Fred R. Coulter‑‑September 22, 2012

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The question before us today is: When will I overcome sin and not be practicing sin?

If you're sinning more often than you desire, are you practicing and living in sin or are you fighting sin that is expressed by you outwardly‑‑which there is enough of that to do too‑‑but are you trying to overcome sins inwardly and those things that are in your mind? That's the question.

The outward appearance can be very wonderful, can be very good, can be very nice. It can be seemingly kind and considerate. People think, 'Oh, this is wonderful.' However if you watch American Greed on CNBC what you will find is that is how every single con man operates. They also do so with flattery. Flattering lips.

The question is: How long will this go on and how can I overcome? Let's come to the epistle of 1-John. It's very interesting if you have a regular Bible and not The Holy Bible in Its Original Order. The Romans so despised the Jews and even what they would call Jewish-Christians, which today would be a 'mori-oxon.'

What they did they took the General Epistles of James, 1-2-Peter, 1-2-3 John and Jude and also the book of Hebrews and put it way at the end of the New Testament and moved Romans right after Acts. That was to give authority to the church at Rome.

Then out of that came the Protestants. They made some adjustments, but they never changed the mainframe. What do I mean by that? It's like taking a Chevy truck frame and build a Cadillac on top of it. But you have a Chevy truck engine, you have Chevy doors, you have a Cadillac dashboard. You can look at it, it looks real fine. But it never works right because the parts don't fit.

I can liken that to the way the Bible is out of its original order. It will work, but combined with the mistranslations and misinterpretations it doesn't work the way it should. They cannot answer the problem of sin.

Let's ask the question: How old do you have to be to where you know that you have no more sin in you? Let's look at the example here of the Apostle John. He was the longest lived of all the apostles. This epistle was one in which he wrote at an earlier time and then added the first chapter.

I will show that to you in the way that it is written. 1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you..." You come on down and you see v 7: "Brethren, I am not writing a new commandment to you... [Verse 8:] ...Again, I am writing a new commandment to you... [Verse 12:] ...I am writing to you... [Verse 13:] ...I am writing to you... [Verse 14:] ...I wrote to you.."

Verse 21: "I did not write to you because you do not know the truth... [Verse 26:] ...These things I have written to you..." All the way down‑‑‑I, I, I, I, I.

Let's come back to chapter one and let's see something that shows that he edited this epistle and added what is in the first chapter. This becomes important when you realize that he was probably well into his 90s when he wrote this. This gives us a clue as to how John looked at his life as well as his experience with Christ.

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life."

He was saying that 'we'‑‑who are the 'we'? How did it get to be ''we' when all through chapter two it's 'I'? Who are the 'we'? The scant history that we have of canonization of the New Testament is this. Philip and Andrew, two of the original apostles, were there with John, possibly Mark because Mark was much younger. He was probably only 16 during Jesus' ministry. Remember he was the young lad who ran away and they held onto his cloak and he to flee naked. That was Mark.

Mark‑‑just a little insight here‑‑was the nephew of Barnabas. Barnabas was a Levite so that means Mark was a Levite. You tie that together with what the Apostle Paul did with Mark, especially in 2-Timothy, and 'bring the trunk with the velum and the paper' and everything. So Mark turned out to be the secretary of Peter and was the go-between between Peter and Paul late in life.

That's why Peter said in 1-Peter 5:12: "By Silvanus... [That's another name for Silas.] ...a faithful brother to you... [He was also assisting Peter in writing.] I reckon, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, as does Mark, my son" (vs 12-13).

Mark was the one to go between Peter and Paul. Mark was as a son to Peter because he was his secretary. The Gospel of Mark is really the gospel of Peter. It's very interesting, you will see when you read the Gospel of Mark that it's pretty easy on Peter. Babylon was where he was when the first epistle was written.

In the history that we have of it before the fall of Jerusalem the Apostle John left and moved over to the area of Pella and then from there went to Asia Minor near Ephesus, which then put him contact with Mark.

Come back to 1-John. Let's look at the 'we' again because this is going to disclose something important to us to answer the question.

1-John 1:2: "(And the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;) That 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‑‑indeed, our fellowship‑‑is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ" (vs 2-3).

That's the first thing to stress. We would say today‑‑relationship, our relationship. Now notice v 4: "These things we are also writing to you..." Now why is that different from 'I am writing'? Because he is adding to it at a later date. We don't know exactly when this was done. We don't know exactly when the first writing of the epistle of 1-John was done.

We would have to conclude that this is some time in his late 80s or 90s that he's writing this. So let's see what he says. Verse 4: "These things we are also writing to you... [That's interesting‑‑also, because he's attaching it to the rest of it.] 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" (vs 4-5).

Verse 6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth." Now here they are living by the Truth, practicing the Truth.

As long as we have a human mind the question becomes, though we practice the Truth, keep the Holy Days, keep the Feast, pray to God, strive to overcome, has sin within our minds been completely removed? Let's see that it's not.

If you are sinning, are you lying to yourself? No, but if you are not practicing in the Truth and you're walking in darkness.... now what is darkness? Darkness then is false doctrine. Darkness is adding the practices of men, the deceptions of Satan. All of it together.

