Become Converted or Be Converted

(First Day of Unleavened Bread)

Fred R. Coulter—April 20, 2008

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You know, time just keeps marching on and every year when we go through the Holy Days, we again come back to the basics and we come to the framework on which God has put all the knowledge of His plan: the Passover and the Holy Days, and we keep them in their seasons.

This year it is a little later than we have experienced in previous recent years, and that's because this year is a 13-month year with an intercalated month. Everyone ought to take notice that, yes, winter started late and has lasted longer. That shows that the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is right on.

Just remember that any other scheme of men, other than the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, can never, never be accurate 100 percent of the time. Only the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is accurate all the time, because these are the calculations that God gave to the Levites. There have been so many astronomical things take place, to upset the coordination between the earth, the sun and the moon, that God had to re-reveal it to the Levites in the 790sB.C. just after the sundial went back ten degrees during the days of Hezekiah. And now we have historical evidence going clear back into the Babylonian Empire and that that is the calendar that they use: the Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

Now let's begin, as we always do, in the Old Testament. Let's look at something very, very important concerning what the instructions were for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Exodus 12:11: "…It is the LORD'S Passover." So again, we need to reaffirm:

  • this is not a Jewish Passover
  • this is not a church Passover
  • this is the Lord's Passover

When we get to the New Testament, Jesus changed, as we know, the things so that the Passover Day becomes the covenant day of the New Covenant.

Verse 12: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD. both man and beast. And I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. And the blood shall be a sign to you upon the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you. And the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt this day…[Passover Day] … And this day shall be a memorial to you…" (vs 12-14).

As we saw from yesterday's sermon, the Passover Day is also an unleavened bread day, this day. Now, it's very interesting, if this is referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then God would say, 'these days,' because He's talking about seven days, as we will see in just a minute. And I talked to one lady and she said, 'Well, I have no trouble remembering which verse if for the 14th and which is for the 15th, because the verse which is referring to this day to the Passover is the 14th which is also the day of the month. So, verse 14 refers to the 14th day of the 1st month and verse 15 refers to the 15th day of the 1st month.

"…And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it a feast as a law forever" (v 14). We do keep the Passover; we kept it the other night!

Verse 15: "You shall eat unleavened bread seven days…" So, you see the difference here. If it just referred to the 15th then it would be 'remember these days as a memorial,' because it's seven days of unleavened bread.

"…even the first day you shall have put away leaven out of your houses; for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be a Holy convocation… [which is today] …and in the seventh day there shall be a Holy convocation for you…. [which shall be the next Sabbath] …No manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. And you shall keep… [observe] …the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this very same day…" (vs 15-17). We know that goes clear back to time of Abraham!

On the 15th day, that same day, "…I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you shall keep this day in your generations as a law forever" (v 17). Then it talks about putting out leaven! It talks about eating unleavened bread for seven days.

In Lev. 23 we find the same sequence that God has give here and all the Holy Days of God are listed in direct order right here. The only other place where it is done that way is in Num. 28; Num. 29 brings out all of the sacrifices that were to be given on the various Feast days.

Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons."

That's why this Word goes right back to Gen. 1, where it shows that God set the sun and the moon in their positions so that we would have seasons.

Verse 5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover… [we've already kept that] … 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 5-8).

Now, we always take up an offering during the Holy Days and we always need to remember this: When we come before God, we come before God through Christ, Who is our Sacrifice, because no one can approach God without a sacrifice. Also, no one can approach God during the Feast days without an offering. The regular tithes and offerings are handled in a different way. But when we come before God on the Holy Days, we do take up an offering.

At this time we'll go ahead and pause, and we know that the times have been difficult and we know that the economic conditions may not be really good as we go down the rest of the year, but you give from your heart what God inspires you to do, and God bless you in everything knowing that He will provide sufficiency for you in all that you have.

(pause for offering)

As we come to the New Testament, let's ask the question: In the New Testament, why have the Feast of Unleavened Bread? 1-Cor. 5 becomes a very important chapter to understand. First of all, the Corinthians, except for a very few of the first believers, were Gentiles.

They had no reason to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread if, through the sacrifice of Christ, they had been done away, which is what most of the Protestants say. As a matter of fact, they're whittling down the Bible even more. Kind of like taking a piece of wood and you start just whittling off a little bit here and little bit there and little here and a little bit there. What's happening, they're getting a thinner and thinner Bible, and in many cases, they say you don't need any works at all and you don't need to observe anything that has to do with the Old Testament, which is nonsense, because Jesus said, 'Man shall live by every Word of God.' Then when you put that together, how did Jesus fulfill the Law and the Prophets and the rest of the New Testament. Then we know what we are to do and how we are to do it; and we have spiritual meaning that comes from it. Likewise with the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good…."

They had a lot of problems with being puffed up against one another, following a man, having competition and things like this. Living in sin, allowing incest, not even being able to make the simplest judgments. Paul was really writing a very corrective letter here at this point.

"…Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (v 6).

Now, let's understand this: During the Days of Unleavened Bread, leaven pictures a type of sin. It pictures the vanity and the puffed-up-ness of human nature. It pictures the sourness and the bitterness that comes along because human nature has rejected God. So, God has chosen a very perfect symbolism in it.

