Article Based On A Sermon given 3 March 2018

The Other Passovers

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

There's just under four weeks to the Passover. It seems incredible that we have come round to it so soon. It is a time during these four weeks for us all to be examining ourselves, to be looking at a subject of repentance and really it is partly a renewal of the baptism commitment we made all those years ago, when we determined to turn from our own ways to God's ways and do so unreservedly.

And when we think of the Passover so often, biblically, we think of the sacrifice of Christ and it is certainly something that we will be looking at during these next four weeks. Starting probably with the entry in Jerusalem, which really got up the nose of the Pharisees and the rulers when the people cried out and Christ had to point out that if they weren't crying out, then the stones of Jerusalem would cry out because it was a fulfilment of a prophecy (Luke 19:40).

The entry into Jerusalem got up their noses to a large degree and then He cleansed the temple and that really got up their nose. He implemented the foot-washing in the Passover service, and the new bread and wine symbols. And when we will be looking at the Passover, these are thoughts that we have and the areas we tend to go to; the bread and wine and the prayer He gave at Gethsemane; the fact that He was sweating blood at the thought of what was actually to come; the illegal trial and the scourging that He received - the scourging and beating that He had for our healing; and the crucifixion itself and the sacrifice for sin, and burial. And we go through these things and we look at the Passover at the end of His life.

But have you ever thought about the Passovers that He kept in addition to that? How many Passovers He was keeping in addition to that? What about those what did He actually teach on those particular days? That is what I want to go into today. To look at the other Passovers that Christ was involved in.

If we go and have look at them, there are three of them to look at, three of them mentioned, and there is some absolutely vital teaching given on each occasion. And I don't think that the vital teaching is just arbitrary. It is something that we all need to take note of, and certainly at this time, in the lead-up to Passover, it is an appropriate time to look at the subject of the other Passovers that Christ was involved with and have a look at the vital teaching given on each occasion.

There are three events that are actually mentioned.

1. When Christ was 12 years old.

2. At the very beginning of His ministry.

3. Following His feeding of the 5000

And looking at the teaching given on each occasion causes us to see the profound nature of that teaching.

Being About His Father's Business (PLAY FROM 03:50)

Let's turn over first of all to Luke 2:40:

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem [you can hardly think of Christ as a young boy, a young child, a baby in the womb; the staggering difference between what He had come from, being the very Logos of old, to become just a foetus in the womb, it's really staggering] every year at the feast of the passover [so it was the Passover period]. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days [obviously the days of Unleavened Bread they would keep up there as well], as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him." (Luke 2:40-45)

Now as I understand it; when they used to take journeys like this in days gone by, the first day's journey wouldn't be a huge distance. They didn't just jump in a car and take off. They had to organise themselves and they obviously had to camp out. It was not just them travelling. There would have been many other people travelling from Galilee travelling at the same time. They would probably only just have gone a short distance away from Jerusalem, into 'travelling mode', as it were.

Talking about how they searched for Him amongst their kinsfolk and acquaintances - remember Jesus' mother's sister, Salome, the wife of Zebedee, which I mentioned in the sermon, 'New Testament Brethren'[9 December 2017]. She was the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John. So perhaps it could well have been that James and John were queried about whether they had seen their cousin or not. They were first cousins to Christ. But whoever they were they were searching amongst their kinsfolk and acquaintances. Luke 2:45:

"And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions." (Luke 2:45-46)

You wonder where he slept those nights as well? Presumably you think of Jerusalem at that time of the year, spring time, being quite warm. Well I don't know that so much, it is three and a half thousand feet high; and at three and a half thousand feet, it gets quite chilly I would have thought. So if He slept outside, where I have no idea - maybe He stayed with kinsfolk in Jerusalem, who knows? Luke 2:46:

"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers [this the God of the Old Testament, this is the Logos of old; they had obviously never come across anybody, any individual like this]. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not [this is the key section, the key area that we need to take note of as far as the teaching of this particular Passover is concerned: "Did you not know...] that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:46-49)

