Fred R. Coulter

A lot of people want to know what on earth is going on in the Church of God? And I think your introduction there, Don, was very appropriate as to what is happening. Because true to the prophecy, the sheep have been scattered upon the mountains and they are looking to follow the voice of Christ. Let’s begin by going to John 10. Here’s a promise that Jesus gave. And this is the whole search that everyone is trying to do. Unfortunately, mixed in with that we have the problems of those people who are trying to create an organization for what they want to do; we have people who want to shut the door and bolt it tight, only have those people that they approve. But out of it all, here is what Jesus is saying concerning the sheep of God. And yes, we are being scattered, but they are being re-gathered because Jesus said He wouldn’t lose one. Not one would fall out of His hand. Now we come here to John 10, let’s pick it up here in verse 14.

This is what's so important. This is happening, as I mentioned some time ago, in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Church of God Seventh Day; it’s happening in Sunday-keeping churches, it’s happening in all of the Churches of God, because God is doing something. Now lots of times we won’t know exactly what God is doing until somewhere down the road where, when we’re walking in faith, we come along and say, “Oh, that’s what God was doing.” But here’s part of it right here.

Verse 14, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep…” God knows everyone of us. Christ knows everyone of us. Why? Because we have the Spirit of God, that’s why. God knows wherever His Spirit is, so He knows us. “…And am known of Mine.” And this is what the brethren are trying to find out. They’re trying to find out, where is Christ? Where is the truth? What is really being preached from the word of God? Who’s telling the truth, who's not telling the truth? Whose fudging, who has a position, who’s doing what they want to do rather than doing what Christ wants to do, and it gets a little confusing to sort out sometimes.

Verse 15, “As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring and they shall hear My voice…” And that’s what the people of God are trying to find - the true voice of God, the true word of God. And no one has a market on it; no one has a corner on the market on it. If someone is really truly preaching the word of God, then that will be understood. “…And there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

Now let’s go back to Jeremiah 23. And in this sermon, because some of the things that I'm going to mention, we’re going to go to a lot of scriptures, but mainly all of which we’ve studied - some with great rapidity in the past and some we haven’t. Jeremiah 23, and here is something that is so important, and in trying to find the voice of God this is what it has to be. Verse 28, “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream…” So there comes a time when there is a dividing line.

Now Don and I had a very interesting conversation about Ellen G. White of the past, because of his experience that he went through in the Seventh-Day Adventist church. And the people of God, wherever they are, God is just going to let those - He’s taken all the reins off. Anyone who wants to go do their thing, go do it. Anyone that wants to start a church, go start it. But I’ll tell you what, here is the whole thing right here. “…And he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully.” And that’s the whole experience that the Church of God is going through right now. And after all, isn’t that what the sheep of God want? Don’t they want the word of God spoken faithfully?

Now today, in the Worldwide Church of God, since we’re all talking about the Church, they are going to begin announcing that the Sabbath is no longer important. They’re also going to begin announcing that it’s ok for you to come to church and be baptized and be a member, and you don’t have to quit your job to keep the Sabbath any longer. They are also preaching a message of grace, which is as watered-down as anything that you will ever hear from any - any Protestant. And I spent most of the week, when I’ve been driving around, listening to heresy from within the Church of God. And so it has really been quite a thing. It’s almost reminded me of right there in Genesis 3:1, “Yea, hath God said?” And that’s what’s happening in the Churches of God. And I’m going to quote you some of the Scriptures as they have been quoted and we’ll find out.

Let’s go to I Corinthians 11 and let’s see why these things are taking place. If you want to know what's wrong with the Churches of God today, read I Corinthians and II Corinthians. That’s what’s wrong with it. I Corinthians 11. Now, even the apostle Paul knew these things were going to happen. Let’s pick it up here in verse 18, “For first of all, when ye come together in the Church, I hear that there be divisions among you: and I partly believe it.” Now let’s understand something that most lay members really never, never knew. All the divisions you’re seeing spinning out of Worldwide were all within Worldwide, but contained by authority. And so now you’re just seeing them out in the open. That’s all. Before it was contained by authority and by allegiance and all of this sort of thing,. But it’s been there all the time.

Verse 19, “For there must also be heresies among you…” Now the word “must” means it’s ordained. It’s going to happen. It’s going to take place. “…That they which are approved may be manifest among you.” In other words, those who are truly approved of God. How are you going to know what’s in the mind of a preacher - which is really one of the big problems that members have - how are you going to know what’s in the mind of a minister that’s serving you, unless he has the liberty to be himself? Therefore then you’re really going to truly know what’s in this person’s heart, is that not correct? Where it’s all contained by authority and everyone is nice little robots all lined up here, and you sort of crank them up and you run them down the sawdust trail, you never know what they really believe until there’s a crisis, until there is a difficulty. So that’s why these things come along.

And so Paul said it would be there. Let’s go to 2 Thessalonians. Now we’ve gone through this so much, and I will just have to say that all of those pioneering members - 2 Thessalonians 2 - we’ve gone through these things… by the way, the care package really is an accumulation of about 1 year’s sermons. But we’ve taken, some from here and some from there, and so forth. Now here in 2 Thessalonians 2 is something that we’ve covered time and time and time and time again, so I want to focus on one thing specifically. Verse 9, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan…” Now, that’s not the voice of Christ. “…With all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish…” (vs. 9–10).

