Fred R. Coulter—December 8, 2012

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services! Let's review just a little bit.

Human nature is a mixture of good and evil. We have within us what is called 'the law of sin and death' (Rom 7). This has been transmitted genetically to all people. Let's see how Paul wrote of this to explain what happened—Romans 5. It's very interesting because a lot of preachers like to read that Eve was the one who caused the sin. It says Eve transgressed because she was deceived. Adam was not deceived. Also, when she picked the fruit, he should have told her, 'Don't do it.' But he didn't do it. So, it makes you wonder, was he sitting there thinking, 'If she picks this and nothing happens to her…'

What God told them was that if you eat the fruit, you shall surely die. They must have had subsequent instruction because Eve also told the serpent that 'we should not touch it lest we die.' So it makes you wonder, was Adam sitting there, 'She's got it in her hand. She's okay. Well, she ate it.' Because it says she gave it to her husband with her, so he was right there.

'Well, she's okay.' She says, 'Here, try it, you'll like it.' So, he tried it. At that point the whole nature of human beings with the judgment of God was changed. When they were created, they were created not subject to death yet, and they were created not having the law of sin within them. After they ate it, their eyes were opened to sin, but closed to righteousness.

Just like everything else, God knew where they were. One man said, who was an atheist, 'The Scriptures are kind of stupid, because if God knows everything why did He come into the garden, if He knew that Adam and Eve had sinned, why did He say, 'Adam, where are you?' Of course, He knew where he was, but He wanted to find out what Adam was going to do.

The first thing Adam did after God said, 'Have you eaten of the fruit that I told you not to eat of?' He said, 'Lord, it's the wife You gave me; You gave me. It's Your fault, God,' rather than understanding the choice and he made the choice. Then God look at Eve and said, 'Did you do it?' She said, 'The serpent.' You have to always blame someone else.

So, they had the judgment. First against Satan the devil, then against Eve. Then against Adam and He said, 'In dying, you shall surely die.' They were expelled from the Garden of Eden and at the point of the judgment their nature was changed. Was the nature of the environment changed? Yes! God said it'll bring forth weeds and thorns and thistles and you're going to have to work for it. We find in Ezek. 23 that when there is great sin in the land it affects the environment. A little side bar. Is that the global warming problem, human sin? Probably!

Let's see what Paul wrote in Romans 5:12. This also explains to us something very, very important, that no human being can ever be perfect in the flesh according to the standard of perfection that God demands. No human being has the ability to get rid of the sin within! They can discipline themselves so they sin a little less, but they can't convert and change the mind. No human being as yet overcome death, except Christ.

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into… [The Greek there is 'eis'—into—preposition showing motion, into.] …all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned."

When you have a nature of death, there is no way you can do things that are perfect. The only way you can come to that is if you answer the call to God and repent. We also know that people can make themselves less evil by following the laws of God in the letter. There are a lot of people who do it in the world. They are good, decent people in the world.

You also have those who are criminals and given to sin and give themselves over to every thought:

  • to rebel
  • to steal
  • to lie
  • to take

All of those things then make human nature even worse.

Let's see how God explained it to Jeremiah. A lot of people don't like to admit what we're going to read here. Show me the best behaved person on earth. Are they going to beat the sentence of death? No! They may have done a lot of exemplary things compared to what other human beings do. God will honor that in the letter of the law.

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron…" Deliberately going against God. Just like we see today how the government is doing with abortion, same-sex marriage, entitlement benefits, overtaxing. Same way we see crime and corruption in the world: crime gangs, drug cartels, lying bankers. All the banks in the world are owned by eight families.

"…with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart…" (v 1). They've given themselves over completely to evil. For those of us who are trying to do good and for those of us who have grown up and we haven't committed a great deal of sins, this becomes somewhat difficult to comprehend that there are people dedicated to evil. Let's see how God looks at it.

"…and upon the horns of your altars" (v 1)—brought sin into their religion—did they not? What was that sin? All their traditions! Let's stop and think for just a minute.

  • Is God perfect? Yes!
  • Is His law perfect? Yes!
  • Are His commandments perfect and just and right and good? Yes!
  • Did He create them for our own good, for our benefit? Yes!

When you come along and you add something to it, for example, I just received some material this past week on the Catholic Eucharist. This is the first time I ever knew that when they bring out the wine and bless the wine, the deacon takes some water and pours into the wine. Why? Jesus didn't say so! Jesus told them, 'You go into the whole world and you teach everyone what I have commanded you.'

