To Dwell with God

Fred R. Coulter—October 12, 2014

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to day four of the Feast of Tabernacles! Time marches on! Here we are at the halfway point of the Feast. Remember, Jesus said that He's the Beginning and the Ending. The Feast began, we're halfway through, and it will end. Likewise with God's plan.

God has a tremendous and wonderful plan for us, brethren! What is it going to be like to dwell with God? We will see that right now God is dwelling in us with His Spirit.

When you read the Psalms in sequence, you have:

  • Psa. 22—the crucifixion
  • Psa. 23—the peace of God while He was on the cross and just right after He was resurrected from the dead
  • Psa. 24—the resurrection and acceptance of Christ by the Father coming to the throne of God

As we look at difficult times that are coming down the road—and, yes, they are coming; and, yes, they are going to be more than we have ever expected—notice the comfort that we get from this prayer:

Psalm 23:1: The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want…. [you shall need nothing] …He makes me to lie down in green pastures… [the Word of God (Ezek. 34); we're being fed the Word of God] …He leads me beside the still waters" (vs 1-2)—that which bring peace of mind, peace with God.

Verse 3: "He restores my soul… [by the resurrection] …He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." Acknowledge the difficulties and problems, and think of the problems that Jesus went through; try and put yourself in the frame of mind that He was after He was resurrected back to life.

Verse 4: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…" Every single one of us are going to face that! Every single one of us are going to face the difficulties and problems that are coming in this world.

"…I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (v 4). We find, through the Holy Spirit, which is called 'the Comforter' (John 14).

Verse 5: "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies…." He accomplished everything that God wanted Him to do, even though the enemies and Satan the devil were always after Him.

"…You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life… [into the ages of eternity] …and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (vs 5-6). That's what the Feast of Tabernacles pictures for us! God says that we are:

  • the called

we answered the call

  • the chosen
  • the faithful

Let's also understand that we are Abraham's seed (Gal. 3:29), and when it talks about Jacob/Israel and when it refers definitely to the Church, it's talking about us. We will see the dual fulfillment of this in:

Isaiah 41:8: "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, My friend." We are called by Jesus 'the friends of God.' When we go through these things, I want you to understand and try and grasp the framework of our thoughts—with the power of God's Holy Spirit in us—to understand what God has done in calling us.

We are now being prepared to serve and rule under Christ. There can be no greater calling, brethren. There can be nothing in this life to even compare to it. We need to understand that:

  • God is the One Who has done it!
  • God is the One Who has called us!
  • God is the One Who has made it possible!
  • God is the One Who has give us of His Spirit!
  • God is the One Who has opened our mind!

To God, every one of us are important to Him, though we be nothing to ourselves.

Verse 9: "Whom I have taken from the ends of the earth… [that's all the called ones from various countries around the world] …and called you from its uttermost parts. And I said to you, 'You are My servant; I have chosen you, and have not cast you away. Do not fear… [with the days ahead we need to really concentrate on that] …for I am with you…'" (vs 9-10). That a tremendous statement:

  • God is with us
  • God is for us
  • God is in us

 "…be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness" (v 10).

We already know, but let's reinforce it: We are saved by grace, but not of our own works. Not of ourselves lest any man should boast. We are God's workmanship. He is molding and working in us. And when we are walking in the ways of God and doing the works of God those are not works that emanate from us.

Remember, Jesus said, 'I can do nothing of Myself.' The Greek there is 'ek'—out from within Myself. That's why we need the Holy Spirit of God. That's why, brethren, we have the greatest blessing of any people in the world, having the Spirit of God within us! Let's set aside all of the substitutes of the 'religions' of this world.

  • you are not called to a religion
  • you're not called to a church
  • you are part of the Church of God, every single one of us
  • you are part of the Body of Christ, every single one of us

God has chosen us and is:

  • helping us
  • guiding us
  • directing us

In everything!

Verse 11: "Behold, all those who were angered against you shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing…." Jesus said, 'Don't fear the one who is able to kill the body, but fear the one who is able to kill the body and the life!' That's God! So, don't fear them.

"'…And those who strive against you shall perish. You shall seek them, and shall not find them; men warring against you shall be as nothing, and as a thing of naught, for I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Do not fear; I will help you." Do not fear, you worm Jacob and men of Israel; I will help you,' says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 'Behold, I make you a new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills like chaff'" (vs 11-15).

We're going to conquer the world with Christ, His way! That's how it's going to be if they fight against us.
Verse 16: "You shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and a tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel." Isn't that something? Yes, indeed! That's really fantastic to know!

