Steps to surviving in an evil world by "guarding the door of your mind"

Fred R. Coulter—February 18, 2017

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All these storms [in California] show that the best plans of men cannot stand up against God. When it was coming down so hard last night I got to thinking: I wonder what they were thinking when it started raining after Noah was in the ark. Remember that beneath the earth there's as much water as on top of the earth. So, when anyone says oh there is not enough water to cover the tops of the mountains remind them that, yes, there is. It said that God 'broke the fountains of the deep' and Job said, 'God opened the bottles of heaven.' I like that that! That's a good way to express it, 'the bottles of heaven.'

Now let's come to Psa. 1 since we sang that song, Blessed and Happy is The Man. I want to show you something very interesting, how the Word of God is so great everywhere all of it all of the time.

Psalm 1:1: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law does he meditate day and night" (vs 1-2).

There are a lot of Scriptures you tie together with this. How about:

Hebrews 10:16: "…I will give My Laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds" Write them in your heart and mind!

Psalm 1:3: "And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, and its leaf shall not wither, and all that he does shall prosper. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff, which the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish" (vs 3-6).

Now let's see the end of the story. Let's take the last two Psalms because last two finalize it. Between the first Psalm and the last two there are many steps on how to get from here to the Kingdom of God. And you can include many other Scriptures and things like this. Think of this if you can imagine you're resurrected and you're on the Sea of Glass, and all saints are there.

Psalm 149:1: "O praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song..." [Isn't that what were going to do? (Rev 15)] ...and His praise in the congregation of saints" Will that not be the big congregation of all the saints? Yes indeed!

Verse 2: "Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name in the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the drum and lyre, for the LORD takes pleasure in His people…" (vs 2-4). Remember that in spite of your problems and difficulties He takes pleasure in His people.

"...He crowns the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand… [we're to come down and fight with Christ] …to execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the people, to bind their kings with chains… [Isn't that what's going to happen to Satan the devil? Bound with chains put in the abyss!] …and their nobles with iron bands, to carry out upon them the judgment written—this honor have all His saints. O praise the LORD!" (vs 4-9).

Then hear the completion of God's plan. How this ties in with Rev. 21 and 22.

Psalm 150:1: "O praise the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the ram's horn; praise Him with the harp and lyre. Praise Him with the drum and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipes" (vs 1-4).

So, for all those who don't know how to sing, you're going to learn. God will take away all of the sour notes the flesh has.

Verse 5: "Praise Him on the loud cymbals; praise Him with the resounding cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise the LORD. O praise the LORD!" (vs 5-6).

So, the first Psalm and the last two Psalms give you the beginning with conversion, and the ultimate result with salvation at the end. But all the other Psalms in between add to the steps in the things we need to know how to get from here to there. Isn't that amazing how God does all these things? This sermon is about how to survive in an evil world, and it is evil indeed!

We can all be very thankful that Hillary-Billary [Clinton] didn't win, otherwise we would be in the midst of the destruction of the Constitution through the judiciary. They wouldn't touch rewriting it, but they would totally change it with judicial judgments. They would do it just like they did in Seattle. Everyone got all upset because Donald Trump called him a 'so-called judge.' Well, that's what He is, a 'so-called judge,' because a judge would look at the facts and would've read the statute which says, 'all the immigration power is vested in the President.' The judge didn't even look at it; so much for the judges of the world. But this is an evil world we have to live in. Were bombarded on every side with everything and we have more things thrown at us than any generation in the history of the world and it's only going to increase.

Now, for those of us who are 'young' enough we can remember that all television stations turned off at midnight. Remember that? Now we have 10,000 television stations with everything about man and woman, people, things, and so forth everything.

How do we survive?

You're just going around the house doing something, or wherever you're working or driving the car and so forth, and along comes a commercial jingle or a song. The one I hate is My Pillow. Have you seen My Pillow? I don't like it because it took me—you know the song they have at the end it that goes with it—three weeks to get that out of my brain! You know how that goes. Or you hear a song; it's okay if you hear a good song, but too many of them are those that you don't want. Some of these things make you feel real bad, and some of them you hate and don't want.

Let's come to the Epistle of James and see what he said about thought and sin. This is why we need the laws of God written in our heart and in our mind. This is why we need the Spirit of God within us so we can have those things erased out of our mind.

James 1:3: "Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance"—so we continue, in spite of all the difficulties, and still keep going toward the goal of the Kingdom of God. We all need endurance, especially in this age.

Verse 4: "But let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, not lacking in anything."

