Understanding "works of law" vs "works of the Law"

Fred R. Coulter—July 22, 2017

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Welcome to Sabbath services! Today we're going to do a little background for what I'm going to do, not next Sabbath, but the Sabbath after.

We will cover perhaps the most difficult chapter of all of Paul's writings—Rom. 7. But we need to have some preparation leading up to it so we understand what we're doing.

All of you got the chart: A Comparison Between the Old and New Covenants, the 14 points. {note that these can also be found in Appendix F of The New Testament in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version at truthofgod.org}I'm going to give you some assignments that I want you to do:

  • go over that comparison; make sure you understand it
  • read Appendix R: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"?, beginning on page 1343 in The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version; that becomes absolutely essential

Before we get into Rom. 7, let's ask: How did the average Jew look at Jesus and Christianity? Especially if you were a strict observant Jew and went to synagogue? You might have even had copies of the Law at home. They all knew the Ten Commandments. Even those who were Greek-speaking, I know that the Septuagint translation of the Law is good. The rest of the parts of the Old Testament are not so good.

The first thing they would come across is the first commandment: I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; you shall have no other gods before Me!

Coupled with that is if you worship other gods, you're breaking the covenant! As we will see in Rom. 7, the covenant was a marriage covenant. We can see that reflected in John 10.

  • Were the Jews looking for a man as a Messiah? Yes!
  • Did some of them understand perhaps it may be God? Yes!

I'm going to emphasize this again. The only defense that you have against being deceived is:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the Word of God
  • your work in studying and praying regularly
  • going over and over the same Scriptures again

I learned that when I go back and re-study, even though I've written, even though I've done whatever I've done. Doesn't matter what I've done, because if we don't progress in knowledge and understanding and be ready for times that we're going to face, there will be false prophets and false Christs to even deceive the elect! That's us!

Ken just brought me this National Geographic: Messiah Complex. Listing all the people in the world today who say, 'I am the Christ. I am the second coming.' Won't they be surprised when Christ returns? Now you know why they're going to fight against Him as aliens from outer space. They don't understand what they're dealing with at all.

I'm going to save this magazine for Church at Home, do a whole series: False Christs, Could You Be Deceived? {churchathome.org}

Back to being to a Jew in Jesus' time. If you're looking for a man, Jesus would fit it, but the authorities expected Messiah to make a political allegiance with them. That's what they expected.

That's why in the temptation by Satan the devil, he took Him to the pinnacle of the temple and said, 'Jump off here. God will spare You.' Even quoted Scripture: 'Angels will bear you up in his hands, lest You dash Your foot against a stone.' The story would be, 'I'll make sure you land on your feet and all of the priests will come down and welcome you. You can rule the world under me as God.' That was the proposition. So, they were expecting a man.

They knew where He was going to be born, Bethlehem. They knew that all of the pagans were absolutely horrific. They had all of their traditional laws not to associate with them, which was a central issue we've already covered in Acts 10. We'll look at that again.

Why did they want to kill Jesus? According to the Law, if it were not God Himself, they would have been right! 'You shall take that prophet out and you shall kill him' (Deut. 13).

What I want us to do is understand how the Jews looked at it. That's why when the Holy Spirit was sent, it was sent at the temple. That's why there were miracles upon miracles. That's why during His ministry Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the Mount of Transfiguration so they would know. Who did the three represent?

  • God
  • the prophets and Elijah
  • Moses and the Law

Sidebar on John 10:22—Dedication of the temple: If you read the Book of Maccabees (in the Apocrypha), it says nothing about the candles burning on only one candle. It says nothing about it; I read it. When was the temple really dedicated? This one here we don't know if this is the real dedication or if this is the traditional one of the Jews at Hanukkah. A lot of people in the Church of God were even told, 'You can keep Hanukkah.' Oh, hooray, I'll still look like I'm keeping Christmas to my neighbors.

The temple was dedicated in the month Adar, which is the twelfth month of the year, which is the last month of winter. Nisan is the first month of the year beginning spring. You can't tell what was going on there.

John 10:23: "And Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him…" (vs 23-24). That means they knew Him. They were watching Him. They had spies everywhere

"'How long are You going to hold us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered them, 'I have told you, but you do not believe. The works that I am doing in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me'" (vs 24-25). Remember: He came to reveal the Father.

The Jews only knew one God and they didn't understand the Most High, thinking that applied to the one God, Who was the One Who became Jesus Christ. If we can put ourselves back in that mindset of the Jews, and then we'll cover some other Scriptures, we will be ready for Rom. 7.

