Musings – Easter & Passover

Easter & Passover

Scripture declares that the person that thinks he stands needs to take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).  I take this warning seriously so I am constantly re-examining my understanding of the Word/God’s will.  In recent years I have been applying this re-examining process to my understanding of holidays such as Easter.   In the past I had researched and found many “pagan-connections” to the holiday and as a result left off celebrating and consequently ‘condemned’ the holiday as an abomination to the Lord.  However, in recent years I have found that in my zeal I had thrown out the proverbial ‘baby with the bathwater.’

Many, if not most, of the claims of Easter having “pagan origins” are erroneous.  Some are outright lies, some are half-truths but the result of bearing false witness is still seen. These lies are dividing the body of Christ and are abominable in the eyes of God.

Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Zeal is linked to leaven….In Greek, the word for leaven is ζυμόω ‘zumoō’ which comes from the root word ζέω ‘zeo’ which means to boil with heat, fervency in the spirit or zeal.  For those who celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, this is important to note.  In my zeal to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread and get rid of the leaven in my life (which I associated with Easter), I was in reality adding more ‘leaven‘ to my life.

We don’t stand by our works or knowledge, we stand only by faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) in the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1) which is given by the grace of God (Romans 5:2). As a result, we are not to judge each other and the perceived failings of each other as we are all servants of God and He is the Master who makes us stand or fall (Romans 14:4).  We are called to bear the infirmities (weakness of mind) of our brothers, edifying them in love as Messiah did (Romans 15:1-7).

If we think we are standing by our works or knowledge and that we are somehow better than our fellow believer because we do something or think something that they don’t, we are walking in pride and we will fall and be humbled (Proverbs 16:18).

Musings – Pride

A lot of believers in Messiah Jesus believe in keeping the Biblical feasts which is great….but, if these feasts are being done in a prideful way and the finger of condemnation is being pointed at other believers who don’t keep them because they are not convicted to do so, then these “works” of holy day keeping are an abomination to the Lord because they are being done by one with a prideful heart (Proverbs 16:5; Isaiah 1:14; Amos 5:21) and not out of love for which these feasts/holydays were designed.

Those of who have quit celebrating Easter because they believe they are following God’s will in celebrating Passover/Unleavened Bread must remember that part of getting rid of the leaven in our lives is humbling ourselves and getting rid of the pride in our hearts.

To humble oneself before the Lord is to put on the mind of Messiah, allowing God to work through you according to His will, working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:1-16).  Humbling oneself before the Lord is bowing the knee before Him and seeking His will in our lives, not standing over others and demanding they bow the knee to us, submitting to our will (Romans 14:11-13).

Humbling oneself before the Lord leads one to subject oneself to others (1 Peter 5:5-6), seeking to serve them in love (Galatians 5:13-14).  At the Last Supper, Christ said that the world would know we are His disciples by our love (John 13:35).  He did not say they would know us by our understanding of doctrine or celebrating of the feasts/holydays.

When the Lord returns, He will separate the goats and the sheep according to our service in love (Matthew 25:31-46), not on whether or not we celebrated Passover or Easter.  Serving in love is the true path to ‘theology’ or knowing God (Jeremiah 22:16).   Scripture declares that love of one’s fellow man is equated with love of God (1 John 4:11-12, 20-21) and is the fulfillment and purpose of His Word (Matthew 22:39-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 6:2).  It does not say love of one’s fellow religious counterpart, but of one’s fellow MAN (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 3 John 1:11), even our enemies (Luke 6:35).  This love is manifested in service to one another (Galatians 5:13-14; 6:2; John 13:35; 1 John 3:16-19), in particular the poor and weak amongst us.

Unleavened Bread


The Biblical feasts were designed to be shadow pictures of the Messiah (Colossians 2:17) who is the manifestation of God’s love (John 3:16). They were yearly rehearsals for God’s people to keep them walking in His cycles of righteousness. The feasts were designed to be outward signs of His Word to the world. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, He is the fulfillment/purpose of these sabbaths and feasts.

The Word is the character/name of God (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 12:18-21 – Isaiah 42:1-4; Revelation 14:1; 22:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-8), which is love (1 John 4:8). Built into the feasts/sabbaths is the will of God, the plan of salvation for mankind, not their condemnation (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4).  The message of these feasts/holydays is God’s love, forgiveness and plan of redemption.  They are not designed to portray righteousness of God’s people, they are meant to portray God’s righteousness which comes only through Christ Jesus.  In other words, the feasts were not designed to make believers righteous.  They were designed to be shadows of Christ, who alone is our righteousness.

Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Musings – Saved by Grace Through Faith

Again, the Biblical Feasts are shadow pictures which are designed to reveal Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 10:1-17).  He is the Image of God (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8).  Therefore all of the feasts are designed to reveal the love of God.  From the Spring feasts which reveal the sacrifice of the Lord to redeem mankind to the Fall feasts which reveal the future gathering of the redeemed.  They are all about the love of God for mankind and despite of our wickedness, He still offers the path of reconciliation.  It doesn’t come by our religious works (Ephesians 2:1-10) or our understanding of His will (1 Corinthians 2:16), it comes by our faith in the work of Messiah (Romans 3:25-31; 8:3-3; 10:3-13; Colossians 2:16-17; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Peter 1:21).

Passover & the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about this love as they point to the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, the manifestation of God’s love (John 3:16).

A lot of religious denominations/movements go down the wrong path when they take their eyes off of Jesus and get focused on other things (even if they are Biblically based).  The focus of celebrating Passover & Unleavened Bread should be on the Messiah (His death and resurrection), the manifestation of God’s love.  The focus shouldn’t be on why those who don’t celebrate Passover/Unleavened Bread are “wicked” as most of these believers are celebrating Easter which is also a proclamation of Messiah’s death and resurrection, revealing the love of God for mankind.

