Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, March/April 2012

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

March 14, 2012

Dear Brethren,

The timing this year of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is such that this letter is for March and April. We have enclosed 2 CDs in this mailing. On one CD we have included several sermons you can use for Passover preparation. On the other CD you will find the message for the Sabbath before Passover; the complete Passover Ceremony service; the message for the Night to be Much Observed to the Lord; and messages for the Feast of Unleavened Bread—the holy days, first and seventh day. Finally, we have enclosed a Passover Ceremony booklet. This way, you will have everything you need to keep the New Covenant Christian Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Since the messages we have sent cover most aspects of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread as found in the Old Testament, this letter will focus on the meaning of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament—as compared to the various traditional practices of Orthodox Christianity.

The Meaning of the New Covenant Christian Passover: As Jesus taught, the true Christian Passover ceremony and its proper observance is based entirely on His words as recorded in the Gospels. On His last Passover night, Jesus instituted the New Covenant Passover, the foundation of God’s covenant promise of eternal life. Emphasizing the vital importance of the Passover, Jesus told His apostles—concerning the footwashing—that if they did not wash one another’s feet, they would have “no part” with Him. Likewise, of the broken unleavened bread (symbolizing His broken body) and the wine (symbolizing His shed blood of the New Covenant), He said: “This do in the remembrance of Me.” Moreover, keeping the Passover is absolutely necessary in order to receive eternal life, as Jesus said: “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him” (John 6:53-56).

According to Jesus’ instructions, the broken unleavened bread is a symbol of His flesh, and the wine is a symbol of His blood. (Contrary to the false doctrine of transubstantiation, at the command of a priest the wine and bread do not turn into the actual blood and flesh of Jesus.) Passover is our covenant pledge that in this physical life we will live by Jesus Christ, Who is “the truth and the way and the life…. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me” (John 14:6; 6:57).

The Gospels show, and the apostle Paul writes, that this remembrance is an annual observance on the night Jesus was betrayed—the 14th day of the first month according to the sacred Calculated Hebrew Calendar. This year we are to keep the Passover on Thursday, April 5th, as it is beginning to grow dark, which is the scriptural day and time Jesus began His last Passover with His apostles, as recorded in the Gospels.

We have two books concerning the Passover observance. The shorter version, The Day Jesus the Christ Died, is specifically about Jesus’ last Passover and crucifixion. It is especially helpful for a pre-Passover review. Since the New Covenant Christian Passover is central to the plan of God, Satan the devil has done all he can to entice people to turn away from its scriptural observance as Jesus Christ taught. In addition to the Jewish traditional 15th observance, nominal Christian churches and organizations of this world practice various counterfeit versions, making it almost impossible for people to know how and when Passover is to be observed. These religions trust in their own man-made traditions rather than in the Word of God. As a result, their conflicting practices bear little or no resemblance to what the Bible actually teaches.

The second book, The Christian Passover, was first published in 1993, with the third expanded edition published in 2010. I wrote this book primarily because of the confusion and chaos concerning Passover—even among some churches of God. At over 500 pages, this book literally covers every aspect of the history and practice of the Passover—Old Testament, the Jewish traditional Passover of the exiles, and the New Covenant Christian Passover as taught by Jesus in the New Testament. If you do not have these books, you may request them and we will send them to you at no cost.

Orthodox Christianity is in Complete Disarray

In addition to the day-late, traditional Jewish 15th Passover, the Christianity of this world is in complete disarray by practicing what they call “The Lord’s Supper,” “Communion,” or “The Eucharist—Sacrifice of the Mass.” Although they all claim that Christ died for their sins and appropriate to themselves the crucified Christ and His shed blood, they know virtually nothing about its true meaning. Why? The answer is simple: They don’t really believe the Bible or the specific instructions of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Whom they profess to worship and claim as Savior. In addition to their Sunday worship and pagan holiday observances, here is a list of their unbiblical practices that have obscured the true New Covenant Passover of God.

