Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, March 2013

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

March 7, 2013

Dear Brethren,

We are making this month’s mailing a week early because the spring festivals—the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread—occur during the last week of March. If we sent this mailing in the middle of the month as usual, the materials needed for the observance of these festivals would arrive too late.

We have produced all new messages for this year’s spring feasts (CD number one). On the second CD are regular Sabbath messages with overviews of the Passover from both the Old and New Testaments. Thus, you will have everything you need to observe the Passover and keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Remember, only those who have been baptized and are in a covenant relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ should partake of the Christian Passover. However, the Night to be Much Observed and the Feast of Unleavened Bread may be observed by those who have not yet been baptized.

Dates for Passover and Unleavened Bread, 2013:

• Passover—Sunday, March 24, as it is beginning to get dark.

• Night to be Much Observed to the Lord—Monday, March 25, at sunset.

• First Holy Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread—Tuesday, March 26

• Last Holy Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread—Monday, April 1

In the Scriptures we find that God reckons the day from sunset to sunset. In Genesis chapter one, the day is defined as an “evening” and a “morning” (verse 5, etc.). Such timing is part of creation. As we will see, this is why the God-given Calculated Hebrew Calendar (CHC) is the most accurate calendar for reckoning God’s feasts and holy days.

All humanly-devised calendar schemes are deficient, even those featuring sophisticated mathematics, because they are based on observing God’s creation from the vantage point of the earth—looking toward the heavens. But God, Who created the universe, including time—days, weeks, months, years, even eternity—reckons time from the heavens down to the earth. This is why the CHC is the most accurate method for reckoning the feasts of God in their seasons.

When God made His covenant with ancient Israel, He gave the priests and Levites the method of calculating the times and seasons for God’s annual feasts and holy days. He gave them the responsibility of calculating and preserving the CHC—thus, they could proclaim the weekly Sabbath and the proper dates to observe His commanded feasts and holy days as found in Leviticus 23. In verse 32, God’s command concerning the timing of the Sabbath and the holy days is absolutely clear: “From sunset to sunset you shall keep your Sabbath.” To this day, the descendants of the priests and Levites within the Jewish community have accuratelypreserved the CHC—as well as the Old Testament, written and preserved in the Hebrew language. Furthermore, there is nothing in the New Testament that changes how God defines a day and calculates the times for His feasts. Finally, God has never given authority to any other group of men or organization to calculate His feasts and holy days. All other calendar schemes of men are null and void before God.

How, then, were the Sabbath and holy days—based the CHC—replaced with the pagan holidays observed today as part of the Roman calendar? First, God revealed to Daniel that it would happen. The “little horn” of Daniel 7:8 is identified in Revelation 17 as the “false Christianity” that originated in Rome and which will again come to full power in the last days. “And he shall be different from the first [the secular powers], and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the set times and the laws [of God]” (Dan. 7:24-25).

Even today, men are continuing to change the “set times and laws” by making Sunday appear as the seventh day of the week on the Roman Calendar. For years now, Europe and other parts of the world have reckoned Monday as the first day of the week and Sunday as the seventh day. As a result, they call Saturday and Sunday the “weekend.” These prophesied changes to the “set times and laws” of God are documented in history. Unfortunately, this history is virtually unknown, as it is rarely taught.

However, both history and the New Testament reveal that from the beginning of the true Church of God on Pentecost 30 AD until the death of the apostle John in 99-100 AD, early Christians (Jews and Gentiles) used the CHC to observe the weekly Sabbath, keep the 14th Passover, and observe the holy days of God. In the 100s AD, after John’s death, two of his successors, Polycarp and Polycrates, valiantly fought against the apostate bishops of Rome (and other “early church fathers” of the Catholic Church) concerning this very issue.

The change from using the CHC to using the Roman Calendar occurred when huge numbers of pagans began to join—and subsequently subvert—the churches of God. From Rome, Egypt, and the western areas of the Roman Empire, there was a powerful movement to reject anything Jewish. (These false teachers also disregarded the authority of the Old Testament.) This meant abandoning the observance of the 7th-day Sabbath, the 14th Passover, and the holy days—as well as the CHC. But Polycarp and Polycrates held fast to the true 14th Passover, as instituted by Jesus Christ.

