The Sonship of God #1

Fred R. Coulter—August 14, 2010

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

Greetings everyone! What is the whole purpose of the grace of God and keeping the commandments of God the way that God shows in the New Testament, which is entirely different from what was in the Old Testament? We're also going to brush up against the problems as to why the Protestant world does not understand, and yet, they're accepted as Christian, in addition to the Catholics. So let's do this. Let's see that at the very beginning of the Bible we have the first hint of God's plan, and then we will see how we are to learn and know and study and put it together, so we will begin putting it together. One of the best ways to study the Bible is begin with the simple. That's the first rule of Bible study, and progress step-by-step as you prove each aspect of what you are studying.

So let's pick it up in Genesis 1:26: "And God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.' And God created man in His own image, and in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female" (vs 26-27). If you read in Gen. 5:1 both Adam and Eve are called Adam, Mr. and Mrs. Adam. So if that's your last name, you have a Biblical connection.

Now this doesn't tell us very much about God's plan, but we have to ask the question: Why did God make us in His image? What was the purpose? There are a lot of philosophical ideas about God and here it tells us very simply. We can understand about it without any problem. If we are made in the image and likeness of God, what does God look like? Like us!

He also did something else here, v 28: "And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth... [Now we won't get into a long study about that, but that tells us that there was something going on on the earth before Adam and Eve were created, otherwise it would not be 'replenish the earth.' That's the same word that is used after the Flood and He told the children of Noah to multiply and replenish the earth.] ...and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.'" So that's quite a thing. God was greatly generous, was He not, to give man all of this, the whole world? And to put them there as the pinnacle of everything that's created on the earth. Now we know that after Adam and Eve sinned—so in getting into this what we're going to do is just summarize some of the things we've already covered previously—there was the first prophecy of Jesus Christ coming as the savior. We have a lot of literature to cover that and we have a lot of sermons to cover that, so what we're going to do is jump ahead to the New Testament and let's see something that's very important for us to understand concerning God's plan.

Let's come to Hebrews 1, because this refers back to Gen. 1 and this also tells us a good deal of what God is doing and it tells us a great deal of what God had to do to redeem mankind. There's an awful lot in the Bible between Genesis to here and let me just say this, that the way you understand the Bible is begin at the beginning, go through the Law and then the Prophets, and then the Writings, and then Gospels and Acts, and then the General Epistles and then the Epistles of Paul, and then the book of Revelation. When you come to the book of Revelation, the first chapter, Jesus says, 'I am the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.' So He's telling us that from the beginning, which starts in Gen., to the end, which ends in Rev. 22, that all of God's plan is defined by God, but it is hidden, though it's openly published in the Bible. Now, we'll find out why people can't understand it though they have the Bible.

So let's begin right here in Hebrews 1:1: "God, Who spoke to the father at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things... [And that means the universe.] Whom also He made the worlds" (vs 1-2). We find in Col. 1 that He created everything that there is. We find that Jesus, when we examine other Scriptures, was the Lord God of the Old Testament. We also find that the only place where in Gen. 1 where it says, 'Let Us make man in Our image,' the only place we find the true definition of who the 'Us' are is clear in John 17. That 'they—so we'll jump ahead to the end purpose of man—may be one in Us,' God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 3: "Who being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person... [And what did He tell Philip when Philip said, 'Well, show us the Father.' He says, 'If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.' And also 'person' means the character.] ...and upholding all things by the word of His own power..." Remember what Jesus said before He ascended into heaven? He told the disciples, 'All power in heaven and earth has been given to Me.' So by His very word, that's why there has to be righteousness. Because if there is not righteousness, if there's not truth, we end up with the problems that we have with humanity, like we have today.

"...when He had by Himself..." (v 3). Alone! That's why when He was dying He said, 'Father, Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.' Then His last words were, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' He had to do it alone, because He was the Creator. And only the Creator can save His creation. Since we're made in the image of God[transcriber's correction], an angel cannot save us and there are religions that claim, like the Mormons and Moroni, and the Seventh Day Adventists that Michael is Jesus, etc., none of that is true.

Only God can save us and only God, having made man in His image, and He made it for the express purpose that He could come and be a human being and take upon Himself the penalty of all the sins of all mankind. Now if you don't have the book, The Day Jesus the Christ Died, you can write in for it, we'll send it to you. The same way with The Harmony of the Gospels. Why did God have to die? And He did it willingly—didn't He? What did Jesus say? 'No one takes My life, I lay it down. I have a commandment from the Father to lay it down, and I have a commandment to receive it back.'

