Fred Coulter—November 6, 2010

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Let's get the lessons here from the Apostle John, what we need to do. It's amazing, the Word of God is so true and agrees with itself so much; when you understand it absolutely agrees, that it is like no other book in the world. You can take something that was written here nearly 2,000-years ago—1,900-plus years ago, right here, you can read it today and it has meaning to us. Why is that? Because there's no other book like it!

I remember when I visited Washington, D.C., I was really happy to get back and see Washington, D. C., and Gary Stashick was going to give me a tour of the Capital and everything. So we got up to the Capital and I was underwhelmed at how small it really was. Because on television you see these buildings, the monument to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and all of this and you think, 'Oh, those must be giant.' You get up there and they're disappointingly small.

We went into the Library of Congress. That's quite a building. There they have, and with their auxiliary building, they have every book in the world there. They try and get every book in the world. And here they had banks and rows and rows and this was before they computerized it. Card catalog—remember the card catalog? Oh, yes, you want to find something? Do you want it alphabetically or do you want it topically or do you want it by author? They had all three. Of course, it has this big rotunda at the top and the main building is round with the rectangular building coming out on each side of it. And here on the round floor there were row after row after row of little desks with little green lights on them. Then you look up and books clear up to the ceiling. You look down, books clear down this side, and books clear down that side. I thought this is really amazing!

But what really impressed me was God has it all in one book! And we have it digitally, so if you want it on your iPhone, your BlackBerry, your blueberry, your raspberry, and strawberry, we can get it for you. You want it on your computer? Albert Cataga has a program that has 15 other translations and he showed it to me. He bought a brand new IMac, 24-inch. And you need this big wide screen. So he brought up several different versions and then he just left it with the King James and then he added to it the Faithful Version.

So here's the Bible we've done on this program. So he just did a few clicks with the mouse and he was able to show all the differences between the King James Version and the Faithful Version. Bang! It all came up in a snap like that, starting in Genesis and then going all the way through. And what it did it underlined each place where it was different. And it was really amazing! He said, 'Oh, let's look at the Greek.' Bing! there it is. 'Oh, let's look at the definition.' It has Strong's Concordance and I think it also has Arndt-Gingrich on there, too, which is really the best one, because that has all the latest things concerning Koine Greek, which is another story in itself.

So here we have the Bible and God put it all in the Bible so that He could communicate His words to mankind, because we are to obey the voice of God. And everything that we have here is by the voice of God or by direct God-breathed inspiration of the writers of the New Testament.

Come back here to John 6 and let's see something very interesting. Jesus explained that He was the bread of life, and, of course, this confused the Jews, because He said, 'Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood...' They're probably saying, 'Are we to be cannibals? It says in the Law of Moses, don't eat or drink any blood. Who is this guy?' His blood! They couldn't understand it. And here is the solution.

John 6:53: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless... [Not this is also an if clause or a subjunctive introduction. unless or if. If you had if then you would have to have it 'if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man'; so unless is a little smoother reading.] ...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.'"

Now that's interesting—isn't it? What is really being said here is this: You must be in New Covenant with God and have the Holy Spirit. That New Covenant with God is based upon His flesh, crucifixion, and His blood being shed, and then His resurrection. But, of course, they knew nothing of this. We can look back at it now and say that's what it means, but here the Jews had no idea.

Verse 54: "'The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day.… [All of these things are new, all of these things! What is He saying? Who is this guy?] (v 56): ...The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him…. How can that be? Can one person possess another person? How can that be? You have to get the rest of the story. So that's what we're going to cover.] (Then He gives a clearer explanation of what it means): …As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me'" (vs 54, 56-57). And that goes right back to what Jesus said at the temptation, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.' Well, these Jews couldn't understand this. If you read all of John 6 from that point of view, He said, 'I am the bread of life. I have come down from heaven.' They said, 'Where are you from?' He said, 'I've told where I come from.' 'Who are You?' 'I told you who I am. I AM.' Here it is, He told them.

"'This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate manna, and died. The one who eats this bread shall live forever'" (v 58). Now, how can that be? I mean, if you went into a synagogue today and gave the same message, you'd be run out again. One of their arguments is: God does not accept human sacrifice. Where did He ever say to offer human sacrifice? He never did! They don't view Him as the Son of God. They don't view Him as the Creator of mankind and all things. They have no clue that really the Creator Himself is the only one Who can forgive and justify human beings. And that coming in the flesh which was the very purpose why it said back there in Gen.1:26, 'Let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness.' And just as an aside, remember Gen. 5 He called them Adam. So it was Mr. and Mrs. Adam.

