I am your God. I will strengthen you in the day of adversity and evil

Fred R. Coulter—June 26, 2021

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services!

When you look in the world, you need to understand that it's not pleasant living in a time and in a nation—and it's affecting all nations of the world now—to where it's disintegrating, and the end of that is war and chaos. How bad is it going to get?

Jesus tells us; Matthew 24:21: "For then shall there be Great Tribulation…"

We're not at the Tribulation, yet; but the Tribulation will come! Just to show you that what we're going through and the prelude leading up to the events that will lead to the Great Tribulation we need to understand what we need to do to be right with God!

How can we survive for whatever God wants us to do? There are already things now where they're shutting down churches! As a matter of fact, that was one of the major accomplishments of the China Virus, the lockdown! In Canada today, it is an ungodly tyranny by a young 'whipper-snapper liberal' who thinks that he's going to curry favor with the world leaders by destroying everything that has to do with God.

So, our troubles and our difficulties are not way down the road; some of them are right in front of us! Or just around the corner! But here's how bad it's going to be:

"…such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again" (v 21).

The reason it won't be again is because the Kingdom of God will be on the earth. Jesus warned the disciples right from the beginning. Remember in Matt. 24, they were all coming out of the temple and going up to the Mount of Olives, and Jesus sat down and the disciples came and said:

Oh, look at the gorgeous buildings that are there, the temple, wall and all of the colonnades and the people. Beautiful!

Jesus said, 'I tell you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another!' (Matt. 24:2).I want you to think about bad things really got to end up at this point.

If you've got time and you like to read, read the book of Josephus about the fall of Jerusalem in 70A.D. Then if that isn't gory enough for you, go back and read about the fall of Jerusalem in the 530sB.C.

So, we can learn from this, what God says, it will be! And there's no getting away from it! You can't run and hide, and you can't build a shelter that will last! There was a special on TV showing this man who built this shelter underground. He has a lot of property and a lot of money, so he fixed this thing up to take care of 200 people for two years.

One thing he didn't know; if they get in there because there's war going on, there are going to be earthquakes; great earthquakes! What do you think is going to happen to those 200 people down in the bunker? History! They are dead!

Just like Jesus said, 'Not one stone left upon another!' then the next thing that Jesus told them was… See, when trouble comes there are a lot of people running around saying, 'I know this; I know that! Over here, over there the Tribulation.!' All of this.

So, Jesus warned them about being deceived. We're living in a time when Satan is 'deceiving the whole world!' How many are going to be deceived? Everyone except those who believe God and trust in Him!

Then He said that there would be wars, famines, earthquakes, rumors of wars, "…nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places" (v 7).

Our nightly news! What do you know! I doubt if any of those on the newscast have a clue that they're reporting on this is centuries late! Think about that for a minute!

Then after there's enough chaos, they're going to be looking for scapegoats, and guess who the scapegoats will be? US!

Verse 9: "Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be led into sin…"

Isn't that what's happening today starting at the earliest age? Because the queers and the perverts and all of the satanists and anarchists are gaining control! So, their filthy, satanic agenda is coming crashing down.

There are some people pushing back on it, which they should. But even if they slow it down or even if they get rid of it for a while, it's going to come back. Why? Because people are not turning to God! People are not repenting!

There are some people out there calling for repentance and change. That's all well and good, but if you don't repent to God and start keeping His commandments, of what good is your repentance? It's not motivated of the fact that you want God in your life! It's motivated out of the fact that they want to be spared some pain and agony!

Listen here! No one is going to be spared the pain and agony! In the midst of all of that there are going to be false prophets and there will be all of those deceiving many.

Verse 12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied…" We've had a little taste of that, haven't we? But think about when lawlessness is multiplied everywhere!

  • look at what's going on at the border
  • look at what's going on in the cities
    • Los Angeles
    • San Francisco
    • Portland
    • Seattle
    • Chicago
    • Baltimore
    • New York City
    • St. Louis

Now add in other states and cities! Then add in the anarchists, and think about what they're going to do. They're going to shut down our transportation system! It's easy to do. So, the question is:

  • What are we going to do?
  • How are we going to respond?
  • What should we do now for these emergencies that come up?

You're not going to be able to save your life by storing food and things like that. But you better have enough food, water, and other things that you need so when the power goes out, when the anarchists are running through the streets, you will be able to take care of yourself for a time.

But the most important thing we need to do is we need to be right with God and look to God for everything! We need to not be afraid; be strong in the Lord so that we can do the will of God!

Isn't it amazing that the Word of God written thousands and hundreds of years ago—depending on how you want to count it—is true today! It has been true all down through history.

Proverbs 16:27: "An ungodly man digs up evil, and his lips are like a burning fire."

