Rabbi Schneider - Passover and the End Times
Shalom Aleichem and peace to you beloved ones. Baruch Hashem, bless the name of the Lord. We're entering into now, one of the most holy times of the year in God's sacred calendar. It's the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Passover. Many believers don't understand how important this season is for them. The reason for this, is because of the fact that the early church fathers, many of them had anti-Semitic theology. In other words, many of the early church fathers actually tried to remove any trace of Judaism from faith in Jesus, which is so unfortunate, because Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and the King of the Jews.
Let me give you an example of this. When we go to the book of Acts chapter number 12 verse 4, we read the narrative of what was happening to Jesus' Apostles as they were going about preaching the Gospel. It's so fascinating. I'm gonna go ahead and read the first four verses to you, just to give you a feel of the drama of what was taking place in the lives of Jesus' Apostles as they were going about preaching the Gospel after He had been crucified and raised. Hear the Word of God. "Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews," now this is not all Jewish people. This was just the Jewish religious leadership in Judea. "When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread".
This is the season that we're in now, the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that we're approaching. "When he had seized him," so once again Herod had killed James the brother of John with the sword. I mean this is just the first Apostles are being martyred, they're being killed because they're boldly proclaiming faith in Yeshua. And when Herod saw, when he had seized James and thrown him in prison, how it made the Jewish religious leadership happy, he began to continue to persecute. So we read here in verse 4, "When he had seized him," when Herod seized James, "he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending," now listen, "after the Passover to bring him out before the people".
The point that I'm making and the reason I brought this scripture up, in addition to showing you the drama of what was happening as the Gospel began to penetrate the earth; the reason I brought it up, beloved ones, is because if you look at one of the oldest translations of the Bible that is still common in our world today, the King James Version, if you look at this verse here, verse number 4, you'll find that the King James does not translate it as Passover, but the King James translates it as Easter. Easter has nothing to do with the text in the original manuscript. The text in the original manuscript is absolutely, 100% Passover, as it's indicated by the New American Standard Version that I'm reading.
And there's a lot of good verses in the Bible, I'm not making a case for any one particular version. I'm just making the case that the King James Version is one of the older versions of the Bible that people are still using today and I'm not picking on it, because the King James is beautiful in many ways. But the King James version was influenced by the theology of the time that it was written and the theology of the time that it was written, beloved ones, was very anti-Semitic. And so in attempt to de-Judaize faith in Jesus, they literally changed the word there from Pascha or Passover and they put instead Easter and the two, my friends, have absolutely nothing in common.
So if you want to test what I'm saying after the broadcast, if you go to Biblegateway.com, just put in there Acts chapter 12 verse 4 and you can look at that verse in many different translations: the New American Standard, the New International Version and many others. And then go to the King James Version and you'll see how the King James changed it from Passover to Easter. Easter actually is a pagan holiday. I don't want to offend anybody, but it was a pagan holiday and then it was Christianized in the 4th century. So it really has nothing to do with God's Biblical Word right here, in the sense of the name Easter. So, this point I'm making is wanting to help you understand how the church has been disconnected from understanding how important Passover is. If you think about the fact that when Jesus first appeared, He came to the Jordan River. I'm speaking about, He appeared as the Messiah. He comes to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. And afterwards John points to Him and he says, "Behold the Lamb, L-A-M-B of God".
Now we don't think about that often times, because we've heard it before. But if we take a step back for a second, if we were there in the original setting in the 1st century, we would ask ourselves why when John pointed to Jesus did he say, "Behold, look at, the Lamb of God". We'd ask our self, "What does that mean"? What was John trying to tell us when he identified Jesus to the world as the Lamb of God? Was John's intention to make us just feel that Jesus was all soft and warm and like a wool blanket made from lamb's fur? Was that the intention? No, John wasn't trying to say Jesus was all warm and fuzzy and soft like a lamb. That wasn't what the fullness of what he was trying to communicate was about. What John was doing, remember John was a Jewish prophet. He was pointing Israel back to the Passover. And how did the children of Israel get delivered out of Egypt? Through the blood of a Passover lamb.
