Fred R. Coulter—March 5, 2006

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Review of the book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which?: Even though many people recognize that all the holidays they keep have pagan origins, they do not know the depths of the occult behind it. So, I tried to bring out the depths of occultism underlining it. When you take a whole lot of evil and dress it up and make it look nice and acceptable, then you have a pope sprinkle it and run incense over it and declare that it's sanctified, people accept it.

In explaining about it, I also did something that will help the reader understand the Old Testament and the fact that Israel, most of the time, followed other gods and the occult holidays. I laid it out and showed that the ministers, the priests and the teachers are the ones responsible for it. Before I explained about Sunday, Sabbath and the Holy Days, I did a survey in the Old Testament and then in the New Testament concerning the occult holidays and practices that the children of Israel did and that the New Testament church was confronted with.

One of the most stunning places in Exo. 31, which was actually a prophecy of what the children of Israel would do. God gave them the Ten Commandments and Moses went up on the mountain to get the rest of the instructions and so forth. The last thing that God told Moses:

Exodus 31:12: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, "Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths…"'" (vs 12-13). That's plural so we understand that's the weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths, because all Holy Days are Sabbaths.

"…for it… [the keeping] …is a sign… [not just referring the Sabbath singularly] …between Me and you throughout your generations to know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies you" (v 13). This fits in with exactly what the New Testament teaches.

  • If you don't keep the Sabbath, do you know the Lord?
  • You may know a lord, but do you know the Lord?

We know that John says, 'he that says I know the Lord and doesn't keep His commandments is a liar and the Truth isn't in him' (1-John 2:3-4). What we are seeing take place in the churches of the world that profess Christ, is that any understanding they did have in certain things is gradually being removed more and more, because they don't know God.

One little caveat is that there are some people who are sincere in seeking and trying to find God. The only thing they know is Sunday-keeping and Sunday churches. So, if they're really studying their Bible and looking for the Truth, and though they go to a Sunday-keeping church, God's Spirit may be with them to lead them if they're willing to begin to obey God.

We also have the situation that Jesus said of those who didn't follow Him, when the disciples saw Him casting out demons and so forth. John and James asked if they should 'forbid them.' Jesus said, 'No, he who is not against Me is My part.'

So, there was a time when Protestantism had an opportunity to come to the knowledge of the Truth. They've had a lot of years to do so. But Sunday-keeping was the little leaven that leavened the whole lump. They've had many witnesses concerning Sunday-keeping vs Sabbath-keeping: note the article Rome's Challenge to the Protestants {found at truthofGod.org in various ways including in booklet form}

God has given them plenty of time, so what happens when they are not willing to obey. Matt. 13 is another basic Scripture that happens, and there is a dual process that takes place. Right now we're living in a time when we can see this taking place more and more.

Let's understand that the dividing line between Truth and error is getting deeper and broader. Those people in Sunday-keeping churches who had an opportunity to come to God, and really haven't done it, are being separated and blinded more and more. They are being, I believe, setup so that they will all of a sudden find out that they and the Catholics agree, so the merger will be very simple. Here is the spiritual process that happens:

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given.'" (vs 10-11).

Unless you hold to the knowledge and teachings that are in the Bible, which God has given you… Let's understand that none of us came to the understanding of the things that we do without God teaching us! He teaches us through His Word and His Spirit, and we are all taught of the Father. It becomes very important when we understand concerning the Word of God, that it is God-breathed!

When you and I talk, we're breathing. So, the words are God-breathed! When we understand that and realize… this is why we wrote commentaries for The Holy Bible in It's Original Order a Faithful Version. So that people would understand the difference between all of these translations that are out there now.

In our wildest dreams, when we first came into the Church—for some of us 30-plus years or more—we would have never thought that there would be so many corrupt Bibles out there that Satan would actually get into the Bible translating committees and do his thing:

  • change the Word of God
  • change the text from which they did the translating
  • corrupt it so much that you wouldn't be able to know and find the Truth

That's the very thing that Jesus is talking about here, in blinding them, that they produce a blinding Bible now. Isn't that amazing? Yes! God has given to us to know the mysteries or the secrets of the Kingdom of God, which is related to: How do we understand them?

Psalm 111:10: "…a good understanding have all those who do His commandments…."

