Fred R. Coulter—February 10, 2008

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These are complicated things that Paul wrote. One of the worst things that people do is they immediately get Christian religion' and they start in the book of Romans or the book of Galatians and they don't have a clue as to what they are talking about.

Let's see what Peter wrote about that. In the book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? We have an in-depth appendices of Paul's hard to understand Scriptures. Also found in The Holy Bible in Is Original Order, A Faithful Version.

We are going to start with a basic understanding and once you understand what I'm covering today, then it will be a whole lot easier to understand what Paul wrote. We'll end up with a couple of difficult Scriptures, but let's start out with what we know. The #1 rule in Bible study, when you start approaching something that is hard to understand, where do you begin first? With the simple, clear, easy to understand Scriptures! You don't go to the complicated ones first.

As with the first commandment: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' That's easy to understand! Even Paul Harvey said, 'People say that the Bible is hard to understand. It's not the hard things that they are rejecting, it is that they don't agree with the simple ones. They want to have another god!

Then it says that 'you shall not make unto yourself any graven image of any likeness of any kind.' The Catholics say—when they read the rest of it, that 'you shall not bow yourself down to worship it'—'We don't worship it, we just venerate it.' The truth is, God said don't make it, what's it doing here? It's easy to understand!.

Let's see, because Paul did write some very difficult things, and one of the major problems in understanding what he wrote was that people do not understand what occurred with Israel in the Old Testament. The biggest mistake of dispensationalism is—which evangelical fundamentalism follows—there is no such thing as dispensations.

The King James says 'dispensations' in Eph. 1:10, but in means in the fulfilling of God's purpose. That's far different than the concept of dispensation. But those who believe in dispensationalism believe that there was a certain set of standards that Abel, Enoch and Noah had to receive salvation.

After that there was another standard for the sons of Noah on the other side of the Flood, and there was another standard for Abraham, and they all received eternal life. Then they come to Israel and they say that they 'received salvation through the Law.' So, if you go and try and keep the Law, you're trying to receive salvation by the Law. Then they begin twisting all of Paul's Scriptures.

2-Peter 3:15: "And bear in mind that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation, exactly as our beloved brother Paul…" That's quite a statement when you consider Gal. 2: Right in front of the whole congregation, Paul said, 'Peter, you are a hypocrite!' And now Peter calls him, 'Beloved brother Paul.' Sounds like there was a little 'go to your brother' and make peace.

"…according to the wisdom given to him, has also written to you; as he has also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things; in which are some things that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant…" (vs 15-16). They don't start with the simple.

Example: A little girl here is writing words. The first thing she learned when she started school was her ABCs—basic! As adults, do we still use the same alphabet? Yes, indeed! Just because it's basic and it's simple does not mean that you don't have understanding later on with the same alphabet. As a matter of fact, the translation of the English Bible uses the same alphabet that they do in third grade primers. Different words, more complicated, but this is how we understand. That's why Paul said, 'When I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I did as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.' Likewise in understanding Paul's Epistles, there are some things that are difficult to understand,

"…which the ignorant and unstable are twisting and distorting, as they also twist and distort the rest of the Scriptures to their own destruction" (v 16).

That's what happens with dispensationalism. They violate the commandment that says, 'You shall not take away from or add to…' They don't go along with a penknife and cut it out of the Bible, but they say, 'You don't need to read this because it's fulfilled.' Or 'Jesus' ministry was really to the Jews; baptism was for the Jews and not for the Gentiles.' Well then, why did Paul baptize the Gentiles?

Once you start picking and choosing, and then come down and just believe and voila! you're saved! We'll find out why under the Old Covenant that they could not be justified to God in heaven above the way we are. The way that they receive justification was not in heaven above. Once you understand that, and once you realize that what God gave to them—with the exception of some of the prophets—did not change the heart! It did not give the power to overcome 'the law of sin and death.' That's why God only required that they obey in the letter of the Law. That's what we're going to see today.

Because most people don't understand that—and most religionists do not—then they get everything confused and say that Paul did away with this, and Jesus did away with that.

