Greatest Liberty of God
1-Corinthians 8 & 10
Fred R. Coulter

[Up]

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio - Track 1 | Track 2

Have you ever had one of those days when a lot of different things come together, and they all crystallize and make some sense. We were watching this video where Oprah Winfrey had several of these religionists on there, including Garner Ted Armstrong. The real heart and core of what is wrong with the world today, which ties in exactly with some of the things I'm going to talk on today.

The biggest problem that people have is that they want to worship God in their way, rather than worship God in the way that God says He should be worshiped. In doing so, they have the wrong God to begin with, and they have the wrong approach to God. That's why there's so much confusion in the world.

In effect they are all breaking the first commandment, because they do not worship God in the way that He should be. They start out having the wrong God. That's very simple, but it's absolutely true! That's why God has the first commandment, 'You shall have no other gods before Me'; which leads up to the next question:

  • What is the greatest thing that person can have in his or her life as a human being?

I don't mean a material thing. I use thing in the broadest sense of the term.

  • Love of God!
  • What does the love of God require?
  • What is the greatest thing that you can have or possess in this life?
  • Relationship with God between you and God directly!

That has got to be the greatest, most basic thing that you can possibly do. There can be nothing greater, absolutely nothing greater!

What would be the most paramount thing, if you were the devil, to do—understanding that if a person had that one-to-one relationship with God the Father—to the human race? Break that relationship! or Make that relationship impossible!

Every human being has a desire to worship God innately, or a greater power innately. Atheists are made because of what the religionists have done, and the atheists can see that what the 'religionists' have done is degradation to the human race. Therefore, since these 'religionists' supposedly believe in God and represent God, 'if that is God therefore, I don't believe there is a God.' That's one of the bases of atheism. Another is more diabolical, so you can manipulate people because of what you use and do and teach to them.

What is one of the most diabolical things that can happen to an individual? Think about this relationship between you and God. The greatest freedom, the great liberty, the greatest thing you can have in life is that relationship between you and God—God loves you and you love Him, and it is direct, one-to-one. The only Intermediatory is Jesus Christ Who made that way possible.

Even Jesus said, 'I tell you from henceforth do not pray and ask Me to ask the Father for you, but you ask the Father directly, for the Father loves you!' (John 16). Knowing that is true, what then can be one of the most diabolical things that can happen to an individual?

  • Break someone's spirit!
  • Break your faith?
  • Placing someone between you and God!
  • Denounce God is God!

Your actions end up doing that, but the most diabolical thing, meaning taking advantage of your faith and your belief and do something to you in relationship to God?

  • Put a false god in front of God!

If this were a bulls-eye you would be just outside the bulls-eye, kind of nicking the bulls-eye all around. Right smack in the middle is the most diabolical thing can be done to a person is:

  • in the name of God cut them off from God, by having the wrong religion, claimed as the right religion!

That has got to be the most diabolical! Absolutely the most diabolical! Because of what you think, because of what you've been taught, that you are doing right to the right God.

The pure pagans it doesn't make any difference. They worship demons and things like that; it's a great spirit way out there. Even though they may be more degenerate in the way that they live and so forth because of their religion, at least it hasn't be as diabolically perpetrated on them as what I just mentioned here.

I just started reading this book: Fifty Years in the Church of Rome by an ex-priest—Charles Chiniquy. Another book that goes along with it: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Another book that goes along with that was written by Raymond McNair, Assent to Greatness referring to the historical things of the development of the United States. Unfortunately, he did not understand the Catholic conspiracy and they're just at the point, right now, to take over the United States and to destroy Protestantism.

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a pope/Jesuit/Catholic plot—all of the participants were Catholic. They harbored and protected them when one of the major conspirators was found after he fled the United States, went to Canada in a monastery by Jesuit priests, was given money, was sent from Canada to London under a different name. He went to a Catholic refuge place there in London, was given money and eventually ended up in the pope's army in Rome. That's when the pope had the 'papal states.' One of the things that the pope has always wanted back is the 'papal states.'

I encourage you to get those books. The diabolical plot has been brought upon people to cut them off from God. You have control over them. There was one statement in Worldwide Church of God that was made that was one of those that turns on a little bell—DING!—when something is said from the pulpit. It was made by Herbert Armstrong himself: If there's any one thing the Catholic's have right, it is authority from the top down!

I have personally heard him say that, sitting in the congregation, and my thought when I heard it was: Why does the Church of God have to use the devices of Satan in its Church? That was my reaction to it, even though I understood what he said and the way he said it, I also understood that what I thought was right, we don't have to use the devices of Satan the devil to keep the Church together. It's the Church of GOD, and God keeps it together! Why use the devices of Satan? i.e. supposedly the government of God.

When you diabolically make people break the first commandment you lock them into following and worshiping a man! And in order to enforce that then you have to stop their thinking process by putting "chains of darkness upon your mind"—Chiniquy says.

