Fred R. Coulter

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services! This Sabbath we're going to cover some things leading up to Pentecost, since there are so many things going on around the world. If you watch the news and don't have Fox News I'm not telling you to get it, but you know that if you think you're watching world events by watching the major networks, you're not getting a thing.

So, you need to watch what's happening because there's an awful lot that's taking place. It seems as though the whole Middle East is in an uproar. Rather than focusing on giving an update on what's happening in the Middle East, and what's going on in the world—because it's all bad—let's focus on what we need to focus on: counting your blessings!

Understand, we have been called and chosen by God for the greatest and most important thing in His plan. That is to be in the first resurrection, and to help rule this world:

  • to bring it peace
  • to bring it love
  • to bring it the knowledge and Truth of God

When all of these things are going on, sometimes you just kind of have to have a switch in your mind to turn it off. If you just watch it and follow it, and there's so much going on, if you don't have your prayer and Bible study, you're going to be in difficult shape. You're going to find yourself in difficult problems.

Let's look at the blessings that God has given us, starting with Psa. 1. This is really a tremendous little Psalm. It's interesting because it introduces the whole book of Psalms, which then has five sub-categories in it. This is something we need in today's world; it's needed in every generation because there are plenty of wicked people in every generation. Just at the end-time it's more noticeable because of all the means of communication, and the greater number of them by of the shear mass of the number of people.

Psalm 1:1: "Blessed is the man…" That's not leaving women out, because the last three letters of the world woman is 'man,' and women come from man. Genetically speaking, God made it that way. Hat's not to put women down, but that's not to say that men ought to be put down either. If you still haven't gotten over all of your femininist ideas, change that to one.

"…who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked… [that's the way the world is] …nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight…" [this is what we need to focus on] …is in the Law of the LORD…" (vs 1-2). We can add to that everything in the New Testament. That tells us how we can have a relationship with God and keep his commandments.

"…and in His Law does he meditate day and night" (v 2). That's how you bring every thought into captivity to Christ. We're living in a generation that we're bombarded everywhere by everything.

Every time I go into the supermarket they have a new thing in many stores. They have LED lights right in back of the glass doors that you open. It shines onto the product, and the product looks fantastic, especially if it has a shiny surface. They have over at the deli counter all the meats and while they were slicing it, I was looking at the vast array of all the produce. It's incredible! Anything you want!

I went in to just get three things and in there is a vast array of everything. Today it is such a thing that women hardly have to cook any longer. If you give them a recipe book, most of the young ones would say: What is this? They don't have to prepare it! They don't have to cook!

If they're out and jobs and family and everything, they just pop everything into the microwave and in seconds it's all done. Everything seems so good. The whole world is brought to us on the huge platter of the supermarkets, with every conceivable thing that you would want to eat, with the rewarding benefits of this world!

But another thing that we need to keep in mind is that God is also behind it, because He wants as many human beings to be brought into existence as possible. His plan is so great and so marvelous, so fantastic that all the troubles, wars, upsets and terrible hideous things that happen will be just like the flash of a dream when it comes time for the second resurrection for those people, and likewise for those who are in the first resurrection.

Notice what will happen, v 3: "And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water that brings forth its fruit in its season…" Those are spiritual fruits.

"…and its leaf shall not wither, and all that he does shall prosper" (v 3). Think about that! That doesn't mean that you're going to become a millionaire or billionaire, but your prosperity first begins with your relationship with God. That is the difficult thing in the world when there are so many physical things available.
Verse 4: "The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away." Just look at it! I can't help but think about the special on television: Going to 'Pot' in Colorado. Everybody is on 'pot' and tripped out and just laying back. Wait until it hits them! It is going to be awesome!

Delores and I have been married 50 years now, and we look back on it and it's like a flash! When you're young in your 20s, 50 years seems like an eternity! It'll never happen. I don't care who you are, God made us so that the young people don't think about that. But then, as you go down through time, you see that it is true. Yes, it is true!

But that doesn't mean that we cannot be prospered in what we do, and our prosperity is not in physical things; it is in the riches of God and His Spirit and His Word, and the character that we build! Those are blessings the world cannot have.

Think about this, another blessing: you can pray to God anywhere, anytime: standing, kneeling, driving, walking, whatever, and have direct connection to God. It's like the Proverb says of the fool: The fool is always trying to discover himself! He has no connection with God! What am I? Where am I going?

  • you have purpose
  • you have calling
  • you have God's Spirit
  • you have the Word of God

Those are all blessings!

