Spiritual Eyes See the Light of the World

(T.R.O.L - Truth, Obedience, Repentance & Love #2)

Fred R. Coulter—August 6, 2016

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. I'm going to bring a commercial that costs nothing.

Let me explain how we came to what we have now. When we first started Christian Biblical Church of God, we only had seven people, plus our family. That was it! We would record the sermons, and so forth. Through the years we gradually added more  people. Now we have a mailing list of about 3600 just in America. We have about 500 in Australia, 300 in Canada, very small in New Zealand. We have a small office in the Netherlands and South Africa and so forth.

Through the years in collecting these sermons, because we were small, we were able to go systematically through the Bible. We have many, many studies. When the WCG began to collapse, people began to write to us and we would send them a care package. We were using cassettes back then, which came in a box. Now we're using CDs.

What we did, we kept the empty cassette box and we would send a care package. Someone would write in and say, 'Tell us about you, what do you think, what do you teach, what are you doing.' So we worked up a care package. We ended up with six care packages. Those would go out with sometimes as many as fifty tapes. We're interested that people come to God and that they come to understand the Bible and do what they need to do.

Over the years that expanded out. We ended up with six. Then we looked at it and said for brand-new people—because now we're getting brand new people, never having been in the Church of God—we decided to split them up.

Now we have ten study packs. Even so, everything is designed so that people can study their Bibles. We now have a total of eight study packs. We have two more to go Every study pkg. Has a cover letter"

Letter from Study Pack #1:

With this first package you are embarking on a new journey, one that will open your eyes, enlighten your mind and inspire you in your Christian walk.

Study Pack #1 focuses on the Bible itself, covers several introductory Christian doctrines. It includes the books, God or No God?, Fourteen Rules for Bible Study, Why Christianity is Failing in America, and How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law, all of which cover important fundamental Biblical concepts.

You will also find eight study papers: Bible Design, Unity of Scripture, Whatever Happened to Moral Absolutes, How the Christian World Has Been Deceived, How to Mark Your Bible, Jesus Was Taught By God the Father, Who and What is a True Christian?, What is the Purpose of the New Testament?

You will also find sermons and studies on CDs. Beginner's Basic Bible Study (2 parts), Nature of God's Law, The Gospel, New Age Bible Versions, God is a Personal Being, How to Pray, The Ten Commandments, and The Kingdom of God.

That's all in Bible Pack #1. They get the CD with the letter and the study packs are put together in a spiral binder. So far we have eight of them. They're all designed to take you through the Bible, to understand it. Here they are. This is what Ken does, puts these all together. We make these right here.

The thing that is important is the Truth of God. We have the latest one—study pkg. #8—which is Holidays or Holy Days, By Who's Authority?

It goes through what authority did God give to the apostles. Ken just reminded me that he's the caboose. First it has to be recorded. Then it has to be edited. Then it has to be collected, then digitized. In order to get some of these that we did on cassettes, we sent hundreds and hundreds of them off to Jeff Williams in Florida and he converted them to digital CDs.

Now we have them on CDs, which is very easy to handle. I suppose, with the memory sticks and everything they have now, we could possibly put everything we have on a memory stick. We have the Internet. We'll have these on the Internet. People can download them there. That's an important thing.

I was watching the news and it looks like they finally have Donald Trump on track. He's been calling Hillary 'Lying Hillary.' Now he's calling her 'the Queen of Corruption.' As bad as she is, people do not understand that Christianity in this world is worse. Hardly anything is true.

There was a real good video, Jonathan downloaded it for me, put it on CD, it was how to convince an atheist that there is a God. It was really quite good. The fellow did really good until he got to the point 'now that you can see to say there is no God, and you can understand that there is a God,' then he started right out with Jesus and forgiveness of sin, which was fine. But the whole thing with Protestantism is to get them in church, get them to accept Jesus, and their sins forgiven, and the finished work of God is don, when that's only the start. It's amazing what has happened to Christianity in this world.

Here's what we do, the Church and all of us. 2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom."

Judgment is on the house of God now and judgment is also on the world now as God's judgment coming down toward the close of the age.

Verse 2: "Preach the Word!.… " That's why with renaming the church website: truthofGod.org. They can come to:

  • thetruthofgod.com
  • thetruthofgod.net
  • thetruthofgod.world
  • truthofgod.church

They can all get to the website with that now. We should be getting that up and going so more people can get to the website.

