Love & Overcoming Offenses
Fred R. Coulter—November 3, 1996

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What is happening in the world and the Churches of God today?

What is the solution to what is happening?

We are seeing an unprecedented scattering of the people of God to many different directions—to all the four winds. That was prophesied that it would happen. But there are things that are happening within not only the Churches of God, but every church and in the whole society. There's a bigger picture that we need to look to. We need to understand what's going on.

Paradigm Changes:

I'm going to read to you from this report, Global 2000 by John Coleman, which is a blueprint for global genocide. That may shock you to find out that's what some of them have planned, but when you read the book of Revelation it should not come as a shock. This Global 2000 report was accepted by former President Jimmy Carter. There are a lot of things that you don't know that are kept from a lot of people. This man does a lot of research and finds out what is going on. He used to work for the CIA and he knows an awful lot. Let me read on page 12 from this report, Global 2000:

Global 2000 and the New World Order, for which it stand, plans fundamental societal changes for man.

Are we having fundamental societal changes now? Not only here but in every society! Look at China, Africa, Russia, Europe, South America—fundamental societal changes.

  • Have you been affected by these? Yes!
  • Has it affected your family? Yes!
  • Has it affected your children? In many cases, Yes!

I've got something else here I need to add in this point concerning children just to show you how subtle that this is, and how that they're working on every front. You need to understand when anyone talks about the CFR, the Trilateralists, the Bilderbergers, etc., you know they're dealing with a lower level. The higher level is bigger than that. They are working on the younger generation, because the first thing that you want to do, in order to create this new generation, in order to bring about these fundamental changes is that you must get to schools. Have the schools been had? Totally!

What does Hillary want to do with the children? This is all a part of United Nations Year of the Children kind of thing. Did you know that the one-worlders are striking, through the cereal boxes, at your kids? This came in Post Corn Flakes. Let me read it to you; this is for kids. Now they're going to participate in voting, so it's kind of a game—all right. They send you a free voting phone card. The kids get this and it says, tells you how to do it if you have a touch-tone phone.

Secret Code. You have a secret code. And this one is #21814607608, then you can vote for Flintstone for President—first President of Bedrock.

Remember this: Satan gets in all of his evil through humor! Understand that! If you don't believe me, watch Walt Disney. If you don't believe me, watch the slapstick of the Three Stooges. That's how he gets it in. That's how he gets in homosexuality and transvestitism and all kinds of terrible behavior—ungodly, abominable behavior—by first introducing it with comedy.

Now then, there's going to be a prize; there's a prize panel. This is also sponsored by Post and Nickelodeon Kids/Nickelodeon Cartoons. That's one of the leading stations in the world today, Nickelodeon. It's not only here; it's worldwide. This is going worldwide. I won't tell you about the prizes, but Nickelodeon, Kid's Bill of Rights:

In the course of history it has become pretty clear that all people are born with certain unalienable rights, among them: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But these rights haven't always been applied to kids. Now, 200 years after the creation of the American Bill of Rights, this declaration proclaims to the world…

That is this declaration right here, that I'm holding in my hands is proclaiming to the world:

…that you, as a kid, have rights, too.

I want you to think about rights. Want you to think about that, as we go through:

  • You have the right to be seen and heard and respected as a citizen of the world.

Nothing like taking away a little patriotism—Yes!

  • You have a right to a world that is peaceful and an environment that is not spoiled.

Peace under whose regime and environmental control by whom?

  • You have a right to be treated with equality regardless of race, religion, nationality, sex, personality

personality includes lifestyles

  • grades or size
  • You have the right to make mistakes without someone making you feel like a jerk-head.
  • You have the right to be protected from harm, injustice and hatred.

Who's going to do that?Hillary!

  • You have the right to an education that prepares you to run the world when it is your turn.

Remember 1992 election, 'it's our turn.' The younger generation: 'It is our turn, move over George Bush, the baby-boomers are taking over.'

  • You have the right to your feelings and opinions even if others don't agree with them.

What's wrong with rights? There can be no rights without responsibilities and duties! For example:

  • You have a right to a fair trial—provided you tell the truth.
  • You have a right to equal access—provided you don't cheat.
  • You have right to be heard—when it's your turn.
  • You also have the right, as parents, to discipline your children—which this takes it away from you lock, stock and barrel.

This is no little thing that is happening. This is something! I want you to think on how this is affecting the Church in some ways, too.

Fundamental changes. Part of Global 2000 bears a resemblance to the work of Louis Mumford entitled, Transformation of Man…[We're getting better and better and better] …written in 1956. Mumford argued that changes are taking place all the time but there seems to be particular periods in history when society has gone through fundamental changes. Every society ever known rests on the same basic assumptions about: who we are, what kind of world we are in and what is ultimately important to us.

What is our basic—not assumption, but—Rock? The Word of God! What are they trying to do to the Word of God to change that? Well, if you haven't heard New Age Bible versions one and two, you better! Now we're finding out that the New King James Version is almost as bad as the NIV and the New American StandardBible. But, what is it doing in the world? They are changing all of these things!

