Overcoming the Sin Within

Keep your eyes on the goal: the Kingdom of God

Fred R. Coulter—April 11, 2017

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread 2017, and time marches on!

We are closer to the Kingdom of God than ever before, but we also see that it's going to be quite a while longer than we have anticipated in the past. But nevertheless, we are closer. So, on this day, the first day the Feast of Unleavened Bread, I hope you had a great Night To Be Much Observed to the Lord, as that is a command of God (Exo. 13). Quite a wonderful thing, Exo. 12 and 13!

As you know, everything that Moses taught the children of Israel, came from God. So, in one sense, it is not right to say the Law of Moses, because it really is the Law of God given by the mouth of—as it is literal in the Hebrew—Moses. But it's okay to call it the Law of Moses as long as you're referring to the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. But remember it's also called Torah, and that's what the Jews call their traditions, and lump it all together.

What we need to do is stay with the pure Word of God, the way it's defined. Of course, God is always had the few honest scholars down through time in history, who have been faithful with the Word of God and have preserve the Word of God. That's what the Levitical community has done within the Jewish community. They preserve the Word of God, as well as Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

As you're turning to Lev. 23—some of you may already have your Bibles opened there—because that's the place to start for every single one of the Holy Days. What we have here is the one singular only place in the Bible where all the Holy Days are listed with the dates according to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

Leviticus 23:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "Concerning the appointed Feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are My appointed Feasts"'" (vs 1-2).

Well now that's interesting. They don't belong to the Jews, they don't belong to anyone else, they belong to God! Think on that for a minute! My Feasts! That means God owns them! He created them, created the time, has given us the meaning and understanding of it. Now notice something very particular and important in v 3. Where is it that the appointed times start out? The Sabbath!

Verse 3: "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a Holy convocation. You shall not do any work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings."

This is why Sunday-keeping and rejecting the Sabbath is the same thing as ignoring the ownership of God that they're His days. The Sabbath being first also sanctifies all of the rest of the Holy Days, which are also Sabbaths. The weekly Sabbath in Hebrew is 'ha Shabbat,' and the Holy Days—Sabbaths—are 'Shabbat' without the definite article. Very interesting, indeed! Keep that in mind when we come to the count of Pentecost a little later.

Verse 4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons." Now is the time, the season, of Unleavened Bread. We've gone through all of the particulars with this but:

Verse 5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings… [Remember between the two evenings or between the setting times can never come before sunset. It comes immediately after!] ...is the LORD'S Passover" (v 5).

In the New Testament that has to do with Jesus Christ. Not only is He Owner of it, but His sacrifice is the complete expression of it.

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. On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall not do any servile work therein, but you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein" (vs 6-8).

We also find in Deut. 16 that we're to bring offerings on the Holy Days in addition to the temple offerings of burnt offerings and sacrifices for all the Holy Days, every day morning and evening sacrifice, etc. Deut.16 makes it very clear. Now also remember that this is a special offering to God for all that He has done for us.

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: 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."

The sacrifices given every day are listed in Num. 28-29; those are the official offerings. The other offerings that were brought were, especially on the day portion of the Passover Day are the offerings for the redemption of the firstborn males. They belong to God! And the redemption of the firstborn of any animal. Now the female was to be set aside for the keeping of the Feast. Because the male belongs to God, there's no way you can partake of eating that or have any part of it. It is God's, 'It is mine' says the Lord! The female then was put into, how should we say, the festival funds. He says you shall give an offering.

"…they shall not appear before the LORD empty, every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God, which He has given you" (vs 16-17).

So, you need to calculate and figure out how much God has blessed you. Let's also understand something else: Living today in the entitlement society that we have, a lot of people just expect everything to be given to them. They owe nothing to anyone, and everyone owes everything to them. That comes with a New Testament phrase: 'rich and increased with goods have need of nothing.' God gave a warning:

Deuteronomy 8:10: "When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land, which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full and have built goodly houses and lived in them"(vs 10-12).

Like we have today. Look at any of our suburbs, look at the houses all lined up. Oh that's quite a thing to see all of those.

Verse 13: "And when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then you become haughty of heart…" (vs 13-14)—meaning you put 'me, myself, and I' first, rather than God. And remember what happened to Solomon who was the richest and the wisest of all. It came upon him because he forgot that God gave everything that he [Solomon] had, and that as human beings we live and move and have our being in God.

(pause for offering)

Now let's turn to one of the most famously known verses in the entire Bible, John 3:16. Let's understand that this is important, because this is an overall statement from God of His purpose for mankind. But it doesn't tell us how or when or under what circumstances. It's just a general statement by God stating His purpose, a mission purpose. Or for those who have done speeches, specific purpose statement. Then it's the rest of the Word of God which fills it all in.

