Christian Churches of God

No. 51

 

 

 

 

Passover Questions and the Reasons for Our Faith

(Edition 2.0 20030411-20061222)

 

This paper is issued to the Church for assistance in the conduct of the meal at the Night to Be Much Remembered. At this meal the asking and answering of the questions of the reasons for our actions and faith are required of us.

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

Email: secretary@ccg.org

 

(Copyright ã 2003, 2006 James Dailley and Wade Cox)

 

This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included.  No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies.  Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

 

This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org


Passover Questions and the Reasons for Our Faith

 


Introduction to the Mandatory Questions of the Young at Passover

The Lord’s Supper is kept with baptized Covenant-keeping adults. However, the Passover Meal on the Night to be Much Remembered (or the Night of Watching) is to be kept with the family and the Church at large, which includes the children or the unconverted. Near the end of the meal a child or an unconverted individual shall ask, as in Exodus 12:26, “What does this rite mean to us?” A nominated individual shall coordinate the offer of explanations to the group. The meaning of the Passover with explanations shall cover: redemption, sacrifice, signs, first- born, firstfruits and the relationship of the meal – lamb, wine, unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and salt – to the covenant. This must be reviewed and explained by the Body so that all of us may develop the ability to verbally provide the reasons for our faith.

 

Some relevant Scriptures are included below. In the discussion of the Passover we may add scripture and discuss the implications. The normal usage of this night is in watching and in anticipation of the coming of the Lord. It is usual that the proceedings continue until at least the middle of the night is passed. Thereby, we solemnly observe the Night of Watching in appreciation to our Father and in expectation of and in honour of our redeemer, Jesus Christ, for whom we look. 

 

Passover Sacrifice  

Exodus 12:21-29 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb.  22 "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.  23 "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.  24 "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.  25 "And it will come about when you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, that you shall observe this rite. 26 "And it will come about when your children will say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?' 27 that you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped. 28 Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 29 Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle.

 

Exodus 34:14-15 – “for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God-- 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they play the harlot with their gods, and sacrifice to their gods, and someone invite you to eat of his sacrifice;

 

We must be outside of our dwellings for 36 hours, after having prepared since the New Moon of the First month, Abib.

Deuteronomy 16:1-7  "Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.  2 "And you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name.  3 "You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), in order that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.  4 "For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning.  5 "You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the LORD your God is giving you;  6 but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt.  7 "And you shall cook and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses. And in the morning you are to return to your tents.

 

Knowledge and understanding are required for proper worship.

Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

 

This worship is required from us who have become the sacrifices.

Romans 12:1-2 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

This sacrifice is also by supplying tithes and funds to support the publishing of the Gospel.

Philippians 2:17-18  Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.  18 But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

 

Matthew 26:17-19 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"  18 And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."'" 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

(cf. also Mk. 14:12-16).

 

Hebrews 10:10-12 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,

 

Redemption

Exodus 13:13 "But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.

(cf. also Ex. 29:39-41)

 

Exodus 6:5-8  "And furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant.  6 "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.  7 'Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 'And I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.'"

 

Ephesians 1:13-14  In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

 

Signs

The principle sign was and is shown by how the One True God deals with false gods.

 

Exodus 10:1-2  Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians, and how I performed My signs among them; that you may know that I am the LORD."

 

Numbers 14:22-24  "Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23 shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. 24 "But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.

 

Deuteronomy 26:5-9  "And you shall answer and say before the LORD your God, 'My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation. 6 'And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. 7 'Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression;  8 and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders;  9 and He has brought us to this place, and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

 

First-born

God’s first-born are sanctified to and redeemed by Him.

 

Exodus 4:21-23  And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.  22 "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My first-born.  23 "So I said to you, 'Let My son go, that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first-born."'"

 

Exodus 13:1-2 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Sanctify to Me every first-born, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me."

 

Exodus 13:14-15  "And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' then you shall say to him, 'With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 'And it came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every first-born of my sons I redeem.'

 

Colossians 1:15-18 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.  16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him.  17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

 

Hebrews 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

 

Revelation 1:5-6  and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood,  6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

First-fruits

Exodus 34:24-26  "For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God. 25 "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning. 26 "You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk."

