Passover (5)

Passover (5)

Joshua to monarchy

Sung Psalm 78:55-60 (note v 60 Shiloh)

Reading I Sam.1:1-21

It is reckoned 280,000 men had been circumcised before or at the first Passover in Egypt (now at the edge of Canaan all aged 38 or over) which left 720,000 under age 38 and born in the wilderness, needing circumcised at Gilgal.

Do we reckon the Passover was kept in the time of Joshua or the judges?

Hos.9:15 would suggest not for several reasons:

  • The idolatry of the people (The idols of Ur and Egypt Josh 24:14)
  • The choice of Saul (rejecting God as king) and his foolish behaviour with Amalek.
  • All the reprobate at the time of Joshua.

But Judges 2:7 suggests they did keep it even though that period was characterized by idolatry and defeat by their enemies followed by the raising up of judges to liberate them.

II Kings 23:22 mentions a great Passover unsurpassed SINCE the judges.

I Samuel 1 descibes Elkanah and his two wives going up to Shiloh for a great pilgrimage feast and Elkanah was a Levite (Kohathite) I Chron.6:35.

From Judges 21:19 and Joshua 18:1 we learn that Shiloh was the place where the tabernacle was set up and hence the destination for the Passover pilgrimage for hundreds of years till Jerusalem in the time of David.

But Shiloh fell eventually to the Philistines who carted away the ark (Jer.7:12-14, 26: 6,9, Psalm 78:60).

So when and where was this great Passover in the time of the judges?

We can narrow it down to the time of the last and greatest judge Samuel who was also a prophet (greatest since Moses), a Levite and Nazarite, a kingmaker and brought up in the tabernacle by Eli. It must have taken place at Shiloh before the ark was taken and Eli’s sons killed and during Saul’s time before his death with Jonathan, during which time it changed hands several times between Israel and the Philistines.

How was it reckoned to be a great Passover? Numbers of pilgrims or sacrifices? Depth of devotion? Presence of a godly King? We don’t know.

Christ’s fulness

“This is the Beloved of our souls, “holy, harmless, undefiled;” “full of grace and truth;” — full, to a sufficiency of grace (for us), — full to be an example to men and angels as
to obedience, full of uninterrupted communion with God, — full and a ready supply to others, — full, to suit all the occasions and necessities of the souls of men, — full, to a glory not unbecoming the person of the Son of God, — full, to a perfect victory, in trials, over all temptations, — full, to keep the whole holy law of God, full to the utmost capacity of a limited, created, finite nature, — full, to the greatest beauty and glory of a living temple of God, — full, to the full pleasure and delight of the soul of his Father, — full as an everlasting monument of the glory of God, in giving such inconceivable excellencies to the Son of man.”

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9

John Owen (adapted)

What blasphemy then and heresy to detract from his unique fullness and suitability by interposing or substituting another as redeemer like Mary or another as head of his church like the pope. To love the Lord Jesus Christ is to detest these delusions just as those who hold them actually detest Christ by their pride, ignorance and un-biblical assertions.


Reformation today

Reformation today
As necessary as in 1517

Why? Because as Jeremiah says, “Ye trust in lying words. My house is being abused. THERE ARE ABOMINATIONS in my worship. Jer. 7:8, 11, 30. Christ’s rare violence was seen when he saw the place of his worship being abused.


Millions steeped in tradions and superstition of false religion in Roman Catholicism*.
Millions more are members of or adhere to false and departing churches.
*Mary venerated. She is never portrayed as co-redemptrix or someone to pray to in all N.T. Scripture does not say she was sinless and taken miraculously into heaven. The infinite God cannot have a mother, only the incarnate Son of God.
*Idolatrous mass. The once-for-all sacrifice of Christ substituted by a daily ritual that is supposed to atone for sin.
*Priests and pope usurp the headship of Christ in his church.
*Justification (forgiveness) by faith and works substituted for true faith alone that leads to assurance hence no assurance for those seeking to merit.
The upshot of all these abominations will be to be driven from Christ out of his dwelling place into damnation.
False and departing churches that allow hymns and songs that are not God-breathed, shallow homilies take the place of doctrinal preaching, women and homosexuals given office, there is belief in universal atonement and free will, on-going miracles and miraculous spiritual gifts-these will inevitably join together under the false prophet of antichrist and worship him!

Come out from among them and seek the truth in Scripture and a true church.

Dr Julian Kennedy, Deacon, Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena.

Holding Forth the Word of Life.

Holding Forth the Word of Life

Three messages from Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention 2017 in summary.

Philippians 2:15,16. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”


  1. Being Bold in the Lord                            Rev.Wilbur Bruinsma

Rev. Bruinsma admits that as a young pastor he spent little time speaking to others outside the church about God’s word. That all changed when he was sent to Jamaica as a missionary. All believers are called to give a reason for our hope and that takes boldness, confidence of faith alongside zeal and enthusiasm inspired by our own salvation. Paul, wherever he went, believed that the gospel (any part of God’s word) is the power of God unto salvation. If we are passionate about something we will talk about it! Our deliverance, our new life, our standing with God, our church…let me tell you what God has done for me! Yes people can be intimidating. “The subject we address when witnessing will be determined by the occasion and circumstances in which we find ourselves. It will be natural.” Listen and keep in mind you are no better than they.


