How To Keep Your Bearings In A Lawless Society

"Blessed are the poor in spirit…"

Fred R. Coulter—February 23, 2008

pdficon small - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

How do we retain our attitude in God's way? What is causing the society to be lawless in addition to the liberal politics? It's the liberal Protestantism!

Liberal Protestantism says that you don't need the Old Testament because it's all been fulfilled. If you want to read some of the Psalms for inspiration, that's okay.

It's become more liberal besides that. Some of them say, 'The Gospels of Jesus…'—because it says there that Paul wrote that he was a minister unto the Jews, unto the circumcision—'…only apply to the Jews, and all of those writings of Paul that pertain to the Jews, we don't have to believe. We just accept the ones that teach us to believe in Jesus.'

That's where those like Joel Osteen are coming from. That's why he talks about 'your better self, your greatest days are ahead,' when it's right on the verge of economic collapse and all of this sort of thing. They pass the offering basket four or five times during each session.

Not everything is the appearance of what it should be. That combined together with the New Age philosophy, which is that you are a God unto yourself and there's no sin. What you believe to be truth is true because you are a god. That is the ultimate of going back to Gen. 3 where Satan said, 'You'll become like God because you decide what's right and wrong.' There's no standard!

Living in such a society where they just have an outward form of Godliness and they mention God, now they have a form of Christianity where you don't have to repent and you don't have to be baptized.

As a matter of fact, I got an e-mail from a man who was really irate because I said that you have to repent and be baptized. He said, 'You're preaching Catholic doctrine.' Hello! I didn't even answer him. I thought if I answered him it would only make matters worse because I would have to say, 'I'm amazed at your total ignorance of the Word of God!'

We will see that the way that we 'stay the course' and have 'an anchor to the soul' (Heb. 6), and the way that we survive in a lawless society is to understand what's going on. Don't expect any of them to change. The more lawlessness and the more defying that there is of God, know for sure, sooner or later, more severe correction and national disasters are at hand.

How do we know that? Because we believe the Old Testament as well as the New! This is what Paul is writing about to Timothy and what was happening in his day. Also notice that a lot of what Paul wrote was also a prophesy of what's happening today.

2-Timothy 3:7: "They are always learning but are never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth." That's what we have today. "the knowledge of the Truth" contained in His Word, because the carnal mind likes to 'cherry pick':

  • pick out the Scriptures which please the self
  • pick out the thing which make them happy

That's what they will accept, which is really, when you get down to it, the 'way of Cain.' Those who are truly Christ's, those who truly believe in the Word of God, are those who believe what God says.

Verse 8: "Now just as Jannes and Jambres stood against Moses, in the same manner also these are brazenly standing against the Truth; they are men of depraved minds, reprobate in respect to the faith."

They'll trust in themselves. All you have to do is take these Scriptures and survey any religious channel or any religious program that's on TV, then listen to all of the political speeches and compare it with the Word of God, and you will see that they are:

  • all long on emotion
  • lacking in substance
  • giving good sounding words that really cannot be fulfilled

Verse 9: "But they will proceed no further, because their folly will become clearly evident to everyone… [those who are in the Church and have the Spirit of God] …just as theirs also was. But… [here's how we begin to keep 'our rudders' going in the way that they should in times of lawlessness] …you have closely followed my doctrine…" (vs 9-10). If you go through 1st & 2nd Tim. and Titus, you'll see the word 'doctrine' pop up.

The first thing on the way to lawlessness is that doctrine divides! It's supposed to! Divide you from the world, you see! Love unites! In other words, 'if we have a good feeling and just think good thoughts about each other, we're all united.'

It sounds like a little bit of religiosity on television, 'Obamism' on the political front: 'We, together, we'll do it! We, together, will make it right!' I thought: Who was the first one this side of the Flood that said that? Nimrod! 'Follow me!'

  • We don't need God!
  • We don't need Noah!
  • We don't need Seth!
  • We don't need Japheth!

'You follow me and we'll make it!' You leave out doctrine.

"…conduct, purpose…" (v 10). All of these are important in keeping our mind not only fixed, but also to keep us faithful in a time when all of these things are going on.

"…faith, patience, love, endurance" (v 10).

Matthew 24:13[transcriber's correction]: "But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved." There's a reason for endurance.

Everyone thinks we're living in the last days. 'Isn't that wonderful? Christ is going to return.' It's great that Christ is going to return, but His return is going to be in a manner entirely different than most people, and even a great many in the Church of God, think. It's going to be something! Leading up to that, as Paul went through, we're going to have persecutions and sufferings. So, just plug in there 2-Cor. 11, and read about all that Paul went through. Every minister needs to ask themselves:

  • Are you willing to go through all of this?
  • Will you still be faithful?

Especially for all of those of you who:

  • ask and beg for money
  • take it away from the brethren
  • steal from them so you can build yourself up.
  • What are you going to do when you have nothing?
  • What are you going to do when you are alone and there's no one to ask money from?

