Fred R. Coulter—December 26, 2009

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This is the last Sabbath in the year 2009. A lot of us never thought we would be here this long and perhaps we'll end up finding out that we're going to be here a lot longer than we figured because things unfold in quite a different way than we anticipate, yet it's fulfilling prophecy as we go along. However, with that introduction, I want you to know today we're not going to talk about prophecy. I'll save that for another time.

What we're going to do today is we are going to have a very interesting Bible study in the Gospel of John and we're going to find how true the Bible really is on the instruction for us and how we can learn and what we can gather from it. A lot of these things, just reading through as you would read straight through, you would miss a lot of these things. You would understand them as you came to them, but today we're going to put them together in a different way. So the title of this sermon is Jesus and the Father.

I think we'll find this very interesting, especially from this point of view: we know that Isaiah 28:9 says, "'Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts... [In other words, those who are ready to understand things beyond the very basic things.] (It has to come): ...for precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little'" (vs 9-10). So that's what we're going to do today.

But also something very interesting happens in people's lives in relationship to the Bible—relationship to ours and relationship to anyone who reads the Bible—which is this: Whenever anyone reads something in the Bible and they ignore it and discard it, it brings a blinding to them, a partial blinding. And that blinding can build more and more and more, even to the point of atheism, because they reject the words of God.

Now we're not going to start in the Gospel of John, we're going to start in the Gospel of Matthew, so let's come to Matthew 11:25, and let's see something very interesting that Jesus said. This is one of the mysteries of understanding the Bible. Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes.'" Now the wise and intelligent proclaim themselves to be wise and intelligent, but what did Paul say about the wise and intelligent? 'When they profess themselves to be wise, they become fools.' So you can see that everywhere where men reject God, whether it's in government, whether it's in science, whether it is in religion, whether it's in education. Whenever they reject God, it happens that way! It's automatic, just like the law of gravity.

That's why when the Bible is handed to some people and say, 'Here read this and tell it to me.' They say, 'Well, I can't read it.' I think it's interesting that the Catholics say that no one can read the Bible and understand it unless there's a priest there to interpret it. There are two ways to look at that:

  • either it's because of the total blindness that they have being Catholics
  • or the hierarchy is afraid the people will read the Bible and find out that their church is the worst liar than the government that is over them.

That's another whole topic. We won't get into that.

Now notice v 26. This is why it's part of the mystery of God: "'Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this. All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him'" (vs 26-27). Now that's a basic, what you might say, platform on which to understand the Bible, to understand God, to understand what He is doing.

Now let's come to John 16:1. We're going to learn some things concerning that, yes, why the world doesn't know. We'll see this all the way through as we are going and picking out these select parts of the Gospel of John. John 16:1: "'I have spoken these things to you so that you will not be offended. They shall cast you out of the synagogues... [They did that to Jesus, too.] ...furthermore, the time is coming that everyone who kills you will think that he is rendering service to God'" (vs 1-2).

Now stop and think about that for a minute. So convinced and so deceived in what they think is their way of God that God must accept what they are doing, that God, they say, is glorified by killing them, when Jesus taught 'love your enemies' and 'vengeance is Mine.' This is the total opposite, yet people are that way—aren't they? Yes! Now here's why. Why do they do these things?

"'And they shall do these things to you because they do not know the Father, nor Me.... [Now they may profess, like Jesus said, 'Many will profess, Lord, Lord, didn't we do many wonderful things for you.' And He says, 'Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.'] ...But I have told you these things so that when the time comes you may remember that I said them to you. However, I did not say these things to you at the beginning because I was with you'" (vs 3-4).

Now let's look at a verification of this back in 1-John. You will find that between the Gospel of John and 1-2-3 John there are a lot of verses that are paralleled, that explain much the same thing. Again, we're going to learn some very basic principle things. One thing that is always true is this: It does not matter how elaborate the house is or how much more you may add to it or improve it—if we liken that to our understanding of the Word of God—the foundation remains the same. That foundation is Jesus Christ.

