Fred Coulter – January 1, 2005

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Reporters are on the ground whenever disasters strike, so we get the news fed right into our living room. In this case it was a great earthquake under the sea and lifted the fault line a hundred feet for 600 miles. It was the largest earthquake recorded since the one in 1964 in Alaska, which was 9.0.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami had tremendous waves that killed and destroyed hundreds of thousands of people and we're looking a situation where, because of the tropical climate and dead bodies everywhere, the disease could break out and really be rampant. They already have an outbreak of measles among children. There could be cholera and dysentery. Cholera can kill within two hours. They were really stymied on how to handle it, being overwhelmed in trying to bury the bodies and so forth.

But the question comes up: If God is love, why did He not prevent this? Good question, especially when you consider that the final count from the earthquake and everything was 250,000 people! And especially when you consider all the children who died.

  • Why did God do this?
  • Why didn't He prevent it?
  • Doesn't He want everyone to live?

These are hard and perplexing questions!

Before we get into understanding what the Bible says about it, let's understand that 'time and chance happens to all' (book of Ecclesiastes):

  • there's a time to be born
  • there's a time to die
  • there's a time for war
  • etc., etc.

Jesus also touched this subject. Every time something like this happens someone is surely going to say 'they deserve it; that's God's judgment.' Who knows whether they deserve it or not? Only God knows whether it's His judgment or not! If it is His judgment, then we better all hear, fear and learn. But let's not standing up so quick and point an evil finger toward those who suffered from the tsunami disaster.

Jesus wanted people to understand that these things are going to happen and you cannot say that those people over there deserved it because they were greater sinners than anybody else.

Luke 13:1: "Now, at the same time, there were present some who were telling Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices."

What Pilate did is take them and kill them, and poured their blood on their sacrifices and forced them to be burned on the altar.

Verse 2: "And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all Galileans, because they suffered such things? No, I tell you; but if you do not repent, you shall all likewise perish'" (vs 2-3).

So, when these things happen there is a lesson for us to learn. For those who do not suffer the disasters, we need to understand that we need to repent and turn to God.

Verse 4: "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you suppose that these were debtors above all men who dwelt in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but if you do not repent, you shall all likewise perish" (vs 4-5).

God is in charge of everything. He did not prevent it, and He knew that it was going to happen. We need to understand that all those who died—including all the little children—God will not forget and will resurrect them to have an opportunity for salvation. Now is not the day of universal salvation!

Why did God cause it? He made the earth so that it would do that! First of all, we need to understand that sin affects the earth, the environment. God will judge for that sin.

Let's see why we are where we are today, and that God has given man choices—all mankind, all human beings—and remember that the children born into the world are taught by their parents, so parents are responsible to teach the children the right way.

Let's see what God sets before every human being, before every nations, before every group of individuals, and He will judge them thus:

Deuteronomy 30:15: Behold, I have set before you this day life and good…" That's what everyone wants. Everyone wants life and good!

But God says, "…and death and evil" (v 15). No one wants death and evil. However, in asking the question: Why does God allow this?

  • Why did God not stop it?
  • Do you think that God is going to come and help you when you reject Him?
    • out of our lives?
    • out of our schools?
    • out of our government?
    • out of our churches?
  • Do you think that God is going to give His blessings to those who worship idols?
    • demon spirits?
    • have mean and hateful religions?

NO! God "…set before you this day life and good, and death and evil." That's the way the whole world works. Now God gives a command.

  • How many people are doing this?
  • How many people are seeking to do this?

Verse 16: "In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God…"

  • How many people truly love God?
  • Love God with all their heart, mind, soul and being?

In many of the areas of the world today there is war, hatred, violence, killing, plagues, diseases, and we'll see why those come.

"…to walk in His ways…" (v 16).

  • How many are walking in the ways of God?
  • How many are taking the Bible and living by every word of God, as Jesus said?

"…and to keep His commandments… [How may are keeping His commandments?] …and His statutes and His judgments…." (v 16).

Just the opposite of what atheists and the agnostic elite think. If anyone thinks that we are the product of evolution, God says that you are a fool.

Go look in the mirror and look at yourself and say, 'I descended from apes.' You are an absolute fool! That's what the Bible says; He who says there is no God is a fool!

God wants you to live! "…so that you may live and multiply…" (v 16); have children, take care of your children, watch over your children.

"…And the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it" (v 16). Everyone wants the blessings, but no one wants to do the things to receive the blessings.

Everyone wants peace, help, kindness and goodness from God, but they won't love God, they won't keep His commandments. Yes, a lot of people flatter God, profess Him with their mouth, but their hearts are far from Him.

Verse 17: "But if your heart turn away so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I denounce to you this day that you shall surely perish… [death] …you shall not prolong your days on the land where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it" (vs 17-18). They were going into the 'promised land.'