Shadows of Messiah – Easter

Our celebrations should help the Seed/Word (who is Messiah) grow in our hearts otherwise they are worthless/dung.  The purpose of celebrating the Biblical feasts is all about proclaiming the Name/Character of God to the world.  The purpose is not to puff up those who celebrate those feasts and make them ‘better’ than their brothers who aren’t convicted to do so.

The Hebrew word for dung is פרש ‘parash’ which is the root of the word פרשה ‘parsha’ (as in the Torah parshot/portion) as a ‘parsha’ is a “spreading” out of an event/Scripture portion as dung is spread in a field.  Scripture alludes to the meeting together of believers whose focus is not on Messiah {ie. the Name/Character of God} (Malachi 2:3) and calls these feasts dung.  The purpose of the feasts/sabbaths is to reveal Messiah (Colossians 2:17), if He is not the focus then these celebrations are dung which He won’t “smell” (Amos 5:21; Isaiah 1:13-14).

If our meetings on the feasts/sabbaths are not done bringing forth God’s image of love…they are worthless, they are dung (Malachi 2:2-3).  If our interpretations and discussions of the Word don’t draw one closer to Messiah (the Word made flesh) then they are fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil which is the origin of idolatry.  Interestingly, in Deuteronomy 29:17, the word idol has a footnote in the 1611 Authorized Versions (KJV) of “dungy gods”. This is because the word in Hebrew is גללול ‘gillul’ which is speaking of dung. Perhaps this is why in 2 Kings 10:27 we see the house of Baal being made into a “draught house” by Jehu.

Further connecting this dung-idolatry-tree of knowledge concept is the Hebrew word צפוע ‘tsephua’ which means dung. The root of this word is צפע ‘tsepha’ which is translated as ‘cockatrice/adder’ in Scripture as the tongue “issues” out of the mouth of a serpent as dung “issues” out via excretion. In the beginning the “issue” out of the mouth of the serpent was to lead man away from their Creator, who is Messiah (Ephesians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:12-17; Hebrews 1:1-12). When we meet to celebrate are we bringing forth the poison of the serpent (Psalm 58:3-4; 140:3; Romans 3:13; James 3:8) or are we issuing forth the life giving oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)?

1Pe 4:11  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

When we meet to discuss the Scriptures are we using the Word to bring forth accusations and condemnations of our fellow man or are we using the Word to edify one another, speaking the truth in love?  Are we meeting together to divide His house or are we meeting together to stand in His grace, mercy and forgiveness?

Musings – United We Stand Divided We Fall

The Lord Jesus warned believers of those who did not bring forth fruit after their “field” was given dung that their “tree” would be cut down (Luke 13:8-9). The “vineyard” that rejects Messiah Jesus and does not bring forth the fruit of His Word/Spirit will be destroyed (Matthew 21:33-43). This was also the warning of John the Baptist (Luke 3:8-9) {“Elijah message“}.  Yet, if we seek His Face at all times (1 Chronicles 16:11) we will see Jesus (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6) and we will not be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:4-9).

Musings – Seek His Face & The Golden Rule

When we gather together in holy convocations {קדשׁ  מקראי ‘miqrey qodesh}, the purpose is to declare His Word (Messiah Jesus) to the world.  The word מקראי ‘miqrey’ comes from the root קרא ‘qara’ which means to call out or proclaim the Word….to bring forth His image of love to the world.   These concepts are linked together as the name of God is His Word (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 12:18-21 – Isaiah 42:1-4; Revelation 14:1; 22:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-8).

The Word of God is His “physical manifestation” on earth.  When God “qara’d” He physically manifested Himself, and proclaimed who/what He is.  This is what the reading of the Word does.  The Word proclaims the Name of the Holy One, as it is said in Revelation 19:13, His Name (שם ‘shem’- character) is the Word.  This is what the purpose of the feasts is, to proclaim the name of the Most High.

Calling on His Name brings salvation and is associated with the physical manifestation of the Most High (Matthew 26:53; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Psalm 91:14-16; 86:7-9; 50:15, 23; 18:3; 55:16; Romans 10:12; Acts 2:21; 22:14-16; Joel 2:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2).  Jesus is THE image of God  (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8).  He revealed God’s name/character to mankind (John 17:6).

Joh 17:6  I revealed Your name to the men whom You gave to Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your Word.

Both Passover & Easter are designed to proclaim the name of God.  This is not to say that all of the customs associated with these celebrations are holy and pure but the message of the death and resurrection of Messiah is.

The Word of God was committed to Israel, who was called to bring forth God’s glory/love to the world.  Instead, Israel fell into idolatry and was cast into the nations.  Judah was cast into Babylon but by God’s grace was allowed to return to the land with another opportunity to bring forth God’s message of love to the nations.  Instead, Judah chose to form a religion which corrupted the message of God’s Word and instead of man being formed into His image, they were to be formed into the image of Judaism.

Today, most Christians celebrate Easter but have mixed in some customs which are similar in nature to the idolatry which ancient Israel fell into.  Today, more and more Christians are returning to celebrating Passover, but sadly, are falling into the same trap of ‘Phariseeism’ that Judah did in 2nd Temple times.  Both sides need to repent and seek to glorify God in their celebrations, not continue to feed their carnal natures whether that be chocolate Easter bunnies or pride and elitism.

The fruit which Israel was called to produce was the ‘goodly’ fruit of His Word (Jeremiah 11:16).  However, Israel did not produce this fruit but brought forth wicked fruit (Jeremiah 24:2-8).  As a result, God brought fire upon this olive tree, breaking the branches thereof (Jeremiah 11:16-17).