1-John 2:21: "I did not write to you because you do not know the Truth, but because you know it, and you understand that not one lie comes from the Truth.... [However, those who deceitfully handle the Word of God and misinterpret it, and corrupt it, wrongfully putting it together can make the outcome be a lie by misusing the truth.] ...Who is a liar if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?.... [That covers a lot of territory—doesn't it?] ...He is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son" (vs 21-22). Now this becomes very important, especially when it is applied to Judaism, because Judaism says, 'Oh, we have the Father, but we reject Jesus.' The Muslims say, 'We have Allah,' and they reject Jesus. Oh, and by the way, in Indonesia because there're so many Muslims there, the Catholics have been given permission that in their talking about God, to speak of God as Allah to avoid persecution.

"Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either" (v 23). Now how do you deny the Son? The comment was made: All of those who reject that Jesus was God before He became a human being, said that He did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, are denying the Son. If you deny the Son, you don't have the Father. And if you deny the Father, you don't have the Son. Let's see that.

Let's go to v 24. "Therefore, let what you have heard from the beginning dwell in you; if what you have heard from the beginning is dwelling in you, then you will be dwelling in the Son and in the Father." You must have both. Just put in your margin there, Rom. 8:9-14. You must have the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father. That is the power of the Holy Spirit that is in us, two parts: from the Father and from the Son. That's why it says, 'Then you will be dwelling in the Son and in the Father.'
Let's go a little bit further here. Let's see why John wrote the Gospel of John. We're going to see something very interesting. We also know that the Bible tells us what? That in the mouth of two or three witnesses everything will be established. And some people say, 'Well, the Gospel of John was just written by John, so that's only one person, so we can't trust it.' Even so much so that the Jesus Seminar throws out all the Gospel of John as being ridiculous, but it is really an accurate portrayal of what Jesus said. What we're going to see is that, yes, the entire Gospel of John was reviewed by at least two others and certified as true, which means that the Gospel of John in itself has two or three witnesses: John and the other two.

Now let's read it here. John 21:24: "This is the disciple who testifies concerning these things and who wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true." It shifts from second person singular to third person. '...we know that his testimony is true.' Now who are the we? Doesn't tell us, but it's very evident that at the time that John canonized the New Testament, that this is one of the final touches that was put on it (we'll see this in just a minute) to ensure that when the disciples got it they would know that it is true. So who could it possibly be? Who was young enough to be able to, at this time, be part of we? Mark, because he was the teenager that ran away on the Passover night naked when he ran to get away and they stripped off his garment. He also helped Paul; he also helped Peter in the writing and canonization of their epistles. So it could have been Mark. There's also a question whether it may have been Andrew, the brother of Peter, and Philip, also two apostles.

Even though Mark could have been one of the two or three, it would stand to reason that the we must include two apostles. So probably Andrew and Philip. Now let's read on and see v 25: "But there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I... [Who's 'I'? John!] ...do not suppose that even the world itself could contain the books that would be written. Amen."

Now let's also understand something about the final canonization of the Gospel of John. Perhaps even this whole chapter, John 21, was put in there by John after the death of Peter, which would then be some 35, 36, 37 years later when they did the final canonization, because it contains in there this challenge by Christ to Peter. Let's come to John 20:30, which appears to be the original ending of the Gospel of John.

John 20:30: "Now then Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book."
Notice how similar to that is to John 21:25: "But there are many other things that Jesus did... [very similar, only it is miracles here in that case] ...which if they were written one by one, I do not suppose that even the world itself could contain the books that would be written, Amen."

Come back to John 20:31 and see what follows here. "But these have been written, so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, you may have life through His name." Now that's the perfect ending for this point. So there are two endings—right? So this had to be the first one.

Let's come to John 19:35, so we can build the case even more. This is John writing here and he saw everything that went on. Remember, John was the only apostle who was there from the beginning of the crucifixion, even through the trial and everything, with the exception of going in to Pilate, who stayed and watched the whole thing to the end. All the other apostles ran away, because they were afraid.

John 19:35: "And he who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that what he says is true, so that you may believe." So here's a little insert right here, showing that John, 'Yes, I am telling the truth.' Then what do we have in John 21? 'We know that his testimony is true.'

