Fred Coulter – January 13, 1996|  [Up]

Now let’s continue in John 15 in going through about the meaning and the reason of the covenant words. These words that Jesus gave are the words of the New Covenant and that’s the reason that I have them in the Passover ceremony booklet because the Passover is just not a ritual that you go through at a set time. The Passover that we go through is because Christ has given us a part with Him and He has made a covenant with His life for us. And this is a betrothal relationship between the one who is to be husband and the one who is to be wife. And you know and I know the only way for a marriage to succeed is that both love each other. And that’s what this is all about so that we learn to love God. We also learn to do things in such a way that it’s important for us to realize how wonderful that this covenant relationship is and how marvelous that these words are that we learn them and understand them and know them and live by them.

So let’s begin in verse 1 of John 15. And this also has to do somewhat with church structure. Jesus said, "I am the sequoia, and anybody who climbs up to the branches will reach the top." He did not say that. He said: "I am the true vine…" Now how does a vine grow? Out. How also does a vine grow? In the way that it is directed. If it has no direction then it just grows wild and becomes a big bunch of entangled vines one on top of the other. So it has to be cultivated, and so this is why He uses it.

Now, a vine is low to the ground, is it not? A vine is what kind of structure? A horizontal structure. It is not a vertical structure. What is one of the things that they’re beginning to find in management today? I saw it in one of the business magazines, it’s the title of an article – the horizontal corporation. Even the corporations are getting rid of their hierarchies. The church of God is to be like a vine, and you have many plants and many vines, but it’s not to be some great, great hierarchy like a sequoia tree.

Now then, a vine takes a lot of work. Do we need a lot of work? Yes. Let’s read on: "…My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that is not bearing fruit, He takes it away…" Isn’t that interesting? Who makes the initial decision to call you? God the Father. Who makes the final decision to get rid of you if you do not produce? God the Father. So no man can throw you away from Christ, can he? The only one to do it is God the Father. Now we were never taught that, were we? Let’s look at it another way: since God the Father has called each individual, who’s business is it to get rid of someone if they need to be gotten rid of? The one who called them.

"…He takes it away: and every one that bears fruit, He cleanses it, in order that it may bear more fruit." Now we’re going to look into "cleansing" here in just a minute because that becomes very important. That’s what’s happening right now to the church. That’s why God wants us to grow. That’s why God wants us to change. That’s why God wants us to be pruned and trimmed. And another thing that’s important with a vine trunk, because over the years the trunk as it grows up it gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but you prune and trim the branches and the vines, and then you direct them along the wire runners, and they’re held up by supports all the way down the line. If you’ve seen a vineyard that’s how they do it all the way down. And the best wine comes from the oldest trunks. Yes, it does. That’s another reason we should use wine for the Passover, by the way. "He cleanses it in order that it may bring more fruit." So that’s what’s happening now with all the people that God is working with.

Now notice verse 3. I think it’s quite an interesting verse: "You are already clean through the words which I have spoken to you" (John 15:1-3, paraphrased). What did He just speak? [He] washed their feet, broke the break, gave them the wine and the whole thing of the covenant. What did He say concerning foot-washing? He said, "You call Me the Master and teacher and you’re speaking correctly because I am. And if I, your Lord and teacher and Master have washed your feet, you are duty bound to wash one another’s feet. And I have set you an example and blessed is he that practices this." And that’s what it is in John 13. You can read it there. Then He made another statement. He said, "The servant is not above the Lord" (John 13:13-16, paraphrased). That’s very important. So when He says, "you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you," He’s talking about spiritually cleansed. Their feet have been cleaned as a rededication of their baptism, which we do every year. And by the way please go back and maybe restudy in the Passover book concerning foot-washing, the body and the blood, and the final sacrifice of Christ. And we are cleansed to walk in the way of God.

Now cleansing is an ongoing thing that we go through all the time because God wants it to be that way. "You are already clean through the word which I have spoken." The Greek there is katharizo from which we get the English word catharsis. Now there is a mental catharsis where you cleanse your mind. You get the whole load off your mind. God wants us to have a catharsis of the mind with our past experiences. There is a physical catharsis which is a purging of waste in the body. And sometimes when the waste is accumulated the catharsis becomes a very difficult purging. And catharsis means that. Now we covered earlier in I John 1 that Christ is cleansing us (same word, katharizo) from every one of our sins and transgressions.

Now let’s go to I John 3:3 and let’s look at one of the things that is really one of the most cleansing and purifying aspects, spiritually, that we need to really keep in mind in relationship to cleansing. And I’ll just mention here (and you can put this in your notes) – all sin is uncleanness. Spiritual sin is spiritual uncleanness. Question: What are the demon spirits called? Unclean spirits. So just remember that. Also, part of sin is our physical uncleanness that must be also taken care of. So when we are anointed and we have things in our body which need to be healed, you need a cleansing of the body.