The first thing that comes with that is the Sabbath and the Holy Days, because they are the framework for everything that God is doing. If you just have the mission statement, that's much like as kids growing up we were told by her parents, 'Be good.' Well, what does be good mean? In the mind of mom and dad it meant one thing. In our minds as kids it was don't get caught! No definition.; same way here. Though it's the most quoted, it is the most misunderstood verse in the Bible.

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world..." Yes, everyone likes to have God's love, absolutely true! But then that doesn't define:

  • what love is
  • how God gives it
  • what He has done to prove it

He gives one statement here showing the main thing that He did.

"...that He gave His only begotten Son..." (v 16). That's another statement that is specific but then takes a lot of other detail to fill it in.

  • Who was He?
  • How did He come?
  • Where did He come from?
  • Why would He give Him?
  • Why wouldn't it be something else?

"...so that everyone who believes..." (v 16)—a present tense participle, meaning believing. Sometimes in the language we can have a greater understanding of it.

"...who believes in Him..." (v 16). What does it mean to believe? Is it an opinion? Is it a profession? What does it mean? Well, that's why we have the New Testament.

"...may not perish..." (v 16). What do you think perish means? And also it is may not, meaning there are conditions. But where are the conditions? In the rest of the Bible! One of them is 'IF you love Me, keep the commandments, namely Mine' that's what Jesus said. That's one of the main conditions.

"...but may have everlasting life" (v 16)—note Rev. 22. What is the qualifier to eat of the Tree of Life so you may have eternal life? Blessed are those who keep His commandments that they may have the right eat of the Tree of Life! So, there's a whole lot more to this than meets the eye. Likewise with all of God's ways and the Word of God.

Now let's look at something important we've already seen. When the children of Israel were in Egypt, the last thing they did was to keep the Passover. Everything else up to that point, God brought all the plagues all the difficulties all the things upon the Egyptians so that they would be freed and let go. God had to do that.

Pharaoh is a type of Satan the devil. That's why Christ had to die; so that He could overcome Satan the devil and that's why it was the first trial that He had as we find in, being tempted forty days and forty nights (Matt. 4; Luke 4). He had to conquer Satan the devil. Now then only God can conquer him. We of ourselves cannot conquer him. We don't even know how to deal with him.

We can recognize some things as being inherently evil. But we cannot recognize the things that Satan brings along in lust and desire, which are sins that look good to us. The whole basis of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is that there's a way that seems right to a man or woman and the ways thereof are the ways of death! And that we have deceitful minds, desperately wicked hearts, and only God can change that.

However, we have our part. Just like the children of Israel when it came time to leave, they had to walk; they had to do their part. Likewise with us, we can repent and we can have our sins forgiven. As we know, eventually the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is going to cover all mankind (John 2). And that's why we keep the Holy Days, because this tells us how and approximately when God is going to carry out various aspects of His plan.

In the New Testament we find that it compares with the book of Exodus. Exodus means the way out. So, they went out from Egypt, that is the Exodus. For us we find in John 14 a statement we've heard how many times? But let's read it again because it's important. God has:

  • called us
  • given us His Spirit
  • brought us into covenant with Him through the sacrifice of Christ

as we see with the Passover.

Just like God had to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and bring them to Himself, so God has to lead us out of this life, this way of living in the world, to live God's way through loving Him and keeping His commandments.

John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way…'" The Greek is 'he hodos' and that's very similar to 'exodos'. He is"...the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me" (v 6).

Now that's quite a thing for us to understand. This is why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The only way we can have our sins forgiven is through Jesus Christ. That is unleavening us as persons. So, our part so that we recognize how easy it is to sin. God tells us to get all the leaven out of our homes—and of course, that's to be done before the Passover Day because the Passover Day is a separate day of unleavened bread—and then we have seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The reason God uses leaven, is because leaven is virtually everywhere, even in the air. This helps us to understand how easy it is to sin.

Let's break it down into three things, three 'Ss':

  • Sin—the transgression of the Laws of God
  • Self—that's our own way of doing things
  • Satan

We don't know how slick Satan is until we understand the Word of God. Because living out there in a society we all went along with everything that was there. Yes, indeed! However we didn't know this—Eph. 2—because:

  • we have life
  • we're walking around
  • we're doing the things
  • we're living in the world
  • we're doing as the world

We didn't know that we were the walking dead. Jesus brought that out when He told the man who wanted to follow it Him, and said, 'Well, I'll follow You, but I've got to bury my father.' And Jesus said, 'Let the dead bury their dead. So, without the Spirit of God we're the walking dead, not yet having died but having within us the law of sin and death and destined to die. So Paul writes:

Ephesians 2:1: "Now, you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world…" (vs 1-2)—according to the society around us. Look at the society today, and look at how much more evil and satanic it is becoming, on a vast scale.

