Fred R. Coulter—2007

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Can prophecy fail? Let's read a verse that says that very thing! We have the contrast between love never fails. The greatest power to overcome is love: loving God, loving each other, and that also implies forgiving each other, coming to Christ and daily having Him cleanse us from our sins, and so forth.

1-Corinthians 13:8: "Love never fails. But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease…"—KJV says 'fail':

  • What does that mean?
  • Does that mean that some of the prophecies we look at may not come true?
  • What does that mean?

These have to be prophecies of men! Our understanding of prophecy may not work out, but it doesn't say our understanding. Will they fail? Then Let's see what God says! This has actually been stated within some of the Churches of God that if the world would repent then all the prophecies in Revelation wouldn't come true. How could that be? Let's examine it!

Daniel 2:45:" Because you saw… [this goes clear back into the 6th century B.C.] …that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure." It's going to happen!

The reason that I started here is because in the series Daniel/Revelation I start with Daniel, because Daniel is the first part of understanding the book of Revelation, which is the part that gives understanding to the rest of the Bible and fills in the missing links and gaps from Daniel, up until that time till the end.

Revelation 21:5: "And He Who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'"

  • What words are included in that?
  • Does that just mean the book of Revelation?
  • Does that just mean this portion in the book of Revelation?
  • How much does that statement cover?

The next verse tells us!

Verse 6: "And He said to me, 'It is done.'…"—or finished! There are two phases to it being finished:

  • the crucifixion and resurrection

The last thing that He said before the resurrection and commending His spirit to God, He said, 'It is finished.' That meant everything that He had to do as God manifested in the flesh was finished; He yielded up the spirit to God: died, put in the grave and then resurrected.

  • Now when we come to Rev. 21:6—'It is finished'—that's the whole plan of God up and including the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth.

From there on we have the ages of eternity to live, reign and rule with Christ.

"…I am Alpha and Omega… [the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet] …the Beginning and the End…." (v 6). This goes all the way back to the beginning and brings it up to the end!

When Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount, He said, 'Do not think that I've come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but I have come to fulfill.' If prophecies are going to fail, how can He fulfill a prophecy that fails?

God's plan down into the ages of eternity has to have some guidelines and something to tell us what's going to happen. Prophecies will cease as we know them as human beings. That will be the best interpretation of it.

 'From the mouth of two or three witnesses everything will be established,' or known, and even the two dreams that Pharaoh had—of the cows and the grain—that's two witnesses. When Joseph got done interpreting the dream, he said that it is 'established and sure.' We need to understand that concerning the Word of God.

Prophecies of God can be deferred upon repentance. We'll look at that, because repentance is what God is seeking in every one of the prophecies of punishment. Go all the way through the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and even look what happened with Nebuchadnezzar, he repented to a certain point. Let's see how the prophecies can be deferred, and let's see what God looks to.

ABRAHAM

Abraham's bargaining with God beginning at 50 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah and getting it down to ten. God said He would defer it, He wouldn't do it then if there were ten, and it turned out there were only four: Lot, his wife and two daughters; his sons didn't believe. You talk about an imminate prophecy: get out today!

But notice the mercy of God. That's what we need to understand in this. Wherever disaster comes, it's because of sin. Whenever there is repentance, there is mercy. God doesn't delight in the death of the wicked.

JEREMIAH

Jeremiah 5:1—God tells Jeremiah: "Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in her open places, if you can find a man… [for the sake of one] …if there is one who does justice, who seeks the Truth; and I will pardon her."

In other words, God is going to hold back the hand of what He prophesied against Jerusalem and Judah. He would pardon it! What happens when God pardons? Let's see with the Assyrians, which is quite something.

God told Jeremiah, 'I'm sending you to a stiff-necked people! If I had gone to any of the other nations, they would have accepted Me, and they wouldn't change. But God called Israel, and they keep going after other gods.

