Fred R. Coulter—January 22, 1994

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I suppose that the time we're living in, it's very important that we understand how to use the Holy Spirit, because we're being assaulted on every side by false doctrines, by the world, by angels (demons), by almost anything in the society around us. So, the only way we're going to be able to survive all of this is to understand how to use the Holy Spirit of God and how to grow in grace and knowledge and understanding of God's way.

Everything physical is not going to stand. We just saw everything that took place at the earthquake here in Southern California, recently. I heard that Walter Mattheau lost $7-million in property. His whole swimming pool slid off the side of the mountain. The reason that he lost it was because he got mad at the cost of earthquake insurance—they have a 10% deductible and they don't give you a penny unless you put up the deductible first. They have this so you won't collect on an earthquake. He got mad and canceled it ten days before the earthquake.

Canceling the insurance was really not the problem. Building where he built was the problem. Canceling became a secondary problem. People in circumstances like that—and there were numerous ones—said that nothing counted in the physical realm except that they escaped with their lives. Disasters almost have a miraculous way of changing how people think. Then they understand that the physical things around them really are not their life. They understand that there has to be something greater.

Contrary to what most people would think, crime went down 80%. People actually talked with their neighbors; yea, actually helped their neighbors and one another, rallied together and did things to help one another. It lasted all of three days, until the bureaucrats got out there and said 'form the line.' The lines were nearly miles long because there were 14,000 who were homeless.

These people have learned the lesson—at least for three days—that the physical things really don't count. There is something that we also need to learn with God's Holy Spirit: You cannot build spiritual character by physical means! There are certain things we have to do and think, but you cannot build spiritual character by physical means!

That's why so many ministers are missing the whole point. They are preaching from the point of view that you do your works and you save yourself! That is not true. By grace we are saved with God's Spirit!

Let's see how God's Spirit works with us. This is something! We always read John 6:44, but I also want to read v 45. Stop and think about it. When you go back and really analyze it and think about it, God the Father had to have been the One to plant the seed to call you. Doesn't matter if you have relatives in the Church, they can't get you in.

  • How many have relatives who are not in the Church? You know it's not by relatives!
  • How many have husbands or wives who are not in the Church? You know it's not by marriage!
  • How many have lost husbands or wives, brother and sisters because of trying to follow God? A lot of people!

John 6:44 shows God's intervention in our lives by His Spirit: "No one… ['anthropos'—no human being] …can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him… [to reach down and select him to; to reach down and call him] …and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me" (vs 44-45).

When you answer that call, when God reaches down—in whatever your circumstances are—and begins to call you and deal with your mind, He is sending a message to you to motivate you to do certain things. "…everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me." That is quite a thing!

We will see how Jesus Christ described this when He was talking to His disciples, John 14:16: "And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age." Until today's modern technology—recorders, radios, telephones and things like this—it would not be possible to fully understand how a power can do certain things, such as the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit speaks, but who does it say that the Spirit is? That Spirit is Christ (2-Cor. 3). You read in Rev. 2 & 3 'to the one who overcomes shall inherit…he that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' That is Christ speaking through the power of the Holy Spirit.

He describes here, v 17: "Even the Spirit of the Truth…" In the book Lord, What Should I Do? (1st ed.) I point out very clearly that you cannot mix lies with truth and have half-truths and half-lies. It won't work!

"…the Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (v 17). When God begins to call, He sends His Spirit to be with that person. They must hear and answer that call. We don't know how many that God's Spirit is with in that particular way. We just don't know!

Let's see a Scripture that is kind of an enigma to some people. John 20:19: "Afterwards, as evening was drawing near that day, the first day of the weeks, and the doors were shut where the disciples had assembled for fear of the Jews…"

By the way, it is true that one of the largest organizations of the Church of God is about ready to accept a Friday crucifixion. Should be just a matter of weeks, maybe months at the most. [note: this is the former Worldwide Church of God]

"…Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, 'Peace be to you.' And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced because they had seen the Lord. Therefore, Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be to you. As the Father sent Me, I am also sending you.' And after saying this, He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (vs 19-22).

Why did He do that? That's when the disciples, who were to become the apostles, received the Holy Spirit. None of the rest received the Holy Spirit until the Day of Pentecost. Then the disciples received the Holy Spirit in power, for preaching, for conviction, just like it is in John 16—what the Holy Spirit would do.

You take John 16 and read that and compare Peter's sermon and you will see how it lines up almost in an outline form exactly as Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would do when it would come:

  • because of judgment—there was no sin in Jesus
  • because of sin—to convict them of sin
  • because of Truth—to show what the Truth is

You see all of that right there in Acts 2,

Then He said, v 23: "Those whose sins you shall remit, they are remitted to them…" That is true in the sense that when you baptize someone for the forgiveness of sins they're forgiven. This does not mean that a minister has control to forgive sin separate from God.

