The Jealousy/Zealousness of God

Fred R. Coulter

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Just one verse in review—Isa. 57:15—which tells us an awful lot about God and His character and intentions. In part of what we're going to cover today about the jealousy of God, or the jealous God, having to do with God's character and Holiness. I think that too many times we think of a human thing of jealousy, which then has a very evil connotation. But it doesn't have that at all with God!

Isaiah 57:15: "For thus says the high and lofty One Who inhabits eternity…" That's quite an interesting phrase. His level of living and existence is eternal! It is a plane and level of living, of thinking, of calculating time. Remember the Scripture that says, 'A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day'? What it's really telling us is that time to God is not relevant as it is in relationship to human beings.

All the prophecies that we have in relationship to time have to do with God laying it out for us so that we have an idea of the time involved because of our frailties as human beings. It's awfully hard for us to understand living in eternity. In other words, a level of living that continuously goes on.

Keep in mind that that's the promise that God is giving to us, that we will live as God with God! We are going to inhabit eternity with God. We'll see here that there's also a connection with that with us, because God also has other plans and things concerning us.

"…Whose name is Holy…" (v 15). There is no one else whose name is Holy. That's why when you have things like 'the holy right reverend'… When I was a kid I often wondered why there was not a 'left' reverend; or the 'holy bishop' or 'holy father.' If you get out a Catholic book and you read all the names of the pope, he is:

  • the holy father
  • the apostle of the apostles
  • the vicar of Christ

We're so removed from that sort of thing by studying God's Word that it seems strange, it seems weird to us to hear people using that kind of thing.

Only God's name is Holy, and only God is Reverend!

"…'I dwell in the high and Holy place, even with the one who is of a contrite and humble spirit…'" (v 15). That' shows what God is interested in. I gave a sermon once called The Humility of God, that:

  • even though God is eternal
  • even though He is all powerful
  • even though He is Holy

God is also humble. That's why God dwells with someone who is of a humble and contrite spirit. One thing that is so very important in understanding about the Holiness of God: the more you understand about

  • the Holiness of God
  • the love of God
  • the power of God

What happens to you and your relationship with God? You become more humble! You understand the vastness, the magnitude and the great character of God. I think that's also part of God's Spirit coming back to us and so forth.

"…to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (v 15).

Let's look at some more of the things concerning the Holiness of God and some of the power of God related to that. We're going to see that God is called the Holy One of Israel all the way through here in certain sections of Isaiah and other parts that we'll get to.

Isaiah 40:25: "To whom then will you compare Me, or who is My equal?' says the Holy One."

If you read this in context and then begin to analyze the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees toward Jesus, then you will see why they generated so much hatred toward Jesus.

I'm re-reading this book by Samuele Bacchiocchi—From Sabbath to Sunday—about the hatred of the Jews toward the Christians that created the problem of Sabbath and Sunday.

Verse 26: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, Who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number? …"

The heavens, the earth, all the stars; counts them by number. That must be an awesome and fantastic thing to live on the level of God! Every time I look at anything to do with astronomy, especially with Halley's Comet, and that's just one teeny, little thing of God. It would be like one little cell of our body, just hardly nothing to it at all, yet, it is a great and fantastic thing.

"…He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one fails" (v 26).

This can help us with our faith, humility and drawing close to God. When we go through all of these things, I just want you to think what a terrible situation that it develops into in a church where you have people striving against each other, hurting each other and combating each other. What a terrible thing it is, and it's all done in the name of Christ. Look at the Crusades that were done in the name of Christ by the popes. Then all of the hate that comes back in the name of Allah by Mohammedans.

Then when you get down to the Church of God and having gone through the things that we have, I think on this an awful lot: What a terrible thing that that is, that that happens among brethren? It really is! It's a shame! What we ought to do is draw closer to God

  • in His power
  • in His Holiness
  • in His goodness
  • in His mercy
  • in His love

This will help all of us a whole lot better. That's why we call this 'The No Hassle Church.' We don't want any hassles; we're just not going to put up with any. It's been very peaceful and nice; I don't think you've seen me exert over-lording authority over anybody. Have I done anything to anybody? Of course not! Have I come and jumped down your throat and say do this, that and the other thing? No! Why? Because I hope that we've learned the lesson out of suffering with the people of God and with the way we treat each other! Those things just have no room at all.

Go back to 3-John where they had the knock down drag out in the pulpit, where Demetrius got up there and kicked out Gaius and was prating back and forth in vanity. Nonsense! Then reading this book of the hatred of the Jews toward the Christians and the Christians toward the Jews, and all the things that were going on, it just breaks your heart the things that people have done in the name of Christ.