I wonder how James would do it if he knew about television today? If he knew about radio? You can even be driving down a lovely road and bang, here's a billboard and you didn't want that in your mind. But there it is! So they had it a whole lot easier, a lot nicer: no television, no radio, no car. You've got your sheep and your goats. Maybe if you have a little more wealth and you've got a horse.

Verse 5: "However, if anyone lacks wisdom… [that we all do] ...let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks;and it shall be given to him."

This is something we need to do on a continuous basis; you have to exercise that wisdom in a Godly way. Look at what happened to Solomon. He was the smartest man in the world. But he didn't exercise the wisdom.

Verse 6: "But let him ask in faith, not doubting at all, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro. Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 6-8).

Our goal is to be single-minded, the mind of Christ with the commandments of God and the words and instruction of Christ in our mind. Our minds are such that if we don't pray and if we don't study and if we don't keep the Sabbath, pretty soon all of that will be gone. What happened to the thousands that used to meet every Sabbath in the LA basin? Where are they? Some have been faithful, and there are probably a lot we don't know of that have been is as faithful as they know how. But what happened to those that have gone back into the world?

The #1 lesson: Spiritual knowledge does not stay in the human mind unless it is renewed with the Spirit of God:renewed, renewed, renewed! That's why we have the Sabbath every week. The greatest teacher is repetition! Repetition brings practice, and practice brings stability. It's just like for women, the first time you threaded a needle when you were little girl. You had a hard time getting it in there. But your mom and grandma could just put it in there just like that! Why could they do it and you couldn't do it? The reason is they had practice.

The same way with anything you do. You learn something new it's a little awkward. After a while it becomes second nature. I'll just tell you a little one on myself: I'm predominantly right-handed. So much so that my left hand has been for most of my life along for the ride. So, I said to myself: Why don't you see what you can do with your left hand. So, I've been doing things more with my left hand and some of them are coming quite automatically now.

When I make my coffee in the coffee maker instead of putting two tablespoons of coffee in with my right hand I put them in with my left hand. First time I tried it I spilled it. Now I can put it in automatically. Same way with cutting my citrus in the morning I switch to my left hand and I can cut it just as good with my left hand as with my right hand. I haven't gotten too good with my teeth the first time I tried it I almost knocked them all out. But that just an example of you need practice, practice, practice in everything. That way you won't be double-minded.
Verse 9: "But let the brother who is in humble circumstances rejoice in his elevation, and let the one who is rich rejoice in his humble condition, because as the flower of the field, he himself will pass away" (vs 9-10).

Of course, all of us here know that. But we're actually getting to a point that one day age will mean nothing. Which will be really good.

Verse 12: "Blessed is the man who endures trials, because after he has been proved…"You can have trials. Some days a lot, some days none; some expected, some not expected; some suddenly will come upon you. And all of these are to test you to see how you're growing and developing, and many times we'll fail. Why? Because were not perfect! Perfection is not going to come until the resurrection.

"...because after he has been proved he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (v 12).

So look at it this way: To love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being is the main commandment that covers everything that we do:

  • with all your heart: you have nothing between you and God
  • with all your mind: you get your mind educated and trained with the Word of God and put into your mind
  • with all your soul: that means your body so you take care of yourself the best that you can

Now you're never going to stop wearing out until the resurrection. But take good care of yourself the best that you can.

  • with all your strength: you grow in that, it doesn't come suddenly

It comes with

  • experience
  • testing
  • time
  • trial
  • error

Now here's what's important to understand about the age we're living in right now.

Verse 13: "Do not let anyone who is tempted say, 'I am being tempted by God,' because God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one with evil."

He sets before us choices. We are to choose—independent free moral agency—IFMA (Deut. 30:15). He wants us to choose to love Him and to keep His commandments and He will bless us. Here's what happens with thoughts you don't want and living in a society that is difficult to live in. Remember what happened to Lot; he was frustrated day and night because of the ungodly behavior in Sodom and Gomorrah. So, he had to fight a lot of things all the time. Same way with us, we're bombarded with things all the time.

Verse 14: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust."

Now here's the first step to get rid of those thoughts and things that come into our minds today. You pray right then and ask God to help you get rid of it and expel it. Sometimes it will never come back again, sometimes it will take two or three days to get rid of it. But it will! You've got to pray and ask God, with His Spirit within you, to cleanse your mind. That way you won't be drawn away and enticed by your lust.