In his book From Sabbath to Sunday, the late Samuele Bacchiocchi documents the history of the change from the 7th-day Sabbath to Sunday. It all began with the rejection of God’s Passover on the 14thday of the first month—known historically as the Quartodeciman controversy. This subsequently led to the adoption of communion, Easter and, later, Lent. As he demonstrates in his epochal book, the changes began with an attack on the 14th Passover and the 7th-day Sabbath—anything Jewish. Thus, Sunday worship, weekly “communion,” and Easter replaced the Sabbath, Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, respectively. (I strongly recommend Bacchiocchi’s book; its 372 pages document these great doctrinal battles between the Romish Church and the churches of God from the time of the apostles to the 400s AD.)

From our book The Christian Passover, Carl Franklin wrote in his Prologue the following summary of Satan’s assault against the truth of God concerning the Passover and weekly Sabbath:

“Christianity itself has not been immune to the insidious influences of Baalism. Deliberate attempts to pervert the true worship of God through the counterfeit teachings of Baalism [sun worship] are recorded in the writings of the New Testament. The force behind these attempts was the centuries-old assertion that Nisan 14 was not the true Passover day of God. The epistles of Paul are rife with this doctrinal combat (Galatians, Colossians, Hebrews), and the Gospel of John attests to this spiritual and doctrinal combat in which all true Christians were fully engaged by AD 70. By AD 95, the leadership of the Roman church was abandoning the seventh-day Sabbath for Sunday, the first day of the week, and abandoning the 14th Passover for Easter Sunday worship.

“This was the battlefield of doctrine on which the early New Testament church, the new Israel, engaged Baal and his priests (II Peter 2; Jude 11; Revelation 2:14). These priests of Baal … launched a three-pronged assault against the true Christians of the first-century church. One prong of the assault was launched from Jerusalem; a second assault was launched from Alexandria, Egypt; and the third assault was launched from Rome.

“These three movements soon coalesced into a weekly communion service—a meal of transubstantiation to Mithras, the Baal of Persia, and the annual sunrise service in honor of Mithras’ supposed resurrection. This service, now renamed Christian, was adopted by growing numbers of churches throughout the empire until it eventually replaced the true Passover service of Nisan 14. This push to paganize the worship of God was championed by Orthodox and Gnostic Gentile leaders of Asia Minor and Rome.

“By AD 135, nearly every church congregation in the Mediterranean region had abandoned the [annual] true [14th] Passover for Sunday [worship], Communion and the yearly Easter sunrise services. By AD 195, a mere sixty years later, the Orthodox Gentile bishops of Palestine had fully succumbed to this onslaught. Let us not forget that the first step in this dastardly departure from the true worship of God was the seemingly innocuous introduction of Baal’s communion meal of Nisan 15 by the Middle Eastern conspiracy and of Baal’s weekly Sunday worship by the leadership of Rome.

“By AD 200, the only remaining bastion of truth to be found west of the Great Syrian Desert was in the province of Asia [Minor]. As the book of Revelation and early church histories record, the true Christians of Asia, led by the Ephesus church, manned the ramparts of righteousness, as received from the Lord Jesus Christ and the true apostles, and repelled assault after assault against the weekly seventh-day Sabbath and against the 14th Passover.

“Eusebius records the testimony of Polycrates, the leader of the Ephesian resistance, who held fast against this invasion of false doctrine: ‘...but the bishops in Asia were led by Polycrates in persisting that it was necessary to keep the custom which had been handed down to them of old. Polycrates himself in a document which he addressed to [bishop] Victor and to the church of Rome, expounds the tradition which had come to him as follows: “Therefore we keep the day undeviatingly, neither adding nor taking away, for in Asia great luminaries sleep, and they will rise on the day of the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with glory from heaven and seek out [literally to raise up] all the saints. Such were Phillip of the twelve apostles, and two of his daughters who grew old as virgins, who sleep in Hierapolis, and another daughter of his, who lived in the Holy Spirit, rests at Ephesus. Moreover, there is also John, who lay on the Lord’s breast, who was a priest wearing the breastplate, and the martyr, and teacher. He sleeps at Ephesus. And there is also Polycarp at Smyrna, both bishop and martyr, who sleeps at Laodicea, and Papirius, too, the blessed, and Melito the eunuch, who lived entirely in the Holy Spirit, who lies in Sardis, waiting for the visitation from heaven when he will rise from the dead. All these kept the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the gospel, never swerving, but following according to the rule of the faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, live according to the tradition of my kinsmen, and some of them have I followed. For seven of my family were bishops and I am the eighth, and my kinsmen ever kept the day when the people put away the leaven. Therefore, brethren, I who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord and conversed with the brethren from every country, and have studied all the holy Scriptures, am not afraid of threats, for they have said who were greater than I, ‘It is better to obey God rather than men’ ” ’ (Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History, Vol. I, pp. 505-507).