Verse 2: "Preach the Word!.…" Everybody wants to take a little bit of the Bible here, maybe a little bit of the Bible over there, and then combine it with what they think and what they want. It's amazing.

Every once in a while I check up on the Catholic EWTN. The other night they had from Baltimore a Mass for all of the past Knights of Columbus. The truth of the matter is they don't know how many are in hell, how many are in purgatory, or how many in heaven, so they have to have this Mass so those who are kind of half way in between: 'Only burn your feet, we'll pray for you and get you out. We'll move you up to purgatory where you'll get a little water and put the fire out. Hopefully, if your relatives pay us enough for enough Masses, we'll get you up out of there and halfway to heaven.'

They have this big pageantry. They have the hall set up, decorated, idols everywhere, paintings everywhere. They have a choir over here and the choir is singing a dirge. Can't even make out what they are saying. Then in march the Knights of Columbus. They come in, with the feathers in the hat, their sword on and all dressed up. I got to thinking, how different is that from a South American Indian tribe all dressed up with feathers, having their swords and spears, and walking in to the medicine man who is the shaman of the tribe. They come in and here come all of the priests from the local diocese all dressed up in white robes and gold crosses. Here come the lesser bishops, then the main bishop. He has on this hat. They go through all of these things and all they ever do is have a Mass.

They do quote a little Scripture. They have a little deacon come around and he picks up a little Scripture book and he holds it up in the air. He walks over here to the other side, puts it down. Then the bishop gets up and puts on his bonnet, it has two tails going down at the back. He comes over and he reads some Scripture. They think they're serving God.

Just because they read a few Scriptures, people are satisfied. I'm sure if you asked them, 'How did you like that?' they would say, 'That was wonderful.' Like this fellow who talked with the atheists, he asked them, 'Are you a good person?' Oh, yeah, I'm a good person. Then he got into a few things, like 'When was the last time you lied?'

Here is why we do what we do. It has to do with the Bible, the Word of God, the Truth. We have right online: Truth of God. We preach the Truth of God from the God of Truth, and we accept no traditions—Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, or any other religious tradition—that people have. Just the Truth of God!

This is what Paul means here when he says: "Preach the Word!" What is the Word of God? Your Word is the Truth!

"…Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine. For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings; and they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths" (vs 2-4). That's what we have, myths and fables.

That fits right in with what we're going to cover here in 1-John. Remember what we had in part 1—Politicians, Preachers, Christ and Our Calling—TROL: Truth, Repentance, Obedience, Love. That's what we find in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. We've got a whole study pack on that. We have a book The Seven General Epistles that covers that. We're revising it to the smaller size at the present time, because we're almost out.

This is a tremendous summary of what God wants us to understand; 1-John 1:3: "Which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship… [that's what it is in the Greek] …indeed, our fellowship… [he's defining it for all of us] …is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ." That's what grace upon grace is! Let's see what this grace does:

  • blessing
  • favor
  • kindness
  • God's special intervention in your life

Grace is more than the forgiveness of sin, far more!

Ephesians 2:12: "And that you were without Christ at that time… [whatever your circumstances were in the world] …alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." That's where a lot of people are today, nearly all of them.

Verse 13: "But now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far off are made near by the blood of Christ…. [the start of our relationship with God] …For He is our peace…" (vs 13-14)—also:

  • our High Priest
  • our Intercessor
  • our Elder Brother
  • the Son of God
  • the One Who was God in the flesh

"…Who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition" (v 14). That was the division between Judaism, the Jews and the Gentiles.

The Protestants believe that the laws of God have been done away. One of the verses that they use to do that is right here in v 15. But the Greek does not tell us the way that they interpret it.

Verse 15: "Having annulled in His flesh the enmity…" What is the enmity? What verse describes the enmity? 'The carnal mind is enmity against God, is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be!'

"…the law of commandments contained in the decrees of men…" (v 15). What were the decrees of men? Let's see what it is; it never fails, human beings want to improve upon God and improve upon the Word of God. When you do that, what are you saying? God is not perfect (Mark 7)!

This is what the Jews did. A lot of people think that Judaism is the religion of the Old Testament. That's why we have the book, Judaism: A Revelation of Moses or a Religion of Men? In that book you're going to find a whole chapter on some of the thousands and thousands of laws that the Jews have added over the Word of God. This then nullified it. The Jews would have nothing to do with any of the Gentiles, would not be a room with them, would not eat with them, would not fellowship with them. They lived apart, and to this very day, most of the Jews do.

