Passover On The 14th or 15th? (IIj)

This is the last posting of a Critique of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover.

Draft IIj

Chapters 18 – 19

Before we go into the Passover issue it is important to start with John, the forerunner to the arrival of the Messiah. Note his prophecy:

Luke 3:3 And he (John the son of Zacharias) came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
7 Then said he to the multitude who came forth to be baptized by him, “O generation of vipers! Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say among yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say unto you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9 And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees. Every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire (pyr g4442).”

And further down, John prophesied about the Messiah:

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire (pyr g4442). 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire (pyr g4442) unquenchable.”
The Greek word pŷr is “fire” literally or figuratively, especially lightning. A pyre in English is also known as a funeral pyre, which is a structure, usually made of wood, for burning a body as part of a funeral rite or execution. As a form of cremation, a body is placed upon or under the pyre, which is then set on fire.

John was a voice crying in the wilderness, and he said to make the crooked paths straight, he needed to hewn some trees and cast them into the fire (verse 9). Then John said that the Messiah that come after him, will have a winnowing fan in His hand, and will thoroughly purge His floor by gathering the chaff together and burn them with fire (verse17). This story is so important that it is similarly recorded in Matthew 3:1-12.

Notice the consistency of “fire” is important. After the flood, God promised the world that whenever we see the rainbow it is a reminder of His promise not to similarly destroy the world by flood again. But about destroying by fire here are some of Jesus own warnings:

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
Matthew 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of this world.
Matthew 13:50 and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Matthew 25:41 “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Mark 9:44 where ‘their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.’
Luke 12:49 “I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will I, if it be already kindled?
John 15:6 If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Acts 2:19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath — blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

And destruction it came in AD 70, roughly 40 years after Christ’s warning! The Romans, led by the future Emperor Titus, came and destroyed Jerusalem, killed more than 1.1 million, with another 97,000 enslaved. “Brood of vipers!” warned John the Baptist, “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” From all the chaos that took place, only a few Jews escaped.

The foundation of Fred Coulter’s Passover on the early fourteenth of Nisan has been proven to be built on sand. Once this foundation is wacky, it shifts and moves and its consequence can be desperating. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall,” (Matthew 7:24-27). That’s right! The Worldwide Church of God was growing at some 30 percent each year for decades, but it was built on sand. Once its founder died, the organisation imploded, and it fell like a bang, and great was its noise, scattering many splinters as a result. Because Fred Coulter’s belief is similarly built on a shaky foundation it will with certainty comes with a desperating end. So we’ll proceed with him to the New Testament era.

But notice the following four verses during the New Testament time before we proceed. They show that the Feast of the Passover were well understood by the writers as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They were already well amalgamated.

Matthew 26:17 Now on 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 on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said unto Him, “Where wilt Thou have us go and prepare, that Thou mayest eat the Passover?”
Luke 22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
Luke 22:7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb must be killed.

Now another quote from the Christian Passover:

When we examine the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last Passover, it is evident that Jesus and His disciples kept a domestic Passover at the beginning of the 14th, according to the commands of God in Exodus 12. On the other hand, the New Testament discloses that the Sadducees, scribes and Pharisees observed a 14/15 temple Passover, eating their Passover on the night of the 15th. This dichotomy makes it clear that the 14/15 controversy existed in New Testament times. We will have a better basis for understanding the observance of the Passover in the New Testament if we survey the terminology that is used in the Gospel accounts.

See the source imageThere are many errors in the above paragraph. The Sadducees didn’t subscribe to a 14/15 Passover, the Pharisees did. The Sadducees (and also the Samaritans), kept an early fourteenth Passover, because they also define erev as twilight, and ben ha arbayim (between the two evenings) as between sunset and dark. Fred Coulter must be suffering from memory loss, for he wrote in Chapter 10: “The Sadducees, including some high priests and their families, continued to practice the domestic killing of the Passover lambs at the beginning of the 14th.” The oversight is glaring. And where are all his team?—Carl and Jean Franklin, Philip Neal, Albert and Mela Cataga John, Hiedi and Sasha Vogele—sleeping?

The Pharisees, and later the Rabbinics considered the time when the sun began to descend from its zenith to be called the First Evening and the Second Evening when the sun disappears from sight over the horizon. The time in between is “between the two evenings.” Only the Pharisees kept a late fourteenth Passover.

