Fred R. Coulter—August 22, 2009

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Let's just review the first four steps of covenant law.

1. The Proposal of the Covenant

As we saw, the proposal of the covenant really is very simple. God does not give any details. And as I mentioned, it's just like when a man and a woman agree to marry, there's a proposal. The man has agreed to ask her and the woman says, 'Yes, I agree to accept it.' Now that doesn't tell you anything about what the marriage is going to be like—does it? Doesn't tell you what your circumstances in the future are going to be, except that the husband promises to provide, the husband promises to be the head, and the wife promises to submit, and that they will cling to each other until death do they part.

So really a marriage covenant is a death covenant, too—isn't it? Yes, it is. So that pattern follows with all the covenants. As we saw, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Israel, the New Testament, the Gospel. And it all starts out very simple.

2. The Agreement

You accept it. God tells you what He's going to do, that's His agreement. You tell God what you're going to do, that's your agreement. Then a covenant is greater than just an agreement. It is binding until death, unless specifically stated for a shorter period of time.

3. Counting the Cost

Because now entering into this covenant agreement, which is unto death, you have to count the cost, because you don't know the circumstances ahead of time. Now you know some of them, but you have to operate on faith—don't you? Faith toward God. Same way in a marriage covenant, you have to operate on faith that the man is going to do what God requires of the man to do and the woman is going to do what God requires of the woman to do, and you become one flesh, and you build your life, you build your family, and all of this. So there has to a counting of the cost. So what happens if it doesn't go the way that you may think? Are you going to have a no-fault divorce? No fault divorce in a covenant.

We will see, in just a minute, how that Jesus ended the Old Covenant with His death. Because when we went through Gen. 15, there were two aspects of what God did with the proposal and then the agreement, the belief on Abraham's part, and then the sacrifice with the blood. Then the assurance of the agreement after that, there were two aspects to it:

  1. That God by walking through the parts of those animals, irrevocably committed Himself to carry out what He proposed for the physical seed of Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  2. For the spiritual seed, which would come later through Christ, when God manifested Himself in the flesh for the very purpose of dying to end the Old Covenant, and begin the New Covenant through His death and resurrection.

So there's the agreement, the counting of the cost. God also counted the cost—didn't He? Yes, God told Israel, if…. You go back and do a study through the first five books of the Bible, and look up every place where it is if, if, if, if, if, if, then. The constant in the covenant is:

  1. God
  2. The agreement

Since we are fleshly human beings, prone to mistakes and sins, then God gives a qualifier for us, which then is if you. God doesn't need to qualify it for Himself, because:

  • God is true
  • God is eternal
  • God is righteous
  • God cannot lie
  • God will not lie
  • He will faithfully fulfill what He has promised

And He's also then, through that, given a way where we can recover from our sins and our faults, and our mistakes on an ongoing basis, so that we can remain in covenant with God.

4. Commitment and Belief

You have to commit to it. That's what Israel did. They said, 'Yes, all the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.' Commitment. Now when you make the commitment and you accept the covenant, it is binding upon you and God. God is bound, because His Word is true. And we will see that for the New Covenant, there was a double operation in the death of Jesus Christ. So there is the commitment.

The problems with the commitment then, is our human nature, our sins. And especially with people like the Israelites that God dealt with, that they were to obey in the letter of the law. He knew what the end result was going to be. You read Deuteronomy 32, where it is 'Jeshurun waxes fat and is like Sodom and Gomorrah.' God knew what the children of Israel were going to do, but because of Abraham and the irrevocable commitment that He made to him, He promised that He would be with Israel. And what was the condition? That 'if you love Me and keep My commandments in the letter of the law, I will bless you with all the physical blessings. If you don't, you will have the cursings' (Deut. 28).

God also knew that the covenant with Israel was going to come to an end. Before we get there, let's look at number five, which then is:

5. Witnesses

There are always witnesses. That why in a marriage, what do you have? You have what are called the bridesmaid and the best man. (Which really should be the husband, he's really the best man, but that's what they call it.) The Bible calls it the friend of the groom, I think which is better. There is a legal document that is signed—right? You get a marriage license, if you don't get a marriage license, and none is required, there is still a document that we produce for the Church, which husband and wife sign, and the friend of the groom signs, and the bridesmaid signs as witnesses that:

  • They were there
  • They heard the words
  • They heard the acceptance
  • They heard the commitment
  • Now it's binding

There it is. So you have to have the witnesses.