That's what the Catholics do in control with the priests; what they do with confession, communion—especially the first confession and communion—to where the word of the pope is the law of God. That's where the crossbreeding came in Worldwide and why there was so much trouble in it. Herbert Armstrong became the Word of God and anyone who was transgressing against him was transgressing against God.
Gerald Waterhouse told the whole congregation that if Herbert Armstrong were 95% wrong he would uphold Herbert Armstrong instead of you. The Bible proves that that is not true.

  • God did not uphold David in his sin.
  • God did not uphold Solomon in his sin.

There the "chains of darkness" were being put upon the people in the Worldwide Church of God through fear; exactly the same tactics as the Catholics! I didn't realize how the Catholics did it until I started reading this book, though I knew that they were wrong. It helped clarify quite a few things in my mind.

Let's go to 1-Corinthians 8 and we will see how this works. What is the job of a minister? Maybe this will help you understand—and I think I more clearly understand what is happening to the Church of God today—because the lesson in the Church of God today is the greatest sin that a minister can do is cut a person off from God by having some sort of rule or hierarchy to whom people must go instead of to God!

The greatest blessing and freedom that a person has is between that person and God! No one is to violate that! Therefore, the job of the minister is to:

  • Raise up churches? Partly!
  • Increase the number in the flock? Partly!
  • Rule over the people? No! Christ rules over the people!

Someone asked me what kind of church structure do you think you ought to have? I said that I really hadn't come to understand that, yet, but I'll tell you what we have with our little group: We have God, us and I'm the minister, and I exercise no authority over people! I show them what God says, that He exercises over you. That's coming the closest we can get.

Obviously, the more people you have you have to have some kind of organization. However, when than organization gets to the point that it cuts off being in contact with God and your relationship with God and causes you to let the church hierarchy—I use that in the broadest and narrowest sense combined—to cut off that relationship with God, then you are entering into the first step of having another god before you.

Isn't it amazing! You go along for a long time and wonder why this and why that. Therefore, God is more interested in that relationship so that

  • He does not care about the size of the Church
  • He does not care about the number of people attending or not
  • He does not care, except that the people of God be led in the right and proper way to worship God

That relationship is between the person and God! That gives you the greatest liberty that you can possibly have in this life; the highest attainment that you can attain to in this life! It helps clarify in my mind.

Now, however God wants it to go down the road, even though I don't know exactly what God is doing, I think God has at least me and you—and wherever God is dealing with anyone else—exactly where we need to be at the time of our understanding and growing toward God. I hope that this is going to be seen more clearly as we go down the road.

1-Corinthians 8 touches on a couple of very important things. Then I'm going to skip over chapter 9 and go to chapter 10, because 8 & 10 connect a little better as far as the topic is concerned.

1-Corinthians 8:1: "1. Now, concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." We have knowledge as to what day is the Sabbath. Orthodox Jews have knowledge as to what day is the Sabbath. But by force of arm and by power of might they are going to force everyone to keep the Sabbath. That's knowledge and it puffs up to destroying your neighbor. That's why Paul says, "…Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." He's saying that not all knowledge is edifying.

Verse 2: "But if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet to the degree thathe ought to know." That's a true statement. The older you get the dumber you realize you really are. The less you really know that you know, even though you know more than you knew. You understand that there's greater knowledge that you have yet to learn, which you don't know, so the more you learn the less you know.

Verse 3: "But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him." That's very important. That is the key. If that connection is made all of the rest of commandment-keeping will follow. Sooner or later it will follow. But that is the key thing.

He starts and prefaces this chapter, because he's going to get into a little bit of liberty; if taken the wrong way it is going to cause people trouble.

Verse 4: "So then, concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols…" You're looking at a hunk of lamb or a hunk of beef, whatever it may be, was offered in sacrifice to an idol. You need to realize that everything that was killed was offered to an idol. That's why a lot of people want to be vegetarians (Rom 14). They say everything is offered to an idol so we don't want to eat meat at all because it's offered to an idol. This became an tremendous problem. Can you imagine in the pagan Roman Empire this was a great problem.

We live in a society where we have pseudo-Christians, part-Christians, and some understanding of Christianity around, so it doesn't present the same problem today, but that was a great problem then. How am I going to eat? If I go out and eat in a restaurant it in association with the temple, because that's where restaurants were. They didn't have delivery services, or McDonald's to go to, or Burger King or the supermarket and you could walk in there and it's all refrigerated. They didn't have refrigeration.

How long do you think meat would stay fresh in that society with no refrigerators? Not very long, a day or two at the most, unless you had a nice cool place or a basement to put it. So, they sacrificed the animals in the morning and ate them that day, and they sold them. They sold part of it in the meat markets right next to the temples—those things sold in the shanties—and they also had restaurants where you could walk in and eat—what we would call restaurants today. It was more like a little barbeque thing and they would have the different animals that they had and had tables where you could sit down.