We read in the book of Revelation, for example, chapter number 5, that as God was about to release the end time judgments into the earth that proceeded Yeshua's second coming to the world, there was a scroll there that had to be opened in order for the judgments to be released to prepare the way for Messiah's return. And we read there that no one was found worthy to open the scroll, to release the judgments and prepare for Messiah's return to the world. And the angels they looked at the earth and they found no one on the earth that was worthy to open the scroll. They looked at the great men that lived throughout history. They looked at Alexander the Great, they looked at Nero, they looked at the great presidents, they looked at Mother Teresa, and no one was found worthy to open the scroll. They looked back in history. They looked at the present time. They looked into the future. They could find no one in human history that was worthy to open the scroll. Then they looked into the sea, then they looked in the atmosphere, they found no one that could open the scroll. No one was found worthy.
And the scripture says that John began to weep, because no one could open the scroll. And then suddenly the Lamb of God, Yeshua Hamashiach, stepped forward. And they proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb, the Lamb of God that was slain from the foundation of the world, Yeshua Jesus, the Messiah, He is worthy to open the scroll". How is Jesus identified there once again? As the Lamb. Where does this language come from? It comes from the Passover. This is why Jesus was crucified on Passover. This was no coincidence. He was crucified, beloved one, on Passover for you. Even as Israel was delivered by the blood of the Passover lamb 3500 years ago, today the blood of Jesus is alive, the blood of the Lamb of God is alive, delivering everyone that calls to Him and gives their life to Him.
Passover is for you. This is why it was during Jesus' last meal with His disciples, which was a Passover meal, that He took the cup. And He lifted it up and He said, "This is My blood shed for you for the forgiveness of sin". It was the blood of the lamb that delivered ancient Israel and it's the blood of the lamb, Jesus the Messiah, that delivers us today. Jesus is, beloved, the Lamb of God. And Yeshua said, "Unless you eat My flesh," even as ancient Israel had to eat that ancient Passover lamb while they were in Egypt 3500 years ago and then put its blood on their door posts to be delivered; So Yeshua, your Messiah said, "Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you cannot be My disciple".
So Passover is critical for every believer. It's critical for every believer. In fact, when ever you and I partake of communion or the Lord's Supper, we're actually partaking of Passover. This is why the scripture says, "As often as you celebrate Passover do it in remembrance of Yeshua". And why Paul said, "As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of Him". Every time you partake of the Lord's Supper, what you're actually doing is participating in a Passover experience, you're participating in your deliverance through the Lamb of God, Yeshua Hamashiach, the Savior of the world. With that said, I'd like to shift gears just for a moment and help you to understand the book of Revelation, at the very end of the Bible, through this Passover lens.
Now consider we already made a huge case for the fact that Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover, He was identified to the world first of all as the Lamb of God. He sits in heaven right now as the Lamb. We're written in the Lamb's book of life. He is the Lamb. Now with that being established firmly in your mind and heart, think about this, in the book of Revelation Yeshua has a few titles. He's called the Offspring of David. He's called the Bright and Morning Star. And there's a few other titles for Him as well. But overwhelmingly the title that Jesus is given in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, is the Lamb. In fact Yeshua and His ministry is referred to as the Lamb twenty nine times, twenty nine times in the book of Revelation. It is overwhelming.
There's a few other titles that are brought up twice maybe, sometimes just once. But the Lamb, Yeshua ascribed to the Lamb twenty nine times. That's for a reason. What this tells me and what I think it should tell all of us is, in order to properly interpret the book of Revelation, we need to interpret it through the Passover experience that happened in ancient Israel 3500 years ago, when Israel was redeemed through the blood of the lamb. And so many different interpretations of Revelation have been given over the years, but to me the only correct way to understand the book of Revelation is when we understand it through the Passover lens and through the eyes of the Hebrew prophets; because Jesus in the book of Revelation is the Lamb and the language of the Lamb, church, is Passover language.