The Hebrew word for ‘goodly’ in Jeremiah 11:16 is תאר ‘toar’ which means a shape, form, outline or figure of a thing.   תאר ‘toar’ is a cognate of the word תורה ‘torah’ which literally means instruction which defines the border of a people or the ‘image’ of a people. תורה ‘torah’ is most commonly translated as ‘law.’  Here we see that Israel was to produce the fruit of His Law which would bring forth His image to the world.  His Image is that of love (1John 4:8, 16; Matthew 22:35-40).

Israel did not bring forth this image of love (Luke 7:36-47; 10:27-37; 18:9-14).  Although they were zealous for the law (Acts 21:20; 22:3), in their zealousness they corrupted its true meaning (Romans 10:2). They were outwardly religious, yet inwardly full of wickedness (Luke 11:39; 16:15; 20:47; Matthew 6:2-5, 16; 23:5, 25-27). They separated themselves from the peoples of the world, declaring anyone who didn’t worship God according to their traditions was an unclean heathen (John 4:9; 8:48; Acts 10:28).  Recall that zealousness is linked to leaven.

By their traditions they had put up a dividing wall between themselves and others (Acts 21:28; Ephesians 2:14-15), preventing them from drawing nearer to God (Luke 11:52) as Israel was the custodians of His Word (Romans 3:2; John 4:22) which reveals His nature to mankind.  It was their traditions which corrupted the Word of God (Matthew 15:2-9; Mark 7:3-13; Colossians 2:8) and perverted the message of His love to mankind, which led Jesus Christ to declare them as lawless (Matthew 23:28; John 7:19).  It is because of this lack of love (Matthew 5:22; John 15:25) that the Lord was sent to Israel to separate the good trees from the bad (Malachi 3:2-3; 4:1; Matthew 3:10-12; Luke 3:9; John 15:2).

The inheritance was taken away from the bad trees and given to a nation that would produce the fruit of love which the Lord desires (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; 1 Peter 2:4-9; Galatians 3:1-29).   Believers in Messiah became a ‘reformed’ Olive tree and were given the call to abide in Him (Hebrews 3:1-6), being formed into His image (Philippians 3:14-15; Ephesians 1:1-6; 1:17-23), bearing forth His fruit (2 Peter 1:5-9), called to bring forth God’s Gospel of love to the world (2 Timothy 1:9-11), revealing His image (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

The Greek word for ‘calling is κλῆσις ‘klēsis’ which is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word קרא ‘qara’ which, as mentioned above, is associated with manifesting God’s name/image on earth.

Will we fall into the same trap of 2nd Temple Jews and become fruitless/barren, walking in the letter of the law that brings death to the world, or will we walk in the Name/character of Messiah…bringing forth His love and salvation to the world?

Just as with Christmas and New Years, Easter  has some customs  which we are similar to customs of the heathen we Scripture warns us not to partake of (Jeremiah 10:2).  However, tracing these customs back to their source reveals they are founded upon the Truth of the Word, albeit in a corrupted form.

Shadows of Messiah – Easter

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Messiah.  There is certainly cause for concern with some of the aforementioned traditions associated with the holiday, but the primary message of celebration is the resurrection of Christ Jesus which is beyond reproach.  Whether one celebrates Easter or Passover is a matter of conviction.  The important matter is that the resurrection of Messiah, the most important aspect of our faith (1 Corinthians 15:13-20), is being proclaimed yearly by His people.

Let each believer be convinced in his or her own mind and follow the Lord wholeheartedly in that conviction (Romans 14:5-6).  We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling so we ought not to point the finger of condemnation at others as each one of us falls or stands according to the Lord, not man (Romans 14:4).  Regardless of what ‘side’ one chooses, we are to receive each other (προσλαμβάνω ‘proslambanō’ – take by the hand) as the Lord has received us (Romans 14:1-4), bearing one another in love (Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:7).

Shadows of Messiah are seen in all creation which includes man and his holidays.  Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).  Hence, more than any other part of creation, shadow pictures of Messiah are seen in relation to mankind.  One aspect of man is his religions and religious ceremonies and holidays.

As I’ve studied ancient history and religions, a repeating theme is seen.  Truth mixed with error.  All religions of the world have some truth which traces back to the Holy Scriptures and ultimately the Tree of Life.  However, they are mixed with lies that reveals that they are producing fruit from the tree of knowledge which is a counterfeit of the Tree of Life.  No matter how far removed from the truth a particular religion is, there is still some truth within.  A glimmer of light which calls man to His Creator, through Messiah.

All holidays have some truth which is a gift of grace to all of mankind to draw us back to the Most High (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10), for He is the God of all.

There is a Biblical principle of God sifting believers to draw them closer to Himself (Psalm 139:3).  Many times He allows the adversary to do this, such as in the case of Peter (Luke 22:31-32) and Job  (Job 1:12; 2:6).  In the end this sifting was done for the betterment of both Peter and Job (Luke 22:32; Job 42:12).  Other times the customs of the heathen are allowed to remain in our midst in order to test believers (Judges 2:2-3, 20-23), but at the same time there are traces of truth that are within them in order to draw man unto their Savior (Psalm 138:6-8; 34:17-19).

The LORD our God uses the natural world to teach us spiritual principles.  This is why Passover & Easter are celebrated in the Spring where the earth comes back to life after the ‘death’ of winter.  The heathens perverted this truth, just as they have perverted many truths of Scripture.

If one takes a cursory glance of the myths of the heathen it appears as if the ancient pagans believed in fairy tales and were simpletons who modern man can scoff and mock.  However, the more one looks into their beliefs the more one sees that their religion was based on the truth that the Holy Scriptures teach but became perverted throughout time and by the carnal mind.  The perversions of the truth seen in the mystery religions trace back to the Truth of the Word.

