PASSOVER PREPARATION  II
Fred Coulter—March 1, 2003

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We are going through, verse-by-verse, John 14, 15, 16, and 17 because these contain the words of the New Covenant. We will see that the whole basis of these chapters is based upon the love of God, plus faith, hope, and then the intense love of God is found in John 17 in the Lord's prayer.

Let's go back and review just a few things concerning faith. As we saw last time in John 17:1 the word believe is used twice. Believe is the verb of the noun faith. So, to believe actually means to faithize. And we're going to see that this belief and faith is also based upon love, as we get down a little further into it.

  • v 10: we find the word believe
  • v 11 there are two believe
  • v 12 believe

This is exactly as it is when we are beginning our relationship with God—we are to believe. Then we will see how this is to develop.

Now let's look at a couple of Scriptures to help us understand this a little bit more. Romans 1 talks about faith and belief you can just equate as the same thing. Faith is the noun; belief is the verb.

Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes—…" As I've mentioned before, the Greek language is full of prepositions and whenever you see that in the King James just realize that's a present tense preposition.

"…both to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For therein… [now 'therein' means contained in the Gospel] …the righteousness of God is revealed…" (vs 16-17). That's not only God's righteousness—that He is righteous, which we are to understand—but also the righteousness of God, which puts us in right standing with Him. That's the kind of righteousness it's talking about, which the words of the New Covenant do to put us in right standing with Him and renew the New Covenant.

"…is revealed from faith unto faith…" (v 17). The English word 'to' is translated from the Greek word 'eis'—which means to or into. What we can see here is this: faith ultimately is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We have our part to believe. But to believe unto salvation has got to be the gift of God, a faith that God gives! It is the faith that comes fromGod to the individual, and from the individual back to God. So, it's faith into faith.

"…according as it is written: 'The just shall live by faith.'" (v 17).
That's how we are to live. We live by absolute belief in God the Father and Jesus Christ. That's why after reading this thing on the apostolic constitution, which was written in the 300s and how they established the Catholic Church, you can surely see that a hierarchy cuts people off from God in the most unsavory way. The just shall live by faith! That's how we are to live our lives, and that's how we begin our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ—we believe!

Jesus also said, 'If you don't believe Me that I'm in the Father, believe the works themselves,' that He did. We can say today: if you don't believe in the way that you feel you ought to, then what you should do is study in-depth the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and learn what Jesus taught, see the miracles that He did so that you can believe. Belief comes by the hearing of the Word. The more you hear, the more you learn substantiates what you believe. The hearing by the Word of God is why we have the Sabbath every week. This is why we have the Holy Days year-by-year. And the Passover is a very key fundamental beginning of all of our relationship with God.

Romans 10:8: "But what does it say? 'The Word is near to you…'" That is in answer to:

  • Who's going to go to heaven for us?
  • Who's going to go down to the depths of the water for us?
  • To get the Word of God that we can hear it and do it?

God has made it available in every language to almost the entirety of the whole world.

"'…is near to you, in your mouth and in your heart.'…" Obviously not in carnal-minded people is it there. But this has to do with that it is in such a language that you can understand it.

"…This is the word of faith that we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (vs 8-9). This is a summary of the whole process of repenting, being baptized, receiving the Holy Spirit, walking in the way of God and so forth.

Verse 10: "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation… [that is confession of sins]. …because the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in Him shall not be ashamed.' For there is no difference between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all is rich toward all who call upon Him" (vs 10-12).

God is no respecter of persons. And even people in the world, if they call upon Christ, He's going to hear and answer their prayers. Maybe it's not going to be a thing for salvation for them, but at least it would be a first step. If they would go beyond that and say, 'Well, I prayed in the name of Jesus and my prayer was answered. Boy, I better find out more about this.' No! People generally are relieved from their distress and get up and go on and don't pray again until another disaster comes upon them.

Verse 13: "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching?" (vs 13-14). There's got to be preachers and teachers who go out and preach and teach and explain the Word of God to people.

Verse 15: "And how shall they preach, unless they be sent?…. [That's interesting. It's not that they self-appoint themselves as too many do today.] …Accordingly, it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the Gospel of Peace, and those who announce the good news of good things!' But all have not obeyed the Gospel because as Isaiah said, 'Lord, who has believed our report?'" (vs 15-16). He's also showing here that even though there are those who are sent, even though the Word is preached, that people are out there and they don't believe. They reject it!

Verse 17: "So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of God." This operates in two ways:

  • We have the Word of God—that is what must be preached and taught.
  • Whenever you read the Word of God and you read it you are talking to yourself—are you not?

