(First Day of UB—LIVE)

Fred R. Coulter—April 20, 2008

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Some people have said that the Tribulation is going to start on Passover and somehow we missed it! Last night we had the Night Much to be Observed unto the Lord and it still hasn't come. So, here we are this morning on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day portion of it, and let's review a little concerning the Holy Days of God. Here is a great principle that we know, but we need to make sure that everyone understands it:

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).

That one verse alone would tell you that the feasts of the world are not the Feasts of God!Here is the overarching authority for all of the Holy Days, beginning with 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." Then He comes to the annual seasonal Feasts!

Verse 4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover" (vs 4-5).

Every place in The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version where we have 'between the two evenings' we have a star reference to the center column that says: between sunset and dark, which is the beginning of the day. This eliminates the confusion.

I remember the first time I attended the Feast of Unleavened Bread—that was in Sacramento when Ron Kelly was the minister there—and when it came to Lev. 23 to explain about 'the evening,' and also Exo. 12, he said that 'this one was at the beginning of the day and this other one is at the end of the day.' I thought to myself, 'How can I tell the difference?' Now we have a Bible that tells you the difference.

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).

  • Sermon: How Count Pentecost?
  • Booklet Count to Pentecost: From the Morrow After Which Sabbath?

When we have a Friday Passover, which is held Thursday night and then the Night Much to be Observed, Friday night, then today—the weekly Sabbath and the first Holy Day of Unleavened Bread—is the first day of the count going toward Pentecost.

Also, it works out really well the way that God has done it with the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. The full moon was right there, right on time. When the Feast is very, very late in the year—like it is this year—isn't it interesting that the beginning of the count for Pentecost begins at the earliest point possible within that later date on the calendar, so we end up being in season when it comes to Pentecost as well.

You know that we always take up an offering for the Holy Day.

(pause for offering)

While the pope is having a Mass in Yankee Stadium today, we're gathered here for a Holy Day of God! This day has meaning! Everything that God has, has meaning and purpose. One of the reasons why the world doesn't accept and believe the Holy Days of God is because they don't read and study the Bible. They may be familiar with certain parts of the Bible, but they don't read it and study it.

Exo. 12:51—when it is divided down, the way it should be is that this verse should be the first verse of Exo. 13. This is where the confusion comes, where some people believe that the Passover is the leaving from Egypt. But the Passover does picture the beginning of the leaving of Egypt by the children of Israel. The Passover pictures the Lord passing over the houses of the children of Israel because they had the blood on the upper doorpost and the side lentils of the houses so when God destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, He passed over the houses of the children of Israel.

Exodus 12:51: "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."
This is the beginning! A lot of people say that if He brought them out of Egypt, how did they get out all at once? When God speaks of something, though it is not yet completed, and he started it, it is as good as done!

Exodus 13:1: "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Sanctify all the firstborn to Me…'"

This has great significance for the Church. Just like He passed over the firstborn of the children of Israel to redeem them on the Passover night, now that they've been redeemed they have to be sanctified. It's exactly like us, when we repent and are baptized, God begins to redeem us. When we are baptized, we are set aside and made Holy by receiving the Holy Spirit of God. We are sanctified at that point.

Of course, we know—when we get to the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost—that we are the Church of the Firstborn, and we are the firstfruits of God. But on this day, the Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was when they brought all the extra offerings to redeem all the firstborn.

They could do some of it during the year if they would like, but I'm sure that they had many, many who were redeemed on this first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When you read Deut. 16 in the correct understanding of it, you will see that's what all of the sacrifices were.

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.'" That's means the firstborn of the male and female children—both!

The female children were redeemed with money, the male child was redeemed with a sacrifice, and could also be the equivalent of money as well. The male belonged to God, the female who was the firstborn belonged to God in the same sense that the Holy Days do, because the female animals that were to be the firstlings dedicated to God could be used at the Feast and eaten by the families that had them. Whereas, the firstborn of males belonged to God and they had to present that as a sacrifice.

Verse 3: "And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt…'" Egypt is a type of sin all the way through the Bible!

So, this day for us, we are to remember when God called us out of this world. We are to remember what the world is like out there. This is why God has us keep the Holy Days and Feasts, which are separate from the things that the world does. The reason is, even though we live in the world—as we covered on the Passover night—we are not of the world!

The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one, and Satan is deceiving the whole world. Today, for those who know the Truth and know God, and understand the Bible, you see it more evident in everything that is taking place in the world from the top of society to the bottom of society, you know that the world is in the hands of the evil one!

