The only work we need to do is repent and then obey!

Fred R. Coulter—May 20, 2017

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services.

Elders' Conference

We had a wonderful conference back in Florence, Kentucky, at the greater Cincinnati Hilton Airport Hotel. They had to go to Kentucky to get enough room for the airport. They call it the Cincinnati Airport. We had everyone in attendance except Roy Assanti, because his wife's mother died, and Lyall Johnston, because he had a medical issue he had to attend to.

We had some very good discussions. The first part of it was very interesting, with everyone from their different areas. We sat at a big conference table and had them bring up everything. With this big conference table and all the elders there, and talked about how it is in their area and what things are, and how it is with the brethren, and so forth.

One of the things that came up—which is very realistic and also interesting—is that there are many smaller groups that don't have any elders—two, three, four, five or group of ten.

Then we have some independent churches, like at Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and Houston, Texas. One more in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They affiliate loosely with us, play our videos, receive our literature, use the Bible, that's fine; they are no burden to us. We can help them and we're happy to help them. The groups that the elders have, vary from 10-12, up to 27-28. That works out fine.

But what we also realized is that the Church in the state it is in now is also facing a demographic cliff, which is how many are old. Dolores looked at one picture and she said, 'Look at all those gray hairs.'

But also it's very important that we are serving a tremendous number of people through our websites. We are averaging—I'll have the report for the July letter—and on a clip right now to reach 4.2-million for this year. This means that between the truthofgod.org—and it's really been helpful to change the name from cbcg.org to truthofgod.org, because it's easier for people to find—and churchathome.org.

Churchathome.org really is back to the future, because the Churches of God started in homes. We talked about how today, even though we're going back to homes to have services and study the Word of God, it's entirely different and much more advanced than what it was when the Church first began.

How many of them had copies of the Old Testament? Very few! They were expensive to make. The only thing they had in addition to it were the epistles as they were written. One of the first epistles was James. Then the first things the apostles had to write about from the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, was to write everything concerning the Passover for the Passover of the next year.

Only the eleven apostles were there with Christ; all the rest kept an Old Testament Passover. They had to write down the things that were for the New Testament Passover. We find that in Acts 6, where the apostles chose out the deacons because they had to give themselves to the ministry of the Word. That means to writing it, compiling it, and so forth.

If you tie in with that—remember the message I gave on Jesus' Stenographers. The way that they got the words of Christ—and they had to have a shorthand to do it—they had special tablets to write on. These tablets had beeswax on them. The reason it was beeswax was because they could do their markings on them in shorthand and then when they were done with it they could melt it back to where it was just plain again and use it over again.

This is how the kings did their decrees. They had their scribes, two or three of them right there. They wrote down every word that way. Then the scribes got together, put together the decrees, wrote it out on paper. The paper was papyrus, which was very expensive, not like we have today, paper everywhere.

That would go out as a decree from the king, just like we find in the book of Esther where Ahasuerus made a decree of the king and sent it to all the provinces. That's how it was done.

Today it's entirely different. This did not become a fact until the printing press and have it today like we do, the whole Bible. Everyone has the whole Bible.

The Bereans, when they checked the Scriptures, had to go to the synagogue and unroll the scroll that was there, and then read the Scriptures, whether these things were so or not. When we read the New Testament, we find that there were very seldom—except after the time with Jerusalem the first twelve years—there were many thousands converted to begin with. As it spread out, Paul had to go to the different cities where the synagogue was and start with the Jews. Nearly every time end up with a knockdown drag-out, because they didn't believe him. Then they would meet in houses. Sometimes they would meet in a building, like in Ephesus they rented a hall from Tyrannus and Paul preached there for over two years. That was one of Paul's greatest works there in Ephesus.

Look at when he came back to Jerusalem, got arrested, sent down to the governor, and then ended up in Rome. When he called for the Jews to come and hear the Gospel, they said, 'We've heard this sect spoken against, but we know nothing.' Think of that in the way that it is today—every means of getting the Word of God out.

Then I gave the sermon on the Sabbath about what the American Bible Society is doing, which adds to what I've covered before that the Gospel must be preached out of America. They now have the whole Bible in 600 languages, but there are 7,000 languages. So, it talks about how they're getting the printed Word to those who can read. Then there was an article about the Lisu Chinese in Southwest China. They supposedly have been Christian for 100 years. They finally got the whole Bible in their language.

As I mentioned in the sermon in Cincinnati, the Church does not have the means to get the Bible in the way that the American Bible Society and International Bible Society, are doing. That's why God is using those organizations to do it. When God says, 'This Gospel will be preached unto the ends of the earth and a witness to all nations and preached to the world,' He is going to do it to the maximum! Remember what we've said concerning prophecy: God does not fulfill prophecy to the minimum, but He fulfills it to the maximum.