Whether you were born in modern times with the celebration of Easter being celebrated throughout the world or in ancient times where spring fertility rites and myths of dying and rising savior figures, all mankind has had the opportunity to see the concept of the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus. Our God allowed this so that people would be able to come to the truth no matter what culture they grew up in {Deuteronomy 4:10}.  It is written in the heavens, it is seen in the cycles of the earth, it is written in the cellular structure of our bodies…all things point to the Messiah.


In Catholic belief, the mass originates from the Last Supper held between Messiah and His disciples which is said to have occurred on Good Friday.  In reality, this was a Passover meal but it is interesting to note that the word ‘mass’ traces back to the Hebrew word מצה ‘matsa’ which means unleavened bread.

The mass is called the Eucharist which comes from the Greek word εὐχαριστία ‘eucharistia’ which means to give thanks.  This is linked to the Lamb.

Rev 7:9  After these things I saw, and behold, a great crowd which no one was able to number them, out of every nation, even tribes and peoples and tongues, standing in front of the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and in their hands palm branches.
Rev 7:10  And they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation to our God sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb.
Rev 7:11  And all the angels and of the elders and of the four living creatures stood around the throne. And they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,
Rev 7:12  saying, Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.

Going back to the mass, מצה ‘matsa’ connection.  Recall, the mass is called the Eucharist.  The eucharist is also known as ‘communion.’  The word communion in Greek is κοινωνία ‘koinōnia’ which means fellowship or union.  Unity comes only through Messiah and the New Covenant in Him (Psalm 50:5; Isaiah 49:3-9; Hebrews 2:11; 13:20-21; Jeremiah 50:5; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; 2:1-11) and walking with Him (1John 1:3-7).

1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion {κοινωνία ‘koinōnia’} of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1Co 10:17  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

The Hebrew counterpart of κοινωνία ‘koinonia’ is the word חבר ‘chabar’ which is the word used for the joining together of the Tabernacle.  Communion then, is the fellowship that believers have which makes them one.  חבר ‘chabar’ has the meaning of something that is bound together.  Even more interesting is that the word for stripes חבורה  ‘chaburah,’ as in the stripes on מצה ‘matsa’ (unleavened bread) and on back of Messiah comes from this root חבר ‘chabar.’

Isa 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes {חבורה  ‘chaburah’} we are healed.

Php 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship {κοινωνία ‘koinōnia’} of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Luk 24:30  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luk 24:35  And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Joh 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Communion/unity comes through the New Covenant in Messiah and unites those who celebrate Passover with those who celebrate Easter as both sides are doing these things in ‘remembrance’ of Him (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

As believers, the main objective in our walks is to grow in maturity as a body until the days that we meet the Lord at His return.  This maturation or perfecting process is intimately linked to unity.  In fact, the main goal of unity is the preparation unto perfection of the bride of Christ to meet the Bridegroom (Matthew 5:48; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 13:9-13; Ephesians 4:11-13; Philippians 3:14-15; Colossians 1:28; 3:14; 4:12; Romans 10:4; Psalm 119:1; Luke 1:17; Revelation 19:7-8; Ephesians 5:25-27).  This is done through love (Colossians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 13:9-13; Romans 13:10; 1 John 4:10, 12, 16; 5:3).

The primary theme of Easter is resurrection and life which point to Christ.  This is seen in the Etymology and symbology of Easter, easter eggs and rabbits etc.  Its not the purpose of this article to go into all the details on this, if the reader is interested please read the following study:

Shadows of Messiah – Easter

Is the Date of Easter of Pagan Origin?

The above link is to a good article for the “pro-Easter” side.  In the past I saw Easter as having “pagan” origins but the more I’ve studied the more I found that to be false.

“Pascha is the feast of universal redemption. Our earliest sources for the an­nual celebration of the Christian Pascha come to us from the second century…The feast, however, must have originated in the apostolic period…According to the earliest documents, Pascha is described as a nocturnal celebration…”  {The Origins of Pascha and Great Week – Part I}

“Direct evidence for the Easter festival begins to appear in the mid-2nd century. Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a mid-2nd-century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one.” {}

Melito was a Quartodeciman, celebrating ‘Pascha’ on the 14th of Nisan/Aviv, in other words he celebrated Passover but did so in remembrance of Messiah.  Pascha later ‘evolved’ into Easter.

Is the Name “Easter” of Pagan Origin?

Why We Should Not Passover Easter

The confusion and arguments over dates comes from the differences in calendars.  Part of the body of Messiah came from a background of following the Biblical calendar, part of the body came from a background of following the Julian calendar.  Today, the same dynamic is seen.  This difference became known as the ‘Quartodeciman Controversy’ which was spoken of by the Church Father Irenaeus.

“For the controversy is not merely as regards the day, but also as regards the form itself of the fast. For some consider themselves hound to fast one day, others two days, others still more, while others [do so during] forty: the diurnal and the nocturnal hours they measure out together as their [fasting] day. And this variety among the observers [of the fasts] had not its origin in our time, but long before in that of our predecessors, some of whom probably, being not very accurate in their observance of it, handed down to posterity the custom as it had, through simplicity or private fancy, been [introduced among them]. And yet nevertheless all these lived in peace one with another, and we also keep peace together. Thus, in fact, the difference [in observing] the fast establishes the harmony of [our common] faith. And the presbyters preceding Sorer in the government of the Church which thou dost now rule–I mean, Anicetus and Pius, Hyginus and Telesphorus, and Sixtus–did neither themselves observe it [after that fashion], nor permit those with them to do so. Notwithstanding this, those who did not keep [the feast in this way] were peacefully disposed towards those who came to them from other dioceses in which it was observed (although such observance was [felt] in more decided contrariety [as presented] to those who did not fall in with it; and none were ever cast out [of the Church] for this matter. On the contrary, those presbyters who preceded thee, and who did not observe [this custom], sent the Eucharist to those of other dioceses who did observe it. And when the blessed Polycarp was sojourning in Rome in the time of Anicetus, although a slight controversy had arisen among them as to certain other points, they were at once well inclined towards each other [with regard to the matter in hand], not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this head.

