Beginner's Care Package

Fred R. Coulter—June 29, 1985

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First of all, I want to cover this article High Court Rules Against Choice of Sabbath Day Off. I remember how happy everyone was when the Supreme Court ruled that you must be given the Sabbath Day off. Everyone said that this is God's will, God intervened, and now all Sabbath-keepers are going to have an easy time of it. Whenever you have a job then you can have the time off, you can get the time off. You can demand that. Yes, you can take them to court and force them to give you the time off. It passed the Supreme Court and everything is fine.

Here's a good example of when you depend upon men to enforce the will of God, they change their mind.

High Court Rules Against Choice of Sabbath Day Off (June 1985)

The Supreme Court, invoking the Constitution's demand for separation of church and state…

Nowhere does it say "separation of church and state." It says there shall be no state-sponsored religion. That's the intent of it.

  • What was the intent of the founding fathers in using that? That the State shall not establish any religion!
  • Go back to 1776 and what were they thinking of more than anything else? To be irreligious, to where there would be no religion at all in the government!
  • What were they thinking of more than anything else? Freedom!
  • Freedom from what?
  • What did they have in mind?
  • What did they have historically in their mind when they did it?

They could not perceive 200 years down the road to today. So:

  • What was it they had in mind?
  • What was the past, historical religious thing that they had in mind that they were trying to prevent here in America?

I think it's very obvious:

  • the Catholic Church
  • the Church of England

Which was—although they got rid of the pope—just as stringent a state religion as Catholicism. That's what they had in mind.

They, I'm sure, did not have it in mind that you come down to the point now where the Constitution cannot give a person's own conviction. They wanted freedom of conviction, where there would be no law against freedom of conviction. Now it's been cleverly twisted. It always comes back the other way, which is, as this article says, that the people who cannot get the time off for other than religious reasons are discriminated against. So, it's been turned around. Now it's that there is no law that says—you can go to the Civil Service, or whatever it is—'I need my Sabbath off.'

The Supreme Court, invoking the Constitution's demand for separation of church and state, said Wednesday that states may not force any employer to give workers their choice of a religious day off each week. In an 8-1 ruling, the justices declared unconstitutional a Connecticut law that protected employees from retaliation from missing work on their religious sabbath. "This unyielding weighing in favor of sabbath observance over the other interests contravene a fundamental principle of the Constitution," Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said for the Court. "The state law decreed that those who observe a sabbath any day of the week as a matter of religious conviction must be relieved of duty to work on that day, no matter what burden or inconvenience this imposes upon the employer or fellow workers," he said.

So we're right back to square one where we were before, with a little bit of latitude. Not much, but just about back to square one. At least we're not into enforced Sunday observance. It gets right back to the state cannot superimpose faith.

It is true that whenever you have a civil government enforce religion, it in itself can be as corrupt as religion can develop into. Let's just take a look at what God shows. This will be kind of in part on this good works/evil works. Let's just categorize works: motive and appearance and effect.

Let's see why God gave the Ten Commandments to everybody: His commandments, laws, statutes, judgments and everything. Deut. 5 has the Ten Commandments given. There are so many people that believe that the Ten Commandments are really harsh. Their belief in the Ten Commandments is that the appearance of the Ten Commandments, or their effect is evil, and that's why Christ came to do away with the laws, because the laws were harsh and evil.

Let's look at the motivation that God gave was. We could say that it's God's summary of all of His commandments and everything, we would have to put:

  • Motive: good, because it came from God (Deut. 5).
  • Appearance: good, because it does have the appearance
  • Effect: good

That is IF you obey. Everything is going to be a contingency on if you obey. There is a vast difference if you disobey, and we will put, the motive from God is still good. What happens when you disobey? There's a penalty for sin! So, the appearance to human beings may not be necessarily good, because 'the wages of sin is death.' So, the appearance may be anywhere from good to evil.

If someone sins and dies because of the sin, and the community is saved from that hellish person, it is evil to the person who has suffered the consequences of that sin from his perspective.

That's where you get a lot of people saying, 'If God exists, why doesn't He stop the evil in the world?' But it is good from the point of view that the person is no longer here. Can you think of a contemporary case where that would fit exactly so? Under the guise of good a man lured people in to do things, and then it became evil. So you can't always go on appearance. What may be good on the surface may be evil. But when God sets His hand for correction, purging and punishment, on the surface it looks bad, it looks evil, because people die. But the result is going to accomplish good!

The final effect, if you disobey, from God's point of view, is good; from the sinner's point of view is bad. You can just take the example of AIDS. God gave the law:

Deuteronomy 5:18: "And you shall not commit adultery." Now the motive on that was very good. For what reason?

  • to ensure that you have a binding marriage
  • to ensure that you're going to have healthy children
  • to ensure that you're going to have a stable societal factor of the family

All of that is good. But to the sinner, where he is told not to commit adultery, he thinks that is bad. So then, he goes out and contacts AIDS he says that is bad. But that's a penalty for what he is doing!

What is it going to do? It is going to remove that person from the society! So, that ends up being good. However, unless the civil and religious authorities of the land agree with God, that this thing is coming from God and the punishment is upon them and:

  • they need to be put away
  • they need to be separated
  • they need to be segregated
  • you need to enforce the laws that there should be no sodomy in the land

unless they move to do that then it begins to spread!

