Newsletter 70, April, 2003
Let Us Keep the Feast! | Jesus Before the Sanhedrin | Was Jesus’ Body Broken? | Difference Between Islam and Christianity | How to De-Leaven Your Dwellings | Crash Course on the Arab-Israeli Conflict | Creation Thinking Versus Evolution Thinking | If Jesus Came To Your Home | Steve Collins’ New Books on Israel | You Have No Excuse | Friday Night Bible Study | That Other Feast | Days of Zeal Gone By | The Real Face of Jesus | A Story of Grace
When they say “the Feast,” most Church of God brethren are referring to the Feast of Tabernacles. They downplay, minimize, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That is not a Biblical point of view. The Christian Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread are a spiritually vital eight-day Biblical festival, a time to move our feet to worship the Eternal, fellowship with other brethren, and study God’s Word. Let us return to the Lord!
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump [spiritually], as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth,” I Corinthians 5:7-8.
Read the two feature articles in this issue about the spring feast: “That Other Feast,” and “Days of Zeal Gone By.” Much more material on the Holy Days is in our 500+ page book, Biblical Holy Days, available in print for a suggested donation of $20, or online at www.giveshare.org/HolyDay.
Join us for telephone services during April and May. On a trial basis, we are beginning an every Friday night Bible Study, to continue if there is positive response. On Fridays at 6 PM Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern time, dial 918-222-7102. When you hear a recorded message, press 1079# to join the conference call.
Our regular monthly Third Sabbath service is at 9 AM Pacific, 10 Mountain, 11 Central, 12 noon Eastern time. On the Third Sabbath of each month, dial 918-222-7158, then after the recording, press 0566#.
If you would like to have a Passover service via telephone, call 307-686-5191.
People love to watch movies and television drama about courtroom scenes and trials. From “Perry Mason” to “Law and Order,” we are continually fascinated by the twists and turns of legal proceedings.
Until now, we have not had a clear picture of the most famous trial in history, Jesus before the Jewish Supreme Court (also known as the Sanhedrin or Sanhedrim). In the late nineteenth century, the Frenchman Lémann wrote a masterpiece of historical research that takes the reader into the inner court of the Sanhedrin, examines the character of all the key persons on that august body, and details twenty-seven irregularities, or reasons, why Jesus’ trial was illegal. This is a truly gripping story.
Giving & Sharing is pleased to provide this excellent resource for your reflection during the Passover season: Order “Jesus Before the Sanhedrin,” for a suggested donation of $5 postpaid, or view on the Internet at www.giveshare.org/library/sanhedrin.
In his dramatic conclusion, Lémann forces us to ask, and answer, the ultimate question, “Who is this?” Matthew 21:10. “Who is this, to secure whose downfall all forms of law had been wantonly violated? Who is this, who met the insolence of His accuses with meekness and serenity? . . . Nineteen hundred years have passed. The tumultuous passions of Christ’s enemies have subsided. Yet this question continues to resound with a resistless clamor in the ears of those of whom He once said, ‘Father, forgive them; they know not what they do’.”
The wicked men who unjustly condemned the most righteous man who ever lived, give us hope for the glorious day of Israel’s redemption, when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus is “The Lord my God.” May God speed that day!
Question: “I was perusing the Internet and came across your article ‘Passover And Feast Of Unleavened Bread’ . . . and in it you state that the body of Jesus was broken. Where in scripture do you see that? John 19:32-37 shows that not a bone of Him shall be broken.”
Answer: I Corinthians 11:23-24 says, “. . . the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.”
Here, the word, “broken” is from the Greek #2806, klao, which is elsewhere used to refer to breaking bread, e.g., Acts 20:11. Jesus’ body was “broken,” in the sense of being “bruised, beaten,” as prophesied in Isaiah 53:4-5. This refers to the terrible beating He suffered from the Roman soldiers, John 19:1; Matthew 27:26-31.
In John 19:36, we see that not a bone of Jesus, our Passover, was to be broken (see Psalm 34:20; Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; I Corinthians 5:7). The word in “broken” John is Strong’s # 4937, suntribo, meaning “to crush completely, to shatter, break in pieces.”
