How to Know You Know God
(John 16)

Fred R. Coulter—May 3, 1986

pdficon small - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

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; furthermore, the time is coming that everyone who kills you will think that he is rendering service to God" (vs 1-2).

We all know the story of the Apostle Paul. We all know what he did and how he did it. Let's see how the Apostle Paul did it, because I think we're going to be surprised at the organization that the Jews had, and have. There's an organization today called The Jewish World Congress. I've never been able to figure out what it is, but they do meet every year. They have a plan and an agenda.

The Orthodox Jews in the Holy Land today are trying to kick out all Sabbath and Holy Day-keeping Christians. They do it on an organized basis.

Acts 9:1: "Now Saul, still breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest." You need to understand, the Jews always work by authority, so he went to the high priest, the same one who condemned Jesus: Caiaphas and Ananus.

Verse 2: "Asking him for letters to take to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who were of that way, he might bring them bound, both men and women, to Jerusalem." That was quite a bit of authority.

I don't think we have comprehended or understood the hatred that the Jews had toward Christianity.

from: Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi

pg 18—Hostility Toward Jews in the New Testament

The New Testament is not anti-Semitic since it describes the fratricidal struggle of two branches of the same Jewish people.

Then it tells a little bit about the acts of the apostles and how that the Jews…

One group teaching the good news; in fact they were announcing boldly to the people that Christ,Whom the chiefs of the people had sentenced to death, was the Messiah and God raised Him from the dead. Then it was in His name that they were performing miracles and announcing salvation.

Some Jews responded to the preaching of the apostles and believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The majority, however, not only resisted their words, but employed all the means at their disposal to hinder the spreading of the new religion.

Paul saw in the hostility of the Jews toward the Christians the prolongation of the historical attitude, which they had already shown anciently toward the prophets and more recently toward Christ.

1-Thess. 2—this is the Apostle Paul writing, Jew against Jew, so this is not classified as anti-Semitism.

1-Thessalonians 2:10: "You are witnesses, and also God, how holily and righteously and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you who believe; even as you know how we were exhorting and consoling each one of you, as a father does his own children, and earnestly testifying, that you may walk worthily of God, Who is calling you to His own kingdom and glory. Because of this, we give thanks to God without ceasing: that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you did not accept it as the word of men, but even as it is in truth—the Word of God, which is also working in you who believe. For, brethren, you became imitators of the Churches of God in Judea which are in Christ Jesus; because you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they also suffered from the Jews; who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drove you out, and do not please God, and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles so that they might be saved in order to fill up their sins always. But the wrath has come upon them to the uttermost" (vs 10-16).

This tells a little bit about the problems and difficulties that they had, true to the prophecy that Jesus said, 'Yes, the time comes when they will kill you and drive you out of the synagogues.'

I'll read a little bit more from this book, and it tells a little bit about what happened later, and especially after the invasion of the Romans in 70A.D. and the destruction of the temple. They blamed that on the Christian Jews. That is part of the story of what the non-Messianic Jews believe; that because of what they were doing here's what was accomplished. Remember Festus, how that Paul told Festus that this wasn't done in a corner:

pg 26—Festus and Albinus was but upon the road so he assembled.

The Jewish Historian Josephus informs us that the high priest Hannan who succeeded his father at his death was a bold man in his temper and very insolent. He also was of the sect of the Sadducees who were very rigid in judging offenders above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed.

When Ananus was of this disposition he thought he had now a proper opportunity to exercise his authority. Festus was dead and Albinus was but upon the road, so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, James and some others, and when they had formed an accusation against them, as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.

So, part of the destruction of Jerusalem came because of the killing of James.

After the martyrdom of James, the city was controlled by the extremist party who was anti-Roman and anti-Christian and who made life extremely difficult for the Christians. The Jewish Christians, warned by a prophecy according to Eusebius, abandoned the city and withdrew to Pella, a city in the region of Perea.

The exodus of the Jewish Christians from Jerusalem marked an historical break with the relationship of the Jews.