Verse 4: "Having been made to much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them.... [We want to cover some things here in the book of Heb. to show the superiority of the covenant of eternal life. That's what we should refer it to it as. It's called the New Covenant, which is true, but the New Covenant is a covenant for eternal life.] ...For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You'?…. [And that goes right back to Psa. 2.] ...And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'?" (vs 4-5). And that's why God the Father can be a father to us. And God's plan is all revealed in His Word, but we'll see some of the keys necessary to understand it and why the world can't understand it.

Verse 6: "And again, when he brought the Firstborn into the world... [That's when Jesus was born in the flesh.] ...He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'" And they did—didn't they? And the two shepherds out in the field, heard the angels praising God—right? Yes!

Verse 8: "But on the other hand, of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God... [Well, was Jesus God? Yes!. Was He God manifested in the flesh? (1-Tim. 3:16) Yes!] ...'Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.... [It's not going to be done by lies. It's not going to be done by shenanigans. It's not going to be done by the ways of this world. It's going to be done by God's way: righteousness.] ...You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness... (vs 8-9). Now that's going to be a key term as to why people can't understand the plan of God:

  • though they're religious
  • though they profess Jesus
  • though they go to church
  • though they may be very dedicated

But the question is: What do they actually believe? and Do they believe God? The thing that is important is this: if you don't believe God, you're not going to obey Him. "...because of this, God, even Your God..." (v 9). Now, what does that tell you? There are two that are God and all the way through the New Testament you do not find any reference to the Holy Spirit as being God. Try in vain, but you won't. You can see some mistranslations, deliberate changing of the English from the Greek to give the appearance of a trinity, but when you come to understand it, since that is a lie, what happens when lies enter in? Lies blind you! You believe the wrong thing.

Verse 10: "And, 'You, Lord [Jesus] in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain forever; and they will all grow old like a garment. And You will roll them up like a covering, and they shall be changed; but You are the same, and Your years will not end'" (vs 10-12). What do we find in Rev. 21 & 22? A new heaven and a new earth—don't we? Yes! So this is why it's important to come to have an understanding of the whole Bible and have the framework—I'll just say it right here—of the Sabbath and the Holy Days.

If you don't have the framework of the Sabbath and Holy Days on which to hang everything, then you're missing the whole point. I just want to add a little something here before we go on. In my letter for August, it is a combined August/September letter, and I talk about an aspect of the Sabbath that we haven't really focused on the way that we should in the Sabbath/Sunday controversy, which is this: The Sabbath and Holy Days are part of the very creation of God, which Jesus created—right? Yes! And since they have been created, if any man is going to change the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday, and the annual Feast days to the holidays of this world—what do they have to do, literally? They have to have the power to change the creation, because they are part of the creation. Does any man have that power? No!
The greatest power they can do is say, 'Well, we shifted the day.' But you didn't eliminate the Sabbath, because it's part of creation. And you didn't eliminate the Passover and the Holy Days, because they're part of creation. What did it say concerning Jesus? 'He was slain before the foundation of the world.' In other words, it was planned that He would be slain before the foundation of the world, so the whole creation is geared to the Sabbath and Holy Days of God. So one of the ways that people don't understand the mysteries of the plan of God is that they reject the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Let's come over here to Hebrews 2:6, because we want to pick up threads of the plan of God. Hebrews 2:6: "But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, 'What is man... [That's Psa. 8] ...that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him?.... [v 7 it says in the Greek, because this was taken from the Septuagint:] ...You did make him a little lower than the angels..." (vs 6-7). But when you go back to Psa. 8 and you examine the Hebrew you find that the word there is 'Elohim'—'You made man a little lower than God.' Now the word for angel is 'malakh'—so when they translated to the Greek from the Hebrew, I'm sure they thought, 'Well, it must be angel, rather than God.'

So this, again, if we're made in His image and after His likeness and a little lower than God, this also gives us the first step in understanding that we shall become the sons and daughters of God. We'll just project a little forward on this, which is this: That is the whole purpose of the covenant of eternal life. It's not a religion so we can be better people in the world. We ought to be better people in the world, because we love God and keep His commandments, but it's our personal relationship and fellowship with God, which then fulfills God's purpose in our life, but only through Christ, and only with the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

"'You did make him a little lower than the angels; You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands [Gen. 1] You did put all things in subjection under his feet.'... [And look at the accomplishments that men have been able to do in subduing the world.] ...For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him...." (vs 7-8).

