Commit to God and walk in His Way

Fred R. Coulter—October 13, 2018

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services!

When you look at all the disasters that have happened along the Florida panhandle, it gives you a good idea of what will happen when things really come apart. No gas, no water! If you have a cell phone you may be lucky, but no place to charge it up, and you're in terrible shape. They showed the lines of people coming to Walmart trying to get gas, and it was a couple of miles long. As I saw that I thought: How many are going to run out of gas in line? What's going to happen with that? Then the guy behind is going to get mad because he's going to run out of gas. Put about five or six days like that, and you're going to have a lot of fighting.

I also saw a very interesting thing on the news. Alan Dershowitz says that if they come up to put their face in your face, you can charge them for assault. Everyone is granted by law five feet around them, and if they spit on you, you can take them to court. That's what they need to do. I know that it's going to happen! Like up in Oregon, it's bound to happen. If they stop the highway like that, someone is going to get a gun and start shooting them. That's precisely what they want.

Let's see the prophecy of all of this in Matt. 24. It all lies at the feet of the pulpit, because they say that Jesus did away with the Law. Here's the result of it:

Matthew 24:12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied…"

You saw on the news that witches are holding covens to put hexes on Justice Kavanaugh. So, there's a whole lot to pray for. We are told in 1-Tim. to pray for the rulers, governors, those who run the civil government. In Rom. 13 those who run it have the swords and guns and things like this, because God gave them that authority!

You can see what happens when you don't have law! Everything comes apart! A lot of this is the young ones coming up now, if you spank your child because they've done something wrong, you can be arrested and put in jail.

Now you have a whole bunch of 20-year-olds who are really only seven. That's where we are! There it is, right there, multiplied! You see even in the ads on television. Go back and think about the ads maybe even three or four years ago, but now they're getting more risqué as it comes down the line. We'll just have to wait and see what's going to happen here, but there's one thing for sure, we have to have the faith of Christ!

One statement that Paul made, that he was afraid that Satan would come along and take people away from 'the simplicity in Christ.' Let's look at the simplicity in Christ. It's not the stupidity of the Protestants. That's not simplicity. Simplicity means that:

  • it is direct
  • it's not complicated with rote
  • it involves your choice of doing what God has said

it comes down to:

  • faith
  • hope
  • love

Walk By Faith

Let's look at what we need to do, because we have to walk in God's way! I don't think that there's any way that anyone could ever get through Psa. 119 many, many times and still understand all that's in here. This is a fantastic Psalm!

Psalm 119:15: "I will meditate upon Your precepts… [tie this in with Psa. 1; meditate on the Law of God day and night] …and have respect to Your ways."

We've been called to the way of God! A way of life!That's why true Christianity is not a religion. It is a way of living by the laws and commandments of God! You have your way that must conform to God's way! That is the choice that we have to make.

Psalm 37:5: "Commit your way unto the LORD… [meaning that you're going to walk in God's way] …trust also in Him … [trust and faith are synonyms; they work together] …and He will bring it to pass."

  • God is there to help
  • God is there to intervene

We're going to have trials that we have to go through, that's for sure. But God will see us through them all! This is interesting because they work together.

Psalm 27:11: "Teach me Your way, O LORD… [How are we taught?] …and lead me in a level path because of my enemies. Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies… [this is also a prophecy of Christ] …for false witnesses have risen up against me, and he that breathes out violence. I would have fainted unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living…. [In the final analysis, keep your mind on God] …Wait for the LORD; be of good courage…" (vs 11-14). Isn't that what Jesus said? Be of good courage, I've overcome the world. In the world you shall have tribulation, but I'm with you!

"…and He shall make your heart strong; yea, wait, I say, wait on the LORD" (v 14). This is all connected with the simplicity of Christ. All of this connected with faith.

Psalm 86:11: "Teach me Your way, O LORD…" This is why when you study the Bible, say a short prayer: O Lord, teach me Your will! The whole Bible is here for us to learn from everything that is here.

"…I will walk in Your Truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore, for great is Your mercy toward me… [we need lots of mercy] …and You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave" (vs 11-13)—looking forward to the resurrection!

Prov. 8 is where wisdom is calling out, and wisdom comes from God.

Proverbs 8:32: And now, therefore, hearken unto me, O you children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and do not refuse it. Blessed is the man… [and woman] …who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors, for whoever finds me finds life and shall obtain favor from the LORD. But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all who hate me love death" (vs 32-36).