As a matter of fact, the song He's Got the Whole World in His Hands is really a dedicatory song to Satan the devil, when you understand it. So, He says that we are to remember this day!

 …out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand…." (v 3).

We have the spiritual parallel. God's calling is as miraculous spiritually as it was physically for the extrication of the children of Israel out of Egypt. God has to do it spiritually to deal with us, to open our mind through circumstance, through our own sins and problem that we begin to wonder where God is and why am I going through all of this, and so forth. Then God begins to deal with us and call us!

We have to answer the call! Just like as God was bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, if some of them refused to walk, they wouldn't be taken out of Egypt. It's the same way with us, we have things we need to do.

"…There shall be no leavened bread eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey…" (vs 3-5).

It's not that way today. The climate is totally changed from what it was back then.

"…that you shall keep this service in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD" (vs 5-6).

Then what we are told concerning Unleavened Bread, Moses comes up to the point of the meaning of Unleavened Bread.

Verse 7: "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…. [when they unleavened, they unleavened everything, the whole country] …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'" (vs 7-8).

It's the same way with us. There comes a time when someone will ask what we believe. Someone will ask: Why don't you go church on Sunday? You can tell them the same thing, God has called you out of that! Maybe it might even help open their mind to understand some of the things they need to do.

Verse 9: "And it shall be a sign to you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD'S Law may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt." Same way with us!

God is now writing His laws and commandments—and His love, His way and His character—in our heart and mind! This is the whole meaning and purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that we are to be changed! We are to have sin removed. Yes, the leaven is important, and the reason why God has us get rid of the leaven is to teach us the eternal lesson every year: a little leaven leavens the whole lump, and sin is easy to be found everywhere!

Yeast spores are even in the air! I had once person say that if this is so, how do we unleaven the air? Well, God only said the bread. But if you take unpasteurized grape juice and put it in a glass and set it up on the window sill in your kitchen, guaranteed in two or three days you're going to have mold there. The mold comes from some yeast spores that are still left in the grape juice and also from the yeast spores that are in the air.

You combine it together and you have a perfect match. There is sin within human nature, which is like the yeast spores within the grape juice, and Satan the devil is 'the prince of the power of the air,' which is like the yeast spores of sin that come from out of nowhere. So, God wants that completely removed. Only God can do it, because it is a spiritual application that must be done.

This is why we don't take grape juice at the Passover. The reason is that once the grape juice has totally fermented and has been properly processed, there's no leavening in it. That's why the wine is the symbolism of the blood of Christ, the One Who was the sinless offering.

There are a lot of things in the Old Testament that gives us the foundation, and when we get to the New Testament we have parallels and symbolism and then the reality spiritually of the things that take place.

Verse 10: "You shall, therefore, keep this law in its season from year to year."

Delores and I were watching the news one night and one of my distant relatives somewhere down on the family tree—Anne Coulter—is more nasty than me. Anyway, she told Hannity and Colmes that if you're going to be a Christian you have to have the Old and the New Testaments. At least she understands that.

  • if you have the Old Testament
  • if these are the Feasts of the Lord
  • if His way is eternal
  • if we are to keep them forever throughout all generations
  • if you believe God

What should you do? Keep them!

Verse 11: "And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the LORD all that opens the womb, and every firstborn that comes of any animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD'S" (vs 11-12).

  • you can't touch it
  • you can't use it
  • you can't eat of the sacrifice of it
  • the sacrifice of the child goes to the priesthood
  • the firstborn of the male lamb goes to God, the firstborn of all clean animals: bovine, goats, etc.

Verse 13: And every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'The LORD brought us out of Egypt by the strength of His hand, from the house of bondage'" (vs 13-14). So, we have three things to remember:

  • the Passover and the passing over on the 14th
  • the beginning of the 15th we're to remember this day that brings us out of Egypt
  • that Christ has redeemed us to be part of the Firstborn Church of God!

So that when Christ returns and the first resurrection takes place, then our redemption will be complete!

That makes a perfect parallel, because at the resurrection, you being born again! All of those in the first resurrection will be the Church of the Firstborn, totally dedicated to God and His service in the Kingdom of God, bringing the rule of God to the earth. We will always be in that position through all the rest of the ages of eternity, and we will live in New Jerusalem.

When you understand it, you can't have it any better than that. But Satan doesn't want you to get there, and to get there you can't be as you are. That's the whole purpose of why God has called us. We have to be changed, and that change works from having a nature of sin to having a Godly nature.

