As I write this article to share what it is we in our household are doing for Passover that is coming up, it is still the year 5849 on God’s Calendar which is the Gregorian 2014. In case it is unknown to you, the Elohim (God) of Israel marks the beginning of the year in the springtime, not the dead of winter. That is the reason I am marking the time of this article as I am. The people who are walking in covenant with Yahuah Elohim (the LORD God) are awaiting the declaration of the New Year still, as it is Yahuah and Yahuah alone who declares the days, weeks, months, and years.

So, as we are waiting for the New Year to come about – we also start planning for the Keeping of Yahuah’s Spring Festivals too. In the first month of each New Year, there are three Festivals that occur for us to observe and keep: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits. You can read about these in His Instruction manual for living (the Torah) and specifically in Leviticus 23.

What are we doing this year? Well, this year will be our eighth keeping of these feasts and each year as we learn more from our weekly studies and Sabbath keeping, we are always growing and by His Grace, receiving more understanding of not only His Word but His Wisdom and what it is that He is trying to convey to us and His desire for us to do. Like many who are coming out of Babylon and the false teachings of christianity, it has been a long and confusing road for us. We made the same mistake many many others make in that we were reading the Bible AND listening to teachers. I suppose this is only natural considering the way we were trained to simply go to a building where some man or woman was teaching and sit there and listen to what they say and believe what they are saying and teaching. Those learned habits are hard to break. But as we grew weary of all the confusion, contradictions, one assembly teaching this thing, and another assembly teaching that thing… one claiming to do it this way and another saying you have to do it another way or you are wrong…. about a year and a half ago, my husband and I FINALLY got the message.

“My Counsel is sufficient for you”

He says this all along to us, but we are hard of hearing and lack faith and confidence that it is true for some reason. But no more. Yes, we do occasionally read something from a friend who writes or teaches just to keep up with what is going on or also to perhaps catch a “topic” to **look into the Scriptures for** to see if it is lining up with His Word or not. In doing this, we also learn a lot. This is part of our way of enacting the “be a Berean” concept and also “to prove” what has been said.

It is for this reason, that we have turned our ears, eyes, and heart towards Him FIRST… that a lot has changed in our keeping of time, keeping of feasts and festivals, and many other things. We have been able to discover that so very much of what we are doing is still coming from mankind and not scripture, Yahuah’s Word.

It is for this reason also, that our Passover observance is going to be very different from many of our believing friends. I know they must think we are out in left field and way off target… but we must go with what we have been shown. He will let us know if we are on target (hitting the mark) or off target (missing the mark). The main important thing is to prove to Yahuah that we listen to Him and follow Him – regardless of what everyone else is doing.

Our Plans for Passover 5850, then, begin with the keeping of time. By the reckoning we are now going by, we have one more month before the beginning of the year. Judaism which keeps the Hillel calculated calendar are in the month Adar bet, which is a thirteenth month this month and the last one of the year 5849… as also are the messianic communities. They are also in the month Adar Bet, the thirteenth because there has been no ripe barley in Israel to bring for first fruits at the end of the twelfth month.

Now this means that at the next new moon, whether conjunction moon, sighted moon, or calculation of time… the new year must be proclaimed. There is no fourteenth month. There are either 12 or 13. There is no 14.

For us, we are in the twelfth month right now [that was when I started this novella anyway :)]. Why? because we marked the first month this year as the month when the sun was in Aries… as it was the year when the mixed multitude came out of Egypt. So what we are doing now is looking up and keeping watch to see where the sun is in relationship to the stars and the moon (which marks the 29-30 day months). For this reason also, we are putting very little emphasis on all the “blood moon omens” that are all in the news. These moons do not fall on the feasts days according to how we are walking out the feasts.

You can refer back to a previous article I shared “The Lamb’s Witness from Heaven” to get the details on this understanding and proofs. So when the next new moon comes in the next weeks, we will be looking up. If the sun is in Aries – then it will be a new year for us and the month of the spring festivals will commence. If the sun is not in Aries, we will be keeping a thirteenth month this year and the next new moon when the sun is in Aries (the sign of the Lamb) we will observe the spring Festivals. It is that simple. We are looking up – to heaven – the sun, moon, and stars, just as Father told us to do in Genesis.