Verse 26: "'But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no one shall take them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one has the power to seize them from My Father's hand. I and the Father are one'" (vs 26-30).

You see these big mining dump trucks, 85-ton ones; that's like dumping the whole load on them right there.

Think of it as a Jew, only one God, no idols, not even being around any Gentiles. This guy is talking about the Father? What did they say? We read it in part 2, 'We have one Father and that is God.' What did Jesus say? 'If God were your Father, you would hear Me. But you are of your father the devil' (John 8). Now you have two things working:

  • Truth mixed in with error
  • accepting Satan as your father instead of God and then believing Christ

Look at all of the odds. That's why so many Jews today don't believe. We'll talk about Messianic Jews again here in a little bit.

Verse 31: "Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, 'Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God'" (vs 31-33). If you say you're the Son of God, that's what you're doing.

I am the father of Jonathan and the rest of our children. He's greater than me; he's taller; in some ways smarter. Other ways is debatable, but he's equal to me.

Imagine how that sits with the Jews. 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' This will help answer the question concerning 'doubting Thomas,' too. He had to see it.

Verse 34: "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law…'" In other words, you claim the Law, but do you read it? do you study it?

Good lesson for us, too. If we are to know the times and the seasons now, we better know the Word of God. This goes clear back to Psa. 82. This is why studying and re-studying the Bible is absolutely essential on a continuous basis day-by-day.

What does Psa. 8 declare about man? How did God make us? A little lower than God! All of these things are in the Old Testament plain if you would believe; unknown if you never study or you reject it.

Psalm 82:1: "God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly and respect the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; save them out of the hand of the wicked" (vs 1-4)—all the work of the Messiah. Also, all the work of the judges who were appointed by God.

Verse 5: "They do not know… [the wicked] …neither do they understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken out of course… [that's at the return of Christ] …I have said, 'You are gods…'" (vs 5-6).When will that be fulfilled? It tells us—the return of Christ.

"…and all of you are sons of the Most High'" (v 6)—the Father. 'I will be a Father to them. I will walk in them' (2-Cor 6).

"'…But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.' Arise, O God, Judge the earth, for You shall inherit all nations" (vs 6-8). A clear projection of the Millennium!

John 10:35: "If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came…" Think about that one statement right there.

  • Do we have the Word of God?
  • How did it come to us? God made sure there were Bibles!
  • How do we understand it? God gave us His Spirit!
  • Who teaches us? They shall all be taught of God (John 6:45)!

We are to listen to the voice of God and obey His voice. What do we have? The Word of God written down, His voice!

"…(and the Scriptures cannot be broken)" (v 35). Think on that! That was quite a thing to tell them. The Scriptures cannot be broken. Remember that when you're studying.

Some of the things we're going to study, especially when we get to Rom. 7, like I explained with some of the other things in Romans, I didn't understand for years and years, even though I was a minister. When I really studied the Greek and then began translating the understanding opened up.

If you read something you don't understand, don't get discouraged, don't reject it, just file it in the back of your mind and come back at it again later, and maybe you'll understand it. You may have to come back at it more than once in order to understand it.

Verse 36: "'Why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me'" (vs 36-37).

Did He have a lot of works? Healings, yes! Preaching, yes! I wonder how many of them being older at this point, eighteen years later, were sitting there when Jesus was in the temple with the priests and the elders discussing the Scriptures and they were amazed at His understanding?

Verse 38: "'But if I do… [the works] … even if you do not believe Me, believe the works; so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.' Then they again sought to take Him; but He escaped out of their hands, and departed again beyond Jordan…" (vs 38-40). He had to get out of town real quick.

Let's just mention this about not associating with Gentiles (Acts 10-11). Now let's get closer to Rome. This is also is quite convincing that Peter was never there. If Peter were the apostle to Rome, then the Jews would have already been taught. Remember: the book to the Romans was written ahead of time before Paul got there.

Acts 28:17: "Now, it came to pass that after three days, Paul called together those who were chief among the Jews. And when they had come together, he said to them, 'Men and brethren, although I have done nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers, I was delivered into the hands of the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem After examining me, they desired to let me go because there was not one cause of death in me'" (vs 17-18).

They wanted to kill him because he was preaching Jesus and also preaching circumcision of the heart, not circumcision of the flesh, and preaching to the Gentiles. You look at the problem they had in Antioch when Peter came.