And when you read these words Who is actually doing the teaching? God is! So, it builds the faith, and that's what Christ wants us to do with the New Covenant.

Now let's come back to the Gospel of John and let's look at belief just a little bit more. This tells why he wrote the Gospel, and also, when you understand that in the Gospel of John the word believe is used 77 times! The words believe not is used 24 times. That's 111 times. In the Epistle of 1-John believe is used 7 times and believe not is used twice.

John 20:30: "Now then, Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these have been written, so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, you may have life through His name" (vs 30-31). This may be the very place where he finished the Gospel of John the first time. All you have to do is put an 'Amen' there and it sounds like the end of it—doesn't it? He probably added chapter 21 later, which I explain in the commentary/footnote.

Now let's just kind of review what we didn't cover last time in part one of Passover Preparation. John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…'" The truth is this: true Christianity, though the call goes out to all, many are called but few are chosen, and few are chosen because few repent. It is an absolutely exclusive way of life. It doesn't mean that you exclude other people, it means that God has not called them at this particular time.

But those that He has called there is no ecumenism, there is no combining with Judaism, there is no combining with Protestantism, there is no combining with humanism or any of those things because the ultimate will come of it—the truth is omitted, or obfuscated in most churches, because they don't believe v 6: "…'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'"

  • Jews cannot say, 'We pray to the Father,' because they don't even have the Father and they can't get to Him since they reject Jesus Christ.
  • Protestants come about halfway because they believe in Jesus and grace but they don't believe in commandment-keeping.
  • Catholics come about 3%. They use the name of Christ but they have all the pagan nonsense that they add to it.
  • Muslims don't even get to 0%, neither do the Hindus.

But what is happening in the Protestant churches is really quite a fantastic thing. This is an excerpt from a book entitled Can Christianity Survive the Organized Church?:

Let us list why the truth is omitted or obfuscated in most churches today. Replacing Biblical absolutes are:

We just read an absolute—didn't we? This is an absolute statement: "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me." Here's what replaces it:

Psychology, sociology, guilt manipulation, praise songs (repetition ad nauseam)
We could put in there swaying back and forth and all that sort of thing.

…entertainment, drama, soloists, dead elders, dead pastors, over-educated pastors, ecumenical spirit, acceptance of any movement like Promise Keepers… [which is Jesuit backed, by the way] …The Emerging Church, or Purpose Driven Church, idolizing of famous preachers, modern bible versions with their attacks on Christ, salvation message neutralized to make it palatable to the unsaved big givers in the church, pastors and elders who belong to esoteric organizations like the Masons, acceptance of Roman Catholics as Christians, the unsaved Jews are God's chosen people, the modern nation of Israel is preached from the pulpit as if we must genuflect before it for salvation, charismatic theology, signs, wonders and tongues accepted, women preachers, unqualified Sunday School teachers, etc. Do you get the point?

I believe it is too late to save the organized church from Satan's deceptions because too many seminary trained pastors and leaders are spiritual dolts and can no longer discern anymore, since the Bible is no longer their standard.

Nor is Christ their Savior. That's why he made this.

Now let's see what Peter said. Let's understand something very profound to show that once you have repented and have been baptized and received the Holy Spirit of God you are in the Way and the Truth, and the only way you receive life is through Christ.

They arrested them, they put them in jail, they brought Peter and John forth and arrested the apostles, Acts 4:5: "Now, it came to pass in the morning that their rulers and elders and scribes were assembled together in Jerusalem, And Annas, the high priest, and Caiaphas and John…" (vs 5-6). Remember, these were the ones who condemned Jesus to be crucified. Remember, the high priest knew John—didn't he? Remember that Peter was there when he denied Christ three times—wasn't he? So, they knew the apostles.

"…and Alexander, and as many as were of the high priest's lineage. And after placing them in the midst, they inquired, 'By what power or in what name did you do this?' Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers of the people and elders of Israel, if we are examined this day as to a good work done to the infirm man, by what power he has been cured, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean, Whom you crucified, but Whom God has raised from the dead, by Him this man stands before you whole. This is the Stone that was set at naught by you, the builders, which has become the Head of the corner. And there is no salvation in any other, for neither is there another name under heaven which has been given among men, by which we must be saved.' Now, when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlettered and uninstructed men…" (vs 5-13).