2-Timothy 3:11: "Persecutions and sufferings—such as happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra…." You can also put in there Ephesus. What happened to him? For the faith, he was stoned to death! That's very interesting when you read it. They left him for dead. He wasn't stoned to death, but nearly dead. The disciples were all amazed when he got up.

You have in Acts 14 all these Lyconians who, when they heard the Word of God, attributed what was being done with the miracles and healing, to the local gods. The pagan priests ran out there to offer offerings to Paul and Barnabas for the miracles that they had done; saying, 'The gods have come down from heaven to be with us.' Paul and Barnabas ran and said, 'No! No! No! Don't do this.' They barely stopped them from doing it. Then they believed.

What happened? Their belief wasn't really very deep. The Jew's came along a stirred them up and caused them to go after Paul to stone him.

"…You know what sort of persecutions I endured; and the Lord delivered me out of them all" (vs 11). That's a thing to remember. We need to ask God for His deliverance and we need to ask God to rescue us.

We need to understand that only God can rescue us from Satan the devil, because Satan comes along with a lot of good plans which seem right to a man.

Colossians 1:10: "That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing…" Yes, you can please God.

  • As God looks down on the earth, where is He looking to for the people of God, those who have His Spirit?
  • Do they love Him?
  • Do they trust in Him?
  • Do they believe in Him at all times and in all circumstances?

"…being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God" (vs 10). Conversion is a process and you grow in that, you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2-Pet. 3:15-18).

Verse 11: "Being strengthened…" This is what we need to do. That's why I gave that series of sermons, Be Strong In The Lord, before I went through all of the terrible things that are going to happen, because you have to be:

  • strong in spirit
  • strong in mind
  • strong in faith
  • strong in the love of God
  • strong in endurance

God alone can strengthen you!I know when I've had the flu, just horrible for about ten days. If you've had the flu, you know what that's like. You understand what I'm talking about:

  • you lose strength
  • you're weak
  • you're fuzzy-headed
  • you can't think
  • you have boxes of Kleenex
  • you're blowing your way through every box
  • you're coughing, hacking and all of this sort of thing

I lived on scrambled eggs with lots of cayenne pepper and chicken soup. My wife said, 'I'm tired of chicken soup.

"…with all power…" (v 11). That power comes from God and comes from His Spirit. When you get like this, you're weak and you're miserable, you just have to go to God and say, 'O God! Strengthen me! Help me! Raise me up.' That's all part of it. Remember that all of the things that Jesus went through, we will experience in varying degrees in our life, one way or the other!

  • all of that is to perfect us
  • all of that is to keep us focused on what we need to do

"…according to the might of His glory…" (v 11). That His purpose can be worked in our lives, through whatever the circumstances may be.

"…unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy" (v 11). After the things you go through, it brings the peaceable fruits of righteousness:

  • it is not joyful to go through a trial
  • it is not joyful to go through sickness
  • it is not joyful to have persecution come upon you

When you understand the whole purpose of it coming from God, then the joy comes later.

Verse 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light." Here's one thing that is good in all the troubles and difficulties, whatever it may be, realize it is all going to be replaced, and we have our part in it. God the Father has qualified us.

Notice what God has done, v 13: "Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love; in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (vs 13-15)—those who are created by a resurrection from the dead. That's where He's Firstborn (v 18).

Keep that in mind and always go to these Scriptures, which help us out of the difficulties that we are in. Ask God to change the circumstances, to open the door, to be merciful and kind in all things that you are going through.

2-Timothy 3:12: "And indeed, everyone who desires to live Godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted." That's one way or the other; it's going to come.

As you look at the world, understand that political solutions cannot accomplish spiritual solutions. Or, you can phrase it another way. Politics can never bring about spiritual stability!

As a nation, turning our backs on God and killing the most innocent in the womb… There was a teacher who, in the sex education class at school, was showing what happened to babies when they abort them. They tear them apart. He was showing the pictures of that. He got fired by trying to show teenagers that if you go out and have sex, you get pregnant and you say, 'Oh well. An abortion will take care of it.' I want you to understand what you're doing to that innocent life. He got fired.

There's no room for Truth, as it says here, brazenly standing against the Truth.

Verse 13: "But wicked men and imposters shall become worse and worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves." It is a multiplying factor in doing so. It's going to happen.

Verse 14: "But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them."

Here's a key: We're going to cover this. We're going to see that through Jesus Christ we can understand parts of the Old Testament that really are only amplified when you have the Spirit of God and when you know what Jesus taught.

Verse 15: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings… [Old Testament} …which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus."

What does this tell us? In order to have salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, you need the Old Testament, but it has to be through Christ! That's why when Jesus was resurrected and began to open the minds of the disciples, He showed them, how that in the Law, the Writings and the Prophets, it prophesied of His suffering, death and resurrection. But you need the New Testament to go back to the Old Testament to make it all come alive.

Verse 16: All Scripture… [Old and New Testament] …is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 16-17).
I read this Scripture recently and a man though that when I said in 2-Tim.2, 'Preach the Word!' that I meant that he was to preach the Word. No! This is Paul writing to Timothy and that as a minister, that's what he was to preach, not stories, fables, myths, and emotional sounding things.

