Bible Believers' Newsletter 603
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; we are so pleased you could join us in fellowship around God's unchanging Word.
A Brother has made enquiries concerning the days leading to Christ's crucifixion and other brethren have raised different questions, all of which are addressed in our main article. I do hope you find it edifying. This is difficult to follow from the Bible and there is considerable disagreement among the most eminent theologians, even with respect to the day and year of the crucifixion, and I thank the Lord for sending us a prophet. Brother Branham's teaching has provided certainty.
God bless you.
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
'Anti-terror' Work for American Consumption
This shows how Pakistan's army treats fellow Muslims to demonstrate to their US/Israeli puppet masters they are fighting 'terror.' The video shows dreadful scenes as Pakistan soldiers beat several (obviously Muslim) civilians close to death in order to extract information. Like the US and all other proxy armies of 'the City of London' it appears Pakistan military are the real terrorists. Full story: youtube.com
Nobel Prize for Promises?
October 10, 2009 I was dismayed when I heard Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize. A shock, really, to think that a president carrying on wars in two countries and launching military action in a third country, Pakistan, would be given a peace prize. But then I recalled that Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger had all received Nobel Peace Prizes. The Nobel Committee is famous for its superficial estimates and for its susceptibility to rhetoric and empty gestures, while ignoring blatant violations of world peace . . .
The Nobel Peace Committee should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history. Full story: truthout.org
Easter When Was Jesus Crucified?
When purchasing a house or acreage one always takes the precaution of having it surveyed to ensure against the unpleasant surprise of finding that half your new home has been built on your neighbour's property, or the dam is not on your land. To prove the accuracy of the map or plan of your purchase, the surveyor will first locate a government "trig" station or absolute, fix one corner of your property from this constant as his datum post, and from this known fixed point accurately measure and confirm all the other boundaries of the site.
Ancient masons who built the great cathedrals first established the precise location of one point. Here they laid the cornerstone from which the whole structure was measured. In a recent teaching we learned that Christ is the head of the corner or capstone, from which the temple of the living God or Church is measured (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Tonight we're going to revisit the last supper and crucifixion and drive in a few datum posts, or establish some constants, measured from the Absolute "trig" station of God's Word to ensure the story we are believing is the mind of God, not Judaeo-Roman Catholic traditions from our denominational past.
Scripture has provided a series of FIXED days and FIXED dates we can plot on a calendar to place the events that occupied the last week of our Lord's life on earth, and establish the precise day of His crucifixion. There remains considerable confusion among the most eminent scholars, concerning dates, days and years, however Brother Branham has comfirmed fixed dates and days thus resolving the debate.
He said: "Jesus, Messiah, rode into the city of Jerusalem, triumph, on the back of a white mule on Palm Sunday, April the second, AD30" (The Seventy Weeks of Daniel, p. 91:80).
He quoted Matthew 24:1-3 and said: "Now, let's stop there. These three verses, it took place actually on Tuesday afternoon, April the fourth, AD30. And the first two verses took place on the afternoon of April the fourth, at AD30, and the third verse taken place on Tuesday evening of the same day . . . Then He went up on the mountain and set down. See? That there He starts it's in the afternoon. And then when they did, they asked Him up there, said, "We want to know about some things" (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, p. 412:1-419:7).
Throughout this lesson I ask you to bear in mind that the Hebrews reckoned their day from sunset to sunset (arbitrarily 6.00 pm) instead of from midnight. We will set forth Jesus' activities as they might have happened in the week before Calvary. I am not teaching this as doctrine and some details may be out of order, but this will help to organize our thinking and paint an ordered picture in our own mind.
After the resurrection of Lazarus was reported, the chief priests and Pharisees became concerned that with so many following and believing on Jesus and witnessing His Supernatural vindication the exalted standing over Israel of the nicolaitane hierarchy and their status with the Roman rulers was threatened. Caiaphas interposed with the solution: "It is expedient for the hierarchy that one man should die for the people, to preserve [the religious status quo of] our nation" (John 11:47-57).
To these Hebrews, any utterance of the high priest was regarded as inspired so when Caiaphas announced a conspiracy to have Jesus put to death by Rome God used his tongue to prophesy. Thereafter Jesus hid himself from the Jews who were ordered to report any sightings of Him.
The Passover was approaching. This year Jesus was to be the Lamb (John 1:29-34), so He began making His way back towards Bethany which lies on the side of the Mount of Olives, eastward from Jerusalem. He had to be there by Nisan 10 as the Law required the lamb should be separated from the flock on that day and kept in the home for the next four days to be examined for and protected from any blemishes (Exodus 12:3-6).
Jesus was separated and taken into the home of his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus from where He was presented to the people and their denominational religious leaders for examination, but even Pilate declared, "I find no fault in Him".
Jesus spent our Thursday night near Jericho at the home of Zacchaeus the businessman (Luke 19:1-10). On Friday morning He preached the "parable of the pounds" and set off towards Jerusalem (Luke 19:11-28).
Nisan 8/9, our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, April 1, AD30
Six days before the Passover Jesus reached Bethany before sundown on Friday afternoon, Nisan 7, and the sabbath of Nisan 8 began after 6.00pm. He spent the sabbath in Bethany. These days are as momentous to the new creation as were the six days of Genesis 1 to the original creation. Bethany rests on the Eastern side of the Mount of Olives less than two miles walk from Jerusalem. Here Jesus spent His last sabbath as a guest in the house of Simon the leper, with Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary.
A multitude en-route to Jerusalem for the Passover assembled at Bethany, not only to see Jesus but also Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead, hence the chief priests who had conspired to kill Jesus consider killing Lazarus also (John 11:47-54; 12:9-11).
Nisan 9/10, our Saturday sunset to Sunday sunset, April 2, AD30
On Saturday evening after the sabbath the sisters prepared a feast in Jesus' honour and Mary anointed His feet with precious ointment (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:2-8). Judas Iscariot feigned indignation at this extravagance, saying the money might have been given to the poor; however his intention was to sell the precious oils and steal the proceeds.