But it was in the shadow of the pagan temple. So, it would present a problem, wouldn't it? It would! If you trying to come away from idolatry, and you're trying to come out of a pagan system, and the only way you could eat meat was to buy it from the shanties where it had been sacrificed to an idol, or if you wanted to go out and eat and didn't have time to prepare a meal and you went to one of these little restaurants, then it was right in association with the temple and someone's going to come along and say, 'Oh, guess where I saw you? What were you eating?' Now you have the background.

"…we understand that an idol in the world is nothing…" (v 4). As far as God is concerned, an idol is nothing in the world. It is not living! It is not God! It is made of stone, wood or plaster, gold or silver—it is nothing!

"…and that there is no other God except one…. [you don't have to be superstitious] …For indeed, even if there are those which are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as there are many gods and many lords" (vs 4-5). All you have to do is just read or understand some of the Greek mythology of all these pagan nations. They had gods for everything, running everywhere, going everywhere.

Just to show you how people think, I had to go into a stationary store and they were working on a building right outside next to it. They had a ladder, and the ladder covered two-thirds of the sidewalk. I'm walking along and walked under the ladder and I go into the store and walk back out and walk under the ladder. As I came back out and was underneath, I thought if I were a Catholic pagan I would not walk under that ladder because it would be seven years bad luck or whatever. When I got to the light I turned around and was watching the people coming down the sidewalk and they'd go around it—not go under the ladder.

Before I could walk across the street and get in the car, there were three people who walked under the ladder, came back around and walked back under it again, so they wouldn't be caught going under the ladder.

When people give credence to gods and idols you get involved in superstitions, and you believe all of this stupidity. Paul is saying, 'All of that is bunch of stupidity. Though they say there are gods, many in heaven, many on earth, they are nothing—there is one God to us!

Verse 6: "Still, to us there is one God the Father, from Whom are all things, and we are in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we are by Him." He taught that direct connection with God and the true greatest liberty that we ought to have.

Verse 7: "However, not all have this knowledge. But some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled." Your conscience has got to be bolstered by right and true knowledge.

For example: What is one of the liberties that we have today concerning the Sabbath Day? What is one of the liberties we do? We drive to assemble! We have one of the liberties to go in one of these little restaurants over here when we're hungry and buy something to eat. We are not condemned, because of the necessity of the times and the age in which we are living. Absolutely no different than those people there where they ate the meat though it was offered to an idol. However, if you conscience before God did not have enough knowledge to understand that and you began to doubt God, and you began to have lack of faith because of that, then you better not do it. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. It shows the latitude in that relationship with God. That's why we are to grow up in Christ, not to go out and sin—obviously not to go out and sin—so that we have conscience toward nothing else in a way of deity, but God!

You can imagine how hard and difficult it was for these people coming out of that society, being told about all of their gods and lords and everything like that, to really comprehend this. It would be very easy for a new convert to be weak in his faith toward God. This is what Paul is talking about.

Verse 8: "But meat does not commend us to God; for we do not have any spiritual advantage if we eat, nor do we come short spiritually if we do not eat. But beware, lest this freedom of yours becomes a stumbling-block to those who are weak" (vs 8-9). We do have a certain amount of Christian appearance toward others that we need to maintain in relationship to their knowledge.

You're not going to the knowledge that every person or every other Christian may or may not have. I'm sure there are certain things in your life that you have set as a standard before you and God that you alone do or do not do in relationship to the Sabbath, in relationship to how much you eat or don't eat, how much you drink or don't drink, and you are not sinning before God.

However, someone else seeing you and judging by their standards of what they have set for themselves before God—which is right in their conscience to God—may see you do something that may not be right in their conscience toward God.

Just using the example of buying something to eat on the Sabbath. It may not be right in their conscience, because they have said they're not going to do any business at all for anything on the Sabbath—period! Years ago there were recipes on how to have scrambled eggs Sabbath morning but cooking them Friday afternoon. Have you ever eaten cold, refrigerated eggs? There are Jews to this day who will not light a furnace, because it says 'you shall not kindle a fire on the Sabbath.'

You've heard jokes about the kosher hotel in Jerusalem. There will be a Jew standing there in the elevator when you walk in and he will say, 'punch # 4, please.' So, you punch #4 and it goes up to the #4 and he gets out. He would not punch that button on the Sabbath because it was 'kindling a fire.' But he would stand there and wait for you to come and punch it for him. That person made obeying God by tradition such a strict thing that they cannot even think. God expects us to think. We have choices to make.

Verse 10: "For if anyone sees you, who have knowledge, sitting to eat in an idol-temple…" Same thing. If someone you just told about the Sabbath that you're not to conduct business on the Sabbath; you're not to buy and sell on the Sabbath. So, he begins keeping the Sabbath and lo and behold one of the Sabbaths you invite him to say and let's go to McDonalds and have a hamburger. 'Aaaa you're buying a selling on the Sabbath!'