We have today the way of God as our way of living! How does the simplicity of Christ begin? Repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God! Then it's constantly:

  • keeping the commandments of God
  • studying the Word of God
  • praying to God

Because all of those things build the faith that we need!

Rom. 2 is also quoted in the Old Testament. I'm going to do some Church at Home on why the Catholic Church went wrong. One of them, the main one, was accepting Peter as the first pope, and assuming that they had the power that anything you do—you bind or loose—God is bound to do it. That's how it entirely got off the road, because it doesn't mean that.

Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes…"
Belief and faith: one is the verb and the other is the substance. To believe means to have faith! Exercising that faith is believing! So, it's kind of both together.

"…—both to the Jew first, and to the Greek…. [God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2)] …For therein the righteousness of God is revealed from faith unto faith…" (16-17).

What does that mean? Remember when Jesus healed different ones, He said, 'You're healed according to your faith!' So, we have faith to faith: our faith to God, and God's faith back to us, kind of a circular thing. This is why we have prayer and study daily, and this is why we have the Sabbath.

Think about the people you have known in the Church who have quit. They may not be atheists, but what do they really know? IF you don't approach everything of God His way—that's why we start out with His way and that we're to walk in His way—THEN we're not going to succeed in being what God wants us to be! That's why the Sabbath is so important.

I don't know about you, but I think that all of us need the Sabbath every single week. In the cases that we don't come to church, we need to keep it at home and use that time for extra study and prayer and things like that. But if you go along and don't study and don't pray, pretty soon it fades!

So, it is "…from faith unto faith, according as it is written: 'The just…'" (v 17)—those who are in right standing with God! The unjust are those in the world—whatever their behavior may be—are not in good standing with God.

"…'The just shall live by faith'" (v 17) That's what God wants us to live by!

Heb. 11 is known as the faith chapter, but when you study it you will see something really, really important. What happens when you have faith and you believe? You act upon that faith and you act upon that belief! Also, it's a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11:1: "Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for… [we have faith, hope and love, and we'll look at all three today] …and the conviction of things not seen."

Why? Because God—Who never lies and His Word is always true—even though you can't see it, God has said that it is so. People say, 'How can that be?' I've used many times the law of gravity. You go to bed at night and you set the alarm clock and you wake up in the morning and it's such and such a time, and depending on what time of the year it is, the sun comes up, and in the evening the sun goes down. God set it that way!

"…and the conviction of things not seen…. [same way with prayer] …For by this kind of faith the elders obtained a good report. By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the Word of God" (vs 1-3).

Do you know what they're trying to do now? Take microbes from the earth and put them in spaceships and send them out to some planet or moon somewhere and dump them and start evolution all over again! They do that because they have no belief in God! And they think that they're smart enough to do it!

If everyone thinks that they're smarter than God, they just need to look at the latest hurricane. Can you stand that? Can you go against that?

Sidebar on hurricanes and living on the Gulf Coast: They showed a picture of a house still standing after a hurricane; everything else around it was flat. This house was not affected by the 100mph winds because it was made out of reinforced concrete. So, it might be a wise thing if they made that part of the building code; then they wouldn't have all the houses destroyed.

And you could have faith that the house would stand. You have the analogy that Jesus gave about 'building on a rock or building on the sand.' Look at all the houses built on the sand! Demolished!

Ken lives in Sand City and they love to build there. They just pack down the sand, put in the trenches for the foundation and voila! here comes a house.

Verse 6: "Now, without faith it is impossible to please God…." Remember the two faiths: your faith and God's faith together; from faith to faith!

"…For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists… [is in everything that He claims Himself to be] …and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (v 6).

Let's look at the kind of faith that we are to have. Let's notice the attributes that God gives to us; these are the spiritual attributes, Gal. 5:22, and just above it are all the works of the flesh.Or you could say human nature and Satan leading them!

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit… [the Spirit of the Truth] …is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith."

This faith comes from God; that is called strengthening your faith; from your faith to God's faith, back to your faith, then back to God's faith.

Verse 23: "Meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Now let's see what Jesus said. This is interesting because it's very difficult to translate it straight out. A person reading the Bible the first time would not understand it, because they don't have any faith.