But what we need to do is look here and look to God, Isaiah 41:10: "Do not fear; for I am with you…" That is true! I think that in everything that we've gone through, there isn't a time we cannot say that God was not with us. Not to say that God wasn't with them and get the 'us' and 'them' kind of syndrome. I don't want to get it that way. But God has never failed us, even though we've been frustrated and discouraged. God has never left us to fall through. He's always been there to help us.

"…be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will strengthen you…" (v 10). That's where our strength is going to come from, physically and spiritually.

We start reading articles like TB is making a comeback, and all these other diseases and things coming along; our strength and salvation is in God! I think that we don't realize the tremendous blessing that God gives us, because we eat the clean foods and don't eat the unclean foods.

There's a tremendous blessing for it. Even I have become a label-reader. Watch out for hotdog and hamburger buns. I tell you, it's something else. I asked the store clerk about that and he could care less. He says, 'That's what the bakery does.' I said, 'What if I don't eat what the bakery fixes? What if I don't want any lard or animal fat in the food that I eat?' He just kind of shrugged his shoulders and ignored me, and I just put the package back and picked up another and finally got some sourdough buns, no lard!

  • Our strength has to rely on the things that please God!
  • Our strength has to rely on God's strength!

I tell you what, when you look at some of these things that take place, what is puny man to stand against God? Man is just nothing! 'All the inhabits of the earth are like grasshoppers' (Isa. 40:22).

Just to show you an example of how puny we really are: We had this storm come up and the wind is blowing. We got up in the morning and one of the trees out front lying down. I got out there to try and put that thing up, and the wind was blowing and it was all I could do to hold that thing up and drive in a stake so I could get the tree up. I couldn't do it, so I finally ended up holding it with the top of my head and leaning into it as hard as I could. I must have looked stupid out there.

I thought as I was doing that, when God says that He's going to cause the wind to blow, human beings don't stand a chance. Then you see all these great gargantuan 'intelligencia' who don't believe in God. Terrible!

  • God is going to be with us!
  • God will help us!

"…yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness" (v 10). You might want to key that into some of the things that we have with the righteousness of God; that we're justified with the righteousness of God. I want to rely on the righteousness of God! What can we do, as human beings that is truly, really, absolutely purely righteous? We can't! But Christ in us can! That's going to be the key!

Verse 13: "For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'" When the time comes, when God reaches down to save the Jews, that is going to be an absolutely wonderful time for them. They have been the most beat up, picked on people down through history.

God said that that's the way it would be with them. He would make them a derision, few in number, and they would eat their bread in scarcity, scattered among the Gentiles.

Verse 14: "Do not fear, you worm Jacob and men of Israel…" How much is a worm worth? Next time you have kill some ant because they're coming into the kitchen, that's about all we are before the power of God!

"'…I will help you,' says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel" (v 14). We're going to see the Holy One of Israel; that's really kind of theme through this section of Isaiah. These are very inspiring and uplifting chapters.

Isaiah 43:3: "For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… [then He reminded them what He did for them]: …I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you. Since you are precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore, I will give men for you, and people for your life" (vs 3-4).

That has been a truism down through history. God has done that. There was a story on the true Rambo, about a man in Vietnam whose name was Rambo, his last name. They ran a report on this man and his family. It was really very touching. It was a family in Montana.

In viewing it, I can see why God loved Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh—because of the ingrained attitude of these people. They came from a nice small town near Helena, MT; a good average American family. He was going to college and married his sweetheart and they had baby girl who was about a year old. When he left for Vietnam his wife was pregnant when he left and he never saw her, and he wrote love letters to her. Very touching!

When the reporter asked: Do you think of it often? (She had since remarried). She said she thinks of it everyday! 'But I resolved that that's the way that life is. I'm not angry and bitter, and I'm glad that he was able to fight for America.'

When he left he said, 'I'm not going to be a hero.' He ended up dying in the war over there. Then it showed the mother and father and the grandchildren.

It show that how the strength of character that these people had, they were able to suffer thought that and endure that in some ungodly war in a faraway country. Some man gets conscripted and goes over and gives his life. And yet, here was this wonderful family was able to have the tenderness, the kindness and, yet, the understanding and stability that comes with, I think, of the stock of people of Ephraim and Manasseh that you don't find in other people that way.

It really touched me to see that and to see the attitude that they had. It was really quite a thing. God does give people for His people!

Verse 5: "'Fear not; for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give up'; and to the south, 'Do not keep back'; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth; even everyone who is called by My name; for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him" (vs 5-7).