  • Isn't that happening everywhere?
  • Stirring up evil against people?
  • False accusations?

Verse 28: "A perverse man causes strife…" Look at all the strife we have, and aren't they perverse? Isn't that true? Black Lives Matter, ANTIFA, and whatever other name you want!

  • anarchists
  • God haters
  • atheists
  • perverts
  • drug dealers

They plot a lot of evil! Watch NatGeo on how the people sell drugs. I saw one the other night. There was a man who was jailer who made his money by getting drugs into the jail! He could do it because he wasn't patted down and searched.

He had this mask on so no one would see his face, and the reporter questioned him: Why do you do this? That was after he said that he had other inmates and other guards that will work with him and distribute the drugs! He would make a thousand dollars a week. The reporter asked him: Why do you do this? It's the money! It's the money!

Know this: perversion, greed and lust will devise any evil so they can succeed in evil! They all know that death is just around the next corner! Look at all those things going on.

Verse 29: "A violent man lures his neighbor and leads him into a way that is not good. He shuts his eyes to devise perverse things; and moving his lips, he brings evil to pass" (vs 29-30).

  • that's going to effect the whole society
  • that's going to effect the whole nation

Some more intently than others! Some places will not have it quite as bad; others will have it so difficult that's it's almost impossible to imagine. When that happens:

  • What are you going to do?
  • Are you going to be like this? O God, you never told me this would happen!

He did to! He told the apostles the very night He was to be arrested. As a matter of fact, just a short time before He was arrested! That there's going to come a time when they will kill you because they think they're doing God a service!

  • Who is their God? None other than Satan the devil!
  • Why does God do this? Because IF you set laws in order—which God has done—and if you decree what is good and right for people to do it and He will bless them, THEN there has to be a penalty for the evil-doers who reject it!

It's all automatic! God doesn't have to do a thing, because it's already structured to do that.

  • What's going to happen when it comes near to us?
  • What are we going to do?
  • Are we going to be afraid?
  • Are we going to give up?

Proverbs 24:10:"If you faint in the day of adversity..." Think about that! When the going gets tough and you run away because you can't take it, it says:

"…your strength is small" (v 10).

  • Whose strength are we to go on?
  • Is it not God's strength?
  • Is it not?
    • God to strengthen us
    • God to help us
    • God to give us resolve
    • God to give us understanding
    • God to give us courage
    • Jesus to lead us
    • Jesus to help us
    • Jesus to strengthen our heart and mind

knowing that evil is coming! That's what we need to do!

We're going to see something very interesting here, because there may come a time when there may be a little respite. IF God gives a little respite, THEN we need to understand that it is not going to last, especially here in this modern age.

When they had a king of Israel or Judah, he could reign for quite a while. If he was righteous, everything would go good. When there was a revival and a respite during the days of Josiah, king of Judah, they repented. The king took all the leaders to the temple and they stood by the place where the king stands, and they stood there and made a pact before God. A pact of repentance that they would turn back from their evil, turn back from their ways, and turn to God and keep His commandments.

God honored that, and they had 12 good years! Then Josiah (2-Chron. 36)… There was war! He was told, 'Don't to go!' I want to go! 'Don't go!' I know what I'll do, I'll dress up like a regular soldier and go! So, he did! He went against God, and the enemy shot an arrow right into him and they took him back to Jerusalem and he died. Then Jeremiah gave his lamentations. Jeremiah knew that there would not be another respite.

Read the book of Lamentations. I'm going to tell you that you better strengthen your mind when you read it, because it is death, doom and destruction! It happened exactly as Jeremiah prophesied!

So, today when we re facing similar things, all of us as elders serving the brethren, serving God and teaching God's Word, we need to bring the Word of God so everyone of us can be strong in the Lord! So that when the day of adversity comes, we will be able to stand, even if we're brought before the tribunal at the guillotine center to have our head removed. That's gory to think about.

2-Chron. 15 was in the days of Asa the king and Azariah the prophet. Since we haven't reached the point of total anarchy, there may be a small window of a respite. If that is so, we're to:

  • preach the Gospel
  • preach the Truth
  • strengthen the brethren
  • spread the Word of God as much as we can

All the Churches of God need to do the same thing!

2-Chronicles 15:1: "And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, 'Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin….'" (vs 1-2).

Notice: here is a great principle we need to understand and follow, straight from the mouth of one of God's prophets:

"…The LORD is with you while you are with Him…." (v 2).