That's the whole meaning of this day! This is what is so hard for people to understand. They look at human beings, look at all the potential, look at all the good intentions, and everyone has good intentions. Everyone of us, before we're converted don't understand about sin. 'We're good! What we believe is right.' That's why people have such strong opinions. That's why we have to go by the Word of God instead of opinions!

But the potential that God put in human beings is fantastic. But man and woman themselves cannot do it without:

  • God
  • His Word
  • His Spirit
  • the sacrifice of Jesus Christ

It is true that human beings without God's Spirit—by following certain things in the letter of the Law, of principles found in the Bible, whether they believe they're in the Bible or not—can make changes in their lives! They can actually be able to overcome a good number of things that were real difficult problems and sins in their past life. But that does not equate unto conversion! That's the work of God!

So, man can come to a certain level. That's why you have education, things like this to develop. You look at all the things that man can do and you can even look at the things that they can overcome if they apply themselves to do it to straighten out their lives and lead a more law-abiding life. This is all in the potential of man.

Psalm 8:1: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens!"

That is to inspire us, and to give us the understanding that there is a God! In spite of the fact that beginning with Adam and Eve they said, 'God, get out of our lives, we want to go our own way.' God said:

All right, you have it, but you're going to have a penalty. You're going to have a sinful nature and you don't want Me around. You're going to die, and that's just the way it is. If you want to come to Me, then you come to Me My way!

That's the whole lesson of Cain! He wanted to come to God his way. When you break it down and understand the simplicity of the Scriptures, everything is there.

There's a movie called Expelled with Ben Stein. He says that he's tired of the evolutionists pushing God out, so he's expelling the evolutionists. Isn't it interesting how man is? He looks at all of this as pronouncements. They always start with matter and the 'Big Bang,' but they never figure out that there had to be Someone to begin it.

Here's what God uses, v 2: Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings…" What happens every time you see a newborn baby? It's a miracle! It is! God meant it to be!

"…You have ordained strength because of Your adversaries, to silence the enemy and the avenger…. [God is going to overcome all] …When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? For You have made him a little lower than God… [that's the correct translation] …and have crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet" (vs 2-6).

What did God do with Adam after He created him? To show him that he had dominion over all the earth, how did he start out? He said, 'Adam, I'm going to bring all the animals by here, and I want you to name them. Whatever you call them, that's what they will be.' God wanted man to participate in it with Him.

Verse 7: "All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the birds of heaven, the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!" (vs 7-9).

Because man sinned—went against God—he had a sinful nature. That what we all have, and this is the whole point of the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

  • to overcome human nature
  • to overcome the sin within

Let's see what man is really, really like. We all have Scriptures that we have memorize concerning human nature:

  • the heart is deceitfully above all things and desperately wicked
  • there is a way that seems right to a man and the ends thereof are the ways of death

We can look out and observe and see that those things are really true. Here is something that can only come with conversion: the understanding of human nature! This is what Psa. 39 is all about. What's man's personality and way is without God, the Bible labels as vanity. Though everything that he does seems right in his own eyes, and every way that he does—even though it doesn't work out the way that it should be—is still clean in his own eyes.That's the deceptiveness of human nature.

I've got a book called Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen. They made some amazing discoveries concerning the human brain. That you change your brain when you change the way you think, because your actions are all the result of what you think. Whether emotionally driven or intellectually driven, it all begins here, and the first work that you have begins in  your brain. You can actually change your brain and reconnect the parts of your brain that have caused you troubles by controlling your thoughts and emotions, rather than having your emotions and thoughts control you. You brain and neurons and everything in there will make new connections.

There's a great deal we could say about conversion and everything with that. Note sermon series:

  • Controlling the Human Mind
  • Heart/Mind Connection

Psalm 39:1: "I said, 'I will take heed to my ways so that I do not sin with my tongue…'" A converted attitude; you're beginning to understand what you need to do in the way that you speak.

"'…I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked are before me.'…. [be disciplined] …I became dumb, keeping silent; I said nothing good, and yet, my sorrow grew worse. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue" (vs 1-3).

Now he was beginning to understand the desperateness and he evil of human nature, and the vanity of it all! I think the older we get the more we understand how pitiful that man and woman really are when you compare that to God and His plan.

Verse 4: "O LORD, make me to know my end…"—dust! Dust you are and dust you shall return. It also says in another place that 'all flesh is grass, and like the flower of the field, it blossoms and then it withers. You can see that just by looking at a new baby and look at someone who is read to die.

"…and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how short lived I am" (v 4). That is the key to conversion!