JONAH

So, here's a Gentile nation that God was dealing with, and of course, Jonah didn't want to go and do what God told him to do. You know the story there. After Jonah was spit out on the shore; he had been through quite a trial. Imagine what it was like being three days and three nights in a specially prepared fish. Here you are in total darkness and blackness. I don't know what it must have smelled like in there, but it must have been something!

Jonah 3:3: "And Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the Word of the LORD. And Nineveh was a very great city of three days' journey across." It took three days to walk through it!

Verse 4: "And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried and said, 'Yet, forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!' And the people of Nineveh believed God….(vs 4-5).

It was Jonah who brought the Word. This is what God desires whenever any of these prophecies come. I want you to think about that in relationship to God, the people of God and the Churches of God, especially in America.

As I've mentioned before, the only place in the world that the Gospel is being preached in any magnitude at all, whether in sincerity or insincerity is in America, and it goes out from here. I'm sure that God knows that He's got to judge this nation. But I'm also sure that He's holding back the hand. I think that if we can respond, each of us—like Jeremiah was told of the one man—that God would give us whatever time that He would be gracious and kind enough to give to defer the judgment until we can accomplish what God wants us to do. God will do that! Just like He did here!

"…And they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them, for word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne…." (vs 5-6).

Compare this from Pharaoh; quite different. Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said that the Lord says, 'Let My people go.' Pharaoh said, 'Who is the Lord?' Completely different.

The king arose from his throne, "…And he laid aside his robe from him, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his great ones, saying, 'Do not let man or beast, herd or flock taste anything; do not let them feed, nor drink water. But let man and animal be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God. And let them each one turn from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may repent, and He may have pity and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we do not perish'" (vs 6-9).

Repentance and mercy come right after love, and are more important than the timing of prophecies. Yet, think about how many times we try to tell God when Christ was going to return. That doesn't mean that the prophecies have failed. That means they can be deferred, just like this!

Verse 10: "And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way. And God repented of the evil that He had said He would do to them, and He did not do it."

A hundred and twenty years later, it happened! If something is going to happen in America where there will be sufficient repentance to delay some of these things happening, you know it's going to have to be a mighty, mighty repentance. Really, it should begin with the Church.

JOSIAH

1-Kings 13—is a prophecy of Josiah and it happened just like God said. Sometimes God calls them by name. This is when Jeroboam began the worship of the golden calves.

1-Kings 13:1: "And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the Word of the Lord, to Bethel. And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he… [the prophet] …cried against the altar by the Word of the Lord and said, 'O, altar, altar, thus says the LORD. "Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon you he shall offer the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and men's bones shall be burned upon you"' (vs 1-2)—that did happen!

Here's also something to consider; let's see what happened in 2-Chron. 34, because this is very instructive for us. Look in the Scriptures and see how many times that when someone was faithful to God became unfaithful in his old age. Many times! Let's just talk about Hezekiah:

HEZEKIAH

Hezekiah was faithful to God. He actually had a hand in bringing together some of the books in the Old Testament. Isaiah came to him and said that he was going to die. So, Hezekiah turned to the wall and wept sore, and God said He would add to him 15 years. There again, with repentance God defers. So, he was healed!

What happened after he was healed? The ambassadors of Babylon came and Hezekiah showed them everything that he had, which was a foolish thing to do. So, God said:

 'Why did you do this? It was foolish to do it. I'm going to bring punishment upon Judah because of what you did, but I'm not going to bring it in your day.'

Hezekiah said, 'Peace in my day, that's good!' He was pretty selfish in it. What happened? Punishment came in a way that he didn't expect! His son—Manasseh—became king and was one of the most wicked kings in all the history of the Old Testament and he reigned for 55 years! You can read all that he did. He even built an idol himself and put it in the house of God.

JOSIAH (continues)

It's interesting how that God sometimes chooses very, very young. Remember that Jeremiah was prophet all during the time of Josiah. If there is going to be a deferring of any of the prophecies prophesied against this nation, this is what's going to have to happen. Stop and think, as we read 2-Chron. 34, who in America would do this and live to accomplish it, given the state of things that they are? Especially if he begins as an 8-year-old boy! Imagine that!