What are the important commandments to keep? Understanding comes from keeping the first four as well as the last six! Understanding also comes from keeping the Holy Days, because though those God is revealing His plan step-by-step! We are the result of the promise that God gave to Daniel.

Daniel—a Godly man, listed as one of the three most righteous in the history of the Old Testament: Noah, Daniel and Job—gave all of those prophecies and when he got done he said, 'O Lord, when will these things be?' A message from the angel came and said, 'It's not given to you to know'!

Here we find ourselves getting closer and closer to the end of the age. God has given us an abundance of understanding that the Churches of God, the people of God and the prophets of God have not understood. This is why it's important that we do the things that we're doing. My prayer is that every Church of God would come to a point of repentance and understanding so that they, likewise, would get out and really do the things they need to do, rather than lie there or just 'tread water' in their social contacts with the churches and just preach the same blither over and over again. We are living in terrible and desperate times.

Right here it started with revealing the mysteries of the kingdom! It's given! We have no ability of ourselves to know and understanding except the Spirit of God give us understanding and it's given to us. That is by the grace of God!

There's one problem with human nature: once you have everything around you and you understand something to a certain point, you become complacent and lackadaisical, etc. We can't let that happen!

Matthew 13:11: "…but to them it has not been given. For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance…" (vs 11-12). That's a prophecy coming down to our day today:

  • we know more about the Word of God
  • we know more about the plan of God

than at any time in the history of the whole church, even though the apostles wrote the New Testament. They didn't know! They didn't understand the things that we do today. That's quite a thing!

"…but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him. For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat…" (vs 12-15)—by self-satisfaction and indulgence in sin!

"…and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed… [they don't want to know] …lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (v 15).

That required quite a bit of explanation in the book as to why God did this. Most of the religions of professed Christianity today say that 'if you're not converted now and attend this church you're going to hell and burn forever.'

Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17).

We can add to that down to our day what God has revealed through His Word is even many more-fold in what Jesus was teaching them at that time. That's quite a thing! That's really something that God has provided!

Let's see what we can see and let's understand what we can understand.

Exodus 31:13: "…I am the LORD Who sanctifies you." This is a special time. It is a time of God teaching us. This is part of our continuing education!

If you belong to any of the professions like real estate, lawyer, doctor or teacher, and you belong to a professional association, you are required to take continuing education.

God requires us to take continuing education out of His Word. Not for a professional job, but because we are preparing to rule the world! We need to grasp that. Not be all lifted up in vanity and say we're going to do it. It's a humbling job. When you see the condition that the world is going to be in when we come back from the Sea of Glass after the resurrection, we have a whale of a job to do! God wants us to use the Sabbath as a continuing day of education to:

  • learn of His Word
  • be filled with His Spirit
  • be taught by Him

And, of course, any other day that we study His Word. It is the Lord that sanctifies us! Not a church! Not a man! Not a creed! But Christ with His Spirit!

Verse 14: "You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is Holy to you. Everyone that defiles it… [v 15]: Six days may work be done, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest… [v 16]: Therefore, the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant."

The reason that it's a perpetual covenant is because it goes clear back to creation and continues down through all time. This covenant of the Sabbath is in addition to the Old Covenant. It becomes part of it, because it's placed alongside of it; likewise with the New Covenant. Sabbath-keeping becomes part of it because it's placed alongside of it. We know that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath; that's the Lord's day.

Verse 17: " 'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on… [by the beginning of] …the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.' And He gave to Moses, when He had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God" (vs 17-18).

What was happening while that was going on and being finished? The very same thing that 'religionists' do today! Let's look at and analyze this a little bit more. Let's see how this is the same kind of deception that Satan uses today.

Exodus 32:1: "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, then the people gathered themselves to Aaron…"—who was the first high priest, chosen by God, the brother of Moses.

Moses was greater than his brother because he was lawgiver in the sense that he gave the children of Israel God's Laws after God gave them to him. Moses was also a prophet and he was the ruler in a civil sense over the children of Israel. All combined together was why he was a type of Christ.

Deut. 18 says, 'I will raise up a prophet like unto you' is because Moses fulfilled those three offices, and Jesus fulfills those offices, too:

  • Lawgiver
  • Prophet
  • Priest
  • King

So, here's Aaron, "…and they said to him, 'Up! Make us gods which shall go before us, for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him'" (v 1). They couldn't even be patient for 40 days.