As in the case of Simon Magus, "…and those whose sins you shall retain, they are retained" (v 23). Read that in Acts 8.

  • What does the Holy Spirit do for you?
  • How does it work?

Now that you have received it through baptism and laying on of hands. We're going to see that with the Holy Spirit will do.

The Holy Spirit of God is that direct begettal, the earnest of the Holy Spirit, which is the promise of eternal life. Why is a promise from God important? Because God does not lie! Whatever God says that He is going to do, He's going to do. God Spirit has been given to those who obey Him. All of those conditions must be met.

The Spirit will Lead You:

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." So, the Spirit will lead you. How is the Spirit going to lead you?

  • It will convict you of sin!
  • It will lead you in the way to hunger and thirst after God's Word!
  • It will teach you!

And it's a special gift that comes from God to do that. That's why that the most important thing that a minister can do it to teach the people of God to yield to God the Father and the Holy Spirit of God so that God can lead them through His Spirit. In being led:

  • You are not pulled!
  • You are not pushed!
  • You are not forced!
  • You have to choose!

The whole purpose of God's way is that you chooseHis way and follow God and the Holy Spirit will lead you.

God's Spirit is Dwelling Within You:

Let's see what it has promised to do, v 9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you…." God's Spirit is the Spirit of Liberty, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Life. It's going to be living in you! It's going to be dwelling in you!

"…But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (v 9)—because the Spirit of God is not in that individual. Therefore, between God's calling and giving the Holy Spirit as a begettal, God knows everyone that is His. A person cannot be a Christian by proclamation. A person is a Christian only by spiritual fact indeed.

The Gift of Grace & the Gift of Righteousness:

Verse 10: "But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness." That is standing before God with the gift of righteousness. This something that very few people really grasp or really understand.

Protestants misunderstand it. They say that the gift of grace is given so you are put in right standing with God—so far, so good. Therefore, it doesn't matter what you do because Christ is going to do it all for you—WRONG! God does it this way to inspire you.

Romans 5:17: "For if by the offense of the one man death reigned by the one, how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness…" That gift of righteousness is imputing to you the righteousness of Christ—to everyone that God calls.

If Christ is in you, how does God the Father look at you? As He's looking at Christ! This is to inspire you, brethren! This is to inspire us! Would that we all could learn; God is not going to 'beat us' into the Kingdom of God. God is not going to take a rod and make us by fear do it because of escaping eternal death. That's better than not being there, but God isn't going to do it that way. God wants to inspire us!

How is He doing that? Part of it is by saying, 'Look, I know your sins! I know the law of sin and death you have in you. I understand that, but I want you in My kingdom. I have called you and I want you to love Me with all your heart, mind, soul and being and inspire you into the Kingdom of God, and to inspire you to not want to sin by saying that when I view you I see Jesus Christ Who is your Advocate saying, Father, forgive them, they know not what they do!' Think of that for a minute!

That's not to say, 'Well, if God does that then I'll go do anything I want to do and repent later. You're in deep trouble if you do that. That's not why God gave the gift of righteousness.

When we all stop and think to the innermost depths of our being and what miserable sinners we really are, isn't that a fantastic gift? Isn't that so absolutely overwhelming that you can go to God and really draw close to Him in prayer and understanding and let God's Spirit lead you?

Let's see what it will lead you to do, Romans 8:10: "But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Now, if the Spirit of Him… [the Father] …Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you…" (vs 10-11). There are two parts to the Spirit of God:

  • the Spirit of Christ
  • the Spirit of the Father

They are not separate; they are two aspects of the Holy Spirit of God. That's something to contemplate.

Verse 11: "Now, if the Spirit of Him… [the Father] …Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you…"

Verse 9: "…if anyone does not have theSpirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

There are the two aspects of the Spirit of God: that which is Christ-like and that which is from the Father to make you the begotten son of God. Who was the only begotten of the Father anyway? Jesus Christ!

"…He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken… [make alive with Spirit power] …your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh… [no physical thing is going to make you spiritual] …because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live" (vs 11-13).

  • The Spirit of God is going to convict you of sin.
  • The Spirit of God, within you, is going to give you the power to overcome sin.

The longer that you have the Spirit of God the more you're going to see the sinfulness of sin, because then you will understand everything that you do originates right up here in the mind.

"…but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live" (v 13). If you're doing that then the Holy Spirit will lead you! Granted, you have to yield to the Holy Spirit.

