Doing the Will of God

(1-Timothy 6)

Fred R. Coulter—January 23, 1999

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1-Timothy 6:1: "Let as many slaves as are under the yoke of servitude esteem their own masters worthy of all respect, so that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed. Do not let those who have believing masters despise them because they are brethren; rather, let them serve them even better, because they are believing and beloved who are being helped by the good service. These things teach and exhort" (vs 1-2).

We have the situation today that most of us are employees or we have our own business, and this whole idea of bought and own slaves is really kind of foreign to us. So, with the environment that we are working in it really is kind of difficult for us to contemplate or understand the problems that would be with slaves.

Since many of us are slaves today. It also applies if you are working for someone. I'll tell you what, if you work for someone who has an attitude of love and service and respect, they will watch over you better, they will take care of you better, and when the crunch time comes to cut down on the workforce, you might have a better chance of saying. This is absolutely true in any relationship.

If God requires this in the relationship between a purchased slave, who is owned by the one who bought him, to "…esteem their own masters worthy of all respect, so that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed" (v 1), that really gives us something to think about, taking that principle and applying it to many other things.

Verse 2: "Do not let those who have believing masters despise them because they are brethren… [here we're right down into the inner-personal relationship between slave and master] …rather, let them serve them even better…" [that's the sense of the Greek; let them serve with even more consideration] …because they are believing and beloved who are being helped by the good service…."

Eph. 6 gives essentially the same kind of exhortation concerning slaves. That's quite an unusual situation. We need to understand that today we don't have slaves, but we have where there are very oppressing employers, and there have even been songs written about taking 'this job' and doing something with it. It really takes away from the kind of relationship we ought to have.

You know that if you're a boss or have your own business and you have an employee who has a good attitude and willing and always there, helpful and kind, and goes above and beyond, you're going to treat that employee a whole lot better than someone who has to be told every little thing to do, every little dot and tittle must be explained to them; especially if you have someone who all they do is grip and complain. Then when they're gone all you do is complain about them, talk about them, despise them, gossip about them. That's maybe why the boss is mean and cruel. It works both ways, because the attitudes work both ways. Paul is talking to both here.

Ephesians 6:5: "Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh…" They owned the slaves. We don't have any relationship today in America that is that way.

Remember the Centurion who came to Jesus and said, 'Good Master, You don't have to come down to my house, just give the word and my daughter will be healed. I am a Centurion and I have those under me and I tell this servant to do this, and he does it; another servant come here, and he comes here. I have these men under my authority. Now, just give the word, and she'll be healed.'

What did Jesus say to him? I have never found such great faith, even in all of Israel! Why? Because Israelites like to talk back! That's why! It's part of the nature of Israelites. That doesn't mean that other people don't talk back, but that was the kind of faith that he was commended for.

Here the same thing follows, that you be obedient "…with reverence and trembling, in singleness of heart, as unto Christ" (v 5). Is that not the same kind of relationship that was required of the wife to the husband? and husband to the wife? Yes, indeed! Here we have the same kind of relationship.

Verse 6: "Not merely with eye service, as do pleasers of men…" You just don't do all the things that are out front so that you can be seen. There are a lot of things that need to be done that are never out front. What were some of the things that they had to do, which were never out front? I don't think they had running plumbing like we have today! I don't know if you've ever worked on a 'honey-bucket' brigade. I didn't understand that until I went to Korea. A 'honey-bucket' brigade was a man who goes around and his job is to pick up all of the human excrement and put it into his wagon and take it out… and the worst thing they do with it is to use it for fertilizer in their rice paddies. That's why you don't ever want to eat rice in Korea, or that is Korean grown. The stench is unreal!

When I arrived in Korea as a private in the winter of 1954, it was 200 below zero, you could still smell the stench of these 'honey buckets' and the 'honey-bucket' man. When spring came and all of it thawed out…

Then I found out that they made a dish called 'go hong'—squid that has been shipped inland from the ocean. Well, it's not refrigerated, and by the time it gets inland it stinks to high heaven! The Koreans would cook this with just tons of garlic, so you could smell them coming a hundred feet away! Here's all this rotten fish and all of this garlic just kind of oozing out. Kind of like the cartoon with 'Joe Dipstick'; he's got this big cloud of rain over him and when they would eat that this big cloud of stench just followed them along. That was something!

Even if you have those unpleasant tasks to do, you should do them with singleness of heart, not with eye-service.

"…but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart" (v 2). That really changes everything; everything that you do, even if you're working for a boss, even a harsh taskmaster, still in serving him with a willing heart and attitude is the will of God.

Labor unions will not like to hear that! But I tell you what, if more employees had that attitude there would be no need for labor unions. The employers would take care of the employees, because they would not want to loose such a valuable employee who was willing, worked hard, did good work, served his employer, loyal and faithful to him. But the motivation is that:

  • you are doing this to God
  • you are doing this because God is judging you

not just to please men! That's quite an important thing that we are doing.

