What is Man That You are Mindful of Him?

Fred R. Coulter—October 11, 2014

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to day three of the Feast of Tabernacles! God has a marvelous plan; a great plan for mankind. And one of the greatest fulfillments is what He's going to do during the Millennium. We have a direct part in that, because we will be the sons and daughters of God, administering the Government and Kingdom of God under Jesus Christ for the whole world. Think what that is going to be like. One of the very first things we're going to do is teach all the people:

  • Why were you born?
  • What has God made us for?

David asks some questions that are the questions that have gone down through the centuries of men cut off from God, and they have never understood the plan of God. Even those who have the Bible cannot read it and understand it because their minds are closed, because they do not obey God! They do not love God!

Here's a real key in understanding: You cannot understand God unless you obey Him! You cannot understand the depths of what He is doing unless you repent and are baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit, and yield your whole life to Him!

Then God gives understanding! Psa. 8 is really quite a Psalm because it goes clear back to Gen. 1 when God renewed the surface of the earth, made the oceans, the dry land, all the vegetation, all the animals, birds and fish, and then He made man after His image, after His likeness, after His kind! It doesn't say after His kind in Gen. 1, however, that's the rest of the story for the whole Bible. We know (as we've already covered) God made man with His own hands! That carries right on down to how we are made by the hand of God in our mother's womb.

Psalm 8:1: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength because of Your adversaries, to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens…" (vs 1-3).

At that time, right there in Jerusalem, King David could go out on the top of his roof—no smog, no chemtrails—and he could look at the heavens and see them. The heavens looked a whole lot closer there than they do here. Today we can see the majesty of the heavens of God through the marvelous telescopes that we have circling in space, which reach out into the vastness of the universe to bring us glorious pictures of God's fantastic creation. That is awesome, indeed!

Notice how David was musing here, v 3: "When I consider Your heavens the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?" (vs 3-4). Yes, God loves us! God cares for us! But He's also given us choice so that we are to choose His way.

When we do, and we do so with all our heart, mind, soul and being, then God grants us knowledge, wisdom and understanding, and yea, salvation in the highest! Remember that Peter wrote that we 'cast all of our cares upon God, because He cares for us' (1-Pet. 5). Jesus said, 'The Father Himself loves you!' He loves all of us! He loves His creation!

But since He's given choice, then it's going to have to go through the judgment that God has set. But we are going to be redeemed from that judgment—through Jesus Christ—when He returns.

Verse 5: "For You have made him a little lower than God…" The Hebrew[transcriber's correction] there is Elohim, the name for God.

"…a little lower than God…" Not the angels as it is in Heb. 2, because that was translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew for angel is 'mlak.' That is the first inkling to understand that God has a special purpose for all of mankind; a special purpose for each one of us. God's plan is so great that we just get a little glimpse of it.

"…and have crowned him with glory and honor… [compared to all the rest of the creation on the earth] …You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands… [He gave the whole world to mankind] …You have put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the birds of heaven, the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!" (vs 5-9).

Psalm 144:1: "Blessed is the LORD my Rock…" Jesus said that everything we do with our Christian life and character we are to build on the Rock of Christ!' He is the Foundation, and no one can lay any other foundation than the foundation of Jesus Christ.

"…Who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving kindness…" (vs 1-2). Look how it needs to be with our lives. We need to really yield to God. We're going to teach this to all the people in the Millennium. They won't have all the troubles and difficulties that we have today. That may sound like a good and wonderful thing, which it is; however, it has it's own special difficulties.

"…and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and He in Whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. O LORD, what is man that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him?" (vs 2-3).

Remember that Jesus said that when a sparrow falls the Father knows it. If that happens to a sparrow, think about us as human beings, made in His image for His great purpose.

Verse 4: "Man is like a breath… [James wrote that it's like a mist; when the sun comes up it's gone] …his days are like a shadow that passes away."

  • Yet, God loves us!
  • Yet, God wants us!
  • Yet, God has shown us His way!

