Fred R. Coulter—April 23, 2016

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to services for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread! I hope you had a really good Night to be Much Observed unto the Lord last night. It's really quite a night, because that is a night in which Israel began its journey out of Egypt and pictures when we began our journey out of the Egypt of this world.

God has a wonderful way of having the Bible written. That is if you believe it, you'll begin to understand it. If you don't, you won't! If you begin to obey then God will give you some understanding.

God also has things that He hides, like I wrote in the book From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born?; that God has hidden His plan from generations and ages. Well, He's done something quite profound with the Holy Days, which is if you don't believe God, you won't obey Him, then you will never understand the Holy Days.

The reason is very simple: Those tell what God's plan is! And He has saved that for those who will love Him and serve Him. Another way is to put it in the Old Testament to see if you can understand the physical things that He requires and also to compare with the spiritual. The way God does things is there is the physical first and then the spiritual.

Just like with us, we're physical and we're looking toward eternal life. We came in the flesh first and then we have to be resurrected to spirit. Likewise with the Holy Days. They are listed in Lev. 23 and people read it and say, 'There are sacrifices there, so therefore, that the Old Testament and all of this has been done away. Well, which came first, the days or the sacrifices? The days!

We know all about the Sabbath so we won't read that. Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD…" They belong to Him; He made them, He created them, He designed them.

"…Holy convocations… [we come before God in a Holy assembly] …which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover" (vs 4-5).

That's the center of everything! Everything begins with the Passover! That's why there are so many things that are all mixed up with the Passover. We won't get into that; you already understand that.

He didn't put in here the Night to be Much Observed; He put that in Exo. 12. This shows another way that God has hidden things; 'a little here, a little there, line here, line there,' and then you put it together.

Verse 6: And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. You must eat unleavened bread seven days…. [we will] …On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation…. [which is today and we're here] …You shall not do any servile work therein, but you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD seven days…." (vs 6-8).

The priests were to have the offerings being burnt at the temple and so forth. That part was with the offerings that they would bring.

We're going to see that there's another offering that was also given on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which becomes a very, very important one for Israel and for us.

Then it says, "…In the seventh day is a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein" (v 8).

This conveys to us that there were other offerings that we are to bring, Deuteronomy 16:16: "Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which He shall choose…" Since Jerusalem has been removed from the place to be chosen, except for those who may live there now, where is the place that God chooses. What did Jesus say? Wherever there are two or three gathered together, there I am in your midst!

"…in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the LORD empty, every man… [everyone] …shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God, which He has given you" (vs 16-17). So, we look at the blessings, and not all blessings are physical:

  • the blessing of the Holy Spirit
  • the blessing of understanding His Word
  • the blessing of understanding the Holy Days
  • the blessings of being able to have direct prayer to God the Father and Jesus Christ

knowing that

  • God loves us
  • we love Him

All of those are blessings that we need to consider when we bring an offering to God.

Paul tells us that God is able to make 'all sufficiency abound to us in everything.'

(pause for the offering)

Let's see what the day portion of the Passover is for. After they assembled at Rameses from Goshen. Let's see that Exo. 13 helps us answer a question concerning Deut. 16 (the first part).

Exodus 13:1: "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Sanctify all the firstborn to Me…'" Here we have the physical, now we will talk about the spiritual: In the New Testament the Church is called The Church of the Firstborn. We will answer the question about the female firstborn.

"'…whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, of man and of beast. It is Mine.' And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand. There shall be no leavened bread eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders" (vs 1-7).

If you think cleaning out your house is a chore, try the whole country!

Verse 8: "And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out from Egypt.'" The Passover is the passing over, sparing the firstborn. This is the first day of Unleavened Bread, and we will see what kind of preparations were made for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as well.

Verse 9: "And it shall be a sign to you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD'S Law may be in your mouth…" Isn't it interesting that you carry this over spiritually. Where is it to be with us? In our heart and mind!

"…for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt. You shall, therefore, keep this law in its season from year to year. And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the LORD all that opens the womb, and every firstborn that comes of any animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD'S" (vs 9-12).

