Friday, April 19, 2019

Christ In You (Unleavened Bread - Day 1) - 2017 "VIDEO"

by Michael C. Garrett

You can also listen to this sermon. Just click the orange play button below.

Good afternoon friends. We’re in Marshall County Alabama in Albertville, and we have a nice group of people down here under the leadership of Marlin Harris. And we’re glad that they’re here, and we’re glad that we got here safely. We’re here on the FIRST DAY of Unleavened Bread. And I know that that’s an odd sounding phrase if you’re not use to hearing it. Now, if you’re from a mainstream church, so-called Christianity – Catholic, Protestant, whatever – you’re gonna go, “Well, what’s that mean!? What’s unleavened bread!?” “And why are they celebrating it, and why are they talking about it!?” Now, for those of you who come from the background of the Worldwide Church of God, you’ve heard it so many times it seems perfectly normal to hear it. There’s nothing strange about it – but I do know this – the first time I heard a person use the phrase ‘unleavened bread,’ I went, “What!?” First of all I didn’t even know what leavening was, I was going, “What’s leavened bread vs. unleavened bread!?” So, I had a lot to learn. But we’re here to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread.

And, I want you to know here from the get-go I feel no responsibility to teach ideas which are not thoroughly based on the Word of God. I’m not here to give you what other church groups have believed and what they thought. And, I’m not here to justify what the Worldwide Church of God use to teach. That’s not a part of my persona. My job – and I’ve talked about it many times – is to talk about the Word of God, the Truth of God, and to explain and to elaborate the Plan of God. And the Days of Unleavened Bread are an essential part of that Plan. Along with the Passover – the “Lord’s Supper” – we had a day and a half ago.

Leavening equals sin?

And the Worldwide Church of God soiled – and sort-of think what that word connotates, but anyway – the Worldwide Church of God soiled the minds of many people about the true meaning and the teaching points which are associated with the Days of Unleavened Bread. Many of those misconceptions continue to grip many people - many church groups. And, the Worldwide Church of God basically taught, what I call, ritualistic housecleaning. And for most people of the Worldwide Church of God and many descendants from her, the Days of Unleavened Bread was about a campaign to “find leavening.” And they always said that leaven was an equal synonymous term with sin. So, you would normally here the following comment. I’m going to copy now what was said hundred’s of thousands of times – and you would here, “YOU MUST PUT SINNNNN OUT OF YOUR LIFE!” And then they would jump from there to say, “Leavening equals sin.” And so they would jump to the next conclusion, “You MUST go around finding every little particle of nine month old cookies! Wherever they might be!” And they taught that has one of the main meaning’s of the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Well, I think they misinterpreted, and misrepresented what the Days are supposed to mean. The meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread is powerful! And, it’s not just one meaning – it’s truly like an onion. I think I compiled one time about EIGHT different major teaching point’s from the Days of Unleavened Bread – from the Passover through the Days of Unleavened Bread. And each have a powerful Message. And not one of them has to do with – “You MUST find leavening!”

Now, here recently, I’ve chuckled with Guy over the phone and I was saying the Worldwide Church of God – and I don’t know who first told the story – but it raced around the preaching circuits and before long everywhere you went you heard the following story: 

There was a minister and his wife, and they were doing exactly what they were supposed to do – they were out there “deleavening” (that’s the term they used) their house. And the man had gone out and “deleavened” the garage (and personally, I’ve never thought of the garage to find leavening, but anyway) – and they just thought that they were A-Okay and that they had done it all, and they were good with God. And then all of a sudden, the Days  of Unleavened Bread began (as the story was told) and everything started to go wrong. The dog got sick and threw up on the new carpet, and the children got sick and had to go to the doctor, the car broke down. A windstorm blew a tree over. I mean, just every little thing you could imagine started to go wrong. And the young man and his wife were looking at each other, “Surely, we are not pleasing God. God is cursing us!” Now, first of all, don’t blame God for a windstorm, alright! And, you can’t even blame God for a sinus infection. Don’t do that to Him! But that’s what their theory was – “We are not keeping these Day’s correctly and therefore something terrible is happening to us, and God is making it happen!” So, the story went on to say, they double checked their house, they went through the attic, they went through the basement, they couldn’t find anything. The man walked around the garage couldn’t find anything. And still the curses (in their mind) continued. So then one day the man decided, “I’m going to take the spare tire out of my trunk, I’m going to open up the tire and look inside.” Now first of all, do you know how difficult it is to get a tire off a rim!? I mean, basically, you need hydraulic tools, or a giant sledgehammer or something. But in the story, he just magically took the tire (it’s not like a bicycle tire) off the rim of the spare and INSIDE the spare was a half-eaten (and it was always a ham sandwich) – “It was a half-eaten ham sandwich! And there was the sin – there was the leavening!” And the theory being, some workman when he was putting the tire on was eating lunch and laid the ham sandwich in the tire and they seal it back up, and here he had been carrying around this “leavening!” and God was cursing him. 

