.

Was the “Last Supper” eaten on the Same Night the “Destroyer” Passed Over in the “Old Covenant Passover”?

Now let’s set a few things in order as they relate to the “New Covenant” ceremony that Christ instituted.

In the prior article that led to this sequel, we noted that the only reason given for eating unleavened bread with the lamb was that it was eaten during the Days of Unleavened Bread (i.e. Deuteronomy 16:3). Remember that the lamb was to be eaten in “haste” because the “Destroyer” would be passing through the land during that very night (Exodus 12:11-12). The unleavened bread was eaten in “haste” to represent the actual “exodus” of Israel from Egypt. The bread is not “dependent” upon the lamb-it is “dependent” upon the seven days of eating only bread without leavening in it. Thus, even Exodus 34:25 fails to establish a New Testament Passover connection between the lamb and the unleavened bread, as we have always assumed.

Exodus 34:25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.

See also Exodus23:18.

Exodus 23:18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

Neither of these verses offers any proof that the reason for eating unleavened bread with the Old Covenant Passover (lamb) had anything to do with the lamb itself. Rather, the connection established is the fact that the lamb was to be consumed during the Days of Unleavened Bread!

Furthermore, it should be noted that God referenced NOT eating “leavened bread” (same word in both verses, but translated as “leaven” in Exodus34) to when they were to “eat” the lamb. The literal English words expressed here do not convey a realistic understanding of the meaning intended. Just what does it mean to “not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread”? From the Hebrew, and by applying simple rules of grammar, we can discern that to “offer the blood” would be better stated as “slay and pour out the blood”. Then we must ask, “What does killing the lamb have to do with eating bread?” The answer is- nothing. When we consider the numerous other Old Covenant Passover scriptures, we are left to conclude that this expression is not referring to “when” the lamb is killed so much as it is referring to “when the lamb is eaten, which is “during” the Days of Unleavened Bread. Isn’t God simply pointing out the necessity of worshiping Him in “spirit” AND “in truth”? In other words, what good would it do for an Israelite to eat the lamb on the right day, but then not keep the holy “Feast” day properly by consuming “leavened” bread during it? Wouldn’t that be an affront to the true and living God of Israel? How could God accept that kind of behavior? How could one even call himself an Israelite and not obey the God of Israel? Hopefully you can see the reasoning here.

Let’s notice one more “Old Testament” scripture before we deliberate on the “New Testament” and see just what is expected of us when commemorating the “New Testament” Passover.

Leviticus 16:7-19 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. 11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: 12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: 13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18 And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. 19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

On the surface, this “Atonement” scripture has no apparent direct connection with the Old Covenant Passover, but could it shed any understanding for us that might pertain to how we, as Christians, ought to keep the New Testament Passover? Perhaps it does.

We have always understood that the goat that was sent into the wilderness represented Satan, right? Next, have we not also understood that the other goat, the one upon whom the “lot” fell, was for the Lord (verses 8 & 9) and that that goat symbolically represented the sacrifice that was to be made by Jesus Christ? Now there were two goats used. Which one represented the sin offering? Verse 9 tells us that the one used for the sin offering was the one that was the Lord’s goat. When Jesus Christ was crucified, nearly 2,000 years ago, wasn’t His sacrifice a sin offering? Didn’t Jesus Christ “offer” Himself up as a sacrifice in payment of OUR sins? Wasn’t Jesus Christ Himself the ultimate “sin offering”? Some in the Churches of God argue that the “passover” lamb had to be a “lamb” and could not have been a goat because of the somewhat aggressive “nature” of the goat (another old WCG thought). These same individuals then have no problem with a goat representing Christ in this example on Atonement. Yet, is not Christ represented by a goat here and a lamb for “Passover”? There does not appear to have been any restriction or conflict Biblically with using a lamb or goat for “Passover” in ancient Israel, as a thorough comparison with Exodus 12:5 and related scriptures will indicate. Now, to add to that, isn’t Jesus Christ our “Passover”?

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us ....

There is a connection between the Old Covenant Passover and the New Covenant Passover, but it may not be connected in the way we thought it was.