Verse 17: "Therefore, beloved, since you know this in advance, be on guard against such practices, lest you be led astray with the error of the lawless ones, and you fall from your own steadfastness; rather, be growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and into the day of eternity. Amen" (vs 17-18). Someone is going to say:

  • Is Abel going to be in the Kingdom of God? Yes!
  • Is Enoch going to be in the Kingdom of God? Yes!

With those particular cases—and with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—they lived under a pre-New Testament configuration.

1-Peter 1:9: "And are receiving the end of your faith—even the salvation of your lives; concerning which salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you have diligently searched out and intently inquired, searching into what way and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them was indicating…" (vs 9-11).

They had the Spirit of God that is identified here as the Spirit of Christ, which was not given to the people in general. Just like in the world today:

  • How many people have the Spirit of God today?
  • What do you do to receive the Spirit of God? Repent and be baptized!
  • How many people have done that?

Likewise, back then God had certain ones whom He selected that repented and were not baptized in the same way that we are today, because of the covenant that baptism is for the New Covenant. But nevertheless, God called them and used them, and gave them the Spirit of Christ.

"…testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and these glories that would follow; to whom it was revealed that, not for themselves, but to us they were ministering these things, which now have been announced to you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven—into which things the angels desire to look" (vs 11-12).

The Spirit of Christ

Romans 8: 9: "However, you are not in the flesh…" Yet, you sit here in the flesh. What does Paul mean by this statement? That with the Holy Spirit of God, God reckons you in a different category than other fleshly human beings, because you have the Spirit of God!

"…but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (v 9).

So, the Prophets of old had the Spirit of Christ in them. That means they had the standard of behavior and performance and worship of God, and faith and belief in God equivalent to the same thing that is required today, though they didn't know the full plan of God.

As we understand this, I hope you will appreciate much, much more, and be thankful to God, for the fact that God called us in a time when we have the whole Word of God available to us, complete.

Matt. 13 fits in with what happened under the covenant with Israel. Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven…'" (vs 10-11). That's something. That's why, brethren, always remember this, and the worst thing in the world that can happen is when men get old they make bad decisions. I pray every day, 'God, don't let me make a bad decision. Don't let me be foolish.'

Look at Hezekiah and what happened to him. He repented, God gave him 15 years extra life, and when the ambassadors of Babylon came to congratulate him on being healed, he showed them all the treasures of all Israel: all the gold, silver, everything there was. They were sitting there thinking, 'one day we're going to get this.'

So, Isaiah came to Hezekiah and said to him, 'What is this you have done!' He said thus and such! Isaiah said, 'Because you have done this, the enemies are going to take it all away.' Hezekiah made a bad decision. Then Isaiah told him, 'However, not in your day.' Then it shows Hezekiah's selfishness and another bad decision in his old age. He said, That's good, I'll have peace the rest of my life.'

Because of his bad decision, what was the punishment? His son Manasseh succeeded him, and he was the worst, most wicked king for 55 years; one of the longest reigning kings in the history of Judah.

Look at all the untold evil that came because of that! I look at that, and I look at Moses. He was old and people frustrated him and he got angry, and God had said to 'speak to the rock and water will come.' Moses got angry and hit the rock. God still sent the water, but He said, 'Moses, you aren't going into the promised land.'

Pray for all us who have gray hair, that we make right decisions so that we don't get selfish and narcissistic ourselves. To the rest of the world none of this has been given. Though the Bible has been printed billions and billions of times, and the American Bible Society and the British Bible Society are printing 800,000 Bibles a year in Eastern China.

Why do you suppose there are going to be so many Bibles out there? Because to the world it is a witness of God! So, they're going to be without any excuse! God is going to give them the Word.

I also believe that these new universe searching telescopes that they are going launch will be able to peer out into the universe further than any they we had.

But to us, the Bible is the book of education for eternal life! It's quite an amazing thing! God can do so much that the world doesn't even know anything about. That's why it says in one of the other parables that the Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto leaven, which a woman put in three measures of flour until it was all leavened. That's the good work of leaven. The good work of leaven pictures what God is doing in kind of an unseen, underground way that the world doesn't pay attention to but only once in a while. That is all the saints, a little group here and a little group there. We don't know how many churches there are in the world. We don't know how many God is dealing with. But we know that God is dealing with us and we pray for all of those whom God is dealing with wherever they are.