That means that they didn't go through any of their seminaries, if we could put it that way. They were not taught by any of the leading rabbis; they weren't at any of the religious schools; and they surely weren't ignorant, but that's how they looked at them. So, they couldn't deny it. There he was standing right there, and they said, 'What are we going to do?'

John 14:7: "'If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. But from this time forward, you know Him and have seen Him.' Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and that will be sufficient for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long a time, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; why then do you say, "Show us the Father"? '" (vs 7-9).

With what we just read in mind let's read Hebrews the first chapter, because in God sending His Son, and God becoming a fleshly human being to bring the Gospel to show the way to the Father, to open the way of salvation, this was a fantastic and marvelous thing, which the book of Hebrews, as we have been going through, really shows what a great and marvelous undertaking that God has done.

Hebrews 1:1: "God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets…" Of course, that was a tremendous thing that God never left them alone. He always sent them a prophet—didn't He?

"…has spoken to us in these last days by His Son… [now it's greater—far greater] …Whom He has appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who, being the brightness of His glory… [compare this to any prophet; compare this even to Moses, which it does later in the book of Hebrews] …Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…" (vs 1-3).

That's why Jesus said to Philip, 'If you've seen Me, you have seen the Father.' Yet, most of the religions today believe in a pantheistic god, that God is in everything. God is in the wall, God is in the floor, the ceiling, all animals, and so forth. And that's why it's so easy for a lot of people to get involved in Hinduism and reincarnation. No! God is a person. He is a being, just like Christ—the image of His person.

"…and upholding all things by the word of His own power…" (v 3). You can't get any higher authority. You cannot have any greater when we see here, cleansing of sin. You cannot, when we go through the words of the New Testament, have any greater covenant to be in than the one that Christ has given.

"…when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (v 3). That's whom we're dealing with.

John 14:11: "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me shall also do the works that I do; and greater works than these shall he do because I am going to the Father" (vs 11-12).

As we covered in part one of Passover Preparation, in Acts 5, it was a phenomenal thing that people were healed even at the shadow of Peter just passed over them.

Verse 13: "And whatever you shall 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). This becomes a very important part of faith. We have faith coupled with prayer. We have faith coupled with asking Christ and asking the Father—don't we? Yes! Notice, it doesn't say: if you ask an apostle, or if you ask a pastor, or you ask a priest.

 "…whatever you shall 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." Now there is one major thing concerning that, which is this: it must be according to the will of God! That's the basic prayer in Matt. 6: 'Your will be done in heaven as it is on earth.' If you ask anything according to the will of God He will do it!

Now let's come to Mark 11, and this is really quite an interesting section here. Stop and think about it for just a minute, as I mentioned on the first one. Nearly every prayer that you pray God answers in the affirmative—doesn't He? However, please understand this: if you are praying and asking and you get up from your knees and say, 'I wonder if God will answer this prayer?' or 'I don't expect God to answer this prayer,' you have just destroyed the prayer because you don't believe. Expect an answer! When and how and under what circumstances then becomes God's timing? Know for sure if you don't ask according to the will of God you're not going to get that prayer answered because that's based upon lust and covetousness. That's your own will.

Mark 11:20: "And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. Then Peter remembered and said to Him, 'Look, Master! The fig tree that You cursed… [which He cursed in the evening on the way out] …has dried up.' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith from God'" (vs 20-22).

If you have a marginal reference it can read, 'have the faith of God.' It is even more profound than that. It means have God's faith. Now, there are some people who say, 'Well, God doesn't need faith.' God has faith because He can't give a gift of faith unless He has it—right? Yes! This shows where we need to come to in our prayers. In other words if God has said so we can believe it, trust in it, claim it, and pray for it.

Now notice, He takes it clear to the extreme: Verse 23: "For truly I say to you, whoever shall say to this mountain, 'Be taken away and be cast into the sea,' and shall not doubt in his heart… [there's the big problem that most people have—doubting in your heart] …but shall believe that what he said will take place, he shall have whatever he shall say." God is not going to do this so people can go around and show their power and begin removing mountains here and there wherever they want to just to show off to the world. If it's necessary God will do that. If it is His will He will do that, but you have to believe.

Verse 24: "For this reason I say to you, all the things that you ask… [it goes from the impossible down to the more possible] …when you are praying, believe that you will receive them, and they shall be given to you." They will be answered. I've seen prayers that I've prayed that have taken years to answer.