We'll answer 'Us' right now, because I was reading something; some things the Jews should have enough patience to wait for the New Testament to be written. There were thousands and thousands converted after the resurrection of Christ. And as it's in the New Testament: To the Jew first and then the Gentiles. But sometimes you only get the answer to your question from the Old Testament in the New Testament.

John 17:17, we can answer the question who 'Us' is. "Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth…. And what did Jesus say that He spoke? What the Father commanded Him and what the Father taught Him—right? Yes!] …Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth'" (vs 17-19). How could He sanctify Himself? He voluntarily laid down His life to be the sin offering as God in the flesh, which is greater than all human beings combined. God did this voluntarily. He had commandment to lay down His life and to receive it back. Go through the Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ, that's the Hebrew Series #27, because They had a covenant.

So the way He sanctified Himself was that He went through with the sacrifice for all mankind, having never sinned, and then He was able to take back His life as God when He was resurrected so that we could be sanctified in the Truth.

Verse 20: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word." So Jesus prayed a prayer for all of us. We're here

  • because of Jesus' prayer
  • because of God's calling
  • because of the Holy Spirit
  • because of the Word of God

Verse 21: "That they all... [Remember what I said about 'all'? Each and everyone!] ...may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You... [by the power of the Holy Spirit] ...that they also may be one in... [Who?] ...Us...'"

So John 17:21 answers the question of Gen. 1:26: Who are the 'Us'? The Lord God of the Old Testament Who became Jesus Christ and the Father Who was not revealed until Jesus came. This is also another example of how you put the Scriptures together so that you understand them, because they come together with understanding. A big mistake a lot of people make is they see something they don't understand in one place, then they see something they don't understand in another place, and then they start fighting Scripture against Scripture instead of searching out the answer, so they can both come together.

Back to John 6:59: "These things He said in the synagogue as He was teaching in Capernaum. Therefore, after hearing these words, many of His disciples said, 'This is a hard saying. Who is able to hear it?'.... [Meaning: How can you hear or tolerate this and accept it?] ...But Jesus, knowing that His disciples were complaining about this, said to them, 'Does this offend you?.... [Well, to the Jews that was pretty offensive.] ...What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before?…. [This is the key verse, and we'll see how John wrote of this and reflected of it in 1-John.]: …It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing...." (vs 59-63).

We can learn an awful lot from that. How many times have you heard me say you cannot solve spiritual problems by political means? You can only solve spiritual problems with spiritual means, because: "…the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you... [Now notice what He said, because this is what makes the Bible unique above all books in the world regardless of the language into which it has been translated. And if the language is faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek, you will get the same feeling and meaning and authority that the original has. But if you don't, it will be flat! It will be dull! It won't have life!] ...they are spirit and they are life."

Let's just be straightforward, every book in the English language regardless of the subject is written with the same alphabet. You agree with that? Yes, indeed! Do other books with the same alphabet convey spirit and life? No! They may convey ideas; they may give instruction; they may have some pithy sayings; they may have some wisdom; they may have dissertations on how to do things—whatever it may be. And here I am looking at this Library of Congress and all these millions of books and I'm thinking: God did it in one book—and here's this whole library—one book! Well, here's the reason. 'They are spirit and life.' Meaning that they have been inspired or God-breathed.

Now that's interesting—isn't it? When you speak, what are you doing? I'm going to speak, I took a breath—right? When I'm speaking, I'm breathing, meaning that God, directly speaking these words, then put a spiritual meaning to them that is unique to the Bible. He has one more key that comes with the Bible: What you find in there that you know that you need to do, if you do it your understanding will remain and increase. If you don't do it, your understanding will come to a standstill, and if you don't progress and overcome that, you will lose it entirely. Just automatic. Now that's why prayer and study every day is necessary.

What we do with this book, Lord, What Should I Do? is convey that right up front. 'Lord, what should I do?' You're seeking God. There's the Bible, there you are praying. 'They are spirit and they are life.' Why? Because it teaches the way of life! No other book in the world can do this. The Old Testament alone cannot do it and the New Testament alone cannot do it.

A little sidebar: We studied a little bit last night on Isa. 60. I'll have to go back and start in Isaiah 50-58 and in there you will find

  • the prophecy of Christ
  • the prophecy of the Church
  • the prophecy of His crucifixion
  • the prophecy of His scourging
  • the prophecy of His whole life being given as an offering for sin
  • the prophecy on how to seek God
  • how to repent
  • how to keep the Sabbath
  • the prophecy there, 'Cry aloud and spare not and show My people their sins'

Then Isa. 59 shows how bad things really get when you reject all of that—

  • no truth
  • no love
  • no understanding

That's the chaos of the society we have today. So no other book can do this. 'They are spirit and they are life.' When you read and study the Bible, you will begin to understand things, and in some cases, it's almost like a little switch goes on in your mind. Have you ever experienced that? Bing! Why is that? That's because of the Spirit of God, and because the Truth is working in your mind. No other book can do that! This is why it is timeless, because it comes from the God Who is eternal and His truths always remain the same.