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump…"

Now, we could express this a different way: 'that you may become converted,' because we are incomplete. It doesn't matter how perfect a physical specimen you are, you're incomplete, whether man or woman. God designed that there be marriage, that men and women procreate, bring forth children and that's all part of God's plan.

But, even in that, we are incomplete. This is what God wants us to understand. We have to become new inside out, not outside in, but inside out. We are incomplete because we're in the flesh, and because we need the Spirit of God to fulfill our purpose in the flesh. If you don't have the Spirit of God—as Paul wrote in Rom. 8—you're none of His. It's not a matter of taking part of the Word of God here, part of the Word of God there, and say, 'Oh, I agree with that, isn't that wonderful. Oh, look how good I am; I agree with God, but I don't agree with that,' or 'I don't agree with that.'

Most won't agree with what I'm going to read here now, because I remember when I had a woman who was helping me edit when we were doing the first draft of the book: Occult Holidays, God's Holy Days, Which?, when I pointed out very clearly that Paul says here in 1-Cor. 5 that we are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread—that is Gentiles and Jews—in the New Testament as part of what Christ commanded us to do through the Apostle Paul. She being a fundamental evangelical, really flipped her lid and resigned! Some people just can't handle it! They're so stuck in their little ruts. That's why we have the Feast days every year.

  • that is to get us out of our ruts
  • that is to bring us close to Christ
  • that is to help us understand what human nature is
  • that is to show us how to overcome human nature

Those are all the spiritual reasons that we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

    • become a new lump
    • become a new man
    • become a new woman
    • be renewed in your mind as we are going to see

Because when the resurrection takes place, this physical body is going to be no more. Only what we develop in the way of spiritual character and the righteousness that comes from God and His Spirit is that going to go into a new body and a new mind. So we're in training for eternal life.

"…even as you are unleavened" (v 7). This is one of the few things that God has us do so we can learn a lesson, that is unleaven our homes, because leaven is so easily found almost anywhere.

Just like a lot of things that people think are good are really sin. A lot of things people think that are not good—like the Holy Days of God—which they consider would be a sin and rejecting Christ, is actually right and it glorifies Christ! They keep the 'Lord's Supper,' they don't keep the Passover. And in not keeping the Passover, you have no idea as to the beginning of the plan of God and what Christ has done to take away our sins, and then being resurrected so that we can be justified and brought to God, so we can be changed.

Notice the reason, he says: "…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7).

  • What are we to do in the light of that?
  • Are we to get rid of the Laws of God?
  • Are we going to find ways to expunge things out of the Bible?

Even though we don't literally take a penknife or scissors and cut it out of the Bible, we just ignore it! You might ask: What's the difference?

Verse 8: "…For this reason, let us keep the Feast…" The Apostle Paul, apostle to the Gentiles, was teaching the Gentile church to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

  • With what meaning?
  • What is the spiritual reason for doing so?

"…not with old leaven…" (v 8)—meaning if we are to be unleavened, how can we be keeping the Feast with old leaven? This is not referring to the physical leaven. This is referring the spiritual leaven of sin, as he points out.

"…nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth" (vs 7-8). That's what God wants us to be in our heart and in our mind:

  • converted
  • sincere
  • dedicated
  • filled with Truth
  • growing in  grace and knowledge
  • filled with the love of God
  • developing the character of Jesus Christ

We have no excuse today, because we have a time where we can study the Bible, we can learn from the Bible, we have ways and means of communication; we can print the Bibles; God has caused that there are billions of Bibles in the world. God is going to give a witness with His Word that this world has never expected that would be.

We're part of it. Whatever part of the small army of defenders of the Truth are standing for what is righteousness and good and the cause and purpose that God has called us to—not only in our personal lives, but as we do collectively to make the Word of God known as much as we can with the abilities that we have and the resources that God gives us. We have to make sure that everything that we do is going to be productive, that is going to produce things to help the brethren grow in grace and knowledge and give witness to the world.

"…nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth" (v 8).

Aren't we told, 'let every man speak the Truth from the heart'? That's what God wants us to do!

Why do we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Because we need to be converted and changed! We need to be converted and changed from what to what?

In Psa. 8 God gives the purpose of why He created man and woman, and made us in the way that He did, and gave us this wonderful and beautiful earth to rule over. That we can live a life, we can learn lessons, and the thing that is important: our minds are the connection between us and God and the difference between men and animals. So, we're a special creation of God.

Psa. 8 because is really quite a Psalm when you understand what it is saying, and you understand what it means, and you understand what happened to man and woman because of the sin of Adam of Eve. We've covered that leading up the to Feast of Unleavened Bread. But we need to realize there is:

  • a greater purpose even beyond sin
  • a greater purpose beyond Satan
  • a greater purpose beyond all the difficulties and problems that human beings have

But you look in the world and you look at the troubles and you look at everything that's going on, and this number one lesson ought to be made in our minds that we do not know the way to go! Mankind, in spite of all of the abilities and blessings that God has given man, cut off from God he does not know the way to go! And that we're going to see is the lesson of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Psalm 8:1: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength because of Your adversaries…" (v 1-2).

God uses those that the enemies wouldn't think that He would use. That's why He has called

  • the weak
  • the lowborn
  • us who are not anything in this world

So that when we are converted and changed and then in the resurrection become the very sons and daughters of God, we can help, under Christ, show the world how they need to live.

