(First Day of Unleavened Bread—LIVE)

Fred R. Coulter—March 30, 2010

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Welcome everyone to the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread! We find is that very few people really want to live by the Word of God! Many of them want God on their side, but they want to do what they want to do, and have their own righteousness rather than God's righteousness. So, in dealing with people that really think they're grounded in the Bible, but are not, it seems rather strange to many that we would keep the Holy Days of God.

Actually, the timing for these days was completed at creation. We find in Gen. 1:14 that God set the sun and the moon for the appointed seasons. This is the appointed season right now for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We'll also see that there are lessons concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread and meaning in the Word of God as we find in the Old Testament. We will see some prophecies concerning it, and then we will go to the New Testament and we will find the real meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and why it's important that we keep it and we honor God in that particular way.

One of the things that God has done is this: He has put things in the Scripture, and has put them in certain places to find out whether we hunger and thirst after the Word of God and that we love God and we're going to live by His Word.

In the world, in the Christianity that is out there in their various brands of Christianity, which went all the way from nearly Biblical to slightly Biblical, to who knows what is out there. That's because they're not willing to take the Word of God and then study through the whole Bible to figure out what God really wants. This becomes important, because a lot of people want to know: What is the will of God? The Bible tells us the will of God! He has sent the Bible to us so that we would know what we ought to do.

Let's begin on this Holy Day in Lev. 23. This is a very unusual chapter in the Bible, because this is the only chapter in which all the Holy Days are listed in order! Now let's notice how this starts out.

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).

Since God is God, and we are His creation, when He appoints something for us to do, and we want God's blessing, should we not do what God says? Yes, indeed! Here's part of the testing for us as human beings. So, v 3 shows that the Sabbath Day, which is listed in the Ten Commandments—the fourth commandment by the way—and the Holy weekly Sabbath Day is the overarching authority for the annual Holy Days, because you must first have the weekly 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."

I had interesting conversation with a man recently who said that he confronted his pastor—he has been going to a Sunday-keeping church—and he asked him to read about the Sabbath. The pastor said, 'I'll get back with you in a couple of weeks.' So he got back with him and the pastor said, 'Yes, the Bible teaches the Sabbath,' but he won't preach it, because he's afraid of losing people! Well, he ought to be afraid that he's misleading people by something that God never intended, rather than losing people attending a church. People can attend a church in which they think God is there, but IF they're not there on God's terms, THEN God is not there.

Verse 4—notice the same language here: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons.... [this is the time for the Feast of Unleavened Bread; it begins first of all with the Passover, which we have already kept] ...In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover" (vs 4-5).

When people read this the first time, they think the first month is January, so they wonder how this can be something that God has ordained. But the Calculated Hebrew Calendar that God inspired and designed (which we use), shows that the first month comes in the spring of the year. On our Roman calendar it falls in the months of March and April, just depending on how that particular year works.

The Passover Day is important, because when you realize it, God spared the firstborn of the children of Israel on the Passover night in Egypt when they were in Egypt. But when Jesus Christ was sacrificed, He was crucified on the Passover Day. As we're going to see, Jesus is called our Passover. Then we will see a New Testament command, because of the Passover we are to keep the Feast. It defines which Feast that it is.

Then it says, v 6: "And on the fifteenth day of the same month... [which is today; the days begin and end at sunset] ...is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. You must eat unleavened bread seven days."

So, we follow that because there's the lesson that we will learn from the New Testament, which is that the leaven of bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is picturing:

  • sin
  • human nature
  • pride
  • puffing up
  • and the way that human beings live normally

God wants us to come out of the world. God wants us to come out of the ways that are there and we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Verse 7: "On the first day... [the 15th day] ...you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall not do any servile work therein… [which means work that you would normally do for your occupation] …But you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD seven days…." (vs 7-8).

That was for the time when they had the temple. So today we don't have those kinds of sacrifices, rather we take up an offering on each of the Holy Days. God shows that we are to give as we are able.

1-Cor. 5—here is a part of Scripture that is very difficult for different theologians to handle, because when one diligently searches the Scriptures, you do not find one Scripture authorizing Sunday observance. You do not find one Scripture authorizing Easter observance. You do not find one Scripture authorizing any of the holidays of this world. If you study it further, you will find, yes, they are mentioned in the Bible, but are condemned by God.

