Obey the Voice of God and Catch the Vision

Leave all your troubles behind and look forward to the first resurrection

Fred R. Coulter—October 4, 2017

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles! We're going to have a wonderful feast of Tabernacles, and we need to keep it with understanding, wisdom, love and take care of the situations we need to, to have a wonderful Feast.

Fellowship with each other and enjoy everything the way that God would be pleased, so that we can draw closer to each other, draw closer to God, and prepare for the Kingdom of God!

Prov. 29 tells us that this is true with whatever you do, even a small project cannot just be aimless with no plan or understanding.

Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision, the people perish; but happy is he who keeps the Law." It tells you how you can arrive at that vision, if you do it lawfully.

The Word of God is fantastic, magnificent and wonderful.

  • some places are hard to understand
  • some places are easy to understand
  • some places have multiple understanding
  • some places have single application

But it's all inspired by the mind of God! God-breathed! Or literally God-spirited!

Jesus said, 'The flesh profits nothing! The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life!' Of course, we have the whole Bible; we need the whole Bible.

God created man and woman in His image, after His likeness. The whole plan of God is so that we will be after His kind! So, as a precursor of that, God created, planted and built the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve. God placed them in it, and here we come across the three most important words throughout the whole Bible. It may not always be exactly like this; those three words are—and you know them—obey My voice!

Isn't it interesting that in order to make sure that everyone would understand God's voice, what He wanted us to have He caused it to be written down. That's a marvelous thing, indeed, isn't it? Not only that, we can be guaranteed that it is the truth!

What did God do with Adam and Eve? The first thing He did was marry them! He had them in the Garden of Eden and to show God generosity and greatness: After God had created the earth and everything that there is, He gave it to mankind and said to 'have dominion over the earth, replenish it, multiply.

How about that for a gift to all human beings? Never have we received a gift like that from anyone else. Of course not! So, the whole challenge throughout the whole Bible narrows down to those three words!

  • IF you do, blessings!
  • IF you don't, curses!

Automatically, just like the law of gravity.

Well, in the beginning, God was living in the garden with Adam and Eve; God was dwelling with them! How long that was, we're not told. We have the shortest summary of all to tell us exactly the principle that happened. Of course, Adam did not listen to the voice of God, rather he listened to the voice of his wife. If she would have given him good advice, that would have been fine, but since she listened to the serpent Satan the devil—ate of the fruit, and he watched her and didn't stop her—they were exiled from the Garden of Eden.

They still had a chance at obeying God, but not for eternal life. I'm sure that at the east end of the Garden of Eden God taught them many things that they needed to know.

Beginning in Gen. 4, about Cain and Abel, the difference in their offering was that Abel[transcriber's correction] obeyed God and brought the right kind of offering.

We know what happened with the Flood leading up to Gen. 8, what Noah did. God spared him and the animals and so forth, and took them on the other side of the Flood. Then afterward, God revealed something very interesting concerning the nature of human thought with independent free moral agency and choosing.

Genesis 8:20: "And Noah built an altar to the LORD, and he took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in His heart, 'I will not again curse the ground for man's sake—although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will not again smite every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease'" (vs 20-22).

We know that the Flood came because the thoughts of men and women were evil all the time. That's the hardest thing to understand when you come to realizing what God wants done. Then we come down to Abraham. From Abraham, clear on through the rest of the whole Bible, everything is based upon Abraham's obedience!

We know that God called Abraham (Gen. 12) and told him that He would make him a mighty man, a great man. Abraham had to obey the voice of God, and he did!

Abraham left his father's house, left everything behind and came into the land of Canaan where God showed him that he would go. He said, 'I will make you a great name, a great nation, and I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and you shall be a blessing to all nations.' Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all dwelt in tents or tabernacles, and God dealt with them.

Gen. 15—here again God gives the blessing for the covenant, and the covenant was that Abraham would have a son from his own loins and his seed would be as the stars of heaven and as the sand that covers the seashore.