Verse 15: "And after lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin…"

What does this tell us? If these thoughts come into our mind or are projected into our mind because we see it on television or hear it on radio or whatever. That is not a sin, that is a temptation. Evil thoughts will come just living in this world, they just will! You have to use God's Spirit to overcome. Sometimes there will be those things that you will really have to ask God to help you fight against. Then it doesn't bring forth sin. When something comes along as a temptation or test and you:

  • mull it over in your mind
  • think about it
  • kind of entertain it
  • magnify it
  • wonder how that would be

Then you're developing it into accepting it! And when you accepted it and you act upon it then you sin. You can still repent of sin. But if not, "…when it… [sin] …is completely finished, brings forth death" (v 15).

We're talking about the mind: How do we clean up our mind? How do we get rid of those thoughts? Because it is really a spiritual matter! The same thing will go for sins that you have committed before you were baptized. You may have flashbacks to different things that you've done in the past. Why do you have that? Because it's all recorded in the human mind! Everything you see, even if just a split-second or less it registers in the brain. Somewhere it registers. That's why you need the Spirit of God!

2-Corinthians 10:2: "But I am beseeching you so that, when I am present, I may not have to be bold with the confidence with which I intend to show boldness toward some, who think that we are walking according to the flesh. For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh" (vs 2-3).

The war is the battle against sin within! What happens in the world? They take people who have been drug addicts and alcoholics and they're able to help them stop being addicted to these things by training. And most addicts have two or three fallbacks before they really get the point. With the Spirit of God you have the advantage that those who were stuck in those things in the world do not have.

  • you have the Spirit of God
  • you have the Word of God
  • you have the fact that God loves you

Even if you sin, God loves you so much that he's provided Christ as a perpetual source of forgiveness through His sacrifice. And you will sin, because sin just comes along. Heb. 12 ties right in with it on how we overcome all of these problems in the world, and all of the things that bombard us.

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses…"

We can add to that everything in the New Testament and Old Testament. We can add a whole lot more to it. And then we can add to that the personal experience that we've seen with others that we have known.

"…let us lay aside every weight…" (v 1). How do you lay aside every weight? You place it before God!

  • ask Him to lift it from you
  • ask Him to help you
  • ask Him to forgive you

"…and the sin that so easily entraps us…" (v 1).

Now another thing with having the Holy Spirit of God, God's Spirit will expose the sin within to you by revealing that you have the thought, which before conversion rarely ever happened. Well where does conversion take place? In the mind! In the heart! That's why He does it. That's why the Holy Spirit does it.

"…sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance" (v 1). Then it talks about Christ and what He did. So here's the example for us. Here is the #1 key in overcoming those things.

Verse 2: "Having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith…"—so all those things that come along are part of the progress of conversion:

  • to help you resist
  • to help you overcome
  • to help you get your mind cleaned up

"...Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross… [remember, He willingly laid down His life] …although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (v 2).

So, think of that for yourself, too. Always keep in mind the goal. This bodies going to old going to get weak and one day—just like one day we took our first breath and God has given His breath every day since then—it will be gone. This is how you do it.

Verse 3: "Now meditate deeply on Him…" Remember where we started in Psa. 1, meditates on the Law of God day and night.Well, the Law of Christ, the teachings of the New Testament, as well.

"...Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself…" (v 3).

  • Was it fair?
  • How many times does something come along and you say that's not fair?
  • How do you know it's not fair?
  • Even if it's not fair what are you going to do about it?

We all suffer a lot of things that are not fair, especially if you stand for the Truth. But God is looking for the longer haul, so He says to consider Him, meditate on Him!

"...Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself… [here's why]: …so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds…. [or your heart ] …You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 3-4).

I have yet to anoint anyone who said, 'I've been fighting against this sin and it's so bad I'm bleeding.' Think of what Jesus went through. Remember, He was baptized in His own blood. Think of that! Then it talks about chastening and reproof and so forth.

2-Corinthians 10:3: "For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…" (vs 3-4). It's not like help yourself things. It's not like well I'll just be better. Yes, we are to be better. But you can't be better unless you repent.

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds." Where is the greatest stronghold of all? The mind!

Verse 5: "Casting down vain imaginations…" We have to get rid of thoughts, cast them away. Ask God to erase them out of our mind.

"...and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…" (v 5). That also touches on everything concerning doctrine. Remember there are a lot of false prophets out there; there a lot of false doctrines out there.

Now, let's ask the question because I'm sure it will come up: Why does God answer prayers of Protestants? In hopes that they will go further and understand more about His Word! That's why! That doesn't mean because they have answered prayer that they are necessarily called for the Kingdom of God. How can you be when you live with Sunday-keeping and that becomes your idol? Because they keep some of the other laws and commandments of God, they're nice people. So, God blesses them because of that.