Verse 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father'" (vs 14-15). That's why it's so important, brethren, that each one of you know and understand that it is God the Father Who is dealing with you in your life.

Verse 16: "The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now, if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him" (vs 16-17).

There's one other thing that will take place. This is the difficult part of it. The more you yield to the Spirit of God and are led by the Spirit of God, in many cases the greater the trials that you go through. Look at what the Apostle Paul went through.

Paul said, v 18: "For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." You cannot compare it!

The Holy Spirit will Intercede for Us!

It's going to intercede in such a way that sometimes all you have inside is just a feeling. That feeling is such that you have no words to truly express what you feel. Have you ever been that way? I know I have!

Let's see how the Holy Spirit will work with us to God. This is something that we have to, in faith, understand is taking place. We can see the results of it over a period of time.

Verse 23: "And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves, awaiting the sonship—the redemption of our bodies. For by hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is not hope; for why would anyone still be hoping for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we ourselves wait for it with patience. Now, in the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses…" (vs 23-26).

We need to understand that. 'Infirmities' here (KJV) is not sicknesses. It is weaknesses of the flesh. The Spirit will compensate for the weakness of the flesh. Every human being is going to have one or more sins that will almost be like a lifelong plague!

  • You hate it!
  • You don't want it!
  • You're disgusted with it!

Regardless of what it is, you can hang any label on it, whichever is yours that you are burdened down with, because as long as we're in the flesh we're going to have something we're going to be burdened down with.

I'll tell you one of mine. I am not, by nature, a loving person—period!I'm just not! I don't have a loving, kind face. I know that! My burden is—and the reason I emphasize it so much—because I'm trying to learn it, brethren. I see myself falling so short. There are other things, but this is the major one. I am constantly confronted with situations where that I'm beginning to learn how to apply this:

1-John 4:16: "And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us…. [Everyone is willing to accept that. Oh yes, everyone wants that!] …God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world" (vs 16-17). That's the gift of righteousness that God has given to us.

Verse 18: "There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment…. [I understand that. When things go wrong and there's fear and everything like that, it is tormenting!] …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). We're not going to God and say, 'O God, I love You, I chose You, aren't I great?' That's why God the Father has to call us and the Spirit draws.

Verse 20: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen?" That, brethren, it is the most difficult thing for me. I don't know about you, but that is the most difficult for me. It doesn't mean that I run around and hate people. But I just find in many cases, that though as Paul said, 'the will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not'—in himself.

I have to say the same thing! I do not find that with me. It's from me. Whatever love I have it has to come from God. I do take solace in the fact that Peter had to learn to love God. John had to learn to love God. He was called one of the 'sons of thunder' so he must not have been a very pleasant person when he was young. But I see that, and I see—if God's Spirit is convicting me—I am beginning to understand the tremendous love that God has not only for me, because that would be selfish to me, but for everyone that He calls, and even the whole world!

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world…"—not just you, not just me. In order to love the world, in order to bring salvation to the world, in order to straighten out this world, it's got to take a love of love.

So, pray for me that God will lead me, intercede for me, and you, and all the brethren. I tell you one thing, out of all this if there's any one convicted thing that I see in all the trouble that's in the Churches of God today is that they're all trying to 'play church' and not love God and each other.

What I'm saying is that love is a gift of God. If it's a gift, you don't have it; it's something we don't have. It has to be the gift of the Spirit as it leads us. I hope that God will lead us in it, brethren, that we can help those in the different Churches of God.

I get sermons all the time from people sending me this and that. I know what's being preached and where it's being preached and what is being preached. They're all still in the 1950s or they're still thundering Acts 2 and that's the whole summation of their life. You've got to do this and that and got to have all these works—and they're fine, you need to do those—but then where's the time that you grow into maturity where you're going to grow in love.

Anyone who says that he really has the love of God come right here, I'll get right behind you. I will follow you wherever you go. But I know one thing, it's got to be a gift from God!The Holy Spirit is going to make intercessions for us!

The Holy Spirit is Helping:

Romans 8:26: "Now, in the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses…" Whatever that is you plug yours in there, there Spirit will help you.

I am beginning to learn and understand that when you really focus in on really loving God, then the Holy Spirit can work with you even more. That doesn't mean that it's going to be easy, or that it's going to come in great gushes of liberality. God wants us to develop the character of Christ through the things that we are going through. So, it's helping our weaknesses.

"…because we do not fully understand what we should pray for, according as it is necessary… [Isn't that so? We think we need this and that and the other thing] …but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be expressed by us" (v 26). So, the Spirit is going to convey to God what you really feel and mean and know. This is not speaking in tongues, because it "…cannot be expressed…" It can't be heard with the human ear.