How much time we have left we do not know. Now we have a small group here, right today, total of seven. We vary from seven to when we have the Holy Days, like on the Feast of Tabernacles, to 32. We are preparing God's people to rule with Christ as well as witness the whole Truth! Think of the Internet and the different things they are doing to expand the Internet to go around the world. Think of all the tools that's right there now for the average person. It's really quite amazing.

Churchathome.org is right on time, right on schedule with that. Right now Randy Vild is going through and he is updating all the older programs to higher quality digital. Instead of cbcg.org, he is putting truthofgod.org. That's taken quite a few months to do it. He's getting close to being done with it and then we'll get back to doing more messages with churchathome.org.

Think about this. Today we have the means that once you do a message—like we're doing now recording—we put it on a CD, or a DVD, or put it online. I didn't know this, there are people who put my sermons online and it's all under Fred Coulter. You look up Fred Coulter—Andrew Moses, our elder down in Malaysia, said, 'I want to show you something'—he went onto Facebook, put in my name, and brought up some sermons.

On Facebook they count how many times people view it. This one sermon was 6500 times. That costs us nothing, and it's there as long as the internet is available.

Now we have a situation where people coming into the Church, it will start at home and they can have the knowledge and gain the information without having to go to a set synagogue or a set building to learn. They have all of these things available right in their home. As things get more difficult, as long as the Internet is working—we don't know how that's going to be—we are reaching out to an awful lot of people. Just the few are serving many.

Also, another condition in the Church related to the other Churches of God. Many people in the other Churches of God, do this: They receive our material and they attend another Church of God.

I've received, I don't know how many letters, 'We go to this such-and-such Church because there's no one close by. On the way to Church we listen to Fred, because when we get to Church the most important thing in Church is fellowship, not the message.' We also discussed that.

That fits right in with the Laodiceans. Here's what we have to be careful with; now we have a chance for people to be converted quite quickly. But we also have this: A lot of people listen for a number of years before they contact us. I get a number of e-mails that say, 'I've listened to you for three years.' As a matter of fact I had one woman in South Carolina, away from anyplace where we have any known members. She said, 'I've listened to every Church of God online. I've attended the Churches where they have local congregations, if it's not too far. Now at my age, I can listen to two or three of your sermons every day, which I do, and it helps me to grow in grace and knowledge more than anything else.' That's a good way to use it.

We also discussed what was it with the Church at Ephesus. Remember what it said? Jesus said, 'I have somewhat against you, because you lost your first love.' The first love is loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being!

What happened? They got involved in fellowshipping and doing works for other people and leaving off the important thing of growing in grace and knowledge! What happens when that occurs? Christ told them to repent!

Here's part of what the situation is today with the Churches of God:

  • follow a man
  • too much authority
  • not really yielding to God the way that they should
  • having what is called 'idols in the mind'

Ezekiel 14:1: "And some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts…'" (vs 1-3).

The only way to grow in grace and knowledge, the only way to know God, is that He is first, first in everything:

  • first with your loyalty
  • first with your love
  • first with your firstfruits and first tithe
  • same way with laboring

Because if not, you end up like this:

"…and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces…" (v 3). What does that mean? That people accept sin at a certain level and live with it, rather than repent! It becomes a stumbling block because sin works a little at a time. 'A little leaven leavens the whole lump.'

How many have heard of The Journal? We used to get it but I quit taking it. There's a minister in there, who has been a minister, was a minister when I was clear back in Pasadena, and now he says that Jesus did not exist until He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary. See how these things go? I gave a short list of some Scriptures, which clearly show the opposite.

"…Should I at all be inquired of by them?" (v 3). In other words when we come to God we need to repent! Doesn't the model prayer in say, 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us'? Yes it does! That's a daily prayer.

  • Why do we have to do that? Because we still have the 'law of sin and death' in us!
  • Do we have the purest thoughts of all? No!
  • What do we have when we turn on the television set? Wide open door for the world to walk through!

We talked about that.

We have so much material, we can learn and study of the Word of God, and grow and overcome, we also have more of the world to fight, and all of this sort of thing. It becomes a real struggle sometimes.

How easy is it to get an idol in your mind? The next time you remember a TV or radio advertisement, a jingle, and it's circulating in your brain, that's how easy it is. Think what the world is up against, especially the young people. They are having everything blasted into their brains.

Verse 4: "Therefore, speak to them and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD GOD, "Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him according to the multitude of his idols."'"

This is where we are in the world today, wouldn't you say? What is God doing? He's preparing the way for the return of Christ by making sure that the Word of God gets out everywhere! Like with the smart phone. Jonathan is there with his smart phone. He doesn't have to turn the pages and he generally beats me to the Scriptures because all he has to do is touch a finger and he can get it.

We don't know how many people have downloaded the Faithful Version Bible (afaithfulversion.org) on their smart phones, but a lot of people have it. If you have a smart phone and you have the Bible on it, you have the Word of God handy at any second, right in your hand. How is that for a witness to all the world?