And so when we look at the book of Revelation through the lens of the Passover, here are some of the things that we find. Pharaoh in ancient Egypt was a symbol of Satan in the book of Revelation. Remember Pharaoh was oppressing and killing God's people, the Hebrew children, in the book of Exodus; even today as Satan is oppressing and trying to steal and kill and destroy from God's children on the earth today. Israel was in Egypt and Israel is a shadow of the church and Egypt is the shadow of the world. So here we go again. The church is in the world and it is similar to the fact that Israel was in Egypt and Pharaoh was oppressing Israel, even as Satan is oppressing the world today. What was the means through which Israel escaped? It was through the blood of the lamb, even as you and I today are saved through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
When we take the blood of the Lamb, when we eat His flesh and drink His blood, according to the word of Yeshua; when we take the Passover Lamb into our life we are instantly, 100% delivered in Yeshua's name. Now that deliverance is legal at first and as we become His disciple and follow Him, that which is legal becomes experiential. What is also phenomenally interesting is that we examine the plagues that fell upon Egypt 3500 years ago, before the Lord brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, almost identically those same plagues fall upon the world in the book of Revelation before God's final deliverance comes to His people; when He returns again.
Let me give you some examples of that. For example we find in the book of Revelation the rivers are turned to blood, just as they were in ancient Egypt. We find that sores came upon men, just like they did in ancient Egypt. We read about that in Revelation 16:2 and we read about the rivers becoming blood in Revelation 16:4. We find that in ancient Egypt giant hail stones fell, just as they will during the end times on the earth, as we read about in Revelation 16:21. What's also really interesting is that in ancient Egypt one of the plagues was frogs covered the land. You know what? We find the same exact thing happens on the earth during the end times and these frogs are demonic spirits. We read about that in Revelation 16, 13, and 14. I could go on and speak about other plagues that happened in ancient Egypt that will happen again in the world during the very end of the last days.
Passover is the lens through which we interpret the book of Revelation. Reminded once more, Pharaoh is a symbol of Satan. Egypt is a symbol of the world and Israel is a symbol of the church. And the lamb that was slain in ancient Egypt 3500 years ago, that became their deliverance, is a symbol of Yeshua Hamashiach, the Lamb of God today. Now let's take it a step further. Consider this, there have been many views spoken into the body of Messiah over the years as to when the church will be raptured out of the world. The word rapture just means to be caught up, because the scripture tells us that Yeshua the Messiah will descend from heaven and when He descends from heaven the dead in Christ will rise and then we that are alive will meet Him in the air, that's called the rapture. Many people have been taught over the years that the rapture will happen as soon as God's judgments in the book of Revelation begin to fall.
So let me ask you this question, where was Israel when God's judgments upon Egypt began to fall? Israel was still in Egypt when the hail came, when the frogs came, when the locusts came, when the river was turned to blood. Where was Israel? They were in Egypt. There was protection for them there. They were in the land of Goshen, but they were still feeling the effects of the plague. But note, my beloved friend, Israel was in Egypt through the first 10 plagues. It was only right before God drowned all the Egyptians in the sea that Israel was removed, when the sea parted and Israel went safely to the other side while the Egyptians were drowned in the sea as they tried to follow them.
The same thing is true today. Beloved, I believe that you and I will be in the world through much of the judgments that fall upon the earth during the end times. But right before God's final wrath is revealed and poured out on the earth, called the seven bowls of wrath in the book of Revelation, the church will be raptured out of the world just like Israel was delivered through the parting of the sea before God's final wrath on the Egyptians was poured out. So this is fascinating to understand the Hebrew roots of our faith. I don't believe we can fully understand the new testament without understanding the Tanakh or the Old Testament.
Beloved, I want to thank you for receiving and digesting my ministry, for accepting the fact of Jesus' words when Jesus said to the woman at the well, "Woman salvation is from the Jews". As you and I continue to learn about the Jewish roots of our Christian faith, we're gonna get a clear and more accurate understanding of the New Testament. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you on behalf of God today, He loves you. I love you and may God continue to pour out the fullness of His blessing on your life as you strive to put Him first. Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added unto you".
Father I pray for my beloved friends today. Father I ask You to richly bless them. Father I know that You are and I know that You will as they keep their eyes fixed on You. Father we give You glory today. We love You today. Father we say Baruch Hashem, blessed be the name of the Lord. Thank You for all that You've done and Jesus we worship You completely and totally to the best of our ability as we move into this Pesach, Passover season.