Now remember what Jesus said. Put this in your notes – Matthew 8:2. The leper came to Jesus and kneeled down to Him and worshipped Him and said, "Lord if you will You can cleanse me." So He touched him and he was cleansed instantly. So healing is also a cleansing. And I think we’re beginning to learn with some of the things that we are understanding concerning the way the body functions that there may be a whole lot of other things we need to get out of our body in the way of cleansing it. So God is taking us through that right now but let’s look at I John 3:3. This is the best cleansing – mental cleansing.

Verse 3: "And every man that hath this hope in him…", which then is what? Let’s read the first couple of verses here: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." This kind of love and inspiration and hope is given to inspire us for our part in the cleansing, because we have to have cooperation with God in it.

Verse 3: "And every man that hath this hope in him [of this final and tremendous coming into eternal life and having glory like Christ] purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (I John 3:1-3, KJV). Now there, notice the "eth" in the King James – is purifying himself. Now how do you do that? You confess your sins to Him and He’s faithful and just to forgive you your sins. You do like David did, you say, "God, create in me a clean heart." Because when you’re loaded down with sin you have a dirty mind. Is that not correct, since all sin is uncleanness? "Create in me a clean heart, O God."

Now let’s look at a couple of psalms here. We covered some of those. Let’s come to Psalm 12, and it’s important for us to maintain this kind of relationship. Now we also understand this: the Proverbs tell us that the way of a man is clean in his own eyes. Now why is that? Because he justifies his own way as right. So therefore he thinks what he’s doing is clean and he doesn’t realize that the sin and the thoughts of sin in his mind make him unclean. Now this is why as we read in Ephesians 5 that "let not there be uncleanness once mentioned among the saints." Now you take that physically, you take that spiritually. You have no case for eating unclean meats, do you, whatsoever? None.

Let’s read John 15:4 and then we’ll pick it up right here in Psalm 12. "Abide [dwell] in Me, and I in you." Now you’ve got to keep living in the vine. "As the branch cannot [is not able to] bear fruit of itself…" Now "able" means you do not have the power to bear fruit of yourself. Why? Because we have a carnal nature by nature and we cannot bear spiritual fruit of ourselves. "…Unless it is living in the vine [or, lives in the vine] in exactly the same way neither can you bear fruit unless you live in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches: the one who is living in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit: apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not live in Me, he is cast away as a branch, and is dried up; and men gather it, and cast it into the fire, and it is burned because the Father has removed it."

Now here’s what I want to get to and then we’ll come back to Psalm 12. "If you are living in Me…", Christ says, and this is what’s important. Now you’ll understand when you read this why it is so very important to realize that an organization cannot do what Christ does. If you are living in Christ sometimes you cannot live in an organization. Have you found that true? Yes, because Christ is the one we love and worship with God the Father. And if you are living in an organization and that becomes a paramount thing first, then that becomes your Christ. "Stay here and you will go to a place of safety." Biggest lie there ever was when you really understand it. Sounds good because everyone wants to escape, don’t they? Yes. I do, you do, if it is God’s will.

Now notice how this is done: "If you are living in Me, and My words live in you…" Now let’s understand something concerning the words of God. What did Jesus say? He said, "The flesh profits nothing. The words that I am speaking unto you, they are spirit and they are life." So God’s Word is to live. And God’s Word, when we read these words though they are physical on a page, represent the spiritual reality and the power and the force behind it because God upholds it. So therefore it is to live within us. So He says: "If you are living in Me, and My words live in you…" (John 15:4-7, paraphrased). Now let’s see how God’s Words are.

Now let’s go to Psalm 12:6: "The words of the LORD are pure words…" Do you want to get your mind cleaned up? Fill it with the Scripture. Fill it with the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of truth; the Spirit which will produce the fruits of the Spirit. "The words of the LORD are pure: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Now what did God tell the Laodiceans? "Buy of Me gold tried [purified] in the fire." And why was that necessary? Because they didn’t have the Words of God living in them as they should have.

Let’s go to Psalm 19. I think we covered part of it but there were a couple verses that we didn’t cover here. Let’s pick it up in verse 11, concerning the words of God and the testimony of God: "Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Not a great burden, [but] a great reward. "Who can understand his errors?" Boy, isn’t that true? You’ve got your own mind justified in what you are doing and you think it is right. You can’t understand your errors, but maybe you will have a friend come and tell you, or maybe God’s Spirit will prick you in the heart and He will reveal to you what you have done that is not right. Therefore David said: "…cleanse Thou me from secret faults." Now isn’t that the best way to get rid of your faults, when they’re between you and God and they are not public? Yes. Because if your sins are so bad that God has to expose them, and He says He will, that which is spoken in secret shall be shouted from the housetop; that which is done in darkness shall be exposed to the light. So this is how we are cleansed. And if you’re truly striving to love God you’re going to want Him to cleanse you, correct? Yes. You’re going to desire the words of God; you’re going to desire the Spirit of God and the love of God, yes.

