(Elder's Conference 2019)

Understanding comes with believing

Fred R. Coulter—May 16, 2019

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Because the way the world is, we need to have an understanding of the history of God's people from the time of Christ through to us. Most of the history that has been written about the heretics of the Roman Catholic Church, most of them were the true brethren of Jesus Christ.

Yesterday, I handed out the history and DVDs presented by John Guenther. He's been doing a study of the history of the Church from 325A.D. forward. But he's expanded that from the time of Christ. Having that history and background, we need that.

What we need to understand as we look around and look at the Church and the people, we have a good number that are getting ripe, as Jesus said, 'Lift up your eyes and see that the harvest is white.' Well, we have a lot of that today with our gray hair, white hair and so forth. We need to look at what God is doing with that. If they've been in the Church for decades and decades and have been faithful, then we will miss them when they pass, but remember the resurrection is coming.

So, God looks at this as a harvest, and not that the Church is dying out. Jesus promised that it never would.

Matthew 16:16: "Then Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona… [son of Jona] …for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father, Who is in heaven'" (vs 16-17),

That's an interesting way to put it, which tells us that no one on their own, with their own efforts, can determine who the real Christ is. Tie that together with:

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…[45]: It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'…."

There's a lot to those verses, because people today could say, 'How can I be taught of God? The Bible! 'We just banned the Bible.' That will happen!

Matthew 16:18: "And I say also to you that you are Peter… [the small rock] …but upon this Rock… [a great Rock, Christ Himself] …I will build My Church, and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it."

One of the things we need to be doing is asking God to call people who will want the Truth. We have many things that we have available for that. We have our websites:

  • truthofGod.org
  • churchathome.org
  • afaithfulversion.org
  • theoriginalbiblerestored.org

You can have the app of the Bible on your iPhone or iPad. And soon we're going to have it for all of us ancient people who do not use the technology, but you can work an MP3 player, the whole Bible on ten discs. You won't have to worry about a battery, just plug it in and play it.

When I get back Jonathan and Randy Vild will have a prototype and we've been working with a Chinese company because we can get 10,000 packages for $23,000. Everybody on the mailing list will get one. We want to take full advantage of that. Steve Durham will be telling you about Go to Meeting, and that will be one of the additional websites and means of feeding the flock.

Then Mike Flake has a lot of ideas of how to reach out to new people in the world. He's doing quite a bit of work with YouTube. There's a lot of interesting things with that.

Christ is going to build His Church and God is going to call. Let's see how God calls. How is God going to know wherever someone is who is seeking God. Well, since God is perfect and knows everything, He says that He will. It works two ways:

  • by the individual who is seeking

John 4 says that you have worship God in Spirit and in Truth!

  • God is seeking those who will worship Him that way

How does God seek?

Revelation 1:4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne."

That's an interesting thing. What are the seven spirits? We'll find out. He repeats it in:

Revelation 3:1: "And to the angel of the Church in Sardis, write: 'These things says He Who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars….'"
Revelation 5:6: "Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders, was standing a Lamb ashaving been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that are sent into all the earth."

That's how God finds those who are seeking Him. That's how He calls. So, we don't want to do like the Protestants and bring down the standards so we can reach people in the world. That's not how to do it! That's how to do the calling yourself. We all need to pray that God will add to us. We now have the means to take care of them, whether in a local fellowship group or whether they are alone. With a world full of trouble, many will have to be alone.

I'll leave that up to Steve and Go to Meeting and how that works, because that works very well in serving the flock and taking care of the brethren.

Since we are here on a continuum of the history of God's Church… I might mention that I just got a review of a book: The Celtic Church in Britain by Leslie Hardinge. It shows you what Roman historians have done. They did it to the Waldensians. 'Oh well, you know Peter Waldo wasn't a Sabbath-keeper.' They forgot to tell you that they had the Bible in their own language. They kept the Sabbath and the Holy Days.