On Sunday morning, Jesus set off for Jerusalem. On coming by Bethphage, which was separated from His route by a narrow valley, He sent His disciples to fetch an ass and a colt (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19). On coming in sight of Zion from the ridge of the Southern slope of the Mount of Olives, the multitude from the villages raised loud hosannas. "Blessed be the King who comes in the Name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." And they cast their garments on the colt, and spread palm branches on the road, not realizing they were fulfilling Zechariah 9:9, "Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Neither did His disciples understand, but after He was glorified they realized that all these prophecies had been fulfilled before their eyes. The remaining Words of the prophecy will be fulfilled when the 144,000 recognize His 'parousia' Coming after the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Matthew 23:39; Zechariah 9:10-17).
Luke 19:41-44, "When Jesus saw Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives He wept over it saying, If only you had recognized the revelation for your day that brings eternal rest from all of the distress you suffer through sin! Now it is hid from your eyes. Soon your enemies shall cast a trench about you and shut you in on every side, crushing you and your children within and leaving not one stone upon another, because you rejected your day and it's Message."
The people of Jerusalem were not expecting this Kinsman to come in peace as a ransom for their souls, "and some of the Pharisees among the multitude said, Master, rebuke Your disciples. But Jesus replied, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." He went at once to the Temple where He saw at a glance the money-making monopoly conducted by the priests selling animals for sacrifice at exorbitant prices and selling the Temple half shekel as they did at each Passover season, for every adult male must pay the annual ransom that furnished the continual burnt offering. Thus the priests desecrated the Court of the Gentiles. However, as it was already evening Jesus departed and returned to Bethany where He spent the night.
Nisan 10/11, our Sunday sunset to Monday sunset, April 3, AD30
Early Monday morning on his way to Jerusalem and feeling hungry, Jesus went to pick some figs. Although it was not yet summer, the tree was in leaf, and early figs often appear with the leaves. Finding no fruit, Jesus cursed the fig tree, emblematic of the fruitless Israel nation, saying, "You will bear no fruit until the end of the Gentile dispensation." The absence of individual fruit shows that God will deal with Israel as a nation in one day at end of summer, not in spring time (Isaiah 66:8). Jesus' curse fulfils Isaiah's prophecy that the nation should be blind until the Gentile dispensation is fulfilled (Matthew 21:18-20; Mark 11:12-14). Whereas Israel was to be a "Light to the Gentiles," having failed to fulfil its commission, "No man will eat fruit of it forever." Israel will never again feed or instruct a people in righteousness, for when the Lord turns to Israel He will be dealing exclusively with 144,000 elect Israelites who are typed as eunuchs who will be incapable of passing the Life to another soul. When they are born-again "it will no longer be necessary to admonish one another to know the Lord, for everyone, from the least to the greatest of them shall know Me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:34).
Next Jesus purged the temple at the close of His ministry even as He had done at its beginning (John 2:13-14). His former cleansing had not prevented the resumption of the usurious and thievish gains (Jeremiah 7:11) in exchanging secular for Temple coinage. Mark 11:15-17 (Matthew 21:12-13; Luke 19:45-46), "He went into the temple for a further cleansing, and expelled those who sold and bought in the temple. He overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold doves; and forbade anyone to carry any profane vessel through the temple. And He taught, It is written: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations; you have made it a den of thieves" (Isaiah 56:7).
He was not armed with a lash of three cords as on His first encounter; the awe of His majestic presence checked all opposition as He overthrew the tables and cast out the sellers interrupting all devotion in the Court of the Gentiles, and works of mercy followed. Matthew 21:14-16, "The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" [Fearful lest their own influence be supplanted, and envious], they were indignant, and remonstrated, Do You hear what they are saying? And Jesus said, Yes. Did you never read, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?" And He returned again to Bethany.
Nisan 11/12, our Monday sunset to Tuesday sunset, April 4, AD30
Going to Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, Nisan 11, "His disciples noticed the fig tree Jesus had cursed was withered from its root, [which was miraculous as a tree normally withers from its leaves]. Remembering what Jesus had said on Monday, Peter exclaimed, Lord, see the fig tree you cursed? It's withered away! Jesus replied, [That signifies what will become of Israel. But] have faith in God [for He is able also to restore it to life]".
Jesus processed to illustrate the certainty of energized faith in God's Word. "Truly I tell you, if you have faith, you can command this Mount of Olives: Rise up and fall into the Mediterranean, and it will come to pass. All things are possible, only believe. Whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it, and you shall have it. And when you persevere in prayer, first forgive those against whom you bear ill-will: so that your Father who is in heaven may forgive you your shortcomings. But if you do not forgive others, neither will God forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:20-26; Matthew 21:19b-22).
In the Temple hypocritical Pharisees, Herodian political fawns and unbelieving Sadducees sought to trap Jesus in His Words, that He might compromise Himself with the Law of Moses, or with the Roman government, but He confounded them with questions and began teaching in parables (Matthew 21:23-46; Mark 11:27 12:44; Luke 20:1 21:4). Despite the prophecy of Psalm 110:1, "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool" they could not or would not see that as Man He was David's Son, and as God He was David's Lord. (See Acts 2:34-36 and Revelation 22:16). Finally He denounced them as "devouring widow's houses" and as physical Serpent's seed (Matthew 23:14, 33-35).
Luke 21:37-38, "And in the day time He was teaching in the Temple; and at night He went out, and abode in the Mount of Olives. And all the people came to the temple early in the morning to hear Him".
John 12:20-26, "Some Greeks, [not Greek-speaking Jews (Hellenists) but uncircumcised proselytes of the gate still regarded as Gentiles (Acts 10), half-Jews or Judaizing pagans like the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8:17] who had come to worship at the feast, [forerunners of the Gentile converts to Christ], approached Philip, (perhaps because his name was Greek or because they thought he might empathize with their desire to see "the Light to enlighten the Gentiles"), as they too were from Galilee, and asked, Sir, we would see Jesus."
"Philip told Andrew and together they told Jesus who answered, [If the Gentiles are beginning to recognize Me already], it is time for the Son of man to be glorified" [and to gather "a people for His Name"]. And taking the metaphor of a grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying in order to reproduce its life manifold, He expounded upon the necessity of His death and Israel's blindness in the hearing of the Greeks and the people, seeking to persuade them that by believing on Him they were not believing on Him as a man, but on God Who sent Him and was in Him."