Verse 7: "However, if... [these are conditional] ...we walk in the light, 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. If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (vs 7-8).

What does it mean 'we do not have sin'? It didn't say, 'If we say we do not sin...' He didn't say that. He said, 'If we do not have sin...' What does that refer to? That refers to what Paul wrote about the law of sin and death that is within us. That's tantamount to saying, 'If we say we do not have a sinful nature, we're deceiving ourselves.' That's where all deception for the individual starts.

Yes, there's Satan the devil out there, but it is our own nature that is deceitful. This is the question: What do we do when we're sinning and the sins are in your mind and no one else knows them? Maybe you may lose your temper or be angry or something like that. Maybe it manifests itself that way and to other people, but what if you have a righteous way of living because you're practicing the Truth and you're trying to overcome but sin is still in your mind? Especially today when we have so many things that will put sin in your mind.

You can watch an advertisement on television and there it is! So we have hundreds of times more thrown against us than when people lived when there were none of the modern media and technology and things like that.

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins... [Notice 'we.' Again he's including those with him.] ...He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (vs 9-10).

When you read in the King James the other verses, I've covered that about how 1-John 3 they translate it 'cannot sin.' He's not going to be so schizophrenic of mind that he writes one thing in one place and few small chapters later says that you cannot sin.

Notice, 'we confess our sins.' What does this tell us? John is telling us he still had sin within to overcome. That's what he's writing. So if he was in his 80s or 90s, the carnal mind is still there. Isn't it interesting, the older you get the more you remember your sins of youth. They come flashing back.

The question is: Do we have to deal with this until we die? Undoubtedly. It's challenging.

We confess our sins to God. Think for a minute, if there ever came a time in the flesh, because the way human nature is, if we could proclaim ourselves perfect spiritually, then why would we need the resurrection?

Notice what he says, 1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin." 'May' gives the possibility that you do sin. It's like this. You knock on the door, someone comes and opens the door and answers it. You say, 'May I come in?' What are you going to do if they slam the door in your face and say no? You have to walk away.

If you come and bust open the door and come in, you say, 'I'm coming in.' 'May' puts it in a subjunctive tense meaning there are conditions to it. That you may not sin because you're not planning to sin, but you may sin.

"...And yet, if anyone does sin... [So it shows the possibility, the 'may' and the 'if.'] ...we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous; And He is the propitiation for our sins... [that we have just committed and need to confess. Propitiation means a continual mercy seat or if you understand about the Ark of the Covenant that was called the mercy seat with the cherubim overarching it. Christ is at the right hand of God the Father.] ...He is the propitiation for our sins..." (vs 1-2).

He died for every single sin that every human being has committed, is committing, or will commit until the time there are no more human beings because He's Creator.

The Protestants have it this way. The God of the Old Testament was the Father and He was harsh and mean and evil. But that's not true. That's why we need to preach and I need to emphasize even more that the Lord God of the Old Testament was the one Who became Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

"...and not for our sins only... [Lest we get selfish, lest we get haughty and lifted up to say, 'We have our sins forgiven, but you don't. Get away from me.] ...but also for the sins of the whole world" (v 2). If you don't know the plan of God through the Holy Days, you will never be able to figure this out.

What is God going to do with all of those who never heard of the name of Jesus Christ? 4,000 plus years of history? The whole world. Let's come back to chapter five and let's see something else here.

1-John 5:10, so we get the flow of what he's writing here clear to the end. "The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself... [that is, the witness that the Spirit brings to us] ...the one who does not believe God..." Isn't it interesting, the word 'in' is not there. This means you believe God, not only in Christ but God. If you believe God, then you believe who He is, what He is and what He says. The demons believe there is a God and trouble because they won't obey.

"...the one who does not believe God... [That means, is not keeping His commandments, is not serving Him, is not loving Him.] ...has made Him a liar because he has not believed in the witness that God has witnessed concerning His Son. And this is the witness: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (vs 10-11). We find other places 'through His Son.'

Verse 12: "The one who has the Son has eternal life..." Now we're getting down to the fact that yes, we have the Spirit of God. If we have the Spirit of God and we know there are two parts to it:

  • From the Son
  • From the Father

Why then do we have sin in our mind? That becomes the ultimate question. The answer is, we will see, because it has not yet been removed totally from our minds. Why do we have these sins and why do we recognize these sins in our minds? Because the Holy Spirit is revealing it to us. That's why. The Holy Spirit will reveal your sinful thoughts.

Why is that necessary? Because there's no other way that you will understand that you have those. They are only here in your mind. Only God knows and only God can reveal those to you so you can repent. Only God can reveal it to you with His Holy Spirit because if you don't have the Holy Spirit of God‑‑and here is the answer to your question‑‑if you don't have the Holy Spirit of God, that will not be sin to you in your mind. You will not recognize it as sin.

Having the Holy Spirit God gives you the recognition of sin within so that you can repent. I've thought of that because as I'm getting older I'm remembering more of the sins of my youth and I think, really, I did that? Because God wants us to not sin, the Holy Spirit's job and cleansing is to reveal it to us so we may repent.