Then we come to Gen. 17 and God reveals more of the covenant to him, because there were two major aspects:

  • physical seed through Isaac
  • spiritual seed through Christ

Here God gives the details of the physical nation and tells Abraham that he would be a father of many nations and changed his name to Abraham (his original name was Abram). Abraham's wife's name was changed from Sari to Sarah. Here's what God demanded of Abraham:

Genesis 17:1: "And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am the Almighty God! Walk before Me and be perfect.'" That sets the tone for all the rest of the spiritual understanding, and even sets the tone for the New Testament.

The God tells Abraham that His covenant would be with them, that He would multiply his seed exceedingly. Sarah would be the mother of kings and nations.

We're just overviewing and surveying so we can have some vision as to what God wants. Remember, God dealt directly with Abraham all the way through every one of these things.

Gen. 22 has shades of the Passover and the slaying of the Firstborn of God—Jesus Christ—for the sins of the world. Abraham obeyed God! He did as God said in the most critical command of all: to offer Isaac, the only son that he had with Sarah! And he was willing to do so!

Heb. 11 tells us that he did so because he counted God worthy of raising Isaac from the dead. You know how God intervened and did not allow that to take place.

As we're going over this, I want you to think about what is the most difficult thing that you have to do to obey the voice of God? What is it that you must be willing to sacrifice to obey the voice of God. Just let that sit there for a while and think on that!

Genesis 22:15: "And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, 'By Myself have I sworn,' says the LORD…'" (vs 15-16). Think of that! The Creator God in the person of the One Who became Jesus Christ the Lord God. Of course, this is also with the Father behind it, as well.

"…'because you have done this thing…" (v 16)—and swearing by Himself; you can't have any greater guarantee of anything than the very person of God Himself saying, 'By My existence I'm blessing you, and by My very existence I'm telling you that I will carry out my plan and covenant with you.'

Sidebar: Much of it did not depend on the righteousness of the descendants to fulfill the promise of Abraham. But since God swore by Himself, and said that He would do it…

"…and have not withheld your son, your only son; that in blessing I will bless you… [that's what He said in Gen. 12] …and in multiplying I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens…" (vs 16-17).

Note: Matt. 13:43—those who enter into the Kingdom of God, the children of the kingdom—that's us—shall 'shine like the sun.' Dan. 12 says that we will 'shine like the stars of heaven.' Of course Abraham had the blessing for the physical seed, the sand on the seashore. God said that He would do it.

Then the blessing was passed on to Isaac. After Abraham died, God appeared to Isaac and told him to stay in the land and He would bless him.

Let's see why Isaac received the blessing, and why we have the promise extended to us, so we can participate in the blessing IF we repent, obey and love God!

Genesis 26:2: "And the LORD appeared to him and said, 'Do not go down into Egypt. Live in the land, which I shall tell you of. Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your seed, I will give all these lands; and I will establish the oath, which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (vs 2-4).

Think about that! God's plan down through time is so awesome and fantastic; it's an amazing thing! The Feast of Tabernacles projects from this time all the way down to New Jerusalem and the new heaven and new earth, because Abraham obeyed the voice of God!

Verse 5: "Because Abraham obeyed My voice…" Listen to this: What does it mean to obey the voice of God? Everything that He says! Notice how He broke this down:

"…and kept My charge…" (v 5). One of the charges was, 'Take your son Isaac and offer him.'

"…My commandments…" (v 5). The Ten Commandments of God were in existence from the beginning.

"…My statutes, and My laws" (v 5). That's why Isaac received the blessings. That's why we receive the blessings. God promised that He would bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, which He did. Bring them to Himself and they would be a mighty nation and the children of Israel like the sand of the sea.

In a couple of places they are referred to as the stars of heaven. But the stars of heaven refer to the spiritual seed, which then would come much, much later.

So, the way that God always begins is with a statement to see IF you will obey!To see IF we will understand what He's saying and do it!

So, the children of Israel gathered there are Mt. Sinai; Exodus 19:3: "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel, "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself"'" (vs 3-4)—that's quite a thing! At Mt. Sinai.

In the New Testament God does even greater than that. He puts His Spirit in us, and through the power of God's Spirit: the Spirit of the Father for begettal and the Spirit of the Son for the mind of Christ combined as the begettal for eternal life, to bring us to Himself and to be as He is!

Verse 5: "Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice…" There it is! It would be a nice Bible study to go through the whole Bible.