"Among the chief rulers many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." The Jewish leaders having rejected the Spirit, Tuesday was the last day on which Jesus entered the Temple to teach. He hid Himself from His foes and the unbelieving people, who despite His Supernatural vindication were blinded according to the prophecy of Isaiah 6:1, 9-10 (John 12:20-50).
Before departing the temple one disciple remembering His former words, "Now your house is left forsaken" (Matthew 23:38), and incredulous that it could speedily be cast down remarked on its massive stones (Mark 13:1; Luke 21:5) whereupon Jesus confirmed His prophecy, adding "there shall not be one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down" (Mark 13:2; Luke 21:6). Before going to Bethany that night Jesus stopped by the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:19) as became his custom (Luke 21:37), and as they sat facing Jerusalem and the temple on the West He was asked, "When will the temple be destroyed, what shall be the sign of your 'parousia' Coming, and what shall be the sign of the consummation of the world order" (Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3-4; Luke 21:7)? Jesus responded by outlining the Seven Seals of Revelation 6 in each of the three synoptic Gospels. Then He taught the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the ten talents, and the White Throne Judgment (Matthew 24:1-51; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36).
Nisan 12/13, our Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset, April 5
Jesus and His disciples were still on the Mount of Olives at 6.00pm when Tuesday evening became (their) Wednesday. "And when He had finished all His teaching, Jesus said to His disciples, As you know, the feast of Passover is in TWO DAYS, (a FIXED date, confirming our calculations thus far) and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified" (Matthew 26:2). And as Jesus and his disciples retired from the mount "the chief priests and elders of the people gathered in the court of the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest, to discuss how they might take Jesus by subtlety and kill Him. But not during the feast lest there be a riot among the people," and Satan now having entered into Judas, "the son of perdition" stole away to betray his Master (Matthew 26:1-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-6).
It is of interest to note that this title, "son of perdition," is restricted to Judas, the treasurer and most trusted among the disciples and so-called friend of our Lord (John 17:12), and to the pope, who as "vicar—deputy or substitute for Christ," claims to be His closest friend and most trusted confidant among all disciples of every generation (II Thessalonians 2:3; Revelation 17:8, 12). This is blasphemy, for in His bodily absence our Lord Jesus Christ is present in us as the Holy Spirit:
John 14:18-20, 26, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. In a little while I will be gone from the world, but I will be present with you: for I will live again, and you, too, will live. From the day on which you are born-again you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me and I in you . . . But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, shall teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you." Jesus came from Spirit to flesh, in which form He was "with" the disciples, and has returned to Spirit, in which form He is "with us" and even "in us to the end of the ages" (John 13:3; Matthew 28:20).
Judas' apostolic successor as "the son of perdition" is the pope of Rome, whose blasphemous claims include:
Gregory IX (1227 1242) stated, "Wherefore, if those things that I do be said to be done not of man, but of God; what can you make me but God?"
Boniface VIII decreed in 1303, "Temporal authority [of kings] must be subject to spiritual power [of the pope]".
Pope John XXII (1316 1328) stated, "To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical" (The Gloss of Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, Cum. Inter, title 14, chap. 4, "Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium," Column 140, Paris, 1685. (In an Antwerp edition of the Extravagantes, the words, "Dominum Deum Nostrum Papam" (i.e. "Our Lord God the Pope") can be found in column 153).
Pius IV (1566-1572) stated, "He that reigneth on high made him [the pope] alone prince over all people and all kingdoms, to pluck up, destroy, scatter, consume, plant and build" (Bull published against Queen Elizabeth I).
Pius V said, "The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth" (Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, 'Cities Petrus Bertanous').
Leo XIII asserted, "There is No Allegiance to Christ Without Submission to the Pope" (Michael Malone, Apostolic Digest, Book 4: "The Book of Christians," Chapter 4). And,
"We hold upon this earth the place of God almighty" (Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894). And,
"Remember and understand well that where Peter is, there is the Church; that those who refuse to associate in communion with the Chair of Peter belong to Antichrist, not to Christ. He who would separate himself from the Roman Pontiff has no further bond with Christ" (Satis Cognitum, quoted in "Acts of Leo XIII: Supreme Pontiff," Rome: Vatican Press, 1896).
In 1662 when "Peter's chair" was being cleaned in order to set it up in some conspicuous place of the Vatican, the twelve labours of Hercules appeared on it (Bower's History of the Popes, Vol. i. p. 7), it had been borrowed from the Pagans and so it had to be laid aside. The next chair appears to have been purloined from Muslims; for when the French soldiers under General Bonaparte took possession of Rome in 1795, they found on the back of it, in Arabic, this well-known sentence of the Koran, "There is no God but God, and Mahomet is His Prophet" (Lady Morgan's Italy, Vol. iii. p. 81; Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons).
Pius X stated, "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks. Does the Pope accord a favour or pronounce an anathema? It is Jesus Christ who pronounces the anathema or accords the favour. So, when the Pope speaks we have no business to examine. We have only to obey" (Catholic National, July 1895).
"The Pope is the spiritual father of all Christians . . . The Pope is the Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians" (A Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Revised edition, 1985).
Here are but some of the papal titles which confirm his identity as "the" antichrist throughout modern history:
"Most divine of all Heads." "Holy Father of Fathers." Pontiff Supreme over Prelates." "Overseer of the Christian Religion." "Pastor of Pastors." "Christ by Unction." "Abraham by Patriachate." "Melchisedec in Order." "Moses in Authority." "Samuel in the Judicial Office." "High Priest, Supreme Bishop." "Heir to the Apostles; Peter in Power." "Key-bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven." "Pontiff Appointed with Plenitude of Power." "Vicar of Christ." "Vicar of the Son of God." "Sovereign Priest." "Head of all the Holy Churches." "Chief of the Universal Church." "Bishop of Bishops." "Ruler of the House of the Lord." "Apostolic Lord and Father of Fathers." "Chief Pastor and Teacher." "Physician of Souls." "Rock against which the proud gates of hell prevail not." "Infallible Pope." "Head of All the Holy Priests of God".
In speaking of the identification of antichrist who will become "the beast," Jesus said, "This calls for [Spiritual] wisdom. Let he who has understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, his number is 666" (Revelation 13:18). We "count the number of the beast" by adding the Roman numerals that constitute the papal title, VICARIVS FILII DEI: "vicar—deputy or substitute for Christ" or substitute for the Holy Spirit. Thus: 5 + 1 + 100 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 50 + 1 + 1 + 500 + 1 = 666.