Verse 7: "Do service with goodwill… [with the right attitude] …as to the Lord, and not to men." That really changes the whole perspective—doesn't it?

Verse 8: "Knowing that whatever good each one has done, this shall he receive from the Lord, whether bond or free. And masters, do the same things toward them, forbearing threatening; knowing also that your own Master is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with Him" (vs 8-9).

So, you see that all of this is to try and create the kind of relationship that God wants to have in His Church; that He wants us to have with each other whether it be a slave/master, rich/poor, male/female.

Let's understand that in our relationship to each other and in an opportunity for salvation this is how Christ looks at us: We're still men and women, we're still husbands and wives, we're still different kinds of people in the flesh. But if we are working toward growing in the love and Spirit of God, then we need to work toward growing to this kind of situation as Paul explains:

Galatians 3:26: "Because you are all sons of God…" That's also important to remember, because the children of God puts you into a special relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

There are still some people who figure that 'we need a religion.' When I get done explaining that you don't need a 'religion' you better graduate from 'religion' to relationship. Then you will understand more about the Word of God.

"…through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (vs 26-28)—for your standing before God for salvation.

Physically we are still what we are, and there are certain things required of us by God because of that. But this is showing the whole attitude that we need to have.

Paul talks about slaves, freedom, a situation that a person may have been in:

1-Corinthians 7:20: "Let each one abide in the calling in which he was called. Were you called as a slave [servant]?…. ['doulous' is the Greek] …Don't let yourself fret. But if you are able to become free, by all means do so" (vs 20-21). Use it; go ahead and use it if you can be made free. But if you can't be made free, don't get all anxious, concerned and frustrated about it.

Verse 22: "For he who has been called in the Lord, though he be a slave, is a free man in the Lord. In the same way also, he who has been called as a free man is a slave [servant] of Christ; for you were bought with a price. Do not become slaves of man. Brethren, in whatever state each one was called, let him remain in that with God" (vs 22-24). In this case Paul was showing that if you can get free from being a slave, that's fine. But if you can't, don't be too concerned about it, because you're a free man before Christ!

What is really the worst form of slavery? And can even affect free men? To be locked into a corporation is not the worst slavery! The worst slavery is slavery to your sins!

John 8:31: "Therefore, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him…" There were various levels of degree of those who believed in Jesus, just like there is today. There are people who believe in Jesus at a very low level, and that's what these were.

"…'If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples. And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.' They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. What do You mean by saying, "You shall become free"?'" (vs 31-33).

The truth is, they were in bondage to the Roman Empire, so they didn't even understand their own situation. What were they looking to? To a physical thing to ensure their freedom, looking to Abraham, not understanding their own involvement, their own responsibility in their own lives!

Verse 34: "Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a servant of sin.'" That is the worst slavery!

You can have free men everywhere, but if you're all enslaved to your sins, then you are in bondage, indeed! I think that's where we see a lot of people today.

1-Timothy 6:2: "These things teach and exhort." This can be a summary of everything up to this point, or it can also be an introduction to v 3; either way you take it, it applies.

Verses 3-5 are very important. This is one of the verses I showed as to why I had to resign from the Worldwide Church of God in 1979.

Verse 3: "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that is according to Godliness, he is proud and knows nothing. Rather, he has a morbid attraction to questions and disputes over words, from which come envy, arguments, blasphemy, wicked suspicions, vain reasonings of men who have been corrupted in their minds and are destitute of the Truth—men who believe that gain is Godliness. From such withdraw yourself" (vs 3-5).

That is a very clear statement! We also need to understand that the words of Christ are very powerful. If you break this down there are ten major things:

  • is arrogant
  • knows nothing
  • morbid attraction to questions
  • disputes over words

from which comes

  • envy
  • arguments
  • blaspheme
  • wicked suspicions
  • vain reasonings
  • men who believe that gain is Godliness

All of these things, sooner or later, enter into a church that is not adhering to the words of Christ. When they do, if they cannot be corrected from within, then what has to happen is you have to separate! That's just the way that it is.

If you have conscience before God, and if you are going to do the Truth, then you will have to separate. There is really no other way of preserving the Truth, when you come to understand it. If you begin politically compromising with people—compromising the Word of God, compromising what you believe—you are taking the road down the path to leaving God!

I've got a report in front of me The Ecumenical Movement for Unity in which another man wrote that the ecumenical movement is the great apostasy taking place. The ecumenical movement is this: service unites, but doctrine divides! The first thing that someone will do, and especially if he has been a minister in the Church of God, is come around and say that 'this doctrine doesn't matter, this doctrine doesn't matter and this doctrine doesn't matter; let's just get along and go along.' You're headed down the ecumenical path and down away that is heading away from God. Here's what Jesus said:

Matthew 10:34: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." What is the sword of God? The two-edged sword is the Word of God!