But remember Matt. 7 about all of those who said, ' Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name?' I think of that every time I see this Robert Jeffress—one of the pastors with Donald Trump—on television. I think He does a pretty good job for what he's doing. I even listened to one of His sermons one day. You know, nothing else on television so I tuned in and there He was speaking. He gave a pretty good sermon. Didn't have a thing to do with Truth, but was good and it was logical. Remember this: Not all logic is Truth, but all Truth is logical!

Jeffries was preaching, and the question was: What happens to children who die? Do they go to heaven even though they didn't have a chance for salvation? Now for everybody sitting there who believes in going to heaven this was logical. Yes, 'they go to be with Jesus.' Everybody went out of the church happy, happy, happy. I sat there and I thought: just wait until the second resurrection and you will see how powerful God really is. But he's prayed for Donald Trump; he's laid hands on him. He says God called Trump. Very likely. Couldn't call anybody in the Church of God; you know you'd be assassinated on day three.

So, just like with ancient Israel. Some of the judges of ancient Israel really weren't what we would call deeply converted people. Now, we hope Trump does well. We hope he keeps his promises. I think one thing that he is standing for, which is good, because most of our problems in the country center around abortion. If we had no abortion we wouldn't need all of the immigrants coming in. That's nothing against immigrants, because we all came as immigrants one way or another. But that's just a 'rough thumbnail measurement' 60-million abortions 60-million immigrants. You do the math. Is that not pretty close? That's not to put down people of other nations. God has sent them here to replace what we've killed. Think of it that way.

Overthrowing of strongholds is, v 5: "Casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ." That's the whole process of conversion, the whole process.

Verse 6: "And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled." The way you have revenge against what you've been thinking that is wrong is by replacing it with the Truth. There you have it. That's a very important part to really remember.

Let's see what it tells us about this process. How do we do it? Prov.4 is a very important part of the book of Proverbs. Now this talks about wisdom, and remember wisdom comes from God. And the book of Proverbs is written in such a way that it is less dogmatic on doctrine and more for basic things that everyone needs to know.

Proverbs 4:13: "Keep hold of instruction… [don't loose what you have been taught] …do not let go; keep her, for she is your life. Enter not into the path of the wicked… [even though it looks very tempting even though it looks very good] …and go not into the way of evil men. Avoid it…" (vs 13-15).

What does Paul say about sexual immorality? Flee! Why? Because once emotions get all involved in it, there's no blood in the head left to think! So, you've got to run. That's what Joseph did, remember? And he got treated badly because he left his coat. Don't go in there.

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

Have you watched Forensic Files? It's very interesting. Always involves lying, cheating, stealing, sex and murder. The way they have all the forensic scientists today, hardly anyone can get away with any crime any longer. Well, with God you can't because he's greater than even the forensic science. Here's what it needs to be for us overcoming.

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

Verse 19: "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (vs 19-22).

Think about how many lives are cut short because they disobey their parents and runoff do whatever they do. Especially all the drug things that are today, a terrible mess.

Verse 23: "Above all… [another way of saying the most important thing to remember is this] ...guard the door of your mind…" It also means heart, because there's a heart and mind connection.

How do you guard it? Just like we read back there in 2-Cor. 10. Vain imaginations, wrong thought, you just grab hold of it, get rid of it and cast it away. The same thing with doctrine. If someone comes along with a proposition or doctrine and it sounds good, even sounds logical, what you have to do is prove it. So, you grab hold of it set it right smack in the middle of the table and examine it, and examine it with the whole Word of God.

I just read a booklet by a man who says that God never intended to use Aaron as high priest until after the sin of the golden calf. That sounds logical to some people. But Aaron was named to be high priest along with:

  • the instructions that God gave for the tabernacle
  • for the Ark of the Covenant
  • for the curtains
  • for the drapes
  • for the priests clothing and breastplate

All named before the golden calf incident!

But some people would read that and—because they are not grounded and they don't take it and put it right smack in the middle of the table and look at it and read and study—they are easily persuaded. That's what you do with everything. Satan likes to come along with near truth. Near truth is not absolute Truth. Good sounding words are not necessarily the Words of God.

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Let's go back and review, because these are the things that will help us overcome the problems of getting rid of thoughts and sights that you see within your own mind.

Proverbs 4:20: "My son, attend to my words…"

Living in the end-time, think of how much responsibility is laid upon us. Because to whom much is given much is expected. We have the whole Bible plus all the other things we have. So, we can attend to God's words as a generation has never had the opportunity to do it.

