Fred R. Coulter—June 9, 2012

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We're passing around a proposed cover for a new book called The Grace of God in the Bible. Since many of you have never read it—and I'm very surprised you haven't—you are missing out on a great deal that will help you with your relationship with God. I tried to get a picture that conveyed peace, grace and God's Spirit, because what does it say about God's Spirit in Rev. 22? 'Out from underneath His throne flows rivers of living water clear as crystal.'

Let me just read a couple of verses here to show you what we have been missing in the Church. How many know the truth concerning the TRP (Theological Research Project) vs the STP (Systematic Theology Project)? How many know the difference? You are in for an education today. I spent four years here at Pasadena, 1972-1975 inclusive. I'm going to reference quite a bit at the first concerning our past church affiliations, I use plural. But also all of us go back to one church affiliation, way back when, either Radio Church of God and then when the name was changed it became Worldwide Church of God.

There was a time when the Church was seeking recognition from the world. Great mistake #1! They were also seeking to have the college accredited. Great mistake #2! They did not learn the lessons of Pergamos and Thyatira, you don't invite the world in. You preach to the world and warn the world. Remember Jesus said, 'Woe to you when all men speak well of you.' Maybe that will ring some bells in the past.

There came a time when they wanted to clarify the doctrines of the Church, so they set up the TRP—Theological Research Project. Michael Heiss was part of that along with Carl Franklin and a couple of others. Dr. Dorothy was given charge of it and given a direct line, a budget, from HWA (Herbert W. Armstrong) so no one could cut it off, theoretically.

What they were doing, they were doing a systematic study of all of the booklets. How many here have all the booklets and articles from WCG, Radio Church of God, and so forth? How many have all the Good News magazines going way, way back? Then you can help us out a little bit a little later on. They had never examined all the Scriptures that were used and all the material that we had, so Dr. Dorothy set it up this way: We will take every booklet, every article, every publication, we will know who it was written by and what Scriptures they used—sound logical?—so that we can understand what we were missing.

As Mike knows, they had a special little office and we would go out to lunch with Dr. Dorothy and we'd go down to the place on Lake Street where you could go in and you could get lamb kabob and things like that. Dr. Dorothy liked that. He was one of the nicest, sweetest men, very sensitive, very loving. Unfortunately, in doing what he was doing, guess what he did, unintentionally of course? He pricked some people's egos! That was the correct thing to do. The reaction to it was not!

The truth is, brethren, which some of the things we'll cover today is this: if you have something to discuss with someone, please, as Jesus said, go to your brother or sister and discuss it face-to-face. That solves all problems. If you want to say something to me, you can come and talk to me. If I'm wrong, I'll change, because unless we're all dedicated to Truth and love and grace, all of the church-playing, all of the politics, all of the inner things going on and the jockeying for positions that we have seen, ad infinitum, are worthless and destructive.

Robert Kuhn was a big-time infiltrator to take down the Church, as part of the punishment of Worldwide Church of God, as well as Stanley Rader and others. They examined all the different categories: salvation, love, grace, law, Holy Days, Passover, etc. They would write down Scriptures used. Then they would put in the Hebrew or the Greek. Mike's job was to put in the Hebrew. Dr. Dorothy's job was to put in the Greek. Carl's job was to go ahead and formulate it in an organized way. That ruffled the infiltrators' plans because part of it was, as initially stated, that the Scriptures we haven't used we need to examine them and find out why we haven't used them.

  • Wasn't that a fair enough deal? Yes!
  • Should you not do that?
  • If you're going to study things should you not study it thoroughly? Yes, you should!
  • Should you not get all the evidence? Yes, you should!
  • Should you not prove the evidence? Yes, you should!

All of the booklets were found very deficient and very wanting in preaching New Testament doctrine. That was a great problem for the Church. So, Robert Kuhn pulled a coup de gras, went to Herbert Armstrong and told him that Dr. Dorothy was trying to undermine him and correct him and come against him. So, Dr. Dorothy was cut off and the project was given to Robert Kuhn. Wasn't that lovely! Pasadena had to come down!