Even if people don't read the Bible sent to them, they've had the witness. It's like this: you may have $100,000 worth of gold in your house, but if you keep it locked up in a room, you never know what's there.

Here's what's going to happen, v 5: "So that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart because they have deserted Me for their idols—all of them." That is surely a description of today.

You go on Trinity Broadcasting system. If you want to see the state of Protestant Christianity, with the exception of a few, and the few talk about how to improve your life from Scripture. They rarely talk about anything other than that. They never talk about Sabbath, never talk about the Holy Days. They talk about the holidays, yes indeed.

That's why Jesus said, 'When the Son of man returns, will He find the true faith in the earth?' No! Everything is overlaid with all of this.

We could also have this; (speculation): Here's all of this going out, all that the American Bible Society is doing, International Bible Society is doing, all of the other—269 besides Faithful Version—versions of the Bible that you can get handheld in your phone. All of that going out!

There is so much tradition overlaid in the teaching that even though they receive it, what are they going to do when the world-religion comes together? That's a double witness! Everything they need to know to not get wrapped up in it is there for them to read and to know and not follow along.

Verse 6: "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Repent… [there it is just like I said at the beginning; first thing we need to do is repent] …and turn yourselves from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations."'"

That would include 90% or more of the music today, 90% or more of the entertainment today, 90% or more of the way that people live today. Look at all the abominations that are deep and troubling: drugs, sex, sickness, disease, all of that altogether.

Verse 7: "For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who lives in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to ask of him concerning Me; I the LORD will answer him Myself."

How will He do that? Through the automatic blessings and cursings! All the penalties of sin happen automatically.

Sometimes you get bored with the news. I don't know it is, but they just repeat, repeat, repeat. It's incredible. They don't repeat news. They don't give you news; they give you declarations of 'fake news' based upon an unknown person written down by someone who took it over the phone. How's that for truth in reporting? This is what is going on today!

What is the result of that, automatic? They reject the Truth, they don't want to preach the Truth. They defend their own ways and so forth. What is that? That is the imposition of the curses that come from God, because of their refusal to be honest and repent! To them that would be change. There ought to be a standard for everyone—the Truth. That's all that God desires, the Truth.

Verse 8: "And I will set My face against that man, and I will make him for a sign and for a proverb. And I will cut him off from the midst of My people; and you shall know that I am the LORD. And the prophet if he is deceived, and he speaks a work, I the LORD have deceived that prophet…." (vs 8-9).
Isn't that interesting? If they read the Word of God and misinterpret it and are deceived, God deceives them even more!

There's a woman preacher on TBN, Joyce Meyer. I saw her on one program and she was walking back and forth and saying, 'God loves you. God's love is unconditional and there is nothing that can cut you off from God's love.' The curse has already come for people who believe it! That's what happens when you say you no longer have to keep the laws of God.

There it is! We haven't gone very far out of the Old Testament, yet. But this is New Testament doctrine, as well, because this is universal and applies to all people.

"'…And I will stretch out My hand upon him and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeks unto him. So that the house of Israel may never again go astray from Me, nor be defiled again with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people, and I may be their God,' says the Lord GOD" (vs 9-11). That's quite a thing!

Offerings and Sacrifices

Then I covered something else in the sermon that I want to cover today. I've been reading the book, The Law of the Offerings by Andrew Jukes.

The whole burnt offering, everything is burned. That is for total dedication to God, to be accepted by God, and that is what God calls a delight. The priest eats nothing, the offerer eats nothing, it all goes to God.

When it comes to the peace offering, it is a little different. If it's of the livestock it can be a bovine, male or female; same way with a sheep or goat. This peace offering is very interesting indeed.

There is a part that is burned completely. That's symbolic of God eating it. There is the part that goes to the priest and that's symbolic of Christ. There is part that the offerer gets and eats.

There are two kinds of meal offerings that are offered with it: leavened and unleavened cakes. The unleavened cakes, part of it is burned on the altar. The leavened cakes the offerer and the priest eat. They are not put on the altar to be burned.

In going through that, what do we find in the epistles? Remember that with the grace of God we have a direct relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ!

What do we find in preparation for Passover? Let's stop in John 6 because we need to make the point concerning this. This is important for us today. This will help us to grow in grace and knowledge once we realize the symbolic meaning of some of these offerings and sacrifices that were given.

John 6:27: "Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed." Then they said, 'We want to do the works of God.' The works of God are to believe on Him.

Verse 35: "Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time.'"

Jesus also said concerning Himself, v 51: "I am the living bread, which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is even My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

The Jews couldn't understand that. Verse 53: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'Truly truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man… [every offering is a type of Christ] …and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink'" (vs 53-55). Then it shows we are to live by God's Word.

We find a similar introduction to all the Epistles of Paul. What are the most infrequently read verses when you study the Bible and not realize that you're overlooking something very important? How important are these epistles?