It had consequences for the Church in Jerusalem and that was the last link between the temple and the Christians.

Down to the end they loved the magnificent structure, its ceremonies, its memories and now there remains not a stone upon a stone. God had warned them of it, and this exodus finally alienated Jewish opinion from them. They had abandoned Jerusalem in the hour of it's greatest tribulation. Their faith was then, not of as of their nation, but they were seeking their salvation elsewhere.

All the Jewish Christians had to go someplace else. One of the historians poses this question and suggests that 70A.D. might be the decisive year in which that occurred. Now we will see what took place in the synagogues.

pgs 34-35—With the destruction of Jerusalem and the reconstitution of the Sanhedrin at Jamnia, under the presidency of the rabbis instead of the priests, there began a new phase of hostility toward Christians.

From open and coercive persecution we now pass to more subtle and sophisticated means.

Then it talks about what happened here; one of the things they had to say in the synagogue. When they would come into the synagogue they would stand up to read, or they would teach, or they would recite a prayer. There are two different things here, and this is Simon's report: the Palestinian text of the curse; that would have to come into the synagogue and curse the Christians and Christ.

1-Corinthians 12:3: "Therefore, I am letting you know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed…" I could never figure out how that could ever be done in the Church. We couldn't conceive of coming into church and hearing someone call Jesus accursed by the Spirit of God. But apparently the Jews were claiming that they had the Spirit of God, they had the true religion, and they were, in fact, cursing Jesus by the Spirit of God.

"…and no one can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit" (v 3).

Let's me read part of this prayer that the Jews were required to say. This is the 12th Benediction and it's called 'Birat ha-Minim':

For the apostates let there be no hope.

That's referring to Christians; they were called apostates. Any Jew who would leave Judaism was called an apostate, and they had to recite this:

And let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the noerim and the minim be destroyed in a moment. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the righteous. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant (Schechter). {taken from}

We're going to see that what God has done is that He has brought a lot of this right back upon the Jews. What does the Scripture say? As you sow, so shall you reap! We're going to see directly that the highest and primary sin is denying Jesus. The very highest and primary sin is not believing in Jesus.
Here is what was said in the synagogue three times daily under the name of the Nazarene, you curse the name of the Christians:

The Talmud states very clearly that whenever someone made a mistake in any benediction he was allowed to continue, but if it had to do with the benediction of the Minim he was to be called back to the place where he was supposedly was a Min.

I don't know exactly what that means.

There would not have been any reason for the prohibiting of the participation of the Jewish Christians in the services of the synagogue if these had not been present in meetings. This ban from the synagogue indicates on one hand the presence of Jewish Christians in their meetings, and on the other hand that the Jewish Christians, in the spirit of disagreement about the Messiah, still considered themselves essentially Jews.

The fact that the recitation of the set formula was introduced to identify them would seem to indicate that they evidently behaved as ordinary members, but from now the separation became inevitable and subsequent events would accelerate that process.

Then there's the persecution during the Bar Kokhba Revolution:

In the recent Jewish war Bar Kokhba the leader of the Jewish uprising ordered that only Christians should be subjected to dreadful torment unless they renounce and blaspheme Jesus.

They really put the pressure on them to do it, and it really is something how this was brought about. There was a cruel and massive persecution that followed the Bar Kokhba Revolution. This prophecy that Jesus gave in John 16, that they would be put out of the synagogues, and the time would come when they were killed, that it would be said of the them that they were doing God's service. Well, that's exactly what Paul was doing: 'I'm doing God's service; I get the orders from the high priest and he represents God.' Same thing when there was the Bar Kokhba Revolution.

We're going to see that today we're going to get persecution from both sides. We will get it from the Christians—so-called—on one hand, and from the Jews—so-called—on the other hand. A recent newspaper headline: Vatican Takes Stand Against Religious Cult

We're having, again, a revival. What happens when any religion comes to the point of being corrupted beyond what the old timers would like to have? or What the very conservative would like to have? You have a radical revival! That happened in Iran; they were getting too westernized, instead of following Mohammad. So, they had a radical uprising. When you have a radical rising, you also have a separation.