What to do if the first grain (barley) is aviv (in the green ears) at the next new moon? Well it is simple. Harvest the *first ripe* grain (barley) when it is ripe and keep it as the *bikkur* for the offering at the Feast of First Fruits. We will not eat any of the new harvest until the first fruits are waved before Yahuah at first fruits. Then we will eat of the harvest freely. The first and best of the new harvest for the year belongs to Yahuah. It is His Bikkur and we will wave it for our acceptance.

For passover in years past, we have done what most people do: run around in the days leading up to Passover removing “leaven” from our homes. Always trying to figure out once again, “is this leavened? Is that leavened? What is leaven exactly? Do the packaged items matter? What if it is already cooked and not ‘rising’ now? Do we have to give it away or just get it out of the main house area? Is leaven yeast or is it something else?” And it goes on and on and on… and we begin wondering… is this really what it is all about? And then wondering, “How is this helping me walk with my Elohim?” How is this improving my relationship with Him? How is this making me a cleaner, better, more fit for His use, causing my spirit and attitude toward Him and my fellow brother or sister to be better than it was before? And the answer is always the same: “I just don’t know.” Something doesn’t seem to add up in all this activity somehow. I will say however, that just by doing it, there is satisfaction in that I do it because He said so (if in fact He did say so, which is what I am now studying in great depth to find out!)

Then last Passover, some things began to become a little clearer as we listened to God’s counsel and had removed many of the confusing voices coming from all the different directions. That is when it occurred to me what was going on in the unseen realm concerning these matters. By removing all the “voices” I began wondering if perhaps “the voices” were the leaven. Hmmm, perhaps God was doing for us what we were unable at the time to understand to do for ourselves. He does know the deep desires of our hearts and even knows what we need before we ask.

Remove the leaven.

It happened as a consequence to adhering to the previous Word: “My Counsel is Sufficient for you.”

Yahusha said, “Mind! And beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

And the disciples, in their lack of understanding, do exactly what we do today. They reasoned among themselves, saying, “Because we brought no bread!” Thinking that the issue is about bread! But it is not about bread and our Messiah tells us plainly what the issue is all about!

Here is what He says,

“O you of little belief, why do you reason among yourselves because you brought no bread?

Do you still not understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you picked up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you picked up?

How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread, to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?”

Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.   Matthew 16:6-12

And again we get even more insight in the Gospel of Luke chapter 12

Meanwhile, when an innumerable crowd of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His taught ones, first,

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

Yahusha goes on to explain the matter:

“Whatever is concealed shall be revealed, and whatever is hidden shall be known. So whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms shall be proclaimed on the house-tops.

The word “hypocrisy” is the English word for the Greek word:

υποκρισις hupokrisis {hoop-ok’-ree-sis} from 5271; TDNT – 8:559,1235; n f AV – hypocrisy 5, dissimulation 1, condemnation 1; 7 1) an answering 2) an answer 3) the acting of a stage player 4) dissimulation, hypocrisy

It comes from the Greek word: G5271

υποκρινομαι hupokrinomai {hoop-ok-rin’-om-ahee} middle voice from 5259 and 2919; TDNT – 8:559,1235; v AV – feign 1; 1 1) to take up another’s statements in reference to what one has decided for one’s self 1a) to reply, answer 2) to make answer (speak) on the stage 2a) to impersonate anyone, play a part 3) to simulate, feign, pretend

G5259 is

υπο hupo {hoop-o’} a primary preposition;; prep AV – of 116, by 42, under 48, with 14, in 1, not tr 6, misc 3; 230 1) by, under

G2919 is

κρινω krino {kree’-no} perhaps a primitive word; TDNT – 3:921,469; v AV – judge 88, determine 7, condemn 5, go to law 2, call in question 2, esteem 2, misc 8; 114 1) to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose 2) to approve, esteem, to prefer 3) to be of opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion 4) to determine, resolve, decree 5) to judge 5a) to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong 5a1) to be judged, i.e. summoned to trial that one’s case may be examined and judgment passed upon it 5b) to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure 5b1) of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others 6) to rule, govern 6a) to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment 7) to contend together, of warriors and combatants 7a) to dispute 7b) in a forensic sense 7b1) to go to law, have suit at law

I know sometimes looking up the origin of words can seem like minutia and boring but truly it is necessary to “get” what meaning is behind these words. And Yes! it is very important.

