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Perfecting Holiness
(2-Cor. 7)

Sorrow unto repentance before God works out salvation

Fred R. Coulter—June 30, 2018

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. Here we are, the last day of June. We've had five Sabbaths this month.

{announcements left out of transcript} | [transcript resumes at 5:24 of the audio]

We'll just do a little review of 2-Cor. 6 and then we'll get into 2-Cor. 7.

Sidebar: I don't know if you've got any new books recently, but I've noticed that all of them are written in dictated speaking. You can tell. If you're writing, you have a completely different style, if you're writing to write. If you're telling a story, or if you're speaking, your speaking is entirely different than your writing.

I just got a book called Quit Church by Chris Sonksen, a Protestant pastor. He said to quit church. By that he meant, quit playing church. But I was reading it and it's all in a person-to-person narration and things like this; completely different!

Different things you can write in different ways. When you have a personal letter, that's very friendly and personal. When you talk on the phone, you talk differently than if you were going to write.

Remember the book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership that James Comey, the ex-FBI chief put out; he read it, dictated it. So, take a look at some of the books, if you get any new books, and if it's in a conversation-like presentation it has not been written, it has been dictated.

We have dictated books, recordings of sermons. We're pushing close to 100 right now. When you read those, you will see that's a far different style than when you read the letter you receive. You will notice that when people write, very few have subordinate clauses, pre-subordinate clauses and post-subordinate clauses, or an interjected thought in the sentence. Very few of them have it that way, because they're all dictated now, rather than writing, because very few people really know how to write and writing is hard.

Jonathan has to write, you can't dictate it. He has to write very technical things, for the high-level digital community. He has to have it where everything flows, where everything follows logically, one thing after another. He has to express it in words that they will understand.

The next time you get a letter, compare that with any of the Transcript Books that we have, and you will see the style is entirely different.

*****

Here is a living principle: No one can tell God what to do, because God is greater than all! For proof of that, read and study the book of Job. That'll show that to you very clearly. What is important here in 2-Corinthians is that Paul was fighting the beginning of the subversion of the Church, by those who thought that they had a better brand of Christianity.

Just like today, they want all the religions to get together and be equal. God doesn't want it! That's why we just finished the series we're doing for churchathome.org: Come Out of Her My People. You have to repent and be baptized.

2-Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…. [sooner or later they're going to tear you down] …For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common?.…"

This is interesting that Paul says lawlessness here—in the King James Version it says iniquity, because they don't translate it lawlessness—but this is 'anomia,' which means lawlessness. Lawlessness can be even something good to a person's understanding or sight or thought or impression and they think they're doing well if they do it.

If it goes against God's way, that's lawlessness, because you're trying to replace God's instructions with your own instructions. Hence look at the Catholic Church. That's nothing but lawlessness from top to bottom all the way through.

How does Satan try and cover for all of the sins and paganism that he has there? There are Catholic charities, and 'we do good and we help out the wee little children'!

"…And what fellowship does light have with darkness?.... [it doesn't] …And what union does Christ have with Belial?...." (vs 14-15)—a name for the sons of worthlessness. He's likening this to some of these teachings of these false apostles, we'll get into when we get in 2-Cor. 11.

"…Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols?…." (vs 15-16).

Think of that! That's quite a statement. When you look at anything religious and Christian today, what do you have? Idols! Bare minimum, cross.

"…For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said…" (v 16). That's an important thing.

God loves those He calls so much that He puts His presence within us, with His Spirit, by the Father and by Christ both. That is the important thing. With that:

  • He wants us to develop the character of God within
  • He wants us to purify our hearts and minds, through His Spirit

"…'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people'" (v 16).

Remember that every time you're going through a trial, God is with you! Don't think that God has abandoned you. What did Jesus go through? Was God with Him through the whole thing? Yes, all the way through to the time when it got right to the end! Then God had to take Himself from Him; that's when it got dark. Then Jesus died at the ninth hour.

It's recorded in Psa. 22 and also in all of the Gospels: 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' He had to do that from the point of view that it had to be completely, absolutely to the end on His own.

Verse 17: "'Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 17-18).

2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."

When you come to 1-Chron. 28 you have something very similar. These are the instructions of David to Solomon, just before David died, because Solomon was to take over and be king.