“After the death of Polycrates and his fellow Christian warriors in Asia Minor, the only remaining resistance to the relentless pagan conspiracy was in the distant Mesopotamian Valley and in the mountainous regions of Europe. Our true Christian brethren in these regions faithfully preserved the Old and New Testaments from the ravages of the Roman Orthodox, Jewish Orthodox and Gnostic communities. Opposing all corrupting influences, they preserved the only true testimony of our Messiah and His Passover” (TheChristian Passover, Prologue, pp. iii-iv).

This is why, in the spring of the year, the so-called “Christian” world celebrates their counterfeit, “Christianized” pagan holidays of Lent and Easter around the same time as the true Christian Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is astonishing that they celebrate the very practices that the Bible condemns and commands us not to observe. What is even more amazing is that, today, there are many professing “Christians”—as well as theologians, teachers and ministers, priests, bishops, cardinals and popes—who realize that these holidays have been adopted from the pagan religions of the world. Yet they celebrate them while claiming to “worship the Lord”—professing themselves to be “Christian.” In so doing, they are spiritually blinded to the fact that such false practices are actually sin in the eyes of God! Rather than bringing them close to God, this mindset places them further away from God, keeping them locked in the grip of Satan’s deception.

The truth is this: All traditional Eucharist celebrations, communions, or “Lord’s Suppers” are counterfeits of the true, New Covenant Christian Passover. Protestants and Catholics observe these traditional practices mainly on Sunday, although Catholics can celebrate the Eucharist on any day during the week, when the priest offers it. Clearly, they have set aside the instructions of Jesus Christ and His apostles and replaced them with traditions of men (Mark 7:1-13).

Since we go into great detail concerning these false practices in our books The Christian Passover, Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which? and The Day Jesus the Christ Died, we will not attempt repeat that information in this letter. You may order these books at no cost. Simply write, call the office, or e-mail us at or

The New Covenant Christian Passover

The New Covenant Christian Passover is the foundation of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ—a plan God predestined from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). When God established His eternal covenant with Abraham—promising physical and spiritual descendants—He did so on the Passover night, the 14th day of the first month, according to the CHC (Gen. 15:3-21). Exactly 430 years later, when God sent Moses to lead the children of Israel out of their Egyptian slavery, He again used the 14th day of the first month to fulfill His will and covenant promise to Abraham.

After weeks of sending plagues against the Egyptians, God executed His final plague—the death of the Egyptian firstborn, of both man and beast, on the night of the 14th day. God commanded Moses to instruct the Israelites to prepare for this awesome night. They were to select a lamb on the 10th day of the month to be sacrificed “between the two evenings”—after sunset, but before dark—at the beginning of the 14th day at their various homes scattered throughout Goshen. They were to take some of the blood of the Passover lamb—a fore type of Christ’s shed blood—and sprinkle it on the door posts and upper lintel of their houses. As God passed through the land to destroy Egypt’s firstborn, He would see the blood of the Passover lamb and “pass over” Israel’s firstborn. This act was God’s final judgment against all the gods of Egypt (Ex. 12:1-14). Thus, this day is called the Passover because on that night God passedover the houses of the Israelites and spared their firstborn—man and beast.

The Gospel of John reveals that John the Baptist called Jesus Christ the “Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36). Indeed, the true New Testament Christian Passover, the basis of the New Covenant, was instituted by Jesus Himself on the night of His last Passover—the 14th day of the first month, the appointed time for His crucifixion (Rom. 5:6). And it is only through His sacrifice and the shedding of His blood that we have forgiveness of sin (Rom. 3:23-31). Thus, the entire New Testament is built on the foundation of the Passover, the 14th day of the first month according to the CHC. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote to the Gentile church at Corinth: “For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.” This is absolute proof that Gentile believers were observing the 14th Passover, as well as the Feast of Unleavened Bread (I Cor. 5:7-8).