2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word!…." (vs 1-2).

That's what the ministers are supposed to preach. They're not to preach about the Word. They're not to give nice stories that confirm little Scriptures in the Word. They are to 'Preach the Word!

"…Be urgent in season and out of season…" (v 2). It's always new. It's eternal. We need to be taught also by repetition.

"…convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine" (v 2). There's 'doctrine.' 'Doctrine' is written four times.

Verse 3: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings." That's why you have modern day preachers preach mostly about:

  • build the self up
  • tell them how good they are

All goodness comes from God and there's no goodness inherent in any man. That's what the Bible teaches.

Verse 4: "And they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths." What's going to happen at the end? The great deception! It's going to be awesome!

You can see that the more you know about the Word of God, you can see the divide is getting more and more and more. You follow the Word of God:

  • you're divided out from the world
  • you're divided out from that kind of thinking
  • you're divided away from the world because you're with God

That happens because they're developing more and more lawlessness and listening to myths and stories. Here's what we are to do.

Verse 5: "But as for you, be vigilant in all things, endure hardships… [as a minister]: …do the work of an evangelist; fully carry out your ministry." Then Paul said that he's 'ready to part, fought a good fight, and so forth.'

Let's apply this New Testament and Old Testament. New Testament, the teachings of Jesus. Then we will look in the Old Testament and see how the teachings of Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, become alive with the addition of the teachings that we have in the New Testament and the Spirit of God.

As I pointed out in the sermons, Can A Man Or A Woman Be Right With God?, circumcision doesn't change the heart. Circumcision of the heart does! Sacrifice of an animal does not change the heart, but recognizing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and repentance changes the heart!

The Jews have said this, which I'll bring out a little more clearly, that when one came to the temple, the priest was there to dispense the blessings of God. You had to come to the priest to receive the blessings of God. In the New Testament, you come to our High Priest in heaven above, Who is Jesus Christ, and He gives the blessings; not through a man, but directly to each one of us.

That's where the churches in the world and even the Churches of God have lost their way. A church, or gathering, or assembly of those who have the Spirit of God—unless they are taught to have a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, which goes beyond the bounds of any organization or any minister—it's directly between God and the individual. The minister is to be on the sidelines to teach the Truth, to help all the brethren grow in grace and knowledge, as the minister also grows in grace in knowledge. If he doesn't, how can he teach the brethren to grow?

We'll see how all of this comes together as Paul said that, 'You've known the Holy Writings, which through faith in Jesus Christ are able to lead you unto salvation.'

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5):

I just wonder how many of the modern lawless Protestant Evangelical Fundamentalist theologians would be bold enough to reject the Beatitudes? Probably not. Do they understand them? Probably not! Let's see if we can do it.

Matthew 5:1: "But seeing the multitudes, He went up into the mountain; and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying" (vs 1-2). Here's the teachings to the disciples!

Remember when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter went out and he walked on the water a little way? Pretty soon he lost all of his faith and was sinking, and the Lord saved him; lifted him up. They got aboard the boat, and Jesus rebuked the winds and the winds ceased. They all were astonished! What did Jesus say to them? 'Oh, you are hard-hearted! Why can't you believe!' They weren't yet converted.

So likewise, we have in Luke 24, where He was walking with the two and He told them all about what happened. They were telling Jesus, because they didn't recognize Him, and they said that all of this has happened and that has happened.

Luke 24:21—after Christ was crucified and died: "And we were hoping that He was the One Who would redeem Israel. But besides all these things, as of today, the third day has already passed since these things took place. And also, certain women from among us astonished us, after they went to the tomb early; for when they did not find His body, they came to us, declaring that they had indeed seen a vision of angels, who said, "He is living." And some of those with us went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see Him" (vs 21-24).

How did Jesus answer them? These were some His disciples that He personally taught. Just the Words of Jesus alone without repentance and receiving of the Holy Spirit, which had not yet occurred with them, it's still bouncing off their hard-hearts. He said the them, 'Oh, foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written.' That was something—'hard of heart.'

Even though Jesus taught them, the realization of how they come together, does not come until we have more teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of God. The Words that Jesus taught, 'are Spirit and they are Life.' They apply to everybody, not just to the Jews.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit…"

Matthew 5:2: "And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit…'" (vs 2-3). I'm being a little facetious here to make a point. This is teaching for all people.

Verse 3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit,  for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." The Kingdom of Heaven is coming to the earth. He's not going to give it:

  • to the rich
  • to the wise
  • to those who think they need it
  • to those who think the deserve it
  • to those who think that God has got to give it to them

He's drawing the difference between:

  • those that He's going to call
  • those who are going to humbly receive what He says
  • what the religious leaders and many of the Jews of their time thought

They thought that Jesus was going to come and politically align Himself with them, accept all of their teachings and get rid of the Romans. Well, He didn't do that!

Let's see what Jesus said concerning men. Here's the opposite of "…poor in spirit…" and this is also similar to humble in heart. He talks about the scribes and Pharisees. If you don't believe this, read some of the book Code of Jewish Law, by Ganzfried and Goldin.