Verse 3: "When I consider Your heavens…" We can do even more today than every before with all the modern technology to bring in fantastic and wonderful, beautiful pictures of galaxies billions and billions of light-years away.

"…the work of Your fingers…" (v 3). Yes, He called them all by name, He commanded and they were created!

"…the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him…" (vs 3-4).

God's attention is on the earth. That's where His plan is being fulfilled. That's where the struggle is being carried out. That's why Jesus came to the earth in the first place, as God manifested in the flesh, to become our Savior.

"…and the son of man that You care for him? For You have made him a little lower than God…" (vs 4-5). That's what the Hebrew means!

This is why human beings want to become gods unto themselves, as Satan told Adam and Eve:

Yes, you decided right and wrong for yourself. I mean, you're smart, you have a mind, you can choose—you can decide what is right and wrong.

What happens? They sin against God, because even though we have been made a little lower than God, we're not God! And the whole process of conversion is to make us the sons and daughters of God. That's why the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

"…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 5-6).

We're going to see that through Christ that means everything that there is in the universe as well. Let's look at the current state of man without God, and let's see:

  • why we need God
  • why we need the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • why we need it every year

So that we can understand the battle against sin and leaven and Satan the devil and the vaunting of self, which leaven pictures—because it puffs up—is a lifetime process of overcoming! That's why we are to become converted, through the process of growing and overcoming.

Now let's see what David said about that. Let's see how he looked at his life.

Psalm 39:1: "I said, 'I will take heed to my ways…'" That's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about!

  • we examine ourselves
  • we examine our lives
  • we examine our ways

That's why at the Passover we are to have examined our self before we come and then we take of the bread and take of the wine.

"'…so that I do not sin with my tongue… [we sin not with our mouths, but with our mind] …I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked are before me.' I became dumb, keeping silent; I said nothing good, and yet, my sorrow grew worse" (vs 1-2).

This happens lots of times. This happened to Lot living in Sodom. I don't know why he was living there, but he was living there. We have a Sodom just north of us, it's called San Francisco and that's one of the places I don't like to go. But nevertheless, he was there and he was frustrated and he didn't know what to do. He just stayed there and got oppressed by it, and finally God had to send some angels to rescue him. Well, you know the rest of the story.

After seeing the depths of human nature, David said, v 3: "My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 'O LORD, make me to know my end…'" (vs 3-4).

'What is the purpose that You have for me. How long am I going to live?' Well, he lived 70-years!

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

There's a great deception in the world today, which destroys human beings very quickly, because it gives the illusion that we are not frail; that we are strong, that we are tough; that we can handle lots of things. These are these daring reality shows; and these are the movies that show you can shoot, you can wound, you can survive all of this; you can fight; you can run up walls; you can jump through windows; you can leap across buildings. All of that is an illusion because those things never take place!. Those are all done by digital manipulation of the picture that they want to produce. You don't realize how fragile you are.

But when you get cut, or you fall down, or you get sick, you realize how fragile you are. I know when I had the flu recently and I was in bed for the better part of a week, I realized how fragile I was. I couldn't think. My head was stuffed, I was coughing, I blew my nose, I was completely useless and helpless, except to just putt around and sleep.  don't know, I didn't measure how much mucus that I coughed up and spit out, but I suppose if it were in a quart jars it would be at least a couple of quarts of it. One person said, 'Thank God for snot!' I thought about that while I was blowing and coughing and hacking and wheezing, and I thought: Ohhhhhhhh! What does he mean by that? I thought: just think of it were just like tears and water running out, why you'd drown, if God didn't make the body in such a way that it would entrap all of these germs and toxins and bundle them up in snot so you can blow it out and you can cough it up. Now, that's a little graphic, but you've all gone through it, so anyway there were go. That's how frail we are! When you get old, you begin to realize it, too, because you can't do the things you used to do.

Then he's examining his life, v 5: "Behold, You have made my days as a handbreadth…" Compared to God, compared to the universe, compared to everything there is, we're just a little whiff, a blip of time. That's been all the way down through the history of mankind.

"…and the span of my days is as nothing before You…. [because God lives forever] …Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah" (v 5).

So, when we pick ourselves up, clean ourselves up, make ourselves look the best we can possibly look, wear the best clothes, do the best of everything. If you had absolutely the best of everything in the world, guess what? It wouldn't change your human nature and you would still die! That's why Solomon said, 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.' He said, 'I've got all this wealth and I have all these things and I know I'm going to die. The one who comes after me, who's to know whether he's going to be wise or a fool.' Of course, it turned out that he wasn't very wise.

Now the next time you watch television, remember this, v 6: "Surely every man… [it says man, but it's every man or woman] …walks about in a vain show! Surely they are in an uproar in vain." They won't receive correction! Think of that. All of the vanity. It's in everything that men do.

I was watching part of a documentary while I was suffering through my flu siege, and I was watching a report on the homeless. The homeless are just as vain, and just as proud, and just as empty-headed as the ones at the top of the economic scale. Some of them have lived on the streets all their lives, and proud of it. But they've ruined their lives because of

  • sin
  • drugs
  • disobedience
  • not wanting to be law-abiding
  • not wanting to marry and bring children into the world, into a family setting

No! No! No! The feminist, they've got to have their children without husbands being married to them, but they still need a man to get a child, don't they? Whether it's in vitro, or whether it is literal, so you can't get away from it.