Since I do a lot of driving and so forth, many times this occurs while I'm driving. I'll be driving down the road and I'll say to myself, that prayer was answered. This also helps us to, when we are praying, not to be frivolous in our prayers, but to ask for things realistic. If you are 90-years-old God is not going to hear or answer, nor is it His will to make you 16-years-old. It is God's will that you die and He's going to answer that prayer even greater by giving you a spiritual body and a spiritual mind. Wouldn't you rather have that than going back to being a 16-year-old and having to live life all over again in the flesh? That's an unrealistic, unwilled prayer of God.

Now notice, there is another caveat that is here. Since we are in a love relationship with God, since we have the faith of God, He wants us also to develop the character of God and be as God in this particular sense.
Verse 25: "But when you stand praying…"—which shows you don't always have to be kneeling. What if you are walking along beside a well and all of a sudden something happened. You stepped into the loop in the rope and the spring was activated, it pulled you up and threw you down in the well and there you are hanging upside down by an ankle caught in the rope? You pray and say, 'God, save me.' And God says, 'You dummy. You're not on your knees and you don't have your hands in the right position.' Of course not!

Here's another quality: forgive! Everybody wants their sins forgiven—right? Yes, indeed! Everyone wants Jesus to be the advocate when they sin—don't they? Yes, indeed! Then part of the covenant that we have with God is this: we are also to forgive. If you have anything against another and if it's in such a way that you need to discuss it with them then you use Matt. 18—right? Go privately! Whatever Matt. 18 says you are to follow through.

Now, here's the condition: if you don't forgive—it's not 'Lord, I'll forgive him when he's straightens up. Lord, I will forgive when she changes her attitude.' Maybe your forgiveness will inspire God to help them see and to change if you have a forgiving attitude.

"…if you have anything against anyone, forgive… [it means sothat or in order that] …so that your Father Who is in heaven may forgive you your offenses. For if you do not forgive [even though you pray], neither will your Father Who is in heaven forgive you your offenses" (vs 25-26). These are some of the conditions of prayer—correct? But we are to grow to have the faithof God.

Now let's look some other conditions for answered prayer, 1-John 3:18: "My little children… [when John wrote this he was pretty old, so he could say, 'My little children'] …we should not love in word, nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in truth. And in this way we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him" (vs 18-19).

I might mention here, if you want a very interesting word study get The Seven General Epistles where we go through every place where it is 'to know' and 'to understand' in the Epistle of 1-John and I think you will be surprised how much we are to know. This epistle, though it is very simple, is written to those who know, who understand.

Verse 19: "And in this way we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him… [God wants you to have confidence, faith, and assurance. Not in the sense of arrogant pride of human nature, but in the sense of total belief in God.] …that if our hearts condemn us…" (vs 19-20). When do our hearts condemn us? When we sin and haven't repented! A lot of people hold back and have a guilt complex and don't go to God.

So, John says, to remind them: "…God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things" (v 20). Therefore, if you know you've sinned God knows you've sinned. That means go repent, get rid of the condemnation, get rid of the guilty conscience, let the blood of Christ cover it through the grace of God and then you will have confidence again. This is all part of the attitude of prayer of coming to have the faith of God as Jesus said.

Verse 21: "Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God. And whatever we may ask we receive from Him… [now the conditions]: …because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight" (vs 21-22). So, a person who is living in sin and doesn't repent and doesn't come out of sin cannot expect to have his prayers to be continually answered—correct?

Verse 23: "And this is His commandment: that we believe… [there we go: prayer and belief ties right in with John 14] …on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and thatwe love one another, exactly as He gave commandment to us." That's the whole beginning relationship that we need to have with each other. Not only beginning, but enduring relationship. It's difficult at times and the reason being is that it's because God has called different people from different walks of life that under normal circumstances we would never meet, we would never associate with, and we all have our problems hanging out—don't we? So therefore, we are indeed of all people most difficult to love.

That's why he mentions this, v 24: "And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him [Christ], and He [Christ] in him… [by the Spirit of God] …and by this we know… [this is something God does not want us in doubt concerning]: …we know that He is dwelling in us: by the Spirit which He has given to us."

In other words, you come to a point in your life that you know that you have the Spirit of God, you know that it is in you, you know that Christ is in you and you have no doubt of that at all.

  • That doesn't mean that you're not fighting sin.
  • That doesn't mean that you don't get discouraged from time to time.
  • That doesn't mean that you don't have problems and difficulties because we all do.
  • It means that with the Spirit of God you can go through all of these things and God eventually will resolve them according to His will if we do the things that are pleasing in His sight, keep His commandments, love God and love each other.