Who should partake of the New Covenant Christian Passover? In worldly Christianity, nearly anyone can go to a Protestant or Catholic church and partake of their “Lord’s Supper,” communion, or Eucharist. However, this is not the case with the true Christian Passover observance. The Scriptures show that only those who have been baptized should partake of this special covenant service—for only those who have been converted have truly pledged their lives in covenant with God the Father and Jesus Christ through the symbolic “death” of baptism by immersion. They have thereby entered into this covenant of eternal life, guaranteed by the death and resurrection of Christ—the Son of God—as God manifested in the flesh. After this special covenant baptism, they receive the Holy Spirit of God through the laying on of hands. Therefore, they alone are under the true grace of God; Orthodox Christians assume they are under grace, but they are not.

Paul explains this covenant baptism and grace in his epistle to the Romans, as there were those during his ministry who were believing in a false grace that allowed people to continue living in sin. He writes, “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin [transgression of the law, I John 3:4], so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin [by water baptism], how shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death? [Jesus’ death was His covenant death for sin, for the New Covenant.]

“Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death [the believer’s symbolic covenant death]; so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin; because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin.

“Now if we died together with Christ [in this covenant death], we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God. In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof.

“Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin [the transgression of the law]; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness [spiritual love and obedience] to God. For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!” (Rom. 6:1-15).

The New Testament teaches that grace is more than the forgiveness of sin, which is mercy. Rather, New Covenant grace is the Christian’s whole spiritual relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ—because he or she has received the Holy Spirit of God.

The night of Jesus’ last Passover, before He was betrayed and arrested, He instructed His disciples concerning the conditions necessary to receive the Holy Spirit, which gives true believers the power to overcome Satan, society, sin and self. These are His very words: “If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: even the Spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you…. In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him…. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:15-17, 20-21, 23).

On the day of Pentecost in 30 AD, the apostle Peter preached a powerful message to the multitude of Jews and proselytes assembled at the Temple in Jerusalem. God inspired him to say: “ ‘Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with full assurance that God has made this same Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ Now after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call.’ And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who joyfully received his message were baptized; and about three thousand souls were added that day. And they steadfastly continued in the teachings of the apostles and in fellowship…” (Acts 2:36-42).

When we combine these passages with the teachings of Christ, three fundamental truths are revealed concerning the forgiveness of sin and the receiving of the Holy Spirit:

1) Believers must repent of their sins and be baptized before they can receive the Holy Spirit—which is their begettal unto eternal life and their entry into the New Covenant.

2) A person’s love for God the Father and Jesus Christ is more than an emotional feeling. Such spiritual love comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, given to the believer by God as an expression of His love.

3) In turn, our love for God is demonstrated by keeping the commandments and words of Jesus—all of which have come from the Father.

This is diametrically opposite of the teachings of Orthodox Christianity. They teach that Jesus and Paul abolished the laws and commandments of God. However, when Jesus began His ministry He emphatically declared that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; rather, He came to fulfill them (Matt. 5:17-18). Likewise, at the end of His ministry He emphatically declared: “The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, Who sent Me” (John 14:24).

The proper observance of the Christian Passover ceremony is based entirely on Jesus’ words as recorded in the Gospels, which Paul affirms in I Corinthians 11. On His last Passover night, Jesus instituted the New Covenant Passover. It is the foundation of God’s covenant promise of eternal life. There are three parts to the Christian Passover ceremony.

1) The footwashing, as found in John 13:1-17. It was of vital importance that Jesus told His disciples that if they did not wash one another’s feet they would have “no part” with Him.

2) Partaking of the broken unleavened bread. Jesus said the broken unleavened bread symbolized His broken, beaten body: “And He took bread; and after giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body, which is given for you. This do in the remembrance of Me’ ” (Luke 22:19).

3) Partaking of the wine, which symbolizes Jesus’ shed blood of the New Covenant for the remission of sin. “In like manner also, He took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you’ ” (Luke 22:20). “For this is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). “This is the cup of the New Covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of Me” (I Cor. 11:25).

Jesus made it clear that true Christians are obligated to observe the New Covenant Christian Passover in the manner He taught the apostles. Every year it is to be observed on the night of the 14th day of the first month according to the CHC. It is to be the remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Keeping it is absolutely necessary in order to receive eternal life, as Jesus said: “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 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. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me” (John 6:53-57). Thus, the observance of the Passover is the reaffirmation of our covenant pledge to live by Jesus Christ, Who is “the truth and the way and the life” (John 14:6).