What should have been Aaron's response? Wait on the Lord! Wait for Moses! He will come back! He is with God and is doing important business up there and God is with us. He didn't do that—did he?

Verse 2: "And Aaron said to them, 'Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.'…. [they had just come out of a occult society] …And all the people broke off the golden earrings, which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he took them from their hand, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molten calf…." (vs 2-4).

How did Aaron know how to do that? You don't just all of a sudden say, 'Bring me the gold.' You have to know how to work with it! 'I'll take the graving tool and I'll fashion it into a calf.' You've got to know how to make it! Could it be that Aaron was an idol-maker in Egypt?

The thing that is important is that whenever you come to someone who is a designated authority for a certain thing… We've seen this in the Church of God, where ministers in charge of this or that began doing their own thing and began leading people astray. Because they were authority figures, everyone figured it was okay. Not everybody! Those who paid attention didn't figure it was okay, because they checked the Bible! That's why you're here and not there!

"…And they said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.' And when Aaron saw the calf, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, 'Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD'" (vs 4-5). This was the first pagan occult sun-worship feast sanctified by a priest of God! Imagine that!

Notice that it's "…a feast to the LORD." We do this unto the LORD! Isn't that exactly what false ministers do today? Here it was, supposedly, a true minister. Did they not do exactly the same thing in the Church of God?

  • What is the first step to changing doctrine? Change authority! Change the nature of God!
  • Why is that the first step? Because once you change the nature of God, you begin leading them away from God!

When you begin leading them away from God , then they know God less and less! So, you're able to bring in more and more false doctrine! Change the nature of God and then:

What follows? Change the Holy Days! Then you change the day with new ceremonies. It's all right here in this chapter (Exo. 32). You change the nature of God, from God—Who is on the top of Mt. Sinai talking to Moses—to the golden calf, which is right here.

Change the day of worship from the Sabbath. I don't know if this was on Sunday that this took place. But it was a pagan sun-god feast, and building the golden calf, it probably had horns like the Egyptian calf with the sun-disk right in the middle of the horns, which is symbolic of Nimrod, an idol to Satan the devil!

Here they were right at the base of Mt. Sinai while Moses was getting the instructions from God, and the first designated high priest of God—Aaron—went ahead and led them back into paganism, the first shot that he could!

Isn't that amazing! How many times have we read that and have not understood the details of it. That's why we need to pray the prayer that David did:

Psalm 119:18: "Open my eyes so that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law." God has to open our mind to it!

Exodus 32:6: "And they rose up early on the next morning… [to get there on time] …and offered burnt offerings… [so they had a big meal] …and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and to drink..."—unto the Lord.

In other words, sun-worship was accepted by God. That's what they were told! Not much different than Sunday-keeping today. Satan cannot come up with anything original. He can only recycle with some additions to it. So, if you know the recycle process, you can be aware and not get trapped.

"…and rose up to play" (v 6). What did they have? What we would call and orgiastic rock concert! When Moses was coming down he heard the singing and the music.

I'm glad that there are remote controls. Can you imagine how many times you would have to get up and down to change the channel because you don't like it? It's slick when you have a remote control. If you have Direct TV you have 400 channels, and you have nothing on.

I turned the TV on one night and I saw this advertisement for gospel singing. They had all the singers waving back and forth with their arms in the air, and singing with their eyes closed. They had contemporary music and all this going with it. Then I went to another channel and I saw a rock concert with all of the strobe lights, which are designed to hypnotize you and to change your morality, as well the beat of the music is designed to change your morality. What are they doing in this rock concert? They're all singing with some of them having their eyes closed, and they're rocking back and forth. I thought: not one bit of difference!

You know what Aaron did. He said that he 'just cast the gold in there and out leapt this calf! So, don't blame me!'

There's another lesson here, v 25: "And when Moses saw that the people were naked… [Why were they naked? Orgies!] …(for Aaron had made them naked to their shame among their enemies), then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, 'Who is on the LORD'S side? 'Come to me.'….'" (vs 25-26). Another very important principle: God is only on your side IF you are on His side!

"…And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves to him. And he said to them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Each man put his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and kill each one his brother, and each one his companion, and each one his neighbor."' And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men" (vs 26-28).

Today God doesn't come down and run a sword though you immediately. He gives you a chance.

That was quite something being able to do a survey starting here and I wrote in the book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which?: What they did here was prophetic acting out of the history of the children of Israel.

