God's promises are sure, but we have to do it God's way, not our own way

Fred R. Coulter—February 11, 2017

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

I have a couple of things to cover here. First of all, the book Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin {amazon.com} Where we got this years and years ago, the Hebrew Publishing Company, had closed down. It is a book that governs every minute of every day of every thought and every action. This is why the Jews, though they have the Word of God…

It's quite a testimony. They have the Old Testament; they have faithfully preserved it, and they have faithfully preserved the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. But they hold to their traditions above the laws of God. They keep the Sabbath, but they regulate the Sabbath by their traditions. It's interesting when you think about it, the apostles when they started preaching, had only the Old Testament. Everything in the Old Testament is sprinkled with things that would become the heart of the New Testament.

I use sprinkled because in order to understand, how does it tell us to understand the Word of God? 'Line upon line precept upon precept'! So, you need to look at it this way: The Old Testament brings us the:

  • physical aspect for Israel
  • prophecies
  • future spiritual aspects of the New Testament

Then Christ comes! And it's interesting that the #4 is associated with Christ. Just a quick review on that:

  • God established the appointed times on the 4th day
  • Jesus was crucified on the 4th day
  • He started His ministry on the 4th day
  • He ended His ministry on the 4th day, physically
  • His ministry was 44 months long
  • He had 40 days of fasting to begin,
  • He had 40 days of instruction to the apostles to finish
  • the 4 Gospels are about Christ and His teachings

The book of Acts is very similar to the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy combined.

  • the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch
  • the first five books of the New Testament are the spiritual Pentateuch

There Jesus Christ, right at the beginning, says, Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect… [Not good, not nice, not exemplary, but perfect. How?]: …even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect."

That's the whole goal! Only God can take us, with what we are, and transform us through conversion by His Spirit and His Word to perfect us and the final perfection does not come until the resurrection!

So, the book Code of Jewish Law will show you why the Jews never understood. They are going to claim that they're 100% right, because when they build the temple they're going to say, 'Messiah is going to come.' Well, He already came and talked to them once. Since then, with so many different kinds of Christianity in the world, I'm going to use two analogies.

First of all, and this is true, absolutely true. Why is it that people have the Word of God but don't understand it? I'm going to give a sermon on that. They're blinded, because they don't want to obey, and it's because they want to improve upon God. That's what the Jews have done, and what the Catholics have done, and what the Protestants have done. All the other 'religions' have had their own way of doing it, to improve upon what they could have learned from God,

The only way you can understand what God wants and what He wants of you, and what he's going to do with you, for you, to you, and how He's going to save the world, unless you have the Spirit of God there is no way you're going to understand, and here's why:

1-Corinthians 2:9: ...'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'"

Now take this last sentence and go backwards. For those who love God, and God loves them:

  • they will know in their hearts what to believe
  • they will be able to hear and know the Truth
  • they will be able to see and recognize righteousness from sin

So, you just take it backward sometimes.

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God."

In the New Testament the three deepest books are Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. In order to understand those, you have to study backwards: Hebrews, Romans, then Galatians. Why is Galatians so hard to understand? We've been covering that, we'll get to it. But here's what has to happen.

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God." So, God has to do it.

John 6:45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'…."

How is that? You haven't seen God, you haven't heard God! Because He has sent His Word! And as I've mentioned recently, with all the modern devices, everyone is going to have it in their hands.

Sidebar: I'm going down to Pasadena this week, and I'm going to stop by Randy's as I always do. He has ordered a little player that will play a memory stick of four gigs. We can put the whole Bible on that memory stick. You plug it into this machine, it's got a little screen on it, and you can figure where you're going to go, and what you're going to listen to.

Now think about this company that we talked about, faithcomesbyhearing.com[transcriber's correction] and they're translating it into all the languages that have never had a printed Bible or a printed language. Now, think of that! That's an amazing thing when you put that together as we've covered: 'This Gospel is going to be preached in all the world, as a witness to all nations.' We'll just go back 200 years, to the early 1800s Because there were Churches of God. I wonder what they thought when they would read that? Quite an amazing thing!

This tells you how God fulfills things. Because what does it say here, the eyes not seen the ears heard neither has entered into the heart of man the things of God has prepared for those who love Him. Or for those who are going to be witnessed to, when there are billions of people. You look at it this way, too: when the Church of God is so little compared to the rest of the world.

1-Corinthians 2:11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man, which is in him?…." That's why we have intelligence. We have thoughts, we can make decisions, we have life and all of this sort of thing.

"...In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God" (v 11).