Now folks, when I was a child, I heard a lot of nursery rhymes and I sort-of believed them. I even remember being taught that if I put my tooth underneath my pillow, I’d get a dime. And sure enough, when I got up the next morning there was a dime. Now, I’m sad to say that a few years ago when I was teaching, the going rate was up to about a five-dollar bill. So I was just born in the wrong era. But folks, we really know that the Tooth fairy didn’t exchange your tooth for a dime – you do know that, right!? 

Well, the Worldwide Church of God made a tremendous mistake when it came to attempting to understand or placing a meaning to the annual holy days. The annual holy days are an outline to the Plan of God! 

1) Passover  
2) Days of Unleavened Bread  
3) Pentecost 
4) Feast of Trumpets
5) Day of Atonement 
6) Feast of Tabernacles 
7) Last Great Day

And all of these Holy Days – if you understand them – are what I like to call Christocentric. Meaning they are centered about and around Jesus Christ! But the Worldwide Church of God, they, some of the early student’s and Mr. Herbert Armstrong, they saw the mentioning of the different holy days and finally decided, “Well, we as a new church, we’ve got to start keeping these holy days.” But they didn’t know how to keep them. So, what did they do – and here’s where they made their mistake – and I’ve heard those guys talk about it, I mean I was in the classroom when the pioneer student’s were teaching the classes and they openly said this, “We didn’t know how to keep the holy days, therefore, we went to the Jewish Talmud.” Now, the Jewish Talmud is a collection of teaching point’s handed down through the centuries among millennia by leading Jewish rabbi’s and scholars. And the Jewish Talmud, I think, actually means more to Jewish people than the Bible. Which right there tells you something. But you’re never EVER going to learn about Jesus Christ looking at Jewish religious documents! You do understand that – don’t you!? And if you don’t understand Jesus Christ you cannot understand the holy days - the holy days have no true meaning. And you end up telling people, “You got to go around your house and find old leavening!”

Now folks, what is leavening? It’s some type of agent. And what’s the number one leavening agent in the history of the world and always will be!? Yeast. You can take a nine month old piece of bread, and you can put it in some fresh dough, and nothing will be leavened. Because that nine month old piece of bread – for all intents and purposes – is on its way of becoming dust or carbon. It’s not leavening anymore. And, back in the Worldwide Church of God it was very common – people would buy a new toaster on the day after the Days of Unleavened Bread. And then they would keep that toaster for 358 days, thereabouts, and then they would throw out their toaster. Perfectly functioning toaster! And why would they do it!? Because they would say, “Well, there are too many crumbs in there, and I’ll never be able to get out all that leavening!” Now, think about it – you’ve got those little bread crumbs in there that have been cooked to what 500 degrees, day after day! They are more carbon than anything! They’re not going to leaven anything, they’re not a leaven agent anymore! They’re done! Besides, how many of you have found a nine month old crumb and said, “Mmm, I’m hungry, I’m gonna eat me some leavened bread!”? Now I dare say none of you ever have, and I hope none of you ever do. Because it’s not food, it’s not “bread,” it’s not leavened, it’s not unleavened, it’s just an inanimate object by that time.

Now, the idea that you can “deleaven” your house is ridiculous! There are right now in this room trillions and trillions of yeast spores. They’re in your hair, they’re on your skin – you could take your finger, right now, and put it under an electron microscope and there would be thousands and thousands, probably millions, of yeast spores. You can’t “deleaven” your house! It’s impossible! So, if your idea of Unleavened Bread is to thoroughly “deleaven” your house – God created a commandment which no human being (except for a NASA worker in those special climate control rooms) could keep! It’s impossible!

So, what did God actually say!? I’m amazed at how the Worldwide Church of God missed these plain Scriptures! Just as plain as can be! If you would, go back to Exodus 12 – which gives the account of the very first Passover and the very first (officially recognized) day of Unleavened Bread. But remember, when Abraham met the servant’s of God out on the plains, he had a type of Passover Service and they used unleavened bread. So it’s very likely that this was a preliminary type of acknowledgment that one day Passover and Unleavened Bread would become official doctrine’s and principle’s to keep. 