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's a prophecy down through all time] …Grace and peace… [the peace offering] …be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 1-2).

What happens when we read and study the Word of God with God's Spirit? That's from God! That helps us to understand. We put the words in our mind, which then is symbolically eating the Word of God. It connects us with Jesus Christ. All of that is tied up in the peace offering (Lev. 3).

Let's look at something interesting.; perhaps this is something that we have missed. Too many times, and especially in the world—I don't know how many times in the Church of God, because you don't want to be foolish and try and compare yourself with other people, because that never works. You compare yourself with the Word of God and God, not between one person and another.

Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginner of the creation of God." What does that tell you about who Jesus was?

Verse 15: "I know your works…" He doesn't judge us by our faith, because our faith produces the works. If we have the right kind of faith, we'll have the right kind of works.

"…that you are neither cold nor hot… [that perfectly describes the world today in which we live] …I would that you be either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth" (vs 15-16). We've all experienced that—haven't we? That's why the Church is scattered.

Verse 17: "For you say, 'I am rich…'" What is the first step that Solomon took that got him in trouble? I!

During the Feast of Tabernacles last year, I covered that in Ecc. 2 (Sermon: The Lessons of Solomon, 2016), where there are 45 'I, me, my, myself.' What happened to Solomon? He became a lover of his own self! What did he have in his mind? Idols! 'I had wisdom; I built this; I did that; I did the other thing; I did this for myself,' etc. etc.

What happens with the Laodiceans? They have idols in their minds that they're not confronting themselves with!. 'I am rich,' the physical things or 'we have all this knowledge.' All the knowledge of God doesn't do you any good unless you use it.

"'…and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (v 17).

Let's see what He tells us to do. He tells us to present ourselves before God the way that we should.

Verse 18: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire so that you may be rich… [we're to build on the foundation of Christ: gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay or stubble (1-Cor. 3)] …and white garments… [symbol of righteousness without sin] …so that you may be clothed, and the same of your nakedness may not be revealed…" How many people are naked spiritually, but don't know it.

They even have things in the world. The king was dressed, he thought, but was naked. Everybody could see that, but he couldn't see it. So, you have several things there. He was blinded to his condition.

"…and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent" (vs 18-19). What does that go back to in Ezek. 14? To repent!

Notice v 20 in light of the peace offering and in light of all the introduction to all of the Epistles of Paul:

Verse 20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him. and he with Me." In other words, they're not having the relationship with God like the peace offering. You live by every Word of God. That's what Jesus said. That's the food we are to eat.

We are to worship God the Father, Jesus Christ in us, develop the mind of Christ, and all of that.

"…will sup with him, and he with Me" (v 20. What does this tell us? How many people think they're converted, but are marginally converted at best? They are so much in need of nourishment that Christ is knocking at the door and says, 'If you let Me in we can sup together,' just like the peace offering.

The peace offering shows that God is delighted, partaking of it. The priest, Christ is delighted, partaking of it. The offerer it is delighted and partaking of it, because he is accepted of God. That adds quite a bit more insight to some of these Scriptures when you go back.

The apostles had only the Old Testament to preach about Christ. Very interesting about that.

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Spew out of the mouth

During the break we had an interesting discussion: What do you mean 'being spewed out of the mouth'? Let's talk about that for a little bit and then we'll go on. I want to cover some other things to bring us up-to-date here.

Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans…" These are considered people in the Church.

If we apply it to today, through the experience that many of us have gone through, we apply it going clear back to those who have been in the Radio Church of God, Worldwide Church of God. Radio Church of God became, changing the name, Worldwide Church of God. Also, that brings in the three campuses: Pasadena, Big Sandy, and Bricket Wood, and all of the people.

At one time they had 120,000 people attending the Feast of Tabernacles. Then after Herbert Armstrong died, things pretty well stayed the same, with a few hints of changes coming over the years. Then there was a move-in of those who changed it!. Every time one of these things occurred there was a break-off and start-up of churches that would take place. Some succeeded, some did not.

To be 'spewed out of the mouth of God,' yet, still be part of a church means into one of the other Churches of God. You're still in the Laodicean church, but you're in another corporate Church of God. A corporate Church of God is different, or on your own.

Some are spewed clear out into the world and never come back. This is kind of a broad statement here. How many who have gone back in the world, when things really start getting bad are going to try and hurry and get back? Isn't that the way people do? How many will really repent and come back so they fit into the category…? There may be various categories of what you mean 'being spewed out'? If you go from one church to another, is that a spewing out? It could be, because you left one!

Just like we discussed, when you have a vomiting session, sometimes there are small parts and sometimes there are big parts. So, we can look at it that way. That's not delightsome to talk about, but nevertheless, that's a fact.

1-Corinthians 3:11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation… [that's clear] …besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones…" (vs 11-12).