Many of God’s people today have been taught and believe that the New Covenant Passover is a “changed”, or somewhat “updated” version of the Old Covenant Passover. Because of this preconceived connection to the past, they are left with a dilemma. How could Christ “keep” or participate in the last “Passover” of His life on the “same night in which He was betrayed”, and still be our “Passover Offering” by dying when the “Passover” lambs were being sacrificed in Israel (or Jerusalem, if you will)? This is a conundrum, which poses a question impossible to answer. There is no conceivable scenario, which could occur allowing both events to fulfill the presumed requirements. Christ could only fulfill one or the other of the fulfillments, but not both. Yet, according to the church’s teaching, Christ did, sort of, fulfill both simultaneously. This would technically require that Christ simultaneously be the “offering” and “change the symbols” at the same time, on the night He was betrayed. This is because the WCG taught that this “last supper” was the correct night (the beginning of the 14th) for the slaying of the “passover” lamb in Israel and that the “Jews” were somehow a day later than the “correct” day (night). So the church explained that Christ “changed” the symbols at the very time that Israel “should” have been killing the lambs. In other words, the church taught that the “Jew’s” were slaying the lambs “on” the 15th, after sundown, while the church also explained that Israel “should” slay the lamb at the beginning of the 14th after sundown. Neither of these explanations was correct!

Much speculation has been presented by the church and supporters of the old WCG teaching about “Passover” pertaining to the differences between the many different “sects” and groups at the time of Christ. A particularly onerous supposition maintains that some of these “splinter” groups “kept” the “Passover” and other Holy Days at different times, according to each groups’ respective teaching or belief. While this may or may not have been as prevalent as some would have you believe, there does appear to be a complete absence from scripture on any of these “supposed” conflicts and disparities. In particular, there is not even one scripture that can be cited which would support anyone keeping any other day for “Passover” than the one recognized and observed throughout the land at the time of Christ and the Apostles. We would all agree that Christ would not “keep” the wrong day for any of His Father’s “Feasts” or “Holy Days”, wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t this have been a major point for Christ to address when He decried the “scribes and Pharisees”? He “Woe’d” them on practically everything else, including much lesser “doctrines”. They were concerned about the smallest of points, remember the “tithe of mint…“:

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Those people were not about to overlook anything of detail. They knew the “jots” and “tittle’s” of the law. Their problem was attitude, not specifics. If they had been “off” a day on the “Passover” or any other of the “Holy Days” then how can we justify Christ “overlooking” such a major error. Why not address such an important and divisive issue, unless there was no division in the first place. Imagine the heyday that His enemies would have had if He had been supporting alternative Holy Days! This is not to say that problems and conflicts did not arise later, but that the “calendar” problems and conflicts did not arise until after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The emperor of Rome disbanded the “Sanhedrin” and no body of leaders of any kind was allowed until about 135 AD. At that time the emperor did allow a “group” of Jews to form an organization, in name only, and without any judicial authority. It was comprised of “Rabbis” (formerly known as “Pharisees”), which took for their name, “Sanhedrin”. Thus, this later “Sanhedrin” had no relationship at all with the Sanhedrin extant at the time of Christ. Absent from this later group were the aristocratic and educated Sadducees. This “new” Sanhedrin did to the Jewish religion what the “Tkachians” did to the WCG.

So, back to the question about whether Christ would keep the right “Passover”. Did He know which day to keep and was He taught the correct day and time and place? Let’s consider Luke 2.

Luke 2:40-42 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 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.

Luke recorded that Christ was “filled with wisdom” and kept the same holy days as His parents. From scripture it would appear that Joseph and Mary had no trouble knowing which days to keep and that they were keeping the same days as everyone else.

Much attention has been focused on the use of identifying the Passover as, “the Jew’s Passover”. In the gospel of John he constantly and consistently made reference after reference to the “Jew’s” this or that.

John 7:2 Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.

Does this infer that we are not to keep the Feast of Tabernacles when the Jew’s did in the time of Christ? Do we have any scripture to show us that John did not keep the Feast at the same time as his contemporary “Jew’s”? Any “feasts”? (Note: This would mean that John and the other disciples kept the wrong day or days all of their respective lives until Christ “straightened” them out about the correct timing.)

Consider these scriptures.