Mark 7:1: "Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes from Jerusalem came together to Him. And when they saw some of His disciples eating with defiled hands (that is, unwashed hands), they found fault" (vs 1-2).

Maybe as a child growing up your mother found fault with your dirty hands. This was religiously, a tradition.

Verse 3: "For the Pharisees and all the Jews, holding fast to the tradition of the elders, do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly. Even when coming from the market, they do not eat unless they first wash themselves. And there are many other things that they have received to observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and brass utensils and tables. For this reason, the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, saying, 'Why don't Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?'" (vs 3-5). Notice what was important to them: traditions of men, fables, fairy tales.

Verse 6: "And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites…'" If you think Donald Trump speaks kind of 'off the cuff, Christ really let them have it.

"'…as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me"'" (v 6). God wants to have a relationship with you spiritually, with His Spirit. Not just washing hands or washing feet, not just any of the laws that they have. If you don't have that book, you write for that book and get it and you read some of those things. That's just a few of them from a thick book called Code of Jewish Law.

Give you another example of hand-washing: Here you are sleeping in bed, sound asleep. You wake up. You can't do anything unless you first pour water over your left hand and then your right hand three times before you do anything. Because when you go to sleep, the demons in you leave, except for your fingers and hand, so you wash them off. However, in emergency—that may come along once in a while—they have many of those things.

That's why they have one, which is contrary to the Scriptures. In an Orthodox Jewish home you have dishes for all non-dairy products, dishes for dairy products, because you can't mix the two and you can't eat them together. They say they follow Abraham and Sarah. Abraham's wife brought a fatted calf that was killed and roasted and had milk and bread and gave it to the God of the Old Testament and two angels to eat. If it's good enough for God, why isn't it good enough for you?

"…'Why don't Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?' And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me"'" (vs 5-6).

Remember that Scripture and watch some of these religious channels and think about it. Are they really teaching people to come to God, to repent to God, to have a relationship with God? What is it that they are really doing?

Verse 7: "'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men…. [that's the end result of what happens] …For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God…'" (vs 7-9).

That's serious business. How does that come about? Because they are rejecting Truth and following their own ways!

"'…so that you may observe your own tradition. For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother"; and "The one who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death." But you say, "If a man shall say to his father or mother, 'Whatever benefit you might receive from me is corban'" (that is, set aside as a gift to God), "he is not obligated to help his parents"'" (vs 9-11)—and you excuse him.

Think about what they have done with all these religious practices. Eph. 2—here's what God wants. This is why He wants Truth, repentance, obedience, and love.

By the way, we're working up a new booklet combining a couple things together in it. We have a booklet Is the Ministry the Government of God? J.H. Allen, who wrote Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright, also had a fantastic article on the Nicolaitans. We're going to combine the two together in a single booklet.

Grace upon grace is your direct connection with God the Father and Jesus Christ! Like Paul explains:

Ephesians 2:15: "…decrees of men, so that in Himself He might create both into one new man, making peace… [that is Christ] …and that He might reconcile both… [Jew and Gentile] …to God in one body through the cross, having slain the enmity by it. Now when He came, He preached the Gospel—peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have direct access by one Spirit to the Father" (vs 15-18).

How did Jesus say we are to pray? To our Father! He didn't say, 'Remember My mother.' But to the Father!

Verse 19: "So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God. You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone in Whom all the building…" (vs 19-21).

This is what God wants. He has called us so that we can be those who are going to help administer the Kingdom of God on earth when Jesus Christ returns.

You think about this: What a surprise that is going to be to the world when the resurrection takes place! Here God has His army already prepared; they've been sleeping all this time in the grave. He brings them all up to the Sea of Glass. We find out what we need to do, come down to this earth, Satan is removed and we start teaching the people the Word of God. That's a tremendous thing!

This is why God has all of these things for us. The latest Study Pack is #8: Holidays or Holy Days: By Whose Authority? Man has no authority:

  • to change the Word of God
  • to add to the Word of God
  • to teach anything other than the Word of God

so that we all come together and grow together. That's what you call fellowship.

Ephesians 3:1: "For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, if indeed you have heard of the ministry of the grace of God that was given to me for you… [grace upon grace] …how He made known to me by revelation the mystery (even as I wrote briefly before" (vs 1-3).

