Passover Unleavened bread

Unlocking the Future: Passover & Unleavened Bread

If you could know what is coming in the days and years just ahead, wouldn’t you be very interested? The Scriptures show that future events are revealed in proper worship, especially in the days Yahweh commanded for His people.

The Apostle Paul in the second chapter of Colossians explains the prophetic significance of our Father’s days of worship. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Messiah,” vv. 16-17.

Along with some of the other Old Testament commandments, Paul is refer-ring here to Yahweh’s days of worship, His Sabbath and Feasts. Now before exploring the prophetic meaning, we will first dispel a common misconception about this passage.

Many interpret Paul as saying that we are no longer obligated to observe these days. In other words, we’re not to be judged on our freedom from these old and archaic obligations.

Is this the message Paul is conveying to the people at Colossae? The answer is no. What he is saying is that we must not allow those outside the body of Messiah, the assembly, to judge us on the worship of our Father in heaven. In verse 17 the word “is” was added by the translators; take it out and the meaning is clear. Those qualified to judge Feast keeping are those in the body who are honoring these days. Only they are well-versed in why, how, and when to celebrate them.

In verse 17 Paul also says that these days are a shadow of things to come. He recognizes the prophetic nature of our Father’s moedim, His annual appointments. Understand that the Feasts given in the Old Testament were more than simply times of worship. Each of these days prophetically foreshadows a special event in our Father’s plan of salvation for mankind.

‘But That’s Old Testament!’
One of the most common misconceptions about the Feasts is that they belong just to the Jews and those people of the Old Testament. They are inconsequential to those in the New Testament.
In Leviticus 23 we find a summary of these Feasts. In verse 2 Yahweh begins by explaining to whom these days belong. He declares, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.”

Does Yahweh tell us that these days belong only to the Jews and are irrelevant to those in the Messiah? No! He says that these are “MY feasts.” Our Heavenly Father clearly says that these holy convocations belong not to man, but to Him. For believers this is an important point.

You see, if we ignore these days we’re not ignoring what belongs to mankind, but something very special belonging to our Creator. In essence, when we ignore these days we tell Yahweh that His worship is of little or no value. So the belief that these times belong only to those in the Old Testament could not be further from the truth.

Passover’s Release from Sin
Let’s now consider the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread to better understand their relevance to us and Yahweh’s prophetic plan of salvation.

Even though the Passover is tech-nically not a Feast (Hebrew chag), it is nonetheless one of the most sacred times in Yahweh’s worship. We find a description of this time in Leviticus 23:5: “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is Yahweh’s Passover.”

The Passover is to be observed on the 14th day of the first biblical month at sunset. The word “even” is the Hebrew ereb and means “dusk” or “sundown.” In Exodus 12:6, the word “even” is from the Hebrew ben ha arbayim.

As noted in the Restoration Study Bible, “The timing of the word ‘evening’ has been a matter of debate for millennia. It is derived from the Hebrew phrase ben ha arbayim, which literally means, ‘between the two evenings.’ While rabbinical Judaism and Pharisaic and Talmudic tradition define ben ha arbayim as ‘between noon and sunset,’ it became a period of time that expanded over the centuries.

“The Sadducees…and the Samaritans define this phrase as between sunset and complete darkness. See Numbers 9:3-5, 11 and Leviticus 23:5. Based on scriptural evidence and modern scholarship, the latter interpretation is favored.

“According to The Interpreter’s Bible, the latter definition is the older of the two views: ‘The usage of the time referring to that after sunset and before darkness is the older practice’” (p. 919).
The name of this first month is Abib. This is more a description than a name. Strong’s defines this word as “…from an unused root (meaning to be tender); green, i.e. a young ear of grain; hence, the name of the month Abib or Nisan.” The Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew Lexicon calls it a “month of ear-forming, of greening of crop, of growing green Abib, the month of the Exodus and the Passover (March or April).” As established above, the first month is dependent upon the maturing of the Abib grain. Exodus 9:31 establishes that the grain used is barley.

It was on Passover night that the death angel went through the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn in those homes that had not applied the blood to their door frames. Even in the Old Testament it was through blood that redemption was found. Now this also marked the night to be much observed, as it was on this night that Israel won their freedom from slavery.

Fulfillment in Yahshua’s Death
In 1Corinthians 5:7 the Apostle Paul sheds light on the prophetic meaning of the Passover. He says, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us.”

Paul focuses here on the Passover and the role that the Messiah had in its fulfillment. Through His death He became the Passover sacrifice. “Fulfill” does not mean “obliterate.”

