Blessed Are the Pure In Heart

Fred R. Coulter—June 8, 2013

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services! Before we get into From Faith Unto Faith #4, I want to cover some Scriptures in Num. 6 and Psa. 20. If we connect these together, and if we use these in conjunction with Psa. 91, I think this will help us a great deal in our prayer life and in understanding what we need to do.

Numbers 6:22: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to Aaron and to his sons saying, "In this way you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them, [#1] 'May the LORD bless you and keep you. [#2]May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. [#3]May the LORD lift up His face to you and give you peace.'" And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel. And I will bless them.'" (vs 22-27).

Even the Catholics use that in some of their Masses when they dismiss everybody to go. However, let's combine that with the 'may' statements of Psa. 20. If we put all of those together, we come up with something much more complete, and we end up with eight 'may' statements.

Psalm 20:1: "[#4] May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble… [we need that, don't we?] …the name of the God of Jacob set you on high, [#5]may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion" (vs 1-2). Go ahead and couple that with our direct relationship with God the Father in heaven above.

Verse 3: "[#6]May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah." Today we have the spiritual offerings, as well as the physical ones—but not animal sacrifices.

Verse 4: "[#7]May He grant you according to your own heart and fulfill all your plans." I like that one. Today we're going to talk about 'blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'

Verse 5: "We will shout for joy in your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up banners; [#8]maythe LORD fulfill all your prayers." You put all of those together and add that to Psa. 91, and this will give a lot of encouragement to you, and you can claim the promises of God during the times of difficulty and stress that we are going through.

If you have the History Channel, let me suggest that you look up when they're going to plan again the complete detailed compilation of all the pictures of that tornado that come through Moore, OK. They had a lot of tornado watchers out there. They've got a lot of pictures, and they even had one where there was a picture from a cell phone as to what the children were doing in that school that was destroyed just before tornado came in. I tell you what, if there's anything to put the fear of God into you, you watch that, that will! That was really awesome to watch. It brings tears to your eyes and it was really quite a thing that they went through.

That will help us really yield to God and ask Him to help us through these difficult times, because I think it's exactly true as Jonathan Cahn said, that 'God has lifted the hedge about us.' There are so many things going on it's almost impossible for the news to keep up with it.

Romans 1 will help us understand what God is doing, what we need to do and how we can continue to grow, change and overcome in spite of all the difficulties and problems that we see around us. If you tend to get discouraged because you see all these things happening, remember that God has called His people to solve these problems through Christ when He returns. You look and see all the difficulties and then you look and see all the futile attempts to change it. They always come up short. All the good intentions of people…

I'm watching with great interest all of these current scandals that are going on. There are some in Congress—and a lot of people at the grassroots who are trying to do all they can—to change it. But look at what happened when they really wanted to change it; they just turned the IRS on them. That's how Obama won the election, plus some other things from his friend Eric Schmidt—the head of Google.

What do we do when we see all of these things happening, because there has to be a generation that lives in the end-time? It has to be overlapping in different generations. I know that many times Delores and I have discussed that maybe God has held back His hand until the greatest generation that has come about in American history passes on. They celebrated a birthday for one of the veterans and he was 102-years-old. How many are left? We don't know!

There's also an overlap with the younger generation. They have particular sets of problems. They're really difficult, because they have virtually been left on their own. Satan has devised a system where mother and father must work. Now he's gotten all of these media devices and it's showing up with great rebellion and difficulties with teenagers, even down to as young as 11-years-old. The other night I was watching about rebellious teenage girls and how they are just hateful and despiteful to their mothers and fathers, and determined that they're going out and take drugs, have sex and all this sort of thing. No one is going to tell them what to do.

I forget where the city was that they had planned, but the plan was instead of sending them off into detention centers, they would arrest them and give them 30 days with the worst female criminals, and put them through living hell! Excuse the statement, but that's true! And to put some fear into those silly girls. The program was quite successful, because they would get right up on their face and would tell them what they had done, what happened to their lives. One woman got right up in the face of this young teenager and said, 'I am here for 37 years, is that what you want with your life?' They got through to them.