How sure is this that God is saying? All you have to do is go outside and look up at the heavens and the earth, because God says:

Verse 19: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you…" Remember this whenever you go out and enjoy the outdoors or whether you're sitting in your home—regardless of what you are doing—there is a witness against you and every human being on earth!

 "…that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life…" (v 19). That's what God wants.

  • God is Lifegiver
  • God is Lawgiver
  • God is Sustainer

God made us so that we will be blessed if we live by His laws, commandments and love Him!

"…Therefore, choose life so that both you and your seed may live… [a profound statement] …that you may love the LORD your God, and may obey His voice, and may cleave to Him; for He is your life and the length of your days, so that you may dwell in the land, which the LORD swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give it to them" (vs 19-20).

That's a choice! We will see that this is an operation from the very beginning. Let's see that sin, which is the transgression of:

  • the Laws of God
  • the commandments of God
  • the statutes of God
  • the testimonies of God
  • the precepts of God

The transgression of them is all sin!

So, when God first made Adam and Eve, He made them after His image and after His likeness. He gave them intelligence and language, and He gave them perfect human bodies. He told them to multiply and replenish the earth.

Since He is the Creator and Lawgiver, He gave them some laws and commandments to do. Let's see the first one that He gave them.

Genesis 2:9: "And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The Tree of Life also was in the middle of the garden, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil."

These are the choices. The way that leads to life, to the way that leads to death. The experience of Adam and Eve was most profound for the whole human race.

Verse 15: "And the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it."

  • He expects us to have responsibility
  • He expects us to work
  • He expects us to take care of the creation that He has given

As a matter of fact, He gave the whole earth to mankind.

  • it is their responsibility to take care of it
  • it is their responsibility to dress it and keep it

Verse 16: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'You may freely eat of every tree in the garden, but…'" (vs 16-17).

Here is what people don't like, and Adam and Eve were no different, but their sin was special because they knew better, and they were taught directly by God their Creator! Whereas, all human beings after that were taught by their mothers and fathers and whatever school system they had.

Verse 17: "But you shall not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…" This is profoundly important for you to understand.

{note sermon series: Good Works/Evil Works #s 1-3 (transcription only)}

Please understand this: Not all that appears good comes from God, and not all that is deemed good by human perception is necessarily good. It could be evil because there is 'pleasure in sin for a season,' and there is a benefit to sin temporarily before the curse comes.

Verse 17: "But you shall not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die'" (vs 15-17). The Hebrew there means in dying you shall die. It didn't mean that they would instantly die that day, because then there would be no human race to follow.

Then God created Eve out of one of Adam's bones, and you know the rest of the story; the encounter by Satan the devil, with Eve and Adam.

What happened with the eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God said do not do, they transgressed the commandment of God. They made the wrong choice! There's a penalty, which is sin; 'the wages of sin is death.' Transgression of the Law is sin.

That's exactly what we see here, but their sin was especially heinous because they believed the liar, the adversary Satan the devil, who said, "If you eat of this you will become as gods.' That means that you will become as god's now.

God's plan in the long run is that we be changed at the resurrection and become His sons and daughters and be like Him, His way! This way that Adam and Eve chose was Satan's way, and their way. There seemed to be an apparent benefit right away, because it looked good, I don't know how it smelled, but it tasted good, and it did open their eyes to see and understand evil. What it did was this: their choice in doing so means that they took to themselves the prerogative—which is only God's—to decide for themselves:

  • what is good
  • what is evil
  • what is right
  • what is wrong
  • what is sin
  • what is not sin

That alone is God's prerogative! That's why He's God.

Then they were ashamed, they covered their nakedness, and then they had an encounter with God.

Let's see what God says in His judgment and His curse. Since God is righteous, Holy and true, He must also judge sin, and He did here. We find that instead of the beautiful Garden of Eden, and after God had made everything and said, 'Behold, everything is good,' now it was going to begin to change because of the sin of Adam and Eve.

Then this passed on to all their progeny. Their sin, being the original sin of mankind, caused mankind to be removed from God! They accepted Satan the devil as their god. They gave up serving the true God to serve Satan the devil, and we will see what happened as a result of that.

Of course, just like human nature the man blamed the woman, the woman blamed the serpent, and God gave judgment against all of them.

Genesis 3:15: "'And I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your seed [Satan] and her Seed… [the offspring of Adam and Eve, and also a prophecy of Christ] …He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.' To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception—in sorrow shall you bring forth children…" (vs 15-16).

This goes beyond just the pain of childbirth. This goes on into the rearing of children, whether they do good or whether do evil, and all of the emotions and everything that mothers have concerning their children.

"'…Your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.' And to Adam He said, 'Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife… [instead of the voice of God] …and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat of it!"—the ground…'" (vs 16-17). Sin affects the earth! We're going to see that and how magnified that it is.

