Sins and Disfellowshipment
Fred R. Coulter

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Let's just review 1-Corinthians 5 a little bit. We have the problem in the case of the fornication (v 1) and they were all puffed up in their vanity. Paul said to 'put this one out.' What I want to cover is that the word fornication comes from the Greek 'porneia'—sexual licentiousness; any kind of perversion.

Whenever a nation perverts its morals; there are two things that destroy a nation:

  • perverted morals
  • idolatry

They go hand-in-hand; every one of them do.

We'll see what happens when people get so involved in 'porneia.' That's all you can say a great deal of television is anymore. It's just 'porneia'; that's all it is. Every movie has got to have some sort of sex thing in it. No man can appear unless he's a woman-luster. No woman can appear unless she's a man-seducer. There is hardly anything except on the Disney Channel where you can see anything that's decent. It just is not there! The problem is, we think—as we look at it—that it's kind of an aberration of TV. That's reflecting a large portion of the society.

If you don't believe it, the next time you go shopping and you've got this rock music pounding in your head, and you're going nearly insane because you can't stand it, just realize that the other people there can't shop without it. They are just getting their brains beat up with this rock music and all the satanism and demonism and sexuality that comes with it.

Romans 1:28: "And in exact proportion as they did not consent to have God in their knowledge, God abandoned them to a reprobate mind…"—a mind void of judgment and discernment. That means they cannot understand how God would even be concerned with their moral behavior. After all, 'what we need to do is send out an avalanche of condoms, fill the country with condoms. Every restaurant, every bar, every school, every restroom will now have a condom vending machine.'

I just heard on the news: You know the traditional college blast they have during spring break in Florida, where all the college students go supposedly for sunshine; they go down for sexual fun and games. If they will not let the hotels and motels pass out condoms, they are going to have people strolling up and down the beaches passing out condoms.

From the point of view of being a little funny or humorous it is, but I want us to understand how absolutely reprobate that kind of thinking is, because they aren't telling people: 'Listen, the inheritance of the future generation is involved in sex, and you're destroying that generation.

Instead of passing out condoms, they ought to take them to the insane asylum; they ought to take them to the cripple children's hospital; they ought to show them rotten bodies of people dying of AIDS and say, 'You do this and you are going to die in the same manner!' Maybe they'd get some sense in their heads!

The reprobate mind follows along the way of human reasoning. I'm sure that all of you have memorized this Scripture: There is a way that seems right to a man, and the ends thereof are the ways of death!There is nothing more destructive than idolatry and fornication.

As Paul said: 'He that sins against his own body' (Rom. 6), idolatry says that if you bow down to idols, God is going to bring that upon the third and fourth generation. Now they're finding that a lot of these diseases that we have are third and fourth generation diseases because people being people were promiscuous way back when.

I think this society is reaching an extreme proportion. Not only reprobate minds, you couldn't even get on the TV to stand up there and say, 'Thank God for AIDS so that we will know who is promiscuous; and if you don't stop, God is going to kill all of you!' I couldn't even get a ten second spot like that on television. I would be thought of as insane, stupid, representing an unloving, unkind, hateful, cruel, wrathful God—right? Right! I don't even think I could get out of the station alive, because there would be the homosexual engineers waiting to catch me at the door with I nice friendly little knife to put into my fifth rib!

Now let's go back and see in 1-Corinthians 10:5: "But with many of them God was not pleased…[not only what He not well pleased, He was angry] …for their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness. Now, these things became examples for us, so that we might not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play'" (vs 5-7). That's exactly what they do today!

Verse 8: "Neither should we commit sexual immorality… [fornication (KJV)] …as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day." The word 'fornication' refers to men who were married and who went out and committed 'fornication' with the women of Midian. We will see the implications of that.

It says 24,000 in the book of Numbers; let's read that account. I think we're going to find that this is a most noteworthy occurrence that took place. Balak hired Balaam and Balaam came out to curse. He got the money, but he couldn't curse; all he could do is bless. Then he got Balak off to the side and said, 'I'll tell you what to do, since you can't curse these people, let them curse themselves. Get all your women and line them up along the border and you tell them to wave all the men over and come and have a feast with these women. Then God will destroy them.'