It is the male who determines the sex of all human beings, and also all animals. What about the female? We'll answer that in just a bit! But notice how important this is. Compare this spiritually. This is so important to God physically, think how important we are as the Church of the Firstborn to God spiritually.

Verse 13: "And every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck…." That's a pretty stiff penalty. If you don't redeem it, you don't get it.

"…And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What does this mean?'…." (vs 13-14). That's different from what it was with the Passover. Remember when the children ask what this means, you say, 'This is when the Lord passed over our houses and spared the firstborn.'

But look, all the firstborn of men had to be redeemed. How did God do it with all Israel? Well, you have to come to the book of Numbers: God redeemed all the firstborn of the children of Israel by counting the firstborn and counting all the sons of Levi. The sons of Levi were the redemption for the firstborn when they first came out of Egypt.

There was this difference between a small number where then they had to offer offerings. When you come out of Egypt:

  • What does that mean for us today?
  • What did the Lord do for us when we came out of the world and were baptized?
  • He gave us His Holy Spirit!

All of the firstborn males belong to God. Why? God created Adam first! Where did woman come from? From man! Same thing today, so therefore, the firstborn male belongs to God! But what about the female? When you redeem your son, you had to give an offering.

Deuteronomy 12:11: "Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there. There you shall bring all that I command you—your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows, which you vow to the LORD. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, your sons, your daughters, your menservants, your female servants, and the Levite that is within your gates (because he has no part nor inheritance with you). Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see. But in the place, which the LORD shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. However, as much as you desire, you may slaughter and eat flesh in all your gates…" (vs 11-15). Everything other than what belonged to God you could slaughter and eat at home; no problem.

Verse 17: "You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herds or of your flock, or any of your vows which you vow, or your freewill offerings or the heave offering of your hand. But you must eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite within your gates. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you put your hand to" (vs 17-18).

So, the firstborn belongs to God. How then is the female accounted for? That is to be used at the Feast. That can be offered as a peace offering to the Lord, because it says here: "You may not eat within your gatesthe firstborn of your herds or of your flock…" It doesn't distinguish between male or female. But you can't eat the firstborn of the male, because that belongs to God!

That's the way we're able to understand how God recognizes the firstborn that is a female. It is used for the Feasts.

Now, the first part of Deut. 16 is used by many people, especially the Jews, to claim that God changed the sacrifice from a domestic sacrifice to a temple sacrifice. That's one of the reasons why The Christian Passover book was written. You have to remember two things:

  • Passover has the meaning of passing over your houses sparing your firstborn
  • First day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread means leaving Egypt

If you read any Jewish literature today you will find that they say that the Passover that they are keeping—which is a day later—is in remembrance of leaving Egypt.

One rabbi wrote that 'we no longer keep the 14th Passover because we are walking in the footsteps of the sins of our fathers, and we are no longer in the land.' So, the Jews don't keep a 14th Passover because they're in exile. Rather than admit and say that they are in exile because of their sins. They're not going to admit that. No! They say that God changed the Passover. No, He didn't change the Passover! They did! They correctly, because they reject Christ and the New Testament, do not keep the 14th because they are in exile.

The only ones who can keep a 14th Passover are those Jews who are in the land. There are some there; do they keep the 14th? No, they don't!

Deuteronomy 16:1: "Keep the month of Abib, and observe the Passover to the LORD your God…." How do you observe the Passover? When is the Passover Day? The 14th!

"…For in the month of Abib, the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night" (v 1). That's the 15th, the beginning of the 15th.

Here is the catch. How do we understand this, v 2: "And you shall, therefore, sacrifice the Passover offering to the LORD your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place, which the LORD shall choose to place His name there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction, for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, so that you may remember the day that you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. And there shall be no leaven seen with you in all your borders for seven days. Nor shall any of the flesh, which you sacrificed in the first day at sunset remain all night until the morning. You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, but at the place which the LORD your God shall choose to place His name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover offering at sunset, at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt. And you shall boil and eat itin the place which the LORD your God shall choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. Six days you shall eat unleavened bread. And on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work" (vs 2-8).