Hebrew 4:12 "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart."

God is not offering a better way of life in the flesh. God is offering eternal life, which is going to cost your physical life; one way or the other.

Matthew 10:35: "For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be those of his own household. The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life shall lose it; and the one who has lost his life for My sake shall find it" (vs 35-39).

These are the sound doctrines and words of faith that are of Jesus Christ. We need to understand that! We need to realize that! Look back and you will see what happened with our church experience when they began amalgamating 'religious' ideas from other 'religions' into the Truth of God!

Where is the Church of God today? It's under the judgment of God! And has been for a long time, because those things were done. One of the main reasons I resigned was because you cannot preach a Gospel of 'get and give' to world leaders and say you're preaching the Gospel of Christ. That is not true! You cannot ordain men who are dedicated to evil to be top leaders in the Church. Since that could not be corrected within, it had to be withdraw yourself from such—that's exactly the command of Christ. There's no other way about it.

Let's look at this concerning doctrine. Doctrine is very important for us to grasp and understand. Doctrine means teaching. How important is doctrine? So important that it is more important than good intentions! You can have a good intention you think is good for yourself that in your own mind is good and well-intentioned. But if it's not based on doctrine—the Word of God, the Truth of God, the commandments of God, the laws of God—it is meaningless. You may borrow some of it, and mix a little of your own ideas in it, but always remember that the Bible says, 'A little leaven leavens the whole lump,' and your ideas is that leaven, which then is going to leaven the whole lump.

Jesus says, Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven." The basic doctrine in the Bible is obey My voice and do the will of God! If you're not doing the will of the Father, it doesn't matter if you're sweet or religious, none of those things count! You have to be doing the will of the Father!

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day…" We need to take a whole other view of these things. There will be a lot of people who say, 'Lord, I had 500,000 in my church.' The pope is going to stand up and say, 'Lord, I was Your vicar, and we had billions.'

"…in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name?…. [that's pretty powerful work] …And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?' And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you….'" (vs 22-23). 'We are to know that we know the Lord, because we keep His commandments' (1-John); we know Him by the Spirit that He has given to us.

{Note sermon series on the Epistles of John; also see book The Seven General Epistles} look up all the things that we are to know, which is taught in the Epistle of First John. If you know those things then you know Christ.}

"'…Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness'" (v 23). If they're doing good things in casting out demons, how are they working iniquity?

  • by violating the Sabbath
  • by violating the Holy Days
  • by embracing pagan philosophies, doctrines, practices and observances

That is all iniquity! But on the surface you can have all this goody-goody-two-shoe stuff. Then Jesus makes a point:

Verse 24: "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine…" Let's understand that it just doesn't rely upon a certain thing.

  • any saying of Jesus Christ is doctrine, because it's Truth and it's teaching
  • any word of Jesus Christ is doctrine, because it's Truth and teaching
  • any word of the Bible is doctrine, because it's Truth and teaching

"…and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock" (v 24)—and, of course, He's referring to Himself there as the Rock. Everything is to be built upon the Rock of Christ.

Verse 25: "And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house…"—which means that if you are a Christian you are going to have a lot of problems.

Not like the Christianity of the world and be free of problems. The Christianity of this world preaches that you will be free of problems. I'm sure that Satan gives them a lot of peace. That's why we have a lot of difficulties. The biggest difficulty is holding to the Truth!

"…but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it" (vs 25-27).

Let's understand that those in the world are going to have problems. It's going to come a little differently for them than it does for us. Sometimes, because of the troubles and difficulties that we have, we look and compare ourselves with other people in the world who appear not to be having difficulties and problems. But we really don't know what they are going through. Some of them may not have problems like we do, but some of them may have greater problems than we do; we just don't know.

Sometimes we get like the man—Asaph—Psalm 73:1 "Truly God is good to Israel, even to those who are pure of heart." He's referring to himself. He's starting out making a statement, but what follows was that he didn't have a clean heart.

Verse 2: "But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped, for I was envious at the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked" (vs 2-3). Isn't that true? Don't those who are really the followers of Christ sometimes have to go through a lot of depravation? Yes, they do!

Verse 4: "For there are no pangs in their death… [they just live to a ripe old age, die and everything is wonderful for them] …and their strength is firm. They are not in trouble like other men; neither are they plagued like other men" (v 4-5)—namely me, because

Asaph was thinking of himself. That is true. Whenever you get to just thinking on yourself, how bad it is for you, you think that no one else in the world has one problem; just yourself, 'little ole me, and the world is hanging over my head.' "…neither are they plagued like other men."