As confirmed by the prophets, the Feasts are an everlasting command that will be observed in the coming Kingdom, e.g. Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 44-46; Zechariah 14:16-19.

According to John the Baptist in the New Testament, Yahshua represents the Passover lamb as found in the Old Testament. John 1:29 reads, “Behold the Lamb of Yahweh, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The main purpose for Yahshua’s coming to this earth was to shed His blood for the sins of mankind. He also came to set an example to follow in our lives. If not for His sacrifice we would all still be condemned in our sins.

Only through our Savior do we find forgiveness and a complete washing away of our sins. Without His act of reconcilement we would be alienated from our Heavenly Father. Paul confirms in Romans that only through our Savior’s death are we reestablished with Yahweh.

Yahshua will make the reconciliation permanent at His coming, when He will gather His faithful from this earth to serve in His Father’s kingdom. “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other,” Matthew 24:31. Paul adds, “and so shall we ever be with the Master,” 1Thessalonians 4:17.

Leavening and Worldly Corruption
The next annual appointment is equally important and that is the Feast of Un-leavened Bread, the first of the three annual pilgrimage Feasts. We find the command for this holy convocation in Leviticus 23:6-8: “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.”
The Feast of Unleavened Bread im-mediately follows the Passover. The Jews eventually combined these observances, yet the Bible teaches that they are separate observances. As the Encyclopaedia Judaica states, “The feast of Passover consists of two parts: the Passover ceremony, and the feast of Unleavened Bread. Originally, both parts existed separately; but at the beginning of the [Babylonian] exile they were combined” (vol. 13, p. 169).

Another important fact about the Feast of Unleavened Bread is its duration. Scripture tells us that it is seven days long with the first and seventh days being called “holy convocations.” The word “holy” comes from the Hebrew qodesh and refers to something sacred. The word convocation derives from the Hebrew miqra and literally means something that is called out, as in a public meeting. Therefore, the phrase “holy convocation” refers to a sacred calling out or a sacred meeting.

The command that makes this Feast different from all others is that Yahweh commands that we abstain from leavening or yeast for all seven days. What’s the issue with leavening? you might be wondering.

First, the Israelites left Egypt in haste and were unable to leaven their dough. This Feast commemorates their exodus from the corruption of Egypt while they ate unleavened bread.
Second, leavening symbolizes sin or what leads to sin through wickedness, malice, false beliefs, and corrupt politics. As Israel left the land of Goshen they were not only leaving physical leavening but also spiritual leavening, which was the corruption of Egypt.

Salvation Plan Pictured in the Feast
Also significant is that this Feast has a strong connection to agriculture. It was during this time that Israel offered the wave sheaf or firstfruits of the barley harvest to Yahweh.
From the New Testament we know that the wave sheaf has prophetic meaning. In 1Corinthians 15:20-22 Paul explains what this time prophetically represents. “But now is Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive.”
Here we learn that the Messiah rep-resents the first fruits of those who would be resurrected. As the wave sheaf during the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the first of the grain offerings, Yahshua was the first fruits of those who would rise from the grave.

As we delve into the Feasts we see an amazing harmony between the Old and New testaments. The same principles we find in the Old are alive and well in the New. Contrary to popular belief, it was never the Messiah’s intent to begin a new faith. Even Paul said of himself in Acts 24:14 that he “believed all things written in the law and in the prophets.”
Paul said in 1Corinthians 15:22, “For in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive.”

Only through Yahshua the Messiah do we find everlasting life, which He will grant at His Second Coming to all those immersed into His Name. Understand that this promise had been foreshadowed by the wave sheaf that was offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The New Testament is clear that the Messiah and His apostles observed these days. As we’ve also seen, these observances will be kept in the coming Kingdom.

These times foretell Yahweh’s plan of salvation for mankind. They reveal truth found nowhere else. Therefore, not only do we break our Father’s commandments when we ignore these days, but we disregard vital truth pertaining to Yahweh’s plan of salvation for His chosen.