What did Christ admonish the Laodiceans to buy? Gold, tried in the fire! All of these increase in value through trials and testing and heat. As a matter of fact, that's how precious stones are made. They figured out how to make artificial diamonds. You take and heat it up to 3,000 degrees, I think it's pure carbon, and it turns into a diamond. Heat makes it better. You can liken it to the heat of trial. That makes you better if you get through it and you understand and God helps you to overcome!

The next three: "…wood, hay or stubble" (v 12). What happens to that? Wood, I suppose if you made it out of ironwood that it would be hard to burn. But some wood just goes poof. Whenever I read about hay it reminds me there was a farmer who wasn't too wise. Right along the highway 25 going up to Gilroy there was a farmer who had a beautiful hay crop. He stacked his bundles of hay, big stacks of it that he got, but he stacked it within 25 feet of the highway.

He had it on this side of the road and on that side of the road. Someone came along and threw Molotov cocktails over there and it all burned up. Before anything could happen, before anyone knew what was happening it was gone.

Stubble is like in a granary when they have the chaff leftover. If it gets too hot, a spark can set it off and blow the whole thing up.

Let's tie in here being 'spewed out of the mouth.' If you're gold, you survive. If you're silver, you survive. If you're precious stones, you survive. Wood can be burned up pretty quickly, and hay or stubble.

Verse 13: "The work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove… [or test] …what kind of work each one's is." If we could apply that to the Laodiceans, we could cover many different kinds of spewing out.

Verse 14: "If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward. If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss… [loss of reward] …but he himself shall be saved, yet, as through fire" ( v 14-15).

If we apply that to what is said in Rev. 3, we may have a pretty good understanding of what's happened in the history of the Church.

In this case here, God is the One Who does the judging, so He knows the heart. You also tie in there the story of the prodigal son. He came back, and look what the father did. That's why, a lot of these things we can understand up to a certain point, but then the final judgment belongs to God.

GALATIANS 3

I want to cover something here in Galatians, because we need to finish the little series we've been doing in Galatians concerning False Prophets, Works of Law & Justification.

The problem in Galatians was that they had certain teachers who were apparently Jews—because they were advocating circumcision—and who apparently came out of Egypt—because they were also pagan. That's a strange mix, but that's what they had. For example:

  • Where were the Nag Hammadi gospels found? In Egypt!
  • Where were they? Buried!
  • Why were they buried? They were so bad God made sure they were buried!

The true Gospel has been proclaimed to the world, which we have. But there are strange things in there that Jesus had an affair with Mary Magdalene and had a child. That's where this movie where they try and find not only the chalice, but who is the descendant. They said that Mary Magdalene, and Jesus really wasn't crucified, and He went to Southern France with Mary Magdalene. All of those things are completely false. That's why they were buried. Raised up today, people say, 'Well, look at that. It's not like what the Bible said.' All right, you have a choice. Which is true? The Word of God? or The writings of men?

It's like today we have 'fake news.' Calling up on the phone to talk to a reporter to give who knows, who wrote what was there, to say that this came from so-and-so and incriminate so-and-so. Then they blast it over the news. 'The President did this; Comey said this.' All of this going on and no one has any facts. That's why we're told to prove all things.

The problem that they had in Galatians was that they were saying you had to be circumcised, which is a 'work of law' in order to be saved. Also that you had to keep the Jewish traditions in order to be saved. That you had to do that because your sins could not be forgiven unless you did. This is what Paul is talking about here.

As we have covered the first part, going through in Romans, that only Christ and His sacrifice, and His shed blood can forgive sin.

Can anything substitute for the sacrifice of Christ? God came to man this way, and He gave Himself, wholly given to God. He laid down His life Himself; no one took it from Him. He was God manifested in the flesh. That's why when the false doctrine comes along: Jesus didn't exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, and the Holy Spirit, who is God, is really the Father.'

Then why did Jesus call the Father, the Father? It becomes all confused. This is what was happening there. There were those coming in saying, 'You must have 'works of law.' Can 'works of law' forgive you spiritually before God?

If you get a speeding ticket today and you pay the ticket, that's a work of law. The law says you are under penalty because you were speeding. You can get out from underneath that penalty by paying a fine. That is a work of law.

When it comes to repentance before God, who alone forgives sin? God!So, you have to come to God His way:repentant with a broken heart, and believing and obeying.

Men come along and say, 'We have a tradition.' everything was of the Old Covenant before then, and there were a lot of renegade Jews, they said you had to be circumcised and have 'works of law.' God said you have to have circumcision of the heart, not physical circumcision.

We also saw that when a person repents, repentance means repenting of sin. Then it's said in Rom. 2:13 that 'not the hearers of the law are just,' that is having been forgiven their sins, but 'the doers of the law.' It works this way. You come to the knowledge of sin. You repent of your sins to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and your sins are forgiven.