Talk about the way that people think. Kidnappers are almost as evil as Balaam. 'We're going to kill the hostages; but we're not going to kill the hostages if you negotiate for the 400 prisoners in Israel. Just back and forth evil, just stretching everybody's emotions up and down and back and forth…. As a nation and a people we have gone so far that there is nothing we can do that is right, because anything we try to do is just like God said to Jeremiah said, 'Don't even pray for these people, because what I'm going to do, I'm going to do!' Maybe that will help you understand what's going on in politics. There isn't anything that can be done that is right; it's past that point.

Numbers 25:1: "And Israel dwelt in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods. And the people ate and bowed down to their gods" (vs 1-2).

Every time I read that I just shake my head! Here they were, they saw the pillar of cloud everyday, that gave them cloud covering so that they didn't have to have the intense heat of the desert. And they had the pillar of fire by night. God was there with them; yet, they went right out and provoked God here.

Verse 3: "And Israel joined himself to Baal Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said to Moses, 'Take all the heads of the people and impale them before the LORD facing the sun, so that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.'" (vs 3-4).

That's a strong statement! 'Go out there and get all these people and cut their heads off and string them up before Me.' How mad do you have to get for a God Who says, 'I'm merciful and gracious and kind and loving.' How angry does He have to be to say that?

Verse 5: "And Moses said to the judges of Israel, 'Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal Peor.' And behold, a man of the children of Israel came and brought to his brethren a woman of Midian, in the sight of Moses…" (vs 5-6). Talk about gall! Talk about rebellious! You hear the independence of the American spirit; here it is right at work. 'How dare that Moses tell me not to have any of this; I'm going to get me one right now and bring it right in front of him.' So, he did!

"…and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation…. [All the children of Israel that were repenting with weeping. 'God, what a sad state of affairs!'] …And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation and took a spear in his hand" (vs 6-7). Here's one of these pacifist priests (I say that in jest)!

He took a javelin in his hand, v 8: "And he went after the man of Israel into the tent… [snuck into the tent] …and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman, through her belly. So, the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty-four thousand" (vs 8-9). That's what Paul is referring to. 'They sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.' That's what it means.

Verse 10: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned My wrath away from the children of Israel in that he was zealous for My sake among them, so that I did not destroy the children of Israel in My jealousy'" (vs 10-11). They were committing idolatry by going after other gods and fornication. There it is together, idolatry and fornication! Today we have the same thing: rock idols and fornication goes hand-in-hand. They wear all this jewelry and all this satanism and all that stuff; it's terrible!

Verse 12: "'Therefore say, "Behold, I give him My covenant of peace. And he shall have it, and his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood… [wherever the descendants of Phinehas are—whether they're rabbis or ministers or whatever—they are serving God in some way] …because he was zealous for his God and made an atonement for the children of Israel."' And the name of the Israelite who was killed, he who was struck with the woman of Midian, was Zimri, the son of Salu, leader of a chief house of the Simeonites" (vs 12-14). It would be like Senator Ten Kennedy, flaunted it before the world, murdered the girl.

Verse 15: "And the Midianite woman's name who was killed was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur. He was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian." This is a high-level conspiracy!

Do we have high-level sexual conspiracies against the people today? Yes! Against our children in our schools, on television, in our music. I think we'll see just about where we are in this nation today. You can only go so far with God. God's mercy endures forever! However, there's a time when His wrath is kindled. There's a time when His wrath is like a hot scorching vehement fire! It's like brimstone!

2-Kings 17:7: "Now, it came to pass because the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, and walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which the nations had made. Now, the children of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the LORD their God…." (vs 7-9).

That's what is happening sexually in this nation. People are doing a lot of secret things, and it's even the law of the land that you can have no law abridging any conduct between consenting adults in the privacy of their own abode. But God has a law, and God is going to call this into answer!

"…And they built high places in all their cities for themselves from the Watch Tower to the fortified city. And they set up images and groves for themselves in every high hill, and under every green tree" (vs 9-10). Called today discos, churches, restaurants, whorehouses and bathhouses.

Verse 11: "And they burned incense in all the high places…" Why did they burn incense? Just to make a little smoke? They had what you would call hashish—well known in the Middle East—'hash.' You burn it and everybody inhales and get all high. What do you think they had it for? They had their drugs, incense and everything back there.