The Tavistock Institute for Human Relations…

That is in Great Britain. That is a leading center for brain control, propaganda, the think-tank for world control and one-world government and everything.

…they borrowed this from Thomas Kuhn's, Structure of Scientific Revolutions particularly by using his term: "paradigm changes…."

Have you heard that? Paradigm changes! Yes! John Morgan is editing his paper that he did entitled, Brainwashing and Subversion. And you're going to be astounded at what happened.

…When referring to societal transformation, with such as we have undergone, very much against the will of the majority.

Have you ever wondered how it is, that the majority of people are against all of this, but it still keeps coming? In spite of everything that you do? If you want to change the school system, go to the school board. No! They won't give you an ear because they have the 'program coming down.'

I want you to think of this in relationship to the Church. I want you to think of what these things do to individuals, because it has an effect when you know that these changes are going against Truth and against what is right and against the Word of God; it does something to you.

Examples of cultural paradigm shifts are acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism; pornography; disgustingly degraded music; so-called rock music…

That's how Satan puts them on his wave-link, right there: the rock music, MTV; if you're too young for MTV, then Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon has this contest where they have this big head of Baal. Have you seen that? He opens up his mouth and he talks with the kids and rewards prizes and they have certain contests they go through—all sponsored by Nickelodeon. Of course, all under fun and games, but what is it doing?

  • it's changing values
  • it's changing thought patterns
  • it's bringing in idolatry
  • it's bringing in reward from Satan for doing his bidding.

It's something! That's linguistic programming, there, Nero linguistic programming, that's all part of it.

…pornography; rock music; modern art; degradation in education; infanticide—called, aborticide—rampant divorce; disrespect for religious institutions….

But the problem is they have also taken all the religious institutions and put in people there, which cause disrespect for them. How can you believe someone like Robert Schuler? I mean, just look at him. I keep praying that that crystal palace will have a great earthquake under it one day and it all comes tinkling down.

In the political arena, we have allowed tampering with our priceless constitution….

And he showed one of the keys of how this was done with the Gulf War thing. Very subtle!

The President is commander-in-chief only after war is declared by congress. He is NOT commander-in-chief to instigate a war at any time he wants to.

Very subtle change. This stuff is big, I'm telling you.

And permitted our president to break both domestic and international laws and treaties. Tavistock called this "tampering with the minds on a mass scale. The basic way of perceiving, thinking, valuing and doing associated with a particular view of reality."

This paradigm shift marked the turning away from the thoroughly decent society that America was up until the 1950s when President James Earl Carter accepted Global 2000 report as a guideline for the future. Beyond the capacity of any of us to forecast the consequences of such demonically inspired paradigm shifts, but the conspirators always knew what they would be.

Most of us did not realize that the profound changes were being forced upon us so that we could resist them. But now that some of us it has taken years of our time to investigate these paradigm shifts, there is no excuse for us to remain ignorant. The cause and effect of such profound changes has been fully identified.

Then he says now what we need to do is go fight against it. Well, the problem is that's exactly what they want you to do so they can isolate you and take you out.

Global 2000 is working for a total belief system and organization of beliefs which we, Americans, accept as truth of the country in which we live: verbal, non-verbal; implicit, explicit; conscience and unconscious.

Has something like this happened in the Church? Yes! What happens when these things take place? When you come to a point that it looks like you yourself are going to be absolutely violated—either mentally, spiritually or physically—what do you do? You put up barriers and protection—do you not? Yes, you do!

What else happens? Well, we're going to look at some of these, because it affects the Church. Let's look in Luke 15. First of all, it will affect many people to give up on God, and go in their own carnal way for a while though they know better. If you have not heard the sermon that I did To Return to God, I recommend that you go ahead and listen to that.

This is the parable of the prodigal son—Luke 15. You know the story, the son said, 'Hey Dad, I want my money, I want to go on my own, I'm big and strong and tough and know everything in the world; and I have all the wisdom that there is ever to know and so, I'm gone, bye-bye.'

So, the Dad gave him his inheritance and he left. And then lo and behold it didn't work out like he expected. The son went out and thought, 'I'm going to have a good time.' He wasted the money on wine, women and song and all kinds of things like that, got in debt and then he had to go to work for someone who was raising hogs.

Now, consider for a Jew, what would be the worst possible job of all? Going out and feeding hogs! That's what he did, and he was under strict orders: 'You are not to touch any of this grain that goes to the hogs.' He was starving to death and then something happened.

This shows that even in this, even if people leave God, God never leaves them! Which means that, in reality, they have never left God. They're only kidding themselves in what they're doing, just like this. But something happens.

Luke 15:17: "And when he came to himself…" That's a point of repentance for all of us. We all have to come to ourselves. So, it's affected many people that way, and some are not ready to face themselves, yet. Let's hope and pray that they will, so they can come back to God. I remember talking to a man, which inspired the sermon that I gave: To Return to God. He said, 'I left the Church 20 years ago. I didn't do the things I knew I should have done, but I never forgot what God was and I never forgot what I believed.' His conscience just ate away at him until he came to himself.