Now, why are people going to listen to them? Because, see, this is also a test of what you know and believe, is it not? And also a test of what the minister knows and believes and teaches, but it’s a test of what all the brethren of God know and believe. And whether you really know that you know. Because, you see, truth in the calm is very easy to contain. Truth within the storm is very difficult to hold onto. And so, like right now, we’re in between a calm between three storms. And I’m very happy. But the wind is going to come, just like it says in Matthew 7. The wind is going to blow, the rain is going to come, the floods are going to be there. Now are you on sand, or you on a rock? That’s what you…that's the whole lesson of what we’re going through.

Now here’s what happens, verse 10, “…Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” You have to love the truth. Now the truth is what? Christ is the truth. The word of God is the truth. And it’s what? How is it described? The sword of truth is described as sharper than any two-edged sword. It just doesn’t go through your middle and spill your blood. It cuts asunder the soul and the spirit, and is the discerner of the intents and the thought of the heart. And that’s what God really wants. What, how, and in what degree do you love Me? That’s what God really wants to know.

Now, if you don’t love the truth - and remember Jesus said, “I am the way, the life, and the truth,” - here’s what’s going to happen. And this is what is happening this Sabbath today in all the Worldwide Churches of God. They have a three hour video coming - now some may not be this week, but it will be next week - where that you don’t need to keep the commandments of God to be saved. Now, who would have ever thought that you would hear that within the Worldwide Church of God? And a lot of people are saying, “Well, why is it happening?” Right here. There it is. Did the ministers love the truth? Did the brethren love the truth? Did they play religion? Did they play politics?

I got a letter this last week from a person saying, “Boy, I’m sure glad I got the book, Lord, What Should I Do? It’s been hard for me to admit that I’ve played religion for 20 years.” So that’s what it gets down to. Now if you don’t love the truth in a crisis, then what’s going happen? You’re going to have a strong delusion so you will believe a lie. That’s what this book here - we’ve just got it The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop. If you’ve never read it, read it. It is amazing. Telling all about what’s happened to the world because they believed a lie.

Let’s go to the book of Revelation, and let’s begin to clear just a little bit. To be saved by grace does not mean you throw away the commandments of God whatsoever. Revelation 12:17. It’s very important. Now, we’re going to cover a couple of scriptures, and then I will quote to you how the scriptures have been cloaked. Remember in this situation Satan is making war against the Church, correct? Yes. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman…” That means you’re not going to have a very pleasant time of it. “…And went to make war with the remnant of her seed…” Which what? “Have rejected all the commandments of God and have Christ in you, and that’s all that there is. It doesn’t matter.” We’ll talk a little bit about Christ in you in just a minute. No, it says, “…Which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Let’s just come across the page - chapter 14:12. And if you don’t believe that this isn’t a setting in the end time, then just read the whole chapter. It is. Notice what it says here. Verse 12, “Here is the patience of the saints…” Now, “patience” can also mean endurance. So it shows that there is endurance to be done. “…Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Now that means that Jesus’ very own faith in you. How are you going to have Jesus’ faith in you? By Christ in you. And I want you to think about Christ in you, how many commandments of God would Jesus’ break if He were here in the flesh? Now you think about that. Let’s go on because we want to cover some very interesting things here.

Let’s turn to 2 Timothy 3, and let’s understand something. Why is the word of God called the word of God? Why is the word of God called the word of God? Now it’s not a trick question. It’s very simple. Because it’s God’s word. God spoke it. The whole lesson of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is, “Obey My voice.” Every word that is in the Bible God spoke or revealed to the prophets, or inspired and revealed to the apostles. That’s why it's called the word of God.

Let’s come here to 2 Timothy 3:15. This is very basic, but we also want to understand something very clearly. Because the move is now that, “You don’t have to keep the law of Moses, including the holy days and Sabbath, none of that counts and the longer at all. You do it because you’re good.” Verse 15, “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures [and that’s not New Testament, by the way], which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Does this not say, then, you have to have the faith of Jesus Christ and you have to believe the word of God? And if you believe the word of God, what are you going to do? You’re going to obey it. Because what you believe in your heart is what you act upon. Is that not correct? Yes. Now, true - it is a true statement: the law was never designed to save you. That is a true statement. But you don’t throw away the law or the commandments of God because that is a true statement. It is true Christ can save you, but it is also true, as we will see, you cannot receive salvation being a sinner living in sin can you? No you cannot.

Now verse 16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” Today people are being told, “What Moses wrote…” - let’s see if I can recall it – “…All the other religions had a man write their religion. Buddha wrote Buddha, and he’s dead. Mohammad wrote Mohammadism, and he’s dead. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, and he’s dead.” A direct quote from a minister preaching in the Worldwide Church of God to brethren. What did Jesus say? “God is the God of the living and not of the dead,” (Luke20:38, paraphrased). Why did they have the transfiguration on the mount, and who appeared on the transfiguration with Jesus in vision? Moses and Elijah. What do they represent? The law and the prophets, is that not correct? So you have the law and the prophets with Christ standing in between showing that if you want to know anything about a true trinity, it is the law, the prophets and Christ, which has nothing to do with the Trinity the way the world understands it. But the truth is, Jesus was showing you need all three. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine…” And there are people who say doctrine is not important. “…For reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then he goes on and describes the time in which we are living today. “I charge thee therefore…” So every minister needs to accept this as a charge and responsibility from God. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick [or that is, the living] and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word…” (2 Tim. 4:1). That means you have to know it. That means you have to understand it. That means you have to study it.

