Fred Coulter - May 5, 2001

When I was doing the last commentary for the Harmony of the Gospels, talking about the wave sheaf offering day…let’s come to Luke 24 please…something struck me that was very profound and yet very simple.  And it was really kind of an eye-opener as into what you might ask yourself the question, we can all ask ourselves the question: Do I really believe?  Because unfortunately too many people come together in a church for other reasons than really loving God and belief.  And couple that with all of the false doctrines that are going on, and I’m beginning to understand…you know sometimes it takes a long time, doesn’t it?  You know sometime after years and years, and years you have to do a great big Columbo {smack self on forehead}.  Huh, it finally dawns on you that false doctrine comes from lust and vanity on the part of those who produce it, and on the part of those who receive it and consume it and use it.

And the way that came about was when I was writing about the two disciples that Jesus that talked to on the way to Emmaus after He came back from being accepted as the wave sheaf offering.  Now, we all know that the wave sheaf offering pictures Christ, don’t we?  Yes.  So why should it be such a strange thing that when in Leviticus 23 it says those two wave loaves, these are the firstfruits?  And all those years we never got it concerning Pentecost because we kept it on a Monday, see.  So if Christ is the wave sheaf and He’s accepted as resurrected from the dead, then it only stands to reason that the harvest is the Church.  But we missed it because we kept it on a Monday.  Well, I don’t want to get deterred from that, I just thought I’d put that in here.  Anyway, because this is the wave sheaf offering.

So, when He was talking to them they explained all about their situation, and they were saying…  Now let’s read it here beginning Luke 24:13.  “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs (now I’ve covered that, it’s 7 ½ miles).  And they talked together of all these things…” (Luke 24:13-14).  Jesus came, walked with them.  They didn’t recognize Him.  Said what’s this you’re talking about?  Why are you sad and discouraged?  And verse 18, “And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?  And He said unto them, What things?  And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word…” Now I want you to notice what they are talking about.  And I want you to understand something very profound when we get to it, see.  “…Before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him.  But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day [marks that we have passed the third day] is the third day…” (vs. 18-21).  “With today” means we have passed the third day since these things were done.

“Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not His body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive.  And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even as the women had said: but Him they saw not” (vs. 22-24).  Now notice Jesus reaction, because this has an awful lot to do with belief.

Notice verse 25.  “Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (vs. 25-27).

Now let’s go back and look at this phrase “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”.  When does Christ want us to believe?  Yes, we are to prove all things and to hold fast to which is good, but when does He want us to believe?  When we’re ready?  When we decide to believe?  No, He wants you to believe the instant you find out.  Isn’t that something?  And you know being a minister all these years, and in the Church all these years it never dawned on me that that’s what God really expects.  That’s what Christ expects.  And living in this age with all the things that are going on it is so difficult, isn’t it?  But that’s what He expects us to do in believing.  And He expects us to hold fast to that, see.

Now, Christ is the One Who has to open our minds to understand.  That is true.  But the believing is the part that we furnish.  And Christ also adds to us, belief.  Now we’re going to see that there are two kinds of belief.  Belief which requires action, and belief which requires belief.  No action.  Now we’ll see that.

Now let’s look at that first of all and let’s understand something about belief.  If someone asks you,  “Do you believe in Christ?”, what is your answer?  “Of course.”  But what is the greater answer?  You believe Christ, meaning what He said.  Because there are a lot of people who claim to believe on Jesus, but they don’t believe what He said, so they don’t believe Jesus.  And so that is the greater belief.

Ok, let’s look at a couple scriptures here and see some basic things that are important.  First of all faith comes from the Greek word pistis which means “to have faith in, or to believe”.  “The faith” meaning two things.  There are two things concerning “the faith”.

Number one, let’s look at it here, Luke 18:8.  And with these two kinds of faith now, remember we saw how Christ upbraided the disciples for not believing when they should.  Then Jesus says when He comes to the earth will He find “the faith”, the set of doctrines?  And boy, I tell you, it’s a struggle to hold on to the doctrines today, isn’t it?  Yes.