But the world doesn't know what's going on, and right under their noses God is training us to take over the world. Won't that be a surprise when the heavens open up and there is the sign of the Son of man?

Here's another key; remember that Peter said to be 'growing in grace and knowledge'; that means continuously all the time. Here's what happens, and I want you to think about the church experience that we have gone through, all of those of you who have gone through Worldwide Church of God. Did this happen to those who gave up the knowledge of God?

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given…" Why? Because you're growing in grace and knowledge and in the spirit, in Truth, in humility so that God can give you more!

"…and he shall have an abundance, but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him" (v 12). It's a true principle that follows through anything having to do with the Word of God.

It happened in the Worldwide Church of God to all those who stayed. Did they lose the knowledge? Yes, indeed! If you meet them on the street and say hello to them, the last thing they want to talk about is the Sabbath and the Holy Days.

How about the Protestants, that when the nation began over 200 years ago, they had a good understanding of the Bible except for the Sabbath. Has all of that been taken away from them because they refused to grow in grace and knowledge? Yes! So, this is a living principle. Herein we find the reason why we study every day, and we pray every day.

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive'" (vs 13-14)—because they're not willing to believe the simplest thing. That relates to the first four commandments and their relationship with God.

They'll accept the last six, with some qualifications. But you have them all or you have none! It's just like a puzzle. If you don't have all the pieces, you can't complete it. The hardest ones to do are the thousand-piece puzzles where every piece is identical. Liken that to Paul's difficult Scriptures.

What happens? Verse 15: "For the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…" They could open them.

Like one man who told his father, when his father started keeping the Sabbath, 'Well, if God would come down and tell me to keep the Sabbath, I would.' His father looked him right in the eyes and said, 'God did!' It's written right here in the Bible. The truth is, if you want to know what God would tell you, read the Bible!

"…lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (v 15). That in itself is a tough parable to figure, because most Protestantism says that everybody has to be saved now, and those who aren't saved now are damned!

Well, God blinded them, gave them over to disobedience, so God has to give them an opportunity for salvation, which is the very reason why there is the second resurrection. But for most Protestants you talk to about the second resurrection say that 'no one gets a second chance.'

They didn't have a first chance; 'your evangelist didn't get there in time.' God didn't give them a first chance. They may have a second life, for a first opportunity for salvation.

Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17).

Here we sit at the end of the age with all the spiritual tools in our hands, and then we become lukewarm and 'fall asleep at the switch' and use every kind of excuse to not do what God wants us to do and know. Everyone knows in their heart of hearts—even those who are Laodiceans, but are doing nothing about it—they know their day of reckoning is coming! They've read Rev. 3! So, the thing to do is repent ahead of time so you don't have to be 'zonked' hard.

Let's begin with Abraham, and the reason that I want to start with Abraham is because Jesus said to the Pharisees, 'You will see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.' So, we know that Abraham must have had the Spirit of Christ in him and that he was converted. He was also call a prophet, so this applies. But how much knowledge did he have compared to what we know and what is in the Bible now? He started out the same we start out.

Genesis 12:1: "And the LORD said to Abram, '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'" (vs 1-2).

We read in Heb. 11 that he believed God, and by faith went where he was supposed to.

Verse 3: "'And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you… [his progeny] …shall all families of the earth be blessed.' Then Abram departed, even as the LORD had spoken to him" (vs 3-4).

When you analyze this part of Gen. 12, Luke 14:26 is the same thing, we have to forsake:

Luke 14:26: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."

It's the same principle require of Abraham; he had to leave home, country and had to go where God told him to go. He went by faith not understanding what was going to happen. When it came to the time when he was 75-years-old, which the time that he left, and then we come to Gen. 15 when he was about 85-years-old and still no children.

Then God came to him and said, 'You're going to have a son.' Abraham said for Eliezer be my heir instead because he didn't have any children. God said, 'You're going to have a son who shall come forth from your own loins; he shall be your heir.'