Both Mark and Luke make a clear distinction between the Passover day and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in their accounts of the events leading to Jesus’ last Passover. On the other hand, in his narration of the early life of Jesus Christ, Luke includes the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the Passover day as a single feast called “the feast of Passover.” In this passage, Luke does not distinguish the Passover day from the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but records that Jesus and “… His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover….[And] they departed after completing the days…” (Luke 2:41, 43).

That’s right, the feast of the Passover involves several days. The gospel writers well understood that the feast of the Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread were intertwined and the same. To argue otherwise is going against the spirit of the Scriptures, and the writings of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Unless, of course, Fred Coulter, Frank Nelte and John Ritenbaugh are holier than Ezra, Matthew, Mark and Luke.

The Gospel accounts make it clear that Jesus did not follow the traditions of men. Jesus strongly denounced the traditions of the Jews—ALL OF THEM!

Image result for jesus 12 to jerusalem for the passoverAll of them? Nar. Early in His life, Jesus went with his parents to keep the Passover, Luke 2:41. Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. If these Galileean were to keep a domestic Passover, as Fred Coulter alleges, they would stay back to keep a “domestic Passover” in Galilee. Bad traditions are already well documented, so I won’t reiterate them, but good traditions are seldom mentioned. Here there are, as Paul says:

“I profited in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers” Galatians 1:14.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle” II Thessalonians 2:15.

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother who walketh disorderly and not according to the tradition which you received from us” II Thessalonians 3:6.

To say that Jesus rejects “ALL” the traditions of the Jews is a presumption that could only come from one with a devious mindset, and it will come with a serious consequence. “And the man who will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest who standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die” Deuteronomy 17:12.

The Gospel of John shows how far the Jews had strayed from the worship that God desired. John records that the Jews were actually defiling the temple of God with their corrupt practices: “Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem . . .

Image result for jerusalem for the passoverWasn’t a Jerusalem centred Passover from God? Jesus, setting the best example, went to Jerusalem to keep the Passover of the Jews. He didn’t stay back in Galilee, in their own homes, to keep a “domestic Passover” as occurred in the original Exodus. Neither did He kept a Passover of the Samaritans at Mount Gerizim.

Yet Fred moans over this “domestic Passover” all over his book. To the knowledgeable this is revolting. For in Deuteronomy 16:16 it commands “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.” God had provided a provision where He will choose a place in the future where the Israelites are to worship him.

And God’s prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Zechariah, they all say the same thing. In Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously: Isaiah 28:14, Jeremiah 3:17, Joel 2:32, Joel 3:16, Amos 1:2, Micah 4:2, Zechariah 1:16,17, 2:12, 3:2, 8:3, 8:22, 12:10), and other follows identifying Jerusalem as God’s chosen city, but why is Fred Coulter still harping and whining about a “domestic Passover”?

Image result for jerusalem for the passoverAnd Jesus, at the age of twelve, readily went to Jerusalem to keep the Passover! “Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 16:5) Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when Jesus was twelve years old, they similarly went up to Jerusalem “after the custom of the feast,” rather than staying back in Galilee. Was Jesus misled? “Custom of the Feast,” that means to say, Jesus went to Jerusalem every year for Passover! But Fred still groans about a “domestic Passover” all over. The Old Jeroboam stopped his subjects from going to Temple-based Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles; the New Jeroboam also teaches against keeping Passover in a Temple-based Jerusalem. Amazing parallels!

In later chapters, John uses similar terminology when referring to the Jews’ observance of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: “Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near” (John 6:4). Again, John states, “Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from out of the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, so that they might purify themselves” (John 11:55). John’s repeated use of this terminology makes it clear that the Jews were not keeping these feast days as God intended them to be kept.

Nar, John lived the longest among the Gospel writers, and even among all the other apostles. And he was there when there arose a revolting movement by the Gentiles to get rid of anything that had to do with being Jewish. With that in mind, John emphasized the Jewishness of those feasts by reiterating “Passover of the Jews” or “feast of the Jews.” He also mentioned a Jewish feast of tabernacles too in John 7:2 “Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.”

He emphasised their Jewishness simply because there was a real Samaritan counterfeit nearby: they practiced another version of the Passover, which were observed on a Samaritan calendar an early fourteenth of Nisan, at twilight, on Mount Gerizim. These rivalries were so intense and hence imbuled their perception that Samaritans were having a devil (John 8:48).

