To Be Perfected in Christ

If everything God does is perfect what will He do for His future children?

Fred R. Coulter—April 15, 2017

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services, the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Right at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, He actually told everyone the ultimate goal of why He came:

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect."

God has a great fantastic goal for us. That's going to be nice to get rid of all the problems. Just to show you how it connects together, I'm going to turn to the last Scripture that we will read, but read it here.

John 17:22: "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me… [receiving of the Holy Spirit] … in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one… [this becoming one is a process] …and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vs 22-23).

That's quite a goal for us. How is God going to do that? Remember all the Scriptures about what human nature is like.

  • the carnal mind is enmity against God
  • from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts: murders, adultery, etc.
  • man is vanity at his very best

Jeremiah said, 'O Lord, correct me, but in mercy for man does not know how to direct his steps.' Isn't that true? Look at the world today. The more they abandon God, the worse things get. Why? Because God made us to receive His Holy Spirit!

You can see what's happening with the millennials. Here you have those who are 18-21 in college. They've had such a deficient education that at this age they really have minds of a 12-year-old. Look at all the problems that that causes.

Yet, they feel like they are adults and want to do things their own way. They all get together like little children and say, 'We don't want to listen to that one. We don't want to listen to that one. Don't anybody tell us what to do.' They don't realize the potential of what God is doing and the necessity of human beings to have the laws of God, the commandments of God, and to have His Holy Spirit.

Since we are to be perfect, everything that God gives us that comes from Him is perfect. In the case of the Old Testament it wasn't complete but what He gave them for letter of the Law was perfect in letter of the Law.

For us, we're to keep the commandments and everything of God in the spirit of the Law, empowered by His Holy Spirit.

Psalm 19:7: "The Law of the LORD is perfect…" Isn't that what we need? We need a perfect standard so that it works out right!

"…restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether, more to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" (vs 7-10)—doing a comparison between the physical.

Psalm 18:30: "As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is tried.… [perfected] …He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him."

Have you ever done a study going through the Bible and see how the Word of God always relates back to the Ten Commandments, or the statutes or the judgments, and how that relates back to God. God is going to do a perfect work in us and the end goal is to become just like God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 31: "For who is God besides the LORD? Or, who is a Rock except our God?"

We read on the Holy Day that we are the workmanship of God. Think on this. How many times it says this way:

Deuteronomy 32:1: "Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth." How many times does God hold out as a witness to us His heavens and His earth?

It doesn't take any intelligence at all to understand that if there's the earth and if there's the heavens, and God says what He does is based upon the fact that they exist, to back up the fact that He says His Word is true.

Sidebar: You've all heard of the Hubble telescope. I'm going to get some information on a new one they're building. It's called the Webb, because the man who is designing it, his name is Webb. It is going to be a hundred times more powerful than the Hubble.

Don't quote me exact on that, but I think I remember that's what it is. I'm going to have some information sent to me on it, so I'll have it soon.  They have pentagram mirrors, five-sided mirrors, and they connect together in a saucer-kind of construction. That's all designed to fold up so they can send it off into space. They're going to send it off either 2018 or 2020.

I look at it this way. Does God want a greater witness to all human beings of what the heavens really are? When God says the heavens, what does that mean? He's going to let everyone know.

Verse 2: "My teachings shall drop as the rain; my speech shall drop down as the dew, as the small rain on the tender plant, and as the showers on the grass." That tells us how God views us. We are like tender plants and we'll see about the harvest.

Verse 3: "Because I will proclaim the name of the LORD, and ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock; His work is perfect…" (vs 3-4).

You look at anything that God has created and for the purpose that He has created, it's perfect. Most people don't understand why we have vicious animals that eat other animals to maintain a balance. Like in Africa, if you didn't have the lions, the wildebeest and all of the zebras, gazelles and everything would eat up all the grass. They would have nothing to eat and they'd die out.

God has the lion clean up the mess, get rid of the weak ones and take down the sick ones. Very interesting. If the lion gets all out of sorts, God has the worst animal in the world—the jackal! So if you watch anything concerning lions, they're going to be confronted with jackals. They always come and steal their prey. So, God has that.