Same thing here when they went to eat in the temple. You've forsaken Zeus! You've forsaken Artimus! You've forsaken Mars, Thor—the whole thing! We're going to there to eat! What kind of double-minded person are you? Well, you're not double-minded. You know that an idol is nothing, a god is nothing; there's only one true God. So, if you go there and sit there and eat, and you have no conscience at all toward these stupid idols made by men's hands, it's not going to defile you. But if you're still kind of quasi superstitious, and you think that Thor may have some power or whatever, and yes, that these are sacrificed to the idol, then you're in trouble.

Then we'll see that there's one other thing that gets involved in it. You can't go wholeheartedly, and go running through the pagan temple yelling and screaming and saying it's nothing and sit down and eat all the food.

"…will not his weak conscience be emboldened so as to cause him to eat things sacrificed to idols?" (v 11). That is with conscience that he can now, through this idol and the eating of this thing—crossbreeding the old paganism and Christianity—that he would do it with conscience to the idol.

Verse 11: "And will the weak brother, for whom Christ died, perish on account of your knowledge?" That's an interesting question—isn't it? Think on that! That says an awful lot.

Verse 12: "Now, when you sin against the brethren and wound their weak consciences in this way, you are sinning against Christ." You have to consider that person in relationship to Christ.

Verse 13: "Therefore, if meat causes my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh—not ever—so that I may not cause my brother to stumble."

I know a real good example of that. I remember years ago when I first went out into the field up in Oregon. There were some Seventh Day Adventists who were baptized into the Church of God. If you know good, hard-line Seventh Day Adventists, what are they? Vegetarians and teetotalers! So, in order for these people to be indoctrinated well within the Worldwide Church of God at that time, they were invited over to a dinner by the minister, who proceeded—he had given a rousing, stinging sermon the Sabbath before about teetotalers who should not be teetotalers and vegetarians who should not be vegetarians—to set before them —who had been vegetarians for over 20 years—steak and wine.

If they did not eat it then would be going against the Word of God. It just about drove those people totally out of the Church. That's what Paul is talking about here. You don't do those things. If they're vegetarians, invite them over and fix a veggie meal. If they're teetotalers, serve juice or water. That's the closest example that I can give of what is the teaching here.

However, you don't carry this thing to its ultimate extreme. Just as an aside: What have we since learned about meat eating? Too much meat is bad! Too much drink is bad! The absolute irony of what happens—talk about God having His judgment—ten years later the minister who did that was forced to quit drinking himself because he was a debauched alcoholic! When he quit he was drinking over two quarts of vodka a day!

God has a way—doesn't He? God has a justice that works out—doesn't He? Sooner or later! However, you don't want to carry these things too far, because if you take your liberty and you go to far then you cross over the line that way, too.

I think this is going to be one thing that I'm going to be really highly alerted to in the future. Notice how Paul always points them to God and Christ—always!

1-Corinthians 10:1 "Now, I do not wish you to be ignorant of this, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. And they all ate the same spiritual meat. And they all drank of the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them. And that Rock was Christ" (vs 1-4).

Note: Matt. 16:18 about Jesus being the Rock and upon this Rock—Himself—Petra, He would build His Church. 'Petra' has nothing to do with Peter. And the diabolical lie of the Catholic Church has to be repeated every Mass—doesn't it?

Let's go on because this gets into some things that if you go too far with some of the things that the pagans do, then you get back into crossbreeding the religion. And when you get back into crossbreeding, then you get into demonism, and you get into sin and idolatry.

Verse 5: "But with many of them God was not pleased, 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…" (vs 5-7). When they got three days out into the wilderness, 'Oh, what are we going to drink, God?'

It would have been very simple. All they would have had to have done was say, 'Moses, at the time of the evening sacrifice or at the time of the evening prayer, can we all get together and ask God to provide some water for us?' Do you think that God would have had the incident there at the waters of bitterness where they had the great fight, the knock down drag out argument and finally God had to tell Moses to take the tree and throw it into the water and the waters will be made sweet.

Even after seeing all of those miracles and all the things that were done, I mean, human nature is something else. Human nature is absolutely implacable! That's why there is nothing externally that you can do to change human nature.

I saw the tail end of the movie about W.C. Fields, and since we talked about alcoholics, W.C. Fields was a complete, total alcoholic. He was drinking 2-1/2-3 quarts of gin per day. They tried to take him into the hospital and dry him out, but he would not. He said, 'No one is going to take my drink from me.' So, the doctor says, 'You're going to die if you drink.' He said, 'I do not care. I will not get along without my drink.' And, of course, he died!

He wouldn't change! Absolutely refused to change! So, you can take him out of the society, put him into a hospital, take away his drink, tell him he's going to die, and you would think that would pierce his soul just enough to say, 'Yeah, I've got to quit.'