Breaking one’s bones, and breaking one’s body, are not the same thing. Jesus’ body was broken, beaten (with His stripes we are healed), but His bones were not broken. He died by pouring out His blood (soul) unto death, Isaiah 53:12. May we all deeply appreciate our Savior’s holy sacrifice for our sins.
Have an inspiring Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread this year!
The difference between Christianity and Islam is that in Islam, you send your son to die for God [Allah]; in Christianity, however, God sent His Son to die for you. Which belief is better?
Question: “At Sabbath Services last week, one of the men mentioned we had to not only remove leaven from our houses [prior to the Feast of Unleavened Bread], but that we could not ‘hide’ it on our property. There could be no leaven on our property. He said he had been roundly criticized by his former minister when he mentioned he had taken leavened products out to his barn and stored them there until the days of the feast were completed. He was also told that he couldn’t ‘store’ these products with his neighbor as this was just passing ‘his sin’ on to his non-Sabbath keeping friend.
“I read in Exodus that the leaven was to be removed from ‘your dwellings’ and ‘your houses.’ I took this to mean the place where a person lives, i.e., eats, sleeps. Is this being legalistic? In the past, if I had anything left, I just stored it in the freezer. In a former congregation, the emphasis was on ‘seeking out and removing’ crumbs, bread, whatever, as the lesson was how difficult it is to find and remove sin from our lives.
“What is correct? What is your interpretation of the Bible verses describing removing leaven from ‘dwellings’, etc.?” — reader from Arkansas
Answer: Let us keep in mind that leaven itself is not sin; during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, leaven merely represents sin. The act of removing physical leaven is a lesson for us, a symbolic act, which teaches us the necessity of removing spiritual sin from our lives. Let’s see what the Bible says.
Exodus 12:15, “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall [have] 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.” If you have small children, and leavened products are in the refrigerator or otherwise easily accessible, chances are that they might eat the leavened food. The purpose of removing leaven from our houses is so we do not inadvertently eat leavened bread. The Hebrew word for “house” is #1004, bayith.
This is a serious matter. Exodus 12:19, “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.” If you store leaven or leavened products in your freezer, it can be “found,” and “eaten.”
Exodus 13:7 says, “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.” Here, the word is #1366, gebul, meaning “boundary, territory, border, coast, landmark.” The obvious implication is that this refers to one’s property, not just his house. Deuteronomy 16:4 adds, “And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days . . . .” The same word, gebul, is used.
Is your barn or backyard tool shed part of your territory, or coast? Yes, it certainly is. So therefore, you cannot store leavening anywhere on your property. “Giving” it to your neighbor is not the intent of God’s law either. Leavened products and leavening agents are to be removed from your property, disposed, so that they cannot ever be used. This could be fulfilled by either burning the leavening, putting it in the garbage, or digging it under.
Remember, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, leaven is a type of sin (I Corinthians 5:7). How does God remove our sins when we repent? “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us,” Psalm 103:12. Our sins are totally gone, absent, done away! Then, how do we remove the physical leaven as an object lesson prior to the seven-day spring Feast? Certainly we are to remove the leaven so it is gone, not useable to anyone, absent, done away, never to be used again!
If we play games with putting away leaven, then we are saying that we cannot trust God to forgive us of our sins. If we are serious about this physical lesson, we are taught the seriousness of sin, and the necessity of putting sin out of our lives. May you be blessed this spring festival season as you obey Him!
Here are overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation, compiled by a Christian university professor. Here are the brief facts on the Israeli conflict today.
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation about 1312 B.C., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C., the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since A.D. 635 lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10.The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution, and pogroms.
11.The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12.Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples’ lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13.The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14.The PLO’s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.
15.Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16.The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17.Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18.The U.N was silent while Jordanians destroyed 58 Jerusalem Synagogues.
19.The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20.The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
There is a vast difference between those who believe in the Creator God of the Bible, and those who believe in Evolution.
Philosophy of Health and Medicine
The body was designed by an all-wise Creator. He designed our food supply to provide for our needs (Psalm 104:14).
The body is a random collection of chemicals that formed by chance over billions of years. Diseases should be treated with drugs.
Philosophy of Law and Government
Democracy (leads to Totalitarianism)
Laws come from the Creator.
Laws come from man’s opinion.
Rights are “unalienable.”
Rights are granted by the government.
Government should be limited to the punishment of evildoers, and defense.