Psa. 146 shows us a little bit more about man. Remember this: God gives you every breath to breathe!He is the One Who starts you breathing the instant that you are born. You breathe until you breathe out your last, however old or however long that will be.

Psalm 146:1: "O praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being" (vs 1-2). You see the depths of conversion that He wants us to have. That's why His way is the Way of Life! It's not a 'religion,' though the world looks at it as a 'religion.' It's a way of life!That ends up in eternal life; ends up with strength, power and glory to shine like the sun, to be able to assist Christ in the greatest work of salvation until the Last Great Day.

Verse 3: "Do not put your trust in princes…" That's why all of our problems are spiritual; they're not physical. There are physical results, because we're breaking laws. However, you cannot really solve the problems politically or physically. They are all spiritual! That's why you don't put trust in princes, especially looking at the ones we have in America, all these lying wonders!

"…nor in the son of man in whom there is no salvation" (v 3). How many people commit their lives to a man and have been deceived and go right down 'the drink.' Think of how many people have done that down through history. Amazing! "…there is no salvation."

Verse 4: "His breath goes forth; he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." Because there is no brain in which to house the spirit of man. The spirit goes back to God, because God controls everything, though maybe to the atheist it looks like there is no God. However, we will let them go on in their foolishness and dreams.

Verse 5: "Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made the heavens and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps Truth forever" (vs 5-6).

  • God has His plan
  • He has His way
  • He has His Truth

And it's going to be carried out!

Notice how all of these fit in with the Feast of Tabernacles, the Millennial theme, and bringing the Truth of God to all mankind.

Psalm 145:1: "I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You; and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts" (vs 1-4). That's what we're going to do in every generation through the Millennium.

You can know and understand that things are going to be totally different. You talk about having lots of children, having lots of joy, the blessings of God for everything, for all mankind. What a thing that is going to be, brethren! It's just like the world; the world would never, never, never guess that God has chosen us to assist Christ to save the world! NO!'Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength.'

Verse 5: "I will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty and of Your wondrous works…. [that will be available and visible] …And men shall speak of the might of Your awesome works; and I will declare Your greatness. They shall pour forth the memory of Your great goodness and shall sing of Your righteousness…. [here is the righteousness]: …The LORD is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O LORD; and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom" (vs 5-12). That's what we're going to do. You talk about a full educational system based on:

  • the Word of God
  • the Spirit of God
  • the love of God
  • the purpose of God

All of this is going to be great! However, we're going to see there's going to be a little difficulty come along. In some ways, because of all of this, it may be a little harder for them, though they have everything handy and given to them.

Verse 13: "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations"—into the ages of eternity!

Can you think of anything greater or more fantastic than this? Men give themselves over to causes, political movements, inventions, building, whatever; and God has granted to useternal life and all the glory of the kingdom! Think of that!

Remember what Jesus said when He was praying to the Father, that He 'came to reveal the Father' not to the wise and intelligent, but to us! And He said, 'It is the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom!' Think on that! That's why we're here, so that we can:

  • see the greatness and glory of God
  • see the greatness and fantastic purpose of His plan
  • see what a wonderful blessing it is that God has called us and that we answered the call
    • Isn't it amazing how much is buried in the Psalms?
    • Isn't it amazing how many things that there are multiple layers of understanding?

Think about this in relationship to every human being, and the special work that God has given to each one.

Sidebar: This helps us to understand why there will be a second resurrection; because God is not going to waste all the glorious work that He has done with all human beings, though they have ended up being sinners and died. God is going to give them an opportunity, which He did not give them in this present time.

Notice how intimately connected God is with those who are His. Also, people in the world, even though they reject Him. He's not forgotten them, their day is going to come.

Psalm 139: "O LORD, You have searched me and have known me." That's why we have the Spirit of God in us. That's why we have the grace and connection with God the Father.

  • God knows us!
  • He's working with us!
  • He's developing us!

Verse 2: "You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off. You measure my going about and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways, for there is not a word on my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, You know it altogether" (vs 2-4).