  • all the intrigue
  • all the politics
  • all the carnality
  • all the in-fighting

I'll just come a little further ahead to 1979 when I resigned on the Day of Atonement. Only my wife and two other men knew that I was going to resign. I fasted and prayed about it. All I had to speak on were some articles from magazines, from the Quest Magazine to show how awful it really was, and how that Church money was being used to tell tales of those involved in witchcraft as a good thing, and a couple articles on the pope.

I just prayed that God would help me say what needed to be said. I had some Scriptures listed. In the audience was Leroy Neff and Ron Reedy. I prayed all through the sermon, 'Please don't have them come up and take me down.' God inspired me to say one thing that made a lot of people angry.

I'm bringing this up from this point of view: sometimes when some things are said we need to give it a space of time to see if it's true or not. I said, God inspired me to do it, I didn't have one note written down, not a single note. When I got to Rev. 3 about the Laodiceans where He says repent, I said, 'If there is not someone in the pulpit in Pasadena saying amend your ways, the forces will be unleashed which shall tear the Church asunder.'

How many have listened to that resignation sermon? Good! Did it happen? Yes, it did! At the time it was spoken, was it a thinkable thought? Most people would say no! But if you really read and study the Bible what do you find out? God even destroyed Jerusalem and left it completely because of sin!

Why did I get into that? Let's back up to the TRP. When it was announced everything was going to be closed down and Dr Dorothy was going to be 'oblique arabesque.' You know what that is? A promotion to a pasture where you do nothing! That's used in corporate structures when they want to get rid of someone, but they need to save face, they just don't fire them out of hand, they give them an oblique promotion. The way that he was treated; the way that he was verbally abused; the way that he was oppressively crushed with hateful words, plus other aspects of things happening in his life, he never recovered from it. He finally died of cancer, which I believe was directly caused by what happened in the Church and in his private life.

However, between the time I resigned and he died in 1990s I'd communicate with him almost every week going over the Greek. He'd say, 'Fred, translate! Fred, translate!'

One day I came down to the office where the TRP was going and they were beginning to pack up all their books and to store them or ship them off or something. Carl had all the notebooks on the booklets that they had completed: Scriptures used, when were they used, how were they used, Scriptures that weren't used. I got the notebook on grace. I started going through it and they never, never, never preached the grace of God except as forgiveness of sin. That's like saying: take a thousand mile journey and you take your first three steps. Comes up to you and say, 'It's all over with.' That's why the Church failed!

I promised Carl, I promised Dr. Dorothy the things that were missing, that was not preached, that I would do. One day I would do it. So, they gave me those notebooks and I have them. When I went through the grace of God in the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, and we have that booklet we're updating a little bit. Then we have another booklet written by Duncan McLeod and Phil Neal called, So You Have Been Saved By Grace—Now What?—which is good.

The sorriest thing about the whole episode was that they didn't preach the greatest thing of God. They understood law, that is true. But you're not perfected by law. They were so afraid of love and grace that they thought they would sound too much like Protestants and they would lose people. That sound familiar?

Remember, the true number of converted is only known by God. Wouldn't you say that's true? Yes, indeed! And because of not preaching the Truth the way that they should and the mountainous sins—all of them—Pasadena is a monument on how not to run a church.

These things have still affected us. A lot of you have been through church wars—1-2-3-4 church wars. A lot of you have been through a lot of politics and things. That's turned a lot of people off. A lot have gone through things that they don't want to repeat again—right? I don't; you don't! Look at the carnage—emotionally, spiritually and physically—among the brethren of God that was caused because of that. Yet, there are those ministers who have left and all they want to do is repeat it. They still do not understand about grace. I'm going to cover just a couple of things here. This will give you a little preview of my coming letter.