 

Leviticus 23:10-13  "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 'And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 'Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its libation, a fourth of a hin of wine.

 

First-fruits can also be the human harvest, which is what the tithe harvest points to.

Psalm 105:36 He also struck down all the first-born in their land, The first fruits of all their vigor.

 

This is presently the Church of God.

Romans 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within

 

Christ is the First of the First-fruits of the harvest.

1Corinthians 15:20-23  But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.  23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

 

James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.

 

Revelation 14:4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

 

Deuteronomy 6:20-25  "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the LORD our God commanded you?' 21 then you shall say to your son, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt; and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.  22 'Moreover, the LORD showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household;  23 and He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.'  24 "So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today. 25 "And it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe this entire commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.

 

Wine

Wine is a symbol of the vine which is Israel and the Church, and it was taken with the Lord’s Supper the previous evening.

Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.

 

Exodus 29:40 and there shall be one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and one-fourth of a hin (about one quart) of wine for a libation (a drink offering) with one lamb.

 

Leviticus 23:13 'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its libation, a fourth of a hin of wine.

 

Numbers 15:10 and you shall offer as the libation one-half a hin of wine as an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the LORD.

 

Numbers 28:14 'And their libations shall be half a hin of wine for a bull and a third of a hin for the ram and a fourth of a hin for a lamb; this is the burnt offering of each month throughout the months of the year.

 

1Corinthians 11:20-28  Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.  23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

 

Lamb

The Law of God required an offering of a lamb for the redemption of Israel from slavery and sin. That lamb was Christ.

 

The offerings are multiple and they vary in sex. The Sin offering was in fact female.

Leviticus 4:32-35  'But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect. 33 'And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they slay the burnt offering.  34 'And the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. 35 'Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.

 

The lamb was a substitute for both the Patriarchs and the Israel, and for the whole world.

Genesis 22:7-8  And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"  8 And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

 

John 1:29-36  The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 "This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'  31 "And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water."  32 And John bore witness saying, "I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.  33 "And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'  34 "And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."  35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"

 

Bones

The unbroken bones of the lamb symbolize the righteousness of Christ as a sacrifice. The lamb is no longer sacrificed in the same way as the original Passover, Christ died once and for all. However, we keep this meal as a memorial of the salvation of Israel and the elect, which are now the Churches of God.

 

Exodus 12:46 "It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it.

 

Numbers 9:12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.

 

John 19:32-36  The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; 34 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken."

 

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all.  20 He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

 

Lamentations 3:1-4  I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath.  2 He has driven me and made me walk In darkness and not in light. 3 Surely against me He has turned His hand Repeatedly all the day. 4 He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away, He has broken my bones.

 

Unleavened Bread

This evening commences the Feast of Unleavened Bread which has spiritual significance for us.

Exodus 12:8-20  'And they shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  9 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.  11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is the LORD's Passover.  12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am the LORD.  13 'And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.  14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. 15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.  16 'And on the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 'You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 'Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land.  20 'You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"

 

Exodus 12:37-39  Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. 38 And a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. 39 And they baked the dough, which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

 

Exodus 13:7-10  "Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. 8 "And you shall tell your son on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'  9 "And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. 10 "Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.

 

Exodus 34:25 "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning.

 

1Corinthians 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

Bitter Herbs

Bitter herbs symbolize the bondage of slavery and sin cut off from God. It shows the ongoing plight of the world until the end and the repentance of mankind.

Exodus 1:13-14  And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.

 

Exodus 12:5-10 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 'And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.  7 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.  8 'And they shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  9 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.

 

Numbers 9:10-12  "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the LORD.  11 'In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.

 

2Kings 14:26-27  For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was neither bond nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel.  27 And the LORD did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

 

Israel is sent into bondage, and repentance is required in order for it to be restored. Restoration can only come through the activities of Messiah in the Plan of God.

Amos 8:7-12  The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob, "Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds. 8 "Because of this will not the land quake And everyone who dwells in it mourn? Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile, And it will be tossed about, And subside like the Nile of Egypt.  9 "And it will come about in that day," declares the Lord God, "That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight. 10 "Then I shall turn your festivals into mourning And all your songs into lamentation; And I will bring sackcloth on everyone's loins And baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, And the end of it will be like a bitter day.  11 "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord God, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.  12 "And people will stagger from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.