You read the Passover account, nowhere is there any account where Jesus asked for a pitcher of water to pour into the wine. Someone came up with the brilliant idea. It was so righteous that 'if we're going to partake of the blood of Christ' it says that when the soldier ran the spear in His side out came water and blood, so 'I have an idea. Let's put water in the wine.'

You can add on all the other traditions that they have. This is why it's necessary to know the Bible. A lot of traditions sound really, really good. But even if they sound really, really good, if you add it to what God has given and what God has given is perfect, you are declaring to God that what He did was not perfect. So, there are many different things concerning it.

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.'" God looks at it over a lifetime. Someone can sin and nothing happens, because God is giving a time to

  • recognize what you have done
  • come to yourself
  • change your mind
  • stop doing it

For example: for the ten tribes of Israel, in spite of all their sins God gave them 232 years before they were sent off into captivity. Reflect on how long we've been a nation, 239. Think about what's going on.

Verse 6: "For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited."

What you also may do with this verse, look at where different people live in the world and realize that God put them all in their places where they are. This also can tell you a great deal about the practices of the people.

Dolores was watching the History of Mankind the other night concerning the Incas in Peru. Some of the things they did were absolutely mind-boggling. When you read the accounts, how ruthless were the Spanish in killing them. That was God's judgment because of what they were doing. Down through the history of time you have nations that rise because they are doing 'good' and God determines to raise them up. Then they do evil and they are brought down. Then another nation comes along and conquers them. Then they rise to the point of what? Corruption and sin, so they come down. You can see that in the history of the world.

Think of what's happening here in America and western civilization. We've had the blessings beyond any description of any civilization ever in the world. What have we done? We've corrupted ourselves almost beyond repair.

Notice the difference, v 7, here we are in the middle of this: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD." These are living laws.

I read an article where there was one of these soul concerts. They dedicated to Barack Hussein Obama 'our lord and savior.' Wonder what's going to happen. What does v 5 tell us? Is that going to result in blessings?

Here's the difference, v 8: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of droughts, nor will it cease from yielding fruit…. [We've got these two contrasts here.] …The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (vs 8-9).

Isn't it interesting, and I'm sure you've observed it, that little children lie from the get-go. 'Johnny, did you do this?' No, my sister did. From a very young age! You know and I know, everybody knows, every single one of us did things that we knew absolutely were contrary to what our parents told us to do or wanted us to do and many of those things they never knew about. Some of them, when they found out about it, got you in real deep trouble—right? Yes! Why? Because
Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" God alone knows it. The only way to truly understand human nature is with the Word of God and with the Spirit of God. With this sin within we're going to see only the Spirit of God can change human nature. When people do 'good' they can modify their behavior.

  • Does that get rid of jealousy?
  • Does that get rid of lust?
  • Does that get rid of envy?
  • Does that get rid of murder?
  • Does that get rid of thievery?
  • No!

So here's what we need to understand, v 10: "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."

Let's look at some of the other things that are contradictory to men and self-deceiving. We know that Proverbs 14:12 says: "There is a way which seems right to a man… [or woman] …but the end thereof is the way of death."

Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes… [Remember, the law of sin and death is active here. The law of self-deception is active here.] …but the LORD weighs the spirits."

Let's read a couple of other verses and we'll get a preview of how our behavior can change.

Verse 3: "Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established." This is what needs to happen. How do you establish your thoughts? and How do you overcome those thoughts within where sin begins? That's the whole point of conversion!

You can have a disciplinary religion where you can make yourself a better person. You can be taught and practice to be kind and nice to people. But does that give you love from within to actually be nice to people? Maybe not!

Verse 4: "The LORD has made all for His own purpose; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though joined hand in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged…" (vs 4-6). Mercy is forgiveness. Truth is the Word of God. We're going to see that what has to happen is that you must retrain your mind! It's a perpetual thing in life even from the time after you have been baptized because the Holy Spirit is working within so it exposes the sin within.

You ever gone along and wonder, 'How did that thought come into my mind?' It came in there because it's in your mind. Why did it come up? Because the Holy Spirit of God is Truth and it's letting you know it is there so you can repent. That's how!