That's the big sin today! Why? They want all the blessings and the nice things; they don't want difficult thing! But they don't acknowledge God and don't return to God and won't keep His Sabbath and Holy Days! They won't stop their:

  • abortions
  • drugs
  • lewdness
  • the hideous perverse teachings that's sweeping from kindergarten into the colleges

It's so bad in the colleges, that one of the refugees from North Korea, a young woman who escaped, said that 'Columbia University is worse than North Korea.' Think about that! But this better be for the Church:

  • Are we with the Lord?
  • Really?
  • How much carnality do we allow ourselves?
  • How much sin do we allow ourselves?
  • Do we have one foot in the world and one foot in the Church?

So, if trouble comes it's convenient to be in the Church, and if not then it convenient to be in the world! IF you're that way, THEN you're double-minded and you need deep repentance immediately!

Notice this, and here's what you have to do; it's not that the Lord is with you, but IF He's with you, what do you need to do?

"..And if you seek Him…" (v 2).

  • Do you seek God every day in prayer, study and yielding to Him? Wanting to do His will!


  • Are you so busy that God is last in your life?

Oh, you remember Him! Well, God wants to be first in your life so you don't fall into that trap!

"…if you seek Him, He will be found by you…." (v 2).

Notice that there's always the but; the positive command and then there's the warning:

"…But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you" (v 2).

  • What's it going to be like IFGod forsakes you?
  • Have you ever thought of that?

Now this is for Israel today; this is what's wrong with especially America and the UK. The same pall of darkness and evil is falling upon both of the countries because they have been a long time without God!

Verse 3: "And for a long time Israel had been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law."

  • lawlessness
  • idolatry
  • abortion
  • child sacrifice

In those days!

Verse 4: "And when they turned in their trouble to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them."

That's where we are right now! If there's going to be any kind of respite, it's got to be like this, otherwise it's going to get worse.

I want you to think on this when you're watching the news. I want you to understand while they are pushing this 1619 white racism!

Let's read Deut. 28, the words of God, and it applies to the nation and to the Church, as well. Because if the elders and ministers do not preach the Truth of God, and are not growing and studying to help the brethren…

And I can tell you this right now, too many of them are in the same mode as Worldwide doctrinally and also monetarily. That they're doing everything to keep the money coming in. And the great sin of some of the Churches of God is that they work out end-of-life wills so that the money will go to the Church. That is stealing from the families and the inheritors the inheritance that is due them. That is evil, that you would take the inheritance from those who die in the faith. Before they die you talk them into leaving all their funds to the Church for the retirement of the elders!

You let that sink in for a minute! What is God going to do? The day will come, because you're robbing the families of their rightful inheritance!

Remember these words from 3500 years ago! Let's see, let's just say 1450B.C. Just round it off. It's true, because it says:

Deuteronomy 28:41: "You shall beget sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them…"

Isn't it difficult raising children today? With all of the things go on to take the attention of the children away from the family—mother and father—and from God and what they need to do, there's no joy! Especially when they get up to 16-18-years-old and they go out and bash out their brains with drugs and become addicted in a satanic death. It comes on too many of them from overdoses. Mind you, the heroin that's coming from Mexico is laced with fentanyl from China!

"…for they shall go into captivity" (v 41). That's true, captivity is coming!

How and when and by what means, it really wouldn't take too much for China to do it, because they have the troops, the boats, the planes, everything like that, because they are being raised up by God for the final Battle of Armageddon, for the greatest army that has every been in the history of the world, for the punishment of them and what they have done to the world. But they're going to carry out the evil that they are designing to do, because we as a nation have sinned!

Verse 43: "The stranger dwelling among you shall get up above you very high…" Is that not what's happening? Yes!

Isn't it interesting that the scheme of 1619 was planned out, written about, ready to go the day Biden stole the election!Why? Because the people in the good times didn't seek God! They didn't do like Azariah said. 'Seek Him while He may be found!' No! No! No!

  • more money
  • more this
  • more that
  • more lands
  • more buildings

They had the good times, but they didn't thank God!

"…and you shall come down very low."(v 43).

Isn't that exactly what is happening with this so-called 'systemic white racism? Which is not true! But Satan always deals in lies.

  • Isn't that how Hitler got into power?
  • Isn't that how Biden got into power?

Face reality!

Verse 44: He shall loan to you, and you shall not loan to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail."

We are on the way toward the tail, and China is on the way toward the head. I want you to read the rest of it. If you think this message is harsh, if you think my words are tough, you read all of Deut. 28 and see what God really says. Know that every word that is there is true and being carried out today!

Verse 45: "And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed because…"

Remember this: there is always a cause! Remember that the curse does not causeless come! Or you could word it this way: The curse does not come without a cause!So, God says that it's coming because:

"…you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God…" (v 45).