John 2:13 And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem ....

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

John 7:11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Why did Jesus go up to Jerusalem to keep Passover on the “wrong” day? (John 2:13) He didn’t!

Jesus was in Jerusalem “at the Passover, in the feast day”, but are we to believe that it was the “wrong” feast day? (John 2:23) It wasn’t!

The Jew’s were looking for Him at the “feast” because He went to Jerusalem for the Feast. Were they looking there at the wrong time? Didn’t He attend there? (John 7:11) It was the right time and He attended there, as was His custom!

Why would John say that it was “six” days before the “passover” if it was really five or seven, or some other number of days? Why bother with an erroneous specific time reference decades after the event? Why not clarify which Passover he meant, unless no other specification was needed, beyond “six” days? (John 12:1)

In John 13:1, (quoted above) John stated that this night of the “last” meal with the disciples was “before” the “feast” of the Passover. Remember that the simplest meaning of “Passover”, as derived from the Hebrew, is merely a reference to the animal sacrifice for the night of the “Destroyer”. This point was elaborated on in the earlier article. So, the night of the meal, spoken of by John in this chapter, could not have been “the” passover meal which was commanded to be kept by God at the exodus, if it were then why didn’t John say, “It was the Passover”? After all, the meal was ready at the timeframe John gave, and that timeframe was “the same night in which He was betrayed”, as Paul recorded. This also would have to be the case if the WCG concept were true that the “Passover” is a “day” because it cannot be both “before” the day and the day, can it? They cannot have it both ways. Is it justifiable to call it a day some of the time and an event on a day at other times, when they need to, in order to “preserve” their doctrine?

The “feast” (of the Passover) referred to in John 13:1 above, is “heorte” in the Greek and it applies to the First Day of Unleavened Bread. In this verse, “heorte” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew chag. We have previously explained chags and the Greek word applies, as the Hebrew chag would, in the use of “heorte”. As previously demonstrated, this day would be the 15th day of the first month. Thus, John stated that the “First Day of Unleavened Bread” falls after this night. Notice that the scripture says that Christ knew that His “hour was come”. John recorded that Christ knew the “day” of His death had come, which was the 14th, and that this night, the night of the meal in question, was “before” the 15th, or before the night, which would begin the 15th. Since it was already the “night” of the meal in question, it could not possibly have been the night of the 15th. It had to be the night that “began” the 14th. That was the night that began the day on which He would die as a sin sacrifice for us, the 14th.

John 13:1 reveals much information concerning the understanding of the 14th and 15th. According to John, Christ kept a meal with His disciples that was one full day before the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This meal was not the “Passover” meal of the “Old Covenant” because it was eaten on the 14th and not the 15th. The “passover lamb” would be sacrificed later on the 14th, toward the end of the day, just before the beginning of the 15th. The former WCG explanation was that the lambs were to be slain during the beginning of the 14th at the same time of this particular meal. They taught that Christ was “keeping” the Passover meal of the Old Covenant on that very night, and that “after” He had eaten the lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs, He changed the Old Covenant symbols into the “new” symbols of the “bread and wine”. This is exactly where that doctrine got off track. Not taken into account was consideration that it might not be the way that they thought it was because of prior misunderstandings concerning the timing of the Old Covenant Passover, as previously explained. They were certain that they had it right and that Christ was “keeping” the “old” Passover when He instituted the new symbols. We can now see that this was all in error, it was sincerely wrong, but erroneous nonetheless. Since Christ was not keeping the “old” Passover, because it was not eaten until the next night, it would have been impossible for Him to have “changed” the symbols of the “passover” when He is not keeping the “old” symbols anyway. It wasn’t even possible to keep the “old” symbols if it was on the wrong day, was it? Even if one were to eat the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, if it was not on the “covenanted” night, how could it have had any meaning at all? It would have simply been a nice meal with unleavened bread and herbs. Would God “accept” our “keeping” of the Sabbath on a Friday or a Sunday, or on any day other than the seventh day? Isn’t this the logic we have used against the keepers of Christmas, who even when knowing that Christ was not born in the winter, insist on keeping December 25th anyway? We have always concluded that even if we were to celebrate the birth of Christ, what good does it do to celebrate it on a day of our own choosing, which is in turn the “wrong” day as well? Whenever one knowingly “observes” a wrong day, he is worshiping God in vain, is he not?