Let's look at another example: How many times has there been this lovely little old woman, generally it's women who do this. Men lop off heads, stab through the guts, shoot 100 times in the head. Women do it a little differently. They poison through food, cookies. But when it's finally found out that this woman murdered her husband by poisoning him and she tries to get the kind of poison, which will not be discovered very quickly. They look at this lovely, little woman and say, 'We are shocked! How could she do this? She was always so nice and sweet and good.' Yes, but the mind within deceitful and desperately wicked!

That's how, we're going to see, you get rid of the sin within. "…by fear of the LORD men turn away from evil… [to balance it]: …When a man's way please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (vs 6-7). Wonder why we have so many enemies as a nation?

I have a report, don't have it with me, it was put out, Is 2013 the Year of Judgment for America for Abortion?—52-million innocent lives. Oh, how indignant we were with Adolph Hitler! Yes, indeed!

Let's see what human nature naturally is with this kind of nature. Let's come to the Epistle of James. Let's see what human nature is like. I think it's interesting that God even told Israel, through the Prophet Elijah when they had the confrontation with the prophets of Baal, 'How long?' and the Hebrew means jump back and forth between two opinions. 'If Baal is God, serve him. If the Lord is God, serve Him.' So here, what is this that most people are? They want to sin, but they want the blessings of God. They want God to recognize what they do is good, but they don't recognize what God does is good. Then they wonder why things don't go the way they want.

James 1:5: "However, if anyone lacks wisdom… [and we all do] …let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks; and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith…" (vs 5-6). Faith requires quite a bit. That requires you have to prove that God exists. You have to prove that His Word is true. You have to be walking in His Word by faith.

"…not doubting at all because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro. Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 6-8). When they're really double-minded, they can't make up their mind concerning anything. Double-minded, that's what human nature is. Human nature in the extreme is like a schizophrenic. Of course, that's one thing we covered on demonism that has to be overcome.

He says it again, we'll bring this in here concerning the lust, too, because lust has a lot to do with it. James 4:1: "What is the cause of quarrels and fightings among you?.… [Apply this to a family, to a marriage, to government, apply this to various groups of people.] …Is it not mainly from your own lusts that are warring within your members? You lust, and have not; you kill, and are jealous, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel, but still you do not have, because you do not ask" (vs 1-2). 'Oh, well, I got to ask God; okay, I'll ask God.'

Verse 3: "Then you ask, and you do not receive, because you ask with evil motives… [the sin within] …that you may consume it on your own lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, 'The spirit that dwells in us lusts with envy'?" (vs 3-5). That's what it is. Is not everything concerning the holidays of this world based on that fact? Yes, it is!

Verse 6: "But He gives greater grace. This is the reason it says, 'God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.' Therefore, submit yourselves to God…. [that's the solution] …Resist the devil… [Because there is a devil out there inspiring these things who is the prince of the power of the air and has deceived the whole world. There's like a great net around the world with all the deceptions.] …and he will flee from you" (vs 6-7).

How do you resist the devil? When you get a thought in your mind that you know is not right, you rebuke it. You can pray right there, 'Oh, God, rebuke this thought. Help me to get this out of my mind.' There are some things that are hard to do, especially when it comes around Christmas time and you get into all the stores, what's playing? All the Christmas carols!

Every year there's probably one you have to fight off. The one I have to fight off this year is This is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year—until the credit card bills come in. Whatever it may be.

Here's how God wants us to do it, v 8: "Draw near to God… [We come to Him. How do you do that? In thought, in mind, in prayer. Getting on your knees and saying, 'Help me, God.'] …and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded!"

Now let's see how we are to come to God. Let's see the process that God has given to us. This is continuous in our lives because once we have repented and been baptized and received the Holy Spirit of God, now we are ready to start. Yes, it is an end, an end of living your life in the world the way that you have lived it. But it is the beginning of living your life God's way!

Here's what God says, Isaiah 55:6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found… [a lot of people wait until it's too late] …call upon Him while He is near." Just like it says seek the Lord, draw near to Him, He'll draw near to you. How will He do that? He will do that through His Spirit to help you with your thoughts, to watch over you with His angels. A lot of things go on that are happening to us that we don't know anything about. It's a spiritual activity that is going on.

Here's what we are to do, v 7: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts… [There has to be a change of thoughts and there has to be a change of heart. How does that take place?] …and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him… [Remember mercy and Truth?] …and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."