Notice that God's way is also exclusive, v 5: "Therefore, the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish" (vs 5-6).

Psalm 71:12—at our age this ought to become a very important part of our life: "O God, be not far from me…" If you have the Spirit of God, God is in you! How close can that be? Think of that! The great blessing of the Spirit of God.

"…O my God, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed; let those who are enemies of my soul be consumed; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, those who seek my hurt" (vs 12-13). I wonder what it's going to be like?

All of those who have been truly martyred for Christ—martyrdom is always ugly and we've seen some of it for those who are the martyrs of Jesus—there will be the martyrs of the saints, but what is it going to be like when they are resurrected? All of those for eternal life to eternal life? Then when you come down to the final, final, final judgment and the wicked are cast into the Lake of Fire and burned up, I wonder what that's going be like? No more sin! No more rebellion! No more any of that! That's going to be something!

Verse 14: "But I will hope without ceasing…" In spite of how bad things look, never give up in having hope in God! That is a blessing!

"…and I will praise You more and more. My mouth shall show forth Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day…" (vs 14-15).

  • that is in our actions
  • that is in what we preach and teach
  • that is how we conduct our lives

"…for I do not know how many they are. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD…" (vs 15-16). He will give us strength, and help us. The greatest strength we need is spiritual mental strength so that we don't succumb to the things in the world. That's a blessing that's available to us. Think of all of these as blessings!

"…I will speak of Your righteousness, even of Yours alone. O God, You have taught me from my youth…" (vs 16-17). I was 27 when I was called, so I suppose at 80 that's my youth. We still have some of it, but where the rest of it is we don't know.

"…and until now I have declared Your wonderful works" (v 17). That makes me think of the things that we're doing.

Through the years we kept all the recordings of everything that we have done, and we are accumulating these in studies—transcript books—transcripts of the sermons. Jim informs me that through the years I have done enough so that we will have between 70-90 transcript books and series. I look at these things and I think: I did this?

"…You have taught me from my youth, and until now I have declared Your wonderful works" (v 17).

Now here's a promise. Don't worry about getting old, it happens to everyone. But when you're young you don't think it's happening to you until you hit the first thing, age 30! Just wait! As time goes on you either lose hair or get gray hair. Everybody experiences that.

Verse 18: "But now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me…" God is not going to forsake you! Your memory may not be as sharp as it was, and that's why you can't remember something going from one room to another. Finally, when you're doing something else, it comes to you. God understands that! But His Spirit isn't limited! That's just part of the process of being perfected spiritually.

Understand that if everything that you did from the time you were born is recorded someplace in your mind, everything concerning your prayers and Bible study are also recorded, even though your recall to bring those back by memory may be a little rusty. They're still there! God has them for the resurrection!

"…until I have declared Your strength to this generation, and Your power to everyone who is to come. And Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You Who have done great things. O God, who is like You?" (vs 18-19). Think of the blessing that we have this contact with God.

Verse 20: "You Who have shown me many and sore troubles…" Look at all you've gone through. When you get discouraged with that, read what the Apostle Paul went through.

"…You will revive me again… [here's the promise; this is a blessing]: …You will bring me up again from the depths of the earth" (v 20). What does that tell you? He was in the grave!

Verse21: "You will increase my greatness and surround and comfort me on every side." What is that going to be like? At the resurrection everything is transformed. We are given a spiritual language. Also, in order to play the harps and lyres, we've got to have that planted in our mind. I don't have a clue on how to do that.

For those who don't have good hand coordination, you're a trumpet player like I was. I look at a piano player who has all that ability. The way you can tell a good piano player is their long fingers. Plus they have the ability to do one thing with one hand and another thing with another hand. I can't do that.

In Matt. 5 are all the blessings. These are particularly good blessings to understand in the times of trouble that we're living in now. Notice the promise that with every blessing there is a promise. God cannot lie, so His promises are sure!

Matthew 5:3 "…Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." The hardest thing for us to contemplate is that God is going to give us part ownership of the Kingdom of God, an inheritance. Isn't that something?

Let's see what it tells about the humble. To be "…poor in spirit…"  means to be humble; it's the opposite of being exalted, opposite of being arrogant.

James 4:4: You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?…." That is if you put those relationships before your relationship with God.

"…Therefore, whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (v 4). That is a key to understanding the Laodiceans, because they have one foot in the world and one foot in the Church, so they can be friends with the world on the one hand, and if things get bad they can go back to God because they have one foot in the Church. That's why God gives correction to them.