"…like the nations whom the LORD had removed from before them, and they practiced evil things to provoke the LORD to anger" (v 11).

Brethren, I feel with this whole thing of AIDS, with the condom deluge, we are provoking God to anger! Instead of having an opportunity to repent, we are giving an opportunity of more license by saying that if you wear this condom or give it to your partner everything is going to be all right. No it won't! They're going to provoke God to anger! It's one thing to have God angry at you; it's another thing to provoke Him to anger!

For those of you have children, you know what I mean. You can get angry at your children when they do something wrong. Then you correct it and it's all over with. But I tell you, there's nothing like the anger of them coming and taunting you, and continually taunting you, and doing it over and over and finally you are provoked to anger that the steam blows out of your ears, and the lightning comes out of your eyes.

I tell you, the words come out of your mouth like a sword and they say, 'Oh, what are you so mad about?' I've done that to my kids once in a while. That kind of anger they don't like. I don't calm down for a day or two. I'm sure that's the same with you when you've had to.

But this is what they're doing to provoke the Lord to anger, v 12: "For they served the idols of which the LORD had said to them, 'You shall not do this thing.' And the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all the prophets, by all the seers, saying… [read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Nahman, Obidiah, Zechariah, Haggai, Zephaniah and all those that are not written and recorded for us] …'Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.' Nevertheless, they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like the neck of their fathers who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant…" (vs 12-15).

That's where we are today. You stand up and preach morality, they say, 'Get out of here with that stuff. We don't need religion. We don't need God.' They're going to find out that they are going to need God! That's strange—isn't it? Every homosexual that is dying of AIDS lies there in the bed and cries out to God. Is God going to hear them? No! They didn't hear God whenever they knew. It doesn't have to be necessarily from one of God's ministers to tell them. The very fact that they know that it's against God's Law, or that they have heard that 'God has said…' They reject it!

"…they rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers, and His warnings that He testified against them. And they went after vanity, and became vain…" (v 15): television, behavior, the education that we have today. It's vain! What is the worst kind of idolatry? The most vain thing you can do? Self-esteem! The humanistic approach: Think positive thoughts; you are a god unto yourself, which is Hindu religion. That's all it is, just Hindu religion in a more modern form; be positive and you can do anything you want. Nonsense! 'Man at his very best is vanity!'

"…and went after the nations around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them not to do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God…" (vs 15-16). Not just some, but all the commandments. Isn't that where we are as a society? Left all the commandments of God! Just go down through the Ten Commandments, it's incredible.

What did you read in the paper this morning? They have indictments against all these Wall Street brokers. Now there's going to be sixty more indictments. Nice white collar, clean looking and they're thieves, liars and cheats. Left all ethics; everything is gone! See what happens when the whole society leaves God.

"…and made molten images, two calves for themselves. And they made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire…." (vs 16-17). We cause sons and daughters to pass through the fire of rock music, sex at ten, or some say that if you don't have sex by eight you're all through and washed up for life. That's putting them through the fire!

"…And they used divination and sorceries… [let's have meditation; let's repeat things over and over again. They're bringing that into business forms and practices, school and everything] …and sold themselves to do evil…" (v 17). How do you sell yourselves to do evil? You go in debt to the devil! We could have had the first full blown false messiah when Satan said to Jesus, 'Bow down and worship me.' Do you know what Satan would have done to Jesus? Satan would have exalted Him as a great messiah! We'd have a false religion just so bad you couldn't believe it.

"…sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger…. [It says it twice. That's pretty heavy!] …So, the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of His sight…" (vs 17-18). That's what God is going to do.

(go to the next track)

Let's go to Revelation 2 and let's show how that when God is provoked to anger, what does He do? Remember, God told Jeremiah, 'Don't even pray for these people.' That's a shame that things get so bad that God says not to even pray for them.

But what happens? God leaves His people and joins the enemy and fights against them! That's what's going to happen in this nation. We're going to provoke God to anger, and He's going to send this nation down. I can see it; it's going to happen!

Revelation 2:12: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos, write…" It's harder to be a Christian, harder every day, especially if they know you keep the Sabbath. I don't let them know anymore. I just tell them I have things to do on Saturday and I know what time sundown is going to be, so I just say, 'I'll be available after whatever time the sun goes down.