Then when you have your child, unless you're personally wealthy, you have to be married to the state, and the state becomes your husband to either give you money on welfare, or to provide a job for you that you wouldn't ordinarily get, or to create laws against men so that you can come in and take jobs that men ought to have. So, either way, you can't get around it, everything is vanity! 'Vanity of vanities,' as Solomon said, 'ALL IS VANITY!'

Let's see that the whole world is wrapped up in vanity; all the world leaders are vain. Yes, and some of them strut around like they think they're peacocks. Maybe there is a grain of truth to that kind of evolution, who knows. One man struts around like a peacock, but he's supposed to be the leader of the nation, which is pictured by the bear. He's a little pip-squeak of man filled with vanity, lust and power.

Psalm 2:1—the whole world is in a vain rebellion against God: "Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD…" (vs 1-2).

Get rid of the Bible, get rid of the laws, get rid of these things. There are so many books being produced about witchcraft and god-delusion, all against God, the Bible and Christianity, and many people have a point in it because you look at the religions of the world: Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Protestantism, all of the other religions of the world—which are a substitution to reject God—yet, make people think that they have some form of Godliness. They're all vain! They're all lies! So, they rebel against Him. Then look at the governments: they're all lying to us, cheating us. Look at the economic difficulties we have because of lying, cheating, money.

"…and against His Christ…" (v 2). That's what 'anointed' means! If there's any one thing they want to expunge from the public record is the name of Jesus Christ. Some people want to do it because the name Jesus Christ has been so abused by the aforementioned people that I just named here.

"…saying, 'Let us break Their bands asunder… [let us cut off everything to do with God] …and cast away Their cords from us'" (vs 2-3). Not knowing that:

  • they're incomplete
  • they're filled with vanity
  • they're led by Satan the devil
  • they're in rebellion against God
  • they think somehow they're going to succeed

That is the whole height of being filled with vanity, as pictured by the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Leaven becomes all of those aforementioned things. How does God look at it? Well, God has His plan, He's going to work it out! If they rebel against God, what do they do against Him? They don't do anything against God, God is still there, He's not going to change because of their rebellion, or what they think, or what opinion they may hold!

God has set, automatically, laws in motion that are going to begin to take care of them, and then He's going to personally deal with them. When Christ returns, He is going to be known. It's going to be something! He's going to shake the heavens and shake the earth.

So therefore, v 4: "He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD scoffs at them."

  • they think they can become God
  • they think they can go into outer space
  • they think what a marvelous thing that they have done that we have this space station out here

God says:

Look a little further; I've made the heavens. Don't think you're so all fired hot. Besides how are you going to live up there unless you import the oxygen, or make it up there from things you bring from the earth. Whereas, I can travel in the universe anywhere I want to. And I can get there as fast as I desire. I can look down on the earth and see all these things.

Verse 5: "Then He shall speak to them in His wrath… [talking about Rev. 16] …and in His fury He terrifies them. 'Yea, I have set My King upon Zion, My Holy mountain. I will declare the decree of the LORD. He has said to Me, "You are My Son; this day I have begotten You"'" (vs-5-7). That is the covenant between God the Father and Jesus Christ!

The Father says to Jesus, v 8: "Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (vs 8-9).

I tell you what, you think about that for a minute! I don't know about you, but that ought to make some people start repenting and running to God, because have you ever seen how a potter's vessel is dashed in pieces? So he says here:

Verse 10: "Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be admonished O judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son… [they're going to have to] …lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for His wrath can flame up in a moment. Blessed… [here it is, it gets down to us] …are all who take refuge in Him" (vs 10-12).

Quite a fantastic thing! Men think they are so great. Men think they have such marvelous powers and abilities. Yes, they can build buildings; yes, they can make planes; yes, they can invent technology, but where do they get all the things that they do? They have to get it from what God has already created! Then have the audacity to say there is no God! Isn't that one of the most vain things that you could possibly imagine?

Psa. 89—here is the psalmist, the Ezrahite—that means this was written after they came back from the Babylonian captivity, and he was writing about the promise that was given to David, that there would always be a man to sit on his throne. But when they came back from Babylon, there were no descendants of the king in Jerusalem and the king's daughters and Jeremiah had taken off to Ireland.

So, the psalmist is saying, 'You have promised with a covenant that as long as there is the sun and the moon and the stars there would be a man to sit on David's throne.' But he's saying, 'It's not here now, when is it going to be, God?'

He says after he gets done with all of that, Psalm 89:46: "How long, LORD? Will You hide Yourself forever? Shall Your wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is…" (vs 46-47).

Remember this: leaven is vanity and doesn't last, just like we are physical and we have a set time—whether long or short—to live. We can extend the time by taking care of ourselves. We can shorten the time by being rebellious and going against God. Those choices are ours!

"…for what vanity have You created the sons of men?" (v 47). He didn't have the Spirit of God to understand. He didn't understand where the throne was. But God was carrying out His Word. So he says, 'God, did you make all men in vain?'

Verse 48: "What man lives and never sees death?…. [Who's going to not face death?] …Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah."

Isn't going to be possible. That's why in another place it says, 'Seek the Lord while He may be found. Draw close to Him while He is near.'

Verse 49: "O Lord, where are Your former loving kindnesses which You swore to David in Your Truth? Remember, LORD, the reproach of Your servants…" (vs 49-50).