That concept, as we will go on and see by looking at a few other scriptures, was not just something that He had at twelve years old. It was something that He had throughout His entire life, the focus of His life. That focus, if Christ is living in us and guiding us through His word, then our view of life must be similar – certainly very similar. Luke 2:49 says:

"And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:49-52)

Being about His Father's business is the lesson of this Passover, this mention of the Passover reminding us just how focused Christ was. Turn over to John 4:5 and let's have a look at some other sections where we can see where this has been the case through the rest of His life, as well. This account is about the woman at the well:

"Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink." (John 4:5-7)

So He had this discussion with this lady and a great number of people, due to His conversation, from the areas of Samaria came out to Him. But I want you to notice, in John 4:31:

"In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat [their focus was on the physical side of things]? Jesus saith unto them, My [food] meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:31-34)

Again, "to be about my Father's business". He used the exact same words, being about His Father's business... "to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work". This view that He had at age twelve years old didn't change. It is certainly something when we are looking at other Passovers, that particular Passover was pretty crucial for our understanding, and the depth of understanding that we have about the focus that Christ had; and the focus that we need to be aware of as well. The fact that the first thing in our life has got to be the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. That has got to take precedence; we must be about our Father's business. This is the lesson that is coming out of the section. Let's look at another one; John 5:8:

"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." (John 5:8)

He got into disfavour with the Pharisees here again, because it happened to be the Sabbath day when He said; "...take up thy bed, and walk." (John 5:8). They reckoned was not permissible. Notice in John 5:28:

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of [judgement]. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:28-30)

Again, "being about my Father's business". He could have said that just as clearly as the fact that He seeks not His own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Him. The same frame of mind we can see here, when this impotent man was healed, and it lasted all the way from before the age of twelve all the way through. Turn to John 8:13 He is answering the Pharisees and the Jews:

"The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. [ now Verse 22] Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. [That's the conversation He is having with the Pharisees and the Jews, now verse 27] They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." (John 8:13,22,27-28)

Again it is a case of "being about my Father's business", and the continuation of the mindset that He had at that time. In John 8: 50:

"And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth." (John 8:50)

Again looking to His Father, making sure He is looking about His Father's business. Even with dealing with His disciples, there is also the same thing. Look in John 14:8, here He is talking to Philip:

"Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" (John 14:8-9)

It wasn't one and the same person, they aren't. They are clearly different because Christ said; "...not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42). If you have got two wills, you have got two individuals, but they are so alike that if you saw one, you have seen the other, the character, and expression and everything. Here in John 14:10 it says:

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." (John 14:10-11)

In other words, if you have seen the miracles themselves, understand that they are not coming through Him but from the Father - dwelling in Him through the very Spirit of God. Again, what is He doing? Well basically, He is going about His Father's business, His focus was on the Father; His focus was on the job He had to do. And His focus must also be ours; our focus has got to be; "...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness..." (Matthew 6:33). And we must be about our Father's business just as Christ was. And it is something that lasts throughout our entire lives.

It is something that lasted, as far as Christ is concerned, from the age of twelve - we actually have the record, but obviously before that time. It is something that He came to do and He lived a perfect life. I mean even before the age of twelve He never sinned. If you have had children - how many children do you know who have never sinned, never done anything wrong? He must have been exasperating to His brothers, and amazing to His parents.

Here He says to Philip; "...I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10), because it is His Father's business He is thinking about. The final prayer at Passover; turn over to John 17:1:

"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee [again He is focused very much on His Father in this final prayer]: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world [began]." (John 17:1-5)

So again, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." He was coming to the end of His life. He knew the end of His life was approaching; His mind was focused on His Father's business. Just the same as we find in that first Passover, that is recorded at the age of twelve. Turn to John 19:25 we find the same thing again:

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! [John was a cousin of Christ, so it was a family relationship being continued] And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar [He hadn't actually drunk any of it He had just tasted it; referring to; "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psalm 69:21), the final act], he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:25-30)

He goes on and explains that a soldier took his spear and pierced His side; and it was that spear thrust that actually killed Him. But this is all part of it. This final tasting of the vinegar, what was He doing? He was going about His Father's business. He was performing the will of His Father. His entire focus was to do whatever was necessary; so that He could be the firstborn of many brethren. We as those many brethren must adopt the same frame of mind. Whatever comes our way, we have go to make sure that we must be about our Father's business. We must be focused on the future and sometimes it is very difficult. And sometimes we fail and we fall down on the job. But when Christ was twelve years old we see the first Passover being mentioned and it was a frame of mind to be about His Father's business that then lasted the rest of His life; and something we can see and emulate ourselves.