The Celtic Church in Britain—Ireland, Scotland and UK as we call it today—kept the Sabbath, the 14th Passover and the Holy Days and resisted the Romans for 600 years! We are part of that continuum of history. Then history reaches back clear to Abraham, because as Paul wrote, 'If you are Christ's then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise!'

What was the first promise that He gave? Physical seed to Israel! Then He said, 'Abraham, come out here.' It was night! 'Look at the stars. If you are able to count them (which he wasn't) so shall your seed be.' Today when we understand more about the universe, that tells us God's plan is a fantastic thing! That we need to have a greater appreciation and understanding of it, and to realize that God could do a great work wherever He wants to do it. I'm sure that thee are many groups of God's people that we know nothing about!

We know from Rev. 2 & 3 that there are different attitudes and degrees of faithfulness to the Truth in the different churches that are listed there. But safe to say, as we have always knows, that those were the seven churches at the time it was written, and then a prophecy of the churches down through history. And I believe that at the end-time we will, again, and I think we can, find all seven churches.

We're part of what God is doing. If you're a small part of it, don't worry. You came from a speck of dust. So, God has a great plan. Let's see that God had this all worked out before He renewed the surface of the earth after the rebellion of Satan the devil. We need to understand how great God is and how God has called us for the most fantastic thing in the world.

All who are resurrected and changed, and meet on the Sea of Glass… I'm going to give some sermons on why we are on the Sea of Glass for four and a half months.

  • Don't you think that we need to be educated on how to take over the world?
  • Won't that be biggest task of any group ever in the history of mankind? Yes!

The two most important verses in any of Paul's epistles are the introduction. Notice that sets the tone for the entire epistle.

Ephesians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus…. [that is to all the Christians down through time] …Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 1-2).

Note Sermon Series:

  • God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping
  • Grace of God in the Bible
  • Grace Upon Grace

I remember before I brought the series Grace Upon Grace I wondered: What is grace upon grace? The major part of it is that you have:

  • God's Spirit
  • direct access to and Jesus Christ and God the Father by prayer

Nothing in between!

How are important are all the saints of God, and each one of us to God that He gives that blessing. That's why we're here, and having this conference.

We're going serve the brethren of God. By the way, you've heard of the word deacon, the verb of that is 'diakoneo.' Christ said, 'I'm here serving you.' He was 'diakoneo.' Was He serving or Savior? He's the Savior. We are to serve the brethren, not to have the brethren serve us.

The way we do that is to understand what God has done, and is doing. He's chosen to call men and women to be able to serve the people of God. That's part of the grace upon grace that is given to us.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ."

  • What do we have to look forward to?
  • What is the greatest blessing that will take place?
  • The resurrection from the dead!

Think about how fantastic that is. Think about the hope of looking forward to that. When we understand that, then everything in the flesh and in the physical becomes very secondary.

"…spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ." We are joint heirs with Christ! That's an amazing thing. When we're resurrected onto the Sea of Glass and God the Father is going to come down, and we're all going to be there in a formal presentation to the Father (Heb. 2). Jesus said, 'I and the children You have given Me.' Think about that! That's going to be something!

I've been thinking on the Sea of Glass and what's going to happen up there, and I get excited every time.

Notice the intimacy of this and this is what we need to teach the brethren and convey to them. Living in the world is a difficult proposition for a lot, because we're older and infirm, and it's hard to get around, hard to see and hear. Just encourage them and remind them that Jacob was blind when he died. The sufferings that we go through are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us!

Jesus said that those of the Kingdom will shine as the sun. I can't comprehend that kind of existence, but that's what God has called us to. In serving the brethren, they need to see the greatness of what God is doing. Yes, we need to keep the commandments, the Sabbath and Holy Days, that's true. But that's fundamental to give us the strength and understanding to know what God is doing.

Verse 4: "According as He has personally chosen us…" The Greek there is very interesting. We don't have this exactly the same way in English. This is called a middle voice verb, which is the subject is also the object.