Verse 5: "Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, 'The spirit that dwells in us lusts with envy'?" Human nature within us! The 'law of sin and death'; it is there. Satan will come at a time you least expect, and he will project a lust to you that looks like a wonderful benefit. And sure enough, isn't that what he did with Jesus? Oh yeah, turn the stones into bread! Nice hot bread after not eating for 40 days and 40 nights.

I remember when I was delivering papers in the morning, I always had to go by this doughnut shop. They were cooking the fresh doughnuts there and it was kind of like it got me by the nose and my nostrils were lifted up and I just had to have doughnut. I could not resist! There it is!

If I did that all my life and ate many of them, maybe the ultimate benefit would be a quick heart attack, because of all the grease. Who knows? Lust and envy! Think of that the next time you're bothered with lust.

Verse 6: "But He gives greater grace…. [God is able to overcome all of that] …This is the reason it says, 'God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.'" That's a tremendous blessing! How do you get that blessing?

Verse 7: "Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Verse 9: "Be grieved and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into grieving, and your joy into mourning…. [that is if you don't repent] …Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you" (vs 9-10). That's a great and wonderful blessing. What is that going to be like?

From the beginning, and with Cain, men have always wanted to do something for God. If you do something for God your way and God is forced to accept it, then you become God. This is why God chose to dwell in a tent or tabernacle. Look what happened after they built the temple. They had nothing but problems. So, God solved it. He put His presence in our minds and not in a building. He destroyed the temple, as great as that was, and all of the plans for the temple came from God.

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is the house that you build for Me?….'" Go through those sections in Isaiah where it says about the goldsmith and the silversmith, and the one who can't do that gets a tree that won't rot and carves in it and makes a totem pole and idol. With the rest of it he builds a fire and cooks a roast and warms himself. Then he turns around and bows down to the totem pole that he made.

Speaking of totem poles: I've often wondered what it was that the Indians say when they go around the bonfire and around the totem pole. It's just pure gibberish; it's not a language at all. The reason that is because the stupid wood cannot understand anything either.

"…And where is the place of My rest?" (v 1).

  • What are you going to do for Me?
    • I made you!
    • I gave everything that there is on this earth to you!
    • I gave you the thought process!
    • I created the wonderful hands that you have!
    • I gave you the ability to think, to design and to do things!
    • What are you going to do for Me?

Verse 2: "'For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,' says the LORD…." Everything that there is! One of the best ways to be poor in spirit is always to realize that we live and move because of God, our whole being, everything about us. Everything that we use on the earth comes from God, and that we have nothing we didn't receive!

"…'But to this one I will look…'" (v 2). Understand that to the one who is arrogant, haughty, proud and sinful, 'I will not look.' But God shows in other place, 'But if I have to, I'll send the angels and demons to take care of you.'

"…'But to this one I will look: to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word" (v 2). That's why we have all the Old Testament.

Those who don't know anything about the Bible or God, don't understand why all the killing, all the wars, all the things that are going on. That is the natural result of men and women rejecting God and going their own way, building their own worlds and societies. Look at it now when lawlessness is multiplied. Now the multiplied are multiplying. You really get something—don't you? Yes!

God has seven spirits that He sends to go through the earth to find those who are seeking Him. That's quite a thing! The world doesn't know it. There are even those out there who don't know God, but all of a sudden, when they're in trouble, they say, 'O God, help me!' God helps some. An angel intervenes!

Why does God do that? As a first step! And since He answered the prayer, will they follow up and 'find out more about Me? What will they do?' Trembles at His Word!

    • Do you love the Word of God?
    • Do you love the Truth of God?

Verse 3: "He who kills an ox…" Did God require a bullock to be offered? Yes! Sometimes many, many of them! What if you offered that and you did it of your own free will, but you had hate and murder in your heart? It's kind of like those in Catholicism today who want to have an excuse to sin in the future, they buy indulgences, which is permission to sin, but you have forgiveness in advance. I don't know how they do that. Is that like a lotto ticket or something?

Verse 3: "He who kills an ox is as if he killed a man…" God is interested in what is in the mind and heart? With God's Spirit you can change the here—within! That's tremendous blessing!

In the world you can do certain things to discipline yourself, but you can't really change your mind by conversion; that takes God's Spirit.

"…he who sacrifices a lamb is as if he broke a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering is as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense is as if he blessed an idol…." (v 3). Every one of those things God commanded, but the lesson is that unless your heart is right with God, it's all in vain.