What happened in the book of Judges? As soon as Joshua and the elders who were faithful died, what did the people do? They went to Ashtoreth and Baalim! Then God had to correct them and so forth.

They always do it in the name of the Lord! Then I show about Solomon and Jeroboam. In Jer. 7 they're doing exactly the same thing that they were doing at Mt. Sinai. Only now they were doing it at the temple of the Lord. Jeremiah was not a very popular man. He was one of the very few, if not the only one, who was really preaching the Truth. God told him that he would have a tough time, so 'I'm going to make your forehead like a brazen wall, and I'm going to make you like an iron pillar against these people. Jeremiah had a some difficult things to do. Here's a witness that God gave him:

Jeremiah 7:1 "The Word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this Word, and say, "Hear the Word of the LORD, all Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD."' Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Amend your ways and your doings… [that's what God wants; He wants repentance. …and I will cause you to dwell in this place'" (vs 1-3).

That's what God wants; He always wants repentance! Always remember that as long as there is life, there's hope! So, for those people you knew in Worldwide (WCG), as long as they're alive there is hope!

Let's see why we cannot put a timetable on God for fulfilling prophecies or the end-time. Has it not always failed? Why has it failed? Here's a very simple answer: No man can command or tell God what to do! That's why every date set by every man in whatever 'religious' organization anywhere, including the Churches of God, and there are various 'denominations' and we've ended up with as many as the Protestants have. Just look at the Bible Sabbath Association's list of Sabbath-keeping churches, and you have to say there are a lot of them. But you also have to say that it's no different than looking up all the Protestant churches in the phonebook.

The reason that no one can tell God what to do, how to do it and when to do it is because He is God! If you obeyed any man then the man would be your god.

We don't know how corrupt and evil, evil is when it describes things like 'in the days of Noah everyone had corrupted God's way.' Nor do we know who may repent. So, all of God's plans is hinged upon His plan and it's in the general framework of the Holy Days. That's why when I put out the Dan./Rev. chart, I said that this was a 'visual perspective. This is not dogma.' The best we can say is that this is the last seven years but we don't know when they're going to begin, and here's why:

Jeremiah 5:1: "Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem… [God told Jeremiah; He gave him a lot of instructions] …and see now, and know, and seek in her open places, if you can find a man, if there is one…" It's interesting to me that one person can make a difference with God. Not that you tell God what to do, but to show mercy.

"…who does justice, who seeks the Truth…" (v 1). So, in the end-time we don't know how many are seeking the Truth. Just like Elijah who didn't know the 7,000 that didn't 'bow the knee to Baal.' We don't know how far things are going to go, how evil that evil is going to become, but God is interested in mercy. That's why in Jer. 7 He says to 'amend your ways.' God is interested in repentance.

"…and I [God] will pardon her" (v 1). It's even a greater pardon than when Abraham bargained with God, beginning at 50 and going down to 10, about destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

This is one! How important is seeking Truth? Very, very important!

Verse 2: "And though they say, 'As the LORD lives'; surely they swear falsely." They always do it in the name of the LORD, just like Aaron!

We will see that Jeremiah's preaching did have an effect. There was a temporary reprieve. We can look at that at the end-time, too, the same way. Doesn't God threaten with captivity? war? famine? pestilence? because of sin? Yes! There's the factor of the people of God and others who may be seeking the Truth, that God is going to hold back to give an opportunity for them. That's why He says:

Jeremiah 7:3: "…'Amend your ways… [v 4]: Do not trust in lying words, saying, "The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these."'"

It wasn't the physical temple, but it was God's presence! That's another human thing that happens; they begin to trust in the physical things rather than the Spirit and Power of God! It was God's presence in the temple that made it Holy, not the temple itself. But they figured if they went to the temple and did these things, 'that's all right, it's God's temple.'

So, if we do these things and wrath doesn't come down and lighting doesn't strike us dead, God must accept it.

Verse 5: "For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor… [sounds very similar to Jer. 5:1] …if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your hurt; then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever. Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit" (vs 5-8).

1-John 2:21: "…not one lie comes from the Truth." However, one caveat for that: provided that you rightly divide the Word of God!

Jeremiah 7:9: "Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know; and then come and stand before Me in this house…" (vs 9-10).

It's not much different than them standing at the throne of God at the foot of Mt. Sinai and worshipping the golden calf. It's exactly the same parallel here.

Verse 10: "And then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'?"