There's an awful lot in the Prophets and the Psalms about the Kingdom of God. As a matter of fact, when you go through the Bible, that's what it's all about. That's why we are to 'seek first the Kingdom of God.'

Psalm 65:4: "Blessed is the one whom You choose… [we have been called, chosen and faithful by God Himself] …and cause to come near You, that he may dwell in Your courts… [to dwell with God] …we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, even Your Holy temple. By awesome works in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation; You are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of those of the distant sea" (vs 4-5)—because we are going to bring salvation to the world. That is something to contemplate.

  • look at everything that men are trying to do
  • look at the world government that they are trying to build
  • look at the world religion that Satan is now bringing together

And he's going to bring world government, as well. Man will have his greatest opportunity under Satan the devil to prove that Satan's way is the way of death and destruction!

When we come back to the earth with Christ after the resurrection, that's what we're going to be dealing with to help these people. That's going to be quite a chore, indeed! Here's what we're going to do. If you think that worshiping God today in prayer is something, wait until we worship God in person face-to-face! I don't know about you, but that is just a stunning thing for me to contemplate. But that will happen!

Psalm 134:1: "Behold, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who stand by night in the house of the LORD…. [we'll be there with God] …Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the LORD. May the LORD Who made the heavens and earth, bless you out of Zion" (vs 1-3).

Psalm 135:1: "O praise the LORD! O praise the name of the LORD; praise Him, O you servants of the LORD…. [that will be us] …Those who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, O praise the LORD; for the LORD is good; sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant" (vs 1-3). All of those of you who can only make a 'joyful noise' now, will be able to sing! That'll be something—won't it? And on key! That'll be great!

Verse 4: "For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, and Israel for His own treasure, for I know that the LORD is great, and our Lord is above all gods" (vs 4-5). He is going to do away with them all! The first project in hand when the Millennium begins is going to be to destroy every idol, make it dust and powder, get rid of it entirely.

This will really be fulfilled when we're in the Kingdom of God, Psalm 133:1: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" That unity comes with love. We are going to see that the way all of this is going to work, beginning now in building and preparing for it, is the love of God. Loving God, and understanding that God loves us. So, whenever you get down and discouraged like the first sermon that I gave in the sermon series: Love of God: Remember, When All Else Fails, God Loves You!

  • That's why He has called you!
  • That's why Christ died for you!

We're going to see how powerful that is as we go along.

Verse 2: "It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, Aaron's beard, that went down to the hem of his garments; like the dew of Hermon that descended upon the mountains of Zion, for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life forevermore" (vs 2-3)—eternal life with the Lord! That is an amazing thing to contemplate and understand!

Here's a promise because we're going to go through some difficult times. But have your mind set on the things ahead, because we will be in the Kingdom of God.

Psalm 140:13: "Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence." Think what that is going to be like. Actually, in a way—because of having the Spirit of God today—we are dwelling in the presence of God! We're here today gathered in this meeting and we're dwelling in the presence of God! living His way here at the Feast of Tabernacles. We are dwelling in a temporary dwelling, and everything about us is temporary. Is that not true? Yes, indeed!

Everything is in the flesh, but we look to the spiritual things! We don't look to the things that are seen, which are the physical; we look to the things that are not yet seen, because they are spiritual and they are eternal life!

Let's see how these things work. David was able to do this—remember that in Psa. 63 that David was able to come to the tent of the Ark of the Covenant in his house and see God, an image of God! Not God in His strength; not God in His glory. That's why some of these Psalms are so intimate and close to God, and have been recorded for us so that now, in this day with the Spirit of God:

  • we can draw close to God
  • we know that He's dwelling in us
  • we can know that He loves us
  • we can know that He'll fight our battles for us
  • we can know that He cares for us
  • we can know that God is for us

If God is for us, who or what can be against us? Not a single thing!

Psalm 101:1: "I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praise. I will behave myself wisely in a blameless way. O when will You come unto me?…. [in this life right now] …I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" (vs 1-2). How do you get a perfect heart?

Notice the fantastic and awesome work of God: He takes the human heart—deceitful above all things and desperately wicked—and with His Spirit and the process of conversion:

  • cleansing
  • growing
  • overcoming
  • changing

we come to a perfect heart!

Verse 3: "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes. I have hated the work of those who turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know no evil thing. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, in secret I will cut him off… [that's what God is saying] …he who has a haughty look and a proud heart, I will not allow. My eyes… [God's eyes] …shall be upon the faithful of the land, so that they may dwell with Me… [in God's house] …he who walks in a blameless way, he shall serve Me. He who works deceit shall not dwell within My house; he who tells lies shall not remain in My sight" (vs 3-7).

