The Feasts of God (4)

Table of Contents

24. Passover: Departure

25. The Unleavened Bread: The Analogy of Leaven

26. The Unleavened Bread: Progressive Revelation

27. The Unleavened Bread: Seeing Jesus

28. The Unleavened Bread: The Unity of the Faith

29. The Unleavened Bread: The Rough Ways Made Smooth

30. The Unleavened Bread: Freedom from Sin

31. The Unleavened Bread: Freedom from Malice and Wickedness

Chapter Twenty Four

The Feasts of God

Passover

Departure

 

And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.

Exodus 12:11

 

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

Ephesians 6:14-15

 

That first Passover in Egypt, the lamb was to be slain, the blood painted on the doorposts, the meat consumed; and then the Israelites were to depart Egypt.  Without the departure the rest would have been in vain.  In fact, the rest took place so there could be a departure.

 

So it is with us.  When we receive the crucified Son of God as our Lord and Savior, and enter into the covenant of blood with the Father, we begin the process of becoming one with the Lord; signified by the act we often refer to as communion when we symbolically eat His flesh and drink His blood. 

 

In the first century church the act of communion was more than drinking a sip of juice and eating a little wafer or piece of bread.  It entailed an entire meal.  They ate and drank until they were full, so to speak; signifying that we must be filled with all the fullness of Christ (see Ephesians 4:13).

 

All this working together (the slain Lamb, the blood, the consuming of the Lamb) is the process that enables us to depart from the old man (the Adamic nature) and our old ways (sin nature).  This departure must take place in order for us to enter the Kingdom.

 

But there is more that must take place before we can fully enter the Kingdom.

 

A Three Day Journey

 

And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

Exodus 3:18

 

When Moses was first instructed by God to approach Pharaoh, he was instructed to require of Pharaoh that Israel be allowed to take a three day journey into the wilderness, to sacrifice to their God.  Prophetically, three days here is very significant.

 

We are a three day Church.  The apostle Peter placed great importance on the knowledge that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day (see 2 Peter 3:8).  Israel’s three day journey into the wilderness was a type and shadow of the three day Church.

 

We should note that because the Israelites were slaves to Pharaoh, they were legally obligated to return to Egypt after the three days.  But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh pursued the Israelites into the wilderness (see Exodus 14:8), to his own demise.  When Pharaoh and his army were destroyed in the Red Sea, Israel was then free to go on to the Promised Land.  A dead Pharaoh could own no one.

 

Are you getting the picture?

 

Pharaoh is a type of Satan.  Satan kept us enslaved until we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and entered into our blood covenant with God our Father.  We began to consume His Word, enabling us to become more and more like Him, but Satan continued to pursue us, wanting us back in his camp. 

 

This is not only a picture of us individually, but is historically and prophetically a picture of the Church as a whole.  For much of this three day (millennia) journey, the devil has appeared to have had the upper hand, always about to destroy us.  As did Israel, we have perhaps most of the time perceived him as being almost equal to God, enabling him to get the best of us (so to speak) much of the time.  But that time is quickly coming to a close if we will but stand and witness the salvation of our God, as did Israel when Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the Red Sea. 

 

Israel’s deliverance (navigating the Red Sea by walking through it on dry land) became a death trap for Pharaoh and his army.  So it is with us.  Our deliverance is the very thing that will bring about the demise of Satan; the end result being the kingdoms (nations) of this world becoming the Kingdom of God (see Revelation 11:15).

 

Sometimes it appears we have walked into the jaws of death by following the Lord, but if we will but wait and trust in His salvation, we will see our deliverance and the demise of our enemy.  We can experience this as individual believers but we will see it happen on a global scale in this, the third day (millennium) of the Church.

 

And I might add, it is then that we will see the blood of the martyrs of the faith avenged.