Verse 19: 'But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—not as though I had anything to charge against my nation. For this cause then, I have called for you, in order that I might see you and speak to you; because it is for the hope of Israel that I have this chain around me.' Then they said to him, 'We have neither received letters concerning you from Judea… [you're not authorized] …nor have any of the brethren…'" (vs 19-21)—Jews, not brethren in the Church.

Remember when Paul was standing before the Jews and some of the Pharisees were there. He said, 'Brethren.' There wasn't one church member in sight. So, this is brethren referring to the Jews.

"'…who have arrived reported anything or spoken evil of you. But we would like to hear from you and to know what you think, because we are indeed very aware that this sect is everywhere spoken against'" (vs 21-22)—by the pagans.

Look at it from the pagan point of view. Jesus represented another god. Who was god to the Romans? Caesar! Both! I think Trump ought to read this section here if he feels kind of bad.

Verse 23: "And when they appointed a day for him to speak, many came into his lodging to hear him; and he expounded to them from morning until evening, fully testifying of the Kingdom of God and persuading them of the things concerning Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and from the prophets."

Where do you find a phrase similar to that? Luke 24, Jesus appeared to them, He ate, and then He opened their minds to understand the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings! So, we have something similar here.

Verse 24: "And some were truly convinced of the things that were spoken, but some did not believe. And they departed in disagreement with one another after Paul had spoken these words… [nice hugs and kisses] …'Well did the Holy Spirit speak by Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, "Go to this people and say, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, but in no way perceive. For the heart of this people has grown fat… [waxed fat] …and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.'"…. [spiritual healing]'Be it known to you, that the salvation of God has, therefore, been sent to the Gentiles; and they will hear'" (vs 24-28).

Notice how difficult that this really, really was. We've already covered a lot in Rom. 2. Paul has to get their attention.

Think about this: You are devout Jew, a synagogue-goer; you know the things that I've covered about not having other gods before you. No one can make himself a god, and here we have all the Messiahs in the National Geographic. We look at that and say they're wrong. We will see why they are wrong.

After all of this with Jesus and the Church, and the miracles and everything, notice how Paul approaches them. He's telling them he's picking up from where he left off, that he's going to the Gentiles and they will hear. Imagine what an insulting statement that is.

Romans 2:17: "Behold, you are called a Jew, and you yourself rest in the Law… [they profess the law] …and boast in God, and know His will, and approve of the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the Law… [also their own traditions] …and are persuaded that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light for those in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of the knowledge and of the Truth contained in the Law. You, then, who are teaching another, do you not teach yourself also?...." (vs 17-21).

Here's a perfect example of people can't understand the Word of God.

Remember Psalm 111:10: "…a good understanding have all those who do His commandments..."

How many Jews even today fit right in with this? "…You who preach, 'Do not steal,' are you stealing? You who say, 'Do not commit adultery,' are you committing adultery? You who abhor idols, are you committing sacrilege?…. [you're not going to understand it unless you're obeying] …You who boast in law, are you dishonoring God through your transgression of the Law?…. [the Law, God's Law] …For through you the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, exactly as it is written" (vs 21-24).

Then he goes right to the heart and the core of the covenant. What was the sign of the covenant? Circumcision!

Verse 25: "For on the one hand, circumcision profits if you are observing the Law; on the other hand, if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision." That is a powerful statement to a Jew, insulting above measure.

Heaping coals of fire on it, he says, v 26: "Therefore, if the uncircumcised is keeping the requirements of the Law. [all of those that the Jews hated and despised] …shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision?" By whom? God!

Verse 27: "And shall not the uncircumcised, who by nature is fulfilling the Law…"—'ho nomos,' not observing their traditions, but keeping the Law. What does this tell you? The Law was known! …judge you… ['We're the chosen people, no one judges us'] …who, with the letter and circumcision, are a transgressor of the Law?

How important is keeping the Law? Let's see what Paul himself says, especially from someone who supposedly was doing away with the Law.

1-Corinthians 7:19: "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; rather, the keeping of God's commandments is essential."

What are all of the 'do away with the Law' believers going to say to that when they champion Paul? Paul does says in Rom. 7, 'You have been cleared from the Law.' Add that to what we covered in part 2. 'Christ is the end of the Law.' How do you reconcile this verse with those, if it means doing away with the Law of God? That's why it's important to study. That's why it's important to know.

Romans 2:28: "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is external in the flesh…. [When it is done? On the 8th day, an infant!] …Rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly…" (vs 28-29).