We have those problems. We have problems with marriages in the world. We have problems in the workplace. All of these things can come down upon us and we can really get depressed and discouraged. Don't! We need to keep looking to God!

Romans 1:17—talking about the Gospel, which includes all the Word of God. "For therein the righteousness of God is revealed…" On the one hand:

  • the righteousness of God
  • the love of God
  • the faith of God
  • the hope of God

Then on the other hand:

  • the judgment of God
  • the power of God
  • the correction of God

All of those come together, "…is revealed from faith unto faith…" (v 17)

  • our faith to God
  • God gives us His faith
  • our faith back to Him

It is a continuous, living cycle between God and us as we study and pray daily. That is necessary for us to have the strength of mind and the soundness of emotions to be able to cope with the things that are going on in the world. Think about what human nature really is and what it really does.

That's why it says, "…according as it is written: 'The just shall live by faith.'" (v 17). We've expressed it this way:

  • we stand in grace
  • we walk in faith
  • we believe in hope
  • we live in love

All of those are challenges to be able to grow in grace and knowledge and accomplish. Through that, God is accomplishing something that is fantastic. We have yet to be born into the Kingdom of God, but we we're still like the children who have not yet been born. They don't have a clue what's going to happen once they're born into the physical world. Then after they're born into the physical world, they have no understanding whatsoever what life is going to be like when they get older.

Likewise with us, looking forward to the resurrection; that is going to be a tremendous thing! Everything that we are missing spiritually, today, that we're growing in grace and knowledge in, God will fill us to the full at the resurrection. That's why we started out with the eight mays.

What God is doing the world cannot understand, because like most of the New Age religion, most of the religions in the world today, like Oprah Winfrey says: There's no such thing as sin; if it's good for you, that's fine! Rather than understanding about human nature, that we need boundaries. That's why God gave the Ten Commandments. A lot of people say, 'Those are negative commands.' NO! They are commands to say NO! He's given free moral agency, and we need boundaries defined for us so that we won't cross those boundaries. When the world rejects that, then they have no answer to control the human evil that we produce. If you just go through your news this past week, you'll see why.

Let's remember what Jesus said: As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. As it was in Sodom, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man!

Gen. 6—here's what happens when men multiply and there's no control over human nature. Human nature needs to be controlled within. There are two ways it's done:

  1. For those not called, but in the letter of the Law
  • they know right from wrong
  • there are boundaries
  • there is good
  • there is evil
  • children are taught don't do this, don't do that and don't do the other thing

God made us so that we need to have that instruction.

  1. What we have been called to; to change human nature within so that we will become pure in heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God' (Matt. 5:8).

Here's where we start. Look at the world today, Genesis 6:5: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." So bad was it that v 6 tells us an awful lot:

Verse 6: "And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart." You can take even God's greatest plan, and unless He had a way to correct all of this, it would have been an utter failure. But nothing is impossible with God! What I want us to understand is that here we have the heart of man functioning in full throttle evil, and God is going to take that human nature and the potential of that, and He's going to convert it and give us a pure heart. We grow in grace and knowledge, and we develop it step-by-step now. But I want us to see the contrast.

Verse 7: "And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the crawling thing, and the fowl of the air; for I repent that I have made them.' But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (vs 7-8). Just like us living in this age, we live because of the grace of God. We need the grace of God. As all of these things come down, it's going to be a really difficult thing, indeed!

Verse 11: "Now, the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt—for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth" (vs 11-12).

We're going to see a similar time to that, just before the return of Christ. As we will see on the Day of Trumpets, the power of the return of Christ is going to be so overwhelmingly awesome, it is going to be staggering, indeed!