What are the words of God? Spirit and Life! So, God's Spirit has to come and be with you to help you start, and in you so that you can finish. Same thing with understanding Galatians. Let me use the analogy. Because understanding the difficult Scriptures concerning law in Hebrews, Romans and Galatians, is the definite article in the Greek. Now the definite article in the Greek, I'll give you an example of what it means:

I'm going to give you a car. You want me to give you a car? I'm going to give another person the car. So, what do I give you? A little toy! I gave you a car! The car is the greatest, finest, most wonderful car in the world, with the best of everything, but you need the right key.

Now likewise, if I say to the other person, I'm going to give you the car, and you think it's like the second one I said, and I hand you a toy, have I cheated you? Have I lied to you? Have I misrepresented? Yes!

Same way with Galatians and Romans and Hebrews, concerning the Law. Now you can read that in Appendix R and Appendix Z in The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version. And those who were supposed to properly translate, improperly translated and misrepresented Galatians and Romans.

What is the one and singular only means of forgiveness of sin? Jesus Christ! His perfect sacrifice, His death and His shed blood; Who was the Creator of human beings. Therefore, His death can cover the sins of all human beings, and nothing else can.

Is there any work of law that anyone can do that can even match that? No! Therefore you can never be justified by works of law. The sin comes this way in the translation, which has misled the whole Protestant world. You need to be sure and study appendix R and Appendix Z.

The King James reads this way… Concerning the Greek, when there is no definite article, if you put one there because it could be there, you should put it in italics so that the reader will know that you put it there. But in all of the Bibles, it reads this way.

Romans 3:20 (KJV): "Therefore by the deeds [works] of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight…"

So, they say that you don't have to keep the commandments of God. All you have to do is believe in Jesus. If they just hear the name of Jesus they won't burn in hell forever. But if they don't hear the name of Jesus, they are going to burn in hell forever.

It does not read the works of the law. It is works of law—any work. This is full of works to justify yourself. The Catholic catechisms are full of works to justify yourself. The Protestants have certain things—not like either the Jews or the Catholics—but they think they are justified by Sunday-keeping, and allowance for keeping all of the pagan holidays. That all they have do is believe in Jesus; 'once saved always saved.'

If that's the case, why are we told in the book of Hebrews, that if once you have had the Truth of God and you live by it, and then you willfully, willingly continue to sin, you are going to die? No such thing as 'once saved always saved.' Those two things have caused the greatest misunderstanding.

Let's talk about sin for just a minute. When you sin, it begins in the mind. So, the thought becomes the sin. You carry it out, and now you have the actual sin. Isn't that what Jesus said concerning adultery? concerning murder? Yes! Also, concerning thievery, concerning idolatry, concerning the true God; it applies to all the Law. Now then, what has to happen? Because God gave us our mind, and we have within our mind and on every cell of our body, the law of death, and in our mind the law of sin!

Sidebar: The law of death is in every gene you have, it's called a telomere, and every time your cell reproduces the telomeres gets a little smaller, and you get a few more wrinkles. Your body is constantly rebuilding, renewing and changing, and if you have longer telomeres, you're going to live longer. If you have shorter ones, barring an accident or something like that, you can live shorter. They know this.

Remember years ago I said scientist were trying to find the death gene so they can they can help get rid of the death gene to live forever. Well God has it, that you've got to change every single cell in your body, and every single chromosome in your body, in order to get rid of the death gene that's on every cell, because every cell has the telomere.

That's why God came and died, and He forgives sin through His sacrifice, but only past sins. When you think a thought, and you don't control and reject it, you keep it there, what happens when you have an evil thought come in your mind? BOOM! You've all had that, haven't you?

Because God has given us choice, we need to choose. If a thought comes along—an evil thought—does that mean you're unconverted? No! It means there's an evil thought in your mind! How many things are in your mind? Dolores and I were talking about—since were getting older, which we don't like to say—our childhood. Isn't it true that when you get older you think about what was when you were younger? She was talking about this poor little boy in her class who was always picked on by everyone, and wondering how he thought. Wondering where he is.

It's harder for us today. Because every time you see something on television, or hear an evil thought... Do you suppose David had troubles with his mind out tending the sheep in the pasture? Of course not! But he was watching out for the lion and he was watching out for the bear, and knew how to take care of them. Just think about how much garbage gets in our mind today. So, we have a greater burden. Now then, here's how the thoughts come:

James 1:13: "Do not let anyone who is tempted say, 'I am being tempted by God'… [it's God's fault; no it's not God's fault] …because God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one with evil."

What does God do? He sets before us life-and-death, good and evil, and He says to choose! So, a thought comes along. What are you going to do? Say that's an interesting thought and start thinking on it?

Verse 14: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust." The mind is full of lust.

