There is no command of God to leave your home for the Feast of Unleavened Bread

Fred R. Coulter—February 16, 2019

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There has been a little controversy brewing around that centers on how come during the Feast of Unleavened Bread we don't remove ourselves to another location, but instead keep the Feast in the local area? Whereas, with the Feast of Tabernacles we all go someplace else unless we have it here.

We'll examine some of the things, because those who would be overzealous would say that everybody has to leave their homes during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and go someplace else and keep seven days of the Feast with commanded convocations every day.

Remember the original command was, and still is, that you assemble where God has placed His name. When they had the tabernacle, and later the temple, that's where God placed His name.

  • Could everyone in Israel assemble to Jerusalem to keep the Feast there? No!
  • How did they come before God?

When it became obvious that they needed synagogues for teaching in the local area…and remember that the Levites and the priests were scattered throughout all the geographical area of Israel. Wherever they were, when they were not working at the temple or tabernacle, there would be a synagogue, maybe some close by. Is that where God placed His name? Of course!

So, let's take it one step further. Zech. 14 says that 'all nations are going to come to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.'

Now, even after all the slaughter at the beginning of the Millennium, they're probably going to be at least three billion people. Can three billion people all get to Jerusalem? No! How are they going to be at the Feast?

Well the answer is this. Since you've been doing the study in Daniel/Revelation, we find it Daniel that the king and the kingdom are synonymous. So, if the king goes to represent the whole nation, and the whole nation keeps whatever Feast there is wherever they live, then everybody's represented at Jerusalem. That's how that would have to work.

Exodus 23:15[transcriber's correction]: "You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days... [Do I have to eat unleavened bread every day? Of course!] I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt, and no one shall appear before Me empty."
What did they do with their offerings? Especially, let's take it after the Babylonian captivity. The greater number of Jews stayed in Babylon. The Jews were scattered throughout all the Roman Empire with synagogues. If someone wanted to be represented by that representative of the synagogue, there may have been several people that go and they would take the money for the offering for that person to make an offering. Maybe for redemption of the firstborn, maybe a thank offering, maybe a sin offering, who knows? That's how that was handled.

Verse 16: "Also, the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits... [Pentecost] ...of your labors, which you have sown in the field. And the Feast of Ingathering, in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD" (vs 16-17).

If you come to the synagogue and offer an offering to the synagogue, have you come before God? Yes! God sanctioned the synagogue system, which was the basis for the congregational system for the Church. Remember that salvation is of the Jews.

He repeats it again (Exo. 34). Even with the number of children who came out of Egypt, it may have been as 1.6 million. It took seven years to conquer the land and get it distributed the way that God wanted.

Exodus 34:14: "For you shall worship no other god; for the LORD, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God; lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice to their gods..." (vs 14-15). They did that at Baal-Peor with the Moabites.

Verse 23: "Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel, for I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders. Neither shall any man desire your land when you shall go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year." (vs 23-24).

  • Where does God place name today? We'll see that in a little bit!
  • How many here have had their homes robbed while gone to Sabbath services?
  • Did God fulfill that? You come to appear before God on Sabbath!
  • Does he watch over your place? Yes, indeed!

When they had the campus and it was all alone, little fishermen came over and got the big gold fish out of the stream. So, they had to put guards there. I'm not going to impute any motives about anything.

Exodus 13:3: "And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand. There shall be no leavened bread eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days... [Should I eat unleavened bread seven days? Yes!] ...and in the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders" (vs 3-7).

How hard is it for you to unleaven your home? Think about: a whole village! a whole town! In all your borders! That's a big order. It's obvious they had to get started sometime ahead of time so they could have a day where they could get all of the leaven products out, and they would take it and burn it.

Exodus 12:14: "And this day... [that's the 15th day of the 1st month] ...shall be a memorial to you. And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it a feast as a law forever. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days; even the first day you shall have put away leaven out of your houses..." (vs 14-15).

Why put it out of your houses? There are some, I suspect, who say you're commanded to leave and go someplace else that they leave early enough so they don't even unleaven their houses. But it says, right here to unleaven your houses!

"…for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel" (v 15).

Verse 19 repeats it a little differently: "Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off..."—and so forth.

This tells us that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is more of a local Feast. Years ago when Worldwide was small and everybody was scattered, they did have all seven days of the Feast. I remember the last one that that we attended was up in Portland. The regional director was Carlton Smith.