One other point can be made with respect to this scripture in John 13:1.This scripture also prevents any possibility that the “night He was betrayed” was any sooner than the 14th. If one were to put forward the erroneous premise that the beginning of the 14th was the “correct” “old” Passover time, then a “timing” problem still remains. That is because the “meal”, during that night, was still before any “Passover”, regardless of when the Passover might have been. The “before the Passover” statement evidences this, again. If the night of the 14th had been the Passover, then that night in John had to be the night of the 13th, since it was already night, and the meal was ready. The simple explanation is that John knew exactly what he was describing, and stated it plainly for us. It is only when we have a preconceived idea, which must be forced into this verse, that we have confusion.

Still another point can also be made from this. For those who might try to explain that this verse means the “Feast of Passover”, and that the “Feast of Passover” was “on” or at the “beginning” of the 14th, during the night, while the Feast of Unleavened Bread” was on the 15th, we still have a problem. The problem is the same problem mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Whatever meal was involved was still one day “before” whatever “feast” one might wish to claim John was speaking about. Some feel that the “Feast of the Passover”, which is a chag feast, is an entirely separate “feast” from the chag Feast of Unleavened Bread. This comes from an interpretation of Exodus 34:25 to “prove” that there had been two different “days”.

Exodus 34:25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.

If one believes that the ancient Israelites killed the lamb at the beginning of the 14th, then that “understanding” would certainly require that there had been two different days involved and that the “feast of Passover” had been on the 14th, and that the “feast of unleavened bread” had started on the 15th. However, besides the numerous scriptures to the contrary, which have already been presented, what is one to do with Ezekiel 45:21?

Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

Ezekiel stated that the “passover”, which is the same as the “feast (chag) of the Passover”, begins a “feast of seven days”, in which unleavened bread shall be eaten. The simple reason for this misunderstanding is that the “passover sacrifice” which was killed at the end of the 14th was eaten during the beginning of the 15th, when unleavened bread is to be eaten, problem solved. The “First Day of Unleavened Bread” which is a chag is also the chag of the Passover because the chag of the Passover was eaten on the chag of the “First Day of Unleavened Bread”. Wouldn’t this be the reason that in the writings of the “New Testament”, Luke would state in chapter 22, and verse one, “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover”?

To briefly summarize John’s statement, notice that the “Jew’s” knew that Jesus would be at these Feasts. There is no indication that they thought that He might have been keeping some other set of days, or that He might be “a day off” from them. Even as John wrote this gospel account several decades after the events of that time, John completely ignored the opportunity to set the record straight concerning the Jew’s Holy Days and the Church’s. There are differences between the Jew’s reckoning and true Christians today, but that was brought on by the “changes” in Jewry and the “latter” Sanhedrin, which occurred after the first century, and in particular the “changes” incorporated and enforced in the fourth century.

Should we consider the “other” scriptures? It is interesting how we humans tend to use a particular scripture that might tend to “support” our premise, while often “ignoring” or dismissing another that might not be so convenient for us. The WCG teaching seems silent on a number of scriptures that mention the Passover.

Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?

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?

Luke 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed.

The above scriptures appear to be contradictory. They can neither be used to support nor disprove anything. How can you have the Days of Unleavened Bread start before the “Passover”? You can’t! Therefore, all parties must conclude that something got lost in the translation, which is exactly the case. A closer look into the Greek will reveal this, and the fact is that these scriptures do not place “passover” after Unleavened Bread. However, after assessing the “correct” translations, one can find no support for any “disproof” of the Jew’s Passover being at the wrong time, or on the wrong day. Thus, any other scriptures one might care to mention cannot “disprove” the “Jew’s” timing of their observance of Passover and Unleavened Bread. One final point on this to remember is that regardless of any “supposed” interpretation that would attempt to “prove” that the local people were busy “killing” lambs at this time, but the “official” lambs would not be killed until later, cannot hold up against the scriptures from John mentioned earlier. Since the Bible cannot contradict itself, meaning, for example, that Mark 14:12 cannot contradict John 13:1, we must look for a simpler way to reconcile the apparent scriptural discrepancies.