Let's come to John 1 and let's see what else was also very likely added, which was the very beginning of chapter 1. Remember, in 1-John 2 he said, 'Many antichrists are in the world, those who confess that Jesus did not come in the flesh.' So let's see what may be the new beginning to the Gospel of John, chapter 1. Then we'll see if we can see what was the original beginning of it. We've gone over this many times and yet this is such a central key Scripture. This is where so many people fail to understand the Truth. Just like I said to begin with, if you deny the Father, you don't have the Son. If you deny the Son, you don't have the Father. So this also tells us who and what Jesus was before He was the Son of God. Now other parts of the New Testament also show this, but this shows this in a very simple, direct and dogmatic way that just cannot be refuted.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word... [we know that's referring to Jesus] ...and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... [That's undeniable! We could get into the technicalities of it in the Greek, but the Greek even makes it stronger. A lot of people say, 'Well, there's no definite article for God here, whereas there's a definite article in the other places concerning God. But when there is no definite article, it means that He had exactly the same thing, the same substance as God.] ...the Word was God."
Now that can't be any clearer. I do not know how these one-God people say—how can you get around that? I've read all their arguments. If you want the series on it, we'll send it to you.

Now notice, v 2 to emphasize it: "He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him" (vs 2-3). Question: Did He create Himself if He did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary? Since nothing came into being without Him, then He had to create Himself. So if He didn't exist, how could He create Himself? See, they never go back and try and answer the questions.

Verse 4: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 4-5). Now, I think this is the add on, plus another verse or two down here, that was done in the final canonization when he was writing about the antichrist, which he had written about in the Epistle of 1-John, so he carried this over to the beginning of the Gospel of John, because v 6 would be a logical place to start it without the first five verses—right?

"There was a man sent by God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, that he might testify concerning the light, so that through him all might believe. He was not the light... [And he said, 'I'm not the Christ, I'm not the prophet, I'm not Elijah.] ...but came that he might testify concerning the light. The true light was that which enlightens everyone who comes into the world.... [Meaning that He gives life to every human being and everything that has life in the world.] ...He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, but the world did not know Him" (vs 6-10).

Remember the sermon I gave some time ago, Astounding Three and a Half Year Ministry of Christ, and how the world could not tolerate Christ more than three and a half years. Well, you look at it, too, they couldn't tolerate John more than about six or eight months.

"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him; But as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become the children of God, even to those who believed in His name; Who were not begotten by bloodlines, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the will of God. And the Word became flesh... [We may have some new introductory material from v 4 down to here, but this refers right back to v 1.] ...the Word... [Who was God] ...became flesh..." (vs 11-14).

Now how could God become a fleshly human being? Well, you go back to the beginning. What did God say, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.' There's a big argument among the Jews about who the Us are in Gen. 1:26. They say, 'Well it is the heavenly Majesty and the angels.' Did the angels do creating? No, they were created! Remember, nothing came into being without Christ, so the Jews cannot answer the Us correctly, who the Us is, because they reject the New Testament. When we get to John 17, we're going to find the answer to the Us. 'That they, Father, I in You and You in Me, that they may become one in Us.' So that's who the Us are.

"And the Word became flesh..." (V 14). How did He become flesh? We know that when Moses said to God, 'Show me your glory.' What did He tell him? He says, 'No man can see My glory and live.' So we know, therefore, that Jesus could not be 100% God and 100% in the flesh, because the glorified form of God would destroy the flesh.

God—the One who became Jesus Christ, had to do something very spectacular and very, very humbling. We're going to see that that has an awful lot to do with the forgiveness of sin and why Jesus alone can be the perfect sacrifice and none else for the forgiveness of human sin.

Philippians 2:5—this is the whole goal of what we are to achieve in our Christian life" "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus... [The reason it says 'let this mind be in you' because you have to let it in with the Spirit of God vs 'the carnal mind is enmity against God and not subject to the law of God and neither indeed can be.' So this has to be a total change, conversion.] (Now here is how Christ thought as God in order to become flesh): ...Who, although He existed in the form of God... [because He was God. We'll see a little later that Jesus told the disciples, 'If you've seen Me, you've seen God.'] ...did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself... [What did He empty Himself of? All the power and glory that would destroy flesh.] ...and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (vs 5-8).

