Fred R. Coulter—August 21, 2010

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services. A couple of Sabbaths ago I mentioned that it would be really helpful to have all the verses with 'IF' that are in the Bible, all put together in one package, and capitalize and bold the 'IFs.' So I came in on I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday and Harry Curley sent it to me. There are 1500 'IFs.'

So I am in the process of categorizing them. And if I get done, we may print something out on it. In starting out on it I was absolutely dumbfounded over one Scripture that I have read hundreds of times. You know how it is, you read a Scripture, you read a Scripture, and sometimes you get a little bit more; sometimes you don't get anything. You read it again, all of a sudden—bingo! That's what happened with the 'IF Bible'; so I thank Harry Curley for doing it and sending it to me.

So today, this is going to be the 'IF' sermon. If you want to turn to your Bible, you will find where we will be. Let's come to Genesis 4:7. I think we read this some three or four weeks ago, made a comment on it, but let's read it again and what stood out was when I read it with the 'IFs' capitalized—and I guess that's what did it.

Genesis 4:7: "IF you do well, shall you not be accepted? But IF you do not do well, sin lies at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Now think about that one verse for just a minute. Here it is right in the front of the Bible, very first part. When you look at it, what is it really telling us? The whole story of the Bible ahead of time! It's telling us God's view toward us, our view toward God, and what we need to do—all right there. "IF you do well, shall you not be accepted?"

Let's come all the way here to 1-John 3; a lot of people think you can never please God, but God says 'IF you do well, you'll be accepted.' That means God will be pleased—right? Doesn't it? Would have to! And it's also right in the account that has to do with Cain and Abel.

So let's read it here, 1-John 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death into life because we love the brethren. The one who does not love his brother is dwelling in death.... [This is why we can't have some little thing in the back of our brain where we have all of our little hate buried back there and don't repent of and get over it.] ...Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer... [That's what Jesus said, right, in Matt. 5—right? 'He who hates his brother,' yes.] ...and you know that no murderer has eternal life dwelling within him. By this very act... [of what God has done] ...we have known the love of God because He laid down His life for us: and we ourselves are to lay down our lives for the brethren" (vs 14-16). Then it talks about how we need to have "compassion" on them (v 17); how we need to "love in deed and truth" (v 18).

Then v 19: "And in this way we know that we are of the Truth... [IF you are of the Truth, you are what? Doing well—are you not? Yes, indeed!.] ...and shall assure our hearts before Him... [That is, we know we're accepted—right? There it is, right from Gen. 4:7] ...That IF our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things" (vs 19-20). So that is, IF we have sin, that means what? Our conscience has pricked us and we need to repent! That's exactly what God told Cain—wasn't it? Yes! What's the first step of overcoming sin? Repentance! God said to Cain, 'You must rule over it. Sin lies at the door.'

"Beloved, IF our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God. And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight…. [Now what is pleasing in God's sight? Doing what God says to do! So this also tells us that Cain's offering was not pleasing in God's sight, because it wasn't as He said to do.] …And this is His commandment: that we believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and that we love one another, exactly as He gave commandments to us. And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him, and He [Christ] in him; and by this we know that He is dwelling in us: by this Spirit which He has given to us" (vs 21-24). So now we move into

  • what it is to be converted
  • what it is to receive the Spirit of God
  • what it is to have God dwelling in us

So, this gets right back to the whole series we just completed on God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping, especially the last two on The Sonship of God.

What happened with Cain? (Gen. 4) Did he take God's advice? No! So what happened? He ended up hating his brother and killing him—right? He did not rule over the sin, he did not do what God said to do, and so therefore, he got angry.

It's like I got a solicitation for two books, two brothers, one who believes God and one who's an atheist. And the atheist, the title of his book is, Rage Against God. I couldn't help but think about Psa. 2 where it says, 'how the heathen rage, imagine a vain thing.'

Most of these in Genesis have to do with relationships between people. So we'll put all of those in a different category. Let's come to Exodus 19:5, and we're going to see this is part of the theme. Whenever we've gone to Exo. 19:5, I've always mentioned about the 'IF' and I've always mentioned about the meaning of the verse. Human nature has a real strange quirk in it, which is this. Human nature wants all the blessings of God without doing what God has said. And then IF we get correction from God, because we didn't do what He said, then we have two choices. We're either going to repent or we're going to get angry at God. We'll see this over and over again.