Matthew 23:4: "For they bind heavy burdens and hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men; but they will not move them with one of their own fingers."

This is what happens when people become 'the elite' and they become the ones to tell everyone what to do. This is why, now, we go to the Words of the New Testament and the Old Testament and find out: What does God tell us to do? All of us together, not just the little people down here that you can't trust with anything. If God calls them and gives them His Holy Spirit, He's trusting them with the greatest gift that they could ever have!

Verse 5: "'And they do all their works to be seen by men…. [think if they would have had television then] …They make broad their phylacteries… [résumés] …and enlarge the borders of their garments; and they love the first place at the suppers, and the chief seats in the synagogues,… [because they're important] … And the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called by men 'Rabbi, Rabbi'" (vs 5-7). They love to give long prayers, to deceive and to take widows' homes.

Verse 8: "But you are not to be called Rabbi…" That's why Paul went by Paul. Even today, you can replace that with 'Mister, Mister, Elder, Elder.' That's why Paul went by Paul! That's why I tell people, 'You can call me Mr. Coulter when you see in the New Testament that he was called 'Mr. Tarsus.' He was called Paul. That kind of thing works both ways. It works to keep the underlings under your control and it works to exalt the people that are over them. God doesn't want ministers over people. He wants them alongside teaching the brethren.

If there happens to be a need for authority and power to get rid of false prophets, then we have all the authority and power we need. We can get rid of them and kick them out, but we are to love the brethren and serve them. Here's why.
"…for one is your Master, the Christ… [the Messiah, the Savior] …and all of you are brethren" (v 8). That's why how many times Paul wrote, 'we,' instead of 'me or I.'

Verse 9: "Also, do not call anyone on the earth your Father…"—in what the world would call, 'a religious sense.' Catholics are always confronted with this. You go to the Bible and look at Catholic doctrine and you will find the Bible is the opposite of 99.9% of all Catholic doctrine. Here's why:

"…for one is your Father, Who is in heaven" (v 9). Think of this: It's an absolute blasphemous thing against God to call some priest who is probably:

  • a homosexual
  • a pedophile
  • a whoremonger

Most of them fit into that category unless they are physical eunuchs. They are there to represent God. They are there, that in the Mass, these sinful men are idolized by the people, because they claim that they have the power to make Christ sacrifice Himself again and come into the bread and the wine. It can't come into the bread and wine until the priest does it, which then makes the priest greater than God the Father and Jesus Christ. You talk about exaltation! We're going to read what's going to happen, here.

Verse 10. "Neither be called Master; for one is your Master, the Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant" (vs 10-11):

  • to serve
  • to teach
  • to help
  • to inspire
  • to encourage
  • to comfort
  • all of those things

Verse 12: "And whoever will exalt himself shall be humbled…" A great principle in life. That's why you never fall until you reach the top.

"…and whoever will humble himself shall be exalted" (v 12). You humble yourself by understanding how great God the Father and Jesus Christ are and how absolutely precious your calling is. You don't exalt yourself.

  • What is the greatest political entity that is ever going to hit the earth?
  • What is he going to call himself? God in the flesh!

Let's see what Jesus taught. Jesus didn't mince words. There's an occasion to be polite and there's an occasion not to be polite, especially when you're dealing with those who think they are better than other people; not only think, but who are taught that they are better, preached that they are better.

Luke 14:1: "Now, it came to pass, when He went into a house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread… [to have a meal] …that they were watching Him. And behold, there was a certain man who had dropsy standing in front of Him. Then Jesus answered and spoke to the doctors of the law and to the Pharisees…" (vs 1-3). Here's this great, august, gathering. This had to be with all the Pharisees, scribes and doctors of the law who:

  • had on all their phylacteries
  • they had on their Sabbath best
  • they had all of their places in order according to rank at the table where they were going to eat

Just picture this: Here's a man with dropsy standing in front of them. So, Jesus asked a question which they ought to know.

"…saying, 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'" (v 3). What did the Pharisees say back in Luke 13:14[transcriber's correction] when they came to be healed on the Sabbath? The Pharisees said, 'Don't come to me to be healed on the Sabbath Day. Do it during the week!' Jesus was 'sticking it to them.'

Verse 4: "But they were silent. And after taking hold of him… [He even touched an unclean man with his sickness] …He healed him and then let him go." Can you imagine the dumbfounded silence of all these great, exalted people?

Verse 5: "And He answered and said to them, 'Who among you shall have a donkey or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately pull it out on the Sabbath Day?'" Because that's my property and I don't want it to be injured!

Verse 6: "But again, they were not able to answer Him concerning these things." He probably knew everyone who pulled an ox out. He probably knew everyone who did something to benefit himself on the Sabbath, etc.

Verse 7: "Then, observing how those who were invited were choosing out the chief places… [they were trying to figure out who would go where] …He spoke a parable to them, saying, 'When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit in the chief place, lest someone more honorable than you has been invited by him. For the one who invited you and him shall come to you and say, "Give place to this one," and then shall you begin with shame to take the last place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the last place, so that when the one who invited you comes, he may say to you, "Friend, come up higher." Then shall you have honor in the presence of those who are sitting at the table with you.  For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and the one who humbles himself shall be exalted'" (vs 7-11).