He was called to turn people from darkness unto the Light—and the Light is Christ. It's a mystery to the world. Do you know that if you understand the Bible, and know about the plan of God, do you realize how few a number of people in the world that understand that? Understand the mystery of God. It's the secret of God that He reveals to His saints. That is a fantastic thing.

Verse 4: "So that when you read this, you will be able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of Christ), which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men… [wasn't made know before Christ. Think of how many people grew up knowing absolutely nothing] …as it has now been revealed to His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (vs 4-5).

What Paul is bringing out here, the whole Church was given this knowledge and understanding of and written down.

Verse 6: "That the Gentiles might be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel."

Think about it, being called to be a son or daughter of God, spiritually and living forever. That's an amazing thing.

Verse 8: "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints… [through everything that Paul went through, he got more humble through his whole lifetime] …was this grace given, that I might preach the Gospel among the Gentiles—even the unsearchable riches of Christ... [that's quite a statement] …and that I might enlighten all as to what is the fellowship of the mystery…" (vs 8-9). That fellowship is through prayer, with God's Spirit, you have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above.

One other thing, this is an amazing Scripture; John 14:21: "The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him."

That's a calling! Why did one day your life suddenly change? You began to answer the call of God!

Judas didn't know how this was going to happen, v 22: "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… [here is one of the most important Scriptures in the Bible] …If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word… [not traditions of men, not myths, not fairy tales, not fables] …and My Father will love him… [the great Sovereign of the universe] …and We will come to him and make Our abode with him'" (vs 22-23).

This means through the Spirit of God. Jesus said that He would send the Spirit from the Father. The Spirit has two components to it:

  • the Spirit of Christ
  • the Spirit of the Father

Between that and with the Spirit of God within us through prayer, study, living, everything, we have fellowship direct with the Great Creator of the universe. That is astonishing! That's why it's a mystery. God doesn't do this to everyone in the world. The fellowship. That's what the fellowship really is.

This is why he says that 'our fellowship is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ.'

1-John 1:4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full. And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is Light, and there is no darkness at all in Him. 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" (vs 4-6).

  • we need the Truth
  • we need repentance
  • we need obedience
  • we need love

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Let's look at the difference between darkness and light. The Bible has quite a bit to say about that. Jesus said He was the Light of the world. When He came into the world, as the Light of the world (John 1), the world didn't comprehend it. It doesn't comprehend it because human beings are spiritually blinded whenever they go against the laws of God. It's automatic.

Let's see that. We are told that there is no darkness at all in God. We're also told that if we say we have fellowship with Him, and are walking in darkness, we are lying to ourselves. Isn't that really the greatest deception when people lie to themselves and live in lies? Here's what happens:

Isaiah 5:20: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil… [that's the high-water mark of this age] …who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"

Here's what happens then. It's sort of a convoluted way of thinking. This ties right directly in with Rom. 1, because when they reject the Truth, they reject the way of God, they reject the laws of God, what happens? They blind themselves! Blindness is spiritual darkness!

Verse 21: "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: who justify the wicked for a bribe… [that's on the highest levels today] …and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!" (vs 21-23).

They're going to bring upon them all these things. We can be thankful Christ is going to return soon, however long that will be. However, He's going to have to come and put an end to it. The whole world now is under the power of Satan the devil. He's deceiving the whole world, which means the world is in darkness.

Isaiah 60:1: "Arise, shine; for your light has come… [the return of Christ; His first coming and second coming] …and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you, for behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people … [there's no salvation except the return of Jesus Christ] …but the LORD shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you" (vs 1-2).

Let's see how the book of Proverbs describes this. If you do a study through the Bible, you will find that there's a lot about light and darkness.

Proverbs 2:12: "To deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man who speaks wicked things, those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness" (vs 12-13)—the way of sin, the way of the world.

Verse 15: "Whose ways are crooked, and are devious in their paths." Maybe 'the Donald's' been reading a little of the Bible, who knows.

Let's look at the contrast in Prov. 4. What we can see from this is that the Bible as a whole is a unified whole. What John is writing about is nothing new, but with the spiritual application of Christ.

Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day…. [the perfect day is the return of Christ] …The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble" (vs 18-19).

Doesn't that describe the world today? The world is upside down. No one knows how to straighten it out. Anyone comes along with a right solution, immediately debunked.