Verse 8: "Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears. Let all the nations be brought together, and let the people be gathered; who among them can declare this and show us the former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, 'It is Truth.'" (vs 8-9).

Verse 10: "'You are My witnesses,' says the LORD, 'and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore, you are My witnesses,' says the LORD, 'that I am God. Yea, before the day was, I am He; and no one delivers out of My hand; I will work, and who can reverse it?' Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, 'For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all of them as fugitives, and the Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King'" (vs 10-15).

Those are pretty powerful and moving words! If we approach God in prayer, realizing how absolutely great, marvelous and Holy that God is, that's going to do an awful lot in our lives to help us have that humble and contrite attitude that God wants us to have.

Leviticus 19:2: "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be Holy…'" That's quite a thing!

  • How do we be Holy?
  • How is it that God makes something Holy?

We are called 'Holy brethren.' That's very important for us to understand.

  • Why is that we're Holy?
  • Does it mean that we become exclusive?
  • Does it mean that we become snooty?
  • No!

It's because of God's Spirit and He is the One Who has done it. He's given us of His Spirit! That's quite an awesome thing to think of. When you really think of that, this God Who is so great, Holy, marvelous and wonderful has reached down and called us! He's given of His Spirit to us! And He calls us 'Holy brethren.'

Verse 2: "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be Holy, for I the LORD your God am Holy.'" Then He shows how to be Holy. Be Holy in all form of conduct; let it be guided by the Holy commandments of God, the Holy Spirit of God. That's how to do it.

Verse 18—New Testament doctrine: "You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." Quite an interesting section here in Lev. Whenever God wants to emphasize something He says, 'I am the Lord.'The word 'LORD' is translated from the Hebrew Yahweh, which mean the Eternal One!

I could just as well read that: I AM the Eternal! It isn't necessary because God is God and He is what He is and it's not wrong to call Him Lord.

  • Lev. 18—sex laws
  • Lev. 19-20—common laws and how to get along with people and each other, and all of the penalties for breaking the sex laws

Leviticus 21:8—the reason why all of this is done: "And you shall sanctify him… [concerning the priest; having to do with the conduct of the priest] …for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be Holy to you, for I the LORD Who sanctifies you, am Holy."

That shows the Holiness of God more than anything else. I think that we need to realize that the whole life of Jesus Christ really is a testimony to the humility of God.

It's really very interesting when you go through and study the Bible. Wherever there's some correction, then you always find the mitigating circumstances of mercy. Remember, we read the Scripture 'in wrath remember mercy.' There's always that mitigating thing that comes along.

Right here in one of the most unholy things ever taking place—the crucifixion of Christ—and the prophecy of it: Psalm 22:1: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me…" These were the actual words of Christ while He was on the cross being crucified.

"…and why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not answer; and in the night season, and am not silent. Yet, You are Holy, O You enthroned upon the praises of Israel" (vs 1-3).

Notice how we could say that in David's going through and prophesying this Psalm and whatever experience there was in his life that he was doing this. Even in the very depths of his despair he remembered that God was Holy. He remembered that God was the One Who was over all.

This is one of 'the Lord reigns' Psalms, one of the Millennial Psalms: Psalm 99:3: "Let them praise Your name as great and awesome; Holy is He."

Whenever you read in the Old Testament (KJV) terrible when it refers to God, it means awesome. It doesn't mean terrible in the sense of something that is awful. When we think of the word terrible today, it doesn't have the same meaning. 'Terrible' is bad, no good, rotten. But in the Old Testament it mean awesome. That God is awesome!

Of course, there's the whole thing concerning the sacred namers. They like to use the sacred names. But God has brought us into a much more Holy relationship than the formal relationship of worship under the Old Covenant.

Verse 4: "The strength of the King also loves justice; You established uprightness; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool, for He is Holy" (vs 4-5).

We also know that Jesus was Holy! Since we're talking about the Holy name of God, let's go to the New Testament and inject two things. John 17 shows what name we are kept in, according to the prayer of Jesus Christ.

John 17:11: "And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as We are one."

That is a profound statement! I don't think we really grasp the significance of some of these statements and what it really means until we grasp the significance of the Holiness and the might of God. God has given us permission to do certain things.

If we look at it from a master/slave point of view… You can probably recall some of these advertisements: Schweppes Tonic and he's carrying the tonic and saying 'Yes, sir, my lord, my master' and all that sort of thing. In that kind of relationship between a servant and a master, the servant never, never calls the master by his first name. Think about that for a minute.

Let's look at it another way: Do you think that a buck private could walk into a general's office—supposed that his name was 'Jim.'—and say, 'Hi, Jimmy'? No way!