I happened to see report, they were interviewing one of the women strippers in a bar where they would do the dancing with the pole and everything. The woman interviewing her said, 'How do you feel about that?' She said, 'When I'm up there dancing, I feel invincible!' I thought to myself: Yes, indeed you have a big lesson to learn! That is a carnal attitude; here's a converted attitude: Lord, what is it? Let me know what it is that I may know how frail I am!

Verse 5: "Behold, You have made my days as a handbreadth, and the span of my days is as nothing before You…."

David lived to be 70-years-old and he died of a 'ripe old age.' Here's the first step in which we need to come in understanding why we need God's Spirit and need to be converted. Or putting it another way: why we are full of sin. Or why God has us put leaven out during the days of Unleavened Bread, which is this:

"…Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah." (v 5). Tie this in with the book of Ecclesiastes; 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!'

Isn't it interesting that Solomon wrote that and his life turned out to be one of the most vain in the whole Bible, though he was especially chosen by God to build the temple for Him. Always remember that it's not how you start, it's how you finish! It's not what you were, it is what you are becoming and will be through the power and strength of God.

Verse 6: "Surely every man walks about in a vain show!…." We have that, don't we? Today we know and understand that more than ever before!

We've got television 24 hours a day, 200 channels, select what you want to see, and you end up with nothing because it's all vanity. Once in a while you can see some decent things that talk about and glorify God.

"…Surely they are in an uproar in vain…. [tie that in with Psa. 2, how the heathen rage and imagine a vain thing] …He heaps up riches and does not know who shall gather them" (v 6). Be as successful as you want in the world, you're not going to take it with you! Everyone goes just like God says.

Verse 7: "And now, LORD, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the fool.  I was dumb; I did not open my mouth because You have done it. Remove Your stroke away from me; I am consumed by the blow of Your hand" (vs 7-10).

All the events in our lives is like someone reaching down and correcting us, and that is true, God is correcting you:

  • for your sins
  • for your foolishness
  • for your vanity

So that you may become converted! This type of correction is good.

Verse 11: "You correct a man for iniquity with rebukes, and You make his beauty to vanish away like a moth. Surely every man is vanity. Selah."

When we understand that and realize that the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures the puffing up of human nature and how to change that and get rid of it.

Verse 12: "Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry. Do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. Look away from me, that I may recover strength before I depart and am no more" (vs 12-13).

This gets right down into the nitty-gritty of God dealing with us and how we overcome evil and human nature. That's the first step:

  • understand human nature
  • understand the sin
  • understand that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God

Let's look at some good news! God is always there to help, and He's as far away from you as 'O Lord, help me!' Or we could put as near to you as, 'O Lord, help me!'

Psalm 86:1: "Bow down Your ear, O LORD, answer me, for I am poor and needy." That's just the opposite of being lifted up in pride, vanity, arrogance, and all the leaven of human nature!

Verse 2: "Preserve my soul, for I am Holy…" When you have the Holy Spirit of God you are sanctified! That's what that means. That's where the word saint comes from.

"…O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You" (v 2). All the elements of:

  • instead of trusting in self, you trust in God
  • instead of trusting in riches, you trust in the Spirit of God
  • instead of believing the inner lies…

One of the things that the author of the book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life brought out is, 'The human mind automatically lies to itself, which is a problem for human beings.' Yes! But he doesn't know about the spirit of man and the Spirit of God to correct that problem. Just like anything that man does, he comes so far in his understanding, and without God you don't have the rest of the story! Here's how you go to God:

Verse 3: "Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I cry unto You all day long."

Remember that every prayer that is needed, whether you prayed for it yesterday, the day before, or continuously, if it's still a need, you pray for it. That's not a vain repetition. That's the whole object lesson of the morning and evening sacrifice. They did it every day, because there was need for God's blessing and intervention. Likewise in praying and studying daily, this draws us close to God. When we pray, we talk to God like the Psalms, and when we study the Word of God He talks to us with His Word, because these are the words of God.

Verse 4: "Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul." Here's the key:

  • never get discouraged
  • never get down
  • never give up hope

Verse 5: "For You, LORD, are good… [when you find sin within yourself you realize that there's no good within man] …and ready to forgive…"

Whenever you truly repent, God forgives! As we covered in the sermon series: The Beatitudes, the graciousness of God continues forever.

"…and rich in mercy to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me" (vs 5-7).

Notice the outcome of what God is going to do! Once we understand and get in our mind the concept, and realize that it is a fact, what God has called us to is part of His eternal plan, which reaches back into the ages of eternity past, and into the ages of eternity future! He has called us to participate in it. That's really something!