Does sound like it was moved. Can you see any problems with what is here compared to Exo. 12? Exo. 12 says that you are take a kid—either a goat or a lamb—this one says "…flock and herd…" It's different, even though it is called "…Passover offering…" The other one is "…you shall boil…" it. Exo. 12 says that you shall not boil it water at all!' If you have a King James it is 'sodden.'

  • What are we talking about here?
  • What happened on the day portion of the Passover Day when the children of Israel were going to go out of the land of Egypt? They stayed in their houses until sunrise! Then they left!
  • Where were their houses? In Goshen!
  • From where did they leave Egypt? Rameses!
  • How did they get there? They walked!

Moses had it all organized, this tribe go here, that tribe go there, all ready for their marching columns.

  • What did Moses tell them on this day? Remember this day and remember all the firstborn 'of man and beast belong to Me'!

They were to redeem it with a lamb or:

  • How about if you redeemed it with a calf? You could do that, as well!
  • How about if you were really, really poor and all you could afford is a pigeon or two? You still redeem!

What happens in Deut. 16 is that they were to go where God was to have His tabernacle. One of the first things they would do when they got there was to have the animal for redemption.

How many of the people had sons and daughters at that time? All the males had to be redeemed—didn't they? So, what happened was that on the day portion of the Passover, after they got done with the regular sacrifices, then the people could come with their redemption offering and have it redeemed and have the blood sprinkled at the altar. Then they would take that animal and they would go to their tents—wherever their tents were gathered around Jerusalem—and there they would have various places where they could take the portion of the meat that belonged to them and roast it or boil it—either one—and eat it

What else does it say here? It says "…in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents…" What does this tell us? In celebrating the Night to be Much Observed, they stayed up all night!

There is an offering, called a peace offering, that could be offered—and there's even one that could be offered with leavened bread, but not during the Feast of Unleavened Bread—and the peace offering could either be roasted or boiled, and they had to eat the flesh by morning. That's the only offering. All the others are you're not to eat after the third day. That's quite a detailed study if you get into it.

Here you are coming to keep the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then on the day portion of the Passover, after they offered the regular sacrifices, then you could bring the animals of redemption. The redemption would be from the flock or the herd.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread becomes very important, and the sacrifices that were made show that we have to show God how much we love Him bye obeying Him and doing the things that He says.

It's the same way with the New Testament. We have to put leaven out of our homes, but that's a type of putting sin out of our lives. So, when we come to the New Testament we are confronted with not the SS, but SSS. What is the SSS? That's more dangerous than the Gestapo!

  • Satan
  • Sin
  • Self

Satan we know is

  • the 'god of this world' (2-Cor. 4:4[transcriber's correction])
  • the 'prince of the power of the air' (Eph. 2:2)
  • 'deceiving the whole world' (Rev. 12)

We can see that happening, and he's doing it and controls it. That's why we live in the world, but we're not part of the world. The thing that keeps us from being part of the world is that we keep the commandments of God and have the Spirit of God.

We understand human nature. The world is bewildered by human nature; they don't understand it. Christ made it very clear, all they would have to do is read Mark 7:21. Also, because of the sin of Adam and Eve, we have human nature that is hostile to God.

Mark 7:21: "For from within, out of the hearts of men go forth evil thoughts… [first thing] …adulteries, fornications, murders." This is the key to everything that's on television.

Delores and I are struck every time we hear some of these ads for medications that they have. Everyone is running around smiling and happy, and everything is good. They tell you real quickly, 'in some cases you may die.' But it's good for you!

Verse 22: "Thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man" (vs 22-23). This is the leaven within!

How do we get it out? Only through Christ! Only through the sacrifice of Christ and His shed blood, and by loving and obeying God and keeping His commandments.

This singer who died—Prince… I don't know why so many of the singers get all wrapped up in drugs and degeneracy, and then they pass away. They run specials on the news about this guy.