Now let’s continue, verse 13: "Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me [yes, we covered that last time but we’ll finish it here]: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psa. 19:11-14, KJV). Now if they are the words of God that are there and you’re meditating on God’s way and thinking God’s thoughts, won’t that be acceptable to God? Yes, absolutely. So you see then how this really works in a profound way for us.

Let’s go to Psalm 119 now please. And as Jesus said, "The words that I have spoken to you, you are clean through them." Let’s come to verse 140: "Thy word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it."

Now notice, go back up to verse 139: "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten Thy words." The living lesson that is happening right today, isn’t it? Yes. So he says, "Your word is very pure, therefore Your servant loves it." And when it’s single "Your word," that means inclusive of all the words of God.

Now let’s come back to verse 9 for just a minute then we’ll see how these tie in together. Not only the words that Jesus has spoken, not only the forgiveness of sin because you repent, but notice then we also have to do something, verse 9: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word." Notice then how he applies it in verse 10: "With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (Psa. 119:140, 139, 9-11, KJV). So there we come full circle with the cleansing, with the healing, with the rebuilding, with having the Words of God in our mind and how we can live and have them living in us.

Now then let’s come to Proverbs 22:11, and this will tie in with the section that we’re covering right here: "He that loveth [is loving] pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend." Now I want you to circle "friend" because we’re going to come to that in just a minute. We will see (I’ll just project forward here at this time) Jesus calls us His friend, correct? Is not Jesus also the King? Yes. So if we have, as it says here, if we are loving pureness of heart, "for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend." Boy, I tell you what, when you really put the Scriptures together and see how that ties in with Christ, it gets thrilling. It gets exciting. I mean the Word of God has been inspired by the mind of God so there is really never any end to the newness of it, or there’s never any end to the joy of it or the excitement of it if we really get in and do it. And He will cleanse us. That’s a tremendous psalm.

Now then let’s go to I John 3:24 because Christ is to dwell in us. He said, "Dwell in Me and I in you." Then we can produce a lot of fruit. That’s what we’re trying to do here, brethren. We’re trying to help reestablish every one of us with Christ to be clean, to produce fruit, to let Christ live in us abundantly. And when that happens we have this. This is one of my favorite places in the Epistle of I John: "The one that is keeping His commandments is dwelling in Him [you’re dwelling in Christ], and He [Christ] is dwelling in the one who is keeping the commandments. And hereby we know…" And this is the whole thing that is so important that God wants us to understand, when you really know and grasp this to the very depths of your being. And it’s a growing process to do so. "And hereby we know that He is dwelling [abiding] in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us" (paraphrased). And that’s what we need to really know and understand. And it is something you will know; it is something you will feel; there are things of emotion about it and that emotion will manifest itself very greatly when you are praying because you are in direct communication with God the Father. And that’s an awesome thing to understand that we can come right before God the Father and we know that He’s hearing us. I mean, you think about that the next time you pray, and you thank God for that, and just ask Him to help you really grasp it to the very depth of your being. I tell you, your prayers will just increase manifold times over in the joy of prayer, and praying, and knowing that you will have answers to your prayers. They just will. And see, that’s the only way we can be cleansed from all of this nonsense that men have put upon us. And they put upon every church in the world, not just our experience. What about all those Catholics, are they not put-upon, and the Baptists, and the Lutherans, and the Methodists, and the churches of God. See, how about the Buddhists and those of Hindu and all of that? How about the mullahs in the Islamic religion? They put upon all the people, and they play their religion. Well God wants us to be cleansed from all of that to have this direct connection and know that Christ is dwelling in us, and we in Him. And it’s a living relationship, and it’s a dynamic relationship.

Let’s come back here to John 15. Let’s concentrate a little bit more about the vine here again. Verse 5 says: "I am the vine and you are the branches. The one dwelling in Me…" Now let’s look and see how we are to be bringing forth fruit.

Let’s go to Psalm 1, and I think it’s interesting that this starts out as the very first psalm because it sets the tone for the whole rest of the Book of Psalms. And let’s see how this fits in with what we’ve been studying in John 14 and 15 up to this point. Verse 1: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners…", walking in the way that sinners go. Jesus said what? "I am the way, the truth, and the life." You’re walking in the way of the Lord. "…Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD [and His words are purified seven times, as we saw]; and in His law doth he meditate day and night." What is the whole purpose of the New Covenant in relationship to God’s Word? To have those things written in our hearts and in our minds that the living Words of Christ in our living mind, with God’s living Spirit directing us. See, so you see the whole dynamics of this is so great. If we can just comprehend this.