"…These things says He Who has the sharp two-edged sword" (v 12). Immediately you know something tough is going to be said. He doesn't say 'Thus says the all merciful loving God…' He says the One who has two sharp edges! That tells you something!

Verse 13: "I know your works and where you dwell where the throne of Satan is…" Living right in the middle of Satan's society; that's where we are today, right in the middle of Satan's society. It is harder to be a Christian today. That's why God has us in smaller groups, so we can get more strength. That is a blessing! God is protecting us and watching over us and keeping us out of trouble. He really is!

"…but you are holding fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells." (v 13). They were faithful only as long as they had one man who was a leader.

Verse 14: "But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication." You can tie that in with Rev. 17:2—that 'all inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk by the wine of her fornication.'

Here the Church was infected by it. Was the Church at Corinth infected by it? Yes! They had a man come traipsing in and guess what, 'I'm making love with my mother-in-law. It's a spiritual thing.' Everyone was talking about it! That's why Paul was so upset!

Then there were the righteous ones, and 'the things that you wrote to me to avoid fornication, don't even touch a woman' (1-Cor. 7). That doesn't work either.

Verse 15: "Moreover, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." That's the doctrine of St. Nicolas. By the way, the pope is always buried in a Santa Claus suit. Go to the library and see a Life Magazine on the death of Pope Pius, the one before John II, and you will see that he's lying there in state and he has a on a little Santa Claus hat, and it's all a bright red suit with a black belt. He's in a Santa Claus suit because he's the successor of St. Nicolas. {picture can be found on U-Tube}

So, it's taking in Catholic doctrines. This Church, brethren, has got to be horrendous! If you and I ever walked into this Church in Pergamos today, we would have to say that's a church of the world; surely it's not of God.

Notice what Jesus says here, v 16: "Repent! For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth." That's awful hard—isn't it? God says He's going to fight against His own people!

Verse 17: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…."

To the Church in Thyatira, v 20: "But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants into committing fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols." Notice how those go hand-in-hand.

Verse 21: "And I gave her time to repent of her fornication, but she did not repent. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death…" (vs 21-23). Christ is powerful here. He's just laying it right out!

"…and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will not cast upon you any other burden, but hold fast what you have until I come" (vs 23-25).

That's pretty strong, powerful things! These two churches right in a row, then the Laodicean is a piker compared to those two. They're just 'rich and increased with goods.'

I want to relate to you this thing I saw on television about Pompeii and about how God can work things to even fight against people. Pompeii is located near what is modern day Naples in the bay at the foot of Italy. Mount Vesuvius is the volcano there. Pompeii is on one side of the mountain and Herculaneum is on the other side of the mountain. When the Vesuvius erupted in the 60sB.C. the wind was blowing from the southwest and blowing all of the ash on Pompeii. So, the people in Herculaneum were not bothered with the initial eruption of Vesuvius. The eruption was mostly just an ash eruption.

In the 1800s when they discovered Pompeii, they found in the houses that the ash had covered everything! They even found loaves of bread covered with ash. But inside there was bread, and they found the people covered with ash in their last position, just the way they were. They found that if they cut open the bodies of the people and pulled the bones out and re-poured it with plaster, they had a perfect impression of that person when he or she died. It was really something!

The real thing that struck my interest was Herculaneum. They didn't know anything about Herculaneum until one day in the city a man of almost the same name was drilling a well and the bottom fell out. It's not like now with the machines like we think of today. They had to excavate down and they had a hole big enough so they could go down and drill.

They went down in there and found a whole cathedral-type auditorium; magnificent! They found gold and jewels; bronze statues of a quality they have not been able to find anywhere—perfect replications of humans; absolutely magnificent. They found that when they began excavating around, this was really quite some town. Down through time they have excavated and they have almost the whole village of Herculaneum excavated. They have artist renditions of what it was like.

But the strange thing about Herculaneum is that they couldn't find any people. Why were there people in Pompeii, but no people in Herculaneum? Even though it was closer to the sea, it was closer to Vesuvius than Pompeii. They were never able to answer that question from the time they discovered this in the 1800s until the 1970s.