Exodus 19:5: "Now therefore, IF you will obey My voice in deed, and keep My covenant... [That's very interesting. Here He didn't say commandments, He said covenant, because covenant then is going to include all the commandments. The covenant is going to include the relationship toward God. Covenant then is going to be that special relationship with God that also is an extension coming from Abraham.] ...then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine." Isn't that something that you would desire to have, be a special treasure of God? Yes! You look forward spiritually to the New Testament:

  • Are we called? Yes!
  • Have we been chosen? Yes!
  • Are we a special treasure to God, in that particular sense? Yes!
  • Does He love us? Yes!
  • Has He shown us His will? Yes!

You start adding all of those things up.

Come to Malachi 3, and let's look at something here. This shows the relationship that we want, and it also shows—and this is prophecy of those in the New Covenant—that we are a special treasure of God. Malachi 3:16: "Then those fearing the LORD spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And the LORD listened and heard.... [God can tune in to any of our conversations at any time—right? Yes! Is God interested in what we say and do? Yes! That's why when we sin His Spirit convicts us—right? Yes!] ...And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the LORD, and for those who thought upon His name. 'And they shall be Mine,' says the LORD of hosts... [we belong to God] ...'in the day that I will make up My own special jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him'" (vs 16-17).

Now are we told that we're going to have a crown of life? Yes, indeed! What did Jesus say on the last Passover night? He said, 'IF I go, I'll come again and I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be also.' So that fits in here with this. 'Then you shall return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God, and the one who does not serve Him" (v 18). Look at how that ties right back in with Gen. 4:7; same thing right there.

Exodus 19:5: '…IF you will obey My voice in deed…" Everything that God has said. We also have the same thing with what Jesus said. Let's come here to John 12, and let's read it. Now some of these Scriptures we've gone over quite a few times, but nevertheless, we can put it together in a little different way and we will see how the Bible is one unified book—Old and New Testaments: both work together; both are the Word of God. Now let's see what He said here.

John 12:46: "'I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. But IF anyone hears My words and does not believe... [Is that what Cain did? Of course! He didn't believe God.] ...I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.... [We will see what judges a person in just a minute. This is exactly what Cain did.] ...The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word that I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day'" (vs 46-48).

Isn't that interesting? But also the words of God judges day-by-day. So this here is talking about the final judgment. Now let's notice how Jesus Himself is law abiding. That's why it's insane to say that Jesus did away with the law. It's like saying He did away with Himself—He's the Lawgiver. Like I wrote in the last letter concerning the Sabbath. Now people can change the time that they go to church on, but they cannot change the Sabbath, because that's part of the creation. You have to be able to change the heavens, the earth, the sun and the moon in order to change the Sabbath, because the cycle is built into creation by the Word of God. So are the Holy Days. I think that's really the strongest, positive argument for the Sabbath and Holy Days that you can make.

So then the obvious question remains is this: Does any man have the power to change the creation of God? NO! like I wrote in the letter. All the nations are vanity and less than nothing. How can less than nothing change what God has made? All the nations together, it won't work.

"'For I have not spoken from Myself... [In other words, He's not saying, 'I didn't come down here and have my own ideas.' No!] ...but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself... [So Jesus was law abiding—wasn't He? Yes, indeed!] ...what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life" (v 49). And IF you know what God has said here, what did He tell the rich man when the rich man came and said, 'Lord, Good Master, what should I do that I shall inherit eternal life?' And He said, 'Don't call Me good, there's only one good, and that's God.' People look at that and say, 'Well, why did Jesus do that, IF anyone was good, surely He was good.' Because in the flesh, that's not good! So He said, 'Keep the commandments.' So here we have the same thing here.

"And I know that His commandment is eternal life.... [IF you know that commandment, IF you know that's the end result of what God wants, and isn't that what you desire, to desire to life forever? You can't live forever in the flesh and that would be rather painful and difficult to do.] ...Therefore... [because it's His commandments and because it's His eternal life] ...whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me" (v 50). Cain did not do that. So there we have it.