1-Chronicles 28:6: "And He said to me, 'Solomon your son shall build My house and My courts, for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father…. [very close type relationship] …And I will establish his kingdom forever, if he continues resolute… [notice the attitude] …in keeping My commandments and My ordinances, as he is today'" (vs 6-7).

That's how Solomon started out. Remember, when God appeared to him, God said, 'Ask what you will, whatever you want.' Solomon said, 'Lord, give me judgment so that I can judge Your people Israel, so great a people. For I am just young.' God was pleased and He gave Solomon everything. But again, look what happened to him.

Then David says, v 8: "And now in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God, so that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever."

Then David tells Solomon something very important; this is New Testament doctrine here when you look at it.

Verse 9: "And you, Solomon my son, acknowledge the God of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart… [What is a perfect heart? One doing the things of God!] …and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts.…"

Job had to learn the lesson: 'I know no thought can be withheld from You.'

Notice how this has been written: "…If you seek Him, He will be found by you.…" (v 9).

  • How are you to seek God? With all your heart, mind and soul!
  • How often are you to do it? Every single day!

Not just when you get in trouble! "…But if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever" (v 9). We're looking at:

  • a perfect heart
  • cleanse your heart
  • cleanse your mind

What is God interested in? There are a lot of good people in the society, but when one of them does something wrong, everyone says, 'I can't imagine that this would happen.' Why? Because only God knows the thoughts and only God knows the heart!

When He says, 'Have a perfect heart,' what needs to be done? Let's read it here in Ezek. 14. Since this is some of the elders of Israel, let's apply this to everybody in Washington, D.C. (District of Liars and Corruption: DLC). It's sure showing itself that way recently.

Ezekiel 14:1: "And some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts…'" (vs 1-3). God is the heart knowing God!

What do you need to do to have a perfect heart? You need to overcome all of those deep-down secret things in your mind that are contrary to God, whatever it may be. Those are idols in the heart!

"'…and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I at all be inquired of by them?…. [He says no] … Therefore, speak to them, and say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD…"'" (vs 3-4). It's going to be exactly as God says!

"'…'Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him according to the multitude of his idols'" (v 4). Whatever it may be.

  • that's all the secret lusts
  • that's all the hostility and antagonism against God and His commandments

Verse 5: "So that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart because they have deserted Me for their idols—all of them."

Just look at what it is with the people out today. They all have their favorite things. If you talk to them about God, you're going to get laughed at. The only way they're going to learn anything is to have some trials bring them to God.

So, here's what God says, v 6: "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Repent and turn yourselves from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations."'"

Don't we have every abomination available in the palm of our hands today with the smart phones and things? Yes, indeed! Notice, not just Israel, or the descendants of Israel.

Verse 7: "For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who lives in Israel, who separates himself from Me..."

We should have the Truth of God for the religion of America and every immigrant in here must renounce their past religion, all of their idols and follow the way of God.

On churchathome.org that I did, I set up the little town everyone would like to go to. I named it Perfectville. Everybody there pledges to live by the commandments of God. Everything is nice and loving and kind and good. The people in the world today want to continue in their sins and expect to receive everything that you would have in Perfectville.

Sidebar: We are learning God's way so we can be the kings and priests to bring Perfectville to every inhabitant on earth. That's our goal!

  • that's greater than anything we can think of
  • that's greater than anything anyone can offer us in this world

Verse 7: "For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who lives in Israel, who separates himself from Me…" God expects the strangers to come and embrace Him, His ways, His laws.

"…and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to ask of him concerning Me; I the LORD will answer him Myself. And I will set My face against that man…" (vs 7-8).

If there's any one thing that nobody needs, they do not need God against them. When God comes against people, He doesn't come against them individually, He sends other evil people to do it. When the land sins against God, then He raises up a nation to come and conquer it. Always happens; that's why every empire goes down.

"…and I will make him for a sign and for a proverb. And I will cut him off from the midst of My people; and you shall know that I am the LORD" (v 8).

God is going to dwell within us (2-Cor. 6 [transcriber's correction]). Isn't that the greatest thing to happen in the physical life, receive the Spirit of God, have direction from God, understand His Word?

Especially today to have the whole Bible so we can use it. That's why we have to be more diligent than any of the other Churches of God, down through history, because we have it all right here. We have the time to use it, do it, and understand it; whereas, they didn't.