When Jesus says salvation is of the Jews, that doesn't mean the Messianic Jews today, I can tell you that. That means one who has the Spirit of God, that comes from the Father and comes from Jesus; inwardly you are a Jew, walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

"…and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (v 29).

  • Why do you need circumcision of the heart?
  • Where does sin originate? In the mind!

The circumcision of the heart is circumcision of the heart and mind, because they're combined together.

Mark 7:20: "And He said, 'That which springs forth from within a man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the hearts of men go forth evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man'" (vs 20-23).

True Christianity is to give you the power, through God's Spirit and His Law and His Word, to correct that. That's important! No one, without the Spirit of God, it doesn't matter how good you are, all your good cannot bring you eternal life! That comes from the Spirit of God. Not that you should be a criminal; not that you should be lawless. But how many people are?

Let's see the verse that started all of this. Romans 2:13: "Because the hearers of the Law are not just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified." Showing there must be repentance of sin. Sin is the transgression of the Law. Sin is recognizing the evil within, as we read in Mark 7.

Notice v 14 just on a carnal level. This becomes profoundly important with the rest of the writings of Paul where 'works of law' is used:

Verse 14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the Law, practice by nature the things contained in the Law… ['ho nomos'] …these who do not have the Law are a law unto themselves."

In other words, if you are a Gentile and you did the things that are contained in the Law and you didn't have the Law, God would recognize that for the Gentile. Not to salvation, but blessings in the flesh!

Now here we go, v 15, mark this carefully: "Who show the work… ['tou ergon,' definite article there in the Greek] …of the Law…"—'tou nomos,' definite article for both.

Why is this important? Because this is the only place that Paul used the definite articles for "…the work of the Law…"

Verse 15: "Who show the work of the Law written in their own hearts, their consciences bearing witness, and their reasonings also as they accuse or defend one another."

When will most of the people receive salvation? However, you have to be judged worthy of the second resurrection. It says of those who are Christ's, 'the spirits of just men made perfect.' So, there's a place when we die and our spirit with the Spirit of God goes back to God. He stores it.

How God does it, I don't know. I'll ask Jonathan, he's the expert on computers and he tells me about all the storage room they have now.

How God stores it, I don't know. If He has that, and if He's going to resurrect all the Gentiles, which He is, those whose minds were closed, who did some of the things contained in the Law, but were totally deceived, He's got to have a place to store their spirit of man. How's He going to resurrect them if He doesn't do that?

So, this means that those Gentiles who do some of the things that are associated with the Laws of God—God recognizes; yes, He does—but not unto eternal life, but unto a second physical life because He gave them over to Satan the devil and blinded them. He didn't send His Word to them.

(go to the next track)

One other Scripture we need to add in there is Col. 2:11-12; this shows that circumcision of the heart comes with baptism. That is important because Rom. 6 talks about baptism before we get into the things in Rom. 7.

This is in the only place, Rom. 2:15, "…the work of the Law…"—which then is a good thing. Let's go to page 1345 in The Holy Bible in its Original Order, A Faithful Version: Appendix R: What Is Meant by "the Works of the Law"? Let me explain. The things that are in the Bible answer the questions of the series we're doing: Mystery of Protestantism. How come it sounds so good, but it misses the mark?

Why is it important that in Rom. 2:15 this is the only place where the definite articles are used? Because it shows:

  • if Paul wanted to put it in the other places, he would have
  • by the way that Paul wrote it, it does not mean commandments and laws that we are to keep

What was it that he said of Israel and the Jews? They had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge! They sought justification, that is forgiveness of sin, which can only come through the shed blood of Christ, by works of law.

If you have a King James Version, you will never be able to understand this. New King James Version, you'll never be able to understand it. If you have never studied the Greek sufficiently to know how important the definite articles are, you will never understand it.

from: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version; bottom of page 1345

We're looking at all the places where 'works of law,' 'ergon nomos.'

1) Rom. 9:31-32: "But Israel, although they following after a law of righteousness… [their traditions] …did not attain to a law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by works of law; for they stumbled at the Stone of stumbling."

Which tells you what they were doing was contrary to the Word of God, but they thought they were doing the will of God, exactly like you find with a devout Catholic today. So devout he goes to Mass every day. If he's not quite devout that way, he goes to Mass every Sunday. If he's a renegade Catholic, he goes on Christmas and Easter so that he can be sure and at least get into purgatory.