"...according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (v 2).

We didn't know that. We didn't know that there was a Satan the devil. Oh we heard of Satan, but not like the Bible shows us, not like the New Testament defines it.

Verse 3: "Among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world."

We didn't know that until we started getting in trouble, and then calling out to God to help us and save us., and He had mercy and kindness to do so and to bring us out of it. Then we enter into a covenant with God. That covenant is a covenant that is joined to the death of Christ. Rom. 6 tells us that we are conjoined in baptism to the death of Christ, and His death was a sacrifice for the sins of the world, all the world as John writes in 1-John 2. But everyone's got to:

  • be called of God
  • answer the call
  • come to repentance
  • be baptized

Then we are conjoined to the death of Christ!

That's where the Protestants make their mistake. They think that the finishing of baptism—whatever work there is within us—God has already finished. But that isn't true. The finished work is:

  • a process of growing, overcoming and perfection
  • a process of conversion from carnal to spiritual
  • a process from disobedient to obedient
  • a process from hating God to loving God

That's what it means to be dead in our sins and trespasses.

"...by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (v 3).

Now that we received the Spirit of God, how are we to live? This is what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about. 1-Cor. 5 tells us why we keep the Feast. Christ has rescued us from Satan the devil, He has rescued us from our sins and transgressions through the grace of God. After we are baptized and receive the Holy Sprit of God, our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ is direct. That's what it means to be under grace. We've explained that to be under law is the whole world. To be under grace are those who are Christ's, and have been called according to His purpose.

We are to change and grow and develop, and we are to bring forth fruit. We are to complete what we are doing, through the help, strength and power of God. Now in past times it says, we lived in our lust:

  • lust of the mind
  • lust of the flesh
  • lust of the eyes

and as John writes in 1-John 2

  • the pride of life

That's the way the world is out there! So, here's how we become unleavened using:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the power of God
  • the commandments of God

as defined and amplified by the New Testament and the teachings of Christ, so that we can overcome. That's why we have putting away leaven.

They had their problem there with sin in the Church in Corinth. We won't get into that right now.

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

I want you to think about that for a minute. Leaven works its way, just like Satan works his way. Satan doesn't come along and say, 'Look at these terrible evil things that I want you to get involved in.' No! He says, 'Look, isn't this fun? Isn't this nice?' He works by incrementalism, a little bit, a little bit, a little bit more. Some here, some there, put it all together and BAMO! you're a full-fledged sinner! We have to recognize that!

Since we're human beings with human nature—even though we're converted and even though we have God's Holy Spirit—we will see that sin is still a thing that we have to overcome. That's why Paul says,"Your glorying is not good…." You allow this thing in the congregation and what is going to happen?

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven…" Get rid of the things that are wrong! Get rid of the sin that is bothering you! Put out all those things, which are temptations for you! As I covered before the Feast, we have to control our thoughts. {Note sermon: How to Control Your Thoughts} We'll get into that a little bit more as we get into the sermon here. Purge it out! You have to get rid of it, 'casting down the imaginations.'

"...so that you may become a new lump... [a new creature in Christ which is a process] ...even as you are unleavened.…" (v 7). Here's quite a statement here. "…even as you are unleavened…." means they unleavened their homes; sure enough they got it out.

However, they didn't equate that to unleavening their lives, and getting rid of the sin that was in the middle of the congregation, a man having sexual relations with his stepmother. Think how that would affect the whole society, the whole Church. Look at what sin has done to America. Look what has happened in the last 50 years, incrementally, step-by-step-by-step. Now here's why we have to do it, purge it out!

So that you must become a new lump, a new person, a new inward person in your mind and in your spirit. Your spirit united with the Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ, so that you can develop the mind of Christ:

  • think like He thinks
  • understand the Word of God
  • live by the Word of God,

This is how we are to live. This is why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

"...For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7). We saw how absolutely horrendous was His scourging, beating, mocking, and everything that was brought against Jesus Christ. We've got that all documented and laid out in A Harmony of the Gospels: The Life of Jesus Christ. Now if you don't have that you write for it. And likewise with The Christian Passover book.

The Passover is the single key point that is the most important for us, because Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. Not only was He our Passover, He died on the Passover Day, according to the Scriptures. He was raised from the dead so that He could become our High Priest our Mediator, so that He could help direct our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast…" Now were keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread here.

