15th January 2001
I received your latest circular
letter today, written on 1st January. There is a serious error
in it which I wish to point out. Before I do, however, I want to
state that whatever I bring to your attention in criticism is
constructive criticism. I don't mean to denigrate what you do at
all. I hold you and your work for Jesus in the highest regard,
despite the few flaws in your theology which we might see from
time to time.
Now to your remark.
You stated: "Passover, for
example, is not one day a year, for Christ IS our Passover 1
Cor 5:7-8. 'Christ our Passover Lamb had been sacrificed.
Therefore let us keep the festival with the bread of sincerity
and truth." That festival is not one day, but every day."
That's like saying "Christmas is
not one day but every day of the year, because Christ was born
to save us; He is alive and His saving power saves us every
day." It is merely human philosophy. It is not biblical
What you said was not biblical
theology at all, but human philosophy. When we add to scripture
or take away from it through our human philosophy, that itself
is against scripture and carries a fearsome penalty. I'm sure I
don't have to remind you.
The error in your statement is
actually heresy, although I realise you didn't think you were
deliberately being heretical.
Here is the truth from the Bible
on the subject:
1. The Passover festival was introduced by the One who became
Jesus. He is our Rock, just as He was Israel's Rock (1 Cor
2. He instituted it to prefigure His sacrifice, as you know. It
was observed once a year, on the 14th day of the first month (Abib
or Nisan) in God's calendar which He gave Israel. Leviticus 23
contains the details. It is likewise commemorated once a year
today in the New Testament. Jesus didn't give any command to
alter what He had already established as the Passover festival,
other than that concerning the emblems. Lamb and bitter herbs
are no longer eaten. Instead, bread and wine are taken.
3. But you are saying Passover is every day. That is untrue,
because God commanded Passover to be observed in a specific way
on a specific day. To say that it is every day is to say God is
wrong. Scripture is immutable. Jesus did not take one jot or
tittle away from the Law (Matt 5:17-20). He established it,
expounded it, elaborated upon it, and added to it for spiritual
advancement. You don't have that authority to add to it or take
away from it.
Nowhere has Jesus intimated that
He has done away with the Passover festival to supercede it with
something more nebulous. He means it to be kept as a specific
ceremony on a specific day as an annual reminder of His death
a memorial. Memorials are not kept every day, otherwise they
become meaningless. They have meaning because they are kept in a
certain way on a certain day. The ritual is not empty ritual,
but full of meaning. It teaches us greater spiritual lessons.
Those who say these days are empty ritual are ignorant. Keeping
the day is no more empty than taking the bread and wine. They
are loaded with meaning, just as is the time of its observance
and its position in the sequence of festivals God has laid out.
What if I said to you that we
should keep Christmas every day of the year? How silly and
impractical that would be! Should we stock up on food, prepare a
roast turkey, get out the crackers and tinsel, decorate a tree,
send cards to everybody, and give presents every day of the
year, and call it Christmas?
I'm sure you get the point. To
do so would be to undermine the specialness of the occasion.
There is no point in taking what God means to be a special
ceremony in the physical, commanded for a certain day, and
spiritualise it away by claiming we can properly observe it
every day of the year. Doing that is to do away with it, to
ignore God's commands about it, and to disobey the clear
instructions of the Word of God concerning festivals He has
instituted to be kept to remind us of His plan of salvation.
point about that, too. If you are to be consistent, then you
should tell everyone to take bread and wine EVERY DAY of the
year, too. After all, Jesus specifically COMMANDS that we are to
partake of those emblems, which depict Him in this ritual of
being the Passover Lamb.
4. Paul stated quite clearly in 1 Corinthians 5:8 that we, as
Christians, are to keep this festival. It is ironic that
Jehovah's Witnesses keep it! Satan doesn't mind them having that
truth, because their observance of it is empty, being devoid of
the Spirit in the ceremony.
How ironic that the Spirit-led
sector of the Church is held in ignorance by Satan on this
point! Even a child can see that Paul was promoting the Passover
festival not merely the bread and wine aspect of it. He says
plainly, "Therefore let us keep the festival...."
How was it kept? Back then there
was no need to elaborate on the physical aspects of its
observance, because it was a recognised custom among the Jews.
5. Many say, "Ah, yes. Well, there you are, then. You see it was
a Jewish custom. It is not meant for Christians. We have
Christian customs which have replaced the Jewish ones."
But Paul was directing his
admonition to the Christians in Corinth, who were not merely
Jews, but also many Gentiles.
Did the Gentiles have Easter,
while the Jews had Passover? Of course not. They both kept the
same observances. And when did Easter gain prominence? Not until
the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Easter and Christmas were
instituted by the precursor of the Catholic Church. The Roman
Emperor, Constantine (who, incidentally, was a false Christian
he butchered in the name of Jesus, under the banner of His
cross, and imposed beliefs on others), was the chief instigator
of change. But changes that he and later popes brought about,
were in flagrant violation of God's express command NOT TO ADD
TO OR TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORD OF GOD!
Paul wrote in Romans that
Gentiles are grafted into the stock of Israel. Israel is the
trunk of the tree when it comes to what to observe as Christian
ceremony. I don't mean that Jewish customs should be taken as
church customs. Not at all. The Jews have added a plethora of
meaningless religious ritual to the ritual which God commanded.
But we must not lose sight of
the fact that God HAS COMMANDED CERTAIN RITUALS TO BE OBSERVED
IN THE CHURCH, otherwise we might as well all do our own thing
and justify it by saying I keep my mind on Jesus when I do it,
so it's fine.
No, it's not fine. When God
commands, we must obey. That's the bottom line of Christian
We are saved by faith, yes, but
rewarded according to our works. There is great reward in
observing everything God has laid out in His Word.
6. Passover had two meanings in the time of Jesus. First, it
meant the actual day on which the Passover lamb was killed and
eaten. Secondly, it was an abbreviation of Passover lamb. When
Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 5:7,8, he was clearly referring to
keeping the Passover festival. He says so. It is correctly
translated for us. He also added that "Christ is our Passover
Lamb". So, he delineated between the two meanings in his own
So, your usage of Passover to
mean merely Christ is untenable from the context and from Paul's
own theological understanding.
7. I hope that is enough to prove to you that what you have
written is a serious error and perpetuates a heresy which church
leaders have been quite content (some wilfully, but many in
their ignorance) to promote for centuries. This is Elijah's
hour. His time has come for restoration of truth, and this is
one of the truths that will be restored to the Church before
Jesus finally returns.
That you may know that I am a
prophet appointed by the Almighty to deliver this truth to you,
I give you a sign. It is this:
We shall raise the dead through
the power of Jesus and you will know of it.
When this comes to pass, and it
surely will, then you will know that a prophet has been among
you (Ezek 33:33).
Malcolm B Heap