That's why there's nothing external you can do to change the mind! The mind must choose! And God gave us that sacred right to choose! We can choose good; we can choose evil. We have to make that choice!

That's what the people did in the wilderness; they made the choice to do it their way. With "…many of them God was not pleased, 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…."

(go to the next track)

Verse 7: "Neither be idolaters, as were some of them…" What was one of the first things that happens when you cut off that relationship between you and God? You commit idolatry, either of another human being or of a human being and idols! That's exactly what we were talking about when we first began about those people on that Oprah Winfrey show; that they all wanted to worship God in their own image, their own way, their own methods, rather than saying that 'God is God, He made us all, how does God say to worship Him?' Isn't that simple?

They're implacable! Absolutely implacable! 'What if I'm a Buddhist and I'm trying to find God through Buddhism? You're not going to find God through the bones of Buddha! He's dead! They still know where his grave is; he's dead! The bones are there!

The grave of Jesus Christ is empty; He is risen! Quite a contrast—isn't it? Now you know why the devil wanted the bones of Moses. Make a great religion out of the bones of Moses.

The story of Pompeii and Herculaneum was on television and it showed that they had in one of these towns over there—just to show you how people get carried away with their idolatry—they had in a round vial, hermetically sealed so it wouldn't rot or spoil, the blood of one of the people that they sainted. They would swing this back and forth so the people would kiss the bowl where the blood was on the inside.

But if you would go over and tell these people that what they're doing is insane, you would be run out of town, stoned and killed, thrown over the cliff. Those things lead to idolatry. That's what the whole system of Mystery Babylon the Religion has gotten into; not just Catholics. This whole thing of the harmonic convergence has almost every pagan religion in the world involved: Catholicism, Hinduism, Mayanism, Peruvianism, Egyptology, the whole thing. It's amazing!

Where is the condemnation of Israel for what they did; they worshiped on all the high hills—harmonic convergence. It doesn't matter how many people get down and think good thoughts or positive thoughts, unless God decides it's going to happen, it isn't going to happen! It will not! These things lead to idolatry.

"…as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.'…. [that's what happens when you have idolatry; it gets around to debauchery, foolishness, drunkenness and illicit sex] …Neither should we commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day." (vs 7-8). You talk about something that will take your breath away, when you see that happen…. You talk about the goriness of TV, well don't travel in Sinai with God leading you out of Egypt and then rebel against Him. It's going to be a gory mess.

Verse 9: "Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were killed by serpents." When you have knowledge and understanding and that connection with God, don't go out and do those stupid things.

I think by the time I get done reading this book—Fifty Years in the Church of Rome—and sit back and pray about and think about all the things that we've gone through, I think I can begin to make a little more sense out of it. There were people who were setting up idols in the hearts of people to cut them off from God, which led to alcoholism, fornication, and divorce; and all of that is because of idolatry of a human being.

Think about it! Maybe if we look at it that way, maybe if we look at the experiences that we have gone through, we're looking at some of the things that the Church has gone through because the leaders and the people who knew better were leading the people astray. So, there was the correction that came.

Verse 10: "Neither should we complain against God, as some of them also complained, and were killed by the destroyer." In saying this, that was murmuring, complaining against God! They were not trying to point out something that was wrong that needed to be corrected, they were saying that God was wrong and that He needed to be corrected. That's the kind of murmuring they were doing.

'Who was able to give us water in the wilderness; Who gave us flesh out here; God took us out here to kill us and all our children.' That's not the way to approach God.

Verse 11: "Now, all these things happened to them as examples, and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming. Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall" (vs 11-12). Nobody get all self-righteous.

The comment was made and put out in print—and I'm not trying to beat up on Herbert Armstrong—'I'm so close to God that Satan has no hold on me at all.' BAMO! He got it; that's tempting God! How many people believed it? Why did they believe it? Because they were cut off from that relationship with God!

Any minister that stands in the pulpit and says that you have to check with a minister before you know what is right and wrong before God, is cutting you off from God! You have to know from your own Bible. And if he's going to teach you anything it better be from the Bible, and it better be the Word of God or God is going to start putting the chains of darkness upon you with the idolatry of following a man, which then leads to the idolatry of physical things.

Remember when we had Pentecost down in the Seventh Day Adventist Church? That's exactly what has happened to the Seventh Day Adventist Church! Now they are bringing in Christmas trees—which is an idol; statues of Jesus—howbeit not made of marble, but cut out of paper—to teach the little kiddies. Let's stay true to God!

Verse 13: "No temptation has come upon you except what is common to mankind. For God, Who is faithful…" God is faithful and that is what you should always look to. I guarantee you, every time you or I trust in a man, what's going to happen? You're going to be disappointed! Why? Because man is not God! God is faithful, so we look to Him.