Then He has vultures. How do you get rid of all the guts and gore? You create a bird with a long neck, with no feathers, so it can reach into the squishy, terrible cavity of the intestinal area of an animal on the ground with the blood and gore and everything. Get it all over its head, doesn't have to clean any feathers. It's got just the right thing to get it.

So, everything God does is perfect. If He does that for the animals, if He does that for the rest of His creation, what is He going to do for His future children? I want you to think on that as we go through here.

Even the correction that God for us is perfect, even though sometimes it's difficult, because He wants us to develop His character. What happens, if everybody has everything laid out for them and there's no testing? no stress? no challenge? People become spoiled. God doesn't want that.

Isaiah 26:1: "In that day this song shall be sung in the land of Judah: 'We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as our walls and banks… [that's when Jerusalem is restored when Christ returns] …Open the gates, so that the righteous nation shall enter in…'" ( vs 1-2). That's what we will be, the righteous nation. That ties in with Psa. 118.

"…one that is faithfully keeping Truth…. [this is how we are perfected, faithfully keeping Truth] … You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever; for God the LORD is the everlasting Rock" (vs 2-4).

That's quite a thing. Just think how much work God has to do to perfect us. That's why, when we're under grace, which we are, we have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ all the time. The only way that that perfection is going to come is through the Spirit of God and with our involvement in our perfection and our believing in God, trusting in God, and all of that together.

Proverbs 11:5: "The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way…" With God's Spirit He will lead us. Doesn't it say that 'as many as have the Spirit of God they are the sons of God, and they are led by the Spirit of God' (Rom. 8)?

"…but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness" (v 5). Here we see contrasted what God is doing with His begotten family and what's happening in the world.

The thing that's important is that all the Word of God is true. The only errors in it are what men put in to try and make it look like that their doctrine is in the Bible. You know which place is one the worst in the New Testament? 1-John 5:7-8—v 8 should be 7 and v 7 should be out of there. It says there are three witnesses in heaven. If things in heaven are perfect, what witness does God need and from whom does it come? They put that in there in the 10th century.

This is important to understand, because we need to realize that God is working with us every day with His Holy Spirit so that we can grow, change and overcome. Those thoughts that are in your mind that result from what's in the world and what you've done in the past, and those thoughts and temptations that come along, even those need to be purged with the Spirit of God!

The Spirit of God working within us, is the workmanship of God. Remember what Paul wrote 'Shall the thing that is made say to the one who is making it, what are you doing?' (Rom. 11). Or shall the clay tell the potter what to do?

It's interesting that Paul brings out concerning clay, because our minds are what are called plastic. Not that they are made of plastic, but they are made to be molded and formed and develop memory. With the Spirit of God here is what is actually happening to us. This is something. With this I want you to tie in every Psalm where it says 'I'm with you in all your troubles.'

If you have the Spirit of God, and you're going through a trial, God is right there with you going through it. Let's read it:

Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His workmanship, being created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them."

We are the workmanship of God. Remember the prayer of Jesus: 'that they may be made perfect in Us' (John 17). Always remember we are here because God the Father has called us and we have answered the call, repented and been baptized. That means we are very important to God if we're His workmanship.

Let's look at it another way. When you were born, you were a sweet little baby. That was the complete work of God to that point so that you could be born into the world.

Now you come out of the environment at birth from living in water, amniotic fluid, and you come out into the world. First thing you do is you start crying. If you don't cry, the midwife or the doctor will pat you on the bottom and you'll start crying. Why is that important? You have to get the lungs going. You've never breathed before. You have to breathe now and all the rest of your life.

God is interested in the finished product! The finished product requires

  • the working of God within us
  • the laws and commandments of God to lead us and guide us
  • the workmanship of God

Here is a parable of the sower and the seed; the disciples didn't understand:

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given'" (vs 10-11).

Notice how He explains this. This is a constant ongoing thing with the workmanship of God.

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given…" How does that work? Because the Word of God, as Jesus said, is Spirit and Life. The Word of God in meaning is layered and layered.

"…and he shall have an abundance, but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him. For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand" (vs 12-13).

Here comes free choice, because free choice is added into this along with everything that we have covered. Those of us who have the Spirit of God, and are walking in the way of God, which is a perfect way to walk, we have to choose every day in everything that we do, to do the things that are right according to the will of God.