Let's look at a couple more here. Then you go through the other sections of Exodus. Most of these are conditions concerning laws. Now let's come to Exodus 32:31; here's an 'IF'; Moses talking to God, direct face-to-face. "And Moses returned to the LORD, and said, 'Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold! And now IF You would only forgive their sin!.... [So he's beseeching for them. So here Moses, in this case, was the mediator between the people and God. Then he said and he's bargaining with God. Now not too many people can bargain with God, but Moses could. Abraham did. We find there that God said IF He found so many righteous, so forth, we didn't cover that in this study, but nevertheless it's there.] ...And IF not, I pray You, blot me out of Your book which You have written.'…. [Now that's something! That's a bold statement to lay it on the line.] …And the LORD said to Moses, 'Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. And now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you….'" (vs 31-34). So that was quite a thing there.

Let's come to Exodus 33. There are quite a few 'IFs' here, which are important in the relationship of Moses and God, and God's reaction to Moses. Now there are some cases where we can ask a condition of God. Moses was really bold—wasn't he? Exodus 33:5: "And the LORD had said to Moses, 'Say to the children of Israel, "You are a stiff-necked people.... [still to this day] ...IF I will go up into the midst of you, in a moment I will consume you.... [So He's letting them know that, hey, 'IF I wanted to take care of you and eliminate you, I could do it in a moment.'] ...And now put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what to do with you."'…. [Because what were all of these gold ornaments? Little statues out of Egypt!] …And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Horeb. And Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the tent of meeting.... [The tent of God was not in among the people, but it was outside the camp.] ...And it came to pass, everyone who sought the LORD went out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp" (vs 5-7).

And then it showed what happened here.. Moses goes back to God, v 11: "And the LORD would speak to Moses face-to-face... [That's quite a thing!] a man speaks to his friend. And he returned again to the camp. But his servant, Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tent. And Moses said to the LORD, 'Behold, You say to me, "Bring up this people." And You have not told me whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, "I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight." Now therefore, I pray You, IF I have found grace in Your sight, make me see now Your way, that I may know You, that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nations is Your people'" (vs 11-13).

There's an interesting little thing that goes back and forth between Moses and God concerning the people of Israel. When they did well, they were God's people. When they didn't do well, they were Moses' people. So they hadn't done well, so Moses is saying to God, 'Lord, these are Your people.'

Verse 14: "And He said, 'My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.' And he said to Him, 'IF Your presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here; for how shall it be known that I and Your people have found grace in Your sight? Is it not in that You go with us? So we shall be separated, I and Your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.' And the LORD said to Moses, 'I will do this thing also that you have spoken, for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name'.... [Now Moses gets really bold:] ...And he said, 'I beseech You, show me Your glory'.... [That's quite a statement. But didn't God say that He would do it? This is being very bold to God. That's bold! And God never got angry. Now why? Because Moses didn't ask to consume it on his own desires, that's why.] ...And He said, 'I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.' And He said, 'You cannot see My face [in glory]…'" (vs 14-20).

Over here it said He spoke to him face-to-face. Now what's the difference? When He spoke to him face-to-face, obviously He wasn't in His full glory. Just like you go back and you ask the question: in the Garden of Eden how did God appear to Adam and Eve? He appeared just like a man. So when God said, 'Don't eat of the fruit,' and then the serpent said, 'Eat of it and you'll be like God.' Well, they looked at themselves and they knew what God looked like, because He didn't appear in His glory before them. And they said, 'Well, hey, this is just a step up. Just think IF it's as simple as eating this and we'll be like God, we can decide good and evil. We won't have to have God telling us what to do. We can do it ourselves.' Well, it didn't work out that way. So that's the difference. Over here it says He spoke to him face-to-face.

Verse 20: "And He said, 'You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.'…. [Because the power and glory coming out of the glorified God would be like standing right up in front of the sun. You're history!] …And the LORD said, 'Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon a rock. And it will be, while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. And I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back parts. But my face shall not be seen'" (vs 20-23).