Verse 8: "Among the gods there is none like You…" What god, which men call 'god,' has created anything? They always have to start with God's creation! Even the idols that they make to their gods, is made from what God has already made.

"…O LORD; neither are there any works like Your works" (v 8).

  • Who made the heavens?
  • Who made the earth?
  • Who created all the human beings, animals, birds, the fish of the sea?
  • Who created the oceans, the vastness of the heavens?

God did! Here's going to be the final result, as we know is the plan of God:

Verse 9: "All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O LORD, and shall glorify Your name, for You are great and do wonderful things; You alone are God" (vs 9-10).

Notice what David's attitude is ready for, and this is what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about. God wants to teach us:

Verse 11: "Teach me Your way, O LORD…" This is why we have the Bible; this why we have the Spirit of God!

"…I will walk in Your Truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore, for great is Your mercy toward me; and You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave" (vs 11-13). Then David began to see the difference between how God dealt with him!

Verse 14: "O God, the proud have risen against me, and the company of violent men have sought after my life, and have not set You before them. But You, O LORD, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and Truth" (vs 14-15). God is there to help!

Verse 16: "Oh, turn to me, and have mercy upon me; give Your strength to Your servant and save the son of Your handmaid. Show me a token for good, so that they who hate me may see and be ashamed because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me" (vs 16-17).

This is all a part of the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and our relationship with God!

  • to get rid of our human nature
  • to learn the way of God
  • to build the character of God

(go to the next track)

Just as God had to rescue the children of Israel out from the hand of Pharaoh and the slave-masters. So, you can liken Pharaoh, the slave-masters and the people of Egypt who oppressed them, to Satan the devil and his demons.

Let's see what has to happen, and only God can do this.

  • it takes God's Spirit
  • it takes God's intervention
  • it takes the Word of God
  • it requires your cooperation

All at the same time!

God gave the directions to the children of Israel concerning the Passover lamb, what they were to do with that. How they were to get ready for the journey and how they were—though God was leading them—to walk and follow God! But God had to rescue them from the hand of Pharaoh. 

Colossians 1:3: "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you continually since hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love that you have toward all the saints because of the hope that is laid up for you in heaven" (vs 3-5).

When Christ returns, He's going to bring it with Him. Peter writes of the reward that God has for us, that is laid up in heaven for us, which Christ is going to bring when He returns.

"…which you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel, which has come to you, even as it also has in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, just as it is among you…" (vs 5-6).

That's what God wants done with us. Wherever God's people are in the world God is working with them. Every sect of the Churches of God, God is going to deal with regardless of their situation. So, we need to be as the Colossians were and really love God they way that we need to.

Verse 7: "Even as you also learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ for you; Who has also informed us of your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (vs 7-9).

This is important and another daily prayer for ourselves and all the brethren of God! Here's thereason:

Verse 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."

Let's understand something about the Bible; I'm sure we all know it, but it bears repeating. This is the Word of God inspired by the mind of God through His Spirit. Because it comes from the eternal God, there are many, many layers of understanding within almost every verse within the Bible.

This is why, in getting back to the book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, it caught my attention that 'the human brain is designed to continuously learn all life long, and that it is a lie and a myth that your brain starts going downhill from age 25 onward.'

He showed a CAT scan normal brain of an 82-year-old woman that had no deterioration at all. This is why we have Sabbath services. Think about it! This is why we study the Word of God daily. We are in a continuous educational program for eternal life, and we learn all the time. I was baptized in 1965 and I'm still learning today.

Verse 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."

Here is what God wants us to have, v 11: "Being strengthened with all power… [Strengthened in your mind, bring you truth, love and conviction!] …according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy"—showing that there are going to be times of difficulty and effort that we have to go through!

Verse 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the Light." That's something!

  • God is the One Who is qualifying us!
  • God is the One Who is making it possible for us to develop the mind of Christ, and eventually be in the first resurrection!
  • God is the One Who is unleavening our heart and mind and getting rid of the sin within!

That's why we are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in sincerity and in Truth! Not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness!

Now, here is the key verse, the other thing that has to happen. Just like the children of Israel had to be rescued from Pharaoh and the Egyptians, so likewise we have to be rescued from Satan the devil.

Verse 13: "Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…" That's a powerful statement!

Who is the 'prince of the power of the air' and the 'prince of darkness'? Satan the devil! The whole world is under his authority! Whenever anyone rejects God, they automatically acquiesce to Satan the devil! That's why in they so-called Christian world today, it is being undermined and evangelicalism is in a death spiral. It is so because they are leaving the Truth of God that they had and they are coming to a 'feel good' universal religion.