Ephesians 2:1: "Now, you were dead in trespasses and sins… [Why? Because you have the law of sin and death in you!] …in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air..." (vs 1-2).

Satan is there to throw these fiery darts at us (Eph. 6), and you've got a lot of helpers today. Just driving up here for church, here comes a guy and he's got his low set pickup. We are halfway country and halfway town, and he comes with his pickup. And he's got his radio going, and everyone within 200-feet can hear it. Boom! Boom! Boom! And the words going into his mind and he's sitting there driving along, and he's fully captured! I wonder what would happen if he stopped, and you could get him to think long enough to say: What do you think God thinks of this? He'd probably say, 'It's cool, man!' Or, whatever! So, here's how the human mind works: Satan is there to inspire it!

"…prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience"(v 2). Everyone who breaks the laws of God, they're living in sin:

  • sin in thoughts
  • sin in heart
  • sin in mind
  • sin in attitude

It's combined with good and evil, so there's enough good in there, that it looks really good. Christmas is wonderful, because we get presents for the kiddies. Forget about the fact that you lied to them. Forget about the fact that God says, 'Don't do it.'

'But we are doing good! We're so good that every Christmas we get 500 turkeys for this church. We cooked the biggest meal in town, and we feed the homeless.' You look at the lines of the people, and they're pretty well-dressed. They came for a free meal, because they have the law of sin and death in them! 'Well why not, I'll get a free meal. I don't have to cook today!'

This is how human beings are. Are human beings, even though they're sinful by nature, capable of doing good things? Yes! But does that mean they're Christian? No! I remember one time, after going through all the stuff we were going through in the Church, I went by that Buddhist Temple up there in Watsonville. I thought I'd just stop by and look in it. Here came this Japanese man, he was really nice, he was friendly, he was kind, and he was really good to me.

I thought that back were I'm attending, the Church of God that is supposed to be the home of love and Truth, I'm hated, I'm despised, I'm denounced. I thought, here look, he's better to me that some of the people sitting in the congregation. They don't want Truth. He doesn't know, but he knows how to be good.

Sidebar on the Japanese:

  • they don't allow any Muslims into their country; they're smart
  • when children go to school, the first three years are spent in teaching courtesy, obedience, deference, telling the truth, as much as possible

What do we do with our children? From the time that they're able to look at a screen, they have cartoons flooding into their mind with all sorts of evil and things, humorously! Remember the #1 thing: Satan always introduces sin with humor!

Verse 3: "Among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world." But then God intervened in v 4, and He calls us.

James 1:14: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust." That's where you stop the thought, right there. Expel it! Ask God to help get rid of it!

Verse 15: "And after lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin..."

Go watch Forensic Files. How do all of those crimes, most of them ending in murder and death, begin? Right here in the mind:

  • by lust
  • by disobedience
  • by choice
  • by deliberation

Even though you may be motivated by emotions to do it.

"...gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is completely finished, brings forth death" (v 15).

Dolores and I've talked about this, too. It's almost impossible to get away with any crime today, because they have got it down to a science of things that are true. Same way with DNA. Everybody has DNA. So, remember this: with DNA, you can never get away with it, and you can never get away from God, because He gave you the DNA, and that all came from Adam, all the way down the line. So, here you are.

It's quite a fantastic thing to be able to see your own children born. The first thing you do is look at them. Oh, they're all here (fingers). 1,2,3,4,5 yea they're here. And you know they're here, because the first thing they need to do is cry. Why? Because they have never used their lungs and they've got to pump them up and get them going! Sweet wonderful and nice. Wouldn't it be good if everyone would be as innocent as that? That would really be something. God wants us to be loving and kind and innocent toward evil, But on guard, fighting against evil, overcoming sin.

"…and sin, when it is completely finished, brings forth death. Do not deceive yourselves, my beloved brethren" (vs 15-16).

We're all self-deceptive. Only the sacrifice of sacrifice of Christ can forgive sin! Nothing, nothing, nothinganywhere, any act, any thought anything else—can forgive sin. Now for people in the world, if they come up and say 'forgive me,' forgive, that's fine. But were talking about forgiveness of sin in heaven above before the throne of God! If I offend Jonathan I can go to him and say 'I'm sorry.' He says, 'Well, that's fine. Let's pass it on and forgive it. The masters of that our politicians—aren't they? But that has nothing to do with forgiveness before God in heaven above! You can be a decent person in the world, but that doesn't mean that you're a Christian waiting for eternal life. That means you're a decent person in the world, and there a lot of them. Just think what the world would be like if they were all, fighting, hatred of Muslims. WOW! What a thing that would be!