Who is the One Who humbled Himself, the greatest of any being in the universe? Jesus Christ! That's why He has a name exalted above every name. That came from God the Father. This is quite a parable, here. This all portends with how to have a broken spirit.

Verse 12: "And He also said to him who had invited Him…" He's talking to the chief Pharisees who invited Him to this dinner with all of these 'mucky-mucks.' They were probably going to try and have an inquisition of Jesus to find out what He really taught, but none of that occurred. So, He said:

"…When you make a dinner or supper, do not call your friends, nor your brethren, nor your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and a recompense be made to you. But when you make a feast, call the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; and you shall be blessed…" (vs 12-14).

He's talking about how He is going to do His calling for those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb:

  • those in the society who have been rejected
  • those in the society who people don't like
  • those who are accounted as nothing

"…for they do not have the means to repay you. But you shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (v 14). A little politics coming in here. You always have a little flattery. Beware when men flatter you.

Verse 15: "Then one of those who sat at the table with Him, after hearing these things, said to Him, 'Blessed is the one who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.'" 'I'm on Your side, Lord.' There's a second way to exalt yourself; in politics it's called 'the puller.' You push the other person higher by flattery and he pulls you up.

(go to the next track)

  • How do we keep our bearings in a lawless society?
  • How do we retain our attitude in God's way?

We see this in politics all the time; we see it in the way that people approach others all the time:

  • compliment people
  • tell them how good they are
  • make them feel good about themselves
  • you will be exalted
  • you can pull them up

We've seen this in a hierarchy:

  • you flatter the man
  • you get a raise
  • you get a position
  • you become adviser

Then you begin exercising that surrogate power from the 'big chief,' and you begin putting your own people who have been flattering you. That's the whole thing with the hierarchical and corporate structure. That's why Jesus said here about exalting the self.

Let's go through the rest of it and see that there are some people who will just never humble themselves. They will just never associate themselves with Jesus Christ, the true Jesus. They like a nice version of Jesus that they agree with. But the true Jesus and have to really do what he said; to be poor in spirit requires an awful lot. Then we'll go back and see, in the Old Testament, about being poor in spirit and how the teachings of Jesus Christ have magnified that and brought it out all the more.

He says this, He's talking to him there, Luke 14:16: "But He said to him, 'A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servants at suppertime to say to those who had been invited, "Come, for everything is now ready." But everyone with one consent began to excuse himself….'" (vs 16-18).

A good example is this: One of the brethren told his son-in-law about the Sabbath and the son-in-law answered this way: 'Well, when Jesus comes down and tells me to keep the Sabbath, I will.' Jesus already did that in many ways.

This supper He's talking about is the wedding supper of the Lamb:

  • He's inviting them to eternal life
  • He's inviting them to eternal glory
  • He's inviting them to the whole plan of salvation

"…The first said to him, "I have bought a field, and I need to go out to see it…" (v 18). You can tie this in with Matt. 13 and Mark 4 concerning the parable of the sower.

"'…I beg you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five pairs of oxen, and I am going to try them out; I beg you to have me excused.' And another said… [I've got a better excuse than any of these] …'I have married a wife, and because of this I am unable to come'" (vs 18-20). That's a good excuse.

Verse 21: "And that servant came and reported these things to his lord. Then the master of the house was angry; and he said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.'" This all ties in with, as we'll see a little later, those that Jesus calls:

  • the poor of the world
  • the weak of the world
  • the uneducated of the world

to teach them the greatest things they need to learn:

  • how to have the character of Christ
  • how God the Father, through this and His Spirit, qualifies them for eternal life.

Verse 22: "And the servant said, 'Sir, it has been done as you commanded, and there is still room.' Then the lord said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled… [last minute evangelism] …For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited shall taste of my supper'" (vs 22-24). He also says in another place about the wedding feast, 'Many are called, but few are chosen.'

  • all of those who think they are great
  • all of those who think they are doing great work for God

'Ain't a-gonna' be there!

Let's see how we truly become 'poor in spirit' toward God so that He can exalt us in due time.

Let me preface this by saying that every once in a while I watch some of these prison documentaries. They start with those who are at the lower level and the lower level ones are more willing to seek God and more willing to have a conscience concerning what they have done, or the weakness, or whatever. Those who get into the murders and the premeditated murders...

I was watching one of a premeditated murderer who was given life. God says, 'Execute them!' There's a reason for that. The day is going to come when there will be no more tax money to pay all of these prison guards and they're going to have to let all the prisoners go because they can't feed them, they can't protect them and they're all going to be released. You know they're not going to line them up, shoot them and kill them.

This man who was sentenced to life instead of death said, 'When you kill in a premeditated way, there is no such thing as real remorse. I know! Even though they treat me in this prison in various severe fashions, I have no remorse.' I thought to myself, 'The key to criminality is that they are so lawless and self-centered on themselves that it is impossible for them to give their lives to Christ, which then involves repentance and great remorse.