Mark 11:20—after Jesus cursed the fig tree: "And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. Then Peter remembered and said to Him, 'Look, Master! The fig tree that You cursed has dried up.' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith from God'" (vs 20-22).

That is literally have God's faith! You can't have God's faith yourself; it must be given to you by the Spirit of God! That's the only way you're going to have faith. So, I translated it "…Have Faith from God"—Who gives His faith!

Let's see what that does for us. Let's put some other Scriptures and see what this does. Many of these things we have gone over before, but whenever there is a sermon to give, there will be some things old, some things new, some things repeated and some things we already know. But all of these things reinforce our belief, faith, understanding of the Word of God!

Paul shows that we've been called out of this world (Eph. 2:1-3).

Ephesians 2:4: "But God, Who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us."

It's hard for people to understand the love of God, and also understand the anger of God. To understand the love of God and see the destruction of people that apparently are 'innocent.' They can't put the two together.

The problem is they don't know about the Holy Days. The greatest secret of God is the second resurrection! The world doesn't understand it because it's split in two parts: Old Testament so that the Jews who reject the New Testament don't understand the book of Revelation, which has the second part: the rest of the dead do not live again until the thousand years are finished.

So, the Protestants have the New Testament, but they don't read the Old Testament, so they don't know how it's put together with the other Scriptures, because you need two. That's how it works out.

If you make cupcakes and don't put in the baking powder, you're going to have flat cakes! Same way here: You must have God's way!

Notice how God is working in our lives. Because in each one of us—I know that I can and I'm sure you can—remembers when God intervened in your life. How did that happen that it was to you and not someone right next to you? It's a spiritual thing that God does!

Verse 5: "Even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)"

Making us alive is through repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit; that's all contained in there.

Remember that God does not give grace for people to continue in sin! He doesn't do it! Now notice the ultimate goal:

Verse 6: "And He has raised us up together and has caused us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

You can say, 'I'm sitting here in this chair, how can this be a heavenly place?' The next verse explains it:

Verse 7: "So that in the ages that are coming… [that's when you will sit in the heavenly places, at the resurrection] …He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

That's an amazing thing. You go back and you think about John the Baptist: the way he was born, his ministry, his baptism and everything. How did he die? Put in prison and then with a terrible dance by Herodias… She went to her mother and said, 'The king has said that he will give me anything; what do you think I should ask? She said, 'The head of John the Baptist!' So, she went out and said, 'The head of John the Baptist.' BANG! He's dead! What did Christ say of John the Baptist? Among those born of men, there has not arisen a greater one than John the Baptist, and the least one in the Kingdom of God is greater than he!'

Think on that! Talk about grace and exceeding riches, that's an amazing thing to think about! Sometimes you get discouraged and down, and when you get older you slow down mentally, spiritually it's tougher and physically it's harder. When that happens, always remember Isaiah: All flesh is like grass and the flower of the field. It has it's prime and then it withers and falls! There we are. The only one to overcome death was Jesus Christ, and that's our hope!

Verse 8: "For by grace you have been saved… [from Satan the devil and those things in vs 1-2] …through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves… [the saving or the faith] …it is the gift of God."

The simplicity of Christ is, not by works! You have to keep the commandments of God, that's the way we live, not by works! Religion by works is—the famous one—rosaries. It's the other way around. You think about your works and your think about your self, but notice what God is doing:

Verse 10: "For we… [all of us] …are His workmanship, being created in Christ Jesus…" What is the end goal of that? That we will have an immortal body like Christ's, a glorious body (Philip. 3:21[transcriber's correction])!

"…unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10). Walk in that faith!

We are being made into the brother's and sisters of Christ! How is that accomplished? Isn't it interesting that in the Bible that you go along and hear all these other verses, and then right in the middle of it there's a phrase or short verse.

2-Corinthians 5:7: "For we walk by faith, not by sight." That means we walk by faith, which is spiritual, not by what we see or think just for ourselves.

This is one thing that is very helpful if you have a tough day, a terrible problem, whatever it may be. You have those and I've had those, everybody has them. So, keep this in mind:

1-John 1:3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship… [that's what it is in the Greek] …—indeed, our fellowship—… [collectively, all together] with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ." That's how all of this fits together, that we can walk by faith!

2-John 6: "And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments…." That's a perfect verse if you're talking to a Protestant that believes in the New Testament! They say that if you keep the commandments you are trying to 'earn your own salvation' by your own works. NO! That's not true!