I've had this in mind for quite a while, and this is for us to know and understand: we may be able to put on a good front and fool people, butno one is going to fool God!

1-Corinthians 4:6: "…that in us… [speaking to the Corinthians there] …you may learn not to think of men beyond what is written, so that no one among you is puffed up on behalf of one of us against the other."

  • we're not to puff up men
  • we're not to follow men
  • we're to follow God

Everyone who is an elder or teacher is to teach so that we all come to the fullness and the measure of the stature of Christ, through the Word of God and the Spirit of God!

Verse 5, speaking of the heart: "Therefore, do not judge anything before the time; wait until the Lord comes, Who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the motives of all hearts…"

So, when it says in Psa. 139 that there isn't even a work in our mouth that God does not understand. It's interesting that the Greek there for themotives (1-Cor. 4:5) is the counsels of the heart. You're talking to one another yourself, because as our mind is working we're talking to ourselves.

Remember, Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: Let your'yes' be yes, and your 'no' be no. In other words, the whole purpose is to be pure of heart and mind through the power and Spirit of God—through the Word of God—to do the things of God the way that God wants them done.

What we're reading in Psa. 139 are the very things that we're going to teach people during the Millennium.
Psalm 139:5: "You have enclosed me behind and in front, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I go up into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in the grave, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the farthest parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me shall be night'; even the darkness does not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; as is the darkness, so is the light to You" (vs 5-12).

Notice the intimate relationship that God has with us, v 13: "For You have possessed my reins; You have knit me together in my mother's womb." The reins are what God uses to search our heart and mind:

  • to know us
  • to test us
  • to try us

Verse 14: "I will praise You, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Your works are marvelous and my soul knows it very well." All of these things are going to be the basis of everything we teach the people during the Millennium:

  • why they're here
  • what their life is about
  • all about God
  • what His plan is
  • what His ultimate goal is
  • what they will be

Just an amazing thing!

Verse 15: "My substance was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and intricately formed in the lowest parts of the earth." That is a simile for his mother's womb.

Verse 16: "Your eyes did see my substance, yet, being unformed…" This shows that the instant that a person is conceived in the mother's womb, there you are, that is you. What is left is growth!

"…and in Your book all my members were written…" (v 16). Today we call that the genetic code or the human genome. Though they think they have mapped out the human genome, there's still an awful lot they don't know. What they're going to do with what they have is going to be something!

"…which in continuance were fashioned…" (v 16). Once conception and cells start splitting there are two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and on and on until the full new life has been formed. All of that is God's doing through what He put in the genetics of mother and father, so that you can be created.

Verse 17: "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" Think about that! Think about what God is going to give us at the resurrection!

Verse 18: "If I should count them, they are more than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. Surely You will slay the wicked, O God; therefore, you bloody men, depart from me" (vs 18-19). Then God is going to work with us and bring us to the things that are right, good and true.

Let's see something very important concerning God. As great as all of this is that we have covered up to this point, know and understand that all human life is temporary. God is so great that He gives us a tremendous thing in Isa. 40 to understand the greatness of His might and His power.

Isaiah 40:12: "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out the heavens with a span? And who has comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, and who was His counselor that he might instruct Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and made known the way of understanding to Him?" (vs 12-14).

Here's a comparison: What can man do to add to God? Can man come along and improve on God? Who is perfect? NO! He cannot! Here's how God looks at everything, in spite of it's great fantastic potential. Unless it completes what God wants it to do, it is nothing!

Verse 15: "Behold, the nations are like a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the scales; behold, He takes up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts of it sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing…" (vs 15-16).

The hardest thing that's going to be for all of those coming through the Millennium is to understand the vanity and futility of human beings without God! Why will that be so hard to understand? Because all the sons of God will be there teaching!

  • God will be common knowledge!
  • Everything will be blessed!
  • Everything will be laid out!