Verse 6: "Therefore, pride is as a chain about their neck…." Reminds me of our President, very prideful and arrogant. One day he is going to have to face it, and it's not going to be just the judgment of the Congress. It will be the judgment of God!

"…Violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than the heart could wish for" (vs 6-7). And 'here I am, I don't have hardly anything.' That's the thought that comes behind that.

Verse 8: "They scoff and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore, waters of abundance are drunk by them. And they say, 'How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?'" (vs 8-11). That is in heaven above. Is heaven even concerned about this.

Verse 12: "Behold, these are the wicked, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Surely I have made my heart pure in vain and washed my hands in innocence" (vs 12-13). Look at me, I'm doing all this stuff.

Verse 14: "For all the day long I have been plagued and chastened every morning. If I say, 'I will speak thus'; behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. When I thought to understand this, it was too painful for me" (vs 14-16). Your mind is splitting with frustration as to why such evil should go on, and I am consumed with all of these difficulties and problems. Jesus said, 'The rains came, the wind blew and the floods beat upon it.'

Verse 17: "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end." When you accuse God of things, of all the problems that you're going through, and really don't go to God in the way that you should, you're not going to understand it. You'll never have a clue. So, you go to the sanctuary of God.

How do you go to the sanctuary of God today? You go on your knees in your quiet private place and you pray to God! You have access directly into the sanctuary of God, to God the Father in heaven above, with Jesus Christ at the right hand. If you have some of these difficulties, pray for understanding, pray for wisdom, God can help you.

Verse 18: "Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down into destruction." Think about Pharaoh in Egypt. Did not God let Pharaoh rise really high and become the most powerful man in the world? have riches, wealth and servants? and be head of the 'religion' of Egypt? have all the magicians at his command? Have all of these slaves at his command that he could build these treasure cities? Nothing could touch him!

Well, God turned that all around! All you have to do is read the first eleven chapters of the book of Exodus and you'll find out what happened to Pharaoh.

Verse 19: "How have they been brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors"—because they don't know God.

If you have troubles, you go to God. If they have troubles, they don't know where to go; they are fearful.

Verse 20: "Like a dream when one awakens; so, O LORD, when You awake, You shall despise their image, for thus my heart was grieved and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You" (vs 20-22). Quite an attitude! He's complaining to God. He really turned his heart to God and repented; so this is also repentance, no doubt about it:

Verse 23: "Nevertheless, I am always with You; You have held me by my right hand. You shall guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You I desire none upon earth. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever, for lo, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all who go a whoring from You" (vs 23-27). That's a key; remember 'from such withdraw yourselves' if they don't adhere to the wholesome, sound words of Christ.

Verse 28: "And me, it is good for me to draw near to God…" That's what needs to be. The long and short of it is, if you have the attitude of the first part of this Psalm, you need to draw close to God, because you're far from God, and you're comparing yourselves among yourselves, with other people, and comparing yourself with things that God doesn't want you to compare yourself to. You need to compare yourself to your standing with God and Jesus Christ.

"…I have made the LORD God my refuge, that I may declare all Your works" (v 28). There it is! That's quite something!

Now, we're talking about doctrines. 'If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and does not adhere to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that is according to Godliness.' That's what we're comparing right now.

John 7:16: "Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me…. [tie this in with Matt. 7] …If anyone desires to do [practices] His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from My own self'" (vs 16-17).

If Jesus didn't speak any other doctrine but what He was taught of God the Father, who are we to add to the Word of God? Stop and think about that! Stop and think about the seriousness of people adding their own ideas and different 'religious' ideas and 'religions' to the Word of God and teaching that. That's very serious! Jesus set the example that he didn't speak of Himself. That means out from within My own self, My own human nature, I am not originating anything! That's what He's saying.

Verse 18: "The one who speaks of himself…" That's what all the ecumenical movement is, all of these private teachings and doctrines; and there are a jillion different doctrines concerning so many different things, I don't even have time to mention them. I know of at least three Elijahs and ten Ezekiel watchmen on the wall, all with varying and strange doctrines.

"…is seeking his own glory…" (v 18). In other words, he who is speaking from himself. BING! This is an idea, this sounds good.

"…but He Who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true…" (v 18). Jesus is saying that He is seeking the glory of God the Father 'Who sent Me.'

"…and there is no unrighteousness in Him" (v 18). In order to understand the glory of God you have to practice it. That you do!

Titus 1:9: "Holding steadfastly to the faithful Word, according to the teachings [doctrine] of Jesus Christ, so that he may be able both to encourage with sound doctrine and to convict those who are gainsayers." It's very important for us to know and realize and really keep these things in mind.

Doctrine is very important for us to hold onto, brethren. It's not just a strict teaching or dogma of men.