I remember dealing with someone who was a very staunch evangelical. At that time she was a substitute editor for us when I was writing the Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? As I wrote there I said, 'This is a command for Christians to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.' Boy, she blew up in a big huff and called me on the phone and quit just like that, couldn't handle it.

Now the Church at Corinth was glorying in sins that they should never have allowed, so Paul was telling them:

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

There is a principle. A little sin leads to more sin, which leads to more sin, unless it's repented of and stopped. Then the ultimate is going to be 'the wages of sin is death.' Here's what he tells us to do. This is why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Not that we're going to go out and offer animal sacrifices, not that we are following Old Testament ritual, but we're following what the Bible teaches and we are then following the Scriptures as God shows us. Because in the Old Testament there is the physical type first, then in the New Testament comes the spiritual type, so that we can keep the laws and commandments of God in spirit and in truth. That's how we're to worship God.

Paul is telling them here what to do, v 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven..." That is your old attitudes, your old sins, and the things that you have been doing!

"...so that you may become a new lump... [in other Scriptures as a 'new creature in Christ'] ...even as you are unleavened…." (v 7).

They had put the leavening out of their homes. So, they put the leaven out of their homes, but they weren't learning the lesson on changing their behavior and making it conform to the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

"…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7).

We read back in Lev. 23 that the Passover comes first. Then after that comes the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Notice that the reason that we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament is because Christ our Passover—He was and is the Passover Lamb of God—was sacrificed for us.

Verse 8: "For this reason... [because of what Christ did; He was crucified on the Passover Day in 30A.D.] ...let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven and malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." You could say that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Feast of Sincerity and Truth:

  • sincerely worshiping God with all your heart
  • sincerely seeking the Truth of God with all your heart
  • seeking the Truth so that we can be in the good graces of God

We're not trying to work justification for ourselves, because no law can justify anyone, anywhere, at any time. Only the sacrifice of Christ and His shed blood can do that.

We are told in Deut. 16 that when we come before the Lord on the Feast days, we are not to appear before Him empty, but we are to give as we are able. As you know, the only time that we take up offerings is on the Holy Days.

(pause for offering)

The children of Israel, at sunrise, began leaving their houses in the land of Goshen and they assembled at the city of Rameses, where then they began the exodus. But let's see something very important here that we have concerning this night that we had last night and today.

Exodus 12:40: "Now, the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.... [Egypt is a type of sin] ...and it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day, all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.... [a type of us coming out of the world] ...It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt.... [we observed that last night] ...This is that night of the LORD to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations" (vs 40-42).

This is important for us to understand, too, and if we realize that we're the descendants of the twelve of Israel are in the end-time, this will help us understand again another reason why we need to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The exodus began that night.

Verse 51 actually should be the first verse of Exo. 13, so we'll read it and go right into Exo. 13.

Verse 51: "And it came to pass the very same day, when the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies…

Exodus 13:1: "…then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Sanctify all the firstborn to Me...'" (vs 1-2).

The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures the sanctifying of the firstborn! The way that that was done, we'll read here in just a minute. It was for a special purpose, because God spared all the firstborn on the Passover night. Now they come into the presence of God and they are to be sanctified, set aside for special purpose. We know in the New Testament that the Church is called the Church of the Firstborn; so we have the parallel. We have the physical, then we have the spiritual. That's why we, in the New Testament, are called the children of God.

Verse 2: "Sanctify all the firstborn to Me, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, of man and of beast. It is Mine."

Then He says to remember this day, the first day of Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, as we look back and think:

  • When did God begin dealing with us to begin to draw us out of the world?
  • What happened in your life that something changed in your mind?
  • Why did that change come about? God initiated it, because you were seeking Him!

It doesn't happen to other people in the world. They don't even know what's going on up here in our mind. But we are to remember the day that God began dealing with us, whether it is:

  • through trial
  • through circumstances
  • through false doctrine
  • through false religion
  • because of whatever the circumstances are

God began dealing directly with us. Then if we respond to God, then He deals with us a little more. If we continue to respond, then He begins to reveal more and more of His Truth to us. This is the whole process.