We were reading about a little girl brought into a hospital who is suffering from AIDS. I mean, she's about a year old. Then there was another article that also said that some of the morticians want, when an AIDS victim comes in, to cremate it. They said the reason—I think it really tells you what the situation could be—was that that's the way they stopped the plagues in Europe. They cremated all of their dead so the germs and viruses didn't spread.

When we look get some of these things, first of all we have to know God's laws and commandments. Then we have to know why God gave it, and then we have to know the appearance of it and also the effect of it:

  • on the individual
  • on the society
  • on what God is going to do

After God summarized all the commandments, we fine a good example of something that is good. God was there and the effect should have been good, the appearance was awesome, but the people didn't like it.

Verse 24: "And you said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has revealed His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire. We have seen today that God talks with man yet he still lives. Now, therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us....'" (vs 24-25).

So it's just like everything that a sinner will do. If he is sinning there is the fear of getting caught. So, this is the fear that the people had toward God. Rather than saying that this is fantastic! 'Who has ever heard that God has come down and talk to people and we live? Now we're going to be consumed by this fire.'

"....If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who of all flesh has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? You go near and hear all that the LORD our God shall say. And you speak to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you, and we will hear it, and do it" (vs 25-27).

Here is the first excuse not to obey. Because what happened after that? God took them up on their word! God said, 'Okay, Moses, you come up on the mountain and I will talk with you, and you tell the people all My words.'

What is one of the first things that happened that the people used against Moses later on? They told him to go up there. The people said to Moses and Aaron, 'You take too much to yourselves.' But they said to do it! All the way through, keep this in mind about the good, the bad, the appearance and the effect.

Verse 28: "And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken."

Here is the whole problem in everything that is done in the Old Testament and New Testament, this is the problem in anything that is done concerning human beings. People say, 'Let's set up a perfect structure. Let's set up a perfect…' What you're really saying is let's set up a perfect government. 'If we set up a perfect government then we will eliminate evil.'

Isn't that the basis of most governments? Except despots who want total power and to execute total evil! Read the works of Plato and Aristotle, and they go through the whole dissertation on what is the best kind of government. People still do the same thing today: 'We will structure the government. We will structure the laws. If we get the right law, the right structure, the right government, the right enforcement, we're going to have a perfect society.'

  • Did God, in giving the Ten Commandments, have the right commandments? Yes, He did!
  • Did He have a good structure? Yes, He did!
  • Did it work? No, it failed!

The structure that God gave failed! Why? Any structure is going to fail unless this is taken care of!

Verse 29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me..."—to reverence God! It doesn't mean to just be there in trepidatious quivering. Although there may be times when you ought to do that, too. Just considering all that God is and all that He has done. There isn't one thing we can do to compel God to do something for us. God does it because He is God! He said, "Oh, that there were such a heart in them…" This is the problem with

  • all human relationships
  • all human structure
  • all human governments
  • even Spirit-led churches

It's the problem of the heart, because we have human nature, and human nature has 'the law of sin and death' in it.

That is why in looking at this thing of

  • a good work/an evil work
  • a right work/bad work

it's hard for us to decide

  • what really is good
  • what really is right
  • what is wrong
  • how it fits in there.

You don't know the motive of the person involved, and you don't know the person's heart.

Verse 29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always so that it might be well with them…"—the motive. That's God's motive for the people.

"…and with their children forever! Go say to them, 'Go into your tents again.' But as for you, you stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land which I am giving them, to possess it" (vs. 29-31).

So, here God was going to give them the land. He gave them laws, He gave them every good thing right there. I think maybe this is going to give us a greater understanding and idea about human nature, because I think part of the difficulties in trying to understand about human nature is that we don't realize how tricky, deceptive, wicked and evil that it really is, even in the good things that we do.

Just take all the rock stars that did the recording: We Are the World. Their motive was pretty good. It was to give money for the starving people in Ethiopia. We need to have origin or the tree. What kind of lives to these people live? Drugs, dope, open sex! They come along and they do this. It's motivated from good, 'We are going to feed the Ethiopians.' But how many of them in there got publicity to further their own careers? I'm sure that did not escape them! So you do a good work, you send things to the Ethiopian children that are starving, which is fine. But is that a good work that God is going to say is wonderful and now He's going to give you salvation? It temporarily does something!

Verse 32: "And you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you so that you may live..." (vs 32-33).

So, the origin in this case is God, because He gave the laws. The motive is good, the appearance is good, the effect is good IF you obey.

"...and that it may be well with you, and you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess" (v 33). Don't people want to live long? Sure they do!

Deuteronomy 6:3: "Hear therefore, O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you, and that you may greatly multiply, as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey." Then He shows the whole basis, which is love!

Here these people have all of their laws and rituals. They have a temple at this point; they are offering the sacrifices; it's the official law of the land to keep:

  • the Sabbath
  • the new moons
  • the Holy Days
  • the Feasts

It is the official Law of God that these things be done!

Keep in mind about the heart of the people, and also the degree of enforcement. Whenever there is a law you have to have enforcement. If there's not enforcement, then God has to enforce it with the wages of sin, which is death, and suffering in between!

Isaiah 1:2: "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken, 'I have reared and brought up children, but they have rebelled against Me.'"

  • When there is rebellion, what good are laws?
  • When there is anarchy, what good are laws?
    • they may be perfect
    • they may be right
    • they may be good
    • they may be true

Verse 3: 'The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib; but Israel does not know Me; My people do not understand.' Ah, sinful nation, a people burdened with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly!…." (vs 3-4). So, you see how it's right to the heart, every time. It is in the heart.