What happened when there was the Inquisition?The Inquisition reigned for 150 years, and that was to stamp out all heresies. The result of that was the Protestant Reformation. They revolted out of that corruption and cruelty. It's going to start back again:

We would be called a 'religious cult.' Maybe this will give us a little broader understanding that God was laying the groundwork by having smaller groups so there won't be so many people hurt and killed. Remember that there was a prophecy that the Christians were to leave Jerusalem before its destruction; that's well-recorded. They went to Pella, then two or three years later came the invasion into Jerusalem. Right now we're no offense to the world, they don't know who we are. We all come from here and there, we meet in rented rooms or homes, etc., and we present no problem to them. It keeps us undercover and under wraps from exposure.

Vatican Takes Stand Against Religious Cult

From Vatican City: The Vatican…exhorted Roman Catholic priests worldwide to work against the proliferation of religious sects and cults that win converts through brainwashing, sexual enticement and separation from family and society.

Sounds like a good cause. That's always how Satan does it. He gets it under the guise of doing good. 'Since we can't control these people they are worthy of death.' We are becoming more of a 'worthy of death' bloodthirsty society because of all the liberalism, especially when they tell people that the worst thing you could do is Judaize, which to them means keeping the Sabbath, etc.

All Catholic priests worldwide…

That's an awful busy army.

In it's first comprehensive analysis of the subject the Vatican said, "Roman Catholic Churches around the world view as a serious matter the inroads made by such groups, including some with Christian roots."

That puts us right smack there, because all we have to do is preach about what it says in The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, or in Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow, or to say that the pope is representative of Satan the devil, or say that anyone who worships Mary is committing idolatry.

A seventeen page study says that sex and cults are two divisives, to be defined simply and clearly.

That gives them an open determination. They make their own determination. It hasn't started, yet, but you tie that together with some of these other things:

  • The Anti-Defamation League—Jerry Falwell
  • The Jews kicking Christians out of the Holy Land
  • The Jews who hate Christians anyway.

It's worse to them. They don't care if there are Catholic so-called Christians. 'Those are heathen worshiping idols, we know who they are, we can put up with them. But Sabbath-keeping, non-idolatry, Holy Day-keeping, clean food-believing…' We're in a different category.

A Vatican official told an Associated Press that Rev. Sun Myung Moon Unification Church and fundamentalist evangelism denominations active in the United States are among those winning converts from Catholics. "We are not condemning anyone…

They wish they could! They don't have the power. They want to, but they just don't have the power, yet.

…rather we want to analyze why they, the sects, are succeeding." Some groups have used such techniques as brainwashing, sexual enticement, monetary gifts or promises of bodily healing to win followers.

You know what's going to happen. That's why God is not causing all kinds of miracles, yet. When it does happen it's going to set all their teeth on edge! They aren't going to be able to stand it.

This is was a document that was drawn up by four Vatican offices. The Vatican does not use the terms sect or cult to describe mainline Protestant churches, which it calls "chameleons" or "sister" churches.

What did it say that the 'woman' was drunk on? The blood of the saints! (Rev. 17). It's coming! This warning to the disciples in John 16, right at the beginning of their ministry is going to apply to us even in these end-time. We know that Rev. 6 was the fifth seal, and there's going to be a martyrdom of saints again. Frankly, as we see this coming, I'm kind of glad we're not out here in a glass house for everyone to see what we're doing.

I'm not going to stand up and say, 'Yea, Lord, I'm the great and courageous.' I'm going to kind of sneak around behind the scenes and get out of the way. If God wants me to do something different than that, that's fine, but I'm not going to lay myself out for the sake of all these nuts and fanatics.

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; furthermore, the time is coming that everyone who kills you will think that he is rendering service to God" (vs 1-2). That will be to the Jewish god, the Muslim god and Catholic god; but not to the true God!

Verse 3: "And they shall do these things to you because they do not know the Father, nor Me." We're going to see what it is to know God! How do you know God? We know God through:

  • His blessings
  • His Word
  • the Holy Days
  • Passover
  • healing
  • correction/chastisement

That's what Job said; 'Now my eye sees!'