By the way you can download the Bible. Just go to afaithfulversion.org and go to the app and you can download it on your cell phone. How's that? The whole Bible! We're soon going to have it where you can have the whole Bible with the commentaries and with the appendices that you can listen to it. It will be on a memory stick. Now my 1991 Nissan Maxima does not have a memory stick plug in to my radio. But you can put it in your car and if you got a little screen there you can pick whatever you want to listen to. So, it will be a little while and we'll get that. But we'll have all of that available.

So, I want you to think about something. I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to mentioned it again and again. When John put together the New Testament and going over the prophecies that this Gospel shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, I don't even think he had a clue as to where all nations were! He knew where some of them were. Maybe around the Mediterranean Sea and the British Isles and maybe over to India and down into Africa. But who knew about the Western Hemisphere?

Here's another thing to keep in mind: when God says all nations He means every single one. Now remember I told you about the website faithcomesbyhearing.com? I got an e-mail from someone in East Africa who asked for a Bible in their language and I said that we don't have it. But I gave them the website site; he went to it and guess what? They had the audio for his language and since most of these people can't read but it's all oral, and they were able to get it.

Because they are going to take every language that is not written but spoken and they're reading the Bible into this recording machine that has chips in it. It has a little solar screen on top and you don't need to plug in anything anywhere. That gives them the whole Bible. So, when God says He's going to do something He will do it the way He said He's going to do it and if we believe Him and trust in Him and know that He's going to do it above and beyond, more than we can think of, He will do it! Just imagine what would be given in another ten or fifteen years if we have that long. If not, you will all be in a place of safety called a grave, where all Christians who've ever been are.

If he were resurrected and shown everything that could be done, first you'd give them a Bible and say look at that. How many are there? Oh, billions and billions and billions! Then say look here. 'What's that?' That's what they call a smart phone. 'What's that?' Well, you can talk on it you take pictures with it you can take movies with it, and guess what? Your Gospels are on it right here. So is your epistle and everything you canonized and whole Old Testament right in your hand.

Now how close a witness is it if God puts it in your hand and in a device that you carry in your pocket or in your purse. You can't get any closer. That's as close as God can get it to sticking it in your brain. You have to put it in your brain. He delivers it to you. If you have a smart-smart phone all you have to do is talk to it and say give me the Gospel of John, chapter 1, and it's all read. You can hear it being spoken and you can see it. Amazing!

And for them paper was very expensive it was made of papyrus. Take your smart phone ask about papyrus and how it's made. You will get a Wikipedia come up and tell you how it's made, very expensive. Do you know how many lambskins it took to make the Bible the whole Bible for Constantine during Eusebius's day? One Bible? Three hundred and fifty lambskins! How expensive is that? Now you can go to afaithfulversion.org and get it free. Amazing!

Proverbs 4:20: "My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart" (vs 20-21). Because:

  • as a man thinks in his heart so he is
  • out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

If it's an abundance of mouth it will speak and speak and speak!

Verse 22: "For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh." Of course, you have to:

  • use them
  • think on them
  • dwell on them
  • meditate on them

Verse 23: "Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence… [something you have to be on top of all the time] …for out of it are the issues of life."

Everything about life affects what you hear, see, think and do. It's just like they have said with computers: garbage in, garbage out. Same way with people's lives: garbage in their lives is garbage out.

  • get in trouble
  • ruin their lives
  • cut them short
  • sickness
  • disease
  • accidents
  • death

Verse 24: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth…" That's the whole key.

Let's understand what God is doing. Jer. 17 also answers why you still have evil thoughts come in your mind. Your mind has had them in there since you were a child. Conversion is cleaning the mind, changing your way of thinking. They know that it actually changes the structure of your brain, by thoughts: good thoughts make a good brain; bad thoughts make an evil brain.

It even affects the environment. You read about the Millennium where the trees are going to sing. Well, they know that if plants are taken care of and are treated tenderly they thrive. But if they hear rock music and things like that they wither, because rock music and hip-hop music and all of that is contrary against the laws of music that God has made. God made certain things to work in harmony. How many notes are there in a scale? How many days in a week? Seven! Then you go to the calendar and all that, I tell you, the way of God is so fantastic it just incredible.

Jeremiah 17:5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man… [now you know why God doesn't want a hierarchical government] …and makes flesh his arm…'" Doesn't that tie in with what Paul wrote for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or fleshly? Yes!