For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other; and Anicetus conceded to Polycarp in the Church the celebration of the Eucharist, by way of showing him respect; so that they parted in peace one from the other, maintaining peace with the whole Church, both those who did observe [this custom] and those who did not.”  {Fragments from the lost writings of Irenaeus – Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1}

This quote of Irenaeus is a great example of believers who have differences, yet can still abide in unity/fellowship through the Love of God.  There is no need to point the finger in condemnation at a fellow believer because their convictions are different than yours.  If they have been convicted by the Most High then our fingers of condemnation point not at the person, but at the Convictor (James 4:11).  Personally, I’d rather be on my face before Him as opposed to pointing my finger at Him…

The Father is over all (the Head of all), the authority of all (John 14:28). The Head of the Messiah is the Father, the Messiah is the Head of mankind (1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:24-28). The Holy Spirit guides believers into walking according to the will of God (John 14:16, 24-26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-28; 1 John 2:20, 27). Therefore, if by the Holy Spirit a believer is convicted of a doctrine, that believer should follow this.

As believers we are all brethren, our only Head is Messiah (Matthew 23:8-10; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Galatians 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3). Binding and loosing (interpretation and application of Scripture) applies to all believers (Matthew 16:19; 18:18). This is a part of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13).

Elders/church leaders are not the head  of the body of Messiah (Matthew 20:25-28; 23:8-12; Mark 10:42-45). They are servants who oversee groups of believers (Acts 20:28; Luke 22:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13), laboring in the Word (1 Timothy 5:17) to feed the flock but are not the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-6). If a group agrees on a doctrine, believers in that group should respect that agreement but do not have to follow if convicted otherwise by the Lord.  In other words, whether one celebrates Easter or Passover is an individual choice based upon their understanding of God’s will.  We should follow our convictions but at the same time respect the understanding of our brethren.

Unity comes only through Messiah, the New Covenant in Him (Psalm 50:5; Isaiah 49:3-9; Hebrews 2:11; 13:20-21; Jeremiah 50:5; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; 2:1-11) and walking with Him (1John 1:3-7).

“Unity in the body of Christ does not rest on uniformity, but on our common ‘blood,’ which is the blood of Christ.  We are now members of one family, and that identity cannot be taken from us, no matter how much we disagree or quarrel.” (The Gospel in Human Contexts – Paul Hiebert pg 193)

So while we may have disagreements about doctrine such as the celebration of Easter or Passover, this ought not to be a source of division amongst His people (Philippians 2:3; James 3:16).  Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover or are under the conviction that the feasts don’t apply today we can all be in agreement that we are still in unity through Him, not our agreements on doctrine.  Let each person be convinced in his or her own mind and follow the Lord wholeheartedly in that conviction (Romans 14:5-6).

We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling so we ought not to point the finger of condemnation at others as each one of us falls or stands according to the Lord, not man (Romans 14:4).

We should put our focus on working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) for it is He that is working in us according to His own pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  We should focus on obeying the voice of the Lord (John 10:16, 27) and being faithful to that which His Holy Spirit has convicted us of (John 16:8).  We should be prepared to give an answer for this hope in us in meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15), not in condemning and finger pointing which comes not from the spirit of meekness but of pride .

Conviction (in Greek {ἐλέγχω ‘elegchō’} is following the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), the rebuke/correction of Messiah (Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:5) not following one’s own heart.  Those who have not the light (Messiah) love the darkness and do not come to the light lest their deeds be ‘reproved’ (convicted) {ἐλέγχω ‘elegchō’}.  Following the conviction of the Lord is humbling oneself before Him, subjecting oneself to Him…the opposite of pride.

One who consents not to the words of Christ is in the state of pride (1 Timothy 6:3-4), not one who submits to the convictions of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:5-16).  One who has their hearts circumcised by Messiah are in a state of humbleness (Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:12-16; Colossians 2:10-12) and are not be judged in respect of holydays (Colossians 2:16-17).  It is those who have an uncircumcised heart that are considered prideful  (Psalm 119:69-70; 17:8-12; Zechariah 7:12; Acts 28:27; Matthew 13:15; John 8:43-44; Luke 18:9-14).

Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Peter 1:3), not our works or knowledge (1 Peter 1:18-21). Christ in us (Colossians 1:27) is His Word in us (Psalm 119:49-50, 81, 144; 52:9; Colossians 3:16; 1 John 2:14; Hebrews 8:10), His Spirit in us (Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 8:9-11; John 15:26; 14:16-18).  It is Christ dwelling in us that gives us hope, it is this hope that purifies us (1 John 3:2-3), and saves us (Romans 8:24) not our works or knowledge (Psalm 143:2; 146:3; Jeremiah 17:5; Romans 3:20, 28; Titus 3:5; Acts 13:39; Galatians 2:16; 3:10-11).  Good works are the effect of salvation (Christ/Word dwelling in us), Him dwelling in us is the cause (John 15:1-10; 1 John 3:9-10; Hosea 14:8; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:11).  Why then do we judge and condemn others who are standing in the same hope?