Genesis 15:5: "And He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward the heavens and number the stars—if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your seed be.' And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness" (vs 5-6).

  • we have faith
  • we have obedience
  • we have doing what God says

Let's understand that Abraham only saw Isaac born and grow up, and Jacob was born two years before Abraham died. So, the only measure of fulfillment of the promise of heirs and children was Isaac and then Jacob. Isaac was 42 years-old when Abraham died.

Let's come to Israel. The covenant with Abraham was a covenant—there was the part with circumcision (Gen. 17)—that contained within it the covenant with Israel and the covenant to the Church—two separate covenants.

When we come to the covenant with Israel. God brought Israel out of Egypt, brought them to Mt. Sinai and gave them His laws, commandments, statutes and judgments and told them to keep them. What they were to do was the same thing as the covenant of circumcision.

Exodus 12:43: "And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'This is the ordinance of the Passover. No stranger shall eat of it. But every man's servant that is bought for silver, when you have circumcised him, then he shall eat of it. A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house. You shall not carry any of the flesh out of the house. Neither shall you break a bone of it. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger shall dwell with you, and desires to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it. And he shall be as one that is born in the land. And no uncircumcised person shall eat of it" (vs 43-48). By the way, when women marry participate in the circumcision at that point. But:

  • Does circumcision at eight-days-old change the heart? No!

Hearing and knowing the Ten Commandments is good, and if people would follow them in the letter, that would change their behavior.

  • Did knowing them and hearing them change their nature?

It gave them an education of the things they needed!

Let's see what God says, Deuteronomy 4:1: "And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you, in order to do them, so that you may live and go in and possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers gives to you. You shall not add to the word, which I command you; neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you" (vs 1-2).

After He gave them a warning; remember Baal Peor and what happened there?

Verse 6: "And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them, as the LORD our God is, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation has statutes and judgments that are so righteous as all this Law, which I set before you today?" (vs 6-7).

Then He gives another warning, v 9: "Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things, which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. But teach them to your children, and your children's children, to remember the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb…" (vs 9-10).

  • Did hearing the Ten Commandments change the heart of the people? No!
  • What was the first thing they said when they heard the Ten Commandments? Let's not hear the voice of God anymore, Moses, you go speak! You speak to God; you go tell us what God says and we'll do all that God says!

Well, they were well-intended in what they said, but here is the key where Moses reveals something very important. Ask this:

  • When did the children of Israel really truly repent unto conversion? Never! Not once!
  • Did they know the Law? Yes!
  • Were they taught the Law? Yes!

We'll see what they did and why they did it. Now, after Moses reiterated the Ten Commandments:

Deuteronomy 5:28: "And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken.'" They're well-intentioned!

What is the modern proverb concerning good intentions? Good intentions pave the way to hell! People intend to do good, but how to do that good without the Spirit of God—even with God's Laws—they can't do it, because God didn't give them the Spirit! That's why!

Here's what God told them, v 28: "And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, '"I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken. Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" (vs 28-29).

This tells us something very, very important: God never gave the children of Israel the gift of repentance and conversion! Only the prophets like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Enoch, Noah, Moses, and maybe several of the high priests. But the children of Israel never did follow the way of God.

I just imagine that if we took a survey, and since there's an average of four Bibles in every household, you could go into even criminal's homes and find the Bible. But they never read it! Do all criminals know it's wrong to lie? Yes, indeed! How many have seen on MSNBC where they have entrapment of pedophiliac men? They get them in there and they reveal who they are. What do they all say? I know this isn't right! I only came here to hangout! I just came here to talk!

In the case of one homosexual man who came to a 14-year-old boy's house, he said, 'I was going to come and warn him about the hazards of homosexuality.' Really? One of them was even a Jewish rabbi, and how about the evangelical preacher in Colorado? How about the man in Worldwide Church of God whose initials are GTA? Did he know? Yes, indeed!

The Word of God does you no good unless you act upon it, either in the letter of the Law for a decent society, or in the spirit of the Law for eternal salvation.

