(First Day of Unleavened Bread)

Be molded in the image of Christ by the renewing of your mind

Fred R. Coulter—April 20, 2019

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

God is carrying out His plan, His work, and He is preparing to bring the Kingdom. We are to be born again, changed from flesh to spirit, at the resurrection. God is going to give us the Kingdom under Christ, to rule and reign as kings and priests, and also administrators over cities, etc.

Now then, the Holy Days of God tell us the plan of God, and right now, in addition to fulfilling His prophecies, Christ is developing the character of those who are in the Church, and preparing them for the resurrection, and inheriting the Kingdom of God. This is why we have Sabbath services every week.

Lev. 23—here all the Holy Days are listed in one place, the only place in the whole Bible that they are listed. This is how God hides His secret from the world. They will look at these in Lev. 23 and discount them in numerous different ways. Remember, everything written in the Old Testament is by the Word of God. Jesus is called the Word (John 1)

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.... [this tells us that God owns them] ...which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations... [we are to gather in the name of God; we know that God is wherever His Feast is being held] …even these are My appointed Feasts" (vs 1-2)

Remember: no man can change what God has commanded! All of you Sunday-keepers out there, if there's some of you watching this, think on that for a minute!

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."

So, wherever you are, whether you gather together for a convocation, if you're able to, it is the Sabbath in your home; likewise with all the Feasts of God.

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

You must have the Calculated Hebrew Calendar to have that correct. Any other means of calendar is going against God. Now let's see what He says here, because this is what we had the other night, because it starts out with the Passover, and then the Night to be Much Observed to the Lord.

So, the Passover is our forgiveness of sin and entering into the New Covenant with Christ. The Night to be Much Observed is that God has called us out of this world and out of sin, and now He has a plan to perfect us. That perfection is a continuous process from the time of conversion, with the finishing touch at the resurrection.

Verse 5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover."

  • it is not to be called the Lord's Supper
  • it is not to be called the Eucharist

It is the Passover! God is passing over and forgiving our sins, and is leading and directing us to grow in grace and knowledge. Right after the Passover we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

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."

Why are we to eat unleavened bread and unleaven our houses as we have seen? It is a local feast! It's not like the Feast of Tabernacles, the great Feast at the end of the year. No, this is wherever the brethren are gathered in the name of Christ, even if it's only two or three, 'there I am,' Jesus said, 'in the midst of you.' All of these days we're to learn from the Word of God the meaning of the Feast the meaning of what it is for us today, etc.

Verse 7: "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.... [they had offerings everyday, however, on the Holy Day is when the main offering was given] ...In the seventh day is a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein" (vs 7-8).

So, the first day is a Holy convocation, the seventh day is a Holy convocation. This year, Sabbath comes after the last day. This happens on occasions when there is the Passover that we take on a Thursday night. We also know in Deut. 16, that we are to bring an offering, according to the blessing that God has given to us. So, we need to consider that.

Sidebar: As we've covered on the Sabbath before the Holy Day, Cain brought up an offering to God, and God refused it! Abel brought an offering, and God accepted it, because Abel brought it according to the command of God; Cain did not! Both came before God to present themselves. One was accepted; one was not.

Why was Cain's offering not accepted? Because he just gave any little ole thing that he had to God:

  • instead of tithing
  • instead of bringing the firstfruits
  • instead of bringing an animal sacrifice with shed blood.

You think about that relationship to what you do, in your offerings and in your tithes!

And remember: Jesus said, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of His mouth!' Think about that relationship to tithes and offerings, and consider that when we take up the offering here.

(pause for the offering)

1-Cor. 5—the reason that I'm starting here is because it shows that Paul taught the Corinthians to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Also in the New Testament leaven is a type of sin. Sin is what we need to get rid of out of our lives, and only through Christ is that possible.

1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good.…"—because they were putting up with sin within the congregation of terrible sexual immorality. They were thinking that this is good. 'We have grace and whatever you do there's nothing that can take away salvation from you.' Just like the Protestants today!

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

  • How does an innocent little baby born into the world end up being evil and criminal? Now, not all do!
  • How does that happen? Because leaven is a type of sin, and a type of being against God!