  • They do not use God’s sacred Calculated Hebrew Calendar. They use the Roman Gregorian Calendar.
  • Few even realize that Jesus was crucified on the Passoverday.
  • Their observances are not held on the actual night of the Passover.
  • They do not know the day of the week Jesus was crucified. Was it Wednesday, Thursday or Friday? Most believe it occurred on a so-called “Good Friday.”
  • They do not know how long He was in the tomb—two nights and a day? How can that be three days and three nights, as Jesus said?
  • They do not know when Jesus was resurrected—believing that He was raised from the dead on Easter Sunday morning.
  • Most do not realize that Easter is the day on which the ancient Babylonians worshiped the goddess Ishtar. What does a pagan female goddess have to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection?
  • Most use unbroken unleavened wafers for their “Lord’s Supper,” “Communion,” or “Sacrifice of the Mass” celebration. The Greek Orthodox use broken leavened bread.
  • Most use grape juice instead of wine; the Mormons use water.
  • Catholics celebrate the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass, daily and in some cases hourly. Protestants celebrate “The Lord’s Supper” weekly, on Sunday. SDAs observe it four times a year (on the first Sabbath of each quarter).

What confusion! Yet God is not the author of confusion. Each of these religions claims to be following the Bible—but they are following false, lying practices. The truth is, none of these practices can be found in the Bible. They are only the commandments and traditions of men. Although they may read certain passages from the Bible, it is exactly as Isaiah prophesied: “Be stunned and amazed! Blind your eyes and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink, for the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes; He has covered the prophets and your rulers, and the seers. And the vision of all has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which they give to one who is learned saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ And the book is delivered to him who is not learned, saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I am not learned.’

“And the Lord said, ‘Because this people draws near Me with their mouth, and with their lips honor Me, but their worship of Me is made up of the traditions of men learned by rote, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do again a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise ones shall perish, and the wisdom of their intelligent ones shall vanish.’ Woe to those who go deep to hide their purpose from the Lord! And their works are in the dark, and they say, ‘Who sees us? And who knows us?’

SURELY, YOU HAVE TURNED THINGS UPSIDE DOWN! Shall the potter be regarded as the potter’s clay;for shall the work say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me [didn’t we evolve from slime and apes]?’ Or shall the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘He had no understanding [our own traditions are better than God’s ways]?’ (Isa. 29:9-16).

What a perfect description of modern Orthodox Christianity—which prefers humantradition over obedience to what Jesus taught His disciples. Today’s “Christian” may profess a belief in Jesus and claim to love God, but they reject what Jesus taught—therefore they are actually denying God! A profession of belief in God or Jesus Christ is not conversion unto salvation. Concerning such false beliefs, the apostle James writes: “Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe—and tremble in fear. But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith [a professed belief] without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20). True belief and faith will motivate you to love and obey God.

Notice what Paul writes about such professions and attitudes:“They personally profess to know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and reprobate unto every good work” (Titus 1:16).

This confirms exactly what Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?’ And then I will confess to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness’ ” (Matt. 7:21-23).

There can be no question that these passages apply to Protestantism and Catholicism. They profess His name—“Lord, Lord,” “Jesus, Jesus”—but they are “not doing the will of My Father, Who is in Heaven.”

In the Gospel of Luke we find this account: “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but you do not practice what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and practices them, I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock; and a flood came, and the torrent beat against that house, but could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock.

But the one who has heard My words and has not practiced them is like a man who built a house on top of the ground, without a foundation; and when the torrent beat against it, it fell at once, and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:46-49).

These profound teachings of Jesus apply as well to the observance of the Passover, which is an essential part of a true Christian’s obedience to God. But who exactly should partake of the Passover? Only those who are in true spiritual covenant with God the Father and Jesus Christ—through true repentance, covenant baptism by full immersion in water, and the receiving of the power of the Holy Spirit by begettal from God the Father—should partake of the New Covenant Christian Passover.