Let's look at some of the witnesses that we are dealing here. Let's see a principle of God concerning witnesses. Let's come to Deuteronomy 17:1. Now would that they would follow it today; they don't do this today. Let's see how God was going to handle severe problems. A lot of people think, 'Oh, we shouldn't have the death penalty. That's cruel and unusual punishment.'

Let's just take one instance or two:  murderers and pedophiles. God said, 'Execute them'—administration of death, which Israel as a sovereign nation had. What happens when murderers are let out? How many go and commit murders again? Maybe some few repent, learn their lesson, and don't do it. But let's look at pedophiles. They just repeat over, and over, and over, and over again. Think of all the pain and the agony against the innocent live population and children that would be spared all of that had they been executed instead of put in prison for a certain period of time, then they're released—and then what do they do? They put them on a sexual-predator list. If you want a real shock, go to your local county and look up sexual predator list, and you might find you've got a lot of them living around your neighborhood.

So this is why God had certain things that were the death penalty. There were requirements for the death penalty, as we will see. One of them was going after other gods. Now why is that important? Very simple, how many people have been led astray by false religions, to use that term broadly. Religions, which replace the way of God, with their false teachings. And what does it lead people to do? Sin in the name of doing good.

To show you where it comes when you have ministers and preachers and teachers that are not committed to the Word of God, but to a foreign ideology, or today another Jesus—just like we saw on television concerning Obama care, what did he do? He ran out and he got different ministers to say, 'Oh, this a moral thing that we need to do.' Now if there were no false teachers, you would not have the politics of that—correct? So we need to understand, that God, in dealing with people, looks at it quite differently than human beings with their false sympathies, and ideologies, and religions, and personal opinions.

So God says, Deuteronomy 17:1: "'You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God any bull or sheep in which there is a blemish or any evil thing, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God. If there is found among you, inside any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, in breaking His covenant… [Now what does it mean to break the covenant? There are other laws concerning thievery, we read some of those concerning adultery, we read some of those concerning the last six commandments, recompense, and so forth.] (Here's how you break the covenant): …and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun, or the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have forbidden…'" (vs 1-3).

Why? Because all of these things represent Satan the devil. That's why we have the book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? because this helps define—in a world that is filled with false gods, and philosophies, and religions, and so forth—that take people away from God.

What is the worst one today? Evangelical Protestantism; absolutely in the grips of the spirit of the antichrist. Now that's another whole topic. And we do not carry out the death penalty today because the Church was not given the 'administration of death.'

"'And if it is told you, and you have heard and inquired diligently, and behold, it is true and the thing is certain, that such abomination is done in Israel; Then you shall bring forth that man or that woman who has committed that evil thing to your gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones until they die…. [But here is the qualification of it. You don't lightly do it.] …At the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to death. At the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death'" (vs 4-6).

Now today we have how many, if one man or one woman brings an accusation. What they need to do today, with all the television and everything, is have an absolute law: no one can know anything about this crime or anything that has gone on, except that it occurred, and so and so may be arrested. That's it. Nothing is established until after there is a trial, and there have been two or three witnesses. Now it may be a person who saw it, and many witnesses are unreliable—right? You've got to have right prosecutors, too—don't you? You've got to have correct judges, too—don't you? So there are many qualifications in this, and today what has happened because they don't that? There are a lot of people in prison who shouldn't be in prison.

How many people have been put in prison for rape or something like that, at the mouth of one witness? A lot! If they had the second witness, which is not a person, can you have a second witness that is not a person? Yes, you can! If they had DNA confirmation, that would be the second witness—would it not? How many have been released out of prison because they have this program of DNA re-evaluation of a crime? A lot of them have, because they violated the principle of not having just judges, not having just prosecutors, looking for the truth, looking for righteousness, rather than political gain and advantage. So here it is, God's way is the right way.

"'At the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.'" And we can also add in there, if that can't be done by one witness, then you cannot convict someone of a lesser crime with only one witness. If someone stole something, someone can accuse him, but unless you can find the second witness of goods, you cannot convict him—correct? Yes! A lot of our laws were originally based on this, but it's not today.

Then v 7: "'The hands of the witnesses shall be the first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hands of all the people. So you shall put the evil away from among you. If a matter… [Here's where we have appellate court. Here's where we have going to a higher jurisdiction, right here in the Bible, and all based upon witnesses. This is part of the covenant that God made with Israel based upon the principle of two or three witnesses.] …If a matter is too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of strife within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God shall choose. And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge that shall be in those days, and ask. And they shall declare to you the sentence of judgment'" (vs 7-9).