Our prayers come up to God. When we say 'Father,' we have direct access to God the Father and Christ is at the right hand. Lots of times people don't pray because they have a guilty conscience. Well, you're not going to get rid of your guilty conscience and then go pray. God's Spirit is convicting you to give you that so you will go to God and repent! Let the Holy Spirit lead you!

I've done this many, many times. When you sin, you think: I'll just get it straightened out and then I'll go to God. God already knows! Only He can straighten it out—right? I mean, look at the whole affair with David and what he did. He was going to work it out His way and then do some big deal and then present God with some great thing. God sent Nathan[transcriber's correction] and he said, 'You're the one.' He should have gone to God right off.

Revelation 8:3: "And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints" (vs 3-4). Isn't that something? Prayers go right to God!

How God's Spirit is Going to Lead:

This is the best way to describe it. How they get from here to there is a spiritual function and God knows. It's not how long the prayer is. There are many lessons in the this parable in the book of Luke. This is to show you how God's Spirit is going to lead.

God doesn't care how long you've been in the Church. God does not care what positions you may or may not have held. God wants you to do everything that is listed here of the Pharisee and the publican:

Luke 18:9: "And to some who trusted in themselves…" Brethren, if there's anything you can't trust it's yourself and human nature, just because of the nature of it. If you trust that you are righteous… Who's righteousness are we to have? We go to God and say thank you for the righteousness of Christ! 'Inspire me to love You; inspire me to overcome, because You are so good and kind to view me this way.' I tell you, when you really go that way, then you understand something that's really important. That's how you overcome. Then you have the desire to overcome in the right way. {tie this in with 2-Cor. 10—about those who compare themselves among themselves are not wise.}

'….that they were righteous, and despised others…" (v 9). That righteousness is not from God. How can you say you love God when you 'hate your brother whom you can see'? There it is!

"…He also spoke this parable: 'Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed with himself in this manner: "God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers—or even as this tax collector"'" (vs 9-11)—all things he should not do; it is required that you not do them.

What did Jesus tell the 'rich man' when he came and asked 'Good Master, what good thing should I do that I may have eternal life.' Jesus said, 'Don't call Me good, there's only one good and that's the Father. But if you will inherit eternal life, keep the commandments.'

The rich man said, 'Which?' and Jesus listed them off, and the rich man said, 'I've done that all my life.' Jesus said, 'Go sell all that you have; because when you're done with those commandments I've got plenty more.'

Verse 12: "'I fast twice in the week, and I give a tithe of everything that I gain.'…." He's trying to build spiritual character with physical things. Yes, there should be tithing, that needs to be; but it needs to be done right and it needs to be done because you love God. Whatever you give, if you don't give because you love God, don't send it. I don't want to extort a penny out of anyone. All of these physical things that you do, which are right, you can't make that equal the spiritual attitude of loving God.

Notice the publican: hated, despised, maybe ugly because it's the only job he could get, no one liked him, no friends. The only ones he would be friends with is he would go into the local tavern and get something to eat or drink and guess who would be there? All the harlot and ne'er-do-wells and all that sort of thing—bad and miserable people. That's why Jesus went to the publicans and sinners, because at least they knew they needed God—right? The ones who don't think they need God are the ones who are in trouble!

Verse 13: "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat himself on the chest, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.'"

  • Do you have the 'law of sin and death' in you? Yes!
  • Are you a sinner by nature? Yes!
  • Can we go to God and say how good we are? No!
  • Can we go before God and thank Him for His goodness, mercy, righteousness, His Spirit and His love? Yes!

That's what God wants to give us.

That makes overcoming a whole lot simpler—doesn't it? That makes overcoming a whole lot easier. It does! I have overcome things by seeing the lack of love and trying to, with God's Spirit, grow in that love. I've been able to overcome things that I have exerted a great amount of effort to overcome and couldn't do it; I just couldn't do it! You'll find the same thing in your own situation as you go along.

Verse 14: "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled; and the one who humbles himself shall be exalted." How do you humble yourself? You go to God and admit that everything that you have comes from Him! That's how! You don't go put on a humble attitude. You don't go around and beat your back, flagellated and have it bleeding. You go to God and admit that with everything that you have has come from Him!

Track 2 or Download

Here's another parable that we know. We're going to see everything at work right here in this parable. We're going to see the good, the bad, the ugly and the redeemed and the one who is not so redeemed.