Cleansing of the Temple (PLAY FROM 21:55)

Remember I mentioned that at the end of His ministry - the final Passover, the entry into Jerusalem and the cleansing of the temple; well, that was the second cleansing of the temple that took place. The first cleansing of the temple is mentioned here in John 2. So again when we see something like this there's something we need to notice. Christ had got up their noses in the final one, but He had already got up their noses because of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But we have got to remember that there was also a cleansing the temple the first time, at the beginning of His ministry. The significance of the actual act itself shouldn't escape us. Let's just read what it actually says, John 2:13:

"And the Jews' passover was at hand..." (John 2:13)

There are various ideas to why it talks about the 'Jew's' Passover. The Pharisees' Passover was slightly different from the Sadducees and Christ kept a Sadducean Passover, I suppose in that sense with His disciples, but there was also a controversy between the Samaritans at that time. The Samaritan Passover we assume to be tainted with the idolatry that they had. Remember at this time when John was writing these words, there was a confrontation and the apostasy was well underway and the confrontation between the Samaritans and Simon Magus was certainly on going at this time. John 2:13:

"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords..." (John 2:13-15)

Now to understand that this was not the same as the one that was the cleansing of the temple at the final Passover, you just have to look at the context, John 2:11:

"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days [just a short time]. And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem [so this was right at the beginning of His ministry and it is very clear that this is a separate occasion at this particular time]. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:" (John 2:11-14)

Basically, money offerings in the temple were supposed to be given in shekels, and the coinage they used to have was Roman coinage, and therefore they had to change their money; and they exchanged it at an exorbitant rates. Which you find in airports today, probably; but even more so in this particular case. The doves and the cattle and sheep would be sold to them. Because it is one thing coming down to Jerusalem from, say, Galilee, but it is another thing coming down to Jerusalem from Galilee with sheep and oxen, or even a cage with doves. It is much easier to have it in money and then buy the offering that you would want to give when you actually get down there. But they were making a business out of it! John 2:14-15:

"And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables [so this was His introduction to the Pharisees and the doctors of law, as far as His ministry was concerned]; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said." (John 2:14-22)

So Passover was at hand; and the tie-up was made with the temple as His body in John 2:21. Let's turn over to Ephesians 1:20, and remind ourselves of something:

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places [or heavenlies], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all ... under his feet, and gave him ... the head over all ... to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:20-23)

So when we are looking at the cleansing of the temple, and the fact that Christ tied in the temple of His body by saying; "...Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19), we are also looking at the tie-up between the Church and the fact that His body - the temple, which is His Church - has also got to be cleaned up. And certainly we will read some other passages regarding that.

At the very beginning of His ministry and also at the end He went and overturned the money changers' tables. And He drove people and the animals out of the temple area. When we are looking at the symbolism that is involved, the fact that He did it twice, and the fact is that it is tied up with the Church. The Church itself has got to be tidied up and it has got to be cleaned up. It has got to be pure. When we are looking at the Kingdom of God; we are not going to be in the Kingdom of God unless we are converted, totally and utterly and completely converted as spirit beings. Notice in Ephesians 2:18:

"For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father [talking about Jew and Gentile]. Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:18-22)

Again, God is not going to be dwelling in something that is not cleaned up. As far as the temple is concerned, Christ cleaned up the temple physically but He also cleans up the temple spiritually now. The temple of His body. He entirely made that tie-up between the two. Notice in Ephesians 5:25 this theme is continued, when He goes into the husbands and wives:

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," (Ephesians 5:25-26

So again the Church is being cleaned up. The Church is being cleaned up by the washing of water by the Word; washing of water being the Holy Spirit, and the word of God being a living Word. That is why Christ looks upon His own body and mentions that, as far as the temple is concerned. It is a living Word, by which He became the firstborn of many brethren, with the same kind of mindset. Ephesians 5:26:

"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish [again we are looking at the clearing up, the cleansing of the temple, the cleansing of the Church]. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." (Ephesians 5:26-30)

So again this second Passover at the very beginning of His ministry has great significance for us. It has tremendous significance for us. And so often when we come into Passover, we concentrate on the final Passover of His ministry and this is neglected. But we as the temple of God have got to be cleaned up. We are in that process with the trials and the problems that we have. It is interesting, put in your notes Hebrew 8:5 which talks about:

"Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." (Hebrews 8:5)

How it is a shadow of heavenly things - the temple physically that was there. It talks about how Moses was given directions as to how to make the tabernacle. And it says; "See that you make sure that carefully make it." Because it is a mirror of something that is going on a much higher plane, of which the Church is the firstfruits of the process. If you turn over to Revelation 11, it becomes much more personal down to all of us today. When we see the prophecy at the end of Revelation 10:10:

"And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter [because it was going to be some time yet]. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." (Revelation 10:10-11)

Mr Armstrong always recognized that for himself; that he had to go before kings at the end of his life. He had a different ministry altogether. But then notice it then goes into our time, Revelation 11:1:

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months [polluted by the Gentiles]. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy [three and a half years]...These are the two olive trees..." Revelation 11:1-4)

The temple is measured, the temple has got to be cleaned up. And the separation as to who is part of that temple, and who is not; which is really the subject matter as far as what we are going through right now.

Again, when we are looking at the other Passovers; this Passover at the very beginning of His ministry was certainly very, very pertinent, very, very appropriate for us to look at. Certainly something we can take to heart. The cleansing of the temple; and the context of the way in which this cleansing actually occurred twice. First of all in the beginning of His ministry; and latterly at the end of His ministry. It is something that is on-going within the Church right now.

Our Need to be Born Again (PLAY FROM 35:58)

If you go back to John 2:23, we have read about the cleansing of the temple in the preceding verses:

"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover [here is still this same Passover season, this same incident at the very beginning of His ministry], in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did [He cleansed the temple and then He did a number of miracles which people saw and witnessed]. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all...And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. There was a man of the Pharisees..." (John 2:24,3:1)

The fact that this word 'man' is being repeated over and over again – flesh and blood does not inherit the Kingdom of God, flesh and blood does not make up the temple of God. John 3:1:

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi [Teacher], we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-3)

This is a great difference as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, you have got to become God, you have got to become a God being, you have got to be born again into the God family. Nicodemus was looking at things in a physically; and Christ was pointing out to him that No, you have got to look at things in a spiritual way. John 3:4:

"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [you have got to become spirit to be born again into the very Kingdom of God]. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:4-8)

It is interesting that verse there, if you go and check the original, you find the word for 'wind' and the word for 'blows' is the same word as for 'spirit', it is 'pneuma', Strong's 4151. So it is:

"The 'pneuma' 'pneumas' where it wishes, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the 'pneuma'." (John 3:8 paraphrased)

It is the same word being used. It is a related word obviously for 'blows', but you could say; the spirit, spirits wherever it wishes. You can also say the wind blows where it wishes, so is anyone who is born of the wind. It is the same word from where we get the word pneumatic. But the fact is you've got to be born again; "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6). We have got to become Spirit beings, to be part of the Kingdom of God. John 3:9:

"Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things [a very basic area]? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:9-12)

And it is the fact that we have to be born again. I even hate to use that term because of the way it has been misappropriated outside. But we do, we have got to be born again. We have to be born of the Spirit, we have to be impregnated initially as far as baptism is concerned. And we have got to grow and develop and then finally we will born into the very Kingdom of God, which is a spiritual Kingdom. Remember this teaching was also given at the time of the Passover; this first Passover at the beginning of His ministry. Let's turn over to I Corinthians 15:41.