Remember what I read about that man who was facing martyrdom, Pastor Jacob. {note sermon: The 1569 Inquisition & Be Diligent} They had the Bible, but they didn't have the understanding we have. There were the Catholics right there to take him and kill him.
Verse 9: "And the prophet, if he is deceived, and he speaks a word, I the LORD have deceived that prophet.…" Because anyone who is teacher or a minister, who does not rightly handle and rightly divide the Word of God, and starts bringing his own doctrines, or other past doctrines today that haven't been proven true in the Bible, God will deceive him with that false doctrine.

Remember what did we go through here recently? Who is the God of the Old Testament? {note sermon series: God the Father was not the God of the Old Testament} What happens when you have a false doctrine and you don't repent of it? You suddenly discover another one! Guess what they have discovered? An old, old fake doctrine that the two goats of Lev. 16 are Christ; instead of one for Christ, and one for Azazel: Satan. That's an old, old one.

You can read that in almost any commentary, because the commentaries are so old, written by many, many men who had limited understanding in the Bible.

Verse 10: "And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeks unto him. So that the house of Israel may never again go astray from Me…" (vs 10-11).

What does the statement in the first part of v 11 tell us? That everything in this chapter carries all the way through this age, the Millennium and the 100-year period. That's why it's important.

"'…nor be defiled again with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people, and I may be their God,' says the Lord GOD." (v 11). Isn't that what we just read back there in 2-Cor. 6? Yes!

Verse 12: "The Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, when a land sins against Me by trespassing grievously, and I stretch out My hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and will cut off man and beast from it. and though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver only their own lives by their righteousness,' says the Lord GOD" (vs 12-14)—not sons, nor daughters!

When we come back to 2-Cor. 6, we see that this is a great and fundamentally important thing for us to understand. Also, it teaches us that the Old Testament and New Testament go together.

2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."
What's God's plan for us? To perfect us! We are to become as perfect as the Father is in heaven, and that is finished by the resurrection. But this means, we are to be developing the character of God. That's what's important.

Let's see what Paul says about character, about trials.

  • Would you say that Paul was righteous? Have to!
  • Would you say that he went through a lot of difficult problems? Yes, he did!
  • Was that because he was a sinner? No, it was because God said because of what he did to the Church, he was going to have troubles and sorrow in what he was doing
  • But God said, 'Don't worry, I am with you'

Notice the attitude that Paul took, and wrote here: Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…" (vs 1-2). That grace is access to God!

Grace upon grace is a combination of God the Father and Christ in us, which is by grace. Grace upon grace means every blessing and every goodness and everything that comes from God is grace from God!

"…and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God… [that's the goal] …And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations…" (vs 2-3).

We're going to see Paul actually learned how to do that. I don't think hardly any of us even come close to it. What happens when something comes up against you? What happens when something comes up against me? Compared to what he's saying here, I fall really short.

But nevertheless, concerning trials or tribulations: "…realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance" (v 3). You look at all the things that you go through and still remain faithful. Look at your life and many of you have been in the Church for years and years.

  • How many trials have you had to go through?
  • How many disappointments in some brethren and many ministers you've had to go through?
  • How many things even in your own life did not turn out the way you thought they would turn out?
  • Did Paul's? No!
  • Did any of the apostles? No!

They all started out most of them as fishermen!

Verse 4: "And endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope. And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us" (vs 4-5). This is how we are perfecting Holiness: through everything that comes along! Always set before us is the battle we're walking in here:

Galatians 5:16: "Now this I say, walk by the Spirit…" How do you do that? That's with:

  • prayer
  • study
  • asking God to lead and guide you

"…and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (v 16).

  • Have you ever had something in your mind that it's just banging in your mind like a great sin?
  • And it's hard for you to overcome it?
  • And it just keeps flashing back to you?

here's what you do:

  • you pray about it
  • you ask God to remove it from you
  • you get your mind on the things of God

which is by the Spirit!

Verse 17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit… [you're going to have that tug of war your whole physical life; that's just the way it is] …and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things are opposed to each other, so that you cannot do those things you wish to do."

Many times that happens. Here is the character that it builds so that we overcome those things. What if you had nothing ever to overcome?

It's like this automated city. I saw a little video, it was quite an interesting video, of this real ritzy Chinese apartment. Those who were there were all the rich Chinese; they drove Audis. They had a parking garage. It was really quite a parking garage. You take your car, you pull up to the gate and you push the button. The round door opens and then your car is sitting on tracks that pull it in. It pulls your car in and then the door closes. Then you push the number of where your car is parked down below—1st story, 2nd story, 3rd story, 5th story. The cars are on this round thing going down, with the tracks on the car.

