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What Took Passover So Long in 2016?
To My Friends Who Reverence the Resurrection,
You may have noticed that every once in a while Israel doesn’t celebrate the Passover at the same time as Easter.
2016 was one of those times and 2008 was another.
It’s kind of like leap-year. Due to an obstinate Earth--human nature on the planet always did have a mind of its own!--that it circles the sun not 365 days per year but 365¼. So every 4 years we add an extra day in February to pick up the slack.
But Passover is a bit different. It depends on the occurrence of the full moon. If it happens before Easter, both observances occur the same weekend. But if full moon appears after Easter, we add 4 more weeks as happened this year. So instead of a change of 1 year in 4, it calculates that the shift of the full moon happens only on an average of 20% of the time.
Tomorrow night, Elsie and I will be holding a city-wide invitation for Passover 2016.
Now other than bowing down to the Bunny or exalting an Egg-Fest, I must mention that the Pagan inspired name “Eastre”—along with some 4 other spellings—was associated with the Teutonic goddess of Spring—not to ignore a number of other fantasies of fertility. Otherwise, barring the bunny, I hold no condemnation whatsoever for any of my friends who do primarily revere the Resurrection on any other convenient day of any calendar.
That Pagan association however has been as old as anti-Semitism, and the Gentile “Church Fathers”, followed by the Roman rendition of righteousness, unfortunately took it all on board. So much for egg on one’s face!
But tomorrow, a number of us will follow the Hebraic Calendar, along with the Biblical origin in Exodus 12:1-42. Actually it is a fun-filled learning-curve including those kids who get involved in the Biblical records.
From the summary in the current Vision for Israelreport we can read: “Passover 2016: Passover, a seven day commemoration of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, begins this year in Israel at sunset Friday 22 April and concludes at nightfall on Friday 29 April. Families and friends across the country will gather in homes, halls and hotels to celebrate the annual Seder meal. Together the nation (Israel) will recall in song and story the Biblical deliverance, under the leadership of Moses, from the slave pits of Egypt, the ten plagues preceding it, and escapes from death because of the blood of the Passover lamb. Unleavened bread called matzos will be eaten throughout the holiday, and sweets made with matzo, corn and potato flour will accompany daily meals. The Vision for Israel team extends warmest holiday greetings to our friends near and far. Please intercede again this year that this happy time will not be marred by terrorist attacks or Islamic violence against Israel.
We and a growing number of churches use the traditional Hebraic Seder (handbook) with the only New Testament adjustment being our recognition of the real Lamb (and a booting out of the Bunny).
It’s all in the Good Book and our evening will be one of symbolism and relationship with the Author and Finisher of our Future.
Another note is that the name Easter is nowhere in the Bible, and I was pleasantly amazed at the content of Google research that reinforced that fact plus the preferred title of Resurrection Day as we ourselves had long ago recognized and adopted. Yeshua, of course, never “kept Easter” nor did his disciples. Hewas the Lamb and their holiday was Passover!
Also, a timely reminder in Charisma Magazine paralleled that same theme: “It’s not the Bunny—It’s the Lamb!”
An awakening to Passover is anything but a relapse to legalism. Rather it is back to the basics. Something I have focused on for some time as well is, “out with religion—upward with relationship.”
Meanwhile, those doomed 2016 diehards have their heads deep into the desert sands of denial: “What can we do to avoid the current avalanche of anarchy?”
It no longer seems to be an option to stop the clock, let alone turn it back. Moreover, this student of the Scriptures has been long captivated by Romans 11:25-27: “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ ”
That’s a fascinating verse that now looms large into the biblical side of the collapse of Western civilization. For some denominational theologies, it’s best swept under the carpet ! But, if we take the whole of the Scriptures, there’s not much problem.
Our Jewish counterpart—warts and all—is NOT the church’s homework. It’s the Almighty’s pet project from the beginning. Check it out in Numbers 23:9 and a host of parallels that Israel is NOT one of the nations in the Creator’s counting! As I discovered and noted in my first book, “Where is the Body?”, the Great Commission as listed in the final chapters of Matthew, Mark and Luke, “Telling the Nations” hardly excludes dialogue with our Jewish brethren, but the specified Nations (i.e. the Gentiles aka Goyim) are unquestionably the primary focus for evangelism.
The Western churches by and large are heavily influenced by much of our Hellenistic Western mindset. Unfortunately anti-Semitism was one thing the Reformation sadly never got around to reforming.
Moreover, our Jewish side of the family have had a few problems with the Most High ever since Egypt, and that without Gentile assistance!