Wouldn't it be different if they had some special that Christ died to have your sins forgiven? Run that on the news. This is the day of His death, the Passover Day. It's important to God! It's important to you! Oh no! They have 'Prince died at 57-years-old.' That's all I remember of it, because I turned the channel.

1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?"

I don't think any of us are old enough, but think of how everything has changed with radio, printing press, movies, television, now all these handheld devices and all this virtual reality.

  • Can you imagine what virtual reality is going to do to your mind? You put this thing on and you're in this fantasy world!
  • What is it all about?
  • What games do the children have? They're all games of war, killing and looting!

They glory in it! "…a little leaven leavens the whole lump!"

Remember in 1939 the movie Gone with the Wind. Clark Gable swore, and the whole world was upset. How could he break the 'code of ethics' for actors? Look at it now! Down to the very depths of everything. Some of them are not public, yet, but they're available.

It's starts out "…a little leaven leavens the whole lump!" Sin gets through everything!

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven …" This is what we need to do. We are responsible and we have to put the leaven, not only out of our houses, but since leaven—during the Feast of Unleavened Bread—is a type of sin, we are to see the sin within and get rid of it, get it out of our system!

"…so that you may become a new lump…" (v 7). You don't become a new lump unless you have the Spirit of God to get rid of sin. You can't get rid of the sin within unless you have the Spirit of God. You have no power to overcome it yourself.

I can tell you this by experience, and you probably know this, so I'm not telling you anything new. When you're trying to overcome a sin or difficulty, there are some that are hard to get out of your mind. Some things just come in there that are really difficult to get rid of. That takes:

  • prayer
  • study
  • being alert
  • being aware
  • using the Spirit of God

to purge it out! And that's a lifetime process!

"…even as you are unleavened…." (v 7).

  • What good does it do to get rid of leaven out of your house if you do not overcome the leaven of sin within?
  • Does getting the leaven out of your house make you more righteous?

No! That is only there to show you how common and how absolutely the world and our lives are filled with sin without God. That's why God uses leaven as a type of sin.

So, if you just unleaven your home and just go on your way and don't change, you've accomplished nothing! Why?

"…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7). That sacrifice has not been applied to the world, yet. It will be in God's plan. That's why we have the Holy Days to understand. We are the firstborn church. Christ is our sacrifice of redemption from this world, just like God required them to offer a sacrifice for the firstborn, to redeem them. He gave His own Son as a sacrifice to redeem us, so that we belong to God!

The whole thing of wherever the people of God are, that's the Church. Yes, we belong to a church, because we attend, that is true. But the Church cannot make us righteous. Only the Spirit of God can make us righteous.

Verse 8: "For this reason… [the very reason of the death of Christ] …let us keep the Feast… [New Testament command to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread] …not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness…"—which we read in Mark 7[transcriber's correction] is deep within.

We will see how tricky the mind is in a little bit, because even the sin deep within, those who don't have the Holy Spirit of God within them to expose that sin as sin think they're right!

"…but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth" (v 8). You can be sincere without Truth, but you cannot get rid of evil without sincerity and Truth, and that comes from Christ!

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Galatians 5:15: "But if you bite and devour one another, watch out lest you be consumed by one another." I think we've all experienced that enough in the Church.

Verse 16: "Now this I say, walk by the Spirit…" What did Paul write in Rom. 8? As many as are led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God! Children of God!

"…and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (v 16). It doesn't say you won't be tempted. It doesn't say that you won't have thoughts that are contrary to God and righteousness that you need to get rid of. It says that you won't fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Verse 17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit… [Rom. 7] …and the Spirit against the flesh…" How does the Spirit operate against the flesh and lust? By convicting you internally when there are thoughts and things that are not right! Too many people make the mistake, 'Oh well, I shouldn't have that.' That's right; that's why it's being revealed so you can get rid of it.

Verse 18: "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under works of law…. [to try and be justified] …Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness… [just a litany of what you see on television] …licentiousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, divisions, sects" (vs 18-20).

