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BIBLE STUDY: Are You A Saul, Or Have You Become A Paul? - The Last Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Pharisee Saul of Tarsus did more than just change his name, when he became the Apostle Paul. Jesus showed this Hebrew temple leader, how to discard his formal religious education, so that he could learn and follow the Real Truth of God (2 Timothy 2:15)! Are you willing to do the same?

Bible Study Instructions: One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us) publishes and distributes weekly Bible Studies, worldwide – free of charge, to anyone who requests them, in both printed and electronic formats. Our Studies are intended to be a simple and fun way to learn the Scriptures, and are very easy to follow! We adhere to Jesus Christ’s Biblical instructions to teach and feed the flock of God portions of meat in due season, on weekly Sabbaths, and on the seven annual Holy Days throughout each calendar year (Luke 12:42 / Isaiah 28:9-10 / Matthew 13:52). Using both the Old and New Testaments, our Bible Studies are designed to present a premise, make a statement, or ask a question – followed by one or more Scriptural references. Just look up and read from your Bible the Scriptures listed. Comments following questions elaborate on the Scriptures you just read. Pray always before beginning any study of God’s Word, asking God to open both your eyes and your mind to His Truth; then Prove everything you read, is in fact the Truth, by comparing it to The Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21 / 2 Timothy 3:15-17). Then use the Biblical System of Checks and Balances, and SEE if both Jesus Christ, and the First Century Church of God Apostles – also Did, Said, and Taught these SAME THINGS (Galatians 1:1-12, 5:25 / 1 Peter 2:21, 25 / 1 John 2:3-6)! That’s all there is to it! Our Bible Studies are based on the King James Version, unless otherwise stated. We will be praying for your eyes to “see” (Matthew 13:11-17); and we are always available to answer any of your questions! Be Blessed, in Jesus’ Name! - One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us).

How was it possible, that a recognized leader and teacher of the Word of God could be so far off base in his theology and religious practices, that it necessitated the Son of God personally striking him down with blindness, in order for Saul to come to his senses and realize the Truth?

The answer: Because total sincerity can exist in the absence of any Truth! One can be totally sincere, yet totally ignorant and completely wrong (Acts 9:1-29)!!! Let’s look at yet another Biblical example of this being so (John 3:1-13)!!!

Saul was "Spiritually Blind", and had to be Given eyes that can "SEE" - by none other than Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 13:11-17 / John 15:15-16)!!!

Our Understanding of His Holy Scripture, and of God's Plan for complete and worldwide Salvation, is directly related to our Obedience to His Commandments (Psalm 111:10, 119:97-112)!!!

Today is the seventh and the Last Day of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:18 / Leviticus 23:6-8)! On God’s Holy Days, His People (those whom Jesus Calls out of the world – John 15:16); they take the day off work, in reverence, honor, and obedience to their God, they don’t go to school; they gather The Assembly or Body of Christ together (John 15:15) – it is a Holy Convocation; they come before God with a free will offering (Leviticus 23:4-8); and they prayerfully study the Scriptures (Mark 10:1 / Matthew 4:23, 26:55 / Mark 1:21, 2:13, 6:2, 6:6, 12:35, 14:49 / Luke 4:16-37). Jesus taught on the Sabbath and on Holy Days, and others studied His Words on the Sabbath, and on the Holy Days; Jesus healed on the Sabbath and on Holy Days, and Jesus cast out demons on the Sabbath and on Holy Days! If Jesus worked the other six days of the week as a carpenter (Sunday thru Friday; Sunday – the first day of the week, had not yet become a replacement for Sabbath, as most assume it is today); then Followers of Christ today should still be following that exact same template which was given to us by the KING of kings, Himself (Luke 6:46)!!!

The Last Day of Unleavened Bread:

Today - this Holy Day that we are now observing, is different from most others; as it completes What Passover began, and finishes what the Days of Unleavened Bread instituted! Today is the 21st day of Aviv on God’s calendar (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)! And we should have started off God’s New Year right (Exodus 13:6-10)!!! Keeping seven days of unleavened bread, should picture for us that we are to live in Sincerity and Truth by keeping God’s Law; that we should not continue in any false religion, nor continue any longer in sin!!!