2-4) Galatians 2:14-16: "But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the Truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in the presence of them all, 'If you, being a Jew, are living like the Gentiles, and not according to Judaism…'"

That's the correct word in the Greek. Let's look at how people view these things today. The Protestants say all you need is the New Testament. They don't understand that if you have the New Testament and do not understand the Old Testament with it, that you'll soon get down to where they are today:

  • all you need is Jesus
  • all you need is to profess Jesus
  • you don't even need to be baptized

The Jews are perfectly happy to let them do it. The Jews say, 'We have the Law of God,' meaning Torah. That word Torah means the first five books of Moses, plus the traditions that are a fence around the first five books. So, when they say Torah, that's what they're talking about.

The Jews are perfectly happy to let the Gentiles—as they view it—or Christianity keep Sunday, because Sabbath is for the Jews, not for the Gentiles. That is another whole problem that you have to study when you get into the Bible. Suffice to say, Paul taught the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath in order to stay in grace (Acts 13); complete opposite of what the Protestants believe.

"'…why do you compel the Gentiles to Judaize?... [it doesn't say keep the laws of God] …We who are Jews by nature—and not sinners of the Gentiles—knowing that a man is not justified by works of law….'"

Not God's Law, the works of the Jews. Can it be the works of the Gentiles, too, in their own religions? Yes, sure!

Sidebar: I was watching a special about Myanmar or Burma. I thought that this is better than the stupid news so I'll watch it for a while. I was amazed! They are more idolatrous than the Catholics. It just blew my mind. They know that they're seeking after demons, which they call 'gnat spirits.' They have this one pagoda that's on top of a mountain that comes up and they have a big pagoda up there that is overlaid, inside and out and on everything around there, with 20-tons of gold, filled with idols, statues.

This American who was going up there, he thought he would get up there and here would be all of the Buddhists up there chanting. He got up there and there's music, dancing, drinking and smoking. He thought, what is this? The monks are all austere. He said, those who come up here are seeking the gnats. They get around there and dance around there. It reminds me of what kids do today. Maybe that's also part of what's going on as well. They lose their minds so that the gnat will come into them. What do you suppose may happen with rock concerts, they're shaking their heads and doing all of this.

The Muslims have a sect called the Whirling Dervish. What do they do? They go around in circles and circles until they have a 'religious' experience. If you're so dizzy you don't know what's going on, a demon can just go on there, and say, 'That's like a pretty good place. I'll take over that.'

In watching that I thought, WOW, that land is filled with demons and wretchedness! No wonder they're the way that they are. Everywhere you go, you have to do a little ritual to a little shrine, or something. That's their works of law! But the American was absolutely flabbergasted.

Man is not justified by 'works of law.' Paul says it three times. The last time he says, "…by works of law shall no flesh be justified."

Justification must come with the shed blood of Jesus Christ upon repentance, so that there is going to be with the Spirit of God, a change working within—in your mind, in your heart. That's why it talks there about having the laws of God written in our heart and in our mind (Heb. 10). That's how you convert the mind.

5) Gal 3:2: "This only I desire to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit of God by works of law, or by the hearing of faith?"

the hearing of faith led you to repentance

6) Gal. 3:5: "Therefore consider this: He Who is supplying the Spirit to you, and Who is working deeds of power among you, is He doing it by works of law or by the hearing of faith?"

by faith, by belief

7) Gal. 3:10: "For as many as are relying on works of law are under a curse…

Why? Because they continue in sin! Those works of law of traditions are sin. Why? Can you replace anything of the Laws of God we are to keep with something that a man devises and replaces the Law of God? No! Can you get an Apple (computer) part and put it in a Samsung? No!

Works of law; those are the seven places. Then you go ahead and read the whole thing. I want to cover something in Rom. 3 that we haven't covered so far.

Romans 3:1: "What then is the advantage of the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?…. [remember when he wrote this] …Much in every way. Primarily in that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" (vs 1-2).

The Jews have preserved the Old Testament in spite of their sins. God gave it to them to do it. That's not all Jews, that's just certain ones who work with the Law to copy it, to preserve it, to pass it on.

Likewise the calendar; very important to understand. There are a lot of different calendar devices out there. We have the booklet about the calendar {Note: Which Day is the Calendar of God?}, the correct Hebrew calendar. If you don't have that, write in for it. If you really want to get into it so you know it, if you don't know it and someone comes along and says, 'I've got a new scheme. Come over to my house and we'll look for the new moon. That's the first count to Sabbath.'