As you look down, you see there are parking spaces, there are tracks, come out to the edge of the big hole that goes down to where the cars are. You push in your number where your car is to be parked and the elevator takes it down and it turns to where you park your car. It parks your car right where it needs to be. Then it comes back up to the top. When you want to get your car, you put in the number where your car is, and it goes down and it gets your car and brings it up. Then you go on your way.

I bring that out, from the point of view that everything today is such that there are very few things you have to do.

  • How many have gardens?
  • How many do not buy anything at the stores?
  • How many of us—and I think it's true the older you get—buy food already prepared.

Think of it; so spoiled! This way, then, it accommodates everything. So, now your mind can run wild with the flesh.

Then it lists all of the works of the flesh, I won't go through all of them. All you have to do is watch your television and you'll see them all.

Verse 22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).

This is how we purify the flesh, by getting rid of all the lusts, all the idols, that are there. Replace it with the mind of Christ, with the qualities of character that we need. These sometimes are very hard to come by. The reason is because they're spiritual!

Verse 24: "But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit. We should not become vainglorious, provoking one another and envying one another" (vs 24-26). That shows the things that need to be done in order to fulfill the first couple of verses of:

2-Corinthians 7:1 "…perfecting Holiness in the fear of God" That's our #1 occupation.

(go to the next track)

Paul had to battle a lot of things, and he brings out a lot of them in 2-Cor.

Verse 2: "Receive us…" Isn't that interesting, because they had the different false prophets coming in saying different things, and they received them.

2-Corinthians 11:4—Paul's talking about Satan and false prophets: "For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus…" There are already different forms of Jesus.
Remember in 1-Cor. there were those who said there was no resurrection. That's the whole purpose of true Christianity. How can they say there's no resurrection?

If you want to know how difficult that is, go on TBN sometime and watch some of these ministers explain about going to heaven, and then try and tie that in with the resurrection. If you go to heaven, why do you need to be resurrected if you're already in heaven? That's what happens when you get another Jesus, another way!

"…whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive…" (v 4).

Let's just stop here for just a minute. Satan does not always appear and palm himself off as being evil. He always comes first to show

  • how 'good' he is
  • how 'sweet' he is
  • how 'right' he is

If you have a chance, watch churchathome.org and watch some of the ceremonies that we get from the Vatican, and so forth. You see all these people waving with the incense, nice and sweet and all orderly and things like that. That is all demonism! Every bit of it is!

A lot of those priests have got to be demon-possessed, not with demons that are viciously evil, but those who think that they're doing 'good' and maybe God will recognize how good they are and let them back in the kingdom.

Don't you think that some of them have that going through their minds? You read the Gospels and when Jesus came upon some of the demon-possessed people, what did some of them say? 'Oh, I know You, Jesus, Son of God. Have you come to torment us before the time?' That's an interesting statement. What is the time they'll be tormented? Rev. 20 tells us!

Since the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil basically brings out Satan's way, there are some very good-sounding things that come along. I think one of the first ones was:

  • How do we distinguish ourselves from the pagans?
  • What do you suppose the first thing that they did?

Pagans are always used to having idols, rosary's!

  • What would you suppose one of the first things would be?

I'm kind of guessing on this, so I don't know. I suppose the first one was: the way we distinguish ourselves from the Jews and from the pagans is if we have a cross! That's the first step into idolatry!

"…or you receive a different spirit…" (v 4). Notice he said receive us in 2-Cor. 7. Why did he say receive us? Were some of them trying to say, 'No, we don't want Paul anymore. We've got better preachers.'

"…which you did not receive, or a different gospel… [how about that] …which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good" (v 4).

Look at what Paul had to fight against, v 5: "But I consider myself in no way inferior to those highly exalted so-called apostles."

Some of them were probably very eloquent speakers. I just imagine a good number of them were some of the Levites who came out of Israel and palmed themselves off as ministers of Christ.

They could say, 'I was there in Jerusalem and I saw Him and He did this, He said that and by the way did you know this, did you know that?' How many inroads of Judaism come to the Church today when the Jews have virtually nothing to do with the Church?

