Fred R. Coulter—July 11, 2009

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Speaking from the heart with conviction, because it's inside you—that's how all of us as elders should speak. This is why we go through some of the things that we go through, because with these things, and the experiences that we go through, all of those help us with the Spirit of God to be able to speak.

Let's come back to 2-Timothy 3:14 for just a minute, and let's see some things that Paul wrote about the Word of God, how we are to speak and preach. This applies to all of us, because not only are we to speak and teach, and to do so with the inspiration of God, but also Jesus promises (as we'll see a little later) when we are brought before officials it's to be for a testimony to them. We are to have these things written in our hearts and in our minds, so that when the occasion arises, the Father Himself will speak through us. So this is the whole measure of speaking.

Let's begin here in 2-Timothy 3:14: "But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them… [And today, now we have the whole Word of God. And always remember this: To whom much is given, much is required and expected. So think about this every time you pick up the Bible, we have the whole Word of God! We live in a time when it's understood as never before. So this ought to really inspire us to really learn more of the Word of God, which as you said, every time we go through it, we learn.] …And that from a child you have known the Holy writings… [That's the Old Testament.] …which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus" (vs 14-15). So he's telling us here very clearly. You can't understand Christ of the New Testament, without the Old Testament. And another key, that I've mentioned before which is true: the New Testament interprets the Old.

Now notice, v 16, key Scripture: "All Scripture…" That means each and every word of the original is God breathed. And as I've mentioned, God used only forty men to write the Bible, and only eight to write the New Testament of that forty. So when someone brings up: How do we know this is the Word of God? Well, ask them, Do you believe in God? Yes, I believe in God. Do you believe He's all powerful? Yes, I believe He's all powerful. Well, tell me now, since there are only forty men who wrote the entire Bible, and of that forty, eight were the New Testament, do you think God could inspire them to write what He wanted without mistakes? Ummmm! What did He do to Balaam, a false prophet? Balaam wanted that money so bad. 'I've gotta get that money.' So Balak said, 'All right, we'll get you up here, we'll give you all the sacrifices, and you curse.' He says, 'No, I can only speak what God will let me speak.' So seven times, what did he do? He blessed Israel. Now do you believe that story? If you do, then, if God could make a man who was dedicated to do cursing, to preach blessings, don't you think that those who were yielded to God, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, would write the Words of God? You've got him!

You see, that's what separates those who are the true Christians from the ne'er-do-wells who in one book are called the casual-Christians. "All Scripture… [Each and every one, even the ones with the genealogies which give us the table of the nations, which gives us the chronology and the genealogy down from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, down to Christ. And that shows that He was legally the One of whom it was spoken of in the Old Testament, prophesied of where He would be born, prophesied of whom He would be from, and it was so.] …is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine [teaching.] …for conviction…" (vs 16).
Rahm Emanuel Now, conviction is something that you can't put on. Conviction is something you can't fake. Conviction comes from belief, from knowing the Word of God, from understanding the Word of God, combined with all of the experiences that you have had in your lifetime, and in serving and helping other people to overcome their difficulties, and so forth; and that your sole desire in speaking and preaching, is to preach the Truth. That's what makes anyone who speaks—whether they have a dynamic presentation, or matter-of-fact presentation—if they have conviction backed by the power of God's Spirit, the love of God, knowing that Christ is Savior, knowing that His Word is True, then whatever you speak, if you prepare and ask God to inspire you, will have the Holy Spirit convicting you to preach it. And this is what will move the brethren of God, and will move new people, as we will see a little later here.

Hold your place here and come to John 6. We'll be right back. When you begin reading the Bible, and the way that you can progress to understand it, if you've never read it before, is believe what you read, because it is the Truth of God. Then something else will begin to happen, because reading and studying the Scriptures, and teaching from the Scriptures, is also a spiritual 'presentation' or 'endeavor' or 'effort.'