We're dealing in a generation that those who are coming into the Church now, many of them have gone through a lot of difficult times because the way the society is. They need to understand, yes, there is forgiveness. Yes, there is mercy. Yes, those sins are going to removed from you as far as the east is from the west. That's to give you a clean slate to start going God's way.

Verse 8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD." How are you going to get in line with the thoughts of God? Right here, the Bible! Study! Here's the great thing about it. God is going to bring His thoughts to you. Think about that!

Verse 9: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

God is going to do something with you. Yes, He is. He is going to lead you with His Spirit. Once you repent and are baptized, God then is able to take the things here—let's understand something concerning the Word of God. Let's come to John 6 so we can see how this will work in our lives and what a marvelous thing it is. It's something the world cannot see. It's something the world does not know.

People may be able to see the change outwardly within you, but the real change has to be the change inwardly. Anybody can put on a façade for a while, even the meanest, most nasty people can be good for a while. But that doesn't give a spiritual change. Here's why you need the thoughts and words of God:

John 6:63: "It is the Spirit that gives life… [You want to be redeemed from death—right? You want your life to go well—correct?] …the flesh profits nothing…." Stop and think about it. God gave this fantastic body that we have with everything connected with it, male and female, for the very purpose of perfecting the mind and the spirit of man connected with the Spirit of God. Everything we do physically is just to sustain the life so that we can have the opportunity to grow in grace and knowledge and understanding and be changed from an enemy of God to a friend of God, from a hater of God to a lover of God.

"…The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life" (v 63). Because of this the Word of God is able to do things with God's Spirit in your mind that no other book, no other writing, no other philosophy—it's amazing what God can do. They are spirit and life. What we're dealing with is a spiritual change to overcome a spiritual problem.

Let's see how God does it. Let's see what God does. This is fantastic. I want you to understand how great this is. The world cannot see this going on, but over time you can experience and know that it is going on.

Hebrews 10:15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us… [that's what God gives us, the Holy Spirit] …for after He had previously said…" Here's the covenant of baptism. Here is what God is going to do. Here is how God is going to change your thoughts. Whenever there's sin within that comes up, we need to replace it with what is good. That's why God brings it out so you can repent of it and get it out of your mind, as we covered through the washing of the water by the Word. After you're baptized you go along and all of a sudden, 'How come I have these thoughts?' The wicked thoughts still there. It's God's Spirit exposing it because it's a process.

Here's how it works, v 16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds.'"

Where did we begin? Jer. 17:1, inscribed with the pen of diamond, the sin! Now He's going to replace that with His laws into their hearts. "…I will inscribe them into their minds." That's interesting they call it the most plasticity of the mind. It is so fantastic. The thoughts of the mind make impressions on the mind through the connections and synapses. You have trillions of cells there going all the time. You can learn; you can unlearn. You can remember; you can forget. You can change your thought. You can change your mind and God's Spirit helps you with all of it.

Now granted, we have a lot of things out there, as we discussed before, you've got all the media, all the television, the whole society and everything out there crushing in on you in this generation that no other generation has had in past time.

You go back 200 years. Live on a nice farm, take care of the animals, feed the cows, milk the cows, take care of the goats, go out and cut down the trees for the wood. Comes time cut the hay, shock it, do all of this, put it in the barn. Gather the eggs out of the henhouse. You breed the cows, breed the goats, the chickens breed themselves, and all of that sort of thing. You're not bombarded with evil. You're not bombarded with television. You're not hit every 15 minutes with 5 ads—buy this, buy that, buy the other thing. No stress driving on a freeway. No police officer to give you a ticket. So, we've got a lot of things to work on that other generations could not even conceive.

Plus if we watch the news we hear every evil that's in the world. Don't we? 200 years ago be on your nice farm out there, nice meadow, nice hills in the back. You need some extra meat, go kill a deer, whatever it may be. Today, come home from work, family is all upset, the kids are fighting, their cell phones don't work, the computer is not working, mom's in a frenzy trying to fix dinner and the kids are fighting. You just come home from driving in a traffic jam and you finally get home, you open the door and say phew I'm here! BANG!

Now you sit down to the news and you're finding out that Obama's going to tax you another 20%. That means we've got a lot more things to contend with than they did 200 years ago, but we also have the Bible and the Word of God.

What God does He writes His laws into our hearts and into our minds so we can change our thinking. That does not get into our hearts and into our minds without study!