Think about the greatest Being in the universe. We're kept in His name! Preserved in His name! What are we allowed to call Him? It's really one of the most sacred relationships we can be in! There is nothing more sacred than a family relationship: father, mother, children.

Why is that so sacred? I mean, it's mundane in one way; all the things that we have to go through to rear our children and everything. In one way it's very mundane. It's like at Thanksgiving, you sit down, the family is around, you all hold hands and ask the blessing, recall all your blessings and everything, then when you're done with the meal there's the dishes! It's mundane!

But there's nothing more sacred than that family! That family is all part of everyone else in that family, literally through their genes and chromosomes. They're all part of that one family. Remember what it says about husband and wife? A man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife that they, too, shall become one flesh!

Part of that is the offspring that they have. Our children call us 'mommy' and 'daddy.' That seems rather mundane, but there is really no one on else on earth that they are entitled to use that name to, in exactly the same way, because no one else is truly their mother and father.

Now, they may be adopted and there may be a special relationship that way, but I'm talking about the true situation where people have their own children, they're their own flesh and blood and so forth. No one else can call them mother and father or mommy and daddy.

So, when we pray to God, notice what we are to do, Matthew 6:9: "Therefore, you are to pray after this manner: 'Our Father…'" We can call God our Father! That's a tremendous and special privilege. That's a sacred and Holy thing! For us that's the only Holy name we need. Our relationship with God is made Holy because of His Spirit. We are now the children of God!

"…'Our Father. Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name'" (v 9). In the light of this, perhaps maybe you can understand why Jesus said, 'Call no man on earth your father.' That is in the religious sense. Maybe you can understand in a spiritual sense the blaspheme of those men who claim to be priests of God who must be addressed as 'father.' They are taking a name of God.

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God…. [the children, the offspring of God] …Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father'" (vs 14-15). Abba literally means Daddy!

If we put that together with what it says, 'I am the Eternal, the Lord God Who inhabits eternity, and I dwell in the lofty and high places, but also with the one who is of 'a humble and contrite spirit' to where they then can call God 'Father' or 'Daddy.'

When you have time, and there's nothing else—no TV, radio, no one around—just sit down and meditate on that. Really think about the wonderful privilege that God the Father gives us. That is truly awesome!

Now let's talk about the jealousy of God, or God Who is jealous, and why that word is used in the King James is that when this was translated into the English, during the time of the King James era, jealous had to do more with being zealous, or jealous because something was wrong. Like there's nothing worse than a jealous wife. That is if her husband steps out with another woman, and she is jealous for a right cause. That is what the word originally meant in the sense of 'jealous.' Jealous that something was wrong was done to break something that was right and good.

It also has the meaning of zealous, which comes form the same root word. So, when we read: Exodus 20:5: "You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them… [any graven image or any likeness anywhere] …for I, the LORD your God am a jealous God…" This is part of God's Holiness, and being jealous or zealous.

If God is God, which He is, and there is none else, which there aren't, then God seeing people misled by the devil in worshiping idols, statues, demons and people, that's why God's jealousy burns! It talks about His jealousy burns like a fire!

What a horrible thing to have something that is not a god be made out as a god.

"…visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments" (vs 5-6).

I think that God does a lot of things for our children and relatives because we keep the commandments of God. I'm sure He does, because God means what He says.

We will see how Exo. 34 ties right in with what I just mentioned; I want to cover quite a few verses so we get the whole overall thrust of what is being said.

Exodus 34:5: "And the LORD came down in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth'" (vs 5-6). This is right have He got angry because all the people were down there circling around the golden calves that they had made.

Verse 7: "'Keeping mercy to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty… [give space to the guilty when there's no repentance] …visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, to the third and to the fourth generation.' And Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. And he said, 'If now I have found grace in Your sight…" (vs 7-9). Notice how we're going to tie together quite a few things altogether:

  • the love of God
  • the mercy of God'
  • the greatness of God
  • the power of God
  • the glory of God
  • the Holiness of God

Here we have the grace of God: "'…O LORD, I pray You, let my LORD go among us, although it is a stiff-necked people. And pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Your inheritance.' "And He said, 'Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation. And all the people in whose midst you are shall see the work of the LORD, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. Observe that which I command you this day. Behold, I drive out before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite'" (vs 9-11).

God says He's going to drive them out! And He says that He's going to do so in unmitigating ways! Once God says He's going to do something… Of course, the traditional thing is 'Who gives them the right to do it? They're not perfect.' Why should God have the Israelites drive out all these people? The Israelites were not perfect, but God said He would do it.