They were glorying in sin!

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out..." The whole thing of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to purge out the old leaven! Not just the physical leaven in your house, but the spiritual leaven of sin within. Then to put in the righteousness of God. That's the meaning of it in the New Testament, which we will go into detail today.

Verse 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump... [become righteous, Godly, the way that God wants us to be] ...even as you are unleavened.…"—because they unleavened their homes! They unleavened their homes, but they were glorying in sin. You can't have it both ways!

"...For Christ... [here is the reason that we do everything] ...our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7):

  • for the forgiveness of sin
  • for the covenant between us and God the Father
  • for providing the way that we can develop and grow in grace and knowledge

All of that comes from Christ, His sacrifice, and His resurrection during the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast..."

There was a time when I had someone editing for me, who was a 'died in the wool' Protestant. When I wrote this in the book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? that here is a command in the New Testament to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, she resigned! People, carnal in the world, cannot handle it!

"...let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven... [our old way of living] ...nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness..." (v 8).

This is where leaven is defined as symbolic of sin. Why leaven? Well, there's another aspect to it also.

  • Where does sin comes from?
  • Who inspires it?
  • None other than Satan the devil!
    • God has to call us
    • we have to answer the call
    • we have to repent of our sins
    • we have to be baptized

Baptism is our covenant sacrifice, to be joined with Christ's sacrifice for the New Covenant!

Ephesians 2:1: "Now, you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (vs 1-2).

Now, think on this. There are leaven spores in the air everywhere, that's why food spoils. That's why you can take a lump of dough, and you could set it out until it becomes leavened, and that's called sourdough. That's a type of Satan's influence in our lives: Shooting missiles and darts of temptation and sin and wretchedness, to everyone, and even to us!

Verse 3: "Among whom also we... [Paul includes himself] …all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh... [carnal nature] ...and by the mind..."

Many good devices, yes. But all sin! What is one of the ways that sinful people hide the fact that they are wretched people but appear good to the world? By giving money to various causes to help the poor, etc.! Then if you examine their lives, you find an entirely different story.

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

God has called us out of this sin, into His glorious way, so that we can become the children of God, the sons and daughters of God, to rule the world. But we have to prepare for it and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the way that we prepare for it.

Let's see something that Jesus said. Let's see that in putting out the sin we have to repent. But notice what Jesus said and why we are to eat unleavened bread seven days, unleavened is a type of sinlessness.

Let's see what Jesus said about Himself. And the only way that we have eternal life is through Him. As He said, 'I am the Way the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through me.' Now, that's quite a thing to understand!

John 6:47: "Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me has eternal life." Belief is not just acknowledgment:

  • belief leads to obedience
  • belief leads to repentance
  • belief leads to baptism
  • belief leads to receiving the Holy Spirit

So, there's a whole lot more than just a profession of the name of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said, v 48: "I AM the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert, but they died. This is the Bread, which comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die…. [He says in another place, 'not taste of death forever!'] …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" (vs 48-51).

He is talking about the whole purpose of the Passover and His sacrifice on the Passover Day. That is eaten because we've taken the Passover with unleavened bread. That unleavened bread is symbolic of the sinless life of Christ.

Now let's see how that translates into what we must do; v 52: "Because of this, the Jews were arguing with one another, saying, 'How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?'" [quite a question] …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'" (vs 52-53).

  • What symbolized His flesh? The broken unleavened bread!
  • What symbolized His blood? The wine!

Both of those of the Passover ceremony! Now then, He explains what does that mean to eat the flesh of Christ and to drink His blood:

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).

How is that done? By the power of the Holy Spirit of God! Here's the explanation of the symbolism of this:

Verse 57: "As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me." You live by Christ!

Remember in the temptation with Satan, Jesus said, 'Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.' So, we will see that this bread symbolizing Christ symbolizes His sinless body. Yes, we need that for the Passover that's true, but we eat the unleavened bread seven days to show that we will live by the Word of God! That's what it is here.

Let's see there is even a portion of this back in the Psalms. Quite a very interesting thing that is said in Psa. 34. It is indicative of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Psalm 34:8: "O taste and see that the LORD is good…" How do you taste and see? By the Word of Christ! That's what He said, 'You shall live by Me.'