All of you Protestants and Catholics out there, you better listen up and understand that the worst sinner that you have ever met:

  • in the way that they handle the Word of God
  • the way that they lie to you from the pulpit
  • the way that they preach to you a soft, cuddly Jesus
    • Who has no power
    • Who has no strength
    • Who loves you even if you're a pervert and wretch
  • they are the liars because they say that the Law has been done away
  • they are the liars because they say that you don't have to keep the Sabbath
  • they are liars because they promote all the holidays of this world
  • they are liars because they don't warn the people
  • they are liars in everything that they do

And they are the major cause of why we are where we are in this nation today!

And for the Catholics, you put 'papa' at the top of the list. Everyone of the perverts that are the priests down through the hierarchy. You have your traditions that are against God!

Which day is the Sabbath? The #1 commandment that God gave from the beginning after He created Adam and Eve! They kept the Sabbath!

What does God say in the Ten Commandments? Forget the Sabbath, now it's Sunday! A satanic lie from the pulpit! Even those like Jonathan Cahn; people look at Jonathan Cahn and say he's a wonderful man. He can really understand prophecy.

NO! He can understand analysis of prophecy, but being of the descendants of the Aaronic priesthood he is not teaching the people—that he considers Gentiles—to keep the Sabbath Day! He does not keep the 14th Passover. He doesn't recognize who the ten tribes of Israel are.

So, he had Friday night temple for the Jews, and Sunday morning services for the Gentiles! That is a flagrant sin against God! Being a descendant of a priest with the name Cahn! Those who they had in their great meeting in Washington, D.C., last summer, where thousands got on their knees and he got on his knees after breaking the jar because of the sin of abortion, and praying for everyone to accept Jesus. A false message!

The message that Peter preached was repent and be baptized! Jonathan Cahn,

  • you didn't have any of them baptized
  • you didn't tell any of them to keep the Sabbath

Oh, but you have to have your money coming in from all the stupid Gentiles, right?

  • the same goes for all the Sunday-keeping preachers, YOU are responsible
  • the same goes for all the politicians, YOU are responsible
  • you're lying
  • you're cheating
  • you're stealing
  • you're thieving
  • you're serving yourself

And now you don't even recognize that Satan has come and taken place of what you want for yourself. Now you are serving him to enslave this nation rather than to help them out of it! So, between all of the ministers who reject what they should be doing, and all of the politicians who are self-serving for they're own lusts and benefit, this nation is going down! That's what it says here.

Verse 45: "And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes, which He commanded you."

So engrained are keeping the commandments, Sabbaths, statutes and ordinances of God, Moses says this, because they didn't, now you're going to identify the people of God, not with the blessings of God, but with the cursings of God that happen automatically when sin multiplies!

Verse 46: "And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever. Because…" (vs 46-47).

Now listen up everybody in the Churches of God, listen up every Protestant, every Catholic, listen up and get out your Bible and get on your knees and repent to God!

Verse 47: "Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things."

Isn't that true today! Everybody is wrapped up in what they can get for themselves.

  • Where is God?
  • Where is Christ?
  • Where is thanksgiving?
  • Where is humility?
  • Where is repentance?

What about YOU?God deals with every one of us as individuals!

Verse 48: "Therefore, you shall serve your enemies, which the LORD shall send against you…" Notice enemies: plural!

  • China
  • drug cartels
  • Russia
  • other nations

Does America have a single friend today? Britain is not much help, because it's under the same curse! Only further advanced! Therefore, you shall serve your enemies,

"…in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the want of all things. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you" (v 48). That's coming!

We may have to live through this! It's coming! Tie this in with Matt. 24.

Verse 49: "The LORD shall bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you shall not understand."

Do you understand Chinese? Even in WWII the words of English and German were not that they could understand each other. But do you understand Chinese? They laugh at us! They think we're stupid; because we are!

Verse 50: "A nation fierce of countenance who shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young. And he shall eat the fruit of your livestock…" (vs 50-51).

Where is all of our agricultural stuff going today? Not all of it, but a whole lot of it! To China!

"…and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. He shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, neither the increase of your livestock, or flocks of your sheep until he has destroyed you" (v 51).


Now let's look at the Churches of God, and what does God say to the Churches of God? Read Rev. 2 & 3 and five out of the seven churches God had to call to repent!

  • Pergamos: He said, 'If you don't repent I'm going to make war against you.'
  • Thyatira: they had so many that got even into the things of the Catholic Church so much, that God had to correct them. He gave the lowest level of recovery, that if they 'didn't know the depths of Satan, He would lay no other burden upon them.'
  • Sardis was dead, though it had a name

The only two that were faithful were Smyrna and Philadelphia. Today the Church of God that calls itself The Philadelphia Church of God IS NOT the one in Rev. 3! It's a counterfeit filled with:

  • hatred
  • false doctrine
  • self-exaltation of two men: Gerald Flurry and Herbert W. Armstrong

I'll have a detailed message on that in the near future!