The ones who humble themselves, here is how it is done. You start out at the first of Luke 14 and you come all the way through. All of these verses come together.

Here He was at first with the Pharisee who invited Him to supper on the Sabbath and then He leaves there, comes out:

Verse 25: "And great multitudes were going with Him; and He turned and said to them."

Just think about this: I would love to see Joel Osteen do this when he preaches. I don't think he ever will because I don't think he would fill up the auditorium so he would get enough cash to continue paying for it.

Verse 26: "If anyone comes to Me…" He'd have to get up there and say:

If anyone comes to Christ, here's what you going to have to do, because this is for spiritual salvation and eternal life. Furthermore, when I get done reading this, I just want to give you a heads up. Next week we're going to meet on Saturday because that's a Sabbath. I want to give you another heads up. We're not going to be celebrating Halloween, Christmas, Easter or New Years.

We're going to keep God's way and His Holy Days. We're not going to pass out any more grape juice. We are going to all keep the Passover on the day that Jesus died.

He won't do that! This is tantamount to what he would have to do because here is what it says that Jesus said. All of this is because eternal life is so important that there is no room for self-exaltation or human-exaltation. Christ is the One Who is exalted.

Verse 26: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, and mother…" This means to love God more in comparison to, but it also means that even your relatives will believe that you hate them because you have chosen Jesus Christ instead.

"…his father…[closest thing to you] …and mother,  and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (v 26). This helps us understand what we read back there in:

Matthew 5:3transcriber's correction]: "Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs shall be the Kingdom of Heaven," because they're not exalting themselves.

The truth is, in order to find yourself in Christ, you must give up yourself to Him; rather than Christ finds you because you're so important. Christ discovers your great abilities, because of who you are! Or, you were born into a certain family and He is bound to choose you. We've heard that before.

Also, you have to give up your life to Christ. Just living in this life and overcoming sin, and so forth, there are going to be times when you say, 'I hate life in this world.' You love God and love His way! That's why Solomon said, 'It's better to go to a funeral and see the ultimate end of what happens to everyone, than to go in the house of mirth,' because you learn something, even the most exalted die. You need to die in Christ first; that what he's talking about.

Luke 14:27: "And whoever does not carry his cross… [whatever you difficulties or problems may be] …and come after Me cannot be My disciple." There's the whole lesson about exalting yourself.

Let's come back to the Old Testament and let's look at few Scriptures here, concerning this. We see how Jesus expanded this, and when we read this in Psa. 37, then we have a greater understanding of it. Let's see how all of this carries through, especially in today's world.

Psalm 37:1: "Do not fret yourself because of evildoers, and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity." Who:

  • have all the riches
  • have all the wealth
  • have all the fame
  • have great name recognition

Verse 2: "For they shall soon be cut down like the grass; and wither as the green herb." Who has been cut down? Think of all of these movie stars who die in their 20s and 30s because of drugs, because of fame, because of wanting to become great sex objects. You can think of Anna Nichol Smith and Marilyn Monroe; both died at nearly the same age. Nichol Smith said, 'I'll probably die the way that Marilyn Monroe did.' Sure enough, she did! They're cut down.

Verse 3: "Trust in the LORD… [that's how you remain humble] …and do good… [under all circumstances at all times] …dwell in the land… [looking forward to the Kingdom of God] …and cherish faithfulness." 'You shall be fed' not only physically, but spiritually, because spiritual feeding is the most important thing.

Verse 4 is a key, because you have a relationship with God, you can please God and you have God's Spirit, which is the greatest thing of all. Think about this, which I've emphasized at the Feast of Tabernacles:

God destroyed the temple and everything that He created in the physical system, with the covenant with Israel. You do not go to a physical High Priest to receive the blessings of God. You go directly to Jesus Christ and God the Father and those blessings come directly to you through His Spirit. That is really quite a thing! Because of this:

Verse 4: "Delight yourself in the LORD…" Once you understand about not exalting yourself in the flesh, in your mind, in your abilities or whatever it may be, you won't do it anymore.

That's why Job had to learn the lesson. God had to say, 'Okay, Job, since you're so good, I know you've done these things, but it is all that I've commanded you to do and you say that you're as righteous as Me and great as Me:

  • Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
  • Where were you when I called out the stars of heaven and created them and all the angels of God sang for joy?
  • Where were you when I did this, and that, and the other thing?
  • Where were you when I created the ocean?
  • How great are you?
  • Was Job abased?
  • Did he exalt himself? Yes, indeed!

"…and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (v 4)—because your desires are to love God, serve Him and be in His kingdom.

Verse 5: "Commit your way unto the LORD…" That's exactly what Jesus was talking about there, about loving Him more than 'father, mother, brother, sister, and so forth.

This is why daily we need the blessing of God in our lives, in our mind and in our heart; so that He can guide us and lead us! We're to be led by the Spirit of God. We commit our way to the Lord whatever we do. That's why every day, we pray:

  • we ask God's forgiveness for out sins
  • we ask God to bless us
  • we ask God to lead us

He'll do it!