Now notice what will happen if you do that: "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…" Now you think of this as a tree in the desert right along side the river. All the trees along the river are green. Going inland away from the river it all dries up. "…He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…" What is the Holy Spirit likened unto? Rivers of living water. "…That bringeth forth his fruit in his season…" That’s a very interesting one, isn’t it? Every person has a different season. Did you know that? Because every person is different. Not all can bring forth the same fruit at the same time. So we all bring forth our fruit in our season. "…His leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper [because God is with us in whatever trial or difficulty there may be]. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous." Is that happening today? Yes. "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish" (Psalm 1:1-6, KJV).

Now let’s go to Jeremiah 17 because here’s an interesting comparison. I know we like to go to Jeremiah 17 and many ministers have gone there many times and they quote the verse Jeremiah 17:9 about the deceitfulness of the human heart. And many times they miss the verses before it, which are very important and tell us a great message. Verse 5: "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man…" Do you see why God is doing what He’s doing? Yes, there it is, right in the Scriptures. "…And maketh flesh his arm…" What happens when you become carnal-minded or fleshly-minded and rely in that strength? "Makes flesh his arm" – that means using carnal methods and carnal power to do what he’s doing. He’s forgotten God. "…Whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited." Now verse 7, here’s the contrast again: "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." Now you can see we’re beginning to make a transition from faith and love to hope and love. And it will become a little clearer as we get down a few more verses here.

"For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit" (Jer. 17:5-8, KJV). That all ties in with bearing much fruit and living in Christ and having living waters flowing through you.

Now let’s continue on because there are many, many important things that we have here that we need to continue on with. Let’s come on to verse John 15:7 (paraphrased). Now notice "if." I suppose if we went back and circled…I didn’t do this. You might do that in your study, go back and circle all the "if’s" in John 14, 15, 16, and 17. It says in verse 6: "If anyone does not live in Me [then it gives a consequence]…" Verse 7: "If you are living in Me, and My words live in you, whatsoever you desire you shall ask and it shall come to pass for you." Now that’s a tremendous promise, brethren. Now I tell you what, if we are lacking in faith, who do we go to, to receive faith? God. If we read this and say, "God I know this is true, but help my unbelief so that it may be true," God will do it. But what is the greatest desire that we need to have? Not to have physical things to consume on our lusts, but our greatest desire should be to be in the Kingdom of God and fulfill the fruit that He’s called us to do. That’s what He wants us to do. And so God will answer those prayers, without a doubt.

Now what’s going to happen when that desire is fulfilled? Let’s go to Psalm 15:1. Here then becomes a fruition of this desire, and there are qualifications for it. "LORD, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle?" Live with God in new Jerusalem, that’s going to be a wonderful thing, right? "…Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." In other words someone who’s converted. "He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach [nor asks for a reward] against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned…" That is, you are not going along with their actions. In some cases you may need to take care of them. "…But he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury…" Now "usury" is a great amount of interest. Jesus said to the unprofitable servant, "Why didn’t you at least put it in the bank so that I could have interest when I returned?" So there’s a proper amount. "…Nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved" (Psa. 15:1-5, KJV).

Now let’s go to Psalm 23 for just a minute. Notice what happens when you follow Christ as the Shepherd. And you should all know this. I know as a kid growing up I never could figure out that first verse because I didn’t understand it. I don’t know if anyone had the same problem. Let me explain it to you. It says, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." And I never could figure out why you would say the Lord is your shepherd and you won’t want Him to be your shepherd. That’s the way I took it. And it really means, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything." That’s what it means. See, I was never good in English. I had to learn that as an adult.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters." Notice how that ties in with bringing forth fruit. "He restoreth my soul [let it be]: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…" Now when you have this kind of love for God you can have this kind of reaction here. And I know, many of us in our lives either spiritually or physically, have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and God has brought us through it.

"…I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies…" Think of that. That’s marvelous. They can’t figure you out. They don’t know what on earth is going on, and yet God is preparing a table for you, a spiritual table with spiritual food, with spiritual meat right in the presence of your enemies. "…Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Now notice the last verse. If you’re doing this and dwelling in Christ and He in you: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever" (Psa. 23:1-6, KJV). That’s what we’re to keep our minds on. That’s tremendous. I tell you, God’s Word is just really absolutely marvelous.