Luke 15:11[transcriber's correction]: "Then He said, 'A certain man had two sons; and the younger…'" (vs 11-12). It's always the younger who becomes the 'whippersnapper'—right? Whenever you have sons, there's always the competition to be 'as good as' or 'better than.' The older one always thinks he's got it made, and he pretty well let's the younger ones know it. In this case the younger one said, 'I'm getting out of here, I can't take this any longer.

"'…of them said to his father, "Father, give me that portion of the property which falls to me." And he divided to them his living. And not many days after, the younger son gathered everything together and departed into a distant country. And there he wasted all his substance, living in debauchery'" (vs 12-13). Great sin; spent it all, ruined his life.

Verse 14: "But after he had spent everything, there arose a severe famine throughout that country, and he began to be in need…. [In his pride—not willing to swallow his pride—he humbled himself a little bit here]: …Then he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine" (vs 14-15).

Remember, Jesus is talking to Jews. One of the worst jobs would be working with swine. They smell! They are disease ridden! They are miserable creatures indeed!

Verse 16: "And he was longing to fill his stomach with the husks that the swine were eating, but no one gave anything to him." The world is not as good and glamorous as you think—right? 'Go young man, go into the world, it's going to chew you alive!' That's the whole story here—right? You think you're big, strong and tough, and you know how to do everything in the world. Now then, it gets down to the nitty-gritty.

Verse 17: "And when he came to himself…" Brethren, that's where everybody needs to come. Every human being needs to come to him or herself before God! This is talking about God the Father's love and this is talking about God the Father drawing with His Spirit. Many times He calls us at our very lowest.

Think how low this is. When you're out there in the manure and the water and the smell and the grunting and all the things that pigs have. Have you ever seen pigs fight over food? Can you imagine getting in there and trying to rip off one ear of corn to try and eat it? If you're not careful they'll turn on you and eat you!

So, "…he came to himself, he said… [a humble attitude but somewhat misunderstanding of God, in this case the father of the son] …'How many of my father's hired servants have an abundance of bread, and I am dying of hunger? I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you"'" (vs 17-18). Here is repentance; he had to come to himself; God's Spirit had to lead him to this. You come to God. He goes back to his father.

He had all this worked up in his mind. He had it prepared and planned. 'When I get home the first thing I'm going to do is say this,' v 19: "'"I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired servants."' And he arose and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion…" (vs 19-20).

That's what God wants to have on you and everyone—compassion.

  • That way you learn love!
  • That way you learn understanding!
  • That way you learn faith!
  • That way you learn that whatever you have comes from God!

"…and ran and embraced him, and ardently kissed him" (v 20). Does God have wide-open arms to receive anyone back? Yes! There it is!

Notice the father's attitude. He didn't say, 'Well, son, let me hear your speech. That's good! I'll take you on as a hired servant. Maybe you'll learn your lesson.' NO!

Verse 22: "But the father said to his servant… [He didn't want his son disgraced and run into the gutter] …'Bring out a robe, the best robe, and clothe him, and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet… [the ring was that he officially represented his father] …and bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and be merry'" (vs 22-23).

It shows you the tremendous feast that God is going to have with all of those who enter into the Kingdom of God—right? That's why we meet Christ in the air and have the wedding feast before we come to the earth. That's going to be quite a thing—isn't it?

Verse 24: "'For this my son was dead, but is alive again…'" Just like that man who was trapped in the '89 earthquake. He spent five days crushed in his car but still alive, under the Cypress double-decker freeway that collapsed. Finally they got him out. I tell you what, his life changed, and he said so. When you're there stuck for five days, guess what, you get a chance to review your whole life! I bet he shed many a tear. I'll bet he resolved to do good—right? Yes, indeed!

Verse 24: "'For this my son was dead, but is alive again, and he was lost, but is found.'…."

Verse 10: "I tell you that in like manner, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." That's what God is interested in! He knows you sin! He knows you have the 'law of sin and death' in you. He put in you, and He's given you the way out through Christ: through His love, through His Spirit.

Verse 24: "…And they began to be merry…. [here's the other side of the coin]: …But his elder son was in a field…" (vs 24-25). You could liken this unto Judaism. You could like the first son like unto all of those filthy swine goyeem; all hated by the Jews. Cast out, kicked out, nothing! Liken the second one unto the Jews.

Verse 25: "But his elder son was in a field, and when he was coming back, and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And after calling one of the servants nearby, he inquired what these things might be. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come home, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him safe and well.'" (vs 25-27)—and the brother ran in and kissed him. NO!

Verse 28: "Then he was angry… [see the sermon series: Scripturalism vs Judaism—that anger is still there to this day] …and would not go in. As a result, his father came out and pleaded with him." Through Christ, that's what Christ did.