2-Thessalonians 2—some people misunderstood what this is really telling us, but this is a parallel with what it is in Gen. 6. 2-Thessalonians 2:1: "Now, we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken in mind… [we have to be strong-minded] …nor be troubled—… [don't get depressed, down, upset] …neither by spirit… [there are demons spirits out there trying to deceive] …nor by word… [by message or something you read] …nor by epistle, as if from us…" (vs 1-2).

Think about this! Paul was saying that there were people out there writing epistles in his name, that he never authorized, "…saying that the day of Christ is present" (v 2). That's an interesting way to phrase it. That's precisely what the New Age movement says; that Christ will make His presence known, and that is the New Age Christ, not the true one!

Verse 3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means because that day will not come unless the apostasy shall come first…" This has been interpreted several ways: The apostasy, meaning:

  • a falling away from the Church

a modern interpretation is:

  • a falling away from a certain church organization or a certain church leader

That is not true!

The apostasy here means a complete rejection of everything of God! That is by the world! Just like in Gen. 6.

"…and the man of sin shall be revealed—the son of perdition… [If you think it's getting bad now, read this]: …the one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is an object of worship; so that he comes into the temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God" (vs 3-4).

So, we haven't seen anything, yet! If anyone says we're getting closer to the end, that's a true statement. But they can't tell you how far away it is. Look at how many times we thought the end is right here. Right after Delores and I got married we said, 'Isn't it lovely, we're not going to get old.' Here we are!

Let's see how bad this human nature is. Of course, things can be controlled somewhat in the letter of the Law when people have been taught to have some self-control and some resistance against evil. That is true! However, we need to understand that that is only temporary in this society. What we really need is a complete conversion and change of heart and mind. That's what the New Testament and the calling of God is all about.

Here's what happens when there's no restraint. This was certainly true with those teenage girls. I was watching a program the other night. I was astonished! It was just unreal! I think the truth of it is that when a girl rebels as bad as that, they're harder to handle than boys. That's something! It was astonishing to me!

Here's what happens when sin is left unrestrained, Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart…"—the complete opposite of pure in heart. Through repentance and the washing of the water by the Word our minds can be changed and purified, cleansed! We'll see the comparison that Jeremiah makes here in Jer. 17.

"…it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars" (v 1). Right into their religious system. I got a report the other day that now the Lutherans, following the Episcopalians have ordained and openly homosexual man as bishop.

Rush Limbaugh calls it defining deviancy down! Whenever there are no safeguards or teachings against evil, and it begins to overwhelm everything, what you do, you change the standard and lower it. Sooner or later that fills up with sin. Then again, you change the standard and lower it until that fills up with sin. What you do, you're multiplying lawlessness (Matt. 24). It says that lawlessness will be multiplied.

Then it comes into the religious system. Now what they're forced to try and put up with is this:

  • What do you do when there are so many young people living together unmarried?
  • What do mothers and fathers do?
  • How do you treat them?
  • What happens when children come into the world?
  • Now what do you do?

Look at all of the single mothers and all the neglected fathers. There was an interview on the news the other night about one man who had fathered 220 children—unemployed! Even if he had a job the most he could send would be a nickel per kid. See what happens when sin just multiplies? He was pretty proud of it.

Verse 2: "Wile their children remember their altars and their Asherim beside every green tree on the high hills." That is all the teenagers would rush up to these high hills and guess what they would be doing?

So, God says, v 3: "My mountain in the field, I will give your wealth and all your treasures for spoil…" Did we not read about the Chinese buying into thousands of big factories? Where do you suppose the wealth is going to go?

"…and your high places because of sin, throughout all your borders. And you, even of yourself, have let go of the inheritance…" (vs 3-4). You give it up yourself. Does that not describe what is happening here in the western civilization? Have you read what's happening in the United Kingdom? They're about ready to have open war in the streets between the Anglos and the Muslims!