Did you celebrate Easter this year? Did you attend the Sun day sunrise service? Did you Color eggs or go hunting for them in the bushes? Did you buy or eat a chocolate bunny or marshmallow “chicks” (Deuteronomy 12:1-4, 28-32)?

Well King Solomon in the Bible kept Easter! Did you know that? Easter is not a “New Testament” Christian festival created to honor Jesus’ resurrection; if you have believed that you have been conned, and bought into a lie! The Bible actually tells us that Jesus Christ had to personally appear before King Solomon, twice; to tell him to stop keeping Easter (Ashtoreth) and Christmas (Morlech); and that God took away the Kingdom of Israel from Solomon for this disobedience (1 Kings 1:1-11)!!!

Imagine what God will do to YOU for keeping these days!!!

Easter is a very, very old pagan rite honoring the Spring or Sun Goddess! In the Old Testament, her name was “Ashtoreth”. For those who remember Walt Disney’s 1971 film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” starring Angela Lansbury; Walt did the same thing most parents do today for their kids – he made the world of the occult and witchcraft appealing and downright fun for our children (Deuteronomy 18:9-11, 12:30-31 / Exodus 22:18 / Leviticus 19:26, 31, 20:6)! Disney taught our kids that the Biblical outcast, a witch in this case, one with a black cat and broom; that she could be fun, and that we could enjoy the casting of magic spells, the occult themes, and the conjuring up of the dead! But the big hero of Bedknobs and Broomsticks was “Astoroth”, the ancient Sorcerer (seen in the film’s introductory sequence as a “wizard” holding a lantern (illuminating hidden knowledge = Lucifer the light bringer), and an owl on his shoulder (symbolizing secret societies, and esoteric knowledge).

Ashtoreth, the old Semitic mother-goddess, was called “Ashtarte” in Phenician colonies; in Babylonia, she was called “Ishtar”; and in Arabia, “Athtar”. Worship of her required women to sacrifice either their hair or their chastity - and as her worship spread throughout the Mediterranean; obscene worship rites began to corrupt the purity of ancient Greek family life! She became known as the mother goddess for both plants and animals (we still call her Mother Nature in our culture today); and her ancient worship rites involved decorating with colorful flowers (our Easter Lilies), eggs colored by blood (usually after being passed through fire or boiled first), and rabbits. The Babylonian practice was that each woman, at least once in her lifetime (often times more frequently); had to offer herself up, sexually, at the shrine. In this way she could (acting as a temple prostitute) or as a surrogate of sorts, enable mere humans to unite (sexually) with the spirit world. God’s Word actually establishes this practice as “spiritual fornication” with other gods, as we shall soon see. Satan really knows how to anger God, and mankind follows his lead!!!

The practice of the religious holiday that we know today as “Easter” was carried by immigrants to Assyria, then later to Europe; and today this is the reason most “Christians” still commit whoredom with other gods! Today our practices may not be sexual in church; but they are so far removed from what God originally commanded His People to do, at this time of year (ie: Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread); that for all intents and purposes, we might as well be married to other gods!!!

Consider for a moment: fertility goddesses are the reason that there are nuns in the Catholic church (they came from the temple prostitutes), we can find them nowhere in the Bible – or why do women especially, wear bonnets and their best dresses for Easter? Colored eggs abound in baskets and lots of bunnies and flowers at Easter (all fertility goddess rites); and the disturbing use by many - of God’s Name during sexual activity (fertility goddess worship), where does God give us permission in the Bible to use his name during sexual intercourse? These things were, and still are abominations to God (Jeremiah 3:1-11)!!!

 

Did you realize that because King Solomon kept Easter (or worshipped Ashtoreth), and his worship was not that much different from what most Christians do today (being on a high mountain or beach – to watch the sun come up, to celebrate the divine light giver (or light bringer) in spring time – and many of the previously mentioned practices as well; that was why God took away the kingdom of Israel from him (1 Kings 11:5-11)? Easter is NOT a Christian practice, nor is it anything we should be remotely connected to!!!

Why are there seven days of Unleavened Bread?

As we saw last week, we and our sinful natures are not “quick fixes”! Also, in the Bible, God seems to use the number seven to show completeness!