He "…will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear…" (v 13). Sometimes we don't think we're able; sometimes we don't know or understand what God is working out in our lives. Sometimes it's very difficult to go through, but God is able; God will deliver us!

"…but with the temptation, He will make a way of escape, so that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry" (vs 13-14). See what their liberty was getting them into. They were coming back and getting into idolatry; getting into things that they should not be doing.

Just like the Seventh Day Adventists today, bringing the Christmas tree into the Church. Having Christmas for the kiddies. 'Of course, we don't do it like the pagans, but it's a nice family thing and we remember Christ.'

All these justifications sound so nice, but are not true. What happens when you go that far?

Verse 15: "I speak as to those who are wise; you judge what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the fellowship…" (vs 15-16). Communion is an unfortunate translation (KJV) from the Greek, and it comes from the Catholic background of even the Protestants who translated this New Testament.

"…of the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not the fellowship of the body of Christ?" (v 16). Note 1-John 1—which says, 'truly our fellowship is with His Son and the Father'; that's where our fellowship is.

Verse 17: "For we, being many, are one body and one bread, because we are all partakers of the bread [Christ]. Consider Israel according to the flesh. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partakers of the altar?" (vs 17-18). They had the system there.

Verse 19: "What then am I saying? That an idol is anything, or that which is sacrificed to an idol is anything?…. [those are just physical things] …But that which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not wish you to have fellowship with demons" (vs 19-20). That's what they are doing. They can take perfectly clean flesh that is good to eat and offer to Baal or Zeus.

I saw this thing National Geographic thing and it's all going to come together—this one-world religion—and it was showing how the different religionists hypnotize themselves with the spirits, especially the Hindus with hooks in the back and be lifted up with these hooks and do terrible horrible things; eat glass, put spears down their throat, puncture their cheeks and nose and scourge themselves—all of this in the name of 'religion.' Just absolutely stupid! That is to demons.

That's why so much of this rock music and everything is so bad, because it's primitive music by heathens who have created modern rock music for the same purpose of getting in contact with the spirits of which this harmonic convergence that they have is an outgrowth of this whole movement in they United States. It all fits together. "…they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not wish you to have fellowship with demons."

When you start crossbreeding the religion, you start crossbreeding the practices. Then you end up worshiping demons because you cut yourself off from God and you have idolatry.

Verse 21: "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and the table of demons." You cannot do that. That's why God has to call us. That's why we have to be faithful to God. It's typical of Americans. Americans are, I would have to say, very naïve and innocent people. They see a lot of these pagan things and haven't grown up in a pagan, idolatrous country. What do they do? They say, 'Oh, that's sweet, that's nice, that's quaint; look what they do!' And they get sucked right up into it. I tell you, we Americans are just uncanny that way.

Verse 22: "Now, do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? All things that are lawful are permitted to me, but not allthings that are permitted are profitable. All things that are lawful are permitted to me, but all things that are permitted do not edify" (vs 22-23). That's referring to, obviously then, all lawful things are lawful to him.

  • It's not lawful to commit adultery
  • It's not lawful to commit idolatry
    • He told them to flee idolatry.
    • He just told them that they can't drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.
    • He just told them that they can't eat of the Lord's table and the table of demons.

So, what he's talking about here obviously is that all lawful things are lawful. "…but all things that are permitted do not edify."

Verse 24: "Let no one seek that which benefits himself; but let each seek that which benefits the other." In other words, don't go out and do your own thing for the sake of doing it and say 'everybody else be damned.' You consider the other person.

Verse 25: "Every lawful thing that is sold in the market you may eat, without asking questions for the sake of conscience, for the earth, and all its fullness, is the Lord's" (vs 25-26). If it's slaughtered before an idol of Zeus, that doesn't contaminate the physical meat.

Verse 27: "Now if an unbelieving person invites you for a meal, and you desire to go, eat all lawful things that are set before you, without asking questions for the sake of conscience." Obviously then, it doesn't mean to eat pork, because it's talking about the things that are lawful. It doesn't mean to take strychnine, otherwise you will die.

What if you're invited to go to lunch and most of the people there are Catholics. You don't stand on the table and denounce the Knights of Columbus when they pass the butter and the bread. If they're all eating pork and shrimp and things like that, you just bypass it, and don't say, 'You dumb Catholics, don't you know the Bible says you're not to eat those things?' No! I imagine they're all going to run up to you and say they want to be converted to your religion right now. Never happen! You just bypass it.

One of the best ways to bypass it is to say, 'You know, I just don't eat that kind of thing because it's not good for my health.' Most of them will say, 'Yeah, fat is not the best thing in the world, but I think my doctor told me not to, but it does taste good. Pass the salami!'

Verse 28: "But if anyone says to you, 'This has been offered to an idol.'…" In other words, they know that you're a believer and they know that you do not follow the idols anymore; they come and deliberately provoke you and say, 'this was sacrificed to an idol,' and in their mind they're saying, 'now what are you going to do?' Say, 'Oh, it is? I'll bypass that.' That's what he's talking about.