"…for Himself…" (v 4). That's a fantastic thing to understand. That why the Church should never have men between the brethren and God. They have the right, the grace and the privilege to come before the Father, each one, him or herself. That's an amazing thing to understand. Look at the world and see what it is, what a mess it is.

Notice that God's plan was "…before the foundation of the world…" (v 4).

This doesn't mean that you were chosen before you existed. This plan was put into place, and when you answer God's call, repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God, then you fit into the pre-determined plan of God.

"…in order that we might be Holy…" (v 4). That's an awesome thing to think about! Is God Holy? Yes! It's says that we'll be Holy.

What was the prayer of Jesus? I in them and You in Me, that they may ONE with Us! That's a fantastic thing to understand. But this is why we're here. This is why there are brethren. This is why we come to the conference, so that we can understand how we can serve them the way that God wants them served, so that we can help them and encourage them.

Verse 5: "Having predestinated us for sonship…" Once you answer the call and receive the Holy Spirit of God… Remember that there are two aspects to the Holy Spirit of God:

  • the Spirit of Christ; to have the mind of Christ, because our mind needs to be renewed and changed
  • the Spirit of the Father is a begettal to be a son or daughter of God

That's quite a thing!

"…sonship to Himself…" Notice all the way through here Himself. Where does this go back to in Genesis? Gen. 22! Remember the offering of Isaac and Abraham was held back from using the knife. After that the voice came and said, 'By Myself I have sworn that in blessing I will bless, and your seed shall be like the stars of heaven.' I wonder where Abraham is going to be with God and Christ on the Sea of Glass? Can you imagine what that's going to be for Abraham. He had one physical son.

He's there with God the Father and He says to Abraham, 'through Jesus Christ these are your children.' What an awesome indeed that's going to be!

Verse 6: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son; in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (vs 6-7).

This just adds spiritual depth upon spiritual depth upon spiritual depth! Here's something else, think about what we've all learned. It's quite an amazing thing. There's so much in the Bible that it's just incredible.

Verse 9: "Having made known to us the mystery… [or the secret] …of His own will…"

Think about that! Little ole me, little ole you, God has revealed His secret! The world doesn't know! They don't have a clue!

"…according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself" (v 9). So, we have direct contact with the Father, Who rules the whole universe. He loves us, and we love Him, yet, we haven't seen Him!

He's got all of these promises and guarantees for us. When we read these words and understand these words, it gives us a spiritual insight and understanding every single time we read them. And notice Himself, all the way through.

Verse 10: "That in the Divine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose…" (vs 10-11).

Think about that. We are here together and none of us have had any connection with any of us—except maybe a relative—but God reach down and called here, called there, called over here, and has brought it together in His Church to fulfill the promise to Abraham and what Christ said that He 'would build His Church.'

This is why the Church needs to be run the way that Christ wants it! What happens when it's not run that way? We've all experienced it!

Verse 11: "Yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will."

I hope that helps all of us understand that no man can tell God what to do. That's the nature of human beings without the Spirit of God, because they have been made a little lower than God. Many of them think they are God, but it isn't going to happen their way! It's going to happen God's way!

Verse 12: "That we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ."

I don't know how that's going to be. I have no idea, but I tell you, these words are really inspiring.

Verse 13: "In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise."

Exactly how the Holy Spirit works, we know it is to lead us in Truth and understanding. We know that it removes the blindness from our eyes and helps us understand the Bible. But, as we will see, we've got to stay close to God in prayer—because we're talking to God—and He is hearing us. He knows! Then we walk in faith! Look back in your life:

  • How many prayers did God answer for you?
  • How did you come to God in the first place?

Something in your life happened to where you had a disaster of some kind, and you felt totally crushed and called out to God. Remember the moment! Quite a thing! That's what the seven spirits are looking for!

Let's see something else, something that God has done that the world would say is crazy; especially the elite! They expect 'God'—of course, their god is another god—to use them to do great things! Well, God does the opposite.

1-Corinthians 1:26: "For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many who are wise according to the flesh, not many who are powerful, not many who are highborn among you. Rather, God has chosen the foolish things of the world…" (vs 26-27).