2-Chronicales 34:1: "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years." He died at 39!

Verse 2: "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and did not turn aside to the right nor to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek after the God of David his father…." (vs 2-3)—age 16!

God is interested in teens, that they come to Him, They can make the choice and do it without a doubt.

"…And in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. And they broke down the altars of Baalim in his presence. And he cut down the images, which were on high above them, and the groves. And the carved images and the molten images he also broke in pieces, and made dust from them, and scattered it upon the graves of the ones who had sacrificed to them" (vs 3-4).

Verse 8: "And in the eighteenth year of his reign… [age 26] …when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God."

Then they found the Book of the Law, Hilkiah the priest gave it to Shaphan the scribe and brought it to Hezekiah.

Here's what would have to happen in order for there to be a greatly extended delay of the prophecies given against this nation today, just like it was there.

When Josiah heard the prophecies given, Josiah rent his clothes and cried out to God. Things were so bad that the only one who had any spiritual discernment at that time was Huldah. So, don't think that women are neglected in the Bible, they're not!

What did Josiah do? He sent for Huldah the prophetess to find out what was going to happen! What we need to do is think of this way: the only one who could possibly do it—and it would have to be with the full consent of the Supreme Court and all of Congress—because that's what we're dealing with in equivalence today.

Verse 23: "And she answered them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Tell the man who sent you to me, 'Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its people, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah, because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, so that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. And My wrath shall be poured out upon this place and shall not be quenched."'" (vs 23-25).

Verse 26: "'And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall you say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the words you have heard, "Because your heart was tender…"'" (vs 26-27).

Always remember this: Always have a tender heart, before God and before the brethren!It is true that we do have to build a spiritual bearer around us because of the world that we live in today, so that we can protect ourselves—our mind and heart—that is true.

"'"…and you humbled yourself before your God when you heard His words against this place and against its people, and humbled yourself before Me, and tore your clothes and wept before Me, I have even heard you also," says the LORD.' Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace…" (vs 27-28).

It's going to be deferred, not fail! Deferring is delaying, not failing!

"'"…nor shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon its people."' And they brought the king word again. And the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem" (vs 28-29).

Just consider this going on in Washington, D.C. For myself, I can't picture it! This is what would have to happen.

Verse 30: "And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people from the great to the small. And he read in their ears all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD to walk after the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant, which are written in this book. And he caused all who were found in Jerusalem and in Benjamin, and the people of Jerusalem, to stand to it according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the territories that belonged to the children of Israel. And he made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD, the God of their fathers" (vs 30-33).

What's the first thing that they did? Kept the Passover! Picture this: Outside of deferring it for the sake of the Churches of God and the brethren of God—which God can do—if it could be deferred even longer and greater, then you would have to have something like this happen:

The President would make a pronouncement that by God's Word, all Sunday-keepers will meet on the Sabbath and they will all teach the Word of God and the Word of God only. All schools will teach the Ten Commandments so our children can have proper behavior. All decisions of the Supreme Court would have to be based on the Word of God. All the governors of all states will be responsible for following through and carrying out this order in their states. All the mayors of all the cities will gather together their councils and all of those who are responsible for the administration of their governments. They will repent, reform and follow the Word of God.

There's no way that's going to happen! What I just described is what would have to happen to the nation if God would defer it for an extended period of time.

Then you have the example of one man, as we read, and here's the one man, but look what he did. We also have to consider what the Church does, and some of the things that may be done in the land that could effect a partial change.

What happened to Josiah? After the nation revived and then there was war between the king of Babylon and the king of Egypt. Josiah said, 'I want to get into the battle.' He was told not to go! Here's someone who made a mistake, not in his old age but toward the end of his life. He said he wanted to go, but was told not to go. He said, 'I'll disguise myself so no one will know me.'