If you don't believe this, put this list down and then watch CNBC where it talks about crooked business people, con artists and then watch Forensic Files. Even humanly speaking, there are very few crimes that people can get away with today. There's another one called I Almost Got Away; ones who try to escape from jail or prison. They go on the run and think they are doing the right thing. They get out there and what do they do? A little leaven leavens the whole lump! They steal! They murder! And they think they're right!

Verse 21: "Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such things as these; concerning which I am telling you beforehand, even as I have also said in the past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God." Then Paul covers the fruit of the Spirit.

What does Jeremiah 17:9 say: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"

How many times do we find ourselves trying to justify something in our mind? That's the work of deceit that's part of the mind that we need to overcome! For people in the world, look at this:

Proverbs 21:2: "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD ponders the hearts." God doesn't look at the actions; He looks at what causes the actions. Yes, He does look at the actions, but the cause is more important, because conversion is to get at the cause and bring about the circumcision of the heart to get rid of the sin.

We have all the Proverbs read and on a schedule that you can listen to; one chapter a day, everyday for a month, and then repeat it the next month and so forth {}. These are especially good for youth, because they need to get their minds wired. If you don't believe that is true, when you watch the news—Watters' World (Fox News)—and all those young people following Bernie Sanders; they haven't been taught to understand right or wrong.

Think about this generation: They are the most illiterate and most demanding. That's why Sanders is popular because he's take money from everybody else and give it to them. When he takes all the money from everybody else and gives it to them, they spend it and then nobody has anything! That's called Communism!  

Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits. Commit your works… [and your thoughts] …unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established." That's why with prayer, study and overcoming we commit our lives to God in every way. Take the model prayer of Matt. 6:

Our Father Who is in heaven—direct connection to God the Father—His will be done, He will provide for us and rescue us from Satan the devil. There's the model right there, which is for every day.

Here is how to overcome, v 6: "By mercy and Truth…" Mercy is the forgiveness of sin. How do you have sins forgiven?

"…iniquity is purged…" (v 6). Our minds have to be renewed, which is conversion. This is part of the process.

"…and by the fear of the LORD men turn away from evil…. [stop and think about all the things you work at to overcome; somewhere down the road it will come to this]: …When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (vs 6-7).

Prov. 4—here's what we really need to do today. We have things that we are susceptible to that we don't have a clue as to what's going on. Just to give you a little 'detectiveism': Picture in your mind's eye and little square. Let that be the square of your vision, and when you're watching television, especially the advertisements, look at what comes into the middle of the square of your vision. Guess what you will find? Mark 7:21!

Today they can't sell anything without a woman. That's not to put women down, but that's a misuse of women.

Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just is as the shining light…"

  • we walk in the way of Lord
  • we have the light of the Word of the Lord
  • we have Christ in us Who is the Light of the world

"…that shines more and more to the perfect day" (v 18). Isn't that a good description of the resurrection? We are to be perfected! That's what it's all about.

Do you know why we're all here? Because we're not perfect! We all need to change and grow! Notice the other hand, and how this fits in with what we read in Gal. 5.

Verse 19: "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings" (vs 19-20). And we have all the sayings of God recorded for us!

When we read it, and when you read in your mind—you hear them in your mind's perspective, with God's Spirit—that's the same as God talking to you. He doesn't need to come down here and talk to anybody. He's already talked to the whole world. All you have to do is read what is written, and with His Spirit He'll be talking to you.

Verse 21: "Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart… [Why?]: …for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (vs 21-22).

Verse 23 is the key, especially today. We're confronted with so many thing! Have you ever experienced driving down the road and you hear something on the radio and it sticks in your mind the rest of the day! Or you see a billboard and that thing sticks in your mind! Or you're watching a television program and certain things there stick in your mind!

  • What is entering into your mind?
  • How do you guard your mind?

You can't say that the world is so bad that you're just going to put a hood over your head and not look at anything! No! You can't do that! You guard the door of your mind, and you don't let those things stay there. If there's something that persists, you pray about it and continue to pray about it until it's gone. Sometimes some lusts don't want to leave! That's how you do it!