  • the creation

Romans 1:20[transcriber's correction]: "For the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse."

But that doesn't mean you know God! There are people who are acquainted with the fact that God has created everything. In this case let's use the Jews. They say that they know the God of the Old Testament, but they really don't know the God of the Old Testament.

Let's look at the things from which everything else falls. The first way that we know God is that we love God.

  • We love God and God loves us

1-John 4:7: "Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God because God is love" (vs 7-8). If you love God—of course, there are a couple of things that tell us that it's the right God—you know God! If you don't love God, you don't know God.

Verse 9: "In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love—not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another" (vs 9-11).

1-John 3:24: "…by this we know that He is dwelling in us…" [we know that Christ abides in us, then we know God] …by the Spirit which He has given to us.

  • He has given us of His Spirit and we know that we have His Spirit in us

Verse 24: "And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him, and He in him…"

  • Keeping His commandments

1-John 2:3 "By this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments."

Remember what we covered in John 14? If you love Me, keep My commandments! The one who is loving Me and keeping My Word, the Father will be loving and We will come to him and make Our abode!

See how that all ties in? That's why John is such a fantastic book. Between the Gospel of John and 1-John it is absolutely incredible the way it all comes together.

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him."

That is the acid test just on a visual basis, or out of your mouth. You can't walk up to someone and say, 'I can tell you don't have the Spirit of God.' You can't look into their mind and see whether they do or not. But you can observe whether they keep the commandments of God or not. Anyone who loves God will really want to be keeping His commandments.

If they find that they're not keeping His commandments, there's something they should do—Oh yeah, I never knew that, I'll do it right away! Then you know that they have a least some kind of relationship with God.

Verse 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word… [that ties right in with John 14, the Word of God, the saints of God] …truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…." We have two things that John[transcriber's correction] is excluding:

    • those who claim to be Christians, but didn't keep the commandments of God
    • those Jews who claim to keep the commandments of God, but do not have the love of God perfected in them

Jesus said of the Pharisees, 'I know you that you do not have the love of God in you.' There are two groups excluded here.

"…truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked" (vs 5-6).

Those are the main things that show us that we know God!

  • Believe in Jesus Christ

1-John 5:13: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." We're going to see how important this belief is, if we can just bring to mind about what God did, what Jesus really represented, how much God gave of Himself so that Christ could be our Savior.

John 16:4: "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. But now I am going to Him Who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' But because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your hearts. But I am telling you the truth. It is profitable for you that I go away because if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. However, if I go, I will send it to you. And when that one has come, it will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment" (vs 4-8). Then Jesus explains further:

Verse 9: "Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me." We're going to find that is one of the greatest sins that can be. Jesus labeled it as sin. The Holy Spirit convicts the world because it didn't believe! That's why it's so tough on the Jews. I feel sorry for them. The poor Jews had the blessing of Abraham, which gives them a glimmer of hope, and then the curse of rejecting Jesus comes back on them time and time again.

  • How about the Muslims?
  • How about the Buddhists?

They don't believe! That is the greatest sin! If you don't believe that Jesus is the Christ you have nothing to do with God!

John 3:16: "…so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life." But if you believe not, you are condemned already.

  • transgressing God's Law

Jesus points out that this is a tremendous sin. Let's look at some of the things that are sin: Sin is the transgression of the Law!

1-John 3:4: "Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness." That is defining one kind of sin.

  • that which is not of faith

Romans 14:23: "But the one who doubts is condemned if he eats because his eating is not of faith; for everything that is not of faith is sin."

  • unbelief in Jesus

A greater category of sin. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would reprove the world of sin, because they did not believe on Him. That's a tremendously powerful statement. That's why it is impossible for an agnostics or an atheist or anyone who does not know Jesus Christ for them to please God. They cannot do it, because they don't understand what Jesus did.