Number two is Christ’s faith in the individuals that believe.  Now this is after the fig tree was cursed.  Mark 11:20, “And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst  is withered away.  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” Now in the Greek this should read “Have God’s faith.”  It’s in a genitive case, which means it’s possessive.  It is God’s faith.  Not just yours cause you can have a certain amount of faith, but this is God’s faith.  That’s the second one of “the faith”.  “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:20-23).  Now I tell you, that’s the highest standard for prayer, isn’t it?  Whatever, whatever, see.

Now that is an all-encompassing statement.  Of course it needs to be according to the will of God.  No question about that.  But in John 14, now let’s turn there for a minute.  Hold your place here in Mark 11, we’ll be back.   In John 14 He says almost the same thing but He also adds a qualifier to it.

John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.  [Truly, truly] Verily, verily, I say unto you, [the one] He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.”  And you know we’re going to have to claim those promises brethren.  But we can’t claim those promises until we really believe.  Now you think about that.  “And whatsoever…” Now that’s unqualified, isn’t it?  “…Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it” (John 14:11-14).  So don’t give up on God.

How long should you keep praying for something?  Till you get an answer.  That is not a vain repetition.  But it is a needful prayer until there’s an answer.  But notice the qualifier in verse 15.  “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”  And the Greek there means “If you love Me, keep the commandments, namely Mine.”  So there’s the qualifier.

Now let’s come back to Mark 11.  Have God’s faith, isn’t that something?  That’s why faith is a gift of the Spirit, you see.  A lot of people can believe a lot of things and even profess to believe in Jesus.  But give them a little pressure.  Give them a little persecution.  Give them a little deprivation and soon their belief disappears.  That’s why we’ve been going through all the trials we’ve been going through, because Jesus wants to know, “Do you love Me?”  Jesus want’s to know, “Do you believe Me?”  Jesus wants to know, are you going to trust in Him even though you are down to the very lowest part of the lowest pit in your life?  Do you still believe Him and trust Him?  That’s what He wants to know.  Have God’s faith.

Now Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive…”  Another qualifier to answered prayer: forgiveness.  Very important.  What is one of the first things you ask for when you pray?  “Father, forgive me.”  Yes, indeed.  You want your sins forgiven, forgive someone else too.  Be ready to, even though they are not there to accept it in some cases.  “…If ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:24-26).  So that’s a kind of faith that we are to have.

Now, let’s come to Mark 9.  Now what do you do when you find yourself in a situation where you find your faith is weak, or your belief is weak?  What do you do, because we all have that, don’t we?  And I’ll guarantee you one thing, the quickest way to have a prayer not answered is to pray for something, get up off your knees and say, “Well I wonder if God will answer that prayer?”  Guaranteed waste of time.  {Laughter}  See.  Believe.  He may not answer it exactly in the way that you want, or in a way that you desire, or in the time that you think it should be.  But He will answer the prayer.

I remember…you probably heard me say this…but I remember just right after we got started with Christian Biblical.  And I had done so many dumb things, made so many stupid things, you know you do.  And I had been taken in by so many men.  And as I was driving down the road, out doing my loans and things…I don’t do any loans anymore.  I haven’t for all of last year and this year.  But I remember I was so down and depressed, I just asked God, “Help me to think.  God I don’t know how to think.”  You know, here you are 50 years old and don’t know how to think.  No, I did not know how to think.  I had to ask God to help me think.  Teach me to think.  So He gave me a lot of problems that I had to think through.  So that was the answer to the prayer.  I’m still learning to think.  And I’ll just share with you something that is true.  My prayer now is. “God, give us the vision and understanding as to what You want us to do beyond what we are already doing, so that we do Your will, not our will.  That we do it Your way, and not our way.  That we can do what You desire us to do, and then with Your blessing, do it.”  And when the time comes and the doors open, we’ll know.  But in the mean time we need to keep preparing, and keep doing.