For our Creator that's quite a thing! That's the whole story of the Bible. Let's come back here to John 1 again. Let's see this a little bit even more. He became flesh, meaning that He had to reduce Himself down, with the power of the Father and They had their covenant in agreement for it. So if you don't have the message on The Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ, you write in for it or call in for it, or email us either one, we'll send it to you. God is a Covenant God. He does not do anything without a covenant. So They must have had a tremendous covenant between Them and we pick this up from various parts of the Bible to put it together to show about Christ humbling Himself, becoming flesh, and destined to die for the sins of the world.

John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth." Now why did God have to become a man?

  • He's Creator of all mankind.
  • He also was the One who was responsible for letting the serpent come into the garden.

He gave Adam and Eve the choice, so they had to choose. They chose the wrong way, and right after they chose the wrong way there was the first prophecy of the coming Messiah to redeem mankind from that sin.

Verse 29: "On the next day, John sees Jesus coming to him, and he says, 'Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.'.... [Notice singular, the sin of the world. Very important! This also tells us what? This has to be sometime after Jesus' baptism and sometime after the forty days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan the devil, because he knew who He was at this point. Whereas when Jesus came to be baptized of him, John did not know Him. He said he didn't know Him, because he was in the wilderness.] ...takes away the sin of the world…. [v 36]: ...And as he gazed upon Jesus walking, he [John] said, 'Behold the Lamb of God!'" (vs 29, 36). So there we have it twice. 'The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.

Why doesn't the Bible put in there, 'takes away the sins of the world'? Why is it singular the sin? Let's come to Romans 5 and we'll answer that question. Let's see how Paul writes of this. This helps give us a little bit more understanding and we will find out then, this tells us a little more about what happened when God judged Adam and Eve and they received the curse.

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world... [one man sin, not sins.] ...and by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned." Now when Adam and Eve were first created they weren't sinful, nor were they righteous—as long as they obeyed God. We don't know how long it was that they were in the garden before the serpent came, but whatever period of time, it must have been longer than we have thought. Surely, it wasn't the next day! They must have had quite an experience in being with God. And God appeared to them more like a man, not in His glory. So when the serpent said, 'If you eat of this fruit, you'll be like God.' They had never seen God in His glory, so they thought, 'Yes, we want to be like God.'

If you stop and really think about it, the Christmas tree, since we're just ending up Christmas, is really a celebration of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evergreen tree all decorated, pleasing to the eyes, many colors, and the orbs and things on there have to do with the fruit. Put a star on top, that's Satan. You take the beautiful decorations and they wrap it around the tree, just like a serpent; very attractive. Also being an evergreen tree, it actually stays alive for a while. Just like Satan told Adam and Eve, 'In dying, you shall not surely die.' But they did. They died about nine hundred and thirty years later. Remember what Solomon said, 'Though a man live a thousand years twice told and dies, that's vanity.'

True life is not the fleshly life. True life is eternal life, which comes from Christ. So sin came into the world. Let's read that again. "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world... [Which also shows that even thought he wrote in 1-Tim. 2 that Eve was deceived, it shows that he was ultimately responsible because the sin did not take place until he violated the Word of God. Eve was responsible, but she was deceived. But the man was not deceived. It never says that Adam was deceived. He knew! So by the means of one man, doesn't say one woman, one man] ...sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death... [We'll talk about this in just a little bit and expand upon that, because when God gave the judgment He told Adam what? 'Dust you are and to dust you shall return and you shall eat by the sweat of your brow until you die.' Did death just stop with Adam and Eve? No!] ...and in this way, death passed into all mankind..." (v 12). So it is inherited.

There was a change in the nature of man and woman at that point. Because before that point, though they were created as fleshly beings, they were not yet subject to death. Had they eaten of the tree of life, instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, things would have been much different. I did a sermon on that, so if you don't have that sermon write for it or ask for it. That is entitled, What Would the World Have Been Like if Adam and Eve Had Not Sinned? The world wants to know, 'What would it have been like?' The answer is in the sermon. It'll surprise you. Everyone is subject to death—correct? Yes!