Now, before we even get started about the Unleavened Bread, please take a look at verse 8 – I’m pointing this out because the other evening, Roger, up in Owensboro has a friend (bless his heart) who purposed that Passover was to be kept with leavened bread. But I said to Roger, “Tell your friend (bless his heart) that he can turn to Exodus 12:8, and that on the very first Passover, it says, ‘Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread …’” And then the other night I was going through some Scriptures, just for the fun of it – you can put it in your notes – turn over to Numbers 9:11 – “On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread …” – this might be the second Passover. For those who are sick, or unable to keep the first Passover, a month later, you can keep like a substitute Passover. And, look what it says, “with unleavened bread.” So, how can it be anymore simple, how can it be anymore plain and straightforward!? And, I’ll betcha when Roger reads his friend these verses, the guys gonna say, “Well, we don’t care. We do it different.” That’s what most people say, “We don’t care. We have our own ideas.” Which it’s perfectly fine to have your own ideas – what’s the old expression!? – “You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan). But you can keep anything you want – you can keep the celebration of Cream Cheese On The Moon, and you can call it a religious holiday if you want. But DON’T call it of Jesus Christ! You know, call it some weird mystical pagan thing you’re doing – but DON’T bastardize it with calling it “of God” and “of Jesus Christ” and “of the Bible”! Just be honest enough to say, “We have our own weird little holiday we made up.” Sort of like the celebration of Festivus. Remember Seinfeld. George’s father was kind of cranky, and they came up with the celebration of Festivus. Because they didn’t want to keep Christmas. Well, alright, if you wanna make your own little weird holiday, go ahead. But DON’T call it “of God.”

Exodus 12:15 – and what’s our little objective here in this part!? To find out EXACTLY what the Bible says about Unleavened Bread - and not the Jewish Talmud. “’Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. … ’” – pretty simple, isn’t it!? Now, the next part is where they got tricked up, it says, “… ‘On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whosoever eats leavened bread …’” – what’s the implication!? The word leaven is a shortened contraction meaning what - leavened bread. The whole idea was that for seven days you’re going to have in your house, and on your person, unleavened bread, and for seven days you are NOT going to eat leavened bread. Now, that’s all these verses are going to say. Seven days eat unleavened bread. Seven days avoid eating leavened bread. Verse 17 – “’So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations …’” – for three years!? For a decade!? For a century!? For a millennia!? No, forever!

So, in the World Tomorrow – in the Kingdom of God – human beings, who are living on this Earth, will be celebrating and keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread. In the “White Throne Judgment” human beings will be keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread. It’s not going to go away. It’s forever! Verse 18 – “’In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, [Passover] you shall eat unleavened bread, …’” – and by the way, it also means, one day before a full moon – in Biblical language, a full moon is the 15th day of the month, a new moon is the first day of the month – we’re to keep the Passover on the 14th day of the month in the Spring. Verse 19 – “’For seven days no leaven …’” – and this is where they made their mistake, they saw the word leaven and they went, “I have to find every little piece of ‘leaven-ing’” they would say. Well, “’For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, …’” – so, once again, what’s it referring to!? Leavened bread. That’s what it says to me. Verse 20 – “’You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’” Now folks, I’ve got a bunch of Scriptures here, and just for time sake, I’m gonna mention them to you, so you can take note. But they all say the same thing. Ex. 13:6-7; Ex. 23:15; Ex. 34:18; Lev. 23:6; Num. 28:17; Deut. 16:3, 4, 8. Everyone of those seven passages says, ‘for seven days do not eat leavened bread, and for seven days do eat unleavened bread.’ And that’s all it says. In nowhere in there does it say, “Get down on your hands and knees and look for nine month old cookie crumbs.” It just doesn’t say it.

Holy Days Done Away?

Now, most so-called Christian groups – the Catholic world, the Protestant world – they say that the Jewish holy days were “done away by Jesus Christ” or some form of verbiage like that. Well, if Jesus Christ had no respect for the holy days – including the Days of Unleavened Bread – then why can we turn to Matthew 26 and read what we read!? Now this is when Jesus Christ was still a human being – but remember we have back in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 13, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ Jesus Christ has one Way of doing things. The Godly Way! And He doesn’t go flip-flopping around. He does it one Way! And here, when He was a human being – Matthew 26:17 – “Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’” – and Marlin told me that today earlier he’d talked about that, and how a lot of confusion has come from that. And the way that I like to explain it is – we in our culture today, we talk about Christmas time - you know for Christmas time in people’s mind’s it’s from Thanksgiving to after New Year’s!? So, it’s a time of the year. A season. Now, if you want your argument to be more specific and day by day – but for me – it’s just that time of year they call Passover. Because Passover and Unleavened Bread are all sort-of linked. Same thing we do at the Feast of Tabernacles. We say, “Well, we’re gonna keep the Feast – the Feast of Tabernacles.” But in actuality, we’re keeping two festivals. Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. But we just normally say, “We’re gonna go to the Feast.” 

Verse 18 – “And He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The [Master] says, ‘My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.’ 19) So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. 20) When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.” – so here in this passage we’re talking about Passover, and we’re talking about Unleavened Bread.