Now remember what Solomon did when there was dispute over whose child died. No one could agree and it was done at night in secret so there was no way you could know. So what did he say? 'All right, bring me a sword, and I'll cut it in half and you can each have half the body.' The one that was the mother said, 'Oh, no, no, no, don't do that.' Then he said, 'You're the mother. Take your child and go.' So you also have to have wisdom and God gave Solomon wisdom.

Now notice v 10: "'And you shall do according to the sentence which they declare to you from that place which the LORD shall choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they tell you. According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach you and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the sentence which they shall show you, to the right hand or the left… [Now if they won't do it, v 12:] …And the man that acts presumptuously and will not hearken to the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or to the judge, even that man shall die. And you shall put away the evil from Israel'" (vs 10-12).

God did all of this to keep rampant crime from just filling the land. A lot of people say, 'Well, that's harsh.' Let me ask you another question. Are the things that they committed against God harsh? Yes! Are they an abomination? Yes! So here we see not only with the covenant, but witnesses. Now God gave many, many witnesses. Let's see the proliferation of witnesses that took place.

Let's come to Deuteronomy 30 since we're here. When all the children of Israel were gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai and the covenant was established, as we read in Exo. 24, what did Moses say? 'Behold, the blood of the covenant.' They all agreed and then afterwards Moses and Joshua and Aaron, Adab, and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel went up and saw God through the Sea of Glass. They had a meal there with God, so another part of it is that there's a covenant meal. But they were all witnesses. Now when we come to Deuteronomy 30 we find something really very profound. Here's a promise of God. Here's one of these ifs. We'll see a couple of these all the way through here.

Deuteronomy 30:10: "'If you shall obey the voice of the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul… [Notice the conditions:

  • God is always there
  • God is never far off
  • God is ready to forgive
  • God is anxious to have a relationship with His people

—so the if depends on us.] …for this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, neither is it far off…. [Remember, this is the next generation getting ready to go into the promised land.] …It is not in heaven that you should say, "Who shall go up to heaven for us, and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?" Neither is it beyond the sea that you should say, "Who shall go over the sea for us to bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?"…. [Because if you don't have it right here, you're going to say, 'Oh, well, we don't know.' Take today's age. What if we had to hire NASA and say, 'Go to Pluto. God put the table of stones of whatever He wrote up there, and we don't know what's on it unless you can go there.' So we'd spend trillions to get there, and finally when they get up there, they would say, 'This is really not a planet, this is just a big hunk of ice.' Not in heaven that you have to go there, or beyond the sea. Here is a promise that God gave to the children of Israel.] …But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may do it'" (vs 10-14).

So you ask the question, 'Well, how can that be if they're carnal minded? How can it be in their heart and in their mind? No, what He's saying, 'I will always provide the Word for you in a language that you can understand.' Did God do that? Has God done that for the world today with the translations of the Bible? Yes, indeed! Very near you, you may do it.

Verse 15: "'Behold, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil… [We're going to see, same propositions. Whenever God gives a proposition:

  • there's agreement
  • there's commitment
  • there's counting the cost
  • there are witnesses

We'll see it right here.] …In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments so that you may live and multiply. And the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it'" (vs 15-16). And everyone wants the blessings of God. I have yet to meet anyone who says, 'Oh, God, please pour Your curses out on me.' But there are requirements for blessings, and the carnal mind does not like the requirement for blessings, which is hear and obey. So what people like to do is claim the blessings, while they still live in sin. That can't happen.

So He says, v 17, just like we read earlier in Deut.17: "'But if your heart turn away so that you will not hear… [That's a first step, won't hear.] …but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them…. [And that's been the story of Israel all the way down through its history—right? Still the story of it today.] (So here's the witness): …I denounce to this day that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days on the land where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you… [There is the multitude of witnesses and that is something you can always see—right? The heavens are there. You can look up and see the sky. God created it and made it. The earth is here, He created it, and everything that is in it you can see it. Perpetual living witness that God's Word is true and also that if you obey Him, love Him, you'll be blessed. Also if you don't, you will be cursed. A witness! So you can't say, 'God never told me.' Not only did He tell you, but He's got the heavens, how many stars are out there? He told Abraham, 'Can you number them?' No! And the earth with everything that's on it and in it. You can't have greater witness than that—can you? We'll see in a little bit, there will be one greater witness, that is God manifested in the flesh, Jesus Christ.] …I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live'" (vs 17-19).