Now, let's understand also the covenant of David has to do with the Church. What he is moaning and bewailing about here, God has fulfilled in two ways. He has preserved the throne of David through what is now the British throne, and He has raised up the tabernacle of David, which is the Church. So He's carrying on His work.

Verse 50: "Remember, LORD, the reproach of Your servants, how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people… [yes, he did, coming back from Babylon] …with which Your enemies have reproached, O LORD; with which they have reproached the footsteps of Your anointed. Blessed is the LORD forevermore. Amen and Amen" (vs 50-52).

This tells us about what human nature is like. Let's see that in the New Testament it is no different. As a matter of fact, what we're going to read in Rom. 3 is a compilation of quotes from the Old Testament, which now can be greatly expanded by the knowledge of the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the apostles.

Romans 3:3—he's talking about the Jews and he says: "For what if some did not believe?…."

Today we have categories of Jews who believe in Jesus; categories of Jews who don't believe in Jesus; categories of Jews who are atheists. That fills in with all the rest of the people of the world, not just the Jews. But he's saying, but if some of them did not believe. Likewise within the Church. What happens when someone in the Church begins to disbelieve God, and leaves?

"…Shall their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, let God be true but every man a liar…" (vs 3-4).

That's why we need to be changed. That's why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. To get the deceit from within out of us! To get the delusion of vanity stripped from us! That now God can:

  • work with us
  • mold us
  • build us
  • create in us

the character that He wants to complete His creation in us!

"…exactly as it is written: 'That You might be justified in Your words, and might overcome when You are being judged by men'" (v 4).

When men judge God: 'I don't believe God, I don't believe the Bible. Look at what has happened because of all these churches.' They become hateful and disparaging against God. Is that going to change God? No! God is going to overcome all those things that men do, all those things that men say and bring about because of their sinful, vain nature that is incomplete and needs to be changed!

(go to the next track)

Romans 3:9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better? Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin."

The whole purpose of Unleavened Bread is once we've repented and have had our sins forgiven that now what do we do? We change and grow and overcome! The reason that all of these things take place in the world, as described here in the rest of the next verses that follow, is to show the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and that men are finally going to be so filled with sin and wickedness that when Christ returns they're going to be very willing to accept Him.

Verse 19: "Now then, we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God"—and we are! That's why we need a Savior, mercy, and forgiveness, because everyone is doing the works of the flesh, as enumerated there in Gal. 5.

Let's see some of the solutions that we need to have. First of all, it begins with repentance. We know in Acts 2 it tells us to 'repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'

There has to be repentance first. Nothing is going to bring you closer to God than repentance, and this is why—even in the daily prayer—what are we told to also include in our prayers? Forgive our sins as we forgive the sins of others toward us, as well. Because the whole purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is this: Is for us to know and to realize that we have to be cooperating with God in what He's creating in us. Once we repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God, then we have to become converted; and becoming converted is a continuous process of washing and cleaning, and getting rid of the sin, which is internally. We'll cover this in just a little bit.

Acts 3:19—where Peter was speaking to the crowd and he was telling them: "Therefore, repent and be convertedin order that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." That's exactly what we need to do: be converted!

So Become Converted or Be Converted: change and grow, have the character of God. When you repent, you repent of

  • all of your vanity
  • all of your sins
  • all of your deep down, entrenched human nature

This is why being converted us a process and requires the action of God's Spirit within us, to help us to be cleansed within, so we can develop the character of God.

Here's how we do it; after we repent, what do we do then? We say, 'O God, thank You that You don't count any sin any longer against me, because I have been saved.'

Being saved is a process!. Just like being converted is a process! It's not done instantly all at once. It's just like when a new life—human life—is conceived, that's just the start. It has to grow. It has to develop. It has to all of these things until the time to be born, same way with us. When we receive the begettal of the Holy Spirit, that is the beginning, that is the start.

  • we are to grow
  • we are to mature
  • we are to overcome

So then at the resurrection, the final perfection of unleavenness, will be complete. Here's what we need to do with our repentance:

Psalm 34:4—"I sought the LORD… [Isaiah says, 'Seek the Lord while He may be found'?] …and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears…. [we'll see all of our sins as well] …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 4-6).

Growing, changing and overcoming while living in this world is a difficult process.

  • that's why we need the Holy Spirit of God
  • that's why we need to go to Him, daily
  • that's why we need to seek Him and He will deliver us out of all of our fears

Another blessing comes in addition to it!

Verse 7: "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them."

Then here comes a New Testament doctrine that you can't understand what that means completely or more fully until you have the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus.

Verse 8: "O taste and see that the LORD is good…"

You're not going to walk up as some people might say, 'Well, why would he say that? How are you going to taste the Lord?' Well, we'll see in just a minute. That means to be living by every Word of God.

Verse 8: "O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."

We can add to that: to help you overcome; to grant you the strength and Truth and righteousness through His Spirit; and as we will see in a little bit, the strength of His Holy Spirit to expose the sin that's within! There's no way that you can get rid of the sin that is within and develop the life of sincerity and Truth—which is pictured by the Feast of Unleavened Bread spiritually—unless you have the Holy Spirit of God to expose it. You can liken that to the Light of God shinning into the darkness of your mind to reveal these things to you.