They don't understand what God did for them, and won't accept the tremendous sacrifice of Christ. I think that if we really let these things soak in deeply what God did through Jesus Christ I think it will be more meaningful to us that the great God Who created the vastness of the universe would do this for all of humankind. Then for God to prove it to the world, and then especially to the Jews. They didn't believe on Him, that is a sin!

We've heard many definitions of the work of God.

John 6:27: "'Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them…" (vs 27-29), go build buildings, schools, hospitals, seminaries, churches, feed the poor, print magazines, booklets. No! He didn't! You can find a lot of people who print magazines and booklets. What did Jesus say?

"…'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'" (v 29). You believe on Jesus Christ! That is the greatest work! It's really something how these things crystallize when you really get into studying and getting into the Word of God. That is the work of God above everything else, above food and drink.

Verse 35[transcriber's correction]: "Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time.'" If you truly believe what it is that Jesus did, what it is that God the Father did through Jesus, and you truly believe that you have eternal life through Jesus Christ, there is nothing greater in the world that you can do!

Just think on that and let that soak in deeply, because that means an awful lot.

(go to the next track)

Maybe this will help us understand a little bit more about what Jesus said here, Mark 1:14: "Now, after the imprisonment of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God… [that's the beginning of it] …and saying, 'The time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel'" (vs 14-15). Just stop and think a minute:

  • What is your interpretation of the Gospel?
  • What did we learn that the Gospel was?
  • Good News!
  • What is the Good News?
  • That the Kingdom of God is coming!

That is part of it, but there are many aspects of the Gospel.

  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ!
  • Promise of eternal life!

The Gospel is many faceted, it's not just one thing.

  • That Jesus Christ is the Son of God!
  • That the Father sent Him!

The reason that I'm asking all of these questions is because in the past we thought the Gospel was only the preaching of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 24:14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come."

With this statement, our understanding in the past, and somehow it got out that the government of God was coming on the earth, that's all that was needed to be told to people. NO! That's too narrow of a definition. That's only part of it. It has to do with

  • God intervening in our lives
  • healing in our lives
  • Christian growth and overcoming
  • repentance

The preaching of the Gospel is a tremendous broad thing. Let's look at Acts 20 in the light of the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the tremendous meaning of the grace of God. It has to be! All of these things have to be! I think that the focus on preaching the Gospel has got to come more in Who and What Jesus was and is than the fact that God is going to set up a government on this earth. That has got to come out first so that people can identify with it. Otherwise, it becomes too much like a political movement. Join this cause and it's too much like joining a political party.

There are too many people who have a religion that is like that. 'You come over here and join this church and we're going to march arm in arm to bring the Kingdom of God.' No way! You first have to understand about Christ.

Acts 20:24: "But I myself do not take any of these things into account, nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify the Gospel of the grace of God." I think it's been an awfully long, long time, and really we have not understood it until just recently. But it's been a long time since I've heard anyone, even those connected with the Church of God, really preach about the sacrifice of Christ, and really preach about the grace of God the way it really is.

So, my question is that if the Gospel of the Kingdom is going to be preached as a witness before the end, maybe we've not been looking at the full aspect of the Gospel that needs to be preached. Maybe that's why we figured the end was a whole lot closer.

How is it going to be an advantage to anyone to be told to get on God's side or you're going to be killed? We know that eventually that's true. We know that eventually that's going to happen. But you're not going to convince someone out in the world. You can with a certain amount of fear. You can do certain things with people who fear. But that isn't going to last always. With some people it will last all the time, with others it won't. But I don't know who is preaching about the really true Jesus of the Gospel showing what He did; showing that the great Creator God took upon Himself all the sins of the world in Himself, and that God did this. It was Jesus Christ, and there is salvation to believing that!

He is coming as the Conquering King of the whole world, and yes, if you fight Christ you will die! But if you don't believe you will also die! But why die? Look at all that God has done for you! Is that what God is going to have preached? I'm sure that it is! Believing on Christ, and believing Who He was and what He stood for is the whole purpose of the book of John.

John 8:43: "Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice…." (vs 43-44). We'll tie this in later about righteousness and the ruler of this world, etc.