The only difference between the covenant with Israel and the covenant with the Church is this: They were born into the community and circumcised in the flesh, and if they obeyed in the letter they remained in good standing as individuals within the community and the community within the nation, as long as the judge or the king led the people in a right way. But when they didn't do that, then they had troubles—right? Likewise, with the New Testament. If you have just the New Testament without the Old Testament then one-third or more of what you read in the New Testament becomes of no value to you, because you say 'it's been done away or fulfilled, and we don't need to do it.' So the New Testament, then, loses some of its life if you don't have the foundation of the Old Testament. 'They are spirit and they are life.'

1-John 2:6—here is the pattern: "Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked." How did Jesus walk? You've got to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—right? Yes!

  • Did He keep the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Was He Lord of the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Did He rebuke evil? Yes!
  • Did He set the standard of what we need to do to be a disciple of Christ? Yes!

And He set the standard for the future conversion of people through the Holy Spirit by His teachings, because some of His teachings cannot be applied unless you understand the Spirit and you understand it spiritually. Jesus said, 'If a man lust after a woman, he has already committed adultery in his heart, and you're better off plucking out one of your eyes than being thrown into Gehenna fire.' Does He want every man to pluck out his eyes? No! What He was doing is showing that physical effort alone, even to the plucking out of the eyes, will not change lust from within.

  • you need the Spirit of God
  • you need the covenant with Christ
  • you need the words of God, which are spirit and life

to convert you—so that you can what? Have the control being led by the Holy Spirit and overcome with the Holy Spirit so that you can overcome lust. Read Matt. 5 again, but then read the last verse, which says, Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." That's the goal and you can't do that without the Spirit of God.

So what He was really saying was, you can't meet the spiritual standard of the New Covenant by physical means. You can only meet the standard of the New Covenant

  • by spiritual means
  • with the Spirit of God
  • with the love of God
  • the way that Jesus taught it.

And we are to pattern our lives after Him and as we know have the mind of Christ.

That's what it says here, 1-John 2:6: "Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked. Brethren, I am not writing a new commandment to you but an old commandment, which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message that you have heard from the beginning. Again, I am writing a new commandment... [Doesn't this sound like double talk? Well, it's not! So he's writing the old message and the new message, that's what it is.] ...I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining'" (vs 6-8).

Then here's quite a claim; this really brings this to something that is also only spiritually accomplished, v 9: "Anyone who claims that he is in the light... [As Christ is in the light (1-John 1)] ...but hates his brother, is in the darkness until now.'"

How do you handle that? We're to hate sin, but not the sinner—correct? Yes, indeed! We can't have hatred in our hearts toward any of the brethren, regardless of how much you were offended, and it's easy to do that—isn't it? Do you think that you can ask God, 'Oh, Lord, forgive me my sins,' and then hold a little compartment in your mind for hatred or bitterness or resentment? No, you can't! You can't do that! So how do you handle it when someone does something very, very hateful to you? What did Jesus tell us? 'Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you'—right? You pray for them! You can pray that

1. God will convert them

Hey, that'd be a great thing, wouldn't it?

2. God would bring to their attention what they did that was wrong

But you forgive them before God in your heart and mind. Don't wait for them to come and say, 'Oh, will you forgive me?' Because they probably don't even know that you were offended by them. So you can't wait for them to come to you. So you in your own mind forgive them. If their behavior doesn't change, then you may have to keep a little distance from them. If there's an opportunity for you to show love to them, in spite of what they've done, then that will be an opportunity for you to help overcome any hatred that you have. That's one of the devices within the Church wars that Satan likes to use—isn't it? So you look at a man and he did this, 'Boy, how could that happen, how could God...' And so forth. You put it all in God's hands so that you do not have your mind cluttered with carnality. That doesn't mean you become a namby-pamby. That doesn't mean that you give up any righteousness at all. That means that you put it in the proper perspective.

Now, if it gets really bad, then you do like the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof, when the young man came to him and said, 'Rabbi, is there a prayer for the czar?' And he said, 'Yes, may the Lord bless him and keep him far away from us.' So, sometimes you have to just ask God to 'keep them away from me.' But ask God to deal with them. Do you want God to deal with you? Yes! Can God deal with them? Yes! Even if they're in a time of misery and bitterness and hatefulness? Yes! Then what will happen? You'll begin to see why you should not react that way to them and you begin to understand what a spiritual burden that they have put on themselves and others for acting that way. So, you can't hate your brother.