"…They have forsaken the LORD; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger; they have gone away backward. Why should you be stricken any more?.… [God is not interested in the death of the wicked, but why would they be stricken any more?] …You will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint" (vs 4-5).

So, we have a very similar situation to what we have in this government today. What is the big cry? What do they want to stop? They want to stop sickness and crime! But they've left God! There's no enforcement so people go on their own way.

Now they are going to be giving prayers every day in the Congress. They have a Catholic come in one day, a rabbi another day, and a Protestant another day, and then probably another Protestant, and then they rotate it around. Or maybe they do it for a week; I don't know exactly how they do it. They pray and ask God to guide them and lead them in all that they are doing.

God doesn't guide them and lead them in all that they are doing! God does not! Why? Because of sin!

Verse 6: "From the sole of the foot even to the top of the head there is no soundness in it; only wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, nor bound up, nor soothed with ointment. Your country is a desolation, your cities are burned with fire…" (vs. 6-7). That's when it gets to the extreme.

Verse 9: "Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah"—which were just absolutely fried to a crisp, just burned up, just by the Divine fire from God.

Verse 10: "Hear the Word of the LORD, rulers of Sodom; give ear to the Law of our God, people of Gomorrah. 'To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?' says the LORD...." (vs 10-11).

  • Did God command the sacrifices to be given? Yes!
  • What was the purpose of those sacrifices?

"…I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats" (v 11). And you can go back through Leviticus and Numbers, and you can find the sacrifices that were to be given, the sprinkling of the blood, the bullocks, the rams, the lambs, the whole thing.

Verse 12: "When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more vain sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me—new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity along with the solemn assembly!" (vs. 12-13).
Can people pollute God's ways so much that even on the days God said to observe, and they gather to observe, they do it in their own way and they allow sin to continue? Is it fruitless? Sure it is!

I'm beginning to see that there can be many people who, on the surface, think they're doing right, think they're doing the will of God. They have their own little work that they're going to do, they have their own little axe that they're going to grind. But unless their heart is right with God, you can keep the Sabbath perfect in the letter from sunrise to sunset and God could care less, because you've missed the whole purpose of the Sabbath!

If the whole purpose of the Sabbath is to just do no labor, to just make sure that you don't violate any little teeny-weeny thing of the Sabbath physically, but you sit there and you have murder in your heart, and you have lust in your mind…

There is a good work given by God, which the origin is good, the motive was good, it was meant to be in appearance good, and the effect good. But because of sin, though the origin and the motive was good, now we come into the human motive. Why should a priest go offer the sacrifices when he doesn't call the people to repentance? It does no good!

God says, v 14: "Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me; I am weary to bear them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood" (vs 14-15).

All these good works that God gave them to do, but with an evil heart, without calling people to repentance, it doesn't do any good. Then it becomes something that you are doing. It becomes your 'religion.' It becomes, in this case, 'playing temple.' Or as we could say today, 'playing church.' There are a lot of people 'laying church':

  • running around to be deacons
  • running around to be elders
  • running around to do good works

There are even some people who do good works so that it will be a cover for their evil! That is an evil, evil motivation with an appearance of good with an apparent effect of good, but it really isn't.

Like a leading salesman who was a deacon in the Church, a used car salesman. He would give great donations, and he would help people, and do all these great works for the Church. Then after about five years in this church, because of some business dealings, the government got involved. Because of some complaints against this man, they investigated and found out that he was a front for stolen cars.

What good did all of his church-going do? No good! What was his motivation? In fact, the whole emphasis of the Bible gets down to the motivation of why you're doing it!

Verse 16: "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do good; seek judgment, reprove the oppressor.…" (vs 16-17).

There are good, good works then. The motive is good, the appearance is good, the effect is good!

"'…Judge the orphan; plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient…" [notice the choice; you have to be willing and obedient] (then): …you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword'; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it" (vs 17-20).

Isa. 66 is a summary capsule of what we're talking about; Isaiah 66:1 "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is the house that you build for Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,' says the LORD.…" (vs 1-2). In other words, God is not going to be impressed by a physical thing that you can do.

  • Are you going to build some great, fantastic temple that you're going to compel God to come and dwell in?
  • Are you going to make some kind of religious thing where now you have a little formula like the Muslims who pray five times a day.
  • Does that make God hear them, because they pray five times a day and bow to Mecca?
  • Does it change their heart? No!

Hijackers in the 1980s who killed a man on the plane, they faithfully bowed down and prayed toward Mecca while they were holding the captives right on the plane.

It's not the outside that changes. Even God told David when he wanted to build the temple, 'You're not going to build it, but your son is, because you're a bloody man. You've had a lot of murder and killing. I don't want even to be associated with that." Yet, God said of David: He was a man after God's own heart!

But God says, "…But to this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word" (vs. 2). Now we're getting back to what kind of heart and attitude we need to have toward God. That's the important thing.

  • if in a church we all have this kind of attitude toward God
  • if we do what Jesus said, to love each other as we ought to
  • if we follow the other things in the Bible about not gossiping, and tattling, and doing people in

I think that that is one of the things that has sown so much discord, is the clitter-clatter of people's busy-bodying about other peoples' things, and they actually are hurting people. Yet, they will go and 'religiously' pray an hour a day, because someone told them that if you pray an hour a day, and if you don't pray an hour a day you're no good. Get that clock and put it right up there.