Romans 16:17: "Now I exhort you, brethren, to take note… [pay attention to and understand who they are] …of those who are causing divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and shun them." What happens? Sooner or later, you begin mixing doctrine!

Verse 18: "Because these are the sort who are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies…"

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They're preaching from their own selves and seeking their own glory.

"…and are deceiving the hearts of the innocent by smooth talking and flattery" (v 18). That's what happens. That's why everyone is to learn and know the Word of God and have it in their heart and mind so that they won't be taken in by any of these things.

I was really amazed and it struck me, when I was reading the introduction in Romans that Tyndale wrote, he said, 'Everyone ought to learn the book of Romans by rote. That's a tall thing to do, but back then they didn't have radio, television, CDs and all of these things. When they would get done working, they would come home and if they had a Bible there, and they studied it, they could learn it.

But I tell you what, that really just has stuck in my mind how important it is. That is really true of all the Word of God. You go down through and when James Fox wrote about the Waldensians and their martyrdoms. There were some who only had the book of John, and they had memorized the whole book of John. That sort of makes my brain go a little limp. I'm happy that I can remember as much as I do.

Exodus 24:3: "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.' And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel" (vs 3-4). Then they had the offerings.

Verse 6: "And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.'" (vs 6-7). That was the finalization of the marriage covenant between Israel and the Lord.

Verse 8: "And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.'" When there is a covenant, God writes it down so there is no doubt.

The blood of the covenant with Christ is us. That's why we are not to have the inner-mixing of personal teachings or religions of the world with the Truth of God, because you would be breaking the covenant that was made. You think that this covenant here was the tough one, well, the New Covenant was even tougher when you come to really understand it.

Moses reiterated it again. Before they went into the 'promised land,' God made sure that Moses let them know everything. As a matter of fact, the word Deuteronomy means the second giving of the Law. You have the generation who came out of Egypt that heard it at Mt. Sinai, and they didn't go into the 'promised land' because of their sin. Then you have the generation 40 years later that was ready to go in, and now Moses gave them the Law again! He sums it up:

Deuteronomy 32:44: "And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. And Moses made an end of speaking all these words… [of the song (Deut. 32)] …to all Israel. And he said to them, 'Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to observe and to do, all the words of this Law. For it is no vain thing for you because it is your life. And by this word you shall prolong your days in the land where you go over Jordan, there to possess it'" (vs 44-47).

God always writes it down! The Word of God is fantastic, brethren; it is absolutely marvelous! We have all of it! The Word of God is the greatest, most precious thing that we have. The Word of God is what we need:

  • to know
  • to understand
  • to live by
  • to think by
  • to run our lives

We have our sins and faults and weaknesses. But God's mercy and love and grace is there to cover us.

  • He's called us
  • He's given us His Spirit
  • He love us
  • He knows that we going to have our faults and shortcomings

I tell you what, if you love God and love His Word, and are striving with all that is in you, do you not want to correct those things that are not right? Sure you do!

I'm also convinced that God allows each one of us to have one particular sin or weakness or fault that kind of plagues us all of our life. I'm sure that if you sat down and thought of it, you could probably name yours. I know that I could name mine. I think that God does that so that we will understand that salvation only comes from Him! Overcoming is only through His Spirit!

Psalm 147:19: "He declares His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances unto Israel. He has not done so with any other nation; and as for his ordinances, they have not known them. O praise the LORD!" (vs 19-20). Isn't that something? Isn't that true? The very nation that God dealt with—Israel and Judah—are the one who really ought to know God. The rest of the world is cutoff and blinded. They don't even know His judgments.

We are told concerning false prophets that you will 'know them by their works, by their fruits.' What is the most important fruit that you will know them by? They may look pleasant; they may look humble and sound sincere. What is the most important fruit to look to? Their words! Their teachings! You can't base anything on a feeling, supposition or speculation. That's how con-artists work. They make people feel good. That's why they are called confidence men. They gain your confidence.

What happens when you operate upon feelings and not fact? If you're dealing with a conman who is after your money, you generally have less of it. Let's understand that spiritually! If you listen to a conman spiritually, he's going to rob you of God's way, because that's his purpose.

This where John the Baptist is speaking to the scribes and Pharisees John 3:31: "He Who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all; and what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony. The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true; for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God…" (vs 31-34).

  • since God's Word has been purified seven times
  • since God's Word is the Truth
  • since God's Word leads to salvation
    • Why would anyone want to preach any other thing?
    • Why would anyone want to twist it and distort it for 'pet' doctrines?

The principle is true, not only applied to Christ, but to someone who does not adhere to the sound words of Christ, the wholesome words of Christ, and the doctrine which is according to teaching, withdraw yourself from it, so you won't be polluted by it! "…for He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God."

"…and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him" (vs 34-36).