I put together clear back in 1995 the first booklet on the Grace of God in the Bible. We're going to make sure that everyone gets all those sermons in addition to the ones that I have done recently, God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping.

This becomes very interesting here, Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace." Guess how many Scriptures were used for grace in the whole research file, which researched out every Scripture in the New Testament covering grace? Less than a dozen! Because they were so afraid that if they would preach grace that people would stop keeping the Law that they spent more time on the unpardonable sin in explaining grace than they did grace. Complete opposite!'

What does it mean to be under grace? I want to ask you another question before I answer that. I want to ask you a first question, because you have to answer this before you can understand grace. You are not under law. What does that mean? What does under law mean? They didn't even know what under the law meant or under law. The answer was given: penalty of the law! We'll examine that. The letter of the law? We'll examine that.

But if there's a comparison here, v 15: "What then? Shall we sin... [That is break the laws of God.] ...because we are not under law, but under grace?…." It is said that means under the penalty of the Law. Since that is not in the Greek, then you would also have to include that with the next phrase—under grace. If you're not under the penalty of the law then you must be under the penalty of grace. That doesn't make any sense—does it? No! It does not mean what you said, except in a very narrow sense.

  • being under law is one category before God
  • being under grace is another category under God

This is why we're going to put the Grace of God in a book because in the coming letter you have the first explanation that I have written as to what it means to be under law. The answer is there all the time.

Unfortunately, the professor who taught New Testament Survey was deathly afraid of grace, deathly afraid of love. That's why he was always hard and bombastic, emphasizing law, putting fear into brethren. Even told, since he was the Superintendent of Ministers, he also told also the ministers to give an attack speech every year on the sins in the congregation. I did that once and it took me two years to win them back. This was something for me to learn, too. What I'm covering now—what it means to be under law—I had not previously covered.

Let's see what the Bible says, Romans 7:1 "Are you ignorant, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know law)..." No definite article in the Greek, but you know law, all kinds of law. That includes every kind of law in addition to God's Law.

The next phrase defines under law. "...that the Law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?" (v 1). Think about what that says. It doesn't say that those who are Christ's are under law as long as they may live. If you are in grace you have a higher standard. If you're under grace God is dealing directly with you, directly with His Spirit. That's what grace is all about and we'll expound that a little bit later. What does this tell us then? Every human being in the world is under law!

  • Can you run away from God's Law even if you're an atheist?
  • Can you get rid of 'the law of sin' and death?
  • Can you save yourself?

Let's come to Romans 3 and see something very interesting here. You'll probably hear this in a couple of other sermons, too, that will be coming out in our mailing, but this is something we need to understand. This is very important in understanding. The two phrases: under law and under grace:

  • under law means everyone in the world; no escape.
  • under grace means all of those who have God's Spirit.

Those are the two categories in the world. There are no 'tweeners.' You either have God's Spirit or you don't. Just to clarify: those that God is working with and calling because they are seeking God, they begin to be drawn by God, which is the first step of grace, but they are not under grace until they have been baptized and received the Holy Spirit. That changes your standing before God!

Romans 3:5: "But if our unrighteousness brings to reality God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous to inflict His wrath?…. [Because God does. They are all under law.] ...(I am speaking according to man's view.) MAY IT NEVER BE! Otherwise, how shall God judge the world?" (vs 5-6). I want you to remember the word world, because it's going to come up here again in just a bit.

Verse 7: "For if, by my falsehood, the Truth of God has shown itself to be supremely great, to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?" That's what they were doing to him. The Jews were saying, 'You're a sinner.'

Verse 8: "But not, according as we are being blasphemously charged, and according as some are affirming that we say, 'Let us practice evil things in order that good things may come.'" Never happen!

  • because God forgives sin
  • because we are able to come to God
  • because God has given us His Spirit

Did Paul say sin? He said, 'God forbid; may it never be.'