1-John 5:14: "And this is the confidence that we have toward Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we may ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him" (vs 14-15). There's the assurance that we need. Based upon that then, that's why Jesus said, 'You believe in Me, believe also in the Father. And if you ask anything in My name this I will do that the Father may be glorified.'

There will be quite a few Scriptures that we can add to it. Keep your Bible open to 1-John because we're going to go there. Here is a key verse that is just an amazing verse. John 14:

  • v 2: "…if it were otherwise, I would have told you…"
  • v 3: "…If I go to prepare a place, I will come again…"
  • v 7: "If you had known Me…
  • v 11: "…if not, believe Me because of the works themselves."
  • v 14: "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."

{see sermon series: If Statements in the Bible.} All the conditions are upon us because we are the variable factor, not God. That's why here in v 15, He says: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments"—which is as literal of a translation as I could get. How many people say they love the Lord, they know the Lord, and don't keep His commandments? Which means if you don't keep the commandments of God you don't love Him!

You know, it's amazing. Just like we read off that thing there, most religions that use the Bible have their time worn paths, which they trod every Sunday. They like to have it in such a way that it's pleasing to everybody. Do this: you show me which person that Jesus pleased just to please the person. Not one!

Matthew 22:34: "But after the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together before Him." This must have been a sight—always gathering together to figure out how they're going to answer it.

Verse 35: "And one of them, a doctor of the law… [Ok, we'll trip Him up on this.] …questioned Him, tempting Him, and saying, 'Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?'…. [They wanted to nail Him for changing the law—right?] …And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind'" (vs 35-37). Showing that our devotion to God is a full-time complete dedication and devotion.

Verse 38: "This is the first and greatest commandment…. [When we go through these I want you to keep in mind what we just read in John 14 and 15—'If you love Me keep My commandments.'] …And the second one is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (vs 38-40). When you have something that is used as the base point for hanging something on, all the Law and Prophets then is dependent upon what? Loving God and loving your neighbor!

Jesus said in another place, Matthew 7:12[transcriber's correction] "Therefore everything that you would have men do to you, so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets." Contrary to what most people think about harsh commandments and that you can't keep them. That is completely an impossibility because if you have the Spirit of God you can keep the commandments—right? Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.' Would He ask you to do something that is impossible to do? No!

  • Do you have another God before you? No!
  • Do you have any idols? No!
  • Do you take God's name in vain? No!
  • Are you keeping the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Can you keep those commandments? Of course!
  • Honor father and mother if they're still living.
  • Can you do that? Yes!
    • Do not kill
    • Do not commit adultery
    • Do not steal
    • Do not bear false witness
    • Do not covet
  • Are those impossible to keep? Of course not!

So the argument, 'God doesn't expect you to keep the commandments today because no one can keep them,' is really nonsense. The comment was made that these two commandments are considered the golden rule, so therefore, this is a Godly rule.

Now then, let's come to 1-John 2. When you read James, 1st, 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John, and Jude, you know you are to keep the commandments of God. However, when you go from Acts to Romans and you start reading Romans, which is difficult to understand, you may begin to believe, because you do not understand it correctly or what the original really was, you may begin to believe that you shouldn't keep the commandments of God. That's not so!

1-John 2:3: "And by this standardwe know that we know Him…" God doesn't want us to be in doubt. 'Maybe I know Jesus. Where are You, Jesus? I think You are there.' No! Hereby we know that we know. That is the epitome of belief—isn't it? You go from belief to knowing! That's the whole purpose that we're going to see that God wants us to do.

"…if we keep His commandments. The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (vs 3-4). Those two verses are so basic and profound and powerful. What this does, it knocks into an absolute 'cocked hat' all the so-called Christian professing religions in the world that say you do not have to keep the commandments of God. You can label them, without a doubt, they are liars!

That's what it says. That's why John was one of the sons of thunder. Going back to the IF, it's conditional. In other words this way, just like it says not only a liar if you don't keep His commandments, you don't know Him.

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him." IF the Truth is not in you, you don't have the Spirit of Truth—do you? It's called the Spirit of Truth—isn't it? The Spirit of Truth is what's going to lead you into all Truth and going to lead you into keeping the commandments of God. It's all together, it can't be dissected. You can't have a perfect circle if you cut out half of it—can you? An impossibility!

He goes on and shows what is to happen, v 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…" So, this love of God then is perfected even more. It's something that is to grow, to be perfected. By this growing in grace and knowledge and love and commandment-keeping and so forth.

"…By this meanswe know that we are in Him" (v 5).