  • How are you keeping it?
  • What are you doing?
  • How are you thinking about it?
  • What is it that you have resolved to change and do?
  • What leaven do you still see in your life that you need to get rid of?
  • How are you going to get rid of it? Through repentance and yielding to God!

"...let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven... [you can't come in like you were in the past] …nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness..." (v 8). Listen you need to understand:

  • you've got to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being
  • you've got to love your neighbor as yourself
  • you have to love the brethren as Jesus loved us
  • you have to love your enemies

The best way to love your enemies is to pray that God will keep them far from you! or Bring them to conversion so they will no longer be enemies! or You don't get in their way and cause problems. But you can still pray for them. After all God gives them air and food and water and clothing and all of those things as well. But here is how we are to keep the Feast.

"...but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth" (v 8). Just like I brought out in the sermon on the Sabbath before Passover, eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood symbolically through the Passover and through the Feast of Unleavened Bread, means that we live by Jesus Christ just as Christ lived by the Father. That's the whole heart and core of it. How do we do this?

Let's see that once were baptized we received the begettal of the Holy Spirit of God, but we're still human. God did not reach down and take out from us the law of sin and death (Rom. 7). Just like the children of Israel had to walk all the way to Mount Sinai, our Christian walk is similar in the same way, that just as they had problems and difficulties, so do we have problems and difficulties. Just like they had sins they had to be confronted with, so do we. Here's how we are to think, after we've been conjoined to the death of Christ:

Romans 6:11: "In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin…" Don't let sin motivate you:

  • let the Word of God motivates you
  • let the Spirit of God lead you and guide you

because sin is so deceitful!

"...but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof" (vs 11-12). There is the key verse on overcoming. Don't let it rule! Now rule also means, don't let it 'lord it' over you, which means don't let your mind become obsessed with sin, because that breeds more and more sin. And it pushes away the Spirit of God, and opens the door for Satan again. Don't let it rule!

So, this shows us we have to work to overcome sin. Just like the children of Israel had to walk to get to Mount Sinai. We have a walk that we need to walk, which is with Christ, "…by obeying it in the lust thereof."

Let's see how sin develops, and let's understand that sometimes sin comes along so easy that we don't even know it, we don't even recognize it. All of a sudden it happens. We wonder: How did that happen? Well. because we still have the law of sin and death within us! We have to overcome it. That's why it's necessary to have the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leaven is so common, sin is everywhere.

Here is why we have difficulties, here is why we have trials. It is so that we can be more anchored in Christ, and steadfast in the Spirit of God, and love of God.

James 1:2: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials." That's hard to do. But nevertheless, when you get through it and look back on it, you can look at that and say. 'Yeah, that turned out to be a good thing,' because of this, that and the other thing.

Verse 3: "Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." Endurance is what we need. Let's see how that works with the grace of God.

Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith..." That is belief in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of your sins. As we have seen, that is the only way to have your sins forgiven. No other way.

"...we have peace with God..." (v 1). Were not fighting against him. We don't have enmity against Him with the carnal mind.

"...we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace... [access directly to God the Father] ...into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God" (vs 1-2). Not in self, but in God's plan! Not in our way, but in God's way!

Verse 3: "And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations… [just like James 1 said] …realizing that temptations brings forth endurance, and endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope. And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us" (vs 3-5). That's what the process of this trying of our faith is to do:

  • we go to God
  • we repent
  • we received the Spirit of God
  • we pray
  • we asked for help
  • we ask God to intervene
    • He intervenes
    • He answers our prayers
      • we continually go to God

That is endurance! That is sticking with it!

James 1:4: "But let endurance have its perfect work..." In other words letter endurance bring about a completion of the trial.

"…so that you may be perfect…" (v 4)—that is to become perfect. Now we'll talk about this on the Sabbath before the last day of the Feast: Perfection is what God is looking for.

"...and complete, not lacking in anything. However, if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks;and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, not doubting at all because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro" (vs 4-6).

Or you can have a smaller example of that. Try carrying a glass full of water or liquid while you are walking. Unless you have learned how to walk really perfectly, you're going to spill it. Once it starts sloshing around, it gets uncontrollable. That's what happens when you have trials and sins and you ask God to help you, but you don't believe. It becomes worse! That means you've really got to ask God in faith. Now, all of this, is to develop character, and character is what we need to enter into the Kingdom of God, and character is what we need to overcome.

Verse 7: "Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 7-8).