Verse 13: "These things I have written to you.. [Notice it's 'I,' not 'we.'] ...who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life." The only way you know you have eternal life is if you know and understand you have the Spirit of God within you.

"...and that you may continue to believe... [The sense in the Greek is 'to continue,' so I added the words there.] the name of the Son of God" (v 13). Isn't every prayer ended how? In the name of Jesus Christ, because that's what Jesus said. You pray to the Father. This is where the Protestants miss the point. They leave out the Father most of the time.

In preparation for writing the book on grace I'm reading a book on grace by a Protestant. I noticed that it is all Jesus and not the Father. So what does that tell us? They only have half the story.

Let's come to John 14. Isn't it interesting. You take a concordance and you look up the word Father and believe and the various forms of believe, believing, believed, believeth, and everything like that. John is the one who reveals more about the Father than any of the other apostles. Why is that? Because he was the longest lived apostle and he was the one whom Jesus loved.

You read along in the Bible and here's a little phrase in the Bible and you say, 'That's interesting,' and you go on. After you study the Bible and re-study the Bible and put it together you begin to find everything connects and everything has meaning.

Several years ago, I think about 4 years ago, I read the entire New Testament and I recorded it on audio cassette. Then we ran that through computer and digitized it. Bonnie, who does the editing of the audio sermons now, she did the editing of it. So here about a year and a half ago I talked to Randy who produces Church at Home, I said, 'I'm going to send you the New Testament that I have read and let's get it together so we can send it out.'

So I sent it to him and he said, 'The quality is so bad it's impossible to use.' So I said, 'I guess I'll have to read it again.' So I have started some Bible reading-projects. I have done the whole book of Proverbs and we have that up online. I wanted those to know about the curses and blessings so I have that online.

What I'm going to do is read the book of Psalms. So I'm up through Psalm 40. What I'm amazed at in going through the book of Psalms is all the difficulty and trouble that David had and how much those things are repeated. Also how so many of these things connect with the New Testament. I'm going through and reading and these things come to my mind and I can't stop and say, 'Let's go here,' and stop and say, 'Let's go here,' because I have to read it.

The point I want to bring out is: The more you study the Bible, the more you go over it, the more that God's Spirit in your mind will help put these things together.

Let's come here to John 14:13: "'And whatever you ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it'" (vs 13-14). What is the condition we find in other places? According to the will of God and keeping His commandments.

Verse 14 says 'if,' so we're the ones who have to do it. "'If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep the commandments‑‑namely, My commandments'" (vs 14-15). That is the emphatic in the Greek.

Now unless you understand that Jesus was the one Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament, you could say, 'That's just means what Jesus said in the New Testament.' Then others come along and say, 'All the commandments to the Jews we can discount because we're Gentiles.' So this is how the deceptions of Satan get in.

Notice what He says here because this becomes important, v 16: "'And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: Even the Spirit of the truth...'" (vs 16-17). That's the key thing, the Spirit of the truth which comes from God.

  • God is Truth
  • God is light
  • God is love
  • God is righteous

What is the Spirit of truth in you going to do with the deceitfulness still lingering in your mind because of the way that human nature is? Convict and expose. All sin is against truth‑‑is it not? The Spirit of truth is that which is necessary to get rid of deception, to get rid of lies, to help lead you in the way you need to go.

Verse 17: "'...the Spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive...'"

  • Because it won't repent
  • Because it doesn't believe
  • Because they have their minds blinded because they won't obey God

The world is in a pall of darkness. "'...cannot receive because it perceives it not... [You can't look at it, you can't see it or feel it. You can feel the leading of it because you are doing things you need to do.] ...nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you'" (v 17).

There is a great distinction right here. This is a dividing line and helps us understand about many of those near-Christians. Why do I call them near-Christians? Those are those who proclaim themselves to be Christians, but have not been baptized and received the Holy Spirit in them.

The Spirit of God may be with them, because they believe and follow a lot of things in the Bible. They still keep Sunday, Halloween, Easter, and Christmas and all of this sort of thing.

Let's come to Revelation 1. We'll put this in here at this point where we've covered it in the past, but repetition is one of the best teachers. Same way with prayer. If you think you're getting repetitious in prayer, you have to divide it down this way. What is a vain repetition? A vain repetition is something of which there is no need, like the Catholic rosary.

The way you distinguish it, there are many things that you need repetition with concerning prayer.

  • Do you need God's Spirit? Yes!
  • Do you need God's love? Yes!
  • Do you need God's forgiveness every day? Yes!

It's not vain repetition to pray for that. Do people you know need the help of God, the protection of God? Yes. So whatever the need is, though you pray for it every day that is not a vain repetition.

What about those in the world who have the Bible, who read the Word of God, who have some obvious blessings that come from God, who have exemplary lives, but you know have not been baptized and received the Holy Spirit within them? Let's look for the answer here.

Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy... [I can tell you this. The more you read it, the more you'll understand it. The more that the way the world is going today, the more you can understand how the whole book of Revelation applies to the whole world.] ...and who keep the things that are written therein..." Because it exemplifies the Ten Commandments, Christ, the Father. Everything about God is revealed here as it is applied to the fulfilling of the Scriptures, but not in detail. So you have to fill in the details from the rest of the Scriptures.

For example, it says in Rev. 14:12, 'Here are those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.' Tells you nothing about what is the faith of Jesus. Tells you nothing about what commandments. Therefore, the rest of the Bible is needed to understand those two aspects.

Now we're going to understand some things here. "...and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand" (v 3). Let's understand you can apply this two ways:

  • in your life right now

The time is at hand for what? Personal changing, personal growth, personal overcoming‑‑correct? Now what if you die before Christ comes? Then

  • the time has passed being at hand, it has come upon you and now you're going to await the resurrection

This also is a prophecy in the future for the things at the end time. So you can take many things in the Bible and you can see how there are layers of fulfillment.

Verse 4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne."

  • What are the seven spirits?
  • What do they do?
  • How do they operate?

We have to understand: God is in complete communication with everything going on in the world through His angels and through the seven spirits and through His Holy Spirit that's within His people.

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Before we answer the question about the seven spirits of God, let's come back to John 14 and let's finish up where we were because this is important in distinguishing between the Holy Spirit of God within you and the Spirit of God with you.

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.'" How is Christ going to do that?

That's what Judas, not Iscariot wanted, he said: "'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (v 22). Here it is, right here. This is how God does it:

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word... [Where it talks about word, in the singular it means the whole of His teachings.] ...and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'" That means a dwelling place within.

Verse 24: "'The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me.'" This is why we cannot be selective in which of the commandments of God we're going to keep.

Notice it ways 'We,' the Father and the Son "'...will come to him and make Our abode with him'" (v 23). That is, our dwelling place. We become a temple of God. That's the fellowship, Christ in us, the Father in us. So there's the separating line.

Verse 24: "'The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's Who sent Me.'" Jesus said, 'I speak what God has commanded, I do what I see the Father doing.' He didn't speak His own words. He said of Himself, and the Greek 'of' is the Greek word 'ek,' meaning 'out from within Me, from My personal being. Of Myself I can do nothing.' So He needed the Father to have that perfect righteousness.

What happens when a person wants to know about God? Here you are out in the world. You don't know anything. You may have heard about God. You may have heard about Christ. You may have heard about the Bible, never read it, never understood it. Your life is in a mess and somehow you pray to God and ask God for help. What happens? All of us can look back to that time in our lives when something happened on that day when we asked.

How does God do it, that's the question? The answer is: Through the seven spirits of God. Come to Isaiah 55. Here's what we're commanded by God. This is what we are to do. If God commands it, God has to provide a way of answering and fulfilling that. Let's remember what Jesus said in Matt. 7. He said, 'Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened. Ask and it shall be given.' How is God going to do it?

Here's what He commands. Isaiah 55:6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found... [Because there are times when God isn't going to answer.] upon Him while He is near.... [There are times when He withdraws Himself. Here's what has to happen:] ...Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts... [So there has to be change and repentance. That's what this is right here.] ...and let him return to the LORD... [We'll see how do you return to the Lord? By keeping His commandments.] ...and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (vs 6-7).

Verse 8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'" (vs 8-9). So how is God going to work all of this out?

He is there and we are here, yet He's in close communication with the earth. Verse 10: "'For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall My Word be which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void...'" (vs 10-11).

Every word in the Bible came out of the mouth of God, though a man may have spoken it because God gave him the words to speak. "...but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do'" (v 11).

Back to Revelation. Here's the greetings from Christ, Revelation 1:4: "...and the seven spirits that are before His throne." Why are they there before the throne of God? Let's see what they do. Come to Revelation 4 and see the throne of God. Let me just say this, we won't go into it, but I'll just mention it here. The seven candlesticks representing the churches are not the candelabra that was in the tabernacle. The seven churches are formed in a circle and Christ is in the midst of them.

Here we have seven spirits of God. We have a scene in heaven that John is told to come up and see. Revelation 4:1: "After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.'"

Verse 2: "And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne like an emerald in its appearance" (vs 2-3).

Verse 4: "And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding from the throne... [This is directly from God.] ...were lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire..." (vs 4-5).

That was pictured in the tabernacle by this candelabra. They didn't have wax candles. They had little containers to put olive oil in and they had a little lip which looked like a pouring lip, but it's not. It's so the wick can be placed into that little indented spout-like part of it. The wick goes into the olive oil and then you light the wick and it draws the oil out of the little container. So that's what this represents.

" lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God, were burning before the throne" (v 5). Let's come down to Revelation 5:5: "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep. Behold, the Lion Who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome to open the book... [That's the book with the seven seals.] ...and to loose its seven seals."

Verse 6: "Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders, was standing a Lamb as having been slain... [That's a type of Christ. Notice:] ...having seven horns... [Where do horns come from? They are located on the head. Who is the Head of the Church? Jesus. How many churches are in Rev. 2 and 3? Seven. So that depicts the seven churches.] ...and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God that are sent into all the earth."

