Grace Upon Grace & Lawlessness

Fred R. Coulter—July 14, 2012

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Today we live in an age that Jesus described in Matthew 24. Let's see how this has come about and let's see how this is working.

I don't know how many of you watched the news last night, but it was absolutely incredible. All the lies coming through—it's no longer they talk out of both sides of their mouths, they cut it in two and they have eight things they're all saying, how they bring things out and so forth, truth cannot be heard. It's just something! It's been increasing! We're going to find out that this is a result of the modern lawless grace that's preached in Christianity.

Matthew 24:10, Jesus said: "And then shall many be led into sin..." That's certainly what's happening today. People are just led into sin. They're not taught anything in schools. They're all reared on emotion and sex in school. If the electricity goes out, no one knows how to count change. Everyone thinks they're smart and educated because they have a Smartphone; turn it off and you don't know anything.

"...many be led into sin... [they're gullible] ...and many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many" (vs 10-11). This means the majority. Have you ever wondered and some people probably have wondered this, why are there so few really true Christians? The answer is: Because those who are supposed to teach the Truth do not teach the Truth! What does that lead to?

Verse 12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied..." You've heard of the old story of taking a penny and doubling it every day for a month and at the end of the month you'd end up with $1.2-million. That's the way that lawlessness is multiplied.

Under Law:

What is lawlessness? There are several forms of lawlessness, but they all count. I hope you've been following along with the sermons on Grace Upon Grace! After being in the Church so many years we finally have understood what it means to be under law and then what it means to be under grace.

Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace." Under law means: Every human being in the world is under law to God! That's how God deals with them. He doesn't deal with them directly. He doesn't deal with them personally. They are under law!

Paul describes it, just across the page in Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know law), that the law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?" If the law rules over you, you're under law. Every human being in the world is under law and subject to law. The laws that God has created is for

  • our conduct
  • our bodies
  • our environment
  • how we get along with each

God judges them according to His law.

Romans 3:19: "Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." Have 'all sinned and come short of the glory of God'? Is that a Scripture? Yes! If all have sinned, that means all have transgressed the law—correct? If all have transgressed the law, that means they're all under the law because if there is no law, there is no sin.

Under Grace:

To be under grace is an entirely different thing that what the Christianity of this world has understood it as. The reason they have misunderstood it is because they do not know anything about Judaism and the problems of works of law. How many have the book, Judaism: A Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men? Be sure and read it. You'll find out the pope is not the only man who thinks he is greater than God. Every rabbi does.

Here is their misinterpretation, Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace." When you've heard this read, even in the Church of God, they say, 'That doesn't mean you're not to keep the commandments.' But they never told you what being under grace was—right? Being under grace means that you have repented, have been baptized, and received the Holy Spirit, and now God is directly, personally involved in your life! And, in fact, has made you a temple of God by putting the Spirit of God in you.

What is the Spirit of God? It is a Spirit of love, obedience, of faith! What does it tell us in Heb. 10 that God is going to do with His laws and commandments? Where is He going to put them? Since His Spirit is in us, where is He going to put His laws and commandments? In our heart and in our mind! So, to be under grace does not remove you from law. It elevates the requirement of the law from obeying in the letter to the spirit, as Jesus taught:

  • You've heard it said of old, you shall not murder. But I say to you, you shall not hate your brother.
  • You've heard it said of old, you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you any man who lusts after her has committed adultery already in his mind.

Now the temple of God, with the Spirit of God being in our mind, is the place where the laws and commandments of God are there living and dwelling. The law is Holy, the law is spiritual, you have the Spirit of God, you have the spirit of man, and the law is righteous.

We are to be righteous—aren't we? Yes, indeed! Another part of being under grace is that in answering the call of God through repentance and baptism, you have been elected or selected. That means God Himself has selected you. Being under grace does not mean that you are free from law. Being under grace does not mean that now you can live a life assuming that God abolished His laws.

What did Jesus say about that? 'Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill,' to make it complete! And where is the law complete? Right here in your heart and in your mind.