"'…is cursed for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and thus you shall eat the herbs of the field; in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return'" (vs 17-19).

Man was put out of the Garden of Eden. God put cherubims to guard the entrance of it. God also made clothes from them. Now they were removed from God, exiled from the Garden of Eden.

Then we have the story of Cain and Abel. Abel did that which was right in the sight of God. Josephus records that they were about 130 years old when this took place. Here's another lesson concerning Cain and the way of Cain: God expects people to come to Him as He has commanded!

You don't come to God your way because you think you have a way to God. That's what Cain's way was. He didn't do what God said; he brought that which was a sinful offering, something that God did not command. He got mad and killed his brother out of jealousy. So, we have here within the first four chapters of Genesis just about every sin committed:

  • rejection of God
  • breaking His commandments
  • Adam listening to the voice of his wife instead of God
  • Cain killing Abel

Then this just multiplies all the way through!

So. Cain and his descendents went their way, and God provided another son—Seth—to take the place of Abel. There were very few righteous men, because the offspring went their own way. They went the way that Adam and Eve had established by accepting Satan the devil as their god.

What happens to the world? There are other things that we could cover but what I want to show is that the collective sin of mankind affects the creation of God, the earth. That's why these things take place. There are other things also that take place which we will cover here in just a little bit.

Genesis 6:5: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." This is what the Bible calls a carnal mind, a mind of flesh, which is a mind of sin.

But notice what they did: they trained themselves so that "…every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

We need to understand that's exactly what we are doing in this whole world society today. They don't want God, but:

  • Why is there murder?
  • Why is there adultery?
  • Why do we have these disasters?
  • Why are there diseases?
  • Why are there plagues?
  • Why do they go on their merry way to do what they do?
  • Why is there war?

I mean, right now today, just today (2005), not counting the tsunami that took place: look at what's happening in Sudan—war and hatred—Rwanda, the Congo, the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Iraq. Look what's happening: terrible, wretched, evil, war, sin, death and disease! All the result of man's way! God uses these things to punish man, hopefully that some will repent of their evil. That's what He did here.

I want you to understand how this evil before the Flood affected the whole creation and it affected God.

Verse 6: "And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the crawling thing, and the fowl of the air; for I repent that I have made them'" (vs 6-7).

That's quite a state to be! We also know that Jesus said that 'as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.' We are going to see the same thing happen. Today they are training children in evil from almost the first consciousness that the child has.

Verse 8: "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." Does God respect those who love Him and keep His commandments on an individual basis? Yes! So, here's Noah!

Verse 9: "These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his generations, for Noah walked with God." That means he walked in:

  • God's ways
  • after God's commandments
  • after God's statutes
  • after God's Law
  • he obeyed the voice of God

Because of that, he found grace. You're not going to find grace if you're living an evil life. You're going to find cursing and death.

Verse 11: "Now the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt—for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. And, behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (vs 11-13).

Then God told Noah to make an ark, and he did. God caused all the animals that He wanted to save to come to the ark; it took 120 years to build the ark, a great huge mammoth ship; the biggest ship that has ever been made in the history of the world until some of our modern aircraft carriers today.

God caused it to rain; Genesis 7:11: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up…" What is that?

Let's look at an earthquake that happened under the Indian Ocean in 2004. That was a very small quake compared to this in Noah's day; all the fountains of the deep broke up all over the earth at the same time! There were

  • violent tsunamis
  • rushes of water
  • the rain started coming down in torrents

Here in California in 2004 we had received a lot of rain. We have some floods. But if you stop and think of all that has happened just in America, which if we be the remnant of the ten tribes of Israel:

  • Has God been correcting us through the weather?
  • How many hurricanes hit Florida?
  • How many disasters?
  • How many tornadoes?
  • How many wrecks?
  • How many whatever that kill people?
  • How many murders and rapes and all of the things against God's Law?

God is going to judge! At the end His judgment is going to again be upon the whole world as it was before the Flood. This is no small matter. The sin was so great that God destroyed the earth with the Flood, and that was in proportion to their sin.

So, we need to understand what is going to be in proportion to the sin of today. We are told by the Apostle Paul that all these things in the Old Testament happened as examples so that we would not do the same things.

What happened here when the fountains of the deep broke up? Of course, they were probably laughing at Noah: 'What are you building this big boat for? It's never rained like you said it's going to rain. How is God going to flood the whole earth?'

Well you know, even today you look at the earth, three-quarters of it is water. You sink the land, and you break up the fountains of the deep, and you bring the water from the heavens, and it flooded the whole earth and covered the tops of the mountains! And you can go, like in Wyoming, to the top of the Continental Divide (about 10,000 feet) and you can walk up the mountains and you can find trilobites, signs of marine life that are evidence of the Flood. Yet, some geologists go out there and say that there was never a Flood. Some people will never learn.