Verse 9: "O fear the LORD, all you saints, for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him."

Verse 14: "Depart from evil… [that's what we need to do; leave the evil, flee to the good] …and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous…" (vs 14-15).

We saw where the eyes of the Lord are also upon the wicked (Psa. 2). He knows what they are doing. But His eyes are upon the righteous to bless them and help them in overcoming and changing.

"…and His ears are open to their cry" (v 15). He will hear you! That's why prayer and daily study is so important. Prayer, you're talking to God, you're having a relationship, spiritually. God's Spirit is with you, opening your mind, leading you in prayer, and helping you to see your own sins. So repentance then becomes a continual process day-by-day, in every situation that we are faced in overcoming sin.

Verse 16: "The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles…. [here's the thing that happens when we draw close to God]: …The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are of a contrite spirit" (vs 16-18).

You can have vanity at this level, and you can have a broken heart and contrite spirit at this level, and this is what delivers: the power of God! You have your part in repentance, overcoming, changing and putting down sin. He also says that with this:

Verse 19: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."

In many cases, not in a way that we may think, but not in a way that we suppose. But in the way that God is going to do it.

Now, let's bring this all together. What does it mean to 'taste the Lord'? Jesus told us that He is the Bread of Life. As He was explaining to those people who were wanting Him to bring manna down from heaven so they wouldn't have to go out and work anymore, He told them that they need to believe in the One Whom God has sent, and that the manna that was given to the children of Israel in the wilderness was only a temporary thing. Now that He's come from heaven—that's where Jesus was before He was God manifested in the flesh—and He gives the true bread.

John 6:32: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true Bread from heaven. For the Bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'Lord, give this bread to us always.' Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life…'" (vs 32-35).

Later He said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life! He is the Bread of Life; we are to taste the Lord and see that He is good. That is by studying His Word. That is by living His Word. You live it after you have studied it, because just like eating, you have to eat so you can have energy to do. So likewise, in order to have the spiritual energy and the spiritual power of God's Spirit to do the overcoming, you need the words of God that have come from Christ.

"…the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time" (v 35).

You are fed daily on the Word of God; you receive the Spirit of God—and both of those things are pictured by the bread and by the thirsting.

Verse 36: "But as I said to you, you also have seen Me, yet, you do not believe."

Then they get into this long, protracted argument, and even some of the disciples, who purportedly believed in Jesus, left Him because they said, 'This is a hard saying, who can understand this.'

But here is the key, v 50—He's talking about Himself; and that no salvation comes any other way except through Christ. He says:

Verse 50: "This is the Bread…"—it is the living Word, the living Holy Spirit, the power that God gives us to change, grow, overcome and build His character!

"…which comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die" (v 50)—the promise of eternal life, because as physical human beings being incomplete. Even when we become complete in the flesh, through receiving the Holy Spirit of God! We are still incomplete because we're going to die, and we're still flesh. But we need eternal life.

Verse 51: "I AM the living Bread, which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this Bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is even My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

That's why the Passover is so important and is immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so that we realize how powerful that His sacrifice was, to save us from sin and also to bring us the opening to receive the Holy Spirit of God and the granting of repentance that we may change. So, they didn't like this:

Verse 52: "Because of this, the Jews were arguing with one another, saying, 'How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?'"

When you look at just from a physical point of view and don't realize the spiritual point of view, then you're going to wonder, how's that going to be possible?

Verse 53: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.'"

The key is this: Even the apostles did not fully understand this until after they had the Passover where Jesus took the bread and broke it and said, 'Take eat, this is My body'; and He gave them the wine and said, 'Drink of it, this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for the remission of sins for you and for many.' Notice how He just repeats this and repeats it and repeats it, so that we all understand:

Verse 53: "Therefore, Jesus said to them… [because they didn't believe] 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.'"

No one, unless they take the Christian Passover and take it the way that Jesus said at the time that Jesus said, can possibly have eternal life, and that eliminates how many? Nearly all professing Christians! Does it not?

Now, because some think they're doing good works, and some think that these things are not necessary from the Old Testament, they have deluded themselves into believing it. But unless you are in covenant with Jesus Christ, through the covenant symbols, you have no life in you. You do not have the Holy Spirit and you cannot save yourself.

Verse 54: "The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him" (vs 54-56).

So, if you're not doing as Jesus said, the way that Jesus said to do it, with the Passover and with growing, changing, overcoming and believing the Word of God, etc., you don't have life in you. You're not going to be resurrected in the last day.

Jesus said that if you do you're 'dwelling in Me, and I in him' you have Christ in you, which is 'the hope of glory.'

Verse 57—here is how we are to live: "As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father… [so here's the complete explanation of this] … so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me" (vs 53-57).

That is really something! The covenant that we are in, as we have understood before the Passover, is a tremendous and fantastic covenant that God has put us in. Now then:

  • once that is made
  • once Christ is in us
  • once we are in the mindset of having the change, grow and overcome

the battle becomes in the mind, because that's where the spiritual character is developed! That's where the old leaven of sin is lodged, to be put out. Let's look at the spiritual application, let's see what happens. Let's see how the Apostle Paul put it.

  • What does conversion do for us?
  • What are we to do? It is a cooperative creation!

God is working within us, but we also have to work with God!