I liken it to fundamental evangelical Protestantism on the right and you begin going toward the center, and then you take New Age spiritism as espoused by those in the 'gospel of Ophra Winfrey,' they will meet together. The purpose is, just like the pope's visit this week, to understand the 'Truth' in all religion. If any of them have any Truth, it's only because they stole it from the Bible.

The way is being paved and this is why it's so important for us, in keeping the Feasts of God, keeping the Sabbath of God, studying, praying, growing and overcoming. In the end-time what does it say of Satan the devil? (Rev. 13)!

  • they all worship Satan the devil
  • they all worshipped the beast
  • they all believed the false prophet

He deceives them with miracles!

Just imagine what it would have been if the pope was able to do a bona fide miracle, imagine the reporting. As one reporter watched the pope coming in his pope-mobile said—kind of like watching the gods come in their chariots—that it was 'just like watching God.'

Are people ready to be deceived? Yes! God has rescued us from Satan the devil; He has called us out of this world to His Truth, to His way, and this is why we keep the Feasts of God and the Sabbaths of God. For the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we know that it is to change us from within by God's Spirit.

Verse 13: "Who has personally rescued us…" This tells us something very important! The Greek is a middle voice verb and means personally.

What does it take to get a person out from underneath the influence of Satan the devil and his world?And his many agents and workers that he has in addition to the demons? It takes God's direct intervention to do so! Nothing else can bring you out from underneath Satan the devil!

"…from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love" (v 13).

We are under the authority of the Kingdom of God with God the Father and Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church, and under the authority of His Spirit! There is a certain authority with the ministry, but not in the oppressive authority that has been taught in the Churches of God for so long, and that's another reason why God had to scatter the Church. He abhors and hates that kind of dictatorial overbearingness upon the people of God, because it stifles them in being able to grow in grace and knowledge, because men are placed between the people of God and Christ, Who is the Head.

Verse 14: "In Whom we have redemption through His own blood…"

  • that's why we keep the Passover every year
  • that's why we repent of our sins every year

"…even the remission of sins… [tie in with 1-John 1, on a continuous basis] …Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation" (vs 14-15). We will see that those were created by the resurrection from the dead!

Verse 16: "Because by Him were all things created…" Anyone who believes that Jesus was a created being, how did He create Himself?

"…the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him" (v 16)—and He died to save His creation!

Verse 17: "And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist." The very reason we live is because of the power of the Word of Christ, Who is the Creator of all mankind!

Verse 18: "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…" Tie that in with the Firstborn of all creation, that is of those created by the resurrection from the dead!

"…so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence" (v 18). This is the relationship that we have with God:

  • rescued from Satan the devil
  • led to repentance
  • led to forgiveness
  • led to baptism
  • led by the Holy Spirit

Verse 20: "And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven. For you were once alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works… [with a carnal mind that enmity against God] …but now He has reconciled you in the body of His flesh through death…" (vs 20-22)

Here is the change, the end result of conversion and what God is doing; "…to present you Holy and unblamable and unimpeachable before Him" (v 22).

  • without any sin
  • without any spot

There's a catch, v 23: "If indeed you continue in the faith grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which you have heard, and which was proclaimed in all the creation that is under heaven; of which I, Paul, became a servant."

Verse 26: "Even the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations… [How great is that? Knowing the secret plan of God!] …but has now been revealed to His saints; to whom God did will to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (vs 26-27). That's the whole point of how we change!

Let's see what we need to do, and how God will work with us. Here is how God wants us to yield to Him; this is our response back to God:

Psalm 34:1: "I will bless the LORD at all times…" How do you bless God? By thanksgiving and praise!

"…His praise shall always be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (vs 1-3).

Everything goes to God, comes from God! When you have that in your relationship with God, this is going to open up your understanding even more. This is going to give more personal strength to overcome sin, we'll that we need to do that. That's all part of putting out the leaven. Here's what we need to do:

Verse 4: "I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." What did He say in Matt. 7? Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened, ask and you shall receive!

Verse 5: "They looked to Him and were radiant; and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard, and saved him out of all his troubles" (vs 5-6). That's why troubles come, so God can rescue you, and you know that God did it!

Here's another blessing that comes, because the angels are given to be ministering spirits to those who are heirs of salvation.

Verse 7: "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them." So, there's the work of the angels in concert with God's Spirit!