Then He says, v 12: "Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the people of the land where you go, lest it be for a snare in the midst of you. But their altars you shall destroy, their images you shall break, and their groves you shall cut down, for you shall worship no other god; for the LORD, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (vs 12-14). There's another name for God: Jealous/Zealous! That's quite a sweeping thing to do!

Verse 15: "Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice to their gods, and call you, and you eat of his sacrifice; and lest you take from their daughters for your sons, and their daughters go whoring after their gods and make your sons go whoring after their gods" (vs 15-16).

Quite a thing where you come from this tremendous vision of God in His glory, proclaiming His mercy, kindness, forbearance and so forth, and then coming down to a point where He says that He is a jealous God! It's really quite a moving thing.

Think about our covenant in relationship to God. You can take this and draw some spiritual analogies.

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Deut. 4—He says virtually the same thing here about not corrupting yourself with images and so forth:

Deuteronomy 4:24: "For the LORD your God is a consuming fire… [this goes back to Heb. 12:29] …a jealous… [or zealous] …God." There are certain things we can do to be zealous. That's why we also need to be zealous.

Num. 25 is an example showing that the Israelites did just exactly what God told them not to do. Don't give your sons and daughters and so forth, and don't get involved with their gods.

Numbers 25:1: "And Israel dwelt in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods. And the people ate and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself to Baal Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel" (vs 1-3). He just told them not to do it!

And that's the way so many of these things are done. 'Oh well, there's nothing to it; we're having a good time.' Catfish and crawdads are all the rage and if you're invited out and you don't eat that. 'What's the matter with you? We're just having fun. Nothing wrong with it.' That's what they did here.

Then God decided what He was going to do, v 4: And the LORD said to Moses, 'Take all the heads of the people and impale them before the LORD facing the sun, so that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.' And Moses said to the judges of Israel, 'Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal Peor'" (vs 4-5).

  • Why was God so absolutely angry at this point? Because He just saved them from Balak and Balaam!
  • What was it that Balaam could not do? He couldn't curse! He had to bless!

Even old Balak, after he gave Balaam all the money, said, 'What's the matter with you; every time you go up there you bless, I hired you to curse!' Balaam said, 'I can only do what the Lord let's me do.' What was the advice that Balaam gave Balak? Get all the women out here and cause them to commit fornication and God will have to bring upon them, because I can't curse them! God had really had it at this point!

Verse 6: "And behold, a man of the children of Israel came and brought to his brethren a woman of Midian, in the sight of Moses…" You talk about gall, gumption, audacity, just flaunting sin!

"…and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation" (v 6). Not all Israel was involved in it. But the penalty was brought upon everyone.

Verse 7: "And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation… [all the rest just stood there weeping and looking at it, and watching] …and took a spear in his hand. And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman, through her belly. So, the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty-four thousand. And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned My wrath away from the children of Israel in that he was zealous… [very close word to jealous] …for My sake among them, so that I did not destroy the children of Israel in My jealousy'" (vs 7-11).

Verse 12: Therefore, say, 'Behold, I give him My covenant of peace. And he shall have it, and his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood because he was zealous for his God and made an atonement for the children of Israel'" (vs 12-13).

Tremendous actions to take! It is true, the Old Testament is blood, guts and gore. But the world out there is blood, guts and gore; it really is. God will look to anyone who will serve Him.

We know there are other places in the New Testament talking about the zeal of God and so forth. There are quite a few places where it talks about 'the zeal of the Lord of hosts, the 'zeal of the Lord of hosts will do it.'

John 2 is a direct reference with Christ when He came and cleaned out the temple, pretty much the same attitude. Here Christ comes to the Passover:

John 2:13: "Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money exchangers sitting there" (vs 13-14).

There were supposed to have those there because of the sacrifices. But what did they do? They made it a 'house of merchandise.' They were more concerned about the price rising and falling on the exchange of monies that the people would bring in, because you could not buy a sacrifice unless you had temple money. So, the 'changers of money' would come in and they would obviously discount what they would give in the change of money; pretty much what we would call foreign exchange today. If you brought your money in you would expect a fair exchange.

I'm sure that they had many other practices that should not have been. But anyway, Jesus comes into this temple, and remember that God's plan was that this should be 'a house of prayer' for all nations. In other words, this was not just Jesus being angry in the minute because of what He saw there. It was the whole purpose of the temple in Jerusalem was to be 'a house of prayer' for all nations. One of the things that was a terrible failure on the part of Israel was that instead of teaching the true way of God to nations, they became victims of the other nations and their religions. Israel was a total failure! The Jews were a failure!