"There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:" (I Corinthians 15:41-43)

Let's face it, when we start approaching the end of our lives, as we get older, it is sown in weakness and it is raised in power, and we look forward to a time when it is raised in power – but we have to understand that it is sown in weakness. I Corinthians 15:44:

"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening [or life giving] spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual [we have got to go through this natural process first of all]. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." (I Corinthians 15:44-48)

Christ has gone through the process; He is now at the right hand of the Father. We have got to go through the process. We have to become like Him, He was the firstborn of many brethren. We have got to become born again. Literally go through the entire process. Again at the very beginning of His ministry, this Passover is being mentioned. The teaching involved with this subject is profound: beyond profound. It is certainly something we need to do well and look into a little bit more in the lead up to the Passover. I Corinthians 15:48:

"As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (I Corinthians 15:48-50)

That knocks on the head this idea about being born again, being purely a human thing. We have got to be born of the Spirit. He that is born of the Spirit is Spirit, just as he that is born of the flesh is flesh.

Let's turn over to Matthew 5:17. The righteousness that we have has got to be spiritually based. We have all born the image of the earthy, but we need to eventually bear the image of the heavenly. That heavenly body that we will be given will need to include having a godly/spiritual approach to life. Flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom of God – which includes not having a flesh and blood approach to life as well. There is both a physical and a spiritual application in that regard. So here in Matthew 5:17:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to [fill to the brim]. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be [brought to pass]." (Matthew 5:17-18)

Those two words to 'fulfil', [Strong's 4137] and 'fulfilled', [Strong's 1096] are two different words. One means, fill to the brim and the other one, brought to pass. Matthew 5:19:

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least [by those] in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:19-20)

And then He goes into the section about the spiritual magnification of the law. It shows the spiritual application of that law. The mind has got to be developed in this life that we have now, in order to control that body when it is born again. That body that is born again has got to have a mind that is capable of controlling it.

This is why it says; "...he will magnify the law, and make it honourable." (Isaiah 42:21). Why does He do that? Because it's God's mind; "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1). And we see very clearly these two individuals had a certain life-style; and that life-style became a law. That is what is being mentioned here in Matthew 5:17:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to [fill to the brim]." (Matthew 5:17)

And He fills it to the brim with the understanding of a mind that is capable of controlling the body that is promised as far as God is concerned. Turn to Philippians 3 and we usually zero in on verse 21:

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21)

We zoom in on that one because it is really something that we all want! Our bodies are not quite that way at the moment. But "who will change our body that is can be fashioned like unto His glorious body." There's certain glory like the sun and glory of the moon and so on, glory of the celestial and glory of the terrestrial. But what we need to do to make sure we don't forget about it, is notice the context in which you find that verse. Notice in Philippians 3:17:

"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things [so if this our mind, is not going to have that body].) For our ['citizenship' is a better translation] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:17-21)

But the only ones who will get that glorious body, that will subdue all things to himself, are the ones who do not have their God as their belly and whose glory is not in their shame. The context it is very clear. And the subject of being born again is not just being born again of the spirit; "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6). But the mind has got to change, the mind has got to change into a spirit-led mind, led by the Spirit of God. They are the sons of God. Those minds have got to be fashioned now.

At the very beginning of His ministry it was a case of cleansing the temple and making sure that the temple area was clean and the implication is His body, the Church, has also got to be cleaned up, so that they can be born again. So that the cleaning up, is the cleaning up of the mind. Cleaning up in the way we think, the way approach things. Again here is the teaching that we find within these other Passovers. The second Passover, at the very beginning of His ministry.