Verse 8: "O taste and see that the LORD is good…" What did Jesus say, 'The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, even he shall live by Me' (John 6). We have it right here!

"…blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him…. [tie in with Col. 1, that if you continue in the faith you take refuge in God] …O fear the LORD, all you saints, for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him" (vs 8-9).

You may not have all the things that rich people have, but like the Psalm says, 'It's better to dwell in peace with a little bit of food than to have the fatted ox in the house of the rich with all the strife.' All things begin with conversion and peace of mind!

Verse 11: "Come, hearken to me, you children; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is the man that desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it" (vs 11-14). This is:

  • putting out the leaven, putting in the unleavened
  • putting out the sin, putting in the righteousness

All a part of conversion!

Verse 15: "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth" (vs 15-16). God is there to fight for you!

Now let's see some of the things we need to do; this is what we need to do on a continuous basis.

Romans 12:1: "I exhort you… [to strongly tell 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. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well-pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (vs 1-2). These two verses are the lifelong goal of our responsibility toward God!

Let's see another way that we do this, in overcoming sin and putting the leaven out. Here's what we are to do, and this becomes the daily—many times during the day—operation, the actual working of transforming your mind:

  • you have your part, and God has His part
  • you have your work, and God has His work

God's greatest workmanship is in us! Now, here's what we do:

2-Corinthians 10:3: "For although we walk in the flesh… [we're still human beings] …we do not war according to the flesh." You cannot overcome human nature with human nature!

You may be able to make certain changes, you may be able to overcome things, but you cannot become converted by using human nature to take the best part of human nature and declare that as conversion. It doesn't get rid of the sin!

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…"

  • against the carnal mind that we have, the sin within
  • against Satan the devil and the world around us

"…but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds" (v 4).

Now Paul is going to be talking about the workings of the mind, and that is the strongest strongholds of human nature and sin within, the things that need to be gotten rid of and changed, and here's how you do it:

Verse 5: "Casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God… [there's a mental battle going on] …and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ." That's how we renew our mind!

It's the Spirit of God giving us the power to do it, and here is our part: we must control our thoughts, and cast down the wicked, evil thoughts and lusts that well up in us, because our human mind:

  • lies to us
  • imagines vain things
  • is self-exalting

Verse 6: "And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled." You fulfill the obedience by bringing every thought into captivity, and you have a different perspective of looking at things!

Verse 7: "Are you looking at things according to their appearance? If anyone is persuaded in his own mind that he is Christ's, let him reconsider this concerning himself; for exactly as he is Christ's, so also are we Christ's."

Paul is beginning to get into the false prophets who coming around and trying to get after them!

Ephesians 4:11: "And He gave some asapostles… [we have their writings] …and some prophets…"—inspired teaching and preaching; not necessarily foretelling of the future, but the forth telling of the Word of God.

"…and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers" (v 4). Now, here is the reason:

  • that we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • that we do the things that we do.
  • why we are to bring every thought into captivity

Verse 12: "For the perfecting of the saints… [spiritual operation that God does. He's chosen men to preach and teach] …for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." This is going to continuously be!

Verse 13: "Until we all come into the unity of the faith… [having the mind of Christ] …and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

That's the goal! That's why we're never to be satisfied with where we are. We're to never be discouraged and become hopeless in it. But whatever stage of spiritual growth we are, that's fine for today. Tomorrow is another day, and the day after that's another day. We need to keep reaching forward continually in everything that we do:

Verse 13: "Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." That's a tremendous goal, and we can obtain it!

Then Paul gives a warning, v 14: "So that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error"—which is going to be the amalgamation of a one-world religion out of the religions of the world today!

I've given some sermons on The World Scriptures! They put out their Bible that takes wisdom teachings from the Bible, some sayings of Jesus from the Bible, and then they put in there from Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and all the religions of the world. This is what the pope is talking about on his trip, that we 'need to recognize all the truths in all religions.'

There is the Truth of God in His Word! None other! They want to systematize the error and call it truth.

Verse 15: "But holding the Truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ." There again, look at the goal that God sets for us! Look at the means that He gives us to attain it! His Spirit and His Word!

Verse 16: "From Whom all the body, fitly framed and compacted together by that which every joint supplies, according to its inner working in the measure of each individual part… [we're all important to God; He's working in every one of us] …is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

Then Paul gives a warning; see how he does. He sets out the goal and then he gives a warning. He declares what needs to be done, then he tells us how to do it. Here's the warning:

Verse 17: "So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord that you are no longer to walk even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds."