"…trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass" (v 5). One caveat: according to His will, in His way, not in the way that we may think. Ultimately, we will end up at the place where our desire is, His way.

Verse 6: "And He shall bring forth your righteousness like the light…" That has to be the light of the world. We have that today. How is the righteousness going to be 'brought forth as the light?' The ultimate is going to be at the resurrection!

"…and your judgment like the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way; because of him who carries out wicked schemes" (vs 6-7).

Just think about this: How many prospered in all the wicked lies and deception through the stock market, real estate and all these things. Has it all come up to bite them? Yes, it has!

Verse 8: "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret yourself, it leads only to evil, for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth" (vs 8-9). That's what we need to look to. The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is coming to the earth.

Verse 10: "It is but a little while, and the wicked shall be no more…" Just go back and read the book of Revelation and see what happens to the wicked, especially Rev. 16 and the seven vials of the wrath of God. That's coming!

"…yea, you shall diligently consider his place, but he shall not be there. But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (vs 10-11). Quite a Scripture! Quite a thing that God holds out to us!

Here's a promise; claim this promise. This will help you in your attitude greatly.:

Isaiah 57:15: "For thus says the high and lofty One Who inhabits eternity… [God's level of existence; think of that] …Whose name is Holy; 'I dwell in the high and Holy place, even with the one who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'" Isn't that something?

Verse 19: "'I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace, to him who is afar off, and to him who is near,' says the LORD, 'and I will heal him.'" The greatest healing is not just physical. The greatest healing is overcoming carnal nature with God's Spirit.

Verse 20: "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. 'There is no peace,' says my God, 'for the wicked'" (vs 20-21).
Let's see what God is doing with us. This is why on the Sabbath Day with God's Spirit, with His Word, when we assemble together—in our homes, whatever it may be—there's a special blessing that comes from God. There's a special thing that comes when we have this approach concerning the Sabbath.

Isaiah 55:1: "Ho, everyone who thirsts…"—this is spiritually. We're going to see a little later on, those who 'hunger and thrust' after God's way 'will be filled.'

"…come to the waters… [Holy Spirit …and he who has no money…" (v 1). When you get on your knees and pray, there's not a slot: Deposit $2.00 please, then your prayer will ascend. Or, have to go to a priest and you confess your sins and then he tells you, 'I'll do a Mass for you for so much money and you go do 200 hail Marys and 200 our fathers and your sins will be forgiven.'

"…come, buy and eat…." (v 1). We're going to see, a little later on, especially during Unleavened Bread, that that's the whole thing. We buy from God, not with money, but with our attitude, humility and His Spirit! We eat the Word of God; that means that we bring it into out hearts and minds. That's what makes us function.

"…Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price…. [the various levels of the understanding of God] …Why do you spend money for what is not bread? And your labor for what never satisfies? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness" (vs 1-2)—which is the blessing of God!

Verse 3: "Bow down your ear…" This is all why we have the humility.

Let's understand something concerning humility and meek in spirit and a humble attitude, too. This is not to let men run over you and you become like a 'milk-toast blanket' that is bulldozed by a bulldozer or run over by a steam roller. You 'stand strong in the Lord.' This is your standing to God.

"…and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you…" (v 3). You're in covenant with God and that's what baptism is all about. Those who do not baptize or understand about baptism, really are missing the whole point of why it's necessary.

We have put a series together about baptism. Through the years I have given enough on it and different aspects on it that we now have a sermon series with Transcript Book on Baptism {truthofgod.org} Baptism has either been relegated to nothing, or, Baptism has just been an oath to get into a church and be accepted by a corporate organization, rather than a Divine covenant for eternal life with God.

"…even the sure mercies of David" (v 3).

Let's see how James, the brother of Jesus, interpreted the tabernacle of David, which also includes the 'sure mercies of David,' which is continuous access to God and forgiveness upon repentance.

After they got done discussing how God saved those and gave the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles who were not circumcised. {Epistle to the Galatians/Circumcision Wars} We don't want to get into a great debate about that, because that is quite a different subject altogether.

Acts 15:13: "And after they were silent, James answered and said, 'Men, brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles to take out a people for His name'" (vs 13-14). This a whole summary of Acts 10 and the incidence with Cornelius and his household.

Verse 15: "And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written." How did they establish their authority? By the Word of God! Notice how James interprets this:

Verse 16: "After these things, I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen; and its ruins I will build again, and will set it up." What is he referring to? He's referring to the Church! So, the covenant, "…even the sure mercies of David" is eternal life and rulership under Christ.

Verse 17: "So that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, says the Lord, Who does all these things."

This is an important judgment, because it is upon 'all the Gentiles upon my name is called,' who were not required to be circumcised. That was really a revelation, because now we have the greater circumcision of the heart, which changes the heart. This is what the whole New Covenant is about:

  • changing the heart
  • changing the mind
  • being converted
  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • going through all the things and experiences that we just discussed at the beginning of the sermon

"'…and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, says the Lord, Who does all these things.'…. [God is doing it] …Known to God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Therefore, my judgment is that we do not trouble those of the Gentiles who have turned to God" (vs 17-19).