Verse 3: "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 be eaten"—so we eat unleavened bread!

Verse 6: "You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a Feast to the LORD…. [a Holy Day on the seventh day of the Feast] …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 6-7)

That means any leavening agent that is used to make bread: yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc.; all of those are used for leavening bread.

There's a purpose in it. Once we understand about unleavened bread, it helps us to realize how easy it is for leaven or sin to get in our lives. Then we become more aware of the sin that we need to overcome, that we need to repent of, that we need to—as the children of Israel did leaving Egypt—get up and leave Egypt and follow God! This is why He tells us to keep the Feast.

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.' 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, 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" (vs 8-10).

Now let's project ahead a little bit to the New Testament. In Christianity in this world, there is so much hostility against the laws and commandments of God that it almost brings on a vitriolic hatred. Since God is Lawgiver, and God's Laws are perfect:

  • Why would anyone want to call the laws and commandments of God a curse?
  • How can they be a curse when God said He made them so that it will be well with us?

Then when you start talking to evangelicals and you start nailing them down and say, 'Well, now wait a minute. You say the Law is done away.

  • Does that mean we can lie? No, no, no!
  • Does that mean we can steal? No, no, no!
  • Does that mean we can murder? No, no!
  • Does that mean we can commit adultery? Maybe under some circumstances!

That's generally the way it is today!

Then you get back to honoring father and mother and that's the problem with the society today:

  • How do you take care of the young people?
  • How do you take care of old people?

They're all breaking the fifth commandment! Then you get down to it, the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment is the Sabbath, and the Sabbath sanctifies the Holy Days. Then the dynamite explodes!

Let's see God's purpose, because remember, when you read the beginning of the ministry of Christ, what did He do? First thing He said, 'I didn't come to abolish the Law or the Prophets.' Then what did He do in Matt. 5, 6, and 7? He showed how to keep the Laws of God in spirit and in truth, by showing that:

  • murder originates with hatred within
  • adultery originates with covetousness and lust within
  • lying results from our sinful nature within

And Jesus said, 'Let your yes be yes and your no be no.' How's that for enforcing, 'You shall not bear false witness'?

The whole purpose of what God is doing is not to eliminate His laws and commandments, not to eliminate His Sabbath and Holy Days, but so that we keep them in spirit and in truth.

Now notice the purpose of the New Covenant. This goes right back to the sacrifice of Christ. He was crucified on the Passover Day. What day is the Passover Day on? The fourteenth! That's only a coincidence. That's not any great spiritual insight. That's what you would call, just kind of a little thing that comes along that's interesting.

(Since that's my opinion, I'll ring my cowbell. That's what I do when I give my opinion. You know it's not from the Scriptures.)

Hebrews 10:14: "For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified"—which means that you have received the Holy Spirit, because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and Master. You have repented of your sins. You have died the baptismal death and you have come out of the baptismal grave to 'walk in newness of life' and receive the Holy Spirit of God. That's how you're sanctified.

Verse 15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord..."

In other words, when the time came for the beginning of the New Covenant, here is the basis that He gave in a prophecy back in Jer. 31.

"...'I will give My Laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds'" (v 16). What does that have do with law-keeping? It makes it spiritual!

For the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, I have done a sermon showing that to keep the laws and commandments of God, according to their spiritual nature, with them being written in our heart and mind, that is an act of grace by God!

Paul wrote, 'By faith, by grace, do we abolish Law? NO! We establish Law.' Here's how it's established right here: With the Holy Spirit within us:

  • we desire to love God
  • we desire to keep His commandments
  • we desire to do right

This is the whole meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

As Jesus said in John 6, you have to eat His flesh, which is symbolized by the broken, unleavened bread for Passover, and the unleavened bread that we eat during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We have to drink His blood that is the Passover wine commemorating the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because only through His sacrifice and shed blood do we have forgiveness and redemption and being brought back to God so that we can have the laws and commandments written in our heart and inscribed in our mind!