Verse 29: "But he answered and said to his father, 'Behold, I have served you so many years, and never did I transgress your commandment; yet you never gave me a kid, so that I might make merry with my friends;' but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.' Then he said to him, "Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But it was fitting to make merry and rejoice because your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, but is found" (vs 29-32).

Brethren, that's one of the things that God's Spirit is going to lead us in doing. Do you see the whole situation with the attitude that we have here?

We're going to have some situations where we're going to be able to help some people recover themselves out of some of the difficulties that they are in. We don't need to come along and have the great condemning condescending, self-righteous attitude: 'Well, if you would have had enough character you wouldn't have done that.'

What are you going to do? It's done! Is that not true? It's done! If God forgives, does God forgive? Yes! Who are to challenge what God forgives and doesn't forgive—right?

  • There is how the Spirit is going to lead us!
  • There is how the Spirit is going to intercede for us!

The Holy Spirit will Teach You:

This is really important in the days that we are in today. That's why studying God's Word is so important.

What did Jesus say of the words that He spoke? The words which I'm speaking to you, they are Spirit and Life, as well as Truth! When we study and when we really get into the Word of God, let God's Spirit teach you the will. Part of the problem that we see with false doctrines and things that we've come up with and had to answer, is because people are 'playing religion' and they are working a doctrine and they are not loving God. Therefore, God's Spirit is not going to lead them.

John 14:26: "But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things… [everything necessary for salvation; all your life! Isn't that something?] …and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you."

In these days, brethren, I see one of the greatest lacks among the people of God and the brethren of Jesus Christ is that they have not been studying, praying, and they have just been 'practicing' church.

I got a phone call from a woman who said, after hearing some of the things that we sent to her, 'I know why God has called me out of this other Church of God, because we're dying!' They're not yielding to the Spirit of God! They're not letting the Spirit of God lead them!

They still have it, like the parable of the Ten Virgins, there is some flickering going on. That's why we send the Care Package. We want to give them a little fuel for that flicker; let them come back to life again. When we're dealing with all of these false doctrines going on, as we saw one of the major Churches of God where it started out with 30 changes and then they went up to 97 and then to 130-something. It depends on how you count it.

  • You've got to know the Bible!
  • You've got to know the Word of God!

If you don't you're going to be in trouble. There are antichrists coming around teaching.

Here is where the danger is, 1-John 2:18: "Little children, it is the last time; and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up…" I explain this is the book: Lord, What Should I Do? (1st ed.). How do you handle it? At first, when there are some that come into the Church, you can get rid of them! Those who are righteous and love God outnumber the antichrists or the false prophets and teachers. But when they take over and are in control and you can't change them, then it's like Paul told Timothy, 'Withdraw yourself from them.' You can't stick around.
Verse 19: "They went out from among us, but they were not of us, because if they were of us they would have remained with us; nevertheless, they left that they might be exposed to show that they all were not of us. But you have the anointing from the Holy One… [God's Spirit in you] …and you have knowledge of all things pertaining to salvation" (vs 19-20).

Didn't it say that the Holy Spirit would teach you all things? There comes a time when you are mature in your Christian growth and development and you know all the basic things for salvation. You don't know everything, but this is all the basic thing for salvation and you don't need someone coming along giving you a 'new' doctrine, which is an old satanic lie, and call this 'new understanding and truth' to lead you away from Christ. That's what he's talking about here.

Verse 21: "I did not write to you because you do not know the Truth, but because you know it… [He's dealing with people who understand the Truth of God.] …and you understand that not one lie comes from the Truth. Who is the liar if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is the antichrist—the one who denies the Father and the Son" (vs 21-22). That's happening right now.

This weird doctrine of the trinity is unreal! God is manifested in three ways: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He didn't really die because He's one. When He was on the cross He prayed to Himself. When He was dead He was never really dead. Because He's God He could not be tempted. Every contradiction in the Scripture! This is what they were going through at the same time, very similar to it.

Verse 23: "Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either…. [But he has the Son has the Father also.] …Therefore, let what you have heard from the beginning dwell in you; if what you have heard from the beginning is dwelling in you, then you will be dwelling in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us: eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who are leading you astray. But you yourselves have dwelling in you the anointing that you received from Him; and you do not have need of anyone to indoctrinate you…" (vs 23-27). It doesn't contradict that a teacher must be sent. You don't need any of those antichrists coming around trying to teach you. That's what he's saying.

"…for the same anointing instructs you in all spiritualthings…" (v 27). What we need to pray for is to let God's Spirit lead us and teach us as much as we can—right? I don't think in a lifetime we will ever learn all that the Holy Spirit of God can teach us through His Word. But at least we need to be busy doing as much as we can—right?