"[you] …have let go of the inheritance, which I gave you…" (v 4). Look at the British Empire, the inheritance of Ephraim spread around the world so much so that they bragged that 'the sun never sets on the British Empire.' It's all gone! There they are on the little British Isle trying to have a 'stiff upper lip' and think that they are still what they used to be.

  • Did God take it from them? Yes, indeed!
  • Did they let it go? Yes, indeed!

"'…and I will cause you to serve your enemies in a land which you do not know. For you have kindled a fire in My anger, which shall burn forever.' Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD'" (vs 4-5). There are three applications of this:

  • for people in the world
  • for the protestants who think they're on God's side, but embrace everything that Satan has offered
  • to the Churches of God

The work of the ministry and the teaching of the ministry is so that we all grow up together and:

  • love God
  • serve God
  • pray to God
  • have faith

rather than put faith in a man, because you've seen what happens with that—haven't you? We all have!

Verse 6: "For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited."

Notice the difference, because there is this difference that God makes, v 7: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD." Trust is faith,from faith unto faith!

Verse 8: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters… [Psa. 1] …it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit." Regardless of the circumstances around. This is what it's telling us.

Even if the whole world is in a spiritual desert, the people of God can receive the Spirit of God. Just like a plant planted by a river. That's why we have the Word of God. That's why it's so important. We have the whole Word of God! It didn't start to come to be this way until the reformation started and they got the Bible out in German, then English. The Germans had a chance, but Martin Luther went back and united with the Catholics and the peasant's rebellion took place. In spite of everything that Carlstadt brought to him, he would not let go of Sunday, though Carlstadt told him over and over again 'it is the Sabbath if you want the blessing of God.'

The other part was in English and this was done by William Tyndale,

  • which resulted in the English Bible
  • which resulted in the dominate language that would prevail at the end of the age
  • which would result in getting out many Bibles in many languages through the Bible societies into the whole world

At the end-time we have this, which is very important: The Bible is available anywhere in any language that you would like to learn or know with the exception of a few very minor languages. It's there!

Likewise for the Church! That becomes important for us to understand, because the world can say, 'God (at the second resurrection) thank You for resurrecting me.' God will say, 'I did give you a witness, but you never took it.' They will be part of those seeds that were scattered and didn't produce. Then there are the Churches of God. Of course, you read Rev. 2 & 3 and you see the difficulties that they're constantly confronted with.

Now that we have it, and we have it all, and we have the restoration and understanding of things that are being brought to light. I just did the #3 segment on Was Peter Ever in Rome? {churchathome.org} and I brought out how that Google—thank you Eric Schmidt, stay out of politics and you'll be much better off—and also others are scanning every book in the world. I showed that's what Jesus said that that's fulfilling Matt. 10—that which is spoken in secret shall be shouted from the housetop; that which has been covered, will be known everywhere.

I had a digital book sent to me concerning Was Peter Ever in Rome? written in 1858. They had everything down just right. So, Randy Vild, editor, was able to go scan on Google and there's the cover for it. Even 50 years ago you couldn't have done that.

Someone might say that they don't have access to that. Hello! Do you have a SmartPhone? Are you smart enough to use it? (joke). You can find it! You can read it! Same way with the book The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah. They copied and scanned all of the chronologies of the ancient kings of Babylon, Assyria, Persia and Media. With that you can get the exact time when the 70-weeks prophecy began. You can verify all those historical things right down to the birth of Christ and the beginning of His ministry and it is known!

Now then, think about the problem that some people are going to have because they didn't take advantage of everything that God had provided. You can't say, 'Lord, I didn't know.' He'll say, 'Did you have it?' Yes, I did! 'What did you do with it?' I didn't read it! 'Why didn't you read it? I was busy doing…! 'Didn't you know that the most important thing for you to do is to know Me? I've had mercy and forgiven you for it, and I've resurrected you, but you could have had a much greater reward!'

Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" That's why we need God's Spirit! In the New Testament we will see that God has called the One Who knows the heart—the heart-knowing God! He knows that our hearts are like this, so when He calls us and converts us and gives us His Holy Spirit, He wants us to use it. The greatest gift we've ever had in our entire lives, which then is going to go on to eternal life beyond that.

Verse 10: "I the LORD search the heart… [and He wants to purify it] …I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."

  • God is there to help us!
  • God is there to guide us!
  • God is there to lead us!

Let's look at another problem that we're confronted with, which only through the Holy Spirit we can overcome.

Let's come to the Epistle of James, the half-brother of Jesus Christ. God is willing; we need to ask. Once we ask, and once we receive, then He expects us to work to multiply, to increase.

Have you ever written a letter and addressed it, to send it to someone that you didn't know where they were? Think about it as we read; did James know where the 12 tribes were? Of course!

James 1:1: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are in the dispersion… [Diaspora] …Greetings! Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials" (vs 1-2). That's a tough one—isn't it?

Verse 3: "Knowing that the testing of your faith… [from faith unto faith] …produces endurance." That's what we need, endurance to the finish! What did Jesus say? The one who endures to the end shall be saved! You take the opposite of that: the one who does not endure to the end shall not be saved.

Verse 4: "But let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, not lacking in anything. However, if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks;and it shall be given to him" (vs 4-5). Do you have an intractable problem that needs solution? You pray and ask God for the help to figure out how to do it! It's not going to be ZAP! instantly stuck in your mind. But you keep praying about it and God will open the way and make it happen. One of the things we need to do in prayer is be enduring in prayer!Continuing in prayer!

Verse 6: "But let him ask in faith…" Don't pray to God, ask for something, then get up off your knees and say, 'I wonder if God will answer that or not.' You just destroyed your request! If that happens, repent and say, 'Oh, God, forgive me! Cleanse me from it!' He'll do that!

"…not doubting at all because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro. Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord" (vs 6-7). Here is a problem we all need to overcome while we're battling human nature: Don't let human nature take control. If it does, repent! We all have those things happen—don't we?

  • How many here did not sin last week?
  • Yesterday?
  • This morning?

See how the human mind is? That's why we need the Spirit of God! But if you don't overcome it, here's what happens:

Verse 8: "He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." God wants us to have our heart changed.

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Let's see how we then can get a pure heart. In order to get a pure heart, you have to have it cleansed. Let's see how that comes about. 1-John tells us how we do it. We do it by repentance, and, of course, you have an official first time cleansing of the heart that comes with repentance and baptism, and then baptism is a circumcision of the heart so it can be cleansed, it can be changed and you can become converted. This is why understanding our direct connection with God the Father and Jesus Christ is so important.

In Greek you can have run-on sentences that go for 50-60 words. Almost all of Paul's chapters—especially Eph. 1—are almost all one sentence. Here's one that's not quite as long:

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life; (and the life was manifested…" (vs 1-2).

Remember, Jesus prayed for each one of us (John 17). He said, 'I don't pray for these only, but for those who will believe on what they say.'

"(…and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life… [imagine eternal life compared to the physical life that comes to an end] …which was with the Father, and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you…" (vs 2-3)—every single Christian! Think of it this way: If God understands when a sparrow falls—and He does—think then how important we are to God:

  • that He has called us
  • that He has brought us to repentance
  • that He leads us to baptism

Now we are told how to have our mind converted and changed. "…in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—… [our includes all of us; every single one of us] …is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3).

Think of what it's going to be like at the resurrection on the Sea of Glass. That's going to be some great deal! Every time I see a sporting event where they win a championship and everyone is happy and joyful, think about everybody on the Sea of Glass:

  • all resurrected
  • all have overcome
  • all have been given eternal life
  • everyone is going to receive their reward and new names

Then we're going to come back down to the earth and say, 'We're here!' God says you are to do this—and I don't think there will be very much resistance.