Now then, this does something special. This does something that is the greatest thing that there is in our lives. This gives us the blessing of being able to have direct contact with God the Father in heaven above! Think about that! The reason that God wants us to get rid of our sins is that He will help us get rid of them, because He wants us to enter into His Kingdom as His spiritual sons and daughters. He wants us to be qualified:

  • through His teachings
  • through His Word
  • through conversion

When Christ returns and the first resurrections takes place, we are going to rule the world! This is why in the future we'll be counted dangerous by the governments of this world.

But notice what it does on a personal basis, v 17: "'And their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again'"—having all your sins forgiven!

Psa.103 says He separates them from us as far as the east is from the west.

Verse 18: "Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin"—animal sacrifices!

As I gave in a sermon recently, that eliminates what the Catholics call the Sacrifice of the Mass, because Christ was sacrificed once, not every time they have the Eucharist.

Verse 19: "Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus... [shed on the Passover Day] ...by a new and living way... [we can say, an unleavened way, a spiritual way] ...which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh)" (vs 19-20).

God takes the sacrifice of Christ and applies it personally to each repentant sinner. Now that's something when you really grasp that. That is a tremendous thing! It's not for, as it were, under the Old Covenant, for just the children of Israel, but it's for all people! God has opened the door. It's through Christ that we have continual contact with God.

Verse 21: "Having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 21-23).

Rev. 11—we won't go through the prophecies, but this is something to happen in the not too distant future: the two witnesses that God will raise up. But I want to focus in on one verse. It talks about the two witnesses and the two witnesses will carry out their mission in the city of Jerusalem. And after three and a half years, God will allow them to be killed by the beast. Their bodies will lay in the street of Jerusalem for three and a half days, then be raised from the dead. But here's the point, here's what Jerusalem signifies today.

Revelation 11:8: "And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt..."

  • Sodom shows the sexual morays of this world
  • Egypt shows the religious practices of this world

Egypt had all kinds of religions and that's what we have today!

"...where also our Lord was crucified" (v 8). So that identifies where it is!

Just as the children of Israel had to let God fight off Pharaoh, so likewise there is a spiritual Pharaoh that is called Satan the devil. So likewise, the Feast of Unleavened Bread shows us how we overcome the world and how we overcome Satan the devil. Let's see what's happening in the world today. This describes it better than anything else. It's hard for people to understand what's going on in the world, especially here in the United States we're wondering:

  • What's going on?
  • What is happening?
  • How come all of these lies and blatant things that are taking place?

It's just coming down like we're standing below a mountain where there's an avalanche coming down and it's just going to just bury us! That's the way Satan does. When he gets an opening he's given permission to do something, he comes full bore. So that's what he's doing to this world. That's why we also need to overcome Satan the devil.

Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out... [That's yet to happen in the future, it's coming again.] ...the ancient serpent... [that goes all way back to the Garden of Eden] ...who is called the Devil and Satan... [we have a complete description of him and how it started with mankind] ...who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth and his angels were cast down with him."

Now let's notice the next two verses, because this becomes important in our lives and the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Verse 10: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'"

We have the world to fight, and we have Satan to fight, but we have Christ Who is our champion, our hero, our sacrifice, our strength, our high tower, to withstand all the wiles of the devil! But he's out there and that's what we see happening in the world today.

Verse 11: "But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb... [through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ] ...and through the word of their testimony... [they knew and understood the Word of God, and they live the Word of God] ...and they loved not their lives unto death."

We know, as Jesus said, 'They can kill the body, but they can't take the life.' So, this is the dedication that we are to have. How are we to come out of this world and resist the things that are there, which are perpetrated by the society under the inspiration of Satan the devil? 1-John 2 tells us what we are to do and how we are to do it! This is, likewise, very similar to getting leaven out of our lives.

1-John 2:15: "Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world.…" That's sure true today! We have more things in the world than ever before. Just pick up any catalog, go to any store, go to any industry.

I was absolutely blown away! You see a lot of these classical cars; every once in awhile they have a convention of classical car owners. You see them driving their classical cars down the road. I got a catalog one day, which showed you can buy any new part for any one of those cars by ordering it out of the catalog. Most people think, 'Oh, these are long gone.' No, they're still here. So, stop and think about how people are wrapped up in things and pleasures. 'Love not the things that are in the world.'