There are seven days in a week (Exodus 20:6), seven days of Creation (Genesis 2:1-3), seven Churches (Revelation 1:11), which are symbolized by the seven candlesticks and the seven angels watching over them (Revelation 1:20), and seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34)!

The seven Days of Unleavened Bread, picture for us, that after our sins have been forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus (Romans 3:25 / 1 Corinthians 5:7), that we are to no longer continue in the old ways but to walk in the true ways of the Bible (1 Corinthians 5:8). The Days of Unleavened Bread help us to understand that sin is to be put out of our lives; and throughout the year it reminds us that false religions are all around us, and they need to be avoided at all costs!!! Your doctrines should be those of the First Century Church of God! Your faith should be based upon the Truth of the Bible; and NOT based on compromise, or lies (Galatians 1:1-12 / Deuteronomy 12:32)!!!

Keeping God’s Holy Days:

The Passover Holy Day reveals to us the first major step in God's Master Plan of salvation! It is our justification to God, through the forgiveness of our sins, made possible by our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

The Days of Unleavened Bread reveal to us, each and every year that we keep them, the next step of God’s Plan; sanctification (Exodus 31:13, 17). God sets us apart for Holy use. After God cleanses us by the Blood of His Son at Passover (John 6:53-59) He considers us to be Holy in His sight. But we still retain our old human nature, and it resists the “holy” us, that God says we are!

When God baptized the Israelites in the Red Sea (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), they were symbolically washed and sanctified as a holy people to God. But they still murmured and rebelled because they still had their old human nature and slave mentality!!! They felt more comfortable in Egypt than they did in their new Freedom!

New Christians are very much the same. We find our old, sinful habits and Egyptian way of thinking more comfortable sometimes than God’s ways. That’s why God commands us to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread each year, to remind us, for one whole week, to put out the old leaven (our old ways), and eat unleavened bread (God’s ways) without the corruption of sin (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)!

The Days of Unleavened Bread represent a period of judgment in each person’s life, when they are required to overcome. Sometimes, overcoming a deeply rooted sin can seem like it takes an eternity! The obvious lesson for us should be that we must draw much closer to the Source of our power to overcome (James 4:8 / Revelation 3:21, 21:7)! If we follow God’s Plan, and His Advice, we will surely come out of the bondage to Satan's world, just as our forefathers came out of bondage to slavery in Egypt!  

So what’s wrong with a few cute bunnies and celebrating The Lord’s Resurrection Day on Easter Sunday?

Well, if God took away the Kingdom of Israel from Solomon for basically keeping Easter and Christmas, as we saw earlier; what will HE do to you? An unchanging God will take away your Crown, and you will NOT serve Him as King at the First Resurrection (Revelation 22:14-15)! Modern Christianity has perverted The Passover Holy Day (which was commanded by Jesus unto His Disciples) into Easter; but even more importantly for us, they have completely dismissed the Days of Unleavened Bread which follow it. www.onug.us

By doing so, modern Churches have lost the vital step of “Sanctification” in their salvation process!!! By neglecting the Days of Unleavened Bread, and doing as God instructs (spending a lifetime overcoming sin; so that we can enter His Kingdom); they DENY the whole process of putting sin out of their lives!

You are probably very familiar with the Universal Church’s doctrine of “once saved, always saved”. They believe that once they accept Christ, their salvation is secure, that they cannot lose it - no matter what lifestyle they choose to live!!! Again, they deny Christ’s instructions and they deny the whole process of putting sin out of their lives. This directly contradicts God's Holy Word (Hebrews 6:4-6, 12:14-17 / Exodus 12:15)!!!

God gave YOU and I, The Days of Unleavened Bread for a REASON! So those in His Church, in His Body, would overcome sin, pursue holiness, and secure eternal life in His Kingdom (Revelation 3:12-13)!!!

Jesus did not die on Good Friday. He was crucified on Passover day (Matthew 26:2), which fell on a Wednesday in the year He died. The day after He died was The First Day of Unleavened Bread (Thursday), a Holy Day or the 15th day of Aviv (Leviticus 23:1-8).

Jesus would spend three complete days and three complete nights in the grave before being resurrected on a Saturday (Sabbath), about 4 o’clock p.m. (Matthew 28:1-7), fulfilling the Sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-40). He would also fulfill being “a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest” (Leviticus 23:9-14).