  • no doubt of conversion
  • no doubt of the Spirit of God
  • no doubt of where you're going
  • no doubt of what you're doing

Verse 6: "Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked." You go back and you analyze what did Jesus do, keep, say, pray, think, as recorded in the Gospels and you have it.

Now let's look at something else concerning love. Here's part of loving God. You cannot have one foot in the world, though you live there. You can't cling to the ways of the world part of the time and cling to God's way part of the time.

Verse 15: "Do not love the world… [That's God's job. He can love the world because He has an overall plan. This means we are not to love the world.] …nor the things thatare in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." In other words, if you put the world and physical things before loving God—you love the world.

Verse 16: "Because everything that is in the world… [I tell you what, all you have to do is just turn on your TV and there it is.] …the lust of the flesh… [you see a lot of that on TV] …and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life is not from the Father, but is from the world." Who is 'the god of this world' and feeds on and inspires this kind of thing but none other than Satan the devil! That's why you're not to love it!

Verse 17: "And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever." There again is the contrast. That's how important the commandments of God are.

When we partake of the Passover every year and we come back and analyze all of these things and recommit ourselves to God through partaking of the Passover, what we do we go back to the very basic fundamentals and reassure ourselves that through Christ and the Word of God that what we are doing is the right thing and that we are in covenant with God. Can anyone be in covenant with God and live in sin? No! That's a contradictory statement! That's like saying turn on the water so I can stay dry. Turn off the lights so I can see.

Now here again is one of these know statements, 1-John 5:2: "By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God… [Doesn't this sound an awful lot like Matt. 22? Yes!] …when we love God and keep His commandments." In other words, if you don't keep His commandments you don't love God. It's that simple. It's like we covered here before.

Verse 3: "For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments…" That is the beginning relationship. You're keeping His commandments, but as we develop concerning hope and concerning love even further, that the love of God will develop into a deep and profound spiritual relationship between you and God. This is the beginning of it.

"…and His commandments are not burdensome" (vs 2-3). In other words, it's not a burden to keep the commandments of God! What burden is it to keep the Sabbath? It's a great blessing because God fellowships with you and you fellowship with God and you learn of His Word, and all of these things. It's a great blessing.

2-John 4: "I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found among your children those who are walking in Truth… [Your Word is Truth] …as we received commandment from the Father. And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I am writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have observed from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments…." (vs 4-6).

When you put all these statements together and really line them up how can anyone possibly have the gall to say, in the name of Christ, that you don't have to keep the commandments of God. It is just like it says, that person is a profound liar. And furthermore Jesus said 'the Truth will set you free'—free from sin, free from doubt, free from worry, free from all of these things.

"…This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning, that you might walk in it, because many deceivers have entered into the world—those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is the spirit of the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out for yourselves in order that we may not lose the things we have accomplished, but that we may receive a full reward. Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.  But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (vs 6-9). Very profound!

Now let's look at just a couple of Scriptures in Revelation 12:17. This is important because these are prophecies concerning the end-time. This shows that there are going to be commandment-keepers in the end-time—this is right when the Great Tribulation begins:

Revelation 12:17: "Then the dragon [Satan the devil] was furious with the woman [the Church] and went to make war with the rest of her seed… [not limited to just a few but the rest] …of her seed, who keep the commandments of God… [at the end-time there are people who keep the commandments of God—correct? Right!] …and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Which means they preach salvation by faith. They preach what we are doing because what we are preaching is the testimony of Christ.

Right toward the end of the Tribulation, Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints… [Now patience could also be translated 'endurance' because commandment-keeping involves enduring—doesn't it?] …here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." It gets right back to the same thing that Jesus said, have God's faith, have Jesus' faith. That's what they have. If you keep the commandments of God you'll be given the Holy Spirit of God, you will have the power to have the faith of Christ and of God.

Revelation 22:14, many translations have this: "Blessed are those who have cleansed their robes." But that's not what it is in the original Greek. That's out of one of the spurious texts.

Revelation 22:14: "Blessed are those who keep His commandments…" Contrary to what most people say, most religionists say, 'Oh you're cursed when you try and keep the commandments.' NO! You're blessed if you do.

Notice what this does: "…that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life… [In other words if you don't keep the commandments of God you're not going to get eternal life. Do you think you're going to live forever sinning in the universe? Of course not! That's why Lucifer was cast down because of sin.] …and may enter by the gates into the city."

John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And… [Here's a result of your doing the conditional thing—keeping the commandments of God, loving God] …I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age" (vs 15-16).