That's interesting‑‑isn't it? This is how God knows what's going on in the earth directly. He has the angels, He has the seven spirits, which are the eyes of God. So this is how He knows what's going on in the earth at all times.

If someone starts seeking God, what has to happen in order to answer that? He can't find God any other way unless one of the seven spirits of God come to him to be with him.

Come to Psalm 11:4. This helps answer the question: How does God do it? With the seven spirits, which are the seven eyes. "The LORD is in His holy temple... [We just saw a vision of that‑‑correct?] ...the LORD'S throne is in heaven... [We just saw a description of it.] ...His eyes behold; His searching gaze tests the children of men."

How does He do it? With the seven spirits of God. Today with the modern high-tech things we have you can sit right here and if you had the right program in your hand-held media device, so I won't say iPhone or portable phone because they're now hand-held media devices because it accomplishes a lot more.

If you had the equipment at home, you could take your hand-held media device, push in there your home and in your home you have a little cameras set up all over your house. You could push the number for each room that you wanted to check out, yet you're not there. Yet you see what's going on.

So what you really have, with those cameras are what? Eyes. They see‑‑they're not living creatures, they're not made of spirit, but they can operate with the technology we have. You even see this on an ad for ADT, home ad where here the mother or the father is at work and pushes the button and sees the son or daughter coming into the house at the time they should be there coming home from school.

When I see that I think that's well and good, but what do they do when they're out of sight of the camera? God can see everything that's going on.

Let's come to 2-Chronicles 15. Let's see how this operates. We'll tie it all together. When the Spirit of God came to the different ones, the Spirit of God obviously was within all of the prophets because He called them for that and put His Spirit in them, every one of them. We know they're going to be in the resurrection.

2-Chronicles 15:1: "And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa... [who was the king] ...and said to him, 'Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him... [Great principle. Were these converted people? No, they didn't have the Spirit of God. They weren't called to conversion, but notice this:] ...if you seek Him, He will be found by you... [This helps answer the question concerning many of those good sincere Protestants who we can say are not converted but they are doing things that God says should be done. Since they're not converted, God will judge them on what they know and how they do it.] ...But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you'" (vs 1-2).

A great verse to really think on and remember. You can tie into that the parable of the prodigal son‑‑correct? He left the father and went out and botched everything up, came back and sought his father.

Verse 3: "'And for a long time Israel had been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. And when they turned in their trouble to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them'" (vs 3-4). This is just on a carnal basis.

Verse 5: "'And in those times there was no peace to him who went out, nor to him who came in, but great tumult was upon all the inhabitants of the lands.'" Sound like today? Has this nation left God? In a carnal sense yes. We're not talking converted, called to salvation. We're just talking acknowledge God, honor God, realize that everything comes from Him. But we have to keep His commandments.

Verse 6: "'And nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity.... [That's exactly what's happening to us today. This is what needs to be with the political leaders today. I don't know if they're going to do it, but here's what they need to do:] ...But you be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded'" (vs 6-7).

"And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim. And he renewed the altar of the LORD before the porch of the LORD" (v 8).

Then they all came, gave their offerings. Verse 12: "And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul." God came back, God blessed them. God sent His angels, etc.

Asa didn't last very long. Notice what happened here. 2-Chronicles 16:6: "And Asa the king took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and timber with which Baasha was building. And he built with it Geba and Mizpah. And at that time Hanani the seer... [Another prophet of God.] ...came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, 'Because you have relied on the king of Syria...'" (vs 6-7). He made a treaty with the king of Syria.

Up here in v 2 it says: "And Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house and sent them to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, 'Let there be a treaty between you and me as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel...'" (vs 2-3).

He didn't go and ask God. Now very similar to what we have today. We have the war on terror and terror is winning because we're not returning to God as a nation. Rather we're going the other way.

Verse 7: "'Because you have relied on the king of Syria and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand'" (vs 7-8).

Here is how to mitigate the war on terror:

  • Return to God to keep His commandments in the letter of the law.
  • Stop all of your alliances.
  • Stop all of your lies.
  • Stop all of the abominable conduct within the nation.
  • Call upon all of the homosexuals to repent, all of the pedophiles to repent, all of the adulterers to repent, all of the liars to repent.
  • Have the House and the Senate and the president all fast together and turn to God and stop their stupidity.

But because they're following Satan and their own ways, it's not likely going to happen. There may be some few who are trying to do good. So let's read v 9 in connection with that: "'For the eyes of the LORD... [Where did we find those defined? Rev. 5, which are the seven spirits of God.] to and fro in all the whole earth... [So they are constantly knowing what's going on.] show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore, from now on you shall have wars.'"

That is exactly what has happened to this nation. We've had nothing but wars because we quit relying on God, even in a carnal sense.

I've got this book, I've got to give a sermon on it, I had it in my briefcase for a couple of months here. I finished reading it on my last trip. I take a book and I read it when I'm flying because if I'm going to be seven hours on a plane flying I've got to have something to do. It's called Christianity After Religion. That is very revealing to show you how they are just falling away from God from what they even knew in the past.