Let's see something concerning the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Let's come to Acts 26, and here is what Jesus told Paul when He called him what he was to do. The whole world is filled with darkness. When Paul was called his name was Saul, and Jesus knocked him to the ground:

Acts 26:14: "Then all of us fell to the ground… [the ones who were with Paul] …and I heard a voice speak to me, saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.' And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting'" (vs 14-15). Whenever there's persecution against us, that's persecution against Jesus.

Jesus tells him, v 16: "Now arise, and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you as a minister and a witness both of what you have seen and what I shall reveal to you. I am personally selecting you from among the people and the Gentiles, to whom I now send you... [here's the purpose of the Gospel and the Spirit of God]: …to open their eyes…" (vs 16-18)—spiritually, because if you're walking in sin, you're walking in darkness.

"…that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified through faith in Me" (v 18).

That's quite a thing, too, when you tie together all the writings of the Apostle Paul and all that he has written. That is really something. That was his mission. That's why we have

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

the Truth of God includes everything:

  • all the Word of God
  • His laws
  • His commandments
  • His statutes
  • His precepts
  • His Holy Days
  • His Sabbath

All of those are the Truth of God.

1-John 1:6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him… [that's with God the Father and Jesus Christ] …but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth. However, if we walk in the Light… [the Light of God's Word] …as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin" (vs 6-7). He's including himself there.

The thing that got me started on this was the man who wrote and said, 'Nine years ago I accepted Jesus and I haven't sinned since.' I wonder how long it was that the Apostle John was an apostle, and he was the one whom Jesus loved? He includes himself, he says, 'We.'

Verse 8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us." Self-deception is the first thing.

What is the Scripture? 'The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.' That takes place today. People leave the Truth and incrementally are led away. Then they come to a point. Let's look at this in the Gospel of John, chapter three. Since it's talking about the blood of Jesus Christ, we're going to see something very important here. Very interesting, indeed!

We all know the verse. The world loves to quote this, but they don't go any further. So we're going to read John 3:16, and we're going to read the verses afterwards and see what it says:

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish…" Perish means to not even exist, because when we die, the Bible calls that sleep. In Ecc. 12 it says when we die the spirit goes back to God. Heb. 12 tells us that when we come to God, Mount Zion in heaven above, that's through prayer, that we come to the spirits of just men made perfect.

Wherever it is that God keeps all of those who are sleeping, they have not perished. Their existence, sleeping, has been stored. Isn't it interesting that they have this for a computer. You can put a computer to sleep. Everything is still there, but it's sleeping. It's not working. That's very similar to what it is with the spirit of man, the Spirit of God has been perfected. That goes back to God. How He's going to accomplish the resurrection, we won't know until we're resurrected. That's going to be something.

There is a difference. Here's the difference, because Jesus told the Pharisees that the one who believes in Him 'shall not taste of death forever.' You need to analyze that statement. That's what it says in the Greek. If you taste of death, you haven't completely perished, because God has the record of your life; same way for those for the second resurrection.

1-Corinthians 15:17: "But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished" (vs 17-18). Notice the difference in dying, is called sleeping.

The same word for perished is used there. What Jesus is talking about is the second death (Rev. 20).

John 3:16: "…so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish…" That's what it is in the Greek. It's in what is called the subjunctive case. Whenever it's in the subjunctive case, it means that there are conditions that have to be met in order for the may and not to be applied.

We can put it the other way: If you don't believe and reject God and reject Him completely, and you qualify for the Lake of Fire, you will perish. Those who believe in Jesus Christ, have their sins forgiven, have the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ, and are faithful unto death, they will die, which is sleeping, and they will not taste of death forever (John 8). The wicked are going to perish, no longer any hope of anything.

"…may not perish, but may have…" (v 16)—conditions applied. What are the conditions?

  • What did Jesus tell the man that He healed after 38 years? 'Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you!'
  • What did John write? 'If we say that we know Him and are walking in darkness, we are lying to ourselves.'

Conditions! We're going to see more conditions. That's why it's in the subjunctive here.

Verse 17: "'For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.'"

At that time He did not judge the world. That happens all the time, but not then. He says a little later on, 'I have many things to judge of you.'

Verse 18: "The one who believes in Him is not judged… [because we repent] …but the one who does not believe has already been judged because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment… [judgment is always there] …that the Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who practices evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his works may not be exposed; but the one who practices the Truth comes to the Light, so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God'" (vs 18-21).