  • this is why we pray
  • this is why we study
  • this is why we learn the Word of God
    • not so that we can ignore it
    • not so that we can say God did away with it
    • not so that we can say, 'I'm free from having to keep that harsh law.'

Show me one Law of God that's harsh. God says it's perfect, comes from a perfect God.

How does the world look at it? Lawlessness will be multiplied! Why? Why does that happen? Who rules this world? Satan the devil, the god of this world and the world is under his power! What is he actively doing right now? We've heard this Scripture how many times. Rev. 12:9 says, 'He is deceiving—present tense—the whole world.'

That has to be the end-time fulfillment of it because immediately it goes into the martyrdom of the saints—does it not? So it's multiplied. Satan is the author of sin. Look at the world the way that it is today. I couldn't get over it watching the news last night: all of the political lies, all of the commentary lies, all of the killings and shootings. Did you know that they have had 1200 murders in Chicago this year to date! Now we've got to protect our children.

'Oh, we don't want the family. Oh, women ought to be able to have freedom of their lives so they can have children and be married to the government and let him be the father. Oh, no, we can't tell the teens, don't wait and preserve your sexual life until marriage. No, No!' Twelve-year old girls are out there actively on a daily basis, involved. There's lying, cheating, stealing. If you're honest, you're a dope. That's the way they look at it. So, we have all this lawlessness. How does that appeal to the carnal mind? How does that appeal to the deceitful mind? Right on!

Let's see how all of this comes about. On Thursday I went over to Randy's and I've been reading the book of Proverbs. We're putting on a special Proverbs series. We came to Proverbs 31, so I had him write down several of the references that we're going to cover today that I want to bring with my sermon. We want to read this with a prophetic interpretation as well.

Proverbs 31:1. "The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy which his mother taught him: 'What, my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength unto women, nor your ways unto that which destroys kings'" (vs 1-3). What are women also prophetically called? Churches!

Verse 4: "'It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink, lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the rights of all of the afflicted'" (vs 4-5).

Let's take those thoughts and let's apply them to Rev. 17. Here is the religious system that has brought the lawlessness to the world. This religious system is not the Roman Catholic Church, it is Mother Babylon of which the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestants, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists are all daughters of Babylon and has inherited that.

Revelation 17:1: "And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials came and spoke with me, saying to me, 'Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore... [Don't give your strength to women—spiritually speaking.] ...who sits upon many waters.'" The many waters in v 15 are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. So you view the world and look what is happening in the world.

Verse 2: "'With whom the kings of the earth... [King Lemuel, don't do this] ...have committed fornication, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.'" That wine of her fornication is lawlessness.

Verse 3: "Then he carried me away in the spirit to a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, full of names of blasphemy. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and was adorned with gold and pearls and precious stones; and she had a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominations and the filthiness of her fornication; and across her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (vs 3-5).

So, we look out and see lies everywhere. I couldn't believe the news last night. Talked about the murders in Chicago; talked about all of the boys that were seduced by Sandusky, one of the coaches at Penn State; all the things going in the schools here. I talked to a teacher who teaches down in south Los Angeles and it's a total mess, absolute mess.

  • the schools are a mess
  • the governments are a mess
  • the churches are in a mess
  • people are in messes

Now we have a President who is 'Liar-in-Chief' and lawless captain. He'll go ahead and make his own laws.

Let's see what happens when you do that and you get the population sinning more and more. Let's see how it progresses. Remember, whenever you are reading the Bible, there is a reason for everything that has been written and recorded. It's there for us to learn. Isaiah 5 talks about what happens when you build a society on sin. The first part talks about where God had Israel and Jerusalem like a vineyard and He planted it, a fine wonderful vineyard. Then He came back to get the grapes and what were there? Wild grapes!

Isaiah 5:7: "For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant; and He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress!"

I want you to think as if you're in a plane flying around the world. You look at the cities and you look at the people and you look what is going on and taking place. When we read the following verses, think about it and think of all the trouble that comes because of it.