There are many things that are right, according to the will of God. You've got to breathe, you've got to eat, but God says don't eat these foods, so we follow that. God says you have to keep the Sabbath, so we do that. So, here's why He speaks to them in parables, because when people hear these things, they have a choice to make. Will I believe it?

Choice is interesting. You have opinion, you have idea, you have belief, and then you have true belief. There's a false belief and a true belief.

Here's what happens to most people when they hear about the Word of God. Dolores and I were talking about that just this morning. You watch some of these programs about those in Bible times and so forth, and like she said, they are far more advanced that what they depict in these documentaries and things. They dress them up in throwaway gunnysacks and rags. They didn't live that way. We were watching about what they were doing in the pyramids. I mentioned they had to have had electricity because how do you go into those pyramids and down into the ground as deep as they go in pitch-black darkness?

What are those caves in Arizona or New Mexico that they have? Carlsbad Caverns! They take the visitors down there and the tourists down there. When they get right down to just about the place they turn around to go back, the guide says, 'Make sure to stay where you are.' He turns out the lights and says, 'You will find you cannot even see your hand in front of your face in pitch blackness.'

I made the comment that they had to have had electricity. One of the hieroglyphics showed a man holding something and it looked like a long tube. There are a lot of things we don't know, but did they have electricity like Tesla, which was sent out and permeated the whole area? Didn't need any wires. They haven't found any wires.

Dolores made the comment that they were further advanced than we are. Think of it. They have scientists studying, re-study, re-study about how they built the pyramids. They can't figure it out.

Likewise spiritually; God is doing something that men don't understand! When they read it, here's what happens:

Verse 14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…'" (vs 14-15). IFMA—independent free moral agency.

"'…lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them'" (v 15).

If you talk to a Protestant, you ask: 'Does God want everybody converted?' They'll say yes. Take them right here. Jesus said He didn't want them converted at that time. That's why there's a second resurrection.

But you can't have the second resurrection until after the Millennium, because if you think handling things at the beginning of the Millennium—and during the Millennium—is going to be a real chore, think what it's going to be with all of those people in the second resurrection. I think some of it is going to be kind of comical. 'Oh, I'm in heaven. Look at this. It's a paradise.'

Here is what happens to those who repent, are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God, v 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear…. [we live by every Word of God] …For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17).

Think about how much more that is amplified today since we have the whole Bible. Think about how we're able to, and with the things that we have. I think God is going to give this world such a witness it's going to be something. That's before all the troubles really are magnified.

Verse 23: "'But the one who was sown on good ground…" Takes quite a few things for it to grow: soil, water, sunlight, magnetism, etc. How does a seed grow? No one knows!

"…this is the one who hears the Word and understands, who indeed brings forth fruit and produces…" (v 23).

God is interested in the final product! In the final product, we all get old and we pass from the scene awaiting the resurrection. That's happened to every true Christian from the time of Jesus Christ until now.

As we get older, it's not that we're getting older and God is not dealing with us. No, He is dealing with us continually because He wants the completed product.

It doesn't matter if you get old and weak. If doesn't matter if your memory doesn't work as good as it should. It's not supposed to, but you've got in your mind the Spirit of God and everything recorded there. So, when we die, the spirit goes back to God, but the spirit needs a mind and a body to work. It needs the Spirit of God to energize it.

When the resurrection comes, that's what God uses to raise us from the dead. It's actually a re-creation of you according to the genetic makeup you had, and what God added to it with His workmanship. Isn't that something?

Has to be, because how did Jesus appear after He was raised from the dead? Did they recognize Him? Yes, indeed! How does God do that? We don't know, but God is One Who is doing it, and perfecting us.

"…who indeed brings forth fruit and produces—one a hundredfold, another sixtyfold and another thirtyfold" (v 23).

We are growing in grace and knowledge. We are developing in understanding. All of these things come a step at a time, just like a plant grows a step at a time.

Let's see what we need because we're all going to have works. There are good works, there are works that are not good. The way James 2 translated here in the Faithful Version is correct. There's always the argument over faith and belief, over works or no works.

Martin Luther said it's by faith alone. He failed because he didn't have the works. As I've mentioned before, one of his close friends who was with him, told him over and over again that he had to teach the seventh-day Sabbath. That man's name was Carlstadt. But Martin Luther didn't do it.