The woman who wrote this book is an ecumenist and suggests to those who are supposedly Christians in the world, 'Go to other denominations and other religions and attend their services.' She also says that from now on don't believe first, belong first, then believe. That's completely contrary to the Bible which shows you how far that Christianity has gone.

In other words, it's a pitch to belong to all of this ecumenical movement which is going to lead to a one-world religion. Then you believe after you belong. That sounds like Pelosi. 'We voted to pass the bill. When we pass it you can read it and find out what's in it.' It's exactly the same thing.

The seven spirits of God take care of that. The Holy Spirit of God within us is to do some very important things. Let's come to Romans 7. You know where I'm going on this and what it says there, but we need to put this into the record so we can see what is happening.

Remember, Paul wrote this years and years, 25 plus years after he was an apostle. We went through and covered that very thoroughly in our Romans study and there are 23 times he uses the word 'nomos' for law. It can apply to the covenant. It can apply to a single law. It can apply to a commandment, etc.

We all know that Paul was what? A Pharisee, super strict. He had the law and he understood the law, carnally. He was also all wrapped up in the traditions of the Jews as he says there in Gal. 1. He's telling the Jews, Romans 7:6: "But now we have been released from the law... [Meaning in this case the covenant that God made with Israel. Released from that because Christ died. So you can read the footnote on the bottom of the page there.] ...because we have died to that in which we were held so that we might serve in newness of the spirit... [A total change of looking at the law. A total change in keeping the law.] ...and not in the oldness of the letter."

Because this is what the Protestants do. It's amazing how many times that they come to the Scriptures and they read the Scriptures and don't understand it applies directly to what they are doing and saying at the very time they're reading it.

Verse 7: "What then shall we say? Is the law sin?... [Is that not what the Protestants tell you virtually? Yes.] ...MAY IT NEVER BE! But I had not known sin, except through the law... [Because the law defines sin.] ...Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the law said, 'You shall not covet.'"

Why did he become conscious of these things when he was supposedly keeping them as a Pharisee? Because God's Spirit opened his mind to understand. The law was there‑‑always.

Verse 8: "But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment, worked out within me... [There's what's happening. When you receive the Spirit of God, it begins cleaning out the inward parts.] ...every kind of lust because apart from law, sin was dead. For I was once alive without law... [That doesn't mean completely separate from law. That means he had no understanding as to the spiritual aspect of the application of the laws of God. That's the only way it can be understood.] ...but after the commandment came... [But he had it all the time. That means after the understanding of the commandment came.] ...sin revived, and I died" (vs 8-9).

Now how did he die? It had to be death by baptism, symbolic death. He didn't die. If he died, there would be no more of the book of Romans and it wouldn't be put in the past tense 'I died,' he would have to say, 'I'm dying, goodbye.' So this means that he was buried in water baptism and the old man dying. Here is the internal struggle that is the lifelong struggle, in varying degrees at varying times depending on our circumstances.

Verse 10: "And the commandment, which was meant to result in life... [Because God said if you keep these commandments you will live.] ...was found to be unto death for me." Because he understood he was breaking the spirit of the law and the wages of sin is death.

Verse 11: "Because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me." It's another way of saying the deceitfulness of the carnal mind deceived me and it killed me. He was as good as dead. 'The wages of sin is death.'

Verse 12: "Therefore, the law is indeed holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good." This is the great mistake of Protestants. They get rid of it because it says you shall not, because it says you shall.

"Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin... [Here's the key.] order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me by that which is good... [but sin] ...was working out death..." (v 13). That's finishing the sentence there.

So what happens when you're serving in the spirit of the law and you can't do that unless you have the Spirit of God‑‑correct? Yes, indeed. What does it do? It shows you the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Those things in the mind that are there from leading a life

  • separate from God
  • separate from understanding the Word of God
  • separate from understanding the severity of sin

Verse 13: " that, by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful." This is where we get now, 'You've heard it said in old time, you shall not murder. But I say to you, do not hate your brother.' That's a greater challenge‑‑is it not? Yes. So now we recognize hate in the mind as murder. So we see that hate is evil and now the Spirit of God exposes that in our minds and we repent, confess our sins, like we read in 1-John 1. So it's there to show exceedingly sinful.

Verse 14: "For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin." In other words, this is an operation that cannot happen without the Spirit of God. Because if we knew how to get rid of sin, if we knew how not to sin, if it were by the means within us to do so, we would do so.

But we cannot because the carnal mind cannot do that nor recognize the spiritual sin, like he says covetousness or envy or hatred, jealousy, lust, mental idolatry. May not be another god, but it could be a job, things, your accomplishments. It could be any of those things. It could even be yourself. We know people who idolize themselves? Yes, they are called narcissists.

When they come into high offices, it hurts everybody. But he's carnal and doesn't know it and doesn't understand it and wouldn't believe it if it were told to him because he's blinded. That happens to many people. Look at all of the Hollywood stars, the most narcissistic bunch of people. Can you tell them they are vain, evil, jealous, they're leading sinful lives? No.