"…and is true, and is not a lie; and if you do exactly as it has taught you, you will be dwelling in Him [Christ]. And now, little children, dwell in Him, so that when He is manifested we may have boldness, and not be put to shame before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been begotten by Him" (vs 27-29).

That's tremendous! The Holy Spirit is going to teach you!

The Holy Spirit is Going to Comfort You:

Every one of us, sooner or later, is going to go through an experience in life where nothing but God's Spirit can help you; not even a friend, not even a husband/wife. It's going to happen that way, it's just the way that life is. When you hit the bottom and the pit is so big—just like the son feeding the swine—God alone can comfort you.

2-Corinthians 1: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (vs 2-4).

Brethren, may we be able to do that to a lot of brethren, and we can comfort them! A lot of people would like to be comforted before they have trouble. It doesn't work that way! Here's how God works it—I remember preaching sermons on this. It sure is amazing how God's Word is the living Word of God and it's alive, real and affects us today.

1-Peter 5:5: "In the same manner, you younger men be subject to the older men; and all of you be subject to one another, being clothed with humility… [Ties right in with 'the one who exalts himself shall be abased and the one who humbles himself shall be exalted.'] …because God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Be humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time… [in the right time; in the time that God wants] …casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you. Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour…. [That's what He's doing right now!] …Whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world. Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while… [He's not going to do it right away.] …Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (vs 5-10).

Those are other words that reflect the comfort that God alone can give. God's Spirit is going to comfort us.

John 16:33: "…In the world you shall have tribulation. But be courageous! I have overcome the world." I've heard some people say, 'Yeah, Lord, thanks a lot but I'm in this trouble.' Be of good courage, God will still take care of you—throw yourself on His mercy.

God's Spirit will Speak to You:

Not necessarily some audible voice, not as some people think where He comes along and a voice says, 'Go here, go there, go the other place.' God's Spirit will speak to you in the sense that it's going to convict you in hear and mind. That's God's Spirit doing it. There are times in the New Testament where we see that the Holy Spirit actually did speak. The message came from God, like: 'Separate unto me Saul and Barnabas for the work I've called them to do' (Acts 13:1-2). Then 'the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith' (1-Tim. 4:1).

Have you ever had a situation where God's Spirit has impressed something on your mind that you just couldn't get away from that thought and you couldn't get away from doing what that through was impelling you to do? If that's so, it's God's Spirit leading you. In that sense, speakingto you.

God's Spirit will Inspire You:

What I want you to do is add other Scriptures to these in your study. What I'm doing here is meant so that you can take this and add to it yourself as you study. God's Spirit will inspire you. I have experience in being inspired of God many times in speaking, so I know what I'm talking about here. But I have never had this experience:

Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I am sending you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and you shall also be brought… [forcibly] …before governors and kings for My sake, for a witness to them and to the Gentiles" (vs 16-18). That means that you're to just get up and say how it is. Just exactly when and how that's going to happen, I don't know. But here's a promise, it will happen!

Verse 19: "Now, when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you should speak; for in that hour it shall be given to you what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you" (vs 19-20). It's going to have to be with conviction, with love, with power. Those days are coming! I don't relish that they come, but I tell you what, when they've got you, let them know, however it may be. It's going to be this way:
Verse 21: "Then brother will deliver up brother to death; and the father, the child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. And you shall be hated by all for My name's sake… [I can see that just around the corner] …but the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved" (vs 21-22). Then it gets tough!

Verse 23: "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." He isn't here and it hasn't been done, and maybe we have a small part in doing it.

God's Spirit is Going to Bear Witness:

We saw how the Spirit 'bore witness' to the man who took his inheritance and ended up with the pigs/the swine—right? He 'came to himself' and then God's Spirit as it were testified to him, convicted him by saying, 'Look, I'll just go home and be a servant.'

John 15:26: "But when the Comforter has come, which I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of the Truth, which proceeds from the Father, that oneshall bear witness of Me. Then you also shall bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning" (vs 26-27).

John 16:7: "But I am telling you the truth. It is profitable for you that I go away because if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. However, if I go, I will send it to you. And when that one has come, it will convict the world concerning sin… [because of the preaching that God inspires] …and righteousness, and judgment: Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me" (vs 7-9).

I was studying the first chapter of the Gospel of John again, and that is amazing what is there, brethren. Every word there in John 1 is breathtaking! Christ Who was God, Who created everything that there is, Who is the Light of all men, came to the world, came to His own and they didn't receive Him! Isn't that something? It's amazing!