And there is one thing I would just state categorically. Now, I got this book return to me, and I’m very happy that I got it back. But I shall get some more of them and I will loan them out. And I will state categorically here, you cannot, you cannot, you cannot understand what Paul is talking about concerning grace and concerning law unless you have studied Judaism. You don’t know how the Jews sealed off the laws of God with their laws, unless you know Judaism. No minister is qualified to render any opinion concerning what Paul is talking about, law versus grace, unless he understands what’s in this book, The Code of Jewish Law. Because you will not understand what a work of law is seeking to justify yourself. Now as I promised, and I will try to do it as soon as I can, I will give an hour’s worth of reading from it. This book, unfortunately, I did not have marked up. Let me give you just an example. No, let’s finish here, and then I’ll give you an example.

Verse 2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” So you have to be right on top of all of the issues, not only the feasts, but all the issues confronting the Church. “…Reprove, rebuke exhort [that means edify and uplift], with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they keep to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth…” Why? Because they didn’t love it. And I know. I’m the same way. You’re the same way. When the truth about you is [smack] hitting you right in the face - I’ll have to admit I don’t want to hear it, you don’t want to hear it. What you do from it? You may grudgingly accept it and go away grumbling, and if you let it sink deep in your heart, then ok, that’s fine.

But if you don’t love the truth, when the truth comes, they’re going to turn their ear away from it. And so when they’re told, “Well, look. Christmas is not so bad.” When they’re told, “Well look - all this law that you’ve done for years…”, and it was the result of the minister’s false teachings, by the way, that put them in that position, “…you can forget about.” And you can have a minister in the Worldwide Church of God stand up there and say, “Now, brethren, everything you have learned for the past 20 years, I want you to forget all about.” Well, I’m not going to tell you that, brethren. Because you can preach grace, and you can preach the commandments of God, and you do need both of them.

Now let's go to Mark 7. Let me give you an example here. Just one example. And these things were functioning then. You see, instead of stripping away the laws of Judaism, and as I mentioned last Sabbath, I’ll mention again this Sabbath. Which law in the Old Testament was not given in love? Because Jesus said, “On these two commandments…”, of loving God with all your heart and mind and soul and being, and loving your neighbor as yourself, “…hang all the commandments of God,” (Matthew 22:40, paraphrased). Correct? Did God give any commandment which was not in love? Could God give any commandment which is not in love? Can God give any commandment which is not in truth? Did God lie to Moses and say, “Moses, now you do this, but you know I’m going to throw all this away later on, Moses. Because you’re just a man and you’re going to die.” See, the ones who brag on the Law of Moses are the Jews, and their Law of Moses is not the law of Moses. Please understand that. I’m holding it in my hand here.

When we come to Mark 7, we find this. Verse 1, “Then came together unto Him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.” Now they came from so-called “headquarters,” right? Anyone who comes from Jerusalem is important, right? “And when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the traditions of the elders,” (vs. 1–3).

Now, what are the traditions of the elders? Do you know what they are? Have you ever read them? Do you even understand what they are? Let me read you one. I just happened to turn to it. “Washing the hands before meals: Before eating bread over which the benediction, ha-modzhi that is, bringing forth…” Now, there is a special benediction that you must say word for word before you start eating. It said one must watch his hands first. “…If the bread is no less the size of an egg, he must say the benediction for washing hands. But, if it is less than that, he need not say the benediction.”

Now, question: Is this a swallow’s egg? Is this a little chicken’s egg? Is this a big chicken’s egg? Is this a duck egg? Is this a goose egg? Is this an ostrich egg? So we’ll turn it right back on them to show you the ridiculousness of what they’re saying. See, because all of these things that the Jews have done are trying to make themselves right with God. And they’re trying to say that within this kind of thing there is salvation. No, there isn’t. There may be clean hands. But salvation is not the issue.

“The water used for washing the hands must be poured out of a vessel that is perfect, having neither a hole nor a crack...” I mean, this gets a little humorous. I lent this book to one man, and he said, “Boy, there’s a lot of good jokes in here.” Some of these things are unreal. “…It must also be even at the top without any indents or projecting parts. When using a vessel having a spout we must not let the water run through the spout…” What's a spout for? “…Because the spout is not a part of the vessel proper, since it does not hold any liquid. We must therefore pour the water from the edge of the vessel which contains the liquid.” Now, I don't imagine any of you have heard – well, some of the old-timers here have, but this book is full of it, full of it, full of it.

“A vessel that has originally been made to stand only by means of a support is considered a vessel. If it has not been originally made to be so used, for instance, when it is a cover of some vessel, the hands may not be washed from it.” So if you have a nice deep pot lid that you want to put some water in and wash your hands, now you cannot use that, because that is not a vessel. This, brethren, is what the apostle Paul was against. Not the laws of God.

This is how it’s been buried. I also have another book that I just got back, it’s called, Israel: Our Duty and Our Dilemma. So if you don’t know - and I say this to any minister - if you haven’t studied Judaism, if you don’t know what Judaism is, then you are not properly fit to teach the epistles of the apostle Paul. Number 2, if you don’t know Greek, you are not fit to detail any technical study concerning it, because you are going to miss the point entirely. You will twist it and turn it.

Now what is happening in the Worldwide Church of God today is that they’re using the New International Version of the Bible, and the New International Version Commentary which goes with it, which has all of these things washed away. Let me give you an example here in just a minute. First of all, let’s go to Exodus 23 because I want to make a point. And I would like you, if you could please in your own studies, study all what is commonly called the Law of Moses, and all of those laws that have to do with personal relationships between people and people, not having to do with ceremony. You find one law - I wanted to do this, I challenge you to - one law that was not good.