"…blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. O fear the LORD, all you saints, for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him" (vs 8-9).

Quite a wonderful thing! Let's see how this applies in even other ways. Let's see how this is fulfilled. With the Prophets, it was the message that they were given.

Jeremiah 15:16: "Your words were found, and I ate them..." When you read the Word of God, you're not eating the Bible! But you're putting it into your heart and mind, so it becomes part of you.

"…and Your Word was to me the joy and gladness of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts" (v 16).

Ezekiel had a message, and he had to literally, symbolically, eat it. So, it became a part of him.

Ezekiel 2:6: "And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them, nor of their words, though defiers and despisers are with you, and you dwell among scorpions. Do not be afraid of their words, nor frightened by their faces, for they are a rebellious house."

This is how we are able to live in the world, even though it's full of wickedness.

Verse 7: "And you shall speak My words to them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I am saying to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you…. [notice what He gave him]: …And I looked, and behold! A hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll of a book was in it. And He spread it before me; and it was written on the front and on the back. And written on it were lamentations, and mourning, and woe" (vs 7-10).

Ezekiel 3:1: And He said to me, 'Son of man, eat what you find. Eat this scroll, and go speak to the house of Israel.' So, I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. And He said to me, 'Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your belly with this scroll that I give you.' Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was like honey for sweetness" (vs 1-3).

And we find in Rev. 10 that it was in the belly of John bitterness. because the Word of God here was a message of repentance, and doom and gloom because of their sins. But nevertheless, it shows, now in the New Testament, what do we do? Let's see the whole process of all of this, of what God wants. Remember how we covered on the Sabbath before Passover that the carnal mind is 'deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.'

Now then, with repentance and baptism, and receiving of the Holy Spirit, that is the circumcision of the heart. Now you can receive the words of God into your mind. That is going to develop the righteousness of God in you with the words of God and the Holy Spirit. Here David had sinned—Psalm 51. And notice one thing. Even Jesus shows, we need to repent every day. That's the daily prayer (Matt. 6). This is what we do during the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

  • we examine our lives
  • we see where we need to change
  • we need to get the sin out of our lives
  • we need the Word of God that cleanses
  • to heal us
  • to replace all of the things of carnal human nature that is there

Psalm 51:1: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions"—the whole affair with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband in the battle by the order of David!

This is deep repentance; v 2: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin, for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (vs 2-3). That's how you repent:

  • you see your life
  • you see how human nature is
  • you see how difficult it is to overcome
  • you see your shortcomings
  • you see all the things that you are without God

That's what he's saying here!

Verse 4: "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight, that You might be justified when You speak and be in the right when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity..." (vs 4-5). That means he's acknowledging that human nature has the law of sin and death!

"…and in sin did my mother conceive me" (v 5). Not that it was an adulterous affair, but human nature, everything about human beings, is a walking body of sin!

This is the process of conversion. Remember we saw that we are to eat the Word of God. The Word of God is true, there is no lie in it, and it is what God wants to be in us. He will write His laws—His commandments, His Word—into our hearts and into our mind! Now notice how David express this:
Verse 6: "Behold, You desire Truth in the inward parts... [your mind, your heart, your thought process] …and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop..." (vs 6-7). That's what we do when we asked God to forgive us: He cleanses, gets rid of the leaven, gets rid of the sin.

"…and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (v 7).

Verse 9: "Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities."

Verse 10—here is the spiritual creation of God that He is doing in us. Putting the Truth in the inward parts of our heart and mind.

Verse 10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Renew it! That's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is about, renewing! That's what the renewal of the New Covenant is every Passover. Human beings are made:

  • to be renewed
  • to be refreshed
  • to be restored

That's the whole purpose of unleavened bread here!

Psa. 12:6—put this together with some other Scriptures and see how feasting on the Word of God is how we develop character and grow in grace and knowledge! Also, you read those things that convict you of your sin, that convict you to get rid of the evil thoughts that are there. We know they're still there.

Psalm 12:6. The words... [plural] ...of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O LORD..." (vs 6-7).