Now for example, someone gave me this “Prayer Day Fosters Unity”.  Well, in this case they are not Ecumenists.  These people are carnal Israelites who believe that this nation is given to them of God, and they are praying for the nation.  Now these are some of the sincere people out in the world who are trying to do good today.  But it’s going to take more than that kind of thing to really bring them to the awareness of the need for real repentance to God.  So we need God to give us the understanding so we can be able to reach people like this with the true message of God.  Not to reach them to compromise what we believe, but help them to understand what God shows that they must believe.  So that’s my prayer today.

Now let’s go here to Mark 9 and here’s the case of a tough one.  Now we were talking about the situation with demons last night, and demon possession.  And as I mentioned last night with the haunted house and so forth.  And when I was a ministerial assistant working with Dale Hampton, we went out to see this woman who was really demon possessed.  I mean wholly, fully demon possessed.  And it took three hours to get through the demon talk to get to her to find out whether she really wanted the demons cast out or not.  And sure enough she did.  So we laid hands on her and prayed for her and the demons left.  The next Sabbath she was sitting in Church of sound mind and all of that sort of thing.

Now here we have the case of a child who was demon possessed.  The father came to the disciples, and they couldn’t cast him out.  So when Jesus came down from the mount, verse 17 He came to the multitude, “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto Thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.  He answereth him, and said, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?” (Mark 9:17-19).  Now you tie this faithless generation - He’s not talking just to the people there, but He’s also talking to His disciples.  So you tie that in with what we read in Luke 24, how quickly we are to believe, and that what ever we ask shall be done.  We are to believe that and know that and understand that and act upon it.

He said, “…O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I suffer you [or, put up with you]?  Bring him unto Me.  And they brought him unto Him: and when he saw Him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.  And He asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him?  And he said, Of a child.  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief” (vs. 19-24).  And I think that’s where a lot of us need to start.  You know, you just have to understand well, maybe you really don’t believe the way you ought to believe.  That doesn’t mean you’re disbelieving, but we’re talking about the kind of belief here that is going to move mountains.  And I’ll tell you the hardest mountain to move is right between your ears. {Laughter}

“Help my unbelief.”  “When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.  And when He was come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, Why could not we cast him out?  And He said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (vs. 25-29).  And so there’s the remedy right there.  Fasting and prayer to seek the will and the faith of God.  That’s  where it comes from.  And that’s what we need to do.

Now, when that happens let’s see that this faith is to grow, and to build, and to increase.   Let’s pick it up in Romans 1:16.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…” And we ought not either.  People ask me, “Well what church do you go to?”  I tell them, “Christian Biblical Church of God.”  “Well, what do you believe?”  I said, “We do a strange thing.”  “Well, what’s that?”  “We believe the Bible.”  {Audience laughter}  Yes.  And if anyone asks what day you keep, tell them you keep the same day Jesus kept.  What day do you keep?  {Laughter} You see, we’re not going to apologize for anything brethren.  We’re not going to the world to understand how they worship their christ.  We go to the scriptures to find out how Christ wants us to worship Him and the Father.  And He’ll tell us.  He’ll let us know.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” Now notice the “eth”.  That’s an active ongoing present tense “believing”.  Always, always.  “…To the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein [that is in the gospel, through this belief] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith…” Or faith unto faith, meaning that it builds and grows, and builds and grows.  And this takes time.  We’re all here, mature Christians.  We all ought to have had our senses exercised to discern between good and evil.  And now is the time to ask God to give us that kind of faith which He alone has.  And He will, and it will build and grow.  “…From faith [unto] to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:16-17).