Now let’s read Exodus 23:1, “Thou shalt not raise a false report…” Does that mean if you don’t follow the law of Moses you can lie? Is that not a good law? Is that not a law given in love? “…Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” That convicts all the ministers who preach that you don’t have to keep the commandments of God, because you’re putting your hand to an unrighteous witness, aren’t you? Yes. Let’s read the next verse.

Verse 2, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest [or that is, twist] judgment…” The majority’s not always right. It doesn’t matter how many there. It doesn’t matter what the leading people may believe. If it’s not truth, it’s not truth. Verse 3, “Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.” Because he may be a thief hiding in disguise.

Verse 4, “If thou meet thine enemy’s…” Now hold your place right here, and we’ll come back. I just want to make a point brethren. Let’s go to the book of Matthew. I don’t know if its chapter 5 or chapter 6 at this point. We’ll find out when we get there, so get within the range of it. Chapter 5:43, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.” Ok, now we’re going to go back and read what Moses was instructed there. Verse 44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Now let's go back to Exodus 23. Is this not New Testament doctrine here, brethren? Yes. You’re to hate the enemy that is God’s enemy: Satan the devil. Do you hate Satan the devil? Sure. Notice what He says here in verse 4, “If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray…”, it’s yours to keep. You just lock them up and take it, because he was a stupid idiot for letting it go.” No. It says, “…Thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.” Now that’s New Testament doctrine, isn’t it? Yes it is. Verse 5, “If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forebear to help him…” In other words, you’re going along and say, “Ha! Look at that guy. He’s got that stupid jackass loaded down real heavy. I hope it breaks the back of his donkey.” God says, Nope, “…Thou shalt surely help with him.” Now is there anyone who wants to do away with this law or any other law that God has?

Let me just say something concerning doing away laws. The only laws which have been replaced - let’s state it that way - are the ritual laws. They have been replaced by a greater sacrifice and a greater ritual, the ritual of Jesus Christ being accepted by God the Father in heaven above after His ascension. Is this the word of God, which is able to make you wise unto salvation if you follow it? Yes. Was God concerned with attitude under the Old Covenant, supposedly called? Yes. “He shall surely help him.” Well, go read the rest of it. I’ll let you finish that because there some other things that we want to cover here.

Let’s go to the epistle of 2 John. If you want to go ahead and get your study epistle on this, that’s ok. 2 John, and what I want you to understand is whenever the Church is going through some very difficult times, now as we’ve gone through the most part of 1 John, you will see that in 1 John there was a question of keeping the commandments, correct? Yes. And what did John make absolutely clear? He made it absolutely clear that no one can say that he knows God if he’s not keeping His commandments. He says clearly he is a liar and the truth is not in him. Now then, the problem in the Church developed even further, just like it is today, this very day, that is taking place as I mentioned before. So now we come to 2 John which tells us, how do you survive in this spiritual storm and war that’s going on?

So let’s read it beginning in verse 1. “The elder unto the chosen lady…” And I think that’s a code word to all the Churches of God, “…and her children…” Who are the children? The brethren. “…Whom I am loving in the truth; and not just I alone, but also all those who have known the truth…” So you have to know the truth, you have to love the truth. Verse 2, “For the sake of the truth which is dwelling in us…” Now we can have many, many different analogies here. Christ is in us, is that not correct? The word of God is in us, that is truth. Is this not correct? Yes. The Holy Spirit is in us, which is what? The Spirit of truth. So all of those are contained within that one statement, “The truth which is dwelling in us.” “…And shall be with us forever” (2 John 1-2, Author’s Translation).

Notice, “Grace, mercy, peace, shall be with us from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father…” How? “…In truth and in love.” That's how to maintain the Church. And that’s how it should be done. “I rejoiced exceedingly that I found your children walking in the truth, exactly as we have received command from the Father. And now I am beseeching you, lady, not as though I am writing a new commandment to thee…” (vs. 3-4, AT). Why? Because there were a lot of people coming around, “This is a new commandment.” The commandments of Jesus are the commandments of love. They’re all commandments of love. Every one of them. “We have a new commandment: you don’t have to keep the commandments that are contained in the Old Testament. That was the law of Moses, and Moses died. We have a new commandment: if Christ is in you, you need not worry about anything else. You can keep any day holy; you can do anything you want to. But as long as Christ is in you, you are perfect.” Not so.

“…But that which you were observing from the beginning, that you should be loving one another. And this is the love…” Here it is. You want to know the Christian love? “…That we walk should be walking according to His commandments,” (vs. 6, AT). Question: when Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” does that mean, then, His commandments were different from what He gave Moses? Now I'll guarantee you one thing, they were different than what was written by Judaism in this book, The Code of Jewish Law by Gansfried and Golden. “…According to His commandments. This is the commandment exactly as you have heard it from the beginning, in order that you might be walking in it” (vs. 5-6, AT). Because why? The way of God is what? Is it a religion? It is a way of life. It’s not a religion. People classify what we do as a religion. We don’t have a religion - we have a way of life. Now if you want a religion, then you get yourself a little cross and you get yourself some beads, and you get yourself your own dogma of whatever church you want to belong to, and have a religion. Be it pagan, be it quasi-Christian, whatever. No, it’s a way. We are walking in it.