"…do not eat it, for the sake and the conscience of the one who showed it to you, for the earth, and all its fullness, is the Lord's. But conscience, I say, not your own, but that of the other person. For why is my freedom judged by another person's conscience? And if I partake with thankfulness to God, why am I spoken evil of for eating that for which I give thanks? Therefore, whether you eat, or you drink, or you do anything, do all things to the glory of God. Be without offense to both Jews and Greeks, and to the Church of God" (vs 28-32).

Can you imagine how delicate that church in Corinth was that you would have to say, 'Be without offense to both Jews and Greeks, and to the Church of God'? That must have been a touchy church. Everybody on edge, and he's trying to smooth it out and make it acceptable. I imagine that after Paul died that church just flew apart in all kinds of directions.

Verse 33: "According as I also seek to please everyone in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, in order that they may be saved." That shows the attitude of the Apostle Paul.

That's what we need to do. That helps stop a lot of antagonism and hostility if it can be done. However, there's still the choice that a person has to make. You cannot force religion down people; you can't stuff it down their throat, because the Truth of God is so powerful. A lot of people can't take it. Besides, God has got to call them!

I'm going to read you some excerpts out of this book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, to show the type of mentality that breeds idolatry, and one thing will lead to the next. Whenever you are told that a man stands in place of God, and that man's word is the Word of God, it's going to lead to trouble for everybody, unless that person is reading truly the Word of God. Of course, the Catholics are forbidden to read the Bible. Their reading it has led to a lot of trouble. It's the American Catholics who are doing the reading more than anybody else.

All the efforts of the principals and the colleges and the convents tend to prove to the pupil that his intelligence is his greatest and most dangerous enemy.

How many times have we been told in the past that you can't trust your own mind? If you yield to God and God's Spirit, you can trust God!

That is like an untamed animal, which must be constantly kept in chains.

That's what you have to do with the carnal mind. If you don't have the Spirit of God and you aren't yielding to God, you're always having to beat yourself up to make yourself obedient. That's the whole trust of Catholic religion. You do it by works.

Every day the scholar is told that his reason was not given him that he might be guided by it, but only that he may know the hand of the man by whom he must be guided, and the hand is none other than the pope's.

All the resources of language, all the most ingenious bits of wisdom, all the passages of both the fathers and the Holy Scriptures bearing on this question are arranged and perverted with an inconceivable art to demonstrate to the pupil that his reason has no power to teach him anything else than that which must be subjected to the supreme pontiff of Rome who is the only foundation of truth and light given by people to guide the intelligence and to enlighten and save the world.

Remember, this was written just about the turn of the century (1900). He spent 50 years in Rome, and during the time that he was growing up the pope had the papal states and was indeed the ruler of the world.

If you have the book by Raymond McNair, Assent to Greatness, go back and read that and how the pope split the world between the Spanish and Portuguese by decree. That's why they're so angry at the Protestants, English, Germans and Americans.

Rome and her colleges and convents brings up or raises up the youth from the earliest years. But to what height does she permit a man or woman to be raised never higher than the feet of the pope.

As soon as his intellect, guided by the Jesuits, has ascended to the feet of the pope, it must remain there prostrate itself and fall asleep.

The pope, that is the great object toward which all the intelligence of the Roman Catholics must be converged. It is the son of the world, the foundation and only support of Christian knowledge and civilization, so they say.

This is something! These words are absolutely dynamite!

Let me read about Galileo, the one who discovered that the earth was round and that the earth went around the sun instead of the earth being the center of the universe.

Galileo—on the 22nd day of June 1663 Galileo was obliged to fall on his knees in order to escape the cruel death, which he was to be condemned by the order of the pope.

He goes on showing that all great scientific knowledge has come, not from Catholic countries, but from Protestant countries. He's showing the difference; that Protestant countries were, at that time, the most progressive, the most powerful, the most blessed nations around. At that time they were.

He signed with his own hand the following retraction: "I adjure, curse and detest that the heresy of the motion of the earth."

That learned man had to degrade himself by swearing a most egregious lie, namely that the earth does not move around the sun. Thus it is that the wings of the great eagle of Rome were clipped by the scissors of the pope. That mighty intelligence was bruised, fettered and as much as possible to the Church of Rome degraded, silenced and killed.

He figured it would be better to go ahead and do that. The movie makes a little more light of than what really happened.

But God would not allow that such a giant intellect should be entirely strangled by the bloody hands of the implacable enemy of light and truth, the pope. Sufficient strength and life had remained in Galileo to enable him to say upon arising, "This will not prevent the earth from moving."

Then he waxes a little bit satirical here:

The infallible decree of the infallible Pope Urban VIII against the motion of the earth is signed by cardinals…

He lists all of about six of the great intellectual cardinals.