"…He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the Truth because there is no Truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you can convict Me of sin? But if I speak the Truth, why don't you believe Me? The one who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God" (vs 44-47). Why is that such a sin? to not believe on Him?

Verse 58 tells us exactly, because you're not really believing in God. Anything else is:

  • a god of nationality
  • a god of your family that you grew up in
  • is a god of convenience
  • is a god of superstition, an idol, whatever

Verse 58: "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'" That's what it really means to believe into Jesus Christ. It is such a profound thing, and it is so deep and meaningful. The whole Gospel of John was written on that.

When you have a little time you look up believe, believing, believes—all the derivations of belief, and you'll find that fills the book of John, and the Epistle of First John. There were 37 things about Christ and God that we need to know that are related to us in the book of 1-John. So, if you really believe, then you're going to know. That's why it's such a sin.

John 14:10[transcriber's correction]: "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak from My own self; but the Father Himself, Who dwells in Me, does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves" (vs 10-11). He gave a little 'escape hatch' there, not much.

The Holy Spirit is going to reprove or convict, or correct the world because of sin, because they believe not on Jesus Christ.

John 16:10—the Holy Spirit will come and convict the world: "Concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer will see Me."

Rom. 3 is the whole righteousness that Paul was trying to teach. What is the true righteousness of God?

Romans 3:21: "But now, the righteousness of God that is separate from law has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets." This is why Paul wrote so much about the righteousness of Christ, and that since God has done all the things that He did through Jesus Christ, and since Jesus came and is the perfect sacrifice, and it is through Him that we have our righteousness, therefore, our own works will never, never do it.

Let's look at this way: I hire you to work for me and you come in, and I say I'll pay you $10/hr. $20? $50?—whatever. If you do the job well I'm going to give you a bonus. Can you come in and claim you own the store? No! That's one analogy.

  • What if you are able to keep the commandments of God in the letter perfectly?
  • Can you receive eternal salvation?
  • No!

Even if you did it in the letter perfectly, because that is only the outside. It's what's in the inside; we understand about the law of sin and death. That's why God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and 'for sin condemned sin in the flesh.' No righteousness is greater than the righteousness of Christ, absolutely none! So, God says that 'I'm willing to give you My righteousness, separate from the Law—above and beyond and in addition to the Law—free, if you believe on Jesus Christ! That's why when you try and earn salvation it can never happen. This is the righteousness of God. That's why the Holy Spirit convicts the world of righteousness, because Jesus was truly righteous. He alone was righteous. That's what it's saying here.

Verse 22: "Even the righteousness of God that is through the faith of Jesus Christ, toward all and upon all those who believe; for there is no difference." That's the righteousness that it's talking about.

Romans 4:4: "Now, to the one who works, the reward is not reckoned according to grace; rather, it is reckoned as a debt." There are going to be people saying, 'We did this, Lord; we did a work for You, Lord.' In other words, God owes it to you.

Verse 5: "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness." That's why not believing in Christ is such a tremendous sin! God says that He sent His Son, that if you believe on Him—into Him—He will impute to you the righteousness of Christ; give it to you free! Everything that Christ means free! That's why the keeping of the commandments. Oh, they're required! We need to do it; there's no way around that.

Verse 6: "Even as David also declares the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness separate from works: 'Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered'" (vs 6-7).

  • that comes from repentance
  • that comes from belief
  • that comes from faith
  • that is the real cure from sin

because that's the only thing that changes the inside! Nothing on the outside will change it. Judgment and law does not stop the sin.

  • when you believe in Christ
  • when God gives His grace to you
  • when He gives you His righteousness
  • when your desire is to love God
    • What happens? You don't want to sin!
    • When you do what happens? It leads you to repentance so that God can forgive you!

Verse 8: "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute any sin."

Romans 9:30: "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not follow after righteousness…" Isn't that something? Here's the way the Jews looked at it:

  • God, we have been You're people
  • God, we have endured all these things
  • God, we fought off the Romans
  • God, we preserved Your Word
  • God, we are Your chosen people
  • God, look at all these heathen out there

Then God intervenes and sends the Gospel and here are these people that never knew God, now are brought in close to Christ.