You may know some people that way yourself. You may have come to that point yourself, I don't know. But just understand there's hope.

So then, he came to reality: "…he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have an abundance of bread, and I am dying of hunger? I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; and I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired servants"'" (vs 17-19).

Of course, the father was out there probably every sunset like Jacob did when he thought that he lost Joseph. Sitting there moaning, wondering: Is this real? Holding that bloody, multi-colored jacket that he gave Joseph. And the lying brothers kept this up for 17 years!

If you think you have difficulty in your family, just go back and read about the patriarchs. It wasn't all sweet roses and nice. There were carnal, human things that took place, too. If you have some of those things in your family, in your life, don't think God is against you and don't think you're a failure. There are more factors involved and there's a choice of the people involved that's greater beyond that. Don't go around and condemn yourself and have a guilty conscience. You repent of your part and let God help you over that and what you're doing—and He will!

The father saw him a long way off, the sun came up, he had his speech all ready, he said, 'Father, I have sinned against you and heaven.' The father said, 'Son, I'm glad you're back.' He called the servants and said, 'Let's have a feast. Clean him up and put the best robe on him.'

Then you know what happened with the brother. We don't want to be like the brother who said, 'Where have you been, what have you been doing? You mean you're coming back and you're getting this; and I've been here doing this all the time? Now Dad, you're not fair. I have rights!' The father has a right to do with his son as he pleases. God will do that with us! He will welcome us back with open arms, and it will be solid, it will be good, and it will happen.

I'm building up to something, because we're going to see that what God is doing in bringing people together, bringing them to us. We don't go out and solicit; we don't go out and politic; we don't go out and count numbers. We ask God to send the ones He wants. That's not a matter of being selfish. That's a matter of God sending us the greatest job to do, when you understand it. It's harder when there have been a lot of difficulties and problems; and trust has been violated; and feelings have been hurt; and disillusionment has set in.

I know there must be thousands of brethren out there somewhere, whatever we can do to reach out and help them. You have those who are the prodigal son/prodigal daughter-type, who gave up on God, went off on their own temporarily. God hasn't forgotten! If they have the Spirit of God they are going to think on it everyday—though they try to push it out of their minds. And every time the Sabbath comes along, they're going to think of it, they may push it out of their minds, but God is not through with them.

Speaking in Tongues:

Here's the next problem that we find in the Church—which is quite prevalent. Concerning speaking in tongues, because that seems to be the current rage of false doctrine now, and there are many false doctrines going around like leaves in a hurricane. We'll see a Biblical explanation of speaking in tongues:

1-Corinthians 14:22: "Consequently, gifts of languages are a sign… [it has no place within the Church] …but for those who do not believe…." So, they can hear the Gospel preached in their own language, which they know that the speaker doesn't know. It is not a so-called 'Pentecostal experience' because every religion on the face of the earth has a Pentecostal branch of its religion. You didn't know the Muslims did—did you? The Hindus do, and the Hindus roll up their long hair, the men do, in these big turbans. When they get dancing, they have their hair down and they roll their heads around and chant and chant, jump up and down, and yell and scream and lose their minds by doing this: by de-voiding your mind of thought.

God never wants you to devoid your mind of thought! That's what happens with this. Besides, it becomes vain repetition—doesn't it? It is for the unbeliever.

"...But prophecy… [that is inspired speaking, not just speaking in prophecy, to move people to serve and love God] …is not for the unbelievers, but for those who believe" (v 22). That's why there are levels of preaching. We are at a higher level of preaching now than we would be for a brand new group, because you should know your Bibles and we're going to learn more of the depths of the Scriptures that we need to know. Now is the time to perfect those saints that God would have perfected. That doesn't mean that we're avoiding the new people.

Verse 33: "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." What were they having in 1-Corinthians? Why, they were having a grand old heretical time! That's what they were doing. Everyone was big and important; everyone was a preacher, teacher and evangelist.

Verse 26: "What is it then, brethren? When you assemble together, each of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a language, has a revelation, or has an interpretation…. [a wild mob scene in church] …Let all things be done for edification." In other words, these things are not to edify.

So, we have within the Church, sweeping false doctrines and people who have been dumbed down and don't know their Bibles and they get carried away with it, because people are able to quote Scripture, clearly quote the Scripture, which is Truth, and then misapply it. As I mentioned at the Feast, Scripture properly quoted but misapplied is still false doctrine! You need to understand that. We are dealing in a day when we not only need to know the true doctrine. We need to know why it's true. On the other hand, we need to know the false doctrine and we need to know why it's false. It's not sufficient to say it's a false doctrine any longer.

Now then, please understand this: Do not treat doctrine as you treat the wayward sinner or Christian. That is a confusion that has come into the Church and has turned everything upside down. Why? He believes this; he has a right to believe that as you believe this! Basic doctrine is not a matter of personal interpretation and belief.