Seven Woes:

Verse 8: "Woe#1 to those who join house to house, that lay field to field, until there is no place left, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land!" Every big city that is jammed together like that, what do they have? Crime, drugs, murder!

Verse 11: "Woe#2 to those who rise up early in the morning to go after strong drink; who continue late into the night while wine inflames them!" You can tie into that drunkenness, alcoholism, drugs, all kinds of drugs—prescription drugs, illegal drugs, marijuana. Now the city of Oakland is fighting the federal government that wants to close down a marijuana medical center because the income from selling the marijuana has become a major part of the income coming to the city of Oakland. As we read some of these things, think for just a minute.

I saw what happened to Mitt Romney when he went to talk before the NAACP. He actually gave a pretty good speech and it was quite well received. But what should have been said to them and every other organization? Planned Parenthood and NAACP, whatever other organization? 'If you want to solve your problems, you must teach the Ten Commandments of God and you must have every man married to his own wife and you all stop your adultery and fornication and homosexuality and all of these kinds of things.' On top of it, I received a report here that in the Episcopal Church, guess what they're going to do? They are going to clear the way for transgender ministers! One sin leads to another—lawlessness multiplied!

Furthermore, you'd have to tell them: 'You must stop all the gangs. Anyone in a gang, you have one chance to repent.' I think is what Christ is going to institute when He comes back, if there be any gangs that survive all the things that go on. 'You have one chance to repent, or it's the end of you. You are executed! No more defiance!

Then it talks about the music. Look at all the rock concerts. Look at all the music that messes up the minds of young people. They have on Fox News this man, Jesse Watters, and he goes around and has interviews. He went down to the beaches in Florida and was interviewing the young men and women down there, college aged or last part of high school. They didn't know who the founding fathers were. They did not know anything about anything, but yes, they were down there for fun and games and sex and music and drugs. God is going to judge for that. Most church services now are like mini rock concerts.

Verse 18: "Woe#3 to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin with cart ropes.... [This means that their whole life's endeavor is to promote sin, which is lawlessness.] ...Who say, 'Let Him hurry and hasten His work, so that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, so that we may know!'…. [Mockingly, of course! They don't want to know.] (Here's where lawlessness multiplies): …Woe#3 to those who call evil good and good evil..." (vs 18-20). That characterizes most of government and most of the plans of this current administration with their sickness-management tax. It's not healthcare, it's sickness-management tax.

I saw two commentators commenting on the lies about Mitt Romney, which are completely unfounded, easily proven untrue. But both of those women commentators said, 'Well, if it works...' No sense of right or wrong! No sense of good and evil! That's the same thing that probably got them through college. Kids today cheat because they're not taught to do right.

" evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (v 20). What have the religionists done? They have said, 'All 613 laws of Moses are done away completely.' They've just judged God, rejected His laws. God is going to judge them.

Verse 21: "Woe#5 unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Doesn't that spell out the governments? Every interest group? What you're going to see in this coming year, just on the financial stage, is city after city declare bankruptcy because of the corruptness of the government, the corruptness of those who were in charge, the corruptness and lawlessness of the unions who demanded that 'we retire at age 50 with 90% pay and 100% healthcare.'

Even as one city back on Long Island, New York, a very expensive place, their healthcare costs for retired firemen and policemen is $200-million a year and they have no money. These woes come back. Lawlessness has a penalty! We are entering into a time of greater and greater and greater lawlessness in the society. It's getting closer and closer to home because there's so much of it. Think of the insanity—the lawless do-gooders want to abolish tobacco smoking, but legalize pot smoking. Then there are those who want to legalize drugs. Perfect! Let the Chinese have their revenge for the Opium War 200 years ago. 'Wise in their own eyes!'