"'…and whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited'" (vs 5-6). Notice the contrast. This sounds a little bit like Psa. 1 where we started.

Verse 7: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit" (vs 7-8). Notice the contrast again, and what God is doing with us.

Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" That's how the human mind is, every human mind! Even in those who are very nice people. But not to the degree of those who sold themselves to evil, but it still there. So, God is taking this and through

  • His Spirit
  • His Word
  • His laws
  • His commandments
  • His love
  • His faith
  • His goodness

all coming to us, then He is converting us to be like Him! Now if that is not a miraculous thing.

Verse 10: "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."

We will see the continuity and unity of the Word of God throughout. If there are times when there appears to be a contradiction it is either a mistranslation, misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of other Scriptures to resolve what appears to be a contradiction. We will see that this is exactly what we just read in Jer. 17.

Revelation 2:23: "And I will kill her children…" That's interesting, because these are the children of Jezebel and Jezebel came in with the pagan doctrines. She was the daughter of the pagan priest and she married Ahab, and Ahab was the one who caused all Israel to sin.

Verse 23: "And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know… [this tells us that Jer. 17 is working today for all of the churches] ...that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your works."

Remember that Protestants say it's by faith but not by works. If that's the case why is God going to judge us by works. It doesn't say I'm going to judge you by your faith. I'm going to judge you by your works. Because your faith dictates what your works are.

Verse 24: "But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will not cast upon you any other burden, but hold fast what you have until I come. And to the one who overcomes and keeps My works unto the end…" (vs 24-26).

Now stop and think about that for a minute: "…My works…" All Protestants listen up! You all know that Sunday is not a work of God. So, if you're keeping Sunday, whose works are you keeping? Read Rome's Challenge to the Protestants, Appendix N in The Holy Bible in its Original Order. A Faithful Version. It comes from Rome, and that comes from Babylon and that comes from Nimrod and that comes from the pagans. It's not the works of God! What was the last work that God did in creation? He created man on day six, rested on day seven, and created the Sabbath by resting!

If you keep the Sabbath you're keeping the work of God! It's not of the Jews. It's of God! Same way with the Holy Days! Remember that. He's going to judge every man by His works and He says, "Keep My works." So, His works become your works.

All of these things help us understand how we can overcome the evil that bombards us every day. And remember who was 'the prince of the power of the air'? Satan the devil! And, boy! does he control it? Yes indeed!

Proverbs 4:23: "Above all… [the first thing you need to do in your life every day] …guard the door of your mind with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and devious lips put far from you. Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established" (vs 23-26). Sooner or later God is going to make it all work.

Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits. Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established" (vs 2-3). That's how you do it.

Verse 6: "By mercy and Truth… [and that's through repentance and the Word of God] ...iniquity is purged… [purged out of your mind ] …and by the fear of the LORD men turn away from evil. When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (vs 6-7). That something!

We'll look at some other ways what we need to do to guard the door of our minds, to cast out the evil thoughts, and to put in the good thoughts and things like this.

Now I'll guarantee you one thing here. If you come to a point where you say, 'I'm too tired I'll study tomorrow.' Let me suggest you try this: do some studying and reading in the Psalms and you will be surprised how much better you will sleep. Psalms are not long. There's a lot you can learn and I'll share with you some that I did the other night for this sermon here. Remember you can apply all of these Proverbs spiritually.

Proverbs 3:1: "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commandments… [there it is again the heart] …for they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you. Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you… [that's the way we overcome] …bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart" (vs 1-3).

Sidebar: I watch NatGeo Wild every once in a while. And the other day they had this snake man on. How many have seen him? He lives in Australia and his job is he hires himself out to trap poisonous snakes in the houses of people. He shaves his head and he's got tattoos all over him. And when I read "…bind them around your neck…" I thought of him, because snakes that are not harmful he lets them crawl all over him. That's not my job, not my cup of tea! In fact whenever we go to the zoo we go by the reptile house you know where they have the snakes in there our kids walk down to look in the window and I'd be over here about six feet away.

Verse 3: "...bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart." That's interesting wording isn't it? That means it becomes a living part of you. When you memorize Scripture and you can quote it without reading it, that's written in your mind or in your heart.

Verse 4: "And so you shall find favor… [What's another word for favor? Grace!] …and good understanding in the sight of God and man." So, it goes beyond just you. It goes to those around you as well.

Verse 5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart… [that's how you overcome and put away all of these things] …and lean not to your own understanding."

The phrase that comes to mind when I read that, if I do something I think I want to do and say, 'Well, God understands.' And I think, yes He does, doesn't He! But maybe not in the way that I would like Him too!