"…Yea, they have chosen their own ways…" (v 3). Look at the history of the temple. What did they do it? Oh well, we've got to have freedom of religion, so we will allow all religions in here! We'll have idols to Baal, idols to Ashtoreth, idols to Milcom, whatever god we can. Like the Greeks, they had the little plaque "to the unknown God." Paul had to preach that to them because they thought they knew all the other gods in the world. But they didn't.

"…and their soul delights in their abominations…. [what happened?] …I also will choose their delusions, and I will bring their fears upon them because when I called… [God always gives a warning] …no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear. But they did evil before My eyes and chose that in which I did not delight" (vs 3-4). Quite something—isn't it?

Sound a little like Protestantism? Catholicism? Yes, indeed!

(go to the next track)

This is a little preview of Pentecost, and it will give us something to think about. Every wonderful thing about God and His Word—what He does for us, how He views us—is a blessing!

  • if God watches over us, that is a blessing
  • if God hears our prayer, that is a blessing
  • since God had called us, that is a blessing
  • to receive His Holy Spirit, that is a blessing
  • to understand His Word, that is a blessing

It's like the Psalm, count your many blessings, one by one. You won't be able to number them all.

Isaiah 66:5: "Hear the Word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word… [this is a prophecy] …'Your brethren… [your family, those who know you] …who hated you, who cast you out for My name's sake, said, "Let the LORD be glorified." But He will appear to your joy and they will be ashamed.'" That's a blessing—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

Then He shows what's going to happen, v 6: A sound of noise from the city, a sound from the temple, the sound of the LORD repaying His enemies." This is talking about all the wrath of God (Rev. 16).

Here's the resurrection, v 7: "Before she… [the New Testament Church; New Jerusalem] …travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a man-Child." That's talking about Christ.

Now let's see how this comes right into the resurrection of the saints, v 8: "Who has heard such a thing?…." Here's the greatest blessing to come upon the whole world; the greatest blessing for us, the fulfillment of the whole reason and purpose of why we are here.

"'…Who has seen such things like these? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?…. [talking about the resurrection] …Or will a nation be born at once?…. [Yes!] …For as soon as Zion travailed, she also gave birth to her children. Will I bring to the birth, and not cause to be born?' says the LORD. 'Shall I cause them to be born, and shut the womb?' says your God. 'Rejoice with Jerusalem…'" (vs 8-10). Who is the mother of us all? Jerusalem above!

 "…and be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all who mourn for her" (v 10)—prophecy of the resurrection. All at once that's going to be the greatest disaster for the world, and the greatest blessing for God's people. Think of that!

Let's see some blessings specifically. Always remember that having God's Spirit, knowing the Word of God, is a constant on-going blessing, actively living within you!

Psalm 10:12: "Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand; forget not the humble. Why do the wicked spurn God? He has said in his heart, 'You will not call into account.' You have seen it, for You behold mischief and vexation to repay it with Your hand….." (vs 12-14). That is a blessing God paying back the evil to the evil people.

"…The poor commits himself to You; You are the Helper of the fatherless" (v 14). There's another blessing!

Verse 17: "LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart, You will cause Your ear to hear."

Let's see another tremendous, absolutely wonderful blessing. Though it's not listed as a blessing: blessed is this or that. Think of the multiple blessings that Eph. 3 contains:

Ephesians 3:14: "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (vs 14-15). God is creating a vast family; it will span all the ages of mankind.

Notice what a blessing this is, v 16: "That He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man." That's how we grow and overcome, and withstand all the evil that's going on out there in the world

With that we have to be aware of it, and be spiritually and mentally like a spiritual duck. Even though you go under the water, you come up and it all runs off and doesn't affect you. That is difficult to do, but that is the ultimate that we need to come to. That is a tremendous blessing!

Verse 17: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Christ in you, the Hope of glory! God is doing His work; He's building!

Verse 18: "And that being rooted and grounded in love… [a tremendous blessing from God] …you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height." To know more about the plan of God. We can know more about than any other generation in history! Think of that! Remember that! Let that prick your conscience the next time you say you don't have time to study, or to pray.

Think of the blessing of what God is giving you. Physically compare it to a huge pile of gold and it was hidden someplace, and you discovered that. How hard would you work to get it out? You'd work night and day! You'd apply all your energy!

Well, spiritually, it's the same thing! If you're building the character of gold, that's what it will be!