Look at how many great plans people have done and it ended up with nothing. Wise to have renewable energy from corn. Ethanol, oh, that's wonderful![sarcastically] As I said years ago: until there's a drought. Guess what we have this year? A drought! Guess what they use in almost everything instead of sugar now? High fructose corn syrup! That's going to make the price of everything skyrocket. Seems good. Oh, yes, and then everybody's making money on the back side.

Verse 22: "Woe#6 unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink.... [you can add drugs into that] ...Who justify the wicked for a bribe and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!" (vs 22-23).
A man was arrested and put in jail for having church at home. He went a little too far inasmuch as he had 50 people, but nevertheless that shows you where it goes. Sheriff Arapaio in Arizona: look what they do to him. So, the few that are out there to try and do right, they try and take it away. But vengeance is going to come!

Verse 24: "Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame burns up the chaff; their root shall be like rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up like dust because... [here's why there is lawlessness]: ...they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel." God lays that at the doorstep of every single Protestant minister and Catholic priest that take the name of God and reject His Word.

The lawlessness from the pulpits have caused the lawlessness in the land. We'll see that in a bit. They despise the Word of the Holy One of Israel. You try telling a Protestant minister, 'You know, you ought to keep the commandments of God.' Oh, no, that's that old law. It's been done away! Just stop for a minute. If you did two columns—the Bible and world Christianity.

The Bible teaches:

  • Truth
  • love of God
  • Sabbath

Christianity of the world teaches:

  • lies
  • mixture of some Truth to distort it
  • keeps Sunday, a day which God never sanctified

And they call themselves Christians? When a Christian is supposed to one who follows Christ, Who never sinned.

Then you take a little sidebar on that and then the Churches of God have become so corrupt in themselves that they run off to the evangelicals and say, 'What do you believe about grace?' And look what's happened. They ought to read Rev. 2 and 3 because they're doing in degree what is listed here. "...despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel" (v 24).

Let's see what else happens when you do that. I'm going to read you an indictment of the business world, the governments, the education, and the churches.

Isaiah 10:1: "Woe#7 to those who decree unrighteous edicts..." Whatever they are. The school systems are so bad and the unions are so strong that if a teacher is accused of wrong doing, the teacher can be relieved of the job but they go to a special room somewhere in the county and all of the teachers just sit there while the union is trying to fight out the situation, and they draw their full salary for as much as two or three or four years. In New York City they have 247 teachers that go to this 'sitting room' to be paid over $100,000 a year. It's in everything: religion, education, finance!

We were joking about the LIBOR interest rate you probably heard of. One clerk said, 'Oop, I hit the wrong key,' and the bank made $1-billion. It's corrupt, from head to toe, through and through.

Verse 2: "To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to steal the right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the orphans! And what will you do in the day of judgment and destruction...?" It's coming! Unless there is a major turnaround in America at this election, it's coming, and be prepared. Everybody's going to be paying 30-50% in taxes. You reject God; He rejects you. It affects everybody.

" the day of devastation which shall come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth? They can do nothing but to cringe among the captives, or fall among the slain. In all this His hand is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still" (vs 2-4).

They could come to God. Anyone who will forsake wickedness and come to God, anyone who will repent, God will honor. God is not limited. Look what He did to Joseph when he was taken off into prison. He protected him, watched over him.

Isaiah 59:1: "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor is His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities..." (vs 1-2)—your lawlessness! Lawlessness comes in the worst form when lawless decrees are made the law of the land, whatever it may be.

Now in the so-called Obama-tax they found 23 additional taxes within it. 'Oh, it's not a tax.' Tax, tax, tax! 'No, that's not a tax. I'm reading the word t-a-x. 'That's not a tax.' I read it 23 times. 'That's not a tax!'

 "...your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear" (v 2). Now, brethren, you never want to get in a place where God won't hear, but it's going to come for the people in the world. They're going to cry out to God. There won't be any answer.