If you lack in faith you ask God to help you with faith. Remember the man who brought his child to the apostles and they could cast out the demon. Jesus came and He said, how long has this been? And he said, 'Since a child, and Your disciples couldn't cast them out. The deaf and dumb spirit possesses and he foams at the mouth and throws them in the water and throws him in the fire.' Jesus cast the demon out, and told His disciples after they said, Why couldn't we do it?' He said, 'Because this kind comes out by nothing but by prayer and fasting.'

Those are the difficult problems. If you have a difficult problem that's how to approach it. Lay it before God, and take some time for fasting and prayer. Ask in faith. But what did the man tell Jesus when Jesus said, 'If you believe all things are possible'? The man said, 'I believe, but help my unbelief.' That's what we need to do. That's how to get stronger in the faith. Through prayer, through study, through asking God to help us!

Verse 12: "Blessed is the man who endures trials, because after he has been proved..." God wants to know how you are going to be as a Spirit being. In the Kingdom of God there will be no sin. That's already happened with Satan the devil and the demons. Never again! God wants to know! God wants to prove us!

"...he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (v 12).

Notice how everything comes back to loving God. As Jesus said, 'A complete love of God with all your heart, mind, soul and being.' That is not 'a religion.' That is a way of life with Christ and God the Father! Notice that when a temptation comes along, temptation can be like leaven in the air, you can't even see it. You know just like you leave some food out on the counter or the table or something, and in a couple days it's got mold. Where did that mold come from? Well there are mold spores everywhere. Mold is a leaven, and mold rots. That's how people can get rotten, they're full of leaven, full of sin.

Verse 13: "Do not let anyone who is tempted say, 'I am being tempted by God'… [No!] …because God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one with evil."

Now then, what has God already done? He has given us independent free moral agency, and we must choose—IFMA. We must choose! He set before us life and death, good and evil, righteousness and sin! We have to choose, which way we're going to go. So, when sin comes along and we make the choice of sinning:

  • whether by pressure
  • whether by accident
  • whether by deliberation
  • whether by planning
  • whatever it may be
  • however it may come

It's a choice! We have to choose to repent, and that's how we get rid of the sin.

Here's what happens. If a temptation comes along, or an evil thought comes along, that is not sin, yet. The thought is sinful, but you yourself have not sinned. So, you get rid of it; you cast it out. Here's how it works"

Verse 14: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust…. [choice] …And after lust has conceived..." (vs 14-15). It looks pretty good. Yeah, well maybe it, 'umm...well yeah I'm going to do that.' Then as soon as you do, BAM! you know it's sin. A choice!

"...after lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is completely finished, brings forth death. Do not deceive yourselves, my beloved brethren. Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning. According to His own will…" (vs 15-18).

Brings us right back to God! That's why Jesus is the propitiation of our sins. He begat us by the Word of Truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings. And, of course, that goes forward to the resurrection.

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So what they said of David and Bathsheba: Look at what happened,

  • they both got tempted
  • they both got carried away
  • temptation came along
  • lust conceived
  • sin followed

David had the rest of his household against him, just like Nathan the prophet told him he would have, because of their sin. So, Nathan the prophet said, you're the man! David thought that since he was king he could get away with having Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba's husband, killed in battle.

Now that's quite a deliberate sin when you stop and think of it. But nevertheless, it shows that with David and Bathsheba, that when you really repent God will grant forgiveness, and sometimes with a little thorn in the flesh. So here's a model 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."

And that's what Nathan told David. Your sin is been forgiven. But nevertheless, part of the penalty of it was the baby died. God caused the death of the baby. That baby would've just had a horrible life growing up with knowing how he came into the world. What kind of respect with the people give him as king? Zip! None! Nada! So, that child will be in the second resurrection.

Verse 2: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity…"

Washing becomes a very important activity of the Holy Spirit, coupled with the Word of God in relationship to our mind. We'll see that in a bit.

Verse 2: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin, for I acknowledge my transgressions… [plural] …and my sin is ever before me" (vs 2-3). I don't think that he forgot that the rest of his life. God removed the sin from him, but I'm sure that he remembered how awful that that was.

Sidebar: Study the lives of the kings of Judah. And when they got old, and David was getting older here—he wasn't really old, but he was getting older—they sinned. So, for all of those of us who are in that senior category, we need to be doubly careful that we don't get led away with sin. Remember that even though other people are involved, sin is against God, and sin killed Christ, the sins of the whole world, because He was Creator of all mankind. There you see the justice of God, as well.

Verse 4: "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight, that You might be justified when You speak and be in the right when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (vs 4-5).

He admitted that within his being was the law of sin and death, as described by the Apostle Paul in Rom. 7. That's why human beings sin. That's what we have to overcome. That's why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread every year. Every year we are reminded and we are brought to the point of recognizing that sin and death is within, and the only salvation out of it is through Jesus Christ.