In other words, all the words that He has for us, He's going to keep them. Not one word is going to be lost.

"...You shall preserve them from this generation forever" (v 7).

This tells you about our thoughts; Proverbs 23:6: "Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye... [that is the way that he thinks, lives and so forth] ...nor desire his dainty foods…. [that's all of his little tidbits of sin] …as he thinks in his heart, so is he…" (vs 6-7)—as you really think, in the very depths of your heart! Only we can examine our own personal hearts, on our knees before God confessing our sins.

  • What do we really have in our heart?
  • Do we have anger and bitterness and all of that sort of thing?

We need to get rid of those things. Those are the things of leaven, spiritually, that we need to get out of our lives.

If you put the leaven out of your homes, and you don't put the leaven out of your lives, what have you accomplished with the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Not very much!

Proverbs 16:1: "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD…. [IF it is the Word of God] …All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits" (vs 1-2). God is always, with His Holy Spirit in us, weighing our spirit!

  • Who is it that leads us to repentance? God!
  • Who is it that convicts us of sin? God!
  • How does that come? Through the Word of God!

So combined together: the Word of God, the Spirit of God, your thoughts, your choices!

Notice how you overcome; v 3: "Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established."

That's how you do it, commit it to God, and "…your thoughts will be established." That's how you keep the carnal mind from ruling in your life.

Verse 4: "The LORD has made all for His own purpose; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though joined hand in hand, he shall not be unpunished…. [here is how we overcome; here is how we get the sin out]: …By mercy... [from God] ...and Truth... [from God, and the truthfulness of your own repentance] ...iniquity is purged, and by the fear of the LORD men turn away from evil" (vs 4-6).

There's a blessing for it if you follow this; v 7: "When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."

That's how you do it! It is an active participation of your choices with the Word of God that you put into your mind. How do you do that? You pray, and you study! That's why God has given His Word. That's what it means to eat the Word of God, to eat the unleavened bread of the body of Christ, which is His Word!

Let's see what we need to do. Because living in this world, we have got a lot of things we always need to be on guard against. Here again, we put the sin out/we put righteousness in. That's the whole purpose of putting out the leaven and eating the unleavened bread. The true unleavened bread is the Word of God.

Proverbs 4:14: "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not into the way of evil men."

We got a lot of things that come right into us through television other things that can lead us astray. So, we need to be careful on what we let into our mind.

Verse 15: "Avoid it; do not go in it; turn from it, and pass on!…. [that's repentance] …For they do not sleep except when they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall, for they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence" (vs 15-17).

We eat the bread of righteousness, Christ and His Word, symbolized by unleavened bread, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Verse 18: "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day." And that perfect day is the resurrection! But:

Verse 19: "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart" (vs 19-21).

That's why prayer and study! That's how we live as Christians!

Verse 22: "For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (vs 22-23). Don't be deceived by the goodness of this world, which is sin, leaven and wickedness!

Now notice, right here with a theme of Unleavened Bread: put out the leaven, put in the unleavened.

Verse 24: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and devious lips put far from you. Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established…. [your ways will be established (Prov. 16)] …Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil" (vs 24-27).

That's the whole purpose of growing, changing and overcoming!

(go to the next track)

We'll survey parts of Matt. 5-7. The reason being is that we need to look at it a little bit differently than we have in the past, and emphasize what Jesus said.

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be... [become] ...perfect... [How perfect?] ...even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect."

This is a summary of what God is doing in converting the saints and preparing them for the Kingdom of God down through the ages, from the time of the beginning of the Church, in 30A.D. on the Day of Pentecost at the temple. Now then, we're going to see that true Christianity is not just taking care of the outward actions of a person, but what is in the mind!

Remember what Paul wrote in Philip. 2, 'Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus.' So, you have to let it. You do that:

  • by submitting to God
  • by studying the Word of God
  • by living by every word of God

The disciples came and sat down and he taught them (Matt. 5:1-2). Every one of these blessings are for a state of being in the mind. Not just 'you be good little children and you'll get candy at the end of the day.' Then they get candy and go out onto the schoolyard and start fighting over who has how much candy. It has to do with what you are within.