What did we find in Gen. 11? Why did God come down and confuse the languages when they were building the tower of Babel? Because He says, 'Now, that anything they imagine to do, they will do,' because of the power of the human mind that God created us with, which reflects the mind of God. However, it has been damaged because of sin. So we find that we have the law of sin and death within us, which then is human nature. So part of the plan of God is to solve that of the law of sin and death, and also to get rid of Satan the devil. So God is going to solve all of those problems as laid out in the pattern of the Sabbath and Holy Days. That's why we have the book, God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days.

"...But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him…[Why? He does not have the character necessary to handle it.] …But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels... [Which is actually true. You have God, then angels, and men, and He was made as a man, conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary. And so God, then, would experience everything that every human being would experience, and yet, without sin so that He could become the perfect sacrifice. This is what it's telling us here in Heb. 2.] ...But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death... [That's the way it is in the Greek, 'the death.' Can there be any greater death than God manifested in the flesh? No, there cannot!] order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (vs 8-9).

The Protestants understand this to a certain degree. However, they think that once you accept Jesus and have your sins forgiven and you continue attending church, everything is fine. But that's only the beginning. It's like taking the first step of a journey. You don't take the first step of a journey and say, 'Oh, I've arrived at my destination.' It's your whole life long.

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting for Him... [Now notice how this explains the most fundamental, important thing in the plan of God and the redemption of mankind.] ...for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons... [I want you to focus in on the word 'sons,' because we're going to focus in on sonship. That's the whole heart and core of the covenant of eternal life—sonship, to become the son of God, or the daughter of God. And sons here means, the offspring, if you could put it in a more general term.] bringing many sons unto glory..." Now what does that mean? Well, we'll see a little later, that tells us that

  • we are going to receive glory
  • we are going to have spirit bodies
  • we are going to have spirit glory

" make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings." In other words, God was even perfected more by Jesus going through the experience of redeeming all mankind by becoming a human being.

Come over here to Hebrews 5:7; this is speaking of Christ, Who was after the order of Melchisedec: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered... [Isn't that interesting, that God could learn that in the flesh—obedience. Think of that. That's why we go through the things we do, so that we can learn obedience, we can learn the love of God.] ...and having been perfected... [In what? In the days of His flesh!] ...He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (vs 7-9).

Now those are some pretty powerful verses there—aren't they? What did Jesus say back in John 14? We'll go there a little later, but we'll just project ahead. What did He say? 'If you love Me, keep My commandment.—right? Yes! Obey Him! So if you're an entrenched Sunday-keeper, think about what Jesus said when He said, 'The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.' He's Lord of that day.

Let's come back here to Hebrews 2, 'to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.' We'll see a little later, what did He have to do to give up the power and glory of God to become a pinpoint of life, to become a human being? Now the next time you think, 'Oh, God, You're requiring too much from me', think of the example of Jesus what He gave up and think what God the Father and Jesus also risked, because we'll see a little later, Jesus took the same nature that we have.

Hebrews 2:11: "For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one... [How are you sanctified? With the Holy Spirit! When do you receive the Holy Spirit? After baptism and the laying on of hands!] ...for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren… [Now this is very important for us to understand. 'Brethren,' and of the family of God. Through creating man and woman, God through the operation of salvation, is re-creating Himself, His family.] …saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren..." (vs 11-12). It's the name of God the Father. What did Jesus come to do? To reveal the Father!

  • Did He not give 'all glory and honor' to the Father?
  • Did He not say, 'Don't call me good. There's none good but God'?
  • Did He not say, 'I can do nothing of My own self, but as the Father taught Me, as the Father has done this is what I do'?
  • Yes!

" the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.' And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me'" (vs 12-13). That's what Jesus is going to say—when? At the resurrection! I can just picture that on the Sea of Glass in my own mind. God the Father will come down, Jesus will be there, all of us will be in whatever order we are to receive and worship God the Father. Because we are the children of the Father—isn't that correct? Yes! And Jesus is going to be there and He's going to say, 'Father, behold, the children You have given Me.' It's going to be a fantastic time—isn't it?

Verse 14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil... [The King James says, 'destroy,' but it means to annul. Undo absolutely everything that Satan the devil has done to mankind and to the earth and to the universe.] ...And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death" (vs 14-15). And is that not the thing that all religions hold over people? Death! 'If you don't belong to this religion, your soul is going to be tormented in hell forever.' Yes!