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Now let's see how this process of God's Spirit is working with us, with His laws. It's not just a mental thing only. It involves our whole being. Let's see what the most important thing is. Out of all of this, out of everything that's in the Bible, here is the foundation built on the foundation of Christ. The different ones of the Pharisees and Sadducees were always trying to catch Him in something

Matthew 22:35: "And one of them, a doctor of the law… [He's the one who is the high mucky-muck among the rabbis, doctor of the law.] …questioned Him, tempting Him, and saying…. [I can almost hear the tone.] …'Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?'" (vs 35-36). They wanted to catch Him on something.

For everyone who believes or have believed in the past that the Law was done away, pay attention to what we're going to cover.

Verse 37: "And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God…'" Notice how full-time this is, how much is required of you. Why would God require all of this of you? You need to understand what was required of God for Christ to come—Who was the Creator of mankind—and to lay down His life as a sacrifice for the payment for our sins. Did He lay it all on the line? Yes, He did! For all of us, and it's applied individually. God is so great that it's applied individually.

A little sidebar here: This blows my mind every time I try and think about it, every time I try and understand it, but there are some things we just can't understand but we can think about and it helps us appreciate God even more. All of us have 22 chromosomes plus one. All the genes and chromosomes were compacted into your conception—seed from your father, egg from your mother—and from that you became a human being, created by God right in the body of your mother, through His Spirit. He's given you everything because in Him we live and move and have our being.

I can't answer the question, so this is just a rhetorical thing that I suppose when we get to the resurrection God will tell us: How do our genes and chromosomes… And interesting, another sidebar on the sidebar: In the Hebrew alphabet there are 22 letters. We have 22 chromosomes from mother and father. The 23rd one is either male or female gene; the rest of it the same.

God is so great that there are no two human beings exactly alike, not even identical twins. There is some little variation between them. Since God has given that to us and He uses that, how is that going to be transformed at the resurrection into a spirit body, spirit mind? I don't know, but I think about the greatest things that God has done, the smallest things that God has done, and it's all perfect.

God made this creation, everything for us. He has given everything so He desires everything back. The greatest thing that we can do is receive the love of God and love God back.

Verse 37: And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart… [that involves all your emotions] …and with all your soul… [that's all your physical being] …and with all your mind.'" Your thoughts now become the thoughts of Christ. Are we not to develop the mind of Christ? Yes!

Verse 38: "This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second one is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (vs 38-39). Oh, would the world be a different place if that were done—right? Yes, indeed!

Verse 40 becomes a key on how then God changes us to overcome the sin within and put His mind, His righteousness, in our lives. He's going to write His laws in our minds and inscribe them upon our hearts.

Verse 40: "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets"—all of them. Let's see why this is so important, combing the two together. We have seen God's response to us to help us. Now we are going to see what God gives us in return. I'm going to have to give some sermons on the Lord's prayer. You look at the prayer in Matt. 6. You do not find one me, my, or I. Think about that.

Psalm 19:1: "The heavens declare the glory of God… [The earth is in such a unique position in the universe that we are one of the few places, if not the only place in the universe, where we can see as much of the universe as we can.] …and the firmament… [That's the whole universe as you look out there.] …proclaims His handiwork."

Yesterday I got an email from a man who was complaining that spending $600-million to get this new replacement of Hubbell up into space and into position was a real waste of money. So, I wrote him back and I said from that perspective it could be considered a waste of money.

But think of it this way: God caused all that technology to be. He gave the men the understanding to get that thing up in the air after they built it. We get all these glorious pictures of what the universe is like and what do we have? We have a witness from God how great that He is, how great His creation is! So I said think of it this way: God inspired $600-million of our worthless Federal Reserve Notes to be used to do all of this as a witness for all human beings. Every time you see those pictures they are just breathtaking.

Verse 2: "Day after day they pour forth speech, and night after night they reveal knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard" (vs 2-3). Everyone on earth can look out there and see the heavens.

Now we also have some technology, which I think is very important as well, we can actually see the pictures of what it's like out there. And they know that if the speed of light is consistent with what our measurements of the speed of light is, 186,000 miles per second, that those are trillions of years old. Isn't that amazing?

Verse 4: "Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the ends of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man set to run a race, its going forth is from one end of heaven, and its circuit is to the other end. And there is nothing hidden from its heat" (vs 4-6). They knew the world was round.

In the light of that, let's see why it's so important and so spiritual that we have the laws of God written in our minds and in our hearts. It's the best thing that could ever happen to us.