But you come to the Church at the close of the age, the Laodiceans. Contrary to what Gerald Flurry says, God doesn't hate them. He loves them, but He's sorrowful that they are in the pitiful condition that they are.

Let's look at it and be realistic as to what God says to the Laodiceans:

Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write… [He wants this written down so that it will be there for a witness at the end] …These things says the Amen… [meaning that the end is coming soon] …the faithful and true Witness,…"—because He [Jesus] stood up against all the barrages of:

  • Satan the devil
  • the scribes
  • Pharisees
  • elders
  • the governor of Rome Pontius Pilate

though He was "…the Beginner of the creation of God." (v 14). Think about that!

The Great Creator God Who made everything came and gave His life to save it! He wants that to sink in deep into the heart and mind of those who are called in Rev. 3, the Laodiceans! So, if they see the great magnitude of God, they may repent!

He say, v 15: "I know your works…" Let's understand one thing here: God knows everything about us and what our works are; what we think and what we do!

"…that you are neither cold nor hot…" (v 15). Look at how hot they were when the Church started back in the days when the apostles began to preach there on the Day of Pentecost! Miracles, healings and great signs and wonders. Same thing with the Apostle Paul; you carefully read the book of Acts. Wherever he went there were signs, wonders and healings. People were zealous; people were after God.

Do we do that? or Do we have a hip-pocket God, or a purse-pocket God if you're a woman. So, God says, 'I've seen both of that, but I desire that "…you be either cold or hot" (v 15).

You see, there's no such thing as salvation with half conversion. You got that?

Verse 16: "So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth."

Is that not what happened to Worldwide? Let's be honest! It did, didn't it? Yes! How many people repented? Oh no, the ministers have to setup the same structure that God destroyed in vomiting out the Worldwide Church of God! Now we have a bunch!

Verse 17: "For you say…" There's always a reason why God does something!

Think about this: no other of the seven churches—not one—talks back to God! So, Laodiceans are 'yeah but…'; that means, 'I hear what you're saying, God, but I have a good reason for doing it.'

"…'I am rich, and have become wealthy…'" (v 17).

Look at all the blessings that God has given us. We have all of these wonderful things. Never forget: as God gives, He can also take away! Has He not taken away? Yes, He has!

"…and have need of nothing" (v 17). You're just fine! Oh yes, we'll follow the 18 things that Herbert Armstrong set in motion. We don't need any other understanding of the Bible, because He supposedly restored all things. No, he didn't! He barely got past halfway.

"…and you do not understand…" (v 17). Why don't people understand? Because they don't come to God repenting! They don't come to God hungering and thirsting after His Word.

"…that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (v 17). And when the Truth is presented to you, you can't even understand it!

Verse 18: "I counsel you to buy from Me…"

That is, you get on your knees and you repent to God; you cry out to God, confess your sins and then you begin to work to do what God says!

Christ is the Head of the Church, and there's a lot of work to be done. All the Churches of God had better be about doing the business and work of God; not their own self-satisfied smugness that they have need of nothing!

You don't realize or understand "…that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire…" (vs 17-18).

He's sending a trial upon us, and we better respond!

"…so that you may be rich…" (v 18)—that's why He's doing it!

  • He doesn't want you to go into the Lake of Fire
  • He doesn't want you to miss out on salvation

"…and white garments… [the garments of the resurrected saints that are going to marry Christ] …so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…(v 18).

How carnal, stupid, selfish, self-centered, weak and pitiful!

"…and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see" (v 18). That you may understand the Word of God and realized what God is doing!

Verse 19: "As many as I love…" God loves you, but He's not going to put with:

  • sin
  • nonsense
  • arrogance
  • self-exaltation
  • the misuse of God's money because you have funds and things coming in

He's not going to put up with it!

"…I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent" (v 19).

Now, here's the catch, so everyone listen up! Many of the Laodiceans have the Spirit of God with them, but not in them, and they won't be in the first resurrection unless it's in them!

Verse 20—Jesus says: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice…"

If you're studying the Bible and studying the words of God and what Jesus taught and said and what He commanded, He's speaking to you. Those are His words to you and me, to everyone who belongs to God!

"…and opens the door…" (v 20)—repentance; the door of your mind because God's Spirit may be with you, but it's not in you! Do you understand?

"…I will come in to him…" (v 20). Isn't that what Jesus said in John 14? Yes, Jesus and the Father will make Their abode in you!

John 14:23: "…My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." BUT:

  • you've got to love God
  • you've got to keep His commandments

No more of this one foot in the world, and one foot in the Church!

"…and will sup with him, and he with Me" (v 20).