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At every point, we need to ask: What happened to the Israelites in the giving of the Law, and the covenant that they had, did it change the heart and human nature? It didn't!

Verse 32: "And you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left…. [How many times did God say that?] …You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you so that you may live and that it may be well with you, and you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess" (vs 32-33).

Come back to v 16—here's a promise to all children; but do children remember it when they come to puberty and they start becoming independent and want to be on their own and make their own decisions. Or maybe even sooner.

Verse 16: "Honor your father and your mother as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that your days may be prolonged…" Every time there's a death of a teenager doing something, they went against what their parents wanted them to do.

  • Did they want them to take the car?
  • Did they want them to drink?
  • Did they want them to take drugs?
  • Did they want them to drive 100 mph, crack it up and kill themselves?


  • Did they do that?
  • Did they know that their parents wouldn't approve of them doing those things?

Yes, of course! That's why they did it away from their parents and not in their presence!

  • Did the knowledge of obeying your father and mother do them any good? No!
  • Why? Because the knowledge does not change human nature!

Knowledge can change how you think, but knowledge cannot change the heart. That's the important thing to remember.

Deuteronomy 6:1: "Now, these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God commanded to teach you so that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it, that you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life, and so that your days may be prolonged" (vs 1-2).

Isn't it something that God says that "…your days may be prolonged"? No one wants to die young! Even the worst criminals, when they get caught, what do they say? Don't shoot! Don't shoot!

So, He appealed to the most important thing that they had, the thoughts of the value of their life!

Verse 3: "Hear therefore, O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you, and that you may greatly multiply, as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey." Don't you want to be at some place where you have everything good and nice? Do you want to be out in the Gobi Desert? the Sahara Desert? Death Valley? No!

Think about it today, you can everything you want. As I have said many times, you can walk into any store to buy something and I think: look at all of this from everywhere in the world right at my fingertips! Here it is! What do we have? The most ungrateful, selfish, narcissistic, rebellious generation that has been in a long, long time!

  • Do they appreciate it? No!
  • Do they demand it? Yes!

If they don't get it, at three-years-old they throw temper tantrums on the floor of the supermarket.

So, Moses told them to love God, and so forth. Now let's come to the book of Judges and ask: How long did it last? They still didn't do everything that God said! He said that they were to go in and He would drive out all the inhabitants of the land, and He would fight for them. But they didn't do that.

So, when it came time to settle in the land, God said, 'Okay, since you didn't do that, I'm going to leave them here to be thorns in your flesh.' Why do that, God? That's what it said, that they wept before God.

Judges 2:10: "And also all that generation were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD…" I think we hear that today: 'We will bring change. I will give everything to everyone.'

"…nor even the works which He had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim" (vs 10-11).

The knowledge of the Law does not change the heart! It didn't change theirs. We will see that the offering of animal sacrifices did not change the heart. Then we can begin to understand what Paul meant about justification by law vs justification by faith. But first you have to understand that, with the exception of the prophets and certain of the kings and priests, none of them received an opportunity for salvation.

What did they do? Verse 12: "And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt. And they followed other gods, even the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves to them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth" (vs 12-13). Ashtaroth is the female goddess.

How popular do you think you would be if you went out on a Friday night to a rock concert and right in the middle of the concert you were able to stop all the music, stop all the dancing, have complete silence and say, 'Repent or die!'?

'How dare you come in here?' The security guards would come in there and take you off screaming. 'You're interrupting our freedom!' But God says that you're destroying My Sabbath! You're filling your minds with satanism, and you are captivated by him with this music.

When Christ returns, the reason why the world is going to be nearly destroyed is because there's very little that's going to be left that's going to be salvageable.

Hearing the Law and knowing the Law does not change the heart. Let's look at the sacrifices, because when someone sinned under the Old Covenant, when they went to Jerusalem they were then to offer an offering for sin. What we are going to do is ask: In offering an animal sacrifice, did that change the nature of the person offering it, even if they were forgiven their sins to the temple?

Here's a principle that you need to understand: All the sins committed under the covenant to Israel were never forgiven in heaven above by God at His throne! They were only forgiven to the temple. The sacrifices and the sprinkling of the heifer's blood on the unclean did not affect the conscience, meaning it didn't change the heart!