Verse 7: "The law of the LORD is perfect… [He didn't give something imperfect.] …restoring the soul… [It makes us revive. Just like Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.] …the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

  • that's why we study the Word of God
  • that's why we study the laws of God
  • that's why we study the statutes of God

Study Psa. 119; that is an awesome Psalm. It's long, the longest one in all the Psalms, 176 verses. By the way, it's broken down into 22 sets of 8 verses a piece, according to the Hebrew alphabet. You look at that and its mind-boggling just to read it, but all the singers in the temple had to memorize it. Where you see that little Hebrew character above the section of 8 verses, in Hebrew every verse started out with that letter. It shows

  • the greatest of the laws of God
  • the testimonies of God
  • the righteousness of God
  • the goodness of God

Verse 8: "The precepts of the LORD are right… [That's why God hates religion where they take the things of God, supposedly representing God, go to people and have it mixed with lies, so therefore, the Truth is no longer truth.] …rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure… [Think what it would be if all the world kept the Ten Commandments of God even in the letter of the law. Wouldn't that be something? Yes, it would!] (here's what it does for us): …The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether" (vs 8-9).

What is God giving us? Today you see all these ads on television—buy gold, buy silver, the dollar is worthless. Gold and silver represent wealth to us. But I want you to think on this!

Verse 10: "More to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold… [that's what God is giving to us] …sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb…. [here's what it does for us]: …Moreover by them Your servant is warned…" (vs 10-11). We all an inner voice. Do you talk to yourself? You do talk to yourself—don't you? I do, I even answer back, sometimes out loud. God's Spirit is there and you start doing something that isn't right, BANG! A thought comes up: don't do that. You are warned.

"…in keeping them there is great reward…. [Remember, we are judged by our works and we are rewarded by our works.] …Who can understand his errors?.…" (vs 11-12). Here comes the point of changing the mind, because the human carnal mind cannot understand its own way. 'Every way of a man is right in his own eyes'. Even the things they do wrong they think are right. I think most of those people are in government and in religion.

Verse 12: "Who can understand his errors?.… [No one can, except through the Law of God.] …Oh, cleanse me from my secret faults." Those things up here that you alone know. This is why when you pray and ask for forgiveness before God you go to God directly. He's dealing with you directly and He knows your heart and your mind. This is why confessing your sins to a priest is so futile. You ask someone who has been a lifelong Catholic and ask them, 'Did you really ever tell the priest everything you did?' No, I'd never get out of there from doing 'hail Marys' and 'our fathers,' going around the beads.' Secret faults!.

Verse 13: "And keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins… [the spur of the moment things] …do not let them rule over me…" Notice how this ties in, as we will see in the New Testament. Paul says that if you have the Spirit of God and you're under grace, sin shall not rule over you. Doesn't say that you don't have sin to fight against, but it doesn't rule over you, because you can say no.

"…then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (vs 13-14).

Let's see some of the other things that we need to do so that we can change. Ephesians 4:17: "So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord that you are no longer to walk even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds. Having their understanding darkened…" (vs 17-18). The Spirit of God opens your mind. The Word of God opens your mind. Combined together it brings you the Truth. Those who reject it and are cut off because of disobedience they become blind. Their minds are darkened. They have no Truth in them.

"…being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts. They have cast off all feelings, and have given themselves up to licentiousness, to work every uncleanness with insatiable desire…. [Think about the dedication that people have toward that kind of evil.] …But you have not so learned Christ; if indeed you have heard Him…" (vs 18-21). Isn't that interesting. It doesn't say heard of Him, you have heard Him. How do you hear Jesus? Through the Word of God; through the Spirit of God!

"…and have been taught in Him, according to the Truth in Jesus: That concerning your former conduct… [What God is going to put in there is something we need to get rid of.] …you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts" (vs 21-22).

As we saw, the human heart is deceitful above all things and is desperately wicked. I think we're going to see this take place even more when we understand what things are going to happen. If we fall off the 'fiscal cliff' you might do well to recall the riots in Greece. I think in some of the cities it's going to be that way. The politicians are not honest. They need to tell all of those who are seeking entitlements and wanting handouts, 'Look, you have a choice. We can continue to give them to you now, but they will be cut off sooner or later.' When it happens later there will be nothing, absolutely nothing!