Let's draw the analogy again a little bit further. If you come in to pay your ticket and the clerk says someone has already paid for this, that's like Christ forgiving your sin. If you come in and you pay for it, can you say God forgave you? No!

What if you never come in and pay for the ticket and there's a death warrant issued for you because you have neglected it for 50 years? That is extreme because we need to understand: Nothing that men do coming this way to God can make God do anything special for you because you did that!

The only way you have contact with God is His way. He does not require 'works of law':

  • the laws of Judaism
  • the laws of Catholicism
  • the laws of Protestantism

What is the one work that Protestants have every week? Sunday-keeping! What is that Catholics, also they have that, and what is it that they have every year? All of their holidays! Once we understand that, if someone comes along and says, 'God really can't forgive you, and you can't be in right standing with God'—as the ones from James came down and Peter separated himself. Was he more righteous before God because he did something that humans required but God didn't? No!

We're going to see that if righteousness and forgiveness came by law, God would have done it that way. But righteousness and forgiveness only comes from God, through Christ, to us. Righteousness and forgiveness does not come because we do this, or do that, or do the other. The only work we need to do is repent and then obey! That's what the whole thing here is in Gal. 3.

Galatians 3:1: "O foolish Galatians… [the word for foolish is 'moros' or morons. Also another word called 'idiotes,' idiots] …who has bewitched you into not obeying the Truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ, crucified, was set forth in a written public proclamation?"

Doesn't say that in the King James Version, because it doesn't translate it correctly. The word 'graphe' for writing is there, that's what it is, written.

Verse 2: "This only I desire to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit of God by works of law…"

The Catholics would do it this way: 200 hail Marys, 500 our fathers, and then you're right with God. The Jews would say, 'You do this law, you do that law, you do the other law.' The most ridiculous one is the white chicken waved over the head on the Day of Atonement. If that can forgive sin, that's interesting. They have other complications with it, as well.

"…or by the hearing of faith?" (v 2). What does hearing of faith do?

  • convicts the heart
  • leads you to change your mind
  • causes you to desire God

God says repent and you repent.

Verse 3: "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected in the flesh?…. [that's what Messianic Judaism is] …Have you suffered so many things in vain, if indeed it has been in vain? Therefore, consider this: He Who is supplying the Spirit to you, and Who is working deeds of power among you, is He doing it by works of law or by the hearing of faith?…. [by hearing of faith] …It is exactly as it is written: 'Abraham believed God…'" (vs 3-6).

It's the important thing. You believe what God says. What was the first thing that Jesus said when He came into Galilee? Repent and believe the Gospel!

"'…and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.' Because of this, you should understand that those who are of faith are the true sons of Abraham" (vs 6-7).

We're going to see that becoming the sons of God is mentioned throughout the Bible from beginning to end.

Verse 8: "Now in the Scriptures, God seeing in advance that He would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed.'" That was through Abraham to Christ.

Verse 9: "It is for this reason that those who are of faith are being blessed with the believing Abraham. For as many as are relying on works of law are under a curse, because it is written…" (vs 9-10).

  • What have they done?
  • Why are they under a curse?

Because they're looking to their works, even though it may be a commandment of God. It's necessary to keep the Sabbath, because God commanded. But does the keeping of the Sabbath by you force God to give you salvation? No! That is to keep you in the relationship with God. Same way with commandment-keeping. That is to keep you from sinning.

"…'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them'" (v 10).

If you do every one of them you have certain blessings and cursings if you do or don't. Nowhere in the Old Testament does it say, 'You shall receive the Holy Spirit.' Nowhere does it say, 'You will receive the gift of eternal life.' That can only come from God to us, not from us to make God give it to us because of what we did.

Stop and think about that. It's not hard to figure. We all live and move in God, everything about us. Everything that we are, the ability to think, the life that we have, the Spirit that we have, the spirit of man and the Spirit of God, all comes from God. Is there anything then of our own initiative that is worthy to compel God to give us eternal life? No, it is His gift! Nothing else can do it.

Verse 11: "Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified before God… [that is put in right standing to God] …by means of works of law; because it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'"

We believe what God says. We obey His voice and keep His commandments, because that's part of His voice.

Verse 12: "Now then, the Law is not based on faith; but, 'The man who practices these things shall live in them.'" They'll receive certain blessings by living by them. True, not by the traditions of men, but by the laws of God.

However, that doesn't bring eternal life. As a matter of fact, we know the whole world is under law to God. That means the whole world is required to keep the commandments of God in the letter of the Law. But God is not saving the world that way. He's saving it through Christ:

Verse 13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law…"—the curse of the Law is sin. The Protestants read it this way: Christ has redeemed us from the Law, which is a curse, so therefore we don't keep it because the Law is a curse.

Then how come the book of Law says if you do this you'll be blessed, you'll be blessed. If you don't do it, if you sin you'll be cursed, you'll be cursed. Nowhere does it say eternal life. So this is the point he has made.