Romans 11:25 is the key to the skeletons in the closet in both camps. “…blindness in part is happened to Israel, until…” tells us that Abba is still working on His chosen family.
And as for “…until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” Some translations say, “the full number”. But perhaps the New Living Translation gives the best rendition, “…until the full number of Gentiles has come to Christ (the Messiah).” Abba is still working out in the Gentile side of the Olive Tree entrees of Romans 11—that is, ”warts and all” on both sides of the family!. Get it?
And Passover is perhaps the best time to compare notes, the key ingredient being “unleavened bread”, due in part to the haste with which they shot out of Egypt!
It’s symbolism all over again. Yeast is a classic biblical symbolism of pride and the Jewish Mama goes bananas in searching out the house for the last bread crumbs before Passover. Those yeast crumbs are called hametz in Hebrew, symbolically yeast in English, and Friends, the hassle is not in the kitchen but in the heart!
For the Gentile (arrogantly), the show isn’t over until the Jew comes home “to what I have experienced.”
For the Jew (arrogantly), the curtain does not fall until the Gentile climbs up “to where I have stood for 2500 years!
Thus, It looks like there might be a bit of pre-Passover house-cleaning search for hametz for both houses. Now do you get it?
Unless you want to burn your Bible, the Hebrew Scriptures (the Hebrew Prophets) are replete with an end of days Golden Age for Israel. A showcase are the promises in Ezekiel 36:24-28:“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”
And these promises are repeated over and over and over again in Ezekiel and throughout Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah, Hosea and Amos to catch a glimpse of an end of the Age tailwind of the Holy Spirit on the Jewish people.
Moreover, the end of days collapse of the West in general and America in particular as symbolized in Revelation 17 and 18 is the rest of the story. Are we ready? Or do we opt for a tad of Sharia first?
But wart removal across both sides of the family is the clinical essence of the moment!
Even before my December surgery, the Father has nudged us that we were in for a new step, and since December the penny has dropped. I have been invited to speak in June to a growing movement of Reconciliation for both sides of the Abrahamic family of promise in Jerusalem.. From there on—we don’t know yet. Pray for us.
Blessings and Shalom,
Victor and Elsie Schlatter
South Pacific Island Ministries
Director, South Pacific Island Ministries,
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April 15, 2016
Hoisted by their own petard
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda infamously said: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." He told foul lies about the hapless Jews and millions of Germans and other Europeans believed them and willingly participated in the Holocaust.
Another such miscreant, the late and unlamented arch terrorist, Yasser Arafat, told an enormous whopper, which has been repeated relentlessly by his fellow Arabs, those who call themselves Palestinians; namely that there were no Jewish Temples on Jerusalem's Temple Mount; thus impudently denying both Jewish and Christian history.
But now the outrageous propaganda spewed by the PLO and the so-called Palestinian Authority, wherein they try to deny millennial Jewish history in the ancestral Jewish and biblical homeland and substitute it with a fraudulent and fictitious "ancient Palestinian history" – even to the ludicrous extent of claiming Jewish biblical characters were Palestinians – has come back to bite them.
They have been served a taste of their own noxious medicine. In other words; "hoisted by their own petard."
Meanwhile, Jewish archaeological remains dating back thousands of years continue to be discovered throughout Israel thus totally obliterating the ceaseless and baseless propaganda spewed by the so-called Palestinian Authority desperately denying Jewish biblical and post biblical history.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the most sacred site of the Jewish people, the very place that the Jewish King David built the sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant and made his capital some 3,000 years ago. It is where his son, King Solomon, built the first Temple destroyed by the Babylonians and Herod later built the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans.
The very name, Jerusalem, Yerushalayim in Hebrew, was always the source of Jewish yearning and prayers down the dark centuries of exile and persecution.
For those Jews not living in their ancestral homeland, (and there were always Jewish communities in the Land maintaining whatever numbers they could under successive alien occupations), the prayers expressed the longing to return and rebuild the eternal Jewish capital. It is not by accident that wherever in the world a synagogue stands, it faces Jerusalem.
At the conclusion of Israel's defensive war against genocidal Arab aggression in June, 1967 and the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem, which had been divided since the 1948 illegal Jordanian occupation of the eastern half of the city, the leftwing Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan, committed a calamitous mistake.
Dayan believed that showing friendship to the Muslim aggressors by giving the Waqf the keys to the Temple Mount, the erstwhile Jordanian Muslim religious authorities would reciprocate and Jews and Muslims would worship in peaceful harmony on the Mount. It was a monumental error. For the Islamic Waqf predictably chose to immediately discriminate against any signs of Jewish and Christian prayer on the Temple Mount.