As we saw in Psa. 73, temporarily in this life he may have a lot of pleasures of wickedness, because 'there's pleasure in sin for a season.' There is the reward of wickedness that Balaam sought. But sooner or later the wrath of God will abide upon him.

John 6 is when Jesus fed the 5,000; of course, if you were just a carnal person and you could see that every time the disciples broke off some bread, the loaf grew. Every time they gave out fish, more were created in the basket. That would be phenomenal to see. Jesus didn't feed just 40 or 50 people, He fed 5,000! And they wanted to make Him king, because what better king could you have than someone who would give you miraculous food. We won't have to work anymore, He will provide it.

John 6:1: "After these things, Jesus crossed over the Sea of Galilee (or Sea of Tiberias)." They went all over the place looking for Him, and finally found Him and said to Him:

Verse 25: "And after finding Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, 'Rabbi, when did You come here?' 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 we can be fed! That was the whole point!

There are a lot of people who want to do the works of God. In some ways I have an aversion to the term work of God. We've heard it for so long, and have had it misapplied. Here's what Jesus said when they wanted to misapply it:

Verse 29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'"

The long and short of it, brethren, is that in this life the greatest work you can do is totally believe in Jesus Christ, have faith in Him, and love God the Father and Jesus Christ. There is no greater work! That is greater than physical things, greater than food; in fact, greater than physical life because it has the assurance of eternal life!

Since one day we're all going to face the grave, we need to understand that the most important thing are those things that lead to eternal life.

Verse 30: "Therefore, they said to Him, 'What sign will You perform, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate manna…'" (vs 30-31). It gets right back to food; they're actually tempting Jesus and are saying, 'We'll believe You if you give us manna. That's virtually what they're saying.

"'…in the wilderness, as it is written: "He gave them bread to eat that came down from heaven"'" (v 31). They were even 'religious' and quoted Scripture. But they were twisting it for their own use; a very good example of not adhering to the words of God, but wanting to use part of the Word of God for a benefit for self. That's where most people really fall short.

Verse 32: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true Bread from heaven.'"

He didn't even answer the question. What did He do? He was exposing their desire for a physical thing by pointing them to the spiritual thing!

Verse 33: "'For the Bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'" They didn't have a clue as to what He was saying.

Verse 34: "Therefore, they said to Him, 'Lord, give this bread to us always.' Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time. But as I said to you, you also have seen Me, yet, you do not believe'" (vs 34-36). After a few other exchanges, and saying, 'How can He be the One?'

Verse 43: "For this reason, Jesus answered them and said, 'Do not be complaining among one another.'" They were talking back and forth, 'How can this be? This is just the son of Joseph, we know who He is; He grew up in Nazareth! We know Galilee, and no good thing comes out of Galilee. No prophet ever came out of Galilee.' You can just hear them arguing back and forth.

Then Jesus said, v 44: "No one can come to Me… [no one has the power—'dunamais'—you cannot, no power] …unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…" That's why it is so vitally important for you to understand concerning the words of God. God Himself, in heaven above, has personally called you, and everyone who has the Spirit of God!

Unfortunately, we're dealing with a lot of tares and wolves, and they have been infiltrated into the Church. That's where all of these false things have come from. That's why Paul said that if they don't adhere to the sound wholesome words of Jesus Christ, withdraw yourself!

  • You have been called by God the Father Himself!
  • He has drawn you!
  • He has led you to repentance!
  • He has given you the Holy Spirit!
  • He has given you understanding of His Word!

"…and I will raise him up at the last day" (v 44). This is not the Last Great Day. This the last day of human rule (Rev. 11) where the seventh trump is blown the resurrection takes place. 'Then the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.' That is the last day for us, not the Last Great Day Feast.

Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'…." Let's understand why it's so important that whomever God sends is going to speak the words of God. These are the words of God and you are to be taught the words of God, with the sound doctrine that comes from Jesus Christ. "…they shall all be taught by God…."

Let's understand something that is very important. When you read the Bible and you understand it, Who is teaching you? God is! When you come to Sabbath services and you hear a sermon—or if you're in your home and listening to a sermon—and you understand what is being said, that it is the Word of God, that it is true—even though you hear my voice—Who is really teaching you? God is!

So, anyone who is a true teacher of Christ and God is going to be the one who is speaking the words to make it understandable for you to know it. When you have that conviction in mind, when it gets in your mind, and you say, 'Aha!' Who has opened your mind to understand? It's been God through the power of the Holy Spirit in your mind that makes that connection! That's what it is. That's why it's so important that the words of God be followed.

"…Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me" (v 45). Not in exactly the same way that it was with Jesus Christ. He saw the Father every day, was taught of the Father, and by 12-years-old He understood that He was to be about His Father's business, and knew more than all the priests and scribes in Jerusalem.