Verse 9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better?.… [The Jews? No! But to this day they still think that they are, except a few which say, 'If we're the chosen people, why are we suffering so much?'] ...Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALLwith being under sin." Everyone who is under law is also under sin. 'All have come short of the glory of God and sinned.' All have the law of sin and death.

Verse 10: "Exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one!" I thought of that last night when I was watching the news. War here, killing here, shelling there, drugs here, pornography, adultery, homosexuality; our infamous amateur president making grotesque remarks to a so-called gay and lesbian meeting out here in Hollywood. All are under sin! Nobody is exempt.

Verse 11: "There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips, Whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes'" (vs 11-18). Someone is going to say, 'What about the good Protestants?'

Verse 19: "Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law..." Who is under law? Law rules over a man as long as he may live, which means if it's over you, you are under it—is that not correct? You can't go under a bridge and announce, 'I'm standing on the bridge.' Can you? Under law!

"...so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (v 19). It says back here that God is going to judge the world—right? 'All the world may become guilty before God.'

"...for through the law is the knowledge of sin" (v 20). What if you don't have the law? What if it was never given to you? What do you do by trial and error, mistake and correction? You soon figure out some basic things! What happens? People begin keeping some of the laws of God! But have they had their sins forgiven unto salvation? No, they haven't!

Romans 2:14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the law, practice by nature the things contained in the Law, these who do not have the law are a law unto themselves." So, included in the phrase in Rom. 3:19 under law, it can also mean in law—'ein homos.'

  • Can people even with 'the law of sin and death' in them still keep some of the laws of God in the letter? Yes!
  • Does that mean they're converted? No!
  • Can they be good upstanding people and decent people? Yes!

But before God they're still under law.

Let's take all the good and well-intentioned Protestants. As Mike and I were talking last night, 1890 was a turning point for Protestantism and the start of its slide. Can you be saved by your own works? No! It says 'by grace you have been saved' and the Protestants say that all the time because they don't know what grace means and they don't know what under law means. They say the Law is done away.

This week I was talking to Phil Neal and he brought up something that I didn't know. He said the young people coming into the so-called Christian churches today are all involved in works of helping, outreaching people, and doing good, but they have no morality. They sleep with their girlfriends and boyfriends and think that's perfectly fine.

We've run into it a couple of times. The answer to the question for that is: if you want God's blessing you better hurry up and get married or you better separate. We had a problem like that back in the northeast. That's how we presented it to them. You don't want to be under sin to God. Yet, they think they're doing just fine.

What does it say here in v 15 concerning those? All the good, upstanding law-abiding people in the world who follow the principles of God and some of the laws of God for a decent and a better society, and, of course, that will vary from country to country and people to people, God says He's going to remember that.

Verse 15: "Who show the work of the law written in their own hearts, their consciences bearing witness and their reasonings also, as they accuse or defend one another;) In a day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel" (vs 15-16). That includes everybody in the world except those who have answered the call of God.

Let's see the dividing point: true covenant baptism. That's what it is. You don't receive the Spirit of God within you until you have repented and are baptized.

How many have gone through the sermon I gave, Spirit of God, Spirit of Man: Seven Spirit of God? You need to go through those, brethren. We are teaching very important things coming out on these CDs and videos. We are covering things that you need to know. If you've come from another Church of God, you are stunted in your knowledge of the Word of God. I don't say that to put you down. I just say, that we have been over 38 years since 1979 preaching more and more and more of the Truth of the Bible, more and more of the understanding of the Word of God.

Jesus told the disciples why He spoke to them in parables, because 'in hearing they hear not and seeing they see not and they don't understand.' He says, but you understand. Then He said another thing, which is very important, 'That which they have shall be taken from them.' I want you to think about that in two thoughts:

  • The Protestants. Has it been taken from them? Is it being taken from them? Yes, indeed

So much that I just finished reading a book entitled, Christianity After Religion. That's the next step after the book by Lloyd Geering, Christianity Without God.