By partaking of the New Covenant Christian Passover each year, all true Christians renewtheir covenant relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ for eternal life. All religious practices, traditions, and teachings by Orthodox Christianity to the contrary are patently false—there is absolutely no salvation in them!

God Planned the Exact Passover Day Before the Foundation of the World

From eternity past, before the foundation of the world, God the Father and God the Son planned for and predetermined the day that Jesus the Christ would die. In the entire history of the universe, no other day compares. Indeed, the Lamb of God was “slain from the [time God laid the] foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). At that very time, God knew that the only sacrifice that could save mankind from sin would be the death of His Son, on the Passover day. This sacrifice is so immensely supreme that it will be remembered into the ages of eternity.

This day of destiny was the ultimate culmination of the spiritual battle for the lives of men; a battle waged between Jesus the Christ—Son of God and Savior of mankind—and Satan the devil, the adversary of God and destroyer of mankind. This fierce spiritual battle was centered in Jerusalem, but its outcome would determine the destiny of the world and all mankind—past, present and future. It was the power of God versus the power of Satan; the Advocate versus the adversary; love versus hatred; good versus evil; humility versus pride; compassion versus brutality; righteousness versus sin; and forgiveness versus condemnation.

All the evil forces and powers of the world were gathered together against one man, Jesus the Christ—the Son of God. Who would be victorious? Would good finally triumph over evil?

For healing the sick, raising the dead, and teaching the love of God, Jesus Christ was condemned, beaten, brutally scourged, reviled, ridiculed, and crucified. Yet He was faithful to the end—giving His life as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Even Jesus’ own disciples, whom He had taught for three and one-half years, did not understand the significance of the Passover day. As they watched Jesus die and His body being placed into the tomb, they were bewildered. To them it appeared that evil had won—the political and religious establishments that held them in bondage were victorious. All they felt was a dark and foreboding despair because Jesus, the Messiah of God, was dead and buried. It was beyond their wildest imaginations that Jesus would come back to life after three days and three nights in the tomb. But He was raised from the dead by the power of God the Father.

Most people in the western world have heard the most often-quoted verse in all the Bible, John 3:16—“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life.” Yet they have little or no understanding of its actual significance—though the inspired Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, reveals the full story. Indeed, it is because “God so loved the world” that He appointed Jesus to die on the Passover day of 30 AD—a date established from the foundation of the world.

Moreover, by using the Word of God, the sacred Calculated Hebrew Calendar, and true historical facts, we can reach back from this all-important Passover day to accurately establish when Jesus was born; when He began His ministry; the length of His ministry; how long Jesus was in the tomb; when He was resurrected; and His final ascension into heaven.

The New Testament Meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: Because we will focus on the New Testament meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, you can read a summary of its Old Testament meaning in Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which?, pp.142-148.

God commanded the children of Israel to remove all leaven from their houses prior to the Passover, which is also a separate day of eating unleavened bread (Ex. 12:8). They were to finish removing all leaven before Passover and the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread began. Only unleavened bread was to be eaten throughout the feast (verses 15-20; 13:6-7; Lev. 23:6; etc.).

As we have seen, it is required that all who observe the New Covenant Christian Passover be baptized. However, it is not necessary to be baptized in order to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread; thus, children and those who are beginning to learn of God’s feasts may participate in this seven-day festival. But they must likewise remove leaven from their homes and eat unleavened bread for seven days as God commands. This year, the first day is April 7, a holy day, and the seventh day is April 13, a holy day.

In the New Testament, Paul taught Gentile converts to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the same manner as the children of Israel. In writing to the Corinthians, Paul defined leaven as a symbol of sin and sinful human nature—a nature that is “puffed up” with vanity and pride. The church at Corinth had been tolerating a gross sin of immorality in which a man was having sexual relations with his stepmother. Paul wrote: “Your glorying [in this] is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (I Cor. 5:6.) Instead of abhorring such conduct, they were condoning it—even glorying over it. Paul had to correct them severely because this individual’s sin had begun to leaven the whole congregation with a sinful attitude—which would in turn lead to sinful conduct. He then commanded them to remove the individual from the congregation, just as they had removed leaven from their houses.