2-Corinthians 7:2: "Receive us; we have wronged no one… [someone was saying, 'Paul's doing you wrong'] …we have corrupted no one… [someone's coming along and saying, 'You can't believe what Paul is teaching because that's corrupted'] …we have defrauded no one."

You know he didn't take any tithes or offerings from them, and left it up to them to do it.

Verse 3: "I do not say this to condemn you because I have said before that you are in our hearts—to die together and to live together. Great is my boldness toward you, and great is my boasting in regard to you. I have been filled with encouragement. I am overflowing with joy at all our tribulations" (vs 3-4).

  • What did he say in the 2-Cor. 1? We had such tribulations that we were despairing of life!
  • When do you have joy in tribulation? After it is over and you understand what the problem is!

Verse 5: "For indeed, after we came into Macedonia, our flesh did not have any rest, but we were oppressed in every way—without were contentions, and within were fears. But God, Who encourages those who are heavy-hearted, encouraged us by the coming of Titus" (vs 5-6).

Titus came and brought good news: 'Guess what, Paul, they all repented because of this man that you told them to put out and they've all come back and they're coming back to you in a way that you need to understand.' Paul was encouraged with that.

Verse 7: "And not only by his coming to us, but also by the encouragement with which he was comforted concerning you, relating to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; therefore, I rejoiced all the more. For if I caused you to sorrow by the epistle… [which he wrote] …I do not repent, even if I did regret it at first, because I see that that epistle caused you to sorrow for only a short time" (vs 7-8).

Now here's the whole key area here that's really important, next couple of verses:

Verse 9: "And so I rejoice—not because you were causedto sorrow, but because you sorrowed unto repentance; for you sorrowed in a Godly manner… [that is repenting and purging and getting rid of the sin, stopping the actions and cleansing the mind] …so that you were not injured by us in any way. For sorrow unto repentance before God works out salvation…" (vs 9-10). Proper sorrow!

You ever had it, you go along and all of a sudden your mind starts thinking on something—and then you realize how evil that that really was. At the time you did it, you didn't realize it was that evil.

Who is bringing that to your attention? God is, through His Spirit, so you can repent of it! Then you really are sorry about it, because you didn't realize whatever the situation was. At that time, whenever it happened, you were operating by the lust of the flesh, rather than by the Spirit of God. We all have those times. I think the longer we live, the more these things will happen and go clear back to when we were very young.

Delores and I often say we came into the world with diapers and we leave the world in diapers. That's the way it happens.

Verse 10: "For sorrow unto repentance before God works out salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world works out death." False sorrow! Like the murderer who just shot down a lot of people and he says, 'Oh, don't shoot!'

Verse 11: "For see how this very thing—your personal sorrow before God—brought about such earnestness in you!...." Why? Because when you really repent, that brings about conviction!

  • conviction gives you the strength to say no
  • conviction gives you the strength to repent thoroughly of it

A lot of those things like we read there in Ezek. 14 are like idols in the mind. Those things are the hardest to get rid of.

"…And, what a defense, and what indignation, and fear, and vehement desire, and zeal, and vengeance! In every way you have proved yourselves to be pure in the matter" (v 11).

Let's look at some things here that are important to understand. Heb. 4 s talking about keeping the Sabbath, and so forth

Hebrews 4:11: "We should be diligent therefore to enter into that rest… [that's Sabbath-keeping; be diligent every Sabbath] …lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience."

Here's what we need to understand and this is why we need to study:

  • to change
  • to grow
  • to repent
  • to overcome

Put this along with the Spirit of God, Who knows every thought. What did God do? God gave us His Word so we can read it! That goes into our thoughts and this helps us to see what we need to get rid of. Helps us to see what we need to repent of.

Verse 12: "For the Word of God is living… [Isn't that what Jesus said? The words that I speak to you, they are life and truth] …and powerful… [yes it is because it's going to judge everyone] …and sharper than any two-edged sword…"—because a sword can cut off your head, but it can't revise your mind! But it can come to you, to show you what you need to have removed from your mind through the Spirit of God.

"…piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (v 12). No other book is able to do that!

To make it clear that everybody understands how powerful the Word of God is, v 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account." That's something! That's why we come to God and we:

  • ask God to help us
  • ask God to inspire us
  • ask God to change us
  • ask God to help us repent
  • ask God to help us see the things we need to do

Out of the trials and difficulties to learn the lessons we need to learn, because we're building character to rule the world!