Verse 16: "For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham…. [Isn't that interesting? All those who have the Holy Spirit are the spiritual seed of Abraham. And we covered that in Gal. 3—remember?] …For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything... [To be made like is 'homoiomates', which means to be made in exactly the same likeness.] ...that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted" (vs 16-18).

Hebrews 4:12—this is why people don't like the Bible: "For the Word of God is living and powerful... [What did Jesus say of the Word of God? He told the disciples, 'What I speak to you are spirit and life.' The words that He speaks are spirit and life! It's living! It is the only book in the world that can convict the conscience unto repentance.] ...and sharper than any two-edged sword... [No one's going to get away from it. You can be an atheist, but always remember: God gives you every breath. So the next time you exalt yourself and uplift yourself, don't forget that.] ...piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." That's why Jesus had to be made like us, so that He could be that faithful High Priest.

Now, let's see a little bit more about this, lest we think that God is so great and so Holy and so far above us that we can't reach Him. Verse 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account." Isn't that interesting, 'must' means it's obligatory. There is a day of reckoning. What did He say in Rom. 14? 'We all must come before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.'

Verse 14: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses... [Some people say, 'Oh, it was impossible for Jesus to sin.' Well, if it was impossible for Jesus to sin, don't you think the temptation with Satan the devil in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights then would have just been in vain?] ...who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin…. [Fantastic—isn't it? That's all a part of the plan of God.] …Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace... [That's why He's given us entrance through the power of the Holy Spirit into the Holy of Holies in heaven above.] that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 14-16). So that's what God wants to do for us.

Since this is so clear to us as we read it, and always remember we're doing so on the Sabbath day that God gave and that's a key to understanding, we're going to see that key here in just a little bit, but let's ask the questions:

  • Why can the world take the same Bible and not understand?
  • Why can they say that they profess in Jesus Christ and still do not know Him?
  • Why can we say with boldness and surety—not because of anything that we have done, we need to understand that—that we understand and they don't?

That sounds a little arrogant—doesn't it? And some people would say, 'Well, how can that be? You mean all these people are wrong?' We'll answer the question then: Why does Jesus say, 'Many are called, but few are chosen'?

(go to the next track)

Why doesn't the world understand? Now during the break we had quite an interesting discussion because Laverne has talked to his Sunday-keeping minister and he said, 'Well, all through the years the Sunday-keeping minister said, read the Bible, study the Bible.' Well, when Laverne came to understand about the Sabbath, then it started to present problems with his Sunday-keeping minister. And he told him, he said, 'Well, you said read the Bible and I did.' Now a lot of people read the Bible, but

  • do not come to the conclusion concerning the Sabbath
  • do not understand about the plan of God
  • do not understand about the New Covenant, the covenant of eternal life.

Why? And if it's so important, why did Jesus say some of the things that we're going to read here in Matt. 13. This becomes very important for us to understand, and a focal point of when you come to the crossroads. Now there are a lot of people, because of the stress and trials and difficulties we are going through, have come to the crossroads. A lot of them are searching their Bibles. A lot of them are leaving the Protestant churches in droves.

And that's why we're redoing the book, Lord, What Should I Do? from the point of view toward the disaffected Protestants and Catholics. I also need to do a booklet, Communion, Eucharist, Lord's Supper or the Christian Passover. I need to do a booklet on that, as a lead-in to the book, The Christian Passover, because that was a missing ingredient that we had previously. Since that book was written and directed to those who were in the Churches of God and who were affected by Hebrew roots, Messianic Jews, wrong doctrines within various churches of God, trying to convince us that the Jewish fifteenth Passover was the correct day. That book explains why the fifteenth is not the correct day and I do not devote very much time to why the Lord's Supper, Eucharist, communion, sacrifice of the mass, are not the true New Covenant Passover.

Matthew 13—this was after He spoke in parables to the multitudes. Why would Jesus not want people to understand? You would think that if eternal life is so important and He was here to show about eternal life, and both of those are true, why didn't He speak plainly to the people? And why did not the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees understand what He was saying, though they had what we call the Old Testament. They had the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. But remember how many times we have read where Jesus asked them, 'Have you never read in the Scriptures'? And He said, 'Had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me.' So it's just like today. Religion back then claiming to come from the Word of God was not from the Word of God.

  • Why?
  • Why do we have the same parallel today in what we call the Christian world?
  • Why do they not understand about the plan of God and becoming the sons and daughters of God and the whole purpose of life?

After all, it's in the Bible. And like this one minister told Laverne, 'Read your Bible, read your Bible, read your Bible.' Well, he did. Now he's got his pastor worried.