"...and it is for this reason... [Because we have now a sinful nature subject to death.] ...all have sinned" (v 12). It comes from Adam. So he says here we're all condemned because of Adam, but we are all saved because of Christ. Now that's just reviewing the rest of the chapter.

Let's see how Paul defines it, and we find that the judgment that God gave Adam and Eve, that that sentence also was passed on to all mankind. We're all subject to death—is that true? Yes! Subject to death, beginning when? From the instant of conception—correct? Yes! How long you live then depends on many, many different things. So we won't get into that because that's not the purpose of what we're doing here. So here is the nature that we even find ourselves doing.

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Now once a person is converted and they understand right from wrong, have the Spirit of God, and are trying to overcome human nature, there is still the downward pull of human nature, yet we can overcome it. You have to recognize the source of it. What we are dealing with is this: Human beings are inherently evil, though they can do good things. That's the conundrum that people cannot figure out. They start out and say, 'Well, all human beings are good.' The Bible shows that all have sinned. Why have they sinned? It's because they're basically sinful

Let's come back to Mark 7, and let's see what Jesus said that comes out from within human beings, the nature that we have without God's Spirit. You can see this even in little children, even in babies. They're sweet, they're lovely, they're innocent, they're all of that, but one man said, 'Well, they're just like baby rattlesnakes.' A baby rattlesnake when it's first born, even if it bites, is not going to have much of a poisonous sting. It still has it, but when it's full grown and fully mature, look out.

Mark 7:20: "And He said, 'That which springs forth from within a man, that defiles the man.... [These things come from inside. They're almost automatic. This is why childrearing is so difficult. This is why when people become dedicated to evil, as you may see on some of these prisoner programs that they have, and they show more and more of them. I saw one the other day where a man was so evil he was sentenced to life plus 305 years to make sure he would never get out. That sounds insane. You know he isn't going to live that long, but that's so no judge can come along and say, 'Let's let this man out.'] ...For from within, out of the hearts of men, go forth evil thoughts... [What's the first problem? Sex problems.] ...adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness'" (vs 20-22).

What does it say of a child? Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. "'All these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man'" (v 23). So we are inherently evil. All the good that we do, though we're evil, cannot be counted as really good, because of the evil and the nature of death that we have.

The question is: since it's inherited, what part does Satan have in it? He has a lot to do with it, because the nature that we receive is a combination of good and evil, just like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That's why the age of accountability, unless it's a very serious, serious crime, is twenty in the Bible; twenty-one in the world. So that's why you have to teach children to know the right and wrong, good and evil. That's why the book of Proverbs is perfect for them to learn. It's heavy on right and wrong, good and evil, do this, do that, do the other thing. Though it brings in God, it's not heavy on God toward them.

The question becomes then: what is Satan's part, because he does have a part. Let's go forward to Ephesians, the second chapter. Satan is there, plus the parents if they're not converted, do not have a good understanding of right and wrong. All you have to do to understand that is just look at how many people are considered good in whatever religion they are in when they do what that religion says to do. Satan has a part in it, which then magnifies the evil and causes people to become more evil than they would if Satan were not around.

Ephesians 2:1: "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins, In which you walked in times past according to the course of the world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (vs 1-2). So there comes a time when people are so evil, they give themselves over to evil, Satan is right there to magnify it and expand it. Satan is also called 'the god of this world.' Satan likes to give you things that sound good, that look good. When you examine them, they are good. Look at all of the good that he has surrounded Christmas with. Is it good to give things to your children? Yes! Is it good to have the family together? Yes! Where does the evil come from? 'Well, let's have a good time.' You can have a good time and still go against God—can't you? Yes!

Then gradually, cut you off from God. So many enticing things, but what is the goal? To take you away from God! So that's why Satan loves do-gooders. He loves do-gooders, because sooner or later they're going to get trapped into doing evil, though they intend to do good and that's exactly what Satan likes to do. So combined with our own human nature that inherently is evil and good, Satan is there to lead people astray. Remember what we talked about, how you reject part of the Word of God, you become blinded. Who is right there to lead people along and further blind us? Satan is, because it talks about he is 'the god of this world, who has blinded the eyes' of those that don't believe. So it works that way.