Verse 17: "And the Flood was upon the earth forty days, and the waters increased and bore up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. And the waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high hills that were under the heavens were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered" (vs 17-20)—every mountain!

That means the tallest mountains in the Himalayas were covered by 15 cubits of water above it. There are some people who say that God couldn't do that; that this was a natural disaster and it just happened in the area around Babylon. Fool! Dream on! It happened in the whole world.

Now they also know two things concerning geology that I want to mention here: They know because of the first explosion of Mt. St. Helens that strata is laid down quickly, not slowly; one on top of the other. Those trees—which were destroyed, uprooted and broken because of the volcano—became waterlogged and stood straight up. The strata covered them, so the log went through many layers of strata and this was all laid down in one day. There's no such thing as the old geological thing that took millions and billions of years to occur.

I want to mention about global warming. 'Oh there's global warming, and everything is going to heat up and the ocean is going to rise.' Well, you know that in the latter part of 2004 it snowed in Qatar and the Arab Emirates. That's because it was 'warm'! Man is foolish in his judgment.

Nearly all of the ice at the North Pole and the South Pole are from existing water supplies. Do this, which will prove that if all the ice melted there would not be hardly a rise in the ocean level: take a glass, you fill it up with ice then fill it up with water. You take another glass and fill it up with water with no ice. Put them side-by-side. Let the glass with the ice in it melt and you will see it did not overflow. It is the same. That is a lie for political control over people!

I got off on the subject here, but since we're talking about the earth and disaster and things I just want to let you know that those things are lies for political control, political ends, political means.

The Flood is a good lesson for all men who are arrogant and smug, and think that they are so smart that they can tell God what to do, that they can do better than God, so God is going to take the earth and destroy them with it.

When Christ returns, God is going to take all the arrogance of men and He is going to make this earth so absolutely like just a little rubber ball that is tossed to and fro, that it's going to absolutely scare the liver out of them.

Sorry for the diversion. But I'll tell you what, when we see things like that happening, when we see war and famine and pestilence and plague:

  • know that God is angry
  • know that is God's correction
  • know that God demands that there be repentance

That's what it's all about! There was no repentance before the Flood, so it came!

Verse 21: "And all flesh that moved upon the face of the earth died—of birds, of livestock, of animals, and of every crawling thing that crawls upon the earth, and every man—and all who breathed the breath of life, of all that was upon the dry land—died. And every living thing which was upon the face of the earth was destroyed, from man to livestock, and to the crawling things, and the fowls of the heavens. And they were destroyed from the earth… [that's God's judgment] …and only Noah remained alive, and those… [his wife and sons] …that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days" (verses 21-24)—so that you would know without a doubt that everything died.

After the Flood God again said 'to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.' He made a special covenant with the sons of Noah, that He would never flood the earth again, in spite of the fact that man was inherently evil.

Noah gave an offering of clean beasts. Some people say, 'Today we don't have to abide by the law of clean and unclean animals because we have refrigerators and we cook it well.' Dream on! God says you shall not eat it! Very simple! That's why it was an offering of clean beasts and clean fowl.

Genesis 8:21: "And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in His heart, 'I will not again curse the ground for man's sake …"—as He did with the Flood and before the Flood.

We're going to see why it was cursed: "…although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will not again smite every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (vs 21-22).

Doesn't this tell you what a wretched condition and cursing that there was before the Flood? That the seasons were changed and all upside down? Yes, indeed!

God is not going to curse the earth that way that He did here, but we are going to see that sin brings curses to the earth automatically. All the laws and commandments of God are always in force all the time upon every human being everywhere in the world whether they know the Laws and commandments of God or not!

  • if they commit murder they suffer the penalty of it
  • if they commit adultery they ruin and destroy their lives and the lives of others
  • if they steal…
  • if they do all of these things they are sinning against God

That's why God gave the 'administration of death.'
{note sermon: The Administration of Death—beginning with Noah this side of the Flood, so there would be some semblance of law and order}

But nevertheless, God still judges because of sin. So then, after God gave the covenant then again there was sin concerning Canaan the grandson of Ham. Right away perversion started all over. Then there were curses against the Canaanites, which exist down to this very day. Some people don't like that but that's just the way it is.

Gen. 11—man still didn't learn—did he? They wanted to resurrect the way of Cain again, so they started to build a tower—the Tower of Babel—and the whole earth was of one language. They wanted it to reach to heaven to make a name for themselves, because as we find in the book of Josephus that God had told them that He was going to disperse them to their inheritance and different places of the earth.

You can rest assured of this: The inheritance of blessings went to Shem and partly to Japheth and a little bit to Ham and virtually none of it to Canaan. That's the way God has determined it! Some people don't like that, because they think all people are good, and if we just give them enough money and just give them enough good things, they will become civilized wonderful human beings.