Verse 19: "And to know the love of Christ…" Christ said, 'I love you as the Father has loved Me; live in My love.' The Father loved Him, but look at all the difficulties He went through.

One of the real blessings of understanding God's way is that even though you have difficulties and problems, God has provided the way out. God has given you the means to overcome. All you have to do is ask!

"…which surpasses human knowledge; so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (v 19). We will not understand what that verse fully means until the resurrection. But that's going to be a tremendous blessing—isn't it? Think of that! Read that! "…so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

How can those who say that we won't be the literal sons and daughters of God answer this? They cannot! If you're going to be filled with the fullness of God, you're going to have the same existence as God. Not power or authority, but living forever!

Remember that every promise is a blessing! Here's another promise:

Verse 20: "Now, to Him Who is able… [has the power—'dunamis'—that's where we get the English word dynamite] …to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…" (vs 20-21). How great is that? That's unfathomable! That's a blessing beyond description! But that's what we're going to receive!

"…according to the power that is working in us" (v 20). "…above all that we ask or think…" That's something! There is no human being that can even come anywhere close to doing some of that. This is the great blessing that we have:

  • having the Spirit of God
  • understanding His Word
  • knowing about His Sabbath and Holy Days
  • knowing about the prophecies

"…above all that we ask or think…"

I can tell you—I will not give you the details because I told God that I never would—that there are a number of blessings that God has given that were only a fleeting thought that went something like this: 'O God, that would be so nice if this could happen.' God brought it about big time. So, you can claim that blessing and that promise, "…above all that we ask or think…" That's why we need to have our mind fixed on God!

The way that Prov. 16 starts out is very interesting, really something! As we go through these things, I want you to see that every promise in here is a blessing.

Proverbs 16:1: "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD."

  • Who gave you life
  • Who gave you thought
  • Who made it possible to have language

What an utterly and incredible thing that it is that through language and through our mind—that God has given us—and with the Spirit that God has given us, we understand spiritual things. Here's the way that it is, converted or carnal.

Verse 2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits." This is why it's so important that we stay close to God.

Here's a promise and a blessing, v 3: "Commit your works unto the LORD…" What does God say to all the Churches? I know your works! How are we going to be judged? By our works!

Here's the blessing that comes: "…and your thoughts shall be established" (v 3). Isn't that the greatest blessing we can have?

  • control of our mind
  • control of our emotions
  • ability to cast out those fleeting thoughts and temptations that come
    • through prayer
    • through God's Spirit

Verse 4: "The LORD has made all for His own purpose; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."

Verse 17: "The way of the upright is to turn away from evil…" There's another blessing. You understand right from wrong, good from evil.

"…he who keeps his way preserves his soul. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud" (vs 17-19).

After seeing all this going on with the high-flying things in the book Clinton Cash! Yes, they're dividing "…the spoil with the proud," and now they are getting caught!

Now let's see the epitome of putting all of these things together with the blessings and promises of God.

Proverbs 3:1 "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commandments… [that's a blessing] …for they… [the blessings that come] …shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you" (vs 1-2). The spiritual fulfillment of that is eternal life!

Verse 3: "Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you…"—which is so easy to do when the pressure is on and there's a benefit that Satan is dangling out in front of you.
"…bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart" (v 3). This is done with the Spirit of God.

Notice the blessing, v 4: "And so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man." Isn't that a tremendous blessing? Isn't that what people want? Yes, indeed!

Verse 5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding." That results in the blessings! This is especially true now in the day we are living in. This is why we need the Sabbath, to come together and be fortified spiritually, because as soon as we get back out, even to home and turn on the television, the world comes rushing in through the screen, and all the problems and difficulties with it. That's why we need our mind fortified, and we need to have our thoughts operate like the duck coming out of the water; it all falls off.

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Isn't that a tremendous blessing? that God will direct you?

Have you ever been going along and a thought occurs to you that you need to do this, and you do it and you find out that's what you should have done? Who gave that thought to you? God did! We are made to have that relationship with God and His Spirit. He gave us free choice, and if we exercise that free choice the right way, with God's Spirit, that will always be a blessing for us.

Watch out for the trap, v 7: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil." That tells you to be careful of making judgments that you think are right, that are actually against God's way. Notice how this blessing will come.

Verse 8: "It shall be health to your navel… [you innermost being] …and marrow to your bones." What does marrow do? It gives you new blood!

We have trillions of cells in our bodies, and they are constantly being replaced as others are being discarded. It is said that every seven years you are virtually new physically. So, you need to have that process—the blessing from God—the innermost part of your being and the marrow of your bones to keep you going.