So you get a clock and you think you've gotta pray an hour. 'What am I going to pray about?' So, you get a prayer list, fine. You pray fervently, go through the whole list, and in ten minutes it's gone. And you think: 50 minutes left! 'How on earth am I going to be righteous with God? It's only been ten minutes!' Then you pray again and then, lo and behold, you find out, well, just to slot in the time, you end up repeating your prayers. I've done it! You've all done it! Sure you have! Did that impress God?

You think you're impressing God and you come back and you're talking, 'God answered this prayer, and God did that, and I'm praying an hour a day.' The minister comes in, 'Well how's everybody doing? Are you praying an hour a day?' He looks around, and everyone is examining their conscience, and you think: Oh boy, did I? Yeah, yeah…well, uh, boy…only a half hour yesterday…

Isn't that kind of the effect that it? Sure it is! You know exactly what it is. Then we have a minister who then says to everyone, 'You do that…' and then he turns around and commits adultery. Now what do you have? Hypocrisy! This is what we are dealing with here.

Are there good works that look like good works, which do evil things? Yes! That's how we got on this, and I've been working on it, thinking on it off and on.

If you don't have the right attitude, and if your motive is not right, and then you come up to the temple of God and you say that you have a lot of money; you got it from drugs or whatever: stealing, usury. 'I've got a lot of money here. I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to go buy an ox, and I'm going to offer an ox to God.' Don't think offering an ox to God didn't cost a lot, and when you come in with an ox, or you let the priest know that you're going to offer an ox, the priest gets a big hunk of it, a big portion of it. How would you like to have a quarter of an ox every time someone offered an ox? you bring home a quarter of an ox home to your family to eat? Oh boy, a feast day.

The priest would think this is pretty good. Everyone would think this is a righteous man. Look, he's spending all this money for an ox. He's going to offer an ox to God. Here's the priest in all of his garb. If you've seen the book The Tabernacle by M.R. Dehaan, you know what his garb looks like.

He slaughters the ox, and gathers the blood and walks around the altar and sprinkles it; and everything is fine, supposedly. It's supposed to be a sweet incense to God, but the guy is standing out there, 'Everyone's going to think good of me. This will be a cover for me.' Here's the answer, right here:

Verse 3: "He who kills an ox is as if he killed a man…" your heart is not right. You're really not trying to seek God in Spirit and in Truth. You can pray ten hours a day and it isn't going to do any good. How about these poor nuns that pray eighteen hours every day? I mean, their life is devoted, and it's supposed to be a good, good work and praying for other people; that's their whole life. They don't talk to anyone; they don't go to the outside world; they just stay in this nunnery and they pray every day with the beads. Can you imagine sixty years of doing that? In the sixty years you'd be batty.

"…he who sacrifices a lamb is as if he broke a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering is as if he offered swine's blood…" (v 3). You go from the expensive to the not so expensive, to the cheap, and to the poor man's offering, an oblation, as if he offered blood.

"…he who burns incense…" (v 3). Who's the one who burns incense? The priest! So, if the priest partakes of this, and he burns the incense and goes into the Holy part, bringing this to God, when the origin is out here, that is evil, and he hasn't called the people to repentance.

"…is as if he blessed an idol…." (v 3). Obviously, there are no idols in the temple of God. But that's how God views the heart problem, if our heart and our attitude is not right toward God.

A priest would just be absolutely aghast to bless an idol. If you ask a priest to bless an idol, it would be like they did during Jesus' day. He would rip his tunic asunder, and scream bloody murder, 'This is blasphemy against God!' Yet, they killed Christ! Now, there's a good example. 'We'll get rid of this evil person. Look what He's doing. We're going to lose all these followers.'

"…Yea, they have chosen their own ways… [instead of God's ways; and they have put the name of God on it] …and their soul delights in their abominations" (v 3).

About the best description of that, and the abominations, that I can think of would be would be, in a modern day sense, where you would have a whole homosexual church that is supposedly worshipping God, supposedly studying the Word of God, and then go out and commit all their abominations.

God then does something else. He says, v 4: "I also will choose their delusions, and I will bring their fears upon them because when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear. But they did evil before My eyes and chose that in which I did not delight."

Let's see how God will choose their delusions. This will help us understand this verse. I have heard ministers tippy-toe and weasel around this—and I've tippy-toed and weaseled around it myself—where God says in:

Isaiah 45:7: "I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I the LORD do all these things."

  • Have you ever wondered about that verse?
  • How can God, Who is righteous, create evil?
  • Why does God create evil?
  • Is it because God is evil?
  • Is that why God creates evil? No!
    • God is good!
    • There's no sin in Him!
    • He doesn't sin!

I have heard ministers say that God allows evil!

  • Does God just allow good? Many times you can take the reasoning and follow it through
  • Does good just happen because good is good?


  • Does evil happen because evil is evil?
  • Does God just allow it?

Then the next thing would be God uses Satan. That is true.

(go to the next track)

  • Did God tell Satan what to do in the case of Job? Yes!
  • What did He say? You can take all that He has!
  • Did God create that? Yes!
  • How did He create it? By speaking the word, giving the command!

When God chooses our delusions, then God may present something to us that may not necessarily be true. If you believe in a lie and you believe in a delusion, and God chooses that for your own end, is that not a righteous work? Yes, it is!