Mark 14 – again, this is while Jesus Christ is a human being – in flesh and blood. Mark 14:1 – “After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.” – so there in this account they just separate it. “… And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.” – what a nice group of guys to hang out with! Nice “holy” men! “How can we trick Him!? How can we kill Him!?” But they were the esteemed, elite, holy men of their time. Don’t be fooled by titles, and don’t be fooled by robes. I’ve found out the hard way through my many years. Verse 2 – “But they said, ‘Not during the Feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.’” – well, aren’t they considerate!? “We don’t want to upset the people and get a riot going, so we’ll do it on a non-feast day.” Verse 12 – “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?’” – now, Roger, back to your friend (bless his heart) every time we’re talking about the Passover, what are they saying!? It’s unleavened bread. And they’re just hard-headed nincompoop’s!

Luke 22:1 – “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which [in the mind’s of the people, was also] called Passover.” – like we say Christmas time. Verse 2 – “And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.” – they feared the people were gonna leave them! They feared they were gonna lose the peoples money! They feared they wouldn’t have power! It’s amazing how mischievous and evil human beings become when they think they’re going to lose money and when they think they’re gonna lose power! It is the grease that make’s the wheel go around – in the world. It shouldn’t be among God’s people! Verse 7 – “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8) And He sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.’ 9) So they said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare?’ 10) And He said to them, ‘Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11) Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The [Master] says to you, ‘Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ 12) Then he will show you a large, furnished, upper room; there make ready.’ 13) So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover. 14) When the hour had come, …” – which was in the evening, “… He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.”

Now, some of those so-called Christian people will say, “Well, yeah, well Jesus, He was just living at the time of the Jewish people, and their sway. But after He died, He gave a different order.” “He told them to stop keeping those feast day’s – those Jewish thing’s were done away, the Sabbath was done away.” I mean, that’s what they say. Well, if that is true, then why can we turn to the Book of Acts and read what we read!? If Jesus Christ did away with all of this after His death and resurrection then why in Acts 12 (and I think the Book of Acts was written 30, 40 years after the life and death of Jesus Christ) we have the apostle Paul – the apostle Paul who got his teaching directly from Jesus Christ! Paul said, ‘I didn’t learn it from a man, I learned it directly from Jesus Christ!’ So, Paul is relaying to us, and to those people back then, exactly what he had been taught by Jesus Christ! – Acts 12:1 – “Now about that time Herod [Herod Agrippa] the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the Church. 2) Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” – had him beheaded. It is amazing how those Mideastern people love to cut off people’s head! Hadn’t changed much – has it!? Verse 3 – “And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. …” – in parenthesis, “Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.” Now, if Jesus had totally done away with all those “old Jewish days” and the Sabbath, why is Luke writing in the 12th chapter of Acts, why did he make a notation, “Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread”?

He said it because they were still keeping those days! Unleavened Bread was still alive and well and being practiced. And then, for curiosity, look at verse 4 – “So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers [16 soldiers] to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after …” – Easter! That’s what the King James English Bible says. But most modern translations say Passover. And the reason they say Passover, is because the Greek word right there is pascha, which means “Passover.” And so the King James Boy’s back in 1611, who were mainly Catholic people, they got together (and they probably had a sword put to their neck, and was told “Change that Passover thing to Easter.”). And so they wrote in Easter. But that’s not the correct translation, it is “Passover.” So, once again, why are they talking about Passover and Unleavened Bread? - unless Passover and Unleavened Bread were still very important!

Acts 20 – even further into the Book of Acts. This is getting near the end of Paul’s life. And this is decades after the life and the human death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection! And here Luke is writing – Acts 20:6 – “But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, …” – again, why would he write that in his journal – as it were – if they weren’t keeping it!? They were still keeping it! Everyone knew – Unleavened Bread, Passover, the Sabbath, the holy days - that all of those established holy day periods were still in effect – and expected to be observed. 

1 Corinthians 5 – and here I have in my notes, that 1 Corinthians by this one book that purposed to know these things says that the Book of 1 Corinthians was written in 56 A.D. Which is twenty-five decades after the human life and death of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:6 – keep in mind, Paul was the minister who began this Corinthian church. It was his evangelistic work that started this. And, he obviously isn’t there 24/7, and in his absence the Corinthian people had started to do a lot of things that Paul found highly objectionable. In the Book of 1 Corinthians, in one sense, it’s simply Paul saying, “Hey, Corinthians, you’re screwing up big time! And I want you to get this straight!” So, 1 Corinthians by enlarge is a letter of correction. It’s an admonition – it’s a ‘you’re not doing this right!’ “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” – now why is Paul using that phraseology!? Unless he intended this letter to be read in the Corinthian churches before, at, and during the Days of Unleavened Bread!? He goes on to say, verse 7 – “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump [an unleavened lump], since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8) Therefore let us keep the feast [again, two-and-a-half decades after the human existence of Jesus Christ on the Earth and he’s still teaching them], not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – obviously, Paul fully acknowledged and put his stamp of approval on the idea that, ‘You all are supposed to keep Passover, and you all are supposed to keep Unleavened Bread.” 

Now, remember over in chapter 11 – we read it the other night – he starts out in verse 20, and 21, and 22 – he’s basically chewing them out! He’s saying, “What’s wrong with you people!?” Paul is getting report’s back. They’re coming to the Passover, some of them are drunk, some of them have this big pile of food, some others have nothing – but the people with the food are not sharing with the people who don’t have it. And it was just a mess! And Paul is saying, “You better get this straightened out!” Because, as he says in verse 28 – “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” – the symbols of the Passover. Verse 29 – “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body[not appreciating what Jesus went through]. 30) For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” – so, it’s not something you wanna fool around with! You want to get it right, and then have that right attitude. 

I think a very important chapter to this time of year is John 6:1 – “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. [a late 1st century A.D. name]. 2) Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3) And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4) Now the Passover, a feast [which the Jewish people kept at that time] …” – it’s not only a Jewish celebration, it’s a celebration for all people – Leviticus 23 makes that extremely clear! And the “…Passover … was near. …” So, please keep in mind the time setting of chapter 6. And, with that in mind – intervening here, He has the miracle where He takes five loaves of bread, two small fishes, and He miraculously, like a fantastic cornucopia of food just keep’s flowing. And He ends up feeding roughly 25,000 people! And everyone of them is fed with two loaves and five fishes! And when it’s all said and done, notice verse 13 – they gathered them up, and it filled twelve baskets from the remnants. He produced miraculously a great amount of food! Verse 26 – “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the [miracles], but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.’” – ‘You came here because you wanted a free lunch!’ And, I know some people that would do that. Verse 27 – “’Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’” Verse 32 – “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you [to your ancestors] the bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven. 33) For the bread of God is He [referring to Himself] who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.’ 34) Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’” – and it doesn’t get anymore plain than this – Verse 35 – “…’I AM the bread of life.’” – and most likely He was referring at that particular moment to unleavened bread. And, keep in mind, I have a little note here – in Lev. 2:4-5, Lev. 6:16, Lev. 7:12, Lev. 8:2, 26 there are sacrifices being described, and every one of those sacrifices – alright, what were the sacrifices back then!? They were symbolic of the great sacrifice to come – Jesus Christ – the bread which is used is unleavened bread. So, He is making a comparison between unleavened bread and Himself. And, even the ancient sacrifices do that. Remember what we read a few moments ago in 1 Corinthians 5 – ‘the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.’ What former human being does those two words most perfectly describe!? Jesus Christ. TRUTH HIMSELF! The very personification of truth and the personification of sincerity! He was gonna give up His life in order to save all of us! That is sincerity! “…’He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36) But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet [you, right now] do not believe. 37) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.’” – God the Father and Jesus Christ will NEVER reject you, if you’re being sincere, and trying to follow Them! But the truth is, there may come a day when some people who previously had their name written in the Book of Life might reject God.