It is God working through us, according to His will that brings us to where we are (Philippians 2:13).  If we judge our fellow believer in whom God is working through, we are judging Him (James 4:11-12).  Rebuke/correction/admonishment should be done to edify in peace (Romans 14:19) and love (1 Corinthians 8:1), not condemn and cut off others (James 3:14-18).  We are to be faithful to Him, following what the Spirit has taught us and convicted us of (John 16:8).  We can’t force our convictions on others but must be tolerant of their understanding (1 Corinthians 13:7) as the Lord has been patient and tolerant with us.

Toleration is from the Latin ‘tolerationem’ which is a “noun of action from past participle stem of tolerare” which means forbearance.  We must recall that while we were yet sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:8-10; Ephesians 2:1-6; Colossians 1:20-21) He showed us His great forbearance in sending His Son to bring reconciliation between Himself and us (Romans 2:4; 3:25).  As a result, we are also to be “tolerant” to others who are overtaken in sin and extend His goodness to them (Romans 2:1-4).  We are to seek to restore one overtaken in a fault, bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-3).

We must never tolerate sin (Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 8:13; Amos 5:15), yet we must never be intolerant to the sinner (Leviticus 19:17; 1 John 2:9-29).  Tolerance comes from the Latin word ‘tolerantia’ which means to “bear” which compares with the Greek word στέγω ‘stego’ (bears) of which love performs (1 Corinthians 13:7).  Love “beareth” all things, yet love does not rejoice in iniquity (1 Corinthians 13:6).

‘Tolerantia’ traces back to the Hebrew word תלה ‘talah’ which means to lift up and hang as in the Messiah being lifted up (Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13) that mankind might be reconciled to the Father while we were yet in our sins (Romans 5:8).  Messiah is the epitome of toleration.  He who was without sin (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5) tolerated the presence of sinners and bear our burdens/sins that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  As a result, we are to carry this same “toleration”, the ministry of reconciliation , hating the sin of the world, yet never hating the sinner (1 John 2:9-29).

We are saved by His grace through faith where we become His workmanship that He can work through us performing  good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).  These good works are light  (Matthew 5:16), His Word  (Psalm 119:105), the Spirit of His Torah  (Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 8:20) shining through us (Psalm 27:1; John 8:12; Isaiah 60:1-2). These good works are performed by Him, through us (Philippians 2:13).  We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) as He works through us, convicting us by His Spirit (John 16:8) on how we are to walk in His Word.  It is The Most High who works through us, causing us to grow in maturity in His Word (Psalm 57:2; 18:32; 138:8).  As a result, we are not to judge one another on how we walk, for we are all His servants and stand by His power, not our knowledge or works (Romans 14:4-5).  We must remember that if a believer is sincerely following the Lord, it is He that is guiding them.  This is true regardless of the failings we perceive in them.

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We have all fallen short (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10) and see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) so we can’t judge fellow believers for their shortcomings (James 4:11-12; Romans 14:4, 13). Our understanding of the Word and our success in following this understanding is not what makes us His people, it is our faith in the Messiah (Romans 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). What justifies us and saves us before the Father is faith in Messiah, not “obedience” to the Torah (Galatians 2:16; 3:11; Romans 3:28; 5:1). We receive the Spirit, who guides us on how we are to walk, by faith not works of the law (Galatians 3:2, 5).

When asked why we do what we do, we should be prepared to give an answer for the hope in us in meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15), not in condemning and finger pointing which comes not from the spirit of meekness but of pride.  Each of us should be fully persuaded in our minds as to how we are to walk with the Lord (Romans 14:5), letting His Spirit guide (John 16:13), convict (John 16:8) and teach us (1 John 2:20, 27).

If we can remember that we are all saved by His grace through faith and stand therein (Romans 5:1-2; 2 Corinthians 1:24), we will be able to better abide in His “first love” (Revelation 2:4) and extend His mercy and grace to others even when we disagree with them.  If we remember that we all see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) we can better abide in His faith, hope and love.

The Lord is transforming us from glory to glory by His own power (2 Corinthians 3:18), not by our religious doctrines and movements.  It is His job to perfect us and recreate us in His image, not ours (Psalm 57:2; 18:32; 138:8; Ephesians 4:4-13).  It is not our job to overcome the flesh by our own power.  Our job is to yield unto Him that He might work through us (Romans 6:7-19).  Hence, all praise and glory and honor belongs unto Him (Romans 6:17; Revelation 5:12-13; 7:12; Isaiah 42:8).

When we come to faith, our job is to yield ourselves to the Lord that He might work through us (Romans 6:13-19; Philippians 3:21).  We are to present ourselves as living sacrifices unto Him (Romans 12:1) that the body of sin might be destroyed (Romans 6:6-12).  Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), dying to the sinful flesh that we might walk by faith does not nullify the law, it establishes it (Romans 3:31).  We must put the law in its proper perspective.  It is not our means to salvation and righteousness (Romans 10:3-4), if we walk according to this we frustrate the grace of God and demean Christ’s sacrifice (Galatians 2:21).  The law convicts us as sinners (Galatians 3:22) that we might come to faith in Messiah (Galatians 3:24-25) as new creatures in Him (Galatians 3:26-29).  He is the Word/Torah made flesh (John 1:1, 14) and is forming us into His image (1 John 3:1-5) from glory to glory by His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We can yield/submit to Him that we might become His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:3-4; Philippians 3:9) or we can attempt to establish our own righteousness by our own power (works of the law/religion) and fall into condemnation (Isaiah 64:6; 57:12; Galatians 2:16; 3:10).