More info on the Biblical Feasts can be found in our FREE booklet: The Amazing Biblical Feasts

For more info please check out this video on Yahweh’s Feasts!

e-News 2/21/2020

Restoration Times Magazine on Its Way
The January-February Restoration Times magazine was mailed this week. You can read it online as well. We inserted the 2020 biblical calendar with all the Feast dates and new moon sighting projections, as well as a reservation form for those attending Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread April 7 and 9-15. The biblical calendar is online as well. We pray you are planning to join us in Holts Summit for these commanded moedim of the new year.
Israel Barley Not Ready for Early Passover
Two reliable searchers now in Israel have both reported that the Abib barley is nowhere ready for a Passover in March. Therefore our projected April 7 date for Passover still stands. Israel has been under heavy rains this winter. We thank Bro. John Illgen for his diligence and we appreciate being included in his findings. Also a thank you to searchers Brian and Linda Convery.
Workstation Upgrade Fund
A reminder that your help is needed to upgrade our workstation computer. This machine is responsible for our videos, publications and other office tasks. Any help you can give is appreciated.
Beware Texas Roadhouse
We have confirmed reports that  Texas Roadhouse restaurants coat their potatoes and sweet potatoes with bacon grease.
And Remember…
Constant Bible study is necessary for proper retention. The ancient Jewish teacher Hillel said, “Reviewing a lesson a hundred times cannot be compared with reviewing it a hundred and one times.” The same is true when hearing a sermon. As someone once observed, “We hear only half of what is said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of it, believe half of it and remember half of that.

e-News 2/14/2020

Restoration Times Soon Mailed
The January-February issue of the magazine should be in the mail next week. We have been hampered by workload constraints and press breakdowns. Our seven-year-old press has an expiration date of less than two years when the company will no longer service our equipment. The latest Restoration Times can be read online here>>
Rebranding the Network
The YRM Network is now the Restoration Channel to harmonize better with our ministry goal of bringing back lost Bible truth. The streaming channel broadcasts every hour of every day and is bringing in new viewers daily. Now that our video production facility is modernized and streamlined, we plan to start making more video recordings and experiment with new kinds of subjects, hosts, and formats.
Fund for New Central Workstation
We hated to see it happen, but it was inevitable. The time has come to replace the main editing workstation at YRM. We have run the legs off this equipment for the last eight years, serving up hundreds of videos, publications, and Web content that has been viewed by MILLIONS. It’s an understatement to say we got our money’s worth!
We would not seek your help unless this was a critical need. As it stands the present computer system will not last much longer as it struggles even to keep up with software updates. This commercial Apple computer came out in 2012! Over the years we added as many fixes and upgrades as we could to shore up the old workhorse. Its performance and lack of security features are now impacting the work. The lagging operating speed is frustrating and costing us time.
Some of the necessary funds have been received. However, this specialized equipment and storage can cost over $10,000 and we are still short of what’s needed. Any help you can give toward the fund will be greatly appreciated and will insure that YRM keeps producing content that reaches the world and teaches the truth of Yahweh for years to come. We have big plans for the future of YRM and this equipment upgrade is essential.
If the fund exceeds what we are asking, we can future-proof the new equipment for several years more. Donations are tax deductible. Thank you and may Yahweh bless your generosity!
How many times does the word “Sabbath” appear in the New Testament of the KJV?
A. 0
B. 30
C. 60
D. 90
The word “Sabbath” appears an amazing 60 times in the New Testament of the KJV. In contrast, the phrase “first day” occurs only 12 times and not once refers to Sunday as a day of worship. The biblical record indisputably confirms that the Messiah and apostles in the New Testament worshiped on the seventh-day Sabbath with no evidence offered for Sunday. Sunday was never introduced in the Bible as a day of worship, but is admittedly an invention of the Roman Church. The supposed evidence of the Messiah being resurrected Sunday morning is also incorrect. Based on the chronology of Yahshua’s passion in the evangels, He died Wednesday at about the ninth hour, approx. 3:00 pm, and was resurrected late on the Sabbath, i.e., Saturday before sunset.  Correct: C

Restoration Times Jan-Feb 2020

In this Issue of the Restoration Times we cover:

• Sin Goes Viral: The Food Laws and the Coronavirus

• Fruit of the Spirit: Love

• Possessing a Positive Attitude

• Why on Earth am I Here?

• Q&A

• Letters

Read on     Download PDF        RT archives


To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool

Are parents capable of educating their children at home, or should this be left to qualified professors or academics?  Parents will often stiffen up and say, “I am not educated enough to teach my child,” or “I leave the education of my child up to the professionals.”

Long before there was a law that children of a certain age needed to attend school, parents were teaching their children to read and write. Once a child is old enough to comprehend what their parent or guardian is saying to them, the parents are educating their children on the world around them. Prior to entering the public-school system, the parents are educating their child on how to navigate this world by teaching him or her at home.