Verse 23: "Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Remember that; that's important for us!

Let's put all of this together and let's see what God is doing for us and with us, and how He is doing a tremendous work, the work of the Spirit within us is a re-creation. We are being created in righteousness and Truth! We're part of that creation because we have God's Spirit, and we're interacting with God. Here's how Paul explains it:

Romans 12:1: "I exhort you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service"—loving God with all you're heart, mind, soul and being! That should be part of your prayer every day.

There are many things you have to pray about every day. Please understand that those are not 'vain repetitions.' Those are needful repetitions to overcome. When you do, you're putting it into God's hands so He can help you. When that happens there will be times when you will go along and all of a sudden, just out of the blue, somewhere it will strike you: God has answered that prayer! Have you ever had that happen to you? Your spiritual service includes all commandment-keeping and everything.

Verse 2: "Do not conform yourselves to this world… "If there's any one Scripture that really applies today, this is it.

"…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" (v 2). That's where all the spiritual creation is going on; in your heart and in your mind.

  • you need to think properly
  • you need to have proper emotions
  • you need to love God

That's why He says, 'With all your heart, mind, soul and strength!' That's our full-time spiritual service to God!

Notice what happens when you do that; "…in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (v 2).

Let's see how this operates. First of all, it operates with repentance and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is very interesting when you read 1-John 1, because what does John do? He includes himself! He says we! Think about how old John was when he was writing here, maybe 85. Can you imagine what happened to the Church when John died.

  • Do people believe rumors?
  • Do people believe things that are told?
  • What was the rumor? That John would live until Christ returned!

Then John dies, and Christ hasn't returned! But John did send them, in the book of Revelation, the description of how and when Christ is going to return. When that first came out to all the churches, about half of them didn't accept it right at first, because they didn't think it was from John. It wasn't anything like 1st, 2nd, 3rd John or the Gospel of John. How could John write this?

1-John 1:6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him…"
Verse 3: "…for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ." That's it! That's our relationship with God every day!

Verse 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth." Isn't that interesting. We are to do these things in sincerity and in Truth. If you're lying to yourself, you're not sincere.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin." We need that every day!

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves..." That's why Christ castigated the scribes and Pharisees, 'You Pharisees, you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but within you're full of extortion and lust. Cleanse the inside, then everything will be clean to you.'

Notice John says we, and this is so we as Christians don't get off the beam and think 'once saved always saved; we're just fine.'

"…we are deceiving ourselves and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (vs 8-9). That how we get our mind renewed: day by day by day!

  • Do you need to sleep every day? Yes!
  • Do you need to eat every day? Yes!
  • Do you need to clean yourself every day? Yes!
  • Do all the bodily processes have to work every day? Yes!
  • Do you periodically have to cut your fingernails? Yes!
  • Do you periodically have to cut your hair?

Just think of it spiritually! That's why we have the Sabbath every week. We need it; where would we be without the Sabbath? Think about that! You'd probably be out at some sports event.

  • Is God there? No!
  • Are you honoring Him? No!

That's why we have Sabbath every week. That's why we're to be taught. We're to all learn. What did Jesus say—and this is interesting in the Greek: It is sufficient that the disciple become as the Teacher—'ho didaskalos.' Who is the Teacher? Christ! That has to be the goal of everyone who is teaching and preaching to help all the brethren become as Christ.

Eternal life is going to be so fantastic. It's going to be so great that once we attain to that, all of this is going to seem like 'child's play' that you have forgotten now that you're an adult. Think of that!

The human mind is filled with so much vanity and self, that we don't contemplate anything greater than ourselves and what God can do for us and to us. That's going to be something!

What if you make a terrible mistake like David did? Remember that if you think you've sinned greatly, read 2-Chron. 33 about King Manasseh and what he did. He repented, and was brought back to be king. David sinned with Bathsheba. Think of all the planning, all the self-delusion, all the excuses that went on with this, and everything went wrong! The message came to David. All of his conniving, all of his power, all of what he was going to take care of this his way, failed!