Mathew 5:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Not haughty, not uplifted, but having a proper perspective of life and humility! Realizing that we have nothing we didn't receive. All we are is just a small speck of dust grown large. That's it!

Verse 4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Mourn because of the sins that they see.

Think about how it was with Lot that Peter wrote about in 2-Peter. He was vexed every day by their filthy conduct. I've often wondered why he didn't move out sooner. Well, anyway, God rescued him.

Verse 5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. That's also written of in the Psalms! Every one of these are a quote from a Psalm. This is what we need to be doing here.

Verse 6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Now look at the opposite. If you don't hunger and thirst after righteousness, you won't be filled with righteous.

Notice David's tremendous attitude in Psa. 63. There are some other Psalms that are similar to this, but notice how David's attitude was at this point with God:

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You!…." How do you seek God? From the Word of God and living by it with His Spirit!

"…My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is" (v 1). Quite a description!

Notice David's attitude of seeking God. He was hungering and thirsting to be filled with righteousness!

Verse 2: "To see Your power and Your glory—as I have seen You in the sanctuary."

In David's mansion, he had a separate room for the Ark of the Covenant. And Asaph, the high priest, was the one who took care of it. When David would bring his Psalms, he would bring them to the room. He could look through the veil of that tent into where the Holy of Holies was, and apparently he saw some form of God in there from time-to-time, because he says:

"…as I have seen You in the sanctuary. Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live... [the consistency, of our growing and overcoming] ...I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches" (vs 2-6).

Isn't that something? There are times at night, and you're sleeping and you're praying and you're thinking on God, God is dealing with you and helping you!

Verse 7: "Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows hard after You; Your right hand upholds me" (vs 7-8).

Psa. 61—a prayer and of attitude of hungry and thirsting for righteousness, and the Kingdom of God, and the glory of God, and what God is going to give us. This is what we need to keep in mind on a regular basis all the time.

Psalm 61:1: "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth I cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed..." (vs 1-2). Don't we get overwhelmed with problems and difficulties that come along? Yes!

"…lead me to the Rock higher than me, for You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower against the enemy. I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; I will take refuge in the hiding place of Your wings. Selah" (vs 2-4).

Let's see how all of these blessings—blessed blessings—have to do with attitude of mind. Have to do with how you are thinking and governing your life!

Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy" (vs 6-7).

We need to remember that. Just like we read earlier, that you have to forgive if you want to be forgiven. Likewise, if you want mercy, you have to be merciful yourself!

Verse 8: "Blessed are the pure in heart... [that's the whole process of conversion, purifying the heart] ...for they shall see God." That's a tremendous promise! Tie that in with we'll see the face of God (Rev. 22).

Verse 9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (vs 9-10).

That has happened so much during the whole history of the Church. You know, right now we're living in a unique time and age. We have the full Word of God, and God has given us the understanding from His Word of:

  • what His plan is
  • what He's doing
  • what we need to do
  • how we need to change, grow and overcome

The Word of God right before us completely, everything! We need to really be zealous and understand about that, act upon that and think on that, and study the Word of God and grow, change and overcome.

Verse 11: "Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and shall persecute you, and shall falsely say every wicked thing against you, for My sake." Which they did to Christ!

Verse 12: "Rejoice and be filled with joy, for great is your reward in heaven; for in this same manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Verse 20[transcriber's correction]: "For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

What was their righteousness? All physical dos and don'ts! Our righteousness has to be from the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit and God's Word so that our lives are righteous. Not because we do this or that or the other, thinking of the thing to do, but we do it because it is in our mind and in our heart. That is quite a thing! Then He talks about other things concerning attitude.

Matt. 6—Jesus talks about the hypocrites with their long prayers and blowing trumpets and things like that. Mathew 6:6: "But you, when you pray, enter into a private room..." It says 'closet' (KJV), but it means small private room. I know the first time I—after reading this—started praying, I went literally into my closet. After about 10 minutes I had to get out because of the tennis shoes and socks and all of that sort of thing in the closet! So, it's a private room!

"…and after shutting the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret shall reward you openly" (v 6).