I recommend that every Protestant and Catholic minister and priest read this, and think about what you teach, think about what you say, and think about what you believe. Then ask: Since it's not in accord with the Word of God, where do you think you will be? Here's what's going to accomplish it:

  • our love to God
  • God's love to us

That's what's going to do it, because everything that God does in a relationship with anyone, we repent and forsake our sins, and come to God. It's very interesting, God is seeking those who are seeking Him. If you seek God first, which we do, you'll find Him. Jesus says, 'Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be open. Seek and you shall find.' God says, 'Seek Me! Seek Me with all your heart! Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts!'

Here's what it has to be, Mark 12:28: "And one of the scribes who had come up to Him, after hearing them reasoning together and perceiving that He answered them well, asked Him, 'Which is thefirst commandment of all?'" The Greek is 'protos'—the primary or first one, the foundational commandment. We've already covered obey My voice! Now then, here it is. Once you do that then you develop a relationship with God based on His love:

  • His love for you
  • your love in turn back to Him
  • His Spirit in you
  • you in turn growing in grace and knowledge loving God back

As we read this, think of it as God is talking to you!

Verse 29: "Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord…. [Jesus Christ and the Father] …And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…"'" (vs 29-30).The heart is the only part of the body that also has neuro-cells like in the brain. This is where our feelings are.

"…and with all your soul…" (v 30). Everything about your physical body.

"…and with all your mind, and with all your strength." (v 30). Think about this for a minute. Is this not a full-time job? Yes, indeed! It covers every aspect of our life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, however many years we live.

"...This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (vs 30-31). From the Law that is true, but Jesus expounded the love of neighbor. That's important for us. That's what we need to exercise with each other and at the Feast and anytime we get together with the brethren.

Listen, brethren, the Churches of God are in such disarray today, unfortunately. And the cause of it is these things:

  1. not fully obeying the voice of God
  2. not fully loving God
  3. not loving each other as Jesus loves us

When that happens, what do you have? All kinds of ideas! All kinds of heresies!

Sidebar: I had a man send me a paper that he thinks that during the Millennium there will be a resurrection every 100 years for those who had died previously, because there won't be enough room on the earth to hold all the human beings.

Well, first of all, does God know what He's doing? Yes, He does! If God raises them all back to life, don't you think He will be able to take care of them and will have provided for them, regardless of how many billions it might be? A good example of this: When you fly in a plane at 35,000 feet and look down on the earth, how much of it is really truly nearly empty space? Ninety-five to ninety-six percent of it! So, let's give God credit; He knows what He's doing.

What does it say in Revelation 20? This is the first resurrection;parenthetical statement: and the rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are finished.' That being a true statement, how can there be a resurrection of the dead every 100 years during the Millennium? Can't be! Yet, I got a long paper on it.

Understanding the love of God, and understanding the Truth of God, and not getting lifted up in vanity, and not getting carried away with weird things—which too many do because they're not coming close to God the way they need to. Jesus said, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' I don't know how people come up with things like that when the plain Scriptures are right there.

Now, we want to focus on John 13:34; this becomes an important thing for us, as well. This is why, brethren, God does not like all the Church wars going on, but He also does not want them all together in one group. He wants thousands of them all

  • loving Him
  • loving each other
  • keeping His commandments
  • teaching the brethren
  • witnessing to the world
  • preaching the Gospel

What a thing that would be! The reason it isn't is because of:

John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another. By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—if you love one another" (vs 34-35). That sailed right over Peter's head! He didn't even grasp that right then; I hope he got it later on.

Let's look at the final prayer of Jesus, John 17:24: "Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory… [we're going to have glory as well, too] …which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world." Before we can enter into the realm of eternal life, we need to learn:

  • the love of God
  • the love of Christ
  • the love of each other
  • the love of our neighbors

Verse 25: "Righteous Father, the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them…" (vs 25-26). Stop and think all of you 'sacred namers.' What is the only name in the New Testament that is revealed concerning the Father? The Father! That's the only one that's been revealed!

Why then do those people insist on putting Hebrew names into the New Testament when God never inspired them to be there. If the only language you have and speak is Hebrew, there may be some of them in the New Testament. But rest assured, a sacred name does not equal a guarantee of salvation. The love of God equals the guarantee of salvation; the love of the Father and Jesus Christ! I want you to know how God the Father loves you, to help inspire you so that you can love the brethren, and love God even more.