We're not taught that way, but we are taught of the Father. We have learned of the Father if we study the Word of God, if we live by the Word of God, and on Sabbath when this is the day that God has blessed—and the most important day of the week so that we can have fellowship with God the Father and each other—then we learn of the Father. He is the One Who is doing the teaching, through the power of the Holy Spirit. That's why all of these political church meetings are an abomination to God! They are stifling the Spirit of God and stifling the ability of people to be taught of God, because there are preaching the precepts of men! That's why we are to separate from those who don't adhere to the words of Christ.

When you're in these political meetings and false doctrines are coming in, after a while you get brainwashed. What was the first thing that was attacked? The first thing that is always attacked? The nature of God and the nature of Christ! When that is attacked and they get you confused…

The first step is to get you confused from the Truth by mixing it in such a way that it sounds 'religious' but it is not really the words of Christ. Then you're all confused. What has to happen? They have to come along and 'straighten you out'! They straighten you out with their own more confusion and doctrines.

That's just the way that it goes. It's kind of like this report that I saw: you buy a car, here's the price of the car, here's your monthly payment. They ask you the realm of 'how much you can afford?' 'Well, $248/mo,' and what happened was that they actually added in to the cost of the car to begin with all the five year's interest that you're going to pay. BINGO! right up front!

People read that and say, 'I'm confused.' I thought it was only this much.' Let me help your confusion. It's the same way 'religiously.' You get a lot of those who should be used car salesmen preaching and they get everybody confused, and then they come and try to 'help you with your confusion' and pretty soon you agree with them, because you're confused like they're confused, and you understand their confusion; so you agree! Pretty soon all the confusion will get to you and your whole operation of thinking will change from thinking the way God wants you to, to the way of thinking that Satan wants you to.

It was actually preached from the pulpit of the Worldwide Church of God that the WCG is not part of the Universal Holy Catholic Church! I said that years ago that was going to happen. I'm not any great genius or prophet—please understand that—I'm not! But after a while when you watch all of these false prophets do all the things that they do, pretty soon you can predict exactly where they are going. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

But the great, great hindrance is that when those things are done, they stop everyone from learning from God. That's something! All that you understand of God's Word has come from God!

  • Who has given you the Spirit? God the Father!
  • Who has given you His Word? God the Father and Jesus Christ!

In spite of men, it is here in the Bible, as pure a form as you're going to get. You can be taught of God! That's what is so important in why we come to Sabbath services, why we study the Bible, and why we do these things: so that we are taught of God! There is an interaction that takes place.

There may be some things that are hard to understand, but don't worry about it; you'll understand later. God is going to teach you, and you will know, provided that you do this:

John 6:56: "The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him." There's an absolute distinct barrier between those who are Christ's and those who are not.

We're going to see that there are some who belong to Christ, such as the apostles and disciples, then you have those who believe in Christ but don't believe Him unto salvation! They're not willing to take the hard sayings of God. Some of the things we've discussed here are some pretty hard sayings.

Verse 57: "As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me." By every Word of God! That's what it's all about, anything else is a diversion.

Verse 58: "'This is the Bread, which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate manna, and died. The one who eats this bread shall live forever.' These things He said in the synagogue as He was teaching in Capernaum. Therefore, after hearing these words, many of His disciples said, 'This is a hard saying. Who is able to hear it?'" (vs 58-60). And many of them turned away.

Verse 61: "But Jesus, knowing that His disciples were complaining about this, said to them, 'Does this offend you? What if you shall see the Son of man ascending up where He was before? It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life'" (vs 61-63)—spiritual life! We're talking abut eternal life!

Verse 57: "As the living Father… [life comes from the Father] …has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me." That can only be accomplished through the Spirit.

Verse 63: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life."

That is why if anyone is speaking contrary to the wholesome words of Christ and the sound doctrine we have received, we are to withdraw ourselves from them! It's taking you away from eternal life! You think about that, and think about all the people that you have known in the past:

  • Where are they today?
  • What are they doing today?
  • Did they get off track because they were listening to words that were not according to the words of God and the sound doctrine? Yes!
  • Did that quench the Spirit gradually? Yes!
  • Did they have their minds reoriented to false things? Yes!

We need to understand that the words that Jesus spoke, we have recorded for us. "…they are Spirit and they are Life."

Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me."

Tie those together and it is the Word of God Who is teaching us! What is the name of Christ?

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." All that ties in right here.

John 6:64: "'But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who were the ones that did not believe, and who would betray Him."

Let's understand something else, and let's apply a little understanding.

Matthew 13:36: "…His disciples came to Him, saying, 'Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.' And He answered and said to them, 'The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one'" (vs 36-38).

Were there tares back in John 6:64? "…who were the ones that did not believe…" Were they with the disciples, among them, but still did not believe? Yes, they were tares! Who was the biggest tare who was sown by the devil? Judas Iscariot!