Once their child reaches the age of compulsory attendance – “Compulsory school attendance refers to the minimum and maximum age required by each state in which a student must be enrolled in and attending public school or some equivalent education program defined by the law,” (Education Commission of the States) – most parents turn the teaching over to the school systems while they either go to work or stay home.

The question that comes to mind is, “When did the laws change that required a child to attend public school or to be educated at all?” Horace Mann, known as the “Father of Common School,” argued that, “’universal public education was the best way to turn unruly American children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.’ Mann won widespread approval from modernizers, especially in the Whig Party, for building public schools.” (Wikipedia).  In some cases, this works to the good of the population and in others it can degrade the values and morals of the community.  It works toward the good of the population when it allows all participants to get an education that was only accessible to the rich who could afford to pay for their child’s education.  In other circumstances, children were needed at home and not allowed to get an education due to responsibilities. This mainly applied to girls who would be the future home-makers and only needed to know how to manage a house, not be among the working class.

While the goal to provide an education that is universal is a noble one, this can create concerns for parents who do not agree with the teachings that are being presented on a neutral platform. Some universal teachings can conflict with the religious and personal beliefs of the parents.

While providing this luxury to all citizens of a community, regardless of social or economic status, the next stipulation that came into play was that children were required by law to be educated between specific age requirements or the parents or guardians would face penalties for disregarding this law. While the common school was set in place to allow education for everyone whether they could afford it or not, it eventually became the mandate for the public at large.  However, parents are now in the situation where they must fight for the right to educate their children at home again, whether it is for religious reasons or just the fact that they want to be the ones to educate their offspring.

Parents who decide to take on the task of educating their children are often considered irresponsible with a lack of concern for their children’s future education and societal standing in the community. They may also be viewed by their community as being religious zealots who want to skirt the system that has been set in place for everyone.

Prior to the enactment of public education, it was thought that homeschooled children were smarter and more well-rounded individuals compared to their peers. Today, children who are educated at home or by private tutors have the one-on-one education that public-school children lack. Due to overcrowding or teacher/pupil ratio, students that need additional support in learning may suffer the lack of proper education or time that their personal situation warrants.  If a child is struggling to understand the current lesson, due to time constraints educators cannot stop and review until the student picks up the material.  If the child can’t keep up, he will flunk the class or end up repeating it until he graduates or quits. The benefits of the one-on-one education is that time can be granted a student who is struggling or teaching strategies can be adjusted for that one child, which cannot be duplicated in a public-school setting. Some students learn better by reading, hearing (auditory), or seeing (visual) the material in a way that promotes comprehension. Parents know their child better than anyone else and can easily adjust to meet the need.

Another benefit of homeschooling is flexibility in scheduling the education course. Instead of being at their desk for the timed school day, students have the freedom to take their education on the road if need be. The parents have the freedom to take a vacation which can also be combined with field trips. The student not only reads about the Grand Canyon, but also they can travel and see all aspects of the Grand Canyon in person and write a paper on their own experience. If the family does not have any travel constraints then they have the option of taking a few more days of study in another area. This allowance gives the student a hands-on approach to their learning achievements.

Home-education is not to be confused with mass education production. Educating children at home should be for the purpose of giving them quality education for the benefit of each student. There are requirements that home-school parents must follow to meet state guidelines. In Missouri one of the laws states that parents must “b) Offer at least one thousand hours of instruction, at least six hundred hours of which will be in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science or academic courses that are related to the aforementioned subject areas and consonant with the pupil’s age and ability. At least four hundred of the six hundred hours shall occur at the regular home school location” (Families for Home Education). According to this law, parents must provide the required hours of education in the core subjects, but the content of that instruction is the choice of the instructor. If the parents would like to instill religious teachings in core subjects there is liberty to do so. Parents can also choose an “eclectic” curriculum which means “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources” (Wikipedia). Becca, a mom who homeschooled for eight years stated, “My approach has morphed many times but it has always fallen under the category of what I term eclectic homeschooling. Basically, I use whatever works” (The Homeschooling Option).

Time constraints or strict schedules are not part of a home-schooler’s vocabulary. Due to the more relaxed pace of home education, school can start at 8:00 a.m. or in the afternoon.  It is possible for single parents or parents who both work outside jobs to educate their children. Due to the persistence of parents and supporters of home education, many advancements have been created and instituted to allow more individuals to teach more advanced subjects. Workbooks for all grade levels can be found at the local retail market or publishing companies. Software companies such as Switched on Schoolhouse have contributed to the homeschool program by designing educational programs that allow customization of the curriculum or use the one they created. Many of these programs have been structured and evaluated by teaching professionals, which allows the parent to implement them with confidence.  There are also free websites which allow printing of worksheets, certain subject material, or even allow students timed coursework such as math, spelling, and typing assignments which can be great supplements.