Going through things for the Feast of Tabernacles and thinking on that, just think what a fantastic job, a huge job it's going to be to take over the whole world! So, don't worry. Is there a place for you in the Kingdom of God? Yes, indeed, for everybody who is going to be there.

I have a report that shows that the average number of people working in government—some countries more, some countries less—is 20%. The population today is about 7.5-billion, let's just say 8-billion; 20% of that is then 1.5+billion jobs.

How many are going to be in the resurrection? We don't know, but we can know that for those people who believe there are only going to be 144,000 in the first resurrection, good luck taking over the world. You're not going to do it.

  • Doesn't that help explain why we have Rev. 7?
  • What is in Rev. 7? 144,000 from Israel and the great innumerable multitude!
  • What do you suppose the great innumerable multitude is going to do?

just take a look at the globe:

  • How many countries are there?
  • What are they going to do?

Verse 14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses…" (vs 14-15).

Look at the things that He has forgiven. Look at what Jesus said when He got on the cross: Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

Sidebar: I think next year for Passover I'm going to do the last ten days of Jesus' life. I haven't done that in years and years, because I have it in A Harmony of the Gospels. But I'm telling you, the more that I read and the more that I study the Gospels—which I'm doing now for my own personal study—the more I understand that that last time… Because it says in John that great multitudes of people came to Jerusalem and the whole area around there. Why? So they would be all there when Jesus died on that cross!

Don't you think that the word got out rapidly? Yes! They had tongues flapping faster than birds fly. Don't think that's the reason why there were so many at Pentecost, that followed that Passover? Come out from out of the countries; come up to Jerusalem and say, 'I wonder what's going to happen now? They've killed Him and everyone thought He was the Messiah. Some say He was raised from the dead. Some said no, the disciples stole the body, but everybody was looking for the body everywhere and they couldn't find it.' Not one thing! They looked in every graveyard, every tomb, everything like that. By the way, Christ got out of the tomb that was sealed. 'I wonder what's going to happen on Pentecost.'

So, they get up there and here comes the Holy Spirit. Then they hear all the apostles—in their own minds they're speaking in their own language—and it comes out into the languages of all that were there. This was a big deal that happened that last ten days before Passover.

"…but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 15-16).

Psa. 86 is quite a Psalm. Never forget this: When you come before God, there are some times that you know you need to come to God and repent, but you really don't feel like it! Some people say, 'I'll come and pray after I work it out.' How can you work it out if you don't repent? So, even if you don't feel like coming to God and repenting, you go find some place and get on your knees and repent!

You start out, 'O God, I know that this is wrong, and I'm having a terrible time really understanding how I can get it out of my heart and mind. I know it's wrong, but somehow my human nature's working against me that it's just keeping me from coming and repenting. So help me repent.' That's how you do it. You admit to God. Ask Him to forgive you for that first.

Psalm 86:1: "Bow down Your ear, O LORD, answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul, for I am Holy; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You. Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I cry unto You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. For You, LORD, are good and ready to forgive, and rich in mercy to all those who call upon You" (vs 1-5)—meaning, you have to go pray about it when you find yourself caught in that kind of situation!

Verse 6: "Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me" (vs 6-7).

What happens after that? Verse 11: "Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your Truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore, for great is Your mercy toward me… [notice the repentance and the forgiveness] …and You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave" (vs 11-13).

How deeply in trouble was he? We don't know! David lived quite a life: up and down, right and fighting and killing, and all of that sort of thing.

Psa. 119 is quite a Psalm. This shows, without a doubt, the attitude of Jesus toward the laws and commandments of God. We're going to focus just on one thing: my whole heart and all my heart.

This is how when we are forgiven, when we have repented of our sins, then this is how that we begin to really repair the damage.

Psalm 119:2: "Blessed are they who keep His testimonies and who seek Him with the whole heart."

That includes everything. That ties in with loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being.

Verse 10: "With all my heart I have sought You…" Compare that to where it talks about the children of Israel in Psa. 78 that they flattered God, meaning they didn't come to God with all their heart.

"…O let me not wander from Your commandments. Your Word I have laid up in my heart…" (vs 10-11). That's how we perfect salvation in Holiness! Right here, this tells us.

Verse 33: "Teach me, O LORD…" Remember what John 6:45 says: And all will be taught of God!

How do we learn? By studying the Word of God! If we study the Word of God and learn, who is teaching us? God is! It's that simple. That's why He has it written down.