And I think it’s interesting, part of the book of Romans that I’m working on right now where it talks about the imputation of the righteousness that God gives to us, it is given to those who are walking in the footsteps of Abraham. Remember our famous verse that we turn to concerning Abraham? Can anyone tell me? We always go back to the one on Abraham. Not concerning grace. Oh, everyone loves that…that’s it. Genesis 26:5 (paraphrased), “Because Abraham obey My voice and kept My laws, kept My commandments and kept My statutes, and My charge; therefore I’m giving the promise to you…” That’s what He said to Jacob. Do you think that Abraham lived a sinful life? No - he was walking in the way of the Lord.

Now verse 7. Why is all of this so importantly stated that way? “Because many deceivers have entered into the world, those who are not confessing that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This one is the deceiver and the anti-Christ.” Now is that happening today? Yes. Remember another statement by a famous doctor: “When you change the nature of God, you change all doctrines.” Was that not prophetic of what’s happening today in all the Churches of God? Yes. When you get rid of the truth of the duality of God, and then you go to some other fairy tale, which is what the Trinity is, you are not walking in the truth, you are not loving the truth and every other doctrine will be changed. It’s gonna happen.

Now verse 8, “Watch out for yourselves, in order that you may not lose the things we have accomplished…” That’s what we need to do, brethren. We need to watch out and not lose those things, but also grow in grace and grow and knowledge, so that we add to what God has given. “…Rather that you may be receiving the full reward. Anyone who is transgressing…” What is transgression? Sin is the transgression of law. It’s what it is.

Since we’re in the study paper of the epistles of John, let’s go to 1 John 3:4. This is a literal translation, and this is so important. Not just to sin, but he’s talking about a whole…

Part 2

1 John 3:4, “Everyone who is practicing sin…” That means you do it habitually, “…is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.” Now, “lawlessness” comes from the Greek word anomia, which means “against law.” Now that doesn’t mean you’re standing up and you’re hateful toward it. You can even stand up and just ridicule it, and say, “Oh, that's just the Law of Moses. It isn’t going to save you.” Well, that’s why Christ came - because it couldn’t save. But Christ came also that we should keep the law the way it should be. To keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus, as we saw.

Let’s go back to 2 John, verse 9, “Anyone who is transgressing, and is not abiding in the teachings of Christ, does not have God.” That can’t be any stronger, can it? No. That can’t be any stronger. 2 John 9. Since there are no chapters, it’s just nine. “Anyone who is transgressing, and is not abiding in the teachings of Christ, does not have God. The one who is abiding in the teachings of Christ, this one has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you…” Now, here’s a responsibility for everyone - all elders, all brethren. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive this one into your house, and do not say to him, ‘Greetings’. Because anyone who is saying ‘Greetings’ to him is partaking in his evil work” (2 John 9-11, AT). Well, that’s pretty strong language, isn’t it? Why? Because they are coming bringing a lie. They don’t have the truth in them. And that lie is being preached today within the congregations of the Worldwide Church of God. And I’ll tell you a couple the scriptures that are going to be used here in just a minute.

Verse 12, let’s finish this, “I have many things to write, but I do not wish to convey these things to you with paper and ink. But I am hoping to come unto you and speak face-to-face, in order that our joy may be completely full. The children of your chosen sister salute you.” It’s interesting the Greek there is “mouth to mouth.” English, you say “face-to-face.” In Greek you say “mouth to mouth.”

Now let’s consider, we finished the epistle of 2 John. So that will speed up our series. Let’s look at how this is done. Let’s go to the book of Jude. Again, there no chapters here, just verses. And these things are happening so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up with it. You know, you would like to be right on top of it and keep right up with it and have everything, but you just can’t keep up with it. But here’s what’s happened.

Jude verse 3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful…” He’s saying it was just obligatory: “I really had to do this.” “…For me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares…” Didn’t know their true colors at first. Came out, just like as I mentioned last week about the posthypnotic situation that comes on someone years later. Just like someone comes along and pulls a trigger, and all of a sudden, then, your true purpose becomes known.

Verse 4, “…Crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men…” Now, what do they do? What is and ungodly person? It’s one who does not know God, is that not correct? They come along and say, “You don’t need to keep the commandments of God.” And John said, “If they say they know Him and don’t keep His commandments, the truth is not in them, and they are a liar.” Correct? Ungodly men, waiting for the time, the moment, the hour to cut loose all of their subterfuge, and it’s coming in a floodgate today. “…Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4). That’s what they do. And they do it - put in your notes there, Isaiah 5:20-24, which is, they cast the commandments of God behind them; they call evil good and good evil. When you speak disparagingly concerning the Law of Moses, what did Paul say? And you broke it? In the mouth of two or three witnesses you were condemned, correct? When they represent Christ as being something totally other than that, what you think they’re worthy of?

Let’s go to 2 Peter 2. Let’s see again. The apostles knew these things were coming. I’m sure it was a shock to them when it really came. I’m sure it just about - just blew them away, if we could use a modern expression. Look at how Jude wrote there. 2 Peter 2:1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who [shall] privily…” That means “stealthily.” You can’t detect them. You can’t find them out. It’s like the stealth plane. You can’t pick it up on radar, you can’t see it, you can’t hear it. So they came in stealthily. “…Who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many…” So it’s going to be interesting to see how many love the truth enough to know what’s right or wrong. Because that’s the test. “…And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2). Then you can read all the rest. We’ll save the rest for when we get into the series.