Gal. 3 is one of the most difficult chapters in the whole Bible, especially if you have been in the Church, and you have been keeping the commandments of God. You have a King James Version of the Bible, and you are told that you need to keep the laws of God, and you read that only 'the doers of the Law shall be justified' (Rom. 2:13). But they don't understand that, because that means first you repent, then in repentance you start keeping the laws and commandments of God, and then you repent so you can be baptized. That's when they're all forgotten!

The first time you Gal. 2 this after you been in the Church of God, it makes your head swim.

Galatians 2:11: "But when Peter came..." Peter was the leading apostle, he and John worked as a pair.

Verse 11: "But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be condemned; for, before certain ones came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles. However, when they came, he drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles, being afraid of those of the circumcision party…. [political; should be no politics] …And the rest of the Jews joined him in this hypocritical act... (vs 11-13)—because of separating for eating.

How do you think it would go over if I said, 'All right, this Feast of Tabernacles all the women eat over here, and all the men eat over there, and all the Gentiles eat in the back, because that's pleasing to God. God accepts us because we do that.' That's a lie!

So likewise here; Peter knew better, really knew better because of the incident with Cornelius (Acts 10), should call no man common or unclean. He did the great sin that the elders in Jerusalem could hardly believe that he even had the Gentiles baptized and stayed with them many days, probably three or four or five days in Cornelius's house. Just think how contaminated he was when he came to Jerusalem. Yes, he had to run down and jump into the Pool of Siloam to get cleaned up. Nonsense! Do you understand it up to this point?

"...insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the Truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in the presence of them all, 'If you, being a Jew, are living like the Gentiles, and not according to Judaism…'" (vs 13-14). 'That is the word, and there is the law, and separate from them.

Did you know that they even have a prayer, if you see a giant, you say one prayer; if you see a midget you say another prayer; you see an elephant, you say another prayer. I don't know what they say about seeing a mouse or rat, but they have prayers for everything. They even have: What do you do when you miss praying? How do you make up for that?

"...why do you compel the Gentiles to Judaize? We who are Jews by nature—and not sinners of the Gentiles—" (vs 14-15).

I'm going to read v 16 to you the way the King James version has it: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law…" Those two definite articles are not in the Greek. It should be: By works of law!

It doesn't say anything about the commandments of God. These are works of law. This was a Jewish work of law and it says Judaize right there. And that's the whole problem with the book of Galatians. Someone who doesn't know anything, and starts reading Gal. 3 and works of law, and you heard that you should keep the Sabbath and maybe were partly convinced that you ought to. Then you run into a Protestant who puts under your nose Gal. 3, by works of law no flesh shall be justified.

Do you know what justified means? Justified means have your sins forgiven through Christ! Nothing can replace that. If you keep the commandments of God, you're not seeking to be justified by your commandment-keeping. You're seeking to live the way that God says to go, by obeying His voice! But here you are a 'newbie,' and you don't know the difference. And you read this:

Verse 16 (FV): "Knowing that a man is not justified by works of law, but through the faith of Jesus Christ..."

Oh yes, I believe in Jesus. 'Do you believe in Jesus? Yes, well you don't have to keep the commandments because you believe in Jesus.'

"...we also have believed in Christ Jesus in order that we might be justified by the faith of Christ…" (v 16).

That's interesting, because it's Christ faith. Did Christ have to have faith to come and live and die? Yes! Remember, you find this in three places. You find in the Scripture of Truth is written in heaven (Dan. 10:21). You find it's written of me in the Scroll of the Book (Psa. 40). Where? In heaven! It's written of Me in the Scroll of the Book (Heb. 10).

So, God the Father and Jesus Christ had this all planned, because when was Christ, destined to die? From the foundation of the world! So, the agreement was written down. Isn't that going to be something? We're resurrected from the dead. We're going to be able to see the Scroll of Truth written in heaven above. Guess what that's going to be like. All of human history laid out ahead of time! That's going to be amazing!

"...but through the faith of Jesus Christ, we also have believed in Christ Jesus in order that we might be justified by the faith of Christ..." (v 16).

Who gave Himself for the sins of the world, willingly voluntarily, laid Himself down to die. And the agreement was, that God would resurrect Him after three days and three nights. That was the agreement, because nothing, no other law, could forgive sin. And not by the works of the law (KJV).

"...and not by works of law; because by works of law shall no flesh be justified" (v 16).

Why? Because nothing substitutes for the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ! Now, after you are baptized, do you still sin? Where did we start? What is the goal? Remember where we started? Be perfect (Matt. 5:48)!

Now then, we'll find out that being perfected is a process!