That' means you feed your mind with the Word of God, and Christ in that sense is supping with you and you with Him. So, He says this, a word of encouragement at the end:

Verse 21: "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His Throne. The one who has an ear…" (vs 21-22).

  • Do you have an ear?
  • Will you hear?
  • Will you listen?
  • Will you do what God wants?

"…let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (v 22).

Now let's see IF we do that what God will do for us. God is there to help.

  • Isn't that what He told the Laodiceans?
  • Isn't that what He told those at Pergamos?
  • Isn't that what He told those at Thyatira?
  • Isn't that what He told those at Laodicea?
  • Isn't that what He told those at Ephesus?

You've got to come to God on a continuous basis! Not just on the Sabbath and here you are and we're a happy glad ending; but you walk out the door and you're in the world! And you're more of the world than you are of God.

But IF you repent, like He says there, THEN we can do this (Isa. 41); remember He said, 'As many as I love…' What I want you to do, instead of the name 'Israel' you put your name there, because God is directly involved in YOU! Each one of us!

Isaiah 41:8: "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen…" We're called and chosen; may we be faithful!

"…the seed of Abraham, My friend" (v 8).

What did Paul write? That if we are Christ's then we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise!

Verse 9: "Whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called you from its uttermost parts. And I said to you, 'You are My servant; I have chosen you, and have not cast you away.'"

See what comes with repentance? There it is right there!

Verse 10: "Do not fear…" That's the main thing we understand!

With all these things coming on and all the difficulties that are going to hit this world,DO NOT FEAR!

"…for I am with you…" (v 10). God is with us!

It doesn't matter what the circumstances are out there, God is with us right here (in the heart and mind). God the Father and Jesus Christ dwelling right here; that's Their spiritual abode!

"…be not dismayed…" (v 10). Don't be discouraged, don't get depressed!

"…for I am your God. I will strengthen you…" (v 10).

  • you go to God in prayer and ask God for strength
  • you go to God in prayer and repent of your sins
  • you go to God and understand that you came from a little speck of dust that you couldn't even see

And here you are made in the image of God! He loves you, has called you and He wants you to repent and come to Him and do His will! That's what God wants!

"…yea, I will help you…" (v 10). Whatever it is, however it is:

  • if you're weak, He'll give you strength
  • if you need protection, He'll send His angels
  • if it comes time for martyrdom, He'll give you strength

So, whatever they do, they cannot take you from God! We know from the book of Revelation that's going to happen. So, we might as well get the frame of mind now to be faithful to God always!

"…yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness." (v 10).

Even though people are against us; even though they hate us, God says:

Verse 11: "Behold, all those who were angered against you shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing. And those who strive against you shall perish."

Going to be as nothing, because God is everything! He will take care of you!

Verse 12: "You shall seek them, and shall not find them; men warring against you shall be as nothing, and as a thing of naught, for I…" (vs 12-13)—that's why!

  • not because we have any inherent strength of ourselves
  • not because we're strong, great and grandiose

Verse 13: "For I the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'" He will help us!

So, when the difficult times come, don't sit in discouragement and despondency asking:

  • What will I do?
  • How can this be, this is so terrible?

And it's going to be terrible! It's going to be ugly and awful without a single doubt! But focus on God! He says, "…I will help you." All you have to do is ask: 'O Lord God, help me!'

Verse 14: "'Do not fear, you worm Jacob and men of Israel; I will help you,' says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." Isn't that quite a thing? Yes, indeed!

Now, here's what we need to look to; here are some of the promises of God; so when you're coming to God and asking for help, claim His promises.

  • not in arrogance
  • not in self-righteous demanding

But in repentance and

  • asking God for forgiveness
  • asking God for strength
  • asking God for His love

Isaiah 12:2: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. And with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation" (vs 2-3).

Quite a thing, isn't it? The endless supply of God's Spirit!

Verse 4: And in that day you shall say, 'Praise the LORD! Call upon His name; declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD; for He has done gloriously; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst'" (vs 4-6).

Let's see what we need to do on a practical daily basis; day-by-day, Sabbath-by-Sabbath, Holy Day-by-Holy Day. The thing that is important to understand is this:

Though all of the things on the outside come crashing into us, and affect our thoughts and our emotions, and can be very discouraging and down at the mouth—don't despair! Don't give into it!

  • ask God for His help
  • ask God for His strength

Prov. 3 tells us what we should do and how we should do it. It's a direct one-to-one between each one of us and God.

We know that in Eph. 2 Paul writes very clearly that we all have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ in all things. So, when we take Prov. 3, this adds a great deal to how we are before God and what we need to do. The things that are going to happen we have no control over it at all.