Did God give it to anyone to figure our themselves? He gave the calculations to the priests and Levites within the Jewish community! Outside of those two things, today the Jew has no advantage. So, if someone comes in and says, 'I'm a Jew, you have to look up to me.' Unless they're repented and have God's Holy Spirit, they have no advantage of anything.

Here's why, "…Primarily, in that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" (v 2)—the Law and the calendar, and also the Prophets and the Writings as well. I'm speaking spiritually.

The Jew may have advantage in the world by keeping some of the laws of God and some of their traditions keep them from getting involved with the extremes of the Gentiles. Who knows? Andrew Zimmer, a Jew, goes out and eats every unclean thing under the sun, so he doesn't have any advantage.

Verse 3: "For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God?"

Key important thing, because a man sins and goes wrong and he's supposed to represent God, does that mean God is at fault? No! That means the man or woman has sinned! Can they repent? Yes, they can repent! But if they do not believe—and I suppose that among Jews there are more atheists than any other group in the world—does that nullify the faithfulness of God? No!

He says, v 4: "MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, let God be true but every man a liar, exactly as it is written… [here is the correct translation of this; it's not God judging men, it's men judging God] …'That You might be justified… [God might be justified] …in Your words, and might overcome when You are being judged by men.'"

In the Greek this is passive. When You—God—are being judged by men, does everybody have a judgment on God one way or the other? Yes!

Verse 5: "But if our unrighteousness brings to reality God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous to inflict His wrath? (I am speaking according to man's view.)" This is for so hard for people to understand.

Why does God allow all these wars, killings, lootings, drugs, adultery and everything? Because they reject the Word of God! He put those in there to function automatically if you break them. God gives a space of time when someone sins to repent or change or quit. If they don't, it gets worse and worse. You can name whatever you want to name, whatever sin. Take the Ten Commandments and go right down the line. So, He inflicts wrath. People can't understand that.

Verse 6: "MAY IT NEVER BE! Otherwise, how shall God judge the world?"

Here's the choice we have as human beings. You either understand that God judges, because when people break the Law, or go against the Law, there are automatic penalties. First of all is blinding. You think your way is right or it's okay or you can do it. For example, those who steal, they work out a plan where they think they can get away with it.

I remember watching one of the greatest counterfeiters in America made the best counterfeit hundred-dollar bills of anyone. The hundred-dollar bill, you give it to a clerk and they take a pen and they put a little mark on it. If it's counterfeit, it's supposed to turn black. He figured a way around that, a light spray of hair spray.

The secret service and the Feds were years and years trying to catch this guy. What happens? All law enforcement people know that he's going to make a mistake somewhere. So, they finally got him. It took stakeouts. He was operating in a house in a nice suburb, so they were in a house back there so they could see the alleyway back of his house.

They watched and recorded. They could hear things, and so forth. They were doing all that and building the case. You need to have the hard evidence right out of his hands to get this guy.

He got careless. We get careless sometimes just doing normal things. He threw some of the counterfeit bills that were still in the big sheets that he was making into the garbage without burning them. So they were looking out at their spy location and so now they had it. They called in the forces, surrounded the house. First thing they did was grab that garbage can in the garage and then they got him.

God has established the law enforcement to take care of those things. God has established laws that that's a sin to do that. Sooner or later it's always true, as the Bible says, 'be sure your sin will find you out.'

You have that choice. Dealing with other human beings that God has put in power to take care of evil in the society. If they get corrupt, then that's a corrupt thing. If you have a corrupt judge, that's a corrupt thing. They still have to come around and correct it.

I'm sure that President Trump is finding out that the 'swamp' is petrified, that is like petrified wood, and it's petrified that he's going to get rid of them.

You have the choice of men coming after you or how would you like a lightning bolt from God to strike you dead? Because the wages of sin is death! That's why God uses natural disasters, armies, policemen and whatever else that there is. But the first ones that you come in contact with, to help you, are your parents.

What happens to society when the parents don't do what they should do? The children come along and they have children. The children come along and they have children. Look what we have today: lawlessness everywhere. That's why God judges that way.

  • Does He send drought? Yes!
  • Does He send flood? Yes!
  • Does He send upset weather? Yes!

All of those things because they've turned their back on God, or they're trying to come to God on their terms that God must accept them the way that they come to Him, rather than coming to God on His terms.

From a religious point of view, you understand why Matt. 7 is here; Matthew 7:12: "Therefore, everything that you would have men do to you, so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets." Love your neighbor as yourself.