A parent who works a job in the morning can come home and educate their child in the evenings.  Along the same lines of that freedom is the ability to homeschool during normal school times, year-round or times based on family needs. If there is a need for extra hands during a certain time period of the year, schooling can be adjusted to meet these demands.

Homeschooling allows many benefits to the student’s overall academic performance and should not be reduced to a mass education. Parents should have the ability to educate their children if they so choose without the interference from officials who would like to structure the curriculum. Homeschooled children have been proving, unlike their prior stereotypes, that the individualized education has made them more knowledgeable, well-rounded individuals who can relate to their peers and adults to a higher degree (National Home Education Research Institute).  Homeschooled children are not isolated, withdrawn, uneducated, or dregs of society. They are starting to prove their place in the academic realm.

by Luann Avalos


Cite Works

“Horace Mann Wikipedia”:

“Education Commission of the States.”:

Families for Home Education

Lisa Rivero. “The Homeschooling Option”, 2008 pg. 93

National Home Education Research Institute:

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

You say we must be baptized, isn’t that “adding to the cross?”

Q     I would like to know your teaching on Colossians 2. I see that in the Q&A there is the question of the need to be baptized. From the wording it seems that this is adding to the cross, and what Yahshua did on the cross is not enough for salvation.


A     Yahshua paid the death penalty for our sins with His own death. His payment for our sin did not abrogate the need for obedience, however, and even makes it more imperative that we follow His example. We individually must own up to our sins and seek His atoning blood through repentance and immersion. Having paid our sin penalty He then expects compliance with all His commands, 2Corinthians 10:5, Hebrews 5:9. Peter’s command in Acts 2:38, which was after Yahshua’s death and resurrection had taken place, was to repent and be baptized. Yahshua’s death on the stake did not change the necessity to be baptized, through which we participate vicariously in His death and resurrrection, Colossians 2:12, taking on His sacrifice for our sins. Baptism is also how we receive the Holy Spirit, without which we have no hope of the resurrection and salvation, Romans 8:9, John 3:5.

Feast of Unleavened Bread 2020 Registration April 9-15

Feast of Unleavened Bread


(as appears on driver license or other government issued ID)


(please list ALL within your group; if 18 or order, include name as appears on government issued ID and date of birth)



I affirm that *
(include any questions or special requests)

e-News 1/31/2020

Feast Calendar for 2020 Now on Line

You can now schedule Feast time off from work and school for the coming secular year. The Feast and new moon calendar is available Here>>
Online registration for the Feasts should be available in a week.

Video Equipment Upgrade Means Exciting Programs

New video programs will soon be on the way once key improvements are complete. With the upgrades in equipment and technology we should have the ability to do remote, network-news quality videos through Skype. One exciting initiative is to have live interviews from Israel with Elder Don Esposito, a longtime resident of the country. He has agreed to partner with YRM to do “boots on the ground” reporting of events, bypassing any possible news bias. He also is very knowledgeable about the country of Israel, its history, and archaeology.

Bro. Paul Hinson Passes

We are sad to report that longtime Brother Paul Hinson, 80, passed away on January 27.  Paul was a faithful follower of Yahshua and very devoted to wife Cathey. From early on He was a big part of YRM, totally dedicated in his life in keeping the Sabbath and all Feasts. Bro. Paul had many talents, and the most memorable was his gift in song, as he sang numerous special numbers with Cathey through the years. Condolences may be left for Cathey and family at YRM. Listen to Bro. Paul sing: When I Wake Up. A truly fitting song from our dear, dear brother.


When Yahshua proved the doctrine of the resurrection to the Sadducees (Matt. 22:23-32), why did he quote from the Torah (Ex. 3:15) rather than the Prophets or Psalms, which speak of the resurrection abundantly?

A. The Torah was easy to understand

B. The Sadducees accepted only the Torah

C. That passage actually comes from the book of Mysteries

D. The Master liked to quote Exodus 3:15

There is no Bible book called “Mysteries.” The Sadducees accepted only the Torah as true Scripture. To settle the matter, Yahshua had to use agreed-upon references. While engaging others in Biblical apologetics, it is good to put yourself in their shoes, and use source materials they can relate to.