San Jose; San Diego; St. Louis, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois, are looking at bankruptcy, all because of pensions. Yet, the unions are so selfish and greedy they won't give an inch, so they're going to lose all like the little town of Pritchard, Alabama. They ran out of money. They stopped paying the pensions for the teachers, firemen, policemen. They all came and demanded that they be paid. The city council said, 'We are out of money.' Well, what did you do with it? 'You got so much in pension benefits and the income has been going down that we simply ran out.'

What if that happens on a national scale? Think of that! So, they're going to have all of these things here. They are going to riot. They are going to demand. They are going to rob. They are going to loot and that's the time we need the protection of Psa. 91. Actually, we need it all the time, but particularly at that time.

We are to get rid of all of those things. Here's what we are to do. "…you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (vs 22-23). That is conversion! That is changing your thoughts! With God's Spirit and God's Word it can be done.

Let's see how Paul wrote of it in Rom. 12. Here is the solution. God has given the answer on:

  • how to handle the carnal mind
  • how to overcome the deceitfulness of heart
  • how to get your thoughts squared around

What do you put into your mind to change it?

Here's what Paul wrote to them, very similar to it, Romans 12:1: "I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world…" (vs 1-2). That's why we're told in 1-John 2:15, don't love the world, the things in the world; it's all the pride of life and lust.

"…but be transformed… [that's conversion] …by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove… [That's how you know God is working and it's right.] (You do this to): …prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (v 2).

Ephesians 4:23: "And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth" (vs 23-24). What is God doing in your mind? He is creating! Think of that! Creation didn't end at conception and birth or growing to being an adult. God's creating is going on in us. Of course as I said, the world cannot see that.

Verse 25: "Therefore, let each one put away lies… [showing we have to overcome] …and speak the truth with his neighbor…"—because we're members of one another. Now then, it shows the change in conduct. We have to be reminded of these things because in overcoming 'the law of sin and death' within us we have those sins that pop up and we do them. We don't intend to do them. We're not out viciously to do them, but they happen. Sometimes they can be very offensive too.

Verse 26: "When you become angry, do not sin… [that's a good one to try] …Do not let the sun go down on your anger." You are not going to sleep that night if you do! If you're lying in bed tossing and turning because you're angry about something or upset about something, instead of lying in bed tossing and turning, pop out of bed, get on your knees and pray about it to God. Ask Him to give you some good sleep and go back to bed. All of your worrying and all of your fighting and all of your mental jostling back and forth concerning any situation is not going to change it. But prayer can.

Verse 27: "Neither give place to the devil." How do you give place to the devil? By going contrary to what we have just read here! Satan wants to come along and say, 'Oh oh, there it is. BANG! I'll get him.'

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 any corrupt communication come out of your mouth… [That's a challenge—isn't it? Yes, indeed!] …but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. And grieve not… [do not vex] …the Holy Spirit of God…" (vs 28-30).

How does that work? If you start doing things contrary to the Holy Spirit and its within you, you are working at cross-purposes, so I suppose cross purposes would be even a better way to explain it in English today. Do not be at cross-purposes with 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, together with all malice" (vs 30-31). That's a real change in action, behavior, and human nature—isn't it? Yes, indeed! This is why we have trials come up.

Just like if you realize you're impatient, of course, none of us are impatient(said factiously). But if you realize you're impatient and you lost your temper or something. You pray and ask God, 'Help me, O Lord, to have patience,' and all this sort of thing. As I've mentioned before, you get up from the prayer and all of a sudden you're confronted with a situation that requires patience. Maybe you fail, maybe you have to repent and go at it again. Maybe you succeed, but nevertheless keep at it.

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

Here is the overall solution. This will give you a lot to think on, Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children."

So with God's Spirit, God's law, God's blessing, we're to imitate God. He wants us to be His spirit children. That's why we are to imitate Him. This is how we overcome the sin within!

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 5:12
  • Jeremiah 17:1, 5-10
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Proverbs 16:2-7
  • James 1:5-8
  • James 4:1-8
  • Isaiah 55:6-9
  • John 6:63
  • Hebrews 10:15-16
  • Matthew 22:35-40
  • Psalm 19:1-14
  • Ephesians 4:17-23
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Ephesians 4:23-32
  • Ephesians 5:1

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 7
  • Ezekiel 23
  • Matthew 6
  • Psalm 119, 91
  • 1-John 2:15

Transcribed: 12-19-12
Formatted: bo—12-20-12

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