Christ’s Resurrection has to have happened on a late Saturday (Sabbath Day), so the sheaf of wheat can be waved at 9 o’clock am on a Sunday. This sets us up for a Sunday morning Pentecost, 50 days later (Leviticus 23:16), with the Holy Spirit descending also at 9 o’ clock also (the same time and day God gave the Nation of Israel His Law)!!! The Days of Unleavened Bread contain this Truth; they are a necessary part of our refinement process and of our Sanctification before a Holy God (Matthew 5:48)!!! www.onug.us

God’s Plan:

The Word of God also says that no one can come to know Christ (and the Truth of God), and receive salvation; unless God the Father draws or “pulls” him in to that knowledge, and into His Body of believers (John 6:44).

Paul, after his conversion to Christianity, warned us of the pitfalls of following man-made religions and religious traditions. He knew one could “think” they are right with God, trusting in man-made religious institutions, and their leaders; with total sincerity, yet be so very far from what God intended for us (Philippians 3:1-11)!

Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the God of the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:4) came to earth to clarify and un-scramble for us, the mess the Jews had made of God’s Word. Scripture tells us most of the Pharisees who put Jesus to death were NOT “sincere, AND they were also “ignorant”; However, Saul, like Nicodemus; was very sincere (their hearts were in the right place), yet they were COMPLETELY WRONG in what they were doing, and in what they were understanding!!!

The Bible reveals that these religious leaders knew Jesus was sent by God (John 3:1-2), yet they killed Him anyway, because Jesus threatened to undermine their power over the people, and to undermine the profits they were making from the people (Mark 11:15-18)!!!

If it was possible back then, for a Pharisee like Saul, to be recognized as highly educated - by renowned rabbis in the Law and the ways of God (Acts 22:3), and yet for him to be so completely wrong; if it was possible for the religious leaders of Jesus day, to give more weight to the traditions of men than to the very Word of God (Matthew 23:1-39), then it is more than possible for that same thing to happen today! … And I believe it has! Don’t you? www.onug.us

Are You Willing To Examine The Word, Hear The Truth, And Keep It (Luke 11:28)?

"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue; but have taken them at second-hand, from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing" (Mark Twain's Autobiography, 1959).

The previous quote is one of my favorites! It is full of truth, and speaks to 1 Thessalonians 5:21 / 2 Corinthians 13:5 / and especially Acts 17:11.

Satan has deceived the whole world! He did it back in Jesus’ day, and he is still doing it to us today (Revelation 12:9 / 1 John 5:19-20 / Matthew 24:24)! Satan uses very subtle deceptions to get us off track and to keep us off track. Like Saul, we might believe we are doing the Will of God, when we are not (Philippians 3:6 / Acts 7:57- 8:1, 3, 22:4-5).

What we have learned about removing leaven from our lives (Hebrews 12:1), about keeping the Holy Days, and becoming “Christ-like”; we will be teaching to the lost sheep (Isaiah 50:6) who dwell upon the whole earth (Hosea 6:1-3). We will be rulers over men and nations, restoring the world’s population to a right relationship with God; a relationship just like the one we are developing with Him today (Zechariah 8:16, 20-23)!

The way God originally intended for us to Learn and Keep His TRUTH:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 / Ephesians 6:4 / Deuteronomy 4:9, 11:19). Parents have the God given responsibility to pass the knowledge and ways of God on to their children. But parents cannot do this correctly, from generation to generation, without two important things!

You cannot convey truth, without a quality control of checks and balances. God’s word, the Bible – is our Check (Matthew 4:4 Luke 4:4); the Balance is the Spirit of our Heavenly Father that speaks in us and through us (Matthew 10:19-20 / Mark 13:11 / Exodus 4:12, 15 / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 14)! www.onug.us

America Needs To Remember God’s Holy Days! America needs to start keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, and learning the lessons these Holy Days teach (Isaiah 33:12 / Psalm 33:12)!!!

Is your church the synagogue of Saul, or is it a church full of the teachings of Paul? Paul wrote about 25% of the entire New Testament. Paul did not want us to be ignorant of God’s Truth!