Let's read about some of the sacrifices. Here's a special sacrifice, which is not a sin sacrifice. This is called a burnt offering. The burnt offering was a voluntary offering that you offered to God in thanksgiving. These are the offerings that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob offered. They never offered a sin offering.

David never offered a sin offering, because they were under the covenant with Christ for the forgiveness of their sins in heaven above. But the people who came to the temple, since God was only dealing with the very, very few at that time, when they would bring this offering, they would have to do it all according to the instructions of God. Therein lies the problem with the offering of Cain, because he didn't do it according to the instructions that God had given.

People say that God wasn't very nice, He accepted Abel's offering, but He discriminated against Cain. That's the way the carnal mind would look at it. No! There's a way to do it, so here's what they had to do with the burnt offering:

Leviticus 1:1: "And the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "If any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the domestic animals of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish. He shall offer it of his own voluntary will… [though God told him how to do it; the person chose when to do it] …at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD"'" (vs 1-3). He had to take it to the tabernacle and later to the temple.

Verse 4: "And he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering. And it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him…. [so that he is in right standing with God] …And he shall kill the young bull before the LORD. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around against the side of the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation" (vs 4-5). Then there were all the instructions for it.

The priest was to burn all of it after it's all done. Think about the cost of doing it. Did it change the heart and mind?No! It just offered and offering! Same way with all of these.

Let's look at the ones where they had sin. Leviticus 4:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying, "If a soul… [any person] …shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do any one of them. If the priest who is anointed sins, resulting in guilt to the people, then he shall bring for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bull from the herd, a perfect one, to the LORD for a sin offering" (vs 1-3). Then he would do the same thing with it as he did with the burnt offering.

In this case, the sin offering was wholly consumed, but not at the altar. The blood was sprinkled there, and then all of the rest of it was carted off to be outside the camp where it was burned to a crisp. Later in Jerusalem, when they had the temple, you had the temple on a mount and then you come down into the Valley of Kidron and then up on the Mt. Of Olives and directly across just a little higher, you have the Miphkad Altar, where the sin offerings were burned, because they had to burn everything.

They had to burn all the meat, all the skin, all the dung—everything! They had this always burning out there because you can't have sin in the presence of the temple of God.

In offering this sin offering, what did it do to change the heart? Nothing! Likewise with all the offerings. Likewise, with the red heifer for the sprinkling of the ashes of the unclean.

Now we come to the New Testament and it starts out with something entirely different. That's why God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way. Now the message is entirely different.

Mark starts out with the 'messenger to prepare the way.' Here is God manifested in the flesh—Jesus Christ—and here's what He preached:

Mark 1:14: "Now, after the imprisonment of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel'" (vs 14-15).

That's entirely different! Repentance required you to do something toward God from your heart and your mind, which none of the sacrifices ever did. That's important to understand, because when Paul talks about justification of law, this is what he's talking about: Justification by law under the Old Covenant never changed the heart! Those who sought justification for eternal life by the means of the Old Covenant could not find it, because it didn't come through those sacrifices.

If you grasp that, that is going to unlock all kinds of difficult Scriptures for you!

Everywhere Jesus went He called for repentance. Let's see what happened. In Matt. 19 is a man who really did well. This example is given here to show that unless there is repentance there can be no change of the heart and mind!And without change of heart and mind there's no repentance in heaven above! The justification at the temple no longer would be useful, even at the temple, because now it's to the temple in heaven above and not the one on earth. That's what the book of Hebrews is about. {note sermon series on Hebrews}

When you first read this and come into the knowledge of Word of God, you think that Jesus was a little hard on this man:

Matthew 19:16: "Now at that time, one came to Him and said, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?'"

People want something they can do externally to receive eternal life. The Protestants think that they're going to receive eternal life because externally they're keeping Sunday. That's a work of their own! God wants a change within! He wants you justified within because He wants to give you His Spirit so He can dwell in you! And to receive forgiveness of sin must be through Christ and not any law!