 

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Revelation 20:1-3

 

This is why it is of the utmost importance that we stop looking for the great escape (rapture) and focus completely on overcoming.  We are overcomers, not escape artists.  We are just now entering into the most exciting time in all of history so far.  Just as Israel’s baptism into the Red Sea enabled them to go on to the Promised Land, our baptism with fire (see Matthew 3:11) enables us to go on into this third day of the Church, which will be the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles; when we will come into the unity of the faith, having a complete knowledge of the Son of God, being perfected according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (see Ephesians 4:13). 

 

Glory to God!

Chapter Twenty Five

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

The Analogy of Leaven

 

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover.  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

Leviticus 23:5-6

 

Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

Luke 22:1

 

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?

Matthew 26:17

 

Israel was instructed by God to observe the Feast of Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month in the evening, which was to be followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the fifteenth day, lasting for seven days.  However, the two feasts were so closely related they were considered to be one feast, as seen in Luke 22:1 and Matthew 26:17.

 

When the Israelites left Egypt they took with them unleavened bread, simply because they didn’t have time to add leaven to it.  They left in haste (see Exodus 12:39).  Had they lingered in Egypt they would have had plenty of time to add leaven to their bread, but their sudden departure made it necessary to take with them unleavened bread.

 

This is a type and shadow of the New Testament believer.  As long as we are pressing on in our pursuit of the spiritual life, we don’t have time to partake of the corrupting influences that our flesh would have us focus on.  Our focus is on the things of God, and on our walk of obedience to the revealed truth of scripture and the continual leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

This is why it is of the utmost importance that we assemble together in the New Testament pattern, rather than according to religious tradition based on ideas of men rather than the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  When we come together according to 1 Corinthians 14:26, an accountability takes place because we are ministering to and encouraging one another, rather than sitting in a pew being spoon fed by a pastor, whose job description is neither scriptural nor healthy for the congregation.

 

We see a picture of this in Israel’s departure from Egypt.  Israel is a type of the Church with Moses as a prophetic voice and overseer, operating in an apostolic capacity.  But Moses was not their head and initially not intended to be their leader.  This holy nation established by God was totally dependent on the leading of God for every move they made.  They could only move and progress as the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day led the way.

 

So it is with the true New Testament church.

 

The Pattern

 

How is it then, brethren?  When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.  Let all things be done unto edifying.

1 Corinthians 14:26

 

Religious tradition would have us dependent on a pastor and worship leader when God’s design is for us to be totally dependent on the Holy Spirit and minister to one another as He leads.  The function of the pastor in a true New Testament church is simply that of an overseer, and the only worship leader needed is the Holy Spirit.

 

(Note:  While there is a time and place for an anointed teacher to teach and an anointed worship leader to lead worship, this should not be the norm as we assemble together as the Church.)

 

Religious tradition is full of leaven while God’s method of assembling together is unleavened.  Jesus used this analogy much when referring to the Pharisees and Sadducees as recorded in the four accounts of the gospel.  The Pharisees and Sadducees were a type and shadow of modern day denominationalism, and pastoral leadership of independent churches.

 

As New Testament believers we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread by staying focused on and passionate about our walk with the Lord, and by assembling together in the scriptural New Testament pattern, rather than according to ideas and traditions of men. 

 

By following the leading of the Holy Spirit in our individual callings and anointings, while coming together as a corporate man and ministering to one another, we will continue on our journey into perfection and the unity of the faith (see Ephesians 4:11-16).

 

This is and will be the fulfilling of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  While the Feast of Unleavened Bread was considered to be a part of and one and the same with the Feast of Passover, it will find its complete fulfillment in the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, which we are just now beginning to enter into on God’s prophetic timetable.

 

Are you seeing that it is impossible to understand the New Testament without an understanding of the Feasts of God as recorded in the Old Testament?  The Church may have experienced Passover and Pentecost to a degree without a clear understanding of those feasts, but as we enter Tabernacles, we must and will come to an understanding of the significance and importance of all the feasts, enabling us to fully experience Passover and Pentecost as they culminate in Tabernacles.

Chapter Twenty Six

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

Progressive Revelation

 

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this will we do, if God permit.