Here they are with all this going on and Jesus comes into the temple, v 15: "And after making a scourge of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with both the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money exchangers, and overturned the tables. And to those who were selling the doves, He said, 'Take these things out of here! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise.' Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'The zeal of Your house has eaten Me up'" (vs 15-17).

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do it! God is going to accomplish what He's going to do with His zeal. Isa. 9 talks about the prophecy of Christ and His birth, and the Kingdom of God. Don't ever doubt for one minute that the Kingdom of God is coming. It won't be when we thing, but it's coming! God said it's going to come and it will come!

Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." (vs 6-7).

That's about at much guarantee as you need. That's why God said in swearing by Himself, He didn't need to swear by Himself, His word was good enough. But He swore by Himself!

Let's look at some of the things that God has made Holy. Let's recall going back to the first part of the book of Exodus; remember the burning bush? The incident with Moses and the burning bush? Where God told Moses that the ground upon which he stood is Holy?

There are certain things that God makes Holy. The first thing that He made Holy—and it was with His presence—was the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath Day was made Holy by the presence of God!

Let's reinforce our memory on it. Just about the time I think I know a Scripture and I go back and read it, there's something more to learn.

Genesis 2:1: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them." That must have been a marvelous day! Think about a marvelous day, where you could be on the top of some mountain someplace and look out and see the earth and all the tremendous things that God had just created: the sky, clouds, trees and all the animals. No smog, no cars, no noise except the sound of God's creation. It must have been marvelous!

Verse 2: "And by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work, which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made." God didn't need to rest; God was not exhausted and tired. But God rested to show that He puts His presence in the Sabbath Day.

I think that's what we really need to understand about the Sabbath and why it is Holy. It is Holy because God puts His presence in that day! Of course, it is for those who accept the presence of God. God doesn't have His presence over here with all the business dealings going on, you can be assured of that! He only puts His presence in that day where those who also put their presence in the presence of God. But He originally intended it for all mankind.

Verse 3: "And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified… [made Holy; He made it Holy] …it because on it He rested from all His work, which God had created and made."

You probably recall some of the things that took place in the account of Exo. 16. this is where God once again re-revealed the Sabbath Day to the children of Israel. I won't go through the whole account of it, but:

Exodus 16:23: "And he said to them, 'This is that which the LORD has said, "Tomorrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath to the LORD…."'" God makes it Holy by putting His presence in it; by setting it aside.

Isa. 58 talks about the Holy Sabbath again. As human beings we get into a routine, 'It's the Sabbath, let's go to church.' That's true, we need to, nothing wrong with saying that. But I think we need to just step back every once in a while and just realize why God made this the Holy Sabbath. It is the Holy Sabbath of God! It belongs to Him!

Isaiah 58:13: "If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath…" It shows that there's a reciprocal understanding in keeping the Sabbath.

If a person is truly sincere, but not convince concerning the Sabbath, I always suggest to them to take one month, observe the Sabbath for a month, and on each Sabbath study about the Sabbath. At the end of the month I'm sure that you'll understand why you need to keep the Sabbath. A person has to do something in relationship to the Sabbath in order to understand it, and in order to derive from it what we need to derive out of the Sabbath.

"If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath…" Why does He use 'foot'? How can you walk on the Sabbath? You don't put a calendar down and walk on—do you? No! God's way is called a way of life in which we walk. If we walk in a way that is contrary to that, we are putting our feet in another way. Part of that other way would be to trample the Sabbath.

That's why He says, "If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath, from doing your own desires on My Holy day…" (v 13). It involves more than just work or business. It involves other things that are our pleasures, our will, our things that we do. We all have to make judgments on that. That doesn't mean to make the Sabbath a burden. The Sabbath should be a delight! It should have pleasant things that we do on the Sabbath.

"…and call the Sabbath a delight, the Holy of the LORD…" (v 13) He uses the term 'Holy" twice. What God has made Holy let no man call 'common or unclean.' That has been applied to people. Does that also apply to the Sabbath? Sure it does! What God has made Holy man doesn't have a right to come along and say, 'Because the behavior of the Jews is so unholy, therefore, we're going to keep another day.' That's literally what happened in Christianity. Today it's the other way around. There's so many people keeping Sunday that we leave that to keep the Sabbath. Then it was the opposite.

"…honorable… [it's the thing to do; it is right, proper, good] …and shall honor Him…" (v 13). That's what we should do on the Sabbath. How do you honor God?

  • in your mind
  • in your life
  • in what you do

In the New Testament, because of the circumstances, God allows us more physical activity to accomplish a spiritual goal. He will allow us to travel on the Sabbath to accomplish the spiritual goal of assembling together and learning from God's Word.