The Feast of Unleavened Bread: In the morning after the Passover, the children of Israel left their homes and journeyed to Rameses where they assembled for departure from Egypt. The Israelites then began their departure as the sun was setting to end the 14th, the Passover day, and begin the 15th, the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. Moses recorded: “And they [the children of Israel] set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the next day after the Passover day, the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians” (Num. 33:3). Since the Israelites numbered 1.5 million or more, it probably took until dark for the last ones to leave Rameses as they traveled toward Succoth: “The Lord your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night” (Deut. 16:1). This night is to be observed and has a special name: “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day [that God established His covenant with Abraham, in Gen. 15], all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed to the Lordfor bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that NIGHT of the Lordto be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations” (Ex. 12:41-42). This special night begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and is called the “Night to be Much Observed.”

Concerning the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning on the 15th, we read: “You shall eat unleavened bread seven days; 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 thereshall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. 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 the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this very 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. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset [ending the 14th and beginning the 15th], you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at sunset [ending the 21st day]. Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread” (Ex. 12:15-20).

There are other places in the Pentateuch where God gives similar commands for this spring festival. As you will notice, the weekly Sabbath—which is the Fourth of the Ten Commandments—establishes God’s authority concerning the annual feasts and holy days, as we find in Leviticus 23: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, “Concerning the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed feasts. 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 Lordin all your dwellings.

“ ‘ “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the Lord’s Passover, 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” ’ ” (verses 1-8).

In the Old Testament, this feast was observed as a reminder that God had brought Israel out of Egypt by His power and might. (In The Christian Passover we thoroughly cover every aspect of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When you read and study this book, you will have a complete understanding of these two feasts of God.) As we will see, New Testament believers—Jew and Gentile—kept the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread with a spiritual emphasis.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament: In the New Testament, leaven—as it is related to the Feast of Unleavened Bread—is shown to be symbolic of sin. Paul makes this clear to the brethren in Corinth. They indeed had removed the physical leaven from their homes for the Feast of Unleavened Bread as God commands. However, there is a higher spiritual meaning to this feast, which Paul teaches: the putting away of spiritual leaven, or sin, from our lives (and even the local church).

A grievous, blatant sexual sin had been long tolerated by the Corinth church. As a result, Paul had to severely correct them. In so doing, He defines the spiritual meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. “It is commonly reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—allowing one to have hisown father’s wife. You are puffed up [with the “leaven” of sin and vanity] and did not grieve instead, so that he who did this deed might be taken out of your midst. For I indeed, being absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged concerning him who has so shamelessly committed this evil deed as if I were present: In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, together with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

“Your glorying is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? [Sin contaminates the whole church.] Therefore, purge out the old leaven [of this grievous sin], so that you may become a new lump [to develop godly character], even as you are unleavened [physically, by putting out leaven from your homes]. For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For this reason, let us keep the feast [of Unleavened Bread], not with old leaven [of sin], nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:1-8).

The Key to Overcoming Sin: After we have received the Holy Spirit of God, we begin the process of overcoming our sinful human nature, called the “law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome the sin within through daily repentance (Luke 11:5). Through the sacrifice of Christ, God is faithful to forgive all our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness: “And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is light, and there is no darkness at all in Him. If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth.

“However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IF WE CONFESS OUR OWN SINS [daily repentance to God], He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 1:5-10; 2:1-2).

Paul also makes it clear that even after we are converted we still sin—because we still have a nature that readily tempts us: “[Let] us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance, having ourminds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith…. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin” (Heb. 12:1-2, 4). This is why Jesus instructs us to repent of our sins daily.

It is important to understand that people who do not have the Holy Spirit within them do not have the power to overcome sin—the sin within, the sins of the mind. People are able to have some control over sins that are evidenced in their behavior. However, it takes the power of the Spirit of God within us to repent and overcome sin through the “washing of the water by the Word” (Eph. 5:26). This is the whole meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—putting out leaven, putting out sin.

While we have our part in overcoming, it is through Jesus’ shed blood and the power of the Holy Spirit within us that we are able to truly overcome our sins—our actions and our thoughts. Ultimately, at the resurrection when Jesus returns, we will also overcome death!

Brethren, may God bless all of His people with an extra portion of His Holy Spirit as we keep the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread this year. May God the Father and Jesus Christ continue to bless us so we can grow in grace and knowledge day by day. We thank you for your love and prayers for us and all the brethren, and for your continued support through your tithes and offerings. Remember, we are to stand in grace, walk in faith, believe in hope, and live in love.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter


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