Let's look at this now. What happens when you're in the light? You have spiritual eyes, you can see! If you start going astray, and you don't take corrective action, you're walking away from the light.

Have you ever been in front of a car that's been parked with the lights on, so you can see where you're going? Your back is to the light, but you still have some light to see by, as you're walking away. That's the best description I can give of apostasy for those who are walking away from the light. They think everything is still good, because they can still see.

Finally you get so far away that the light has no effect on you at all, and you're back in darkness. That's why we need to keep coming to the light. That's why everyday prayer and study! When you pray, you're worshiping God; you're talking to God. When you study, which is an extension of worship, He's talking to you through His Word. When you do that, you're using the Light of the Word of God to correct your own thoughts, to correct your own behavior. This is the authority of God in your life. This is part of grace upon grace.

  • God will help you
  • God will lead you
  • God will guide you

Another thing comes along with that: The longer that you live with the Spirit of God, and are doing that, with the Light of God's Word in your life, the less you think of yourself! Also you realize that everything there is comes from God, every single thing! Therefore, you come to understand: What can you really, really do apart from God? Nothing!

Let's see something very important here. This is concerning Jesus, Who came in the flesh. They didn't understand what Jesus was saying about healing the man there in this account. Realize this: spiritual work is going on all the time. Every Sabbath is to be an increase in the working of God's Spirit. While we rest physically, we grow spiritually.

John 5:17: "But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" (vs 17-18). Yet, that's right in the Bible in Psa. 82.

Notice what Jesus said. This is what is to happen to us spiritually, as we grow in grace and knowledge.

Verse 19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself…'" I can do nothing of Myself! Not even a carnal person in the world, because God created that individual.

"…but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing. And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder" (vs 19-20).

Verse 30: "'I have no power… [Greek is 'dunamais,' which means literal power] …to do anything of Myself…'"—out from Me; that I am going to do something from Me for God.

The more that you have the Spirit of God, the more that you're walking in the Light, the more that you're coming to the Light, the more that you're growing in grace and knowledge. I'm including myself in it, as well. All of us, the more we realize that we can come to the same statement that Jesus said, 'Of Myself I can do nothing; I have no power.' God has given you a life; you're custodian of that life.

The one thing He has given you, and every human being, is Independent Free Moral Agency (IFMA). We must choose! That's quite something—no power. The one Who was God before He became a human being said He had no power of Himself to do anything.

1-John 1:8: "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us."

  • What does Paul call human nature? It's carnal!
  • What is carnal nature? It's against law!
  • What does he say that we have within us? The law of sin and death!

If we say we do not have sin, you are deceiving yourself. That was quite interesting when this fellow was talking to the atheists and got them to admit that you do lie to yourself.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins…"—to God, not to any man! No man can forgive you! Why do we confess them to God through Christ?

"…He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (v 9). That's what God wants in our lives, "…cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

  • that's called growing in grace and knowledge
  • that's called building the character of God
  • that's called developing the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit

Let God's Spirit:

  • work in our lives
  • work in our minds
  • cleanse us

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar… [that ties in with Isa. 5] …and His Word is not in us."

That tells you another thing. How does God's Word get in us? He's given us the ability to learn. He's given us His Spirit. He wants it written in our heart and our mind. Here's the whole purpose of the New Covenant, right here:

Hebrews 10:15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, '"This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days," says the Lord, "I will give My laws into their hearts… [which is Truth] …and I will inscribe them in their minds"'" (vs 15-16).

They know that the human mind has been made to learn, to remember, to actually etch within the very cells of the brain what you learn, very similar to what we call in a computer a digital entry. It is such that it needs to be exercised with prayer and study and the Word of God.

It says, 'The Word of God is not in us if we say that we make Him a liar.' How do people make God a liar? Let's just take Sabbath: They say, 'You don't have to keep it; the church changed it to Sunday.' Then you're saying God is a liar. Take any one of the commandments and do it.

Here's the other part of the bargain. Remember what we read here, 'He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.' See how this ties in with this next verse:

Verse 17: "'And their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again." Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin… [that is animal sacrifices] …Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest…" (vs 17-19). Directly into the Holy of Holies in heaven above through our prayers.

You read in Revelation that when we pray, our prayers come up to God like incense. I think the Holy Spirit filters out all of the distractions of our thoughts that are not directly related to praying to God. It's spiritually edited on the way up.