I want to tell you about this Operation Fortitude in WWII. The whole plan has been uncovered part-by-part. But it's now known that during WWII the reason that the Normandy invasion was successful. The reason that the allies won WWII was because of the greatest delusion in modern history. Lord Mountbatten said that this was the greatest Machiavellian, which is then to take an ultra evil thing to try and work good.

But let's analyze a little bit. Were the Nazis, with their whole regime and the whole thing they had, inherently evil?

  • origin: evil
  • motive: evil
  • appearance: evil
  • effect: evil.

If God chooses the delusion of the Nazis as a tactic to inspire the allies on how to beat them, God did it with a big lie. In other words: Would God tell an inherently evil person something that may not necessarily be true so that they would choose their own delusion? In this case God did! You can read the article written by Lynn Torrance {of the former WCG}. He wrote the seven things that God did to make WWII happen correctly: the weather, etc. and the saving at Dunkirk.

But what else did God give to the allies to do? God did not do this directly, but He gave it to the allies. They perpetrated the biggest hoax, lie and deception that has ever been done in modern history. They made Hitler absolutely believe that they were going to invade at Calais instead of Normandy. They set up a whole dummy army. an army group called the First Army Group, and they brought Patton. He was in trouble, and the Germans respected him and thought he was the best American general. So, they brought him to England. They set up a whole dummy army group that didn't exist. They had rubber planes, rubber jeeps, everything. They set up great areas as of England so that when they would fly over they had fires burning in the stoves, and it looked like there were troops all round. They set up dummy communications, where they had about six or eight different people that could do up to fifteen different voice interpretations of radio; they would pick a southern voice, and someone else from Brooklyn. They set this whole thing up. Here are all the Germans spies over there listening.

Then they went many steps further: They got into the Gestapo intelligence; they had counterspies in the Gestapo intelligence, and they had counterspies and counter-counterspies working with the underground. Instead of doing like we would do, we would go out and we would 'get those dirty rats.' No, the allies were smart; they used them and they sent them disinformation. That was the great disinformation project in all of history of warfare. They even allowed the underground people to believe that they were going to attack at Calais.

On June 4th they had certain songs that they told all the underground—of course, they knew that the Nazis had infiltrated the underground—so the word got back that if you hear this music two days in a row the invasion is coming to Calais. That penetrated clear up to Hitler, and Hitler gave the absolute order that under no circumstances are you to move any troops away from protecting Calais and the beach, because that is where the invasion is coming.

Even the underground believed it. You talk about choose their own delusions. That's how God did it. He chose the German delusion: we're the greatest; we're the best. They were evil, wretched, rotten and terrible. God let them believe a lie! That sounds a little Biblical: 'That they might believe a lie.' And they lost the war!

When the troops invaded: if you saw the movie The Longest Day, if you ever wondered why that they could not get Hitler, and, yes, and it was that Hitler had taken a sleeping pill. The German generals there, when they knew that the invasion was coming and saw that it was coming, said, 'Get a hold of Hitler. This is a dummy operation.' Hitler refused! They even had several drops of dummy paratroopers, these little midget paratroopers that they dropped down. The Germans thought that this was a dummy, and wondered: Where's the real drop? So they had everything that way where it was a tremendous delusion to them.

So, when God says He creates evil, He creates evil!

  • Who do you suppose enforces the penalty of sin? God does!
  • How does He do it? Read Deut. 28: through sickness, through disease, through those things!
  • Is that not evil from a human perspective? Yes!

Now we're getting a broader perspective on some of these things.

Here's what Jesus said concerning our righteousness; Matthew 5:20, "For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

How righteous did the Pharisees appear? They appeared super-righteous! What did Jesus say about them?

Matthew 6:1: "Beware that you do not bestow your alms in the sight of men in order to be seen by them..." Here we have a good appearance, a supposedly good effect. But what kind of motive? A bad motive, an evil motive, even though it may be a commandment of God to do. Didn't God say to:

  • relieve the oppressed
  • assist the poor
  • relieve the widows

I'm going to show you an example here a little later about how that law was used in an evil way, believe it or not. The effect, the answer that was given, if you would have just heard the conversation and known nothing about it you would of thought: that stingy old man. He wouldn't even give this to the poor, he took it to himself.

"…do not bestow your alms in the sight of men in order to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven." (v 1).

That's why when someone said to me, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if you and I reconciled? Just think of what an example it would be to the brethren.' I said, 'Hey, it isn't going to work.' If it is not of God, if it is not before God, you can impress all the people you want. That's your reward! They would come up and say, 'Oh, wonderful and nice. Oh that's sweet and good. God is in it.' When God had nothing to do with it!

Verse 2: "Therefore, when you give your alms, do not sound the trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may have glory from men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give your alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (vs 2-3).

That means don't sit down and plan it out so that you're going to have the effect that you want: to be thought of as good in the eyes of other people. In other words, let it be spontaneous and from the heart.

Verse 4: "So that your alms may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret shall Himself reward you openly. And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites..." (vs 4-5).

We're going to see a lot of hypocrites. And the Greek there means sanctimonious pretenders. Anyone who is a hypocrite is a pretender. In this case, a 'religious' pretender! Doing 'good works' on the surface is a sanctimonious pretender! Just like we heard before that God said, 'All the Sabbaths and all the Feasts, and all these offerings are a weariness to Me.' Why? Because your heart is not right, and you're sanctimonious pretenders!