In many ways you will never expect! And some things that you will never even know. Until later, you look back and say, 'Yes, God did this.'

Verse 7: "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do..."

If there is a need every day, as long as that need is still there, and you pray about it, that is not a vain repetition. That is a needful repetition. Remember Luke 8 about the widow. She kept coming to the judge, and he says, I'm not going to do it. And finally he says, 'I will do it.' So, Jesus said, likewise, so will your heavenly Father do for you as this judge did for the widow. Never give up! But not vain repetitions. You're not to be like them.

Verse 9: "Therefore, you are to pray after this manner…" The outline! Not memorizing this is your prayer. But this outline:

"...Our Father, Who is in heaven... [that's the grace that we have direct access to the Father] …hallowed be Your name" (v 9).

What is the name of the Father, the Holy name of the Father? The Father! Nowhere in the New Testament is there a Hebrew so called sacred name.

Verse 10: "Your kingdom come..." This means in our lives! We are under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God. We are not yet in it, because it's coming.

"…Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (v 10)—in our lives! Your will be done in our lives, as your will is done in heaven!

Verse 11: "Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors" (vs 11-12). There it is, if you don't forgive, you won't be forgiven!

Verse 13: "And lead us not into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

Now, that's the outline of how we are to pray. This is a spiritual, mental, heartfelt and heart driven activity in connecting us with God every day, and renewing the spirit within us.

Notice how this is ending the chapter, adding to what we have in Matt. 5:48:

Mathew 6:33: "But as for you... [that's all of us, Jesus is talking to us] ...seek first... [the primary important thing] ...the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Go through and see how much all the teachings of Jesus has to do with the heart and the mind!

Col. 2—here we will have some admonitions for us and what we need to do. Remember that the Epistle of Colossians was to be read to the Laodicean Church. If this is not a Laodicean age, I don't know what it is. We'll read a few verses to see how he gives us direction of what we need to do, and warnings on what we need to avoid.

Colossians 2:1: "Now, I want you to understand what great concern I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love..." (vs 1-2).

That's the ultimate of all the things that God wants done with the changing of our hearts and of our minds.

"…unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (vs 2-3).

Now he is juxtaposing this with all of the fallen angels, and philosophies and mysteries of the pagans.

Verse 4: "Now, this I say so that no one may deceive you by persuasive speech…. [we just finished a whole series on How Apostasy Starts] …For though I am indeed absent in the flesh, yet, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him" (vs 4-6)—walking in the footsteps of Jesus!

Verse 7: "Being rooted and built up... [spiritually] ...in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power" (vs 7-10).

We're in a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, spiritually. That's primary and greater than anything on this earth, anything that any religion has on this earth. That's why we need to be zealous and striving and overcoming. You are complete in Him. You have to have the circumcision of the heart, in order to receive the things of God. Notice what Paul tells him and reminds them:

Verse 11: "In Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ."

That's what baptism is all about. When you repent, and you are baptized into the watery grave, you are sacrificing yourself in a pledge of death to God, that you will be faithful. Christ's sacrifices have already been given. You are conjoined to that. Now you are in covenant with God. This is the New Covenant. What we're talking about is: How do you live in the New Covenant."

Verse 12: "Having been buried with Him in baptism... [that's how the circumcision of the heart takes place, and the receipt of the Holy Spirit] ...by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead."

Let's see what we are to do, and look at some of the things that God wants us to do. I don't think we can get away from reading Col. 3 during Unleavened Bread anymore than we can get away from reading the Scriptures you shall unleavened your home's, not have any leaven within all your borders! Col. 3 is the entire epitome of why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. All of these things are based on spiritual attributes and qualities:

  • how we are perfected
  • how we are seeking the righteousness of God

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above... [that's all put in the Bible for us] ...where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God."

That's why we pray. Christ is the Head of the Church. He is running and governing everything in the Church. If we yield to Him, He will grant us of:

  • His Spirit
  • His understanding
  • His love
  • His faith

All of that also comes from the Father!

Verse 2: "Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died... [in the watery grave of baptism] ...and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested... [coming back to the earth] …then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 2-4)—the resurrection!