"…If anyone loves the world..." (v 15). That is the world as it stands for! God loves the world, because He's going to save it. But we are to come out of the world and that's what this Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures.

"...the lust of the flesh... [that sound like the 10th commandment, 'Thou shalt not covet'] ...and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life..." (v 16).

Don't we have that paraded before us on television all the time. My wife and I are always amazed how you see all these happy, happy people taking all of these medicines. 'If you take this, you're going to be better, if you take that, you're going to be better, but be careful because you may have homicidal tendencies or suicidal tendencies. May destroy your liver or you may have heart problems or breathing problems, but it's good for you.'

"...pretentious pride of physical life is not from the Father, but is from the world…. [Who deceives the whole world? Satan the devil!] …And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever" (vs 16-17).

That's what we're doing today on this Feast of Unleavened Bread. We're abiding and living by the will of God.

(go to the next track)

Let's continue on, and let's first of all see something that's also important for us to realize since:

  • we have to come out of the world
  • we have to overcome Satan the devil
  • we have to overcome the sins that we have within us

Let's start with the sin within. Let's see where Paul told us about the struggle that he had in overcoming sin. It is a battle that we all have. What he shows here is, that the only One Who can save him from himself is Jesus Christ This is also pictured by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We see the sin within and we have to get rid of it, just like we have to get rid of leaven out of our homes. We need to get rid of sin in our mind with the Holy Spirit of God, through Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice. Let's see that right here and this is the struggle.

When John wrote the Epistle of 1-John, he said concerning sin, he said, 'If we confess our sins.' What does he mean by 'we'? He includes himself! That means that the Apostle John, even many years after he was an apostle knew that he still had to overcome sin. We are guaranteed the promise and the blessing that 'if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins' through the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses us from all unrighteousness. But this unrighteousness begins in the mind. Why is that? Because Paul told us what the problem was and that he himself had the same struggle.

Romans 7:15: "Because what I am working out myself, I do not know.... [trying to serve God and do His will, he still had the problem of overcoming the sin within] ...For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do. But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the Law that it is good" (vs 15-16).

Something happens after conversion that never happened before conversion, which is that before conversion, did you have any understanding of what sin was? No! After conversion and the Holy Spirit, which is to write the laws and commandments of God in our mind, what happens in our consciousness of sin? We begin to understand that it originates in our mind and in our heart! This is why there is the struggle. This is why there is the overcoming that is necessary.

Notice how Paul explains it here, v 16: "But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good.... [the Law is telling us what sin is: the transgression of the Law] ...So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me; because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good...." (vs 16-18). That's why we need

  • the Spirit of God
  • the laws and commandments of God
  • the Truth of God
  • Christ dwelling in us to really do the good

"...For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (v 18)—and we might put there: within myself!

That's why some people say when they sin, 'Well, I couldn't help myself.' That's a perfect expression of what human nature is about.

Verse 20: "But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me. Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man" (vs 20-22).

Yes, we love the Laws of God, we love the Truth of God, but we still sin!

Verse 23: "But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members."

Paul defines it as the law of sin, and that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. That's what conversion is about:

  • to convert the mind
  • to convert the heart
  • to change the way that we think

That's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about, that:

  • we get rid of the sin within
  • we stay away from the sin that's out in the world
  • we overcome Satan the devil

Verse 24: "O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death? I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ...." (vs 24-25).

Christ is the One Who saves us from it. That's why we have to have the Spirit of God. That's why Christ has to be in us.

"…Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the Law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin" (vs 23-25)—and that has to be repented of!

Notice when we are 'in Christ,' so that we understand that God is with us to help us overcome, and it is God Who is revealing the sin within to us!

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus... [because Christ has saved us from ourselves] ...who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; because the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death" (vs 1-2)—so that you can overcome!

Let's see how this is to be done. Rom. 12 tells us what happens to our heart and mind once we have the Spirit of God and God is writing in our heart and mind His laws and His commandments.

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.... [totally dedicated to God] ...Do not conform yourselves to this world... [this follows right along with 1-John 2] ...but be transformed by the renewing of your mind... [tie in Heb. 10:16] ...in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (vs 1-2). That's always the goal out there for us what we need to do! That's how we begin overcoming.