That's going to be hard for them to take. It's going to be a difficult thing for them to comprehend. Think of this: all the young children growing up now never have lived in a time when there wasn't electricity. They take it for granted. It's there! Likewise it will be with the people in the Millennium. They will be in the Kingdom of God, we will be teaching them, all the knowledge of God will be there, and the hardest thing for them to learn is—even though they are made in the image and likeness of God—without God, without His Spirit, we are all nothing!

After showing the futility of idolatry and showing that all these graven images and 'religions' of men are nothing, then God says:

Verse 25: "'To whom then will you compare Me, or who is My equal?' says the Holy One." One of the most humbling things is—and bringing to realization of how great God is—the heavens He has created.

Verse 26: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who has created these things, who brings out their host by number? He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one fails. Why do you say, O Jacob, and O Israel you speak, 'My way is hidden from the LORD and my cause is disregarded by my God?'" (vs 26-27). That's what human beings think; that's what they're doing today. That's soon going to change!

God answers, v 28: Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow weak nor weary? And His understanding no one can fathom. He gives power to the weary; and to him with no might, He increases strength" (vs 28-29). God is there!

Let's see what else is going to be difficult for them. This is even hard for people today to understand. They don't think so, but this is what we need to learn. That's what they will learn, too. I am sure that there will be enough sinners from time-to-time—during the course of the Millennium—that these things will be well known. God has given choice, and God is not going to take away choice.

Every individual is still going to have to change, grow, overcome and be converted. Remember the thoughts of the mind! Yes! It's going to be quite a thing! And the more you know about God, the more you understand how virtually nothing that we are. But with God, fantastic and great potential. That's why we have to be faithful to the end, to endure so that we will be in the resurrection.

Psalm 39:1: "I said, 'I will take heed to my ways…'" That's what we need to do, use the cranium, the Spirit of God, our motives and counsels of the heart to do the things that are right.

"'…so that I do not sin with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked are before me.' I became dumb, keeping silent; I said nothing good, and yet, my sorrow grew worse" (vs 1-2). If you are around the wicked, yes! It really gets to you—doesn't it?

Verse 3: "My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue." Look at everything that there is. The longer you live the more we're to understand this:

Verse 4: "'O LORD, make me to know my end and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how short lived I am.'" We have a beginning and we have an end physically. God has no beginning or ending. He's the First and He's the Last. He's the Creator. He lives on the level of eternity! That's where He wants us to come.

When you compare God and you compare eternity, v 5: "Behold, You have made my days as a handbreadth, and the span of my days is as nothing before You. Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah." Think and meditate on this! Think of all the vain, stupid things that we do! That's why we need repentance everyday. All the things that come out as mistakes—because we let vanity get the best of us—we need to really understand v 5.

Let's apply this to those during the Millennium. They likewise are going to have to learn this lesson. Everything will be there; God will be there. It will be fantastic and beautiful and wonderful. Isn't it going to be very difficult for them to understand the futility of human life without God? Yes!

Verse 6: "Surely every man walks about in a vain show! Surely they are in an uproar in vain…." That reminds me of all the entertainment industry. That reminds me of all the politicians. Yes, indeed! Especially the one who rules in the White House today! Quite a thing—isn't it? Yes! All of those senators, governors, the leaders of the world; that's why God says that all nations to Him are just a 'drop in the bucket,' because we all came from a speck anyway to begin with. What do we get all excited about in how great we are? Listen! We need God's way!

"…He heaps up riches and does not know who shall gather them. And now, LORD, what do I wait for? My hope is in You" (vs 6-7). There's still going to be salvation necessary. All human beings are still going to have the law of sin and death within them. They're going to have the pulls of the flesh. Maybe not to the degree that there is today with Satan the devil loose. When he's bound during the Millennium, he won't be around. But they're still going to have to learn this.

Verse 7: "And now, LORD, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the fool" (vs 7-8). This is what it's going to have to be.

We'll look at: What is man that You are mindful of him?and how great it is in the creation of God, and yet, what we really are in the flesh is nothing. What God wants us to become is exactly like Him.