  • Is it being taken from the Churches of God?

Are God's words always working all the time because He has spoken them? Yes, indeed! If you don't believe it, go down take a look at the ocean. Remember, 12,000 miles across to the other side and God said to the waves, 'You stop right here.' Does that always work? When there's a storm it washes some more soil down, but when the storm is over, the water can't go any further—correct?

What about the Churches of God that don't teach? Just like the Protestants that don't teach, they have to involve themselves in works because they're deficient in the Spirit and they don't understand the Truth.

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Here's something we need to understand. If you haven't listened to the sermon, Spirit of God, Spirit of Man: Seven Spirit of God, you go back and you study it. It says there in Rev. 4 and 5 that the seven lamps before the throne of God—those are not the churches. Those are the seven eyes of God 'sent forth into all the earth to seek those who are seeking Him!'

Was there not a day in your life when because of the way your life was and the troubles you were going through and everything crashing in upon you because you are under law and under sin that you cried out:

  • God, where are You?
  • God, are You real?
  • Jesus, are You really my Savior?
  • Let me know!

God answers those. One of the seven Spirits notifies God that someone is seeking Him. One of the seven Spirits of God then begins dealing with that individual. How many individuals can the seven Spirits of God work with? As many as are in that attitude as necessary! God is great! Let's not limit God!

When that happens, like I said, because you go back and you read Isa. 55. I imagine that Paul preached that many, many times where it says, 'Seek the Lord while He may be found. Let the wicked forsake his thoughts and forsake his ways and I will have mercy upon him.'

So you had that one day. The key turning point in your life? Yes, indeed! God answered. Now here starts a process of a little bit of grace. You're not under grace yet.

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him... [He does this through one of the seven Spirits. You want to know about God? Lo and behold, things start happening. God starts answering the prayer.] ...and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'" If you're all under law, where do you have to come? What did Jesus say? He was the Door of the sheep!

  • there's only one Savior
  • there's only one Father
  • there's only one Door
  • there's only one Spirit
  • there is only one Way

Now before you come to the point of having the Spirit within you, let's read that here in John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely My commandments." God told Israel to keep the commandments.

  • Can people keep the commandments in the letter of the Law? Yes!
  • Does it need a little enforcement once in awhile? Yes!
  • Through experience and difficulties? Yes!
  • Can you change?
  • Can you turn from that?

What does God say of the wicked in the Old Testament? He says, 'I don't delight in the death of the wicked, but turn you, turn from your ways.' If you do and one of the seven Spirits comes and begins dealing with you, now you have to come to God even more. You have to come to God with full repentance. Then there comes a point when the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, will be with you. This is the next critical stage.

  • The Father begins to draw, that's the beginning of grace
  • You continue seeking, asking, knocking, searching, and when you find the Truth you begin keeping it, you begin obeying it
  • The Spirit of God will then take over and be with you. That will lead you to repentance

That becomes important.

Now v 16: "And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: even the Spirit of the Truth..." (vs 16-17). Now you begin to see things differently—don't you? See Truth and error, right and wrong. You can begin to understand these things.

"'...which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not... [nor is it repenting; they are under law.] ...nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you...'" (v 17). There may be a lot of people in the world who God's Spirit is dwelling with them, but it will only continue as long as they keep seeking God. Otherwise it will withdraw. Individual basis.

Also I believe that that's what has happened to Protestantism. A hundred years ago, maybe 125, there were more of the Protestants who wrote and taught things that were in line with the Old and the New Testament. How many have read anything by Charles Spurgeon? He lamented when Wescott and Hort came out with their new Greek text. Cardinal Gibbons wrote Rome's Challenge to the Protestants and they refused.