So therefore, they have transferred to doctrine the relationship we need with brethren to help, to encourage, to give the benefit of doubt, to lead along. They have then treated the brethren as doctrine! Now, think on that! Why do I say that? Because false doctrine is not to be tolerated! But brethren who have difficulties need to be loved and tolerated and helped to overcome. We can never overcome being a dirty, rotten no-good if you're always told you're a 'dirty, rotten, no-good'—can you? You know you can't.

  • You have to know that God loves you!
  • You have to know that God has called you!
  • You have to know why He's called you!

Offenses:

What happens when that occurs? People are easily offended, and sometimes at the slightest thing. Sometimes you don't even know that you have offended people. Let me ask you: How many of you have offended someone and didn't even know it? Were you surprised when that occurred? Yes! In how many cases did they not come to you? Every case!

This is not just in the Churches of God, but this is everywhere in the world—is it not? So, you see what's happened, these planned societal satanic changes coming down in the world has affected the Church, and the satanic infiltration in the Churches of God have also affected it. What do you do? You guard yourself—correct?You say no one is ever going to do that to me again! Right? Yes! And that brings offenses!

We all like to go to Matthew 24 and read the prophecies, but there's one that is active and on-going right now, which Jesus said would happen, that we need to understand and face with reality, because it does affect us. I'm not going to read all the big things in world events that's going to take place.

This is why, when society becomes unglued, there are many ways it's going to be done. I think one way it's going to be done is to cut off government aid to people who are dependent on it, and then guess what's going to happen? At each other's throats.

Matthew 24:8: "Now all these things are the beginning of sorrows." When you have your back up to the wall, you have your rights taken away from you, you're offended because of what people have done—and likewise it's happened in the Church—you're very defensive. I've been; I know you have been, because you don't want it to happen to you again. You don't want to be lied to again. You don't want to be robbed again, you don't want to be led down the path with false doctrine and false teaching again. Now you're in a perfect place, you just say, 'Me and You, Lord.' If you work it out between you and God, that's fine. But not everyone does.

Verse 9: "Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake…. [that's coming] …And then shall many be led into sin, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another… [That's why, brethren, preaching and teaching the love of God is so important, that's the only solution to this. There's no other solution. What happens when this climate takes place?] …And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many" (vs 9-11). Is that happening? Is it happening within the Churches of God? Yes! So then, we have the offended. This gives us the biggest task of all, because we are beginning to have a phenomena occur that you would never think would happen.

Proverbs 18:8: "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." Has that not happened to every one of you? Yes! What has it done? Turned you off on God!Turned you off on church! Turned you off on the whole thing! Remember, you can never take a vacation from God. You may need time to get your head squared around, but you can never take a vacation from God. If you have God's Holy Spirit, He is not ever going to let you go—without a doubt.

Verse 19—here's what we're up against, brethren, right here: "A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city; and their disagreements are like the bars of a fortress."

We're having a strange phenomena happen, and I appreciate your prayers concerning this, because all of the brethren need to be involved in this. We're having people come to us who are offended by someone else who is also coming to us. Now we must meet in the same congregation again. Is that not a hard task? Yes, it is! Now what are you going to do? You have to do Matt. 18! Go to your brother alone!

Since the Feast I've had two Matthew 18s myself. One to me: someone said, 'Fred, I need to talk to you Matt. 18.' When someone says that, pay strict attention! Be very willing to listen and don't react and get mad because it is a right and it is a duty! I truly offended someone, but I was happy that they came to me so we could resolve the issue and get it clarified, because I didn't even have a clue.

The worst mistake brethren make—husbands and wives, especially—is that you know what the other person is thinking. But you really never know! Have you done that with people? 'I know what he's thinking.' How do you know? Are you a mind-reader? What happens when you do that? You automatically make a judgment—don't you? What happens, nine out of ten times you're wrong.

Wives have a little better batting average, because they live with their husbands all the time and I think they're the greatest offenders of this; but when they're right, 'see, I was right, I was right, I was right.' Yes! Yes! Yes! you're right! You must use Matt. 18 to solve the problems. You go to the person, and you say, 'I need to talk to you Matt. 18' and get it resolved, love each other and make up, as brethren to brethren.

Now, you don't treat doctrine that way! What you do is you examine the Scriptures and prove what is being said, whether it is true or not. But don't treat brethren like doctrine! They're not doctrine, they're brethren!

That's why some people get angry at me, because they can't separate my pointing out their false doctrine from their person. So therefore, I am attacking that person. No, I'm not! But, when I see what we're doing to other brethren, somebody's got to say something—don't they? As one man said, 'Doesn't it say, cry aloud and spare not'? Are teachers and ministers exempt from that? Well, of course not!