Verse 6: "Behold, You desire Truth in the inward parts…"—couple that with wash me; "…Truth in the inward parts…" That's the Word of God, written and inscribed in our hearts and minds (Heb. 10:16). Truth, Truth, that's what God wants.

"...and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom" (v 6). Giving the capacity of your mind to make the right choices with the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

Verse 7: "Purge me with hyssop… [cleanse my heart cleanse my mind cleansed my action plans my thoughts] …and I shall be clean; wash me… [so he says that the second time] …and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones, which You have broken, may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities" (vs 7-9).

Verse 10—here is what God wants. Now were going to read some things about human nature. And being a new creation. That is a process. Now notice what he says here.

Verse 10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me" (vs 10-11). This is how we need to repent.

Now let's see what Paul said concerning sin. We've already covered, some time before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, about Rom. 7 and how the law of sin and death works with in us. {Note sermon: Meaning of "Law" in Romans 7-8.}

In Heb. 12 we find something also very interesting, too. Just like David sinned, and it came along, he probably wasn't praying like he should. Probably wasn't studying like he should. He got all lifted up in his vanity. And he thought that as king he could get away with it. But he couldn't, because no one can get away with sin! Now here becomes the solution. How do we do it in the New Testament?

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us…"

Don't let anything get in the way between you and God, between you and overcoming. Don't let sin come in and conceive; cast it out before it takes place. But nevertheless, sins so easily entraps us, especially in this age. Living back in say the Middle Ages, no television, no phone, no magazines at supermarkets with all of those sinful pictures on it.

You might say that those sins are not your sins but they are sins which encroach upon you, the encroachment of sinful images and language and things like this. That affects your mind. Ask God to help clean it out of your mind. Now, if there's something on television that you need to not watch, don't watch it, don't get involved in it. That's the only thing you can do.

They didn't have that problem way back then, not like we have today. They had their own set of problems, but here we're confronted with it all the time. You can even be in the best frame of mind, you can even be driving down the road and it's a nice day, a lovely day, and you've got some good music on your radio or your listening to a sermon or something on your CD, and all of a sudden here's a big billboard with a nearly naked woman right up there right in plain sight.

You can't help but see it gives you driving a car and the billboards put there so every driver's going to see it. That's an inadvertent exposure to sin. Now, just like some music, even if it's inadvertent, you still have to get rid of it out of your mind. We'll look at that in just a bit. But here is how it entraps us.

  • Don't let it weigh you down!
  • Go repent!
  • Don't let problems hang around!
  • Solve them!
  • Work at the them!

"…and let us run the race set before us with endurance… [just like we brought up before, endurance and overcoming] …having our minds fixed on Jesus… [that's important] …the Beginner… [because He died for our sins] …and Finisher… [because He was raised from the dead] …of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself... [the beating He took, and the scourging He took, and the insults that He endured] ...so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 2-4).

Paul brings out that God is going to correct us. Let's see something else in how this is going to work, and what the Apostle Paul wrote on how we need to make those choices, independent free moral agency, to control and get rid of these things. Not let them come in and seduce us, and bring us to the point of sinning. Not get entrapped in our own lust and desires, but come to God and let Him help us. Here is how to do it.

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children." How do we do that? Through study, through prayer, through fellowshipping with the brethren, wanting God's laws and His Word and His commandments written in our heart and in our mind!

Verse 2: "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."

Here is what we are to do, we are to avoid these things, and when you look at it prophetically, this is really a good description of a lot of television.:

Verse 3: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints… [don't get involved in it] …nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God" (vs 3-5).

That's why, like we covered in Rom. 6, we have to not let it rule in our lives; we have do not let it lead us into captivity.

Verse 6: "Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness; but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, (because the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and Truth); proving what is well pleasing to the Lord; and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (vs 6-11).

Rom. 6 is what we are to do. This is how we overcome sin. This is how we get the leaven of sin out of our lives every single day. And we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it teaches us that sin is everywhere, even in the air. Here's what we are to do; tie this in with Psa. 51.

Romans 6:13: "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead…" That implies an awful lot of zeal and dedication, as if you are alive and have been dead. Because you were, you were dead in the sins and trespasses.

"...and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace" (vs 13-14). You're not under law as the rest of the world, but under grace; a direct connection with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 15: "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!"

These are the choices that are set before us, and we have to make the choices that are right before God:

  • with the Spirit of God
  • with the Truth of God
  • with the Word of God
  • with prayer and study

all combined together!

Verse 16: "Don't you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

Whom do you obey? That's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about! That's why we put in the unleavened bread, which is a type of eating Christ. That means:

  • His Word
  • His Truth
  • His life
  • His example

All of those things are for us so that we can overcome.