Because God wants to bless you, but there are conditions for blessings. God's love is always there; don't forget that! But also God's love to you, though He loves you because He created you, God's love for eternal life and to be blessed of God here even carnally, is conditional, because He gives conditions. His love is always constant, but you don't receive it unless you meet the conditions. Same way in a family. If you have rebellious kids, and they get up and go out and cause all kinds of trouble, and even though you still love them, you can say, 'No, you can't live here anymore. No, we will not support you anymore. No, all the things you've been into drugs, you've been into illegal sex, you have been all of these things. No, you can't receive any of those things.' You still love them, but your deeper love and commitment back to them, because they have rebelled against you as parents, now is conditioned on what? Change of heart, change of mind, repentance—is it not? So, even in the family it's the same thing.

One of the biggest lies is: 'Oh, well, God loves all sinners.' Yes, to the point He's going to correct them that they may repent, but they're not going to receive the blessings of God because they're not willing to obey, they're not willing to hear the voice of God.

So here's why God has done it here. He makes it very clear, v 20: "'That you may love the LORD your God, and may obey His voice, and may cleave to Him…'" Those are the conditions. If you want God's love, you must love Him back. And Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.' Protestantism says, 'We love You, God. Thank You for doing away with Your law.' That is like saying, 'Sit me down in this electric chair, and turn on the juice so that I may live.' That's what I call a 'mori-oxon.' Won't happen. Here's why: you are not unto yourself. God created all human beings to need God. You cannot function without God, whether in the letter of the law or the spirit of the law.

  • The letter of the law is to live in the land or country that you live in with blessings and prosperity.
  • Spirit of the law is to love God and keep His commandments so you can receive eternal life.

Same principle. Remember, the two covenants come down from Abraham, physical and spiritual. Here's why: "'…for He is your life…" (v 20). What did Paul say to the Greeks there in Acts 17? 'For God has made all men of one blood, so that they might seek after God, for He is their life.' Think about it.

  • Who are you?
  • What are you?
  • Who has given you life?
  • Why are you able to think?
  • Why are you able to choose?
  • Why are you able to do the things that you do?

If you want the blessings of God, then you do what He says. A lot of people think, 'Well, I'll do just so much.' It's like Glenn Daniel said years ago, 'There are too many people that have just enough religion so they can run to God in case of trouble, and they have just enough of the world in them so they can go out and be like the world.' So be accepted on both sides, that's what the Apostle James wrote is double minded.] …for He is your life… [Gives you air, gives you food, gives you life, gives you breath. Everything about you physically comes from God.] …so that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give them'" (v 20). So there it is in the land. That's the witness.

Now we already covered Gen. 22, but let's come here to Hebrews 6 and let's see by the two immutable witnesses. Now this covers the covenant with Abraham, to Israel, which was the same covenant with the physical and spiritual combined, Gen. 15 & 22.

Hebrews 6:13: "For God, after promising Abraham… [Now that covers a lot—doesn't it? That started in Gen. 12 and the promises and went down through Gen. 15, 17, 22. Now he's referring to the finality of the promises here, referring back to Gen. 22 after he had offered Isaac as God had commanded him, but God sent a substitutionary sacrifice instead.

"For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself… [Now God didn't need to swear, because His word is true. If He speaks, it will be or is.] …since He could swear by none greater, saying, 'Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.'.… [And God has done it, and Abraham has yet to see it—is that not true? Yes, indeed! I think one of the most grateful and humble men at the resurrection is going to be Abraham.] …Now after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise…. [That is, the seed being Isaac, who was a type of Christ.] (Paul explains it): …For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose… [So let's understand that. God does not change. We will see later in the covenant, that whenever there is a change, it is a change from the physical to the spiritual, but all the elements of covenants always, all the way through. So God wants us to know the unchangeable nature of His own purpose. So this also tells us within the Bible, the Word of God, explains His purpose. That's why we have the book, God Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days. The things that men in modern Christianity hate and reject and despise, actually shows them what God is doing. Isn't that something?] …confirmed it by an oath" (vs 16-17). So we have the two immutable things:

  • The promises of God, because God cannot lie.
  • The oath, which He did not need to give, but He did for the sake of human beings.

"So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us" (v 18). So that we can be encouraged and inspired. This is what we need to focus on when we're coming into the disastrous and troubling days that are ahead of us. Keep your mind on God. Keep focus on the purpose. Don't look at the circumstances around you.
Now I've got the book, it was written by the German who was a Seventh Day Adventist. I forget the title of it, but I need to read it and bring some sermons from it. He went to the Nazi Army hierarchy and said, 'You've drafted me, but I'm a Seventh Day Adventist and I live by the Bible.' He had his Bible and kept it, and said, 'I cannot work in anything where I kill men.' You would think that the Nazis would take him out and shoot him right away, but because he had faith in God and trusted in God, they gave him the Sabbath off all during World War II, and put him as a mechanic in the transportation division. He had the Sabbath off. I think it is A Thousand Shall Fall,[transcriber correction] I think that's it, based on Psa. 91.