  • we can't make it go away
  • we can't slow it down
  • we can't speed it up
  • we can't ignore it
  • we can't hide from it
  • we can't go to heaven to get away from it
  • we can't go deep into the earth to get away from it

because it's going to happen! So, the main thing is our standing before God!

Proverbs 3:1: "My son… [and daughters (1-Cor. 6)] …do not forget My Law, but let your heart keep My commandments."

  • How does your heart keep the commandments? Because Heb. 10 says that they are 'written in our heart and mind!'
  • How? With the Holy Spirit of God inscribed!

Remember what God did with the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone? He wrote it with His own finger! Well, something greater is happening in our mind with the Holy Spirit of God. He is writing His laws and commandments and inscribing them into our heart and mind. For what purpose? Because:

  • this is the way that we will think
  • this is the way that we will believe
  • this is the way that we will worship God

Verse 2: "For they shall add length of days... [and in the New Covenant: eternal life. How is that for length of days] …and long life, and peace, to you."

Here is something else: "…do not forget My Law…" (v 1)—keep His commandments

Verse 3: "Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you…" Always keep that in mind! Always remember:

  • you receive mercy, you be merciful
  • you don't want to be judged harshly andcondemned, then don't do so to other people
  • with every correction and condemnation that comes from God, there's hope and restitution
  • where there's acknowledgment of sin, there's forgiveness

Verse 3: "Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart."

In other words, that's the way you're going to live, think and act. And your emotions and mind are in sync.

Verse 4: "And so you shall find favor…" Favor is grace, and that's the whole thing of the New Testament: grace!

"…and good understanding in the sight of God and man" (v 4).

Verse 5 is the key, and this is how we keep our bearing and how we endure through all of these evil things that are going to come:

Verse 5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart…"

Doesn't that sound like the first and great commandment? To love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being! If you do, you're going to trust Him!

"…and… [a little warning, which is very important. Without this warning, we can get sidetracked] …lean not to your own understanding" (v 3).

  • How do you not lean to your own understanding? I mean, that's easy to do!
  • Don't we do this with I think?

So, you think of something; but the reality is God knows! When we think of something, that may be an opinion. If we forget God, then we look to our own opinions and then we get ourselves in trouble. Here's how to avoid it:

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

I want you to see how this is goodness, obedience, love, trust, and warning, warning, warning! That's the way it's structured right here so that we get a balance. Because without this instruction and good—then in warning not to do evil or wrong—we have a balance:

  • so that we don't get lifted up
  • so that we don't get carried away with ourselves

Verse 7: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil"—leave it!

Today, it's pretty hard because it comes crashing through the television right into your home and right in front of your eyes and ears. This leads us to the next thing that we have to do:

Verse 5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding."

Verse 7: "Do not be wise in your own eyes…"

With that said, come to:

Proverbs 4:14: "Enter not into the path of the wicked… [don't go the way of the world] …and go not into the way of evil men."

  • avoid it
  • be on guard
  • stay away from it

Verse 15: Avoid it; do not go in it; turn from it, and pass on!" Wipe it away and go!

Verse 16—this sounds like Washington, D.C.: "For they do not sleep except when they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall, for they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence" (vs 16-17).

They're following Satan the devil! That's why there's so much darkness around today!

Verse 18: "But the path of the just is as the shining light…" That's what we need to be, the lights of the world!

"…that shines more and more to the perfect day" (v 18).

That's interesting because that's New Testament; what is the perfect day? The resurrection!

Verse 19: "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble."

Doesn't that sound like the way of the world? In Government? In religion? In medicine? In education? In business?

Verse 20: "My son, attend to My words… [God the Father's words] …incline your ear to My sayings."

Now, this is how we preserve our sanity, and our love, faithfulness and trust in God:

Verse 21: "Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (vs 21-22).

Now here is the key, and nothing could be more important than this today. With everything that comes in on us through all the means of technology—telephone, smart phone, iPad, blogs, whatever—it comes bombarding! So, here's what we must do:

Verse 23: "Above all…"—everything that's spoken here; above all of that you have to take responsibility for what goes into your mind and what you think and do.

"…guard the door of your mind…" (v 23)—also translated heart, which are connected. The heart has neuro-tissue like the brain.

You're to guard it! How do you guard it? You don't get involved in these things!

  • turn away from it
  • turn it off
  • reject it
  • don't entertain it

"…guard the door of your mind…" (v 23) How do you do that? By making right choices!

"…with diligence…[not just whenever you think of it, but with diligence] …for out of it are the issues of life. (v 23)—and we can say for us, eternal life! Isn't that true? Yes, indeed, so think about it! Trust in God with all your heart and "…guard the door of your mind with diligence…"

Psa. 34 has all the elements in it that we've talked about during this message. So, let's put it all together and let's see how we can take all these words that we've covered today and use them in our lives in what we say and do.