So, lest we get lifted up in how great we are, God says that we're "…the foolish things of the world…' True!

If we would bring in the whole Cabinet of Donald Trump and Donald Trump himself right here in this room, and I would give a speech and say:

Mr. Trump, you see these people out here, they're going to rule the world!

And all the Cabinet members would say, 'Where did you go to school? I went to the school of the University of Eternal Life, and it's all contained in one book. How would that go over?

"…so that He might put to shame those who are wise…" (v 27).

What did Christ tell the Church at Philadelphia that the synagogue of Satan would do? That the synagogue of Satan would come to them and worship God before their feet! Can you imagine that? That's going to be a complete flip-flop! When we're in the Kingdom of God, we'll have a new mind, a new body, glory, a new language, and that's going to be something! The elite of the world can't understand that!

"…and God has chosen the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things. And the lowborn of the world, and the despised has God chosen—even the things that are counted as nothing…" (vs 27-28). That's how the world would look at it!

If someone wrote an e-mail saying, 'I was over here in this group in Florence, KY, at the Hilton and here was this nut over here speaking to a group saying that they were going to take over the world. I looked at those people and you can't believe it!' They're just deplorables, as Hilary Clinton said.

That's how God looks at it, and we need to be encouraged and strengthened in God's way so that we can convey this to the brethren in the same way. He's done this:

"…in order that He might bring to nothing the things that are" (v 28). That's quite a statement!

You can get much more inspiration out these things IF we always remember that:

  • the Word of God is true
  • the Word of God is the Truth
  • there's no lie in it

except as men try to make it different

Do you have the book by Joseph Ackermann, showing the difference of the 27 different translations and how faithful they were to the Greek: New Testament Scripture Comparisons?

It's incredible! He spent eight years double-checking The Faithful Version with 27 others, and also the King James, which is pretty good. The Faithful Version has it all right all the way through.

Verse 29: "So that no flesh might glory in His presence."

Just think if Job were able to make it with his righteousness—'Lord, look what I did'—and he did that before he was humbled.

Verse 30: "But you… [all the people of God] …are of Him in Christ Jesus, Who was made to us wisdom from God, even righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; so that, as it is written, 'The one who glories, let him glory in the Lord'" (vs 30-31).

How can God teach us the secrets that He has, and the world won't know it? When we tell them that it's in the Bible, they really will say that we are nuts. Here's how God does it. God has a secret way of doing things. We all know this: You understand as you believe God and obey! Then the blinders are lifted.

1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" Love is the important thing! God loves us and we love Him back.

We learn of the Word of God. We believe it, follow it, live by it, think on it, and He writes it in our mind, and He is renewing our mind with His Spirit and His Word.

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God." That's how God does it! It's so simple that it's unbelievable!

Verse 11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man, which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God. Now, we have not received the spirit of the world…" (vs 11-12).

What is the spirit of the world? Eph. 2:1-3! The prince of the power of the air! The spirit that works in the hearts of men! That's the spirit of bondage, the spirit of Satan!

For us, "…but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God" (v 12). How much did you pay God? You can't buy!

Verse 13: "Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means." What does that mean?

God's Spirit He gives to us! Jesus said, 'Your Word is Truth, Your Word is Spirit and Life! That's why we can read the Bible and understand it, because of God's Spirit, and the way that it's written and put together. That's quite an amazing thing! Yet, the great ones of the world don't know!

In translating the New Testament, the most inspiring to me was the book of Ephesians. This is how our conduct has to be. As we know, we've all heard prayer and study for how long? That's true! Necessary, because spiritual things will not stay in a human mind without the Spirit of God! That's Spirit has to be renewed all the time. That's why we have the Sabbath every seventh day. Think if you had Sabbath just once a year. How carnal would you be? I know that I would be carnal!

Ephesians 4:22: "That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man…" Conversion is a process with our participation! We put out the carnal things, and we still have carnal things.