When there was the rebellion of the farmers, Martin Luther, who separated from the Catholic Church because of doctrine, joined together with the Catholic forces to put down the rebellion and cut himself off from God. Didn't listen to Carlstadt.

Here's something to always remember: everyone has works. That's why this is translated this way.

James 2:14: "My brethren, what good does it do, if anyone says that he has faith, and does not have works? Is faith able to save him? Now then, if there be a brother or sister who is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; be warmed and be filled,' and does not give to them the things necessary for the body, what good is it? In the same way also, faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself" (vs 14-17).

Because faith is to cause you to act in the way that God wants you to, believing Him.

Verse 18: But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works… [What is it that you do, because everyone does something?] … and I will prove my faith to you through my works. Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe and tremble in fear. But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar? (vs 18-21).

We saw one version of this years ago, and it was George C. Scott, who was playing Abraham. When the voice came from God, 'You are to sacrifice your son, your only son,' he got mad and angry and beat on the stone. That was an example of no faith.

The Bible shows what did Abraham do? Exactly as God said! He believed God, because God said so and we find that he did so because he counted God having the ability to raise his son from the dead (Heb. 11). You know the rest of the story.

Verse 23: "And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Now, Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'; and he was called a friend of God."

This is how important our independent free moral agency choices are. If something that God says we are to do, and we do it, God counts that as righteousness, because that's righteousness from Him.

If we do the works of God, those are not our own works. You're not here on the Sabbath today as a work that you do independent from God. You are here because you believe God, you believe the Sabbath, you believe that we should assemble together on the Sabbath Day—and you are here. God says where two or three are gathered, there 'I am in the midst of you,' and this is how we learn of the Word of God. Amazing thing!

Verse 24: "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only…. [you can try this with any commandment of God] …Now, in the same manner also, was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when, after receiving the messengers, she sent them out a different way?" (vs 24-25).

Misdirection. They came in looking for them, 'Where are they?' They probably went that way.

Verse 26: "For as the body without the spirit is dead…" That's the Spirit of God and also the spirit of man. You can use the two analogies here. If a human being does not have the spirit they are dead. You can't see it, but on the modern equipment they have in the hospitals you can see the brain waves working. That shows that the spirit is there and the brain is working. When they die, flat line, dead.

"…in the same way also, faith without works is dead" (v 26). Those works are the works of God, not our works.

(go to the next track)

Let's see how this is something that God has planned from the foundation of the world. Eph. 1 is one of the most inspiring chapters in the whole Bible. Many times we miss the most important thing, the first two or three verses, when we read other verses.

The first three verses here tell us about God the Father and Jesus Christ and Their work in our lives. Paul starts every one of his epistles this way, so this is like the key that unlocks the lock so you can open the door for the rest of the epistle.

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 for all of those from that time clear to the return of Christ, showing that this epistle was written for every one of us.

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Involved in our lives every day. Remember, we have the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ within us.

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." This is both current

  • receiving the Spirit of God
  • understanding the Truth of God
  • loving God
  • loving Christ

—and also prophetic for the things after the resurrection.

Verse 4: "According as He has personally chosen us for Himself…" Next you're down and depressed and you're going through a trial and you feel like yuck—because every one of us will have those. I have, you have, I know there will be in the future. Those things are important for us to remember, because we will see what Christ went through with trials. The trials are to perfect us.

"…before the foundation of the world…" (v 4). That means His plan was before the foundation of the world to choose those He would call and those who would respond and answer to the call.

This doesn't mean that before any human beings were propagated that He knew everyone of us back then. Not so! The plan was before the foundation of the world.

"…in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love; having predestinated us for sonship to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will… ['according to the good pleasure of His own will'] …the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son" (vs 4-6).

Let's see how it is through Christ. Let's look at the things that Christ went through. The fact that Christ came as God manifested in the flesh to be the perfect sacrifice—our Passover—for our sins and not only our sins, but sins of the whole world, in the sequence of God's plan, doesn't all happen right now.

Hebrews 2:6: "But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, 'What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him?" Why did God create so many human beings? He's got a purpose for it!

The fulfillment of that spiritual purpose starts with God, Christ, and then coming down to the patriarchs. Then it's put into motion beginning with Abraham and carried on down through Israel, and carried on down to Christ, and carried on down to the apostles and to us. "…or the son of man, that You visit him?" It says there in Psa. 8 that He has made us a little lower than God. That's something!