Now let's see something else about overcoming that we are to do. This typifies the spiritual meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because during Unleavened Bread we're to have put out the leaven out of our homes and instead of eating leavened bread now, we eat unleavened bread, which gives us the symbolism of putting out sin and putting in righteousness! Here's how Paul explains it. Notice how all of this comes together.

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

Always seeking Christ, always seeking the will of God, doing the will of God!

Verse 2: "Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth.... [tie in with 1-John 2:15] ...For you have died..." (vs 2-3).

How do you die? By water baptism and you're co-crucified with Christ! Paul said, 'I am crucified with Christ, yet, I live. And the life that I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God Who gave Himself for me.' That's how you die!

"...and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested... [at His return and the resurrection] ...then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 3-4).

Here it shows what we are to do with the sin within that Paul was saying that he was still fighting. Paul was saying that only Christ can deliver us! But, you see, the thing that is important is this: God wants our active participation in what He wants us to do! Salvation is not a passive thing. It is an active thing. It's not having God do everything for us, but it's God giving us the strength and power so that we can do what God wants us to do with that.

Here's how Paul explains it, v 5: "Therefore, put to death your members which are earth... [Here's the law of sin and death defined a little different way.] ...sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry."

We have to recognize those things in our lives, repent of them, put them out. When you repent, it means you come before God, confess your sins, and you leave them there before God. You don't go back and indulge in them again.

Verse 6: "Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience"—the people in the world! We can see that multiplying and multiplying much more as we see things unfold.

Verse 7: "Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things." He's referring back to the time before they were called! We're not to live in them any longer!

Now notice then what else we are to do. We're to put to death these things. Now that we've done that, there's another layer of things for us to work on.

Verse 8: "But now, you should also put off all these things: wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds… [we're not to go back and pick up the old habits again] …and have put on the new man, who is being renewed..." (vs 8-10). A constant, active renewal; changing the mind, changing the heart, being led of the Holy Spirit of God!

"...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).

Once you start this program of overcoming sin—what are you to do? If you put something out, then God expects us to put something in! God helps us with this, because now we're described the very characteristics that God wants us to have so that we can have the mind of Christ. Here it is right here:

Verse 12: "Put on then... [active work] ...as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive" (vs 12-13).

Forgiveness—if there's any one thing you need to understand is this: In our inner workings and relations with each other and loving each other, we need to forgive, forgive, forgive! Especially husbands and wives, because they have sort of kind of a memory here: 'There you go again.'

Likewise, as we'll discuss later in some other things, it's important for you to have your mind cleansed from all of those things in the past that help develop your mind:

  • by the world
  • by Satan the devil
  • by your own thoughts

That you have an active part in changing the way that you think through the power of the Spirit of God!

Now notice what that is to lead to; you can see the progression of everything here that Paul is talking about:

Verse 14: "And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."

Like we covered on the Passover night, how many times did Jesus say, 'Love one another'? 'Love one another as I have loved you.' To develop the kind of love, the Godly love that we need, He has put us all together that we're all different. Therefore, we all have challenges with our own feelings and emotions and mind in being able to love each other. That gives us the spiritual practice that we need.

Notice what this is going to do, v 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts..." You put everything into God's hands:

  • don't worry
  • don't fret
  • don't get frustrated
  • don't get anxious

God will work it out! You've got to do that with prayer, with action, and with your whole being.

"...to which you were called into one body, and be thankful" (v 15).

Here is the kind of government that God wants within His Church beginning with each individual. There are some churches who claim to be Christian and have harsh hierarchal church structure. God wants it the other way. He wants it from the individual going up to Him and Him back to the individual, so that when we come together then we don't need someone to rule over us. Christ is the One Who does that! We yield willingly.

Verse 16—here's how that is done. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... [all of the teachings of Christ, teachings of the apostles, and so forth] ...in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 16-17).

  • What is this going to result in?
  • How is this going to be in our lives?