The book of Jeremiah is quite an indictment. If you want a real education and Bible study, I've recommended this before but I'll recommend it now, read the book of Jeremiah all the way through. Read how God pleaded with the people. He said, 'Look, I'm going to send you off into captivity, but if you would honor the Sabbath, not work on the Sabbath—just the Sabbath—if you would do that, then I would guarantee that the kings of Judah and Jerusalem will ride on their chariots and horses.' But they couldn't do that. Here's exactly what the Protestants have done to the Truth of God.

Jeremiah wasn't liked, he was hated. He was from the city of Anathoth that was a Levitical city. The men of Anathoth wanted to kill Jeremiah because he told the truth. He told one false prophet, Hananiah, he said, 'Because you have given this false prophecy in the name of the Lord, and you have caused the people to trust in your words, you're going to die this year.' He died!

Right now this nation, and yea, even the Churches of God, they are right at a point, they better get serious with God because there comes a point of which the tipping point goes too far. Once you're past the tipping point and it's on the downslide, you can't put the brakes on it.

Jeremiah 7:1: "The Word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house...'" (vs 1-2). Think of this. You go back and read all about how the temple was built by Solomon, what David did to provide it. What a wonderful thing it was the day it was dedicated and the Spirit of God and the Shekinah of God, the cloud, filled the temple. The priest couldn't even wait on things.

The trumpeters were trumpeting and the singers were singing. It was a magnificent day. They had seven days of dedication. Solomon was the chosen one of God, the son of David. They had all of the priests and all of their regalia, all of the soldiers, everything. It was a fantastic thing. All of Israel had seven days of dedication. They had so many burnt offerings that they had to put up extra altars for burnt offering, so people could eat and rejoice and be thankful that God was there.

Within less than 40 years Solomon turned his back on God, worshiped other gods, sacrificed to other gods, and the children of Israel rebelled and went back to Egyptian calf-worship. The Jews never learned the lesson that they should have from that. Let's see what they did in the name of the Lord at the house of the Lord where God put His name and said He would dwell there forever.

Verse 2: "'Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this Word, and say, "Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD."' Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place'" (vs 2-3).

  • repent
  • amend
  • change
  • stop
  • don't do it any longer

Verse 4: "'Do not trust in lying words...'" People do that. 'We're Americans! We're Israelites! We're standing in the temple of the Lord, nothing can go wrong at the temple of the Lord.' You read in John 8 where all the Jews came to hear Jesus, some who believed in Him. But what were they doing? They were following their father, Satan the devil, who is a liar!

Verse 4: "Do not trust in lying words, saying, 'The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.'" Listen, everybody that has a lucky charm, or the Catholics that put the rosary on their rearview mirror. If the temple of the Lord couldn't protect these people, don't think that your lucky superstitious charm is going to protect you or your rosary, because it's an idol.

God says, v 5: "For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor; If you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your hurt; Then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever" (vs 5-7).

God was extending repentance and mercy to them. But this is what we see everyday today around the world. How would you like to live in Damascus? Carnage! Bloodshed! Sickness! Disease! If nothing changes, soon famine. There will be no corn from America to rescue them.

Verse 8: "Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.... [lawlessness is exalting lies and replacing the Word of God with those lies] ...Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know; and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'?" (vs 8-10). Who is the mother of harlots and abominations? Babylon the Great, that whole system: religious, governmental, and financial.

Verse 11: "Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?" Think about what's happened to America just this year, not counting what's happened leading up to it. We've had: floods, drought, fire!

Think of all of those people who lived in those beautiful communities up in Colorado. 'It's so wonderful we have our house out here in this beautiful county and smell the fresh air and smell the pines. It's so great to live here.' But none of them honor God! Now their houses are ashes and dust, so it can come very quickly. It's amazing how these things come.

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Here is where God lays the responsibility. Jeremiah 23:1: "'Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture,' says the LORD." The shepherds include those who are feeding the flock, in other words the religious leaders. Also the governmental leaders are not excluded from it.

Verse 2: "Therefore thus says the LORD, God of Israel, against the shepherds who feed My people, 'You have scattered My flock, and have driven them away, and have not taken care of them. Behold, I will bring upon you the evil of your doings,' says the LORD."