During the Millennium, that won't be allowed because there will be a church literally on every corner. They won't have to go very far. They won't have to worry about a Sabbath Day's journey. When you get out there and clatter around among all the cars and traffic, I'm going to look forward to kind of Sabbath, that's going to be a great Sabbath, it really will. Get up at ten in the morning, you're rested, you've had a nice evening studying God's Word the evening before. You don't have to pile into a car and drive 150 miles to get to where you're going to go.

You can just take a leisurely walk with the rest of your neighbors who will all be keeping the Sabbath, and it won't be thought of any strange thing. You'll all love one another and you'll have great neighborhoods and communities. Won't that be fantastic? Completely different from what we have now. No more Friday night debauches like around our place.

"…not doing your own ways, nor pursuing your own desires, nor speaking your own words" (v 13). In other words, just caring on as an ordinary day. Notice all the things this is predicated on:

  • IF (v 13
  • THEN (v 14)

Verse 14: "Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD…"—which means you'll understand. There are people who don't keep the Sabbath the way it should be kept. Do they delight themselves in God? No, they don't! God is burden! God is a chore!

"…and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it" (v 14).

That puts a whole different light on the Sabbath—doesn't it? It really does! In reading this book that Samuele Bacchiocchi wrote about the hatred of the Christians toward the Jews and the Jews toward the Christians, and how Satan is just dividing and conquering, and destroy the Sabbath on one hand and destroy people's faith on the other hand. I hate to tell you, it's terrible. Then you read how it should be.

Ezek. 22 applies not only to the priests of Israel at that time, but also applies to the priests of religion today who claim to be religious to God.

Ezekiel 22:25: "There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst…" What there a conspiracy to do away with the Sabbath? Yes! To do away with the other things? Yes! It's true that you either look at from a Catholic conspiracy to do it, a satanic conspiracy, however you want to look at, it fits either way.

"…like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst" (v 25). That's sure true! You go down through time in history, and the religionists have done that. Just go into these temples and look at all the riches and wealth there.

Verse 26: "Her priests have done violence to My Law and have profaned My Holy things. They have put no difference between the Holy and the profane, and have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them."

Isn't that true? God is profaned in society today! Not only in word, but in deed, because people do not know God. They ridicule the Word of God as inconsequential, something that was written by strange and weird people.

'It isn't for us today, because, after all, today we're modern and don't need those things.' That sure fits—doesn't it? Profaned among them!

Verse 8: "You have despised My Holy things, and have profaned My Sabbaths."

Ezekiel 20:10: "And I caused them to go out from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them My statutes and showed them My ordinances, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. And also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies them" (vs 10-12).

Quite a wonderful thing that God did! When some of the early Catholics wrote, they wrote that God gave the Sabbath to the Jews as a special sign of their sin. Talk about twisting it around! It's absolutely crazy! They just poured it on the Jews and the Catholics said that God gave those things as a curse!

I never realized where that came from, but I heard it when I was out talking to people about the Sabbath. They would say, 'That's a curse! The Sabbath is a curse! I was never in any of that as a child growing up, so that was a surprise to me. I couldn't understand, but now I understand. They really did a number—Satan did a number—on the Sabbath and Holy Days! He really did it!

Satan doesn't do these things all at once. He does it a bit at a time, a step at a time. What is the greatest advantage that Satan has in bringing these things about: there is a new generation and that there are new people with new ideas. So, get them and get the new ideas into them and stamp out all the old stuff. That is true! And he used it! "…that they might know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies them."

Verse 13: "But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes, and they despised My ordinances, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. And they greatly polluted My Sabbaths…."

When the Israelites crossed the River Jordan they had a great circumcision party. That's because in the wilderness it was virtually only Moses, Aaron and the priests, and a few of the people.
It says that they followed there own God in all the wilderness (Amos 5:25). They worshipped Molech in the wilderness! "…they greatly polluted My Sabbaths…."

"…And I said, 'I will pour out My fury on them in the wilderness to destroy them.' But I worked for My name's sake, so that it should not be profaned before the heathen in whose sight I brought them out. And also I lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, and swore that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them—flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands—because they despised My judgments and walked not in My statutes; and they polluted My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless, My eye spared them—from destroying them; nor did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols'" (vs 13-18). He told them not to do that!

Verse 19: "I am the LORD your God. Walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and do them, and keep My Sabbaths Holy…" (vs 19-20). There it is plural; it means all the Sabbaths of God.

How could they do that? I don't know! People's hearts become hardened! It tell you, it's something! It's an historical fact that they worshipped Molech in the wilderness. I think having the Spirit of God our hearts have been what the New Testament calls circumcised, so we don't have that hardness of heart. There are some people who just have that hardness of heart that it is absolutely incredible.