I explained at the beginning of this about the proper translation of 'Holy Spirit,' that it is the power of God. It is not a third person. And understand this: all Trinitarians are cults. The Trinitarians call us a cult because we don't believe in the Trinity.

Verse 17:"Even the Spirit of the Truth,which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. Yet, a little while and the world shall see Me no longer; but you shall see Me. Because I live, you shall live also. In that day [that means in the day when they would see the resurrected Christ] …you shall know…" (vs 17-20). With this verse we go from belief into knowing just like we did there in 1-John.

"…you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. 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.' Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 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. I have spoken these things to you while I am yet present with you'" (vs 20-25). Now then, we've got an awful lot here to reinforce what we've already studied—don't we?

Verse 16: "And I will ask the Father… [What we are going to see is that the giving of the Holy Spirit is a joint project of Jesus Christ and the Father.] …and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: Even the Spirit of the Truth,which the world cannot receive…" (vs 16-17). The world cannot receive it because of many reasons:

  • Satan is the god of the world and he is that spirit that is working in them
  • because they don't want to repent even though they hear the Word of God.

'…because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you… [there is a distinction. It dwells with you. All the time that Jesus was teaching them and training them, and all during His ministry the Spirit of God was dwelling with them.] (Then He says): …and shall be within you' (v 17). Let's look at the first part here: dwells with you. Let's look at some Scriptures that show the operation of the Spirit to come to anyone.

There is one Holy Spirit of God, but God has seven Spirits that also do additional work for Him, which I think is a prelude to receiving the Holy Spirit within you.

We find here in Revelation 5:6: "Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders, was standing a Lamb ashaving been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God that are sent into all the earth." What do these Spirits do?

Let's see again where Jesus is the One Who is in control of these seven Spirits, Revelation 3:1 "And to the angel of the Church in Sardis, write: These things says He Who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works…", etc. What do the seven Spirits do? Jesus controls them! They go forth into all the earth.

Revelation 1:4: "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 …" How do the seven Spirits work?

Here's how I think that the seven Spirits work: They do the work of God in finding out those who are seeking Him. Because it said they are sent forth into all the earth. What do they do in all the earth? What is their activity? Could they be likened to what we might say satellites? I don't know, but we find here:

2-Chronicles 16:9: "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro in all the whole earth…" We know that the eyeballs of God are not running to and fro in the earth. This has to describe the work of the seven Spirits going to and fro throughout the whole world. That's the only thing that we can connect with back there in the book of Revelation, the three places where it says the seven Spirits, and then there in Rev. 5:6 that they are sent forth into all the earth.

Here's what they do: "…to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him…." In other words, looking for those who are seeking God. Remember the account of Elijah? We mention this every once in a while to show that God is doing more with people that we don't even know of. Elijah was moaning and complaining to God that he was the only one left, and God said, 'Now, now Elijah. I have seven thousand that haven't bowed the knee to Baal.' How does God do that? He has to do it through the seven Spirits, which are the eyes of the Lord sent forth and that run to and fro through all the earth!

2-Chronicles 15:1: "And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, 'Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you'" (vs 1-2).

This has got to be how God finds out who on earth that there are who are seeking after Him. God obviously is not going to be busying Himself with that. He's going to let the seven Spirits do that. When there's someone who's of a repentant heart then I am sure that the Holy Spirit comes to be with that person. The seven Spirits are the eyes finding out where they are. That's not an operation of the Holy Spirit of God. These seven Spirits are separate and different from the Holy Spirit of God. But then after they find the one who is seeking God then God sends His Spirit to be with them just like Jesus told the disciples. The Spirit is with them. The best way I can explain it is this: if you seek God

Here is a promise of God, which ties in with what we've been talking about earlier, Matthew 7:7: "Ask, and it shall be given to you…. [There we're talking about prayer again—aren't we?] …Seek, and you shall find…" We just read that these eyes of the Lord go to and fro through the earth to find those who are seeking Him. This is how an ordinary person anywhere in the world, if they want to know about God, if they just ask and pray, 'Oh God where are you? I want to know about you'; the seven Spirits are the ones who do the work to then convey this to God.

If they are really repentant and really want to know about God then God will send the Spirit to be with them. That's the start of a calling. If they continue seeking—and lo and behold there is a Bible available to almost anyone who wants it in the world—and they start looking in the Bible and they start seeing there are things that they need to do. Everyone will have an experience similar to that.

For example, it was said that in trying to find God they went to different churches: Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and so forth. Finally went out to a park one afternoon and said, 'God, where are You? I want to know where You are.' At that point God did something. You may not have realized it, but He did. I can say the same story; you can say the same. Everyone of us can say the same thing.