Notice what Jesus said. Here is the Truth we need. John 6:63: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life." Now think about that. That's why when anyone speaks from this God-given way of speaking, using the Spirit of God, using the Truth of God, there is also another spiritual thing that takes place. That spiritual thing that takes place is: The Truth convicts the listeners and in going through a sermon and reading the Word of God along with the speaking, it gives Spirit and it gives life. That's how God wants it to be spoken. It doesn't matter who is the one who's doing the speaking, the Words of God, they are Spirit and they are life, and it then becomes—same way when you study. Have you ever been studying along and all of sudden—BING!--the light goes on. That's God's Spirit giving you understanding, because the 'Words are Spirit and they are life.' And everything that Jesus wants us to know, Old Testament and New Testament, has been written down. So this also gives another thing, that in teaching and preaching, when you hear the Word of God:

  • it strengthens you
  • it reinforces what you believe
  • it gives you faith
  • it gives you love
  • it gives you hope

—because the 'Words are Spirit and life.' Because they have been God-breathed.

God-breathed could also be this, because breathed comes from the Greek 'pneuma,' which is spirit, so this could also be translated—but it's hard to do because people would have a hard time understanding it—it is God-spirited, because 'they are Spirit and they are life.' So then you take it one step further: these are the words of eternal life. This is how we are educated by God to prepare and qualify for the greatest work for all eternity. This is why I was very inspired with Marlin's message and Lawrence's message, and with the music altogether. You'll also find this: when you listen to music sung well, that are the words of God, and especially when you are singing it, too, there is a special spiritual experience in doing so. It gives you minimum satisfaction, more than that, joy; beyond that enthusiasm and love of God. All of these work together.

Now notice: 2-Timothy 3:16: "…for conviction, for correction…" We all need to be corrected. Let me just mention, the best way to be corrected is you read the Scripture and you see you need to change. Let the Word of God and God's Spirit correct you. That's the easiest way. Aside from that, another person could give something to you that's correction. Now my wife Dolores always tells me and it's burned in my mind, which is good, because she said, 'I've seen so many vain preachers in my lifetime. Fred, just speak—just speak.' That's how it needs to be, but from the heart as inspired by God. If you hear someone speak and corrects you, accept it and change. Now going up the next severe way of being corrected is by circumstances where something actually goes wrong and you realize you have done something that you shouldn't have done. The most severe correction is that which comes directly from God, because you've gone too far, and He wants to humble you, and He wants to bring you back to Him. Now let's see that in action, too.

Let's come to Jeremiah 10. Always remember this: You have nothing you didn't receive. Everything about you as a person came from God, and you came into a physical world that God created and made. You have the Word of God, which God provided for you. He led you to repentance and baptism and receiving of the Holy Spirit. So far, not one thing that we have, we didn't receive. So this is why Jeremiah said here, Jeremiah 10:23: "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps…. [What's another verse we all have memorized? 'There is a way that seems right and the ends thereof are the ways of death.' So what does he say?] …O LORD, correct me, but with judgment… [And also add in there, in mercy.] …not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing" (vs 23-24).

Now let's come back here to 2-Timothy 3:16—here's why God does these things: "…for correction, for instruction in righteousness... [And this is the righteousness of Christ, which He gives through His Spirit.] …so that the man of God… [Now that's every minister, teacher, preacher, but also anyone who has the Spirit of God.] …may be complete… [Isn't that something? God wants us perfected. You could put perfected in there as well.] …fully equipped for every good work" (vs 16-17). And every good work is what God tells us to do.

This is why, 2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word!…. [There it is; because we are to feed the flock. There's another thing that we'll see here in just a bit, too, which is this: What is the purpose in that then?] …Preach the Word! Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine" (vs 1-2). Because if you don't, they're not going to tolerate, as Lawrence read, they're going to run off and want their own myths.

Now let's come to Matthew 10 and see the whole purpose of teaching. After all, who is doing the teaching? It's God's Spirit, it's God's Word. God is doing the teaching—right? What is the purpose in it? It's not to glorify the speaker, it's not so people can say, 'Oh, that was a great sermon, or teaching.' Which may be, that's fine. But what is it?

Matthew 10:22: "'And you shall be hated by all for My name's sake… [You can see those storm clouds right on the horizon right now. They're coming.] …but the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, escape into another; for truly I say to you, in no way shall you have completed witnessing to the cities of Israel until the Son of man has come. A disciple… [Which means a learner or student.] …is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is sufficient for the disciple that he become as his teacher…'" (vs 22-25). That's the whole purpose in it: To develop the mind of Christ, Christ in you, see how all of this comes together.