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Part of the difficulty that those who are converted go through is—and we answered part of it about evil thoughts that come in—that there are a lot of thoughts registered in your mind that have not yet been purged from your mind or overwritten with the Word of God over where the evil used to be. So remember perfection is the end result, the process is what we're talking about now.

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses… [all the Word of God] …let us lay aside every weight… [we have to choose this] …and the sin that so easily entraps us… [What do you do when you sin?] …and let us run the race set before us with endurance… [showing the process] …having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith… [we are justified by the faith of Christ] …Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 1-4).

This is why in the model prayer we are to ask God to forgive us our sins daily. There are times it may be in your mind many times daily, because of just what's going on in your life and around you. Once we've been baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God we have the Spirit of God.

You need all three of our in-depth sermon series on grace:

  • Grace of God in the Bible
  • Commandment-Keeping and the Grace of God
  • Grace Upon Grace

Grace upon grace—I'll just summarize—the direct relationship that each Christian has with God the Father. That's what's important to remember. Jesus said, 'I tell you don't pray to Me; pray directly to the Father because He loves you, but you pray in My name' (John 16:26-27)

Remember what I said was the most important verse in John 14, that we received the Spirit from the Father and the Son. Jesus said, 'We will make Our abode or dwelling place with that person.' That's the most important thing! That's part of grace upon grace.

1-John 1:3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ."

That is only through the grace of God and grace upon grace. In order to maintain that relationship with God is where prayer and study comes in every single day. Another great thing to remember is that Spiritual things are not retained in the physical mind, they must be renewed!

That's why we have the Sabbath every seven days. Every seventh day we have a Sabbath. Our minds are made to learn and to develop and to grow constantly through our whole lives, but we need to have that fellowship with God all the time. Now then, he gives a warning. This was probably written either sometime just before the destruction of the temple or sometime just after the destruction of the temple.

Verse 4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full. 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. If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness…" (vs 4-6)—living a life of sin.

Who is the author of darkness? Satan the devil! What did Jesus say of the eye? The eye is the light of the body! And if the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness? We're walking in darkness and that is living in sin!

"…we are lying to ourselves…" (v 6)—self-deception. Remember this: No one can cause you to lose salvation! You choose to lose it by your own self-deception and rebellion against God. Remember it comes a little at a time. When Satan comes along and says, 'Look at this benefit and look at that benefit, and just think how it will work out. Now last time we covered about the prodigal son. Every person has to come to him or herself and come to God.
"...we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth…. [Your Word is the Truth] …However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (vs 6-7).

That is on a continuous basis every day, because sin is always past sin. There's no way God is going to forgive anything that hasn't happened. If you have a bottle of cold water, which I just took a swig of and it tasted very good, that's now. The water that I just drank is already in my stomach, that's a past action. Likewise when something comes along that's sin. It takes place, the thought occurs, you cut it off through prayer, whatever the situation may be.

Maybe there are some sins like fornication, what does it say? Flee fornication! You have to do like Joseph, only don't leave your coat there. Comment was made, that's like the pope and the Crusades. The pope would bless all the troops and tell them, every Muslim you kill is a blessing from God. You're authorized to do this and no sin. I remember, and I'm sure Delores remembers it, the movie Elizabeth. The pope was instructing the assassin to kill Queen Elizabeth. He said, 'God is going to bless this assassination.' Well, he got caught and got blessed with the sword.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" If we say that we do not have sin... ['we're good people we don't sin'] ...we are deceiving ourselves..." (vs 7-8)—lying to yourself and deceiving yourself. So, if you believe your own lies you're in trouble!

"...and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins…" (vs 8-9). Notice that John is including himself. How long was he converted? If he was converted in 30A.D. and this was written in 70A.D. that's 40 years. What if he wrote this in 90A.D. that 60 years.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins... [there you have it] ...and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

This is what we need to understand about conversion. Conversion is that we have the war against sin in our minds in the world in our actions, and everything about our lives we have to sort out the right and wrong, the good and evil and the sin and the things that comes upon us and the sin that so easily beset us.

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar... [you're not going to make God a liar] ...and His Word is not in us."

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin...."—if you're loving God, keeping His commandments and rebuking these thoughts as they come in your mind, and repenting of your sins as you do them, you have to repent to God.

"…And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous" (v 1)—to forgive us.

Does Jesus know how evil evil is? Of course! That's why He came. Because no man can comprehend how evil evil is and the destructiveness that it does. If you expand that out on a spiritual basis and what Satan the devil has done, I mean, we don't even understand the slightest thing about evil really. But Jesus does!