  1. Walking in the Light                               Rev. Richard Smit

So much darkness-sin, false religion, apostate churches.  Christ and his word and we ourselves are the light. Believing and living according to the word we shine as children of light. OUR LIVES MUST BE CONSISTENT. The light of Christ and his word energizes us (like UV light a plant). We are continually cleansed by confession and receiving forgiveness (I John 1:9, II Cor.7:1). Hypocrisy (e.g. Lot) will reap misery. There will be opposition and persecution. Results are in God’s hands.


  1. Being all things to all men                            Rev. Daniel Kleyn

Taking into account the hearer. Being a servant.  Avoiding offence, cultural gaffes. Seek to establish friendship, understand, be sensitive, show care. Never must we compromise.

May the Lord help us to be faithful in our life and witness!

Taken from Beacon Lights October 2017

Magazine website

Passover (4)

Sung Psalm 114 (note ref to Jordan Crossing v3)

Read Joshua 5

Some other references to Passover in Pentateuch were checked Ex.34:23,25, Num. 33:3 and Deut. 16 (repeats).

Key N.T. refs. are I Cor.5:7 and Heb.11:28. Note that keeping the Passover was by faith (obedience to word of God to do an otherwise foolish-looking thing).

Joshua was courageous by keeping God’s law (Josh.1:8,9)

We come to Gilgal, the third Passover, after the first in Egypt and second at Mt. Sinai. Circumcision was mandatory so we have perhaps the largest mass circumcision ever with upwards of 600,000 males taking part, perhaps as many as a million (Josh.5:2 c.f. Ex.12:44).

Why had there been no circumcisions in the wilderness? We know that there was idolatry in the camp (Amos 5:25,26, Acts 7:43). Was there any piety? Yes (Jer.2:2,3).

Note the two sacraments together, one signifying entry into the covenant community and the other of keeping the covenant. Today we have the N.T. equivalents namely baptism and Lord’s Supper (conjoined in I Cor.10:2).

At the end of the chapter Joshua is commissioned by Christ appearing as a Christophany very similar to Moses at the burning bush.

Conscience, condemnation, judgment.

All men have consciences, some are seared and no longer work-they are to be pitied (I Tim.4:2, Eph. 4:19). Theologians believe that the books (Rev.20:12,13) that record all men’s lives and will form the basis of their eternal judgment will include their consciences. Fact is, God is omniscient. Another fact is, all people are separated at death to either heaven or hell as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. At the last trump when the sheep and the goats are summoned from the grave in their eternal bodies, they are significantly placed on Christ’s right and left when he pronounces judgment. They are either justified by him (sheep) or condemned already (goats), either in his book of life or missing. Their judgment according to their works also accords with his judgment on the basis of their faith (imputed righteousness) or their unbelief. Everyone’s works, publicly prove whether they are justified sinners now (James 2:22-24) and at the final judgment (Matt.25). The wicked works of the reprobate will contrast with the good works of the faithful. Justification and sanctification are twins, always belonging together, the one leading to the other (Eph. 2:8-10).

Good works, even though always tainted by selfish, impure motives, nevertheless are cleansed by Christ, help assure us now (I John 3:19-21) and are rewarded graciously in the next life. They also are seen by unbelievers (Matt.5:16) and may lead to their conversion and by fellow saints causing edification, encouragement and exhortation.

It is good if our hearts (consciences) convict or condemn us because then we seek forgiveness and can be assured it will be granted along with cleansing and sanctification (I John 1:7-9, I John 2:1 and II Cor.7:1). God’s law written in Scripture and also on our hearts is the instrument of this exposure of sin. If our conscience is clear that is even better, and gives us confidence in prayer. If we ever feel condemned in the sense of not even believing we are saved (because of our indwelling corruption) we must rely on God’s knowledge of us and our faith in Christ’s cross. Pride in ourselves is the opposite extreme and we need to heed Romans 13:3 and I Cor.10:12. Everything serves our salvation.


Does divorce end a marriage?

The Westminster Confession of Presbyterian churches says it does:

Chapter VII

5. Adultery or fornication, committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.

6. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments, unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage; yet nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage; wherein a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it, not left to their own wills and discretion in their own case.

What does the word of God say about this?

Firstly, “What God has joined let not man put asunder.” (Matt.19:6). The fact is man cannot put marriage asunder only God can by the death of a spouse:

For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” (Rom.7:2,3).

Divorce is the lawful separation of a couple only as a last resort after proven adultery (desertion is not a scriptural ground!).  Our legal system and the population as a whole take this divorce as being the annulment of the marriage and allowing the freedom to remarry but is this Biblical?

Biblical divorce is separation of bed and board NOT the end of the marriage. God divorced Israel but he plainly stated he was still married to her! ” And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:” (Jeremiah 3:8, 14). Hence to divorce and remarry for ANY REASON is adultery just as Jesus and Paul state in Matthew 5:31,32, 19:9 and I Cor.7:39. Furthermore unrepentant adulterers (i.e.those on second marriages while first spouse still lives) will be barred from heaven (I Cor.6:9).


Abortion Act 50 years old.

Certainly NOT a cause for celebration.

Says nothing of the selfishness, guilt and downright wickedness of all who participate in this barbarity.

Murderers will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God, indeed if unrepentant they will be cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 21:8).