Not to live by bread alone (PLAY FROM 50:22)

Now we also find a Passover following His feeding of the 5,000. Turn back to John 6:2:

"And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh [so it is just approaching, probably just days to Passover]. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? [Verse 10] And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves [and the fish]; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down...and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten." (John 6:2-4,10-13)

Just fragments at the end of the period of time. Now this is again leading into the Passover season, and we find a question; let's pick it up in John 6:26:

"Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles [they followed him over the lake - where He actually walked on the water to the boat, this was a matter of a day or two after this feeding of the 5,000], but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat." (John 6:26-31)

So they were angling to get fed again. Obviously if the wine was anything to go by of the first miracle in Cana of Galilee, I would say the bread and the fish was also something similar. The food that He would distribute would be certainly top quality; and they were wanting to be fed again. So the subject question and the answer being given was all about the subject of manna. And if we just turn back to Deuteronomy 8:1:

"All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the [Eternal] sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the [Eternal] thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to [test] thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the [Eternal] doth man live." (Deuteronomy 8:1-3)

Christ used this particular passage at His temptation with Satan. When Satan said; "Why don't you go and make these stones bread?" He countered him by saying; "...man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord..." (Deuteronomy 8:3). This is certainly an area of vital teaching for us to understand as part of one of the other three Passovers that are mentioned.

We were talking about it earlier on, my wife and I, and she pointed out to me that there must have been some bread, or some flour, or some grain purchased in the wilderness, because the sacrifices, the meal offerings had to be given – had to be fine flour. So they must have been able to purchase some bread, but in the main they ate manna. But the purpose of it, was as it said in Deuteronomy 8:3:

"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the [Eternal] doth man live." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Well, what is it actually talking about? We find over in John 6 the subject and the question and the answer as well; it is all around the subject of manna and the Jews were part of the 5,000 people that had been fed. We find over in Exodus 16:4, the actual command has a particular law that is associated with it obviously:

"Then said the [Eternal] unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove [test] them, whether they will walk in my law, or no." (Exodus 16:4)

So the scripture; "...that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the [Eternal]..." (Deuteronomy 8:3). - this is the reason for the manna. This was the fact that the manna was given - to test them, whether "they will walk in My law, or not.""

"And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily." (Exodus 16:5)

So the entire subject matter was revolving around the Sabbath. Exodus 16:25:

"And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the [Eternal]: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the [Eternal] said..." (Exodus 16:25-28)

Remember who is the Eternal that was speaking – this was Christ Himself; who following the feeding of the 5,000 was dealing with questions about manna. He was the one that gave the manna in the first place; He knew exactly what the manna was for. Manna was to test; it was to make sure that there was an obedience to the very word of God. Exodus 16:27:

"And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the [Eternal] said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the [Eternal] hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day." (Exodus 16:27-30)

But this was the fact that He gave manna, to make them know that man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. And every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God was the fact that on the sixth day, they would have twice a much. It wouldn't stink and the seventh day was the Sabbath day to be kept as the Sabbath. And so that was bound into the actual law. If you turn over to Exodus 31:12:

"And the [Eternal] spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [that is, the keeping of the Sabbaths] is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the [Eternal] that doth sanctify you." (Exodus 31:12-13)

Selected and Set Apart - to teach (PLAY FROM 59:57)

That sets you apart. So again if we look at John 6, this third Passover that is mentioned, there is only a select group. Another subject matter that was being dealt with was that a select group is being dealt with; "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44). And that select group - one of the identifying signs is that they keep the word of God, and it says here in Exodus 31:13:

"...Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [that is, the keeping of the Sabbaths, that obedience to God word] is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the [Eternal] that doth sanctify you. [Verse 16] Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the [Eternal] made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." (Exodus 31:13,16-17)

And the Sabbath is a sign of obedience, the keeping of it is a sign - being subject to the very law of God. Another thing that is interesting in Exodus 31:13:

"Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths [plural] ye shall keep: for it [that is, the keeping of the Sabbaths, plural] is a sign between me and you..." (Exodus 31:13)

It is the plurality there. If you go back and notice in Exodus 13:7, it deals with unleavened bread, which again was the time of year this third Passover was talking about, following the feeding of the 5,000, here it says:

"Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the [Eternal] did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the [Eternal's] law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the [Eternal] brought thee out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:7-9)

Again the law being in the mouth; in the mouth to teach. So the law can be part and parcel of the teaching that is available, and only made possible by that law being in the mouth. And if you go over to John 6:48:

"I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness... [Remember - Christ is the personification of the law, He didn't break the law at all, He was totally sinless. Sin is the transgression of the law, so He was the personification of that law]. I am that bread of life. Your father did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead [so even though they ate this bread from heaven, they still died]. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world [it is His living flesh that is needed, and what we all should be living in]. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:48-52)

If you notice in John 6:57:

"As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing..." (John 6:57-63)

He is not talking about Himself as His flesh, He is talking about Himself as; "I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." (John 6:48-50). John 6:63:

"It is the spirit that [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not..." (John 6:63-64)

These words; they are spirit and they are life. Again dealing with the subject of manna; "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4). This is what He is again bringing this out, and He is bringing it out, not just with the words -"they are spirit and they are life" - but there is a certain group that is specifically understood to be keeping those words, to be holding on to those words. The fact there are only a select few called, where the law is put into the mouth. This is part of this lesson of this third Passover, this third Passover season; this third section that you find within scripture. In John 6:34 it says:

"Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread [they were wanting this bread that gives life to the world]. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not." (John 6:34-36)

So He is saying to the Jews there they have it available but they are not part of the group. They are not part of the group that have got the word in their mouth so they can teach, because there is only a select group in that category. John 6:36:

"But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will [when Christ was 12 years old He was saying He was to do his Father's business], but the will of him that sent me [manna is all about to be obedient to God's word, to understand as far as the Sabbath is concerned, that these are the words of God to define which day is the Sabbath]. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:36-39)

The first resurrection; of all of us that have the Unleavened Bread, the sign of the law in our mouths to be able to be teaching. Again this is the teaching we find following the teaching of the feeding of the 5,000. This other Passover that Christ kept, and the teaching that was given during that particular time. John 6:40:

"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day [notice the concentration on the last day and the first resurrection]. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? [His thinking was heavenly thinking ready for that heavenly Kingdom] Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father." (John 6:40-46)

The fact is that we are raised up as teachers; this special group is raised at the last day as teachers. And if we look in John 6:59:

"These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:59-63)

You find the religions of this world glorify the flesh of Christ, they look at the person of Christ. But His words, His teaching, which is what He is saying here, is ignored. John 6:64:

"But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him [it is clear therefore that they weren't part of that select group, the group that understood the value of that word, the meaning of the manna that had been given to them as part of the Church]. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:64-69)

So Peter was part of that group that, that privileged group. Only a select few were to be called and have that law put in their mouth, ready to teach that law that is in their mouth after the first resurrection.

So we have four weeks to Passover. It is the time to examine ourselves, it is a time for repentance, it is a time of renewing our baptismal commitment - turning away from our own ways to God's way unreservedly. And when we think of the Passover biblically, we tend to think of the sacrifice of Christ, His entry into Jerusalem, cleansing the temple, the footwashing, the new bread and wine symbols, the garden of Gethsemane, sweating blood and the fact He is putting Himself under God's will; "...not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42). Illegal trials, scourging, the beating that He went through for our healing, the crucifixion, the sacrifice for sin and the burial.

But don't forget the other Passovers, because the other Passovers also have vital teaching given on each occasion. The fact that we must be about out Father's business, the same way has our Elder Brother was, for the very get-go in life; and certainly from the age of twelve on, He was about His Father's business.

The cleansing of the temple at the beginning of his ministry. The cleansing of the temple, the tie-up between that and the Church; and how the Church is itself has got to be cleansed - cleaned up, and made righteous.

The teaching about born again, that flesh and blood doesn't inherit the Kingdom of God, but we must be born again. Born of the spirit - and he that is born of the spirit is spirit, just as he which is born of the flesh is flesh. But there has got to be a mind that goes along with it, that is as it says in Philippians. And notice the context of that verse that talks about "...being made like unto his glorious body, the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21). The context is the way in which we think. The way in which we act has got to be right.

And the manna, the fact that the word is spirit and the word is life and that word defines our cleaning up process as the temple, the Church of the Living God. And it is available just for a few and those few are the ones that are going to be teachers with the word of God in their mouth.

So when we think of the Passover biblically we think of the sacrifice of Christ and the Passover that was there. But don't forget the other Passovers that Christ was involved with because within these Passovers there is vital teaching given on each occasion.