Verse 7: "You did make him a little lower than the angels… [that's true also because we are less than angels] …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…. [human beings] …But we see Jesus… [because He had to come first] …Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; 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" (vs 7-10).

Think about what He went through. God isn't sitting up there and saying, 'All these sinners down there we're going to get rid of them.' There are times when God has to do that, but Christ came—Who was the Creator of mankind—and gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice. Everything that He experienced as a human being, He did not experience as God.

Therefore, He was perfected through the sufferings that He went through, because these are the sufferings that human beings go through. If He's going to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, then the only way to do it in justice is for Him to give up everything that He had as God, to become a human being, and die the way that He died at the hands of His creation that He put into them the 'law of sin and death.'

Now you know why Jesus when He was on the cross said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' I just imagine on that Passover Day there was spiritual power everywhere.

  • power of God
  • power of the angels
  • power of Satan
  • power of the demons

All of that, hovering over Jerusalem!

Everything carried out to fulfill a prophecy that was given centuries before, thousands of years before. That's quite a thing!

Verse 11: "For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren."

What I want you to do is remember some of these things, because when the going gets tough—which it will be—who knows what we'll have to face.

Look at what the Kurds had to face over there with ISIS, beheading people, killing them, raping them, and all of this, because they believed in the name of Jesus. That doesn't mean they'll be in the first resurrection, because there are two classes of martyrs:

Revelation 17:6: "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.…" Anyone who was martyred because of the name of Jesus and they stood for that amount of Truth that they had, they will be in the second resurrection. A lot of them died.

Remember those men that were led out to the Mediterranean Sea, fifteen men in the red suits. Then the ISIS were there. Slit their throats.

I want you to remember these things we're covering when the going gets tough. Don't let yourself get beaten down.

  • God loves you
  • God created you
  • God is for you
  • Christ is your Savior
  • He's at the right hand of God
  • He was perfected by the things that He suffered

Hebrews 5:7: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death… [He couldn't sin once in His lifetime] …and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son… [no special privileges] …yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected…" (vs 7-9).

God was further perfected by what Jesus Christ did in order to save mankind. "…He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (v 9).

Let's see how that works. The plan of God is active, being carried out by Jesus Christ. We're part of it, but we have to choose to do the things that God says.

Stop and think for a minute. All of us know those who used to be in the Church. How much spiritual knowledge have they retained now that they've left the Church and have very little to do with God or they've accepted a false way of trying to come to God?

That's why the Sabbath is so important, every seven days. We have that because of the weakness of the flesh. We need to be renewed and to have our minds uplifted, our spirit, our hearts, everything, on the Sabbath Day.

Ephesians 1:7: "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace."

How powerful is that? Remember when Peter said, 'Lord, if my brother sin against me, how many times should I forgive him? Seven times?' Jesus said that once in another place, but this time Jesus said, 'No, I tell you until seven times seventy.' What does that picture? Repentance of every sin that a person would commit during their lifetime, provided they repent.

"…which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will…" (vs 7-9).

If you don't think it's a mystery, someone who is not in the Church, never heard anything about this, you sit down and just start talking to them about the plan of God and the mystery of God. They will think you are bonkers.

If God may be calling them, because they want to believe it, or if they've been turned off from the religion of this world, we've got the booklets, Why is "Christianity" Failing in America? and The Collapse of Anglican Christianity, both by Philip Neal (

Did you know that last year in the U.K. they closed down 500 churches because of no attendance? How many mosques did they raise up? 423! Could it be, because there are 83 districts in the U.K. where they have Sharia Law enforced, and the mayor of London is a Muslim. This was all in a special report called:

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches by Giulio Meotti April 2, 2017

Could it be that the Brits will submit to the Muslims, rather than fight? Rather than return to God? I don't know! I just don't know, but I tell you it's something what's going on there. This helps us understand the purpose of God, according to the riches of His grace, made known His mystery.

"…according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself which He purposed in Himself" (v 9). Think about this again. God the Father Himself and He's dealing with us. He has called us. Christ has died for us.

Verse 10: "That in the Divine plan for the fulfillment of the times…" This goes clear back to Gen. 1:14, for the appointed times. The appointed times tell us what God is doing. The fulfilling of the times tells us how that is when we get to the completing of the purposes of God as they come around.