"…the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep Your Law and observe it with all my heart" (vs 33-34).
This is also a good cure for the Laodiceans. What is it with the Laodiceans? They're half-hearted; half in the world, half in the Church!

Verse 57: "You are my portion, O LORD; I have said that I would keep Your words. entreated Your favor with all my heart; be gracious unto me according to Your Word" (vs 57-58). Isn't that something?

Verse 59 talks about Godly repentance vs the sorrow of the world: "I considered my ways and turned my feet unto Your testimonies. I made haste and did not delay to keep Your commandments" (vs 59-60). In other words, stop and repent and turn around and keep the commandments of God. This is something.

I don't know about you, but I think you'll experience this as well. The more I study the Bible, and the longer I have studied the Bible, the more I see how absolutely incredibly fantastic that it is. Awesome! That 40 different writers, over a period of 2,000 years, could write different parts of the Bible and they all agree! Isn't that amazing. Why? Because God inspired it!

Verse 67: "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept Your Word." God wants us to learn by our mistakes. That's why He forgives us.

Verse 68: "You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes." I couldn't get over it, just going through it here.

Verse 111: "I have taken Your testimonies as an inheritance forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes always, even to the end" (vs 111-112).

What does this tell us on all of this? Everything that we do, in growing and overcoming, in repenting and studying, doing these things is a choice we make! God is not going to come down here and force anyone. If He did, then He could have started with Adam and Eve. But He's given us free, independent moral agency and we must choose and all of these things in here.

This Psalm has more Is—135 to be exact, if my memory is correct. More Is than any other chapter or book in the whole Bible, but none of these are Is out of pride and vanity. That's an amazing thing to understand. That's why this Psalm is so good to perfect Holiness, because it tells you how to do it.

Psalm 139:23 talks about how God made him: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts… [With God's Spirit in us, does He not do that?] …And see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting" (vs 23-24).

That shows repentance, eagerness, willingness, right choice, etc.

We just did another Transcript Book, a shorter one: Being Right With God. That's something we all need to know: how do we be right with God. If you want that, you can write in for it and we'll send it to you. The whole list of the books are so long and we keep making them. This series on Corinthians is going to be made into a Transcript Book.

2-Corinthians 7:13: "Therefore, we were comforted by your encouragement… [and repentance, doing what they need to do] …and we rejoiced all the more abundantly at Titus' joy, because his spirit had been renewed by all of you."

When everything is right, don't you feel good about it? Isn't that a spirit of goodness and rightness? Yes!

Verse 14: "For if I have boasted anything to him about you, I was not ashamed. But as we spoke all things in truth to you, so also our boasting of you to Titus became truth."

In other words, he said, 'I know they're going to repent; I know they're going to turn to God, so you go over there and check out and see how it's going.' And he comes back and he says, 'Yes, it did happen.'

Verse 15: "And his deep affection for you is even greater, as he recalls the obedience of all of you, how with fear and trembling you received him. I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything" (vs 15-16).

When we come to 2-Cor. 8 & 9, it's a little mundane, and it's about collection, sending relief to Jerusalem, so we'll go through that quite rapidly next time.

Scriptural References:

  • 2-Corinthians 6:14-18
  • 2-Corinthians 7:1
  • 1-Chronicles 28:6-9
  • Ezekiel 14:1-14
  • 2-Corinthians 7:1
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • Galatians 5:16-17, 22-26
  • 2-Corinthians 7:1-2
  • 2-Corinthians 11:4-5
  • 2-Corinthians 7:2-11
  • Hebrews 4:11-16
  • Psalm 86:1-7, 11-13
  • Psalm 119:2, 10-11, 33-34, 57-60, 67-68, 111-112
  • Psalm 139:23-24
  • 2-Corinthians 7:13-16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 22
  • Leviticus 16
  • Revelation 20
  • 2-Corintians 1
  • Revelation 7
  • Psalm 78
  • John 6:45

Also referenced:

  • Books:
  • Quit Church by Chris Sonksen
  • A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership by James Comey
  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
    • Series: Come Out of Her My People (churchathome.org)
    • Transcript Book: Being Right With God
    • Sermon: The 1569 Inquisition & Be Diligent
    • Sermon Series: God the Father was not the God of the Old Testament

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 7-9-18
Formatted: bo—7/10/18

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