Image result for jerusalem for the passoverBeing Galileans, John and the other disciples have to travel numerous times passing Samaritan territories, including Jacob’s well, to come to Jerusalem to keep the three annual feasts. So bad and threatening to these Jewish faith and practises since Ezra’s time that eventually the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans, (John 4:9). So when John was writing, he emphasized “of the Jews.” And to put a sting to their Jewishness, John even recorded Jesus in Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), which all the other Gospel writers ignored, for it says in John 10:22 “And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of Dedication,” where Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s Porch.

However, John writes differently when he refers to Jesus’ last Passover, which was observed on the night of the 14th, the time that God commanded. Notice that John does not use the phrase “of the Jews” to describe this Passover: “Now six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany…” (John 12:1). Again, John records, “Now before the feast of the Passover, knowing that His time had come to depart from this world to the Father…” (John 13:1). As the subsequent verses in John 13 show, John is referring to Jesus’ last Passover, which He ate with His disciples on the 14th day of the first month, as commanded by God. The different terminology that John uses makes a clear distinction between Jesus’ observance of the Passover and the Jews’ observance of their feast.

“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?” (Mark 14:12, KJV.)

Although the translators did not insert the words “feast of” before “unleavened bread,” this translation of Mark 14:12 gives the impression that the lambs were killed on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Such a statement would be contrary to all records of Scripture and history.

Mark rightly didn’t incorporate the “feast of” before unleavened bread and credit should be attributable to him, not attacking him. This is a typical case of Fred having a misconception of what the Scriptures say, and then he attacks his own misconception: “If these verses are actually stating that the lambs were killed on the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then we are confronted with gigantic problems.” And then he continues his attack.

Let’s recall what he wrote about sticking to the Scriptures on Chapter 1 — Fourteen Rules for Bible Study:
12) Do not allow your own personal assumptions or preconceived notions to influence your understanding and conclusions.
13) Do not form conclusions based on partial facts or insufficient information, or the opinions and speculations of others.
14) Opinions, regardless of how strongly you feel about them, don’t necessarily count. Scripture must be your standard and guide.

Amazing! He has been making presumptions all the time. Right at the second paragraph of this chapter “When we examine the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last Passover, it is evident that Jesus and His disciples kept a domestic Passover at the beginning of the 14th, according to the commands of God in Exodus 12,” and the title for the next chapter, he already has his heading as, “Chapter Nineteen – Jesus’ Last Passover—When and How Was It Observed?” He has already concluded it was “Jesus’ Last Passover” before he began to prove it. Are these statements and headings not presumptuous? Are Fred’s devotees still adoring him? Are they correctly described as “wretched” and “naked”?

Image result for last supper picsThe wording in Mark’s account causes confusion because it appears to contradict these facts, as does the wording in Luke’s account: “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed” (Luke 22:7, KJV).

If these verses are actually stating that the lambs were killed on the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then we are confronted with gigantic problems:

No, it is not even a slight problem. Exodus 12 confirms the opposite. Verse 18 says “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening (erev), ye shall eat unleavened bread until the one and twentieth day of the month at evening (erev).” Eating of unleavened bread starts BEFORE the beginning of the fifteenth. Unleavened bread is to be eaten “on the fourteenth day of the month at evening (erev),” (Exodus 12:18). As another testimony from Deuteronomy 16:1-8 shows, the full ordinances for Passover and the time for taking unleavened bread overlapped. The Targum translates and explains the Sacred Hebrew Text into the vernacular, in very simple language and is extremely clear: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan.”

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This chapter starts with a preconconception, that Jesus last supper was His last Passover. And Fred Coulter repeated his misconception again and again. Scriptures were cherry picked to support preexisting biases and other Biblical passages were reinterpreted and twisted to support his misconception. If His last supper was a Passover, there were no words or a phase to confirm that, such as “when they finished Passover, they sang a hymn”, “during Passover, He poured wine and break bread,” or “during Jesus last Passover, He took bread” rather than “on the night he was betrayed, He took bread.”

There is evidence in early historical works that at the time John was writing his Gospel, the 14/15 Passover controversy was already a major problem. That would explain why John describes Jesus’ last Passover and the subsequent events in greater detail than the other Gospel writers.

It is correct that John’s account differs from the other Gospels, but not for the reasons given. John had to keep on emphasizing the details of Jewish feasts as difference from a Samaritan counterfeit version that had been a threat for hundreds of years. John mentioned going through Samaria in details encountering with a Samaritan woman (John 4:4-40), eventually giving them the most important message: for “Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). For us living far and away in the twenty-first century, the threat from the Samaritans aren’t real, but for them, John and his countrymen from Galilee, they had to live with those threats, and they were real.