In surveying with the book Occult Holidays or God's Holidays—Which? I pointed out that rarely did the children of Israel ever really follow God and keep His commandments. That's important to emphasize. Why? Because the Jews always present themselves as righteous and obedient! As well, the children of Israel; look at Protestantism who present themselves as righteous and obedient when they are not.

Now let's look at the reform that took place. Let's understand a little bit more about Jeremiah and his preaching and so forth. Jeremiah had to span two ages, and that period is called an Axial Age, or period, which means a mammoth and permanent change; the destruction of Judah and the Jews going into captivity into Babylon. Then Jeremiah had to take the kings daughters to Ireland. If some people don't believe that, then just ask them: Why did Jeremiah have the king's daughters?

God would not do something without a purpose! If all the sons were carried off into captivity to Babylon, why have the two daughters, except to carry on the kingly line and heal the breach between Pharez and Zara.

Jeremiah 1:1: "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the Word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign" (vs 1-2).

This becomes important when we begin to see what Josiah did. This shows what we're trying to point out here. That even though this whole society is becoming more and more into the occult, which it is, and it's becoming more and more dangerous and heading closer and closer to God's judgment, that if there are those who will repent and 'amend their ways,' God will hold back His hand! God is interested in mercy and He doesn't delight in the death of the wicked.

Verse 3: "It also came in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the exiling of Jerusalem in the fifth month."

Now, Manasseh was the most wicked and evil. This tells us the practices that Jeremiah was speaking of in Jer. 7, because they were doing all of these things. We won't go through everything that Manasseh did, but he:

  • setup idols for the hosts of heaven
  • he was carried captive
  • he repented

Again, God is interested in repentance!

  • God brought him back and put him on the throne as a vassal king

2-Chronicles 33:20: "And Manasseh slept with his fathers… [died] …and they buried him in his own house. And his son Amon reigned in his place. Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the eyes of the LORD as his father Manasseh did, and Amon sacrificed to all the graven images that his father Manasseh had made and served them. And he did not humble himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself, but Amon trespassed more and more. And his servants conspired against him and killed him in his own house. But the people of the land killed all those who conspired against King Amon. And the people of the land made his son Josiah to reign in his place" (vs 20-25).

2-Chronicles 34:1: "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign…" Think about that! Can a young person choose to do right? Yes! Which means that young people are not 'off the hook' by saying they're not an adult, yet.

Verse 2: "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father… [forefather] …and did not turn aside to the right nor to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign… [16-years-old] …while he was still young, he began to seek after the God of David his father. And in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images" (vs 2-3).

When did Jeremiah begin? The next year! One year later!

Verse 4: "And they broke down the altars of Baalim in his presence. And he cut down the images, which were on high above them, and the groves. And the carved images and the molten images he also broke in pieces, and made dust from them, and scattered it upon the graves of the ones who had sacrificed to them. And he burned the bones of the priests upon their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And so he did in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even to Naphtali, in their surrounding ruins. And when he broke down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down all the idols in all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem" (vs 4-7).

Remember what we started out with: one man! In this case, one lad! He grew!

Verse 8: "And in the eighteenth year of his reign… [26-years-old] …when he had purged the land and the house…" At this time Jeremiah had been preaching for five years.

"…he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God. And they came to Hilkiah the high priest…" (vs 8-9)—Jeremiah's father.

So, they delivered the money, cleaned it and so forth, and guess what? This is going to be quite a thing and we're going to learn some lessons out of this for us today.

Verse 14: "And when they were bringing out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD written by the hand of Moses."

One of the original copies! Where were those placed? In the sides of the ark! We don't know where they were or the condition of them, but could it be that some faithful priest before Manasseh started his shenanigans some 70 years before, that because of all the paganism that they hid away the Book of the Law so it wouldn't be destroyed? That sounds reasonable! It also shows that they hadn't used it.

We live in a time when we've got the whole Bible. I don't know about you, but at home I've got about 40 of them. So, if I don't' keep what God says, I have no excuse! At that time they didn't have it like this. The people did not have it; it was not available, only for the priest. That's why so much paganism could go on, because the average person couldn't checkout this Bible and run up to the priest and say, 'My Bible says right here, which is the Word of God, what do you say?'

Today we can do that, which is a great and tremendous blessing. But it also shows that God gives us more responsibility, and the judgment against us is greater, without a doubt!