"…indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3). Notice: no pope you have to go through! Popes can come in different sizes and different guises, too. I'm not talking about the Catholic pope.

Verse 4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full." Sometimes we're burdened down with difficulties. This is why we are always to have our mind on the goal. This will always bring you back from the problems and difficulties confronting you.

Verse 5: "And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is light, and there is no darkness at all in Him."

Here is how we receive a pure heart, v 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth." Unless you have the circumcision of the heart, you can lie to yourself continuously about everything that you do. You may have lies you're overcoming. You may have difficulties that come along. But you are not living one vast lie as representing your life.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the light… [with God's Word] …as He is in the light… [with His Spirit] …then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin." That's how we need to be cleansed. That's what gives us a pure heart.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." That is to say we don't have a sinful nature by inheritance.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." All of these things come together with this: the washing of the water by the Word!

  • That's why you need the Word of God!
  • That's why you need it written in your heart and mind!

When that happens, with the Spirit of God, God is cleansing you. God is the One Who is doing it.

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." Then he clarifies it:

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you maynot sin. And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous—and He is the propitiation… [the source of forgiveness and covering of sin] …for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (vs 1-2). You have to add in right there: according to God's plan and His timing!

Comparing the letter of the Law with the Jews and physical circumcision, Romans 2:25: "For on the one hand, circumcision profits if you are observing the Law…"—even in the letter of the Law. This is not talking about salvation here. He will when he talks about circumcision of the heart.

"…on the other hand, if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision…. [Those are real fighting words with the Jews.] …Therefore, if the uncircumcised… [whom you don't want to have company with or eat with] …is keeping the requirements of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision?" (vs 25-26). Level playing field now!

Verse 27: "And shall not the uncircumcised, who by nature is fulfilling the law, judge you, who, with the letter and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who isone outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is external in the flesh; rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spiritand not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (vs 27-29).

Does that happen? Col. 2 tells us how that happens. We have several sermons going in depth, word for word, through Col. 2

Colossians 2:9: "For in Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily… [after He warns them against philosophy and traditions of men] …and you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power" (vs 9-10). That does away with New Age religion.

Verse 11: "In Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." That begins the cleansing of the heart, to purify it! How does that happen?

Verse 12: "Having been buried with Him in baptism, by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses. He has blotted out the note of debt against us with the decrees of our sins, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross" (vs 12-14). That is the proper translation! He didn't nail the commandments to the cross. What idiotic theology that is!

Let's see what happens when that occurs. When there's circumcision of the heart your mind is open with God's Holy Spirit. You begin to learn and study the Word of God. Let's see what Jesus says, because we need to be cleansed inwardly! What did Jesus tell the scribes and Pharisees? Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but within you're full of dead man's bones! He's saying to clean the inside first and the outside will be clean. Let's see what Jesus said concerning this:

John 15:1: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman." Go back and study Isa. 5 where it talks about the vine that God planted and it became corrupt and that was Israel and so forth. Here He likens the Church also to a vineyard.

Verse 2: "He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit; but He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit." That's how we have our heart cleansed. As our heart is cleansed, we get a pure heart that it may bear more fruit. Yield to the Spirit of God!

Verse 3: "You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you." Notice how this is going to keep going; let's tie that in with the fellowship (1-John 1) with God the Father and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit of God.

Verse 4: "Dwell in Me… [spiritually] …and I in you…." We're to develop the mind of Christ. Think of that! Isn't that something? That's worth probably a half-dozen sermons.

He gives a warning: "…As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing" (vs 4-5).

  • You can't overcome human nature without the Spirit of God.
  • You cannot have the true kind of cleansing of the heart where you are pure in heart unless it comes from God; unless you stay with Christ.

Let's see what we are to do. We have our part in doing it. This is why study and prayer are so important, and living by every Word of God is so important. What happens when you're doing that? When you get off course and you sin, your conscience is pricked! If you're just out here in the world and you have sin engravened upon your heart with a point of iron or a diamond, your conscience is not stricken.