Verse 10: "The one who loves his brother is dwelling in the light, and there is no cause of offense in him.... [That's why it's so important, brethren, that you learn to understand brotherly love among each other. God has all called us and we all have to admit—don't we?—we all got problems—right? Anybody here problem free? No! We all come from different backgrounds—don't we? And if we had our choice out in the world we probably wouldn't choose any of us to be friends—correct? Right? That's true! So don't look at things carnally. Love each other! Some people think because they have a social-club type church that that socialization is love. That is socialization! You can get that in the Elks Club or the Odd Fellows, or the 'odd women'? I've heard of the Odd Fellows Club, but I've never heard of the odd—what would you call that? fellowetts? No!

Jesus said that sinners love each other and if you don't love those that hate you, what have you done above what the sinners have done? Nothing! Is that a tall requirement? Yes! Developing the mind of Christ and the spiritual covenant we are in requires

  • the Spirit of God
  • the love of God
  • the relationship with God

—to maintain that so that you can have that kind of mind and heart and attitude. That's what it has to be. This is why Paul and all the apostles, when they were writing, included themselves with the brethren—we. Paul said, 'I am less than the least of all the saints.' Then he said that the purpose of the ministry is to edify or up-build the Church. Now all of us can up-build the Church ourselves, too, by

  • loving one another
  • pray for one another
  • help one another

If there's a problem between one another, go to them directly. It says if you have a difficulty with your brother, go to them alone. That does not mean run to the minister. That does not mean go to your best friend. It means you go to him. 'Well, I can't do that.' Well, if you can't do that, then you better forgive him without doing it and don't hold anything against him. But with the Spirit of God can you not do that and say, 'Hey, excuse me, maybe we could talk a little bit, just you and I.' I think they'd be receptive—right? That's the way to handle it. Otherwise, if you don't do that then you begin to have factions. You begin to have a little group over here, a little group over there, within the congregation.

Verse 10: "The one who loves his brother is dwelling in the light, and there is no cause of offense in him.... [That's a tough one to fill, but it can be done and it's practical and it's spiritual and it's realistic and it works.] ...But the one who hates his brother is in darkness, and is walking in darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (vs 10-11).

After he says, "I am writing to you, little children…. I am writing to you, fathers…. I wrote to you fathers…. I wrote to you, young men…. [etc., etc.] …you have overcome the wicked one. Do not love the world..." (vs 12-15)—especially this world and what it's like. There is everything out there, I mean, never has there been a generation like we are—right?

How many here have History Channel? Wait until there is the one on medieval homes; that will be a real eye opener. Think about your home—the lights, electricity, television, car, automatic gadgets, computers, automatic stoves, automatic garage door openers—everything that you have at home. A relaxing chair that will massage you, a whirlpool tub that will take care of you, a flush toilet that gets rid of all the 'stinky-poos,' and running water, hot and cold. Open a refrigerator, it's full of food. Then look at that one on the medieval homes. No heat, except where they had a fireplace, little small windows; it would get so cold. Everybody slept in the same bed, six feet wide, seven feet long. No birth control, so there were plenty of kids jumping around in the bed. No washing machine, so there were lots of bed bugs. No shampoos, so the hair wasn't really too great. So to be bald in that situation was good, you didn't have head lice. All of that! And you had to go plant your own food, dig your own food. You had to get the water out of the well. And by the way, digging a well down 30-feet in the ground, some chore, isn't it? You ever dug a hole five foot deep, try ten, try twenty, try thirty, try forty. Tell you, after you look at that special on medieval homes, I know I said, 'Oh, God, thank you for the home we have.' And I also said, 'Oh, Lord, help us to really appreciate it, and help us to use it rightly.'

"Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because everything that is in the world..." (vs 15-16). This is pure television straight into your home—every sign, every billboard, every store, everything that you are in contact with in the world today is built on lust. And they control it with music. Wherever you go, in whatever store there is, there's music playing.

And even one time I mentioned to McDonald's, because I go to McDonald's and get a little cup of coffee, and I mentioned to them one time, I said, 'It would be nice, if you would look, most of us here in the morning are senior citizens and if you would have some nice smooth music here we'd be more inclined to come again.' So about three weeks later, nice smooth oldie music. Man, this is good! But doesn't it drive you nuts, you go into a supermarket and they have all of this music banging, beating into your head, especially in the shopping malls. That's for control! that's for Satan's control! Now talk about commercials. You could probably pop off all kinds of little jingles that you hear from commercials and some of you going way, way, way back you could even pop them off if I would mention them, but I don't want to call them up in my mind and call them up in your mind. That's all based on lust.