Verse 2: "And He is the propitiation for our sins…" Propitiation is the continual source of mercy and forgiveness upon repentance.

A comment was made about the people who believe 'once saved always saved.' I actually had a man e-mail me and tell me that he doesn't sin any longer. So, I wrote him quite a few things back and told him, 'Yes, you do sin, we all sin.' I quoted all these things. 'No, I do not sin'—perfect deception!

'Once saved always saved, I do not sin.' That's another of one of the worst translations in the King James in 1-John 3. I won't take time to go through that here. But the King James Version of the Bible and the New King James Version of the Bible, and the other translations, when you get down to these critical places like what were covering here, they mislead people away from the Truth, and that's why there's the deception that goes on.

I did get a real nice e-mail from a man in the UK. He says, 'I can see in the Bible that there is no room for Sunday-keeping. I've studied Hebrew, Greek, Sanskrit and a couple of other languages going to college, and I go to these churches and no one really knows the Truth.'

That ties in with another e-mail that I got. A person said, 'I heard about the Bible, The Faithful Version, so I checked it online. And I saw, lo and behold, you corrected this Scripture, that Scripture and the other Scripture. I've got to have it right now!'

The deceitfulness of sin is that you convince yourself that you're not sinning:

  • it's okay to kill, I'll give you permission
  • it's okay to have a thousand wives
  • it's okay to rob people
  • I have no sin

Yes, that's self-justification! Yes, be your own god. Have you heard the saying, 'forgive yourself'? No, you let God forgive you! You have to cleanse your mind from it, but you can't forgive yourself.

What if you held up held up a bank. You got the money you went out and you spend it. The police finally track you down, haul you before the judge and he's going to sentence you. 'Hey, judge, you can't sentence me.' What are you talking about? 'I've forgiven myself.' How do you think that would go over? Bailiff, get this man out of here! Add another five years to your sentence!

They can't forget the sin afterwards. Well, you have to keep blotting it out of your mind. When God forgives you, removes it from Him as far as the East is from the West, that doesn't mean you won't have remembrance of it. Why does God allow that? That is to teach you to really draw close to God and understand how sinful sin is! God doesn't reach down and remove from us the carnal mind and deceitfulness. It says here, 'We deceive ourselves.' Can Christians deceive themselves? Yes, if they give into sin!

You want to know what happened to a lot of those people that left the Church when 'the ship hit the sand'?

  • because they believed a lie
  • because they never really proved these things themselves
  • because the ministry was lazy, weren't taught and didn't have a hunger and thirst for God's Word to teach the people of God so they would be faithful

That's why! I mean, if you don't understand there's a warfare going on out there, you better understand that there is.

Now you understand why only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His shed blood can bring you justification, because only His blood can be an atonement for your sin. Nothing else can! And you have to keep the commandments of God because that's what God requires of everybody. Salvation is in addition to that.

Galatians 3:10: "For as many as are relying on works of law..." I'm not going to eat with those Gentiles, because I want to be right with God.

"...are under a curse..." [Why? Because they've sinned! Read Deut. 28.] ...because it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them'" (v 10).

They are cursed because they've sinned. Now then, are people cursed who do not continue in all things written in the New Testament and the spiritual application of the laws of God? Yes!

Verse 11: "Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified before God by means of works of law..."

I'll give you another example: I've used this one before but I'll use it again it bears repeating. What if God said, 'You can receive eternal life if you keep a thousand Sabbaths. You have to do the whole thing.' What if someone comes along and says, 'Lord, how about 500?' No! 'How about 750?' Nope! 'How about 900?' You're getting close. 'How about 999?' Nope, the law is the law! So, you die after keeping 998. That's seeking to be justified by law!

"...because it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'" (v 11).

  • you believe God the Father
  • you believe Jesus Christ
  • you believe His Word
  • you believe it is the Truth
  • you prove that it is
  • you live by that faith

Verse 12: "Now then, the Law is not based on faith... [it's just right/wrong and good/evil] ...but, 'The man who practices these things shall live in them.'…. [yes, we're to live in it] …Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law..." (vs 12-13). He hasn't redeemed us from the Law, but the curse of the Law, which is sin.

"...having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree') in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective), even when a man's covenant has been ratified, no one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it" (vs 13-15).

Now the King James says, no one adds to it. Then down there in v 19 it says, it was added. So, that's another bad translation.

In v 15 the Greek means to set alongside. That means you don't add to it.

  • you don't put an injunction on it
  • you can't take away from it
  • you don't add to it

This is covenant law!

Verse 16: "Now, to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ. Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ..." (vs 16-17). Isn't that interesting? That has to be written in the Scripture of Truth in heaven!

"...cannot be annulled by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect" (v 17).