Verse 30: "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not follow after righteousness, have attained righteousness, even the righteousness that is by faith. But Israel… [referring here to the Jews] …although they followed after a law of righteousness, did not attain to a law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by works of law…" (vs 30-32).

Every time something went wrong they added another law. Even the Jews admit that they have made many laws to fence in the other laws that God had. So, it was done by a work of law. They're missing the whole point.

"…for they stumbled at the Stone of Stumbling, exactly as it is written: 'Behold, I place in Sion a Stone of Stumbling and a Rock of offense, but everyone who believes in Him shall not be ashamed'" (vs 32-33). There it is, it gets right back to belief!

Romans 10:1: "Brethren, the earnest desire of my heart and my supplication to God for Israel is for salvation. For I testify of them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God" (vs 1-3).

When I first read that I couldn't understand that. I thought that was so much mumbo-jumbo I couldn't believe it. Now it's clear as can be. They're out there playing 'religion.' They have their righteousness, but God says, 'Here's my Son, and I will give you My righteousness.'

Verse 4: "For Christ is the end of works of law for righteousness…" That means that Christ brings into the world the true righteousness of God. You can't go any further.

  • Is any man going to outdo God?
  • Is any man going to create 'religious' things that makes a better religion than God can provide?
  • Absolutely not!

"…to everyone who believes" (v 4). You're not seeking salvation by works. You're not seeking it by law. You don't throw away the commandments of God; you keep them with understanding and God's Spirit.

Philip. 3—Paul talks about the righteousness he had with the law, and with the law he was blameless.
Philippians 3:6: "…with respect to righteousness that is in law, blameless." He didn't want to be having his own righteousness.

Verse 7: "Yet, the things that were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. But then truly, I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung; that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is derived from law, but that righteousness which is by the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God that is based on faith" (vs 7-9). That's the kind of righteousness that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of.

John 16:11: "And concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judge." We know many things about that. I can go through many Scriptures showing that Satan is the 'god of this world.' He deceives the whole world.

1-John 5:19: "We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one." It's all controlled by Satan. Satan is judged, but he is not yet cast out. He is not yet put away or destroyed.

You get up before any group of 'religious' people and tell them that, you would be condemned for intolerance. But that's what the Scripture says! There are other Scriptures that say that we are to be:

  • kept from the evil one
  • delivered from the evil one
  • God will take care of that wicked one when He returns; destroy with the brightness of His coming

John 16:12: "I have yet many things to tell you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come. That one shall glorify Me because it shall disclose to you the things that it receives from Me. Everything that the Father has is Mine; for this reason, I said that it shall receive from Me and shall disclose these things to you" (vs 12-15).

That's a promise we can claim now. Even John said that if everything was written about Christ the world itself would be filled with books.

  • Can the Holy Spirit reveal to us the things we need to have, know and understand? Yes, it can!
  • Can it teach us of God's Word? Yes, it can!

We've all experienced that!

  • God's Spirit has led us
  • we are being taught of God's Spirit
  • it's increasing

Verse 16: "'A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me, because I am going to the Father.' Then some of His disciples said to one another, 'What is this that He is saying to us, "A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me," and, "because I am going to the Father"?' Therefore, they said, 'What is this that He is saying, the "little while"? We do not understand what He is saying.'  Then Jesus, knowing that they desired to ask Him, said to them, 'Why are you inquiring among one another about this that I said, "A little while, and you shall not see Me; and againa little while, and you shall see Me"?'" (vs 16-19).

Even then they didn't comprehend it, even after Jesus was resurrected. Remember that just before He ascended into heaven, they all came and worshiped Him, but some doubted (Matt. 28)? What does it take for some people to believe? It just makes you wonder!

Verse 20: "Truly, truly I tell you, you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be grieved, but your grief shall be turned into joy." I imagine that it was when they saw the resurrected Christ. I imagine that they really had joy.