So, those who may have had God's Spirit with them, if they would have gone in the direction that Cardinal Gibbons said, 'If you believe in the Bible, then you better start keeping the Sabbath.' But since they rejected it and chose Rome's day which he said is 'an invention of Rome.' By the way we have it in the Bible, Rome's Challenge to the Protestants, Appendix N. You look at the dates. It was published four weeks in a row on the Sabbath Day.

He says it will be within you. That's a separating point. How many people have come up to this point, but turned back, like the parable of the sowers—in the rocks, not deep soil, thorns and thistles, persecution? God's Spirit is going to leave them. May be with them. You have to answer the call. That's what's important. God does the calling, but you have to answer. The only way you can answer the call is God's way.
Let's come back here to Romans 6. Let's understand this. This also tells us why. This is very important to realize. Only God manifested in the flesh could ever be a perfect sacrifice to cover the sins of the whole world! Nothing else could ever do it, because He created mankind—did He not? Yes, indeed! He put in them 'the law of sin and death'—did He not? Yes, He did! That's why He came and took 'the law of sin and death' within Him and never sinned. That's important to realize. When God the Father and Jesus Christ directly intervene in your life, here's what happens.

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin... [You were under law, you were under sin, you died to sin. You had to die the baptismal death.] ...how shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?" (vs 1-3).

Now God is going to deal with you directly and this is when grace really begins to enter into your life and standing with God when God's Spirit is in you.

Verse 4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death... [His death] ...so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed..." (vs 4-6).

The Holy Spirit gives you the power to overcome sin within, but it is a process. God's Spirit is sent as a begettal and God's Spirit is an earnest of His Spirit to lead you to understand the sin within so you can continually repent and change and grow. Do we still sin and make mistakes today? Yes, we do! I do; you do.

Verse 7: "..Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin. Now, if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more;' death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God" (vs 7-10).

To do what? As a High Priest, as Head of the Church, to do the work of God within all that are called! Never forget this: the greatest work of God is not an organization evangelizing the world. That is a work of the ministry. The greatest work of God is within you, with His Spirit. That is grace!

Let's see how Jesus explained it, John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.…. [I just explained how that happens.] …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).

What happens when you receive the Spirit of God within you? Now you are under grace, not until! We are told to what? Grow in grace and knowledge—is that not true? Yes, indeed! Now we are ready to begin one of the greatest and most fantastic things that God is able to do in our lives.

Let's understand how God works, what it means partially to be under grace. I'm going to explain a whole lot more when we combine the booklets and add to it, What Does It Mean to be Under Law?

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne... [When you have God's Spirit where do your prayers go? To the throne of God! That's grace.] ...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. 'But to this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word'" (vs 1-2).

When there's the repentance that way, a blessing comes. Part of repentance is one of the great blessings is that God lifts the load of sin from you. Think of that! You don't have to bear all that any more.

Let's see something really, really important. Not only really important, the most supreme thing in your life. Remember Jesus said, 'The Father will love you and I love you and We—through the power of God's Spirit—will come within you, make Our abode, Our dwelling place,' through the Spirit of God. Because God wants us to be His immortal sons and daughters. That's what under grace is!

They were having all kinds of troubles and difficulties, 1-Corinthians 3:16 "Don't you understand that you are God's temple..." I want you to think about that! You, with God's Spirit within you, is greater than the greatest building dedicated to God, even greater than the one that He gave the plans to David to build. You understand that? That's by grace!

What is it that you have done? What law did you keep to make that happen? None! It is God's unilateral action in your life to give you His Spirit. Those are the ones who are under grace!

  • How then do we keep the commandments of God? They are written in our hearts and in our minds!
  • How then do we love God? From the innermost part of our being!

That's what's so important, brethren. Because if we really understand this:

Verse 16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you?…. [Here's a warning]: …If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are" (vs 16-17).

Now then, he also talks about this in a collective sense—the Church, the body of Christ—but he begins with each individual. Each individual has to respond to God and God responds. Then when you're baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, then you are under grace.