Here is what we are to do with the carnal nature that is within us. If you are loving God, if you're doing what is right, your thoughts will be established! Let's see how that is fulfilled here:

Verse 5: "Therefore, put to death your members, which are on earth... [the biggest problem of human beings worldwide, bar none, are sex problems] ...sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires... [lust] ...and covetousness, which is idolatry."

These things we have to fight. We also have to be careful that we are not caught up in the occultism of the world's television today. It is amazing how much occultism is there. So, we have to be on guard and not let these things enter our mind!

Verse 6: "Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked... [we don't walk that way; we walk in the way of God] …when you were living in these things. But now, you should also put off all these things..." (vs 6-8).
All of these are thoughts and attitudes of the mind and heart. It isn't do this physical thing, do that physical thing. It is to have your minds purified and cleansed with the Spirit of God. But God wants our work in having that done within us.

Verse 8: "But now, you should also put off all these things: wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth."

All of that comes from the heart and the mind! You get caught up in these things. Hatred takes hold, and you get angry and bitter. That's how Satan is given an entrance. So, put it out!

Verse 9: "Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him" (vs 9-10).

You're being renewed and molded in the image of Christ. The whole purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to put the evil out of our lives, that's the leaven. Put in the unleavened bread, which is the unleavened bread of righteousness and Truth, which is the Word of God.

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." That spiritual service is:

  • loving God
  • loving the brethren
  • loving your neighbor
  • serving the brethren
  • doing the things that God has said
  • helping
  • praying
  • studying

Now notice, again a warning; v 2: "Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed..." There are two transformations:

  • conversion
  • the resurrection

But be transformed by what? "...by the renewing of your mind..." (v 2). By doing things that we find, in Col. 3; putting out and putting in; putting out the evil and putting in the righteousness of God!

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

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a tremendous time for us to realize that we must be doing this all the time. This is kind of like Paul said to Timothy in 2-Tim. 1, 'Stir up the spirit that is in you, by the laying on of my hands.'

If we stir up our spirit, God will stir us up Himself, too, so that we can be zealous and do the things that God wants us to do. This is a fantastic thing that God wants us to go through every single year. We live in the world, and we're not a part of the world, but we have to grow, change and overcome. This tells us how to do it. Every year we are reminded!

We keep the Sabbath every Sabbath, and I guarantee you, if you stop keeping the Sabbath you would soon wither on the vine and be gone. Spiritual knowledge cannot stay in a physical mind! That's why we need the Spirit of God united with the spirit of man, and that we can stir ourselves up and we can do the things that God wants us to do.

Colossians 3:12: "Put on then, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved..."

Now think of that. Elect means selected! God selected you. God selected all the brethren. Down through the ages of time, God has selected whoever would come to Him and yield to Him and repent. We are the selected! The called, the selected and the faithful! The selected of God, Holy and beloved by God.

God loves you, even if you're going through the worst terrible trial of your life. God wants you to trust in Him, have him bring the deliverance, have Christ intervene for you. He loves you! That's why He called you. He wants to give you eternal life. How's that?

"...deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering… [all qualities of conversion and attitude of a converted mind] …forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. [that's what we need to do brethren] …above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection" (vs 12-14).

Now what did we read in Matthew 5:48? "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." What is the bond of perfection? Love!

God doesn't want the ministers ruling the brethren. That is an idol between God and the brethren and their relationship with God. Notice what is to rule in our lives right here:

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts... [that comes from God; in other words, God rules in your heart] ... to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly... [how it's accomplished] ...in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 15-17).

Let's put this to practice, and let's see how we are to be using the love of God. So, all of these other factors and qualities all support the love of God.

Mark 12:28: "And one of the scribes who had come up to Him, after hearing them reasoning together and perceiving that He answered them well, asked Him, 'Which is the first commandment of all?'" This means the primary, the #1 commandment of God!

Verse 29: "Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is..." This doesn't do away with any of the commandments of God; this encompasses all of them!

"...Hear, O Israel... [you put your name there] ... Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God... [How?] ...with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (vs 29-30)

Doesn't that sound like a full time occupation spiritually? Yes, it does! That's what God wants. Love is the most difficult to come to; that is the hardest, because it involves action, as well as:

  • emotion
  • thought
  • the heart
  • the mind
  • the doing

Because remember what Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely Mine.'