Since Jesus knew those who did not believe, does Jesus know who does not believe who are attending Churches of God today? Who are really not true believers, but tares? Yes! Tares are always 'religious.' That's how they appear: sanctimonious!

Matthew 13:39: "Now, the enemy who sowed them is the devil; and the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels." I think that right now God is doing a lot of separating of the wheat from the tares. But could it be that Satan is sowing hundreds of tares to one real Christian, by comparison in numbers. If you look at the Christianity of the world, thousands and thousands, millions of tares? Yes!

John 6:64: "But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who were the ones that did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, 'For this reason, I have said to you, no one can come to Me unless it has been given to him from My Father'" (vs 64-65). That is a gift from the Father!

Verse 66: "From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him." They could not endure the sound words of Jesus Christ, that's why! Even though they are a little difficult to understand, but we are told that if we do the will of the Father, we will understand the doctrine, whether it is from God or not.

Verse 67: "Therefore, Jesus said to the twelve, 'Are you also desiring to go away?' Then Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have known that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'" (vs 67-69). Even though Peter said this, he was taking it as something that he had done himself. We just read that it was given of the Father!

Verse 70: "Jesus answered them, 'Did I not choose you twelve, and one of you is a devil?'" He is saying that you may believe this, but not because of yourself, but because He chose it.

Let's see where all of this is to lead us—the wholesome words of Christ and so forth. What is the purpose of this relationship that God has given us?

  • that He would call us?
  • that He would teach us?
  • that He would give us of His Spirit?

What is the purpose of all of this?

If we focus in spiritually on the purpose of what God wants done, then this will help us to understand where we're going and what we need to be doing! It will also ensure that we're never going to be led astray if we are constantly practicing and applying these things.

Ephesians 4:11: "And He gave some asapostles, and some prophets…" Prophets are not necessarily those who foretell events, but they are forth-telling God's Word, inspired speaking.

"…and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" (v 11). All of these are functions of elders. Paul said, 'I'm an apostle, I'm a teacher, I'm a minister, I'm a servant.' What is he? All! It's not a rank, it's a function!

When he's teaching, he's a teacher—a function of teaching, though he be an apostle. So, we've look at this before and it was some great 'rank' thing and everyone who was put in these positions were all elevated higher and higher. What has happened is that God has brought them lower and lower. It was misapplied and we didn't understand the whole purpose as to why God gave it.

Here's the purpose, v 12: "For the perfecting of the saints…" So they can all be taught of God the Father through the wholesome words of Jesus Christ and with sound doctrine; that's how you are perfected.

"…for the work of the ministry… [and it is work] …for the edifying of the body of Christ" (v 12)—to build up, as one would build a house. Christ wants you built up:

  • the edifying
  • the strengthening
  • the teaching
  • the believing

All of this all comes together.

Verse 13: "Until we all come into the unity of the faith…" What is that perfect faith? Jesus Christ! Not political movements done by men who are trying to gather numbers. Listen! Christ said that all that are scattered, He's going to gather. He will do it for those who are preaching the Truth. God will send them to those who are preaching the Truth if they are truly seeking the Truth. That will happen.

"…and of the knowledge of the Son of God…" (v 13). That's what we need to learn about, Jesus Christ! We don't need to learn about sociology and psychology and how to be successful in the world. If we're successful with God, we'll be successful with the things that we do in the world to the degree that we follow the principles of God. God can bless us above and beyond far more than we could do by our greatest skills by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.

"…unto a perfect man… [wholly spiritually mature] …unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (v 13). That's the whole purpose of teaching. That's the whole purpose of the sound words of Jesus Christ. That is some goal! To where when you either come to the end of your life because of age, or you are alive by the time Christ returns; at the resurrection that you are "…of the stature of the fullness of Christ." That's what it needs to be.

Verse 14: "So that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error." In other words, making the error a 'religious' system, and every wind of doctrine!

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

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Timothy 6:1-2
  • Ephesians 6:5-9
  • Galatians 3:26-28
  • 1 Corinthians 7:20-24
  • John 8:31-34
  • 1 Timothy 6:2-5
  • Matthew 10:34
  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Matthew 10:35-39
  • Matthew 7:21-27
  • Psalm 73:1-28
  • John 7:16-18
  • Titus 1:9
  • Romans 16:17-18
  • Exodus 24:3-4, 6-8
  • Deuteronomy 32:44
  • Psalm 147:19-20
  • John 3:31-36
  • John 6:1, 25-45, 56-63, 57, 63, 45
  • John 1:1
  • John 6:64
  • Matthew 13:36-38
  • John 6:64
  • Matthew 13:39
  • John 6:64-70
  • Ephesians 4:11-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 32
  • Revelation 11

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Epistles of John
  • Book: The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 2-23-15