John 6:25: "And after finding Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did You come here?'…. [because He came when they didn't know] …Jesus answered them and said, 'Truly, truly I say to you, you do not seek Me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the bread and were satisfied. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?'" (vs 25-28). So, they could get a reward and be fed everyday without working.

He didn't answer the way that they wanted so they got angry at Him. Just the like rich man said, 'What work may I do.'

Verse 29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'" They couldn't understand it. We're starting with belief, faith and repentance.

When I first read Matt. 19 I couldn't understand it. I was trying to overcome sin—this was before I was baptized—and when I read that I thought how good this guy was and Jesus turned him away.

Matthew 19:17: "And He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one—God….'" As long as He was in the flesh He was not as good as God is good, because He had flesh. Flesh can never be as good as God is good.

Besides, Christ had to carry within Him human nature and the 'law of sin and death.' There is no good thing in 'the law of sin and death.' But He had to do that to overcome 'the law of sin and death' and live a life without sinning. {Note book: The Christian Passover} Then you will understand how great the life of Christ was, that He never sinned!

"'…But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.'…. [he thought to himself he was almost there] …Then he said to Him, 'Which?' And Jesus said, 'You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (vs 17-19). The Protestants immediately say that He didn't saying anything about the Sabbath. But He did in other places, just not here.

Who was Jesus talking to? To a man in Galilee! In Galilee, which day did they always keep? The Sabbath! The synagogues were open every Sabbath, so He didn't have to tell him to go to the synagogue. Didn't have to tell him to keep the Sabbath. Didn't have to tell him to have the right God, because they had the right God as long as they had the Scriptures of the Old Testament.

Verse 20: "The young man said to Him, 'I have kept all these things from my youth. What do I yet lack?' Jesus said to him, 'If you desire to be perfect, go and sell your property, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me.'…. [that's a heavy load] …But after hearing this word, the young man went away grieving because he had many possessions" (vs 20-22).

Because he thought he had it made and now he had to go out and sell all they had and give to the poor. Look at the poor; they just waste it all. 'Why should I sell everything I have worked so hard for, for the poor.

Verse 23: "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'Truly I say to you, it is extremely difficult… [doesn't say it can't happen] …for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.'" That's why in we don't have any millionaires. We do good to make it every month.

Verse 24: "'And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.' But after hearing this, the disciples were greatly astonished and said, 'Who then is able to be saved?' But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible'" (vs 24-26).

God can take a camel and make him into a thread and pull him through a needle, and reconstitute him as a camel on the other side. It's still a camel, only in DNA thread. Of course, they didn't understand that.

"…all things are possible," but what is the impossible thing with men that God has to do? To change the nature of human beings! No law or no sacrifice of man can change human nature. God alone can do that!

But we have our part. It begins with repentance from the heart, because you must have the beginning of the operation of your seeking God with a change within your heart and mind! Not something you do externally, which we could say today would be like putting quarters in a machine.

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 an evil thing that was. They had their sacrifice up there burning. Pilate came in there a killed them and had the priests gather the blood and mingle it with the sacrifices. Whoa! They must have been sinners!

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…'" (vs 2-3). Sounds an awful lot like Rom. 2 where Paul says, 'You who judge other and you do the same thing.'

Here's the key, "…but if you do not repent, you shall all likewise perish…. [there must be repentance] …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 3-5).

There has to be repentance first. How far does that repentance go? Jesus had asked the rich man to give up his goods, but the truth of the matter is that we have to give up ourselves! That's far different than when you sin you offer an offering. Or if you sin you go to the temple and make confession and then offer an offering. God wants that change to mean that you give up yourself to Christ! That's the kind of repentance that God wants.

Once you understand that, then you understand the evil of a ministry that comes in and places itself between you and God.

Luke 14:25: "And great multitudes were going with Him; and He turned and said to them, 'If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father…'" (vs 25-26). To love God more in comparison to. But father and mother will view it as not loving them. Some will even say that 'if you go to that church you hate me.' You're not going to a church, you're going to God!