"...—the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life—..." (v 16.). Take this verse, put it right next to you while you're watching television. Put the Ten Commandments right below that, and just do a little check off list, how many times it appears. If you don't have cable TV where you can escape the 'lame-brain' media on the major channels, those channels are so filled with lust and homosexual innuendoes and games and stupidity. This is sent around the world, and no wonder the Muslims look at that and say, 'Boy, these Americans are really stupid people.' They don't look at their own behavior and how stupid theirs is blowing up even themselves and others.

This is something that we also have to fight, we also have to control. We also have to make a decision—do I want to watch this or not? A lot of people say, 'Well, I don't pay attention to it,' but it's going into your ears. So that's why I love the mute button. You can cut off a lot of things with the mute button and then there's the blue channel. Do you have a blue channel? That's where there's nothing on it, you click to it, it's just blue, nice and soothing, nothing going on. So this is something that we need to realize.

Verse 17: "And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does [practices] the will of God abides forever"—or lives forever. So the second part of v 17 is what we need to do.

Then we already covered the other one concerning the antichrist. Let's come down here to 1-John 3, because chapter three becomes very important for us to understand.

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For your information, if you don't have it, we have a book that is called The Seven General Epistles. Let me just explain a little bit about that. After we got done with the book of John, this was about 1991, we went through the King James and I explained that the English from the Greek means this, and that, and the other, and so forth. So, when we got done I asked the brethren, I said, 'Well, what do you want to do?' They said, 'Oh, well, let's study some more, verse-by-verse.' So this was my first shot at translating. I said, 'Okay. How about if I do a study translation and we'll start through the book of James.' So I did that. Then we went verse-by-verse by verse through the book of James. Got done with that and they said, 'Well, let's go to 1st & 2nd-Peter.' All right. How many remember those study translations you got? You know, the narrow column and the wide margins. That's all in a book called The Seven General Epistles now. So then we did 1st & 2nd-Peter, and then, oh, well, we've got to 1st, 2nd, 3rd-John. Then there's Jude. So we ended up with 79 studies out of these seven epistles, hour and half studies, verse-by-verse. So if you want that you can get that at no cost.

And let me tell you, what a big job it is to do nearly 2,000 sermons from cassette to CD, from analog to digital, and to clean it up. Because I had no idea we'd do this. We had no idea. We just had a small congregation of twelve people. We decided the best thing for us to do was keep our noses in the Bible, and if God wants to add more people to us, fine. We're not going to go out and say, 'Oh, you've got to follow us. We're the greatest thing that has ever been.' No, we'd been through that a couple times, so we just said, 'Whatever God wants, God wants. That's it.'

So that's how it developed. Then we were running out of Harmony's so then I had to do Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and then got the information on how they were just corrupting the Bible so much, so I said, 'I've got to translate the rest of it.' So that's what happened. But I never did set out and say, 'Oh, in my career as a minister, I want to in this year do that, and this year do that, and this year do the other thing. And by the way, I want to translate the whole Bible. Now that's really my goal.' I had no clue! After we got the New Testament done, different ones said, 'Well, you've gotta do the Old Testament. You've gotta do the Old Testament.' I said, 'Well, I don't know enough about Hebrew to really do it. I do know the Greek and I can do the Greek, that's not a problem.' So that's when we got together with Michael Heiss to do the Old Testament and he also is a graduate of Ambassador College, same year that I was. So we were able to put together the Old Testament, then, now we have the Bible.

I'm sure there are going to be some people say, 'Well, who does Fred Coulter think he is to do the Bible.' Well, really nothing. But when I look at what all the experts do and how they mess it all up and change it, if they can't be honest enough to translate it correctly, why are we getting these miserable translations of the Bible? So I don't look at myself as some great thing, because I have done it. I look upon it, why wasn't it done with the billions of dollars that the Church had when they had the money and the time and the expertise and the ones to do it. Dr. Dorothy, who taught me the New Testament Greek, I asked him—because he kept encouraging me to translate it—I said, well, how come that this big church here with all of this money, $140-million a year, in one year it was $200-million. You add it all up through the years and they probably had $4-4.25-billion through all those years. Why didn't they do it? He said, 'Because there was an argument as to who would get credit.'

So I didn't presume to take it upon myself to do it. I just saw that the need was there and I did it for study translations so the brethren could understand. Are we not to preach the Word and preach the Truth and do those things? Wouldn't that help? So that's why I did it. There's an awful lot here in 1-John 3, and I'm not going to cover the worst translated verses in the New Testament because they're here in 1-John 3 and I've done that a couple times on some other sermons.