Verse 26: "And I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them." That's how we're dwelling in God today!

How does the Father love us? As He loved Jesus Christ! How did the Father love Jesus Christ? With all the love that God can have to love Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son!

  • never get discouraged
  • never get dismayed

Turn to this verse and know how God loves each one of us. You might say, 'Little ole me?' Yes, indeed! God loves you!

When you read and study the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John you will see that he talks more of the love of God than any of the other apostles. Perhaps one of the reasons for that was because he was the disciple that Jesus loved. As we read these verses I want you to think about it.

1-John 4:4: "You are of God, little children… [that means you belong to God; you are God's] …and have overcome them because greater is He Who is in you… [because of the love of God] …than the one who is in the world."

There again, we need to take great courage and use the examples of the Apostle John. Remember, they saw great and terrible things in their lifetime, and they saw what happened to Jerusalem: it's destruction and the temple destroyed, and not rebuilt again until the end-time. Think of that! What they went through!

Remember that John wrote in the last chapter of the Gospel of John Jesus said to Peter, when Peter wanted to know what was going to happen to him. One of the shortcomings of Peter, though he had a lot of talents, was that he was political in many ways. Gal. 2 attests to that fact. He pointed to the Apostle John and said, 'Lord, what's going to happen to him.' Jesus looked at him and said, 'What is that to you? If I desire that he remain until I come again, you follow Me.' Of course, the rumor went out that John wasn't going to die until Jesus returned. Well, the only way that happened was through the book of Revelation and the vision that God gave to John.

So, they saw a lot of things. They saw the attacks of Satan the devil. They saw the armies of the Romans. They saw the killings, the murdering, the destruction of civilization right in front of them.

It's interesting, there's an account of that when the war first started and the Roman soldiers came and surrounded Jerusalem, because the Roman governor came in and took the gold out of the temple, the Zealots came and were fighting. That's what triggered the war. The Romans came in and circled them, and lo and behold, suddenly the Romans withdrew and went down toward Caesarea. Guess what? All of the Zealots who wouldn't let anyone out of the city including the Christians, gathered up all of their armaments and they chased the Romans on the way to Caesarea and all the Christians were able to up and escape out of Jerusalem to go to Pella.

Even right in the middle of very dangerous circumstances, God is able to intervene and make a way possible. That was quite a fantastic thing that occurred.

Verse 4: "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is He Who is in you than the one who is in the world. They are of the world… [the way the world is] …because of this, they speak of the world, and the world listens to them" (vs 4-5). Here is the dividing line; and this dividing line is there and needs to be continued to be understood and kept. We are not to become like the world. We are not to go into the broad way; we are to stay in the narrow and straight and difficult way.

Verse 6: "We are of God; the one who knows God listens to us; the one who is not of God does not listen to us. By this means we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the deception." The deception is running full and wide and deep today. The Spirit of the Truth is what we need to maintain through:

  • loving God
  • keeping His commandments
  • studying His Word

Verse 7: "Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God." Be begotten means you have the Spirit of God!

Peter describes this in 1-Peter 1; we have been begotten again. The seed that comes from God, as John says, the seed of the begettal remains in us so that we can be converted (1-John 3), So that we can understand the Truth.

Verse 8: "The one who does not love does not know God because God is love…. [that the very first characteristic about God] …In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him" (vs 8-9). That's something! We live with Christ in us!

Verse 10: "In this act is the love…" The very act of sending Christ and the very act of Christ going through the crucifixion the way He did.

"…—not that we loved God…" (v 10). It doesn't come from us to God first. It comes from God first to us, and then back to God.

"…rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound… [under obligation] …to love one another" (vs 10-11).

That's what we need to emphasize. At this Feast this is what we need to be doing, so that it will be an experience that you will remember for a long, long time. That through the Feast you can be rejuvenated spiritually, rejuvenated with

  • the Spirit of God
  • the love of God
  • the fellowship with each other
  • to know and understand that God is for you andhas provided the way
  • He wants you!
  • He is teaching you!
  • He is helping you!

And you will be in the Kingdom of God.

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1-John 4 has a lot of information for us, brethren, what it is with the love of God. It is mental, emotional, spiritual and with your whole being. Did God, in sending Christ, give everything that He had? Yes, He did! Let's understand something else:

Verse 12: "No one has seen God at any time…. [that's repeated in John 3] …Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us… [and we'll see that's by His Spirit] …and His own love is perfected in us." So, conversion, love, faith and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfected. It's a process of growing and overcoming.