Now, “the just” means those who have been justified and put in right standing before God.  And God has given you a great and wonderful and tremendous blessing in that, brethren.  That because of that He imputes to us, not that we earn it, He imputes to us the very righteousness of Christ.  Now that’s a wonderful and marvelous thing to inspire us to want to love God and keep His commandments with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, and all our being, you see.  And that’s where it’s all at.  All the other things really don’t matter, see?

Now let’s go on.  Let’s see some important things here concerning it.  Let’s come to Hebrews 11.  You know, we had a woman in our congregation of which we call “up north”.  Now, up north is in relationship to Hollister.  Hollister is down south.  Fairfield is north 125 miles.  So we had a lady up there, very converted, very dedicated, and was attending.  She helped teach her mother, so she was baptized.  And her brother, who became convicted of the truth and is now baptized.  She has two daughters in the Church who are married and in Australia.  And at 52, being single, having been properly separated and eligible for remarriage, she kept praying for God, “Please provide me a husband.  O God, provide me a husband.”  This went on year after year after year until she was 53, 54, some where around in there.  Of course she’d been praying this for a long time before she was 52, I might mention.

So she went down to Australia to visit one of her daughters, and went to the Feast of Tabernacles down there.  Now mind you this is 12,000 miles away.  So she just finally said, “God, I’m putting it into your hands, that’s it.  You work it out your way.”  So guess who she met down in Australia?  Now this lady is about 5’10” tall, so she’s a pretty tall gal.  She’s a little taller than me.  And she met the finest, nicest, most converted man that you’d ever want to meet.  Sweet, and he’s 6’4”. {Laughter}  And they are happily married.  What is the song?  “Wait on the Lord”, see, wait for God.  See, so you have to have faith and you have to have patience, and you have to have endurance too, you see.  But that kind of faith gives you the patience and endurance because you believe.

Now if you ever have a doubt, let me tell you what you do.  Don’t do the foolish thing and say, “I have a doubt.  I’m not supposed to have a doubt.”  But why do you have a doubt?  What you do is you grab a hold of that doubt and you put it right smack in the middle of the table.  You define it, you analyze it with scripture and eliminate it.  It will never come back.  But if you try and just brush it out of your mind it will keep coming back.  Kind of like this man who sent me an e-mail and he says, “Oh, I’m a homosexual and I’m doing everything right.  I’m keeping the holy days, and the Sabbath and tithing.  But you know I just have this desire for men, and I just can’t overcome it and I’m on the Internet and I’m just drawn to the homosexual pornography.”  You see.  And I thought to myself, this man really doesn’t want that.  He doesn’t want to overcome it.  But he’s sort of using that as an excuse.  Because if you believe in Christ and believe Christ and trust Him, what you can do is ask God to help you stop it now.  And He will.  First thing you can do is don’t go on the website.  Simple. Next thing you can do is ask God to cleanse your mind by putting in it the scriptures of God.  Until then you don’t believe anything.

Now here, Hebrews 11:1.  “Now faith is the substance…” and it is true.  The word there in the Greek is hupostasis, meaning a spiritual substance from God, which then is what?  God’s faith, right?  With His Spirit, right?  Yes.  “…Of things hoped for…”  Now this is the kind of faith where then there is no action required.  You believe of things hoped for.

Now let’s look at Abraham.  Let’s come to Romans 4.  There are certain things that God requires you to believe and there is no action to follow.  Let’s pick it up here in verse 16.  “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace…”  And grace is a gift of God that comes to you with no work.  “…To the end the promise [that is to Abraham] might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law [the Jews], but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made [Abraham] thee a father of many nations,)…” And how many sons of promise did he have?  One.  One.  Now that’s not a mighty nation, is it?  One.  {Laughter}  But can become.  So he believed before it ever occurred.  And that’s the kind of belief that God wants us to have.  “…Before Him Whom he believed, even God, Who quickeneth the dead [that is, makes alive the dead], and calleth those things which be not as thought they were” (Rom. 4:16-17).