I said recently that I could prove that you have a lot of things in your mind you still have to get rid of. I could stand up here and lead you in Christmas carols without any music. They're still there, and when Christmas season comes it's terrible going into a store. You don't want to hear it, but you hear it! You want to get rid of it, but you can't get rid of it!

That's why there's a resurrection; that's going to leave all of that stuff behind!

"…which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed…" (vs 22-23). You can see that in the whole creation! In the spring everything is renewed!

  • When do we have Passover? In the spring!'
  • When do we have Unleavened Bread? In the spring!
  • When do we have the harvest? In the beginning of summer!

God gives us all of these to understand the Truth!

Verse 24: "And that you put on the new man, which according to God…" God's work in us!

  • you're not going to feel it
  • you're not going to understand what God is doing

But He's doing, according to what God says!

"…is created in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth" (v 24).

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship…" (vs 8-10). What is God doing in our mind with His Spirit?

That's why prayer and study and understanding the Word of God is so important!

  • It's not the structure of a corporation
  • It's not the building of a building

It is your relationship and God's Spirit that God is doing the work! If you trust is physical things and not God, then all of those will wane. We've all been through the experience of what happens to a church that leaves God!

"…being created…" (v 10). God is continually doing this in us. This is the whole basis of what we need to teach the brethren. 

"…being created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10). That ties in with:

Ephesians 4:23: "And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind." How? By staying close to God!

Then exposes some of the sins that we have: putting away lying to each other.

  • Have you ever had any of the brethren lie to you?
  • Did you get mad?

or

  • Did you pray for forgiveness for that person?
  • Did you lie to someone?
  • Did you go back to that person and tell them that you didn't tell them the truth?

In the Church!

Verse 26: "When you become angry, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger."

Why is that important? If you go to bed with anger, how much are you going to sleep? Toss and turn, think it over, anger, get up, etc. That's going to be a miserable thing indeed! Repent and get over it, and have a good night's sleep. Don't wake up in the morning and take it back.

Verse 27: "Neither give place to the devil"—because Satan wants a space! He's going to come with something that sounds really, really good. Satan comes to give you a benefit, first!

Verse 28: "Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need. Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth… [sometimes that's very hard] …but that which is good and needful for edification…" (vs 28-29)—to up-build!

The letter I wrote for May is all about Christ, the Church and building, and building, and building!

Verse 30: "And do not vex the Holy Spirit of God…" How do you do that? When you get carnal and all wrapped up in worldly things, and you forget God, God's Holy Spirit is vexed! God's Holy Spirit works when you're working with God! And God is working with you: grace upon grace!

"…by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice; and be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you" (vs 30-32).

Ephesians 5:1—this is what we need to constantly teach: "Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2).

Then Paul lists all the things, don't do this, don't do that, don't do the other thing!

Eph. 3 is one of the most fantastic chapters in the whole Bible. This comes second after John 17. if you want a very interesting study, study John 17 verse-by-verse, because in that Christ reveals the whole plan of God.

The apostles were expecting Christ to come during their lifetime. At this point with Paul in prison, God revealed to all the apostles that it's going to be a long time!

Ephesians 3:1: "For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, if indeed you have heard of the ministry of the grace of God that was given to me for you; how He made known to me by revelation the mystery (even as I wrote briefly before" (vs 1-3). How about that!

  • Do you understand the mystery—or secret—of God?
  • Can you be trusted to preserve that and build it?

or

  • Do you take it for granted and perhaps even lose it?

We've seen people lose it! That's a shame. I don't know what God is going to do with those people, or how it's going to be. Can God bring them to repentance, those who are able to? I think He can! But it's going to be like 1-Cor. 3, they built 'wood, hay and stubble' and they're going to lose all of that, yet, they'll be saved. So, we have to put all of that in God's hands. We don't know!

Verse 4: "So that when you read this, you will be able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of Christ), which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men…" (vs 4-5)—all of the mystery of mankind up to Christ and out to the time of the apostles God didn't make known His secret plan! That's the majority of all that have lived and died.