Let’s go to Colossians 2. Now, at this time I would like to announce on this tape, for all of those of you who have not received it - and it will require an extra amount on your part to help with it, because of the things that we are doing - that if you have not received the series on Colossians with the eight tapes, to write for it. Because that is most important, because we go through Colossians the second chapter word for word. Let me read this, Colossians 2:16. Let me read it the way it says then I will read it the way it is currently being preached in the Churches of God today. Verse 16, “Let no man therefore judge you…” Now if they’re judging you, they’re judging your behavior. “…In [eating] meat [it says ‘in meat’], or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Now they go back up here to verse 10 and say, “You are complete in Him; therefore if you’re complete in Christ, that’s all you need.” Now here’s how this verse is read today. Verse 16, “You should judge no one concerning eating or drinking, or which day they keep…” Now, it doesn’t say that, brethren, at all. So what is being taught, because people are asleep, and people don’t love the truth, and people have not been studying, now it comes through and they sit there and they say, “Yeah.” But that isn’t what it’s saying. It doesn’t say you are not to judge. It says “Let no one judge you,” see. And many other scriptures that way.

Let’s go to Ephesians 2. Here’s another one. Because you see, the thing that they want to do, they want to get away from our Christian works. Also put in your notes - and I’ll make mention - everyone of the seven churches Jesus starts out this way: ”Unto the church of…”, where ever it is, Ephesus. He says, “I am so happy you’re not doing any works.” Aha. No. He said, “I know your works,” does He not? Yes. And every one of the sins described within the seven churches are breaking the laws of God, are they not? Yes. They come here and give just strictly the traditional standard thing. Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

“So therefore, forget all about the law; forget all about the Sabbath; forget all about the Holy Days. I want you to forget about everything you have ever learned in all the years in the Church of God, because all of that was a big lie.” That’s what’s being said. I’ve got the tape. I heard it. It was hard listening to. Some of those are most difficult. Because it reveals the complete and total utter disregard for God, utter disregard for the word of God, and also, it puts the brethren in the situation that, “Hey - you’re nothing but a bunch of dumb dodos, and you don’t know anything.” Well, after one sermon down in Big Sandy, this videotape of three hours was so long, they took a break at an hour-and-a-half, and when they took a break they ended up with huge groups of people arguing back and forth with one another, because of all these lies which were being dispensed.

So the battle is thick and heavy. Now their full hand is known. They want to destroy the Church of God. And how you destroy it is get people in there to tear away the faith and the belief. So God is going to scatter. God is going to bring together, and that’s what the brethren want to know: Where is Christ? Where is God? Where’s the truth? What is His word? Because Jesus said, “I know My sheep, and they know Me, and they hear My voice and they follow Me wherever I go,” (John 10:14, 27, paraphrased). Which means that He isn’t going to be in one place all the time, correct? Yes.

Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye [have been] saved through faith…” That’s true. There’s no law which can do it. But that doesn’t mean you throw them away. “…And that not of yourselves…” It can’t come out from within you. Has any man beat death yet, except Christ? No. “…Not of works…” That was the whole lesson of Job, wasn’t it? “…Lest any man should boast.” But here is the thing, verse 10 - and they never read this. They never, never read this. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10). That is, walking in the commandments. Isn’t that what John just told us? Yes.

That’s why this whole thing of law versus grace has got to be completely reversed. For us to stand by and just defend commandment keeping for the sake of commandment keeping, and not go after the licentiousness of their misinterpretation of grace, we have missed the point. We should be the ones who are saying, “You Sunday-keepers don’t have Christ.” We should be the ones who are saying, “You cannot receive salvation if you have your own works of Sunday-keeping, of Christmas, of Easter. Because the works that were ordained by God for us to walk in are the commandments of God.”

Brethren, we’ve got to reverse this whole thing. Let’s go to 1 Timothy 1, which in this particular case, will clearly emphasize why you need to understand the Greek. Now, if you don’t believe what I’m going to tell you, then what you need to do, you need to - if you have a Strong’s Concordance, you get it out at home. That’s ok. I’m sure Strong’s will tell you. If you have an Interlinear, go ahead and read it in the Interlinear. 1 Timothy 1:5, “Now the end of the commandment is charity [love] out of a pure heart…” Oh my, what you going to do with that? [Laughs] There it is, clear as a bell. “…And of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned…” Can you have faith and commandment keeping together? Yes. It takes faith to keep the commandments, doesn’t it? Yes. If not, what do you end up with? The Code of Jewish Law, where they govern every little thing that you do.

“From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling…” And boy, I would have to say that's exactly what I heard. Now, I didn’t hear that minister quote these two verses. He started with the next verse. “Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (vs. 6-7). And I’d have to say that’s so true of him. He didn’t know what he was saying. He didn’t know what he was affirming.

 Now, here’s the verse - verse 8 and verse 9, “But we know that the law is evil, and terrible and miserable, and no one should keep it. And it’s a rotten, dirty thing. That’s why Christ delivered it from us.” No. “…We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully…” Now that’s says a whole lot, doesn’t it? Yes. The Code of Jewish Law is not using the law lawfully.

Verse 9, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man…” So therefore they conclude, if you have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you, you don’t need to keep the law, because the law was not made for you. But that’s not what the word “made” means. The word should be translated, “the law is not enacted upon a righteous man.” It’s not enacted upon. If you are going the speed limit, can a police officer stop you and arrest you for speeding? No. The law cannot be enacted upon a righteous person. What are we supposed to be in Christ? Righteous. Which means we’re keeping the commandments of God, correct? Yes. Now let’s read on.