"…and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God" (v 20). You'd think that anyone would consider it to be to their advantage to know God!

Verse 21: "But the children rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes, nor keep My ordinances to do them—the ordinances which, if a man do, he shall even live in them. And they polluted My Sabbaths, and I said, I would pour out My fury on them, to fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness. Nevertheless, I withdrew My hand and worked for My name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the eyes of the heathen, in whose eyes I brought them out. I also lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, swearing that I would scatter them among the heathen and scatter them throughout the lands, because they had not done My ordinances, but had despised My statutes and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. Wherefore, I also gave them over to their own statutes…" (vs 21-25).

In other words, after all this work on them, showing them His statutes, judgments, which were clean and fine; read Psa. 119. He gave them over to their own devices! He just gave up on them!

Verse 25: "Wherefore, I also gave them over to their own statutes that were not good, and their own ordinances by which they could not live." Obviously, those are not God's judgments and statutes He's talking about, because they were so that a man could live in them.

Verse 26: "And I defiled them in their own gifts, in that they caused all that opened the womb to pass through the fire, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD." There comes a time that you can learn about God either through suffering because you reject Him, or through keeping God's ways and loving Him. There are two ways to know God!

Let's just stop and ask and look at the Jews today, and the religion of Judaism: Have they been given over to statutes and judgments whereby they can't live in them? Absolutely, they have been!

What about all the things that we have with Catholicism? Are there statutes and judgments and ridiculous things there where by they can't live in them? Yes! Just take any other religion, that is true. God is no respecter of persons. To Jew or Israelite first, then the Gentiles. So, they polluted the Sabbaths.

Now we're talking about the angels of God are called 'Holy angels.'

  • Why are they Holy?
  • because God created them
  • because they do the will of God
  • Are there unholy angels? Yes!
  • Were they once Holy? Yes!
    • Because God created them!

Mark 8:38: "Or whoever shall be ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation…" If that was adulterous and sinful then, what on earth is it today? We should not be ashamed of God, of Christ at all in anything that we do. We don't have to go around and flaunt our religion before others and beat them up with our religion. But we should always stand for that which is right, and stand for that which Christ stands for.

"…of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the Holy angels" (v 38).

You have something that is Holy because God makes it Holy, or declares it Holy, such as a priest who is Holy and God made Holy for the job and sanctified. It's the same way with the Prophets of God.

2-Peter 1:16: "For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory."

  • Do you think Peter would write anything that wouldn't be true?
  • Do you think that God would allow him to do it?

Theoretically, God could take a total liar and make him tell the truth. He did that with Balaam. Balaam came to curse, but couldn't do it. He had to bless. You can have great confidence in the Word of God. We don't have to worry about it. God allowed just a few little things here and there, nothing disastrous to be mistranslated. He did that so men would have an excuse. Don't men have an excuse? Oh, that's not perfect so I won't except it! You have to have faith!

Verse 17: "Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.'" That has a little more emphasis and meaning.

Verse 18: "And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain"—because the presence of God was there.

Verse 19: "We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God… [there you have the Holy men of God or the Holy prophets] …spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs 19-21).

That's what makes something Holy, the Spirit of God and the purpose in carrying out those things.

I'll just leave you with this in preparation for part four. We've read this an awful lot during the Feast of Tabernacles, and I want you to think about this in relationship to the sermons that we've had on the Holiness of God.

Revelation 20:6: "Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

"Blessed and Holy…" is really quite a statement! Brethren, that's what God is holding out for us. That's really something!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 57:15
  • Isaiah 40:25-26
  • Isaiah 41:10, 13-14
  • Isaiah 43:3-15
  • Leviticus 19:2, 18
  • Leviticus 21:8
  • Psalm 22:1-3
  • Psalm 99:3-5
  • John 17:11
  • Matthew 6:9
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • Exodus 20:5-6
  • Exodus 34:5-16
  • Deuteronomy 4:24
  • Numbers 25:1-13
  • John 2:13-17
  • Isaiah 9:6
  • Genesis 2:1-3
  • Exodus 16:23
  • Isaiah 58:13-14
  • Ezekiel 22:25-26, 8
  • Ezekiel 20:10-26
  • Mark 8:38
  • 2 Peter 1:16-21
  • Revelation 20:6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 3 John
  • Isaiah 40:22
  • Leviticus 18-20
  • Hebrews 12:29
  • Amos 5:25
  • Psalm 119

Also referenced: Book:—From Sabbath to Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi (PDF: friendsofsabbath.org)

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 4/12/16

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