In the previous chapters we saw how Yahweh wanted the first Passover held, and we also saw how Israel held the Passover in the land. In other studies we also saw how Yahweh broke Avraham’s seed up into three distinct groups (Ephraim, Judah, and Ishmael), so as to leaven the whole lump called earth.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 13:33
33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Like the leaven is burned out of bread in an oven, the leaven will be burned out of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam during the warfare of the coming tribulation. (We cover this in Revelation and the End Times.)
This document is not written to Orthodox Judah, to the Christians, or to Islamic Ishmael: rather, it is written to the called-out children of Ephraim and Judah in all nations, who understand the need to keep Yahweh’s Torah with Yeshua’s Spirit in their hearts. But how is this done? Scripture does not tell us how to hold the Passover while in the dispersion—so all we can do is infer. These are only our recommendations, and if you pray and Yahweh’s voice leads you to do something different, please follow His voice instead.
The first Passover was held by houses, in preparation to leave Egypt. A year later, the children of Israel held the Passover at the tabernacle (which had just been built). Thirty-nine years after that, when Israel was in the land, the Passover was held at the tabernacle, in the place where Yahweh chose to put His name (which eventually became Jerusalem). Then, centuries later, Ephraim was dispersed, and Judah went into the exile. The Passover became a novelty to Ephraim, while Judah made up his own rules about how to keep a rabbinical Passover.
Yahweh again chose Jerusalem in 1948, but we still have a dilemma about how to conduct the Passover. Because Yahweh has again chosen Jerusalem, if the Passover sacrifices are to be held anywhere, they should be held in Jerusalem. However, since there is no temple, and no cleansed Levitical order, we cannot offer Passover sacrifices in Jerusalem (or anywhere else) at this time. So what can we who are in the dispersion do? We can practice leaving the world (i.e., greater spiritual Egypt), so that when Yahweh calls us to go home, we and our children will be ready.
Prophecy is not given to us so that we can know the future, but only so that when prophetic events take place, we can look upon them as a confirmation of our faith. Nonetheless, it is oftentimes possible to look into prophecy, and get an idea of what may happen. In Revelation and the End Times, we explain that there will be two more exoduses for Ephraim, which we call the early and the late second exodus. If this is correct, the early exodus will take place after seal 6 (nuke in the Middle East), when the New World Order turns Israel into a truly “international” country, and the borders of Israel are thrown open for immigration. We should all pray about whether or not Yahweh wants us to move to Israel under these circumstances—but in general the default recommendation would be NOT to move, in that not only will the land be under New World Order control, but we will also be pushed out of the land when the abomination of desolation goes up.
As we also explain in Revelation and the End Times, the late second exodus will take place at the very tail end of the tribulation sequence (after the tribulation and the subsequent battle of Armageddon). All Babylonian governments will fall at the end of the tribulation, so while the early second exodus may be an orderly event (with airline tickets, passports, etc.), we may have to provide for community safety (with Yahweh’s help, as during the first exodus).
However end time events play out, we want to help our children prepare for the day when we leave the world, and return back home to His land. Since children learn their sense of identity through hands-on experiences and traditions, traditions can be very useful. However, traditions are only useful when they reinforce (rather than contradict) Yahweh’s word.
Many believe the festivals are remembrances of past events, but earlier we saw how Scripture tells us the feasts are not remembrances, but prophetic shadow pictures of coming events (e.g., Colossians 2:16-17). If Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread are a rehearsal for leaving spiritual Egypt, then there is no value in keeping a traditional sit-down seder in the dispersion. Rather, we need to rehearse packing up, leaving the world, and going home.
In the next chapter we will summarize the timing of the calendar, but bearing all of the above points in mind, I suggest the following traditional “seder” (order of service) for Passover in the dispersion:
On Aviv 10, you and your family pack your bags, and get ready to leave the world (greater spiritual Egypt). Before the tribulation, this may mean packing your bags for airline travel. “Take a lamb” by realizing that we do not automatically become His bride just because we believe on Him—but that His bride is a small subset of those who believe on Him. Rededicate ourselves to our Husband. Give your children a task focused either about the Exodus, or about Yeshua’s sacrifice (a play, skits, pictures, memory verses, family readings, etc.). Make it as fun for the children as you can.
On Aviv 14, make sure that all regular breads and all edible leaven (sourdough starter, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, etc.) is off of your property by noon. Eat some unleavened bread for eight days (recipes in later chapters). Assemble either in your home, or at your local congregation. Your bags should be packed, shoes on your feet, dressed, and ready to go. (If this is before the tribulation, this may look different than after the tribulation.)
When assembled, eat a meal without leaven in haste, and in joy, and help the children look forward to going home. Make it fun for them. If before the tribulation, check passports. All males should be physically circumcised (Exodus 12:48-49).