That's why God says if you have someone you don't like, and his beast of burden has fallen on him, be it a horse or a donkey, you are to go help rescue him. You're not to sit back and say, 'You deserve that; I hate you.' Same thing!

This is for us; this is why there are few; v 13: "Enter in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it; for narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it" (vs 13-14).

Then He tells how the broad way comes about. False prophets—that can be anybody. False teacher in school, false friend, false prophet, religious figure, even authority in law enforcement, whatever.

Verse 15: "But beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, for within they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. They do not gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and is cast into the fire" (vs 15-19).

That also happens on a way of purging. That's why the Church periodically is scattered, because people come in who shouldn't be there bringing false doctrines, false teaching, wrong ideas, etc., or because those in authority within the Church are sinning. So you can expand that out yourself.

Verse 20: "Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 20-21).

If you're doing the will of the Father in heaven, you're going to come to God His way. You're not going to come to God your way.

Look at this, I couldn't believe it when Ken gave me this National Geographic and it shows in there—how many, a half dozen—'I'm the Messiah, Jesus has already returned.' People believe it. Why? Because they don't do what it says in the Old Testament. If they would read Isa. 7, they would know it says, 'To the Law and the Testimony. If they speak not according to this Word, because there's no Light in them.' But if they say, 'The Law is done away. You can do anything you want. God loves you regardless of what you're doing'—false doctrine, false teaching!

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name?….'" How about some of these messiahs? 'Lord, Lord, I was the Lord.' Really? You want to see the true Lord?

"'…And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?'…. [look at all that they're doing] …And then I will confess to them, "I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness'" (vs 22-23).

In other words, you didn't come to God the way that He says. Anything that you do that's not what God says is lawlessness, even though in some cases it may appear to be good on the surface.

Verse 24: "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock; and the rain came down, and the floods came…" (vs 24-25). Shows life is going to be difficult, but you stood firm. Otherwise, it's all going to be washed away.

It doesn't matter what a person thinks or believes if they are not in line with what God says.

Astounding comment. There's a place in Croatia on top of a mountain where a woman supposedly heard the voice of Mary. You can call every day a number and you can get what Mary told her that day. I wonder how she gets her money. The message was, 'All religions are good.' What about cannibals. She said all religions are good. You could add, what do you do when you go to Mass?

The comment was made today you have to be careful because some people fake what they need in order to come and steal or bust into your house, or take your car, or whatever. Who was that serial killer up in Washington? He faked a broken leg and faked a broken arm. People would come and help him and then he would take them out and kill them. That's where you have to apply a little wisdom. Some people you have to say no.

Romans 4:15: "For the Law works out wrath… [if you transgress] …because where no Law is, there is no transgression."

Mystery of Protestantism: Why do you need to repent of sin 'if there is no Law there is no sin'? Need to think about that! What happened to even one of the largest Churches of God? Got taken down because they didn't study, they didn't pray, they didn't know the Word of God the way that they should!

Romans 5:13: "For before the Law…"—the Law of God given to Israel. That's what it's talking about. There are those who look at this verse and say, 'There was no Law from the time of Adam and Eve until Moses.

"…sin was in the world. However, sin is not imputed when Law does not exist" (v 13). 'God judged the world before the Flood unjustly, because there was no Law.' And these are learned, supposed theologians!

Paul clarifies it, v 14: "Nevertheless, death… [wages of sin are death] …reigned from Adam until Moses…" He answers the question. Sometimes you wonder how do these people come up with these things when the Bible is so clear.

"…even upon those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the One Who was to come" (v 14). They sinned right in the face of God from first person instruction!

Rom. 6 is the covenant baptism. Covenants are always established over a sacrifice and death of animals in the Old Testament.

In the New Testament the covenant is secured by the death of Christ, His death. Instead of two parties showing animal sacrifices or shed blood, God shows our death in a different way, but it is a symbolic death and has great and profound meaning, which then is the circumcision of the heart.

This is important when we come to Rom. 7; this is why Paul wrote Rom. 6, to show to the Jew that there is a covenant sacrifice with Christ and a covenant sacrifice that the individual must make as well.

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound?"

Isn't that what Protestants do? There's no Law; that's a mystery of Protestantism. They say if you profess Jesus, repent of your sins, say, 'Jesus, I accept you; forgive my sins,' you're saved. The work is done forever, when it is hardly even a start!

That's why I put 'me genoito,' that's what it is in the Greek here. Verse 2: "MAY IT NEVER BE!…." in caps, because it's that dogmatic.