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We can know this when we think on it ourselves, but this is the thing that they're going to have to learn during the Millennium in spite of everything with God being there, and all the Family of God, all the sons and daughters of God running and administering the Kingdom of God. It gets down to this, without God:

Psalm 94:11[transcriber's correction]: "The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity." That's just the way that it is. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!

Psalm 62 gives the solution and then declares what the problem is. What we're going to do is look at what the problem is and then we will look at what the solution is.

Psalm 62:9: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie… [how true that is] …when weighed in the balance… [the balance of judgment] …they are altogether lighter than vanity."

Verse 1—here is the solution: "Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation." There's going to be salvation given to the whole world. It's going to come from God. All of them are going to have their choices to make.

This is the attitude that we need to have now so we can continue to learn how to grow in grace, knowledge and understanding, and be able to teach and rule during the Millennium when we're in the Kingdom of God.

Verse 2: "He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved. How long will you imagine mischief against a man? You shall be slain, all of you; you shall be like a bowing wall and as a tottering fence" (vs 2-3). That is the way that things are in the world today.

Verse 4: "They only consult to cast him down from his great height; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse. Selah." That's the way it is in the world today. They won't have leadership like that during the Millennium.

Verse 5: "My soul, wait in silence for God alone…" We'll be there!

  • When they cry out for help, we'll be there!
  • When they start to go the wrong way, we'll say, 'This is the way, walk in it.'

Just think what it's going to be like every Sabbath:

  • the things that we will teach
  • the things that God will teach us so we will learn and teach them

What a magnificent thing it is going to be. Remember, 'They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy mountain,' says the Lord.

Verse 6: "He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be moved." Yes! Today we all need to have our hearts fixed for the way of God, and teach all of those in the Millennium that way.

Verse 7: "In God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" (vs 7-8). Think on that! Meditate on that! That's how it is going to be.

For us today, Psalm 61 has a good message for us, because we have not yet attained to the tabernacle of God; we have not yet attained to our new spiritual being.

Psalm 61:1: "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth I cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock higher than me" (vs 1-2). That's why we go through the things that we do, so that we know that everything comes from God.

Verse 3: "For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower against the enemy. I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; I will take refuge in the hiding place of Your wings. Selah." (vs 3-4). Yes, all of these are here to show us that we can count on God, that we are going to make it into the Kingdom of God.

Listen! There are a lot of people who really need to understand how great the calling is. Too much of it has been downgraded into a 'religion' compared to the 'religions' in the world. But that isn't true! This is the way of God; these are the ways to eternal life! It's in the Truth and the Life and through Christ!

We will see that Jesus paved the way for us. We will see how great it was that Jesus did what He did, and for us to be in His kingdom, for us to qualify through Him:

  • through His Spirit
  • through the righteousness of God
  • through God the Father
  • through the greatness of God

Let's remind ourselves of what it is here, that God is doing for us. Brethren, just think about all of this, what Christ has done for each one of us in particular. When we repent and are baptized, and our lives are put under that watery grave, God is doing it for us individually, each one of us. That is a tremendous and fantastic thing! We're not like the world: the herd mentality out there, and all the important ones and only the elite are the ones that are worthwhile. But let me tell you something: To God, we will be the elite in the world that is coming!

Paul is talking to the Hebrews; to those who have known God, Hebrews 1:1: "God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things…" (vs 1-2). Remember, we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and that means we will share in all things. That means we will share in the universe. We will share in the greatness of God's plan through all the ages of eternity. We will be the only Church of the Firstborn! Think of that!

"…by Whom also He made the ages; Who, being the brightness of His glory…" (vs 2-3). Remember that Jesus said that the 'children of the kingdom shall shine as the sun.'

"…and the exact image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His own power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them" (vs 3-4). We are going to be given a new name. That's going to be something, yes, indeed!

Verse 5: "For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You'?…. [What does He say of us? We are the sons and daughter of the Almighty;think on that!] …And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'? And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'" (vs 5-6).