"...for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, in order that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward" (v 5). They were seen of men!

Now you might do this as just a little side study in the Bible: Go and see how many long prayers you have where it is showing that Jesus prayed publicly. You won't have any! He blessed the food. He said when He raised Lazarus from the dead, 'Father, thank You that You hear Me. I know that You hear Me always, and I'm saying this so they may believe.' That was a short prayer. You would think, normally you would think that if anyone was going to do something to resurrect someone from the dead…

The disciples thought that Jesus should have come earlier because Lazarus would not have died; they thought that Jesus deliberately neglected. They were coming close to saying, 'Lord, You know that You didn't do quite as good as You should have. If You would have been here earlier this wouldn't have happened.' And Martha and Mary came out and were crying, and even Jesus cried; He didn't get up there and have some long great prayer. He just said, 'Thank you Father,' and 'Lazarus, come out,' and it was done. That might tell us something about that when we connect it here.

Verde 6: "But you, when you pray, enter into a private room; and after shutting the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret shall reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions…" (vs 6-7).

I've had many questions as to this, because when I used to preach praying an hour day—and I did—I did pray an hour a day. But I'll tell you what happens when you do that: you end up repeating the same thing over and over again. God says don't use 'vain' repetitions. What are vain repetitions? Those things that you do over and over again to fill space! I mean, there is no difference to having a list that you go through rigorously every single day, and make sure you don't miss it.

I'm not trying to belittle or put that down. There are things you need to pray about constantly until there is an answer. That is not a vain repetition! But if you believe your prayer is going to be heard, and if you know that God is going to answer that prayer, why do you have to come back and ask it every day? Why do you have to come back and do it ten times a day? Or:

"…as the heathen do; for they think that by multiplying their words they shall be heard. Now then, do not be like them; for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him" (vs 7-8)—if your heart is right.

Compare the prayer of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18). I will just refer you to that. I imagine the Pharisee's prayer was long. The publican's prayer was short, 'God be merciful to me, a sinner. Who was justified? The publican was!

Luke 7—here's a parable, and here we can get a good contrast of the judgment of a good or an evil work, where the appearance of it is different to the perception of one person and another, and especially the difference in perception between what Jesus saw and what the Pharisees saw. We're going to find out about the Pharisees and their motivation.

Luke 7:36 "Now, one of the Pharisees invited Him to eat with him…." That was nice. Isn't that nice? That's a nice work. He invites someone over for dinner. That's a reasonably good motivation. A good appearance, reasonably good effect, you're going to get fed.

"…And after going into the Pharisee's house, He sat down at the table. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner…[which means that she was probably a harlot] …when she knew that He was sitting in the Pharisee's house, took an alabaster flask of ointment…" (vs 36-37).

Now we have two perceptions of this: by Christ and by the Pharisees. Now we will see how one was perceived of as an evil work by the Pharisee, which was really a good work because of her heart, and the way that Jesus saw it, because He knew the hearts of men.

Verse 38: "And she stood weeping behind Him, and knelt at His feet, and began to wash His feet with her tears and to wipe them with the hairs of her head; and she was ardently kissing His feet and anointing them with the ointment."

You can picture whatever you want, however you could say this woman may have been typically… Even though she was crying, had a repentant heart, you'd be a Pharisees sitting there and say, 'That's one of those women. And I've seen her before, and I've heard about this person.'

Verse 39: "But when he saw this, the Pharisee who had invited Him spoke within himself, saying..." Aha! Here's what happens. When you have a heart that is not right with God then you start judging other people's motives! Look what he said:

"...'This Man… [Who was the Messiah, Who was doing the healing and all these things] … if He were a prophet...'" (v 38).

  • How many times do we justify evil by imputing evil?
  • How many times do we justify our evil motives when we impute evil motives to someone else?

Therefore, since we know that this other person is evil, we are justified in imputing evil motives! Isn't that what's happening here? A Pharisee who was supposed to be righteous, who on the outside, as Jesus said, is like a whited sepulcher, but on the inside, this is within, he is thinking to himself,

"...'This Man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what the woman is who is touching Him because she is a sinner.' Then Jesus answered and said to him…[notice, chooses his own delusion, gives him a little parable] ...'Simon, I have something to say to you.' And he said, 'Teacher, say on'" (vs 39-40).

You can almost see him, quivering, fawning, feigning, 'say on, Master.' But what did he say in his heart? "...'This Man, if He were a prophet, would have known…'"

Then He turns and says "...'Simon, I have something to say to you.' And he said, 'Teacher, say on.'…. [Hypocrite!] …'There were two debtors of a certain creditor … [He gave him a very simple thing to figure out] owed five hundred silver coins ['denarius'] …and the other fifty. But when they did not have anything with which to pay him, he forgave them both….'" (vs 40-42).

What irks someone who has a little to be forgiven? When someone who has a lot to be forgiven, that they are forgiven! That's why He uses this. Frankly, He forgave them both.

"'...Tell Me then, which of them will love him most?' And Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave the most.' And He said to him, 'You have judged rightly'" (vs 42-43).

Just imagine how he would feel. Here is this person wanting compliments, wanting to do all this on the outside and wanting to be stroked, and all of this ego stuff involved. Let's just picture this. Jesus said, "…'You have judged rightly.'"