Verse 9: "As for the prophets my heart within me is broken; all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome because of the LORD and because of the words of His holiness. For the land is full of adulterers.…" (vs 9-10). There's no such thing as privacy rights between individuals who are sinning against the Laws of God.

What we're going to see is that every sin has an effect on first the person, the one who commits the sin; then on those associated with or friends of or husband/wife of the one who sins. Then the penalty comes upon them if it's bad. Then it affects the whole society being the cities, the towns, the communities, the states, the nation.

As I read some of these things, this will help you understand why there are the difficulties taking place in the world and in America. Some of these things are going to be very difficult to overcome. Forests that have been burned down that are 100 year-old forests, they are not going to be replaced over night. Lives that have been ruined with drugs and adultery and things like this take a long time to recover. All of those of you who have been in families where there have been drug problems, and things like that, you know it affects everyone in the family. It affects the whole community. It's not just the leaders. It's not just the ministers. God looks at everyone, everything.

Verse 10: "For the land is full of adulterers. Because of swearing, the land mourns... [not telling the truth] ...the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up... [then they are burned down with a fire] ...and their course is evil, and they wield power unjustly." Is that not explaining nearly all the governments of this world?

The prime minister of Australia is a pretty strong woman, because she said three times to all the Muslims, 'You either live by our laws and you give up Sharia Law or you leave.' I'm sure that God will bless that country because she has enough honesty to stand up and speak the truth.

I did a Church at Home about repentance and how that God would hear anyone who would repent. I explained about the governor of Georgia when they had a drought two years ago where he publicly prayed to God for the forgiveness of the sins of the people of Georgia. They were down in some places to three days of water. God heard and answered that prayer and sent the rain! In 60 days all the reservoirs were full.

In bringing things out like this, this is not just to attack and castigate those who are at fault, but it is to show the cause and to bring about what God shows is the solution. Amend your ways! All that would have to happen in Washington, D.C., for things to get turned around would be for everyone quit their lying—everyone! But they are in so deep they would indict themselves if they quit.

Can you imagine the President standing up there really telling us who he is? Where he was born, where he went to school? Who taught him? That he really had an encounter with God and that he is repenting? He is asking Congress to 'send me a bill to repeal my Obama-tax? I'm getting rid of all of my czars? I'm never going tell another lie about my opponent? I'm never going to lie to the American people again? I'm asking all of Congress to join me in repentance and we all agree to quit lying to the American people'? If that were sincere, God would honor that. So, that's the whole point in bringing these things out.

But here's the problem, v 11: "'For both prophet and priest are ungodly; yea, in My house I have found their evil,' says the LORD. 'So their way shall be to them as slippery ways in the darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall in their way; for I will bring evil on them, even the year of their judgment,' says the LORD" (vs 11-12).

Verse 16. "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you vain; they speak a vision from their own heart, not out of the mouth of the LORD. They still say to those who despise Me, "The LORD has said, 'You shall have peace!'" And they say to everyone who walks after the imagination of his own heart, "No evil shall come upon you!"'…. [fulfill your lusts; do anything you want to do] …For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD to see and hear His Word?...." (vs 16-18). Who? Very few in the world! Hopefully all of us in the Churches of God! But even some of them when you read Rev. 2 and 3 you see the difficulties they get themselves in when they invite the world's ways in.

"...Who has attended to His Word and heard it. Behold, the tempest of the LORD has gone forth in fury, a whirling tempest. It shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until He has executed and until He has performed the purposes of His heart... [Notice this sentence:] the latter days you shall understand it perfectly. 'I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if... [Because God is no respecter of persons.] ...they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings'" (vs 18-22).

God is right there ready to help. There is not a Protestant minister who could not get up in the pulpit and be honest with all of his parishioners and say, 'Brethren, we have taught lies. We're going to begin to repent by keeping the Sabbath Day. We're going to begin to repent by stop telling lies and following false doctrines. I urge everyone of you, if you're lying, if you're cheating, if you're stealing, if you're committing adultery, if you're taking drugs, if you're loaded down with alcoholism, since this whole church is changing and I'm going to lead the way,' the pastor ought to say. 'I will help you forsake those. But we must get right with God. We cannot go to God any longer and tell God: God, you get on our side because we're good people. No, we have to repent and get on God's side.'