Answer: B

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Is Feast Keeping Only Symbolic?

Q   I know a group who believe in the weekly Sabbath but teach that Zechariah 14:16-17 says that only the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed in the Millennium. Furthermore, they state that these things were fulfilled in the Messiah and therefore all feast keeping is symbolic, for He was offered as the “final sacrifice.”

A    Zechariah 14:16-17 does teach that Tabernacles will be kept in the Millennium. Isaiah 66:23 also says of the Millennium, “And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says Yahweh.”

Notice, this passage speaks of not only the new moons, but also includes more than the weekly Sabbath, because the Hebrew for Sabbath is in the plural. The other annual Sabbaths will be observed in the Millennium as well as Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23 lists the seven annual Holy Days and we read that these “shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings” (verses 14, 21, 31, 41).

If as some wrongly assume, the Feasts were given only to Jews, then the Jews were misled by His assumed abolishing of them because Yahshua’s death and the New Covenant He instituted apply to Jews as well, Galatians 3:28.

If these days were abolished or set aside by Yahshua, then why did Paul say in 1Corinthians 5:7-8, “For even Messiah 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”?

Here Paul was also addressing Gentiles. The Corinthians were not Jews. Yet he plainly described the Savior as “our” Passover sacrifice, adding that we should keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread! Obviously, the Corinthians had been taught about Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread that follow.

All this was after the death and resurrection of the Savior, and Paul was still teaching the annual Holy Days! Why? Because the Bible calls them “Yahweh’s Feasts,” not Jewish Feasts.

In writing the history of the early assembly Luke specifically mentions that he and others sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, Acts 20:6. Note that Luke establishes time according to the annual holy days, which would be irrelevant if those days were no longer in effect.

Paul was determined to spend Pentecost at Jerusalem (Acts 20:16), and Acts 24:11 reveals that he went there to worship, not just to address a crowd of people. This was 25 years after the impalement and resurrection of the Messiah Yahshua.

In Acts 18:21 we learn that Paul observed the Feast of Tabernacles. In Acts 27:9 Luke establishes the time according to the fast on the Day of Atonement commanded in Leviticus 23:27-29 (about 61 C.E.).

The sacrifices ordained in the Old Testament are set in abeyance for us today since the death and resurrection of the Messiah. But the sacrifices were only an aspect of the ceremony carried out at the Feasts.

Just because the sacrificial ceremony changed does not mean the Feasts themselves went into disuse as well. If we are Abraham’s seed and take hold of the Covenant offered us, we will become a part of the body of Messiah. Afterwards those not called now will be given their opportunity, but the sacrifices will be reinstituted, as we see in Ezekiel 40-44.

The weekly and annual Sabbaths were given anciently to Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1-5). They were kept by Abraham (Gen. 26:5) and written down for Israel when they were redeemed from Egypt, Exodus 23:10-11, 24:3. These were observed by ancient Israel. They were observed by the Messiah and His disciples. Paul kept them as shown. They will be kept in the Kingdom. Why then do some teach that these Sabbaths and annual Holy Days are set aside now?

To assume Colossians 2:14-16 states that the annual Feast Days are done away is perverting Scripture. This is not what these verses teach. Neither do they do away with or set aside the weekly Sabbath as some Sunday keepers teach.

How can we be a teacher and a priest in the Kingdom (Rev. 1:6; 5:10) unless we can show others what to do and when to observe these commanded days? Even in our secular world one has to be very knowledgeable about the law and even be a practicing lawyer before one becomes a judge.

How can we be a judge in the Kingdom when we never kept the annual Sabbaths a day in our life? How can we bring judgment upon someone for not observing Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16-18) when we ourselves never observed it?

The walk in truth is a continuum. It begins in this life and carries on into the next life in the Kingdom.

Principles of Effective Bible Study

How do we know that we are properly understanding Yahweh’s Word? How do we make correct interpretations by rightly dividing the Word?

Basic principles of Bible study will help guide us in getting the truth from each verse, while solving most problems presented by the more difficult passages. Bible study should be systematic, which takes time and discipline.

Before beginning you should have at hand good study Bibles like the Companion and Restoration Study Bible (RSB). Your understanding will increase exponentially by looking up words in the source languages, which these two Bibles help you to do.

When you compare parallel or contrasting verses, as typically provided in a good study Bible like the RSB, you get a more accurate understanding.

The New Testament was written in Hebrew. That’s a fact for several reasons, not the least of which is that the Hebrew writers would write in their native language, which was Hebrew.