Verse 13: "By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us." We are going to see that that Spirit is to lead us.

Let's see how this love is perfected. It's perfected:

  • emotionally
  • spiritually
  • mentally

and

  • by obeying the voice of God!

1-John 2:5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word… [that means the whole Word of God] …truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (vs 5-6). That's the standard, brethren. That is an eternal standard. It takes:

  • diligence
  • vigilance
  • stick-to-itiveness
  • the spiritual closeness to God through prayer and study to accomplish that

1-John 4:14: "And we have seen for ourselves… [they saw and handled Jesus] …and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God…" (vs 14-15). That means more than lip-service. Confession means that you express it and confess it because you know internally and spiritually that that is so. Not just lip-service to God.

Verse 15: "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him" (vs 15-16). That is the key right now as a down payment of the earnest of the Spirit that God has given us. He's given us:

  • His love
  • His Truth
  • His faith

He is preparing us to be in His family, the very children of God. That's the work of God!

Verse 17: "By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment…." (vs 17-18). That's all a part of:

  • being perfected
  • growing and overcoming
  • continuing to develop and grow in the love of God

Since that is going to be eternal, since that is going to be forever, even after we're resurrected from the dead and in the Kingdom of God, and the children of God, because we love God we are going to have it perfected in us. It is going to grow through all eternity. Think on that, brethren!

What we need to do in understanding about God and His way and His Word and what He is doing, is that we need to realize that God is going to the greatest, the maximum. God is not going to do the minimum. What does that require of us? It requires of us not to have the Laodicean blahs! Isn't that correct? Yes, indeed!

"…And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first. If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar…. [no liar is going to be in the Kingdom of God] …For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen?" (vs 18-20). That shows why these church wars are really very bad. It destroys love! Look at the situation that it has been. That's why we need to pray every day:

  • O God, be with Your people
  • O God, help us to repent and overcome
  • O God, help us to change and grow

Verse 21: "And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother."

John 14—we've been here many times in different ways and in different sermons, especially concerning the love of God. Remember as Jesus said, 'Every scribe, in preparing his presentation, takes something old and something new and puts it together. That's what we're doing here.

John 14:14: "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." You have to also understand the conditions:

  • according to the will of God
  • according to the plan of God
  • according to God's timetable and schedule

God thinks farther down the road than we do. And especially today. We are the instant generation. Everything is right now, right now, right now! We fool ourselves with summaries. If we can write a little, say a little—especially if we 'Tweet' or have Facebook, all this sort of thing—that we've accomplished something. Really, it's like putting a checkmark on a piece of paper, you've accomplished nothing!

  • we need to grow in love
  • we need to grow in fellowship
  • we need to grow in all of these things
  • we need to grow in prayer

Have you ever had a thought or prayer that you forgot all about, and as you're going down the road of life, all of a sudden BING!one day you understand that God answered that prayer, which may have been just a thought.

What does that tell you? That God hears and listens! That tells you that God will give to us what is good for us in the time that we need it, when we need it. Is that not true? Yes, indeed!

Verse 15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: Even the Spirit of the Truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (vs 15-17). The Spirit of the Truth! That's what has to be the motivating factor in our lives in spiritual growth and understanding and what we're doing.

Verse 18: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. Yet, a little while and the world shall see Me no longer; but you shall see Me. Because I live, you shall live also" (vs 18-19). Think of that!

After He was resurrected and appeared to the apostles and 500 of the brethren and taught them personally for 40 days. They could see that He was living; yes, He was alive! Even 'doubting Thomas' had to believe—didn't he? Think of the joy that that permanently put within them, and the zeal, motivation and drive that God gave them because of that. They knew, without any doubt! So are we, brethren, because as God lives, Christ lives, He was resurrected from the dead, we should also live!We shall also be resurrected! That's a guarantee from God! We will dwell in the tabernacle of God, the house of God, the courts of God.

Listen, brethren! We have the greatest blessing, the greatest, most fantastic future ahead of us through Jesus Christ than we can even imagine. But for us to understand it, to grow in the process of love and all of the things and characteristics of God. We have the Sabbath, the Holy Days, the Spirit of God—all combined together—to take care of growing and overcoming and being perfected in love.

Verse 20: "In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you." Notice the result; this is the dividing line. The Spirit of God is the invisible dividing line; the fruits of our lives is the visible dividing line.

Verse 21: "The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me…" Tie that in with:

Verse 15: ""If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments." There it is confirmed.

