From the desk of Steve Shultz:
Passover is a Biblical Jewish holiday which begins tonight and goes through Tuesday, April 22. Jewish people celebrate this festival in commemoration of the Israelites being delivered from slavery in Egypt.
Chuck Pierce just sent out this article from Martin and Norma Sarvis who are from Israel. Even though you may or may not celebrate Passover, we wanted to share this with our readers on the significance of this holiday for the Jewish people, as well as give our readers insight on the history of these holy days.
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Passover Begins Tonight! An Understanding of Passover from Martin & Norma Sarvis
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tonight at sundown, Passover begins. As you can read below, this is actually an 8-day Feast.
Here is an understanding of Passover from Martin & Norma Sarvis:
Passover Begins and the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
from Martin and Norma Sarvis
"Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed, Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Monday at sundown, Jews around the world will be gathered round tables in obedience to the command in Exodus 12:14, "So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance." They will have cleaned leaven from their homes (Ex. 12:19) and will begin a week of eating only unleavened bread (Hebrew: matzot).
The word Pesach (Passover) comes from the Hebrew verb lifso'ach which means "to skip". Literally, when the scourge passed through Egypt, those with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts were "skipped" the judgment which came upon the rest of Egypt. The meal is celebrated at a seder table. Seder means "order". In modern Hebrew b'seder-'o.k.' is literally pronouncing things to be "in order". So, at the seder table is presented an "ordered" account, both through reading and having a meal, of what God did on that first occasion.
During the course of the meal, most families are guided by a book called a Haggadah. This word actually means "the telling" and is taken from Exodus 13:8, "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.'"
Although the book contains remarks and theories by revered rabbis here and there, it is primarily a straightforward account of God's deliverance of His people Israel from bondage in Egypt, interspersed with wonderful psalms, and other Biblical passages – many of which reference God's yeshu'AH-"salvation" and coming Messiah.
At the heart of this "telling", as it has come down to our day, is an addition called Afikomen. It comes from a Greek word, meaning literally "that which comes after" or even, "the one who came". At the beginning of the seder three pieces of matza are placed into a three-fold pocket, but the piece going into the middle compartment is first broken. Part of this broken piece of unleavened bread is placed in the middle pocket; the other piece, the Afikomen, is wrapped up and hidden away.
After the meal, the children will seek the Afikomen, and the one who finds it will be given a redemption-price reward. Then all the participants at the table eat a portion of the Afikomen for dessert. Modern-day matza (or matzo) is unleavened, pierced and striped from the heat in baking. According to the Mishna, the Afikomen is a substitute for the "Korban Pesach" – the Passover Sacrifice, which was the last thing eaten at seders during the First and Second Temple periods.
Yet there is a veil over the hearts of most of our people, and there is much deep truth inserted by the Holy Spirit in the traditions which they still do not see. A piece of unleavened bread, bruised and pierced is broken off, wrapped and hidden away (yet is still present with the tri-partite "oneness" in the pocket). When it is found by those who seek as little children, it brings great joy.
Passover Week is also called in the Bible the "Feast of Unleavened Bread". It lasts for seven days, beginning with the seder on the evening of the 14th day of Aviv/Nisan (the First Month). The first and last days of the week are to be observed as Sabbaths (Leviticus 23:7-8). The days between these two "Sabbaths" are called chol ha'mo'ed, which means the "common" or "every-day normal" period of time between two set-apart (i.e. "holy") days. During this week Israel is commanded to eat matzot – "un-leavened" bread, nor is any leavening agent to be found in her dwellings for the seven days.
During This Holy Week Please Pray:
• For the Light of Life to shine into our dwellings and hearts, exposing any "leaven" which needs to be cleansed.
• For Light to shine over seder tables in Israel and around the world, to reveal the Truth of the "Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world" – who was separated from the Father while remaining one with Him, born in Bethlehem (lit: "bread-house"), bruised and pierced, cut off from mankind and hidden in the earth; the Lamb of God who atones for and takes away the sin of humankind; and who may be found by all who become like little children and seek, and whose finding brings Life, and Nourishment and Joy!
• For God's protection over Israel during this week when children are out of school and many families are out and about Israel enjoying the holidays.
This Week's Torah Portions
During the week of Passover, there are readings each day in the synagogues. We have provided the following list for the use of those who, during the course of the week, may wish to read from some or all of these passages.
Readings for the Festival of Unleavned Bread - 2014/5774
• Day 1 (A "Sabbath." Tuesday 15 April): Exodus 12:21-51; Numbers 28:16-25; Joshua 3:5-7; 5:2-6:1:6:27
The Exodus passage recounts the first Passover, the slaying of the lamb and the placing of blood on the doorposts, the passing of YHVH through Egypt, the "skipping over" of those households with blood on the doors, the striking of the Firstborn of Egypt; the sending of Israel out of the Land, their going out arrayed as armies of the LORD, 430 years to the day after being exiled to Egypt. The Numbers reading details the sacrifices to be offered on Passover during future observances (this reading will be repeated in some form each day throughout the week).
The Haftarah from Joshua details the time, over forty years later, when the next generation, before entering at last into Canaan is required to be circumcised. After this is done and the reproach of Egypt was rolled off of them at Gilgal, the Children of Israel celebrate Passover in the Land on the plains of Jericho, the manna ceases, and the Commander of the Army of the LORD appears to send Joshua into the Land.