Verse 2: "…We who died to sin…" How did you die to sin? Remember, Paul says, 'I died.' How could he write the epistle if he died? By baptism!

"…how shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?" (vs 2-3).
This becomes very profound, because when we receive the Spirit of God after baptism, we are conjoined to the death of Christ. In baptism by immersion, being put under the water, signifies your willingness to die, if you do not carry out your part of the covenant! What will that death be? The second death! Why does God have it this way? Because:

  • we need to change, grow, and overcome
  • we need to be transformed in our heart and in our mind

You can't do that if the minister held you under the water till you died. That's the closest thing you can come to in a symbolic death and yet live. You have to live to walk in newness of life.

Verse 4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death…" It's very interesting, and we'll cover this a little bit next time, then get into Rom. 7.

What does it say about Jesus being the Lamb of God? John says the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! Not sins, the sin. What was the sin? First man and woman rejecting God and all human beings having a sinful nature after that! The sin! Every sin that we do is a result of the sin! We'll see that it's called 'the law of sin' within us. The death! Can't be any greater death. No animal sacrifice, no 10,000 rivers of oil.

"…so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (vs 4-5).

Verse 6 tells us that we, after baptism, are to overcome. It's not instantaneous, as the Protestants say, and everything is wiped away and you have nothing to do. Furthermore, telling you that it doesn't matter what you do.

I know I saw this Joyce Meyers prancing back and forth across the stage there. She's this famous woman preacher. She said, 'God's love is unconditional; it doesn't matter what you do. God loves you. You're going to heaven.' If you're a sinning individual, that's a good proposition. Not what the Bible says.

Verse 6: "Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed… [the center of the body of sin, in the mind and in the heart] …so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin." That's what it is, in the grips of sin.

Verse 7: "Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin. Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (vs 7-8). True!

Every Catholic take heed, v 9: "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him."

I'll say it again: Christ cannot put His blood into the wine, nor His flesh into the bread, because as a spirit being, He no longer has flesh and blood to give.

Verse 10: "For when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God. In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 10-11).

Here is the key. We do not become perfected and are without any sin at all. That's why some people get discouraged when they sin, because they think they shouldn't sin. It is true that you shouldn't sin! Why do you still sin? Here it is right here:

Verse 12: "Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof." We have a nature of the 'law of sin and death,' and you must not be ruled by sin. That's what it was before you're baptized. You're ruled by sin! The rule there is 'lorded over.'

Verse 13: "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin…"—temptation, lust and so forth.

We will see that 2-Cor. 10, where we are to bring every thought into captivity to Christ, explains how this is done. It's not just the outward act, it's the inward thought and the carrying it out of the inward thought! How do you handle things when thoughts are not good?

  • you pray
  • use the power of God, His Spirit
  • you ask God to forgive you
  • you reject it
  • you expel it

What happens if you have something come along like one man that I knew. He said that he had in his mind he would curse all the time. He said, 'How do I get rid of that?' I said, 'Pray,' and in that case because it was severe, 'you fast and ask God to help you overcome it with His Spirit.' God wants us to put our thoughts, our efforts and everything that we do with His Spirit and His power to overcome sin! That's how it's done.

"…rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace" (vs 13-14).

That is you have direct access to God with the Holy Spirit.

We'll pick it up there next time. Then we'll be ready for Rom. 7, one of the most difficult, because Paul talks about law in many, many different ways. It's really confusing if you don't know other parts of the Bible to bring to bear on what he's talking about.

Scriptural References:

  • John 10:23-34
  • Psalm 82:1-8
  • John 10:35-40
  • Acts 28:17-28
  • Romans 2:17-21
  • Psalm 111:10
  • Romans 2:21-27
  • 1-Corinthians 7:19
  • Romans 2:28-29
  • Mark 7:20-23
  • Romans 2:13-15
  • Romans 3:1-6
  • Matthew 7:12-25
  • Romans 4:15
  • Romans 5:13-14
  • Romans 6:1-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 7
  • Acts 10
  • Deuteronomy 13
  • John 10:22; 8
  • Psalm 8
  • 2-Corinthians 6
  • John 6:45
  • Acts 11
  • Luke 24
  • Colossians 2:11-12
  • Acts 13
  • Hebrews 10
  • Isaiah 7
  • 2-Corinthians 10

Also referenced:

  • from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version: Appendix R: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"? {also be found in Appendix F of The New Testament in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version at truthofgod.org}
  • Booklet: Which Day is the Calendar of God

Transcribed: 7-30-17
Formatted: bo—7/31/17

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