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given'" (vs 10-11). Why? The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven are the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the secrets are contained in the Word of God. We're going to see there are keys to understanding the Word of God. It's not just a matter of reading it, so you could understand it like a novel. There are other requirements that come along that are necessary. But notice, 'it has been given to you.' And we'll see why and that is because you believe and you obey. Remember a very simple principle in the Word of God: anything that you come across that requires you to do, you must do it. God expects you to. Some people say, 'Oh, that's legalism.' Well, who's the author of law? 'Has not been given to them.'

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him." And I've seen that happen over and over and over again in my fifty years of being in the church of God, and forty-six of being a minister—which is this: When people stop believing and obeying the Truth, what they did believe and what they were obeying, has been taken from them and they no longer understand. So it's a living law! It's an automatic thing! God made this as a separating and dividing point between the ones who believe Him and the ones who do not.

There are a lot who have parts of the Bible that they understand, and so when they really don't, as that minister said, read the Bible, believe it and obey it, then the understanding they have is going to be taken from them. I know people who used to keep the Sabbath and Holy Days years ago; now they've given up on it and they've gone clear back into Protestantism and it's just their minds have been wiped clean. Taken from them. That's what it says here.

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand.... [because they don't obey] ...And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, "In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive... [Why?] ...For the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing..." (vs 13-15). They don't want to hear it. What do they want to hear? Smooth things, yes!

Every time I give a sermon or two on what's going to happen financially, someone always writes and says, 'Oh, you're scaring us to death!' My answer back to them is, 'Good!' Because when it happens, it's going to be worse than what I've preached on. You need to understand that. In America, in the last hundred years, we have never really, really suffered except for the short period of time during what is called the Great Depression. So hold on.

Verse 15"...and their eyes they have closed... [It means they don't want to see it. 'Oh, it says remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy, but we keep Sunday.' Really! You just closed your eyes. You don't want to hear it, you don't want to see it.] ...lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.'"

Now ask any died-in-the wool, hard-shelled Baptist, 'Why didn't Jesus want them converted, when your whole effort is to try and convert as many people as you can? So what you have done, you have watered it down, watered down, and watered it down to such an extent that you made it costless and so easy to do that they take the first step. They have a desire, but you close it up to them, because you go no further.' So they can't become converted. "…should heal them." If you want the answer, what is God going to do with all the other people, then you listen to any sermon that I've given on the Last Great Day.

Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear... [Add to that everything that we have in addition to what the apostles had at that time.] ...For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17). Isn't that amazing? Yes, it is!

Let's go back here to Daniel. He was referring directly to Daniel, referring directly to all the prophets, because each one of them gave so much, just so many increments of the plan of God. But now with the fullness of the Word of God, we're able to understand it today in a way that we could not understand before, which is so important for us to understand.
And think about the responsibility that God lays upon us who have the whole Word of God. Now Daniel gave some fantastic prophecies concerning the great empires coming down through history to the return of Christ—didn't he? And God showed him great and tremendous things, and even Daniel 9, which has the seventy weeks prophecy about the coming of the Messiah. So you put all of that together.

After hearing and seeing all these things, Daniel 12:8: "And I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, 'O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?'... [because he had part of the story. It's interesting, isn't it, in order to understand Revelation you need Daniel, and in order to understand Dan. you need Rev. That's the way God designed it. This is the angel speaking to him.] (he said): ...'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end… [God gives progressive understanding as His Word becomes available.] …Many shall be purified, and made white, and refined. But the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand....'" (vs 8-10)—because they refuse to keep His commandments.

So when they read their Bibles, what do they do? They read them with blinders on—don't they? Yes! Yes, indeed! And the thing that is so difficult for them to understand, which is this: Even those who don't understand the Truth, whatever they preach of the Word of God to help individuals, God will honor. You read Jer. 23, he said, 'The prophets of Baal I didn't send them, but if they made My people stand by My Word...' So God did that to encourage people to go further if they would. But the problem is most of them reach a certain point of contentment, and never go on. Most of them believe that when they've started, they've also finished. Try this: Get in your car, you're going to go on a trip. Start it up, sit there and let it run for fifteen minutes, and turn it off, and say, 'I've arrived.' That's the hollow counterfeit salvation that is found today.

But notice the other part of the equation here: "'...but the wise shall understand'" (v 10). Who are the wise? 'The wise will understand.' Isn't that interesting? What did Jesus say who the wise man was? He used the words of Jesus and 'built his house upon a rock'—right? And when all the storms and everything came and thunder and lightning and floods, it stood. But the foolish man, who was likened to the wicked, built his house on the ground. When the floods came, everything collapsed.