Now, let us go back to the original instruction in Exodus.

“Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Indeed on the first day you cause leaven to cease from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that being shall be cut off from Yisra’el.

And on the first day is a set-apart gathering, and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering. No work at all is done on them, only that which is eaten by every being, that alone is prepared by you.

And you shall guard the [Festival of] {not in the original text!} unleavened bread, for on this same day I brought your divisions out of the land of Mitsrayim. And you shall guard this day throughout your generations, an everlasting law.

In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening.

For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, that same being shall be cut off from the congregation of Yisra’el, whether sojourner or native of the land.

Do not eat that which is leavened – in all your dwellings you are to eat unleavened bread.

Exodus 12:15-20

I want to read my King’s Words with virgin eyes, as a child reading it for the first time… without the influence of centuries of twisting, man-made tradition, rabbinal teachings, etc. I wanted to see what was there, in the text and in the words, to understand more about this instruction concerning the leaven. After 8 years… it is still confusing and a mystery… and this should not be. Something is wrong. So, in depth study of the Hebrew words began, and I had to begin back in Exodus 12:8 because it is the first mention of the unleavened bread.

What I am about to share with you is simply my findings thus far. I am not teaching, cajoling, forcing, saying “this is how it is and you are all wrong” or anything like that. I am sharing my study openly. I like to do this also simply to get my findings recorded for reference too. Feedback and insight is always welcome 🙂

In Exodus 12:8 we are receiving instruction from Moses for the first time on what we are to do the day and night of passover with the primary focus on “the lamb” We are told when to get the lamb, when to sacrifice the lamb, what to do with its blood, and what to do with its body. So in verse 8 we are being told how to prepare it and eat it… and we get the first mention of unleavened bread.

Here is what I got from the original Hebrew:

And the aleph tau flesh your food in this night My burning shadow and instructions for the journey (commandments) in bitterness you consume it.

Did you know, that the Hebrew word for unleavened bread (matzot) and the Hebrew word for commandment (mitzvah) are spelled and written exactly the same? I did not either until now.

Now there are two types of bread it seems. Bread from heaven (God’s Word, manna, Yahusha – God’s Son) and then all other breads (from world, men, women, church, books, earth, etc)

One is known as: unleavened bread

The other one is known as: leavened bread

So, are we talking about food or are we talking about His Word? You decide. Maybe it is both. I have been thinking alot lately about “The Lord’s Prayer” Give us our daily bread. It is like daily unleavened bread, His Word, not polluted with hypocrisy and twisting OR even better than that, that WE are not eating IT in hypocrisy… acting like we love Him and keep His commandments by going through some kind of process of throwing out all our yeast products and appearing on the outside to others to be righteous, but never looking to Him and stepping back to consider whether or not we are truly living upon His Bread DAILY, meditating and studying upon His “Instructions for the Journey” [Torah]

So I got to wondering about this word: matzot (unleavened bread in verse 8) What if Yahuah was really saying: mitzvah? We already know that the verse does not say bitter “herbs” The word herbs is not there at all. What if the idea of bread is not there either? Hmmm. More questions. Don’t worry… I am not saying that it doesn’t say bread, but what if… just what if, He meant “My Words”?

I was imagining that night in Egypt, trying to place myself there and wondering what it must have been like. I would have been eating that lamb in force. I always lose my appetite when I am nervous, worried, or in anguish. And I definitely would have been all of that, that night. Perhaps my good Egyptian friend, who I see every day and say hello to — just found her son dead in their home. To hear her wailing and crying out over her dead child would be unbearable. With each bite of the lamb my hands would be shaking in fear and sadness and YES – GREAT BITTERNESS and each swallow would have been very very hard.

So I definitely “get” the eating the flesh in or with bitterness… so what about “the instructions for the journey?” We were about to set out on a journey, that’s for sure. Then there is that part about “roasted in fire” and how if the Hebrew words… just taken literally… actually read (or say) “My burning shadow” or even “My shadow fire, flaming, supernatural fire”, this brings to me more questions.