So here's what the Holy Spirit does, v 15: "Because what I am working out myself... [That's excluding the Holy Spirit of God.] ...I do not know... [or you could put there I do not understand. How can the mind be so evil that it does this?] ...For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do." So here is the struggle. Here is an apostle. If you would believe that we could be perfectly without any sin at all, you would surely think that an apostle of God, chosen by Christ personally, would be perfect.

But we can't be perfect‑‑the flesh. Are you still aging? Yes, indeed. Why? Because your body is not perfect. What do you really need for perfection mentally? You need to be resurrected from the dead and have a mind of spirit, rather than a mind of flesh, but having your human spirit with the begettal of God's Spirit in you to lead you. So there is still all of this baggage hanging on.

Verse 16: "But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good." You don't do the carnal thing and say, 'People just can't keep this law so let's get rid of it.' No, you say the law is good, but I have a weakness. God is right, but I need His Spirit and mercy to do what God wants me to do.

"So then, I am no longer working it out myself... [Why? Because you are repenting. You recognize what it is.] ...rather, it is the sin that is dwelling within me" (v 17). That's the thing that the washing of the water by the Word has to work every day. I pray every day for the washing of the water by the Word.

That means you need the Spirit of God and you need the Word of God. Because here is what he fully understood then, v 18: "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me‑‑that is, within my fleshly being‑‑any good... [That's as God's good is. There are many things that people do that are superficially good.] ...For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find." That sounds like the Congress of the United States.

Every single thing they have enacted has turned out to be a horrible mess once it was conceived and put into action and carried out. Look where we are. So likewise in our lives. They think this is a good thing or that is a good thing or the other program is a good thing. 'Let's do it. Let's all get on the bandwagon and we'll vote for it and pass it and the president says I'll sign it.' Look what has happened with welfare.

Look what has happened with food stamps. Look what has happened with trying to be charitable with tax money. Look at how many families have been destroyed because they encourage that fathers not be in the home. Destroyed many people.

Look at religion. 'It's all right to have idols.' No, you bring a curse upon yourself. 'It's all right to recognize other religions.' No, you have other gods before you. 'It's all right to keep Sunday, take God's name in vain. That's perfectly fine because it's convenient for us to do it and we think it's good.' But God says it's sin. The commandment says it's sin. They don't understand what they are doing, because they don't have the Spirit of God within them.

Now if they're truly seeking God, one of the seven Spirits of God will find out and begin leading them. Now what happens if they stop? The Spirit withdraws. We find there Matt. 13 about the sower. They hear the Word, they are joyful. 'It's wonderful, wonderful.' Satan comes along and takes it out of their heart. The deceitfulness of riches. Lack of wanting to obey and all of that.

Verse 19: "For the good that I desire to do..." Have you ever done that? Come home, you really want things to go well and the first thing you do is get mad and shout at your wife or your husband or stomp your foot. Go in a room, slam the door, shout back and forth to each other. A couple of hours later you say to yourself, 'What did I do?' You came home with a good attitude. You were going to do good. Is there anybody who could say they have never done that? I can't.

Verse 20: "But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself... [That was not my motivation. But you did it‑‑didn't you? Yes. Who motivated it? The sin that is dwelling within me. Because we are composed of the law of sin and death.] ...Consequently I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me" (vs 20-21).

I've seen that happen. There are times when I've done something really nice and really good and the next day all that I did is destroyed. What is God doing? He's showing you there's a whole lot more to conversion and a whole lot more that needs to be done. You need to humble yourself and repent and ask God to help you. I've had to do that as a minister.

Verse 22, notice this does not contradict or change the Word of God. "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.... [You do. You're not getting rid of the laws of God.] ...But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind..." (vs 22-23). Isn't that war going on? That's the war that the Holy Spirit of God within through the washing of the water by the Word needs to be activated every day.

Stop and think for just a minute. You go back to the very beginning of the Gospel, Matt. 6, after this manner pray.
Our Father Who is in heaven.
Hallowed be Your name.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What is God's will for us to get rid of the sin‑‑correct? Then what is said next?
Forgive us our debt or our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

That is the daily prayer because the next one is:
Give us this day our daily food.
So that's part of the daily prayer.

This is one of these things, as we talked to begin with concerning repetitious prayer. Is it needful to pray every day: O Lord, help clean up my mind? But of course. Just as it is needful for your body to get rid of the wastes, it's just as necessary that your mind be cleansed every day as well, especially living in this end-time generation. We have so many things coming at us ready to get us.

Verse 22: "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man; But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members" (vs 22-23). Do you still have genes and chromosomes? Yes. Where is it lodged? In your genes and chromosomes and mind. That's called human nature.

Here's how you feel‑‑correct? Verse 24: "O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death?.... [That's what the question was in the beginning.] ...I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin" (vs 24-25).

Not willingly, but you do. Here's the thing. Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." So we can just put right there: as long as you're repentant, as long as you're yielding to God.

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death." Delivered does not mean completely taken away. He has given you the tools to overcome it through His Spirit and through His Word.

Let's come to Ephesians 4:22: "That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man... [That's something you have to do all the time, the old self.] ...which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts." Isn't it interesting, the first one you lie to is yourself. You talk about something destructive and corrupt. That is. That's how people continue to live in sin. They lie to themselves and say it's okay.