Just like with Adam and Eve. When they gave themselves over to it—bam! God had to judge. So Satan does have a part with it. It is the spiritual influence: "...that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh... [And that's there in every human being—is it not? Yes!] ...doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (vs 2-3).

Now let's see how that plays with even converted people.

  • What does that have to do with taking away the sin of the world?
  • How was Christ able to do that?
  • How was He able to become the perfect sacrifice, and how was He able to live a life without sin?

—since He took on human nature, and was tempted of Satan.

Let's come back to Romans 7 here again. This tells us how human nature operates. Now you can give yourself to sin, even carnally, and you can give yourself to doing good so you have less sin in your life. So it's not a helpless situation, even in the world, but it's not unto salvation in the world. You have to be called and have the Father revealed to you before you can begin to understand about salvation.

Romans 7:14: "For we know that the law is spiritual... [operates automatically] ...but I am carnal..." That is of himself. Because of and by ourselves, though we can do good, no good resides within us—that is good as God is good. We can do good. We can have right intentions.

Just to prove a point, let's come back here to Matthew 7:9 and let's see what Jesus told the disciples. Here's the well-intentioned, probably quite disciplined individual, who knows right and wrong, good and evil, but is not converted. "Or what man is there of you who, if his son shall ask for bread, will give him a stone? And if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent?.... [Now notice what Jesus said to His own disciples]: ...Therefore, if you, being evil... [The evil far outweighs the good, though you know how to do good things. He just said, 'Is it not a good thing to give him bread? Is it not a good thing to give him fish?' Yes! Would it be evil to give him a stone, would it be evil to him a serpent?' Yes! So this shows that those who know right and wrong, good and evil in the world, and you really have to know a substantial amount of the Word of God to really have a full repertoire of that.] (but He says): ...if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?.... [Let's see how He magnified the Law and the Prophets]: ...Therefore, everything that you would have men do to you... [And you want men to do good things to you—don't you? Yes!] ...so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets'" (vs 9-12).

So now that Protestantism is degenerated to the point of almost 90% lawlessness now, doing away with the laws of God. What do we have? A society that does evil to one another. Good is hard to find. So when we're talking about this, there are many other things to add into it, but when someone says, 'You are evil by nature,' people will say, I'm good. Why are you good? Did someone teach you how to be good? Yes, my mom and dad. Do you sin? Of course I sin. Then you're still evil—aren't you? Well, not much. But you still have it—right?

So Paul is talking about the nature of God is this: no evil! He wants us to become like Him, so we come from being inherently evil, knowing how to do good, to becoming perfected, which is another whole process. But here's the struggle, because when we repent and are baptized we don't immediately have the lust and all evil removed from us, just like coming down as it were filtering our brain from all evil. Just to give you an example. How long have you not kept Christmas. Probably some of you as much as fifty years—right? Yes! Do you still know all the Christmas carols? Yes! Another good, appealing thing to lead you to evil—right? Yes! So it's still there. Evil is still there.

The question is: If it's inherited, how can  you control it? You have, carnally, a certain amount of control. Spiritually, you have much more control when you receive the Spirit of God. What I'm trying to show is this: Jesus had to take what is called here the 'law of sin and death' as part of His human nature. Otherwise, He wouldn't have human nature—would He? So let's go forward and see that. Paul is explaining the fight toward real righteousness, which comes from God and the pulls of the flesh, which we still have. People in the world don't have that. They don't have that fight. They go along, do anything they want to, until God starts working with them. Then all of a sudden, 'Man! Hey, I've just given myself over to evil. I've got to stop it.' Then they begin changing. Even people in the world can change to a certain degree. When Cain brought the wrong offering to the altar of God, God said, 'Sin lies at the door, but you shall rule over it.' How could he rule over it? By doing what God said, likewise human nature. Those, as Paul said, of the Gentiles who do the works of the law have it written in their heart. God recognizes that as good, but that doesn't mean they are saved; that's doesn't mean they're on their way to being saved. There are good people in the world who are inherently evil and that's not a contradiction. That's the conundrum of human nature that the world doesn't understand. Here is the struggle to overcome. Paul was converted for well over twenty years when he wrote this. So let me ask you a question: Are you converted? Answer, yes, if you've been baptized, received the Holy Spirit. Do you still have to overcome sin within? Yes! That's not going to be fully eliminated until when? Death and the resurrection.