Do you believe in the love of God? Well yes, I believe in the love of God! Do you love God? Yes, indeed!

"…that we walk according to His commandments…" Is that how you live your life? No, I don't need to, we can keep Sunday! Really? Do you know how that came about? Have you ever read the history of how Sunday came about? Do you think Jesus authorized that? NO! You ought to read history; it says that Constantine—a pagan Roman emperor—put out the edit that all Christians would keep Sunday and not the Sabbath; they will not Judaize! Now you've got them!

Notice, here's an overarching commandment, including all of this together, "…This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning, that you might walk in it" (v 6)—walk in the way of God! How?

1-John 2:3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him: if… [notice who the condition is upon: us] …we keep His commandments. The one who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (vs 3-4).

Out in the world he may be kind of a nice man or woman, but they just don't know God. God hasn't called them! Their time will come!

Verse 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word…" That's all the teachings of Christ, all the teachings of the Old Testament that relate to the things concerning eternal life and prophecy that comes down to our days.

The only thing that has been set aside is all the ritual at the temple, the animal sacrifices and the washings and oblations that they had there. All of that has been set aside because now we have a higher newer standard, which is direct contact with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

"…truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (vs 5-6). The only way we can do that is Christ in us!

(go to the next track)

Believe In Hope

God has given us the hope: the hope of the resurrection and the hope that God is with us in everything that we do!

We normally go to 2-Thess. 2 to talk about the abomination that makes desolate. But there's something after that that's important to understand, that refers to the people of God and that they won't get caught up in the abomination of desolation.

2-Thessalonians 2:13: "Now, we are duty-bound to give thanks to God always concerning you, brethren, who are beloved by the Lord…" Regardless of your situation, remember that God loves you!

"…because God from the beginning has called you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth... [notice how all of these tie together] …unto which He called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 13-14).

There's a lot in those two verses! One day we're going to have glory, resurrected from the dead. Today we get resurrected out of bed and we go to the bathroom and look in the mirror and say, 'Oh no! Not too much glory in that face!'

Verse 15: "So then, brethren, stand firm… [that's what we need to do today with the Word of God and Truth of God] …and hold fast the ordinances…" Now, the King James has 'traditions' for this word, but it's ordinances. So, the King James gives license to tradition.

"…that you were taught, whether by word or by our epistle" (v 15). Remember that when you're reading this, this is the second epistle that Paul wrote. Not only is it the second one to the Thessalonians, but the second one that he wrote. He didn't write anything up to this point, and this was 52-53A.D.

The next two verses are very special; v 16: "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God [Himself]—even our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal encouragement and good hope through grace. Encourage your hearts and establish you in every good word and work" (vs 16-17)—motivate you with His Spirit in everything that you do! This is the good hope that He has called us to.

It's astonishing when you read in 2-Tim.; you talk about things not working out the way you expect! Remember how Paul's ministry started out? How did it end? He said that 'all those in Asia have left me!' I wonder what he thought at that point? We know that he encouraged Timothy to go forward.

1-Timothy 1:1: "Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our hope, to Timothy, my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 1-2). Quite an introduction!

Let's see why we have hope! 1-Peter has to be written by Peter just shortly after the Apostle Paul was off into prison in Rome. Because in 2-Peter, he says that he had all of Paul's epistles. He's writing to those who were originally where the Apostle Paul was. 

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father…" (vs 1-2).

Think abut that! IF you answer the call and chosen by God, it is by God the Father!

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…"

That's what's so important with the New Testament. The Father is directly involved in our lives with Jesus Christ.
1-Peter 1:2: "…by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us" (vs 2-4). He's going to bring it with Him when He comes!

Sidebar: After Christ died and was put in the tomb and resurrected, it was known that the body was not there. What did the Jews tell the guards to tell Pilate? The disciples stole the body and took it away!

Don't you think that there were scores of Jews and Romans looking for the body of Christ? That's why, when Jesus appeared to them, they were in the room for fear of the Jews, because they would come and start beating them up and torturing them and ask them where they put the body.

I wonder what that was like? That part of it is not included here, but just think about it. They would have looked every place. They would have suspected that maybe the disciples buried Him in another place. So, they went to every newly closed tomb, probably opened it up to look in to see if He was there. Was there any ground that is loose that shows that someone was buried. They couldn't find the body.