They excavated out the town and the streets were down to the cliff, where the ocean was. Along this cliff where the Mediterranean Sea is are arches. They could see them in the stone. So, they decided to excavate in these arches and lo and behold they found that these arches were actually parts of buildings down near the Mediterranean Sea where all the people from Herculaneum fled and all their bones were found in there all jumbled up in a terrible mass.

It showed this one woman who was an anthropologic geologist who can take these bones and tell whether it's male or female, how old this person was—and they had whole skeletons. They excavated very, very carefully, and when they got all the bones in this one area they would put it in a plastic tub and they had hundreds of these tubs! They would take them in and clean up all the bones and would cover them with something to keep them from decomposing any further. Then she would take these tubs and reconstruct the skeletons.

It showed her taking a skeleton and putting on some white glue on this one side and another white glue on the other side and put the skeleton together. Then she would say that this was 'a skeleton of a woman. Here's the pelvis bone and she was about 27-years-old and she had two children.

Then there was this young girl about 13-years-old that was cradling a little baby. At first they thought the girl was the older sister of the little baby, but they found jewels on the baby, but not any on the girl. So, she said by researching this out and putting the skeleton back together and looking at the arm bone where the muscle attaches to the bone there are deep groves where this muscle attaches showing that this young girl was doing inordinately heavy lifting. So, this young girl was a slave.

The thing that astounded me, and I bring it up here, because it talks about the 'depths of Satan' and it talks about 'where Satan's seat is' it showed them excavating with water right near the ocean where they're digging all of these out. They were pouring water and they were taking a little bit of dirt—over and over—and showed right where they were digging it out, they brought out a bracelet of pure gold.

Brethren, these people were rich beyond what we have any concept of. They had food, gold, wealth, wine, oil, slaves, trading, clothing and bathhouses. Because of the springs there they had hot baths and flushing toilets. They showed one great, huge one-piece marble bathtub that when the volcano blew it took that thing and the glass—they had glass—went into the tub and they could see where the glass was when they took away the debris from the tub.

It was absolutely amazing! They had running water, flushing toilets, hot and cold baths. But this bracelet… I want to get back to this bracelet to show you how that God is going to call a society into its judgment where God decides He's going to do it. There's no turning it back. It was a beautiful gold bracelet and it was of a serpent and there were two serpent heads coming together with their tongues intertwined.

Herculaneum was named after the god of Hercules, which is another name for Nimrod! What happen to Herculaneum? They know now, from the volcano of Mt. St. Helens that when it blew all of sudden the debris came back down and rushed down the mountainside at an incredible speed. When it first blew up it had the ash and it rained down on Pompeii. Then it exploded! The thing blew! They were able to figure it out because down in the caves all these people suffocated. There were shards of wood, which were obviously burned by the heat of up to 300 degrees! How did that happen?

They figured it out. Herculaneum was buried with the kind of volcanic debris that is like cement. So, they had to carefully chip away every piece, whereas, over in Pompeii everything was ash and you go and dust it off. When the Vesuvius blew, they had three minutes to get out of town! It blew the top just like an atomic explosion! Then all of this came settling down on the side of the mountain at about 70 miles an hour, and just covered the whole city.

They grabbed what they could grab and they all ran down the streets that led to the cliffs, which led to those area that were right under the cliffs and they all went in there and this came down and just covered them all and buried them.

You talk about God's judgment coming in a moment. They had plenty of warnings—didn't they? The top was blowing over here and the ash was coming down on Pompeii. They had plenty of warning, but they ignored them, because they were sitting there with all their wealth and comfort and saying. 'Well, it's all coming down on Pompeii and we're okay.' Then BAM! the top blew off that thing and they had three minutes to get out! That was it! Snuffed out all their lives!

I'm sitting there looking at that and thinking there's a lesson for us to learn out of that today. The lesson is that we are living in Satan's world, and living at a time when God's judgment is going to come. It's going to be just like those people. If we are out in this society 'eating and drinking with the drunkards…'

Brethren, it's going to come, and everything is more intense. Matthew 24:36: "But concerning that day… [the return of Christ] …and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Now, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man. For as in the days that were before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark" (vs 36-38). Compare that with Gen. 6 and it says that 'the imagination of the heart of man was evil continually!'