As Giulio Meotti, a journalist with the Italian newspaper, Il Foglio, wrote in 2012:
"The Waqf is now attempting to deliberately destroy all archaeological evidence of Jewish claims to this site, while using terror and intimidation to impose its exclusive claim to the Temple Mount.
"The Waqf has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the site. At the entrance, a deplorable Waqf sign says 'The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.'
"Today Jews are barred from praying on the Mount and are not even allowed to carry any holy articles with them. With Muslim observers supervising visits, Israeli police, to their shame, frequently arrest Jews for various 'violations,' such as singing or reciting a prayer even in a whisper. Even moving one's lips in silent prayer is a cause for Muslim violence and stoning."
An Indian Hindu friend expressed to me his astonishment that Jews are not allowed to build their Temple again on their holiest site. He pointed out that growing up in India, people always knew that Jerusalem is to the Jews what Mecca is to the Muslims and Varanasi is to the Hindus.
What may well be one of the worst crimes against civilization was the ruthless and relentless destruction of Jewish artifacts and antiquities by the Moslem authorities, the Waqf, who were foolishly given permission to control the Temple Mount in 1967. Remember the Muslim Taliban destruction of the 2,500 year old statues of Buddha in Afghanistan?
It is the same Muslim arrogance and hatred for all other religions which the world has witnessed as the Islamic State (ISIS) obliterates Christian history and Christian lives throughout the Middle East.
The Muslims soon began using heavy bulldozers on the Temple Mount despite Israeli protests. They began digging under the mount, and in the process desecrated tons of precious archaeologically rich soil. One archaeologist described the disturbed sites as "an archaeological crime and an assault upon history and civilization."
One can only shudder at what discoveries of profound spiritual and historical importance have already been destroyed and lost.
Christian Arabs – that endangered and dwindling population who live under the onerous and discriminatory control of the overwhelmingly
Khaled Abu Toameh wrote about the destruction of the remains of an ancient Christian church discovered in Gaza in his April 12, 2016 article in the Gatestone Institute website. He wrote as follows:
"For Palestinian Christians, the destruction of the ancient Byzantine church ruins is yet a further attempt by Palestinian Muslim leaders to efface both Christian history and signs of any Christian presence in the 'West Bank' and Gaza, under the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. A growing number of Christians feel they are being systematically targeted by both the PA and Hamas for being Christians.
"Bulldozers were used to destroy some of the church artifacts; some Palestinian Christians accused both Hamas and the PA of copying ISIS tactics to demolish historic sites.
"The plight of Palestinian Christians does not interest the international community. That is because Israel cannot be blamed. If the current policy against Christians persists, the day will come when no Christians will be left in Bethlehem."
Tragically, Israeli leaders are terrified of upsetting the Muslim world and this very timidity and fear allows for triumphalist and tyrannical Islam to commit unspeakable crimes against civilization and history.
Under Islam, Christians and Jews are considered dhimmis, a tolerated but second class who are afforded "protection" by Islam. Dhimmitude is integral to Islam; it is a protection racket that suspends the Muslim conqueror's desire to kill or enslave Jews and Christians, provided they submit themselves to paying a discriminatory tax and tribute.
Writing in the April 12, 2016 Op-Ed section of the Israel National News website, Stephen M. Flatow opined on the sensational discovery of the world's oldest glass kilns found in Judea-Israel.
And, as Mr. Flatow also pointed out:
"Just a few weeks ago, Israeli archaeologists discovered two seals that were used for sealing documents in the 7th or 8th centuries BC, that is, some 2,700 years ago.
"The writing on them was Hebrew, not Arabic. One bore the name of a man, "Sa'adyahu ben Shebnayahu"; the other had the name of a woman: "Elihanah bat Goel" (or Gael). The archaeologists noted that the construction of the names were "in typical Judean fashion for this time period.
"Palestinian Muslim propagandists have tried to bury the name "Judea." They prefer the de-Judaized term "West Bank." But until a few decades ago, nobody ever heard of, let alone used, the phrase "West Bank." Do you know why? Because it has no historical basis and no legal basis."
It was from that ancient Jewish heartland that the Jordanians in 1948 expelled its Jewish inhabitants, destroyed their villages, desecrated 57 synagogues and used ancient Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives as latrines for the Arab Legion.
It is high time that the world stopped using the term, 'West Bank' – which refers to the mere 19 year old illegal occupation by the Jordanian Arab Legion of the eastern half of Jerusalem and the ancestral Jewish heartland – and begin to again refer to the territory by its more than 3,500 year's old biblical names: Judea and Samaria.
© Victor Sharpe