It says in the name of and by the authority of Jesus Christ in the plenitude of what resides in the vicar, the pope, that the proposition that the earth is not the center of the world and that it is moves with a diurnal motion is absurd and philosophically false and erroneous in faith.

What a glorious thing for the pope of Rome to be infallible. He knows infallibly that the earth does not move around the sun. What a blessed thing for Roman Catholics to be governed and taught such an infallible being. In consequence of that infallible decree you will admire the following act of humble submission of two of two of the celebrated Jesuit astronomers, which they said, "we agree with Newton."

Which says the motions and physics and gravity and everything, 'however, we still agree with the pope.'

Granted the Worldwide Church of God was not into that kind of intellect, but for the Church of God to allow that kind of 'I am the only apostle; I am the only one through whom knowledge is to be given and doctrine to be taught,' that's not right!

When I read some of these things, I thought oh, I can understand. For the minister to act like the Catholic priest in a confessional, to come into someone's house demand this and that. That's all wrong, brethren! That's all wrong! I can see that clearly now.

The greatest thing is that we have that connection with God! And together, in love, we all draw close to God. That's what it's all about, and that's where it's at! That's what it has to be.

Reading this book has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Though this is against the Catholics, I can see the tools and devices of Satan, once they get a foothold into the Church. Will God allow that? Yes, He will allow that! Just read Rev. 2 & 3 and what's happened to the Church of God. People allowed men to come between them and God!

It's the same psychology, like with the Seventh Day Adventist, they had Ellen G. White. The true Seventh Day Adventist will follow Ellen G. White rather than God, though the Bible says clearly the opposite. There is a debate within the Seventh Day Adventists about that. The same thing with the Worldwide Church of God.

When they agreed to agree for the sake of salary and creature comforts then they were doing the opposite of what the Israelites did, though it was the same thing. Only here in the case of the ministry and those in charge in the hierarchy, they had been blessed of God, so they said they would agree to agree so they could retain those blessings and forgot the Scripture which said that 'what gain is it to you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?' So, they did the exact same thing. They said in their heart, 'If I agree, I will keep my power and position and what I have. If I disagree I'm out; and can God provide for me if I am out?' Rather than saying, 'I'm going to stand before God for Truth and what is right, and if I'm out from men, praise God!'

Rather, what did they do? They helped create the idol of the apostle, and everyone fell at his feet! In California with this English only thing, they're wanting to be able to speak any language. I think I have a clear insight into some of these things. The Catholics are almost at the point of taking over this nation. Part of their way to do it is to divide the people and bring in their own. Let them keep their own language, religion and they will gain by majority.

The hand of God in prophecy is set and there is no turning it back. And the Americans, blessed of God, for rejecting that horrible system when they left the Church of England and left the Catholic Church have not stood for right, Truth and God. They only went so far. They didn't go far enough in being kind, merciful and understanding they got duped into the 'chains of darkness' and slavery and we're seeing the result of it.

But I understand why the Bible is not read in the schools. It used to be. It used to be McGuffy Readers, that start out "In the beginning God…" Who got it out? The Catholics and the Jews got into politics and got rid of the Bible and God! The Catholics didn't like the Protestant God, and the Jews did not like Jesus. That's exactly where it is. It never really crystallized on me until I understood who killed Abraham Lincoln and the reasons why.

Abraham Lincoln got this priest off of charges that the Catholics tried to nail him through a civil court using the ecclesiastical law to nail him. Abraham Lincoln absolutely, by legal means, slew the Catholics. When it was over with he thanked Abraham Lincoln for doing it, but cried and said, 'You are a marked man, the Jesuits will get you.' In the book the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, it is shown that the Catholics have poisoned four Presidents; they have assassinated two.

So, when the first Catholic President [JFK] came on scene, can you imagine what was behind the scenes and going on? I think God decreed that Kennedy would get it. Both of them are evil, murderous, lecherous people. I say it with conviction. I also understand why the law is so complicated, why you can't get anything through the law. There are too many diabolical Catholics and Jews in the legal and judging profession, that you can't get anything straight.

That's why it's so complicated. That's why it's so evil and wretched, because we've turned this society over to a damnable pagan way! We are going down. The hand is set, the clock is running and there's no turning it back. You aren't going to turn it back, just no, no way!

That's why we have to grow in grace and knowledge with Christ. How long it's going to go? I don't know! How many years is it going to take? I don't know! Sometimes I think it's just around the corner; other times I think we've got a long way to go.

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

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-33

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 16
  • Romans 14
  • Matthew 16:18
  • 1 John 1
  • Revelation 2 & 3

Also referenced: Books: (found at amazon.com)

  • Fifty Years in the Church of Rome by Charles Chiniqy
  • The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (no author cited)
  • Assent to Greatness by Raymond F. McNair

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 4/22/13

BOOKS