They were not speaking Greek in the Galilee region in the first century. The Galileans were considered country folk. Peter, James, and John were not Greek scholars or even Greek speakers. Neither was Matthew, or Mark.

But to date only Greek manuscripts of the New Testament survive, of which there are some 5,400, not to mention thousands of Latin versions and other languages like Syriac, Coptic and Armenian. Most of the manuscripts derive from the Middle Ages, from the 7th century onward.

Of all the thousands of Greek manuscripts, no two are exactly alike. Some scholars put the differences at 200,000, others at 300,000, meaning there are more differences in manuscripts than there are words in the entire New Testament. Realize also that the manuscripts were all hand written (which is the meaning of “manu-script”).

That is why we must go back to the Old Testament foundation for course corrections when needed.

Sometimes scribes left out words, lines or even entire pages, especially when two lines ended with the same words. It didn’t help that they didn’t use paragraph divisions, lower case letters, punctuation, or even spaces between words. This is true of both Hebrew and Greek script.

Sometimes a word was inserted centuries later and at times whole sentences were added. You can see this from the Greek Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest New Testament manuscript.

And sometimes scribes would introduce mistakes, as in Act 15:24: “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” The bold-face words are not in the manuscripts, and are omitted in most translations.

Old Testament the Anchor

Some changes are not as significant as others. For instance, the oldest and best manuscripts of John don’t have the story of the woman taken in adultery, where Yahshua says he that is without sin cast the first stone. (Think about that—if only righteous, sinless people could inflict punishment, then the Old Testament law of stoning is moot.) This passage does not appear in the Greek manuscripts until the 12th century.

The passage of 1John 5:7-8 is the only passage in the entire Bible appearing to teach a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The passage is missing in the text of all Greek manuscripts, and doesn’t occur until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.

Ironically the more difficult a passage reads the more true it probably is to the original, where scribes didn’t try to gloss and explain the text. The very loosely translated Living Bible comes to mind.

All of this is to say that trying to understand Yahweh’s Word can at times be like trying to hit a moving target in the dead of night.

This is just one more case for the importance of the Old Testament as an anchor for New Testament teachings. Sometimes it is the only authority we have to ascertain the truth of a passage.We read in 2Tim. 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

First and foremost, this applies to the Old Testament. Referring to various incidents recorded in the Old Testament, Paul tells us in 1Corinthians 10:11 that “all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” Let’s now consider five principles that make good Bible study.

First Principle: Take It at Face Value

Take the passage just as it reads. Look first for the literal meaning. A symbolic or deeper sense of the passage will often be evident, especially in combination with other related passages and verses elsewhere.

When Yahweh commands, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” Exodus 20:8, and adds that we are to work six days and rest the seventh, He means to keep the Sabbath literally by resting from work. He does not mean or even imply to honor the Sabbath by just thinking nice thoughts about the Sabbath while continuing to work on the seventh day.

The passage is better rendered, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” The Amplified Bible says that it means to withdraw from common employment and dedicate the day to Yahweh, which verse 10 plainly says.

The command clearly is not intended for just a SPIRITUAL application, as some teach, but for literally ceasing from labor, a proper rendering made clear by consulting other translations. When reading other versions you may find divergent renderings, which is a tip-off to begin digging deeper, which means going back to the source languages. Principle two in proper study is:

Read the Passage in Context

When faced with a difficult verse, read all the verses surrounding it. Read what comes immediately before and after the passage. Read the entire chapter, if necessary. Often this will reveal the true meaning.

Remember that chapters, verse numbers, sentences, paragraphs, and punctuation did not exist in the ancient autographs. Therefore, sometimes thoughts get wrongly separated, which can cause misunderstandings.

For instance, the last two verses of Romans 2 should be numbered as the first two verses of Romans 3. They fit with those verses that follow, but the chapter numbering got in the way. Colossians 2:14 must be read with vv. 20-22.

As obvious as it should be to take everything in context, even many “experts” fail to apply it and end up twisting a passage or missing its meaning entirely.

An example is Romans 14:5, which has been used to support Sunday worship. “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

If you read the whole chapter it is plain that Paul is addressing fasting and vegetarianism, not the day of rest. The third principle is:

Let Scripture Explain Itself

The Bible never contradicts itself. Hebrews 6:18 tells us it is impossible for Yahweh to lie. Therefore, we can’t say Paul under inspiration of Yahweh’s Spirit did away with the law in Galatians 3:13 only to have him by the same Spirit upholding the law in Romans 7:1, 12.