Some people say God isn't like a human being. He doesn't have a face, He doesn't have hands, He doesn't have feet, and all of this. But what does it say here? What did Jesus say when Philip said, 'Show us the Father.' He said, 'Philip, IF you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.'

Now, what I want us to think about in relationship to what we're doing, and the promise of eternal life, just like at your conception you were just a little pinprick of life—right? Now, compare what we are as full adults with the Spirit of God, that is equal to the little pinprick of life that we were when we were first conceived, so when we're born in the Kingdom of God, everything's going to be entirely different—isn't it? Yes! Our whole existence, our whole thought process! Isn't that going to be something? Be like God! Well, we know God has a face, He's got hands and He's got a back. And IF He walks before him, that means He's got feet. So that was quite something!

God told Moses, Exodus 34:1: 'And the LORD said to Moses, 'Cut out two tablets of stone like the first ones. And I will write upon the tablets the words that were in the first tablets which you broke.... [He didn't have to do it, but he did. But even at that God didn't get angry at him.] ...And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. And no man shall come up with you, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mountain. Also do not let the flocks nor herds feed before that mountain.' And he cut out tablets of stone like the first ones. And Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone…. [So Moses gets up there and then something happens. God is not standing right there. Notice what happens here]: …And the LORD came down in the cloud... [Does that not sound something a little bit like the New Testament?] ...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, keeping mercy to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty... [IF they don't repent] ...visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, to the third and to the fourth generation'" (vs 1-7).

Now that ties directly in with the second commandment. Those nations that are idolatrous, you look and see, that's the legacy that they have, lots of trouble, lots of problems. Whenever you build an idol, you're declaring not only do you put another god before God, but you hate God. Come back to Exo. 20 and I'll show you that. So God will not clear the guilty just because He doesn't like the way things turn out. The question was asked: when He said the Lord, the Lord God, was He praising the Father or Himself? He was doing two things:

  • He was praising the Father
  • declaring Himself

Exodus 20:3—everything relating to God "You shall no other gods before Me…. [Everything in your whole life relates to this]: …You shall not make for yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me" (vs 3-5).

And what was it that the children of Israel had just done right at the base of the mountain? They made the golden calf—right? Other gods? Yes! He did forgive them for the sake of Moses and He withdrew that third and fourth generation penalty, but reiterated from that time forward it would be enforced, that IF they would do that again it would enforced. Let's put it that way.

But notice: "'...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). So there we have—this is New Testament doctrine—right? Jesus said, 'IF you love Me, keep My commandments.'

Exodus 34:8: "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, O LORD, I pray You, let my LORD go among us, although it is a stiff-necked people. And pardon our iniquity... [Listen, he included himself in there—didn't he? Think of that!] ...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'" (vs 8-10). Then He says what He was going to do in driving out the inhabitants of the land.

Remember what we covered back there in Gal. 3 concerning the book of the law? That a man should live by them. We find that right here in Leviticus 18:1—notice how many times God said the same thing. The best way to learn is how? Repetition! And when it's reiterated again, that also is what? Another witness against you in case you don't do it—right? It's like when you're growing up and as parents and your children do things and they do it over and over again and finally in exasperation you say, 'How many times have I told you!' I've heard that. All children hear that.

Here in Leviticus 18:1 we have something very similar: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "I am the LORD your God.... [Remember this, when you're reading through and studying the Bible. When God says, 'I am the Lord your God,' He is emphasizing the fact of Who He is and why He's saying what He is. In other words, no one else is your lord and no one else are you to follow.] ...As they do in the land of Egypt where you dwelt... [they knew all about that] shall not do. And you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Neither shall  you walk in their ordinances. You shall do My judgments and keep My ordinances, and walk in them. I am the LORD your God.... [So He's really emphasizing! It's like this: IF you're in real trouble and you're standing there before your dad and he says, 'Now I am your dad! All right, you got that?' Yes!] …I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, which IF a man does, he shall live in them. I am the LORD'" (vs 1-5).