Let's see what John says. We're going to emphasize something; notice that every single time that we are told to do something, what happens? Christ inspired the apostles to write something to point us in the right direction! Here's what He did:

1-John 3:1 "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!.… [That's going to be a fantastic thing] …For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him."

I was given a list of all the known Bilderbergers, all the 'important' people in the world, to the world! Do they know anything about us? No! We're not even flying under the radar. They don't know about us; they don't care about us, but

  • God loves us
  • God knows us
  • God has called us

Look at the guarantee, v 2: "Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be… [we know a little bit more about it since John first wrote this] …but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is." What is this to do to us? This is to motivate us!

Remember what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2-Timothy 1:6[transcriber's correction] "…stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands." This is what this is to do. With the Spirit of God in us we can stir it up, we can use more of it.

Notice what it is to do, 1-John 3:3: "And everyone who has this hope in Him… [which we do] …purifies himself…" How? Through:

  • prayer
  • study
  • repentance
  • growing
  • overcoming

"…even as He is pure" (v 3). That's the whole goal of having a pure heart. That's quite something.

What does it do when we have a pure heart? Have you ever had an experience when you are studying the Bible and you haven't studied something in a certain section for quite a while? You come back and read it and it's almost like you're reading it for the first time with better understanding. That's the way it is with the Word of God.

Proverbs 22:10: "Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, quarreling and abuse shall cease. He who loves pureness of heart, on whose lips is grace, the king shall be his friend" (vs 10-11).

  • In New Testament parlance, who is the king? Christ!
  • Does He love us?
  • Is He our friend?
  • What did He tell the apostles in John 15? You are My friends if you do what I command you!

Verse 12: "The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and He overthrows the words of the transgressor."

Proverbs 15:26: "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but the words of the pure are pleasant words." Change your whole way of living and thinking.

Psalm 18:24—this is interesting because it shows how God deals with people: "Therefore, the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness… [and if the righteousness that we have is the righteousness of Christ] …according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes. With the merciful… [Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy!] …You will show Yourself merciful; with an upright man You will show Yourself upright; with the pure You will show Yourself pure… [notice the opposite of this]: …and with the crooked You will show Yourself cunning" (vs 24-26).

Psalm 12:6—this is why we need the Word of God written in our heart and mind: "The words of the LORD are pure words… [which develop a pure heart] …like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Let's see what happens and how God honors repentance. 2-Chron. 34—this is the story of Josiah. Josiah had a tremendous job when he took over being king, because he followed Manasseh who for 55 years… Years ago when Pres. Clinton was in office, I said, 'How would you like 55 years with Pres. Clinton?' Well, today with Obama in office, how would you like 55 years with Obama?!! It got that bad in Jerusalem!

2-Chronicles 34:1: "1. Josiah was eight-years-old… [just a little kid] …when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and did not turn aside to the right nor to the left" (vs 1-2)—even as a young boy growing up.

Verse 3: "For in the eighth year of his reign…" He was 16. What did you do when you were 16? What do most teenagers do today when they're 16? They run off in rebellion and say, 'I'm all grown up and know everything in the world!'

"…while he was still young, he began to seek after the God of David his father…. [that's what teenagers need to do; start seeking God and using His Word] …And in the twelfth year… [when he was 20] …he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem…" (v 3). He was an adult! A man!

"…from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images" (v 3). He had to clean everything up! I can't imagine something like that taking place here in America or Britain—could you?

Could you imagine that if Prince William became king—the 27-year-old son of Prince Charles—and he said, 'All right, we're going to get rid of all the Muslims. We are going to clean out every church. We are going to get rid of all of the witches in England. We are going to have a revival and we're going to return to God, and everyone is going to come together and repent. All of those in Parliament, you'd better repent. All of those who are the justices, mayors, leaders, ambassadors, and those over the bureaucracies: you've all got to repent. We're going to have a great week of fasting and repentance and then we're going to start keeping the Sabbath and celebrating the Feasts of God.'