What happens when you go against the Word of God? BOOM! An arrow got him and he died! Then Jeremiah took up the lamentation! Jeremiah knew it was going to happen that when Josiah died. Let's understand and learn a lesson: it came not all at once! There were actually three invasions of the Babylonians. But nevertheless, Jeremiah lamented.

2-Chronicles 35:25: "And Jeremiah mourned for Josiah. And all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations, even to this day, and have made them an ordinance in Israel. And behold, they are written in the Lamentations"—now in the book of Lamentations!

Verse 26: "Now, the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the Law of the LORD, And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah" (vs 26-27)—and we have it today!

All of these things are examples for us!

Though God will defer it, Jesus said, 'Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, or abolish it. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away' (Matt. 5). We need to keep that in mind in trying to understand some of these things that we are doing.

  • Would it be possible for vast numbers of people within America to repent?
  • What would have to happen?
  • How could that be?
  • How does repentance come?

We need to distinguish Godly repentance to God for spiritual repentance unto eternal life from the repentance that would be necessary to live according to the letter of the Law of God. Those are two distinct things!

Repentance unto salvation God has to give! I would have to assume that even repentance unto the letter of the Law, they would have to have sensitive conscience like Josiah, tender-hearted, that when they heard the words of God that they would repent at least to the extent of living in the letter of the Law of God's way.

Romans 2:1—this describes Washington, D.C.: "Therefore, you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges another; for in that in which you judge the other, you are condemning your own self… [tie in Matt. 7, judge not, lest you be judged; so this is an expansion on what Jesus said] …for you who judge another are doing the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to Truth upon those who commit such things" (vs 1-2)—you can read that in Rom 1.

Verse 3: "Now, do you think yourself, O man, whoever is judging those who commit such things, and you are practicing them yourself, that you shall escape the judgment of God?…. [ultimately, the judgment goes to God] …Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" (vs 3-4)—that is the key! We might add to all of this:

  • all those who are two timing their spouse would cease committing adultery
  • all of those involved in stealing would quit stealing
  • all of those involved in false advertising would quit it
  • all of those who have pornographic websites would close them down
  • all of the movies portraying evil and wretchedness would stop
  • all of the television programming would be rearranged to conform to the commandments of God

If that happened, I imagine that we would see the things in Revelation deferred quite a while. But I don't think it's going to happen. God will lead them to repentance because they have a sensitive heart. It has to start with them, with a sensitive heart willing to hear.

Let's talk a little bit about repentance unto eternal life. What I'm talking about is a national repentance, which would mean that in the letter of the Law they would stop sinning and begin keeping the commandments of God. Out of that there would probably be a lot of people who would be converted and go beyond.

In Acts 11 we have Peter giving the account as to why he went to Gentiles. Remember that they were also having to battle against the traditional Jewish laws! This is what the problem was with Cornelius who was an Italian Centurion uncircumcised and all his household, though he gave money and alms to the local synagogue and prayed to God and things like this.

But the Jews had a law—a law of Judaism—that you could not go into a house of a Gentile, and you could not eat with that person. God had to break that barrier down, so He used Peter to do it. After he came into the house, Peter explained to Cornelius:

Acts 10:28: "And he said to them, 'You know that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew…'"

You cannot find in the Old Testament any law that says what the Jewish law says, so this is talking about a Jewish law. If you have never read the book Code of Jewish Law you do not understand works of law that Paul wrote about in the New Testament, though in Appendix Z: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version) explains about it.

This is very instructive as to the minutia of the letter of the law that the Jews went to, to try and make people righteous. The key is that righteousness comes through forgiveness, justification and a repentant heart. Then the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

This is what happened. Peter went there and as he was preaching, God sent the Holy Spirit on Cornelius and his household to show to Peter that God was going to deal with the Gentiles uncircumcised, in the same way that He dealt with the Jews in sending the Holy Spirit.