Verse 44: "And after turning to the woman, He said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I came into your house, and you did not provide any water to wash My feet; but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head. You did not give Me a kiss...'" (vs. 44-45). Can you imagine the kind of hypocritical kiss that would have been given?

"…but she, from the time I came in, has not ceased to ardently kiss My feet" (v 45). If there's any part of the body that would be terrible to kiss: walk in off the dusty old trail and start kissing those. I wouldn't want anyone to kiss my feet.

Verse 46: "You did not anoint My head with oil; but she has anointed My feet with ointment. For this cause, I tell you… [who is supposed to be righteous]…her many sins have been forgiven because she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little.' And He said to her, 'Your sins have been forgiven'" (vs. 46-48).

Instead of everybody saying, "Hurray, there's a repentant….this woman has changed. Her sins are forgiven. Wonderful!'

Verse 49: "Then those who were sitting with Him began to say within themselves, 'Who is this, Who even forgives sins?'" Their lips were probably sneering up, and their eyebrows were kind of looking out, and all these beady-eyed gossips with their tongues plowing along.

Verse 50: "But He said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.'" There is a classic example of a good work and an evil work, but God looks at the heart.

Matt. 23 is perhaps the classic example of religious works that appear good, that Jesus condemns because the heart is not right.

Matthew 23:1: "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, 'The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down on Moses' seat as judges... [they were in authority] ...therefore, every judgment that they tell you to observe, observe and do....'" (vs 1-2).

That is all the official things that obviously are based upon the Word of God. Obviously, if they ask them to sin they should not do that.

"...But do not do according to their works; for they say and do not" (v 3). Now when we focus in on the works, it's not so much of the works as it is the heart. It's not so much the work that is evil, but the motivation behind the work makes it more evil.

Verse 4: "For they bind heavy burdens and hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men..." That sounds familiar! I've heard, 'Tithe, even if you have to go on welfare.' Isn't that a grievous burden to be borne?

"...but they will not move them with one of their own fingers. And they do all their works to be seen by men... [now the whole wrong motivation]: ... They make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments; and they love the first place at the suppers, and the chief seats in the synagogues..." (vs 4-6).

I remember we went back to visit a church that we pastored, and we went on a Holy Day. The ministers had a table set up on the stage, and they instructed the deacons to bring them the best of all the food: the desert, the meat, the vegetables. The brethren were down there, and rather than associate with that, I went to the back of the line. Not to be seen of men, but not to be seen of them! I was ashamed, and obviously, that is something that shouldn't be.

So, I just made myself unavailable and just went down with the brethren and some that I knew were talking with in line, we just went on through the line. And the word came down to come on stage to eat with the ministers, etc. I said, 'No, I'll just get my food.' I didn't want to be up there with this thing, where everybody can see, and all the brethren whispering, 'All of the ministers are up there…' Now you see how clear all this becomes?

"...They make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments; and they love the first place at the suppers, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called by men 'Rabbi, Rabbi.' But you are not to be called Rabbi; for one is your Master, the Christ, and all of you are brethren. Also, do not call anyone on the earth your Father..."  (vs 5-9). What happens? It just becomes a very fawning thing: 'Oh, father this, father that, father the other thing...'

"...for one is your Father, Who is in heaven. Neither be called Master; for one is your Master, the Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever will exalt himself shall be humbled; and whoever will humble himself shall be exalted" (vs 9-12). Then He takes this whole principle here and applies it to all the rest of the sayings in Matt. 23.

Verse 13: "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and as a pretext you offer prayers of great length. Because of this, you shall receive the greater judgment."

How they do that? By taking, by robbing, under the pretense of donating it to the temple, and it is corban, and you are released.

Verse 14: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven before men; for neither do you yourselves enter, nor do you allow those who are entering to enter."

Is it a good work to pray? Yes! But if for a pretense you pray, it gets nowhere. God says that when you spread forth your hands to heaven, 'I will not hear you, for your hands are defiled with blood.'

Verse 15: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel the sea and the land to make one proselyte..."

Isn't that a good work? Go out and get a convert! You dedicate your life. The Mormons do this. Every young man gives two years at no salary from the church; he gives it to the Mormon Church to go out and be a missionary. And what do they do? They compass land and sea! I know, I talked to one Mormon missionary and guess where his mission was? France! Guess what one of the Mormon doctrines is? 'Thou shalt not drink.' Can you imagine telling a Frenchman not to drink wine? It's like trying to keep a baby from nursing! You can't do it. During his two years he said he went into many villages, talked to a lot of people and made a lot of friends, but not one convert in two years. Was that a good work? It was a good work! He came home and was thought well of by the Mormon Church because he set a good example.

"...and when he has become one, you make him twofold more a son of Gehenna than yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever shall swear by...'"  (vs 15-16).

This is the religious argument. We got into that a little bit last week. The person said, 'How can one live in adultery when adultery is an act?' I said, 'Well, if the marriage is not binding by God then it is an adulterous state of living in adultery.' Here is the same thing. A person comes in and says they're going to vow a vow to God, and going to swear by the temple. And you Pharisees say that's nothing.

"...but whoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is obligated to fulfill his oath.'…. [Jesus said]: …You fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple, which sanctifies the gold?" (vs 16-17).

All these nitpick little arguments are nowhere. Of course, that would be a 'good' work: 'I'm going to swear by the gold of the temple!' And the Pharisee runs out there and says, 'Hallelujah, you're a debtor! You're a good boy. You're a good man. God loves you because you swore by the gold, and you're going to do what you said you would do.' A good work? No! Not a good work!