1) Don’t be ignorant of who and what the church is: that God would be adding Gentiles to the church, but not forsaking the Jews totally (2 Corinthians 2:11, 4:4-7 / Romans 11:25).

2) Don’t be ignorant of spiritual gifts: about the supernatural ability given to mere humans in God’s church, by His spirit, to carry out our mission and do His Work (1 Corinthians 12:1-3, 14:12-13 / Acts 8:12-13, 17-20 / Mark 16:17-20, 11:22-26 / Matthew 13:11,19:26).

3) Don’t be ignorant about the Gospel Plan to redeem this world and mankind: God’s Plan in the Last Days and the Return of Jesus Christ to this earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 /1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 34, 36, 50-58 / Revelation 5:9-10 / Zechariah 14:5). www.onug.us

God intends for us to congregate with others who are filled with the Holy Spirit of God (Acts 13:1-3 [John 15:15-16], 4-52). Our leaders and teachers should be following the very specific example Jesus Christ set for us, and teaching their flocks in FAITH and TRUTH (1 Timothy 2:7). If you really want to know God’s Truth, and really want to come out of this world’s many false religious systems and ways; to worship the True God, in Spirit and in Truth, ask God! He will lead you to fellowship with other true believers, and join you with a body of His True Followers (Deuteronomy 4:29 / Proverbs 8:17 / Isaiah 55:6-7 / Jeremiah 29:13 / Amos 5:4,6 / Matthew 6:33 / Matthew 7:7-11 / Hebrews 11:6)! God is doing exactly that – now, for those He is calling out of this world; and He promises to do this same thing to EVERYONE at His Second Coming (Habakkuk 2:14 / Isaiah 11:9)!

Paul may have very well converted his Jewish name (Saul) to a non-Jewish, Gentile equivalent; so that the Gentiles would accept him more readily. A better reason might be that his new identity reflected a new life. After Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was a new man with a new heart. The old man with the old beliefs, was a thing of the past (Acts 9:1-31)!

We may not have to change our name, or even our profession, to get right with God; however, it will require that each of us examine ourselves in the light of God, according to the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12-16), and begin to conform to it in EVERY way! No one likes change, especially when it involves admitting we were wrong in our prior beliefs and religious practices; but Paul said he thought giving up everything for Christ was well worth the price (Philippians 3:7-11)! www.onug.us

Jesus Christ will reward those who purge out the old leaven and keep His Ways; I hope and I pray that you and I ARE AMONG THEM (Revelation 22:14-21)!!!

Enjoy Your Feast, and enjoy the Last Day of Unleavened Bread!

We are honored that you joined us today in the Study of God’s Word!

In Jesus Christ’s Mighty Name, Peace!

                                                                                                         - submitted by R. C. Brown III

 One Nation Under God Ministries                                                                               www.onug.us

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The sad state of affairs today is that the vast majority of Americans are Bible illiterates (Hosea 4:6). They simply have never read the book which they profess to regard as the “Word of God”. If we are to change this, we must begin using the Bible as our primary source of education, to learn about God and His teachings (Matthew 6:33).

If you have never faithfully kept God’s seventh day Sabbath holy or God’s Holy Days, the way Jesus Christ did – in the flesh, and in the fellowship of other followers of the Son of Man (Hebrews 10:25); we invite you to obediently enter into God’s rest today, and to keep the Feasts of the LORD (Hebrews 4:1-11 / Leviticus 23:1-44)! Contact us to find out where we fellowship and worship God, in your area, on His Sabbath Days (Exodus 31:12-18). We would love to hear from you and help get you started!

Join us on-line each Sabbath and Holy Day at www.onug.us where you can download our Bible Studies, or join us on facebook to listen in to our live webinar each week.

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Naples, Florida 34108 U.S.A.

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”But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:26-30).

Christians must learn to read the Bible, interpret the scriptures according to Biblical principles (Isaiah 28:9-10, 13), and begin to apply the precepts they learn in their walk with God. Individual study is essential; coupled with fellowship times of group study, worship, and discussions of personal insights and observations.

We strive, each Saturday, to foster an open and welcoming atmosphere where Spirit led confirmation, clarification, questions, and correction can be made in the fellowship of other students of God’s Word.

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Notes:

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