  • God said, and what did the people do?
  • God commanded, and what did the people do?
  • God blessed, and what did the people do?
  • How did it turn out?

Everything that we do is based on IF. Isn't it interesting that independent free moral agency (IFMA).

"…if you will obey My voice indeed… [almost identical to what God told Isaac about what Abraham did] …and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation…." (vs 5-6).

That's the proposition. All the details came later. That's the proposition, because IF you will obey His voice it doesn't matter what God says, we are to do it!

"…These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words, which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, 'All that the LORD has spoken we will do.'…" (vs 6-8). Of course, they didn't do it! Even right there at Mt. Sinai.

Then you can read everything all the way up to the coming of Christ:

  • children of Israel
  • Israel and Judah
  • blessings and cursings
  • wars and victories
  • wars and defeat
  • punishment and correction
  • intervention and raising up

Then God raised up Solomon, a great time; almost like a Millennial setting, because there were no wars and they had peace.

John 1 becomes very profound and interesting; this is the pinnacle of all the Gospels because of all the spiritual things that are here.

Just exactly as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and as the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, God dealt with them directly, and likewise with us. Because the children of Israel didn't want to hear he voice of God anymore… God said that IF you will obey My voice… What did the children of Israel say when they heard the voice of God giving the Ten Commandments? 'OH, Moses! You speak with us; we can't stand to hear the voice of God lest we die! But we'll listen to you.' It didn't happen!

So, then God gave to Moses a prophecy of That Prophet, which was Christ. Some men like to claim that for themselves, but that is a blatant, blasphemous lie! Christ is That Prophet (Acts 3).

In order to bring the New Covenant, which God promised to Abraham, what happened? The One Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament became Jesus Christ! He reduced Himself to a pinprick of life and was born of the virgin Mary.

John makes it clear that God, in order to fulfill His promise to Abraham said, 'By Myself I have sworn…' So, God Himself came to the earth as a man!

Sidebar: A lot of people say that if God would speak to them, 'then I'd understand what He wants.' You can tell them that He already has, and furthermore so that 'you won't be confused, He had it written down.' Isn't that great? Yes!

John 1:1-4 is simple and straightforward and is exactly what God wants us to understand:

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." A lot of people say, I wonder Who Jesus was?' what does it say here? "…the Word was God"!

Verse 2: "He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him." (vs 2-3). You can read that again in Col. 1. He has the preeminence above everything else, except the Father.

Verse 4: "In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men." No human being lives separate from God, whether you are a saint or a sinner!

What did Christ do? He fulfilled the prophecy of Deut. 18: That Prophet coming in the flesh! Here's how He did it:

Verse 14: And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us… [dwelt temporarily with mankind] …(and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth." John was one of the three apostles who saw Jesus in the vision of transfiguration.

When Jesus came, what did He do? He came to the temple suddenly (John 2), just like it was prophesied. They didn't believe Him. All the scribes, Pharisees and priests gathered around and said, 'What are You doing turning these tables upside down, money rolling all over the place? Who gave You the authority to do this? Who are you?'

Jesus said, 'Destroy this temple and I'll raise it up in three days.'

Sidebar: Sometimes Jesus gives an answer that is way beyond the question, because He spoke of His own body as the temple of God, rather than the physical temple that was right there.

Now when He came into Galilee, what did He say? Repent and believe the Gospel, which is the good news of the coming Kingdom of God! The good news that those who repent and receive the Holy Spirit of God—and IF they grow, change and overcome—at the resurrection they will become like God to dwell with God just like He began with Adam and Eve, only now as a Spirit Being. That's quite a thing!

Luke 12 tells us a little bit about what we need to do, and the whole goal and vision, everything that needs to be. He doesn't want us to be downcast and oppressed. He wants us to be joyful in the promises that He is going to give us and fulfill them just as He did with Abraham.

Galatians 3:29: "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"—of eternal life, and the promises of dwelling with God in New Jerusalem on the new earth.

Luke 12:25: "And which one of you, by taking careful thought, has the power to add one cubit to his stature?" All of these 'I'm going to make myself stronger, bigger, greater; take this, eat that, breathe this and that, sleep here, do this…' Even one they have that you hang upside down and you'll be more right-side up.