We all flew in and he met us at the airport. All the ministers were in this big station wagon and we went down to the House of Pancakes. He said, 'We're all going to go in and get breakfast,' because he didn't want his wife burdened down with breakfast. So, we got out of the car and I was on his side and I said, 'Mr. Smith, do they have unleavened pancakes?' Everybody back in a car, we're going to go home and we're going to have scrambled eggs! His poor wife didn't know, they didn't have cell phones so she couldn't know. So, here we all come.

But what they found was that it was too difficult for the brethren to get eight days off in the spring and eight or ten days off in the fall. A lot of people were losing their jobs. How can you support your family if you lose your job? Well you can't do it! So, they went into the Scriptures and saw right here: houses! It's local! The Feast of Tabernacles is different. So we keep it local.

Let's look at the difference between the sacrifices. Num. 28 & 29 list all the sacrifices: daily, monthly, Holy Days and Feasts.

A feast in the Hebrew[transcriber's correction] is 'chag.' That means festival. But feast in English is synonymous: feast. What's one of the wrong practices that the Jews, especially the Pharisees, did after they came out of the Babylonian captivity? Why is that important?

Because the Old Covenant Passover had to be eaten within the boundaries of the geographical territory of Israel or Judah! So, the Jews in the Diaspora, changed the Night to be Much Observed to be the Passover with the Seder meal on the 15th.Then they added another day at the end because it was eight days. When they came back out of the captivity, a lot of the Jews continued to 15th Passover and that's where you find the religious leaders did not go into the petorium because that would be out of bounds of the territory of Judah or Judea (John 19), because that was Roman property.

So, if they went in there they would be unclean and couldn't eat the Passover. They were keeping a 15th Passover and a temple sacrifice three orders of priests to kill the lambs beginning at about the 10th hour. Since that was close to the time that Jesus died at the 9th hour, a lot of people say that you should keep it on the 15th, because that's when Jesus died. No! He died on the 14th and those Jews who kept the Passover a day late, had to sacrifice at the temple. Now, if you read the Passover book, there's a whole chapter with the three courses how many lambs could they kill; the maximum number was 18,000!

How do you square that, with what Josephus wrote? That there were over 2.2-million at the next to the last Passover. That would be a lamb for every ten people. That would mean they would have to kill, at the temple, 250,000 lambs. Impossible! Because the true Passover was on the 14th, and it was domestic.

We'll see that when we get to it in a little bit. If the Passover sacrifice was commanded to be at the temple… You have to read The Christian Passover book to understand that those Passover offerings in Deut. 16 at the temple, were the redemption of the firstborn offerings, and not the sacrifice of the Passover. There's a difference. Sacrifice of the Passover is different from the Passover offering. Don't you suppose that right here where all the commanded sacrifices were given, that there would be instructions for the Passover sacrifice? You would think, yes.

Numbers 28:16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the Feast. Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be a Holy convocation. You shall do no kind of servile work... [don't do any work] …But you shall offer an offering made by fire for a burnt offering to the LORD...." (vs 16-19)—other offerings were given!

  • Why is there no command to kill a Passover lamb? Very simple, it was domestic; it was at the house!
  • Where did Jesus go for the Passover? To a house!

Num. 29 has to do with the Feast of Tabernacles. They had some offerings here for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but it's not like it is with the Feast of Tabernacles. We know how it starts out;

Numbers 29:12: "And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days. And you shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD: thirteen young bulls..." (vs 12-13).

How many tribes of Israel were there? Thirteen! You have Joseph, you have Ephraim and Manasseh, and Levi is scattered throughout Israel, having no territory. But they are included with the offering, so there are thirteen: Ephraim, Manasseh and the Levites.

Then every day for seven days it goes down one bullock, and smaller amount of the other ones as well. Every day they have this special offering. So, this was a protracted thing that was quiet a celebration indeed. Today we keep it a little differently than they did then. It was quite a thing back then.

Now let's come to the New Testament and see how we're to worship God today. Let me just mention here, that there is no command that you must have assemblies all seven days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

However, if a person wanted to by preference do so, that would not be against God. But they cannot compel others to do the same, because God does not give the compelling in His Word.