Yet, they had a normal life, supposedly! Everything looked normal to them. Isn't that what we have today? We are so mesmerized by everything that we have that nothing shocks us anymore! They show graphic pictures of these poor Palestinians starving to death; eating rats, mules, horses and human flesh. But tonight we're going to go home and have a nice meal!

Verse 39: "And they were not aware until the Flood came and took them all away… [Just like the volcano of Herculaneum. Gone! Three minutes to get out of town. You flee for your life, but you die!] …so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man. Then two shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and one shall be left; two women shall be grinding at the mill; one shall be taken, and one shall be left. Watch, therefore, because you do not know in what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have been watching, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready. For the Son of man is coming at a time that you do not think. Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his lord has set over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing" (vs 39-46). That's why we need to keep doing what God says!

Verse 47: "Truly I say to you, he will set him over all his property. But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming,' and shall begin to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken, the lord of that servant will come in a day that he does not expect, and in an hour that he does not know. And he shall cut him asunder… [Rev. 2, 'I will fight against him with the sword of My mouth.'] …and shall appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (vs 47-51).

If you go through the Bible, a good part of it is blood, guts, gore, and warning! When you get down to how much is inspiration, you get the inspiration and love when you're close to God. We have to live in the world. How do we protect ourselves from the world? Know what's in store for the world! Know that it's going to come, and say, 'I don't want any part of that!'

Disfellowshipment

1-Corinthians 5 is the place where the Bible shows disfellowshipment. Let's see how this is done. 1-Corinthians 5:3: "For I indeed, being absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged concerning him who has so shamelessly committed this evil deed as if I were present." See why Paul was so upset about this? He knew what would happen to the Church if this continued. He knew His Bible and what God had done to Israel of old. We read part of it in 1-Cor. 10.

  • How can you have a church continue with that going on?
  • How can you have it exist in a proper way before God, in a Godly way?

The same way with the experience in Worldwide (Church of God).

  • How could the leadership continue in the sins that they had?

or any church continue in the sins of:

  • adultery, fornication, drunkenness, lying, stealing, cheating?

That's exactly what was going on and still is to this day! And they haven't repented yet! Then they turn here and they take these Scriptures and they start kicking people out of the Church because they disagree with the leadership!

That's not what God means. The Worldwide Church of God is not the only one to use that, the Jehovah Witnesses even are being sued in court by ex-members for the same identical thing: spies to see what you're doing. I don't see anywhere where Paul says that 'you go out and watch that guy to see if he's sinning, and come back and report to me and we'll get him.' No way!

Verse 4: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, together with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ to deliver such a one to Satan…" (vs 4-5). You kick them out of the fellowship; they are not be fellowshipping.

You can't fellowship with sin and God. You can't have members actively sinning and staying in the congregation and have the congregation blessed. It's like any plague; that's what Paul is saying here.

Verse 6: "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" In other words, if you've got one person in a congregation who is living such a depraved life, the whole church is affected by it; bound to be!

One of the things that made me leave the Worldwide Church of God was when Herbert Armstrong came out on a tape and said, 'God doesn't view sex sins as very important.' I said, 'You've got to be kidding! God destroyed Israel! God curses people with deformed children for sex sins—doesn't He?

If you listen KGO on this doctor call-in thing, it's a 'crotch-rot' program! That's all you hear. One guy called up and says, 'I've got this infection in my prostrate.' What is it? 'Well, it's pussy all the time; the doctors….' I thought, why don't you tell the dodo that he's got a venereal disease and to take care of himself and go get the thing cleaned up and sit home and be chaste!

It happens to the Church. If you allow that thing to happen, you're going to have puss running in the Church, too.

Verse 5: "…that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus." He's put out because he's going to suffer. Maybe he'll repent so that he can be saved.

Verse 6: "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (vs 6-7). One of the biggest reasons that people will allow sin in a church is because they do not understand the sacrifice of Christ. They just don't! He's our Passover, sacrificed for us!

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast…" This tells us two things they were keeping at a minimum:

  • the Passover
  • Feast of Unleavened Bread

We know that just from this Scripture.

"…not with old leaven… [the leaven of sin and licentiousness] …nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth. I wrote to you in an epistle not to associate with the sexually immoral" (vs 8-9). The idea is that everything was going to come back on them.