The seven heads of Rome mentioned in Revelation 17 were seven emperors who deified themselves, "And the beast that was, and is not, (the pope "is," and when he dies he "is not," but when his replacement is elected he "is"), even he is the eighth (the Devil-incarnate beast), and is of the seven (in that he makes himself god), and goes into perdition. And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast" to establish Lucifer's totalitarian one world government (Revelation 17:11-13).
Many are claiming that the mark of the beast will be a micro-chip, but Jesus said it will be identified with one man in whom Satan will rule Rome's one world government to the consummation (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 17). Paul prophesied, "That man of sin, the son of perdition will be revealed by opposing and exalting himself above every so-called God and what is worshipped, so that he as God sits in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God" (II Thessalonians 2:3-4; Isaiah 14). Christ's Adversary demands obeisance, the absolute submission of your mind to his will, so his mark is not a micro-chip but absolute dominion of your will through mind control by propaganda, fanatical religion, fear and superstition, with physical violence and death to recalcitrants. Here is a secular illustration of mind control enforced global today.
Revelation 13:4, "And the whole world [vicariously] worshipped the dragon (Satan) who gave his authority to the beast (of Rome in the person of the Devil-incarnate pope): and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? Because after the sinking of Los Angeles, the "hot stage" of World War III, the collapse of the US dollar and world economy, and Russia's successful invasion of mainland USA, the pope will restore peace under one world government, repatriate Russia's occupying armies, and by his covenant with the self-styled Jewish banksters he will refinance the US dollar and restore the world economy. Revelation 17:1-6 portrays Papal Rome seated on or controlling the fourth Gentile world empire, and Revelation 18:1-20 like Daniel 2:40-45, describes Rome's wealth, her hubris, and her utter destruction.
Revelation 13:5-8, "And the beast (the "little horn" of Daniel 7:20) was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and he was allowed to control the Earth for forty-two months (the first half of Daniel's Seventieth Week), throughout which he blasphemed God's Name [changing Lord Jesus Christ to three Titles], and His abode and the resurrected and translated saints [at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb] in heaven. And he was permitted to make war with 144,000 Israelites and their two Hebrew prophets, and to kill them: and authority was given him over every tribe, and tongue, and nation. And all inhabitants of Earth whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world will worship him".
The mark of the beast is the mark of Cain; it is not a microchip but carnal wisdom, reasoning against the faith or revealed Word of God, which is the vicarious worship of Satan. Brother Branham said, "Anything contrary to the precepts of God, the Word of God, is not God. What is it? What is sin? Righteousness perverted. What is death? Life perverted. What is the kingdom of Satan? Anything that's setting something to take the place of the Word, anything, any teaching; one word, just one word. You might believe every bit. Eve believed every bit of it to that one Word. That one Word's all she needed to disbelieve. That one Word is all you need to disbelieve" (Oneness, p. 11:55).
In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw an image representing four Gentile world powers that will rule from Judah's defeat in 606BC to the consummation. Its head of gold represented Babylon, while its feet of iron mixed with clay represents "mystery, Babylon the great [Papal Rome], the mother of [once Protestant] harlot [churches] and abominations of the earth" (Daniel 2; Revelation 17:5). The king commanded his world empire worship to this image of Daniel, the holy man who had interpreted his dream to save the righteous from being cast into "a furnace heated seven times hotter than usual" (Daniel 3). And when Satan is cast down into the earth at the end of this dispensation and incarnates the pope, Rome's image, the brutal (once) Protestant united States of America will force the whole world to receive his mark "and cause all to do obeisance to the image of the beast or be killed" (Revelation 13:15). So the Gentile dispensation that began with the forced worship of a holy man will terminate with the forced worship of a self-proclaimed holy man, "that man of sin, the son of perdition," and all who worship him or his image will be cast into the Lake of Fire following the White Throne Judgment after man's seven thousand years on Earth (Revelation 20:14). The Stone Kingdom Nebuchadnezzar saw was cut out of the mountain by faith in the spoken Word without hands and will soon smite the image in its feet of iron and clay. "And in the days of these kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).
In Revelation 17:16 18:20 Jesus states ever so plainly that this last Gentile world empire will be the revived Holy (sic) Roman Empire constituted by the ten kingdoms into which it divided between AD351 and 476. Right now this European Union is preparing to elect its first permanent president for a five-year term. "Without the slightest reference to this prophecy, the historian Machiavelli, gives the following list of the nations which occupied the territory of the Western Empire at the time of the fall of Romulus Augustulus in AD476, the last emperor of Rome: The Lombards, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Vandals, the Heruli, the Suevi, the Alemanni, and the Saxons: ten in all."
"Amidst unceasing and almost countless fluctuations, the kingdoms of modern Europe have from their birth to the present day averaged ten in number. They have never since the breaking up of old Rome been united into one single empire; they have never formed one whole even like the United States. No scheme of proud ambition seeking to reunite the broken fragments has ever succeeded; when such have arisen, they have been invariably dashed to pieces."
"And the division is as apparent now as ever. Plainly and palpably inscribed on the map of Europe this day, it confronts the sceptic with its silent but conclusive testimony to the fulfilment of this great prophecy. Who can alter or add to this tenfold list of the kingdoms now occupying the sphere of old Rome? Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, England, Holland, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal—ten, and no more; ten, and no less" (H. Grattan Guinness, The Divine Program of the World's History, pp. 318-321).
Daniel 7:19-20, "Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast [Papal Rome], which was different from all the others [demanding and exercising spiritual power over the other kingdoms], exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell (the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths); even of that [little] horn [the pope] who had eyes, and a mouth that demanded absolute obedience [as it claimed dominion over heaven, earth and a mythical purgatory], whose appearance was more authoritarian than his fellows" (Revelation 13:4-8).
According to history the Heruli (AD493), the Vandals (AD534) and the Ostrogoths (AD538)—Germanic tribes that adhered to Arianism in opposition to Trinitarianism—were all "plucked up" for their rejection of the Pope. This was their penalty for refusing to take "the mark of the beast" which is to worship the Trinity.