Verse 14: "And when they were bringing out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD written by the hand of Moses. And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, 'I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.' And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. And Shaphan carried the book to the king and brought the king word back again, saying, 'All that was given into the hands of your servants, they are doing. And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and delivered it into the hands of the overseers and to the hands of the workmen.' And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, 'Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.' And Shaphan read it before the king" (vs 14-18). One man!

Verse 19: "And it came to pass when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, 'Go inquire of the LORD for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us because our fathers have not kept the Word of the LORD to do according to all that is written in this book.' And Hilkiah, and those of the king, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, the keeper of the robes. (And she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter.) And they spoke to her about this" (vs 19-22).

  • Are faithful women important to God? Yes! What a testimony against the men!
  • Do we all remember one man who was called an apostle?
  • Who provoked him? His wife!
  • Where did she get it from? Another faithful woman from the Church of God Seventh Day!

Here Huldah the prophetess was given the words that saved Judah from captivity for a short period of time, because of what the king did.

Verse 23: "And she answered them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Tell the man who sent you to me, 'Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its people, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah"'" (vs 23-24). Probably read Deut. 28.

Verse 25: "Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, so that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. And My wrath shall be poured out upon this place and shall not be quenched. And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall you say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the words you have heard'" (vs 25-26).

God postpones His judgment, prophecies and curses because of one man! or one woman! That's why for those who read the Old Testament and say that God is a God of wrath, hateful and evil… NO! He's just waiting for repentance! It's the same way with us. That's important for us to realize!

The church today in disarray. What is God waiting for? Repentance! It's never going to come back in one whole group like it was, because God doesn't want that. He wants it scattered, and the reason is so that everyone can grow in grace and knowledge; everyone can be like Huldah the prophetess or Shaphan the scribe and teach someone out here—whether in the Church or not in the Church—about God. Think about it! If we're going to be kings and priests, should we not be able to do that? Of course! And we can!

Verse 27: "'Because your heart was tender… [never let it get callused] …and you humbled yourself before your God when you heard His words against this place and against its people, and humbled yourself before Me, and tore your clothes and wept before Me, I have even heard you also,' says the LORD." God never closes His ears to repentance!

Verse 28: "'Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, nor shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon its people.'" And they brought the king word again. And the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people from the great to the small. And he read in their ears all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the house of the LORD" (vs 28-30).

One man! One woman!

Verse 31: "And the king stood in his place… [wherever it was in the temple that he was to stand] …and made a covenant… [of repentance] …before the LORD to walk after the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant, which are written in this book." That's really a very inspiring thing! That shows how God is interested in repentance.

Verse 32: "And he caused all who were found in Jerusalem and in Benjamin, and the people of Jerusalem, to stand to it according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the territories that belonged to the children of Israel. And he made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD, the God of their fathers" (vs 32-33).

What did they keep first thing? Passover! Then they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread! God blessed them and He said:

2-Chronicles 35:17: "And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. And there was no Passover like that kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. Yea, none of the kings of Israel kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the people of Jerusalem" (vs 17-18). Here's another lesson:

  • once God has had mercy on you
  • once you have humbled yourself before God
  • once you have said that you are going to do all that God says

don't forget it!

  • once God has blessed you

don't get lifted up in vanity!

That's the downfall of every human being! That was the downfall of Josiah. When Josiah wanted to go out this battle and fight against the king of Egypt. He was told not to go! He wanted to go so bad that he said, 'I won't go as king, I'll dress up as an ordinary soldier and I'll go out on a chariot. What happened? An arrow got him and that was it!

So, the blessing that God wanted to extend for the whole life of the king… Whose to say how much longer he would have lived. What if he would have lived to be 70-years-old instead of being cutoff because of vanity? God promised that Josiah would have peace and prosperity during his day. So, again, the action of one man affects everybody. When he did that thing and died because of it, he died and was buried.

Verse 25: "And Jeremiah mourned for Josiah…." This is when Jeremiah began to write Lamentations. When Josiah died the fate of Jerusalem was sealed. God gave them another chance through his sons who took over: Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and so forth; finally Zedekiah at the end, and they didn't do what they should do.

Now let's look at some things in the New Testament. Let's use this as a springboard of understanding in our relationship with God and what God has called us to: eternal life! He called us with the greatest calling that could possibly be. When we're resurrected—if we die between now and the time that Christ returns, or we're alive when He does return—we're born again, or transformed, and we are going to enter into the greatest thing, a special blessing from God.