Notice what Jesus did to make this possible, v 8: "But on the other hand, of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God… [Jesus is God] …is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.'" That's how the kingdom is going to be ruled:

  • in love
  • in mercy
  • in kindness
  • in goodness

All of the things concerning the love of God, and for the greatness of mankind to enter into eternal life. That's going to be our full-time job! That's going to be something—isn't it?

  • no more having to fight the world
  • no more having to fight the evil that is around
  • no more having to have so many trials and difficulties come

We won't have them! We will be with God the Father and Jesus Christ. We will be given the kingdom to rule and reign with Christ a thousand years, and then on into the ages of eternity, because of what Jesus Christ did right here.

Verse 9: "You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness…" One of the keys to overcoming sin is to learn how great sin is, how evil sin is, and to hate it with the pure hatred of God against evil.

"…because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions" (v 9).

Hebrews 2:1: "For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things, which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away. For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense, how shall we escape, if we have neglected so great a salvation; which was first received when it was spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him; God also bearing witness with them by both signs and wonders, and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?" (vs 1-4).

The end result of all of that is the Word of God that we have today. Isn't it something that God had made available, in the greatest number? His Word to this world, because there needs to be a witness to all nations before the end comes? We are part of that!

Verse 5: "For it is not to the angels that He has placed in subjection the world that is to come, of which we are speaking." No! It is in subjection to the sons of God, not angels.

Verse 6: "But in a certain place one fully testified, saying… [here is the Septuagint version of Psa. 8 where we began]: …'What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him? You did make him a little lower than the angels…'" (vs 6-7). That is true, we are lower than the angels; but the Hebrew says lower than God because the angels do not have the potential that we do to become the sons and daughters of God in the way that we are going to be.

"'…You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands; You did put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him" (vs 7-8).

Why? Because Christ had to pave the way first! He through the Passover had to make it possible. Remember this: None of the plan of God is possible without beginning first with the Passover!

Verse 9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels… [Yes, made flesh! He tabernacled among us!] …crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death…"

I want to stop here and just draw to your attention: When we are baptized, we are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ, co-crucified with Him, conjoined in that watery grave! That covenantal baptism and pledge, and our faithfulness through the Spirit of God is what we need to look to, because we need to change, grow and overcome everyday in every way that we can.

"…in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (v 9). When we are baptized, that is a symbolic death into Christ. We are to live in righteousness so that at the resurrection we will be like Him. This is what is going to be necessary for the Kingdom of God to function on the earth, and to really help the people change and grow and expand the plan of God. We all have a personal part in it.

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

Take this, and if there are things we have to suffer through, let's remember the suffering of Christ, and let's remember that whatever we suffer, it is nothing compared to what Jesus suffered. He did it for us!

Here's the reason for the plan of God; to get it out and complete it, v 11: "For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one… [through God the Father] …for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren"—and tell us, 'Inherit the kingdom'; that's really something! That is great for us to know and to realize and to understand this.

Verse 12: "Saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.' And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me'" (vs 12-13). That's quite a thing, brethren! Jesus came to do that for us!

Now let's look at something else we need to understand concerning this. This is very important to realize as we come through these things. For us, too, as long as we have 'the law of sin and death' in us, and as long as there still is this age going on, we have some things we need to understand and carry out the way it needs to be.

Paul said, concerning what he was doing; the treasure we have in this earthen vessel, and that is the Holy Spirit of God.

2-Corinthians 4:12: "So then, on the one hand, death is working in us…"—that is the Apostle Paul and those who were serving. Death was working in them to bring life to the Church. Working themselves the way that they did. Dedicating to God the way that they were.

"…and on the other hand, life is working in you. And having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, 'I believed, therefore, I have spoken,' we also believe; therefore, we also speak, knowing that He Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead shall also raise us through Jesus, and shall present us with you" (vs 12-14)—all together!