"In AD538, the year when the Ostrogoths collapsed, it was out of the smoking ruins of the western Roman Empire and after the overthrow of the three Arian kingdoms that the pope of Rome emerged as the most important single individual in the West, the head of a closely organized church with a carefully defined creed and with vast potential for political influence. Dozens of writers have pointed out that the real survivor of the ancient Roman Empire was the Church of Rome" (E.G. McKenzie, "Catholic Church" p. 14).
History testifies that shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire a new and diverse civil power arose and soon it forced most of Europe to bow down in reverent obedience to it precisely as its once Protestant united States image is doing today. That entity is the Papacy of Rome. Consider the following historical quotes:
"Long ages ago, when Rome through the neglect of the Western emperors was left to the mercy of the barbarous hordes, the Romans turned to one figure for aid and protection, and asked him to rule them; and thus, in this simple manner, the best title of all to kingly right, commenced the temporal sovereignty of the popes . . . And meekly stepping to the throne of Caesar, the vicar of Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence throughout so many ages" (American Catholic Quarterly Review, April 1911).
This is precisely the pattern and type for what is to take place following the sinking of Los Angeles and the worldwide devastation of earthquakes, volcanoes and Tsunamis accompanied by the cleaving of the Mount of Olives, the rape of Jerusalem, collapse of the US dollar and global economy, World War III, Russia's invasion and occupation of the USA, the Papal peace and inauguration of Satan incarnate in the pope as president by universal acclamation of one totalitarian world government.
"Another consequence of the fall of the Roman power in the West was the development of the Papacy. In the absence of an emperor in the West, the popes rapidly gained influence and power, and soon built up an ecclesiastical empire that in some respects took the place of the old empire and carried on its civilizing work" (Philip Van Ness Myers, Rome: Its Rise and Fall, General History for Colleges, p. 316).
"In a few centuries the pope had become in theory, and to a certain extent in practice, the high priest, censor, judge and divine monarch of Christendom" (Well's Outline of History, p. 526).
In its great pride and arrogance the Papacy soon exalted itself above the kings of the earth. The Pope claimed to hold the seat of Caesar and the place of Christ on earth. He also claimed the power to enthrone kings and to dethrone kings. And the Monarchs of the nations of Europe trembled under the heavy hand of the Pope.
"The Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a complete knowledge of history" (William E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Vol. II, pp. 35-37).
The conservative estimates of those killed by the Roman Catholic Church are 50 million, but some reckon that it is closer to 150 million. Who with any knowledge of the persecutions of the Waldenses, the ravages of the Duke of Alva, the fires of Smithfield; the tortures of Goa, the crusades, the massacres, and the inquisitions could doubt that Papal Rome "made war with the saints and prevailed against them?" I would urge everyone to read Foxes' Book of Martyrs which contains much information concerning the persecutions of Rome in its pursuit of absolute mind control.
Satan wants to rule your head whereas Jesus desires to be the Lover of your heart, but the Spirit of God will only go where the Word of God is welcome. Those who refused "to receive the mark [of the beast] in their right hand, or in their forehead" were martyred in their millions (Revelation 13:16). Brother Branham said, "This mark in the head means that they will have to take the doctrine of the world church system which is trinitarianism, etc., and the mark in the hand which means to do the will of the world church. With this great power the church systems will persecute the true Bride. This image will try to keep the Bride from preaching and teaching, etc. Her ministers will be forbidden to give comfort and truth to the people who need it. But before the antichrist (in person) takes over this complete world system of churches the true Church will be taken away from this world to be with the Lord. God will catch away His Bride for the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb" (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 377).
Do you see the type and antitype? Just as we have the first and the last Adam, we have the first and the last Judas; the first Babylon and its image, Mystery Babylon; Christ and antichrist; the wise and foolish virgins, and the Great Whore and her (once) Protestant daughter churches. Imperial Rome and Papal Rome, the beast and its image. The Trinitarian religion of ancient Babylon that has overcame the world and is the basis of all religion has overcome the world church system as it overcame Israel and Judah, and for the past 46 years Christ has been calling His people out of Trinitarian religion into the unity of the faith and the glorious liberty of Christ.
Let us now return to our teaching on the betrayal of Jesus Christ on Wednesday night "two days before the feast of Passover." At this time "One of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said to them, What will you give me if I deliver Him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time Judas sought an opportunity to betray Him" (Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:1-6).
Nisan 13/14, our Wednesday sunset to Thursday sunset, April 6
Jesus sent Peter and John to find a place to eat the Passover meal. "Where do you want us to go, they asked? [Jesus must have seen a vision, for] He replied, As soon as you have entered Jerusalem, you will see a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him into the house he enters, and say to the householder, The Master says you are to show us to the guest-chamber where He can eat the Passover with His disciples? He will show you upstairs to a large room strewn with cushions, and divans. Prepare the meal there. And they went and found everything as Jesus had said: and prepared the Passover supper" (Luke 22:7-13; Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16).
Nisan 14/15, Thursday sunset our time to Friday sunset, April 7
In the evening of Thursday Nisan 13, Jesus came with the twelve to the guest-chamber for the Supper. John 13:1-4, "Now [one day] before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end of His life." As proven by His readiness to descend to the humblest death in their behalf.
We read in John 7 how Jesus went to the feast of Tabernacles secretly because the Jews wanted to kill Him. In verses 6 and 30, He said, "My time is not yet." So we see His life was in His Own hands and that His death was accomplished by Himself. Until that precise time came, He was immune to death, and I believe His end-time Bride is immune to death. Now we're going to witness Jesus lay down His life voluntarily, knowing that He has been betrayed.
While it would seem that Jesus and His disciples did not eat the Passover meal, but a common meal after which He instituted the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20), for the Passover meal was not eaten until the sundown after he was crucified, which would be a whole day after He instituted the Lord's Supper. John 13:1-2 expressly says the Last Supper was "before" the Passover feast on Nisan 15, and Nisan 14 AD30, was a Friday, which accords with this view.
However, the Creator could not break the commandment He gave Moses. Jesus and His disciples observed Passover in the upper room late on the evening of Thursday Nisan 15 according to God's synchrony for the month (new moon to new moon). The astronomical position of the Sun and moon in AD30 confirms that Jesus and His disciples ate Passover at the correct time. But Jesus was arrested that same night and died on the cross on Friday Nisan 15, which, according to the Babylonian method of starting a new month (the sighting of the first crescent of a new moon), was Nisan 14.