He finally came to himself and here is his prayer, Psalm 51:1: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions." God will!

Verse 2: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." What did John write? Christ will cleanse us from all unrighteousness! This is a deep heartfelt prayer, right down into the nitty-gritty of human nature and all the evil that is there.

Verse 3: "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me." Here is something: Psa. 103 says that He's going to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. Christ didn't say that we would forget them. Because you remember them so that is a reminder of how easily you can slip and that is to help you to stay repentant. God has removed them.

Verse 4: "Against You, You only…" Who is Lawgiver? God is! Who defined what is righteousness and sin? God has!

If you do something and it's against your neighbor, you've hurt your neighbor, that is true. Or against your husband/wife, brother/sister in the Church, a business associate; whatever it may be. The sin is against God, because He says, 'you shall not…'

Verse 4: "Against You, You only have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight, that You might be justified…" God is always right because He is:

  • perfect
  • Holy
  • love
  • truth
  • everything that is right

"…that You might be justified when You speak and be in the right when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity…" (vs 4-5). Having the law of sin and death. Not that his mother brought him into the world as a result of adultery. NO!

"…and in sin did my mother conceive me" (v 5). The 'law of sin and death' is automatic; that's passed on to every one of us. When you have children and they begin expressing themselves, what do they do? You see the law of sin and death working in little infants! 'It's mine!'

Now, here is the result, v 6: "Behold, You desire Truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom"—right in the mind and heart! That's what needs to be transformed and renewed. That is getting rid of the leaven of sin!

  • That's why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  • That's why we 'eat Christ' (John 6).

When the sins are really bad, like David had, v 7: "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

  • Have you ever had something so dirty that you had to take the strongest whatever to clean it?
  • Have you ever had something you tried to clean but you can't get it off?

Well, some things are like that! Then David says, 'Cheer  me up, Lord!'

Verse 8: "Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones, which You have broken, may rejoice." Not that his bones were broken, but he was just shattered inside because of the sin.

Let's see what we are to do. God does this with us, to us and for us!

Hebrews 10:16: "…says the Lord, 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds.' They know that that is exactly how the mind works. It is actually like a spiritual writing tablet.

It's interesting that you don't find that expression in the Old Testament. It says that these commandments are to be in your heart by memorizing them. But God doesn't say that He is going to 'write them' into their hearts and minds in the Old Testament. That's New Testament doctrine; that's the work of God within us! But we have to have full cooperation with God.

Isaiah 1:15: "And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you… [unless you repent] …yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves… [through Christ] …make yourselves clean… [through repentance] …put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes…" (vs 15-16).

  • what you're doing physically
  • what you're thinking mentally
  • what your emotional feeling is in your heart

"'…cease to do evil… [all of these things we have to learn] …learn to do good; seek judgment, reprove the oppressor. Judge the orphan; plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land'" (vs 16-19)—the Kingdom of God. There it is right there all laid out for us.

Let's see that this is a battle that the Apostle Paul had. He called human nature 'the law of sin and death.' He understood the commandments externally, but he really never grasped the meaning of it until He had the Spirit of God, which then convicted him that the Law is Holy, righteous, spiritual and good. He said that he was 'sold to sin.'

God has given us, with His Spirit if we use it, the ability to overcome 'the law of sin and death' ruling in our lives. We won't overcome it completely until the resurrection. Here is the conundrum that he found:

Romans 7:13: "Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin…" This is why. Sin is being exposed! The sin within!

"…in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me by that which is good…" (v 13). The laws of God, the Spirit of God; Paul is exposing it to us so we can repent and get rid of it. That's really a great working operation. Think about that!

"…was working out death; so that by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin; because what I am working out myself…" (vs 13-15). If you just try and do something on your own without God's blessing, what happens? It doesn't work!

"…I do not know. For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (v 15). That is the conundrum of overcoming 'the law of sin and death' within us.

Why? Because as long as we are in the flesh, we cannot be perfect! We can be in perfect standing with God through prayer, repentance and loving Him; that's fine. But perfection comes at the resurrection. So, Paul had this struggle going on, even as an apostle.