Don't you think that they spent a lot of time looking for the body and couldn't find it? Look what we do today if someone goes down in an airplane; remember the one that came out of Brazil and all of a sudden it just dropped into the ocean, 7,000 feet deep. I'm not talking about getting the body, but they spent years planning how to get that black box from that plane. They finally figured out how to do it and where it was, and they got the black box more than a mile and a quarter below the surface of the water.

Think about what they must have done there? Because the scribes, Pharisees knew that His message was that He would be raised the third day. They even told that to Pilate, 'That's why you have to guard it.' Imagine what that was?

Now, the benefit for us, we have hope by the resurrection from the dead! There's quite a bit in the Psalms concerning hope. One of the things that is interesting is that many of the things concerning the Gospel are found in the Psalms:

  • love
  • faith
  • hope
  • resurrection
  • coming of Christ
  • what Christ would do

Many of those things are right here! Then it jumps forward to the Kingdom of God and beyond that and gets into Rev. 22.

Psalm 38:15: "For in You, O LORD, do I hope; You will answer, O LORD my God."

Jonathan just got the videos BY John Guenther. It's good to have the history of what those in past time have gone through. We need to look and see how they behaved. What did they do? How did they keep the faith? They were chased, slaughtered and killed! And they all kept the hope of God!

Psalm 71:1: "In You, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness and cause me to escape; incline Your ear unto me, and save me. Be my strong Rock of refuge to which I may always go; You have commanded to save me; for You are my Rock and my Fortress. Deliver me… [all of this is based on hope, believing God, faith in God] …O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and ruthless man, for You are my hope, O Lord GOD, my trust from my youth" (vs 1-5).

Now here's one referring directly to Christ, v 6: "By You I have been upheld from the womb…"

Verse 12: "O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed; let those who are enemies of my soul be consumed; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor…" (vs 12-13).

That's a good way to pray for the wicked. You know that they're not going to be converted. Let them fall in on their own. Let's do it today! Let all the hexes and witches against Judge Kavanaugh come upon them!

Verse 14: "But I will hope without ceasing, and I will praise You more and more." Always hoping, even when things look the worst!

We already wondered what John the Baptist thought. What did he think when the soldiers came down. One had the axe to lop off his head, the other one had the dish to put it on, and they bent him over and whacked off his head! I wonder what his last thoughts were? He's going to be fantastic in the Kingdom! We need that hope of God!

Psalm 119:49: "Remember the Word to Your servant upon which You have caused me to hope…. [notice what hope does]: …This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has given me life."

  • we're to always believe in hope
  • continuously have hope
  • never be discouraged or let down

Whatever it is, we all have enough of our own sins and problems that we have to repent of every day. But never lose hope!

Psalm 130:5: "I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His Word do I hope." Isn't that something!

You hope in the Lord. Why? This is why it's important to prove that it's true! That you know it's true! That's why Paul writes, 'Prove all things!' what happens when people believe things that are not true, and then everything falls apart? They don't know what to do!

Verse 6: "My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning; I say, more than those who watch for the morning. Let Israel… [put your name there] …hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is plentiful redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (vs 6-8). Same way with us!

Now, there's more to it. The way that the General Epistles are listed is:

  • Faith—James
  • Hope—Peter
  • Love—John

That's how they are arranged! We have hope by the resurrection of the dead.

1-Peter 1:13: "For this reason, be prepared in your minds, be self-controlled, and be fully hoping in the grace… [this is always ongoing active belief] …that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the former lusts, as you did in your ignorance. But according as He Who has called you is Holy, you yourselves also be Holy in all your conduct; for it is written, 'You be Holy because I am Holy.'" (vs 13-16).

Verse 21: "Even for you who through Him do believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God." Not in the empty promises of man!

Now let's see that we have love and faith combined together in 1-John 3. Who knows what it's going to be like. I don't know how it's going to be for those people down in Florida, that's a terrible situation down there; it really, really is. Some of them are going to be out of power for a month!

  • How do you buy and sell?
  • How can credit cards work?
  • How many had money set aside?
  • How many had water set aside?

That's a big problem down there, and it's perfectly all right to pray for them. Ask God to bless them. Who knows… Remember the Psa. that says, 'When God killed them…' referring the Israelites! They repented and flattered God. Even in their flattery of repentance, He forgave them. Let's hope that there are some people who will come to God through all of that.