God has His part to lead us, to guide us, to help us, to inspire us, and to give us the spiritual tools we need. We have our part to take the Spirit of God and the spiritual tools and use them—it's called the washing of the water by the Word (Eph. 5)—so that we can change, grow, overcome, and let Him create in us what He desires!

Rom 12—here's our dedication to God. Jesus gave His dedication to God and to us. We give our dedication to Jesus and to the Father this way:

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. Do not conform yourselves to this world… " (vs 1-2).

Yes, we have to live in the world, but we're to come out of this world, and we come out of it by not going into outer space or anything like that. As we know, we come out of it by not living the way that the world lives, acting the way that the world acts. That's why we have, with the Spirit of God, the Sabbath, the Passover, the Holy Days, the Word of God. The Word of God becomes the instruction book for eternal life!

"…but be transformed… [there is a transformation, conversion, converted] …by the renewing of your mind…" (v 2).

Now that takes place within, and the Holy Spirit of God is there to erase, to take away the sins, to take away the deep, imbedded problems and difficulties and vanity that we have as human nature:

  • the lust
  • the hate
  • the jealousy
  • the greed
  • the wretchedness

Only God can solve that, but we have our part to do with it. We have to have our minds renewed.

"…in order that you may prove what is well-pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (v 2). We do this by living!

Let's see the mental thing that takes place, and how God assists us in it; but we need to do our part.

2-Corinthians 10:3: "For although we walk in the flesh… [we're still human beings and we will be until the day of the resurrection] …we do not war according to the flesh"

You cannot take human improvement programs and develop the character of God. You may be able—with these programs—to become a better human being in the world, be more successful in the world. But you are partaking of the good from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—not the good that comes from God. Most people don't understand that. There are many ministers who get up there and bring modern psychology right into their sermons. They're bringing in humanism and satanism, mixing the good from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and think that's going to make their congregation better people. It's not going to! Only Christ can! So we don't 'war according to the flesh.'

How do we war? It is a spiritual battle! The conflict goes on in the mind, and maybe between other people that we come in contact with, because of whatever their status may be. Here are the weapons. We have weapons!

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal… [not rooted in humanism; not rooted in do-goodism] …but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds"—the conversion of the mind! To create within us the mind of Christ and the character of God, that is the true meaning of being unleavened.

Verse 5: "Casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ." That's our part!

I'm going to show you something that happens once you receive the Holy Spirit that didn't happen in the same way before you were converted. The Apostle Paul explains this battle. Notice when we do this:

Verse 6: "And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience… [sins to be repented of] …whenever your obedience has been fulfilled."

When you're first baptized—I know I did, you probably did—you think well, everything's going to be good. Man, that's perfect, wonderful. I've been baptized, received the Holy Spirit of God and WOW! that's really going to be something! Well, it is! But the battle has just begun. Same way with the Apostle Paul. He said:

Romans 7:9: "For I was once alive without law; but after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."

Did the Apostle Paul literally drop dead? Was he resurrected back to life? No, that has to mean dead with the baptism of Christ, because we are buried into His death, a symbolic, covenant death! We are demonstrating by that baptism our death! That we will fulfill and keep God's way or die! That's a covenant we make with baptism.

Verse 10: "And the commandment, which was meant to result in life, was found to be unto death for me"—because of what it did!

When you receive the Spirit of God, the Spirit of God begins doing something within your mind that is to expose the sin within that you didn't know was really living within.

Verse 11: "Because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment…" In other words, once you understand the commandment of God, you realize what sin is, because sin is 'the transgression of the Law!'

"…deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore, the Law is indeed Holy… [nothing wrong with the Law] …and the commandment Holy and righteous and good. Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin…" (vs 11-13).

Here's what the Holy Spirit does. It gives the struggle within, the fighting, the warring, to bring every thought into captivity to Jesus Christ.

"…But sin in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me by that which is good… [the commandments, Law of God and the Spirit of God] …was working out death… [to get rid of that sin] …so that by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful" (v 13).

That's what happens with the Holy Spirit of God and the commandments of God working together like a hand-in-glove. You cannot have the commandments of God and really understand them without the Spirit of God. You cannot have the Spirit of God without having the understanding of the commandments of God. These then work in our mind so that it exposes sin, and we realize the vanity and futility of human nature.

Verse 14: "For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin; because… [this is what happens to us] …what I am working out myself…" (vs 14-15). That is if you just do what you want to do, you really don't understand what you're doing!

"…I do not know. For what I do not desire to do, this I do… [Has that happened to you? Of course!] …moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (v 15).

So here's this struggle between loving God, keeping His commandments, having the Spirit of God, overcoming carnal nature, the sin within and the fight to get rid of it, there is that conflict within going on. That is the struggle! That's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about, to purge out the old leaven, which is the sin still remaining in our mind and heart and it is a battle until the very last breath that we breathe.

Verse 16: "But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the Law that it is good…. [even though it exposes the sin] …So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me" (vs 16-17)—because sin is part of our very nature! That's why human beings are so vain.

Verse 18: "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me… [that is of his ownself] …—that is, within my fleshly being—any good…."

When you understand the exceeding sinfulness of sin, you understand—and that's within you—then you realize that even any good that you do is worthless!

"…For the desire to do good is present within me…" (v 18). That's the strange thing about it. God made us all with the desire to do good, but we don't do it. That's why we need the Spirit of God to change and grow and overcome.