"…He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will… [that is a fantastic thing that God has called us to] …that we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ; in Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (vs 10-13). We're sealed with the Spirit of God, just like a seed that's planted, must grow.

Verse 14: "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."

1-John 4:11: "Beloved, if God so loved us… [by sending His only Begotten Son] …we also are duty-bound to love one another."

Sometimes even in the Church that becomes a challenge, but still required. Some people are easy to love. Other people are hard to love. I think I fit in the latter category.

Verse 12: "No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us. 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. And we have seen for ourselves and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God" (vs 12-15).

Contingent upon the fact that you love Him and keep His commandments, as the rest of the epistle shows.

Verse 16: "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. By this spiritual indwelling… [this is how we are perfected through the Spirit of God] … the love of God is perfected within us..." (vs 16-17).

You can add to that: faith, hope, pure-mindedness, all of that. That all goes into the whole equation.

"…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 shows we have a long way to go—doesn't it? Yes, indeed! There's the proper fear of God, but fear, because of things in the world, we need to grow in the love of God.

"…And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first" (vs 18-19).

This is quite an important part of Scripture we've been covering here.

Verse 20: "If anyone says, 'I love God'…" Doesn't that sound like what James wrote? If anyone says, 'I have faith and you have works'

"…and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able… [meaning how does he have the ability] …to love God Whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother" (vs 20-21). Quite a thing for us.

Let's see how to apply this love. 1-Cor. 13 is very interesting. I couldn't understand it the first time I read it because the Greek word 'agape'—which is translated love and means love in the Greek—is translated in the King James as charity. That comes from the Latin. How did that get in there when the other parts of the Bible where 'agape' is used, it's translated love? How did that happen?

I'll tell you: The King James Version was written by committees. This committee did so many books of the Bible; this committee did so many books of the Bible. This committee and another committee.

I'm giving you my subjective analysis as to why, because they would know that the Greek 'agape' means love, they would translate it charity. The only reason that I can figure is that the committee that translated it for the King James Version were Latinists. They couldn't help themselves to put 'Latin-izing' that word in the King James Version as kind of the stamp of their committee. Same thing with the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost.

So, here's what it should read. Here's how we need to gauge ourselves how we're doing in growing in love:
1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal… [not like one, but actually as one]…If I have the gift of prophecy… [everybody likes prophecy] …and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…" (vs 1-2). That means greater than Solomon, as good as God. Boy, was some human vanity. How would you be?

Dolores keeps telling me to watch out for Trump, he's got a lot of vanity. Think if Trump had all knowledge and all wisdom. If you think he's hard to get along with now, hard to stomach, just think what he would be if that would be.

"…and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my goods… [doesn't say to the poor in the Greek] … and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing" (vs 2-3).

This tells us love is greater than any other thing in life—from God, which He wants us to develop and how we are able to express it to one another. The way to have a personal application here is for the word love, put your name there. This helps you see the areas that you need to grow in, and all of us need to grow in it.

Verse 4: "Love is patient…" I can say sometimes I can adhere to that, but other times I'm not.

"…and is kind… [you can say that of every one of these things through here] …love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil" (vs 4-5).

I think if we go through this, if we score a C- we're doing pretty good.

Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease… [because they'll be fulfilled] …whether there be languages, they shall cease… [because we'll all speak one divine language] …whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away" (vs 6-8).

I think when we're resurrected and in the Kingdom of God, we'll look back on this life the same way today we look back on our first day in kindergarten—maybe even worse than that.

Verse 9: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is Perfect has come … [to us, perfected at the resurrection] …then that which is in part shall be set aside. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. For now we see through a glass darkly… [we can see many things, some more clearer than others] …but then we shall see face-to-face… [Rev. 22, we're going to see God the Father face-to-face] …now I know in part… [when you understand all the things God has done, the part we know is just a teeny little bit] …but then I shall know exactly as I have been known. And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (vs 9-13).

With that, then we're able to change and grow and overcome.

  • How do we grow in the grace and knowledge?
  • How do we develop these things?
  • How do we look at it when we make the mistakes we make, especially when they're big bloopers?

Sometimes they're not so big, sometimes they are big bloopers.