God had to send the Holy Spirit first, before they were baptized. When God sent the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues and so forth, so that Peter would see; 'How can we not baptize these people if God gave them the Holy Spirit.'

Protestants look at that and say, 'You don't need to be baptized today.' NO! they were baptized, but this was a special, one-time, initial breaking down of the barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles.

When Peter got back to Jerusalem, he was hauled in on the carpet, and here's what happened:

Acts 11:2: "And when Peter went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision disputed with him"—because there was the circumcision party within the Church at that time! There had to be because it started with the Jews. This was part of putting that aside.

"…those of the circumcision disputed with him, saying, 'You went in to men who were uncircumcised and did eat with them.' But Peter related the event from the beginning and expounded everything in order to them, saying" (vs 3-4). Then he gave the whole event!

Peter told them that the Spirit told him to go to Cornelius, so he went.

Verse 15: "And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them, even as it also came upon us in the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' Therefore, if God also gave them the same gift that was given to us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to dissent?Do I have the power to forbid God?'" (vs 15-17).

No, God, You can't do this because I say so! You can't do this because all the elders in the Sanhedrin have decreed!

Verse 18: "And after hearing these things, they were silent; and they glorified God, saying, 'Then to the Gentiles also has God indeed granted repentance unto life.'"

  • Repentance must be granted!
  • Repentance is a gift of God!

It starts first with a tender heart and recognizing sin, and then being disgusted with sin. Seeing how sin has destroyed your life and destroyed everything around you. Seeing how it affected:

  • your mind
  • your heart
  • your whole way of living

Then you come to yourself and you repent! God sends His Spirit to be with you. Then you repent even more. As we grow in grace and knowledge, repentance is an ongoing thing. Repentance becomes deeper and deeper and more profound in our lives.

This is a start unto salvation, unto life!

Let's see our calling, and see the difference that would have to be in something like this taking place in the world for God to defer the prophecies for a while, and what it is in our lives in being called unto salvation.

John 14:6: Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'"

This is why in talking about the things that we are talking about, it is important for us to not just focus on things in the world and presume that God would have to do away with all the prophecies in the book of Revelation. But let's focus on our lives and the Church so that God may give us greater repentance, greater understanding and to accomplish what He wants us to do, whatever that may be.

We don't know exactly what God wants us to do and where it's going to go, because we go step-by-step, day-by-day, and then God opens the way, makes whatever is possible and then we forward and ask for God's wisdom and understanding in doing it.

With the Church scattered the way that it is, with as many denominations of the Church of God that we have today, just think of the powerful impact that could be made upon the world and calling people, if they would all repent—all of us, including me—to God:

  • ask God for His Spirit
  • ask God for wisdom in what we need to do
  • and for all of us who are older
  • don't make the mistakes of Hezekiah, Solomon, HWA and others when in their old age they went off the beam

so we can reach out and help people!

  • we are still commanded to preach the Gospel
  • we are still commanded to grow in grace and knowledge

All of these things are combined together and we have the whole Word of God where we can do it today.

I was talking with a member earlier and he knows some Seventh Day Adventist, and Loma Linda is the SDA capital of Southern California, the Cadillac of the SDAs. He's in contact with some of his friends and they have the New Testament that we did and other books and just like some Sunday-keepers admit that they know it's about the Sabbath, but 'what am I going to do?'

I was talking to a woman about Christmas. I wasn't trying to convert her or anything, but she says, 'I know that Christmas is pagan, but it's so much fun!' Let's see why that is so. There are a lot of people who know that the Sabbath is the day to worship. A lot people know that Christmas is pagan, etc.; but they don't do anything about it.

Matthew 22:14: "For many are called, but few are chosen."

  • What does that mean?
  • What constitutes a call?

or

  • A beginning of a call?

God revealing Himself to an individual, but:

  • How does it start first of all?