 1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us..." Now this tells us our purpose of our calling and the first resurrection. Don't confuse that the second resurrection is going to be exactly like the first, because it's not. They won't have to fight Satan because he'll be put away. They will be taught by us as kings and priests. So the first resurrection is the superior resurrection—and please keep that in mind—because it puts us in a direct family relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. All of those who come through the Millennium will be the children of the bride and Christ together, just we are the children of the Father today. That's when Jesus will become an Everlasting Father, when those who come through the millennium under the millennial reign and the Kingdom of God. So here we have direct from God the Father, as I explained earlier.

"Behold!What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!" (v 1). Now that's something. We read about 'Us.' We read about being one together—right? Yes! There are two words that are translated children in the New Testament. One is 'huios'—which is also son, can be translated children. And this means any offspring. There is another one called, the noun is called, 'technon'—means your own begotten and born children. That's why where the King James says that we have an 'adoption,' that's not correct. The word there means sonship—a special relationship with God—God the Father and Jesus Christ—that no one who is not in the first resurrection will participate in, in the same way. The 'technon'—because we receive the Spirit of God, the Father and Christ, in us.

"...the children of God! 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... [it was revealed a little later] ...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).

So that's why, as I was talking to a group back in Baltimore, we have a group that is a Jamaican group that went from Sunday-keeping to Sabbath-keeping. We sent them Bibles and all the books and everything. I was talking to the pastor of that church and he told me the things that they had gone through and what he had experienced, and so forth. And I said to him, very directly, I said we don't want to get hung up on racial issues, because you need to understand that at the resurrection there will be no race. We're all going to shine like the sun—correct? And besides, every race and color has various degrees of lightness and darkness within their own race. So don't get hung up on the physical. It is the spiritual that is important.

Now there are problems among races in the world and there are problems with different people marrying, whether inter-racial or not inter-racial. You, who are of the same, are you free of problems? No! So let's keep that in mind. "…we are the children of God…"
Now notice what this is supposed to do for us, v 3: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure." How do you purify yourself?

  • through repentance
  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through loving God
  • through loving each other
  • doing the things that God has told us to do
  • keeping His commandments in the Spirit

Let's come over here and see something that is very important concerning love, v 18: "My little children, we should not love in word... [Just to say, 'I love you,' but you don't mean it.] ...nor with our tongues... [to just express it] ...rather, we should love in deed and in truth." No hypocrisy, no dissimulation, none of that sort of thing. 'Love in deed and in truth.'

That's why when people come—and I've heard it said here of this group—that they say after their first visit they really feel the love among the people. And that's what it needs to be. What did Jesus say? 'Love one another.' How? 'As I love you and all men will know that you are Mine.' That's a nice tall order to measure up to—is it not? Yes, indeed! So that's what that means.

Verse 19: "And in this way we know that we are of the Truth... [Because you know the Truth, you love the Truth, you live by the Truth.] ...and shall assure our hearts before Him.... [You have boldness and confidence in God. We're going to find something else here that's important for you to understand.] ...That if our hearts condemn us..." (vs 19-20). And how do our hearts condemn us? Because of sin and because of guilt!

A lot of people have guilt and they shouldn't have guilt. Go repent of the guilt, get rid of the guilt. If you have guilt, ask yourself: Is it my fault? No! Well, then, why do you have guilt? Did you do it? No! 'But I have guilt.' That's the big 'G.' Repent of that. The big 'B' is bitterness. The big 'R' is resentment. All of those things are emotional issues that take away from loving one another, take away from loving each other as husband and wife. All of those things are important to understand and realize. Those condemn our hearts, and we don't feel secure and we don't feel loving.

Verse 20: "That if our hearts condemn us, God greater than our hearts, and knows all things... [So get on your knees and go repent. Go ask God to forgive you. Do it now. Don't wait until you're further down the road, and then as some people have done, they finally do it just before they die. Do it now—not then. It's good people who do it before they die, that's true, but why wait. You know what the story is: Try it, you'll like it. That's what God wants.] ...Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God" (vs 20-21).

  • faith
  • confidence
  • boldness
  • truth
  • love
  • hope

All of those things are the result of the Spirit of God.

Now notice what happens then: "And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight" (v 22). Can you please God? Yes, you can! It shows us exactly how right here. You can please God!

  • Don't go around with a guilty conscience
  • Don't let things in the past haunt you
  • Don't let hang-ups stay in your mind

—get rid of them. That's what he's talking about here. We need our prayers answered, every one of them according to the will of God—right? Yes!