So in keeping the commandments, we are to live in them. Like we've just finished the series, God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping. Then He gives all the laws of forbidden sex. That's why He said:

  • v 1: "I am the Lord your God"
  • v 4: "I am the Lord your God"
  • v 5: "I am the Lord"
  • v 6: "I am the Lord"
  • v 21: "I am the Lord"

Verse 21: "And you shall not let any of your children pass through the fire to Molech, neither shall you profane the name of your God. I am the LORD…. [v 30]: …And you shall keep My ordinance, so as not to do any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves in them. I am the LORD your God."

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Let's come to Leviticus 26. This combines both things that we have seen, 'IF' and where God says, 'I am the Lord.' Now wherever you see 'I am the Lord,' look at it as if God has signed it right there. It would be like receiving a letter from someone, and they give certain instructions and then they sign it. I think that becomes important from this point of view: This is a legal document, covenant document.

We'll spend quite a little bit of time here in this chapter, because of those two factors, the 'IF' and 'I am the Lord.' Now this is the companion chapter or the parallel chapter to Deut. 28. This is considerably shorter, but it has more 'IFs' in it. Notice how the same thing comes up again concerning idols.

Leviticus 26:1: "You shall make no idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for your selves graven images, or a standing pillar. And you shall not set up any image of stone in your land in order to bow down to it, for I am the LORD your God.... [There it is right there!] ...You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary. I am the LORD. IF you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them, then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land safely" (vs 1-5).

Isn't that what people want? Think about all the problems that we have in America today, knowing that we're the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel and isn't that the trouble with everything? Yes! You would think they would say, 'Oh, God says keep the Sabbath and He'll bless us.' Just think of how many things would be blessed just with that one thing. But He expects all the commandments, and so forth.

"...And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid.... [Wouldn't that be nice? Don't have to have alarms on your house. Yes!] ...And I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land...." Now they're increasing, especially in Florida. You have pythons and you have agama lizards, and you've got monkeys and chimpanzees, and crocodiles. The eco-freaks have said, 'Well crocodiles are endangered species.' So IF one comes in your yard, threatens your children, oh, you don't dare shoot it. Now what did they say? They said that the pythons are getting used to the cooler weather and migrating a little further north, a little further north. Boy, they can get big. They can get up to be 26-feet. We want peace in the land.

"...cause evil beasts to cease out of the land; neither shall the sword go through your land" (v 6). No war! And you can liken that also to crime. Well, we've got war in Arizona—don't we? Invasion from down south—correct? Yes! And IF the President had any concern for the people, he would take those 100,000 troops that came back from Iraq, line them up on the border, and give them five days to stop all their stuff and if not, we're going to invade and start and killing and we're going to start getting rid of all of the crooks and all the drug dealers. And we'll help you bring order to your land. But, oh, no, can't do that.

Verse 7: "And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase a hundred... [Now that's a fair deal—isn't it?] ...and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight.... [But what is it now? It's the reverse—isn't it?] ...And your enemies shall fall by the sword in front of you, For I will have respect to you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and established My covenant with you. And you shall eat of the old provision, and clear away the old because of the new. And I will set My tabernacle among you. And My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people" (vs 7-12). Man, you can't have anything better than that—right? Wouldn't that be good?

"I am the LORD your God Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt from being their bondmen. And I have broken the bonds of your yoke, and made you go upright. But IF you will not hearken to Me and will not do all these commandments, and IF you shall despise My statutes, or IF your soul hates My judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, so that you break My covenant.... [Remember where we started back there Exo. 19:5, 'IF you will keep My covenant.' So IF you do all of those. So there's one, two, three, three 'IFs.'] ...I will also do this to you: I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and burning fever, consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set My face against you... [There's one thing you never want. You never want God against you.] …and you shall be slain before your enemies. They that hate you shall reign over you…." (vs 13-17).
Isn't that what is happening? Look at how many people are back there running the government that hate America. Isn't that true? And how many people hate us, the immigrants? They should have come here to say, 'Oh, what a blessed people. Oh, you have a wonderful land, a wonderful God. I'm going to learn of this and it's so great, I'm going to go back to my country and teach all my people.' That's what should have happened. No, it's the other way around! We say, 'Come in. Oh, teach us your abominable ways so we can learn of your ways. Oh, we love the way of heathen.'