Now let’s look at just a couple of more things that come along with this so we can understand it. Let’s go to Revelation 3:8 for just a minute and then we will continue on in the section in John 15. He says to the church of Philadelphia: "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word…" Now the way you keep God’s Word is have it living in you. It is a living thing. It is a living word. It is a living understanding. "…And hast not denied My name." No, because you love Him. You would not deny Him. You are betrothed to Christ. "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan…" Now God has a special reward that He is going to do that love Him this way. "…I will make them of the synagogue of Satan [those who have ruled this world], which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." (Rev. 3:8-9, KJV). Now you pick any of the names of those who are in the conspiratorial thing of the synagogue of Satan, which includes: the Zionist Jews, the Roman Catholics, the Masons, the Knights of Columbus, and all of their various agencies and clubs wherever they are, and all of those who are the great leaders, God is going to make them come before us and bow down and worship us and acknowledge that while they were busy running the world, Christ loved us because we love Him. Now that’s something. …. Now this is not to exalt you, but this is to let you know that in the final analysis God is going to make it right, and He is going to make them come and bow down and worship those who love God this way. Now that’s something. That could only be God’s justice. You know, when you think about that, that does warm the heart very much, doesn’t it? Yes it does, it’s meant to. Now see, we’re edging up to hope, and hope warms the heart. In spite of all of the circumstances.

Now let’s continue on and finish this section here. John 15:8: "In this…" Now that is in the whole process of verses 1 to 7: "In this is My Father glorified that you should bear much fruit…" Not only personally, but how ever you affect other people around you. Now He’s talking to the apostles here in this case. It applies to us, but it’s directly to them. "…So shall you be My disciples." Now verse 9: "As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you…" Now notice: "…live in My love" (John 15:8-9, paraphrased). Right there. How? "As the Father has loved Me." And what did He say of Jesus? "This is My beloved Son in Whom [I am well pleased]."

Part 2

"…The Father is loving the Son." That’s how They were able to maintain that relationship and for Christ to not sin.

Let’s come over here to John 3:35: "The Father loveth [is loving] the Son…", an active, ongoing love, constantly. "…And hath given all things into His hand." So much so that in the Book of Hebrews it says of Christ that He upholds the universe by the Word of His power. Now you’ve got to have love, and you’ve got to have truth, and you have to have trust in order to uphold the universe by the word of your power. It says "all things." Now we know that Jimmy Jones can’t do that. Now if you’re a football fan and they have the ads, they have this thing with Dion Sanders and Jimmy Jones, right? And Jimmy Jones is sitting up in his office and Dion is out there doing all of his fantastic things. You see the little gods and the demi-gog who runs the little gods. And he sits back in his chair and he says, "Hot damn, if I had eleven men like that I could rule the world." It ain’t going to happen because it’s all put in Christ hands, you see. Everything’s delivered in His hands.

Let’s come to John 5 and notice what this love does, and this is why we are going to have things given to us, brethren, that we can understand. There are a lot things that we don’t understand today. I hope, if we have this attitude toward God He would be gracious to let us understand some of these things. It’s His prerogative and choice to do so. We cannot demand it. But let’s hope that He does. Verse 20: "For the Father loveth [is loving] the Son, and sheweth [I showing] Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." So there is that bonding love between the Father and the Son continually.

So let’s come back here to John 15:9. Notice the comparison: "As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you: live in My love." Now there’s one thing that is true. Have you ever had the desire to love someone but they push away your love? It may happen with your spouse, it may happen with your children. And your desire is to love them. And every time you want to express that love they push it away. That’s why some people have never experienced the love of God, because when Christ comes and says, "I want to love you," they say, "Not this time, Lord." And there are many people pushing away the love of God and they wonder why things aren’t right. That’s why.

Now how does Christ feel when they do that? Well, I don’t know but I know how I feel when that happens to me. You know how that feels when it happens to you. I don’t think that Christ would feel any less when it happens to Him. So that’s why He said: "As the Father has love Me, I have loved you: live in My love. Live in My love as a way of life."

Now verse 10: "If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love." Put in your margin right there, John 14:15. It ties right in with it. We covered it before earlier today. "If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and live in His love." Now to use another old saying, "It can’t get any better than that." Right? Yes, it can’t. It just cannot.

Now verse 11: "I have spoken these things to you in order that My joy may live in you, and your joy may be full." Now He’s beginning to transit from faith into hope. Now what is the first extension of love? Love, joy, peace – Galatians 5:22. He’s talked about love, now he’s talking about joy; he’s talked about peace, and we’re going to see that we are to have that joy may be full. "This is the commandment, namely Mine, that you love one another, as I have loved you. And no greater love has anyone than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends." Now this was just before going out to be betrayed and crucified, right?

Now let’s understand this: Christ is your friend, and it’s rare to have a true friend, isn’t it? Now I don’t know about you but I’ve experienced a betrayal by whom I thought was a true friend. Have you ever had that happen? That is the most gut-wrenching thing you can go through, isn’t it? And the first thing you will say is, "I trusted him," right? "How could he do this?" That’s why Jesus had to be betrayed by Judas. Christ is saying, "I’m going to lay My life down for you." How dare anyone say, "Well, Christ, I don’t need to obey You." That is betraying a friend.