Verse 21: "…and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him." Then Judas (not Iscariot) wanted to know, 'Lord, how are You going to do this?' It is a spiritual thing.

Sidebar: Get the sermon: The Holy Spirit of God and the seven Spirits of God. The seven Spirits are continually going around the earth looking for those who are seeking God. God knows! He understands! If they are the ones seeking Him and one of the seven spirits of God reports that back to God, then that Spirit of God will be with him to help him. If he withdraws and backs off, then the Spirit will be taken back. But if he's real and earnest, and really wants to know, then there will be a point when God will draw him. That's the calling; God is drawing. Answering the call is repentance and baptism.

So, Jesus answers the question. This is an unseen thing to the world spiritually, and only manifested in the fact that they can observe that we are keeping the commandments of God.

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word…'" Stop and think about that in relationship to all the counterfeit Christianities that there are. That's something!

Because you love Jesus Christ, now again, we want to emphasize this: God the Father is directly involved in every single one of our lives; we are the children of the Father!

"…'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word… [that's the whole message of Christ] and My Father will love him…'" (v 23). You can't have anyone greater than that care for you and love you—can you? No, you can't!

God the Father, the Sovereign of the universe, the One sitting on the throne as revealed in Rev. 4 & 5; the awesome God controls everything that there is, and knows what is going on, even to the point that when a sparrow falls God knows it.

"…and We… [the Father and the Son] …will come to him and make Our abode with him" (v 23)—a dwelling place. God is dwelling in us through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Now, this is the measurement. I remember the first time I read that to ex-Protestants, it blows them away. The Protestants—with the Protestant 'religion'—have such a clever counterfeit, but they have Jesus only. It's only Jesus, Jesus only. But John said, 'You do not have the Father unless you have Jesus and the Father. If you have only Jesus you don't have the Father, and if you don't have the Father you don't have salvation. They work together, right here, v 23: "…My Father will love him, and We… [together] …will come to him and make Our abode with him."

Verse 24: "The one who does not love Me… [this is what blows away the Protestants]: …does not keep My words…"—and they do not. When you add to that that Jesus was the Lord God of the Old Testament, and they say that the Law is done away, they don't keep His words.

"…and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me" (v 24). Jesus said, 'I speak what the Father commanded Me; I do what I see the Father do; I of Myself can do nothing, but the Father in Me, He is the One Who does the works.'

Likewise with us. We need God the Father and we need Jesus Christ dwelling in us spiritually through the power of the Holy Spirit. They are dwelling in us!

We will see that in Rom. 8.; this is the dividing line. The one who is carnal, neither indeed can be is enmity against God—an enemy. Those are ones who are called in the flesh. But we, though we are still walking in the flesh, are reckoned by God as in the Spirit.

Let's see how Paul writes about this, because this is absolutely fundamental and important. Romans 8:8: "But those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Even if you do something that is great and looks really, really righteous, if you don't have the Spirit of God it's not of God! That's why Cain's offering was rejected. He didn't do it God's way! Likewise with us. We can't come to God and do any great work of ourselves. What did Jesus say He's going to say to those ministers who used His name? Cast out demons? Did many wonderful works? He's going to say, 'I never knew you; depart from Me you who work lawlessness.' That's the carnal mind. And there's a carnal-minded Christianity.

Verse 9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if theSpirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." There are two aspects to the Spirit of God:

  1. the Spirit of God,which is the begettal from the Father to be the begotten children of God
  2. the Spirit of Christ, so we develop the mind of Christ

Verse 10: "But if Christ be within you… [dwelling in you by His Spirit] …the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you… [that's the Spirit of the Father] …He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but ifby the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live" (vs 10-13).

This shows that our overcoming and everything like this is an active thing that we do, motivated by the Spirit of God within us:

  • to overcome the sin that's within
  • to overcome the law of sin and death
  • to overcome the works of the flesh
  • to have our mind cleansed with 'the washing of the water by the Word'
  • to have our conscience cleaned
  • to have our hearts purified

All of that is a spiritual work of God. This is why there is time, this is why there are trials and difficulties. This is indeed a great work that God is doing in us. Yes, it is a difficult thing to do. "…ifby the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live."

Verse 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." We covered the other part of it about the inheritance and that the world is waiting for us.

Sidebar: How important is every single one of us? So important that God is going to give you eternal life! So important that God is going to use us, and all of the saints of the past, together to rule this world under Christ and straighten it out!

  • bring it righteousness
  • bring it peace
  • bring it understanding

And to help bring into the fold of God's spiritual family millions and million, and billions of people. Because that universe out there is what God has created, that we will inherit with Christ, and it is vast and awesome beyond anything that we can imagine in our little pea brain! The only way we understand it is through the Spirit of God!