Hebrews 6:1-3

 

Believers have a tendency to get a little revelation and camp out in it, so to speak.  They refuse to be open to the possibility that there is more and they become stagnant.  The Bible is an inexhaustible revelation of the truth.  There is always something else to see; something else to know and get excited about.  The more I come to know and understand God, the more I realize there is much more to know and understand; the more in awe of Him I become as I ponder the vast greatness of this God we call Father.

 

When we begin to think we know God completely and that the revelation of truth we have is all there is, we are no longer pursuing Him as He leads us by His Spirit, just as He led Israel with the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.  Perhaps we didn’t stay in Egypt, but have camped out in the wilderness, and refuse to go on to the Promised Land.  The result is we become leavened; puffed up just as leaven puffs up a loaf of bread.  Instead of staying lean and ready to move at a moment’s notice as the Spirit leads, we become fat and lazy wanting to remain in the little we think we know.  If anyone suggests to us there is more, which may challenge what we think we already know, we immediately become offended and separate ourselves from them; perhaps even considering them to be heretics.

 

History saw this happen when Martin Luther led a movement that broke away from the Catholic Church, which became known as the Protestant Reformation.  Luther had a little revelation that made it impossible for him to remain in the Catholic Church.  The Lutheran Church had a little more revelation than the Catholic Church, but in many ways still looked and functioned much in the same way as the Catholic Church.

 

Then John Calvin got a little more revelation but the Lutheran’s wouldn’t embrace what Calvin was seeing.  Looking back now, it is clear that the revelation Luther and Calvin got was only partial truth, and yet God used it to move the Church in the direction it needed to go.

 

The same is true with the Wesley brothers and the Sanctification Movement, which eventually brought about the establishment of the Methodist Church.  When I was a young boy my family attended a Methodist Church.  At that time there was an effort to unify the Methodist Church, which had splintered into several different denominations.  The result of that effort was the United Methodist Church, still in existence today, which has become one of the most spiritually liberal and unscriptural churches in existence.

 

A Church without Leaven

 

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.

1 Corinthians 5:7

 

Note that I use the term church here in very general terms.  These denominations are not really the Church at all, but rather are religious organizations full of leaven.  The true Church is not an organization but an organism, made up of believers progressing into all truth, as they are led by the Spirit into the unity of the faith; fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

As we rid ourselves of leaven (the idea that we can mix traditions of men with truth), we will begin to see the truth much clearer.  As we gain a clearer understanding of the truth, we will bring to the assembly of believers our part that will add to the whole, moving us toward maturity and the unity of the faith.

 

It is time we stop doing church and start being the Church.  The idea of going to church rather than being the Church that assembles together, with each part providing a necessary piece of the whole, has kept the Church immature and divided.

 

Sometimes believers that have received some revelation on this still have so much tradition in their makeup that they just don’t feel right unless they go to church on Sunday morning, sit in a pew and hear a sermon.  Even if they are part of a small group or house church they tend to see that involvement as an addition to the traditional concept of going to church on Sunday morning.

 

Saints of God, if we are truly going to progress into this third day of the Church and come to a complete understanding of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which we must do if we are going to understand the Feast of Tabernacles that we are now entering on God’s historic and prophetic timetable, we must rid ourselves of all religious tradition, seeing only the Kingdom and all it entails.

 

As we progress from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age, the Church is not going away but rather is becoming all it is intended to be.  While Pentecost allowed leaven and God seemingly blessed man’s mixture of tradition and truth, this will not be the case as we enter Tabernacles. 

 

Even now, in the beginning hours of this third day, there is a separation taking place.  Jesus spoke of this in the parable of the wheat and tares (see Matthew 13:24-30).  For the past two thousand years (two days) the wheat and tares have been allowed to grow together, but not so as we enter this new millennium (the third day).  We are coming into a full understanding of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as we enter the Feast of Trumpets, which is the beginning of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Twenty Seven

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

Seeing Jesus

 

Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:3

 

For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Matthew 13:17

 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

John 14:19-20 (emphasis added)

 

Verily, verily, I say into you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:19

 

Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

 

As he is, so are we in this world.

1 John 4:17

 

A better translation of John 3:3 would read, “Except a man be born from above.”  To be born again or born from above is a spiritual experience.  One can believe that Jesus is the Son of God and even confess Him as Lord without being born again.  If you are truly born again, you know you have been born again.  Being raised a Christian is not enough.  Going to church and calling yourself a Christian is not enough.  Even believing that Jesus is the Son of God and giving lip service to His Lordship is not enough.

 

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:19

 

That’s why many that confess to be Christians are not seeing the Kingdom.  In order to see the Kingdom you must see Jesus.  It is only as you see Him that you can become like Him in this world (see 1 John 4:17).

 

I dare say there are even those that are born again and have spiritually changed on the inside that are not seeing the Kingdom.  Rather, they are only seeing religious tradition taught by men and women they probably consider to be spiritual leaders.

 

So, one must be born again to see the Kingdom, but everyone that is born again may not be seeing the Kingdom.  We see the Kingdom by seeing Jesus.

 

Jesus Himself said He did nothing except what He saw the Father doing (see John 5:19).  If Jesus never acted independent of what He saw the Father doing, who are we to think we can do any different?  And yet, the Church has done precisely that for hundreds of years.  Is it any wonder that there are many divisions in the Body of Christ?  A divided body is not only a dysfunctional body, it is a dead body.  A physical body can survive without an arm or a leg but will be hindered somewhat by the handicap.  But if a physical body is cut into many pieces it will not survive.  It dies.  So it is with the Body of Christ.  I submit to you that many of the so called churches in the world are not churches at all but simply dead body parts.

 

Perhaps that’s a little graphic but it is of the utmost importance that we begin to see things as they are, and we will only be able to do that as we see the Kingdom.  And we only see the Kingdom by seeing Jesus as He is.

 

We must begin to think like He thinks and act like He acts, doing the same things He is doing; literally becoming one with Him.  The more this becomes the reality in our lives, the more we will walk in unity instead of division. When we are seeing what Jesus is seeing and doing what Jesus is doing, we are all on the same page, so to speak.  We are literally coming into the unity of the faith (see Ephesians 4:13).

 

I believe as we enter into the third day (millennium) of the Church (which will be the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles) and come to a better understanding of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we will get a clearer view of the Kingdom as we see Jesus more and more as He is rather than seeing ideas and traditions of men that have clouded our vision.

 

If you are not seeing the Kingdom, ask the Lord to give you vision to see it.  If you are not seeing Jesus as He is, ask Him to give you clearer vision so you can.  If you are not born again or are not sure you are born again, ask the Lord to make that change in you and expect it to be noticeable, not only to you but those around you.

 

If this is the desire of your heart, know beyond any doubt, that He will answer your heart’s cry.

 

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:4-5

Chapter Twenty Eight

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

The Unity of the Faith

 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [un]till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (emphasis added)

 

Until.  If something has been given until something else happens, and if we are still operating in that which has been given, then until must still be in the future.

 

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were all giftings in operation during the first century and for a few years thereafter.  Often we refer to them as the five-fold ministry or giftings.  While they are functions needed in the Church, God never intended them to be titles placed in front of anyone’s name or offices of prominence or importance.  These are not descriptions of leaders utilizing authority over others but of servants leading by example.

 

In fact, any place the word office is used in the New Testament is an incorrect translation.  There are several Greek words that are translated as office and none of them mean office as we perceive it in modern or Elizabethan English.

 

When the King James Version of the Bible was being translated, Richard Mancroft, the Archbishop of Canterbury, saw to it that a number of words were not translated correctly in order to impose his own ideas into the scripture, and to protect his position as Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

For example, in 1 Timothy 3:1-2 we find the word bishop, but the correct translation should be overseer.  The word bishop is not in the original Greek. 

 

The function of a pastor in today’s churches is for the most part not a scriptural position.  Like a bishop, a pastor is simply an overseer.  We have taken these words, pastor, bishop, overseer as well as elder and shepherd and given them separate functions with one over the others.  None of this is scriptural.  In modern English, perhaps the best word to describe this function is overseer. 

 

A pastor is simply an overseer and not the CEO of the church, who fulfills an office that determines the direction the church should go concerning spiritual matters and the daily operations.  Nor is the pastor a counselor dealing with the problems of individuals, or with the corporate church family.  The indication we get from scripture is that pastors (overseers) were not salaried careers in the first century church as we have made them today.  They were placed in each assembly to insure that the meetings were conducted in an orderly fashion according to the leading of the Spirit, and did not entail the many responsibilities of modern day pastors; to which we have added other titles as well that are totally unscriptural (reverend, rector, father, priest, etc.).

 

As a result of man-made titles and positions, some of the five-fold giftings have been ignored in most churches for a long time.  Where have the apostles and prophets been for most of the Church Age?  Nonexistent.  And as they have been embraced again, man has made them positions of authority rather than service functions.  How many times in today’s independent and charismatic churches do you hear, “Apostle So and So; Prophet So and So, Pastor So and So, etc.?”  Saints, this should not be.  I cringe every time I hear it and I think the Holy Spirit does too.

 

We have had all this wrong for a long, long time and it is only now, in the current house church movement throughout the world, that it is beginning to be corrected.  We are just now, in the beginning hours of the third day (millennium) of the Church, coming to an understanding of the service functions of the five-fold giftings and as a result, the five-fold giftings are beginning to accomplish their purpose; which is the process of perfecting the saints, for the work of ministry and for the building up of the Body of Christ, until…

 

I don’t know about you but I can hardly wait for the until, but we have a process to walk out first.  We’ve got to get the process right before we can even begin to see until.  That process has been clouded and diluted with much leaven during most of the Church Age, but glory to God, in the Kingdom Age, which we are now transitioning into, we will get it right. 

 

Saints of God, we are entering the most exciting time in all of history so far!  I am so glad I was born in such a time as this and for such a time as this!  I am so glad I have been chosen to be a part of and on the cutting edge of God’s purpose and plan for mankind, the Church and the world! 

 

If you are not experiencing what I am experiencing, I hope reading this gives you a desire to see, know and experience the Kingdom of God as never before.

 

I remember the day I was baptized with the Holy Spirit and first spoke in tongues.  I told the Lord, “I don’t know much about this, but I know it is in the Bible, and if it is something you want me to have, I want it; because I want all you have for me.” 

 

I may not fully understand this new day (millennium) we are entering, but I want all it holds for me individually and for the Bride and Body of Christ corporately.  Does anything else really matter?

 

Why hang onto the leaven of Pentecost when we can have the unleavened glory of Tabernacles?

 

Surely and without a doubt we were born for such a time as this! 

 

All glory to God.

Chapter Twenty Nine

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

The Rough Ways Made Smooth

 

As it is written in the book of Esaias the prophet [see Isaiah 40:3-5], saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Luke 3:4-6 (emphasis added)

 

Recently I was walking my Border Collie, Toby.  We had walked about a quarter of a mile up the paved road I live on and then out a dirt road.  It was a hot morning and I was thinking of turning around and going back to the house.  Up ahead was what appeared to be a curve in the road and I heard the Spirit say to me, “Go to that curve before you turn around.” 

 

I don’t know if the Spirit gives you seemingly unimportant instructions like that, but He has done it to me a lot.  I continued to the curve only to find it wasn’t really a curve but just a little bend in the road, which continued on to what appeared to be another curve. 

 

Then I heard the Spirit say, “You can turn around now but if you do you will miss something important.  Go on to the next curve.”  So I did.  However, the next curve wasn’t a curve either, but simply another bend in the road.  I realized the road was almost straight, even though it appeared to have curves from a distance.  Even though I had walked this road many times before, I hadn’t considered that the curves were only slight bends in the road.  Then I heard the Spirit quote a portion of the scripture from Luke 3:4-6, which is a reworded quote from Isaiah 40:3-5.  He said, “The crooked ways made straight.”

 

At that point I realized He was showing me a spiritual truth.  Often we get instructions from the Spirit but are unable to see where we are going.  There appears to be a curve up ahead that obstructs our view.  So we begin walking in faith, and it is not until we get to the curve, which may only be a small bend in the path, that we can see farther.  As we walk in faith (sometimes blind faith), our way becomes straight and clear as we continue on.

 

If, instead of walking in faith, we analyze the situation, there is a good possibility we may not continue on.  Looking at the circumstances is allowing leaven to invade our walk of faith.  We become full of the facts, rather than trusting the leading we are getting and continuing on in spite of the facts.  What the Spirit is saying to us is truth, and if we will continue trusting and resting in the leading we are getting from the Spirit, walking the walk of faith instead of looking at the facts, the truth will change the facts, glory to God!

 

That’s what happened to Peter that fateful day when he stepped out of the boat onto the water.  As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, who was already walking on the water, he too walked on water.  But when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the wind driven waves, he began to sink (see Matthew 14:22-31).

 

The Feast of Unleavened bread is about the believer that walks by the guidance and revelation of the Spirit, rather than by circumstances or tradition.

 

Now let me tell you another story about that dirt road Toby and I were on:

 

Before Toby I had a Border Collie mix named Daisy.  As Daily was getting older, I could walk her without a leash.  One hot summer day we were walking on the same dirt road and had gone around several bends in the road, when I noticed Daisy was lagging way behind me.  I had been praying in the Spirit and not paying much attention to where Daisy was.  I stopped and waited for her to catch up.  She was panting and obviously very hot.  Border Collies have very thick hair and prefer cool or cold weather to hot summer days.  Concerned that Daisy was getting overheated, we sat down and rested in the shade for a few minutes, and then started back.

 

On the way back Daisy started lagging farther behind, struggling in the summer heat.  I became concerned about her and said out loud, “God, don’t let my dog die out here.” 

 

I waited for her to catch up and walked slower so she could keep up.  As we rounded the first bend in the road on the way back, I looked ahead and there was the paved road that ran in front of my house.  Feeling disoriented I thought, “How can this be?”  We hadn’t walked nearly far enough to be at the paved road.  There should have been several more bends in the road. 

 

In a few minutes we were home where Daisy could drink water and rest in the shade.  Somehow, God had moved us from where we were to where we needed to be, without our having to navigate the several bends in the road.

 

As we walk our walk of faith, God will straighten out our way to make it easy to navigate but if need be, He will simply, by a supernatural act, move us from where we are to where we are going.  By riding our lives of the leaven of intellectual decisions based on circumstances, and walking an unleavened walk of faith based on the leading of the Holy Spirit, life becomes an exciting journey, viewed from the high places of the earth (see Psalm 18:33, 91:14-15), going from glory to glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Hallelujah!

Chapter Thirty

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

Freedom from Sin

 

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?  And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.

Genesis 4:7

 

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words,  the most literal definition of sin in the Old Testament is simply “a missing of the mark” (think of a shooter shooting at a target).  However, this etymological meaning has for the most part been lost to the New Testament reader.  New Testament scriptures have been read and understood according to the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law.  To understand the New Testament, it must be read in the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law (see 2 Corinthians 3:6).

 

Romans 6:6 speaks of the body of sin. 

 

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Jesus], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

 

Here sin is spoken of as an organized, governing principle or power.  In this context it is the flesh, with its fallen nature that pressures us to sin, or miss the mark.  So sin is not only missing the mark, it is that which causes us to miss the mark.

 

The analogy of leaven in scripture (a mixing of truth and lies/of God’s way and man’s traditions/of flesh and spirit) is the sin that distracts and pressures us into missing the mark. 

 

That’s why it is of the utmost importance that we receive clear and unadulterated (unleavened) revelation of the truth; of God’s ways and how to operate in the spiritual realm, while in the natural body.