John shows that the Passover they were preparing to eat was recognized as the official observance of the Jews: “(Now it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour [6 AM]). And he [Pilate] said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ But they cried aloud, ‘Away, away with Him! Crucify Him!’ ” (John 19:14-15).

It’s amazing. It’s like a red-hot murder suspect caught and being interviewed in a police station testifying with different alibi to suit different circumstances. Here, the sixth hour is “6 AM”, but in another of Fred’s own books, it’s 8.30 AM (pg 219, Harmony of the Gospels, 1974). If Fred Coulter have been honest, he would tell the truth that the “sixth hour” is the same as when Jesus met the Samaritan at the well. It was hot, and Jesus, being wearied and tired, asked for a drink. It was noon time, as the same time were listed elsewhere:

John 4:6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus by the well; and it was about the sixth hour. — NOON

And that noon time, the sixth hour, is the same in the other Gospels.

See the source imageMatthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. — NOON TO 3 PM
Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. — NOON TO 3 PM
Luke 23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. — NOON TO 3 PM
John 19:14 And it was the Preparation of the Passover and about the sixth hour, and Pilate said unto the Jews, “Behold your king!” — NOON

The truth is that all the Gospel writers were using Hebrew time and all the “sixth hour” means 12 noon, since the hour counting starts at daybreak, at 6 AM. I like Fred’s thirteenth rule on studying the Bible 13) Do not form conclusions based on partial facts or insufficient information, or the opinions and speculations of others.

The truth then, is, since Matthew, Mark and Luke testifies that Christ was on the cross at the sixth hour, Jesus couldn’t be at the judgement Hall at the same time. And since the crucifixion was on the fourteenth, the time at the Judgement Hall had to be on a day before, on the thirteenth. Then they led Him away to be crucified, but first to be flogged, including mocking and scourging—the missing hours, or for the next 18 hours—then back at the praetorium. From John 14:16 to17, there is a time gap where there is no record of Him—from about noon on the thirteenth to daybreak on the fourteenth of Nisan. A mystery of mysteries. A secret among secrets.

And that evening, the evening where Jesus and His disciples were taking supper, were indeed just a supper. There is no evidence of a Passover—no lamb, no bitter herbs, no mention of any blood on the doorposts and lintel—it was not even a Samaritan or a Sadducean Passover, where it would be on an early fourteenth of Nisan. Jesus and His disciples were eating a meal, called a supper by the Gospel writers, is ON THE EVENING OF THE THIRTEENTH!

If Fred Coulter had put the timing of the “Last Supper” on the night of the thirteenth, he needs not twist the time “sixth hour” of John 19:14 into various alibis to suit different situations.

Bacchiocchi fails to consider that during Jesus’ day a majority of the Jews were observing the domestic Passover at the beginning of the 14th, as commanded by God in Exodus 12.

Image result for samaritan passover picsThe Samaritans would keep their early fourteenth Passover at Mount Gerizim at sunset, but there is no record (at least I haven’t come across any) how the Sadduceans, the Boethusians and Herodians, would keep them, though there seems some scattered comments in the Mishnah. If they did, they would similarly have kept it on an early fourteenth. But they were a minority during Christ’s time, confined to Jerusalem and the Temple. When the Temple was destroyed by fire in AD 70, the Sadduceans, the Boethusians and Herodians were all consumed with it and disappeared from history.

A “domestic Passover” would have to be kept in their houses “as commanded by God in Exodus 12.” He emphasised in Chapter 6: “There is no question that the children of Israel were in their houses when they observed the Passover.” There has been no record of any Passover being kept back in Galilee. And if they have to move to keep it in Jerusalem in houses, tents, or inns it would be a fake domestic Passover. A true domestic Passover would have to be kept in where there own houses were, as in Egypt. In Exodus 12:13-14 it says, “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live.” And they lived in Galilee.