Remember that there were two promises given to Abraham: physical seed and spiritual seed. The physical seed He has fulfilled and still fulfilling. The spiritual seed was not brought about until the death of Christ.

"...cannot be annulled by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is by law... [of eternal life] ...it is no longer by promise…." (vs 17-18)—if you try and do it by law.  But it's by promise! You have to believe the promise because God is God and He cannot lie.

"...But God granted it to Abraham by promise. Why then the Law?.…" (vs 18-19). Now the Greek word here is totally different it is 'prosetethe,' which means placed beside or alongside, because you can't add to it.

"...It was placed alongside the promises for the purpose of defining transgressions..." (v 19). It has nothing to do with animal sacrifices. That was the temple service until Christ came.

"...until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made, having been ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator" (v 19).

Here we have the promise to Abraham: physical seed then the Law given to Israel. That was placed alongside the promise of spiritual seed. The law was also placed alongside the promise of physical seed. You can't change it!

When you get about our age you have to have your last will and testimony. Who is going to be in it? How much are they going to get? or How much will they owe! Maybe you didn't leave anything valuable, but you left a lot of debt! Last will and testimony can be changed at any point from the time it's written until the death of the individual, the one who wrote it, and he's the testator; he can change it.

You go along and say you have ten kids and two of them are really rascals, but you promised to give to them in your testimony; however, you can change it. You promised to give them an equal share, but they were so bad that you called up your attorney and said rewrite that section and take them out. I'm not giving them a dime. You can change a testimony. I've seen this happen. When that happens then all the ten kids get together and then the two that didn't have anything sue the eight that received everything, and the attorneys come in and munch nearly all of it up in the lawsuits back and forth.

Now then, a covenant is different. A covenant cannot be modified! Once a covenant is made, it cannot be changed! It is not enforced until the covenant maker signifies by sacrifice and shed blood that he will fulfill the covenant. There must be a sacrifice given.

When we come to the New Covenant we have the sacrifice of Christ. That's on God's behalf. That's one part of it. A covenant between two parties then the second party must also give evidence of his death, because a covenant is a death pledge. That's why when you read Gen. 15 about the animals that Abraham sacrificed, and God walked between the parts of them, that was God's pledge that he would die. He did die! So, the second party also has to have a death pledge.

Abraham believed God, and that was counted to righteousness and he accepted God's part and death pledge (Gen. 15). Abraham's part to sanctify that to solidify it, to finalize it, was the offering of his son Isaac, his only son of promise (Gen. 22). So important was that, that when God intervened to stop him from sacrificing Isaac, He provided a substitutionary sacrifice through the ram. But then God did something very extraordinary.

  • How many times does God say I call heaven and earth against you?
  • How many times did Jesus say 'heaven and earth will pass away but My Words shall never pass away'?
  • Who created the heavens and the earth? God did!

Abraham did offer up his son and was going to slit his throat, because he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead (Heb. 11). 'If God says so, my only son—and I'm going to have a whole lineage of people from him—if God says do it, do it!' But He'll bring him back to life. Because of that, what did God do?

How sure then is eternal life for those who come to Christ the way that Christ wants it to be—according to God's terms and conditions—God swore to Abraham by Himself? He said, 'I swear by Myself,' by His existence! Is that greater than the heavens and the earth? Yes indeed, because He made it! He swore by His own existence. That's why it's so important to understand that nothing, that no work of any law out here, is going to persuade God to do what He promised to do. His promises are sure, but we have to do it God's way. That's what all of this is about. That's a fantastic thing!

We'll get a little encouragement as we go along here; Hebrews 6:10: "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and the labor of love by which you have showed honor to His name, in that you have served the saints and are continuing to serve them. But we earnestly desire that every one of you be demonstrating the same diligence, unto the full assurance of the hope until the end" (vs 10-11). We have to have endurance unto the end (Heb. 12)

Verse 12: "So that you do not become lazy... [that's the biggest problem today] …but that you be imitators of those who through faith and steadfast endurance inherit the promises. For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself… [His very existence] …since He could swear by none greater, saying, 'Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you'" (vs 12-14).

And the spiritual seed is going to be greater than that, greater than anything. When you add in the second resurrection, when you add in the Millennium. Think of what it's going to be. Think what a great promise that it is that we have been called to the first resurrection, that we are the firstfruits. Now keep this in mind as we come down toward the Passover time.

Verse 15: "Now, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly…" (vs 15-17).

How much greater thing could there be? God applies that to each one of us individually. That's what the fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ is all about. That's what grace upon grace is all about.

 "...desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath" (v 17).