This is the woman at the well speaking to Jesus, and He gives us some very interesting things. John 4:19: "The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain…" (vs 19-20).

Well, that's interesting. Mt. Gerizim is where they were worshiping! That's where Jacob's Well was, so it had a connection to Israel in the past. Now those who were there in Samaria at that time were brought in by the king of Nineveh, Sennacherib and different ones from Babylon.

So you have Babylonians from the Babylonian tribes and other tribes there, and they're trying to worship in their own way. They had a Passover offering at the correct time. The false worship of God had one part right. Sounds a little like Protestantism.

"…but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem.'…. [that was true as long as there was the temple] …Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father" (vs 20-21).

They were worshiping the Lord of the Old Testament. Occasionally The Most High would be mentioned. But now, remember what we covered? Grace upon grace!

"…nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship...." (vs 21-22).

Who was there? Who was in Samaria at the time Jesus was talking her? Simon Magus the 'great' power of 'God' (Acts 8). So they were worshiping all the demons!

Verse 22: "You do not know what you worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers…"

What is He doing by saying true worshipers? He's telling her, you're a false worshiper! He's also saying there are those who worship Him falsely with all the traditions of the Jews. What did you say those traditions, because they kept them instead of God's commandment? You reject the commandment of God, that you keep your tradition. You worship me in vain. Even though it was in Jerusalem.

"...when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth..." (v 23).

Meaning you must have the Spirit of God and you must have the Word of God. You must understand, in what we brought out, how God deals with us today.

"...worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth; for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner" (v 23).

Now, that's quite a statement! How does God seek? Well you get the sermons: Spirit Of God, Spirit of Man, and Seven Spirits of God #1 & 2 (the seven eyes of God). 'And unto Jesus and the seven Spirits.' (Rev. 1) What are those? The eyes of God that go through the whole earth seeking those who are trying to find God (Rev. 4 & 5).

That's how you found God, believe it or not! However it started out, God opened your mind because you wanted to know. One of the seven Spirits was letting God know that here's one who is seeking You. That's quite an amazing thing!

Verse 24: "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth."

Anytime we gather on the Sabbath, this is where God has placed His name. We're all gathered here with the Spirit of God, and we're worshiping Him in spirit. We're not offering any animal sacrifices. Those Protestant Pentecostals that think you have to jump up and down and speak in tongues and so forth. That's not so. "…in Spirit and in Truth." tells us that everything we've covered in the first part applies to how God deals with us: "…in Spirit and in Truth."

What is the Holy Spirit called? The Spirit of the Truth! That has to be the key thing, based on the Word of God, that we're always seeking. When we were doing the translating and preparing the Bible, we wanted the Truth, the Truth, the Truth, nothing but the Truth. That's how it has to be.

So, let's look at something else, too. We'll just mention Matt. 18. Where does God place His name? How big does the group have to be? Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them! Plus the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son in our mind. This is a great and fantastic thing that God wants.

Now let's look at a couple of other things here. You don't find this in the Old Testament. All we are told in the Old Testament is get out the leaven and eat unleavened bread. Here in 1-Cor. 5 they add sin in their midst.

Now let's look at it this way. Were any of you in any of the congregation's when Grace International introduced Sunday? It was still Worldwide at that time. What did you think? Now you know why everybody was dumbed down, so they could bring in the change.

Well that was introducing sin. And how many people were happy and glorious that this was happening? A lot of them were! Those who had God's Holy Spirit weren't rejoicing they were mourning, or mad, or wondering what on earth is taking place.

Well imagine this in Corinth, for an adult son was having his father's wife, apparently not his mother. They were stretching the grace of God to say this is such a wonderful thing!

1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?…. [here's where leaven is identified to be equal with sin, vanity and being puffed up] …Therefore, purge out the old leaven... [the whole process of growth, of overcoming] that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened…." (vs 6-7).

What's the sense of this? Why unleaven your house or houses when you're still living in sin? You haven't learned anything! 

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened.... [they unleavened their houses but they weren't unleavening their attitude] ...For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For this reason, let us keep the Feast..." (vs 7-8)—and we have Passover! We have further instructions on that in 1-Cor. 11. What follows Passover? Feast of Unleavened Bread!

"…let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth" (v 8).