"No one has greater love than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you practice whatsoever I command you", and that is in relationship to loving Him and each other, and loving the Father as well as the commandments – all of it combined.

Now we transist over into hope and love. So right here at verse 15 I have Hope / Love, as we put in there before as an outline when we began. Verse 15: "I am no longer calling you servants, because the servant does not understand what his master is doing…" Now isn’t that a wonderful thing that you understand the plan of God? I mean think on that, how many billions of people are there on the earth? How many billions have there been? They say there’s what: five and a half, five point seven billion people. Now you know why it’s by grace. Now you know why it’s by selection. That God would call us and open our minds to understand His Word with His plan? That’s something. I mean that just sends chills down my spine to understand that. That should not exalt us, brethren. That should humble us to the greatest depth of love and humility that God would do that.

"…Because I have made known to you all things which I heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and that you should bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…" Now what I want you to do is this: go through every verse and circle "fruit, bear fruit, produce fruit," all the way down, the emphasis on what it’s going to do in your life. God expects us to have an active Spirit filled dynamic production of fruit through Christ. Then go back and circle the words "live in Me, dwell in Me, I in you," all of that it all ties together real closely because that’s how this is going to be accomplished. And this is how it’s going to be done. That’s why every organization of man that sets it up to do the work of God and is not doing this here – it’s going to fail. And if we don’t learn that lesson today with it unfolding in front of our eyes in the greatest magnitude that has ever been witnessed in the church of God, we don’t understand anything.

"…He has chosen us and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain…" He wants it to remain unto eternal life. God wants that what we are doing is going to have an eternal effect. That’s something, isn’t it?

Now when I was with Bob and Elaine Hunnicutt, Bob and I were talking and he does construction work, and we were talking about some of the spiritual parallels in building and construction and I told him what I did to build our home and everything, and so forth. And he said, "You know, remodeling is the hardest job." Now think of this spiritual parallel: a physical building you go into remodel you don’t know what’s underneath. You don’t know what the foundation is like, you don’t know what the joists are like, you don’t know what the studs in the walls are like, you don’t know what the electricity is like, you don’t know how the window sills are or the panes are, or any of this, you’ve got to examine that. And then lo and behold I guarantee you, every time you do a repair job something is going to happen to consume your time and take more money. And I’ve done it – I know. Now he’s a little different thing because he’s a contractor so he has to make allowance for it.

Now then, think on this: isn’t it more work to take those who are Christians, who’ve been battered and bruised and need to be healed and remodeled after the image of Christ? Yes, because you have to unlearn so many things and it’s like tearing out the wallboard, and it’s like replacing the wiring. They’ve been running on fourteen gauge wire and you really need twelve to carry the 220, right? So Christ has to rewire us. He has to rebuild us. Now sometimes to get out these lumps and clumps it’s difficult. But He wants it so what we’re building and the fruit is going to remain the same.

Now then in connection with this work of bearing fruit you’re going to do, He says: "…whatsoever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you." Now we’ll review tomorrow all those places in the promises that God is going to answer our prayers. Just right here in these four chapters and it is amazing what He says He’s going to do.

Verse 17: "These things I command you, that ye love one another." Now what is the greatest hope that you can have when you’re dealing with brethren? That you know that they love you. And I tell you, after all the cynicism we’ve gone through it is a difficult thing to repair and remold and to get true deep grounded love for God and each other working fully functioning without any impediments, without any suspicions, without wondering, "I wonder what he has in the back of his mind," because you’ve been tripped up how many times? Some of them we’re going to get now are going to be two three four and five times by the time it’s over with. So it’s wonderful to know that someone loves you. Now he says that just before verse 18 to give us some hope.

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you." [It’s] the way of telling you don’t worry about the hatred. It’s going to come, but if you love God don’t worry about it. And you go back and you think about how many times Christ had to run and hide, how many times they were after Him, how many counsels were held to get Him, how many schemes were plotted and planned to arrest Him, and yet it didn’t happen until the time that God said, "Now."

Now verse 19, a key verse: "If ye were of the world, the world would love it’s own…" And oh my, what a great verse to never go back into the world. We have a living witness and testimony of what happens when a church of God goes back into the world. "…However because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, this is the reason that the world hates you" (John 15:9-19, paraphrased).

Now let’s go to I John 4 for just a minute, because when you go to the world… Let’s look at it this way: when you are having a difficult time spiritually, either individually as a person or collectively as a group or a church, and the world comes to you and says, "We hate you because you are a cult." Now maybe some of those things we deserve because we didn’t teach the love of God. And so those people then run off to the world and say, "Oh, we’re disappointed, you hate us. What can we do to make you love us?" "We’ll tell you what to do. You become like us and we will love you." Right? Yes.