Let's understand, brethren, that the things that have been done. Look at the past; look at everything that has been done in the past, going clear back to all of the Prophets, all of the kings, all of the things that took place when Jesus was here, all the apostles, all the ministers that were with them; down through time, down to our age. Let's understand that what we're doing we're able to do because everyone has done all of those things before us. So that:

  • we can have the Bible
  • we can have the Truth
  • we can have the knowledge
  • we can have the understanding

Here's how Paul looked at it, v 15: "For all things are for your sakes, so that the abounding grace may cause the thanksgiving of many to overflow unto the glory of God. For this reason, we do not lose heart…" (vs 15-16). Don't let any of the trials, problems and difficulties we're going to be confronted with as we go down through time preparing for the Kingdom of God, cause us to lose heart. Many of us are going to cross the finish line into our place of safety, the grave.

"…but if our outward man is being brought to decay…" (v 16). Don't worry about getting old. Don't worry about getting weak. God is not going to abandon you because you're old and weak, that's all part of His plan. He knows that it's going to be that way.

Here is the key, because this can happen in any age, in any circumstance of your life, IF you yield to God, "…yet, the inward man is being renewed day-by-day. For the momentary lightness of our tribulation is working out for us an immeasurably greater and everlasting fullness of glory… [Why?] …while we consider not the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen. For the things thatare seen are temporary; but the things that are not seen are eternal" (vs 16-18). Always having our mind focused on that.

  • that's why Jesus came
  • that's why we are here today
  • that's why God has given us the understanding of what we have today
    • He is working in us
    • He is preparing us
    • He is making all of this possible

That's how great the Word of God is!

Let's see what Peter wrote about this; let's see how important you are to God. We need to be there, to be in the Kingdom of God to help further the plan of God, in helping many, many more people obtain eternal life. Let's understand how close God is to us.

To be under grace means that you've had your sins forgiven, you've repented, been baptized and received the Holy Spirit. In receiving the Holy Spirit you have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ. God is the One Who calls. Many are called, but few are chosen! Let's see what Peter writes concerning God being involved at the very beginning. God is able to do things with His Spirit and with the seven Spirits of God to help people, to call people.

Sidebar: Remember how God called Paul when he was Saul persecuting the Church. BOOM! Changed him—didn't He? God determined that—didn't He? Yes, He did!

  • Was God directly involved in our lives when we answered the call?
  • When we were baptized?
  • When we received the Holy Spirit of God?
  • Yes, indeed!

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

Think about that! Let that sink deeply into your mind, and let it sink deeply into our heart so that we can love God even more—predetermined knowledge of God in calling us!

"…by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (vs 2-3). That is something, brethren!

In keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, and in understanding the plan of God, all of this is given in God's Word so that:

  • we may know
  • we may be educated
  • we may be trained
  • we may learn the love, faith, Truth and mercy of God

Verse 4: "Unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us"—which Christ will bring with Him when He comes. Isn't that a fantastic thing?

Verse 5: "Who are being safeguarded by the power of God… [the power of God's Spirit] …through faith…" That's why it's so very, very important:

  • for us to draw close to God everyday in prayer and study
  • for us to use the washing of the water by the Word
  • for the cleansing of our heart and mind and motives

So that we have a pure heart! Those that have a pure heart will see God! That's a fantastic thing to look forward to.

Verse 6: "In this you yourselves greatly rejoice… [and we do; however, there are some other things that we need to go through] …though for the present, if it is necessary,you are in distress for a little while by various trials; in order that the proving of your faith, which is much more precious than gold that perishes… [because God is developing in us His character] …though it is being tested by fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (vs 6-7). That's going to be a fantastic time when that occurs.

Verse 8: "Whom, not having seen, you love; in Whom, though at the present time you do not see Him, you believe, and rejoice with unspeakable joy, and filled with glory; and are receiving the end of your faith—eventhe salvation of your souls" (vs 8-9). Look how important that this is.