Because Bacchiocchi recognizes no other Passover than the traditional Nisan 15 observance, he concludes that Jesus’ observance of the 14th was “a special paschal meal” kept a day early in anticipation of His crucifixion. Notice: “An Early Passover Meal. A plausible resolution of the discrepancy is to assume that the last Supper was a special paschal meal eaten the evening before the official Passover meal. The anticipation of the paschal meal could have been motivated by the fact that Jesus knew He would suffer death at Passover in fulfillment of the type provided by the slaying of the paschal lamb on Nisan 14. He knew He could not possibly eat of the paschal lamb at the usual time [assuming that Jesus kept the traditional Nisan 15 Passover] and Himself be sacrificed as the true Paschal Lamb when the lambs were slain [referring to the afternoon of Nisan 14]. It was more important that Christ’s death should synchronize with the death of the Passover lambs [at the temple] than that His eating of the Passover meal synchronize with the official time of the Passover meal” (Ibid., p. 56, emphasis added).

Image result for pics Bacchiocchi Although Bacchiocchi was a Seventh-day Adventist, and Adventists normally don’t keep the annual feasts, he was right in observing how Christ’s last supper wasn’t a Passover, but he wasn’t right to describe it as an “early Passover” either. To fine-tune further it should be more accurate to call it a pre-paschal meal. That night, there were no evidence of a Passover—no lamb, no bitter herbs. If lamb have been eaten at that last supper, it is inconceivable that the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world would not have been mentioned.There were no reminder of John the Baptist’s words, “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29,36).

There were no mention of bunches of hyssop brushing blood on the doorposts and lintel either, neither did they burnt any of the remains at daybreak, nor remained in the house till SUNRISE, OR DAYBREAK, but they scurried off to the Garden of Gethsemane against all the ordinances needed to keep a “domestic Passover”—so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it wasn’t a Passover of whatever kind at all, unless it is a Simon Magus Passover, taking on a false hope with a wafer of bread and a goblet of wine.

It is important to note what Fred Coulter wrote in Chapter 6:

The children of Israel kept the Passover in their houses, just as the Bible records for us . . . The inspired record in Exodus 12 makes it clear that the children of Israel were not dwelling in tents at Rameses when they kept the Passover. The Hebrew word bayith, which is translated “house” or “houses” in Exodus 12, does not refer to a tent or a temporary dwelling.

Amazing stuff! Even if Jesus and His disciples were eating that last supper in a house, it still doesn’t qualify keeping it “in their houses” as Fred Coulter alleges in Chapter 6, because bayith does not refer to a tent or a temporary dwelling. “It is important to read with an open mind, carefully examining each Scripture as it is presented,” he warned in the introduction, “and drawing conclusions only after considering all the facts.” And the “facts” he presented are all either self-contradictory or against a “domestic Passover.” A better question to ask is why is the end-time Church has the descriptions as being “ten virgins, waiting, waiting and waiting,” and yet “wretched” and “naked”? And where are his team—Carl and Jean Franklin, Philip Neal, Albert and Mela Cataga John, Hiedi and Sasha Vogele—ten virgins sleeping?

See the source imageThe word “they” in Mark 14:12 refers to those who were killing the Passover lambs at houses, tents, or inns where the domestic Passover would be kept. Mark’s record of the killing of the lambs at the time that Jesus sent His disciples to prepare the Passover confirms that many Jews in New Testament times were observing the domestic Passover. Clearly, Jesus and His disciples did not observe a “special paschal meal” at a different time from other Jews in Jerusalem. Mark’s testimony exposes this teaching as a false doctrine of men.

Okay, let’s see what Mark says in Mark 14:12; and it’s getting a bit technical:

Mark 14:12 KJV And the first (G4413 protos) day (G2250 hemera) 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?

G4413 protos could be translated as ‘a time before’ as in John 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before G4413 me.

John 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before G4413 me.

G2250 hemera could be translated as ‘a period of time or days’ as in Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days G2250 of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

Matthew 3:1 In those days G2250 came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Matthew 11:12 And from the days G2250 of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days G2250 of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Matthew 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! G2250
Matthew 24:22 And except those days G2250 should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days G2250 shall be shortened.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days G2250 shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matthew 24:37 But as the days G2250 of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. During those 120 years Noah preached a warning message (1 Peter 3:20).
Matthew 24:38 For as in the days G2250 that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day G2250 that Noah entered into the ark,
Mark 2:20 But the days G2250 will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. G2250
Mark 8:1 In those days G2250 the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

So Mark 14:12 could or should be translated as “Now before the Days of Unleavened Bread arrived, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, Where do You want us to go and prepare that You may eat the Passover?

Matthew 26:17 Now the first day (G4413 protos) 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?