Verse 10: "Concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer will see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have yet many things to tell you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth…" (vs 10-13). That's what we need, brethren! In these times that we're living in, and all the things that the Churches of God are going through, we need that!

"…because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come. That one shall glorify Me because it shall disclose to you the things that it receives from Me. Everything that the Father has is Mine; for this reason, I said that it shall receive from Me and shall disclose these things to you" (vs 13-15). That is the whole function of the Holy Spirit, and that's how we are to use it. Let's see how that was used by the apostles at that time.

After they let the apostle go and they came to their own company, Acts 4:23: "Now after being released, they came to their own brethren and reported to them all that the chief priests and elders had said. And when they heard this, they lifted up their voices to God with one accord and said, 'O Master, You are the God Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that are in them, Who by the mouth of Your servant David did say, "Why did the nations insolently rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ." For of a truth they did gather together against Your Holy Son, Jesus, Whom You did anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your counsel had predetermined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings…'" (vs 23-29).

I tell you what, brethren, we're in a time now when the Churches of God are being threatened. We need to gather together. We need to do what is here.

"'…and grant that Your servants may speak Your Word with all boldness… [That's what we need to do, speak the Word of God! Then God is going to reach out and do the other things.] …by reaching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Son, Jesus'" (vs 29-30).

And may some of these things be done! May they be done that way! Not for glory! If you don't do whatever you're doing with love it doesn't matter what you're doing. Serve God!

Verse 31: "And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness."

You talk about an experience, that's something! I don't think it was like some of these 'holy roller' things that you see. Unfortunately, the movies depict all of that all the time. This was with sound-mindedness and power. Can you imagine the Spirit of God motivating the speaking and preaching, bringing everything to remembrance because they walked with Christ, they talked with Christ, they were with Him day and night for almost three and a half years? Can you imagine the things that they preached at that time?

Verse 32: "And the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul… [May the Church of God get back to that again, brethren!] …neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things common." That's because they were still in Jerusalem after Pentecost. This doesn't mean Communism here by any stretch of the imagination.

Verse 33: "And with great power the apostles testified of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all."

That's what the Holy Spirit of God is going to do. That's how God's Spirit is going to work with us. Yes, indeed! That's what we need to yield to, to see and understand the power and grace of God.

  • Ephesians 4:22 thru Ephesians 5:2—you're to be renewed inwardly; you are to put away the carnal things that you do and grieve not the Holy Spirit by continuing in all of these carnal sins of the flesh.
  • 1-Thessalonians 5:17—quench not the Spirit, which means that when the Spirit of God leads you and inspires you—especially to repentance, to do the works of love and faith—don't put it out.
  • Revelation 2 & 3—each section to the churches says, 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

This is the whole ultimate that God wants us to understand, Ephesians 3:1: "For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, if indeed you have heard of the ministry of the grace of God that was given to me for you; how He made known to me by revelation the mystery…" (vs 1-3).

That's something! God is sharing His secrets with you, brethren. That's overwhelming when you understand that. That's unreal! But it's true!

"…(even as I wrote briefly before, so that when you read this, you will be able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of Christ), which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (vs 3-5). That's how the Spirit of God works in you!

  • Let the Spirit of God lead you!
  • Let the Spirit of God teach you!
  • Let the Spirit of God comfort you!
  • Let the Spirit of God guide you!
  • Let the Spirit of God lead you into all Truth!

That will produce the fruits of the Spirit:

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • longsuffering
  • temperance
  • goodness
  • meekness

'against such there is no law!'

Brethren, use the Spirit of God especially in these days in which we're living!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • John 6:44-45
  • John 14:16-17
  • John 20:19-23
  • Romans 8:14, 9-10
  • Romans 5:17
  • Romans 8:10-11, 9-18, 23-26
  • 1 John 4:16-20
  • John 3:16
  • Romans 8:26
  • Revelation 8:3-4
  • Luke 18:9-14
  • Luke 16:11-20, 22-24, 10, 24-32
  • John 14:26
  • 1 John 2:18-29
  • 2 Corinthians 1:2-4
  • 1 Peter 5:5-10
  • John 16:33
  • Matthew 10:16-23
  • John 15:26-27
  • John 16:7-15
  • Acts 4:23-33
  • Ephesians 3:1-5

Scriptures referenced, not quoted

  • 2 Corinthians 3
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Acts 2; 8
  • 2 Corinthians 10
  • Acts 13:1-2
  • 1 Timothy 4:1
  • Ephesians 4:22 thru 5:2
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Scripturalism vs Judaism
  • Book: Lord, What Should I Do? by Fred R. Coulter

BOOKS