What did God have to do. Instead of causing a flood, because He said He wouldn't do it again, He changed their language and scattered them abroad across the face of the earth. Then we come to Gen. 12.

Here's another factor to put in the overall picture that we need to understand when there are wars, pestilence, violence, earthquakes and things like this, and it has to do with all the seed of Abraham.

Genesis 12:1: "Now the LORD had said unto Abram… [whose name was changed to Abraham] …'Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house into a land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed'" (vs 1-3).

Today that is manifest through the United States of America and Britain. We have been a blessing to this world. If you go back and you count all the foreign aid, which I had Ron Cary go back and look up the report of it; it's a rather detailed report. Just like many people in America were incensed when the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations said America was penurious in their aid.

The United States has given out over two-trillion dollars in aid, just America. That's not counting churches or other organizations. and because Americans are—as a result of the blessing of Abraham and the blessings that God has given—the most generous and kind people in the world. If you take away the United States and Britain from the earth and these people, you have nothing but savages and cruelty and hatred reigning over the whole earth. That's just a fact!

Whether you people like it or not, like what I say or not, that's too bad. That's what the Bible says. Don't look at me and get mad at me. You go shake your fist at God and see if you can get away with it. But Jesus says to repent. That's another factor.

  • Who, in this disaster that happened, was the first one there with planes and food and water and relief and medicine? The United States and Britain!
  • Where's the money from Russia?
  • Where's the money from China?

Yet, they hate us and curse us! We do more good as a nation to help people in the world, and, of course, when disasters come like this we should all help; we should all give something. They need the help.

The Bible says even if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he's thirsty, give him something to drink. We'll learn some other things as we go along, but I think that needed to be said in the overall situation here.

But when these disasters happen we need to understand that God is speaking to all of those involved. He's showing how fragile human life is. He's showing that without His sustaining power of giving food, air, water, and the means to use these things there would be no life! We are going to approach a time that is going to be so bad that unless God had not limited the time, and unless God does not intervene to stop it, all human flesh would be destroyed! So, we're talking about some pretty powerful things here.

Let's understand that down through history that God has always judged. We'll bypass Sodom and Gomorrah but that was a lesson for all human beings from that time forward not to live in that kind of lifestyle and evil and sin. It doesn't matter how much you dress it up, how much you try and make it right, how much you try to make that behavior acceptable, God says it is an abomination!

God is always judging everyone everywhere all the time because He is God. He doesn't have to be there to personally do it, though He can be. He knows every hair on your head. He knows even when a sparrow falls. But God has His laws that when transgressed the penalty automatically comes. That's God's judgment.

Psalm 96:12: "Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD; for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with His Truth" (vs 12-13). That's Gods standard!

What are the instrumentalities of judgment that God uses? Let's see this. We all know that we'll come before the judgment seat of God. Why don't you do this for a Bible study. First of all I'm going to read them off and then you will see what God uses. Here's what God uses to judge and test people:

  • false prophets

Look what happened when Satan came to Adam and Eve; was not Satan a false prophet? Yes, indeed!

  • war

What was the first war? Killing of Abel by Cain!

  • disasters

They had a lot of those before the Flood and the Flood was the ultimate disaster.

  • famine
  • disease and death

These are the things that God uses to execute His judgment. We find it not peculiar at all here in Mark 13 to see that these things are what Jesus spoke of.

Mark 13:3: "And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew came privately and asked Him, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?' And Jesus in answering them began to say, 'Be on guard lest anyone deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ"; and they shall deceive many'" (Mark vs 3-6).

I just finished reading a book called The Da Vinci Deception by Erwin W. Lutzer. Quite a good book; it's a good read.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and movie Passion of the Christ are leading to the acceptance of the antichrist because The Da Vinci Code is a lie, and people believe lies because they don't have a love for the Truth! Lutzer does a very good job on it

But there are false prophets everywhere. That's why God has given His Word. You check it by the Word of God whether those things be so, and you make sure that you have a Bible that is a good Bible based upon the right Greek and Hebrew texts; not all of these modern combined ecumenical New Age Bibles.

Now let's look and see how this follows what we find the pattern in the Old Testament. Deut. 12—after God gave them the laws and the commandments, and He told them that these are His. Let's see the instruction that He gave; this applies today because people are trying to amalgamate all religions with the Bible and come out with some sort of ecumenical conglomerate.

from the Jesus Seminar: Paul Alan Laughlin, author of Remedial Christianity, and Getting Oriented, and professor and former chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio will make the case for the promise of the mystical strains of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, in producing a new enlightened version of the Christian faith."

We will see what we're reading here is as modern as I just read you this which was printed on Dec. 7.

Deuteronomy 12:28: "Be careful to observe and obey all these words, which I command you, so that it may go well with you…" How are you going to have things go well with you? By giving heed to God's Word!