Psalm 34:1: "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall always be in my mouth." How can that be? Because you're:

  • thinking on God
  • thinking on His Word
  • praying to Him

Verse 2: "My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (vs 2-3)—magnify God in everything that you do!

Verse 4: "I sought the LORD… [continuously coming to God] …and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears."

  • you don't have to have those fears
  • you don't have to go around depressed
  • you don't have to go around down at the mouth

It's going to come, and realize that the Day of the Lord is coming also!

Verse 5: "They looked to Him and were radiant; and their faces were not ashamed"—always looking to God!

Verse 6: "This poor man cried, and the LORD heard, and saved him out of all his troubles."

Verse 7: "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them."

How many times have been delivered and you didn't even know it, because there was God's angel there to help you?

Verse 8: "O taste and see that the LORD is good…"

Jesus said that He's the living Bread; we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood; that is the Passover elements, the bread and the wine. That says that we are to live by God!

"…blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him" (v 8).

Instead of sitting around and stewing and wondering, you go to God in prayer and His Word, and you take refuge in that! Go read, like we did recently, Psa. 91, how that God says that 'when they fall at your right hand and left hand,' you're going to make it.

Verse 9: "O fear the LORD, all you saints, for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing" (vs 9-10).

That doesn't mean that you're going to be overwhelmed with physical things, because all the good things come at the resurrection! But God will give us sufficient of what we need.

Verse 11: "Come, hearken to me, you children; I will teach you the fear of the LORD." We need to understand that!

  • Do we love God?
  • Do we fear God?

Fear God in the right way, not be trembling in trepidation and fearful, but fear God that we do not 'go off the deep end'!

Verse 12: "Who is the man that desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?"

  • Isn't that what you want?
  • Isn't that what we want?

Yes, indeed! Whatever it's going to be!

My prayer for all the brethren is that God may extend their lives for as long as is necessary. I include myself in that. We know that many of us are going to our 'place of safety' called the grave, we will get there for sure, but however long or short between now and then is all in God's hands. So, here's what we do:

Verse 13: "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it" (vs 13-14).

  • Why?
  • Does God know?
  • Does He notice?
  • Does He see it? Yes, He does!
  • Does He recognize it? Yes, He does!
  • Is He pleased because we do it? Absolutely!

Verse 15: "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry." God is there:

  • waiting
  • willing
  • listening
  • helping
  • guiding
  • directing

Isn't that something? That's why we can say that regardless of what happens. 'I don't fear!'

Verse 16: "The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry… [we pour our hearts out to God] …and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles (vs 16-17).

We have that a second time, all the fears, all the troubles! That will save us through all these difficult times.

Verse 18: "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted… [that is that you are not exalted in yourself]and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous…" (vs 18-19). Why? Because:

  • some of them are tests
  • some are sins we need to overcome
  • some are unwanted persecution by people against us

But we do have a lot of afflictions! Not like Paul did. Look what Paul went through (2-Cor. 11). Anyone of us would have been dead right off the bat, especially 'a day and night in the deep.' I imagine he was out there clinging to a piece of wood and praying to God: 'O God, help me! Save me!' What did God probably do? He probably sent a boat right by there and rescued him!

  • you can't get any lower than that
  • you can't get anymore desperate than that
  • you can't get anymore helpless than that

What are you going to do? It's just you and the ocean and a piece of wood that you're clinging to! Who knows what's circling in the waters underneath?

"…but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all His bones; not one of them is broken…. [prophecy of Christ] …Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The LORD redeems the soul of His servants; and none of them who take refuge in Him shall be condemned" (vs 19-22).

That's quite a Psalm. Couple that with Psa. 91 and use these things to strengthen yourself with God's Spirit in the Lord.

  • He will help you
  • He will protect you
  • He will save you
  • He will watch over you

Whatever your fate may be—whether you die in the faith, whether you live into the Tribulation—whatever it may be, God is always there with you!

This is the way that we will get through the difficult and dark days ahead!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 24:21, 7, 9, 12
  • Proverbs 16:27-30
  • Proverbs 24:10
  • 2 Chronicles 15:1-4
  • Deuteronomy 28:41, 43-51
  • Revelation 3:14-18, 17-20
  • John 14:23
  • Revelation 3:20-22
  • Isaiah 41:8-14
  • Isaiah 12:2-6
  • Proverbs 3:1-7, 5, 7
  • Proverbs 4:14-23
  • Psalm 34:1-22

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 24:2
  • 2 Chronicles 36
  • Revelation 2
  • Ephesians 2
  • 2 Corinthians 6
  • Hebrews 10
  • Psalm 91
  • 2 Corinthians 11

Transcribed: 6/25/21

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