"'…This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these.' Then the scribe said to Him, 'Right, Master...'" (vs 30-32). Then Jesus gave them a parable concerning a Samaritan! A good one to test out a scribe on.

1-Cor. 13 is the love chapter. Unfortunately, the Latinists in translating the King James Version, did not translate the Greek 'agape' as love, they translated it as charity. That was to prove their Latin roots to everyone.
This is a good examination for our own lives, and good goals that we can work toward, because:

  • we all need to grow in love
  • we all need to grow in knowledge
  • we all need to grow in grace
  • we all need to grow in the Word of God

All of that will add to the love of God and help us, and it can't be done just by human emotion! That's why Paul starts out this way:

1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

Not as, but becomes that. Have you ever had people clang, clang in their speaking and you can't stand it? Well there it is right there! You've got to have love. Sometimes love maybe a little tough. Sometimes love may be a little direct, but nevertheless, it is love!

Verse 2. "If I have the gift..." Think how many ministers would want this; how many people would want this!

"…of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (v 2). Nada!

Think of the greatest person in the world. Let's look at the beast and the false prophet. False prophet calls down fire from heaven. 'Oh, what a wonderful thing!' and 'Oh, look, we have God manifested in the flesh; what a wonderful world ruler. Make an idol to him!'

You know what God says of that? In the flesh that may be something, but to Him, it is nothing!Guess what's going to happen to the beast and the false prophet? God has got a nice little gift for them called the Lake of Fire! We're going to warm your toes and your whole body until you're gone!

Verse 3: "And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing."

You haven't impressed God. You're not compelling God to do anything. Put your name wherever there is love, and this will help you understand. I'll put my name wherever there is love to help me understand what I need to work on, too.

Verse 4. Love is patient and is kind... [Who? That's something we need to work on!] ...love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up." Got to get rid of the vanity! Got to get rid of me, myself and I.

Verse 5. "Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil." We all have a lot of work to do on that!

Verse 6: Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth." Your Word is the Truth, Jesus said!

Verse 7: "Love bears all things... [whenever the problems come] ...believes all things... [all that God has said]  ...hopes all things, endures all things. Love, never fails…." (vs 7-8). Cannot, because:

  • that comes from God
  • God is eternal
  • God will never fail

"...But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease... [they'll be fulfilled]  ...whether there be languages, they shall cease... [we'll all have a new language] ...whether there be knowledge... [the knowledge we have of today] ...it shall vanish away" (v 8)—with all the spiritual knowledge that God is going to teach us when we're in the Kingdom!

Verse 9: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is Perfect... [Where did we start? Matt. 5:48] ...has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside…. [Paul gives us a good lesson here]: …When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child" (vs 9-11). We need to grow up in grace and knowledge!

Verse 12: "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known."

Here is the key for Unleavened Bread, and developing the character and mind of Christ:

Verse 13: "And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love."

That's the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, during the rest of the Feast, take extra time in prayer, extra time in study, and you've got a good amount of time to do so. Ask God to help you see and understand what you need to do, and grow in grace and knowledge!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • John 6:47-57
  • Psalm 34:8-9
  • Jeremiah 15:16
  • Ezekiel 2:6-10
  • Ezekiel 3:1-3
  • Psalm 51:1-7, 9-10
  • Psalm 12:6-7
  • Proverbs 23:6-7
  • Proverbs 16:1-7
  • Proverbs 4:14-27
  • Matthew 5:48, 3-6
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • Psalm 61:1-4
  • Matthew 5:6-12, 20
  • Matthew 6:6-13, 33
  • Colossians 2:1-12
  • Colossians 3:1-10
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Colossians 3:12-14
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Colossians 3:15-17
  • Mark 12:28-32
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 1
  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Revelation 6
  • Philippians 2
  • Matthew 5:1-2
  • Revelation 22
  • Luke 8
  • 2 Timothy 1

Also referenced:

  • Book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon Series: How Apostasy Starts

Transcribed: 3/27/19

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