Jesus gave the answer then, v 18: "And you say, 'Whoever shall swear by the altar, it is not binding; but whoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is obligated to fulfill his oath.'" He is guilty! Oh yes! That was their argument!

Someone walks up and says, 'I swear by the altar of God that this is true.' That's what is called the horns of the altar. Remember that Joab wanted to come in and grab hold of the horns of the altar so that he could not be killed? That's what it's talking about. But the Pharisees said, 'That's nothing. If you swear by the altar, that's nothing.'

"'…but whoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is obligated to fulfill his oath.' You fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift, or the altar, which sanctifies the gift? Therefore, the one who swears by the altar swears by it, and by all things that are upon it. And the one who swears by the temple swears by it, and by Him Who dwells in it. And the one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God, and by Him Who sits upon it" (vs 18-22).

In other words, it gets back to the condition of the heart again. All these things are on the surface a good work, every one of them.

Verse 23: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin..." Those are good works to do. 'I'm a good Pharisee. I sit here and there's 10% for God, there's 90% for me. There's 10% for God, there's 90% for me. Oh, by the way, get these widows out of here. We're not going to give them anything.'

"...but you have abandoned the more important matters of the law—judgment, and mercy and faith. These you were obligated to do, and not to leave the others undone" (v 23). Here's a 'good' work. It doesn't matter if you do a good work. But your heart is locked up and not doing the things that God wants you to do.

The question came up about a person being baptized. You can go dunk people in the water all day long. Technically, when you get down to it, it really doesn't matter who baptizes the person. I mean, it says Jesus baptized, but the disciples did it. But if your heart isn't right and you haven't repented, you can go to Christ Himself in the flesh and your baptism would not be any good. So we have the same thing here.

Verse 24: "Blind guides, who filter out a gnat, but swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish..." (vs 23-25). Isn't that what most people do? Do the outside?

Now this Bitburg thing, the Jews all came and they pleaded with President Reagan, 'Don't go to Bitburg.' The Jews all got together and they said, 'If President Reagan changes us we don't want to have the appearance that we forced him to do it,' when they were all the ones that were doing it. It's the same thing when Jesus was crucified. 'We don't want to give the appearance that we had anything to do this, so we'll go out at midnight.' Clean the outside!

"…For you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but within you are full of extortion and excess. Blind Pharisees! First cleanse the inside of the cup and the dish, so that the outside may also become clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful on the outside..." (vs 25-27).

This is but one of the things that really gives you a key on the good work, the evil work: the origin, the effect, the appearance, and everything here. We could say with what the Pharisees were doing, the origin was not right because it really wasn't from God. Who did Jesus say they serve? You are of your father, the devil! The motive was not good because the heart was not right; the appearance looked good because they were doing it on the outside; and the effect was evil because it brought God's correction upon the whole community. So, that which looks good may not be good.

"...which indeed appear beautiful on the outside, but within are full of the bones of the dead, and of all uncleanness. Likewise, you also outwardly appear to men to be righteous, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" (vs 27-28). Then He went on and labeled their attitude. We'll finish the last few verses here of this section.

Verse 29: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the sepulchers of the prophets, and adorn the tombs of the righteous; and you say, 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets'" (vs 29-30).

In other words, we wouldn't have martyred them. Come on! What did they want to do to Jeremiah?

Verse 31: "So then, you are testifying against yourselves, that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets; and as for you, you are filling up the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how shall you escape the judgment of Gehenna?" (vs 31-33).

There He said that the judgment was coming upon that generation for everything that was done from Abel clear down to the present time.

Now let's look at one more example here of a cloak of righteousness to cover evil.

John 12:1: "Now, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had died, and whom He had raised from the dead. There they made a supper for Him, and Martha served; and Lazarus was one of those who sat with Him. Mary then took a pound of pure spikenard ointment worth a great price and anointed Jesus' feet, wiping His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the aroma of the ointment. As a result, one of His disciples..." (vs 1-4).

Now here is a cloak of evil and criticism. Notice how it's done. This is very common that people do:

"…Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who was about to betray Him, said, 'Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred silver coins, and given to the poor?'?" (vs 4-5). Aha! A waste! Didn't that look like on the surface a righteous cause, a good work?

Verse 6: "Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and carried what was put in it."

So, here's a righteous cloak to disguise evil. An apparent good work to cover up an evil work! Then we know what Judas did when he betrayed Him.

What did Judas do? He said, 'The one Whom I kiss is the One Whom you are to arrest'! So, he betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Now a kiss is supposed to be:

  • a sign of affection
  • a sign of love
  • a sign of friendship
  • a sign of, 'I am with you; I will never do anything against you or harm you' type of thing

So, he used this as the signal to betray Jesus so that Jesus could be arrested. Now there is an example of an apparent good work with an evil motive, with an evil result, etc.

This gives us something to work on it to sink our teeth into.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 5:18, 24-33
  • Deuteronomy 6:3
  • Isaiah 1:2-7, 9-20
  • Isaiah 66:1-3
  • Isaiah 45:7
  • Matthew 5:20
  • Matthew 6:1-8
  • Luke 7:36-50
  • Matthew 23:1-33
  • John 12:1-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 28
  • Luke 18

Also referenced: Book:
            The Tabernacleby M.R. Dehaan

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 1/19/18