Where did we start this sermon? The vanity of human nature!

Verse 18: "Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts. They have cast off all feelings…" (vs 18-19). That's something we see today, too! It's around us all the time!

"…and have given themselves up to licentiousness, to work every uncleanness with insatiable desire. But you… [that's us] …have not so learned Christ" (vs 19-20). We are to be different; here is what we are to do:

Verse 21: "If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, according to the Truth in Jesus: That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man…" (vs 21-22).

That's why there is baptism; you bury it, just like you do with anything that is rotten and foul. You bury it! You get rid of it!

"…which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind… [tie that in Rom. 12:1] …and that you put on the new man… [here we have the fulfillment of putting out the leaven and putting in the unleaven] …which according to God is created… [God is creating in you His workmanship] …in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth" (vs 22-24).

Here's what we do, v 25: "Therefore, let each one put away lies and speak the truth with his neighbor, because we are members of one another. When you become angry, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger… [because you won't sleep at night] …neither give place to the devil" (vs 25-27)—because the devil wants to come after us!

Remember, it talks about that we're 'accused day and night by the devil before the Throne of God.' But we overcome him with the blood of Christ!

Verse 28: "Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need. Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth…" (vs 28-29).

Notice that all of these things are magnifying, bringing every thought in to the captivity of the obedience of Christ; overcoming the vain imaginations!

"…but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not vex… [grieve] …the Holy Spirit of God…" (vs 29-30).

How do you grieve the Holy Spirit of God? By sin, vanity, neglect, self-willedness instead of the yielding to God!

"…by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you… [this shows the change] …together with all malice; and be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you" (vs 30-32).

Even your enemies you put into God's hands. Don't be made at your enemies, though they cause you trouble. They don't know what they're doing! Put them into God's hands; He'll take care of them!

  • Is God more capable of taking care of them than you are? Yes!
  • Does He have more power to do it than you do? Yes, indeed!

It goes right on in Eph. 5 showing the model. Remember the points that we showed how that we have the goal, the high goal of Christian behavior. Here he states it in another way, the highest goal possible:

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God…"

  • What a statement!
  • What a high goal!
  • What a change of conduct!
  • What unleavenedness!

God is sinless! If we imitate God we're not sinning!

"…as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2).

Notice the pattern that Paul uses: he sets the goal, he gives the high standard, then he gives a warning!

Verse 3: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 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. 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" (vs 3-6).

Again, here is the goal! Here is the purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Let's go over these things and see how in our lives, in our thoughts and in our conduct we can begin to conform to these things that Paul has written, that God has inspired him to do for our sakes.

Philippians 2:1: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit… [because we have fellowship of the Spirit of God] …if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy that you be of the same mind… [renewed in mind] …having the same love, being joined together in soul, minding the one thing" (vs 1-2). What is the one thing? Attaining to the Kingdom of God!

Verse 3: "Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory, but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself. Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others. Let this mind be in you…" (vs 3-5).

You have to let it, God is not going to force it upon you. You must choose it by hungering and thirsting for it!

"…which was also in Christ Jesus" (v 5). This is to give us understanding and inspiration, because when the going gets tough, you need to have the strength and conviction and fortitude that comes from Christ, because of what He did!

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself…" (vs 6-7).

Every time I read those words, I think: Which one of us in any one thing that we have ever done in our lives that we think was so hard to do or give up, when we consider what Christ gave up to save us!

"…and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant… [Greek is 'doulous'—the bought and sold servant/slave] …and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name" (vs 7-9). You're going to be given a new name, too!

Verse 10: "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow took the form of a servant, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 10-11). Then Paul tells us what we are to do:

Verse 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Do all things without complaints and disputes so that you may be blameless and without offense, innocent children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (vs 12-15).

That's why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:1-8
  • Exodus 12:51
  • Exodus 13:1-14
  • Psalm 8:1-9
  • Psalm 39:1-14
  • Psalm 86:1-17
  • Colossians 1:3-18, 20-23, 26-27
  • Psalm 34:1-9, 11-16
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-7
  • Ephesians 4:11-32
  • Ephesians 5:1-6
  • Philippians 2:1-15

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Revelation 13
  • 1 John 1
  • Matthew 7
  • John 6

Also referenced:

  • Sermon: How Count Pentecost?
  • Booklet Count to Pentecost: From the Morrow After Which Sabbath? by Fred R. Coulter
  • Book: Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen
  • Sermon Series:
  • Controlling the Human Mind
  • Heart/Mind Connection
  • The Beatitudes

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 12/10/2019

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