Government should be all-powerful, provide for health, welfare, education, etc.
Philosophy of Religion
One God, one Faith, as defined in the Bible.
All religions are man’s attempts to find meaning in life, all are equally relevant.
God’s unchanging Law defines sin.
Man’s moral codes change as man evolves. There is no such thing as sin.
Man is accountable to God for his actions.
There is no judgment for man’s deeds; if it feels good, do it.
Man’s purpose in life is to surrender to God, become a Child of God, build character, and become part of the family of God.
Man has no purpose in life.
Evolution is not science (knowledge based on facts), but evolution is actually a religious philosophy, taught in the public school system with tax funds. It takes blind faith (faith in opposition to the evidence) to believe in evolution. The government of the United States of America was founded as a Republic, upon Christian principles. The Declaration of Independence, 1776, states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Evolutionary thinking has destroyed our national faith in God, led to the destruction of life (abortion, euthanasia), and changed our form of government from a republic into a democracy on the road to dictatorship. Is your faith and confidence in the Almighty Creator God, or, instead, do you tenaciously believe in the broken reed of evolution? Proverbs 25:19, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”
If Jesus came to your home to spend a day or two,
If He came unexpected, just dropped in on you,
I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored guest,
And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best.
You would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him coming would you meet Him at the door,
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in,
And hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?
Would you turn the radio off and hope He hadn’t heard,
And wish you hadn’t uttered that loud and nasty word?
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn book out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in or would you have to rush about?
And I wonder if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing and read the books you read,
And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go,
Or maybe would you change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closet friends,
Or hope that they would stay away until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on,
Or would you sigh with great relief when at last He was gone?
Oh, it might be interesting to know the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you. — from the Internet
Steven M. Collins, author of The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel … Found! (available for $18 from Giving & Sharing), has expanded his research on Israel. During 2003, he will be releasing four new books ($18 each from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100 Neck City, MO 64849).
The new four-book series chronologically traces the origins, history, migrations and empires of the tribes of Israel. Their locations in the modern world are also identified. Modern history texts examine ancient history ethnocentrically from the viewpoints of ancient Rome and Greece. This has led to a warped view of history as the ancient propaganda of Greek and Roman tyrants has been uncritically accepted as a correct accounting of history. This book series examines world history from the standpoint of the tribes of Israel, most particularly, the supposedly “lost” ten tribes of Israel. All books combine Biblical accounts and secular histories in their narratives about the Israelite tribes. While based on The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel...Found! the new books include much additional historical information as well as photographs, illustrations and maps. All books have full indexes.
Available now: The Origins & Empire of Ancient Israel shows the major role the Israelite peoples had in ancient history. Israel’s Lost Empires documents the worldwide scope of the Israelite/Phoenician Empire.
Available later in 2003: Parthia: The Forgotten Ancient Superpower. This book details the history of the greatest Israelite empire in the postexilic period: Parthia. Israel’s Lost Tribes Today reveals the clear evidence that the nations of the ten tribes of Israel are to be found among the dominant and powerful nations of the earth, exactly as the Bible prophesied. All the tribes of Israel are identified in the modern world.
Reading these four books will increase your understanding of both ancient and modern history and your outlook will never again be the same. Most importantly, you will understand that a divine plan is being worked out among the nations, and that the God of the Bible is active in world affairs even today!W
The next time you think you have an excuse why God can’t use you, remember the people whom God did use:
Noah was drunk. Abraham was too old. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses was a murderer (like David and Paul). Deborah was a woman. Gideon was afraid. Samson had long hair. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. Elijah was suicidal. Isaiah preached naked. Jonah ran away from God. Naomi was a widow. Job was bankrupt. John the Baptist ate locusts. Peter was impulsive and hot tempered. Martha worried about everything. Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. The Samaritan Woman was divorced — more than once.
Zacchaeus was too small. Paul was too religious. Timothy had a stomach ulcer. David pretended madness, had an affair and ran away from his own son. Lazarus was dead.
So, what is your excuse for not serving God? — adapted from the Internet
Friday Night Bible Study, April-May, 2003, dial 918-222-7102, then 1079#, 6 PM Pacific, 7 PM Mountain, 8 PM Central, 9 PM Eastern time. — by Richard C. Nickels