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Written by Bill Bradford
Last week I wrote about how physical observances help us to understand the depths of God's spiritual plan of salvation. It is important to really understand God's plan of salvation as pictured in the Holy Day seasons, so I would like to continue our journey and discuss some astounding truths.
The first Holy Day season, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are special in that they reveal and describe two major steps a person must experience to attain eternal life.
The second Holy Day season of the year (Pentecost) tells us that God is calling firstfruits in this age. He is inviting only some in this present age.
The third and final Holy Day season of the year pictures a time when everyone else who has not been called in this age will be given an opportunity for salvation. It is an amazing truth to know that God will give everyone who ever lived a fair and just opportunity to seek eternal life through Jesus Christ.
The first season, Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, which we are observing right now describes, in a most dramatic and compelling manner, the steps every person must take to achieve eternal life, no matter in what age they are given the opportunity. Again, not every person who is Christian understands this well.
The Passover, as it is carried out in the New Testament, comprises eating the bread symbolizing Christ's body which is given for us, and drinking the wine representing the blood of Christ which is for the remission of our sins. Each and every person must have his/her sins forgiven through this one sacrifice of Jesus Christ. However, he or she must then come out of sin and never return to a life of sin. It doesn't mean that the person will never sin again. We all do, though when we do, it should be sin only committed inadvertently or sometimes though human weakness. When we sin we claim the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to have those sins also removed.
The New Testament is clear about this process. 1) we have to repent and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and 2) we have to come out of sin by obeying his holy and righteous commands. You just can't do one without the other.
Many simply accept Jesus Christ, his death, his forgiveness, but don't go on to change and develop the mind and character of Jesus Christ in their lives. On the other hand some just try to be a better person. They make some changes, but they do not experience the true repentance that comes through the knowledge of the death of the Son of God. Both must be fully realized by the person God is drawing to achieve His purpose of eternal life.
Sometimes the aspect of purity (sincerity and truth), which Unleavened Bread symbolizes, takes the form of strange and severe requirements people impose on themselves to be righteous.
True righteousness comes in the first instance, because of our faith in Jesus Christ for the removal of our sinful past. Then we must live in obedience to the laws and all the teachings of Jesus Christ through faith.
We eat unleavened bread for seven complete days as the command is. This pictures our living by the life of Jesus Christ for our whole life thereafter. Jesus said He will come to us, but not in the way He was with the disciples. He (and the Father) will come and make (their) abode or dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit which He will send. When we truly seek God's presence and power in our lives we are led to know His perfect and acceptable will.
To attain the great salvation God is offering us, we must all experience to the fullest this two-fold process as represented by Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
Is it possible to know what the future holds for us? The Creator of mankind does have a plan for us, and He reveals it to us through an annual cycle of festivals described in the Scriptures. It is an astounding plan offering an incredible future to every man, woman, and child who has ever lived. This booklet will help you understand the incredible truth about what lies ahead for all humanity.
Many people are shocked to discover the origins of our most popular religious holidays. They are also surprised to find that the days God commands us to observe in the Bible-the same days Jesus Christ and the apostles kept-are almost universally ignored. Why? Also, why are today's supposedly Christian holidays observed with so many rituals and customs that are not sanctioned anywhere in the Bible? In this booklet you'll discover detailed answers to these questions.
In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!
What is the purpose of human life? Are we here for a reason? Does the Bible provide answers for these questions? What does the Bible mean when it talks about repentance, baptism and conversion? Inside this booklet you will find the answers to these questions.
"...Broad is the road that leads to destruction...and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13,14 New International Version).
Have you ever considered how much the Easter holiday just doesn’t add up? Start with the timing: Jesus said He would be in the tomb three days and three nights. But do the math—a Good Friday crucifixion to a resurrection on Sunday morning is at most only one day and small parts of two others, plus two nights. Also, John’s Gospel tells us Jesus was already resurrected before sunrise, so we can’t count that part of a day. Does the Bible offer a solution? Yes, and when we understand it, everything adds up perfectly! But that’s not all that doesn’t add up about the Easter holiday. What do rabbits, colored eggs and sunrise religious services have to do with Jesus Christ’s resurrection? Discover the fascinating historical truth about all this and much more in this issue of Beyond Today!