There are a lot of things that are going on that we don't even know about. They've done studies as to what happens to your body when you go to sleep, all the repairing and everything that is done while you're sleeping. There it is right there.

Notice that it's carried out in our life, v 9: "Honor the LORD with your substance… [of your increase and what you have] … and with the firstfruits of all your increase."

What will happen then? Verse 10: "And your barns shall be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst with new wine." There's another blessing that comes along that may not look like a blessing.

Verse 11: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD…" He loves you and doesn't want you to get in trouble.

"…nor be weary of His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding" (vs 11-13). Then it tells you what all that is like; those are all blessings.

When we are called the blessed of the Lord, there are many things that brings that about. Let's see some more blessings, and think of this when you get troubled and down, because that will happen. In this world it's easy to get discouraged, especially when you see so many terrible things going on. But don't become emotionally involved in it to where it affects you spiritually and mentally. Make note of it and understand that at the resurrection we're going to correct all those problems. That's going to be something!

Isaiah 61—a prophecy of the work of Christ, the ministry of Christ, the preaching of the Gospel and also the work of Christ within us:

Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor… [and contrite] …He has sent Me to bind up the broken hearted…" That's a blessing. There are a lot of people out there of a broken heart, broken spirit, lives shattered.

We see these things about what happens to these veterans who survive, and some of the things that they go through is just really awful. We're thankful for those people out there who do a lot to help them.

Bill O'Rielly—being as carnal as he is, and as Catholic as he is, and as hardheaded as he is—all the money that he makes for his books, he puts it into a charity that buys these little tank chairs for the veterans who have lost their limbs. So, there are some out there that are trying to do good. God won't forget those things, even though He hasn't called them, whatever it is.

There are people who are trying to feed the hungry, clothe those who are less fortunate, help them in different circumstances. God looks upon that and He's pleased. But that doesn't mean that He has called them.

The blessings that God has for us are spiritual, and are higher and greater than those.

"…to proclaim liberty to the captives…" (v 1). What were you captive to before God called you? Every single one of us was captive to something.

"…and the opening of the prison to those who are bound" (v 1). That happened in a big way. The Apostle Paul was arrested and beaten of the Jews with 40 stripes—he, Silas and Timothy—thrown into the middle of the prison and they had their feet and hands in stocks.

They didn't complain to God and say, 'God, You never told me this was going to happen.' What were they doing? Singing hymns and psalms! What happened at midnight? A big earthquake that broke the shackles and they were free! The jailer was scared to death because he was sure that he was going to be killed, because all the prisoners left and came out and Paul said, 'Don't fear, we're here.'

The jailer came crawling up and said, 'Tell me what I and my household must do to be saved.' So, God can change the circumstances!

Verse 2: "To preach the acceptable year of the LORD… [that's what Christ did and we are to keep preaching that] …and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn." The greatest comfort comes from the Spirit of God!

If you get troubled and things bother you, and you get upset, go and pray about it and ask God to lift it from you.

  • yes, you're angry
  • yes, it's difficult
  • yes, you may have been affronted or whatever the problem may be

But who is perfect in the flesh? I'm not; you're not! I've offended many people; if I've offended you, I'm sorry. I know that I have a lot of things to work on myself.

"…comfort all who mourn." I need comfort, you need comfort, and that comes from God. One of the greatest blessings and gifts God can give when there is trouble is comfort in the mind through the Holy Spirit that you know that everything is going to work out for good, even if you have the blessing of giving your head to the one who is martyring you. You next thought will be…

I got a nice little poem from a man who wrote about: I thought I was dead and all of a sudden I was alive. Then I was raised out of the grave and everything was different and changed. Being resurrected out of the grave there were others I could see, and the angels were carrying us up to the Sea of Glass.
Even the worst thing that can happen, God can undo! That's how great God's plan is. Notice what He's going to do:

Verse 3: "To appoint to those who mourn in Zion, giving to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness… [depression] …so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified."

These are some of the promises and blessings of God!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 1:1-6
  • Psalm 71:12-21
  • Matthew 5:3
  • James 4:4-10
  • Isaiah 66:5-10
  • Psalm 10:12-14, 17
  • Ephesians 3:14-20
  • Proverbs 16:1-4, 17-19
  • Proverbs 3:1-13
  • Isaiah 61:1-3

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:  Revelation 16

Also referenced: Book:
            Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 5-29-15

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