"…and with your children after you…" We're going to see the children also have a responsibility. If you teach them the right way and after they grow up and leave home and they go another way, they stand before God and are held accountable for it.

"…forever when you do that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God. When the LORD your God shall cut off the nations before you…" (vs 28-29). That's God's judgment against all of their sin, if you go back and read the whole account.

"…where you go to possess them, and you take their place and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you do not become ensnared by following them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not ask about their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods that I may also do likewise?' You shall not do so to the LORD your God, for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, they have done to their gods; even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods. Whatsoever thing that I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it" (vs 29-32).

Let me just state here: any adding to" or diminishing from is the prerogative only of God. Christ is the only One Who did that!

Note: Appendix H: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version or in A Harmony of the Gospels).

The first test of whether you're going to keep the Laws and commandments of God or not comes along, which is false prophets.

Deuteronomy 13:1: "If a prophet rises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder, which he foretold to you comes to pass, saying, 'Let us go after other gods…'" (vs 1-2)—because demonism does work; evil does work!

Just like this man said, 'Let's have a blending of the mystical strains of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism to produce a new and enlightening version of the Christian faith'

"…which you have not known, and let us serve them," you shall not hearken to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams…" (vs 2-3). A lot of people said, 'I've dreamed.' or 'I heard a voice from God; God told me.' If it's not according to the words of the Bible and the words of Jesus Christ, God never sent them! Even if they come in the name of Christ, as Jesus said. Is that not what this man is doing? in blending Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism for a new brand of Christianity? Yes, indeed!

"…for the LORD your God is testing you…" How many people have failed the test because they haven't checked with the Word of God? Most people!

"…to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice… [Doesn't that sound familiar all the way through the Bible? Yes, indeed!] …and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him" (vs 3-4).

And then under the administration of death that God gave to Israel, He said that you'll take that false prophet out and kill him.

Verse 5: "…So you shall put the evil away from the midst of you." Notice how important it is. Your love to God, your loyalty to God, your service to God goes beyond family.

Verse 6: "If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is like your own soul, lures you secretly, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods"—which you have not known, you nor your fathers, that is, of the gods of the people who are around you, near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth" (vs 6-7).

That's all encompassing. See now in the New Testament we are told Jesus is 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life,' and there's only one way and that is the Truth.

Verse 8: "You shall not consent to him nor hearken to him. Nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall surely kill him…" (vs 8-9). Today we don't!

They are in the hands of God because we don't administer the administration of death. But they are disfellowshipped from amongst our midst. If anyone comes and says, 'I have a special gift of that or the other. I have a gift to know whether there are demons. I have a gift to heal.' But it never happens! No way! So, there we have false prophets.

Mark 13:7: "But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for it is necessary for these things to come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be earthquakes…" (vs 7-8).

I'll tell you in Asia there have been earthquakes, just tremendous earthquakes: in Japan, in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Volcanoes have gone off in the Kamchatka Peninsula. God has it this way: Every time the earth warms a little bit a volcano goes off and guess what it does? The EPA has no control over it. Produces more carbon dioxide than all the cars in the whole world and puts it into the air with soot and fine dust and this lowers the temperature of the earth back where it should be. This helps cause it to rain and all of these things. These things will happen, so we have disasters.

"…and there shall be earthquakes in different places, and there shall be famines and disasters… [and pestilence] …These things are the beginning of sorrows" (v 8).

I think that's right where we are. We're somewhere a little past the beginning of sorrows. How long that will be we don't know. We don't know what God's judgment is going to be.

Note sermon: Fourteen Things To Happen In Prophecy Before Jesus Returns {transcriber's note: Every couple of years or so Fred does an updated version with this same sermon title-check truthofGod.org for the latest}

Now let's see how at the end the same sequence of things that God uses is going to happen again. God uses the false prophets to test you! You can read in Rev. 2 and 3 what God says to the churches because of false prophets and wrong ways. We are to repent of them, get rid of them.

I think it's very interesting that during this so-called Christmas season they had on the History Channel a lot of things about the birth of Christ and the Bible and so forth. But they also had on there a series, The Wrath of God, showing these very things, but they don't say it's God.

Revelation 6:1: "And I looked when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures say, like the sound of thunder, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold, there was a white horse…" (vs 1-2). False prophet: looks like Christ, sounds like Christ, but it's not Christ.

Christ is on His white horse (Rev. 19). But here in Rev. 6 is false religion.

  • Why can this not be Christ? Very simple! Christ opened the seal!
  • Did He all of a sudden jump on the horse after He opened the seal?
  • If that happened, how could He open the:
  • second seal?
  • third seal?
  • fourth seal?
  • fifth seal?
  • sixth seal?

No! This is false prophet, the great false religion of the world!