Let's see what Peter said here, 2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ…. [Peter didn't exalt himself. He said the same thing.] …Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (vs 1-2). That's what God wants. We're going to read some things from the Apostle Paul, some verses that are very rarely read, but are the key verses in each one of his epistles.

Verse 3: "According as His divine power..." I want you to think about this in relationship to what we have covered. Jesus said, 'If you love Me, the Spirit will be within you and We—the Father and Christ—will make Our abode with you.' Are you special to God? Yes, indeed! Think of the whole world. Are you special to God? This is not to exalt. This is so that we can be thankful and humble and not exalt ourselves above other people.

"...Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue… [Did you answer God's call? Yes, you are called by grace! We'll cover that in the book.] …Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (vs 3-4).

What we're going to do is we're going to read several of the introductions of Paul's epistles. Everything else that he writes after that falls under it. He takes a little time to get to it:

Romans 1:7: "To all those who are in Rome, beloved by God..." You need to stop and think of that. All ministers, teachers and elders need to think of that, too. All the brethren of God are beloved by Him.

  • How dare you use them for your own tools.
  • How dare you use them to merchandize.
  • How dare that you threaten them because they don't heel to your ungodly hierarchy.

They are loved of God!

"...the called saints... [you are called saints] ...Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ" (v 7). Gracethe working of God in your life. Yes, Jesus is the propitiation of our sins and yes, when we confess our sins we're forgiven our sins. We have God dealing directly in our life which is grace.

The rest of the world does not. They are under law. They are under sin, even if they keep some of the laws of God. Someone made a comment some time, I don't know who made it, 'There are a lot of Protestants. I think we're going to be surprised when we arrive on the Sea of Glass there are going to be a lot of Protestants there.' No, they're not!

  • Do they keep the covenant sign of having the Spirit of God? No!
  • What is that covenant sign? The Passover!
  • Do they keep the Sabbath of God? No!
  • Do they keep the Holy Days of God? No!

Even the best of the Protestants observe all the occult holidays of Satan the devil, renamed with Christian-sounding names. They are under law; they are not under grace. How dare they say they are under grace when they claim the laws of God have been done away! God requires us with a higher standard.

  • we're to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and being
  • we're to love our neighbors as ourselves
  • we are to love the brethren as Jesus loved us

Jesus says, 'Dwell in My love.' God says, 'I'm working in your life through grace—My grace to you.'

Let's come to the end of Romans, chapter sixteen. You can tell from this that Paul edited the book of Romans, cleaned it up, whatever he needed to do. Notice how he ends it. How did he start it? 'Grace and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Romans 16:24: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen…. [Then here's added when he finalized the book of Romans and sent it on by Mark to Peter]: …Now, to Him who has the power to establish you..." (vs 24-25). You feel weak, you feel neglected?

  • Go to God!
  • He'll help you!
  • He'll strengthen you!

"...according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery that in past ages has been kept secret; but now is made manifest, and by the prophetic scriptures... [Does that agree with 2-Peter 1, the confirmed prophetic word? Yes!] ...according to the commandment of the eternal God..." (vs 25-26).

That's what these epistles are, not something to argue over, but something to ask God to help you understand. Not something to misinterpret because the Protestants believe one way. So what if they do? If the Protestants are so good, then why don't they repent and keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days of God? Why don't they forsake Christmas and Easter and New Years? Why don't they forsake the trinity? Why don't they forsake the doctrines of Satan the devil? To say nothing of the Catholic Church which is the epitome of glory of Satan's way.

Verse 27: "To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory into the ages of eternity. Amen." This is what God wants through the epistles with everything that Paul wrote:

1-Corinthians 1:3: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." That's what God wants, grace and peace. Not intrigue, not politics, not fighting, not strife, not quarreling, not—even as Paul said here a little later—puffing up one minister against another minister. He doesn't want that. One minister says, 'I was closer to so-and-so than anybody else.' Was Lucifer close to God? Did he fall?