We know that Yahuah led us out of Egypt and on the journey in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. And we lived by every word and instruction that came out of His mouth by Moses. And then we also have the words of Sha’ul concerning the festivals of Yahuah and how they are “shadows of good things to come, which is Yahusha”

Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah. Colossians 2:16-17

Take a read of these most beautiful verses also from Isaiah:

Listen to Me, O coastlands, and hear, you peoples from afar! YaHUaH has called Me from the womb, from My mother’s belly He has caused My Name to be remembered. And He made My mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid Me, and made Me a polished shaft. In His quiver He hid Me.” And He said to Me, ‘You are My servant, O Yisra’el, in whom I am adorned.’ Yeshayahu 49:1-2

“But I am YaHUaH your Alohim, stirring up the sea, and its waves roar. YaHUaH of hosts is His Name. And I have put My Words in your mouth, and with the shadow of My hand I have covered you, to plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and to say to Tsiyon, ‘You are My people.'” Yeshayahu 51:15-16

“Woe to the stubborn children,” declares YaHUaH, “to make counsel, but not from Me, and to devise plans, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who are setting out to go down to Mitsrayim, and have not asked My mouth, to be strengthened in the strength of Pharaoh, and to seek refuge in the shadow of Mitsrayim! And the strength of Pharaoh shall become your shame, and the refuge in the shadow of Mistrayim your confusion.” Yeshayahu 30:1-3

The words of King David:

Show me favor, O Alohim, show me favor! For in You my being is taking refuge; and in the shadow of Your wings I take refuge, Until destruction passes by. Tehillim 57:1

For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing. Tehillim 63:7

I don’t know… pretty compelling this.

Then there is all the times we read the phrase: “My Word shall be in your mouth”

“Seven days you eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day is a set apart gathering to YaHUaH. Unleavened bread is to be eaten the seven days, and whatever is leavened is not to be seen with you, and leaven is not to be seen with you within all your border. And you shall inform your son in that day, saying, ‘It is because of what YaHUaH did for me when I came up from Mitsrayim.’

And it shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes, that the Torah of YaHUaH is to be in your mouth, for with a strong hand YaHUaH has brought you out of Mitsrayim.” Exodus 13:6-9

“And He humbled you, and let you suffer hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, to make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every utterance that comes from the mouth of YaHUaH.” Deuteronomy 8:3

“For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.” Deuteronomy 30:14

Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.” Yahusha 1:8

“I am YaHUaH your Alohim, Who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim; Open your mouth wide, and I fill it.” Tehillim 81:10

How sweet to my taste has Your Word been, More than honey to my mouth!” Tehillim 119:103

There are scores of scripture concerning ‘His shadow’ and what is to be ‘in our mouths’ and so because I need to at least bring this article to a close our I will never get it posted… I will bring it to a conclusion for now. I still have a lot of work to do bringing in all the other scripture in concerning the unleavened bread, what the passover means and doesn’t mean, and what ‘leaven’ means.

In conclusion (for today), we will be cleaning out old books that clutter our house here. Books full of commentary, opinions, theology, traditions, etc. Cleaning out the leaven we have gathered over the years in our walk of faith. This year also, I will be preparing the unleavened bread ‘each day’ also instead of making a huge batch for the week. I get the feeling this is more appropriate. Most most most importantly – we will be focusing on the mitzvot, the commandments. Perhaps even reciting one per day of the seven days with a goal of being able to recite it without having to read it.

Just additional FYI

{Any dough left to rest will naturally become leavened, because yeast spores exists everywhere.

The most common source of leavening in antiquity was to retain a piece of dough from the previous day to utilize as a form of sourdough starter. Pliny the Elder reported that the Gauls and Iberians used the foam skimmed from beer to produce “a lighter kind of bread than other peoples.” Seems this was also called “barm”}

oh! and one more thing about “hypocrisy” and what we learned it means and why it is leaven… When thinking about this concept of “acting out or speaking on a stage, another person’s words, immitating” and things like that – doesn’t it just fit perfectly into the concept of unleavened bread (matzot) in that YaHUaH is instructing us, that for this week of ‘unleavened bread’ that MY WORDS are to be in your mouth. Not the words of some other person or god as in hypocrisy… but MY WORDS.

Something to consider….