No matter how you conduct the Passover, the main thing is to help your children develop a desire to leave the world system, and go back home. Make it fun for them. The second tithe in Torah was used to take the family up to Jerusalem, and buy whatever your heart desires, to make it a time of joy for you and your children. (Split your second tithe funds over all three pilgrimage festivals, to make each one special.)
Shemote (Exodus) 12:26-27
26 “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’
27 that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of Yahweh, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Children learn who they are through traditions and hands-on experiences, so give them fun activities to conduct. Ask them to create a play, draw pictures, paint posters, or make dioramas depicting the plagues, etc. Encourage them to dress up like Moshe, Aharon, Zipporah, and Miriam, etc. Depending on age level, encourage them to act out the Exodus story, or the passion play. You can also give rewards for various memory verses or readings. The ideas are as varied as your imagination.
Again, these are simply recommendations. Above all, your head of house or your congregational elders should pray, hear what Yahweh wants, and then do as He leads you (and if Yahweh leads you to ignore this tradition entirely, then by all means, follow His lead.)
While the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is an “open” feast (and anyone who wants to may attend), Passover is a rite of passage for Israelites. We are told that before we can partake of the Passover, all males must be physically circumcised.
Shemote (Exodus) 12:48-49
48 “And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.
49 One Torah shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”
This requirement applies even after Yeshua’s sacrifice, for we are told that in the millennium, no uncircumcised males will be able to enter the temple.
Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 44:9
9 Thus says Yahweh Elohim: “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel.”
[Note: We do not recommend a “visual check.” Only, teach on this requirement, and do not agree to any “waivers,” for any reason.]
Sometimes it happens that in the dispersion, a sister has married a man who is not walking in repentance (and hence, is not physically circumcised). When these sisters later realize that the Torah still applies today, they can wonder whether or not they should eat the Passover (seeing as their husband does not meet the requirements of Exodus 12). While each situation is different, in general our recommendation is that devout sisters may eat the Passover in the dispersion, while their husbands (who are not walking in repentance) should not. The idea is for these sisters to gently encourage their husbands and children to develop as much love for Yeshua as they can, without breaking the Torah. Then, once their family’s hearts are turned toward Yeshua, their husbands and children will want to be physically circumcised, so as to please Yeshua.
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 9:20-23
20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are “under” the Torah, as “under” the Torah, that I might win those who are “under” the Torah [i.e., Orthodox];
21 to those who are without Torah, as without Torah (not being without Torah toward Elohim, but under Torah toward Messiah), that I might win those who are without Torah [i.e., Christians];
22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 Now this I do for the Good News’ sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
As we explain in “Yahweh’s Heart in Marriage” (in the Covenant Relationships collection), each situation is different—but when Yahweh calls us to go back to the land, no male who is physically uncircumcised may go. Therefore, devout sisters should treat their family as their “ministry.” They should do their best to encourage their husband and children to love Yeshua, regardless of circumstances. Even if her husband and children do not understand, these sisters should do this with their whole hearts, until such time as we are called to go back home. While it is a matter of prayer whether or not to go back at the time of the early second exodus, at the time of the later second exodus, we all need to go back to the land (unless Yahweh’s voice says otherwise). If her husband and children are not willing to walk in repentance at that time, she will still probably need to go. (As difficult as this scenario is, it highlights the importance of marrying within the faith.)
In historical context, the command to remove all leaven is the command to throw out all sourdough starter. However, we should throw out anything that is used to leaven bread (e.g., active yeast, baking soda, and baking powder). Rabbinic tradition also says to throw out toothpaste, laundry soaps, etc. which contain either baking soda or baking powder, but since these are not used to leaven bread, we do not recommend that.
Rabbinic tradition also calls for scouring the home right before the Passover. While we generally favor spring cleaning, in Exodus 12, our forefathers probably did not bother to scour homes they were planning to abandon in a few days. (However, if anyone wants to scour their home for Passover, we do not see any harm.)
As Yahweh’s Spirit is calling His people to truth, more and more Christians want to attend a Passover seder, to learn about the Hebraic roots of their faith. This is very good, and Yahweh’s will is that we reach out to them in love. However, there is a dilemma, as the Passover is very much a “closed” festival (which only dedicated, circumcised Israelites may attend). So what should we do? (How can we resolve this dilemma?)
One thing we can do is to host a “teaching” seder on a different day, as an outreach activity for Christians who want to know more. This is one of the most fruitful kind of evangelistic activities there is, because those who attend such “teaching” seders are already interested in learning more. So long as we hold it on a different day, then we can be kind and gracious as we can be to our Christian cousins, and teach them all of the powerful symbolism contained in the Passover seder. Done right, this provides an unparalleled opportunity to make new connections, and sow seeds (just as long as we host it on a different day).
For more information about the timing of the Passover, please see the chapter on “Determining the Passover Dates.”