Have you seen the DVD In the Womb (produced by National Geographic)? They now have the technology where they can photograph from the instant of conception. That's quite of thing! It starts out with a mass of cells, and what happens when there is conception, immediately there is a kind of little spark of light. But a miracle takes place in that the mother's egg seals so that no other sperm can penetrate it.

We have been sealed with the begettal of the Holy Spirit. Then it shows how these cells develop and as Elihu said, 'The Spirit of God has formed me and the breath of God gives me life.'

We also know that from the New Testament that without the 'spirit in man' the body is dead. So, you could not have a new life begin without the spirit of man being given at that time. The conception locks in the genes and chromosomes for the creation of that new life. There comes a time when all of a sudden the heart begins to form with some vessels, and the brain begins to develop.

Psalm 139:13: "For You have possessed my reins; You have knit me together in my mother's womb." It's a tremendous and fantastic blessing to be able to be participants in God's creation by being able to bring children into the world made after our own images.

That's why Satan wants to destroy it with illicit sex and all of the things that he gets young people into to destroy their lives. Notice that God is involved. There is not one human being that is conceived and brought into this world that God did not cause to be! Whether by fornication, adultery or not, because there could not be new life without God!

Verse 14: "I will praise You, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Your works are marvelous and my soul knows it very well. My substance… [that's what they call the mass of cells today] …was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and intricately formed in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, yet, being unformed; and in Your book all my members were written…" (vs 14-16)—the genes and chromosomes. What are they doing to map the genome? They're trying to get it all in a book, and in a computer!

"…which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet, there were none of them" (v 16). This documentary shows the development of the baby. It's quite a miraculous thing because they now have what is called 4-D. It's not like an ultrasound picture; you can actually see the real live baby. It's doing everything in the womb to practice for birth: moving around, sucking its thumb, actually drinking some embryonic fluid, growing, turning, kicking the legs and so forth. Everything is preparation for birth.

With us, we've received the Spirit of God. We've been begotten with the Spirit of God. Everything that we are doing and learning of God is preparation for the resurrection. Just like everything the baby is doing after conception is in preparation for birth.

When it is born, many miracles take place, and it has to do something for the first time that it has never done: breathe! Also, the heart has to change from funneling the blood down through to the placenta, and that's why there's a hole in the heart that shifts and closes up soon after the baby is born. It changes the flow of blood from down into the vessels going to the placenta into the lungs and circulating around in the body. That's why it's important that babies cry when they are born: to fill out their lungs and get them going!

It's quite a thing that right after that the vessels that went down through what now becomes the belly button—where the umbilical cord was attached—those vessels begin to shrink up, but they remain with the person for life.

Let's think about what we're going to do. Think about all that God has given us. We are all alike. Compared to a baby begin developed in the womb, nourished, taught and everything, we are all alike in this age: babies ready to be born! We are to be perfected.

Just like with repentance and drawing close to God that happened with Josiah and the people there, likewise within the Church the same thing can happen. God has things that He wants to do, and He's chosen to use people, so He is going to use those whom He has called.

So, the whole Church of God—wherever it is, whatever organization—needs to also do like Josiah did, and to get busy doing the work of God, get busy doing the things of God and prepare for the new birth at the resurrection.

When that happens, a miracle is going to take place and all of us for the first time are going to have to learn how to function as spirit beings, just like a new born baby now has to learn how to function outside of the womb and in a new environment and do things that it never did before: breathe, the heart change and everything like this.

That's why we meet Christ in the air, and on the Sea of Glass we've got to learn how this new body and mind functions.

We will see our relationship with God. That's why it's important, study and prayer constantly are important. That's why trials are important. I'll tell you this, no one can have conviction of the Truth of God unless you have suffered! Unless you have stood for the Word of God in spite of all odds against you! That's what's lacking in the Church of God today: conviction, dedication and really loving God, because they don't understand the relationship!

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes… [we're to be inspired with what John wrote here] …that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of Life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us…" (vs 1-3).

We are still having fellowship with the apostles to the extent of the inspired God-breathed writings that God has preserved for us. Isn't that something?

When you read the Word of God, because the words that He spoke are Spirit and Life, and it registers in our mind and heart there is a spiritual interaction with God's Spirit, and it's because we've been begotten with the Spirit of God. Our relationship is this:

"…for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3). That's what it is!