"And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight" (v 22). You can please God! If you keep the Sabbath like you're keeping it here today, you're pleasing to God. If God would send one of the seven spirits around the world and say, okay, give me a total of all those keeping the Sabbath, this Sabbath. Act like a computer and here would come up the total. Then give me the grade of how they love each other—ooh. It might be a little different. But you have confidence that way.

Verse 23: "And this is His commandment: that we believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and that we love one another, exactly as He gave commandment to us." That's what God wants. For a lot of us, that's difficult. If you've come from circumstances that are unloving. How do you learn to love?

  • by the Word of God
  • by loving God
  • by what you do

How do you learn to love other people?

  • By getting to know them
  • Don't judge them in your mind, just because you see them and they don't conform to a figure of your mind that you think they should.

Don't do that! Accept every one for what they are. Let God do the changing from within. That's how we love one another.
Verse 24: "And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him, and He in him; and by this we know that He is dwelling in us: by the Spirit which He has given to us." And you know you have the Spirit of God, and you're led of the Spirit of God. God gives you the Truth of His Word, because His Word is what? Spirit and life!.

And in this book and in this Bible alone, in the Word of God as originally given in the original language, is where we learn to love. And it goes right back to the very first chapter. What is my relationship with God, everyday? What is it?

  • Do I pray?
  • Do I study?
  • Do I yield to God?

And think about the foolishness that comes up, well, 'I didn't have time to study today.' God had time to love you today—didn't He? Yes, He did!

1-John 4; here's a pattern in the Bible that you will see. This has to be a pattern by anyone who's speaking, if they're going to speak the way that God wants them to speak, which is this—forms of correction:

  • encouragement and inspiration to open your mind to what God has to say.
  • from the Word of God, which will come next. And if you in your study let that Word of God correct you, you have the easiest form of correction possible between you and God.
  • difficult: between you and someone else
  • if there is inspiration given, will be very rare indeed—from those who are teaching you. But they need to be very careful how they do it, because too many times brethren have been verbally beat up and kicked out of the door by the correction that has come. The best way to overcome is be inspired to overcome; you choose to do it.
  • God intervening in your life to test you.
  • probably very difficult trial.

Now remember, though, it will 'all work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.' So it fits within the whole scheme of what God is doing and God's love for us.

  • He doesn't want us to be sinful
  • He doesn't want us to be carnal
  • He doesn't want us to be living in the world, lusting like the world, and doing all of those things.
  • He wants us to grow in love

Now let's pick it up here in 1-John 4:4 concerning other spirits and false prophets. "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is He Who is in you than the one who is in the world." Never, never be terrified because there is Satan and the demons! Doesn't mean you get involved with them, but never be afraid, because you can rebuke them in the name of Jesus Christ and tell them to leave, and they must obey! So never be terrified! You have Christ in you and He's greater than what the world has out there with them.

"They are of the world; because of this, they speak of the world, and the world listens to them.... [You just all of that with the election—right? Did they reduce the debt yet? No!] ...We are of God... [Now do you know that? You are of God, because you have His Spirit!] ...the one who knows God listens to us; the one who is not of God does not listen to us. By this means we know the Spirit of the truth and the spirit of the deception" (vs 5-6). Boy! We've seen that on full display here in the last few years, haven't we? Yes, indeed!

Then notice how he follows up. Now here's a little bit of correction presented in the right way. "Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God.... [That is if you are loving in a Godly manner.] ...The one who does not love does not know God because God is love" (vs 7-8).

I remember watching a special, you can tell what channels I watch, and this was on—I forget if it was History Channel or National Geographic—and it was a special on incorrigible lifers in prison. And I just watched this one interview with this man where he said, 'I have no love, I do not care for anyone and if they let me out of here I will kill again.' I sat there and I thought, no wonder God said that if they do something worthy of death, execute them. I wonder how much it cost a year just to keep them alive there in prison. Maybe some of these guys are going to be let out when the country goes bankrupt. So we need to pray for a lot of protection and God's angels. I've never heard it so bluntly and coldly and calculatingly said, 'I have no love for anyone and I, if I get out of here, will kill again.'

So, brethren, I wonder what this guy's going to do in the second resurrection? Because what does it say, 'Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgive men. And every word against the Son of man shall be forgiven them, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven'—because you're rejecting God the Father. He's going to be resurrected—new body, new mind. Wonder what the world's going to be like when all those people are resurrected?

  • we're going to see that
  • we're going to have to help them
  • we're going to have to teach them

There are going to be people like that who have lived that way. There's going to every evil and mean thing that has ever happened to any people in the world, going to be resurrected in the second resurrection to be given their first opportunity for salvation. Now think of that! So, if you ever want to straighten out the world, brethren, think of how important attaining to the Kingdom of God is! We are going to participate in the greatest rehabilitation program that is so mind-boggling we can't even contemplate it in its right perspective. We can only kind of get a little glimmer. Kind of like a little flash in the mind for a second. Yes!

"Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God... [It comes from His Spirit.] ...and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God because God is love. In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him" (vs 7-9). That's why God did what He did.

You stop and think for just a minute: What God did in becoming God manifested in the flesh as Jesus Christ the Son of God, and what He gave up to do that for all of mankind, we have sacrificed nothing—right? That's why love is so important, because love is the greatest. That's why in these days we are living in, this is what we need to focus on. This is what we need to keep our minds on. Oh, yes, we need to understand about prophecy, but, hey, prophecies are going to pass away—isn't that correct? Yes! So the question really needs to be: How is your love to God, God's love to you, and your love to each other as brethren?

"In this act is the love... [Now that's what it is in the Greek—'the love,' meaning the highest pinnacle of love.] ...not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (v 10). Isn't that an amazing thing? Before we were even born, and the first words out of Jesus' mouth when He was hung up there on the cross was, 'Father, forgive them for they don't know what they're doing.' That's really something. That is spiritual strength, brethren. That is the love of God. With the love of God you have spiritual strength. It is not an emotional mamby-pamby, huggy-wuggy, fuzzy-wuzzy feeling. It's not!

Now keep this in mind, so that we could come to Him and have our sins forgiven. Think of it, the worst sins in the world, short of the unpardonable sin, will be forgiven upon repentance. That's why God called Saul to be the Apostle Paul. Because he said, 'I was a wantonly violent man and was persecuting the Church and agreeing to the death of the brethren and bringing them in chains.' So God wanted to demonstrate that His love is so great and so powerful that He could convert this man by knocking him off his feet on the way to Damascus, and appear to him in vision and speak to him and say, 'Saul, It's hard to kick against the pricks.' What did Saul answer back? 'Lord, what do you want me to do?' He said, 'This is Jesus Whom you are persecuting.' Instantaneous change!—right? And He did that as a pattern for all of us in the New Testament Church, and as a pattern that we could see would be applicable to the second resurrection for all those people.

Just take and consider all the wars that are currently going on because there are more than just in Iraq and in Afghanistan, it's Darfur and different places of bands and shooting and looting and killing; down in Mexico with the drug wars and killing one another. People just wantonly killing and things like that and you think, 'Oh, why is the world this way?' It's because God's not here and the Kingdom of God is not here! Then you need to think, hey, we're going to have the opportunity to change that. Not now in the flesh. Now's not the time to do it. After we're resurrected. And we can change that! Just think what a tremendous thing it's going to be when God fulfills His promise that He says, 'I will put a new Spirit within you and a new heart within you, and take away your stony heart and give you a heart of flesh, so that you can repent.' That's going to be fantastic, brethren.

Notice what this is to do for us, v 11: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us…. [Perfected! We're going to have trials, we're going to have tests, we're going to have to overcome the hang-ups and difficulties, but it will be perfected.] …By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us" (vs 11-13). That's why the Spirit is so important. The Holy Spirit will give you the strength to overcome, will give you all of the spiritual qualities of

  • love
  • hope
  • faith
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • meekness

—all of that comes with the Holy Spirit of God, and exercising that Spirit of God to serve and love the brethren and to serve and love God and to keep our eyes on what God has for us.

Then he says concerning the apostles: "And we have seen for ourselves and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God…. [That is, confesses in Truth because they have the Spirit of God.] …And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him" (vs 14-16). Listen! These words are so important. It's time that we know and learn these words, and begin to live them, begin to apply them in a way that God wants, because dark days are coming when this will be hard to do.

"By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God... [though we face fearful times, there is no fear in the love of God] ...rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first" (vs 17-19).

So, brethren, that's why we're here. That's what we need to look to today. This needs to be our life, and where we're going and what we're doing. I'm happy to see the love that is here, and happy to see that everything in good hands, not Allstate, but God's hands. And Lawrence serving the brethren, he prays for you, he's driven many miles to see you, to visit you, to anoint you. All of that's because of the love of God, so love him, love his wife, love each other.

Scriptural References:

  • John 6:53-54, 56-58
  • John 17:17-21
  • John 6:59-63
  • 1-John 2:6
  • Matthew 5:48
  • 1-John 2:6-17
  • 1-John 3:1-3, 18-24
  • 1-John 4:4-19

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 1:26
  • Genesis 5
  • Isaiah 50-60

Also referenced:

  • Lord, What Should I Do? by Fred Coulter
  • The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter
  • Harmony of the Gospels by Fred Coulter

Sermon: Hebrew Series #27,(The Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ)

Formatted: bo—11-16-10