"…and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (v 26). That's a high standard! There's no compromise here! Then Jesus goes on further:

Verse 27: "And whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." This is what God wants to do, this is why on the Day of Pentecost things changed. They changed at the temple, because that's where God placed His name, and that's the only place the Church could have begun by God. Otherwise, it would not have been viewed as from God.

That's why on Pentecost the Holy Spirit came, Peter and the other apostles spoke in other languages, they stood up and preached about Christ, about His crucifixion, and here's what happened when they were preaching.

Acts 2:29: "Men and brethren, let me speak to you freely concerning the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn to him in an oath that from the fruit of his loins, as concerning the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit upon his throne; He foresaw this and spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in the grave, nor did His flesh see corruption…. [Psa. 16] …This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore, having been exalted by the right hand of God, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured out this that you are now seeing and hearing. For David has not ascended into the heavens…" (vs 29-34).

Hello, all Protestants, double alert, no one has ascended into heaven. Jesus said so in John 3:13 and Peter confirmed it.

"...but he [David] himself said, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand until I have made Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'" Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with full assurance that God has made this same Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (vs 34-36).

There were those who were there and participated in it by wanting Jesus to be crucified, by asking Him to be crucified and stood before the cross while Jesus was dying, and Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'

Now with the advent of the Holy Spirit coming, God's Spirit will go to those who repent and you have a spiritual operation that begins, which no law can do!But that doesn't mean that you don't keep the commandments of God, because if you don't keep the commandments of God you're still living in sin. If you're living in sin, you are disobeying God and you can't receive the Holy Spirit, and you haven't repented.

Verse 37: "Now, after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (vs 37-38).

  • What does the gift of the Holy Spirit do?
  • Which no law can do?

Verse 39: "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call.' And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.'" (vs 39-40). If Peter thinks that was a perverse generation, come and see today.

Verse 41: "Then those who joyfully received his message were baptized; and about three thousand souls were added that day"—out of maybe about 50,000 at the temple. Not very many were added!

What does repentance do? It is the first step in changing your nature and receiving the circumcision of the heart! Paul made that clear in Rom. 2.

Here is an operation of God's Spirit that is not an operation of law. This is the justification of the Spirit through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His shed blood for the forgiveness of sin that is not enacted by a law. Keeping the commandments of God in the spirit and the way God wants us to today, is not seeking justification by law, nor are we under law, because we have repented and we have been baptized and received the Holy Spirit. Paul confirms this:

Romans 2:28: "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is external in the flesh; rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (vs 28-29)—because God does something with His Spirit inside of you to change your nature. No law can change your nature!

Paul explains it so that we understand what has happened. This is the operation of the Spirit, justification by faith because you believe in Christ and you repent from your heart. Now God's Spirit comes and it does something to you inside, and it begins to change your nature.

Colossians 2:10: "And you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power in Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ… [a spiritual operation] …having been buried with Him in baptism…" (vs 10-12).

That's how you get rid of the sins of the flesh: by baptism after repentance! You don't offer a sacrifice! You don't go to a temple! There's no temple to go to anyway.

"…by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses" (vs 12-13).

This is the operation of changing your human nature! No law can do that! No animal sacrifice can do that! Only repentance and the receiving of the Holy Spirit of God can do that!

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

  • 2 Peter 3:15-18
  • 2 Peter 1:9-12
  • Romans 8:9
  • Matthew 13:10-17
  • Genesis 12:1-4
  • Luke 14:26
  • Genesis 15:5-6
  • Exodus 12:43-48
  • Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-7, 9-10
  • Deuteronomy 5:28-29, 32-33, 16
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-3
  • Judges 2:10-13
  • Leviticus 1:1-5
  • Leviticus 4:1-3
  • Mark 1:14-15
  • Matthew 19:16
  • John 6:25-29
  • Matthew 19:17-26
  • Luke 13:1-5
  • Luke 14:25-27
  • Acts 2:29-41
  • Romans 2:28-29
  • Colossians 2:10-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ephesians 1:10
  • Galatians 2
  • Revelation 3
  • Hebrews 11
  • Genesis 17
  • Psalm 16
  • John 3:13

Also referenced:


  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Sermon Series: Hebrews

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 12-7-17