Now you understand why God imputes to you the gift of righteousness.  Now you know why God says that whom He has called, those He has glorified.  Now you have a bit of that glory now with the begettal of the Spirit.  Though we’re still in the flesh God is looking upon the completion of His family at the resurrection.  So He looks at the things that are not as though they actually are because He spoke the word and it will be.  Now that’s how we are to believe God.

Now verse 18, “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old [they didn’t have Viagra back then, I can guarantee you {laughter}], neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb [no fertility pills, or in-vitro fertilization]” (vs. 18-19).

Now Sarah and Abraham lacked both lacked a little bit of faith in the process.  Remember how that happened.  Sarah said, “Well, let’s work out God’s promise with my handmaiden.”  There’s a big lesson for us.  We still have the problem with us.  {Laughter}  Another lesson: don’t try and work out God’s promises your way.  Let God work it His way.  He’ll do it.

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded…” That’s what we need to do brethren.  It’s where we need to be.  In our stage and growth as Christians with the Holy Spirit of God as long as we have had it, we need to be fully persuaded.  “…What He had promised, He was able…”  It’s an interesting word in the Greek.  “Able” comes from the word dunamis - has the power.  “…Also to perform.  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” (vs. 20-22).  See because when there is nothing for you do but believe, then it’s imputed to you for righteousness because you believe.  That requires no action on your part except belief.  There is nothing to do.

Now that’s what happened in Genesis 15.  We’ve gone through that several times so we won’t go back there.  He took him out at night and said, “If you can count the stars so shall your seed be.  And he believed God.”  However, there was another occasion in which his faith was tried to the point that he needed to act upon that faith because God required him to do something, which is another lesson in faith, which is this.  If you believe God and believe His word, when there are things that are required to do, your faith is shown by doing it.

Now let’s go to James 2 and see that.  Now that’s why if God says, “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy”, to do it the way God wants requires faith.  Because God said so, you do it.  And that demonstrates your faith.  As I said earlier, Sunday keeping requires no faith.  Just go to the church of your choice.  Whichever corner of the block you desire to go, see.

Now here James 2:14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?”  There are good works brethren, as I covered during the Days of Unleavened Bread, that we are to walk in.  “…Have not works?  Can faith save him?”  You’re saved by faith, but not an empty faith.  It has to be a living faith.  It has to be an active faith.  It has to be an obedient faith.  See they have it all wrong.  To obey the commandments of God is not a faithless thing to do.  It is a faithful thing to do.

Now let’s go on.  “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace [ Go, the Lord be with you], be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”  It doesn’t profit anything because God sent them to you to help them, see.  “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, thou have faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (vs. 15-18).  So brethren, those…..

Part 2

…people in this category.  “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well [you’re right up with the demons]: the devils also believe and tremble.”  See, it’s not just a matter of believing in a god.  You must believe God.  “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works…” A different occasion.  Romans 4 refers to Genesis 15.  James 2 refers to Genesis 22.  A different occasion, a different requirement which required action.  He was justified by works when he offered his son upon the altar.  And that was a tough one to do wasn’t it?  He said, “Take your only son, the son that you love, and you go to a mountain that I will tell you of and there you sacrifice him for an offering.”  And we’ll see a little later on, why did he do it?  And every stinking rotten movie I’ve ever seen which shows that scene, especially the one with George C. Scott, was the most miserable thing that there ever was.  He went out and pounded his fist on a rock.  “Oh God, why did you ask me to do this”, and all this.  No, he quietly got up and said, “We’re going.”  And he took his son and he took the coals, and they went three days journey.  When they got there he told the two lads, he said, “Stay here, we’re going to go yonder and worship.”  So he loaded the one on Isaac, and as Isaac was following his father up the hill, Isaac said, “Father?”  He said, “What is it son?”  He said, “I see the wood and I see the coals.  Where is the lamb?” And he said, “God will provide, my son.”  So he got up there and made the altar and put the wood on the altar.  He bound his son, laid his son on the altar and reached down to get the knife.  Then the angel of the Lord called out and said to him, “Abraham.”  He said, “Here I am.”  Yes indeed.  He said, “Lay not your hand on the lad.”  So he turned around and lo and behold there was a ram caught in the thicket.  Now you know when they were climbing up that mountain and Abraham was looking everywhere, you know, where’s the sacrifice.  But he was willing to offer Isaac because he believed God, that since he received him from a dead body, his own, that He was also able to resurrect his son from the dead if he were required to go through it.