When we were in Florida we were in a tropical storm. The wind was 57mph and the whole high-rise condominium shook!

A lot of people rode out that hurricane. I wonder how many of them really prayed to God when they were, 'O God, spare us!' Well, God spared a lot of them; some of them He didn't. We have much more glorious things to look forward to!

1-John 3:1: "Behold!…. [John wants us to know] …What glorious love the Father has given to us…"

Lots of times when we're going through problems, trials and difficulties, it's hard to keep your mind on this. You're all anxious to what is occurring right at the moment.

"…that we should be called the children of God!…. [we belong to God] …For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him" (v 1).

Why doesn't the world know? Because they won't obey!When they don't obey, they're blinded!

  • they don't know
  • they don't see
  • they don't understand

Verse 2: "Beloved, now… [not then; at the resurrection] …we are the children of God… [think of that] …and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is." That's going to be something!

  • everything is going to be changed
  • everything is going to be different
  • everything is going to be spiritual

Verse 3: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure."

  • you're growing
  • you're changing
  • you're overcoming

Live In Love

Now let's see what this leads to. Of course, when you have troubles and difficulties, it's good to focus in on the love of God! You probably lost it yourself in dealing with the circumstances you're dealing with. I have and you have, so we need to come to God!

I tell you, the more you study the Gospel of John, the more you realize what a fantastic Gospel this is!

John 14:13: "And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Think about your prayers. We've been praying for years and years. Look back and see:

  • Did God answer your prayers?


  • Did He leave you hanging and none of your prayers were answered?

No! He answered lots of them! However, not every prayer is yes; sometimes it's no! But He answers those prayers. That gives us hope leading up to the resurrection.

Verse 14: "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." What's the caveat for that? That it's according to the will of God!

Now, here's the condition; we've gone over this many times; v 15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: Even the Spirit of the Truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (vs 15-17).

That narrows things down. Someone will ask: Why does God answer prayer, as in this Protestant minister who was over in the Turkish jail for two years? He got back, thanked God and prayed for President Trump. Why does God answer prayers for them? Well, He does in hopes that they will even come closer to Him and see what they need to do!

However, look at Protestantism here in America as kind of our state religion. We are part of Israel, so there are certain things that God will do with them. They belong to the group that are not against God, but are on His behalf, but haven't been called to eternal salvation the way that we have!

So, we hope! Think on this: You get on down through the time of the Great Tribulation, where do you suppose the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude are going to come from? Probably a lot of them from what the two witnesses have been saying! Andthey may have had some background in a Protestant religion that was more toward the way God would have them to be! They become the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude! Just a thought, speculation, lest anyone say that I'm creating new doctrine!

Verse 18: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."

Verse 20: "In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commandments and is keeping them… [twice, vs 15 & 21] …that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him" (vs 20-21).

This is the goal of everything that we do, and the hardest thing is love, especially when you're fighting against human nature, whatever your weakness may be.

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me" (vs 23-24).

Exactly like it was with God and Moses! The Lord said to Moses, 'Speak to the children of Israel.' God the Father told Jesus what He wanted done. So, that's what He does; that's what He speaks.

"…'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him'" (v 23). That's the grace upon grace that we have; that direct contact with God the Father!

You think: My human nature, I don't control it the way that I ought to. Well, you're not a spirit being, yet; you've still got it. You still have to repent and go back.

Verse 24: "The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me."

  • we have faith; we walk in faith
  • we have hope; we believe in hope
  • we have love; we live in love

Faith! Hope! Love!

Here's why everything we do is important. Some things are greater, some things are less. But here is the most important thing:

John 15:1: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman…. [here's what He does]: …He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit…: (vs 1-2)—that is:

  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • understanding of the Word of God
  • doing the things of God

"…He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit… [Have we lived through that time? Did we see that happen? Yes, indeed!] …but He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit."

  • that's why we have these trials and tests that come along
  • that's why there's no such thing as true Christianity without:
  • trials
  • difficulties
  • challenges
  • stumblings

You go back and look at the patriarchs, especially David. He's held up as an example for us of what to do, and of what not to do, and how God dealt with him after he did what he shouldn't have done! God didn't reject him, but He made life a little more miserable for him so that he would learn. 'Don't ever tempt Me that way again!'