"...They that hate you shall reign over you. And you shall flee when none pursues you…. [Then He gives another choice]: …And IF... [He's giving a choice. What are you going to do when these things come upon you? Are you going to try and do it yourself? Are you going to try and legislate it? You're going to try and win with your army? You're going to deny your sins?] ...And IF you will not yet for all this hearken to Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins…. [We're about right there now.] …And I will break the pride of your power..." (vs 17-19).

What's the pride of our power? Military and the dollar—right? Are both going down at the same time? Every financial advisor, radio show, television show, book, pamphlet, about the coming economic times—I'm reading another book called, The Great Super Cycle. And Dolores saw that the other night and she didn't realize that the big wave on the cover was all dollar bills.

"...and I will make your heaven like iron and your earth like bronze" (v 19). Now parts of the country are like that, other parts of the country are flooded, other parts of the country have drought, other parts of the country have rain. Here we have cold. We've only had one day out of a hundred and ZIP! then it was gone. I've slept every night under three wool blankets and when it's gets colder I put on three other blankets on top of that with flannel sheets in the summer. I suppose in December I'm going to be sweating and turn the fan on because it'll be all upside down. I've got three wool blankets and I've slept under those all summer. So the weather's all upside down.

Verse 20: "And your strength shall be spent in vain... [Do we have a lot of things done in vain, are we wasting money like crazy? Yes!] ...for your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the field yield their fruits." And that's going to happen. I think it's going to happen this way; I don't see how else it's going to happen. 'Oh, we've got to have all this ethanol and we've got to have all of this renewable fuel, because oil is limited.' Well, oil is not limited, it continues to expand in the earth.

So, we get all of this now. We have solar energy—max! We have wind energy—max! We have synthetic fuel, the ethanol from corn—max! Then we have a drought, and we have no wind, and the drought is strange, it's cloudy. So the solar power doesn't work well, all at once. What would that be IF we were dependent on it? All God has to do is send some microbes on the corn crop, corn rot—through all the cornfield—ethanol's gone! Happening right now; these things are happening right now. That's why those who say, 'Oh, everything in the Old Testament has been fulfilled,' well IF it has why is it happening to us? So they don't read it, so they read any of these things, and they don't think about what's happening here in America. You think we're bad, what's happening in the UK? They're five years ahead of us.

I need to work on a sermon about Esau, remember part of the prophecy to Esau when he did not get the blessing, that there would come a time when Esau would get Jacob's yoke off his neck. Is that what we're seeing with the Muslim invasion? Europe's almost gone. You ought to hear William Gertz from the Netherlands. He's saying, 'Send them back. We can't get along with them.' And the world needs to learn the lesson of Pakistan and India. When Britain gave up India it included all of what is now Bangladesh and Pakistan as one country. And the Muslims and the Hindus were all living together and all fighting, couldn't get along. They were killing and shooting each other and blowing each other up. Finally they had to come to peace terms. 'You take this land and all you Muslims go over there.' And at first it was called East Pakistan. Then Bangladesh was called West Pakistan. They didn't get any peace until they had separated.

The lesson is: You cannot live with Muslims, because they will not live with you. You are the infidel and 'we must kill you or rule over you.' Now think about what's going to happen. Is that because Esau is getting the yoke off his neck? Don't know, but I tell you, 'those that hate us rule over us.' 'Strength shall be spent in vain.'

Verse 21: "And IF you walk contrary to Me and will not hearken to Me, I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall bereave you. And I will destroy your livestock, and make you few. And your highways shall be deserted…. [Highways! Think about that—no gas, no cars, no trucks.] …And IF, after these things you will not be reformed by me, but will still walk contrary to Me, Then I will walk contrary to  you and will punish you seven times more for your sins" (vs 21-24).

I don't know how many people really believe it, but I know there are some like—we listen to Mike Savage a little bit every day. Jonathan listens to him all the time, but Mike Savage has pointed out, yes, we have so many enemies here that it wouldn't take much for them to get some arms and start doing things and start fighting and warring in this country. What happens if Farrakhan stands up and says, 'Nation of Islam and all the soldiers, go to battle!' And all of the gangs from Mexico and Latin America and Asia, they say, 'Let's go to battle!' But what happened? It's within the realm of possibility now—right? You go back thirty, forty years. It wasn't within the realm of possibility, but now it is.