  • What is the greatest change?
  • What is the greatest thing?
  • Being changed from flesh to spirit!

This is to humble us so that we don't get all lifted up!

Verse 26: "Therefore, if you do not have the power to do even the least, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they do not labor, nor do they spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these" (vs 26-27).

  • next time you look at a flower, or you look at a whole batch of flowers
  • next time you look at a tree
  • next time you look at the grass
  • next time you look at animals
  • next time you look at people

think on this, because you've got to have visionwithout vision the people perish!

Verse 28: "But if God so adorns the grass that today is in the field, and tomorrow is cast into an oven, how much more shall He clothe you, O you of little faith?" Think what it's going to be like as a spirit being clothed with clothes made of spirit; that are bright, that shine! Fantastic!

Verse 29: "Then do not be seeking what you shall eat or what you shall drink, and do not be anxious. For all the nations of the world seek after these things; and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock…" (vs 29-32)—and we are a little flock.

  • don't be afraid
  • have courage
  • have faith
  • have love

in spite of the fact that we may be weak and old—and many of us are and we've been in the Church for long time. So, don't get discouraged. That tells you that you're just closer to receiving what we're going to read here.

"…for your Father delights… [is happy, is rejoicing] …in giving you the kingdom" (v 32). That's why we're here!

  • that's why we're here
  • that's why we go through what we go through
  • that's why we have the Sabbath, Holy Days and Passover

The Feast of Tabernacles tells us that though we're temporary dwellers on this earth—we are going to live with God! In His New Jerusalem! When Christ returns, we are going to rule the world!

Think of what a mess that this world is in! everywhere you go, everything is upside down and backward, warring and fighting, and all of these things. People get all involved emotionally, mentally and physically in these things, and it's all going to come to an end.

Sidebar on the condition of the world when the resurrection takes place: I think one of the questions that down through history those who have died in the faith is: When we're resurrected and we're all on the Sea of Glass looking down at the earth, and the wars and stuff going on down here, the seven last plagues: 'Lord, why didn't You tell us that the earth would be almost destroyed when we inherit the kingdom? He's going to say, 'Listen, I'm going to give you the job of overseeing its rebuilding.' Yeah, but Lord, I didn't know it would be this bad! You read the seven last plagues and all the wars in Revelation.

But He will tell you, 'Don't worry!' He'll tell you to be perfect! 'I will have made you perfect!' We know that we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God now. We know that we have to be spirit beings to live in the Kingdom of God. God wants us to do everything that we do to attain to the Kingdom of God.

Paul says that he did everything so that he could have the righteousness of Christ at the resurrection and enter into the Kingdom of God. But also, he tells us how in loving God and serving Him, that we can be perfect—in heart, mind and attitude—so that we can be perfected spiritually.

Here's what we are to do; here is the ultimate; Philippians 3:14: "I press toward the goal… [the Kingdom of God, the vision of God] …for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So then, let as many as be perfect…" (vs 14-15)—just like God told Abraham to be perfect:

"…be of this mind…." (v 15)—forget all the things behind; forget all the difficulties that come against you. Ask God to help you, cleanse your mind and to go forward.

"…And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you" (v 15).

Here is the ultimate of that vision, v 20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens, from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (vs 20-21).

Brethren, that's what we have to have before we then can rule as kings and priests during the Millennium!

  • This is the vision!
  • This is where we're headed!
  • This is what we are doing!
  • This is why we don't take any permanent stock in our temporary physical lives, but use that as a vehicle to:
  • grow
  • change
  • overcome
  • develop the love of God

and be in the first resurrection!

Have a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles! Welcome to everyone! Fellowship, visit, have a great and fantastic Feast!

Scriptural References:

  • Proverbs 29:18
  • Genesis 8:20-22
  • Genesis 17:1
  • Genesis 22:15-17
  • Genesis 26:2-5
  • Exodus 19:3-8
  • John 1:1-4, 14
  • Galatians 3:29
  • Luke 12:25-32
  • Philippians 3:14-15, 20

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 4; 12; 15
  • Hebrews 11
  • Matthew 13:43
  • Daniel 12
  • Acts 3
  • Colossians 1
  • Deuteronomy 18
  • John 2

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 8/15/17

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