Verse 20: "By a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart… [not fooling ourselves] …with full conviction of faith… [because what God has said, He will do] …our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 20-23).

Now we're ready for 1-John 2. I want you to look at the difference between the way that John wrote chapter one. 1-John 1 says we, we, we. Almost all the rest of the way through the epistle it is I. What was the difference? Probably when they were putting the New Testament together, they collectively wrote this first part of what is 1-John 1. That included John, probably Andrew, probably Philip, probably Mark, probably Timothy, who were there on the assembling of the New Testament together. We find that in the very last few verses of the Gospel of John, where John is explaining in chapter twenty-one what went on.

They say right there in an inserted statement: 'And we testify that what he wrote is true.' Who are the we? The same ones that were here!

When it says we, including John and the ones that I mentioned that were there, they counted themselves as need of having forgiveness of sin. How long had they been converted? John died approximately between 98A.D. and 100A.D. He was converted 70-plus years, and he still included himself in that statement we. That's quite a thing.

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And yet, if anyone does sin, we… [there it is again, including himself] …have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous." That's a pretty powerful verse right there.

Why is God so willing to forgive sin when we truly repent? Because we have all inherited the law of sin and death coming from Adam and Eve! Paul writes of that.

Romans 5:10: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His own Son, much more then, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way death passed into… [part of our very being] …all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned" (vs 10-12).

That's why even little children sin. You can even see it when they're infants. They get angry if they don't get their way! Yes, indeed! A lot of people don't know why babies cry so much. That's because they haven't learned to speak. Dolores said over the years, with the children we've had, she's learned to tell when they're hungry, when they're frustrated, when they're angry, when they're spoiled and demanding, all in the cry.

It passes into us and that is called the law of sin and death in Rom. 7. What does that do? The law of sin and death, you don't realize how automatically you sin until the Spirit of God really convicts you with it.

Paul said that in his flesh there was no good thing, nothing! But when he was on the way to arrest the Christians, before he was knocked to the ground by Christ, he thought he was a pretty big deal. He had authority and commission from the high priest to even go to Damascus to get the Christians, bring them back to Jerusalem in chains, put them in prison and torment them. Even agreed with the killing of Stephen. So, he understood the law of sin and death. So did all the apostles.

1-John 2:1: "…yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation…" (vs 1-2)—meaning: continuing source of mercy and forgiveness, not just an atonement for a single event.

"…and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (v 2). Isn't that amazing? He understood the plan of God was going to be for the whole world.

I often wonder about John after he got the vision of the book of Revelation, about 95-96A.D. In vision he did see the return of Jesus Christ. But I wonder what he thought after seeing everything that's in the book of Revelation, and he didn't have a clue that it would be about 2,000 years later before those things would unfold.

But he says, "…for the sins of the whole world." Also, when we get to the Holy Days, and we get to the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, think how many sins that that sacrifice is going to cover: all of the human race, for all who repent!That's mind-blowing! That is fantastic!

Scriptural References:

  • 2-Timothy 4:1-4
  • 1-John 1:3
  • Ephesians 2:12-15
  • Mark 7:1-11
  • Ephesians 2:15-21
  • Ephesians 3:1-6, 8-9
  • John 14:21-23
  • 1-John 1:4-6
  • Isaiah 5:20-23
  • Isaiah 60:1-2
  • Proverbs 2:12-13, 15
  • Proverbs 4:18-19
  • Acts 26:14-18
  • 1-John 1:6-8
  • John 3:16
  • 1-Corinthians 15:17-18
  • John 3:16-21
  • John 5:17-20, 30
  • 1-John 1:8-10
  • Hebrews 10:15-18-23
  • 1-John 2:1
  • Romans 5:10-12
  • 1-John 2:1-2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 1
  • Romans 1
  • Ecclesiastes 12
  • Hebrews 12
  • Revelation 20
  • John 8
  • Psalm 82
  • Romans 7

Also referenced:

Sermon: Politicians, Preachers, Christ and Our Calling
Sermon Series: Epistles of John

Books:

  • The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter
  • Judaism: Revelation of Moses or a Religion of Men? by Philip Neal
  • Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin
  • Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright by J. H. Allen

Booklet: Is the Ministry the Government of God?

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 8-18-16
Formatted: bo—8-19-16

Copyright 2016—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

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