Now notice I John 4 makes a comparison between false prophets and the true children of God. Verse 5: "They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them." Yes. You want a worldly Christianity? My there are a lot of people very willing to help you. And they will be friendly and nice and lovely and kind because Satan can make it that way to pull you away from Christ.

Now notice: "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error [or, deception]" (I John 4:5-6, KJV). Again we come right back to the Spirit of truth that we’ve studied in this section, right. The Spirit of the truth, which comes from God. We are to know it. We are to know their schemes. You see, we’re living in a time when God wants us to understand those things because maybe we’re going to be in the forefront of stopping those things. Think of that.

Now let’s come back here to John 15:19: "If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: however because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, this is the reason that the world hates you. Now remember the word that I spoke to you, The servant is not greater than his master." And that’s the whole predication of foot-washing, correct? Yes. "If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also." I remember one time when I first said this (and Betty Leonard will remember this too), people wonder why we don’t have great numbers. Well remember this, Belinda Davis reminded me of it some time ago. She said, "Fred, it’s not wrong to be small." And I remember I made a comment, I think it was our first trip down to Cantonment and I mentioned in the Bible Study that we want the ones that God sends to us. And Betty thought that was kind of a selfish statement. And I didn’t mean it to be selfish. I meant it this way: there are so many people that have so much of the world in them and have so much hang-ups that we want those that really want to be repaired and we can help them so they can listen to us. We don’t want someone who’s just of the world and they won’t hear us. No, we handle those in a different way.

So: "…if they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things on account of My name because they did not know Him Who sent Me." Notice again, everything goes right back to God the Father. Here’s a profound statement, verse 22: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they would not have had sin…" Now I think in this case He’s talking about sin unto death. "…But now they have no valid excuse for their sin." Now we know two things concerning sin, don’t we? Where there is no law there is no sin; and by the law is the knowledge of sin. Now then, Christ is also saying, to reject Him and not believe in Him is sin. And we covered places where it said all the miracles He did and everything.

Now notice it goes right back to the Father again, verse 23: "The one who is hating Me is also hating My Father." And you see, this gives us hope that if the Father has called us, which He has; and if Christ is in us, which He is; and we are living in Him and He is living in us and the Father is living in us then it doesn’t matter if the world hates us, it doesn’t matter what happens to us. It just doesn’t.

Verse 24: "If I had not done the works among them which no other man had done, then they would not have had sin: but now they have both seen and both hated Me and My Father. And this has happened so that the saying might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ " Their own bigoted prejudice. That’s Psalm 35:19. You can put it in your notes.

"But when the Helper is come, which I will send…" Notice "which" and if you look at your King James it does say "which" too. The New King James says "whom" because they’re pushing the Trinity. "…Which I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of the truth, which proceeds from the Father, that one will bear witness concerning Me: and you also are bearing witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning" (John 15:19-27, paraphrased).

Now we’ll just take three verses from Chapter 16. Verse 1: "I have spoken these words to you so that you may not be offended." Because what happens when there is offense? You can get angry. When you get angry you begin to doubt. When you begin to doubt you begin not to trust God. When you begin not to trust God then you can slip over and begin accusing God. And many people have said, "Well God, that is not fair." Well you see, it’s not our judgment to go to God to determine what is fairness or not. He’ll be fair. He’ll do it. But you don’t be offended.

Verse 2: "They will cast you out of the synagogues…" Now for the Jew that is profound. They made it the same way in the churches we are in, right? "If you leave this church you have left God and left salvation." And everyone sits there in church, "Ooooh, I better not go." See, they didn’t read this enough, did they? "…Furthermore, the time is coming that everyone who kills you would think that he is rendering service to God" (John 16:1-3, paraphrased). It hasn’t happened to us yet, but you know I can see that time coming.

Let me just give you a "what-if." I need to see if I can send this letter in one of my next mailings, which was written by Joseph Tkatch Jr., where a man wrote and was protesting his saying that Christians do not have to keep the commandments of God under the New Covenant. He was saying, no they do. And he [Tkatch] warned him with a very severe warning for challenging their doctrine that you don’t have to keep the commandments by saying, "If you insist on keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days remember Weaver and Ruby Ridge; remember Waco, and remember that someone can come knocking on your door at anytime to get you." Now, when I read that wooo, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I said, "What kind of tiger do we have?" Who would be the most implacable enemy against those who love God, but those who denied God and betrayed Him, just like Judas?