Verse 23: "And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.... [This is the ongoing thing we need to do.] ...And that you put on the new man... [How do you do that? Prayer and study and through keeping the commandments of God in the Spirit, through repenting every day.] ...which according to God is created in righteousness and holiness of the truth" (vs 23-24).

The truth of God has got to replace all the deceitfulness that is there. "Therefore, let each one put away lies and speak the truth with his neighbor... [He shows, were they having that problem? Lying to one another in church? 'I thought you were baptized, but now I know you're not perfect.' True.] ...because we are members of one another. When you become angry... [Doesn't say don't get angry, it says when you become angry...] not sin... [That's a real trick if you can manage that.] ...Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (vs 25-26).

Get over it. You have to forgive and be forgiven. Don't go to bed fighting mentally an emotional problem you had that day because you aren't going to sleep. The next day you're going to be miserable and cranky and rotten. True? Yes. You are to repent and forget it.

Because what happens, v 27: "Neither give place to the devil." He's going to come along with some of his fiery darts and give you justification. And we'll say, 'You're right. Look at that, you're right. Are you not right?' Yes. 'Oh, you don't have to forgive him. You don't have to forgive her, you're right.' Yes, indeed. This is daily living.

Verse 28: "Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need. Do not let corrupt communication come out of your mouth... [Sometimes that's a challenge. Right?] ...but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear" (vs 28-29).

Verse 30: "And grieve not... [do not vex, because this is what happens. All of these things are saying they take place even though you still have the Holy Spirit in you. But when you do these things what you are doing you are frustrating the Holy Spirit of God.] ...grieve not the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption."

"Let all bitterness, and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you... [Which is saying what? They were doing these things and they needed to be corrected. Where does the correction come from? From you repenting and God's Spirit within you and you making peace with those you have offended.] ...together with all malice" (v 31).

Verse 32: "And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you."

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children." That's the goal. Don't imitate what you see on television. Don't imitate what is wrong. Imitate God as beloved children.

Verse 2: "And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."

They also had other troubles there in the church, v 3: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints." Question: Why did God take down the largest Church of God? Everything that is here.

We'll read on a little more because you don't want to stop and leave out a complete thought. Verse 4: "Nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know... [They already knew this.] ...that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (vs 4-5).

So things must be repented of. Let me just say this: The one who was the supposed apostle of the Church‑‑and I heard this first person in a Bible study given to an audience of 800 people‑‑where the apostle said, 'I've been faithful for long that Satan has no more interest in me.' From that time on it all fell apart until it was dissolved. I'm sure he repented of it later.

But how can we avoid that kind of thing? Come over here to v 25: "Husbands, love your own wives... [Wives, make yourself lovable. It works both ways.] the same way that Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; So that He might... [This is the work that Christ is doing today in each one of us.] ...sanctify it... [What does that mean? To make it holy.] ...having cleansed it... " (vs 25-26).

Remember what we read at the beginning? 'He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' if we confess our sins. "...having cleansed it with the washing of water..." (v 26). That's likened to the Spirit:

  • Spirit of Truth
  • Spirit of Life
  • Spirit of righteousness

which is the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son

"...with the washing of water by the Word" (v 26). So this is why we need to understand the Word of God. This is why when we see things we are doing that are not right, we need to repent. This is why God's Spirit within you exposes those sins that only you know in your mind which you repent of to God, just like Christ said.

You pray to the Father in secret and the Father in secret will hear and answer you. These are things you don't have to go around and confess and blabbermouth to everybody in the world. You don't have to go along and say, 'I'm a dirty rotten sinner.' The answer should be we know that.

There it is right there. This is something that we need to do every single day, especially living in the world that we live in. I'm getting so that when I'm watching television I'm doing more channel surfing and muting than ever before. It's just unreal. This world has a make-believe reality. They do not understand the sinfulness of sin. They do not understand anything about righteousness. Those who are supposed to be religious, those who are supposed to be the religious teachers have no more understanding of God and His Word than my pet dog who looks at me and wags his tail.

So that's the state of things. That's the most I can cover on the Sabbath here.

Scriptural References:

  • 1-John 2:1, 7-8, 12-14, 21, 26
  • 1-John 1:1
  • 1-Peter 5:12-13
  • 1-John 1:2-10
  • 1-John 2:1-2
  • 1-John 5:10-11, 13
  • John 14:13-17
  • Revelation 1:3-4
  • John 14:21-24
  • Isaiah 55:6-11
  • Revelation 1:4
  • Revelation 4:1-5
  • Revelation 5:5-6
  • Psalm 11:4
  • 2-Chronicles 15:1-8, 12
  • 2-Chronicles 16:6-7, 2-3, 7-8
  • Romans 7:6-25
  • Romans 8:1-2
  • Ephesians 4:22-32
  • Ephesians 5:1-5, 25-26

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1-John 3
  • Revelation 14:12
  • Matthew 7
  • Revelation 2,3
  • Galatians 1
  • Matthew 13, 6

Also referenced: Book
Christianity After Religion by Diana Butler Bass

Transcribed: 9-30-12

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