Depending on the visibility afforded by weather, the position of the Sun and the season, the first sighting of the crescent of a new moon in Jerusalem occurs between 16 and 40 hours after a new moon)! There is no conflict between John and the synoptic Gospels, and since the observance of two calendars was a common part of Jewish life, Gospel writers do not specifically mention the two conflicting calendars; hence two Passovers existed separated by one day.
The customary Paschal Supper itself commenced by the head of the company taking the first cup of wine and giving thanks. The cup was then drunk, and each washed his hands. John 13:2-5, "And supper having begun, the Devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God, and was going to God; He rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself"—in His self-humiliation to perform the foot washing normally done by slaves before the commencement of the meal, but in the absence of a slave the duty naturally devolved on the humblest of the circle, and the foot washing that was anticipated was left undone in default of a disciple willing to submit himself in humility (John 13:12-14; Luke 22:24-30). This transpired after Thursday evening had become Friday night Nisan 14, the first day of Unleavened Bread, in which all leaven is expelled from the home as it was the preparation day for the Passover whose lamb would be killed "between the evenings" of Nisan 14 and Nisan 15; that is, before the close of the Nisan 14. (The Hebrews reckoned two evenings of each day. The "first evening" was that period when the sun was verging towards setting, and the "second evening" the moment of actual sunset. The new day began in the period following sunset).
"Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the loin cloth He had about Him. When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, Lord, is it right for You to wash my feet? Jesus replied, You don't understand now why I am doing it; but you will soon know. Peter protested, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus replied: If I don't, you have no part with Me. Simon Peter exclaimed, Then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. Jesus replied, He that has bathed all over needs only to have his feet washed to be entirely clean (or free from impurity). But He spoke this Word only of the eleven, and not of Judas, into whose heart Satan had planted an impure thought. So He said, Not all of you are clean. For He knew who had betrayed Him."
"After washing their feet, He put His robe back on, and everyone returned to their places around the table. Then He asked, Do you understand what I was doing? You call me Teacher and Lord: and you say well; for that is what I am. Therefore if I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet; you should wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example to emulate: do as I have done to you. Truly, a servant is not greater than his master; neither is the messenger greater than the one who sends him. You know these things. Obey them and you will be blessed."
"I am not saying this to all of you: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats My bread will betray Me (Psalm 41:9). I tell you now, before it happens, so when it comes to pass, you may believe on Me." Jesus had washed the feet of Judas, His betrayer who would also partake of that first Lord's Supper, the bread of which symbolized the manifested Word of the Lord's body broken for him.
The institution of the Lord's Supper was a special act introduced into the customary tradition of the Pascal celebration, which commemorated an event which pointed to and merged in another event—the offering of the better Lamb, and the better freedom connected with that Sacrifice. Hence, after the night of His betrayal, the Paschal lamb could have no further meaning, and it was right that the commemorative bread of Christ's Body should take its place. The symbolical cord had stretched to its goal—the offering up of the Lamb of God; and though it would continue from that point onwards till His second 'erchomai' coming, it was a new beginning.
Next bitter herbs were dipped in salt water and eaten and after a second cup was drunk; hands were washed a second time, thanks given, and one of the two unleavened cakes was broken as Jesus did at a later part of the service (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:24). Next the Paschal lamb itself, after which nothing more was to be eaten, but since the cessation of the Paschal sacrifice after AD70 the Jews conclude the supper with a piece of unleavened bread. Then, having again washed their hands, the third cup is filled, and grace after meat said. Now, it is prescient that our Lord seems to have anticipated the present Jewish practice in that He broke the bread "when He had given thanks," instead of adhering to the old injunction of not eating anything after the Passover lamb. And yet in so doing He only carried out the spirit of the Paschal feast. For He was "that bread from heaven, which if a man eat, he will live forever," and as we have already explained, it was commemorative and typical.
Immediately after the meal was finished the third cup was drunk, a special blessing having been spoken over it. This was the cup which Jesus connected with His own Supper—to symbolize His blood. It is called in Jewish writings as in I Corinthians 10:16, "the cup of blessing. . . And when they had sung a hymn (Psalms 115 118) they went out into the Mount of Olives" (Matthew 26:30). The service would normally conclude with the fourth cup, over which the second portion of the "Hallel" was sung.
As indicated by Matthew 26:22, 25; Luke 22:23 and John 13:22, the giving of the "sop" to Judas must have been after both the last Supper and the Lord's Supper because it was "after supper" that Jesus took the cup and made it the sacrament in His Blood, and after this that Jesus said, "the hand that betrays Me is with Me on the table" (Luke 22:19-23; I Corinthians 11:25, 27-30). He is already submitting to what He knows to be the will of the Father in voluntarily laying down His life. "Truly I assure you, he who receives whomsoever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives the Holy Spirit that sent Me" (John 13:4-20, 26).
Picture this in your mind as we follow the dialogue in John 13:21-30. "Having spoken of His betrayer, Jesus was in great anguish, and exclaimed, Truly, one of you shall betray Me. Then the disciples looked one toward another, wondering whom He could mean." John reclined at Jesus' right hand with his head towards His bosom with Judas next behind on his divan, for Jesus had seated Judas to His left side as an honoured guest at the head of the table. Jesus had appealed to Judas' conscience, when without naming names He foretold that one of those present would betray Him. Now He will appeal to Judas' heart by honouring him with the sop (Titus 3:9-11). As Simon Peter faced John, he was able to "beckon unto him." Understanding his meaning, and "leaning back with his head on Jesus' chest, John whispered, Pssst: who is it? Jesus whispered, It is the one I will honour by giving this morsel of bread dipped in sauce. When Jesus had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon." And like Pharaoh and Esau who rejected grace when it was offered, Judas "found no place of repentance".
"Knowing the spiritual transaction that had taken place, and that further appeal was useless, Jesus dismissed Judas saying, Hurry and do what you must. None of the others knew what Jesus meant. Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, He had told him to buy seven day's provisions needed for the feast of Unleavened Bread that would commence the following afternoon, or that he should give something to the poor. Judas, having received the sop, left immediately: and it was night".