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

You've heard me say this the last few sermons but I'm going to say it again: Every human being lives and moves and has being because of God, whether they know Him or not.

  • Do they eat?
  • Do they breathe?
  • Do they think?
  • Do they work?
  • Yes!
  • Who gave them all that ability? God did!

Even atheists depend on God. Even though they reject Him. That tells you how great God is.

They're going to have some difficulties along the line. Those who are dedicated to it and never repent have the Lake of Fire to look forward to. But I wonder how many in the second resurrection are going to repent? We don't know!

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It shall be health to your navel and marrow to your bones" (vs 6-8).

In other words to your insides, and marrow to your bones because your marrow produces blood. And the physical life is where? In the blood! The part of the brain called the soul keeps it all going. Just like in the book From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? I never knew it until someone sent me all the facts of Did You Know This?

I never knew that the human heart beats 100,000 times every single day. That blew me away! You think about what God has done to keep everybody alive. Give them life. Now they have to get out and work so that they can have food. They have to work and they have to produce. But God has provided everything that's needed on the earth:

  • the air
  • the water
  • the plants
  • the animals
  • the life
  • the breath
  • the thinking and ability to work and to do things

God has done all of that! Now what a task that is. How would you like to be told, 'All right, you're in charge of the air and you have to make sure that 7.5-billion people breathe every day? Talk about a task! God does it automatically!

What do we do when we sin? We read 'the sin that so easily besets us.' Why did not God, when you are converted and receive the Holy Spirit, remove the ability to sin out of your mind? You'd have nothing to overcome! No, God doesn't do that. He wants our full participation and to have trust and love and dependence upon God, because we choose to do so, and we do so every day.

1-John 1:6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him…" And also remember this: The most important thing is that you have contact with God 24/7, anytime! Think of that!

Verse 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth."

You haven't repented of the carnal mind, which is desperately wicked and you're lying to yourself. Prov. 4 says to 'remove lying lips,' deceitful lips.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Now think about this for a minute. If you say you're not sinning and you're lying to yourself you're in deep trouble. But notice what it takes in order to have the direct access to have your sins forgiven.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light… [and the Word of God is Light] …as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin."

He wants us to come to Him to repent of our sins, because when we are baptized He does not remove 'the law of sin and death' from us. But He gives us with His Spirit the tools to overcome:

  • through His Word
  • through prayer
  • through study

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." This is why the daily prayer is forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Maybe you're not out doing deeds of sin but what do you repent of? The sin within! That's what God is working on.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Then you could add in there about forgiving one another.

Remember what Peter said? He came to Jesus and said, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me how often should I forgive him? Seven times?' He probably thought he was be pretty generous. What did Jesus answer? He said, 'Seven times seventy'! That's 490 times! I don't know anyone who can sin 490 times in one day. Don't volunteer!

That's why we need to come to God in prayer and study every day. That's our connection with God's Spirit. When you go through the sermon series we did on Grace Upon Grace. Grace upon grace is all of the things that God is given us access to through His Spirit and to Himself and Jesus Christ, every single day! So, that's encouraging. Since we assembled together you're surely going to see a brother sin; you're surely going to see a sister sin.

1-John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death… [What is a sin unto death? The unpardonable sin and rejection of God!] …he shall ask… [you pray for Him instead of condemn him!] …and He will give him life for those who do not sin unto death. There is a sin unto death; concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin… [don't practice sin] …for the one who has been begotten by God keeps himself by the power of God, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one" (vs 16-19).

Psa. 130 is quite a prayer and if you happen to find yourself in deep trouble consider this to start out your prayer. If you have a hard time praying then opened the book of Psalms and use the book of Psalms to start your prayer. Because then thoughts will start coming. Your mind will be more attuned to praying if you read the Psalms.

Psalms 130:1: "Out of the depths I have cried unto You, O LORD…. [he was in terrible shape there] …LORD, hearken unto my voice, and let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications" (vs 1-2). Another prayer [Psalm] right at the front the first word starts out: Hear! Hear me, O Lord!

Verse 3: "If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O LORD, who shall stand?" Because we have the law of sin and death in us. We overcome it through the power of God's Spirit.

Verse 4: "But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared." You can claim the promises of God:

  • You're kind
  • You're gracious
  • You're merciful
  • You're forgiving of sin
  • O Lord, forgive me of this sin
  • forgive me of these thoughts
  • help me to cleanse my mind

Verse 5: "I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His Word do I hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning; I say, more than those who watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is plentiful redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (vs 5-8).