If you're not converted and don't have God's Spirit in you, but with you, are you able to govern your life better than before that point? Yes,because God's Spirit is with you. There are many in that category with God's Spirit with them. So what they have to do is take the last step and be baptized and have God's Spirit within them. We'll see that as we go along in this little series that we're doing. The difference between the Spirit with you and within you is that you sense that God is there and helping you and calling you, giving you understanding, but it's not within you in the covenant sense of the begettal from the Father and the Spirit of Christ.

Romans 7:14: "For we know that the law is spiritual... [Yes, the law is perfect.] ...but I am carnal... [fleshly] ...having been sold as a slave under sin... [As long as you have sin within you are not totally righteous. Can you accept that as a true statement? Yes!](Now here's the problem, the struggle): ...Because what I am working out myself... [That is by my own self, my own life without God—don't have any purpose, don't have any understanding, don't know anything.] ...I do not know. For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (vs 14-15). Have you ever done something really bad and say, 'Oh, I hate myself'? Yes! Hate the sin! That's the struggle!

Verse 16: "But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good... [The law is good! It tells you what is right and wrong. Tells you what is good and evil. It tells you what is sin and righteousness. The law is good! So what's the problem going on here? You're trying to do good, but you sin.] (He explains it): ...So then, I am no longer working it out myself... [In other words, though I have desire to do good, I have given in to sin.] ...rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me" (vs 16-17). That's why you need the Spirit of God within you to overcome that human nature. This is the inherited sin.

"Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good.... [Good in the sense of Godly good. It's good in the sense of taking care of your children. When they ask for some food, you don't give them a serpent, you don't give them a stone, etc., but this is not spiritual good.] ...For the desire to do good is present within me... [People are always well intended. 'Well, I never intended that. I never thought that things would go this way. I was only trying to do good.' or 'someone else made me do it.'] ...but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (v 18). That is the whole summary of human nature. They can never find how to do good without evil, though they intend good, though they've been taught some good things.

So here's what happens: "For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing.... [So what's the problem?] ...But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me.... [You've got this pull of sin because of your past, because of the 'law of sin and death.' As long as you still have human nature, every one of us are completely incapable of doing absolute pure righteousness in the sense that God is righteous. There's a difference between the goodness of human beings and the righteousness of God.] (So he says): ...the sin that is dwelling within me. Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me" (vs 19-21). Have you ever done something really good and then some horrible, evil thought flips through your mind? Yes! I have, you have.

Verse 22: "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man... [Yes, the law of God is good. That's wonderful, I like it, I love it, I want to keep it.] ...But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members" (vs 22-23). Inherited! Stamped!

They also know there is such a thing is called the death gene—right? You die! Bang! How long you live depends on many things:

  • how you take care of yourself
  • how you keep yourself away from danger
  • what you eat
  • what you think
  • what you do

Also how long you live depends on your behavior toward your parents—correct? And also, it has to do with the inheritance that you receive from your parents—right? Yes! Those who have parents and relatives that live into their nineties generally live into their nineties, unless something comes along and they die sooner. So evil is present within me.
"For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind... [And where is the Spirit of God? In your mind!] ...and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members.... [So here you're stuck. Here is the pull.] ...O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death?.... [Here's the answer]: ...I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin" (vs 22-25). That is when he sins, because of the fleshly sin within.

How is God going to solve this? and What nature did Jesus take when He became flesh? The Catholics say Mary was conceived, immaculate conception, so she would not have the stain of original sin; therefore, Jesus could not have any human nature within Him. If that's the case, then how could He be tempted in every way like we are? We'll answer that as we go. Here's what's important to understand. God knows we have this human nature that we're fighting. God knows that we are not perfect. That's why in the model prayer, what is one of the very first things we ask? 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us'—correct? Yes! So that through the grace of God daily you can have all of those covered and take it away.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation... [because of this battle] ...to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." You're led by the Spirit of God.