Warning to Spiritual Israel

Now, here a few weeks ago, Guy sent me an e-mail to a show – a podcast – and the interviewer was one of the most suspicious looking human beings that I’ve ever seen – he was right up there with Manson - had that look. His name was Aron Ra. He’s the, I guess, high priest of the American Atheists Association. But he was interviewing a man whom I had gone to school with in Pasadena – I just call him D.D.  D.D. had been, he’d said, a minister in the Worldwide Church of God for 30-years! And at this point in D.D.’s life he had basically turned his back on God. That’s what I heard him say! And he was a devout believer in evolution and had just given up on God. At some point in time, Guy had had some communication with him, and was told, “I’m struggling with my faith.” And eventually, he just turned his back on everything! A 30-year minister, graduate of Ambassador College, and now he’s doing an interview with this creep!? And it truly just sickened me! But he was proud enough to do an interview on a podcast for the whole world to see. But how many people in the history of the Worldwide Church of God, once had the truth of God, they possessed it, they had their name’s ostensibly written in the Book of Life, and then, just like sand through your fingers they have let this great promise just slip away! And what I fear is that there are even people who are still meeting under a banner of such and such Church of God. And yet, from what I see, from what I hear, their heart is very far away from God! And some of them have a difficult time even acknowledging Jesus Christ and giving Him the credit that is due! And it scares the you-know-what out of me! It makes me heart-sick. And, some people have asked, “Mike, why do you hit this subject so hard!?” Because I feel the same obligation that was mentioned to Ezekiel – in Ezekiel 3 and 33! ‘If you see the DANGER coming to the people – and you see it – and you say nothing, the people will die, but you will die too, because you didn’t WARN them!’ And it also said, ‘If you see the DANGER coming, and you speak up, you try to communicate, and if they still reject your message, well, yeah, they’re gonna die, but at least you’ve saved your own life!’ And if you can just get one of them to see the light! I believe that many of the churches of God have devolved into nothing more than a cult or a personality of cult or a cult of personality. The Worldwide Church of God from its inception put way too much emphasize on one man, or one man and his son. And in doing so, they have blocked their vision and they do not see the true God behind it all! And when you put anything in front of your eyes that blocks your vision you have an idol. And you have broken the very first and the most important of all the commandments – “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”  And a god doesn’t just refer to a statue made out of wood or stone or clay or bronze. A god can be a human being. It can be your so-called church leader. It can be your wife, it can be your husband, your children, your grand-children. It can be your house, it can be your job or career. Anything that gets between you and God is an idol - and is going down the pathway to death. And, I think about all the people I’ve met in the history of the Worldwide Church of God, the Intercontinental, the International. Hundreds of people. And I’ve spoken before hundreds and thousands of those people. I can still look out my mind’s eye and see where they were sitting. And I realize that many of them now, their religious experience seems to have debased into politics. For the people who rode with me in the van today, and the people who was with me Passover night, how many times did you hear me mention politics!? I’ll tell ya how many. Zero. Because I wasn’t gonna stain the Passover with the talk of politics. Politics on a holy day!? Folks, the whole world is captivated by politics! The people who love Trump, the people who hate Trump, the people who love Putin, the people who hate Putin, the people who hate al-Assad, the people who love al-Assad – it just goes on and on and on! And not one ounce of energy in that realm will get you close to the Kingdom of God. Not one single ounce of it will move you one little millimeter! Look to Jesus! I’ve been saying that for a long time. It got me in trouble with a lot of people! Imagine that, saying, “Look to Jesus!” got me in trouble! (Be sure to watch the sermon – Look To Jesus Not Moses). Well, I’ll tell ya what, I’ll take that as a badge of honor. Look to Jesus, don’t look to human beings! Don’t look to me! Folks, I’m just a human being, and I have my good side and I have my bad side, and I have my good points and I have my bad points. But only believe me to the extent that what I have said is backed up in the Bible. And if it’s not backed up in the Bible, do not listen to what I’m saying. And don’t look to some other human being, because they might be the Grand Poo Bah or whatever title they might go by. I remember in the Worldwide Church of God, Joseph Tkach, Sr. started calling himself the Pastor General. What a goofy title! And we have goofy titles in others, like Area Coordinator. And I do know that Paul used that phrase in the Book of Acts and 1 Corinthians… Oh… maybe he didn’t! I’m joking around! No, he did NOT use Area Coordinator. And he didn’t use all those other silly titles you’ve heard over the years! Who’s in charge of you!? One Being – His name is Jesus Christ! Yesterday, today, and tomorrow! He’s the only One you’ve ever had that had hope, and He’s the only One you will ever have that can give you hope! And looking to a human man, or to human politics is utter folly when it comes to the concept of graduating into the Kingdom of God. And there are people in the churches of God who are making a terrible mistake. They’re getting all wrapped up in different political leaning’s and they’re blinding themselves to the true God and to their Savior! Please don’t do it!

"Let this mind be in you …" 