Col. 3 is how we are perfected and how our part in that, as led with the Spirit of God, will accomplish it.

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [out of the watery grave of baptism] …seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God."

Notice: Always to the goal. Perfection in the Kingdom of God.

Verse 2: "Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died … [the old man died in the watery grave of baptism] …and your life…" (vs 2-3)—eternal life we have received and will receive in fullness at the resurrection.

"…has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 3-4). That's quite a verse. We will see Him exactly as He is (1-John 3:2).

When I read Scriptures like that, it blows my mind. What's it going to be like to see God as He is? So, because of that, here's what we need to do.

  • we're still on the earth
  • we still have carnal nature
  • we still have things to overcome.

So he lists them out here

Verse 5: "Therefore, put to death your members, which are on earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry…. [that's the way the world lives] … Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things" (vs 5-7).

I'll just tell you today, we have a greater struggle with the world, because the way that the world is today, than they did a hundred or two hundred years ago. Entirely different proposition. So, this applies to us more so.

Verse 8: "But now, you should also put off all these things… [all of the inner things, the cleansing of the mind] …wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another… [church members lie] … seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds, and have put on the new man…" (vs 8-10)—and are putting it on and are growing in grace and knowledge, developing the mind of Christ.

"…who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him" (v 10). Renewed—that's the key.

Every day is a renewal, so to speak. Every Sabbath is a renewal, greater than every day. But here's the whole focus of what we need to do and how we need to do it:

Romans 12:1: "I exhort you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed…" (vs 1-2). Changed by the washing of the water by the Word and the Spirit of God.

"…by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well-pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (v 2).

That's why everything we do is based on the Truth, the Truth, the Truth! If we keep that in mind, then we're not going to be given over to all of these things.

Colossians 3:11: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free; but Christ is all things, and in all. "Put on then…" (vs 11-12).

Notice how you grow in grace and knowledge and are able to increase in the things that you do:

"…as the elect of God, holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection" (vs 12-14).

Col. 3 is so important by going through step-by-step how you grow in grace and knowledge, the love of God, and you are in the bond of perfection, meaning you are being perfected.

This is the whole of what we need to be doing and there are many other Scriptures we can add to it. Let's see Jesus' prayer to the Father concerning all those whom he would call and the whole plan of God, the whole purpose of God that has been manifested to us through the Word of God.

All of these things come because of the Sabbath and the Holy Days, the Spirit of God and the love of God, all combined.

John 17:14—Jesus says: "I have given them Your words… [everything He said came from the Father] …and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world… [sometimes we wish it would happen] … but that You would keep them from the evil one" (vs 14-15). Keep that in your prayer every day 'and rescue us from the evil one' (Matt. 6)

Verse 16: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them… [make them Holy, the finality of that will be the resurrection] …in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth. Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word…[this is the thing we need to keep in mind in the perfection of God]: …That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in Your; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me" (vs 16-21).

They're not going to believe it until after we're resurrected from the dead.

Verse 22: "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me… [the Holy Spirit of God, the Word of God, the Truth of God] …in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me…. [that's an amazing thing] …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, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world. 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, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (vs 22-26).

That's what it means to be perfected in God!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 5:48
  • John 17:22-23
  • Psalm 19:7-10
  • Psalm 18:30-31
  • Deuteronomy 32:1-4
  • Isaiah 26:1-4
  • Proverbs 11:5
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Matthew 13:10-17, 23
  • James 2:14-21, 23-26
  • Ephesians 1:1-6
  • Hebrews 2:6-11
  • Revelation 17:6
  • Hebrews 5:7-9
  • Ephesians 1:7-14
  • 1-John 4:11-21
  • 1-Corinthians 13:1-13
  • Colossians 3:1-10
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Colossians 3:11-14
  • John 17:14-26

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 118
  • Romans 8
  • 1-John 5:7-8
  • Romans 11
  • John 17
  • Hebrews 11
  • Psalm 8
  • Genesis 1:14
  • Revelation 22
  • 1-John 3:2
  • Matthew 6

Also referenced:

  • Why is "Christianity" Failing in America? by Philip Neal
  • The Collapse of Anglican Christianity by Philip Neal

Article: Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches by Giulio Meotti April 2, 2017

Transcribed: 5-24-17
Formatted: 5/25/17

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