"…as it has now been revealed to His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (v 5). That all had this same thing as we find in Eph. 3; you can read of it in 1-John, 2-Pet. Peter says that the 'greatest and most exceeding promises that we will receive the Divine nature!' That is awesome!

Verse 6: "That the Gentiles might be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel, of which I became a servant…" (vs 6-7)—a deacon! So, was Paul a deacon or an apostle? He was an apostle, but served as a deacon!

"…according to the gift of the grace of God, which was given to me through the inner working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints…" (vs 7-8).

Think about this: Paul thought, before he was converted, he was the greatest thing to God. Then he was humbled when he was called. Then he says of his apostleship that 'he wasn't even fit to be called an apostle, that he was the last of all.

Verse 8: "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints…"—progressive humility! That's what we are to have.

"…was this grace given, that I might preach the Gospel among the Gentiles—even the unsearchable riches of Christ; and that I might enlighten all as to what is the fellowship of the mystery that has been hidden from the ages in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, according to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and direct access with confidence through His very own faith" (vs 8-12).

  • God adds the faith
  • God adds the love
  • God adds the Truth

to us!

Verse 13: "So then, I beseech you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which are working for your glory. For this cause…" (vs 13-14).

These last verses are fantastically inspired. So, if you get discouraged and down, you get on your knees and open the Bible and go to some of the Psalms, some of the things that are in the epistles, and let God encourage you, rather than you have a pity-party and you get further in debt!

Verse 14: "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He may grant you…" (vs 14-16).

This is Paul's prayer; this is for us, for all people from that time down to us. It can be applied to them exactly as it to us.

Verse 16: "That He may grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man."

We're going to need it, because sooner or later this country is going to become like Venezuela. Now what are we going to do? We'd better have a lot of faith in God!

Verse 17: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith… [here's what we are to do; this is so we can help the brethren and teach them]: …and that being rooted and grounded in love, you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ…" (vs 17-19).

That's an amazing thing! Think about how much God wants to give  us!

"…which surpasses human knowledge so that you… [apply this to yourself; you and I are reading this, and all the brethren who read it] …may be filled with all the fullness of God" (v 19).

Think about how small and petty all of our problems are. If you are inspired and have this vision—'without vision the people perish'—that we have to have in the forefront of our mind! Just like Jesus did with His final prayer. What did He have on His mind? Think about the agony He went through, because He prophesied everything that was going to happen to Him in the Old Testament; everything that they would do to Him. Here it is: that "…may be filled with all the fullness of God."

That's quite a secret!

Verse 20: "Now, to Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly… [that is a superlative of the highest order] …above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us."

Have you ever gone along and all of a sudden you realize that one thought that you had, God answered. That's quite a thing; that's how close we are to God!

Verse 21: "To Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations… [down to our time] …even into the ages of eternity. Amen." That's a marvelous thing for us! This is:

  • the vision that we need to have
  • the things that we need to teach
  • how we can encourage the brethren

God has chosen to use men and women to teach men and women, so that we can all come into the Kingdom of God!

Scriptural References:

    • Matthew 16:16-17
    • John 6:44-45
    • Matthew 16:18
    • Revelation 3:1
    • Revelation 5:6
    • Ephesians 1:1-13
    • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
    • 1 Corinthians 2:9-13
    • Ephesians 4:22-24
    • Ephesians 2:8-10
    • Ephesians 4:23, 26-32
    • Ephesians 5:1-2
    • Ephesians 3:1-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

      • John 4
      • Revelation 2; 3
      • Hebrews 2
      • Genesis 22
      • Ephesians 2:1-3
      • John 17
      • 1 Corinthians 3

Also referenced:

Book: The Celtic Church in Britain by Leslie Hardinge

Sermon Series:

  • God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping
  • Grace of God in the Bible
  • Grace Upon Grace

Booklet: New Testament Scripture Comparisons by Joseph Ackermann

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6/7/19

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