Paul reminded them that just as they had unleavened their homes in preparation for the feast, they were to also “unleaven” their spiritual lives from sin through Jesus Christ. “Therefore, purge out the old leaven [of sin], so that you may become a new lump [sinless in Christ], even as you are unleavened [in your homes]. For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For this reason, 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” (verses 7-8).

Paul’s statement—“Let us keep the feast”—is quite emphatic, and should quiet those who falsely teach that Paul was busy abolishing God’s feasts. Clearly, this is a direct command to New Testament Gentile converts to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread! Paul backs up his authority by stating: “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Cor. 14:37). This is what Paul taught in all the churches (I Cor. 7:17).

Paul again emphasized the spiritual meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when he admonished the Colossians to forsake their sinful ways and nature and replace them with the character of Christ and His attributes of love and righteousness (Col. 3:1-17).

As Abraham’s spiritual seed, baptized Christians are to put on Jesus Christ—to become like Him (Gal. 3:26-29). “Christ in you” is the “hope of glory” for Christians (see Col. 1:27). By observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Christians learn that through the power of the Holy Spirit they are to overcome sin, live by every Word of God, develop the character of Christ, walk in faith, believe in hope, and live in the love of God.

The Night to be Much Observed: This night, the night of Nisan 15, begins the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. The children of Israel were commanded to celebrate the Night to be Much Observed in commemoration of their exodus from Egypt and their deliverance from the bondage of slavery (Ex. 12:40-42). It was also on the same night—the “very same day” of Nisan 15—430 years before that the Lord God promised in His covenant with Abraham to deliver his descendants from slavery (Gen. 15:12-18).

For true Christians, the Night to be Much Observed has intense spiritual meaning. That very night Jesus Christ’s body was lying in the tomb—beginning His three days and nights “in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). This night was a fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to Abraham in which God pledged to die in order to fulfill His spiritual contract. Jesus’ death was confirmed when his body was placed in the tomb as the Passover day was ending at sunset and the Night to be Much Observed was beginning. Just as the children of Israel were to rejoice in the fact that God had delivered them from their Egyptian bondage, true Christians, the spiritual seed of Abraham, are to rejoice on this night because it is the beginning of their deliverance from the bondage of sin and their exodus from spiritual Egypt (Rev. 11:8).

The word exodus is derived from the Greek exodosex, meaning “out of,” and hodos, meaning “way.” Hence, exodus means “the way out.” As led by God, the Exodus was Israel’s “way out” of the land of Egypt (symbolic of sin and bondage to sin). Likewise, Jesus Christ is the only “way out” for mankind to escape the bondage of sin, self and Satan. At His last Passover Jesus said, “I am the way”—hodos (odoV)—the “way out,” the exodus from sin. Our Christian walk with God begins when we have our sins forgiven through Jesus’ shed blood as pictured by the Passover. We then begin our journey out of sin and a destructive way of life through love, faithful devotion, and obedience—walking in the love and grace of God, living by every Word of God, and keeping His commandments through the grace of God. This is all pictured by the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus’ Resurrection from the Dead: After being in the tomb exactly three days and three nights, Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of the Father as the regular weekly Sabbath, Nisan 17, was ending at sunset during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (The Day Jesus the Christ Died, pp. 71-81). He was not resurrected on a Sunday morning—not on Orthodox Christendom’s so-called Easter Sunday. He was resurrected at the close of the weekly Sabbath at sunset, just before the first day of the week began.