Jesus sealed the contract of the New Covenant spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31 by drinking the cup. He will pay the Bride price or "mohar" on Calvary in His Own blood (Israelite Marriage). Let's turn to Matthew 26:26-29 and read how Jesus instituted the memorial we know as the Lord's Supper.
"As they were eating, Jesus took a piece of hard unleavened bread which required to be broken, blessed, broke, and gave it to the disciples, saying, Take, eat; this represents My body." Of course it was not His body; it was wheat flour and water symbolizing His body which was that corn of wheat that must fall to the ground and die, in order that it could reproduce His Life in the many-membered Body of His Church.
From this we see that we are to observe the Lord's Supper in the evening, not in the morning. It is the Lord's Supper, not His breakfast or His lunch. The unleavened bread is to be prepared by the holy hands of a saint from wheat flour sifted fine so that every grain, like Jesus Christ, is "the same." Water is added to make the dough which is rolled wafer-thin and cut square, not round like bread baked for Astarte the Babylonian queen of heaven, worshipped by the Catholics as the Virgin Mary. Then it is baked in an oven, or over a hot pan.
"And Jesus took the cup of wine and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Each of you drink of it; for this is My blood sealing the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mark My Words, I will not drink this wine again, until the day I drink it in a higher sense with you in My Father's kingdom." Jesus was pointing to "the Marriage Supper of the Lamb" (Matthew 26:29; I Corinthians 11:26; Revelation 19:9).
The wine we take at the Lord's Supper is not grape juice but fermented wine made by holy hands, or feet. Juice sours whilst wine has a spirit, which like the Holy Spirit it preserves and improves with age.
The type for Calvary and the Lord's Supper was the first Passover in Egypt. As only those under the blood of the lamb and prepared for the journey were allowed to partake of the Passover, so only those under the Blood of Christ or truly born-again and living sanctified lives, in communion with the Lord and His saints through the unity of the faith, and rapture-ready, are qualified to partake the Lord's Supper.
Judas partook of the first Lord's Supper with iniquity in his heart and was accursed. Paul warned, "Whosoever eats this bread, and drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. That's why a man should examine himself beforehand (and if he needs to ask forgiveness, he should first make things right with those he's wronged. Or if he feels someone has wronged him, he should go to that person and inform him before taking Communion), because if he eats and drinks unworthily, not discerning the Lord's Body (which is the individual members of the Church, then like Judas) he eats and drinks his own damnation."
"Such careless and unworthy participation is the reason so many of your number are spiritually weak and sickly; some are spiritually dead. For if we would examine our own lives we would recognize and correct our shortcomings, so we should not be judged. But when we fall short and are judged by the Word, we are corrected by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. Therefore when you gather together for the Lord's Supper, wait upon those who are making things right" (I Corinthians 11:27-33).
During the last supper Jesus prophesied Peter's denials, told them of the necessity of His separation, the Coming of the Holy Spirit, the true evidence of the new birth, the commandment to follow the example of His life and to propagate the faith. Jesus then prayed and they departed for Gethsemane (John 14:1-17:26).
"In agony of spirit [in the garden named for its oil presses where the pure Olive was beaten to give Light to the world] He broke into a sweat of blood, great drops falling to the ground as He prayed more earnestly" (Luke 22:44; Exodus 27:20), beseeching the Father if there be some other way to atone for Adam and his fallen race. There in His agony He overcame the frailties of flesh and mortal spirit: "Father, if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done" (Matthew 26:42). Then Judas arrived with a mob of thugs organized by the religious leaders to arrest Jesus. The eleven disciples fled and Jesus was led to Caiaphas' palace where He was interrogated throughout the night until the early hours of the day of preparation for the Passover—Friday Nisan 14 (John 18:28; Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1).
The Jewish leaders were desperate to be rid of Jesus, but the Law forbad them to try a prisoner at night (Talmud Sanhedrin 32a, chapter 4). So "they led Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's hall of judgment: it was early (in the day of preparation, between 11:00pm and midnight Thursday our time but already the sixth day, Friday, in Hebrew time). They did not personally enter the judgment hall in case they became defiled and unable to eat the Passover (John 18:28).
Here is a FIXED time: morning is any time before sunrise when it is yet dark. The Sanhedrin found Jesus guilty of blasphemy and before sunrise they delivered Him to Governor Pilate, to pronounce the death penalty. There the entire Council began at once accusing Jesus, "This Man has been telling our nation not to pay taxes to the Roman government, claiming He is our Messiah and King"!
"Pilate found no fault in Jesus, and learning He was of Galilee and therefore under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod who was in Jerusalem for the Passover. When Jesus declined to amuse Herod with a miraculous demonstration, he had his troops dress Jesus in royal purple and then sent Him back to Pilate for a joke."
"Knowing Jesus' innocence, "Pilate sought to release Him: but the Jews cried, If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend: whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar."
"When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat. It was the preparation day of the Passover, and already about the sixth hour (after midnight, or about 6:00am on Nisan 14, according to Roman reckoning and the trial was still in progress. Another FIXED time).
"With irony Pilate said to the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said sarcastically, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. (Prophesying the fact their nation will be under Roman dominion unto the consummation of life). Then Pilate gave Jesus to them to be crucified" Matthew 26:30 27:2; Luke 22:54-23:25; John 19:12-16).
The purple robe was taken, and Jesus wore only His own clothes to Calvary, which, before He was crucified, were stripped from Him and sold in a sweep while He looked down naked from the Cross about three hours after Pilate had delivered Him to be crucified (John 19:15-18).
Mark 15:25 says, "It was about the third hour [of the day or 9:00am] when they crucified Him." The time of the Temple morning sacrifice.
The synoptic gospels declare that "from about the sixth hour there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour" or from noon until 3:00pm when Jesus died. This could not have been an eclipse because it was the middle of the month when the moon is full. The darkness signified God had rejected the regular evening sacrifice, and light returned once the true and accepted sacrifice was fulfilled (Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46).
Time was drawing-on. (Less than three hours remained to 6:00pm and the High Day or holy convocation of Nisan 15, and the first day of Unleavened Bread. As their days were not actually regulated by the clock, but like the months and religious festivals, by observation of the sun and harvest, daytime may have been several hours longer at this time of year). John 19:31, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation of the Passover, so that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, for that sabbath day was a high day, asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, (causing almost instant suffocation), so that they might be taken away".