That's the whole basis. We are coming up to that, and this year the Passover is a little later. Why is that? Well, in a 19-year time-cycle there are seven leap years. A leap year in a Calculated Hebrew Calendar adds a second month of 30 days: Adar 2 Therefore, the Passover this year is quite late, in the middle of April. That's when God wants it.

Sidebar on the weather: I've observed over the years that whenever we have a leap year like this, that winter comes back, when it should be beginning to come to spring. Why? Because God has set the seasons! The seasons, according to the Roman calendar are not in conjunction with what the Calculated Hebrew Calendar has.

God does not command seven days of getting together on Feast of Unleavened Bread. Whereas, even with the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, they had a lot of different activities every day that were much different than we would do today. So, it's perfectly all right for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, if someone wants to go someplace for all seven days. But you can't command other people to do it and say it comes from a command of God!

However, since the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a domestic Feast, you get delivered out of your houses, and you assemble close by wherever that is. That's properly keeping the Feast.

This time Passover is on a Thursday, Night to be Much Observed is on Friday, the Holy Day then is on the first day of the week. Then Monday through Thursday you have four days that you can devote at home with special prayer and Bible study during those days. Since it is a Feast:

  • to get the leaven out of our lives
  • converting our minds
  • growing in grace and knowledge

Then this helps you draw close to God during those four days!

This is the last year that we will not have a Passover in the middle of the week. We had ten years, and Carl has done a study on those ten years, and it's happened three times and all the history of the Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

Then it's always the time of great trouble. So in 2020, we're going to have the Passover in the middle of the week. That will conform to the way it was during the week of Christ's crucifixion. The other configuration where it's not in the middle of the week on a Wednesday does not conform to that.

That's why you cannot have the Passover in 33A.D. on a Friday. How can He be in the grave three days and three nights? Only if you lie and cheat! You know what one scholar wrote? The darkness when Jesus was on the cross was the first night!

How could that be? Jesus said He would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. Is hanging on the cross from noon—the sixth hour to the ninth hour—in the tomb? No! It all has to be based on God's Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

In the New Testament you can find all the Feasts or Festivals of God:

  • 1-Cor. 5 we have the Passover and Unleavened Bread
  • Matthew, Mark and Luke we have the Passover with Jesus
  • 1-Cor. 11 we have further instructions about how to take the Passover
  • Acts 2—Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Paul said in Acts that he would stay in Ephesus for Pentecost. He tried to get to Jerusalem for one Feast of Tabernacles.

  • Acts 27:9—Atonement: "…the annual fast day had already passed…" They were on they were on the ship headed toward Rome. They left too late, and they got caught in a hurricane. But when the fast was over, there were a lot of Jews on that vessel. They all kept Atonement.
  • John 5—Trumpets? It says 'Feast of the Jews.' It doesn't tell us Trumpets but we could look at it and see that's pretty close to it. Yes, another Feast of Trumpets is the day Jesus was born.
  • John 7—Tabernacles; Last Great Day

So, in the New Testament all the Feasts are covered. What did Jesus say concerning the Sabbath, which would apply to all of the Feasts of God? The Sabbath was made on account of man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of man is the Lord of the Sabbath!

This is how God keeps the world in blindness. He said that He gave them over to blindness (Rom. 11). It is said of the Israelites, that they are a disobedient and contradicting people (Rom. 11).

I was reading that the other day in the Greek. Isn't it true that the Protestants love to disobey and contradict God? Yes! I thought the more you read the Bible, the more you study the Bible, the more you see how true every word really is! What a fantastic blessing lesson that we are able to have it.

If someone says you must leave your homes, and you don't have to unleavened them because you go up here! If it is your preference and you want to go, that's fine, but it's not a command of God! So, keep that in mind.

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 23:15-17
  • Exodus 34:14-15, 23-24
  • Exodus 13:3-7
  • Exodus 12:14-15, 19
  • Numbers 28:16-19
  • Numbers 29:12-13
  • John 4:19-24
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Acts 27:9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Zechariah 14
  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Acts 8
  • Revelation 1-2; 4-5
  • Matthew 18
  • 1 Corinthians 11
  • Acts 2
  • John 5; 7
  • Romans 11

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Daniel/Revelation
  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermons: Spirit Of God, Spirit of Man, and Seven Spirits of God #1 & 2

FRC: po/bo
Transcribed: 3/4/19

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