Think of that! How many the Protestants say He changed the Law? Well, in a sense He did; He made a more binding! Now:

  • instead of the letter, it's in the spirit
  • instead of the action, it's the thought
  • instead of the deed, it's the intent

That's a higher standard—isn't it? Yes indeed!

Verse 18: "So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil" (vs 18-19).

Think of that! Direct access to God the Father 24/7!

Verse 20: "Where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec."

  • the inheritance is the inheritance of eternal life
  • the inheritance is the inheritance of the universe

Living here with all rain we've had recently where roads are washed out and things are flooded up, but it ended the drought so I guess we can live with that. We're thankful for that. But think of this: God Who cannot lie, impossible to lie, has promised that if you are faithful to the end that:

  • He'll forgive all your sins along the way through Jesus Christ
  • He will help you overcome every difficulty

Even if you go through the difficulty, it's going to be for your own good in the long run.

  • you are going to live forever in an existence that is almost impossible for us to comprehend

We talked about the inheritance!

Galatians 3:20: "Now then, a mediator does not act on behalf of one; but God is one…. [read the footnote on that] …Is the Law then contrary... ['ha nomos'] the Law] ...the promises of God? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 20-21)—the Greek there is 'me ginoito'—don't even let the thought come into your mind that they are against the promises of God. Because if you say God has done away with His Law you call God lawless. Whose inspiration does that come from? The lawless one, Satan the devil!

"…For if a law had been given that had the power to give life, then righteousness would indeed have been by law" (v 21).

That righteousness means forgiveness, justification, the righteousness of God, and so forth. It's based on love; it's based on hope. That's why in Gal. 5 he has all the fruits of the Spirit.

Verse 22: "But the Scriptures have shut up all things under sin…" That's what it says in Rom. 3; the whole world under law and under sin, so much so that we have the law of sin and death within us.

"…So that by the faith of Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe" (v 22)—and that's us.

  • we believe God
  • we believe His Word
  • we believe His Truth

based upon His existence—

  • not just the words we read and hear and see
  • not just by the things we can look and see

—greater than the heavens and earth combined.

Verse 23: "Now, before faith came we were guarded under law…"

So, the Law is good; it keeps you from sinning even in the letter of the Law. Let's just use an example here. Just think how easy that this situation with President Trump and the temporary ban of refugees and immigrants from certain countries would have been solved if the judges beginning with the one in Seattle would have read the statute. Then likewise the Ninth District Court over here in San Francisco—the court of Satan the devil!! Lawless!! They didn't even read it.

Law is good, but law cannot give eternal life. Law defines what your behavior must be. And our mind, remember, the day we're born the only thing we know is how to nurse. That's it! Nothing! Nothing! And everything that goes into the mind constitutes what we are as an individual. All the way through our lives.

"...having been shut up unto the faith that was yet to be revealed" (v 23).

This is a fantastic thing. Goes back to how important was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost at the temple in Jerusalem. And it had to be there at the temple. It couldn't be any place else on earth, because that's where God put His name. And it was His Spirit coming Him to those people who were there, as a demonstration of a change that brings you higher than law, brings you to the spiritual application of the law.

Verse 24: "In this way, the Law was our tutor to lead us to Christ..."

And it says in the King James 'schoolmaster,'and people look at that, 'Oh, schoolmaster!' That's evil! That's a curse! No! A tutor. A tutor is to train you. First thing you learned was ABC's. We've covered that, and you even know the song. We use the same alphabet today.

"...was our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But since faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (vs 24-25).

Who are we under? God the Father and Jesus Christ directly! Not just the Law written down, because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Now that's something!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 5:48
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
  • John 6:45
  • 1 Corinthians 2:11
  • Romans 3:20
  • James 1:13-14
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • James 1:14-16
  • Galatians 2:11-16
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • 1 John 1:3-10
  • 1 John 2:1-2
  • Galatians 3:10-19
  • Hebrews 6:10-20
  • Galatians 3:20-25

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ephesians 6; 2:4
  • Romans 2:13
  • Acts 10
  • Daniel 10:21
  • Psalm 40
  • Hebrews 10
  • Matthew 5:48
  • John 16:26-27; 14
  • 1 John 3
  • Deuteronomy 28
  • Genesis 15; 22
  • Hebrews 11
  • Galatians 5

Also referenced:

Book: Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin

From: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

  • Appendix R: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"?
  • Appendix Z: Understanding Paul's Difficult Scriptures Concerning the Law and the Commandments of God

Sermon Series:

  • Grace of God in the Bible,
  • Commandment-Keeping and the Grace of God
  • Grace Upon Grace

FRC: po/bo
Transcribed: 3/7/17

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