About the only difficult scripture remaining that one might attempt to use in an attempt to disprove a late 14th sacrifice is found in Luke.

Luke 22:8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.

This can be resolved in a couple of ways. The implication here is that this verse “plainly” states that Christ intended to “keep” the “passover” (of ancient Israel) on that very night, at the beginning of the 14th. The first question one must ask is a question we were taught to ask years ago by Herbert Armstrong. If faced with a scripture, which seems to contradict several other “plain” scriptures, as we have attempted to make “plain” for you in these two articles, then there must be another explanation for that “difficult” scripture. Although some would surely argue that since this appears to be a very “plain” scripture, that maybe we should reinterpret the “other” scriptures by this one. The difficulty that this presents is interesting from a logical point of view. First of all, there are dozens and dozens of scriptures which have thus far been presented, analyzed, and demonstrated to support the “late” 14th slaying of the lamb, etc. with not one single Old Covenant scripture to the contrary. By the way, if you think that you can prove the prior scriptures in these two articles in error, please be sure to let us know. It is your duty as a brother, is it not? Secondly, if one were to maintain that this verse “plainly” states that Christ was going to “keep” the Passover that night, it raises the question of just how “plain” is this scripture really, since it appears to contradict so many other scriptures. The “plainness” of this scripture is called into question, so let’s consider what the options are. With the word for “passover” being the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word, and assuming that the rest of the verse is reasonably well translated, then we have, at first glance, two opposite alternatives. Either the scripture means that Christ would “keep” the “passover” that night, or He would not. If He did, then what do we do with all the other scriptures to the contrary? So, if we are unable to completely dismiss those dozens and dozens of “other” scriptures, then the only possible solution is that He did not mean that. He must have meant something else. Others who have come to see the correct sequence of events have advanced many alternative explanations, and there are two that stand out as the most likely solutions. One premise is that Christ was referring to the “new” Passover He was about to institute. The other possibility is that we just do not really know what Christ meat in this verse, but that He in no way could have truly meant that He would “keep” the Old Covenant Passover that night, again due to the mountain of scriptural evidence to the contrary. Regardless of what was really meant by Christ in this verse, He simply cannot contradict other scripture or even Himself. This is certainly not the only verse in the Bible that is not perfectly clear, especially in light of so many other scriptures. One cannot understand everything, meaning, any one individual or the church as a whole.

Moving on, here is another point to consider; just how did Christ know “when” to keep the Passover and Holy Days? All He had to “identify” the time for the Passover was the “Old Covenant” scriptures, right? There was not one word of the “New Testament” written, so there was no way for Him to have considered these yet unwritten books. Only the “old” scriptures were available for doctrine, etc. Therefore, just as Christ then must have done, so we in this day ought to be able to determine the correct timing of the Passover in ancient Israel and at the time of Christ, from only the Old Covenant scriptures. There is no justifiable reason we can, or should “rely on”, or “use” any “New Testament” scriptures in “proving” the timing of events in the Old Covenant. A problem with this did manage to find its way into the WCG doctrine on this issue as they used “New Testament” writings of their “supposed” timing to interpret the Old Covenant writings. Since, as they thought, Christ was “keeping” the Old Covenant Passover, they therefore had to “interpret” all the Old Covenant scriptures from that erroneous perspective. Hence, the controversy was born. That is right, this was never a controversy until the 20th century. There is a 14th vs. 15th controversy that goes back nearly 2,000 years, but it is based on an entirely different premise than the WCG teaching that had never existed until HWA.