I like to liken it this way: Husband and wife are having a child. About the eighth month of the pregnancy they know it's just a couple of weeks and the child is going to be here. In today's world you generally know whether it's a boy or a girl.

Think of it this way: Liken our current state as in the womb, and Jerusalem above is the mother of us. The father goes to his wife and he cups his hand on the pregnant belly of his wife and says, 'Son/daughter, this is your father speaking. You don't know me, but I know you. When you are born you are going to be a beautiful child made in the image of God. The child won't be able to hear that. Maybe he can hear the sounds, but since there's nothing yet in the mind, except the ability to nurse, nevertheless, when they're born the process of growing into a full mature human being continues outside of the womb.

Likewise, when we're born into the Kingdom of God. Christ is the Firstborn of Mary, and He's the Firstborn among the dead. We are the Church of the Firstborn; we will be in the first resurrection. We know this, but what God is going to give us and equip us with is going to be so fantastic that right now we're kind of like that little child hearing the noise of the father's voice through the belly of its mother. We hear something but we don't know it, yet; but when we're raised from the dead, it's going to be a fantastic thing, brethren. Think of that!

John 15 tells us about dwelling in God, the love of God and the key together that makes all of this work. John 15:1: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit… [we constantly have to be bearing fruit] …but He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit" (vs 1-2).

Here in the city of Hollister, CA, I don't know why they do it, but I guess it was PGE (Pacific Gas and Electric); there was a tree right across from our house, right in front of the house across the street. It's been there for a long time. It grows up and gets into the wires. So, this year, I guess, the order was to cut that all back. They cut that tree back and there just a few little draggly, straggly branches hanging down and wounded.

You could tell that it affected the tree. It was almost in mourning, looking at the leaves on that tree. But in a space of time—that must have been several months ago—the leaves have revived, new branches are growing, developing. It's a day-by-day thing. The thing is this, it was pruned.

Sometimes we need to be pruned back a whole lot—don't we? Well, don't worry about it. Accept the pruning—which is correction—and go forward. God says, "…in order that it may bear more fruit." God wants more fruit. Remember when it talks about the seed falling into the good ground (Matt. 13). Some produce 30-fold, some 60-fold, and 100-fold.

Verse 3: "You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you." That's how we are cleansed inside, with the Word of God and the Spirit of God! Notice what He says, and this is important, because our goal is:

  • to dwell with God
  • to dwell in New Jerusalem
  • to dwell in His house

Jesus promised that; He said, 'In My Father's house are many dwelling places, and I go to prepare a place for you.' That's for every one of us!

Verse 4: "Dwell in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself… [has no power to bear spiritual fruit] …but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me." Christ in us the hope of glory! That's what Paul wrote.

Verse 5: "I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…" That's what we have to do:

  • develop the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)
  • develop the fruit of love and obedience

All things continually. And every year be bring forth a crop. Every year there is something we grow in even more than we did the year before.

"…because apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch, and is dried up; and men gather them and cast them into a fire, and they are burned. If…" (vs 5-7). Look at all the ifs: vs 10, 22, 24—if. Look at all the conditional things that there are.

Verse 7: If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you… [you have to have both] …you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you." Whatever that may be, according to the will of God.

Verse 8: "In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love" (vs 8-9)—or dwell in My love. That's possible because we have the two aspects of the Holy Spirit of the Truth:

  1. the Father of the begettal
  2. the Son to have the mind of Christ

Paul talks about having Christ formed in us. This is tremendous, brethren, because all of this is so we can dwell with God for all eternity!

Stop and think the next time you have a little pity-party and tears are flooding down because you're thinking on yourself and you don't understand what's going on. Think on these things! God is looking at all eternity. You're looking at just your little circumstances here—they may be very desperate, indeed—however, God is greater than all of that—is He not? Yes, indeed!

Verse 10: "If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love. These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you" (vs 10-12).

I tell you, at the Feast of Tabernacles this is something we can do; everybody do this: Put away from you all of your little obnoxious things that offends people. All of your little carnal things that you hold onto and cherish as your little pet things, and just love each other. Try it, you'll like it! And so will God!

Verse 13: "No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends because I have made known to you all the things that I have heard from My Father" (vs 13-15). Look at all the things that God has given to us in understanding the Word of God today. That all has to come from God.