1-Corinthians 16:23: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen" (vs 23-24). Does God want grace and peace in His Church? Yes! But remember this: grace and peace within His Church does not make us stupid dolts to be bamboozled by false doctrine. I'll talk about that a little later. We are to be strong. I know all of you have had to fight off false doctrine.

2-Corinthians 1:2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (vs 2-4). Amazing, isn't it? Yes! The one place we don't want trials is among ourselves and false doctrine coming through the Church.

2-Corinthians 13:13: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." Isn't that interesting how he starts every one of his epistles that way?

Galatians 1:3: "Grace and peace be to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ." From Them! Grace is to be continually coming to us through the Holy Spirit of God and we are under grace and no one else in the world is under grace except those who have the Spirit of God within them.

  • They may be nice people
  • They may be understanding people
  • They may be what you would call honest politicians, if you could find some of them
  • They may be dedicated to helping people
  • They may be dedicated to many different causes

That's fine, God will recognize all of that at the second resurrection. That doesn't mean they are converted.

If you have a counterfeit Jesus and if you have counterfeit doctrines, do you suppose you may have a counterfeit spirit? Does it not say 'the prince of the power of the air, that spirit that dwells in the children of disobedience'?

The book of Galatians is a hard book, but let's look and see how he ended it, Galatians 6:18: "Brethren, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."

The whole book of Ephesians has to do with showing the great grace of God which is that which was not even revealed to the apostles until later.

I tell you, it's sad to think how long we've gone, even us who have understood about grace, without really putting that in the forefront, because we have been so busy putting down false doctrine, false teachers, those creeping in with subversive ideas by subterfuge, by flattery, by deceit. We've seen it, that's why Pasadena is gone, brethren. That's why it's gone—Pasadena, Big Sandy, Bricket Wood.

  • all because of not understanding grace
  • all because of not understanding the love of God
  • all because a false hierarchy was put within the Church
  • all because these things happened that cut brethren off from God

They thought they had to look through to the ministry to find God. No! You are directly connected to God with the Holy Spirit. You find God and grow in grace and knowledge:

  • first—on your knees
  • second—in studying His Word
  • third—in living God's way everyday

You're going to stumble; you're going to fall. You're going to realize that God's Spirit within you is going to reveal some deep wickedness in your heart and mind that you need to have removed by the washing of the water by the Word. Even now! I experience that myself. That's why Paul said, 'Don't think that we have arrived. Don't look upon me as anything great.' He said that he was 'less than the least of all the saints.'

We'll see how then we can apply this in our lives in such a way that we can handle and cope with the difficulties that come along between ourselves and how to handle false doctrine.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 6:14-15
  • Romans 7:1
  • Romans 3:5-20
  • Romans 2:14-16
  • John 6:44
  • John 14:6, 15-17
  • Romans 6:1-10
  • John 14:23-24
  • Isaiah 66:1-2
  • 1-Corinthians 3:16-17
  • 2-Peter 1:1-4
  • Romans 1:7
  • Romans 16:24-27
  • 1-Corinthians 1:3
  • 1-Corinthians 16:23-24
  • 2-Corinthians 1:2-4
  • 2-Corinthians 13:13
  • Galatians 1:3
  • Galatians 6:18

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 22; 3-5
  • Isaiah 55

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping
  • Spirit of God, Spirit of Man: Seven Spirit of God

Article: Rome's Challenge to the Protestants
(Appendix N, The Holy Bible in its Original Order)
Booklets:

  • Grace of God in the Bible
  • So You Have Been Saved by Grace—Now What? by Duncan McLeod and Phil Neal

Books:

  • The Grace of God in the Bible (coming soon)
  • Christianity After Religion by Diana Butler Bass
  • Christianity Without God by Lloyd Geering

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 6-19-12
Formatted: b0—6/20/12

Copyright 2012—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

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