Matthew 26:17 could be translated as: “Now before the Days of Unleavened Bread have arrived, the disciples came to Jesus, asking, Where shall we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?”

Same thing with Luke 22:7 Then came (G2064 erchomai) the day (G2250 hemera) of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lambs had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.”

Luke 22:7 could be translated as “As the Days of Unleavened Bread were approaching when the Passover lambs had to be sacrificed, 8 Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.””

—It is possible that Peter and John killed the lamb themselves.However, since the guest chamber was furnished and ready, it is more likely that the master of the house had already killed the lamb by the time Peter and John arrived.
—It is probable that the lamb for Jesus’ last Passover was a very small lamb,
—If the lamb was very small, the Passover meal could have been ready as early as 7:30 PM.
—The subsequent events of that night indicate that the Passover meal began early and probably ended by 9 or 9:30 PM.

Typical of Fred Coulter’s analysis. A possibility becomes a probability and then it becomes a fact. And so in his Harmony of the Gospels, his passover started at 7.30 PM and everything ended by 9.30 PM when they Jesus and His disciples sped off to the Garden of Gethsemane well before daybreak. They were to keep all the ordinances of a “domestic Passover,” shouldn’t they? “And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning [sunrise]” (Ex. 12:21-22),” Fred wrote in Chapter 6, and reaffirmed again in Chapter 7:

“…And none of you shall go out of the door of his house UNTIL SUNRISE….And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, SO THEY DID” (Ex. 12:22, 28).

“If any of the children of Israel had left their houses before morning, it would be recorded in the Scriptures that some of the people had disobeyed the command of God and had left their houses too soon, and therefore they had died in the plague of the firstborn.”

See the source imageThe killing and roasting took only one and a half hours, he says. Anticipated to feed 13 adults, Fred wrote that they only planned to have a tiny 8-day old lamb, weights only 10-12 pounds. Have any of you roasted a leg of lambs, folks? I would love to hear from your experiences. More so if you have even killed a lamb, drained off the blood, skinned, cleaned and have it roasted, expected to feed thirteen adults after nightfall. If not, try it, it is an opportunity to prove the truth!

Nevermind, Fred Coulter provided his own analysis. Surely he had in mind a household during the time of the Exodus of around ten: women and children among them; here he analysed he needed close to 6 hours to roast a lamb, so back to Chapter 6:

To roast a whole lamb or kid weighing 20-30 pounds until the meat was thoroughly done would take approximately 4-5 hours. The total time needed to have the meal ready is estimated to be from 4 and 1/2 hours at the earliest, to 5 and 3/4 hours at the latest, which includes 30-45 minutes to prepare the lamb and 4-5 hours to roast it.

At the end of the Chapter 6 he concluded from an earlier question: Element # 4) How long did it take to kill, roast and eat the lambs, and to burn the bones and remains?

The Answer for Element # 4: To kill, roast and eat the lambs, and to burn the bones and remains, took from approximately 6 PM on the night of the fourteenth until 2-3 hours before sunrise, a total of 8-10 hours.

See, Fred Coulter keeps on wiggling his alibi to suit different circumstances. Or is this a doublespeak? “Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.” But this case his distortion is everywhere. Can we trust his “analysis”? He wrote in Chapter 1: “Unfortunately, the landscape of religious history is filled with the bodies of people who have taught false doctrines, and the bodies of people who have embraced such teachings.” So true with Fred’s remarkable insight, when he starts describing himself!

Luke records Jesus’ words at the beginning of the Passover meal: “Now when the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, ‘With earnest desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you that I will not eat of it again until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God’ ” (Luke 22:14-16).

Did Jesus eat the Passover? If not, what was He talking when he said about “this Passover”?

Let’s study this; there could only be two possibilities:

1) He meant the upcoming Passover that very season, which was approaching, as this statement was made “before the feast of the Passover” (John 13:1).
2) He meant that very meal that evening which they were partaking of – even though it was served with leavened bread (artos G740), makes no mention of the lamb, or bitter herbs, which were required for a Passover meal.