Well, that's what Josiah did! It happened this way: He said to start cleaning up the temple; so they started cleaning up the temple. Finally, they got back into the inner depths of the temple, because it was so polluted with so many idols and things. And the priests were not doing what they should do. Hilkiah found the book of the Law and gave it to Shaphan, and Shaphan took it to King Josiah and began to read it. He must have been reading Deut. 28, because of all the curses and everything.

Josiah ripped his clothes! To tell you how bereft that Judah was of men who were seeking God, he said to Shaphan and the others with him, 'You go to a Prophetess'—to a woman, a keeper of the gowns for the priests—'and you ask her what is the Word of the Lord, and bring it back to me?'

Let's see what happened, v 22: "And Hilkiah, and those of the king, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, the keeper of the robes…." A little ole woman back there doing her job; probably praying everyday, 'O Lord, they're filling this place with idols and homosexuals. Please, O Lord, bring an end to this.' She got her answer!

"…(And she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter.) And they spoke to her about this. And she answered them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Tell the man who sent you to me… [Can a woman speak for God when there aren't any men around? Yes!] thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its people, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah, Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, so that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. And My wrath shall be poured out upon this place and shall not be quenched.' And as for the king of Judah…'" (vs 22-26). The repentance of one man! Notice what took place:

"'…who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall you say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the words you have heard, "Because your heart was tender… [not filled with evil] …and you humbled yourself before your God when you heard His words against this place and against its people, and humbled yourself before Me, and tore your clothes and wept before Me, I have even heard you also," says the LORD. 'Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, nor shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon its people.'…." (vs 26-28).

What did Josiah do? He gathered all of Judah and made them all come to the temple. He stood at his place right beside the king's pillar where he had authority, and he commanded all of them to repent. He commanded all of them to keep the laws and commandments of God. Then they had a great Passover celebration that it says, 'was not since the time of Joshua!' Quite something! That's what can happen with a pure heart!

Let's look at the reward. I've always thought about this. This is one of the favorite parts of the Bible. Let's project forward to where there's the ultimate fulfillment for being pure at heart.

Revelation 22:1: "Then he… [the angel] …showed me a pure river of the water of life… [constantly flowing] …clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb." That's going to be an awesome thing to see.

Verse 2: "And in the middle of the street, and on this side and that side of the river, was the tree of life, producing twelve manner of fruits, each month yielding its fruit; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." Exactly how that's going to work, I'm sure that's spiritually applied, so I can't tell you.

The best way on some of these things that you can't understand, just make sure you're going to be there, then you'll understand it.

Verse 3: "And there shall be no more curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face; and His name is in their foreheads" (vs 3-4). What is that going to be like when we look at God the Father eyeball-to-eyeball? And the promise:

Blessed are those who are pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Scriptural References:

  • Numbers 6:22-27
  • Psalm 20:1-5
  • Romans 1:17
  • Genesis 6:5-8, 11-12
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
  • Jeremiah 17:1-10
  • James 1:1-8
  • 1 John 1:1-10
  • 1 John 2:1-2
  • Romans 2:25-29
  • Colossians 2:9-14
  • John 15:1-5
  • 1 John 3:1-2
  • 2 Timothy 1:6
  • 1 John 3:3
  • Proverbs 22:10-12
  • Proverbs 15:26
  • Psalm 18:24-26
  • Psalm 12:6
  • 2 Chronicles 34:1-3, 22-28
  • Revelation 22:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 91
  • Matthew 5:8; 24
  • Psalm 1
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Matthew 10
  • John 17
  • Isaiah 5
  • John 15
  • Deuteronomy 28

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Was Peter Ever in Rome? (churchathome.org)
  • Colossians

Books:

  • Was Peter Ever in Rome? (written in 1858)
  • The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6-18-13

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