Finally, one last point as to whether Christ was keeping the Old Covenant Passover during the meal of His last “night”. It is interesting that when we assume, or have a perception, that something is a certain way, we will inevitably interpret everything that is associated with “it” in accordance with that “perception”. We will read whatever is required “into” the “associated” thing, or event, in order for it to “fit” into our understanding. Many have done this with the “mixing” of the Passovers. On one hand, a supporter of the WCG doctrine would quote some of the scriptures that “seem” to say that Christ was keeping the Old Covenant Passover, while ignoring the undeniable implications of that very premise. For example, if the night in question were the actual, true, ancient Israelite Passover night, the one when the “Destroyer” passed over, then where was His mother, remember her, Mary and Joseph? Was not the ancient Israel’s Passover night a “family” affair? Well, they might say, Mary didn’t have to be there, she could have been with some of her other children. Great, good answer, oh, but Jesus was the oldest, right? Wasn’t she there when He was on the stake? Wasn’t it His responsibility to “assign” her to John’s household thereafter? The point is not that this proves anything; only that it requires an “explanation” that must “fit” one’s understanding. However, this line of questioning opens up a mountain of problems for the “old” teaching. So, what if Mary had not been a concern that night and she was otherwise accounted for, what about all the others? Where were the wives of the married disciples? Where were their children? Where were their brothers and sisters, or even parents? Where were all of the others? The Old Covenant Passover was a chag feast. People had to be there, but there was not a single “other” person present! Do we remember Exodus 12:26? That would have been contrary to God’s Law and Christ did not sin, did He. {No? since this is really a statement, not a question} The Old Covenant Passover was NOT an exclusive meeting! The New Covenant Passover meeting is: “that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom…” How do we explain that away? There are many more “whats abouts”, but you can look into them for yourself.

Therefore, once we have determined the correct timing of the Old Covenant Passover, we will have to come to realize that we were wrong about the timing as we learned it from WCG. This new understanding now puts the “New Covenant Passover” in a different light and several questions need to be addressed, rethought, and resolved.

1) Just what was Christ instituting the night of His betrayal?
2) Was it a “new” covenant?
3) What was its purpose?
4) What do the symbols represent? Why?
5) What are the similarities and differences between the two ceremonies?

The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Just What Does It Mean for Us? 5) What are the similarities and differences between the two ceremonies?

Exactly what does the “Body” and the “Blood” of Jesus Christ represent? Although much could be written about this, let’s put the answer into the simplest of terms, while understanding that there are numerous related implications, which are derived from these two basic answers.5) What are the similarities and differences between the two ceremonies?

First let’s carefully examine the meaning of the “Body of Christ”. What is the Lord’s “body”?

John 2:18-21 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

John explained to us that the very “body” of our Savior was physical and therefore, flesh. The profound dimension that John added to our understanding was that a physical, fleshly “body” could offer an abode, or dwelling place, or a “temple” for the Spirit of God. People at the time of Christ were quite used to “spirits” inhabiting humans. We call them “demons” and we refer to individuals who “house” such demons as “possessed”. The process of “possession” eventually results in the human giving way to the will of the demon, or demons, dwelling in him. These demons “take over” a human by wresting, or acquiring, control of the mind of the human whose body they occupy. In practice, the human will either knowingly, or unknowingly, surrender his mind to the total control of the demon. If it were unknowingly, there would likely be a pattern of behavior in the human that would produce the conditions necessary for this “take over”. What we learn from John is that it is also possible for a human to allow the Spirit of God to inhabit his own fleshly body, again due to a pattern of behavior. In fact, in the case of Jesus Christ, this Spirit of God conceived Him. This had never happened in all of human existence until then, nor has it happened since. No other egg in a female human has ever been “fertilized” by the Spirit of God. So Christ’s claim that He was a “Son of God” would naturally have been received as a rather outrageous claim, if not even blasphemy. It is no wonder that the detractors of Jesus Christ called Him the “son” of a “demon”. They believed that Christ “housed” a spirit, but that it was from Satan rather than God. All other humans in that day, who “housed” a spirit, housed an evil spirit (or spirits). In John 2 we see that the Spirit of God “dwelt” in Christ and that the body of Christ was therefore, and as a result of this indwelling, a “temple”. It does not say that “Christ” was a temple, reading it carefully; it says that His “body” was a “temple”.

Furthermore, the word for “temple”, in the Greek, refers specifically to the part of the temple that is the “Holy place and the Holy of Holies” (For additional information on this subject, see The End-Time Temple). Christ’s human mind had “melded” with the “mind of God” (or vice versa if you will) and the physical body provided a place for them to dwell together and continuing to develop and grow as one.

Now for Part 2

Part 2 Chapters Articles

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Minor update January 9, 2012