They could do it. I don't know if a Catholic priest would be able to do it, but he could do it. That would be pretty hard, because he'd have to say, 'You know, we believed lies and we've been worshiping things instead of God. I'm going to instruct all the deacons, I know this is going to get me in trouble with the bishop, but I'm going to instruct all the deacons to take down all of the idols and crosses' remove all the candle prayers, no more fires in the candle prayers. Instead of preaching the traditions of men, we're going to teach the Word of God and we're going to start keeping the Sabbath Day.'

Wouldn't that be something? God would honor that, without a doubt! Because God says, v 23: "'Am I a God Who is near,' says the LORD, 'and not a God afar off?.... [He's close] ...Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him?' says the LORD. 'Do I not fill the heavens and earth?' says the LORD…. [Yes, with His power, with His creation.] …I have heard what the prophets said, who prophesy lies in My name, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed." How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies and who are prophets of the deceit of their own heart? They scheme to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell, each one to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal'" (vs 23-27)—the sun-god.

If there's not repentance, then He says and this is to us, brethren, as well, the second part of it, v 28: "'The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully.'…. [Brethren, that's what we endeavor to do.] …What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the LORD. 'Is not My Word like a fire?' says the LORD; 'and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" (vs 28-29).

Unless there's repentance God says, v 30: "Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets who steal My words each one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets who use their tongues and say, "He says," when I did not say.'Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams and tell them, and cause My people to go astray by their lies and by their wantonness. Yet I did not send them nor command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,' says the LORD. And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, "What is the oracle of the LORD?" You shall then say to them, "What oracle? I will even forsake you," says the LORD.'" (vs 30-33).

We're getting down to that time here in this nation. We took God into the compact of our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights—didn't we? We pledged our name, our sacred honor, and our fortunes! You pledge that and that's for the whole country, coming on down to our time now. He's going to hold us accountable!

Verse 34: "'And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, who shall say, "The oracle of the LORD," I will even punish that man and his house.'"

Let's see what we are to do in these cases. Here's the contrast. Here is what we are to do, Psalm 62:1: "Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation."

  • We are under grace!
  • We have been called to salvation!
  • God has given us His Spirit!
  • We have a fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ on a daily basis through prayer, study, meditation, and praying all the day long as we go about our day.

God is not only with us; God is in us! That is great grace. We hope that the people in Churches of God will learn that. The world isn't going to learn it.

Notice the singularity of what we are to do. Verse 2: "He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved." God will watch over you and be with you. Then you can look out at the world. If the news gets so bad, put away your six-shooter and just turn it off.

Verse 3: "How long will you imagine mischief against a man? You shall be slain, all of you; you shall be like a bowing wall and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his great height; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse…. [What do we do when we see that?] …My soul, wait in silence for God alone; for from Him comes my hope" (vs 3-5). We're the hope of the world! That's why we're going to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Verse 6: "He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be moved.... [God will give us the strength] ...In God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" (vs 6-8).

See what happens when you get your mind on God and on Christ and on the Truth and on developing the character of God. You are called to become like God.

  • the whole purpose of the New Testament
  • the whole purpose of church
  • the whole purpose of study
  • the whole purpose of prayer

is so God can put in each one of us His Divine nature. Then at the resurrection when we come back to the earth we are going to rule the world. I guess in a way that makes us subversive to the governments of this world.

Then he takes a look back at man, v 9: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; when weighed in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and do not take pride in stolen goods; if riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God. Also to You, O LORD, belongs mercy; for You give to every man according to His work" (vs 9-12).

Now let's see what else God has called us to do and to know the Truth. Let's see what's important for us, brethren. Let's see what we are to be individually and let's see what we are to be collectively.