We're not going to cover doctrine now. We need to pray that God will help us be able to help everyone overcome their offenses. Isn't it wonderful when you really forgive each other, whether it was a real hurt or imagined hurt, and I would say 60-80 percent of them are imagined hurts because you want to be offended. Some people walk around just wanting to be offended. 'I got this chip on my shoulder and if you knock it off you're going to offend me. If you look at me you're going to offend me. How dare you, you looked at me!' Like little kids when they're fighting: 'Daddy, he looked at me!' That's what we have been doing in the Church—with all of these lies and enforced changes—because your trust has been betrayed. Part of it is that you put your trust in the wrong place. Your offense is your own. So, we need to pray and ask God to help us, but that's going to happen to everybody.

Matthew 26:31: "Then Jesus said to them, 'All of you shall be offended in Me during this night; for it is written, "I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad."'" That's exactly what's happening in the Church today.

  • Many are offended in Christ.
  • Many are offended in brethren.
  • Many are offended in ministers.
  • Many are offended at everything.

Some people are just grumpy all the time. I've been that way, too.

Verse 32: "'But after I have been raised, I will go before you into Galilee.' Then Peter answered and said to Him, 'Even if all shall be offended in You, I will never be offended.'…. [Oh, really?] …Jesus said to him, 'Truly I say to you, during this very night, before the cock crows, you yourself shall deny Me three times'" (vs 32-34).

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Verse 35: "Peter said to Him, 'Even if I were required to die with You, in no way would I ever deny You.' All the disciples also spoke in like manner."

There it is, the flesh is willing but the spirit is weak—they all got offended. All of us are basically here because we got offended sometime. We've got a big job to do. We have to start with ourselves, like the prodigal son who 'came to himself.' Set aside your own self-created offense. We can self-create our offenses. 'I'll never speak to that individual again.' Well, try it Matt. 18 in the spirit of love and repentance and see what happens. It'll work!

Let's apply it to the Church, because this is what needs to be done. There was delivered to Christ the book of Isaiah, He read, saying, Luke 4:18: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (vs 18-19).

Let's apply this to the Church. Do we have broken-hearted people in the Church? Yes! Isn't that the hardest heart to heal? Yes, that is, because you've been so offended by people and leadership and one another and yourself. It is awfully hard to get healed, but let's pray and ask God to help us heal the broken-hearted.

I get letters all the time from people saying, 'Boy! I feel healed.' I'm happy that we're doing that. That's why we send out the care package; to help them. That's why in the letter I wrote the reason we send out the care packages: '…to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives…' You're a captive to your own carnal self. Your captive to your own sins and lusts. You're also a captive to the way that this world is, but there isdeliverance!

One woman said, 'Where do I begin? I know I need to begin.' Well, you start by asking God for the gift of repentance! That's where you start, because it has to come from God to bring that gift of repentance. Because only He can change the heart to motivate you to do what you need to do. With all of these things bottled up inside you, and all of these offenses crashing in about you, and with your defenses—so it will never happen again—it's almost an impenetrable barrier for some brethren. They need to start by asking for the gift of repentance—that they can repent. Everything else will flow from there and the deliverance will come.

"…and recovery of sight to the blind..." (v 18). Too many brethren have been blinded Scripturally—haven't they? I was talking to a man here just this morning and he said, 'You know the last Feast of Atonement that I kept, they didn't even mention one word about Satan.' Well, that's a very important part of Atonement, getting rid of Satan, wouldn't you think? Yes!

They take the same thing that they have done with Global 2000 and the Tavistock Institute to dumb everybody down and mold them into this one world thing. It's happened within the Church to a certain level. So, they need to have their eyes opened to understand the Word of God and God needs to provide us the things that we can help them with that.

"…to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed… [the spiritually bruised and abused to set them at liberty, meaning in the liberty and freeness and joy of Christ, that He alone can provide] …to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (vs 18-19) That's what it is today, all who are like that, and we've all been like that.
I remember in the heights of my depression I was really feeling sorry for myself and I had the greatest 'pity-party' possible—I did! You know you love 'pity-parties.' That soothes your offense; that justifies your offense; that makes you right in everything you are doing. I had a little bit of 'adult' beverage—Scotch, as a matter of fact—and I thought this is going to help me. I went to bed and couldn't go to sleep. I tossed and turned and what happens?

The Scripture says, 'Don't let the sun go down on your wrath,' because you're going to have just a terrible, miserable night. And I did! I was laying there, and I was right! I was right! I was right! It's even worse when you know you're right! And everybody knows they're right! I was right! I was laying in bed and about 2 o'clock in the morning I woke up and said, 'They can't do that!' But, they just did! And this is part of the trauma that everyone who's been associated with the Churches of God and maybe other churches—that things have happened in their churches and they've been taken down the garden path as well, they say the same thing. It's a common problem we can overcome.

Let's look how to overcome it. When that happens, don't you feel exhausted? I mean, you wake up the next morning and it's a dirge! Five cups of coffee doesn't even lift the eyelids—isn't that right?

  • you feel miserable
  • you feel justified
  • you feel hateful

Christ has a solution for that, Matthew 11:28: "Come to Me… [you go to Christ] …all you who labor… [laboring in your own stupidity and your own offense, and your own thing] …and are overly burdened…" You do! You go around with a burden.

Someone comes up and says, 'Man you got the whole world on your shoulders?' Yeah! Understand how merciful and kind and tolerant and loving and understanding that God is. Think of that! He says He will lift this, He will take it, He will help you. This is what we need to get out to the brethren. God will help them!If they come unto Christ! There it is, 'the heavy laden.'

"…and I will give you rest" (v 28). Don't kill yourself any longer. It's peaceful; it is wonderful; it is great when you come to the point of coming to Christ and laying it all before Him.

Verse 29: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me…" He went through everything. He was the loneliest man in the world. The most offended of any. You just think of what He did? Never sinning once, never raising His voice, never justifying Himself, but always knowing that God the Father was right.

"…for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 29-30). He'll take it for you, you can count on God to do that.

How's He going to do that? There's this battle that goes on, and you need to understand that the inner battle with sin that you have is because you have the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that is convicting you of the inner battle with sin. People without the Holy Spirit don't have this inner battle. They don't fight it. They just go with the flow. That's what the Apostle Paul was talking about here:

Romans 7:14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual [and it is, always ever working] …but I am carnal…" Now, an apostle of God for over 20 years saying, 'I'm carnal'—he's being inspired to being honest—right? Yes! Do we all get carnal? Yes! That's why God gives us inspiration so when we remember the inspiration, when we're in the pits of our depression, remember the inspiration, God will raise you up.

Verse 15: "Because what I am working out myself, I do not know. For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do…. [that's the conviction of the Holy Spirit to show you right from wrong within your own mind] …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, nothing wrong with the Law; it gives you the knowledge of sin.] …So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me; because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good. For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (vs 15-18).

Verse 21: "Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me…. [everybody's got the 'law of sin' from inheritance—called human nature. He also defines it as 'the law of sin and death' (Rom 8:2). But notice, he is stuck in this thing, doesn't know what to do] …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 leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members" (vs 21-23).

If you have something that's part of you, can you get rid of it? Well, you could even cut off fingers one at a time; hands one at a time; feet one at a time; arms one at a time; you could gouge out the eyes! You could stop up the ears and lie there in your bed as a paraplegic and lust—right? The answer is a physical, carnal solution will not solve the spiritual problem.

Verse 24: "O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death? 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 24-25).

Romans 8:1 is very important: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Come to Christ, that's the solution, that's the answer.

How do we come to Christ? This is very important to know, very important to understand and realize. This is what the brethren need to know. I'm going to bring a sermon on how we are to handle doctrine at a later date, because it's handled considerably different.

1-John 1:6 "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth…. [The Truth is 'Your Word is Truth, Your Law is Truth.'] …However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another… [That's how we have the fellowship. Why?] …and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us… [present tense participle, is cleansing us] …from all sin" (vs 6-7).

  • Does God want you to be perfect? Yes!
  • Does God want you to be spotless? Yes!
  • Does God want to present you blameless before the Father? Yes!
  • Is Christ there to accomplish that? Yes!

"…cleanses us from all sin"—and that means everyone! Cleansing is 'katharizo'—cleanse, purge, clean it.

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins [to Christ], He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (vs 8-9). That's where it begins, brethren, regardless of what it is. God is there. He's instant to forgive.

If you don't believe that, read about Ahab, that's one of my favorites. He sent Elijah over there, 'You go tell that Ahab he is just sold himself to sin and his retribution is coming heavy and hard and the dogs are going to lick up the blood of Jezebel and eat their flesh.' Elijah goes over there and pronounces it and lo and behold, free choice is involved. Ahab chooses to repent! So, Elijah turns around after giving that pronouncement and is walking down the road and the Word of the Lord came to Elijah and said, 'Elijah, see My servant, Ahab, how he's walking tenderly.' Ahab repented!He put on sackcloth and ashes!

If Ahab can repent, we can repent. God is willing and able and ready to forgive all sins if we confess our sins from the heart. That's how we can bring the brethren together, because then we don't have anything against each other. We've all brought it to Christ and we all lay it before Him. That's what's important. That's how it's going to be done. Isn't that going to be a marvelous thing indeed, when that occurs.

Will not God the Father and Jesus Christ be happy and rejoice? Won't the brethren be happy and rejoice? You can't accomplish it by political means. You can't accomplish it just by getting together and saying, 'Okay now, we're together again, yep.' NO! You have to have the love of God to do it. That's what they need to understand. That's what heals: the love of God! That's what inspires.

Let's see what is to happen, then we can begin to ask God to help us. Love is also a gift that comes from God. We have to pray for the gift of love. When you have someone who has offended you and you have had something that has gone wrong—husband/wife, friend/neighbor, brother/sister, whatever it may be, in the Church or out of the Church—I've had to learn, and it's difficult to learn because sometimes when you're real hard-headed like I am, it takes a little while to get into my cranium. I'm asking God to help me be more sensitive and attentive so I don't have to have the 2x4 treatment.

Instead of someone that has offended you or you have a problem with them, that you are going to wait until they straighten out their act and then you will forgive. Pray and ask God to give you of His Spirit, and pray and ask God to help Him change the mind of the person that you're having the difficulty with. You can't change the mind—God can! What you can do, in spite of everything, with a pure heart, love that individual. Best recipe in the world for husband/wife relations. In spite of everything! Even if they get angry back at you. Don't worry, maybe they're just testing you.

Here's how we're to do it, John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you…" Is that not a lifetime goal? Love each other as Christ has loved us! Look what He did for everyone of us. That's why in 1-John 4 it says, 'How can you love God when you haven't even seen Him and hate your brother whom you have seen.' Can't do it!

"…that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another. By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—if you love one another" (vs 34-35). It's not something that you can just work up, because it's the love. How can you love anyone as Christ has loved you unless Christ is in you? You can't! It's an impossibility because that love has to come from God. That is the gift of God.

Let's notice how this works. John 14 is one of my favorite places in the whole Bible. It tells us an awful lot and this is how we can help the brethren; this is how we can help each other. It's very important.

Let's also understand something about love, too. Love is the greatest! We are using the greatest, the most effective, the most unfailing thing that we can use when we use the love of God, because love never fails! It might be tough sliding for a while. But love never fails. You need to understand that.

John 14:15: "'If you love me… [notice, the condition is on us.] …keep the commandments…" With the love of God we're not dealing with commandment breaking or we can throw them away or anything like that. If you love Christ, keep His commandments. That means all of them. Then He says He's going to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. It's going to

  • guide you
  • comfort you
  • lead you
  • help you

There will be changes, and it's dwelling in you.

Verse 21: "The one who has My commandments and is keeping them…" If you begin to keep the commandments in the proper way, with the Holy Spirit of God in you, and fellowshipping with God the Father and Jesus Christ, not only are you just going to keep the commandments, you're going to have another aspect of it that's going to come. You're going to want to do the things that please God; that's what's important. The biggest hindrance is that old self standing in the way; it is!

"…that is the one who loves Me… [the present tense, it's always on-going] …and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father…" (v 21). I want you to understand that. You get low and depressed and down—fighting the world, fighting yourself, fighting everything around you and seeing all this rottenness and sin that's around—God loves you! You may say to yourself, 'He will love me if I overcome this.' No! He loves you, and will help you overcome this or that or the other thing. He called you and loved you knowing that you have this or that or the other thing. That's important to understand.
"…and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him…. [This was kind of a tricky thing to understand] …Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word… [We have all the words which Jesus said they came from the Father.] …and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (vs 21-23).

Not only do you have the Spirit of Christ in you, you also have, as part of the Holy Spirit, the begettal of the Father. That's how you can fellowship both with the Father and the Son, because the indwelling of the Holy Spirit comes from both of Them—the begettal of the Father and Christ dwelling in you. That's very important to understand. Once you understand that, brethren, it is going to lift that big burden right off of you. It's going to lift all of the weariness of the labor of you trying to overcome yourself. That's an incongruity in itself—isn't it?

You can't overcome yourself, because yourself is the problem. You need the Spirit of God! That's like saying put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it—it doesn't work! You need the Spirit of God! You need Christ inyou to do it. That's the whole thing. That's the perfecting of the saints.

When we understand this, just think how much it's going to help and encourage all the brethren when they know this. To help and encourage them to come to God and resolve their offenses. To go to one another (Matt. 18), the way that you need to and resolve it. I've also learned there are certain problems that a person has that only God can deal with when you come Matt. 18 to a person to resolve your differences. Don't try and change them in the things that God alone can change. Understand what I mean?

If you're dealing with someone who's filled with vanity, don't say, 'Well, you're filled with vanity and you offended me.' No! Deal with the problem that caused the offense. The vanity may have been the cause, but deal with the problem that occurred and pray that God will help him understand his vanity. I have learned that you can never show a person their vanity by saying 'you're vain.' That's why we go through all these troubles so we can learn some love; we need to.

Now let's come to 1-John 3 and let's see something else that takes place. This gives you the courage and confidence to pray when you know you need to but really don't want to. Have you ever had that feeling? Yes!—I have.

1-John 3:19: "And in this way we know…" We have to know these things—not only be convicted of heart and mind, but know and know that we know.

"…that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him, That if our hearts condemn us…" (vs 19-20). We've all had that! When you sin, don't you feel miserable? When you sin you don't want to go to God, do you? No you don't! But that's exactly what you need to do, right then, because, if you've sinned, does God know that you've already sinned? Yes! if you have the Spirit of God, He knows—correct? Yes! So, your heart condemns you.

Remember, "…God is greater than our hearts and knows all things…. [that caused the condemnation of your heart, so don't carry that burden] …Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us… [That's the blessed condition to get to where we want to. I've had both. I've had where my heart doesn't condemn me and I have had where my heart condemns me.] …then we have confidence toward God. And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight" (vs 20-22).

What is one of the most pleasing things in the sight of God? Repentance!Loving God! I gave a sermon one time: Can a Man Bless and Inspire God? Yes! By so choosing to love God with all his heart, mind, soul and being, and by going to God and asking God to help me be like Christ—that's pleasing to God. Then you'll keep His commandments in the right way.

Verse 23: "And this is His commandment: that we believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and thatwe love one another, exactly as He gave commandment to us…. [He makes this all possible so that we know; He doesn't want us to be in doubt.] …And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him [Christ], and He [Christ] in him; and by this we know… [He wants us to have that confidence, He wants us to have that assurance. He wants us to have that love and that conviction, so that we know] …that He is dwelling in us: by the Spirit which He has given to us" (vs 23-24). That's how we're going to solve those problems, brethren.

1-Corinthians 13 is very interesting and very profound, because Paul is not pointing the finger to anyone else but himself. He says 1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal."

That's why you've heard me say, unless you have the love of God nothing else counts. If you keep the Sabbath, but don't love God, what good does it do you? No good! You can't keep Christmas and love God because you're breaking His commandments. That's why it's so important. And it's tough; tough living in a world when you've got all these pressures coming down on us and everyone wants to re-conform your mind to the way of the world.

Or re-conform your mind to the way of an organization, or whatever. But, God wants to re-conform your mind by Himself with His Spirit because you love Him. The Father loves you. He has called you, and He wants you. That's why He has called you. I can't answer why did God call you? I don't know, God knows! Chances are none of us are going to find out any of that until we're resurrected—right? But, in the meantime, He has called us. So, let's all thank God and love each other and do as Christ has said, because it's the Father's will!

Verse 2: "If I have the gift of prophecy… [Man, can you build a church on prophecy!] …and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." Look at all the human accomplishments over here, that people get overwhelmed with. If you don't have the love of God, you're nothing.

Verse 3: "And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned… [That's a notable thing—isn't it?] …but do not have love, I have gained nothing… [Now then, it tells what love is to do]: …Love is patient…" (vs 3-4). Whether it's pain because you're sick; whether it's because of circumstances in an enduring trial; or whatever the suffering may be, remember Christ suffered.

"…and is kind…" (v 4). That's the hardest thing to do when you've been offended—isn't it? Be kind! I've spoken offensively enough times to know I was not kind.

"…love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up" (v 4). Is not sold on itself! As a matter of fact, when you

  • come to understand the love of God more and more
  • how great the love of God really is
  • how much God loves you
  • why He's called you
  • what He's going to give to you

there's really not much self left, and then you come to the realization that self is really a misnomer, because everything you have came from Godeverything! There's not one thing that didn't come from God.

  • That takes away all the vanity—doesn't it?
  • That takes away all the barriers—doesn't it?
  • That takes away all the stupidity we put ourselves through.

Verse 5: "Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil." That is in terms of doing evil to other people, or imputing evil motives. Love is difficult because sometimes you get burned. Sometimes you get taken advantage of. Did Christ go through that? Yes! He did! Did His love diminish any? No, it didn't! As a matter of fact, it grew! So, use those things as opportunities for growth.

Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (vs 6-7). There's always hope! That's the whole lesson we're going to learn of Abraham, when we get to that section in Rom. 4, that Abraham hoped in hope. There was nothing left but hope. And that hope was that  God said so! And if God says so, it's as good as done!

Verse 8: "Love never fails…. [all these other things are going to fail] …But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease; whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." Can you imagine what the knowledge in the Kingdom of God is going to be like? It's going to be something!

Verse 9: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside…. [that's what we need to look to, brethren] …When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child" (vs 9-11). In other words, he's saying to all of us, if you want to understand Christ and the love of God, grow up! in Christ.

Verse 12: "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known. And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (vs 12-13).

So, brethren, even though 'a brother offended is harder to win than a fenced city, or a barred castle,' love can melt it all! That's what we need to do to reach out and help the brethren and help each other.

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

Scripture References

  • Luke 15:17-19
  • 1 Corinthians 14:22,33, 26
  • Matthew 24:8-11
  • Proverbs 18:8, 19
  • Matthew 26:31-35
  • Luke 4:18-19
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Romans 7:14-18, 21-25
  • Romans 8:1
  • 1 John 1:6-9
  • John 13:34-35
  • John 14:15, 21-23
  • 1 John 3:19-24
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted: Romans 8:2; 4

Also referenced:

Sermons:

  • To Return to God
  • Can a Man Bless and Inspire God

Articles:

  • Global 2000 by John Coleman
  • Kid's Bill of Rights byNickelodeon
  • Transformation of Man by Louis Mumford
  • Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn
  • Brainwashing and Subversion by John Morgan

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 12/3/06
Formatted/Corrected: June/2012

 

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