And could it be that there will not be enough repentance and that victorious mosque in New York City will be built, just like a huge great big sword stuck right in your throat! And that becomes the headquarters for directing all of the soldiers to do what they're going to do. Who knows! I'm just saying, 'What IF.' What does God say here? How's it going to happen? I'm just saying, think about it! It's possible!

Verse 25, He says: "And I will bring a sword on your that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant. And when you are gathered inside your cities, I will send the plague among you. And you shall be delivered into the hand of your enemy.... [How quickly can we get sick? How quickly can we run out of food?] ...When I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight.... [rationing of food] ...And you shall eat and not be satisfied" (vs 25-26).

It gets pretty tough. I'm not going to read the whole rest of it, but I want you to read it, and I want you to think about it. I want you to think about the potential that all of these things are just kind of like sitting below the horizon—aren't they? Have you ever watched about the motorcycle gangs on National Geographic or History Channel? You ever watched about the prison gangs? You ever watched about MS-13? Do you know about them? They're in every city in America. Think about all those things! Brethren, that's why we need to really trust Go!

Verse 27: "And IF you will not for all this hearken to Me, but will walk contrary to Me, Then I will also walk contrary to you in fury. And I, even I will chastise you seven times for your sins" (vs 27-28). Then it talks about the unthinkable—cannibalism! And how quickly would that take place? Very quickly!

If you want a real education, say, 'Oh, God wouldn't do that.' No? Get the book of Josephus. Read about the fall of Jerusalem in 586B.C. and read what happened there. And then read about the fall of Jerusalem again in 70A.D. and read what happened there, and all the people during those times. They were all reassuring one another, 'No, we're God's people. This won't happen to us.' They never repented to God. So the 'IFs' in the Bible are very powerful. And there's another 'IF' that God gives us which is this: 'IF you will repent to Me and turn to Me with all your heart, I'll be merciful and gracious and kind.' But it's the same old thing, people want to live in their sins, go contrary to God, and expect that there be no accounting, expect that there be no punishing, expect that there be absolutely nothing from God to come upon us. But it will!

You can read the rest of the 'IFs' there. It was only a year and a half after they had left Egypt. God was ready to take them into the land and they scouted out the land and they said, 'Let's go up.' Ten of the spies out of the twelve said, 'Oh, no, you ought to see those people. Man, they're giants and their walls are high.' Joshua and Caleb said, 'Hey, they'll be nothing before us. God will fight our battles for us.' So they cried and moaned and didn't want to go, and they were right there ready to go. Think about that!

I often think about the forty years in the wilderness. Poor Moses and Joshua and Caleb had to spend the forty years out there with them and become old, old men. Moses would have gone into the land when he was about 82, 83, somewhere around there. But after the wandering and everything, he was a 120-years-old. And he got so frustrated that the last time God said, 'Speak to the rock and it will bring forth water.' Before He told him, 'Strike the rock and the water will come.' The people were so carnal and angry and, of course, you would be in the heat and the dust and all of this stuff and after years of being out there. I don't know IF they could ever get to a point of looking into the 'promised land,' but here they had to eat manna for another thirty-eight years. Here they were ready to go in and here's what happened:

Numbers 14:1: "And all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried. And the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. And the whole congregation said to them, 'Oh, that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or, Oh that we had died in the wilderness!…. [Be careful what you say, because God then took them up on the judgment, the latter half, right here.] …And why has the LORD.... [accusing God] ...brought us into this land to fall by the sword so that our wives and our children should be a prey? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?'" (vs 1-4).

'Let's go back into sin. It's better to be a slave and have food than to be out here in this wilderness and eat this manna.' Well, you've got another thirty-eight and a half years coming. "And Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those that searched the land, tore their clothes. And they spoke to all the company of the children of Israel saying, 'The land which we passed through to scout out is an exceedingly good land. IF the LORD delights in us...'" (vs 5-8).