Verse 13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree').

Symbolically, Christ took upon Him all the sins of the whole human race when He was crucified, because He was Creator of all mankind. Only He can redeem us.
Verse 14: "In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective), even when a man's covenant has been ratified, no one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it" (vs 14-15).

Once it's done, ratified and sealed, you cannot add something new and different to it. You can explain further parts of it because it expands. Just like the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are the over-arching laws based upon the love of God, which He gave to Israel and to all the world, ten there are sub-laws below that which explain in detail, but that is not adding to. That is not something new, it is a definition of what has to be done.

  • What happens when someone steals?
  • What happens when someone lies?
  • What happens when someone breaks a contract?

That's why all those other lesser laws, but it's not added to it, it's part of it explaining in detail.

Verse 16: "Now to Abraham and to his Seed… [Christ] …were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ…. [everything has to come from Christ] ...Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ cannot be annulled by the Law…" (vs 16-17).

You can't change anything in that ratified covenant with Christ. God is a God of covenants. Covenants are written down. What did Jesus say? 'In the Scroll of the Book it is written of Me' (Heb. 10); that the Truth of the Scriptures are in heaven (Dan. 10:21). That's an amazing thing, when you think of it.

"…cannot be annulled by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect" (v 17).

The covenant with Israel with the law was place alongside the covenant given to Abraham. It was a separate covenant with Israel based upon the promise given to Abraham.

What were the two constituent parts of the promise?

  • your seed as the sand of the sea
  • your seed as the stars of heaven

For those who are of the of the sand of the sea, they have the Law in the letter of the Law. But that doesn't give them eternal life, still a promise given to Abraham, a separate covenant to Israel.

Now Christ comes and He brings a separate covenant based on the second promise—the spiritual seed as the stars of heaven, which He says in Gal. 4 is the sonship of God.

Verse 18: "For if the inheritance is by law… [what are we going to inherit? Eternal life and the universe] …it is no longer by promise. But God granted it to Abraham by promise. Why then the Law? It was placed alongside the promises for the purpose of defining transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made, having been ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator" (vs 18-19).

Eternal life can only come from God in heaven above, not from our works going up to God. That's the whole point of it.

Verse 20: "Now then, a mediator does not act on behalf of one; but God is one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? MAY IT NEVER BE! For if a law had been given that had the power to give life…" (vs 20-21).

No law has the power to give life, only God! So any work of God that is not the spiritual work we are to do, with the Spirit of God, can never, never do anything to give you eternal life.

"…then righteousness… [right standing with God] …would indeed have been by law. But the Scriptures have shut up all things under sin…" (vs 21-22). You're under law, you're under sin.

"…so that by the faith of Jesus Christ…" (v 22). That is by Jesus' own faith, which is defined that He laid His life down believing the covenant with God the Father, that when He died, if He did not sin, then He would be raised from the dead. That work, no human work can even compare to that at all. Jesus had to do it by the Spirit.

"…so that by the faith of Jesus Christ… [that means Christ's faith in us] …the promise might be given to those who believe. Now, before faith came we were guarded under law, having been shut up unto the faith that was yet to be revealed. In this way, the Law was our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith" (vs 22-24).

  • Is there anything wrong with a tutor? No!
  • If in the letter of the Law people keep it, do they receive blessings? Yes!
  • Do they receive salvation? No!
  • Is it necessary for us to keep the Laws? Yes!
  • How? In the Spirit, not just in the letter!

That's why it's so much more superior, because we have the laws written in our heart and in our mind and apply them spiritually. We think with the Word of God to understand the spiritual things.

  • this is why God deals with us
  • this is why the Spirit of God leads us

You can't have that just by keeping the Law without Christ, without having repented, and having received the Holy Spirit of God. He explains that in Rom. 8.

I know sometimes doctrinal things get a little difficult. It takes times to understand some of these things. As I told you, Rom. 3:20-21, I didn't understand for probably 15 years after being in the Church and being a minister for 12. So, some of these things don't come easy. These are some of the hard things that come along.

Here's the comparison. Yes, people can keep the letter of the Law. How would you like to live in a town where everybody kept the Laws of God in the letter?

  • no murder
  • no adultery
  • no stealing
  • no lying
  • no coveting

Coveting would be pretty hard. Wouldn't you like to live there? Yes, indeed!

I remember and Dolores probably remembers, at Ambassador College we had little mailboxes where we received our mail. People would put money up there and it would be perfectly safe because no one was stealing.

Then what happened? One day someone stole something out of there, at the college. We had to change the whole routine. Just like if you lived in a town where there were no thieves, you wouldn't have to have any locks. But if there was a thievery or a burglary what happens? You have to put on locks!