Verse 16, we need to always remember this: "You yourselves did not choose Me,but I have personally chosen you…" Think of that! That's why God's calling is so great and important. That's why we're called, chosenand we must remainfaithful!

"…and ordained you, that you should go forth and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; so that whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another" (vs 16-17).

Notice that you're going to have to face the world that hates you, but if we love God and love one another that's how we're going to be dwelling with God. That's something that is really fantastic and important to understand.

Ephesians is one of my very favorite books. It really, really is. It's, in some aspects, one of the most inspiring of the New Testament. Let's read the summary of all of what we have covered right here; and knowing that we have received the Spirit of God to be the sons and daughters of God, and that God is dwelling in us! That's what it says in 2-Cor. 6, that 'I will dwell in them and walk in them, and they shall be My sons and my daughters!' God is doing a great work, brethren. The Feast of Tabernacles shows us what a great work we have ahead of us to bring:

  • the love of God
  • the Word of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the rule of God

into the lives of this desperately wicked world:

Ephesians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." This last phrase is written to Christians of all time. Just like when Jesus said, 'I pray not for these alone, but for those who will believe in Me through their words.' That prayer is for all the saints, for all time.

Notice our standing with God, v 2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Coming directly from Them, through the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ." That is:

  • the Word of God
  • the knowledge of God
  • the Spirit of God
  • all the spiritual blessings

Verse 4: "According as He has personally chosen us for Himself … [this was His plan] …before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love…. [that's an amazing thing] …Having predestinated us for sonship to Himself… [to the Father] …through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will" (vs 4-5). That's what God has done! That's what God has in mind! So, when He says to the seven churches, 'Repent!'; we need to repent, and He'll be with us.

Verse 6: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son; in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself; that in theDivine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth… [then we have an inheritance] …yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance… [that is an amazing thing to understand] …having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (vs 6-11).

Remember this: Sometimes when we reach the lowest point in our life we come to understand the greatest spiritual things in our life. This is what it was with the Apostle Paul. Here he was in chains in Rome, and wrote this fantastic and inspiring epistle—and Philippians and Colossians, as well.

  • God's purpose for us
  • God's purpose for the world

Ephesians 3:11: "According to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and direct access with confidence through His very own faith" (vs 11-12). God is there to help us accomplish whatever we need to do, brethren.

Verse 13: "So then, I beseech you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which are workingfor your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (vs 13-15). We are that family, brethren! And all the saints down through history.

Verse 16: "That He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…. [that's what it's all about to live and dwell with God] …And that being rooted and grounded in love, you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses human knowledge; so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (vs 16-19).

Think of that! A life with a spirit body, with glory, with spiritual power, with spiritual thoughts, filled with love and the fruits of the Holy Spirit of God, to do the work of God.

Verse 20: "Now, to Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, even into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 20-21).

We will see the whole purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles as a foretaste of dwelling, literally, with God, in the house of God, in the tabernacle of God, in New Jerusalem!

Revelation 21:1: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… [everything made new] …for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John…" (vs 1-2). Wonder what he thought when he saw this; I wonder what was the impression in his mind:

"…saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men…'" (vs 2-3). Men and women made perfect; sons and daughters of God; all the plan of God completed with the aspect of the human part of the plan. Now all eternity, into the ages of eternity, forever and ever.

"'…and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God'" (v 3).

That's what God has called us to look forward to, brethren! This is the meaning of what it is to dwell with God, and God with you!


Scriptural References:

  1. Psalm 23:1-6
  2. Isaiah 41:8-16
  3. Psalm 65:4-5
  4. Psalm 134:1-5
  5. Psalm 135:1-5
  6. Psalm 133:1-3
  7. Psalm 140:13
  8. Psalm 101:1-7
  9. Mark 12:28-31
  10. John 13:34-35
  11. John 17:24-26
  12. 1 John 4:4-13
  13. 1 John 2:5-6
  14. 1 John 4:14-21
  15. John 14:14-21, 15, 21, 23-24
  16. Romans 8:8-14
  17. John 15:1-17
  18. Ephesians 1:1-11
  19. Ephesians 3:11-21
  20. Revelation 21:1-3

Scripture referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 22; 24
  • Ezekiel 34
  • John 14
  • Galatians 3:29
  • Psalm 63
  • Galatians 2
  • 1 Peter 1
  • 1 John 3
  • John 3
  • Revelation 4; 5
  • Matthew 13
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • 2 Corinthians 6

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Love of God (#1 Remember, When All Else Fails, God Loves You!)
  • Sermon: The Holy Spirit of God and the Seven Spirits of God

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 7-30-14

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