 

Micah 2:1-7  Woe to those who scheme iniquity, Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands.  2 They covet fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance. 3 Therefore, thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity From which you cannot remove your necks; And you will not walk haughtily, For it will be an evil time. 4 "On that day they will take up against you a taunt And utter a bitter lamentation and say, 'We are completely destroyed! He exchanges the portion of my people; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields.' 5 "Therefore, you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the LORD. 6 'Do not speak out,' so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, Reproaches will not be turned back.  7 "Is it being said, O house of Jacob: 'Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these His doings?' Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly?

 

James 3:8-14  But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.  9 With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh. 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

 

The plagues of Egypt are not just in the past; the pestilence and the trials of the Last Days are designed to bring the world to repentance.

Revelation 8:8-11 And the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood; 9 and a third of the creatures, which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters; 11 and the name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

 

Salt and the Covenant of God

Salt was a precious commodity and often people in ancient times were paid their wages in salt. Some of us perhaps are ‘not worth our salt’ and from the Passover can make improvements in our lives. Salt is applied to the sacrifices as the preserving and cleansing (or antiseptic) feature of God’s Covenant with humanity. Outside of the wholly burnt or holocausted offerings, the sacrifices were eaten and wine imbibed, solemnizing the Covenant. We do the same annually at the Lord’s Supper.

 

Covenant (SHD 1285): (berith) (136b): from barah:  meaning: a covenant, an agreement 

 

Jeremiah 34:18-19  'And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts-- 19 the officials of Judah, and the officials of Jerusalem, the court officers, and the priests, and all the people of the land, who passed between the parts of the calf--

 

Genesis 15:8-18  And he said, "O Lord God, how may I know that I shall possess it?"  9 So He said to him, "Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon."  10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.  11 And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.  12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him.  13 And God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.  14 "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions.  15 "And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.  16 "Then in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."  17 And it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:

 

Leviticus 2:13 'Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

 

Numbers 18:19-21  "All the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD to you and your descendants with you."  20 Then the LORD said to Aaron, "You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel. 21 "And to the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting.

 

2Chronicles 13:4-6  Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, "Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel: 5 "Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?  6 "Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master,

 

2Kings 2:19-22  Then the men of the city said to Elisha, "Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful."  20 And he said, "Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it." So they brought it to him.  21 And he went out to the spring of water, and threw salt in it and said, "Thus says the LORD, 'I have purified these waters; there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer.'"  22 So the waters have been purified to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

 

Ezra 6:9-11  "And whatever is needed, both young bulls, rams, and lambs for a burnt offering to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine, and anointing oil, as the priests in Jerusalem request, it is to be given to them daily without fail, 10 that they may offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.  11 "And I issued a decree that any man who violates this edict, a timber shall be drawn from his house and he shall be impaled on it and his house shall be made a refuse heap on account of this.

Salt as a Curse

Breach of the Covenant results in a curse and the reverse of the blessings into a salt waste.

 

Psalm 107:34 A fruitful land into a salt waste, Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

 

Jeremiah 17:5-6  Thus says the LORD, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.  6 "For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant.

The Salt of the Earth

The elect are the ‘salt of the earth’ and they are the means of the intercession for the Earth, as was the ancient system of sacrifice.

Ezekiel 43:24 'And you shall present them before the LORD, and the priests shall throw salt on them, and they shall offer them up as a burnt offering to the LORD.

 

Matthew 5:11-13  "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.  12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

 

Mark 9:49-50  "For everyone will be salted with fire.  50 "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

 

Luke 14:34-34  "Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?  35 "It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

 

Hold fast therefore to the salvation of God and remain the ‘salt of the earth’. Remember this evening and this meal and why we do these things.

 

The time is coming when the Messiah will come again to take up his position in the Holy Mountain at Jerusalem. We will go there to be with him and messengers will be sent out all over the world to restore the elect to Israel and to officiate in the Temple at Jerusalem. The second Exodus will replace this one in power and significance, and the Law of God will rule the world forever (Isa. 66:18-24).

 

 

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