Now here's another key, too: That's why keeping the Sabbath is important, because God puts His presence in the Sabbath, where His people are gathered together in His name to learn of His Word, and there is a special blessing that comes in keeping the Sabbath, and being taught on the Sabbath, that cannot be accomplished on any other day of the week. Because in making the Sabbath Holy, God puts His presence in it for those who come to Him. God does not put His presence in Sunday. So that's the goal. We are to become like Christ, which means what? As long as we are in the flesh, we're still growing, we're still learning. Because these words are spirit and they are life. They are inspired by the Eternal Creator God, and therefore, we can study it our whole life long and still not glean everything out of here that God has put in there. That's fantastic—isn't it? That's fantastic!

Now recently Jim Hyles gave me what the number one, two, and three search on Google is concerning God.

  • Who is God?
  • Does He know me?
  • How can I find Him?

Of those three, guess how many hits a day there are on Google? Two-million. What does that tell us? With all the troubles going on, because here's another truth—Rahm Emanuel, they call him Rambo, says—'never waste a good crises.' The truth is, God never wastes a good crises either, because He has created it for the very purpose of causing people to ask those questions that I just asked. So guess what we're going to plan to do? Answer them.

  • Who is God?
  • Where is God?
  • How do I find Him?

God is the Creator of heaven and earth. Let's come back here to Isaiah 40. Here's a good place to start. First place you do, is you get somewhere outside the city at night and you look up into the heavens and you see all the stars and you see what God has created, and He has said that 'these are to inspire you to know that I am God.' Isaiah 40 tells us some very important things, too. Stop and think, everything we look at all around us is a living miracle from the grass that grows in the ground to the trees and the leaves on those trees. By the way, they use lots of CO2, Al Gore. The more the CO2 the greater the trees grow and give us back oxygen.

Every animal, large or small, insignificant, even the little itty-bitty fleas on the dogs, God has created. Now men thought, when they discovered the one-cell ameba. 'Oh, we know about life and where it comes from now and we see how it divides.' But when they got down to really examine it, the one-cell ameba is a very complicated creature, indeed. Everything that there is in the heavens, in the air, on the surface of the earth, in the waters under the earth, God has made, so that men will wonder; and look and see how great God is as Creator.

So He challenges. He says here, Isaiah 40:12. This is designed for the very purpose of getting the smug elite to answer these questions. All of you numb-scull evolutionists out there, you know you're lying. The only reason you perpetuate it, is because of position, esteem of colleagues, and a paycheck. Because I'll guarantee you, put you in a foxhole or a sinking ship, or a crashing plane. Did you see the cell-phone photo of that airplane, one of them that collided in Brazil? Someone stood up and took a cell-phone picture, and it showed the back part of the plane ripped off by the collision of the other. And the next picture showed a man being sucked out in the air. The plane crashed, they all died, but the cell-phone lived. I imagine even the most hardened against God was saying, 'Oh, God, what's happening?' Won't be an atheist around.

So God challenges them. 'You're so smart:' "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out the heavens with a span?.... [We think we're so marvelous and great because we can do the scientific feat and we have spent 17-billion dollars to have a cyclotron so we can get a split second of fusion and God has got the sun out there, which is so billions of times greater that is fusion working one after the other, after the other, all the time, to make you wonder, 'Where did that come from?' God says, 'I made the heavens and the earth.'] …And who has comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?" (v 12).

You're so smart to declare that God does not exist. "Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, and who was His counselor that he might instruct Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and made known the way of understanding to Him?" (vs 13-14). God is in the heavens, that's where He is. God rules over all of His creation.

And we'll answer the question: Does He know you? And then we'll answer the question: Can you find Him? "Behold, the nations are like a drop in a bucket… [Do this one time: Get yourself a little eye dropper, put some water in it. Get yourself a little bucket and drop one drop in there. Look down and see that and understand that compared to God, that's the whole significance of this world. What did Satan the devil say of it when he was tempting Christ? 'If you'll fall down and worship me, I'll give you all these nations and the glory of them for it's given to me to give to whomsoever I will.' What did Jesus say? 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' Only as a drop in a bucket.] …and are counted as the small dust of the scales; behold, He takes up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts of it sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted by Him as less than nothing, and vanity" (vs 15-17).

