In 2019 I wrote Facing Eternity, an article in which I shared part of my personal journey through this life, and I want to repost it here as a lead into my message on the upcoming Passover.
April 22, 2019
This has been a time of great loss for me as my dear wife of 60 years went to be with the Lord three months ago and one of my four sons left this earth for his heavenly home this last Passover, three days ago on the Feast of the First fruits. My son, Israel, who was my sounding board as we shared many questions and ideas about the second coming of the Lord and these end days that we live in. What David wrote in Psalm 127 has become even more precious to me.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” – Ps. 127:3-5
While all my children and grandchildren are a comfort to me and we often share about the Lord and His blessings, I want to share what one of Israel’s sons shared about his dad’s passing –
(Beside Me by The Day of Eternity, Israel’s children)
Israel’s children wrote this song, Beside Me, to commemorate their dad’s heart as he struggled in the battle against cancer and the fear of death, we all have. But Israel overcame as his faith was anchored in Jesus and his eyes were lifting to see the King coming for him. His testimony was Jesus walked beside him to the very end.
My memories of my wife, Anita, and my son, Israel, will always be sweet and my hope is in the Lord, though the separation is painful it is only pain for a moment, for soon I will be seeing them again.
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thes. 4:13-18
As I have shared part of my personal life with you, I pray it will encourage you to draw nearer God as He alone is our hope for eternity. Those who know Jesus have hope for the future because we know this life is just a steppingstone on the way to eternity.
That is exactly why we all need to remember Passover and keep it in our hearts. The blood of that lamb was the atonement for their sins but, it had to be applied to the doorposts of their homes. It was a symbolic picture of the true Lamb of God who would later come to earth – Jesus, the Lamb of God. His blood alone can make the atonement for sin in our lives.
“Therefore, purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” – 1 Cor. 5:7
The “leaven” Paul is talking about here is sin. How do we purge out the old leaven? By repenting to God for it and turning away from it. That first Passover had to be taken with their shoes on their feet and being fully dressed for the journey. They had to be ready to leave Egypt, the place of bondage, and to leave on the journey to the Promised Land. They could no longer take pleasure in the Leeks of Egypt. Some who started the journey would later turn back in their hearts as they faced the trials of the wilderness. They said, –
“We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;” – Num. 11:5
These complainers embraced the Passover to get rid of the slave-master’s whip, but they did not realize God was after their hearts, their attitudes showed they yet loved the world. John the Apostle wrote –
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” – 1 John 2:15, 16
And so it is today. Many come to Jesus in their hour of need, and they make a start with Him but, when the trials of the wilderness meet them, they turn back. They don’t realize that these trials are designed by God to purify us and purge out the dross that we may be pure silver. They are thinking of God’s mercy in getting them through their hour of need, which mostly were brought on by their own choices, so they began the journey with God. But God is after more – He wants our hearts, and our hearts are wicked –
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” – Jer. 17:9
But God is wise, and He knows how to purify us.
“He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.” – Mal. 3:3
And so, as we remember Passover this year, remember it is the beginning of our trip to the Promised Land. The Lamb of God is the only One who can free us from the bondages of sin. The Passover is joined with the Feast of unleavened Bread because Passover begins the process of purging out the leaven of sin in our lives. And it is followed by the Feast of First fruits because it reminds us that the end of the journey is resurrection into eternal life. Jesus was the first fruit as He was resurrected, and our resurrection will follow when He returns. These three Feasts will be remembered April 5-13 this year.
Another point to remember about Passover is it was associated with their deliverance from bondage. In our nation today there is a great need for deliverance. A majority have turned away from God to other gods and Paul’s message to the Ephesians can be said of us as well –
we “were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” – Eph. 2:1-3
That means before we accepted Jesus and His work on the cross, we had demons! We were under the power of the prince of the power of the air. But God has an answer!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” – Eph. 2:4-6
Several have asked that I write about deliverance from demons because of my past experiences. Yes, Jesus gave to us power over demons but that is not the most important thing He gave us. He gave us the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is as we declare the good news of His deliverance from sin that demons have to yield and leave. I remember the first time I was involved in a deliverance. I was teaching about receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit and as I prayed for a young woman she began to speak in tongues. But bells went off in my spirit and I knew this was a false tongue. So, I commanded her to stop, and she turned around and looked at me and yelled, “I’m going to kill you, Chuck Cooley!” So, I said “No you’re not, Come out of her!” She let out a scream and collapsed into the chair. In a few minutes I prayed for her again and she received the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues of the Holy Spirit! That young woman is now a missionary serving with YWAM. You don’t have to go looking for demons, you just have to be busy doing God’s work and share the Gospel. Demons can’t stand that message!
If you are having trouble with demons, go to God’s word, study it and obey it. Listen to what God “worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church”. Jesus is seated in heaven far above every demon who ever existed, and we are seated there with Him!
“and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Eph. 2:6-10
If you will become “born again” by surrendering your whole self to Jesus and claim His work on the cross for yourself, you also will be seated with Jesus in the heavenly places and you also will have the authority to command demons to leave.
I hope you all will celebrate this coming Passover but remember God said leave nothing of the Lamb until morning. In other words, you must take all of Jesus and His commands into your life. You must eat the Passover dressed with your shoes on and be prepared to leave the world of Egypt behind. There is to be no followers of Passover with one foot in the kingdom and one foot in the world. Otherwise, you will perish in the wilderness.
2 thoughts on “Passover 2023”
Another wonderful lesson, Chuck…thank you! I didn’t realize your wife had passed so recently! I’m so sorry for your loss! Please accept my deepest sympathy and my prayers for you as you continue to go on without her for now. Isn’t it wonderful to know that leaving this earth is not the end, but only the beginning?
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Wonderful! MMO&WB, God really blessed your study and production of this one! I’ll be sharing it with many!