Unless you're like Saul and knocked down on the road to Samaria, how does it start? It doesn't start with repentance, it starts with knowledge! You know that the Sabbath is the true day of worship in the Bible, that's the beginning of a calling. If you act upon it, then God will continue to be with you. {note sermons: Spirit of God, Spirit of Man, Seven Spirits of God #s 1 & 2}

God has His seven spirits that are the eyes of the Lord that go 'to and fro on the earth seeking those who are seeking Him.' When you come into the knowledge of some of the Truth, you begin to act upon it, and you begin to seek God.

If you don't act upon it and you don't seek God, and you go on your own way, you're part of those who have had a beginning of a call, but you did not answer!

It's almost like a telephone call. You don't answer it. If it rings more and more, you unplug it. Wouldn't it be startling if you picked up the phone and on the other end was really God? Well, it's not going to happen that way!

God expects you to respond to the knowledge that you have. He'll provide more for you. If you respond even more, then He is going to send one of the seven of seven spirits to be with you, because the Spirit of God is with anyone who is seeking God. If he or she is seeking God, and really wants to know about God, then God will lead them to repentance and grant them repentance unto life! That's how the situation begins.

Then the few are chosen, because few repent! When you do repent and God, through His Word and circumstances—because God will work in your life through circumstances—once you begin to seek God, you probably will even pray a little bit. Not that you'll necessarily get down on your knees and pray right away, but you say, 'O God, help me in this,' and it happens!

God is saying, 'Come a little closer.' So, people not connected with the Church of God can have their prayers answered if they start drawing close to God. How is God going to begin to call anybody out there in the world, someone who knows nothing, and just says,

I've heard, Jesus, that you forgive sin. My life is a mess, forgive my sins. Help me! Get me out of this mess!

And God begins to lift them out!

How would God be able to call anybody if the only prayers that He answered were those in the Church? Never happen! And we would be the most arrogant of all people in the world! God will hear their prayers. It doesn't matter:

  • who they are
  • where they are
  • what the language is
  • what their racial background is
  • who their father or mother is

It matters what their heart is so God can lead them to repentance!

Let's see how God intervenes. This is part of the Passover Covenant. {Note sermon series: Passover Preparation} The truth is that John 14-17 are the words of the New Covenant, the covenant that God has made with you and you have made with Him. All the promises there are made upon love, hope and faith!

Everything that is in John 14-17 and you're going to find a description of everything that will happen in your Christian walk, even the trials and difficulties that will come upon you. And even to your personal relationship with God especially in the prayer of Jesus in John 17.

John 15—here is the relationship that God is looking for with each one of us, and it starts out with a baptism. That's when the walk really starts, after receiving the Spirit of God. Everything else up to that point, in dealing in your life, God is dealing with you:

  • to see if you choose repentance
  • to see if you choose His way

The more you do and the closer you come to God—and there may even a trial or circumstance that are very traumatic in your coming to God—then He responds to you.

Here's what He says that our relationship is, and this is why it has to be a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

  • it's not with a church organization
  • it's not with a minister
  • it's not with anything other than you and God singularly

then when we get together, brethren together:

  • growing in the grace and knowledge of God
  • growing in the mind of Christ
  • growing in faith
  • growing in love
  • growing in grace

All of these things then begin to multiply. And over the years with all the ups and down, the thick and thin that we go through, all of those things work together for good to mold us, shape us and bring us to have the character of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Quite a fantastic thing that God is doing.

John 15:7: "If… [all the ifs belong to me, not God] …you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you…" That's the key to conversion; your mind is changed! Not all at once, but step-by-step, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month and year-by-year, situation-by-situation.

"…you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you" (v7). He's going to answer your prayers!

That doesn't mean that every answer is yes. Some answers are no for our own good. Some answers are yes, but…

Verse 8: "In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples."

Here's the measurement, here's the key. God always focuses us on the highest thing we need to attain to!

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." That's the highest measure and standard of what God wants us to be!