  • it's not joining a church
  • it's not being in a social group

It is a calling of God the Father to become a son/daughter of God! You have a relationship with Him. You're not yet born; you've been begotten and you are developing, and Jerusalem above 'is the mother of us all,' not the Church.

Let's see how we stay motivated, how we keep growing. Just remember that:

  • God has called you
  • God has selected you
  • God has brought you into a relationship with Him

So that you can be His son or daughter, and so that you will be in the first resurrection! Let me just say that there is nothing greater or more awesome or more humbling than to come to really understand that and maintain that relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. That overcomes everything:

  • all your trials
  • all your troubles
  • all the difficulties
  • all the disappointments
  • all the things that happen in your life that are tragedy

And when they occur you wonder: Why did God let this happen? God is going to overcome it all! That's why we need to have the relationship!

1-John 2:3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him…" That's right where we started in Exo. 31. We know! God doesn't want you to just wonder if you know Him; He wants you to know! An absolute spiritual convicting fact that you know!

"…if we keep His commandments" (v 3). Not only those in the Old Testament, but those in the New Testament. The greatest commandment is 'loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being.' If you do that then there is nothing that can defeat you! There is nothing that can cut you off from God.

You can be that one person that does make a difference!

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him." We're to seek Truth! Remember: if you can find a man who is seeking Truth. That's why we're here, seeking Truth!

Verse 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…." That's what God is doing in everything that we suffer through,; every trial and difficulty that we go through.

The more that we understand that, the more we can understand the value of difficulties that we are going through. When you understand the difficulties that other people in past ages have gone through, our trials are really nothing! They're going to get more difficult in the future, because we don't know which one of us is going to be martyrs down the road. But if we have that relationship and conviction, and the love of God is being perfected in us, then God will strengthen us at that time. It really doesn't matter, because we're dead in Christ in a covenant with Christ! So, whatever a man can do to us it won't make any difference, because we pass from death to life if we have the Spirit of God.

"…By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (vs 5-6). That's why we:

  • develop the mind of Christ
  • let the Word of God be written in our heart and mind
  • think with the Word of God
  • live by the Word of God
  • walk by the Word of God
  • walk in the Spirit of God
  • let the Spirit of God lead us
  • let the Spirit of God give us strength
  • let the Spirit of God give us understanding in what we do

That we can all understand what Josiah really went through in his repentance, and understand that we, likewise, can do the same thing, and how many people we can affect.

Let's look at this way: the apostles accomplished more after they died through the words that they wrote! That's why Jesus said, 'You will be witness to Me to the ends of the earth.' Not only just geographically, but in time to His return. That's quite a thing!

Remember that the relationship we have with God is most important, nothing else matters.

  • loving each other matters, that's true
  • loving our neighbor matters, that's true

That's all part of keeping the commandments of God. I'm talking about in relationship to the focus of our calling.

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!…." Just like the children in the womb:

  • we are preparing for the new birth
  • we are preparing for a new life

"…For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2). That is going to be fantastic!

  • this is to motivate us
  • this is to inspire us
  • this is to keep us focused on our calling when the going gets tough

When the discouragement comes, and we're battling and overcoming sin and difficulties, keep this focus:
Verse 3: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure"—through Christ!

Yes, one man/one woman can make a difference!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 31:12-13
  • Matthew 13:10-11
  • Psalm 111:10
  • Matthew 13:11-17
  • Exodus 31:13-18
  • Exodus 32:1-5
  • Psalm 119:18
  • Exodus 32:6, 25-28
  • Jeremiah 7:1-3
  • Jeremiah 5:1-2
  • Jeremiah 7:3-8
  • 1 John 2:21
  • Jeremiah 7:9-10
  • Jeremiah 1:1-3
  • 2 Chronicles 33:20-25
  • 2 Chronicles 34:1-9, 14-33
  • 2 Chronicles 35:17-18, 25
  • Psalm 139:13-16
  • 1 John 1:1-3
  • 1 John 2:3-6
  • 1 John 3:1-3

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 2:3-4
  • Deuteronomy 18; 28

Also referenced:

  • Book: Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter
  • Article Rome's Challenge to the Protestants {found at truthofGod.org in various ways}
  • DVD In the Womb (produced by National Geographic)

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 2/1/18

BOOKS