"…but how to work out that which is good, I do not find. For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. 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… [there is a law, just like the law of gravity, and that's call the law of sin] …that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me" (vs 18-21)

Have you ever gone to do something really nice and good and you feel real good about it, and you get there and it all falls apart. Maybe you wanted to something good for your husband or your wife and it ended up in an argument and the whole day was ruined. It's a good example of that.

Verse 22: "For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members" (vs 22-23).

God is taking us and re-creating us. This is why it has to be done by grace. For God to expose this in your mind and in your heart is not that you are a worse sinner now that you are baptized, but rather it is with the Spirit of God you begin to truly understand the sinfulness of sin. God is saying:

  • get rid of this
  • repent of this
  • overcome this

So, this is the law that is warring within us! So then what shall we say to that?

Romans 8:1—this is the whole blessing of knowing about the Passover and Unleavened Bread: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit… [because the Spirit of God is leading you to overcome these things] …because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus… [which is what God is creating in us] …has delivered me from the law of sin and death…. [this all comes right back to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ] …For what was impossible for the Law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh… [because it never had the spiritual ability to overcome the sin within] …God having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; in order that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us… [showing a process] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…" (vs 1-4).

That's the struggle! That's why we are, during the days of Unleavened Bread, to put out the leaven, make the unleavened bread, eat the unleavened bread. But the focus is—since this is such a common thing, bread—to tell us how common sin is, and how much it is really a part of our lives, and how we have been conducting ourselves.

Ok, now let's put this together with some Scriptures from the Old Testament. Let's see how we can capitalize and realize all the things that God wants us to do to walk in the Spirit.

Psa. 119 is one of the most spiritual Psalms in the whole Bible—especially the Old Testament—showing the glories of the meaning and laws and commandments and statutes of God.

Psalm 119:113—here's how we are to do it: "I hate those who are double-minded…"—vain thoughts!

What you need to do with that is learn how to recognize the thoughts of vanity, the thoughts of sin, the thoughts of lust. Repent of them right at the moment that you encounter them and begin to change the way that you think. This is why you need to study the Laws of God.

"…but Your Law do I love" (v 113). That is what it is to change our heart and mind.

Verse 97: "O how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day."

Then we come to the point that we know that every thing—every law, every commandment, every thing of God—is good, and righteous, and true, and God is working with us with His Spirit to change us, to mold us, to create us in His image.

Eph. 2 is really quite a fantastic part showing that God's is working His work to create in us, and we also have our part with it.

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves… [it doesn't come from within, it doesn't come from human ways, but God's way] …it is the gift of God."

  • repentance
  • His Holy Spirit
  • His Word
  • creating in you the righteousness of Christ

Verse 9: "Not of works, so that no one may boast"—because nothing physical, without the Spirit of God, can create anything that is eternal! So, it can't be of any works of men. Poor Job really had to learn that lesson!

Verse 10: "For we are His workmanship…" God is working within us:

  • giving us the strength
  • giving us the power
  • giving us the means
  • giving us the understanding
  • giving us the resolve

"…created in Christ Jesus unto the good works… [the first part is: He's working in us. He's creating us in Christ] …unto the good works… [those are what we have to do] …that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10).

How does this work? Here's what Christ is doing:

Ephesians 5:26: "So that He might sanctify it…"—make it Holy! We are in the process of being made Holy through the workmanship of God creating in us the character of God.

"…having cleansed it…" (v 26)—getting rid of all the sin! That's why He exposes the sin, so we can repent.

"…with the washing of water by the Word" (v 26). There's a joint activity!

The washing of the water is the Holy Spirit, the work of God and the creation that He is doing. By the Word that is through our studies and prayers so that we can develop the heart, mind and character of Christ. This is what we develop. Here are the main things we are to grow in, in the character that God wants us to have and putting out the old leaven of sin, and putting in the unleavenness of sincerity and Truth.

Gal. 5—this is what it's to produce. It's called fruit. But where do you buy fruit? You buy fruit at the produce market, because the market has what's been produced in the field to bring to the market, the produce and the fruit to sell. The same way with God; He expects us to have fruit and good works. Here they are, motivated by the Spirit, which are:

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).

What is going to happen with that? We will develop the mind of Jesus Christ. Christ will dwell in our hearts by faith. We will change, we will grow, we will overcome, and every year when we come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we are given—you might say—a coming together so that:

  • we understand that the process is ongoing/continuing
  • we understand that we have lot that we need to do yet
  • God is with us
  • God loves us
  • God cares for us
  • God has called us
  • God is cleansing us
  • God purging us
  • God is helping us to grow and change and overcome so that we might become like Jesus Christ

That's the meaning of being converted and the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 12:11-17
  • Leviticus 23:4-8
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Psalm 8:1-6
  • Psalm 39:1-6
  • Psalm 2:1-12
  • Psalm 89:46-52
  • Romans 3:3-4, 9, 19
  • Acts 3:19
  • Psalm 34:4-9, 14-19
  • John 6:32-36, 50-57
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
  • Romans 7:9-23
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • Psalm 119:113, 97
  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Ephesians 5:26
  • Galatians 5:22-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Numbers 28; 29
  • Genesis 1
  • Romans 8
  • Revelation 16
  • Galatians 5
  • Acts 2

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

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 3-10-08
Reformatted/Corrected: 12/2019

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