He said in verse 35 – “…’I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes [on] Me shall never thirst. 36) But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.’” – GOD WILL NOT THROW YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE! But you might walk out of His – unwisely! Verse 38 – “’For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39) This is the will of the Father who sent Me [this is the will, the hope, the want], that all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise [them] up at the [resurrection]. 40) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that EVERYONE who sees the Son and believes [on] Him [with your whole heart, mind, and soul] may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the [resurrection].’” – what political figure can grant you eternal life!? Now, for those of you who love Trump – can Trump give you eternal life!? Nope! For those of you who love Hillary – can Hillary give you eternal life!? Nope! Or any other personality you wanna come up with! There’s ONE BEING – ONE ONLY – and His name is Jesus Christ! Verse 41 – “The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, ‘I AM the bread which came down from Heaven.’ 42) And they said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? …’” – ‘she got pregnant, she wasn’t married – na na na na na!’ And they held that over His head for His entire human life! And I’m told that many Jewish families still do! They mock Jesus, because they say, “He was illegitimate.” Well we know better. He was literally - His eternal Being -  was essentially brought down to the size of a human sperm cell, and that sperm cell was impregnated into an egg of a young woman named Mary and He became flesh and blood so that He might qualify to be our Sacrifice. And not once did He have to do it! HE RISKED HIS ETERNAL LIFE! If Jesus Christ would have stumbled, who would have been His Savior!? He would have lost life, along with all of us, too! He risked it all – He risked EVERYTHING! That we might have a Savior! And they taunted Him about His birth. “…’How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from Heaven’? 43) Jesus therefore answered and said to them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves.’” – religious people love to murmur. Remember back in the time of Moses!? What did they do!? They just about drove Moses nuts with their murmuring! And before it was over, God was sick and tired of them! There was a time when God wanted to wipe them out. He was just through with them! Religious people love to murmur. Verse 44 – basic statement here – “’No [man or woman] can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the [resurrection]. 45) It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46) Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is [of] God [referring to Himself]; He has seen the Father. 47) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes [on] Me has everlasting life.’” – and believing on Him just doesn’t mean, “Well, yeah, I believe in Him!” I means you base your life, you live your life attempting to do what He wants you to do! Not that you’re not going to stumble. You’re flesh and blood, you’re gonna make mistakes, you’re gonna get off the path at times – but if you go to Jesus Christ, He will forgive you – we’re told that back in the epistle’s of John! He is faithful to forgive you! Verse 48 – “’I AM the bread of life.’” – remember earlier I said the holy days are all Christocentric!? The Days of Unleavened Bread are pointing us to one thing – Jesus Christ! He is that Unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth! He is the very essence of the meaning of Unleavened Bread! Verse 49 – “’Your fathers at manner in the wilderness, and [eventually they died]. 50) This is the bread which comes down from Heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.’” – and verse 51, He says it again just as plain as can be! “’I AM the living Bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever; and the Bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’” – and the Jews just couldn’t handle that one! Verse 52 – “…’How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?’ 53) Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.’” – and so those of us who participated in the Passover ceremony the other night, that is what we did! Symbolically, we partook of His Body – in the form of unleavened bread. Symbolically, we partook of His blood – in the wine. We re-upped our annual contract with Christ. I started a series last weekend – Contract With Christ! And, that’s what we are doing, we are participating in a contract with Christ! He makes certain promises to us, He put’s forth certain conditions, He expects certain things from us, and then in the end the absolute payment is eternal life. The promise is eternal life! Where else can you go to get it!!? Can Buddha give you eternal life!? Can Muhammad give you eternal life!? Can the pope give you eternal life!? Can what-ever name you come up with!? There’s only ONE! Can any human leader of a remnant group of the Worldwide Church of God!? Can any one of them give you eternal life!? Not a one! They’re just human. And yet people in the Worldwide Church of God and that tradition somehow this culture developed where they just revere, “Oh! He’s the Leader!” “Oh! I must listen to what He says!” No! You better listen to what Jesus Christ says! 

He says in verse 54 – “’Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him at the [resurrection]. 55) For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56) He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, …’” – and right here we’re about to point out of the most important teaching points of the Days of Unleavened Bread! What’s it say, ‘for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.’ And what’s the ultimate personification symbolically of unleavened bread!? Jesus Christ. For seven days we are told ‘practice the idea of eating – taking in – the mind, the ideas, the Word’s, the thought, the personality of Jesus Christ and have it become a part of you!’ In the same way the Spirit of God – the mind of Jesus Christ – can enter into us. And that’s why we do it for seven days – that’s the teaching point. Remember that you need to imbibe Jesus Christ and have Him living in you! And He does it through His Spirit. “’He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. … 58) This is the Bread which came down from Heaven – not as your fathers at the manna and [eventually died]. He who eats this Bread will live forever.’” Verse 61 – “…’Does this offend you?’” – they’re saying, ‘He’s asking us to be a cannibal!?’ They missed the whole teaching point! Verse 62 – “’What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?’” – and some of them lived to see that! Verse 63 – “’It is the Spirit [of God][which] gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.’” – I’ve heard people say, the Worldwide and the remnant churches, “FOR SEVEN DAYS YOU MUST WORK AT PUTTING  SINNNNN OUT OF YOUR LIFE!” Folks, I have something very disturbing to tell you – you can huff, and puff and you can blow on that wall all you want, but you’re never gonna blow it down! You are incapable – you – are incapable of putting sin out of your life! Because the natural human mind is enmity – is against God, against Jesus Christ – is rebellious by nature, hard headed, thick headed – however you wanna put it! The only way that you can put sin out of your life is to have your life filled up with Jesus Christ – and He changes you from the inside out! That’s how you overcome sin! Because Jesus Christ becomes your champion. He’s the One that causes you to go through that metamorphosis – He causes that new creature to be created in you, which Paul talked about.