Psalm 111:6: "He has shown His people the power of His works... [He did, to Israel, and He has, to modern Israel in the end-times here.] give them the inheritance of the nations. The works of His hands are Truth and judgment... [Why would anyone want to refuse God and refuse His Truth, and refuse the true Jesus, refuse to love Him and obey Him?] ...all His commandments are sure.... [They're going to happen.] ...They stand fast forever and ever; they are done in truth and uprightness" (vs 6-8). And if you remember this: The plan of God is built into the very creation of the heaven and the earth and the sun and the moon, the stars. And remember this: the outline of it is with the Passover and the Holy Days.

Verse 9: "He sent redemption unto His people; He has commanded His covenant forever... [Think of that with the covenant for eternal life of the New Covenant in the New Testament.] ...Holy and awesome is His name.... [The King James says 'reverend,' so anyone who calls himself a 'reverend' is taking a name of God to themselves, so they need to be careful of that. I don't see where Paul is called reverend, high apostle Paul. Then I think in the Church of England they have 'right reverends.' When I was growing up I heard that, I said to myself, I wonder if they have a 'left reverend.' One on the right hand, one on the left. What is a right reverend? Is the other one a wrong reverend?] ...Holy and awesome is His name."

Now here is the key to understanding, right here, v 10: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom... [You can find that many times in the book of Proverbs—can't you? Yes!] ...a good understanding have all those who do His commandments…." What is the key? Commandment-keeping!. Which? All of them! Now if you want to understand about God, you better keep the first four, because the last six are your interrelations with people. And you can keep the last six and do fairly well, but you're never going to understand about God. Because if you break the first one, you have other god's before you, you're never going to understand God. If you have idols, the second one, you've totally cut yourself off from God and put yourself in a hateful stance against God.

If you take His name in vain, not just in swearing and cursing, but in religious pronouncements about God, you're in deep trouble. And if you reject the Sabbath Day, which is built into the creation of time, you don't have a ghost of a chance of understanding anything, except personal relations with people. A lot of the Protestants are very good at that. And a lot of Protestant ministers, because they can't preach about the Sabbath except against it, and the Catholic priests can't preach about the second commandment because they would be out of business, so they preach about how to get along with one another. That's fine, but does that lead you to God? No! So you have to do His commandments.

Now let's add a little bit more here. Let's come to John 14 and we'll go over some of these verses we've gone over before, but it's good to go over them again, because it gives us a real understanding of what Christ expects. It also shows us the spiritual standard. I want you to tie that in with Psa. 111:10 about a 'good understanding have they who do His commandments.' John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments." Hmmm! You want to understand about the true Jesus? What do you do?

  • you practice His words
  • you believe what He said
  • you obey His commands

but also you need something in addition, because you can't do it on your own. You need the Holy Spirit, which is called the Comforter.

"And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age'" (vs 15-16). If you're not keeping the commandments of God, will Christ send the Holy Spirit to you? No! And Peter told the Sanhedrin when they were arrested after healing the man who had been born crippled. Looked him right in the eye and pointed to him and said, 'God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him.' Hmmm. Now if you're a good staunch Catholic and you have been for years, huh! And you say that Peter was the first pope. What should you do concerning the Word of God, just on that basis? You should obey God! But what is translated into the Catholic Church? 'Oh, you obey the pope!' Is that what Peter said? No! All right. You need the Holy Spirit.

"Even the Spirit of the Truth..." (v 17). Now let's stop right here and analyze that. Everyone has to ask and answer these questions:

  • Do you want the Truth and the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth of God?
  • Really?
  • Do you want the Truth of the evil of human nature?
  • Do you want the Truth of how your human mind works on in a continuously evil way unless you have the Holy Spirit of God?
  • Do you think the Holy Spirit of God is going to be given to someone who is dedicated to lies?

Since all of His commandments are true and righteous, read all of Psa. 119. I give you a lot of assignments to do—don't I? Like Laverne said, 'I need to take a two-year sabbatical just to read.' Okay. You can't receive the Spirit of Truth unless you repent, unless you keep the commandments as Jesus said.

"'...which the world cannot receive...'" (v 17). Why can't the world receive it? Well, I'll give you one simple little test, oh, let's give you several. Picture this—you'd be thought of as a wild man, so don't do this—but I've often wondered, and I've only heard of it on just a couple of occasions, because we have an ex-Southern Baptist minister who has received our material for about twelve years. He's repented, he keeps the Sabbath, keeps the Passover, keeps the Holy Days, and now he is reaching out to Baptists.