These are the tools for what is called conversion, and conversion is a process! So, let's see how this is to be for us. This will help us overcome all the works of the flesh that he lists here. Let's just review the works of the flesh, and then we'll review the works of the Spirit. But it is our active working together with the Spirit of God:

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through dedication
  • through living God's way

Galatians 5:19: "Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness…"

You can just look out in the world and see that. What we are describing is not only the world, but also the entertainment that is palmed-off on us. Ninety percent of it is built on this.

Verse 20: "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, divisions, sects, 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" (vs 20-21)—which is the goal!

Verse 22: "But the fruit… [you might put in there the produce, the result, the building of character] …of the Spirit is love...

  • love of God
  • love of neighbor
  • love of each other
  • loving our enemies

...joy... [we have the joy through the power of the Spirit of God] ...peace..." (v 22).

Just like Jesus said, 'Don't be anxious over anything.' You commit yourself to God and He'll take of it.

"...long-suffering..." (v 22)—not forcing the issue; let God work it out!

You will see, as I mentioned when we were talking about the promises of Jesus in answering prayer. He said, 'Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it.' But He doesn't do it instantly. Sometimes He wants to know: Are we going to be persistent in prayer? And be like the little widow who bothered the judge in saying, 'Avenge me of my enemy.' He didn't do it. Then he said, 'I'm going to do it.' So likewise, we are to keep praying and looking to God to answer those prayers—long suffering.

"...kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).

Ever heard of a law that said, 'Don't love anyone.' No! I suppose in some 'satanic religions' you can find that. Yes, hate everybody. But he's saying that there's no law against that. But notice, why we are able to do these things. It's not because of our efforts, but it's because of Christ and the Spirit of God.

Verse 24[transcriber's correction]: "But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts."

How do you crucify the flesh? Not like they do in some countries! They flagellate themselves with whips and then they have themselves crucified on crosses and raised up so the media can take a picture of them. Now they're closer to God, because they've done this. NO! You crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts! What you're doing, you're getting rid of the passions, the fruit of the flesh, the fruit of the thoughts of law and sin and death within us. Then what happens?

Verse 25: "If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit. We should not become vainglorious, provoking one another and envying one another" (vs 25-26).

Let's see how God delivers us from Satan the devil! Even after we are delivered from Satan the devil, he's out there trying to get us, but God is the only way that we're rescued.

Colossians 1:10: "That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God…. [this shows the whole Christian walk that we are involved in] …being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy" (vs 10-11).

Showing that we can overcome all the problems and difficulties within. As we're going to see, that God Himself personally rescues us from Satan the devil, because we have to overcome the self, the sin within, and Satan!

Verse 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the Light" (vs 10-12).

You've heard it in the past: Are you qualifying for the Kingdom of God? You've got to do this, you've got do that to be qualified.

  • Who qualifies us? The Father does!
  • Who gives us the Spirit? The Father does!
  • Who's going to give us a new name? The Father is!

It all comes from God the Father; He has qualified us!

Verse 13: "Who has personally..." I want you to think about that for a minute, because that's what it is in the Greek. This is a middle voice Greek participle.

"...rescued us from the power of darkness..." (v 13).—Satan the devil!

Look at it this way. Now I talked to a man who had quite an experience. Actually it was the driver up in Spokane. When I got to the hotel, they didn't have a room for me. So you know, 'no room at the inn.' It was the Hampton Inn. So, they called around and got me a room down at the Doubletree Inn. So the guy who drove the shuttle drove me down to the Doubletree Inn and we were talking. He is, what we would say, a smaller man, slight built, and he was telling me that twelve years ago he was up in Alaska and he hired onto a crab boat.

Have you ever seen on the Discovery Channel about getting crabs? He told me that was the toughest thing he had ever done. There was a Marine that he knew who was big and strong and tough and he ended up breaking down and crying, and they had to leave him off at a little island where there was one cabin and one man living there. When a ship would come by, he would have to pay his way to get back out of there. But he said that they would be doing the crabs in the wintertime in the Bering Sea where it was 40-below and a 40-mph wind. He said that when the drops from the waves would come up, they would be pellets of ice that would hit you almost like bullets. He said the only way he endured was he had to be mentally tough. He wasn't very strong.