“…But [the law is enacted upon] for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;…” Now that’s all-inclusive law-keeping, isn’t it? And true to the prophecy that’s right here, that they tried to be teachers of the law and they don’t even know what they’re doing. They don’t even know what they’re affirming. Now you can take this little section right here and you can go ahead and analyze out of it every one of the 10 Commandments, correct? Yes you can. You might do that for a study. “…And contrary to any, anything, anything that is against God.”

Now let’s go to Romans 13. And this is pure Protestantism. Pure Protestantism. But what happens when you’re in the Church for 20 years, and after a while you begin to know that you know as much as the minister? Have you ever been out in the congregation, sitting out in the congregation, and here comes this minister in to be teaching you, and he announces what he’s going to preach on. And you’re sitting there, and because you’ve heard this before, you say, “I wonder where he’s going to next?” So you have your little dutifully marked Bible with all little things and references that you’ve marked in there - which is fine, nothing wrong with that. My Bible is all marked. But the ultimate result of that is to put it here between those two eyes, up in the mind. So to mark the Bible to get it there is perfectly all right. I’m not denigrating marked bibles.

But when you go along and you find that the minister is preaching a sermon that you’ve heard so many times over, you’ve got it so well marked in your Bible, going from verse to verse. And after a while you get to thinking, “Boy, I know where he’s going next - yep. Sure enough he goes there, and now I know where he’s going next - sure enough, he’s going there.” I had a man I talked to on the phone the other day, he said for 20 years he read the Bible while the sermon was being preached, because it was nothing new being preached. Now that’s tragic. The Bible is so full of the word of God, and the Spirit and the truth, that we can’t keep up with it, brethren. It’s just the opposite, see? Here in services we read the Bible – together - while the sermon is going on.

Romans 13, here we go. This is what’s going to be given, saying, “You don’t need to keep the law, you just need to have love.” Well, what if you love to steal from your neighbor? What if you love your neighbor’s wife? What if you love your neighbor’s husband? What if you love your neighbor’s car? What if you love your neighbor’s house? And you get it all through your conniving and scheming? It doesn’t mean that at all. Let’s pick it up here in verse 9. You probably know where I’m going. So I have to get this back on myself again, right? You guessed were I was going. Knowing Protestant doctrine, that’s good.

Verse 9, “For this [in this], Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely…” Are there any other commandments? Yes, we read some in Exodus 23, correct? Yes. “…It is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:9-10).

Same way with God. If you’re going to love God, are you going to have idols? If you’re going to love God, are you going to have a big Buddha right in your house, and at sunrise you go get the incense, and you light the incense, and all the smoke comes up, and you stand out there in your yellow garb before this Buddha and say, “I am delivered to do all of this…”? No. You see, it is almost ridiculous.

Now let’s talk about Christ in you. Let’s go to Colossians 1:27, because it is absolutely true: God never created a law which could give eternal life. Did you know that? That’s why Christ had to come. But what are laws and commandments for? Loving God. Loving your neighbor. Are we still in the flesh after we are converted? Yes. Do we need the commandments of God to live by? Yes. Now, for all those of you who have ever played a musical instrument, remember the difficulty you had in memorizing the notes of the octaves? Do – Re – Mi – Fa – So – La – Ti - Do. Do you, in advanced music, throw away those notes? No. You try and take those notes and the variations on it and you try to create something, legally and lawfully, that is beautiful. Different. Same way with us, and the laws and commandments of God.

Colossians 1:27 is the whole key. This is how you are saved, but please understand that you’re not going to receive the Holy Spirit unless you obey God. It’s that simple. It is a condition. You cannot get into the Kingdom of God being a lawless person. What is repentance all about? Repentance is all about being sorry for your past law-breakings, correct? So that’s why we repent. What does it say in the model prayer? “God, thank you that I can continue sinning everyday…”? No. It is, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are our debtors,” (Matthew 6:12, paraphrased). If you do not forgive your brother from the heart, God won’t forgive you either. If there is no law, there’s no sin. Verse 27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…”

Now, let’s just sit here and think about the life of Christ for a minute. We know that Peter said, “…Who did no sin…” Is that not correct? Yes. If you truly have Christ in you, you cannot be living and practicing sin. Now it’s changed this way: “If you have Christ in you, you cannot lead an immoral life.” Oh, ho, ho! Sleight of hand! Because then, by whose definition is morality? Because then they say, “Well, you can’t look down on Sunday-keepers.” We’re not looking down on them - were just pointing out their sin. I just heard a sermon that when we throw away Christmas, we throw out the baby Jesus with the bathwater. Spare me! No, we didn’t. I mean, this is unreal. I’m glad we have a potluck this afternoon. And I don’t know if I’m going to listen to any more of these heresies this week. It’s been something for me.

Did Christ ever break the Sabbath? No, He came along and He healed on the Sabbath. He read in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Was that sin? No. Jesus never sinned. He healed on the Sabbath, correct? He did good things on the Sabbath, right? He is the Lord of the Sabbath, correct? Yes. And the Sabbath is the big question. That’s the big thing. Why? Because, you see, all of this false grace is really the carnal mind in disguise. Did you know that?