How would it be if everyday you went down to this homosexual bar? On the way home you stop in this nice little convenient bar and 'I'm going to have me a little drink.' You sit in there and the next thing you know you're talking to some people there. Even though you're not doing what they're doing, you are companying with them so that you partake of their attitudes and their ideas and their philosophies. Then you begin to look at these people as not so bad. It clouds your vision; it clouds your spiritual understanding. That's why Paul says, 'Stay away from that kind of thing!' Don't have anyone in the Church that way; put them out. Later, when the man repented, Paul brought him back.

Romans 16—here's another one on disfellowshipment. I've heard the soft line on it, and I've heard the hard line on it. After seeing what's happening in the world—this is the Roman world, and we are living in the Roman world today—we've got to be tough on some of this stuff.

You don't have to treat them hatefully, but the inverse can happen. When the church leadership becomes corrupt and people are disfellowshipped for seeking the Truth and put out of the Church, then the church members are told to avoid them as if they're sinners. All they're trying to do is get away from sin. That's all we tried to do is get away from sin. This last time we had to run lest we get beaten up, chewed alive!

Romans 16:17: "Now I exhort you, brethren, to take note of those… [set them aside, not just visually observe them] …who are causing divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and shun them." Paul said, 'Have no company with them.' Two categories:

  • the sinner
  • one that is contentious and causing problems

Verse 18: "Because these are the sort who are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies… [avoid them; don't fellowship with them. If they're in the congregation, obviously, get rid of them] …and are deceiving the hearts of the innocent by smooth talking and flattery"—with wrong doctrine.

We've seen that happen. You don't tolerate them in the Church. You kick them out of the Church. If they repent, then fine, have them back; but you don't bring coals of fire to your bosom twice. Make sure that the coals of fire are out.

Let's see what it says to Timothy as a minister, 1-Timothy 6:3: "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that is according to Godliness." That's what happened in Worldwide; that's what later happened in Biblical. That's why we want to have this little church the way it is. No hassle! We're tired of hassles! I don't want anymore fights. It's a shame, we have to fight the world so much and it's a terrible shame if you have to come to Sabbath services and fight on the Sabbath. I mean, think of it!

Verse 4: "He is proud and knows nothing. Rather, he has a morbid attraction to questions and disputes over words, from which come envy, arguments, blasphemy, wicked suspicions, vain reasonings of men who have been corrupted in their minds and are destitute of the Truth—men who believe that gain is Godliness…." (vs 4-5).

Guess what old booklet I found? Ending Your Financial Worries! Which should have been entitled: How You Can End My Financial Worries? Supposing "…that gain is Godliness…." Isn't that true.

  • We have a 30% increase
  • We are Godly because God has blessed us
  • We have all the physical gain

Nonsense! Paul ended up without anyone following him! It doesn't work that way.

"…From such withdraw yourself" (v 5). That's the reverse disfellowshipment. Things get so corrupt within a church that you have to leave it. There's both! If you want to follow God you can't associate with a congregation of sinners. And in the congregation of the righteous, you cannot have a sinner stand either.

Psalm 1 talks about the righteous and the evil. Just know that the proper disfellowshipment is for the removing of people that cause the blocking of the fellowship between God the Father and Jesus Christ and the congregation. It can come two ways:

  • sinners within the congregation have to be removed
  • if the church leadership becomes sinful and they won't change, then you withdraw from them

That's what it says, withdraw yourself from them!

Here's the way that God looks at it, Psalm 1:1: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners… [the way that sinners live their lives] …nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, and its leaf shall not wither, and all that he does shall prosper. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away" (vs 1-4). That reminds me of a funeral—as the wind blows—it's just gone.

The Truth before God doesn't matter how talented a person is, it matters what their character is, because that's what they are.

Verse 5: "Therefore, the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish" (vs 5-6).

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

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 1:28
  • 1 Corinthians 10:5-8
  • Numbers 25:1-15
  • 2 Kings 17:7-18
  • Revelation 2:12-17, 20-25
  • Matthew 24:36-51
  • 1 Corinthians 5:3-6, 5-9
  • Romans 16:17-18
  • 1 Timothy 6:3-5
  • Psalm 5:1-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Corinthians 5:1
  • Romans 6
  • Revelation 17:2
  • 1 Corinthians 7
  • Genesis 6

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 4-7-13

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