We've all have had difficult circumstances—haven't we? But have we ever been confronted with something like that? Can you think of the faith in God, number one, and this also shows us that faith in God, and God reacting for you and to you to bless you, is not totally dependent upon doctrine or teaching. Now that's important. But he was willing to honor the Sabbath of God in spite of everything that Nazi Germany was doing, and God blessed him and he lived through the whole thing. And even though he went to the eastern front, he was not captured, nor did he go to a Soviet Gulag, like so many of the other German soldiers. Amazing story!

That's why God wants us to 'have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us.' So whenever you start getting discouraged, keep your mind on that, because that's part of the covenant. God says, 'Regardless, I'm for you, I'm with you, I'm going to help you, I'm going to give you eternal life.' Do you believe that to the core of your being?so that regardless of the physical circumstances you may be surrounded with, or find yourself in.That is your hope! Let me just add one thing here that's important. Also, that is our sanity in living in the days in which we are living—correct? Yes, indeed! So that's part of it.

Notice v 19: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul…. [that makes you unmovable] …both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil; Where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 19-20). What he's saying is, Jesus went first, so that you can pray to God and have entrance into the Holy of Holies through prayer. Now that also answers the question: How far away is God? He is as far away as your knees on the floor. That's part of the witnesses, the commitment, the covenant, the shed blood, all of these things combined together. So here are the greatest witnesses.

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Let's review just a little bit concerning the witnesses and then we'll look at some more. Those are the witnesses that God gave to Israel and to Abraham. Now what other witnesses has God used down through time? Sent special witnesses. Angels? No, prophets. God has determined that in dealing with men, He will work through men. This is what a lot of people don't understand. 'Well, who are you to tell me this? You're just a man.' If you're preaching the Word of God, that's what's important. 'Oh, you're just a sinner like me.' I know it, I'm still working on it, just like you.

So all the prophets were witnesses—right? So then you stack up everything that all the prophets have given concerning the coming of Christ and His ministry, His death and resurrection. All of those are witnesses up to that point—correct? Yes! Before we get into the other witnesses, let's come to Romans 7 and let's see how God terminated the covenant with Israel. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the custom words, Old Testament/New Testament. It should really be the Covenants of God for the Old Testament, because there were quite a few different covenants there; and then for the New Testament, should be called the New Covenant, because there haven't been additional covenants made after the institution of the New Covenant.

Now the Protestants universally misunderstand it because they have a 'spiritual lesion' on their brain concerning the laws and commandments of God, which they reject. So they can never be spiritually sound to fully understand. If they were, they'd repent and keep the Sabbath. They would repent and keep the Holy Days, etc. As we read this, let's understand this first: The covenant between the Lord God of Old Testament, who became Jesus Christ was a marriage covenant. When they said, 'All that the Lord has said, we will do.' That was their 'yes.' When the sacrifices that Moses made, shed the blood, sprinkled it on the people, sprinkled it on the book of law, and sprinkled it on the sacrifices, that finalized it.

Physical marriage, since this was a physical covenant, we'll draw the parallel—is what? Binding until death. This is why God prophesied His death in Gen. 15, because He knew He was going to terminate the covenant with Israel, and He had to do it legally and properly, and by covenant law. You just do not vacate a covenant unless you:

  • fulfill the terms of the covenant, which He did.
  • that you take the penalty for going against the maledictory oath that you took by walking between the parts of the animals, which God did.

If you fulfill the maledictory oath, then you die. That releases the other person from the covenant. So this is what we're talking about here with the marriage covenant in Romans 7. So once you understand that, then it becomes very easy to understand this part of Romans 7. Plus I've translated it in such a way that it makes it understandable. Whereas when you read it in the King James, it gets muddled.

The comment was made: When you read Romans 7 without the understanding of God, or God opening your mind to understand it, either one, you're bound not to understand it.

Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know law)… [the King James says, the law. This is law, because we are not dealing with the laws and commandments of God, we are dealing with lawthe marriage law—which was given when? Gen. 2.] …that the law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?" Now here's where it shows it is a marriage law. In general, all laws have rule over you as long as you live—is that not correct?