  • they were already keeping the Sabbath
  • they were already keep the Holy Days

That's not the argument, here. The argument is circumcision and the prominent sins in the Gentile countries.

Verse 20: "But that we write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled and from blood. For from the generations of old, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him in the synagogues, being read every Sabbath Day" (vs 20-21). So, he was sending this to Sabbath-keeping Gentiles. That's quite a thing!

Isaiah 55:3: "…I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people…" (vs 3-4). It exalts the Son of David: Jesus Christ. David was a witness to the people but Jesus was the spiritual fulfillment of that.

"…a Prince and Commander of people. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know; a nation that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you" (vs 4-5).

Now that he has set this up, here is what we are to do in seeking God. Add up all the other things that we have covered so far about how to be 'poor in spirit.'

Verse 6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near." He's always there. 'Where can I go from your Spirit? If I go into heaven, You're there. If I go into the depths of the earth, You are there' (Psa. 139)—He's always near.

Verse 7: "Let the wicked forsake his way… [those who exalt themselves, humble themselves] …and the unrighteous man his thoughts…"—the circumcision of the heart. When you have the New Testament, as we started out, and you come back and read the Old Testament, does this not give us the keys to faith and salvation through Jesus Christ? Yes!

"…and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (v 7). As we know now, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!

Who would have thought that He would have done it that way? That's why all those prophesies in the Old Testament concerning Jesus and all the things that He had to suffer, they didn't understand what was going to happen. Here's a prophecy of it. Now that you have the New Testament, you can look back and understand it.

Verse 8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts… [Who would have thought that God would have done it that way] …nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD." That's why you can't take, 'Well, I believe this. This is my opinion so let's go ahead and do this because this looks really good.' That's why you have to check it with God's Word. Maybe it's really not so good.

Verse 9: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Think about this for a minute. What do we have here in the Word of God? We have the Words of God! His thoughts expressed in writing!

Let's think about this in how God is exalting us, if we humble ourselves and become 'poor in spirit.'

With God's Spirit, this is something; I want you to really think about this as we read it. This in itself is a very humbling experience when you understand it and realize what God is doing. That's why it says, 'I will work a work in your day that you will not know or understand.' He's doing it within us. Here's the everlasting covenant that He promised, '"…the sure mercies of David.'"

Hebrews 10:16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: "'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds.'"

In other words, when you have the laws, the Words of God, the New Testament, all of these things that you can have inscribed in your mind, what is happening in that process of conversion? God is teaching you as much as you are able in this flesh with the Spirit of God, to learn to think like God! Isn't that something?

That's a very humbling thing in itself. You can't learn to think like God as long as you have your mind only on yourself. Those who are totally narcissistic and self-centered have exalted themselves in their own mind so high that they are unable to receive the Words of God! Isn't that something? That's what God is doing to us. That's what humbles us in all the things that we do and think.

This is what God is doing, Isaiah 55:9: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." God is the One Who is lifting us to this through His Spirit as we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.

Verse 10: "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be which goes out of My mouth…" (vs 10-11). God's Spirit comes into you through Jesus Christ to be inscribed in your heart and in your mind so that we begin to think as God thinks.

You talk about an education that is greater than anything that you could ever receive in the world, you receive through the Word of God, the Spirit of God and from the Bible!

Verse 11: "So shall My Word be which goes out of My mouth, it shall not return to Me void…" God is going to complete the work that He's going to do in you!

"…but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do" (v 11). You compare that with how many 'religionists' merchandize the Word of God rather than really teach the Truth.

Here's the ultimate, v 12: "For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break out before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." This is what we are going to experience when we start bringing in the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ. The whole earth is going to change.

Verse 13: "Instead of the thorn, the fir tree shall come up; and instead of the brier, the myrtle tree shall come up; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off."

How are you going to do this? Through the Sabbath Day!

All Scripture from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • 2-Timothy 3:7-10
  • Matthew 24:13
  • 2-Timothy 3:11
  • Colossians 1:10-15
  • 2-Timothy 3:12-17
  • 2-Timothy 4:1-5
  • Matthew 5:1-2
  • Luke 24:21-24
  • Matthew 5:2-3
  • Matthew 23:4-12
  • Luke 14:1-26
  • Matthew 5:3
  • Luke 14:27
  • Psalm 37:1-11
  • Isaiah 57:15, 19-21
  • Isaiah 55:1-3
  • Acts 15:13-21
  • Isaiah 55:3-9
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Isaiah 55:9-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 3
  • Hebrews 6
  • 2-Corinthians 11
  • Acts 14
  • 2-Peter 3:15-18
  • Colossians 1:18
  • 2 Timothy 2
  • Luke 13:14
  • Matthew 13
  • Mark 4
  • Revelation 16
  • Acts 10
  • Psalm 139

Also referenced:
Books:

  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried and Hyman E. Goldin

Sermon Series:

  • Be Strong in the Lord
  • Can A Man Or Woman Be Right With God?
  • Baptism
  • Epistle to the Galatians/Circumcision Wars

FRC:nfs
Transcribed:02-01-17
Proofed: 3/26/17

BOOKS