In the early morning on the first day of the week, when Mary Magdalene and others came to the tomb, an angel specifically told them that Jesus had already risen, that He was not there (Mark 16:2-7; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1-10). A literal translation for “the first day of the week” is “the first of the weeks”—i.e., the first day of the seven-week count to Pentecost. The Greek indicates that this “first day of the week” was the Wave Sheaf Offering Day.

The Wave Sheaf Offering Day: The offering of the first of the firstfruits is highly significant to God. Israel was instructed: “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God ” (Ex. 23:19). On this day—the first day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the first day of the fifty-day count to Pentecost—the High Priest was to take a special, premier sheaf of the first of the firstfruits of the barley/wheat harvest to elevate and wave before the Lord to be accepted by Him for the people (Lev. 23:9-11). This incomparable ritual was symbolic of Jesus Christ’s ascension to the throne of God the Father after He was resurrected from the dead—to be accepted as the first of the firstfruits of God and the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

The apostle John verified Jesus’ ascension on this day: “But Mary stood outside the tombweeping; and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white who were sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’

“And after saying these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Thinking that He was the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him off, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Turning around, she said to Him, ‘Rabboni;’ that is to say, ‘Teacher.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God’ ” (John 20:11-17).

Later that same day at evening, Jesus appeared to the disciples and showed them His wounds from the crucifixion: “Afterwards, as evening was drawing near that day, the first day of the weeks, and the doors were shut where the disciples had assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced because they had seen the Lord” (John 20:19-20).

When Jesus showed Himself to the disciples after He was raised from the dead, He personally revealed to them from the Scriptures that His death and resurrection were foreordained: “And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day’ ” (Luke 24:44-46).

Paul confirmed that Jesus was the “firstfruit” of the resurrection of the dead, the first of the spiritual harvest of God. At His return, at the time of the first resurrection, all who are Christ’s will be resurrected to eternal life: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also camethe resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; then, those who are Christ’s at His coming” (I Cor. 15:20-23). (For more detail about the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, see The Day Jesus the Christ Died, pp. 83-93.)

Additional References to the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the Gospels: The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread are two distinct feasts that fall on separate, yet consecutive, days—the 14th and the 15th. The two feasts have different, butrelated, meanings. Luke, however, records that it had become a common practice to refer to the entire eight-day festival season as “Passover.” “Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called Passover, was approaching” (Luke 22:1).

With this in mind we can better understand certain “difficult” references to the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread in the Gospel of John. “Now the Passover of the Jews was near…. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed on His name, as they observed the miracles that He was doing” (John 2:13, 23). “Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near” (John 6:4). As the time of Jesus’ last Passover approached, John wrote: “Now the Passover of the Jews was near” (John 11:55); “Six days before the Passover” (12:1); and “Now before the feast of the Passover” (13:1).

In these and other passages John points to the importance of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Few realize, however, that the Gospel of John is structured on the framework of the feasts and holy days. This makes John’s Gospel not only a record of Jesus’ life and teachings, but a historical record of God’s festivals as well.

  • The harvest of Pentecost—John 4:35
  • Feast of Trumpets—John 5:1
  • Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day—John 7

Throughout the Gospels, the feasts and holy days of God provide the framework for the chronology of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Interestingly, however, there are zero written testimonies indicating that the true apostolic Church ever sanctioned the holidays now observed by Orthodox Christendom.

Other References to the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament: The book of Acts is a microcosm of the Church of God and the ministry of the apostle Paul from about 30 AD to 67 AD. When examined carefully, it becomes apparent that Luke chronicled events relativeto the feasts and holy days. This means the apostles were using the Calculated Hebrew Calendar to record the times of these events, rather than the Roman calendar. Writing about Peter’s imprisonment in 44 AD, Luke records: “Now about that time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands to persecute some of those of the church; and he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take Peter also. (Now those were the days of unleavened bread.) And after arresting him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four sets of four soldiers to guard him with the intent of bringing him out to the people after the Passover season” (Acts 12:1-4).