What did Jesus mean when He said, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer?” Note that earlier it was the disciples, not Christ, who mentioned about eating the Passover, and that Christ referred later only His desire to eat it: “Where is the guest chamber where I shall eat the Passover with My disciples?” But did Christ the Passover? This difference is critical. The word for “desire” is an unusual word, epithumia in the Greek, and means “a longing, especially for something forbidden” (Strong’s G1937)—a strong desire for something denied. Other examples are:

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after G1937 her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Matthew 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired G1937 to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Luke 17:22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire G1937 to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
Acts 20:33 I have coveted G1937 no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. G1937
James 4:2 Ye lust, G1937 and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Revelation 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire G1937 to die, but death shall flee from them.
Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts G1939 of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

The word for “desire” in Luke 22:15 is a “desire, craving, longing—specifically for what is forbidden,” says the Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Critical-Experimental Commentary. This is the “strongest expression of intense desire,” whether good or bad. The New Testament Greek Lexicon says epithumia is, “desire, craving, longing, desiring for something forbidden.”

In other words, Jesus desired to eat the true Biblical Passover with His disciples that year, but He knew that such a thing would be impossible—that it was forbidden; it was denied—that for Him to fulfill God’s plan that He must fulfilled that Special Sacrificial Paschal, that “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Jesus knew He was to fulfil John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. So Christ knew He would be denied, forbidden and impossible for Him to eat that forthcoming Passover with His disciples.

With all these in mind, perhaps Luke 22:15 could be translated as: “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; but I’m saying to you now, I am forbidden and denied this privilege, and I will no longer eat with you until we’re all in the kingdom of God.”

Image result for jesus last supper picsAs we continue reading the account, it is clear that the context supports this translation, and is consistent with the Greek. We are told that Jesus rose from supper (verse 4). After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus sat down again (Greek “reclined”) to eat (verse 12). Jesus said, “The one who is eating bread with Me…” (verse 18), shows that the meal was in progress. Jesus dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas, who ate it (verse 26).

Obviously Jesus and His disciples didn’t keep a “domestic Passover” back in their houses in Galilee. Here they didn’t eat “with loins girded, shoes on their feet, and staves in their hands,” they didn’t take a bunch of hyssop, dipped it in the blood and strike the lintel and the two side posts, and to eat “in haste,” ready to flee.

And then they left though they were supposed to remain in their house that entire night! Instead they sang a hymn where the Israelties didn’t sing any in the original Passover in Egypt. Then Fred Coulter admitted, “Jesus sat down again (Greek “reclined”) to eat.” What an admission! What a difference between the original Passover and the one Jesus and His disciples took. Just referring back to Chapter One, this is how Fred Coulter put a mirror in front of himself, and wrote about what he saw:

“False doctrines and misinterpretations are continually being spread because ministers and teachers use the Word of God deceitfully. How diabolical it is to take the Word of God, which is the truth, and misapply it to create a lie!”

“False doctrines and misinterpretations are continually being spread because ministers and teachers use the Word of God deceitfully. How diabolical it is to take the Word of God, which is the truth, and misapply it to create a lie! Such deceptive use of God’s Word has existed from the time of the apostles.”

“Anyone who twists and distorts the Scriptures is “using the law unlawfully,” as Paul said, and will end up believing false, satanic doctrines, which subvert the souls of men. Unfortunately, the landscape of religious history is filled with the bodies of people who have taught false doctrines, and the bodies of people who have embraced such teachings.”

And just in case we have forgotten Haman in the Persian Court, here is what Fred Coulter reminded us of himself when he wrote in Chapter 6:

WHAT FOLLY! What foolishness to accept a traditional belief that directly conflicts with the truth of God’s Word, and to use interpretations of Scripture that promote the false ideas of men! No wonder God says that He entraps the intelligent in the foolishness of their own human wisdom.

((((CRITIQUE OF FRED COULTER’S THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER))))

{}THE END{}

~ by Joel Huan on August 13, 2019.

2 Responses to “Passover On The 14th or 15th? (IIj)”

  1. What all these “ministers” forget is that God gave a specific time for the Passover to be killed and that was ben har arbayim. That being the case, if Jesus didn’t die ben har arbayim then he’s not our Passover. We know he is. Therefore Christ is the “original ” Passover, not the lamb in Egypt. The original was slain from the foundation of the world. The lamb in Egypt was killed at the end of the 14th and the “death angel” passed over at midnight on the 15th. The bible is clear, it’s the minds of those who think they are the Lord’s annointed who are confused. I and my family have been taking the bread and wine on the late afternoon of the 14th for nearly two decades.

    Kevin McMillen

  2. Great to hear that, Kevin,
    Ezra started the translation process into the vernacular, first as Oral Targum. Now we have the written Targum which translates Exodus 12:8 as such: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .”
    May God bless you and your family.
    Joel Huan

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