Galatians 2 – what we’re talking about here is the primary teaching point of the Days of Unleavened Bread – a point which was never made in the Worldwide Church of God! They kept saying, “Go around looking for crumbs,” and then somehow that was supposed to make you put sin out of your life – totally illogical. Can’t do it! Can’t put leavening out of your life – it’s everywhere! Just like yeast – it’s everywhere! And evil thought’s exist in you at every cellular level! You, of and by yourself – you’re a meathead! That means carnal. Your flesh and blood, and you’re not subject to the will of God! But with the Spirit of God He begins to make a change – that’s called conversion. Bit by bit – step by step. And, looking for crumbs doesn’t make it happen! But notice what Paul says in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I [meaning not of and by his own volition, will power] who live, but Christ lives in me; …” It means exactly what it says – ‘Christ lives IN me!’ and for seven days we have this physical ritual of imbibing unleavened bread to remind us WE NEED JESUS CHRIST in the innermost part’s of our being! “…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and give Himself for me.” Galatians 4:19 – “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed IN YOU.” 

Remember it wasn’t too many years ago the Invasion of the Body Snatchers!? Wasn’t it these aliens from outer space taking over human beings and changing them from the inside out!? Well folks, the movie was sort of based on truth! But the alien is Jesus Christ and His Spirit, and His ideas and His Word’s and His motives and His personality! And He’s trying to change you from being the (and I don’t mean to insult you, but I’m right there with you) hard-headed, knuckle-headed, self-oriented, selfish, human being that you came into this world. The first statement you ever made in your life was “Whaaaaaaa!!” – “I want something!” “Feed me!” “Give me water!” “Change my diaper!” “Hold me!”  “Put me down!” “Move me there!” – and if you didn’t get your way, what did you do!? You let out a squall! And then you got a little older – if you didn’t get your way, what did you do – some of you!? You held your breath, got on the floor, stomped your feet, turned blue – and if your parents were wise, they looked at you and went, “Well, when he passes out, he’ll get over it!” And that’s what we do! And, Mr. Ted  Armstrong use to talk about the meaning of human nature. And he said it was a combination of vanity, jealousy, lust and greed. He said that so many times I thought it was  biblical verse. And I said one day, “Well, I’m gonna find that Scripture that Mr. Ted is quoting.” Well, it wasn’t in the Bible, it’s Mr. Ted’s idea. Now, he wasn’t far off! I like to simplify it – human nature is selfishness. It’s self-motivation. It’s, “Me me me – I” And the whole goal is that we change the focus from ourselves, and we change the focus to look upon Jesus Christ, and then our fellow human beings! First in the Church, and then also outside the Church. And in doing that we are supposed to become a light unto the world. Which someday the whole world will acknowledge. And, I hope that on Graduation Day, that’s what I like to call the resurrection – especially in the “Great White Throne Judgment” I hope there are people who you will meet – I hope they come up to you and say, “Don’t I know you!?” Now, remember, you’ve been in the Kingdom of God for over a thousand years, but if you want to appear as flesh and blood you can. I hope you walk through some of those crowds – and I hope some of the people who see you go, “Don’t I know you!?” And then have them say, “Wait a minute, I remember you! You were kind to me. You helped me. You were caring. You were considerate. You protected me. You fought me battles. You took care of me. YOU were different.” I hope that you will have that opportunity to have that experience. I hope we all do! And what you’ll be able to tell them, ‘That which you saw in me, those many thousands of years ago, it wasn’t me that you saw, it wasn’t me that you heard – you heard the very presence of Jesus Christ living in me! And He changed me from the rotten wretch that I was, and He made me into something special. A child of God. A brother to Jesus Christ.’ That’s what I hope all of you someday can experience – because that’s what should happen!


Philippians 1:6 – “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you [through His Spirit- transforming you from the inside out] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ [the day of your resurrection]; …” Philippians 2:5 – this is the meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread – “Let this mind be in you …” – for seven days practice this imbibing Jesus Christ – “…which was also in Christ Jesus.” – and tragically and unfortunately the Worldwide Church of God NEVER taught that! And quite frankly they didn’t teach it because they didn’t know it! And they didn’t know it because they were too busy looking for nine month old bread crumbs! And they couldn’t see the forest for the trees! And the forest was Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And Him being on the right-hand of God the Father – and Him being your High Priest! And Him being your great Apostle! That’s what the Days of Unleavened Bread are all about! Now, if you keep it the old Worldwide way – I don’t know – you just go seven days wishing you could go to Krispy Kreme donuts! But if you take on this day with this understanding which we have talked about today, the Days of Unleavened Bread will become one of the most spectacular periods of your life – a yearly reminder that you need Jesus Christ! In you, through you, over you – all of you! In all of you! I hope that you approach these six more days with that in mind. And I hope that next year when it comes around you will think about these words. Remember, you can find this sermon on our website –

So, thank you, it’s been nice being here. We love all you here, we love all of you there reading this. We pray for you and we ask that you pray for all of us. So, until next time, goodbye our friends.


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