If a fellow believer has a different understanding of doctrine or is even clearly walking in error, this doesn’t mean they aren’t our brethren or that they are worshiping a different Jesus.  This doesn’t mean they have a different Spirit.  This doesn’t mean they believe in a different Gospel.  This means they, like all of us, still have a carnal nature which prevents them from walking in the fullness of His Truth (Romans 7:14-25).  They, like all of us, fall short of perfection (James 3:1-2).  They, like all of us, see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12).  Our only hope of defeating this carnal nature is Him (Romans 7:24-24), not ourselves.

Works of the law/religion does not bring Messiah into our hearts (Galatians 3:2-5), faith does (Galatians 2:16).  The law was designed to lead us to Him (Hebrews 10:1), revealing our sins (Romans 7:7) and condemning us (Romans 7:5-23; 1 Corinthians 15:56) that we might turn to Him by faith and receive His gift of grace unto salvation (Romans 5:20; 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:57).  Through faith in Him, we receive His Spirit (Galatians 3:5, 14) to work through us (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 13:21) and guide us (John 16:13; 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13) that we might walk by the Spirit of the law unto life, becoming His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).  If we walk in the letter of the law by our own power (works of the law) we will die (Galatians 3:10; 2:16).

Our understanding of Jesus is a gift from above, it is not given to us that we might point the finger at those who haven’t come to the same understanding (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22).  If we abide in His doctrine, we abide in Him (2 John 1:9; Hebrews 6:1).  Hebrews 6:1 declares the foundational doctrine of Messiah is repentance, faith towards God, baptism, laying on of hands, the resurrection and eternal judgment.  Hebrews 6 does not say the doctrine of Christ is pronunciation of His name, holiday beliefs, sabbaths, kosher etc.

Messiah declared if we continue in His Word then we are His disciples (John 8:31-32).  He did not say if we understand His Word perfectly and walk in perfection we would be His disciples.  If a believer is seeking to walk in His Word, regardless of their understanding or misunderstanding they are His disciples.  If a believer eats unclean food and celebrates some unbiblical customs associated with Easter [add any other pet doctrine] this does not mean they are following another Jesus.  This means they have errors in understanding, this doesn’t mean they have errors in faith (Romans 3:1-7).

His desire is for us to abide in Him and bear fruit  (John 15:1-8) continuing in His love  (John 15:1-17).  Bearing fruit doesn’t mean one has to have perfect knowledge of His Word.  Bearing fruit is done by abiding in Messiah (Philippians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Ephesians 5:9), Him working through us by His Spirit and growing us unto maturity (2 Peter 1:5-8; Colossians 1:10; Galatians 5:22-23).  We abide in Him by faith, not by our works.  It is the fruit that is being produced which will display if one is abiding in Messiah or not (Matthew 7:16-20).  The greatest fruit that will display one’s abiding in Messiah is love (John 15:9-12).  Love defends, love doesn’t condemn (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Peter 4:8).  Love does not seek to cut off other believers because they don’t measure up to our expectations and deem them as idolaters worshiping another Jesus (Galatians 5:14-15).

If knowledge causes contention and strife and leads us to point the finger of accusation and condemnation at our fellow man, we better examine ourselves because this is more than likely devilish knowledge (James 3:14-16).  Knowledge or doctrine should not cause us to divide from our brethren, this is carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3-4; Jude 1:19; Philippians 2:3; Galatians 5:19-20).  Those who walk in this manner cannot please God (Romans 8:6-8).  Messiah is not divided (1 Corinthians 1:12-13), His body is to be unified  (John 17:11, 21-22; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 6:15-17; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:5; Philippians 1:27; 2:2) not divided into carnal cliques.

Division comes as a result of man’s carnal nature inherited from the first Adam when he partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Adam was given dominion over the earth, or headship (Genesis 1:26) but when he allowed the serpent to creep into the garden and partook of the fruit of which he was commanded not to, he forfeited this dominion (Luke 4:6).  Messiah Jesus overcame the dominion of the enemy (Colossians 2:15; Acts 2:23-36) and is now the only Head on this earth (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23; Psalm 18:43).  Today we see division amongst men because they put other men as their heads.   We must not submit to other men as Jesus alone is our head and we are all brethren (Matthew 23:8) called to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

We must stop appointing men as our heads and dividing into little cliques based upon the knowledge and doctrine of men.  We must stop accusing one another over doctrine and cutting off other members of the body of Messiah because they don’t agree with us in every doctrine.  We must stop accusing other members of the body of Messiah of worshiping a different Yeshua/Jesus because they don’t agree with us in doctrine.  For those who celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, this is a part of getting rid of the leaven in our lives.

1Co 1:12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

The word for “envying” in 1 Corinthians 3:3 is ζῆλος ‘zēlos’ which also means zealousness.  Zealousness for God’s truth is great (Revelation 3:19; Titus 2:14), but we must be careful that this zealousness does not turn into carnal envy.  Although we have been given God’s Spirit, we still have sin dwelling in our carnal flesh (Romans 7:11, 17-18).  Carnality is carnality whether or not it is disguised as religion or not.  Sadly, many times our zealousness for God can be used by Satan to lead us into persecution of one another in the guise of religious zeal (Acts 22:3-4; Philippians 3:6; Romans 10:2-4).

Jas 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying {ζῆλος ‘zēlos’} and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Love envies not

1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

When we walk in God’s love we realize that we do not have the corner market on truth.  As a result we must be patient with one another focusing on faith, hope and love.  Recall that these three things constitute the armor of God, in specific His breastplate of righteousness (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9).  It is in this love that we can stand (Ephesians 6:11-18; Romans 5:1-2).

Knowledge puffs us up and leads to division.  Love does not puff us up, love edifies (1 Corinthians 4:4-7; 13:4; Colossians 2:18-19).  Love bears up the weak, not seeking to please the self but seeking to edify the other (Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:7).

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge.  Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

1Co 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Eph 6:23  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:24  Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Scripture declares that he that thinks he stands needs to take heed lest he fall.  We don’t stand by our works or knowledge, we stand only by faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) in the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1) which is given by the grace of God (Romans 5:2).  As a result, we are not to judge each other and the perceived failings of each other as we are all servants of God and He is the Master who makes us stand or fall (Romans 14:4).

What do we stand in?

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

We are unified  by our hope  in Him (Ephesians 4:4-6), regardless of our differences (denominations, movements etc).  We are unified  by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4), Christ dwelling in us (Romans 8:9).  The saved are unified by the Savior (Hebrews 2:11), not by their works or their perceived superiority to others.

When it comes to doctrines, Biblical controversies and the like, we are to be faithful to the guidance of His Spirit (John 16:8, 13), but are not to condemn and cut off those who do not see as we do (Romans 8:1; Luke 6:37).  We are to edify in love (Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 8:1) and accept when another does not want that edification.  Messiah came as a Physician to those who knew they were sick but did not force His healing upon those who thought they were well (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; John 9:39-41).

We perform His will by Him working through us, not by our power/works (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:21; Mark 16:20; Ephesians 1:11; 2:9-10; 3:20; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Corinthians 12:6).  Did we receive His Spirit by faith or by works (Galatians 3:2-7)?  Through faith we have an unction/anointing of His Spirit (1 John 2:20), Christ’s Spirit dwells in us (Romans 8:9-10) and we are guided by Him (John 16:13).  If we don’t have His Spirit then we don’t belong to Him (Romans 8:9).  If we are not doing our works by His Spirit, then we are doing them by our own power (Galatians 3:5) and we are walking in the works of the law, we are denying Him (Romans 9:32-33; 10:3-10; Galatians 2:16-21) and going down the path of destruction (Galatians 3:10).

We are to take up our crosses (Mark 10:21; Luke 14:26-33), dying to the self (Philippians 3:10; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:31; Galatians 2:20; 5:24; 6:14-15) that He might live through us (John 11:25; Romans 6:7-18).  If we refuse to die to ourselves and continue to walk by our own power, we will die (Romans 8:13).  If Christ dwells in us, sin is dead and we are new creatures (Romans 6:7-18; Galatians 6:14-15).  Sin is the transgression of the law/Word (1 John 3:4), hence if we walk in Him (the Word made flesh) we will not walk in sin (1 John 3:9-10; 5:18; 2 Timothy 2:19).  If we do sin, it is sin dwelling in us (Romans 7:17-25), not Him.  It is the old man which has already died with Him (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9).  If we do sin, we have and Advocate with God (1 John 2:1).  As believers, we should be walking in the footsteps of this Advocate (1 John 2:2-6), helping others out of sin while considering our own weakness in the flesh (Galatians 6:1-3).

As believers, our job is to walk with the Defender of the brethren, Messiah Jesus (Luke 22:31-32; Romans 8:31-34; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15-16; 1 John 2:2-2), not the accuser (Revelation 12:11).  Those who accuse others and slander others are walking in the footsteps of the adversary.  In the New Testament, the word for devils is διάβολος ‘diabolos’ which is translated as false accusers (2 Timothy 3:3) and slanderers (1 Timothy 3:11).

Believers are called to walk in the footsteps of Messiah (1 John 2:6; Ephesians 5:1-2).  Putting on the breastplate of righteousness that we might stand together against the devil.  Defending one another, loving one another as love covers all sins (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Peter 4:8).

A breastplate is a tool of defense.  The breastplate of God is righteousness, faith and love (Ephesians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).  We are children of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5), called to stand in His love, wearing His breastplate of love (1 Thessalonians 5:8).  We are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9) for Messiah took our sins upon us that we might live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10).  The accusations of the devil are powerless against us (Romans 8:1, 33-39).  As a result, we are to edify one another in love (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Romans 14:19), not tear down each other in condemnation (Ephesians 4:1-32).  We are called to forgive one another in love, that the adversary not get an advantage on us (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

The Lord is transforming us from glory to glory by His own power (2 Corinthians 3:18), not by our religious doctrines and movements.  It is His job to perfect us and recreate us in His image, not ours (Psalm 57:2; 18:32; 138:8; Ephesians 4:4-13).  It is not our job to overcome the flesh by our own power.  Our job is to yield unto Him that He might work through us (Romans 6:7-19).  Hence, all praise and glory and honor belongs unto Him (Romans 6:17; Revelation 5:12-13; 7:12; Isaiah 42:8).

Whether one celebrates Easter or Passover, may all praise and glory and honor be given to Him that sits on the throne and to the Lamb for this is the purpose of these celebrations.

Rev 4:8  And the four living creatures each one had six wings around, and within being full of eyes. And they had no rest day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” the One who was, and is, and is coming!
Isa. 6:3
Rev 4:9  And whenever the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, to the One living to the ages of the ages,
Rev 4:10  the twenty four elders fall down before Him sitting on the throne; and they will worship the One living to the ages of the ages, and will throw their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11  Lord, You are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because You created all things, and through Your will they exist and were created.
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev 5:9  And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy are You to receive the scroll, and to open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood purchased us to God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Rev 5:10  and made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign over the earth.
Rev 5:11  And I saw, and I heard a sound of many angels around the throne, and the living creatures, and the elders, and their number was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
Rev 5:12  saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb having been slain to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.
Rev 5:13  And every creature which is in Heaven, and in the earth, and underneath the earth, and the things that are on the sea, and the things in all of them, I heard saying: To Him sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.
Rev 5:14  And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the twenty four elders fell down and worshiped the One living forever and ever.
Luk 24:26  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Col 2:6  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Col 2:16  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:
Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

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