In a deceitful attempt to give the appearance that the apostolic Church observed Easter, the translators of the King James Version incorrectly rendered the Greek word for Passover, pascha (pasca), in Acts 12:4 as “Easter.” In all other places they correctly translated pascha as “Passover.” However, as we have seen, “Passover” was also used in reference to the entire eight days of Passover and Unleavened Bread, which should be properly translated as “Passover season”—and never “Easter.”

The Seventh Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: Undoubtedly, Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the early New Testament Church observed all seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Although we do not find a specific reference to the seventh day of the feast, Luke’s account in 58 AD demonstrates that some of the disciples kept the full seven-day feast with Gentile brethren in northern Greece. “But we [Luke and his party] sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread; and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days” (Acts 20:6). This clearly indicates that Gentile converts observed the entire feast, including the seventh day.

In the New Testament we see that there are spiritual parallels with the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread from the book of Exodus. Specifically, God rescued the children of Israel from Pharaoh and his armies on the seventh day of the feast by bringing them safely through the Red Sea on dry ground. When the Egyptians followed them into the sea, God released the waters, destroying Pharaoh and his army (Ex. 14).

As a nation steeped in the satanic worship of the sun and various false gods, Egypt is depicted in Scripture as a symbol of sin. Pharaoh was a type of Satan, and his army symbolized demonic spirits. Just as Pharaoh and his armies pursued the children of Israel after God had rescued them from Egypt, so Satan and his demons can (and do) bring spiritual attacks upon converted Christians, attempting to enslave them again into the bondage of sin.

Thus, we can see in the New Testament that the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures how God, through Jesus Christ, has rescued us from the power of Satan. “Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light; Who has PERSONALLY RESCUED US from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love; in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins” (Col. 1:11-14).

When Jesus called Saul to become Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, He told him why he was chosen: “Now arise, and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you as a minister and a witness both of what you have seen and what I shall reveal to you. I am personally selecting you from among the people and the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified through faith in Me” (Acts 26:16-18).

As the “god of this world,” Satan blinds the minds of those he has deceived (II Cor. 4:4). He is also called the “prince of the power of the air,” who leads those of this world into sin and disobedience: “Now you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world” (Eph. 2:1-3).

Paul went on to instruct the Ephesians on how to fight their spiritual battles against Satan the devil and to overcome him through the power of God and the blood of Jesus Christ: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the might of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand.

“Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and wearing the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Besides all these, take up the shield of the faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one; and put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:10-18).

Christians are to overcome Satan and resist his attacks through the blood of the Lamb, even if it costs them their physical lives: “And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven say, ‘Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death’ ” (Rev. 12:9-11).

Jesus prayed to the Father that His people would be delivered from “the evil one”—Satan (John 17:15). He also told us we are to pray and entreat God daily that He would rescue us from the evil one (Matt. 6:13). There are many passages in the New Testament that show how God rescues us from sin and Satan. This ongoing spiritual battle—of overcoming sin, Satan, and the world—reflects the special meaning of the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament.

As you will learn and experience by keeping the Sabbath, the Passover (for those who are baptized) and all the feasts of God—combined with the influence of God’s Holy Spirit within us—God has created and designated His appointed feasts as special occasions to teach us how we are to grow in grace and knowledge in preparation for eternal life.

Brethren, we pray that you will have a wonderfully blessed and inspiring Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. May you continue to overcome sin, self and Satan through the power of the Holy Spirit. May you continue to grow in God’s grace and knowledge. May you continue to love God the Father and Jesus Christ with all your heart, mind and being.

Thank you for your continued love and prayers for the brethren and for us. We pray for you daily that God will strengthen you, inspire you, heal you, and see you through any trials you may be facing in this evil world. Thank you for your faithful support through your tithes and offerings. May God continue to bless you with His love and grace in your daily life.

With Love in Christ Jesus,

P.S  The enclosed chart is for the sermon “The #4 and the Passover” 

Fred R. Coulter