• Day 2 (Wednesday 18 April): Leviticus 22:26-23:44; Numbers 28:16-25; 2 Kings 23:1-9; 21-25
The Leviticus passage enumerates the "Feasts of the LORD" – Shabbat, Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, the Counting of the Omer and Shavuot (Weeks/Pentecost), Yom T'ruah (Festival of Shofars/Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Booths/Tabernacles). The 2 Kings Haftarah relates a great revival in the days of King Josiah in Jerusalem, in which he cleansed the land of idolatry (as it were, leaven); then the people celebrated a wonderful Passover, unlike any which had gone before, because Josiah "turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Torah of Moses" (vs. 25).
First Fruits: The first and seventh days of Passover Week are Sabbaths. This Wednesday, the day after the first Passover "sabbath", is the day on which most of present-day Judaism considers the Ceremony of First Fruits would have been performed (Leviticus 23:9-14). A sheaf (omer) of the first of the grain harvest was brought and waved before the LORD. It was on this day, the third day after His death, that Yeshua was raised and presented Himself as "First Fruits from the dead" to the Father. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:23.)
This also marks the first day in the "Counting of the Omer" to Shavuot – the "Feast of Weeks"/ "Pentecost" (Leviticus 23:15).
• Day 3 (Thursday 17 April): Exodus 13:1-16; Numbers 28:19-25
The Exodus passage recounts the LORD's instructions immediately following the Children of Israel's coming out on the night of the first Passover. Israel is admonished to consecrate to the LORD all the firstborn. She is regularly to remember this day in which she went out of Egypt, "out of the house of bondage". She is to remember to celebrate this Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days each year.
• Day 4 (Friday 18 April): Exodus 22:25-23:19; Numbers 28:19-25
The Exodus passage includes among a list of civil laws, a further instruction regarding celebration of three annual feasts to the LORD: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in the month of Aviv (First Month, Nisan) in the Spring; the Feast of (Spring) Harvest (Shavuot/Pentecost); and the Feast of Ingathering (Sukkot in the Fall). At these festivals, all males would appear before Adonai the LORD.
• Shabbat Chol haMo'ed
Day 5 (Saturday 19 April)
Torah: Exodus 33:12-34:26; Numbers 28:19-25
Haftarah: Ezekiel 36:37-37:14
The Exodus passage recounts Moses' pleading with the LORD to go with him into the Promised Land (after Israel had sinned with the calf and the LORD had refused to go); Moses' remaking of the tablets he had broken, his ascending Sinai where the LORD passes before him. Verse 18 recounts the LORD's admonition to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the call for all men to appear before Him three times a year.
In the Ezekiel Haftarah the LORD promises that exiled Israel shall one day be "like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast day," its ruined cities filled with men. Then comes the prophecy of the "Valley of Dry Bones", of "the whole house of Israel" receiving the breath of God and standing up as a Great Army.
"'Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am YHVH, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I YHVH, have spoken it and performed it!' says YHVH." Ezekiel 37:12b-14
• Day 6 (Sunday 20 April): Exodus 9:1-14; Numbers 28:19-25
The Exodus passage recounts the LORD's command to Pharaoh to "send My people away that they may serve Me." If Pharaoh refuses, the LORD will "make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt" and His hand of judgment will be on Egypt. After this occurs and Pharaoh's heart again becomes hard, God releases an outbreak of grievous sores on the Egyptians, then hardens the heart of Pharaoh.
At the last, Moses rises early and stands before Pharaoh: "Thus says YHVH the Hebrew God, 'Send My people away, that they may serve Me, for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth'" (Exodus 9:13b-14).
• Day 7 (A "Sabbath." Monday 21): Exodus 13:17-15:26; Numbers 28:19-25; 2I Samuel 22:1-51
The Exodus passage recounts the Children of Israel going forth in orderly ranks by way of the Red Sea, led by the LORD in a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. Pharaoh pursues them, the sea opens and they pass through, but the Egyptian armies are destroyed, and on the further shore they sing Shir haYam (The "Song of the Sea"), "Sing to YHVH for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and rider He has thrown into the sea!"
Traveling on the LORD sweetens the bitter waters at Marah by having Moses throw a tree into it. The people are admonished, "If you diligently heed the voice of YHVH your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you" (Exodus 15:26).
The Haftarah from 2 Samuel is a wonderful Psalm which "David spoke to the LORD on the day that the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies" (this Psalm also appears in the Psalter as Psalm 18): "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. Therefore I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name" (2 Samuel 22:1-4, 50).
• Day 8 (OBSERVED ONLY OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL) Tuesday 22 April. Read Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17; Numbers 28:19-25
Shir haShirim – "Song of Songs": In many places is customary that the SONG OF SONGS (Song of Solomon) be read during the Passover season sometimes in the synagogue, sometimes in homes after the Seder meal, or preceding the beginning of Shabbat Chol haMo'ed.
"Joyous Passover Blessings!!" to each of You!!
From Martin and Norma Sarvis submitted by Chuck D. Pierce
Chuck D. Pierce
Glory of Zion International Ministries
Charles D. "Chuck" Pierce serves as President of Global Spheres, Inc. (GSI) in Corinth, Texas. This is an apostolic, prophetic ministry that is being used to gather and mobilize the worshipping Triumphant Reserve throughout the world. GSI facilitates other ministries as well, and participates in regional and national gatherings to develop new Kingdom paradigms. Chuck also serves as President of Glory of Zion International Ministries, a ministry that aligns Jew and Gentile. He is known for his accurate prophetic gifting which helps direct nations, cities, churches, and individuals in understanding the times and seasons in which we live. Chuck and his wife, Pam, have six children and seven grandchildren. He has authored over 20 books, including the best-sellers Possessing Your Inheritance, The Future War of the Church, The Worship Warrior, God's Unfolding Battle Plan, Interpreting the Times, Redeeming the Time, and Time to Defeat the Devil.
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