1-Timothy 3:14: "These things I am writing to you, hoping to come to you shortly; but if I should delay, you have these things in writing, so that you may know how one is obligated to conduct oneself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the Truth" (vs 14-15). That's what needs to be found in the Churches of God—pillar and foundation of Truth. That's what God wants us to see:

  • the Truth
  • the love
  • the character

Here's what God wants us to focus on. Here has to be the purpose in our life on a daily basis, especially living in the world that we're living in and seeing the things that are going on. This is the only way that you're going to keep your sanity. Remember, there's not too much you can do to change the greater world overall today. But you are going to help change it permanently at the beginning of the Millennium when Jesus sets up the Kingdom of God and we will rule and reign with Him.

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: Grace and peace be multiplied to you..." (vs 1-2). That's what we need in our lives. In the world, lawlessness is being multiplied. In our lives, we need the grace and peace of God to be multiplied in our relationship with God, in our relationship with each other, in the things that we are doing to preach to the world, to preach to the brethren, to help them in any way we can.

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His Divine power... [Think of this! This is what you have with the Holy Spirit of God, the power of God, it is the Divine power.] ...has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness... [everything else is below that] ...through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue. Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises..." (vs 2-4).

You want something in your life? You want something great in your life? How about having the greatest and most precious promises fulfilled in your life? Yes, the world is given over to lawlessness, given over to lies, given over to deception, but when God looks down on this earth, can He see that

  • we love Him?
  • we want Him?
  • we want His ways?

What is He going to give back to us? "...that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature..." (v 4).

  • No more human nature—Godly nature!
  • No more sin—righteousness!
  • No more self deception—always Truth!

"...having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence besides, add to your faith..." (vs 4-5). Here is what we are to be busy doing day in and day out, everything that we set our hearts and mind on to do:

  • Yes, we keep the Sabbath
  • Yes, we keep the Holy Days
  • Yes, we keep the commandments of God

But the love of God is the greatest! The love of God is the most important! The Divine power of God gives us the ability to grow in grace and knowledge and this way described by Peter.

"...add to your faith, virtue... [virtue is good behavior] ...and to virtue, knowledge... [all of this comes from God through His Spirit] ...and to knowledge, self-control..." (vs 5-6). God doesn't want ministers ruling over you, He wants Christ ruling over you that you govern yourself

  • with God's Spirit
  • with God's laws
  • with God's Word within you

and you develop the self-control.

"...and to self-control, endurance... [that's what it's going to take in this wicked world] ...and to endurance, Godliness; and to Godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God" (vs 6-7). All of these things build. What we need to become in our daily lives is what we just read here. That's the only way we're going to solve the problems of the world.

Here's a promise. If you have any doubt, if you have any wavering. If you have things that you don't know whether this is going to work or not, you get on your knees, you open your Bible right here, you read this and claim this promise:

Verse 8: "For if these things exist and abound in you, they will cause you to be neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the one in whom these things are not present is spiritually blind—so short-sighted that he has forgotten that he was purified from his old sins. For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time. For in this way, you will be richly granted an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" (vs 8-11).

Living in a lawless world, where lawlessness is multiplied, let these things be in us and let them be multiplied!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 24:10-12
  • Romans 6:14
  • Romans 7:1
  • Romans 3:19
  • Romans 6:14
  • Proverbs 31:1-5
  • Revelation 17:1-5
  • Isaiah 5:7-8, 11, 18-24
  • Isaiah 10:1-4
  • Isaiah 59:1-2
  • Jeremiah 7:1-11
  • Jeremiah 23:1-2, 9-12, 16-34
  • Psalm 62:1-12
  • 1-Timothy 3:14-15
  • 2-Peter 1:1-11

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 10
  • Revelation 12:9; 17:15; 2; 3
  • John 8

Also referenced: Book:

Judaism: A Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men? by Philip Neal

Transcribed: 7-24-12
Formatted: bo—7/25/12

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