Sidebar: Remember, every one of the churches in Rev. 2 and 3, were told to overcome. Isn't that true? And did they not have sins that affected them? Yes, they did! Did they not have weaknesses that came along and drug them down? Yes, they did!

But to the one who overcomes; here is how we overcome, v 17: "But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you"—which is the Word of God in the New Testament and we have it all for us today.

Verse 18: "And having been delivered from sin..." Yes, we have, brethren:

  • through Christ
  • through His sacrifice
  • through the forgiveness and love of God

We have been delivered from sin, and we have the power within us with the Holy Spirit to make the right choices so that we are not captivated by sin.

"...you became the servants of righteousness. I speak from a human point of view because of the weakness of your flesh; for just as you once yielded your members in bondage to uncleanness, and to lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now yield your members in bondage to righteousness unto sanctification" (vs 18-19).

Then he said, when you were servants of sin what was it? What was the result of it? Well, the result is death!

Ephesians 5:13: "But all of these things being exposed by the light are openly revealed." We don't get involved in the things of the world. We say no, we push it aside; we overcome it. If we have a difficulty we pray and ask God to:

  • cleanse our mind
  • cleanse our heart
  • clean our action
  • cleanse our thoughts

It all comes from God!

Verse 14: "Therefore, He says, 'You who are sleeping—wake up, and arise from the dead! And Christ shall shine upon you.' So then, take heed that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as those who are wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (vs 14-16).

This is how we overcome. This is how we put in the righteousness of God and use the power of God's Spirit to put away sin from us, and to overcome.

Verse 17: "For this reason, do not be foolish, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."

Remember what I said about wash (Psa. 51)? Well, let us put it together here:

Verse 25 "...Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; so that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the washing of the water by the Word" (vs 25-26).

Now the water is the Holy Spirit to wash and cleanse our mind from the sin. The Word is the Truth of God, because in our mind the Truth of God then comes in and pushes out and overrides the thoughts of sin.

  • that's why it's important to study
  • that's why it's important to pray
  • that's why it's important to think about what we're doing
  • that's why it's important how were doing it
  • that's why we need to avoid inadvertent sins
  • that's why we need to avoid being tempted into sin
  • that's why we need to avoid sin

and if we sin

  • that's why we need to repent

"...with the washing of the water by the Word" (v 26)—not only the message of God, but it is also a name of Christ. By the Word He, with His Spirit, is working in us.

Verse 27: "That He might present it to Himself as the glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be Holy and without blame." Now, that's quite a thing!

Let's again see how Paul shows: How do we overcome? How do we do it? That's why being a Christian takes work. Spiritual work with:

  • the Word of God
  • the Spirit of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the washing of the water by the Word

Now think of it also this way, too: Every day we have bodily processes to get rid of the waste material. Even if we eat good food and all that sort of thing. Think of it this way: Every day we've got to get rid of the spiritual waste, that so easily encumbers us! How do we do this?

2-Corinthians 10:2: "But I am beseeching you so that, when I am present, I may not have to be bold with the confidence with which I intend to show boldness toward some, who think that we are walking according to the flesh. For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh…. [we war against sin according to the Spirit, according to the Word of God] …For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal… [they're not human] …but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds" (vs 2-4).

What is the strongest hold that you have? The thoughts in your mind that you won't give up! There are some of those thoughts in there that are evil, that you need to get rid of. Replace them with the true thoughts:

  • the love of God
  • the faith of God
  • the hope of God
  • the Truth of God

Let those be the strongholds!

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds, casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ" (vs 4-5). That is the goal, right there!

  • that's how we get rid of the leaven of the sinful thoughts
  • that's how we overcome sin when we sin that so easily besets us
  • that's how we come to God and ask for the strength

so that

  • we can overcome
  • we can change
  • we can grow
  • we can develop the mind of Christ

Now then, what is one of the best ways of doing it?

"...and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; and having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled" (vs 5-6).

Let's take a look and see again: How do we do this.? One of the best ways to do it is to keep your mind on the goal, always. Just like Christ; He despised the shame of the crucifixion, and all that was with that, because He had His mind on the goal:

  • the Kingdom of God
  • the children of God
  • God the Father
  • the Family of God

All of those things are important for us to realize and understand!

So, you have to realize that simple verse, Matthew 6:33: "But as for you, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…" That's what we need to do. That's how it needs to be expressed in our heart and in our mind. That's how we can cast these things down.

We've seen in the past, in Romans and in Galatians, that Paul talks about our relationship with God the Father, as the sonship of God. We know in 2-Cor. 6, that that includes the sons and the daughters of God.