Verse 3: "You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you. Dwell in Me… [just like the vine] … and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches…." (vs 3-5).

If you want an interesting study, study the vineyard of Isa. 5 and compare that with the parable of the vineyard that Jesus gave to the scribes and Pharisees. Look at how that was compared to with Israel and see how the same process works here in the Church.

"…The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing" (v 5)—spiritually that will account for eternal life! There are many things you can do. Look at people in the world and the things that they do.

Verse 6: " If anyone does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch, and is dried up; and men gather them and cast them into a fire, and they are burned"—Lake of Fire!

Verse 7: If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you…"—the Word of God dwells in you.

  • that doesn't mean you're perfect
  • that doesn't mean you don't have things to overcome

But God's Word is dwelling in you, and "…you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love" (vs 7-9).

  • walk in faith
  • believe in hope
  • live in love

Sometimes that last part is harder to do! But there's repentance, and you can do it!

1-Cor. 13 is called the love chapter. Isn't it interesting that it's right here in the middle of Paul's two epistles to the Corinthians.

1-Corinthans 13:13: "And now, these three remain… [abide or are living] …faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love." That's why it's the hardest to develop!

Notice what Paul says that are some of the problems we will face and staying in Christ, and having His love:

Verse 1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels…" Just think of how famous a person would be in the world if he could speak in angel's language!

You get these people who would like to have aliens… Have you seen the 'crystal skull.' They say there are 13 of them. If they get all 13 together, all of a sudden we're going to have a lot of new knowledge. Well, that may be true, but it will be very satanic, as well!

"…but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal…. [you don't want to hear it] …If I have the gift of prophecy… [everybody wants to have that] …and understand all mysteries and all knowledge… [you'd be the greatest person in the world] …and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (vs 1-2).

That's why there is faith, hope and love, and constantly coming back to God for these things! As human beings we need to be revived. That's why we have the Sabbath every seventh day.

Verse 3: "And if I give away all my goods…" It says in the King James 'to the poor.' But you could even give them to rich people.

"…and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing" (v 3).

Here's the challenge, v 4: "Love is patient and is kind… [that's always hard to do when you lose your temper] …love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil…" (vs 3-6).

There's a whole list of things that we can all work on. I look at that and say that I'm in bad shape if I don't repent and learn from not doing these things.

"…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things…" (vs 6-7). Regardless of what your trials are, God will give you the strength to bear it.

"…believes all things… [concerning God] …hopes all things… [there we have faith, hope and love all in one verse] …endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease… [they'll all be fulfilled] …whether there be languages, they shall cease…" (vs 7-8).

We'll have a new language. When we're resurrected on the Sea of Glass, we're all going to have a new language that we're going to be able to communicate with each other. God is not raising us up on the Sea of Glass to create a second Tower of Babel.

"…whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away" (v 8). Think of that! The knowledge that we have today—even if we had all knowledge—is going to just evaporate with the spiritual knowledge that God is going to give us.

Verse 9: "For we know in part… [Paul is back down to earth here] …and we prophesy in part; but when that which is Perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child" (vs 9-11). Some of us haven't done all of that, yet; but let's hope we do!

Verse 12: "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known. And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (vs 12-13).

  • Walk in faith!
  • Believe in hope!
  • Live in love!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 24:12
  • Psalm 119:15
  • Psalm 37:5
  • Psalm 27:11-14
  • Psalm 86:11-13
  • Proverbs 8:32-36
  • Romans 1:16-17
  • Hebrews 11:1-3, 6
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Mark 11:20:22
  • Ephesians 2:4-8, 10
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • 1 John 1:3
  • 2 John 6
  • 1 John 2:3-6
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
  • 1 Timothy 1:1-2
  • 1 Peter 1:1-2
  • John 6:44
  • 1 Peter 1:2-4
  • Psalm 38:15
  • Psalm 71:1-6, 12-14
  • Psalm 119:49
  • Psalm 130:5-8
  • 1 Peter 1:13-16, 21
  • 1 John 3:1-3
  • John 14:13-18, 20-21, 23-24
  • John 15:1-9
  • 1 Corinthians 13:13, 1-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 13
  • Psalm 1
  • Romans 2
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Philippians 3:21
  • Revelation 22
  • Isaiah 5

Transcribed: 10/22/18

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