Verse 2: "For the woman who is married is bound by law to the husband as long as he is living… [Now was that true? God was the Husband, Israel was the wife.] …but if the husband should die, she is released from the law… [Not all the commandments of God, because we're talking about what? Marriage law. So the Greek reads here:] …she is released from the law…to the husband…. [Meaning]: …she is released from the law that bound her to the husband. So then, if she should marry another man as long as the husband is living, she shall be called an adulteress… [And isn't this what God said of Israel? Yes! What is going after another husband? Other gods: Baal, all of the forms of the male deities and female deities, etc.] …but if the husband should die… [Since God is eternal, how's He going to die? Yet, He pledged His death—did He not? Gen. 15. Don't we have prophecies of it in the prophecy of Isaiah? Isa. 53, 52, 54. Yes! So how's God going to die? That's why He was God manifested in the flesh.] …but if the husband should die, she is free from the law that bound her to the husband, so that she is no longer an adulteress if she is married to another man" (v 3).

Now why does he say this? God had a choice. The choice was this: He could loose the covenant that He bound Himself to with Israel, one of two ways: (1) Either the wife dies, meaning all the descendants of Israel alive at that time. Would all have to die at once. This would defeat the purpose of God. (2) So He took it upon Himself to die. As He said, 'I lay down My life, no one takes it from Me. I have commandment from the Father that if I lay it down, I will receive it back again.' But if He dies, which is the whole other story of the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, that when He died—what happened when He died at the temple? The veil ripped to show the covenant was severed, and to show that the covenant with Israel was spiritually over. Now it continued another forty years, God giving them a space of time of repentance, the temple system did that is, not the covenant.

"…but if the husband should die, she is free from the law that bound her to the husband, so that she is no longer an adulteress if she is married to another man" (v 3). Now the marriage has not yet taken place. But what do we have? What takes place before the marriage? The proposal and also the engagement. All those who are in the New Covenant are now engaged to Christ. Hold your place here in Rom. 7 and come to 2-Corinthians 11. Israel could not follow after any other god, unless God released them from the covenant. The only way to release them from the covenant was for God to be manifested in the flesh and die. Then He had to be resurrected, so He could—what? Complete the terms of the New Covenant, which then is an engagement from the time of the acceptance of the covenant until the wedding takes place.

2-Corinthians 11:1, Paul writes: "I would that you might bear with me in a little nonsense; but indeed, do bear with me. For I am jealous over you with the jealousy of God because I have espoused you to one husband… [Which you can now be espoused to. When you are engaged, that is a commitment to marry, which cannot be broken.] …so that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (vs 1-2).

Now come back to Romans 7. Let's finish the rest of it here to show that God not only originated covenant law, He Himself lives by covenant law, obeys His own covenant law, and by the grace of God died to release Israel and Himself from the covenant to Israel. But notice, not the covenant to Abraham.

Romans 7:3: "…but if the husband should die, she is free from the law that bound her to the husband, so that she is no longer an adulteress if she is married to another man…. [And the Jews who do not accept Jesus Christ, is that not what they say? You can't enter into another covenant, because this is a strange religion. So they even understand that part of it, but they don't understand Christ.] (here's the conclusion): …In the same way, my brethren, you also were made dead to the…law… [And Protestants read that, 'You don't have to keep the law anymore.' It's not talking about all the laws and commandments of God.] …you also were made dead to the marriage law… [Because is that not what we're talking about? Are we talking about the commandments and laws given at Mount Sinai? No! We're talking about the marriage covenant law—correct?] …made dead to the marriage law… [Now which one?] …of the Old Covenant… [Now that's why I've inserted those words in italics to clarify it, to give it understanding as to what it really is saying.] …by the body of Christ in order for you to be married to another, Who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God" (vs 3-4). This is the conclusion of Rom. 6 about being co-joined into His death. Now we have a living covenant.

Now let's look that there are witnesses for the New Covenant. Let's come to Luke 24. Let's see what Jesus said here. He chose the apostles and disciples as what? Witnesses! And we will see what He did. Luke 24:44: "And He said to them, 'These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.'" All of those are witnesses. How many are there? Three. Everything shall be established by what? Two or three witnesses—correct? We'll see there are other witnesses.

Now you break down those three, the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, and what do you have? A multitude of witnesses. Verse 45, here's the key: "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." And that's what was mentioned earlier, God has to open your mind to understand it. What will cause God to open someone's mind to understand the Word of God? That they want to love God and obey Him. God will open your mind to understand it. But once He opens your mind to understand, then you have to follow through, because you can't play hide-and-go-seek with God.