First of all, He challenges those, 'Well, is there a God? Who is God?' He says, 'All right, answer these questions. Then when you're done with that: "To whom then will you compare God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?" (v 18). Then it talks about all the graven images that people make. As I mentioned earlier, the two things that are wrong in the world:

  • government
  • religion

Look at all of the idols that they have. They use gold, they use silver, they use special workmen. God says, v 21: "Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth… [That's where God's throne is. Now we can't see it, because it's spiritual, but I'm convinced the throne of God is a whole lot closer to the earth than what men give it credit for.] …and its people are like grasshoppers; it is He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in; Who brings the rulers to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity" (21-23).

This is humbling for those who never understood this. So He says, v 25: "'To whom then will you compare Me, or who is My equal?' says the Holy One. Life up your eyes on high, and behold, who has created these things, who brings out their host by number? He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one fails" (vs 25-26).
Now let's answer the question: Does He know me? Does God know you? Does God know the average person out in the world? Is He concerned with them? Let's come to Psalm 139. This answers that question. Now everyone who is alive is very thankful they're alive and here—correct? Yes! Now God, Who has made everything that there is and Christ, Who sits at the right hand of God, and upholds everything by the word of His power, He knows everything about you. As we will see, you function totally according to His design and His creation.

Let's read it here. Psalm 139:1: "O LORD, You have searched me and have known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off…. [And remember this: God is so great that no thought can be withheld from Him. He doesn't have to be reading your mind all the time, because every thought you think is registered in your mind anyway, so anytime He wants to know what you're thinking, He can tap into it anytime He wants to. But He doesn't do it, because He's giving us free choice to see whether we will love Him and keep His commandments or not.] …You measure my going about and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but lo, O LORD, You know it altogether" (vs 1-4). So, yes:

  • God knows you
  • God created you
  • God understands you
  • God wants you to respond to Him—and He will respond to you.

"You have enclosed me behind and in front, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it…. [So he says:] …Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I go up into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in the grave, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the furthest part of the sea… [Get away from every other human being, and everything, and every problem and difficulty, what does he say?] …Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me? (vs 5-10). Does God know you? Yes, He knows everything about you.

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me,' even the night shall be light around me. Yea, the darkness does not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; as is the darkness, so is the light to You" (vs 11-12).

Then he talks about being created and the truth of the matter is, every human being is a special creation of God through the process of procreation from your mother and your father. It is the Spirit of God that created you. God has likewise given you a spirit which is called the spirit of man, so you have thought, you have intelligence, but more importantly, so you can be connected with God, and to God, by receiving the Holy Spirit.

"For You have possessed my reins; You have knit me together in my mother's womb." How many have seen In The Womb series? Isn't that amazing? You are who you are from the instant of conception, and everything from there on is a matter of growth. God put it all in motion. Furthermore, God blessed you as parents, mothers and fathers, that you participate in the creation of God for new human beings, little infants, and a lot of times when you get real angry and upset that children cry. Well, you know why they cry? Because they can't speak. God gave the blessing of making your children from your genes and chromosomes after your own image, which is after the image of God. That's quite a thing to understand!]

"…knit me together in my mother's womb…. [That's exactly what it is. Once the process starts, everything goes right on schedule.] …I will praise You, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Your works are marvelous and my soul knows it very well. My substance… [The very point of being conceived, called substance even today.] …was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and intricately formed me in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, yet being unformed; and in Your book… [Does God know you? Yes! You have a book called genetics of your own being, which is stamped upon every cell of your being as a unique individual, made in the image of God. So, yes, God knows you; He made you.] …and in Your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them" (vs 13-16).

That tells us an awful lot—doesn't it? Think of that, brethren, two-million hits on Google a day.

  • God, where are you?
  • God, do You know me?

The answer is: God is in heaven, and yes, he knows you. We'll take it one step further. Let's come to the Gospel of John, chapter 3. And here is what God offers. Here is why God created you, so that if you will go His way, rather than your way; and follow His Truth, rather than your deceitful life; here is what God has done. Because God not only knows you, He cares for you and He loves you. So notice this verse, John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life." That's why you were created. Yes, God knows you. God loves you. And now what are you going to do? God says, 'Seek me and you will find Me.'


Scriptural References:

  • 2-Timothy 3:14-16
  • John 6:63
  • 2-Timothy 3:16
  • Jeremiah 10:23-24
  • 2-Timothy 3:16-17
  • 2-Timothy 4:1-2
  • Matthew 10: 23-25
  • Isaiah 40:12-18, 21-23, 25-26
  • Psalm 139:1-16
  • John 3:16

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 7-24-09
Formatted: bo—7/29/09

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