"…and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, 'Come and see.' And another horse went out that was red; and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth, and to cause them to kill one another; and a great sword was given to him" (vs 2-4). What is that? War!

Verse 5: "And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold, there was a black horse; and the one sitting on it had a balance in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, 'A measure of wheat for a silver coin, and three measures of barley for a silver coin: and see that you do not damage the oil and the wine'" (vs 5-6).

  • Since the tsunami what are they worried about? Death because of lack of food!
  • How long does it take after a disaster or war for death to ensue? Almost immediately!

So, there's famine. That's what it's talking about.

  • What follows right on the heels of that?

Verse 7: "And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold, there was a pale horse; and the name of the one sitting on it was Death, and the grave followed him; and authority was given to them over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth" (vs 7-8).

When you see all these things these are God's judgment. God says He judges the earth. He judges the nations. That's what we're seeing here. This is a time for all to fear God whether they are called unto salvation or not.

Now let's see some things where God says the same thing again. These are the things that God always uses. The book of Ezekiel will take your breath away. Ezek. 14 is really an instructive chapter and shows the same sequence: false religion, and it also shows God calling to repentance. In all of these things God wants repentance! That's what's important. That's why I started out where I did with Luke 13 where Jesus said, 'Unless you likewise repent, you shall likewise perish.'

Ezekiel 14:1: "And some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces.…" (vs 1-3).

  • What idol do you have?
  • What possession do you have that is your idol?
  • What religious practice do you have that is your idol?

God shows that these things come because people do not keep His Sabbath and Holy Days (Ezek. 20). Not only is there idolatry of idols, but idols that are in the hearts of men, and in the heart of men is the idol of Sunday-keeping, which never came from God and is roundly condemned in the Old Testament and New Testament. Because of that, because they weren't repentant God says:

"'…Should I at all be inquired of by them? Therefore, speak to them and say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet… [the true prophet of God] …I the LORD will answer him according to the multitude of his idols" (vs 3-4).

They are following strange god's, right, which is idolatry. If you follow strange gods and you have it in your heart and your mind you are believing false prophets, or teachings of false prophets.

Verse 5: "So that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart…" Understand that this is another principle of God: God will judge you as you choose! Not only in the world are there false prophets but the Church of God has had its battles with false prophets, and a lot of false prophets around claiming things that God never said. Unless we understand as a Church of God everywhere, and I mean the general Church of God—all 300 fellowships and denominations—we all better be about repenting as God says because His judgment has been upon the Church of God and that's why it's scattered.

Frankly, God is not going to do very much to add very much to the Church of God until there's some deep repentance, until there's getting rid of all this false doctrine and things within the Church. How many have given up on God and the Sabbath and the Holy Days and gone after Christmas and Easter and New Year and gone right back into the world?

God is saying here, "…I may take the house of Israel in their own heart because they have deserted Me for their idols" (v 5).

There is no compatibility with God and idols—period! God says, 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' That's the first commandment; then the second commandment is idols.

Verse 6: "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Repent and turn yourselves from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who lives in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to ask of him concerning Me; I the LORD will answer him Myself" (vs 6-7).

That's why in the New Testament it says, 'Don't you know that we will all come before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of what we have done.' Yes, indeed!

Verse 8: "And I will set My face against that man, and I will make him for a sign and for a proverb. And I will cut him off from the midst of My people; and you shall know that I am the LORD. And the prophet, if he is deceived, and he speaks a word, I the LORD have deceived that prophet. And I will stretch out My hand upon him and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeks unto him (vs 8-10).

Isn't it amazing how these things are all the way through, false prophets start out first leading to idolatry. That's what happened all the way back to Adam and Eve and it's going to happen until Christ returns. The Bible is really very simple to understand if you're willing to read it, see it and believe it. We have gone from Genesis to the Gospels to Revelation and now back to Ezekiel and what do we find? The same exact pattern of punishment for sin beginning with false prophets and false doctrines! That's how they come in.

Verse 11: "'So that the house of Israel may never again go astray from Me, nor be defiled again with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people, and I may be their God,' says the Lord GOD."

The whole purpose is reconciliation to God and repent. That's why He says to repent and turn yourself from your idols and turn away your faces from all your abominations. Today we have a form of godliness called the 'radical right-wing' evangelicals by the atheists of the land. But they likewise have to turn from their idols and their sins.

Verse 12: "The Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, when a land sins against Me… [that means everybody who's living in the land] …by trespassing grievously, and I stretch out My hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and will cut off man and beast from it."

God is the One Who sends it; God is the One Who does it because of their sins. Now remember, God judges the earth, He judges all nations.

  • if you think you're good
  • if you think you're self-righteous
  • if you think that you are an exception to what God says

Verse 14: "And though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job…" Before Job could be included as the third one here he had to repent. What was Job's sin? That he was more righteous than God!