In the same way we cannot read Yahshua’s plain instruction to the young man, “If you will enter into life, keep the Commandments,” Matthew 19:17, and then turn around and teach that He abolished the law at His death, completely undoing and contradicting what He told the young man and hundreds of others. How would they trust Him again if He did that?

When a particular view of a passage does not seem to hold up in light of other Scriptures that say the exact opposite, then something is wrong with our understanding of the passage. The fourth principle is:

See Why and to Whom It Was Written

You often need to know the reason a passage was written to understand it properly; it may also be very helpful to know to whom the passage was written and why.

For example, 1Corinthians 16:2 has been grossly misinterpreted to support worship on the first day of the week. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as Yahweh has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

“Lay by him in store” does not mean passing an offering plate at Sunday morning church. Besides, how much preparation does it take to put a coin in your purse or pocket to give as an offering?

Rather, Paul is seeking aid in the form of foodstuffs and other things for the drought-stricken and starving brethren at Jerusalem. He asks that the brethren in Corinth have their donations ready to give to him when he drops by to pick them up on the first of the week.

“Day” was not in the Greek but was added by translators who were pushing Sunday worship. They added the word “day” in all 8 New Testament references to the first (day) of the week.

No reference to a Sunday worship service is intended or implied. A careful reading of the first 4 verses of chapter 16 reveals the clear truth of the circumstance and will dispel any erroneous conclusions about Sunday worship.

Some believe that Paul taught against observing Sabbaths and Feasts in Galatians 4:8-11: “Howbeit then, when you knew not Elohirn, you did service unto them which by nature are no g-ds. But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”

If we understand that the Galatians were converts from a pagan place called Gaul (an area of France from which they derived their name), then it is clear that he is telling them to stop going BACK to their old Celtic ways.

The “days, and months, and times, and years” he is speaking about are not the Sabbath and Feasts commanded at Sinai, but their old pagan worship that they had just left, which is defined as “weak and beggarly,” being without substance and truth.

What’s more, their name comes from the Romans who called them Galli, meaning barbarians. This is not about believers keeping Yahweh’s calendar.

Yahweh’s days are never referred to as weak and beggarly, but are a big part of His laws that are defined as “holy … and just, and good,” Romans 7:12.

The biggest mistake in study is a failure to harmonize all the relevant Scriptures, a violation that has led to a myriad of contradictory teachings. A verse will never disagree with any other verse or part of the Word.

In John 10:35 Yahshua said the Scriptures cannot be broken (“broken” is the Greek luo, meaning to loosen or dissolve). Paul in 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that ALL Scripture is inspired, meaning it is “Yahweh breathed.” The fifth principle is next.

Language and Grammar

Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows that nuances of meaning are often lost in translation. By returning to the source languages as much as possible, we can come much closer to understanding the passage.

The common interpretation of Romans 10:4 is that Yahshua did away with the law. “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes.” The Greek word “end” is telos and means “goal.” Far from being the termination of the law, Yahshua is the very purpose for the law! The law aims at Him.

The law transforms us to be like Him when we adhere to it. He said in Matthew 12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my father Which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.”

Now we can employ principles three and five together and show it does not mean end or cessation. The same word telos is found in James 5:11, “ … you have heard the patience of Job, and have seen the end [telos] of Yahweh…”

Telos is used in both passages. If telos means “end,” as in the end of the law, then Yahweh has also come to an end! In truth, telos means “goal” in both verses, not end.

Another example of the importance of knowing the original meaning of words is in Matthew 25:46, which has been popularly interpreted to say that the wicked go to an ever-burning hell fire to roast in agony for eternity. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

The word “punishment” is from the Greek kolasis, and signifies a “lopping off.” It derives from No. 2849 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Greek Dictionary and means to curtail. Properly interpreted, the verse tells us that the wicked will forever be “cut off,” their lives “curtailed.” It is a condition, not an ongoing action.

This agrees with 2Thessalonians 1:9, which reads that the wicked “shall be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of Yahweh and from the glory of his power.” “Destruction” in this verse is the Greek olethros and means to destroy, not sizzle forever in agony in sulfurous flames. Anyway, how does a “soul,” a spirit essence, suffer in physical flames? The prophet wrote, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” Ezekiel 18:20.

The New Testament English translation is at the center of most misinterpretation. The Old Testament translation isn’t plagued with as many difficulties. Nevertheless, no other literary work has been preserved better through the ages than the Bible.

Now get out there and Bible Study!