The Jew's first concern after the crucifixion was obeying the letter of the Law. Jesus had to be buried in haste for Jewish Law commands: "If a man committed a sin worthy of death, and is hanged on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury him that day" (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
The Jewish day begins at sunset, the Passover meal will be served on the evening of Nisan 15, less than three hours away. According to John 19:14 and 16, and John is emphatic about this: "It was the day of preparation of the Passover . . . then Pilate handed Jesus over to the Jews to be crucified".
On the day of preparation, the evening sacrifice was killed at the sixth hour and offered at the seventh (1:00pm). The killing of the Passover lambs began immediately after and finished at the ninth hour (3:00pm) when our Lord "Gave up the ghost." And all four gospels state emphatically that Jesus was buried before sunset on Nisan 14.
The new day beginning at 6:00pm was the HIGH DAY of Nisan 15, the FIRST day of the feast (John 19:31) when the Passover meal was eaten. Nisan 15 is a FIXED date and was always a sabbath no matter on which day of the week it fell. That year it fell on a Saturday, (our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset).
Let us read Leviticus 23:4-8, "These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of Unleavened Bread unto the Lord: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no customary work therein. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day is a holy convocation: you shall do no customary work therein".
The first day of each of the three compulsory pilgrim feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles was a "holy convocation." It was called by the Hebrews "Good day," which is still the customary greeting throughout Jewry to the present time.
The special sabbaths were fixed DATES, not fixed DAYS: they could fall on any day of the week. To illustrate, if the sabbath of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were a Saturday, the sabbath of the seventh day could not be a Saturday.
The first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were not the only special sabbaths or holy convocations. The Feast of Trumpets on Tishri 1, Day of Atonement on Tishri 10, and the first and eighth days of the Feast of Tabernacles that same month were also special sabbaths. If the first day of this Feast was a Saturday, the eighth must also be a Saturday. But were the first day to fall on any other day of the week, neither special sabbath would be a Saturday (Leviticus 23:23-32; 33-36).
Before closing, I will quote Leviticus 23:10-11 so we can prove what day Jesus was crucified. "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you, and reap the harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it."
This sabbath is the high day or holy convocation of Nisan 15, the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread—commanded by verse 7. As the sheaf was always waved on Nisan 16 which always follows the sabbath of Nisan 15, it should be clear that it is not the regular weekly sabbath that is here spoken of. However we know that in the year of Christ's crucifixion, the sabbath of Nisan 15 fell upon a Saturday, because Christ was the sheaf, and He was waved after His resurrection on the first day of the week, which was the day after the regular Saturday sabbath.
We will pause our narrative after 3:00pm, Friday Nisan 14.
We have discovered the necessity of thinking according to the Hebrew reckoning of time. We've received some fresh understanding on the sequence of events regarding the last days of our Lord on earth, and by calculating forward, recognized that His crucifixion had to be on a Friday.
We now know that having been crucified on the day of Preparation of the Passover, Jesus could not have eaten the Passover lamb with His disciples (John 18:28; 19:14). And we've received valuable new insight on the institution of the ordinances of the Lord's Supper and foot washing.
This is what Brother Branham said, and it is what he meant. If we can't take his teachings to God's Word from Genesis to Revelation, then we, not "he," have the wrong revelation. And I had the wrong revelation but God caused a Brother to tap me on the shoulder with a little e-mail; the Holy Spirit did the rest.
Critics may say, "What has this got to do with the Rapture"?
These are a few of the "missing clues" in the jig-saw puzzle. If we can get the "little foxes out of the vine," we'll gain a more perfect understanding of the "big picture," that is Christ the fullness of the Word. God bless you all.
(I was asked this question recently: "Why are Jesus' disciples coming to Him on the First Day of Unleavened Bread according to Matthew 26:17, asking where they should prepare the meal? How can they be doing this on the First Day of Unleavened Bread if we are to believe that Jesus was killed for Passover and was in the grave on the First Day of Unleavened Bread?"
I responded, "If we look at John 13:1, "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." This was, the preparation day, or Nisan 14, (our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset), one day before the Passover and feast of Unleavened Bread. Nisan 15 was a Saturday this particular year, making it a sabbath or holy convocation, and as Nisan 15, the first day of Unleavened Bread is always a sabbath or holy convocation—regardless which day of the week it falls, this was a "double sabbath" or "high day."
Now read John 18:28, "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover." (This was probably very late Thursday night our time or Friday, Nisan 14, Hebrew time—still 18-19 hours before the Passover meal was to be eaten on Friday evening our time which was Saturday evening Nisan 15 in Hebrew time).
Next we come to John 19:14, "And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and Pilate said unto the Jews, Behold your King!" This is about midnight (the sixth hour) Thursday night our time or Friday Nisan 14, Hebrew time—about 18 hours before the Passover meal, and the Pascal lambs would not be killed until between 1:00 3:00pm that day—3 to 16 hours hence. The "day of preparation" was Nisan 14 when the Hebrew people cleaned their homes from top to bottom to ensure there was no leaven in the house.
This brings us back to Matthew 26:17, "Now the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt You that we prepare for You to eat the Passover?" (This is saying, "Now the first day of Unleavened Bread was APPROACHING which was a sabbath and on which work like "preparing for the Passover" was forbidden under the Law").
Mark 14:12, "And the first day of [having no] leavened Bread [in the house WAS AT HAND AND], when they killed the Passover, His disciples said unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we go and prepare that You may eat the Passover?"
And Luke 22:7-9, "Then came the day of [having no] leavened Bread [in the house], when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. And they said unto Him, Where wilt You that we prepare?"
This should be understood as THEN THE DAY FOR REMOVING ALL LEAVEN AND LEAVENED BREAD FROM THE HOME WAS AT HAND, or day of PREPARATION FOR the Day of Unleavened Bread and the Passover Meal was at hand. It cannot be the first day of Unleavened Bread because the Passover was killed BEFORE the day of Unleavened Bread. Had this been the first day of Unleavened Bread they could prepare nothing, for it was a holy convocation and NO work could be performed on that day). If the leaven had not been removed on the evening of the Nisan 13, it might still be done before noon on Nisan 14.
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.