He did stand in his little group one day and say, 'You know, brethren, I found out the Bible says we're to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. And after doing much, much study, I'm here to say that beginning next Saturday we will have services and we won't have any on Sunday. When you come on the Sabbath, we're all going to study about the Sabbath.' Now he was very successful, because he, over a period of time, led them up to that point. But if you did this walking into a church—I've often thought of this: What would happen if you were invited to a Sunday-keeping church, any one of you, and you were asked to give a little message. And you stood up there and said, 'Well, everyone, I'm sure you're all well intentioned to be here on Sunday, but you know, it's the wrong day!'

  • Did you know that it should be the Sabbath?
  • Did you know that your wonderful preacher over here is deceived and blinded and doesn't know the difference?
  • Did you know that you're also deceived and blinded and don't know the difference?
  • Did you also know that you haven't really received the Holy Spirit of Truth, because you're not keeping the Truth?

You better make sure that that side exit is open and you be ready to run, and have someone there to help you, because they may have deacons right there at the door to catch you. I've often thought of that.

Or do it another way. Someone go into a Catholic cathedral and say, 'All of these idols have to go!' Well, you'd be thrown out. Or let's just take it on another little level, let's just take it on the level of eating. What if someone took it upon himself to walk into a Red Lobster Restaurant, have a big megaphone and say, 'Attention, attention, everybody! Did you know that God forbids the eating of shrimp and lobster and clams and calamari and octopus? You need to put them down and stop eating this minute, and repent!' Wooo! Management would have you out of there, the police would be there to escort you. You would be taken before a psychologist to have your sanity checked—right? Yes! They can't receive the Spirit of Truth.

"...because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (v 17). Now when the Holy Spirit comes, it's the spirit of sonship. And this is where we will get to in The Spirit of Sonship #2, but it's very important for us to understand the basic things going into it.

They wanted to know how are You 'going to manifest Yourself to us and not to the world.' God manifests Himself to you by conviction of heart and mind to obey the truth, by sending the Spirit to be with you, to lead you to repentance, so that you can be baptized and have the Spirit within you. And unless that happens, you may be a professing Christian and you may have the name of Christianity upon you, but you are not a Christian, indeed.

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me... [A lot of people say, 'I love the Lord, I love the Lord, I love the Lord.'] ...he will keep My word... [You know what His word is? Even some evangelicals says, 'Well, you don't even need to study the Gospels, because Jesus was a minister for the circumcision and none of the things that He taught there in the Gospels apply to us. It's only to the Jews.' Really?

Now what happens in return if you love Jesus that way and keep His word and keep His commandments (v 15)? Something tremendous is going to happen. You're going to receive the Holy Spirit and it will be within you upon repentance and baptism.] ...and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (v 23). We'll talk about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because that is the whole key to the sonship of God. That is the whole plan of God and the Protestant world does not understand it because where it should be translated in Rom. 8 and in Gal. 4, they translate sonship as 'adoption.' So with that translation, they don't have a clue.

"'....and We will come to him and make Our abode with him…. [Now, try this on]: …The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me'" (vs 23-24). Let's use an example. How many two-timing husbands and wives assure their husbands and wives while they're having adulterous affairs, say, 'I love you, I love you.' But you don't keep your wedding vows. Look at all the famous people that have been brought down. Does it destroy their lives? Absolutely! Did they love husband and wife like they professed? No! Well, let's ask the questions:

  • If you love God—do you keep His Word?
  • If you love Christ—do you keep His commandments?
  • If you do not, you don't know God, nor do you have the Holy Spirit of God in you.

"'The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's Who sent Me'" (v 24). Very profound—isn't it? Yes, indeed! So that's the dividing line. It's right there! There is the dividing line between those who understand and know, and those who don't. And in order to understand the covenant of eternal life and sonship, this is where you need to start. And we will see in the next segment when we get to God's Grace and Commandment Keeping #14, the Scriptures which bring this out, but have been improperly translated so that misinterpretations occur that cut people off from God. And you will find that to be absolutely amazing when we cover it.

Let's come to John 15. Let's see something else here. Now we've been covering in this series, God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping, how that

  • we are to keep the commandments of God in the spirit.
  • we are to have the laws and commandments written in our hearts and in our minds
  • we are to think with the Word of God
  • we are to think with the Spirit of God
  • we are to be led with the Spirit of God

(which we'll emphasize when we get into segment #14).