 

As we are transitioning from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age, and from the second day (millennium) into the third day (millennium) of the Church; and as the Bride of Christ is being taken out of the Body of Christ in order to complete the Body of Christ, just as Eve was taken out of Adam in order to complete him, a remnant of believers are being severely tested and tried.  It is an unpleasant process that is necessary to bring about the separation of the wheat and tares (see Matthew 13:30) in our lives, removing the leaven and making us unleavened.

 

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

 

Freedom from sin is the result of realizing who we are in Christ, not only positionally but experientially.  It is about who He has made us to be as we are becoming who He has made us to be.  It is about being, rather than doing.  It is about walking into who we are, rather than about doing or not doing what we perceive to be sin. 

 

In the natural, leaven is an element added to dough to make it rise.  But in the spirit realm, the leaven is being removed from our lives, making us unleavened after we have first been full of leaven.

 

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

1 Corinthians 15:46

 

Becoming unleavened and free from sin is a process that can only be implemented and carried out by God Himself in our lives, as we are drawn closer to Him, becoming more and more intimate with Him, eventually and ultimately knowing Him as He knows us, enabling us to continually go from glory to glory.

 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [freedom from sin].  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Chapter Thirty One

The Feasts of God

The Unleavened Bread

Freedom from Malice and Wickedness

 

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (emphasis added)

 

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.  After two days [millennia] will he revive us: in the third day [millennium] he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Hosea 6:1-3

 

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words the Greek word for malice is kakia and means bad quality or vicious character and is the opposite of excellence.

 

Webster defines wickedness as, among other things; lawlessness or unrighteousness.  However, I think is interesting to note the word wicked is closely related to the word wicker, which means twisted (consider wicker furniture or wicker baskets).  It is also closely related to the word wiccan, which is a pagan religion, whose doctrines are made up of twisted truth.

 

Malice and wickedness are definitely sin.  Both are exercises in missing the mark and are driven by mankind’s fallen nature.  Our fallen nature produces twisted thinking and twisted thinking produces twisted behavior.

 

Scripture often refers to our fallen nature as the flesh.  There is no good in the flesh, therefore the flesh cannot be rehabilitated or cleaned up.  Trying to change our behavior will never produce righteousness or good character.  While we may appear to be righteous or to have good character, there is always that underlying sinful nature.  So it is not our behavior that needs to change, it is our nature that needs to change.  Only when our nature changes will our natural behavior change in such a way that it becomes our nature to do that which is right.

 

Dying to Self

 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2

 

So how do we reach the place where we walk after the Spirit rather than after the flesh?  Certainly not by changing our behavior!

 

In order to walk after the Spirit our flesh must die.  So how do we crucify our flesh?  In and of ourselves, we cannot.  It is impossible.

 

Crucifying our flesh is accomplished by tests and trials in our lives.  I don’t know about you, but I have spent much of my life as a believer rebuking the devil for the tests and trials I have encountered.  While there are those times that I have been attacked by evil forces, all the tests and trials I have endured were not something to get free of by taking authority over the devil.  Rather, they were something to be embraced as God’s process of killing my flesh and setting me free from the sinful nature.  Actually, that’s the reason God created the devil.  He is not some fallen angel as we have supposed by misinterpreting scripture, but was created to be God’s agent of maturing us and positioning us for greatness.

 

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

Isaiah 54:16

 

I have often quoted the next verse, Isaiah 54:17 without realizing it hinges on Isaiah 54:16.

 

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.  

 

Hosea 6:1 makes it clear that it is the Lord that destroys so He can rebuild.  It is the Lord that inflicts us with tests and trials in order to create in us His nature and character.  Only our loving, heavenly Father knows exactly where to apply pressure and order our circumstances to bring us to maturity and position us for His plans and purpose.  Only our all-knowing and Almighty God can purge the leaven out of us and cause us to be the fulfillment of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

 

If we will but continue on with Him and allow this process to take its course, we will experience the former and latter rain of the Holy Spirit all at once and continually (see Hosea 6:2-3), as we enter this third day (millennium) of the Church, which is the seventh day (millennium) of/since creation and will be the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

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