That's wonderful! Just think of it! God would take us buried in the depths of sin and lift us out of that, give us a change of clothing, a change of heart and mind, and then says, 'I want you to become like Me.' That's something!

John 15:8: "In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit…" Tie in with Gal. 5:22, the fruit of the Holy Spirit; fruits of helping and serving others, all combined together.

"…so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me…" (vs 8-9)—no greater love than that! There cannot be any greater love in the whole universe than the love between God the Father and Jesus Christ.

"…I also have loved you…" (v 9). That's how much Christ loves us. As we come to Passover, understanding how much Jesus willingly did so that we can be forgiven and enter into this relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ is mind-boggling! That's why have the Passover every year.

"…live in My love…. [dwell or abide] …If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love" (vs 9-10). This is what God wants for us; it's fantastic!

Verse 11: "These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full." Even though for a time we suffer because of trials!

No trial is joyous; it's grievous. But afterward it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness!

Verse 12: "This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you." That's what we need to have with each other!

Yes, we need to keep the commandments of God. Yes, we need to have all of those things, but what it needs to lead to the love of God motivated by the Spirit of God to truly love one another!

That's what God wants! That's what's been missing in the Church of God. They want your money, the numbers and attendance more than loving God. I hope and pray that those involved in it will repent. Wouldn't that be marvelous? Think of that! Just name in your own mind those you know that need to repent so they will understand more about the love of God. Pray for them! Don't say that they're bad because they don't preach the love of God. Well, you're not so good if you don't pray for them.

Whatever hang-up you've had in the past, repent of it, forgive it, and go on from there. If you can't go to the person and say to them, 'I forgive you, please forgive me,' and that it's long past and long gone, then go before God and repent and release it! Ask God to grant them repentance, as well. Sometimes you can't do it because they've already passed from the scene and are awaiting the resurrection. Release it! Then we can love one another!

Verse 13: "No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you" (vs 13-14). Part of that is:

  • love one another
  • forgive one another
  • help one another

All of that is there in addition to preaching the Gospel to whomever we can by whatever means we do.

God has given us this greatest and most fantastic calling that could possibly be, and He has given us a great mission—each one of us—in our lives to represent God to those whom we know. That's hard to do because of our carnality!
Isn't that something? The greatest goal, the greatest ability to accomplish, greatest challenge in our life you can't find in any other occupation or thing that you can do in the world. That is the greatest thing for us to do!

  • just think about what God can do with that.
  • just think how God could defer some of the awful things that are going to come upon this nation

Then we can claim and trust the promises of God that He will help us, intervene and protect us!

Verse 15: "No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing…."

  • How many understand the general outline of God's plan? All of us!
  • How many people in the world have no understanding? All of them!

You have that because you're Christ's friend! If things get really, really, really tough and you have issues to deal with that are so hard you can hardly face what you need to do to handle it, then get the sermon: Remember, When all Else Fails, God Loves You! (#1 Love Series)

  • people will fail
  • husbands will fail
  • wives will fail
  • children will fail
  • society will fail
  • churches will fail

God never fails! God loves you! That's what's important to always keep in mind.

"…But I have called you friends because I have made known to you all the things that I have heard from My Father. You yourselves…" (vs 15-16)—middle voice verb, meaning you are the subject and also the object. It doesn't come from just yourself!

"…did not choose Me… [that's a middle voice verb to us] …but I have personally chosen you…" (v 16)—middle voice verb in describing what He has done. Jesus Christ is personally involved in our lives. That's what's so great about it. That's what's so fantastic!

Wherever you are on the earth you can come to the Father by praying, and praying in the name of Christ on your knees. You are allowed access into the Holy of Holies in heaven above to the sole sovereign of the universe, God the Father! That's how much God loves you!

