Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Are You Flunking the "Passover TEST"?
How important is it that YEHOVAH's people observe the Passover on the right day, in the right manner? Does it really matter? To some, it may make no difference at all. But what does YEHOVAH GOD Himself say? Herbert W. Armstrong had some cogent remarks to make on the principles involved in this issue. Are you failing the test -- flunking "Passover 101"?
by HOIM Staff
The apostle Paul commands us, "STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness" (II Tim. 2:15-16).
There are many deceivers out there in the world, in these end-times, seeking to make merchandise of you, lying in wait, in ambush, for your soul. Be on your guard! Take NOTHING for granted. "PROVE ALL THINGS, " as the apostle Paul declared (II Thess. 5:21). Don't let vanity keep you out of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!
How important is the "truth of the matter" to you? Do you love "truth" so much that you are willing to fight for it, to die for it? Do you cling to truth as to a precious pearl of great price and value?
We live in an age of confusion, darkness, controversies and contradictions. Even supposedly well-meaning "men of God," or men who claim to represent the Messiah, have differing opinions on many matters. One of the greatest controversies of modern times is the question of when and how to properly observe the "PASSOVER." The controversy has developed into a full-blown spiritual CRISIS for the End-time churches of YEHOVAH God!
Surely nobody wants to be wrong in this matter. Yet there are ardent and dogmatic defenders of various viewpoints, and they all can't be right! What is the truth? Should Passover be celebrated at the time the Jews do it, and have done, for the past three thousand years? Or should modern churches and Christians follow the example of Hebert Armstrong and keep Passover the night before the Jews have always done?
Which day is correct? Heated arguments rage, and articles have been written, defending Nisan 14, or Nisan 15. Both cannot be correct. Does it make any difference if we observe the wrong day? Would Yeshua the Messiah keep the wrong day? Did he change the day and time of the observance of Passover from the Old Testament practice? What is the pure truth?
Herbert Armstrong once wrote a "Personal from Herbert W. Armstrong," in the June/July 1981 Good News magazine. In this article he declared:
"I want to make clear how YOU may know what is the TRUTH, while this whole world is deceived and in utter darkness. I want to tell you HOW you may be SURE!
"First, are we not also human? Yes, indeed! We can make mistakes, too! We, too, could be in error on this, that or the other point. But we do not need to be!...
We are all human. We are all fallible. I have been wrong. I have made mistakes.
The same is true of all those YEHOVAH God is using in HIS WORK.
"That is the very first thing that we do recognize. That is the starting point in the search for truth. That is one reason why we do have the truth, in the midst of a very deceived world. I wish every religious leader would adopt this approach.
"God says, 'PROVE all things.' That means you are fallible. That means all the 'great' men are fallible! ALL are human. ALL can be wrong -- and nearly all are. The whole world is DECEIVED (Rev.12: 9). That means its religious leaders and churches are deceived!
"The very recognition of that fact is the beginning of right knowledge. We do recognize it -- and that we ourselves could be wrong. That is the first step toward coming out of the fog of error and deception, starting toward truth."
Have you reached that point of humility, to admit that YOU could be wrong? Have you come to take that incredible "FIRST STEP toward coming OUT OF THE FOG of error and deception"? What about the ministers of your "church" group? What about your "leaders"?
Winston S. Churchill once declared that most people stumble across the truth at some point in their lives, trip over it, and fall down. They then get up, brush themselves off, and continue on their way, as if nothing ever happened! Does this describe your church leaders?
The Passover truth is a "test" which YEHOVAH God is giving His people, today. Keeping the Passover at the right time and day is literally a "Test Commandment." The question is: Will we follow revealed truth or cling to the false teachings of a church, or its leaders?
Herbert Armstrong continued in his article:
"The second step, if you would know TRUTH, is to be willing to admit being deceived or in error, and to reject it and accept truth. Ask yourself: 'Am I really willing to confess error -- to admit I'm wrong -- when proved -- and reject it? Am I willing to accept truth new to me -- when proved -- even though unpopular -- even though it cuts me off from my friends, associates or club members -- even though everything in my selfish and vain nature rebels against it? Am I willing to act on it -- OBEY the truth -- no matter what the cost?'"
Human nature, personal vanity, being humbled in the sight of other men, the humiliation of having to admit we have been wrong, and to publicly admit it before others, including those who may have placed their faith and trust in us -- these are powerful inducements to most people to REFUSE to repent and embrace new truth. It is far easier, for most, to simply "ignore" the truth as long as they can, and when they can no longer "ignore" it, to DENY it, to SUPPRESS it, and even to cast men and women out of the Church who refuse to "keep quiet" about it!
What about you? What kind of "Christian" are you? Are YOU willing to act on new proven truth, and to OBEY it -- "no matter what the cost"? Herbert Armstrong declared:
"Did you ever know a person of great intellectual powers who did not have the kind of VANITY that shrinks from confessing he has been WRONG -- and has misled others? To find and live the TRUTH requires a HUMBLED mind."
Herbert Armstrong wrote that YEHOVAH God had humbled him, and brought him to repentance and faith. It meant his SELF had to die! He had to surrender unconditionally to YEHOVAH, and with him it was a painful process. He knew it meant ridicule and persecution from relatives, friends, former business associates. He wrote, "It meant a CHANGED LIFE. It meant a start toward a NEW AND DIFFERENT GOAL." He had the courage and faith to make the changes needed.
"But God had humbled me. He brought me to repentance and faith. And he opened my mind to HIS TRUTH by the gift of His Holy Spirit.
"But I had to be willing, continuously, to confess being wrong, and to embrace truths constantly NEW to me. That process has been going on, now, for 55 years."
Herbert Armstrong had the courage to CHANGE, when he was wrong. It was tough -- but he did it! He did not put "salary" above obedience to YEHOVAH's Word. What about your minister? What about the leaders of your church? He wrote scathingly of human leaders:
"WHAT CHURCH do you know that has ever publicly confessed that its teaching and practice has been WRONG, and has CORRECTED IT, to conform to the Bible? What great, lauded and mighty churchman or religious leader has ever made such a public confession, turned from his non-biblical ways and, despite persecution and ridicule, PROCLAIMED THE TRUTH?...
"Yes, we CAN KNOW, if willing to know, whether we are right or wrong. It is not a matter of superior intellect, but of SUBMISSION TO GOD."
This ringing challenge confronts the leaders of YEHOVAH God's end-time churches, today! Does your church leader have the fruits of a truly converted, humbled mind? Are they willing to admit it when they are wrong, break with error, and step out on faith, and OBEY YEHOVAH GOD? It is not easy. But what about YOU? And you ministers who read this? Are you SURE you are right about the Passover observance? Are you afraid to obey YEHOVAH God? Are you fearful of losing your job? Will YEHOVAH truly "Pass over" you? Or are you "flunking" the Passover test?
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