Go back to the time when the Church began and come down through all the centuries to our time, and everything that there is. One of the things that grieves my heart all the time is the way the Churches of God have been in recent years. We know it is the will of God to test us and try us, but also to have many different groups out there preaching the Truth, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Brethren, pray for all of us; pray for all the Churches, and that God will bring us all to repentance and greater understanding, and preaching the Gospel in greater power and effectiveness to this sick and dying world. Jesus said that 'this Gospel will be preached in all the world, then shall the end come.' So, we all need to be busy about that. We have two things we need to do:

  • preach the Gospel
  • develop the character of God through the Spirit of God

Verse 10: "Concerning which salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you have diligently searched out and intently inquired, searching into what way and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them was indicating, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and these glories that would follow" (vs 10-11).

Think on v 12, and compare it to the times that you have lightly esteemed the Word of God:

Verse 12: "To whom it was revealed that… [to them like it was to Daniel] …not for themselves, but to us they were ministering these things, which now have been announced to you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven—into which things the angels desire to look."

  • we have the inspiration of God to motivate us to do what is right
  • we have the love of God to understand that He has personally called and chosen us

Look at the world that we live in; we're not of the world, but we live in the world and we must overcome the world, and we must overcome ourselves. So, he tells us how we are to do it, and the ultimate goal of it.

Verse 13: "For this reason, be prepared in your minds, be self-controlled, and be fully hoping in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

  • looking forward always to the resurrection
  • looking forward always to the Kingdom of God

Verse 14: "As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the former lusts, asyou did in your ignorance. But according as He Who has called you is Holy, you yourselves also be Holy in all your conduct; for it is written, 'You be Holy because I am Holy.'" (vs 13-16). God will give us His Spirit and His power to be able to do that.

Verse 17: "And if you call upon the Father, Who judges according to each man's work without respect of persons, pass the time of your life's journey in the fear of God; knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things, by silver or gold, from your futile way of living, inherited by tradition from your forefathers; but by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (vs 17-19). And that we have our hope in God, in everything that there is, brethren.

When we have difficulties and problems that come to us, do this, 1-Peter 5:6: "Be humbled, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time… [that is the resurrection] …casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you. Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour. Whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world" (vs 6-9). But having this promise: God cares for you!

Verse 10: "Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself… [God Himself, the Father] …perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the power into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 10-11).

  • let's understand what God is doing
  • let's understand the great calling that we have
  • let's re-dedicate ourselves to really yield to God and grow, change and overcome

So that we can have the spiritual strength to endure the things that are surely going to come! Yes, they will surely come!

So that we do not get caught off guard, but keep this in mind; this is from the Father Himself directly, not through any man—other than Christ as our Mediator, Savior and Redeemer; not any minister, not any priest; not any of those things of the religions of the world—but by the grace of God directly from God the Father!

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved… [here is a promise; claim this promise; never let it slip from your mind]: …now we are the children of God… [the Greek is 'teknon'—the very children by the begettal of the Holy Spirit of God] …and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested… [Jesus Christ] …we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure" (vs 1-3).

Those are the great and wonderful promises of God that He has given to us! He's making and fashioning us in the way that He is, and preparing for us the great and wonderful job of showing all mankind—through the Millennium and into the Last Great Day—the great works of God, the great salvation of God!


Scriptural References:

  1. Psalm 8:1-9
  2. Psalm 144:1-4
  3. Psalm 146:1-6
  4. Psalm 145:1-13
  5. Psalm 139:1-4
  6. 1 Corinthians 4:6, 5
  7. Psalm 139:5-19
  8. Isaiah 40:12-16, 25-29
  9. Psalm 39:1-8
  10. Psalm 94:11
  11. Psalm 62:9, 1-8
  12. Psalm 61:1-4
  13. Hebrews 1:1-6, 8-9
  14. Hebrews 2:1-13
  15. 2 Corinthians 4:12-18
  16. 1 Peter 1:1-19
  17. 1 Peter 5:6-11
  18. 1 John 3:1-3

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Genesis 1


FRC:bo
Transcribed:7-30-14

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