Verse 8: "For everyone… [all inclusive; not eliminating anyone] …who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened."

Now see what happened, because this is very profound. It also has to do with entering into a covenant with God, which is what we are studying here, the words of the New Covenant to eternal life that we are to follow.

2-Chronicles 15:3[transcriber's correction] Azariah said to him: "And for a long time Israel had been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law." You could apply that to individuals in the world. How many people are out there just in the same way? They don't have the true God. They don't have anyone to teach them, and they don't have the Law of God.

Verse 4: "And when they turned in their trouble to the LORD God of Israel… [That's why there's going to be a big harvest through the Tribulation. They're going to turn to the Lord.] …and sought Him, He was found by them. 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. And nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. But you be strong and do not let your hands be weak…" (4-7) This is a call to repentance—isn't it? Yes! Now you respond to God.

"'…for your work shall be rewarded.' 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… [That's repentance—isn't it? You destroy idols.] …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. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon; for they fell to him out of Israel in great numbers, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. And they gathered at Jerusalem in the third month in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa" (v 7-10). This third month was probably somewhere around Pentecost, which goes back to the time that the Ten Commandments were given, and so forth. There's great meaning in all this as we go through.

Verse 11: "And they offered to the LORD in that day of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. And they entered into a covenant…" (vs 11-12). That's what we enter in to when we are baptized. And every year when we keep the Passover we renew it. We do so, so that we will not fall victim to what Asa did.

"…to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul, and that whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death… [here in this case they had no choice about it] …whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they swore to the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with silver trumpets, and with rams' horns. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with their whole desire. And He was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around" (vs 12-15).

You could say in the New Testament 'and God gives you grace.' God gives you rest from your sins. God gives you rest from your enemies.

Verse 16: "And also as to Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen mother because she had made an idol in a grove. And Asa cut down her idol and stamped it and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. And he brought into the house of God the things which his father had dedicated, and that which he himself had dedicated, silver and gold and vessels. And there was no war to the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa" (v 16-19). Then what did he do? He entered into a covenant with Ben-hadad, the king of Syria! When he did that then again another prophet came.

2-Chronicles 16:7: "And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him…" Notice what happens when you turn back. Notice when we come over here and compare that with 2-Chron. 15:2, 'If you seek Him He will be found of you, if you forsake Him He will forsake you.' There's a lesson for us today, too.

"…'Because you have relied on the king of Syria and have not relied on the LORD your God…'" (v 7). You can draw many parallels there, too, with our spiritual life, if we go back relying on physical things and so forth, going back into the world and not trusting in 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, for the eyes of the LORD run to and fro in all the whole earth to 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.' And Asa was angry with the seer…" (vs 7-10).

That happens lots of times when a person comes up and shows his sins to someone. He was mad.

"…and put him in a prison house. for he was in a rage against him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time…. [then it shows what happened]: …And behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa was diseased in his feet until his disease was very grievous. Yet in his disease he did not seek to the LORD, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers and died in the forty-first year of his reign" (vs 10-13).

Now you have the whole picture here with this from coming to the point of seeking God to the point of rejecting God!

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

Scripture References:

  • Romans 1:16-17
  • Romans 10:8-17
  • John 20:30-31
  • John 14:6
  • Acts 4:5-13
  • John 14:7-9
  • Hebrews 1:1-3
  • John 14:11-14
  • Mark 11:20-26
  • 1 John 3:18-24
  • 1 John 5:14-15
  • John 14:2-3, 7, 11, 14-15
  • Matthew 22:34-40
  • Matthew 7:12
  • 1 John 2:3-6, 15-17
  • 1 John 5:2-3
  • 2 John 4-9
  • Revelation 12:17
  • Revelation 14:12
  • Revelation 22:14
  • John 14:15-25, 16-17
  • Revelation 5:6
  • Revelation 3:1
  • Revelation 1:4
  • 2 Chronicles 16:9
  • 2 Chronicles 15:1-2
  • Matthew 7:7-8
  • 2 Chronicles 15:3-19
  • 2 Chronicles 16:7-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted: Matthew 6

Also referenced: 

Books:

  • Can Christianity Survive the Organized Church? by Ken Matto (scionof zion.com)
  • The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter

Sermon Series: IF Statements in the Bible

FRC:cis
Transcribed: 02/15/2005
Formatted/Corrected: bo—June/2012

BOOKS