Let’s go to Romans 8. All of this false grace, it is a hostile carnal mind in disguise. That’s all it is, pure and simple, but just trying to be nice about it. That’s all. Get them in a corner and really corner them down, and either their carnal mind will be fully exposed and all the hostility will come out in all of it’s inglorious wrath, or they will begin to see the truth concerning the commandments of God. Romans 8, and let’s pick it up here in verse 6. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God…” Now, not only just the laws of God. Enmity. And enmity means an enemy of God. “…For it is not subject to the law of God,…” And that is how the carnal mind is exposed. Not subject to the law of God. “…Neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:6-7).

So it looks for a way out. “Well, Jesus really didn’t mean what He said. When Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath and told him to take up his bed and walk, He broke the Sabbath.” So they read that mistranslation, which should be He “loosed the Sabbath” from that command, which, if you read The Code of Jewish Law, you will see. Now, if you’re sick for 38 years with an infirmity, and Jesus heals you and He says, “Pick up your bed and walk,” and your bed is only just little roll like a sleeping bag, did He break the Sabbath or did He not glorify God in releasing that man from his bondage on the Sabbath? Was that not a spiritual work? That’s why Jesus said, “My Father works and I work.” And they got mad because He made Himself the Son of God. He didn’t make Himself the Son of God - He was the Son of God. So the carnal mind was exposed that way. Same way here. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (vs. 7-8). It’s an impossibility. So the whole thing needs to be turned all the way around.

Now let’s go to Ephesians 4 for just a minute. No, Colossians 3 - that will be better. We don’t have time to go to both. Let’s go to Colossians 3. Once you resolve all the issues concerning idolatry and Sabbath-keeping and holy day keeping, then what are the other problems and difficulties that you’re going to have? You’re going to have the difficulty in overcoming the human flesh, right? Right. Verse 1, “If ye then be risen with Christ,…” That is, out of the watery grave of baptism, “…Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth…” (Col. 3:1-5).

Sabbath keeping, holy day keeping, tithing - now you mortify all those things, right? No. No. You have to use a little sarcasm here just to point out the point, you see. But that is true. No. “…Fornication…” Is that against God’s law? Yes. “…Uncleanness…” Ooh. Now that’s kind of broad, isn’t it? “…Inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:…” (vs. 5). So what is happening? Paul is saying, “Have the laws and commandments of God written in your heart and in your mind.” That’s what he’s saying. He’s teaching the spiritual faith keeping of the commandments of God. That’s what he’s doing. That’s why they’re keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ and salvation by grace, because you can’t save yourself; it is all together in one package.

Verse 8, “But now ye also put off all these…” This is my toughest one here. “…Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy [evil] communication out of your mouth.” Now he’s talking to Christians, huh? “Lie not one to another, seeing that that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him…” (vs. 8-9). That is, Christ. You see?

Now verse 12, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness [or perfection]. And let the peace of God [Christ] rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (vs. 12-15).

And, verse 16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” How? “…In all lawbreaking and all throwing away the commandments of God.” No. How? “…In all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spirituals songs…” “And whatsoever ye do in word, or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him” (vs. 16-17). Now there are many other scriptures we could go to, but let’s just end with these.

Let’s go to Revelation 21. Do you want to know the conclusion of the matter? Go to the conclusion of the Bible. Because, you see, if Christ came to give license to sin, then Christ died in vain, did He not? If Christ came to forgive sin, and after He’s here there’s no more sin, then there are no more sinners from the time of Christ till now, then, there would be no more sinners - there’s nothing to repent of. And you don’t need a Savior, because you are not a sinner. Now that is the doctrine of the anti-Christ. Now, Revelation 21:8. The final judgment is going to be based not only on Christ in you, but also commandment keeping too. That’s why I think it’s important that we went through “The Two Righteousnesses” very carefully, because that really helps define what we need to know.

Verse 8, “But, [left out, that is, not included in eternal life are] the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable,…” Now abominable has to do with every commandment going against God, such as other gods, and idolatry, and taking God’s name in vain, and so forth. “…And murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part and the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

So if ministers are getting up there in preaching lies in the name of Christ, guess where they’re going to end up? Just like Jesus said, “You can come and say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord! I’ve done this, I’ve preached Your name, cast out demons in Your name, did many wonderful works in your name!’” And He’s going to say, “Well. hey, I never knew you, because you weren’t practicing the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Depart from Me, you who are against law,” (Matthew 7:22-23, paraphrased). And where does He say they’re going to go? Into the lake of fire, prepared for Satan and the demons. It’s what it’s saying here.

Let’s come over here to chapter 21 and verse 27. “And there shall in no wise…” In no case - it isn’t ever going to happen. “…There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Now, you're not going to have your name written there if you’re a commandment breaker. It’s just that simple. You’re not going have your name written there unless you have the Spirit of Christ.

Let’s go to the conclusion of the whole matter concerning the commandments of God, chapter 22 verse 12, and we’ll end here. “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” And there’s that word again: work. It’s required. Verse 13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and last.” Cursed is everyone that keeps His commandments. No. Quite the opposite, right? Blessed. Are you blessed for keeping the commandments? Yes. What has been the problem in Worldwide? The problem in Worldwide has not been commandment keeping. It’s been the lack of the understanding of true grace in relationship to commandment keeping. That’s what the problem has been. “Blessed are they that do [and that means, practice] His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter into the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:12-14).

That’s what God says concerning the commandments. So you’re going to hear a lot of things, there’s going to be a lot of turmoil going on. This week I’ve just been inundated. The phone has just been ringing off the hook, and I didn’t get the Belief’s booklet done the way I wanted to, but I’ll get it to you next week.

 

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