That's why God is going to send Christ to return to this earth, to bring about and carryout all the prophecies that He has given. We need to understand that tremendous hope. "…I have personally chosen you…"

You can put in there about the Laodiceans (Rev. 3[transcriber's correction] where He says, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you open, I will come in and sup with you, and you with Me.' Even those who are slack, busy doing their own thing that they forget God, Christ is there saying, 'I'm still knocking at the door. Open, and I will come in. I want a relationship with you. You are my friend and "…I have personally chosen you…" I want you in the Kingdom of God!' That's what God wants, then:

  • there's no problem understanding about how to keep the Sabbath
  • there's no problem in keeping the Holy Days
  • there's no problem whether you're going to obey God or man

You will be cause you love God, and He loves you and will take care of you!

"…and ordained you… [talking to the apostles here] …that you should go forth and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…" (v 16).

We have the fruit. What is the fruit that they did? Produced the New Testament to add it to the Old Testament! The very words of the apostles today are going out into all the world as a witness, even to the remote corners of the earth. Today we can do it with the websites as never before. That's something!

One of the reasons we did the complete Bible is this: Why shouldn't the brethren in the Church of God have a Bible that says what it really says? So, we don't have to have, 'Well, it says this, but it means this.' Well, why not have it say what it should say? and mean what it should mean?

I know that it's not going to reach out to millions in the world. But at least it can help the brethren, and it can give them hope, confidence and understanding!

"…so that whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give you" (v 16). That's a tremendous thing! That's what true spiritual repentance will do!

There's one other thing that God will do, that Christ will do:

John 16:13: "…even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth…" That's a promise! But here's what we need to understand that comes with God giving us understanding. It doesn't come because we're intelligent, doesn't come because we're smarter than anybody else, it comes by the revelation of God's Word combined with His Spirit. And now we have the whole Word of God! We need to glean as much as we can out of His Word and learn as much as we can, and we can give it to the brethren and have it there for the world; it will be a witness against the world, or to them, whatever it may be. But it's to help strengthen the brethren in these times and days that we're going to face ahead.

Compared to the world whose eyes are closed, their hearts are hardened, their minds are closed, and God will deal with them later:

Matthew 13:16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see…" We see things and understand things that even the apostles didn't fully understand! That doesn't make us anything great. That makes God great! And all the glory goes to Him!

"…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).

This is what we have! God opens and gives us understanding! The greatest understanding that we have… And I tell you this: The way to accomplish more of what God wants us to do is, all of us together—collectively and individually—have the relationship with God as I just described!

Leading up to Passover, review the Passover Preparation series. These explain the covenant of Christ based on faith, hope and love, based on the love of God and what Christ has done for us!

Prophecies will not fail, that is the prophecies of God, because the words of Jesus will never fail. Prophecies will cease when there no longer has to be prophecies, but God would have to, in order to hold back the things that are going to come on this earth, there would have to be a mass repentance, at least in the letter of the Law.

IF the Church of God, on the other hand, really comes to the point of repentance and doing what God wants us to do—individually and collectively—then God will give us more time to do what He wants before the prophecies come to pass.

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

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:8
  • Daniel 2:45
  • Revelation 21:5-6
  • Jeremiah 5:1
  • Jonah 3:3-10
  • 1 Kings 13:1-2
  • 2 Chronicles 34:1-4, 8, 23-33
  • 2 Chronicles 35:25-27
  • Romans 2:1-4
  • Acts 10:28
  • Acts 11:2-4, 15-18
  • John 14:6
  • Matthew 22:14
  • John 15:7-8
  • Matthew 5:48
  • John 15:8-16
  • John 16:13
  • Matthew 13:16-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 5; 7
  • Romans 1
  • John 14-17
  • Galatians 5:22
  • Revelation 3

Also referenced:

Book: Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin

Appendix Z: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version)

Sermons:

  • Spirit of God, Spirit of Man, Seven Spirits of God #s 1 & 2}
  • Remember, When all Else Fails, God Loves You! (#1 Love Series)

Sermon Series:
Daniel/Revelation
Passover Preparation

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 10/15/19

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