Look at how much he could have railed at God if he wanted to, with all the things that he went through (2-Cor. 11). Just one of them was he was beaten by the Jews with 39 stripes. I wonder how his back looked? I wonder how it felt? Think of a little scar that you have somewhere on your body that bothers you and multiply that by a hundred three times. That's what he went through. He could have said, 'Lord, why did You let this happen? Why did You do this?'

Well, God told Paul when He called him that He would show him the things that he 'must suffer for My sake.' We don't have that burden upon us. Paul makes this very clear. After he wrote that with the difficulty of overcoming sin and 'the law of sin and death.'

Col. 3 is a great chapter for Unleavened Bread, because this shows the spiritual things that we need to do as depicted by the physical things. Get rid of the leaven and put in unleaven; get rid of the sin and put in righteousness.

Colossians 3:1: Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [coming out of the baptismal grave] …seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God":

  • as our High Priest
  • as our Lord
  • as our Master
  • as our Intercessor
  • as our Brother

Verse 2: "Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died… [that's what baptism is about; the old man dies] …and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 2-4).

Notice that Paul keeps pointing the brethren to the ultimate goal. That's what we want. All the other things are just to attain to that.

Verse 5: "Therefore, put to death your members which are on earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry…. [all the things that we have to overcome] …Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked when you were living in these things. But now, you should also put off all these things: wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth" (vs 5-8).

Notice the progression; you get rid of the big, heavy-duty things first, then the other things come along later and get rid of those.

Verse 9: "Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds." Have you been lied to in the Church? That's a sin we need to overcome!

Verse 10: "And have put on the new man, who is being renewed… [present tense passive, being by the Spirit of God as He's creating in us] …in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him; where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free; but Christ is all things, and in all" (vs 10-11).

All will be given an opportunity for salvation. It doesn't matter what status you may be in the world, doesn't matter what you were born; doesn't matter. That's what you put out, here's what you put on/in:

Verse 12: "Put on then, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering." Think of that! That's how we are react with one another and toward others, as well.

Verse 13: "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection" (vs 13-14).

Perfection is where we're headed. Perfection is the growth. We're still growing. The harvest will be at the resurrection. We need to keep pushing for that perfection toward the time at the end of our life. I don't think that too many of us will be alive when Christ returns that are here in this room. Maybe Jonathan, maybe he thinks it's further away. We'll have to wait and see. But nevertheless, it's going to happen to some people somewhere at some time. In the meantime, every Christian who is going to be in the Kingdom of God has died in the faith and awaiting the resurrection. That's the goal! That's where we're headed!

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts… [the government of God, not the ministry] …to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (vs 15-16).

Here is the goal, Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of Godas beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2). Then Paul lists all the things to avoid.

Verse 25: "Husbands, love your own wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it… [here's why Christ died and was raised from the dead]: …so that He might sanctify it… [make it Holy; we are Holy brethren] …having cleansed it with the washing of the water by the Word" (vs 25-26).

That's how God cleanses our mind. The water is the Spirit, the Word is the Word of God, and the combination of those are going to be what will help us to become unleavened in Christ.

That's the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:4-8
  • Deuteronomy 16:16-17
  • Exodus 13:1-14
  • Deuteronomy 12:11-15, 17-18
  • Deuteronomy 16:1-8
  • Mark 7:21-23
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Galatians 5:15-21
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • Proverbs 21:2
  • Proverbs 16:2, 6-7
  • Proverbs 4:18-23
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • 1 John 1:6, 3-9
  • Psalm 51:1-8
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Isaiah 1:15-19
  • Romans 7:13-15
  • Colossians 3:1-16
  • Ephesians 5:1-2, 25-26

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 12
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4
  • Ephesians 2:2
  • Revelation 12
  • Romans 8; 7
  • Matthew 6
  • 2 Chronicles 33
  • Psalm 103
  • John 6
  • 2 Corinthians 11

Also referenced: Books:

  • From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 5/9/16

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