"And He said to them, 'According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer…. [For the sins of the world, for healing, for everything concerning the suffering of Christ, and the release of the covenant to Israel.] …and to rise from the dead the third day…. [And that's what Rom. 7 says that now you are free to marry Him Who has been raised from the dead—correct? Yes!] …And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. For you are witnesses of these things" (vs 46-48). Now how many were the whole number of original witnesses? Acts 1—120—correct? A hundred-twenty were gathered there. The primary ones were the twelve apostles.

Let's come to Acts 1, and let's just see something else here, which then will add to the witness (as we will see), because we'll see that this is important. Acts 1:1 "The first account I indeed have written, O Theophilus, concerning all things that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after giving command by the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen; To whom also, by many infallible proofs… [Which every proof is what? A witness! The very fact that they saw Him raised from the dead showed that they were witnesses and witnesses of His ministry, His life, His death, and His resurrection—correct? Yes!] …He presented Himself alive after He had suffered, being seen by them for forty days… [Now the forty days was not a trial for Jesus, because He didn't need to be tried any more, this was a trial for the apostles, and remember it says there in the last part of Matt. 28, that even when they met Him on the mountain, some did not believe.] …and speaking the things concerning the Kingdom of God" (vs 1-3).

So then he said, "And while they were assembled with Him, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to 'await the promise of the Father, which,' He said, 'you have heard of Me. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit after not many days.' So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?'… [Because what did He do? He talked to them about the Kingdom of God, and the coming glories and everything during the forty days. So they wanted to know, 'Hey, is it going to happen?' So here's the first, you might say, big disappointment:] …And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority; But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses… [Now notice, this becomes an important fulfillment of the Word of God, and you have it in your hands.] …you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth'" (vs 6-8). How is that done? Through the printed Word of God today.

So you have the written verification by the witnesses who were chosen apostles, were with Jesus when He was in the flesh, preaching the Gospel; who saw Him crucified; who saw Him after He was raised from the dead. Remember, when you come to the New Testament, remember this: Only eight men wrote the New Testament. That was to ensure that there would be a continuity in preaching and teaching, so it still is to the end of the earth today.

Let's come to 1-Corinthians 15 and let's see something more about the witness that He gave them after He was resurrected. So we have the original 120 who were in Solomon's porch there at the temple on the day of Pentecost. And then we have now a greater number who saw Him after He was raised from the dead. Quite different from the prophet Joseph Smith of the LDS. The only witness that was given were the gold plates—right? Remember that, if you've studied anything about the Mormons. But they can't find them.

1-Corinthians 15:1: "Now I am declaring to you, brethren, the same gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you also received, and in which you are now standing… [Let's understand something else. In other places Paul said that he taught the same thing in all the churches, so anyone who takes an Epistle of Paul and fights against another Epistle of Paul to say, 'Well, he said it here, but he didn't say it there.' You're barking up the wrong tree. You take both of them and you add them together, and combine it. That's called the principle of addition. That's how you understand the Bible, a little here, a little there. You put it together. The way the world wants to do it is the principle of subtraction. If in their own mind they don't understand it, they subtract it. That's why they do away with the laws of God.] …in which you are now standing; by which you are also being saved, if you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain" (v 1-2).

"For in the first place… [He says, 'All right, now let's go back to the beginning here and understand this.] …I delivered to you what I also had received… [And who did he receive it from? Gal. 1, from Christ.] …that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures…. [And, of course, that has to be Old and New Testament combined.] …And that He was buried; and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time… [Which was probably the assembly on the mount in Galilee where He told them to go—right? Five hundred witnesses, plus the twelve, plus Cephas, plus Paul, all saw it. Now if you add that all up together, which I've never done, divided by three, I wonder how many witnesses you come up with, based on the principle of two or three witnesses. Many times over.] …five hundred brethren at one time, of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen sleep" (vs 3-6).

So he's saying, 'Look, if you want to prove these things,'—not actually saying—here's the implication of it: 'If you don't believe me, I received it from Christ. And you don't believe what some of the other apostles were teaching, why don't you go down to Jerusalem and the area there, and why don't you find some of these five hundred brethren and ask them.' That's what Luke did when he wrote his Gospel.

"Next He appeared to James; then to all the apostles… [So He appeared to them again.] …And last of all He appeared to me also, as one who was born of a miscarriage. For I am the least of the apostles, and am not fit even to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God" (vs 7-9). So here's a good example. He always learned the lesson of what he did that was wrong against the Church, but he did not let that rule his life. Good example of what to do when you suffer some traumatic sin. Learn the lesson, but don't let it rule your life.