The comment was made: We glorify God, hallow His name, and then He forgives us our sins. That clears the way. That's the operation of grace. Then the prayer continues on: 'deliver us from the evil one.'

So you have the Spirit of God, but you're still in the flesh. So you have human nature that you're fighting that is like a split personality. The sin is pulling. Verses 2-4 become the key as to the relationship between Jesus and the Father and how He [Christ] could take human nature, which He had to do, and we'll see the process by which He did not sin.

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death.... [If you do not have the Spirit of life from Jesus Christ within you, you have no deliverance from the 'law of sin and death.' That's what happened when Adam and Eve sinned. There was put into their members the 'law of sin and death.' We get the deliverance, as Paul said here, through our Lord Jesus Christ.] ...For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh..." (vs 2-3). In other words, you read the law of God, you see that it is good, you desire to do it. A lot of people in the world—92% believe in God—right? Yes! A lot of those believe that you should keep the commandments of God. 'Well, except the first and second and third and fourth one, but we still believe in God.' They don't have the Spirit of God to help them, so that's the operation of the 'law of sin and death' working within them to say, 'Well, no, we can get along without those.' Then they have spiritual blinding—don't they? Yes, indeed!

The law cannot change your human nature of and by itself. The law says, 'You shall not bear false witness.' Has that stopped lying? Did the law all of a sudden come up and say, 'Hey, I'm going to keep you from lying.' No! The law says you shall do no murder. Does that keep people from murdering? No!The law only defines what is right and what is wrong from God's perspective. The law has no power to make you do anything. Your choice and the Spirit of God is needed for you to do what is right.

The comment was made: With this recent escapade with Tiger Woods, interviewed one of the women that was deeply involved in all of this and helped even arrange wild sex parties clear across in different cities in America for him. She was asked, 'Do you see anything wrong with this?' 'No, I don't see anything wrong with this.' And then she pronounced herself to be a Christian. That's the way it is in the world. That's because of the lawlessness of fundamental Protestantism. It's the cause of that! So human nature justifies itself. The Proverbs says, 'Every way of a man is right—and that means woman, because the word woman ends in man, so if you're a feminist, how are you going to get rid of that, m-a-n at the end of wo. I remember that when going to the airport, that you go the right place. The one that says woman, don't go in

The law can't make you do anything because it's weak through the flesh, so how is God going to correct it and save mankind and what did Christ have to do? This is all necessary before we can understand the relationship that Jesus and the Father had as revealed in the book of John.

Verse 3: "...God, having sent His own Son in the likeness... [Now likeness in the Greek comes from 'homoiomati,' which means the exact sameness.] ...in the likeness... [the exact sameness] ...of sinful flesh... [He did not have flesh without the law of sin within Him. Why is that or why was that necessary? Because He was the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world and the only way that it could be done was for Him to take on the likeness of sinful flesh and never sin. What we'll find out is how did Jesus have the kind of relationship that made it possible for Him to carry the likeness of sinful flesh, the law of sin within Him, yet not sin.] ...in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Isn't it interesting that it's singular—for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

Just like back here in Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world... [singular: sin] ...and by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned."

Now back here in Romans 8:3 Why did He do this? "...condemned sin in the flesh." His flesh! So that's how great God is.

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 28:9-10
  • Matthew 11:25-27
  • John 16:1-4
  • 1-John 2:21-24
  • John 21:24-25
  • John 20: 30
  • John 21:25
  • John 20:30
  • John 19:35
  • John 1:1-14
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • John 1:14,29, 36
  • Romans 5:12
  • Mark 7:20-23
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Romans 7:14
  • Matthew 7:9-12
  • Romans 7:14-25
  • Romans 8:1-3
  • Romans 5:12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 8:9-14
  • Genesis 1:26
  • John 17
  • 1-Timothy 2

Also referenced:

Sermons:

  • Astounding Three and a Half Year Ministry of Christ
  • The Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ
  • What Would the World Have Been Like if Adam and Eve Had Not Sinned

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 1-11-10
Formatted: bo—1-13-09

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