1-John 3—Let's put this up as the goal to be centered right in the center of your mind. If things start getting difficult, there are problems and stuff that come along, sins you need to overcome:

  • think of the goal
  • think of where we are going
  • think of what we need to do
  • think how great it's going to be what God is going to do with us in His purpose

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us..." Isn't that going to be something, when we see God the Father? when we see Jesus Christ? They love us with the love that is built right into the whole creation!

"...that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God…" (vs 1-2).

Not yet born into the Kingdom, but we are the children of God because we have the begettal from God the Father and we have the Spirit from Jesus Christ to develop the mind of Christ, and that's how we grow and change and overcome.

"…and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (v 2). That's what to keep in your mind.

Verse 3—a promise: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure." That's an amazing thing to understand! That is truly amazing!

Let's see what it says what we need to do. Here is how we are to change and overcome. This is part of avoiding sin, avoiding being trapped into it, and having a positive ongoing working faithful relationship with God with hope and everything else.

2-Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…." If you go along and do and practice the things of unbelievers, your yoked to them in thought.

"…For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?" (v 14). That's why we have to be single-minded single-purposed everything pointing toward the Kingdom of God.

Verse 15: "And what union does Christ have with Belial?…. [these are the worthless lawless ones; none whatsoever] …Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said…" (vs 15-16). Think of this right now: Your relationship with God with His Spirit in you!

"...'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people'" (v 16). That's an amazing thing! That's why we're to purge out the sin. That's why we are to bring in the unleavened bread:

  • type of Christ
  • type of His way
  • the Word of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the power of God

Verse 17: "Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord… [that's how we are to stay clean] …'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 17-18).

If we do that, then this is what we need to do, 2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises… [Aren't these great promises?] ...we should purge ourselves… [our work] …from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."

We're going to talk a lot about what is being perfected. Let's see the promise that is given in 2-Peter 1 and how we need to actively be implementing these things in our lives. This is why unleavened bread symbolizes internalizing the sinless righteousness of Christ, and the Truth of God without any peripheral deceptions with it.

Sometimes in reading these epistles, we don't read the first couple of verses in every epistle. But the first couple of verses in every epistle sets the tone as to why it was written.

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ… [that's quite a tremendous opening] …Grace and peace be multiplied to you..." (vs 1-2).

  • growing in grace
  • growing in knowledge
  • growing in Truth

Let it be multiplied. How much more so in this day and age when we have the whole Bible, have all the Word of God. Fantastic indeed!

"...in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His Divine power…" (vs 2-3).

Now notice that this is part of keeping our mind on the goal. We'll talk on Sabbath about perfection and the steps to perfection. But let's keep the goal in mind here.

Verse 3: "According as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness… [that is eternal life and to being in the God Family] …Godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and virtue."

  • here is the promise
  • here is the goal
  • this is what we are aiming for in our Christian walk

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises…" There can't be anything greater, there can't be anything more beautiful, there can't be anything more wonderful, than what God has for us.

"...that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…" (v 4). That's what God wants through the eating of Christ and drinking His blood, and putting His Word into our heart and mind, and mixed with the Spirit of God in our mind. "…become partakers of the Divine nature…" being fully a spirit being with no sin. No sin, no law of sin and death anymore. Amazing, isn't it?

"...having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v 4).

That's the goal, brethren! With that, we'll pick it up on Sabbath, on what do you mean perfection? Have a good Feast of Unleavened Bread. Be sure and include extra study during the week, and draw close to God in everything that you do!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:1-8
  • Deuteronomy 16:16-17
  • Deuteronomy 8:10-14
  • John 3:16
  • John 14:6
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • 1-Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Romans 6:11-12
  • James 1:2-3
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • James 1:4-8, 12-18
  • Psalm 51:1-11
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • Ephesians 5:1-11
  • Romans 6:13-19
  • Ephesians 5:13-17, 25-27
  • 2-Corinthians 10:2-6
  • Matthew 6:33
  • 1-John 3:1-3
  • 2-Corinthians 6:14-18
  • 2-Corinthians 7:1
  • 2-Peter 1:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 12; 13
  • Numbers 28; 29
  • Revelation 22
  • Matthew 4
  • Luke 4
  • John 2
  • 1 John 2
  • Romans 7
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Revelation 2; 3

Also referenced:

Books:

  • A Harmony of the Gospels: The Life of Jesus Christ by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Sermons:

  • How to Control Your Thoughts
  • Sabbath before Passover—The Bread of Life
  • Meaning of "Law" in Romans 7-8

FRC: po/bo

Transcribed: 3/5/17

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