Now none of us have been asked that kind of task.  And I’m very thankful.  But that demonstrates how there is work to be done when the command is to do something.  Your faith is demonstrated by what you do.  Now you can carry that out in everything.  You can take any commandment of God that you desire and you can look at it and ask yourself, “What does God require me to do?”  It might be a good study for you.

His faith was made perfect, see.  Profound isn’t it?  Simple but profound.  “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (vs. 23).  So here James does something very unusual.  He takes the first instance and carries that on through to show that he believed God that he was going to have the son.  He finally had the son.  Carried it right on through to the sacrifice of his son, and when he acted upon that his faith was made perfect.

Now what was the result of that?  Let’s go back to Genesis 22 and read it.  What was the result of that?  A very profound thing.  Genesis 22:15, “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time.”  I want you to understand how profound this is.  First of all we need to understand, #1 - God cannot and will not lie.    So what ever He says is truth and is so.  Only men need to swear because we’re liars at heart.  So for God to swear is a very profound thing.  It gives an absolute unconditional guarantee that what God has promised is going to take place because of what Abraham did, irrespective of what his offspring would do.  So that’s why God still dealt with Israel, though Israel was always playing the harlot, though Israel always left God, because of the promise to Abraham right here.

“And said, By Myself have I sworn…” Now He can’t swear on the Bible because He’s greater than the Bible, and there’s none greater than God.  So when He swears by Himself what is He doing?  He is saying, “By My very existence this is going to be done.”  That’s something.  “By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, tine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven…” That’s the spiritual children which would come through Abraham, and that’s you.  And all of those that have the Spirit of God, you are the result of this oath and promise.  That’s why we sit here.  Isn’t that an amazing thing?  “…And as the sand which upon the sea shore [and all the multitude of the physical children of Israel, that’s what that applies to]; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed…”  #1- Christ, #2- Israel, #3- the Church.  They’re all three: Christ, Israel, the Church.  “…Shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice” (Gen. 22:15-18).  So you see there is faith with obedience and action to demonstrate and perfect that faith.

Now let’s come back to Hebrews 11.  And this is what’s so important for us today.  Brethren, if there’s any generation that is a faithless, Godless, God rejecting, Christ rejecting, absolutely just Satanic generation it’s the one that’s being formed right now.  You know how bad it is?  Children have their own pornographic websites where children are involved.  Now I mean children - 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, in sex acts using video cameras at home to put it into the computer to have their own pornographic website.  And I tell you what, when you start debasing the morals of children, and they start debasing themselves…  Now it all lays at Satan’s doorstep but I’ll hang a good number of that on Wilhelm Klinton because he can’t figure out what “is” is.  And all the kids have picked up on it, see.  One thing about kids, they will exploit every hypocrisy in your behavior and cast it up in your face, not knowing that later when they are adults they will have their own hypocrisy and maybe their own kids will cast it up in their face.

Now back to Hebrews 11.  “Now faith is the substance [hupostasis, the substance from God through His Spirit] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb. 11:1-3).  And that is an absolute scientific description of matter.  To this day they still don’t know what matter is.  Yet we walk all around it, don’t we, and we are part of it.  Isn’t that amazing?