Verse 9: "'As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love…. [What is the kind of little motto that we've used many times? Walk in faith, believe in hope, live in love!—correct?] …"…live in My love… [And if you love Him, you'll keep His commandments. If you love Him, you'll keep His Word.] ...If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love'" (vs 9-10).

Let's go ahead and put loving each other into its proper perspective. Notice, you love God the Father first, and you love Jesus Christ first, and you keep His commandments, then notice what He says here, v 11: "These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you" (vs 11-12).

That's why you should never let church break down into just a social thing of glad-handing each other. If you love God first and Jesus Christ first, then you're going to love each other and the brethren. And you're not going to have all of these self-righteous hang-ups that so many people have in churches and religion.

  • You're going to understand that God has called the weak of the world, because you are.
  • You're going to understand that no man is to glory in himself, but in Christ.
  • You're going to understand that if you love God and Jesus Christ, you love will love each other and accept each other for what you are to encourage each other to grow and change and overcome.

Right? Isn't that what you will do? Certainly! This is what Jesus is talking about.

Then He goes on further and showing about what He was about to do: "No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you.... [How can people have the Bible, profess to use the Bible, preach from the Bible, and miss all of these commands? It's amazing—isn't it? Just like you brought up, your pastor said, 'Read the Bible,' and look what you discovered.] ...No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing.... [He wants you to know the plan and purpose of God. He wants you to understand about the sonship of God.] ...But I have called you friends because I have made known to you all the things that I have heard from My Father" (vs 13-15).

This was the lesson that Peter had to learn. Remember, he was going to defend Jesus and none of these things would happen to Him. And Jesus looked at him and said, 'Peter, I tell you today in this night, you're going to deny Me three times before the cock crows twice.' Always remember this: We are always under obligation to God. God is not under obligation to us. But if we yield to God, He will bless us and give us His Spirit and watch over us. We can claim His promises.

But notice this: "You yourselves did not choose Me... [As He said there in Matt. 22, 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' Because few repent.] ...but I have personally chosen you...' And you can read the same thing in Eph. 1. The Father has personally chosen each one of us. That's good for all ministers and elders to really keep in mind, so that you understand—the brethren are not your possessions to rule over. The brethren have been chosen by God, and if you're a minister, elder, or teacher, you better teach them the Word of God, because that's how God is going to judge you. And you better love them and you better not exalt yourself over them, because God is going to judge you.

"...I have personally chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go forth and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; so that whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another…. [This is tremendous!] …If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you" (vs 16-18).

All right, let's come over here to John 16:12. This is a prophecy of the rest of the New Testament. John 16:12: " 'I have yet many things to tell you, but you are not able to bear them now.... [Isn't it interesting, you think about the ministry of Christ—right? Matt. 3 and Luke 4 it began with what? Forty-day temptation with Satan in the wilderness! It ended with forty days of personal instruction to the apostles after His resurrection and ascension to heaven—right? Yes! So His whole ministry is book-ended with two sets of forty-days, one at the beginning, one at the end.] are not able to bear them now. However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth... [All that Truth has to do with the Truth of God's plan and salvation.] ...because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come'" (vs 12-13)—and the things to come?:

  • look at the book of Revelation
  • look at the other prophecies we have in the New Testament
  • look at the understanding that we have of the Old Testament, too, brethren

—all of those things combined together.

So let's go ahead and end it here and this answers the question: Why do you understand and the world does not?

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 1:26-28
  • Hebrews 1:1-6, 8-12
  • Hebrews 2:6-10
  • Hebrews 5:7-9
  • Hebrews 2:11-18
  • Hebrews 4:12-16
  • Matthew 13:10-17
  • Daniel 12:8-10
  • Psalm 111:6-10
  • John 14:15-17, 23-24
  • John 15:9-18
  • John 16:12-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 5:1
  • Revelation 1, 22
  • Colossians 1
  • John 17
  • Psalm 2
  • 1-Timothy 3:16
  • Revelation 21, 22
  • Psalm 8
  • Genesis 11
  • Galatians 3
  • Romans 14
  • Daniel 9
  • Jeremiah 23
  • Psalm 119
  • Romans 8
  • Galatians 4
  • Matthew 22
  • Ephesians 1
  • Matthew 3
  • Luke 4

Also referenced: Books:

  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter
  • Lord, What Should I Do? by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 8-23-10
Formatted: bo—8-29-10