Now let's finish this section up with v 10: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been in vain; rather, I have labored more abundantly than all of them; however, it was not I, but the grace of God with me. Now then, whether I or they, so we preach, and so you have believed" (vs 10-11). These are the chosen witnesses of God to bring the Gospel and preach the Gospel. So having the witnesses is absolutely an imperative thing and God gave the witnesses. It's recorded here for us. That's why we have to understand originally written in the Greek and handed down, and they now know that the Greek text that we have today, the Byzantine text form is 99.8% the original—copies of the original.

That's why in translating this, the whole goal of translating the Old and New Testament for the original Bible was this: to present the Truth of God. Not political, not for a religion, not for a sect or denomination, but for giving the Truth of God so that people can have confidence in it that it is correct. Everyone is told, 'As long as it's accurately translated.' Let me tell you this: all the essentials for salvation have always been accurately translated. Some of the things we are covering here, some of the deeper things of God, right now.

Let's see one more witness that is absolutely vital. Let's come to 1-John 5, and we'll end here with witnesses. I didn't mean to spend the whole sermon on witnesses, but I think it's essential now that we've gone through it. 1-John 5. Now here again, in the original order Bible, please read the footnote concerning the additional verse that has been added. I'm not going into that, because that's not what I'm covering here. We're covering witnesses.

Remember Jesus said, 'My testimony is true, because the Father also is witness.' So that's two witnesses, the Father and the Son. 1-John 5:6: "This is He Who came by water and blood… [Was Jesus baptized? Yes! Could also refer to the water that came out when the spear was thrust into His side, but He shed His blood way before that beginning with when they started beating upon Him, so this has to refer to His baptism from this point of view. What did Jesus tell John the Baptist why He needed to be baptized? To fulfill all righteousness. And this was also, as we will see, part of the witness.] …by water and blood—Jesus the Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness because the Spirit is the Truth…. [Now v 8 is key, because we're bearing witness. That's why when God sends His Spirit to you to begin to call you, and later you repent, are baptized, and received the Holy Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit is in you to witness to you, that is to give you conscience toward God. So when you're going astray, you will be convicted and repent and come back to God.] …the Spirit that bears witness because the Spirit is the Truth. For there are three that bear witness on the earth…" (vs 6-8). Now the verse that says, 'bear witness in heaven,' is nonsense because there doesn't need to be any witness in heaven. Because God is true and the angels that are with Him are Holy angels and are true. There doesn't have to be any witness up there. That's one of the main reasons why that's an insertion, so please read the footnote concerning it.

"For there are three that bear witness on the earth: the Spirit… [Because it comes from God.] …and the water… [Now we're referring to Jesus' baptism, but that could also refer to our baptism.] …and the blood… [The shed blood of Christ, which is applied to us. So the Spirit is given to us, the water, and the blood.] …and these three witness unto the one Truth…. [concerning Christ the Son of God; that's what he's saying here.] …If we accept the witness of men, the witness of God is superior. For this is the witness of God, which He has witnessed concerning His Son" (v 9). Those three:

  •  the Spirit
  • the water
  • the blood

Those all come from God. So this is an additional witness. What is the sum of the witness concerning the covenant that God has given to us? The whole Bible. That's the complete witness. Everything else are also witnesses which all fit into that. And all of these are designed so that we can have faith, and confidence, and know that God is true and right, and cannot lie. His Word is true, and there is no lie in it. His calling is true, and He's going to resurrect us from the dead. So we need to be faithful and serve God and do our part of the covenant that we may receive eternal life.

Number five then is witnesses. We'll pick it up with a review of number six then which is sacrifice and walk of death. We'll review that again.


Scriptural References:

  •  Deuteronomy 17:1-12
  • Deuteronomy 30:10-20
  • Hebrews 6:13-20
  • Romans 7:1-3
  • 2-Corinthians 11:1-2
  • Romans 7:3-4
  • Luke 24:44-48
  • Acts 1:1-8
  • 1-Corinthians 15:1-11
  • 1-John 5:6-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 15
  • Deuteronomy 32, 28
  • Exodus 24
  • Acts 17
  • Genesis 15, 7, 22
  • Psalm 91
  • Genesis 2
  • Isaiah 52, 53, 54
  • Romans 6
  • Matthew 28
  • Galatians 1

Also referenced:

Books:

  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter
  • God's Plan for Mankind Revealed in His Sabbath and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter
  • A Thousand Shall Fall by Susi Hasel Mundy

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 09-02-09
Formatted: bo—9-3-09

 

BOOKS