"'…though these three men were in it, they should deliver only their own lives by their righteousness,' says the Lord GOD…. [here's what else God uses]: 'If I cause wild beasts to come through the land, and they spoil it and it becomes desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters. They only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate Or if I bring a sword upon that land…'" (vs 14-17).

Let me tell you one thing: there is not one war that goes on that God does not know about, and that God, through His angels, does not have a hand in one way or the other.

"'…and say, "Sword, go through the land"; so that I cut off man and beast from it; though these three men were in it, as I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. Or if I send a pestilence into that land…'" (vs 17-19).

There we have it, false prophets, war, disasters, famine, disease and death! Same pattern all the way through the Bible.

"'…and pour out My fury upon it in blood, to cut off man and beast from it; though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'they shall deliver neither son nor daughter. They shall only deliver their own lives by their righteousness.' For thus says the Lord GOD, 'How much more when I send My four evil judgments against Jerusalem… [go back and you read what happened to Jerusalem] …the sword, and the famine, and the destroying beast, and the pestilence, to cut off man and beast from it?'" (vs 19-21).

We're coming to a time in world history that these things are going come just like this. This gives us something to really ponder about, and it also tells us that if we get up on our 'religious hoity-toity' and start judging people who have gone through disasters and condemn them and judge them in our hearts, God is going to judge us.

Verse 22: "Yet, behold, there shall be left a remnant in it that shall be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they shall come out to you, and when you shall see their ways and their doings, then you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I brought on Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you when you see their ways and their doings. And you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it,' says the Lord GOD" (vs 22-23).

Now let's take this same principle: there are always some who will escape, a remnant! On the island of Sri Lanka, on the east coast directly where the tsunami waves were coming at full force unimpeded there was this orphanage. It's a Methodist Sunday-keeping orphanage. Granted they don't keep the Sabbath, but at least in that pagan, evil land they are preaching Christ and they are taking care of the orphans, which God honors. 'Those who are not against us are for us, or on our part,' as Jesus said.

The man who was the head of the orphanage got up that Sunday morning, and he was ready to prepare his sermon. And he went outside because they were right on the ocean. Just across the street you are right on the beach to the ocean, and he looked out and he saw the 30 foot tsunami wave coming. He called all the staff and all the children and said, 'Gather together and get out of here. Follow me.'

He said that normally it takes 15 minutes to get them all together, but he said it was a miracle they all came together in just a short time. They ran up the hill and they were all saved from the worst part of the worst wave of the tsunami. They were up high enough. The wave came in and destroyed all of their buildings and everything that they had, but they saved their lives.

You cannot help but think that even though it's not in full understanding of the Word of God, God honors those who honor Him. You cannot explain that any other way, because in the space of three minutes they all would have died.

That's why God has these things happen. And in the midst of all of these things there is always a remnant that God spares to glorify Him. When I saw that on the news I could not help but think about it and be utterly amazed that God would spare those who honor Him. Just like it says here in Ezek. 14.

Next time we'll cover some more things because there is an awful to cover concerning this and it's very important when you tie this together with the series that we've been doing in the book of Hebrews and the kind of faith we need to have to live today, and the kind of love and trust that we need to have in God and be faithful in everything that we do. It's very important for us to realize that.

I know that this has been a death, doom, gloom, destruction type of sermon. But on the other hand what are we facing in the world? and What are we going to face in the future but death, doom, and gloom? The only bright spot in it is God the Father, Jesus Christ, and those who love Him. That's what it's going to get down to because as we're going to see in the next sermon, this world is on a collision course to meet God, and it's going to be a violent collision!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 13:1-5
  • Deuteronomy 30:15-20
  • Genesis 2:9, 15-17
  • Genesis 3:15-19
  • Genesis 6:5-9, 11-13
  • Genesis 7:11, 17-24
  • Genesis 8:21-22
  • Genesis 12:1-3
  • Psalm 96:12-13
  • Mark 13:3-6
  • Deuteronomy 12:28-32
  • Deuteronomy 13:1-9
  • Mark 13:7-8
  • Revelation 6:1-8
  • Ezekiel 14:1-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 11
  • Revelation 2; 3; 19
  • Ezekiel 20

Also referenced:

Sermon Series: Good Works/Evil Works #1-3 (transcripts only)

Books:

  • Josephus
  • The Da Vinci Deception by Erwin W. Lutzer (https://www.crossway.org/tracts/the-da-vinci-deception-2609/)
  • The Da Vinci Codeby Dan Brown

Appendix H: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version or in A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter)

Sermon:

  • The Administration of Death
  • Fourteen Things To Happen In Prophecy Before Jesus Returns {transcriber's note: Every couple of years or so Fred does an updated version with this same sermon title-check truthofGod.org for the latest}

FRC: cis
Transcribed: 01/11/2005
Reformatted: bo—2018

BOOKS