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” That means he did it God’s way.  Now Cain probably had a fantastic offering that he worked for, that he developed.  Not according to the will of God.  And when he brought that before God, since it was not according to God’s will, God had no respect to it.  And I kind of liken his offering to, if you’ve seen any of these documentaries on Hinduism, which has degenerated into feeding monkeys and rats, you know.  That he brought some kind of offering to God that may have been very expensive, but he didn’t have enough faith to do what God said.  So it wasn’t accepted.

Now notice, “…by which he [Abel] obtained witness that he was righteous…” (vs. 4).  Righteousness is what?  All Thy commandments are righteousness.  If you are righteous you are obedient.  If you’re obedient you are faithful.  So what we need to do, which I am going to do in my teachings from now on…  I’m not going to back away from any of these doctrines of the world that are so called Christian.  They are faithless, man made, concocted doctrines which have nothing to do with God.  God’s word is truth.  If you don’t obey God’s word you don’t have faith.  Obedience is not a matter of trying to work out salvation.  True obedience from the heart is an expression of your faith, whether it be Sabbath keeping, or holy day keeping, or loving one another, loving God.  Whether it be tithes and offerings.  Whether it be your dress.  Whether it be your apparel.  Whether it be your hair.  Whether it be whatever, you see.   All of that is a matter of faith because God has said so and you believe God.

Now let’s continue on.  “By faith Enoch was translated [that is transferred] that he should not see death…”  Because they were trying to seek him to kill him.  So God just moved him conveniently to another place.  It says in verse 13, these all died.  So Enoch died, he’s buried.  “…And was not found, because God has [transferred] translated him: for before his [transfer] translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (vs. 5).  Now let’s talk about pleasing God.  Can you please God?  Is it possible to please God?  Yes, it is.  And that’s also a key to answered prayer, isn’t it?

Now hold your place here, let’s look at a couple of scriptures.  1 John 5.  What is one of the pleasant things that God says is pleasing to Him?  “How pleasant it is that brethren dwell together in peace.”  Yeah, may we have peace.  We’ve had enough hassles.  Now here in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us.  And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

Now let’s come over here to 1 John 3:21.  “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not…” Now there are times when you go to God, when you sin a big blooper.  And we all do.  We all do, don’t we?  You feel ashamed.  You don’t want to go pray to God, do you?  That’s the time to go pray.  Exactly.  That’s the time to go to God and say, “Oh God…”, right then, “…forgive me.  I sinned.  I know I sinned…” Whatever.  You explain it to Him.  Because you see, if you don’t repent then you lose confidence, don’t you, because shame breeds lack of confidence, see.  So here in 1 John 3 it says if our heart condemn us not, see, “…then we have confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3: 21-22).  Do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Now how can we do more things that are pleasing in God’s sight?  By work, by power?  No.  By Christ in us.  Christ said…what did He say?  “I always do the things that are pleasing to the Father.”  He loved Him, prayed to Him, kept His commandments.  And of course the great mission of Christ was something, you see.

Now let’s come back here to Hebrews 11.  So Enoch pleased God.  You know the world would like to have it that you can never please God, but that’s not true.  Humble heart, contrite spirit, trembling at the word of God.  Loving God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, all your being, that’s pleasing to God.  He looks down here on the earth, He knows those who has His Spirit.  He knows those who are His children.  And that’s all of us brethren.  He sees us gathered together on the Sabbath day to study His word, that He fellowships with us and we with Him.  That’s pleasing.  How many people are out there doing their own thing today, disregarding even if they know anything about the Sabbath or even care about God, going about doing what they’re doing?  So we can please God.