That's how it works with the letter of the Law. None of that brings eternal life! It can help you in your physical life. Eternal life is God dealing directly in your life:

  • to draw you to Him
  • to lead you to repentance
  • to lead you to baptism
  • to understand what human nature is like

so that you can have your sins forgiven. At the resurrection you will receive eternal life.

Paul brings it out this way, Romans 8:7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God; neither indeed can it be." Always try and figure a way around it or add something to it.

Verse 8: "But those who are in the flesh cannot please God…. [in order to please God it must be on a spiritual basis] …However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (vs 8-9).

How does one receive the Spirit of God? Repentance and baptism! That comes from God. That is an action of God. He does it:

  • because of His love
  • because of your repentance
  • because of your seeking Him

"…But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (v 9). Even though you may keep some of the commandments of God in the letter of the Law.

You ask any person, 'Are you a good person?' They'll say, 'Yeah, I'm good.' Some might say they are pretty good. I've only heard one man admit that he was completely evil, and that he should be executed. That was a reporter's interview of a man who was on death row. He said, 'If you let me out I'm going to do it again.'

Verse 10: "But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness." In other words showing that now your life is not motivated by the flesh but motivated by the Spirit.

Verse 11: "Now, if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (vs 11-14). That can only come from God. This is what Paul is writing about back here.

It's good if you keep the Law in the letter and the man who does it shall live in them. That's fine. But how are we to live? Not only keeping the laws of God, but living in the Spirit with the Spirit of God to keep the laws of God spiritually and all motivated with the love of God! 

Galatians 3:24: "In this way, the Law was our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But since faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (vs 24-25).

You are under God the Father and Jesus Christ. That's the authority. God is One Who gave the laws. God is the One Who originated the laws.

Verse 26: "Because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ…. [that's the whole story of the New Testament] …There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (vs 26-28)—that is spiritually before God.

We're still male and female. We still have various positions in life relative to one another and so forth. But before God we're all brethren in Christ.

Verse 29: "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

That brings us up to Gal. 4 . We will see the struggles and temptations that come along, especially when there are people bringing strange things.

*****

I got an e-mail from a man who said, 'I am from a rabbinical line, but I was raised by Christians.' He is saying the only calendar we are to use is the one that the Essenes used, down in the Qumran caves. That was a solar calendar. That's why the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is the only one we are to use. God gave it, calculated, because it has to be for the whole earth.

Someone else will come along and they'll say something else. However, it does show one thing the Jews did. In spite of their sins, God made them keep the word that He gave them the Old Testament accurately. They've taken the scrolls that they have of the book of Isaiah and it's exactly like it is today.

The Jews are to be commended that they did that, but it is God who did it!. If someone is set to sin, yet God doesn't want them, like Baalim to curse, God will make him bless. Balak was going absolutely crazy trying to figure out, 'I hired you to curse.' Baalim said, 'I can only do what the Lord allows.'

That's the state of the Jews today. They have a long way to go. There's going to be a day that God will deal with them. Today they have virtually nothing right.

At the conference we watched the video of where the temple should be. It was so obvious that the Jews have everything wrong, though they think they're right, because they rejected Jesus Christ.

I saw on the news the Wailing Wall, the 'holiest place in Jerusalem.' It isn't! That's old Fort Antonia and instead of worshiping with their prayers, rocking back and forth, and putting the prayers between the rocks, they are worshiping the Mosque of Omar, which is dedicated to the Muslims.

The place where the temple was is exactly like Jesus said. God removed every stone! Furthermore, the topography was changed drastically with the exception of one geological place. You have Fort Antonia and then you have the area coming down to the temple. Then you have Mount Zion. The 200-foot Mount Zion was taken down, filled in both the Valley of Kidron and the valley in the west. When you read where it was, you can't find it except for two things:

  • the valley was on like a crescent of a moon on the east side of the temple

that crescent is still there

  • the spring of Gihon

Those two things.

So here are the Jews, 'we're devout.' Greatest thing a Jew can do is go to Jerusalem, pray at the Wailing Wall and he thinks he's righteous. Typical 'work of law.' It doesn't bring you to God!

We will know the end-time is close when the Jews are building the temple!

Scriptural References:

  • Ezekiel 14:1-11
  • John 6:27, 35, 51, 53-55
  • Ephesians 1:1-2
  • Revelation 3:14-20, 14
  • 1-Corinthians 3:11-15
  • Galatians 3:1-24
  • Romans 8:7-14
  • Galatians 3:24-29

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Acts 6
  • Leviticus 3
  • Ecclesiastes 2
  • 1-Corinthians 3
  • Romans 2:13
  • Hebrews 10
  • Daniel 10:21
  • Galatians 4
  • Romans 3:20-21

Also referenced:
Sermons

  • Jesus' Stenographers
  • The Lessons of Solomon (FOT 2016)

Sermon Series: False Prophets, Works of Law & Justification

Book: The Law of Offerings by Andrew Jukes

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 5-29-17
Formatted: bo—5/30/17

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