Now I want you to read Matthew 24, and I’ve been thinking on this, and I’ve often wondered how this is going to happen. Now while we’re turning to Matthew 24 let me mention that I think it is either this week or it happened last week, but sometime, those of you from Atlanta may know they had a ministerial conference up here in Atlanta. And all the ministers who were still in the Worldwide Church of God and who had not left were down there for a seminar. This seminar was to be done to help convince them of the new truth and to deprogram them with cult deprogrammers. [audience comments] Alright, it’s confirmed, [it was] last week. Now then, do they know us? Wouldn’t they make the worst enemies that could ever be? Look, they can find you anywhere if your name has ever been on any church list. They could just run a computer and go [snaps fingers] and know where you are. And if you have moved and turned in a change of address, all they need to do if they can’t find you instantly is call up a credit report. They don’t even need your social security number – just your name and bam up comes your name on a computer just like that.

Now think of this, verse 8: "All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted…" It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a promise it’s going to. It happened to them back then, didn’t it? It’s happened to others down through the ages, hasn’t it? Yes. "…And shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake." Now do you know what this tells me? This tells me that as we go closer to the end-time God is going to open the door so we are going to make a big spiritual stink in the world. But we’re not going to be able to do that until God heals us and gives us His Spirit and power and love to do so. "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another" (Matt. 24:8-10, KJV). Yes.

Now let’s go to Matthew 10 for just a minute. Let’s apply Matthew 10 just a little bit differently than we have in the past. Let’s go to verse 32 because it all flows along. We’re dealing with the same thing, because denying Christ will turn into betrayal of the brethren. "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Now apply that to the church. Is the sword going through the church today to separate and divide spiritually? Yes. "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10:32-36, KJV). Let’s apply that to the household of the church. That’s something. When I read that letter and I heard those threats I said, "He knows something we don’t know."

Now let’s finish by going to Romans 8. So when trouble comes do you think… Let me just ask you a question here: Do you think with your former affiliation that you would have had strength to resist this kind of onslaught? No, the only way you can is if you really love God. Now then, verse 28: "And we know that for those who are loving God, all things are working together for good…", even if they do these things to you that Jesus Christ prophesied that they would. And I pray and ask God to spare all the senior citizens. And may those of us who are left be strong enough to resist and be faithful to God. "…All work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose." And God has called us to that purpose. "Because those whom He did foreknow, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son, for Him to be the firstborn among many brethren." And when we’re on the sea of glass there with Christ, Christ is going to say to the Father, "Behold the brothers and sisters that You have given Me." Therefore He’s not ashamed to call them brethren. "For whom He did predestinate, those He also called, and whom He called those He also justified, and those He has justified He is glorifying." And if you have the love of God and the Spirit of God and Christ dwelling in you and the Father dwelling in you, you are glorified as much as you can be in the flesh and will be glorified at the resurrection with a full spirit body.

"What shall we say to these things? If God is for us who can be against us?" Nothing. "Who indeed did not even spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not grant us all things altogether with Him? Who shall bring an accusation against the elect of God? God is the one Who is justifying. Who is the one who is condemning? Christ is the one Who died, but rather He is the one Who is raised up again [because His resurrection is back to eternal life], Who also sits at the right hand of God Who is making intercession for us." Now that’s wonderful to know, brethren, He’s making that intercession.

Verse 35: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? According as it has been written, ‘We are killed all the day long, and we are reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.’ Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us." That’s how much Christ loved us. Think what He did for us. "For I am persuaded…" And this is what we need to be persuaded of, brethren, just like Abraham was persuaded: "…that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, not height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:28-39, paraphrased).

That’s why Jesus went through and gave this covenant of love for us – to give us the strength, to give us the power, to give us of His Spirit so that when we take the Passover this year… And brethren it is always my prayer, and will be every year that "Lord, please let this Passover be the most meaningful that I have ever experienced in my whole life." And I think if we understand the love of God, and the words of the covenant, and the love story – the love letter from Christ to us, we will have a profound Passover.

Love of God # 14

Scriptural References

  1. John 15:1-3 21) John 15:9-19
  2. John 13:13-16 22) I John 4:5-6
  3. I John 3:1-3 23) John 15:19-27
  4. Matthew 8:2 24) Psalm 35:19
  5. John 15:4-7 25) John 16:1-2
  6. Psalm 12:6 26) Matthew 24:8-10
  7. Psalm 19:11-14 27) Matthew 10:32-36
  8. Psalm 119:140, 139, 9-11 28) Romans 8:28-39
  9. Proverbs 22:11
  10. I John 3:24
  11. John 15:5
  12. Psalm 1:1-6
  13. Jeremiah 17:5-8
  14. John 15:7
  15. Psalm 15:1-5
  16. Psalm 23:1-6
  17. Revelation 3:8-9
  18. John 15:8-9
  19. John 3:35
  20. John 5:20

 

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