Verse 21: "A woman when she is giving birth has grief because her time of travail has come; but after she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world."

I'm sure that all of you who are mothers can still remember the pain. That's not to say that the Scripture is not so, but you look back and at Hannah—Samuel's mother—and she had joy when Samuel was born. She didn't even care about the pain. I would have to say that think today, because of our degenerate end-time remnant of human beings, there's much more pain in childbirth than perhaps was then. But nevertheless, when you really have what you want, then the pain diminishes, it goes away; you don't remember it.

Verse 22: "And likewise, you indeed have grief now, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and no one shall take your joy from you." I think we're beginning to receive some of that joy that comes from God in understanding these things.

Verse 23: "And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly I tell you, whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until this day, you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full" (vs 23-24). I think that in coming to God in prayer, having more belief and faith then we're going to have more answers.

Jesus said that if you believe and have faith as the grain of a mustard seed… That's interesting, we've always emphasized that if you had faith as the grain of a mustard seed that you could say to the sycamore tree, 'be gone and go into the ocean' it would go.

But He said, 'If you believe and have faith…' Maybe that missing ingredient of really believing on Christ the way it should have been is what has really been missing. Hopefully, let's grow in that; "…that your joy may be full."

Verse 25: "These things I have spoken to you in allegories; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in allegories, but I will plainly disclose to you the things of the Father." I imagine that was during the 40 days that He was with the disciples. He showed them a lot of things that weren't recorded, and He probably told them not to record this or that or the other thing.

Verse 26: "In that day, you shall ask in My name; and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you." If you get down to the lowest point you've ever been in your life and you think that no one wants you, no one cares for you, everyone hates you, you're rejected of everybody, turn to:

Verse 27: "'For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.' Then His disciples said to Him, 'Behold, now You are speaking plainly and are not speaking in an allegory. Now we know that You understand all things, and do not need to have someone ask You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.' Jesus answered them, 'Do you now believe?'" (vs 27-31). He put in the form of a question from the point of view that there's a whole lot more to believe!

Verse 32: "Listen, the time is coming, and has already come, that you shall be scattered each to his own, and you shall leave Me alone; and yet, I am not alone because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation. But be courageous! I have overcome the world" (vs 32-33).

That's quite a statement, in spite of all the difficulties and problems. I think I'm beginning to understand. I've had people ask me about that and I haven't really been able to answer the question: How can I have joy in tribulation? 

I think if we really have the kind of belief that Jesus is talking about, then the difficulties and problems will not nearly destroy us. The greater the belief, the more you're able to cope with it and handle it! I think we're right on the verge of really beginning to really understand and grasp what it means to believe to the depths of your being!

You can have faith and you can keep the commandments of God, and everything then just falls into line. I think that perhaps the process of our education of conversion was not the fact that God didn't call us—He did! It wasn't the fact that we didn't have God's Spirit—we do! But we start with believing the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, understanding a certain amount about Christ to repent, but it should be that we should understand and believe about Christ first, then the other comes.

I'm seeing that more and more and hopefully we can continue in it!

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

Scriptural References:

  • John 16:1-2
  • Acts 9:1-2
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:10-16
  • 1 Corinthians 12:3
  • John 16:1-3
  • Romans 1:20
  • 1 John 4:7-11
  • 1 John 3:24
  • 1 John 2:3-6
  • 1 John 5:13
  • John 16:4-9
  • John 3:16
  • 1 John 3:4
  • Romans 14:23
  • John 6:27-29, 35
  • Mark 1:14-15
  • Matthew 24:14-15
  • Acts 20:24
  • John 8:43-47, 58
  • John 14:10-11
  • John 16:10
  • Romans 3:21-22
  • Romans 4:4-8
  • Romans 9:30-33
  • Romans 10:1-4
  • Philippians 3:6-9
  • John 16:11
  • 1 John 5:19
  • John 16:12-33

Scripture referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 17; 6
  • Matthew 28

Also referenced: Books:

  • Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi
  • The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop
  • Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow