Fred R. Coulter—December 24, 2011

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services. Be sure and follow Who and What Controls Your Mind all along, because today we are in a battle for the control of our mind. Satan, being the 'prince of the power of the air,' not only is seeing who he can deceive, but he has many helpers and many workers who are dedicated to him.

He has many high technology things that he can use. Think about television, media, entertainment, music—especially music! Music is what can control the mind more than anything else. I want you to do this when you're viewing television, I want you to ask: What are they trying to do? Whether it's an ad, whether it is news, whether it is a video program. Some are quite good. I've been watching the one on The Planet Earth marathon on the Animal Channel. And they've been showing everything about the creation of God.

When you see some of those things, it just makes you realize how small and little and puny and absolutely stupid human beings are to believe in evolution. All the things that are in the ocean—all of the animals, all the life from top to bottom—go clear down to the deepest part of the ocean and there's life. God has shown and demonstrated His power and His creation through that. You take other programs, just like in #1 [this series], I challenged Bill O'Reilly about Christmas, because he's proud that he has the no-spin zone. But the no-spin zone is a program with a different spin; it doesn't use the old spin, it uses a different spin.

You have absolutely no news programs anywhere that give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If that happened, you would never be on the air. About the only place you can do it is on the Internet at the present time. They haven't figured a way to totally control it. So, as long as God gives us the means for doing it, we will.

But here we are, human beings, and the 'god of this world' is Satan the devil. He is the one who is deceiving. Just like he started out with Adam and Eve. I want you to notice something very important concerning sin and benefit, because Satan came along and he said to Adam and Eve, 'You'll become like God if you eat this fruit. And you can decide what is good and evil. Isn't that a good benefit for you?' Since God gave free choice for all, that sounds good.

Doesn't the word freedom sound good? If you have freedom from God—that is without God—you're enslaved. If you have freedom through God and His Spirit and His laws and commandments, then you have what is right. However, when Adam and Eve sinned, they suffered the death penalty, which passed on to all human beings. We all have the nature of sin and death. We all have minds, which of and by themselves are 'desperately wicked and deceitful.' One of the most common things that people do is deceive themselves. The media is right there to help them with it creating a false reality.

Speaking of the media, television, movies, and the whole thing, watch this: more and more of it is coming straight occult, pure occult. Whenever there is sin, there is 'pleasure in sin for a season.' Now, the season may last longer or shorter depending on the circumstances. This sinful nature is passed on, as well as the nature of death.

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world... [This is not talking about the sin of Satan the devil. That was the original sin and that was the sin that caused the havoc and the necessity for re-creating the earth.] ...and by means of sin came death... [God said, 'Dust you are and unto dust you shall return.'] ...and in this way, death passed into all mankind..."

When you have a nature of death, and you have a nature that is rebellious, and you have a nature that is deceitful, Paul called this in Rom. 7, the law of sin and death. Now being out there in the world without God, without the Holy Spirit, without the Word of God, there is no escape! You can't change it! You can't overcome it! What you will find is that even in the studies that they are doing on how to control the human mind, they're finding out that the mind likes to lie to itself. People tell lies on the average of 3 every 10 minutes, either to themselves or to other people, or in what they're watching. This is why we all sin. If you have the nature of death, there is absolutely nothing that you can do that is spiritually perfect.

"...and it is for this reason that all have sinned" (v 12). So no one is escaping it.

Along with that, one of the biggest deceptions that human beings like to do is think that they know more than God. When they hear about God, and hear about the Word of God, they look at it and see how they can change it or improve it. That's why Protestantism is so deceptive, because they use so much of the Bible, yet throw away all the rest.

For us, living in this world and also teaching our children as they are growing up: who and what controls your mind? Satan as the 'prince of the power of the air,' is out there controlling as many minds as possible. Another thing that's important to know is this. As I covered last time, you wait and see, the mark of the beast will be for control, and to project and put thoughts in your mind, but what you need is a receptor. That's why it will be in the right hand or in the forehead. This is why God has warned so much against it. Our minds were made to learn. Our minds are made in a special way so that:

  • we can learn
  • we can talk
  • we can think
  • we can analyze

Our mind and our nature—because of the nature of the law of sin and death in us—is a mixture of good and evil. Those who practice themselves in evil can become hardened criminals. Those who practice the things of righteousness, even without the Spirit of God, will have a better mind, better thoughts. Will have some of the blessings of God, because they're following the Word of God.

Let's come to Matthew 5, and let's see something here, because we're going to see a principle that is going to help us overcome. I'm going to save some of the spiritual things when we get to the Spirit of God and overcoming, but this is going to be more practical based upon a spiritual principle: what we need to do with the Word of God.

Let's come down here to Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."

  • you have the righteousness of God.
  • you have the righteousness of the Word of God
  • you have the righteousness of human behavior that is good

All of those are involved in controlling your mind. But this right here is the key:

  • What do you put into your mind?
  • What do you allow into your mind?
  • Have you had things come into your mind that you don't even want?

Yes, indeed!

Let's see what is important for us living in this world. We are bombarded, as no other people have been in the history of the world. We have apparatuses and things that make it so our minds are occupied all the time. Our mind being occupied does not necessarily mean that we're controlling it.

  • What controls, your mind?
  • What occupies your mind?
  • What goes into your mind?
    • You can hear, that enters your mind!
    • You can see, that enters your mind!
    • You can think and analyze and that puts everything together within your mind!

There's another aspect of your mind that you need to understand: emotions! Emotions are what we would call subjective thinking. It's really not based on truth. Emotions are based upon feelings. This is how Satan enters in by giving you something that's pleasing. They ate of the fruit, it tasted good, looked good. God didn't kill them right on the spot. It must be okay. Feelings have to do with such things as—since there's all the college football on now, watch all of the college students and their teams, regardless of what the sport may be—they're all in there, emotionally, shouting, cheering, yes, all of this. Jumping up and down. So much occultism that what they're doing, they're doing the Darth Vader thing to try and put a hex on the other team, and all of that sort of thing. Showing how everything emotionally based, though you may feel good.

Remember, there are good emotions. There's love/there's hate. There's gentleness/there's cruelty. All of the works of the flesh are based on feelings. The works of the Spirit are based on the Spirit of God and the Truth of God. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control. That's hard, because if you lose your temper, you're not controlling the self. The emotion is controlling you.

Proverbs 4:23: "Above all... [the first and foremost, in every circumstances] ...guard the door of your mind..." Also, the Hebrew includes heart within that. If you don't guard the door of your mind and your emotions get involved, then you're going to make wrong decisions. You're going to say things you never meant to say. You will get carried away in temper and anger. When you get away from it and cool down—then what? If you're sorry you can repent of it, but you still have to do some repair—don't you?

What about the things that do not involve anger or emotions, but emotions are involved from this point of view. Ideas are put into your mind. They know they can do this with just a flash of a picture. When you're watching the commercials, or if you're watching a television show, watch the action scenes. What is it they're putting in the mind? What is the unseen message behind that? Well virtually, the only protection we have is the Truth of God and the Spirit of God!

"...guard the door of your mind with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (v 23). Everything concerning life has to come through your mind and heart, every single thing. You have free moral agency involved. Free moral agency and the proper exercise thereof, is how to control your mind.

Verse 24: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth... [This is telling you how to guard the door of your mind.] ...and devious lips put far from you." What's the first thing that happens when people get in trouble? Do they immediately say, 'Oh, yes, it's my fault'? No, they lie! They're devious, because it is in the carnal mind to do that. You always have to be on guard to put it away.

Verse 25: "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you.... [That's why we walk in the way of the Lord.] ...Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil" (vs 25-27).

Now that's the summary of everything from chapter one up to here, but the key is: Guard the door of your mind! Let's see how we do that. This applies to the converted and the unconverted. The book of Proverbs tells us how to fulfill Matt. 5:6, 'Hunger and thirst after righteousness.' There are many aspects of righteousness that we need to understand.

Prov. 1 one tells what happens when you reject God and His way. In the book of Proverbs, as we have mentioned before, these are universal laws that apply to all people at all times, everywhere. So when you're doing your viewing, analysis, thinking and observing, keep all of these things in mind and see what you come up with.

Here's God's instruction, Proverbs 2:1: "My son, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you." Just put in your margin Heb. 10:16, write the commandments in our hearts and in our minds. Can even a carnal person have that happen to them if they memorize it and follow it? Yes, indeed! God's Word is not bound. Conversion is another whole dimension from God.

But nevertheless, if you take the spiritual things from the New Testament and apply it to the book of Proverbs, you will see how they work together. Just like the Apostle Paul said that we are able to understand salvation through the writings through Jesus Christ.

I want you to notice the ifs and the choices, all the way through here. This is if/then; if/then. "...if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you... [it's in your mind] that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding" (vs 1-2).

Let's notice how he builds up this condition and this is the way that we grow and change and overcome and this is the way that we develop self-control. We can add in the power of the Holy Spirit into that for those of us who are converted. But this is why children need to learn Truth, they need to be disciplined, they need to be taught what is right, they need to be shown what is evil, so that they can avoid it.

Verse 3: "Yes, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding." God will give it; the Word of God will give it. You won't have complete understanding all at once. How much more of the Bible do we understand today than we did when we were first converted? How much more do we understand in dealing with people now that we're older and we've had our ups and downs in dealing with people, and we have learned certain things? An awful lot—correct? Those that haven't learned anything, they inhabit the penitentiaries. The rest of them that haven't learned very much probably inhabit a lot of the government offices and the schools and the churches.

Let's look at v 4: "If you seek her as silver and search for her as hidden treasures." Think about that! Think of all the energy that was expended to go up and mine the Klondike and how many people lost their lives freezing to death in Alaska looking for gold. I wonder how many had a Bible. Everyone can understand that.

If you discovered that there was a treasure of gold beneath the foundation of your house under the cement slab—and you really believed it and you really wanted it—how long do you think it would take you to get the equipment and start jack-hammering up that part of the slab and digging down to find the gold? This is what it's telling us.

These are the conditions before we come to then. Stop and think spiritually what does this tell us about the Laodiceans? They're laid back, everything is cool, God is with them, they don't have to do much. They can have one foot in the world, one foot in the Church. Have just enough religion so they think they can run back to God. And have just enough of the world so they can get along in the world. That's called double-mindedness. James talks about double-mindedness twice. So we :

  • If—v 1
  • If—v 3
  • If—v 4

Verse 5: "Then... [it's a process] shall understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." You take it the opposite way. If you don't do it like this, will you find the knowledge of God? Will you understand the Truth of God? Doesn't this show that we have to apply ourselves every single day? Yes, indeed!

There's one thing that athletes have learned: Forget the mistakes and move on and correct them. Some have said the athletes that are able to do that best are those who end up being more successful, because they learn; likewise with us. That's what the then is all about. Look at how much effort has to be applied.

Let's come to 1-Corinthians 3, and let's see something here. Let's see how Paul applied this very principle in correcting those in Corinth. Because here we are:

  • we have the Truth
  • we have the knowledge
  • we have the Word of God

We have all of these things and what are we doing with it?

It's the same way with people in the world. What are they doing with their lives? Look at how many kids waste their lives on emotion and sex and drugs. Now they are finding that kids, because sex education in school is not enough, they're going to pornography online and learning about sex even more. Once their minds are occupied with sex, guess what happens? All thinking stops! All learning is crushed! They become obsessed!

Now talking about treasures, Paul tells us right here in 1-Corinthians 3:6: "I planted and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase." God has to be the One Who works in our mind. That's why prayer and study. How many times have you heard it? Look at prayer and study this way: eating and breathing, same thing. Physically we wouldn't last long if we weren't eating and breathing—correct? Then the third ingredient, it is the Holy Spirit of God, which is likened to water—correct? Yes, indeed!

Verse 7: "Therefore, neither is he who plants anything, nor he who waters; for it is God Who gives the increase." He says it twice. Now, because God is building within us His character and we're His workmanship. We're His workmanship spiritually. For teenagers and children the Word of God helps mold their minds to think right and wrong, good and evil. To understand and they need to know because there are so many things out there that can take them down.

Now that the society is the way that it is, that mom and dad have to work and they're never home, never see the kids, well then the children have to learn to be responsible themselves. That's a big task. So here's a good lesson for all those who are teachers and ministers:

  • Don't get lifted up.
  • Don't think because you're an elder or minister that you're something special and everyone has to bow and scrape to you.

It's like one elder said when there was a problem that came up. He hoisted himself in his chair about as high as he could lift himself, and he said, 'Who is the elder here?' That's not the question. The question is serving, teaching, understanding. Guess what? That man is no longer an elder!

Here's why, v 8: "Now, he who plants and he who waters are one, but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor…. [That applies to each one of us individually. That applies to all the elders and teachers individually and collectively.] …For we are God's fellow workers; and you are God's husbandry, even God's building" (vs 8-9).

Remember, ministers are stewards. God has given us the responsibility, because He's chosen to do it this way, that we are to teach the brethren. They are to know; they are to learn. Like Paul says in Rom. 2, you who teach others, do you not teach yourself? Are we not to learn and grow and change and repent like everyone else? Because I'll tell you, the surest way of a church collapsing is for all the ministers to think that they're something special and all the brethren are just ATM machines and chattel. That's not so! We are to help and we are to learn ourselves, to grow in the mind and character of Christ. All of that takes control.

But what I'm going to show here is this: We have a parallel in 1-Cor. 3 between riches and seeking after it, and the work we need to do as compared to the work that those who are disciplining their minds, and so forth, need to do to educate their minds and become self-controlled and guard the door of their mind.

Verse 10: "As a wise architect, according to the grace of God that was given to me, I have laid the foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each one take heed how he builds upon it."

  • How are we doing?
  • How are we building?

Verse 11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones... [See how that ties in with Prov. 2? 'Search for it as hidden treasures; search for it as for silver.' I want you to notice the exact same parallel in structure that we have in 1-Cor. 3, as we have in Proverbs.], silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble" (vs 11-12). Isn't that interesting, comparison between good, righteousness, Truth, and wood, hay, and stubble represents that which is not spiritual.

Verse 13: "The work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is…. [That's why we have trials. That's why we have difficulties.] …If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet as through fire" (vs 13-15).

Here's why spiritually. So, we can't separate it all at once, but here is why spiritually we need to control our mind. Guard the door of our mind, right here, v 16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you?" We'll come back to that at a later date, because this declares an awful lot about the grace of God.

Verse 17: "If anyone defiles the temple of God..." This is why God does not need a building; we individually are a temple. A little later, likened to spiritual stones that Christ is building. And it's also likened to a body. God's presence is within us, so all of those analogies come together, all of those comparisons.

Verse 17: "If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are." We need to guard the door of our mind! That means, as we covered in #2 [this series], you have to 'bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ'—every thought! That's a lifelong project. That's not something that you just say, 'Okay, I'm going to control every thought.' Never going to happen.

What did we start with? The mind is deceitful—right? Verse 18: "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks himself to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, so that he may be wise in God's sight…. [That's how we control what goes into our mind.] …For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God for it is written, 'He entraps the wise in their own craftiness'" (vs 18-19). That also is the epitome of the whole book of Proverbs.

Verse 20: "And again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.' Therefore, do not let anyone boast in men; for all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come—all are yours; and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (vs 20-23).

Which means then, we better be about the business of growing and changing and overcoming and hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Here is what will come with the work of:

  • guarding the door of our mind
  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • hungering and thirsting after righteousness and God's way
  • putting it in our mind
  • thinking with the Word of God
  • analyzing with the Word of God

—that's then how we control our minds. You cannot let those things enter into your mind.

Job made the statement concerning the things of lust of women. He said, 'I have made a covenant with my eyes.' In other words, he was controlling what went into his mind by not dwelling on the things that would cause lust.

Proverbs 2:5: "Then... [Everything we've covered so far adds to the if.] shall understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding" (vs 5-6).

What do we have here? The words of God! What did Jesus say concerning how man shall live? Man shall live by every Word of God that proceeds out of His mouth! There it is right there and we've got it all in print. We don't go in the heavens and say, 'God, where's Your throne. Tell me what You want.' We don't have to go to the bottom of the sea and say, 'Oh, God, tell me what You want.' We don't have to travel any place in the world, because God has provided His Word for us so we have it here.

Verse 6: "For the LORD gives wisdom; out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous... [not for the sinner] ...He is a shield to those who walk uprightly" (vs 6-7). Just put in your notes: Eph. 6, about the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the Truth girded around our loins. That all comes from God!

Verse 8: "He keeps the paths of right judgment and preserves the way of His saints.... [a second then. Three if's, so far, two thens.] ...Then you shall understand righteousness and judgment and equity, every good path…. [Since everyone wants to be smarter, notice we have if, if, if and then, then.] …Wisdom shall enter into your heart..." (vs 8-10) Remember this, there is

  • knowledge
  • understanding

That's being able to put the knowledge together.

  • wisdom

—and wisdom is the proper use of knowledge and understanding. Because you're controlling, guarding the door of your mind, controlling your thoughts, and not letting outside influences control you. What are we doing in all of these things that we're covering here?

Verse 10: "Wisdom shall enter into your heart and knowledge will be pleasing to your soul." We're covering how to grow in grace and knowledge and understanding, how to control our mind.

Think of it this way: Are we complicated? Yes, we're very complicated beings! The whole way that our mind and body and everything works is very complicated. Therefore, the Word of God has to be detailed so we know how to run this complicated equipment that we have, called our body, our mind, and our spirit, if we could put it that way.

Verse 11: "Discretion shall preserve you and, understanding shall keep you." All of those things are based on the first three ifs.

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Keep in mind all the way through, all of this is leading up from chapter one to the end of chapter four, leading up to that phrase, Above all, guard the door of your mind. For out of it are the issues of life. For us today, we bombarded with so many things. They're working on techniques on how they can control the human mind and inject thoughts into it. It's very imperative that we really take serious what we're covering here. This gives us the day-to-day workings of what we need to do.

Here's what it will do: If, if, if, then, then, then. Verse 12: "To deliver you from the way of the evil man... [Who is the evil one that we're to be delivered from? Satan the devil!] ...from the man who speaks wicked things, Those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness" (vs 12-13).

Let's stop right here. What happened to the Church? They compromised, they compromised, they compromised! They let in ways of the world, the goodness of the world. They went to the Protestants to find out how did they understand the Bible. They gradually began incorporating these things into the teachings. What happened? There came a day of judgment and scattering!

Those who stuck to the Truth of the Bible, were able to avoid the ways of darkness. To keep you from those, v 14: "Who rejoice to do evil and delight in the perversities of the wicked, Whose ways are crooked, and are devious in their paths…. [That sounds like the pall that is over every political capital in the world, right there. Devious!] …To deliver you from the wanton woman..." (vs 14-16)—which then is all false religion and sex problems. Women like to blame men, very rarely do they blame women. Women read the Bible and say, 'Well, that's all the Bible talks about is women. What about the dirty men?' The principle is this: if the women were righteous, there would be fewer dirty men.

All you have to do to understand this, as I mentioned, go out through the checkout stand of your supermarket and look at all the magazines that are there. I have surveyed it from this point of view, I don't mean look through and read them, but just survey the headlines, survey the pictures, and so forth. The pictures run from what they call soft-porn to almost hard-porn right out there in public—all female bodies. I have yet to see a near-naked man put up there to be seductive. So God brings it out because if the women are righteous, the men will not be as evil. That's just the way that God made it.

Verse 16: "To deliver you from the wanton women, even from the stranger who flatters with her words." Think about all the politicians. Think about all the things that go on. It's in the news, it's in the paper, and everything, so I don't have to get into it.

Verse 17: "Who forsakes the guide of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God, For her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the dead. None that go unto her return again, nor do they take hold of the paths of life" (vs 17-19). Just ask John Edwards. Ask anybody who gets involved in it, men or women. They even have special shows on how to get women out of prostitution. It's hard to come back from that. Notice all the evil that you will avoid:

  • if you have the laws and commandments of God
  • if you hunger and thirst after it
  • if you use these things to control what goes into your mind
  • if you use the Spirit of God to change and grow and overcome

It shows you're going to avoid all these things, vs 12 thru 19.

Verse 20 comes out on the other side: "In order that you may walk in the way of good and keep the paths of the righteous…. [Tie that in with righteousness above, walking in the way of the Lord, the paths of judgment, all of those things tie in together with it.] …For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it" (vs 20-22). Isn't that what happens with the collapse of every great empire? Yes, indeed! Isn't that what is going to happen when Christ returns? Yes, indeed!

Really, when we understand it, the Bible is the most up-to-date book in the world. It is eternally correct and it's right-cutting edge with everything that is necessary to fight against evil, go against evil.

Proverbs 3:1: "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commandments…. [We can apply this from father to son, father to daughter, God to each one of us, sons and daughters.] …For they shall length of days, and long life, and peace, to you" (vs 1-2). What's the first thing that all teenagers do when they get away from their parents and get together with their friends? You know you always do what your parents said not to do! And when your parents question you, you never tell them the things that you really did.

Look back in your own life, and that is absolutely true, doesn't matter if you're a teenage boy or a teenage girl. If you control what goes into your mind, you can keep out of these difficult things. Want to live long? For us it's for eternity—isn't it? Learning about how to be an eternal spirit being. Doesn't that take a lot of work? Think about how you had to educate yourself for what you do in whatever work or business that you're in. Did you have to take classes that were difficult? Did you have to learn? Yes! What about eternal life? Not just for a salary, not just to exist in the world, but to exist forever. Now how long a life is that? Think about that.

Verse 3: "Do not let mercy and truth forsake you... [all of those are part of the mind of Christ] ...bind them around your neck... [If you have something around your neck, are you aware of it? Yes! This means always keep it in the forefront of your mind.] ...write them upon the tablet of your heart…. [you're always merciful, always kind] …And so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man" (vs 3-4).

Isn't that what you want? Have you ever gotten up one day and said, 'Oh, I'm glad I'm up here today. Let it be the most miserable, evil, rotten day that I have ever had in my life! I want trouble, I want difficulty, I want stress, I want ten bill collectors to come bang on the door. I want the sheriff to come and repossess the house. I want to leave the house naked and bare and without a thing!' Of course not! That's why God says to do it this way.

Notice what this amounts to, v 5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding." If you have made God's way your understanding, when you lean upon it then that is God's understanding. Why do not lean to your own understanding? Because the deceitful mind is there!

You can watch it. I went into the gas station to get some gas and I had to get in line. Here's a man who came in, bought a whole bunch of these lotto tickets. He thinks he's going to win. Everyone who buys them are convinced, 'One day I will win.' But out of all of the lotto tickets sold, and all of the money collected—of course, this is open deceit—how many really win? It's like everything else, Satan has some little winners who are still losers. They win a little bit and they think, 'Oh, it's going to happen one day. Oh, it's going to be there, I'll buy some more.'

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Have you ever experienced something where God kept you from a gigantic problem and you didn't even know it until later? Yes, indeed! That's what we want.

  • We want God to direct us
  • We want His Spirit in us
  • We want to follow God's way

When you do that you understand the greatness of God.

Verse 7 ties in with the New Testament. It would be tremendous to have the time to do a study, and really detailed study, tie in all the Proverbs with what Jesus taught. Verse 7: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil." Tie that in with the New Testament. Notice the choices. Notice the putting our self, using our choices to control what goes in our mind and what is good, and you really don't know it.

Verse 8: "It shall be health to your navel and marrow to your bones." It's like the reporter came up to this old man and he says, 'What do you attribute your long life to?' And he says, 'Moonshine, women, gambling, running from the law, lying, cheating and stealing.' And he was taken back, he looked at him, then he said, 'Sir, how old are you?' And he says, 'Thirty years old.' You don't really appreciate what God is saying until later in life when these things come to you.

Verse 9: "Honor the LORD with your substance... [That's interesting—isn't it?] ...and with the firstfruits of all your increase; and your barns shall be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst with new wine" (vs 9-10).

How does that work? Stay out of debt, don't go along with the world! I remember talking to a man that he had so many debts he didn't know what to do. I asked him, I said, as he was examining his bills, 'How much a month in interest do you pay?' These were on different charge cards, and so forth. He wanted to know what to do and I said, 'Well, the first thing to do is to get all your charge cards paid out, pay them off. How much a month do you spend in interest on the charge cards?' If you have a mortgage on your house, you can't get out of that. That's just the way it is. But see if you can get your house paid down as quick as you can.

He figured it up. It was nearly $600 a month. Then I asked him, 'Well, how much do you spend a month on food?' With his family and everything, about $700 a month. I said, 'Well, when you get your bills paid off, you will have $1,300 a month [for food]. The $600 plus the $700. Today, the way that you have things in reserve and available is you are not in debt and you give your tithes and offerings to God. That's how it works. It's reciprocal.

They have this ad on television where it said, 'It's more blessed to receive than to give.' Perfect for Christmas season. That's the opposite of what Jesus said: It's more blessed to give than receive. So, God has what you would call a reciprocal thing. God gives to you and it requires that you give back to him of your substance. Does God give you substance—life and health, and all these things? Sure! This is one of the laws that God has given.

Always know that correction is going to come. Tie this in with Heb. 12 about the correction that comes from God—and we need it. Verse 11: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be weary of His correction…. [Why? Because He's doing it so that we will not be entrapped in our evil! That's why!] …For whom the LORD loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights" (vs 11-12). Goes right back to Heb. 12. So, what he's showing us here is:

  • how we approach knowledge and understanding
  • the conditions of doing it
  • the effort we are to put into it
  • the results that will come from it
  • how we are to avoid certain things
  • how we are to control our thoughts and minds

keeps us from evil. This is also something, don't get lifted up in it. Don't compare yourself with other people to lift yourself up by your mental bootstraps. But there are certain things you can see.

Verse 13, because here's what happens: "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the gain from silver, and its produce more than the gain of fine gold" (vs 13-14).

Now think of what we covered in 1-Cor. 3. Think of what it started out at the beginning of chapter two, search for it:

  • go after the Truth
  • go after the righteousness
  • understand it
  • think about how to apply it
  • think about how you can use your mind to cut off some of these thoughts that come in your mind
  • repent of them
  • ask God to forgive you
  • ask God to erase it

That's why the washing of the water by the Word ties right in with this. This is how we control. This is how we are able to resist the things that are in the world, and in this world, they're all around us. It's not like in the days when there were very few people around and you could just have a nice plot of land. You could have things in peace, none of the things that we have now. You could have your own set of problems back then, but not like today.

Verse 15: "She is more precious than rubies; and all the things you can desire are not to be compared with her." Think about that in relationship to eternal life. Because what it is with us, controlling our mind and overcoming and being converted and being yielded to God, this is through:

  • prayer
  • study
  • living
  • watching
  • observing
  • helping
  • giving

Verse 16: "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand, riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold upon her; and happy is everyone who holds her fast" (vs 16-18). Think about that in the way of how it is for us in conversion.

  • Christ is our wisdom
  • Christ is our Truth
  • Christ is our way
  • He is our life
  • We are to have the mind of Christ

What then? How much greater wisdom and understanding can you have with that? All of these things are multiplied and amplified by the New Testament.

Yet, the Word of God is eternal and is instructive for those who are not converted so that if they would follow this in the letter of law, follow this in the letter of the teachings, what would it be? Their lives would be better in that degree! Help them grow up to a maturity so that when they become adults, then they can understand about life, and repent, and be baptized, and receive the Spirit of God. And they don't have all of these upsets in their past life that are going to haunt them the rest of their lives, even sometimes when they're converted.

Now then, he gives some other instruction here, how we can learn and grow in knowledge. This is how you keep yourself from being exalted. We're not to compare ourselves among ourselves, and those who do so are not wise. But we are also to see the difference between the way of God and the way of the world.

Verse 19: "The LORD has founded the earth by wisdom; by understanding He has established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, do not let them depart from your eyes... [In other words, it all goes back to God, every bit of this.] ...keep sound wisdom and discretion. And they shall be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you shall walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble. When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yea, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet" (vs 19-24). That's what we all need.

Today this world has so many activities, so much stress, so many things going on, that one of the number one advertisements that you see on television are sleep aids; people can't sleep. There may be various reasons why people can't sleep, but pray for sweet sleep. Ask God to help you in it, if that is your problem. One of the first things to do is don't worry. It's easy to say don't worry, and it is true that women worry more than men. They worry about things that men don't worry about in the same way. It's easy for a husband to say, 'Quit worrying.' And the wife will say, 'You don't understand.' Isn't that true? Yes!

But what you need to do is lay it all before God, and ask God to help you put it there for the night. Don't go to sleep and think about it. 'What if, what if, what if. If I could do this, if they could do that, what if, what if; and it's 12 o'clock, one o'clock, three o'clock. What if, I'm exhausted. I'd like to get some sleep, what if, what if.' And you wake up in the morning like you've run a marathon. Ask God to help you with it.

I'm sure that there will be everyone to say, 'Well, that's easy for you to say, Fred.' I've had plenty of things to worry about, plenty of things to pray about. I've had sleepless nights myself. But the way that you handle it is put it all before God. If you can't see the solution to it, do you think you're going to find it by staying away at night? Maybe not! Get a good night's sleep, then you'll wake up and find the solution.

Verse 25: "Have no fear of sudden disaster, nor of the desolation of the wicked when it comes." Now we need to claim that promise, Psa. 91, the protection Psalm. This is what we need to do, brethren. This is a big thing, because there is going to be sudden destruction. There is going to be desolation of the wicked. These things are going to happen.

God is going to have to protect you within the midst of it—a thousand shall fall. Remember the story of the German who survived WWII working in the repair department in the convoy section of the German Army. No one knew it all during the war that he was a Seventh Day Adventist. He would take his Bible, he'd read it and he would teach some of those who were willing to learn, and so forth. But he had to carry a pistol. He didn't want to trust himself that he would use it against killing someone, so what he did, he carved a pistol out of wood, dyed it just like a regular pistol, and threw his own into the river. Through the whole three and a half years of WWII carried that wooden pistol. When the war was over, and of course his family survived, and so forth. That's quite a long book. I think it is A Thousand Shall Fall. God protected the family, protected their house, even with all the bombings that went on. Protected him from evil, protected him from the persecutors. But he had to go through all the suffering like everyone else did, and no one knew that he had this wooden pistol until they were to give all their arms to the Allied soldiers, and his friend, when he saw the wooden pistol, was astonished. Then he told them what he did. So God is able to keep you.

Verse 26: "For the LORD shall be your confidence... [Not what you can do. Not what you have. Not what you own. Not other people—the Lord. That's why you have to have a personal relationship with God.] ...For the LORD shall be your confidence and shall keep your foot from being taken. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go and come back again, and tomorrow I will give,' when you have it with you" (vs 26-28).

What did Jesus say about giving? Give and it shall be given to you. How? Shaken down, tamped together, and what are the greatest riches that can be? The true riches:

  • knowledge
  • wisdom
  • Truth
  • understanding
  • fruits of the Holy Spirit of
  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • longsuffering
  • self-control

and all of the rest of which against there is no law.

Notice we have do not. We have five do nots in a row. "Do not plan evil against your neighbor since he dwells trustingly by you. Do not strive with a man without cause if he has done you no harm. Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways" (vs 29-31). This is why trying to build a church with carnal means of business patterns or examples will not work. It has to be built with the

  • Word of God
  • Spirit of God
  • Truth of God

That's what's happened to the Protestants. Their first goal is what? Get new people; get them to church. That's the wrong goal. The goal should be:

  • preach the Truth
  • preach repentance
  • preach baptism
  • get them converted

Then they become part of the church, rather than being churched by bringing their presence into a building.

Verse 32: "For the crooked man is an abomination to the LORD..." If you have CNBC on your cable news network, watch the program called American Greed and see all the devious things that they do. Then, also on CNBC they have the program where then they have the entrapping all the pedophiles. You watch that when they come to the trap. And everyone will say, 'Well, I know this was not right.' But do people choose the things that are wrong and evil and expect a benefit? Yes! Same way with American Greed.

You watch that and see how they set everyone up and the extreme measures that they take. Now I'm convinced in my own mind that Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty so no one would kill him, because he did what he should not have done to the Jewish community. That is you never cheap on a fellow Jew, only the goiim. And he cheated on the fellow Jew, and he knew, 'I better plead guilty and get out of sight.'

Here it is: "...but His secret... [of the Lord] with the righteous" (v 32). Now what is the plan of God called in the New Testament? The mystery of the Kingdom of God, or the secret of God! For those who don't have the Holy Spirit, the secret and success of keeping the commandments of God in the letter will be a blessing to those who strive to do what is right.

The secret of eternal life is with those who love God, keep His commandments, and have the Holy Spirit of God within them!

Verse 33: "The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous…. [put in there Psa. 91] …Surely He scorns the scorners, but He gives grace to the lowly.... [Don't worry about your physical circumstances. God can always change them.] ...The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools" (vs 33-35).

We are going to inherit the glory of God—correct? Doesn't it say, as we covered in Transhumanism series? God's transhumanism is:

  • Transform our minds now through conversion
  • At the resurrection to transform our bodies to be made just like Jesus

So, you can see how the Proverbs fits in with everything that is taught in the New Testament, but it's put in such a way that it is also designed so that people can program their minds of right and wrong, good and evil, truth and lies, diligence vs laziness. All of this sort of thing is here without the requirements for those people in the world who are willing to follow these things, but are required for those who have the Holy Spirit of God. God will bless them in His way in their lives. God will bless us in His way in our lives and the end result is going to be that we shall inherit glory. Of course, isn't being cast into the Lake of Fire the most foolish choice that anyone would make? Think of that. Yes!

Every time I see the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii and they up to the edge of it and they do a shot down into the mouth of the volcano, and here's the lake of lava, always moving and burping and every once in awhile it comes up and flows out to the ocean. I think, 'Man, that's what the Lake of Fire is going to be like.'

Don't you think it's a stupid thing if a man would stand up there on top, you know, those who like to get their parachutes and leap off tall heights, and parachute down. Wouldn't it be the height of foolishness and folly for a man to get his parachute and to jump off there and pull the parachute and land safely into the volcano? Yes, it would be!

So here's how then we can learn from the book of Proverbs and to control what goes into our mind!

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 5:12
  • Matthew 5:6
  • Proverbs 4:23-27
  • Proverbs 2:1-5
  • 1-Corinthians 3:6-23
  • Proverbs 2:5-22
  • Proverbs 3:1-35

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 7
  • Proverbs 1
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Romans 2
  • Ephesians 6
  • Hebrews 12
  • Psalm 91

Also referenced:
Sermon series: Transhumanism
Book: A Thousand Shall Fall by Susi Hasel Mundy

Transcribed: 1-2-12
Formatted: bo—1-3-12

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