The Clarion April, 2024

Volume 5, Issue 4              April  2024  


April is best known for Tax Day. We know that even in Yeshua’s day they had to pay taxes and the people felt the same way back then as they do today. But Yeshua paid His in a little different way as Matthew 17: 24-27 tells us,  “When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, ‘Does your teacher pay taxes?’ Peter said, ‘Of course.’ But as soon as they were in the house, Yeshua confronted him. ‘Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?’  He answered, ‘His subjects.’ Yeshua said, ‘Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”’ Peter went from being a fisher of fish to a fisher of men. This April we celebrate the Passover. Peter, after seeing such great miracles, finds himself denying the Messiah, not just once, but three times. Paul tells us that Yeshua is our Passover Lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah, our Passover Lamb, also was sacrificed. Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Paul tells us to keep the Passover, and the congregations of believers did so until the Emperor Constantine changed Passover to Easter and the church began determining the day to celebrate. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon date, based on mathematical calculations, that falls on or after March 21st. If the Full Moon is on a Sunday, Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday. The date of the Paschal Full Moon, used to determine the date of Easter, is based on mathematical approximations following a 19-year cycle called the Metonic cycle. The Bible has always used the Biblical calendar. Passover is in the month of Nisan, which was the first month.  Yeshua died on the 14th day of Nisan, Passover and He rose on the Feast Day of First Fruits, the 16th day of Nisan. 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

Egypt: Freedom Part 10

The story of freedom is a great story no matter when it happens, and for whom it happens.   Galatians 5:1 tells us, “ It is for freedom that Messiah has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” 

Israel is going to be set free after being enslaved for many generations. The Passover story is for all of us, because we were all slaves at one time or another, as Galatians 5 tells us. So as we go forward, place yourselves in Israel’s shoes and remember when God set you free from Egypt (the world) and maybe you haven’t let go of Egypt and now is the time to do so. 

Exodus 12:1 says, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year for you.”

Anytime you repent of your sins and let go of the world it is a new beginning.

1 John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life— is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever.”

It was in the first month that Yeshua was crucified.

Exodus 12:3,  “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are, each one, to take a lamb for themselves, according to the fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.”  The people were to inspect their lambs to be sure that they had no defect or blemish of any kind. It had to be a perfect sacrifice. Remember, Yeshua is our Lamb.

John 1:29 says, “The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! It was on the tenth of the month that Yeshua rode into Jerusalem for all to see.

Matthew 21: 7-9, “They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

This took place on the 10th day of the first month. It was here for all to inspect their lambs. Exodus 12:6 says this about the lamb, “You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it at twilight.”

 It was on the 14th day of the first month that Yeshua was crucified.  John 19: 14-15 says,  “Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”  They cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” The day of Preparation for the Passover was on the 14th day of the first month. Like the plague before the death of the first born, which took place before Israel’s Passover,  we saw darkness, and now we see this darkness take place before the death of  Messiah.

Luke 23:44-46, “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,  for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Yeshua called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit My Spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last.”

It was at the same time that Israel was slaughtering their lambs that Yeshua was crucified on the hill of the Skull,  and from there He could see the lambs being killed. To be a true light in the darkness, to be a true witness to Yeshua’s crucifixion we must always remember on the correct day and that day is on the Jewish day of Passover.

Exodus 12:7 says, “Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.” 

The blood on the doorpost was a harbinger of things to come. What was going on inside the house, was also a harbinger of things to come.

John 6:53 says, “So Yeshua  said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”’

Mark 14:22-24 tells us, “And as they were eating, He took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is My body.  And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank of it.  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

1 Corinthians 10:16  says, “Is not the Cup of Blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Messiah? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Messiah?” The Cup of Blessing that Paul speaks of is one of four cups that are lifted up and consumed during the Seder. The cup that Yeshua lifted up and said, “This is My blood,” was the Cup of Redemption. Exodus 12: 12-13 says,  “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and fatally strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the human firstborn to animals; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord.  The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will come upon you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” 

We know that we are saved by the blood of the Lamb of God, Ephesians 1:7  The blood on the doorpost kept the death angel away from the Israelites, as does the blood that now covers us when we walk according to the Spirit of God.  

Galatians 5: 13-16 says. “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.  For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” 

We also know Yeshua took upon Himself our sins. He, like the Egyptians who lost their firstborn, also died. Remember, Yeshua was not only Mary’s firstborn, but God’s only firstborn Begotten Son. As God brought the plagues upon Egypt there was a great spiritual battle that was taking place in the heavenlies.  Pharaoh who allegorically represents the devil, did not want the people of Israel to leave because he had them in bondage. So too with us, the devil does not want us to be set free. He, too, wants to keep us in our bondage. Hebrews 2:14-16 says,  “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For clearly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham.”

Finally Exodus 12:43-45 goes on to say, “ And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat it;  but as for every slave that someone has purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.  A stranger or a hired worker shall not eat it.” This was referring to the covenant of Abraham. Today this would include those who are in covenant with Yeshua as Romans 6;17-18 says,  “But thanks be to God, for you were slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted,  and having been freed from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness.”

Next month you shall see the salvation of the Lord.

 Kids Corner coloring sheet

Hebrew Corner:          Martyrs,  Simon Peter

Of all the twelve apostles, Peter is the best known. Matthew 16:18 records this famous verse. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” We are taught the church was built upon Peter, but actually if we look at the whole thought we will see it differently. Let’s start at verse 15 He said to them,’ But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Yeshua answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My congregation, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.’” You see, actually the head of the congregation was James and the Rock was Yeshua, for He was the head of His flock. Acts 15 records the Jerusalem Council who gathered to discuss Paul’s request which was that Gentiles did not need to become ceremonially Jews. Peter rose up in Paul’s defense by saying this, “After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.  And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;  and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.  Since this is the case, why are you putting God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Yeshua, in the same way as they also are.”’  Then it goes on to say this, “After they stopped speaking, James responded, saying, ‘Brothers, listen to me.  Simeon has described how God first concerned Himself about taking a people for His name from among the Gentiles.  The words of the Prophets agree.  Therefore, it is my judgment that we do not cause trouble for those from the Gentiles who are turning to God,  but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols, from acts of sexual immorality, from what has been strangled, and from blood.  For from ancient generations Moses has those who preach him in every city, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”  Peter, who denied the Messiah three times, became a great man of faith. He spoke on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 people accepted the Messiah. There are so many questions surrounding Peter, was he in Rome, when did he die, and where is he buried?  But according to tradition, he died at the hand of Nero, being crucified upside down, but as to his burial place to this day it still remains a mystery. Nonetheless, Peter remains a vital part of  the Apostolic church, and one day his name will appear on the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem,  Revelation 21:14.

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