Now verse 6, very profound verse.  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him [because] for [the one who] he that cometh to God must believe that He is [that He exists], and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  Now that’s what our job has to be brethren, to diligently seek God.  Now I know when you’re down and you may have troubles and difficulties and things like that that will come along.  Somehow you don’t feel like being diligent and you let a lot of little things crowd in.  And I know what that’s like.  I’ve done that, see.  And you’ve done that.  And do you remember how miserable you felt.  Yes, you do.  I know I do, I don’t know about you.  So when you finally come to yourself and come to your senses go to God and repent and ask God to forgive you and uplift you, strengthen you.  He’ll do that.  He knows we have our ups and our downs and things like that.  He knows our frame.  Look, when we come before God we are just, there we are.  He knows, see.  That’s why it’s important, that in spite of everything, and in spite of your sins, and in spite of the difficulties you go through, and whatever trial you have, know that God loves you.  Know that God wants you to have faith in Him in all circumstances.  All circumstances.

Now let’s look at just a few other scriptures here.  Let’s come to Galatians 5.  This is what God wants us to do.  Here’s what we need to focus on, verse 22.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…” First and foremost thing.  If things are going wrong in your life ask God for the love to get it straightened out.  If you’re having trouble in your marriage ask God to help you to see your own vanity and selfishness and lack of love, because nearly every difficulty in a marriage springs from self-serving.  We can all speak from experience, ok?  Every single one of us because we are all selfish in vanity with our human nature.  Isn’t that right?  Yes.  Let it be love.  Let that be love first everything.  And that has to be because everything else springs from that.  That’s what God has done in calling us.  Because God is love He has called us.  Because He is love He sent His Son.  Because He is love He loves us.  And because we need the kind of love that comes from Him He gives us His Spirit so we can do so.  Isn’t that an amazing thing?  That’s a truly an amazing thing, isn’t it?  Yes.  Love.

Then it brings the joy, see.  It doesn’t bring the joy until you have the love.  And you also get joy after there has been some correction because it brings the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and then peace.  That’s how you have peace of mind.  Peace with each other.  Peace with husband and wife.  Peace with your neighbor.  Now some neighbors are cantankerous and carnal.  You can never have peace with them.  But still love them.  You can love them at a distance.  {Laughter}  And like the Rabbi said to the young man who said, “Is there a blessing for the Tzar?”  He stroked his beard and thought on it and he said, “Yes.  May the Lord bless him and keep him far from us.”  {Laughter}  So in the case of your enemies and things like that, you pray for them that God will keep them far from you.  Those who are enemies, pray that they may even be converted.  Somebody must have been praying for Saul, don’t you think?

Longsuffering - now that’s a spiritual gift that you can endure whatever the trial is.  You suffer long.  And be longsuffering with each other.  Be forbearing with each other.  Give things some space and time and some distance.  Because there’s a problem don’t come crashing in.  You know like I’ve said before, if there’s a fly on the wall don’t use a 105-Howitzer to kill it.  {Laughter}  You destroy the house.  Sure enough the fly is gone but so it the house, see.  So don’t react too quickly.  Give it some space.  I’ve had to learn that.  In many cases the hard way.  Longsuffering.

Gentleness - now for some of us that comes real hard.  Gentleness, goodness, and faith.  Then that brings meekness.  You see, once you know that all of these things come from God then there is meekness, then there’s humility.  There doesn’t need to be exalting over anybody.  What is that going to accomplish?  Vanity breeds vanity, see.  Love breeds love.  Humility breeds humility.  That doesn’t mean you don’t have backbone.  That doesn’t mean you don’t stand for the truth.  No.  But you’re not braggadocio with your self.  Meekness, and temperance.  The reason he put temperance there that’s because it’s self-control.  And self-control is the hardest and last one, isn’t it?  What does it say?  James said if any man is perfect and able to bridle his tongue, he is able to bridle the whole body, because we all offend with our tongue.  See, because out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing.  See, no self-control.  And he says, brethren, these things ought not be so.  So if we have this kind of faith and look to God and ask for His faith and strive to do the things that are pleasing in His sight, though we fall short, God will add to us, God will bless us, God will strengthen us, and we can look forward to being in the Kingdom of God though we don’t yet see it.

Well, brethren, thank you for coming.  I’m happy to come out and see you here.

 

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