I said, 'Well, how did you sleep?' He said, 'We took a half hour off and went to sleep, if we could, and we slept in this bunk house and it smelled terrible, like rotten crabs and dead fish. It was awful. We worked 22-hours a day and took half-hour naps periodically and then tried to get two hours sleep.' He said that there was one man, and you probably seen this on the television series, they tell you, you have to be careful of the lines as they go out, because they could wrap around your foot and pull you in. Well, it happened to one man. It pulled him in and it took them 20-seconds to get him out of the water. He had such hypothermia that they had to call the coast guard to come and rescue him.

So, I want to use that story to impress upon you that God personally rescuing us from Satan the devil is the very same kind of operation; God has done it personally!

Verse 13: "Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love."

We're not in the Kingdom of God, yet, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. That can only come when Christ returns and we're changed from flesh to spirit. But we are under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God of which Christ is the head, the Head of the Church.

Verse 14: "In Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins."

Let's see the rest of the story on how we are rescued from Satan the devil, and how we have to walk in the 'unleavenedness' of Christian life. As you look down on the world, here's how God looks at the world. We all have the law of sin and death within us. All of those in the world who are not converted and in our status before we were called, we're just like this:

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, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (vs 1-2).

That's why God had to reach down and personally rescue you, rescue me, and all of those whom He calls. No human being has power over Satan the devil. God has to give us that power and strength. That's why we were in such bad shape before God began to call us. That's why God has used the circumstances in our lives to bring us to repentance, to bring us to Him, to save us and rescue us.

"...the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience..." Yes! Satan the devil is the 'prince of the power of the air' and he's got lots of helpers out there today: all the media, all the electronic devices, plus his own power that he's using. No wonder it says he's deceiving the whole world.

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. But God..." (vs 3-4).

We need to understand we are where we are because God has done something in our lives of a great and profound act on His self, on His part, personally rescuing us from Satan the devil, saving us from the law of sin and death within us.

Verse 4: "But God, Who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)" (vs 4-5).

That's how salvation comes. Could any of the things we talked about here, could you overcome yourself? No! How many people have tried to change their lives and change their minds, and have succeeded a little bit, but ultimately fail, because they can never reach the perfection that comes from God and His Spirit.

Verse 8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith..." God's grace is:

  • His mercy
  • His kindness
  • His love
  • His favor
  • His forgiveness
  • His goodness

Look at grace; it's like an umbrella under which we are standing, which then come from God all the characteristics of His Spirit.

"...and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God" (v 8)—meaning that no one is going to go to God and tell God what to do! That's why everyone has to come to God repentant, and letting God tell us what He wants us to do.

Verse 9: "Not of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship..." (vs 9-10). Here is the sum of the whole process of what we're talking about, right here:

  • we become the workmanship of God
  • He molds our mind and our character with His Spirit, with His laws
  • He gives us understanding out of His Word

that's why we are to study daily

  • He helps us and strengthens us through prayer

that's why we are to pray every day

The longer you are converted, the more you know you need to pray every day!

Besides, since God has personally done all these to us, what sort of excuse can we make for not studying and praying? God has called us to the greatest and most important thing that there is!

"…we are His workmanship… [He is making us over in the image of Christ] …created…" (v 10).

Salvation is a process of creation. What is happening in our heart and in our mind and in our lives is God's spiritual creation within us!

"...created in Christ Jesus unto the good works..." (v 10).

That's of His laws and His commandments and His Truth and His love and the instructions that Jesus has given and all that we have in the New Testament.

"...that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10).

That pretty well tells us the whole spiritual meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but not all of it.

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:1-8
  • 1-Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Exodus 12:40-42, 51
  • Exodus 13:1-3, 6-10
  • Hebrews 10:14-23
  • Revelation 11:8
  • Revelation 12:9-11
  • 1-John 2:15-17
  • Romans 7:15-18, 20-25
  • Romans 8:1-2
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Colossians 3:1-17
  • Galatians 5:19-26
  • Colossians 1:10-14
  • Ephesians 2:1-5, 8-10

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 1:14
  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Matthew 5, 6, 7
  • Jeremiah 31
  • John 6
  • Psalm 103

Also referenced: Book: Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 4-12-10
Reformatted/Corrected: bo—6/2020