Now how can you delight in an attitude like this? Think how you would feel just on a small scale. If you went into the grocery store and your child stood there and screamed and yelled and rolled on the floor and said, 'I want this, I want that, I want the other thing.' You say, 'No, you're not going to have it.' And he starts crying and hitting you and beating you. I've seen something like that almost to that scale in the market. How would you feel? You want to buy something nice for your child? You want to tell him how much you love him? No!]

"'IF the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.'.... [Now notice this last response compiled with everything else together did it.] ...But all the congregation said to stone them with stones.... [Well, God had to intervene and rescue them.] ...And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel…. [That was the only thing to stop this riot against them. So what happened?] …And the LORD said to Moses, 'How long will this people provoke Me? And how long will it be before they believe Me, for all the signs which I have shown among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and will disinherit them, and will make of you a greater nation and mightier than they'" (vs 8-12).

There again, God said to Moses, just like with the golden calf, 'I'll do it through you, Moses.' But notice Moses' attitude here. How many people would have said, 'Yes, Lord, I think that's the right thing to do. I think that's the right decision for You to do. Yes, You make me great.' No, he didn't!

"And Moses said to the LORD, 'Then the Egyptians will hear, for You have brought up this people in Your might from among them. And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among this people, Who is seen eye-to-eye. You are the LORD, and Your cloud stands over them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. And will You kill this people as one man?.... [As we discussed before, this takes courage, this is boldness—right? I tell you, that's something!] ...Then the nations who have heard Your fame will speak, saying, "Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which He swore to them, therefore He has slain them in the wilderness.".… [Now that's a strong argument—right? ] …And now, I beseech You, let the power of my LORD be great, according as You have spoken, saying, "The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation." I beseech You, pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your mercy, and as You have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now'" (vs 13-19).

"And the LORD said, 'I have pardoned according to your word.... [Now I go through that so you can understand how in times of real trouble and stress you need to pray to God. God will hear you and God will answer you.] (So God puts a caveat on it): ...But truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men who have seen My glory and My miracles which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice. Surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land into which he went. And his children shall possess it.... [also Joshua] ...(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites lived in the valley.) Tomorrow turn and go into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.' And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 'How long shall I bear with this evil congregation which murmurs against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel which they murmur against Me'" (vs 20-27).

"Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'as you have spoken in My ears, so I will do to you. Your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness... [That's what they said right back here—isn't it? 'Oh, that we had died in the wilderness.' So their dead bodies are going to fall in the wilderness.] ...and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against Me, You shall certainly not come into the land which I swore to make you dwell in, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which you said should be a prey... ['Accusing Me of wanting to kill your children.'] ...I will bring them in and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall feed in the wilderness forty years and bear your whoredoms until your dead carcasses have been consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you searched the land—forty days—each day for a year you shall bear your iniquities, forty years; and you shall know my displeasure of this generation'" (vs 28-34).

Now once God has made His judgment, once He has said what He's going to execute—and He put up with them ten times, the next morning they had a change of heart and said, 'Oh, we'll go up, we'll go up. We'll do what the Lord said'—too late! So they went up and they were driven back. We can learn also this lesson which is: When God says to do something, 'today IF you will hear His voice, harden not your heart,' do what God expects you to do.

So this is why it's very good that we go through and we read all of the 'IF' clauses in the Bible. So I'm going to bring several sermons covering the 'IF' clauses between God and us. Now there are a lot of 'IF' clauses between man and man, some 'IF' clauses concerning sacrifices and things like that. I'm not going to cover those.

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 4:7
  • 1-John 3:14-16, 19-24
  • Exodus 19:5
  • Malachi 3:16-18
  • Exodus 19:5
  • John 12:46-50
  • Exodus 32:31-34
  • Exodus 33:5-7, 11-23
  • Exodus 34:1-7
  • Exodus 20:3-6
  • Exodus 34:8-10
  • Leviticus 18:1-6, 21, 30
  • Leviticus 26:1-28
  • Numbers 14:1-34

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 5
  • 1 John 3:17-18
  • Psalm 2
  • Galatians 3
  • Deuteronomy 28

Also referenced:
Sermon Series: God's Grace and Commandment-

  • Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens
  • The Great Super Cycle by David Skarica
  • Josephus

Transcribed: 9-1-10
Formatted: 9-2-10