A very interesting verse there. How's He going to do that? Second resurrection! I mean think about that. Just think about what it's going to be like when the second resurrection takes place, and all those people come back to life. It's going to be something.

Psalm 138:6: "Though the LORD is high, yet, He has respect to the lowly; but the haughty He knows afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble… [there will be days when you will have trouble; lots of it] …You will revive me; You shall stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect His work in me…" (vs 6-8).

God is doing the work in you. You have your part and God has His part.

"...Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the work of Your own hands" (v 8). The greatest work He's doing is with the saints. That's why we're to have our part in casting down strong imaginations.

Psa. 143 is the way of an outline for prayer. This is why in learning to pray you study the Psalms and when you get on your knees to pray not one knee but both you can read some of the Psalms and that'll help you. Here's a good one.

Psalm 143:1: "Hear my prayer O LORD… [there's one I was talking about] …give ear unto my supplications; in Your faithfulness and in Your righteousness answer me."

  • not because I'm good
  • not because I'm great
  • not because I've done this that or the other thing

But "…in Your faithfulness and in Your righteousness. And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no one living is righteous" (vs 1-2). The pure righteousness of God!

Isn't that something that God is going to take us with a mind that is deceitful and desperately wicked and transform that with the final operation at the first resurrection to give us pure righteousness! Almost makes you feel like a little speck of dust as to how great that's going to be.

Verse 3: "For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has beaten my life down to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness, as those long dead. Therefore, my spirit is overwhelmed within me" (vs 3-4).

You have a problem that comes along that's overwhelming to you. You don't know what to do you don't know how to handle it.

"...my heart is weary within me. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I consider the work of Your hands. I stretch forth my hands unto You; my soul thirsts after You like a parched land. Selah. Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails…" (vs 4-7). Sounds as so just everything was falling out.

"...do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning…" (vs 7-8). You wake up and lo and behold there's relief!

"...for I do trust in You; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto You. Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I flee to You to hide me" (vs 8-9).

Now all of these things, every one of these verses, is a way on how to overcome and change and grow.

Verse 10: "Teach me…" Interesting; remember:

John 6:45: "…they shall all be taught by God…."

How's God doing that? With His Word! With His Spirit! Isn't that something? God is teaching you! That's why anyone who is a teacher, you teach the Word of God, and teach the people to draw close to God. That's what it has to be.

I didn't know that on our television stations that we get from our cable company that we had Trinity broadcasting system on there. So, I watched some of those once in a while just for a few minutes because some of are so bad. You just have to change the channel because you can't stand it!

God doesn't want anyone between you and the Father except Christ! Now that doesn't mean that we get rebellious and we treat people harshly by saying, 'Well, God is on my side and I have a direct connection. Well, you say that to someone and he may answer and say, 'If you keep up this way, how do you know He's not going to turn it off?

Psalm 143:10: "Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground of uprightness. O LORD, for Your name's sake quicken me; in Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. And in Your mercy cut off my enemies… [and that's every sin and everything against what you've been doing] …and destroy all those who afflict my soul, for I am Your servant" (vs 10-12).

Well the reason we have the whole Bible is so we can study the whole Bible, and the reason we have Sabbath every seven days is so we can take time to get through the whole Bible. You can't do it all at once. That's how in this world:

  • you can put away the evil
  • overcome the thoughts
  • fight against those things that come into your mind that inadvertently get there

God can:

  • help you
  • cleanse you

and:

    • You can guard the door of your mind!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 1:1-2
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Psalm 1:3-6
  • Psalm 149:1-9
  • Psalm 150:1-6
  • James 1:3-15
  • 2-Corinthians 10:2-3
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • 2-Corinthians 10:3-6
  • Proverbs 4:13-23, 20-24
  • Jeremiah 17:5-10
  • Revelation 2:23-26
  • Proverbs 4:23-26
  • Proverbs 16:2-3, 6-9
  • Proverbs 3:1-8
  • 1-John 1:6-9
  • 1-John 5:16-19
  • Psalms 130:1-8
  • Psalm 138:6-8
  • Psalm 143:1-10
  • John 6:45
  • Psalm 143:10-12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 15; 21-22
  • Deuteronomy 30:15
  • Matthew 7

Also referenced:

  • from The Holy Bible in its Original Order. A Faithful Version Appendix N: Rome's Challenge to the Protestants
  • Book: From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? By Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon Series: Grace Upon Grace

FRC: po/bo
Transcribed: 3/8/17

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