Believe God/Believe His Word—Key I
Fred R. Coulter—September 16, 2006

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Let's just look at a couple of more Scriptures concerning the will of God—because the will of God may not necessarily be just showers of blessings from above. The will of God may be something where you're required to go through a trial, or you're required to do different things, and we may have to suffer some very severe consequences. But regardless of that, we need to do the will of God.

So let's come to 1-Peter 3:11: "Let him avoid evil, and let him continually practice good…. [And that means under all circumstances, as we will see.] …Let him seek peace, and let him earnestly pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their supplications…. [Now we'll cover that a little bit later, but 'supplication' is an intense and earnest prayer, in pleading to God.] …But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil. And is there anyone who will harm you if you be followers of that which is good?" (vs 11-13). The answer is yes! But in an ordinary society, where you don't have terrorists, where you don't have atheists, where you don't have haters of God—which is not our society today—they're looking after to those who do good.]

Verse 14: "Now on the other hand, if you do undergo suffering for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed…. [And always remember this: Jesus suffered to save us!] …But you should not be afraid of their terror, and you should not let yourselves be intimidated; but sanctify the Lord God in your own hearts, and always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and reverence; having a good conscience, that, whereas they may speak against you as evil doers, those who are reviling your good way of life in Christ may be ashamed" (vs 14-16). Now that shame may not come until later.

Verse 17: "For it is better, if it is the will of God… [So remember the first one was: pray and live according to God's will.] …if it is the will of God for you to suffer while doing good than to suffer for doing evil… [then He reminds them]: …because Christ indeed once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God; on the one hand, He was put to death in the flesh; but on the other hand, He was made alive by the Spirit" (vs 17-18). So this is what we need to always keep in mind. And always keep in mind the new situations that whether we live or whether we die we belong to God.

Let's come back here to Daniel, the third chapter. I think I just mentioned this a little bit last time, but let's come back and read in Daniel, the third chapter, the will of God—what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told King Nebuchadnezzar. Now this is also kind of prophetic with the coming image of the Beast and mark of the Beast, where he made a great image.

Daniel 3:1: "Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits… [Now that's 70 cubits—105 feet tall.] …and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon…. [He sent and gathered all the chief 'mucky-mucks' of the empire and brought them there—all of the governors and judges and so forth and made a dedication to the image (v 2 paraphrased).] (v 4): …Then an herald cried aloud, 'To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages… [This is why it's prophetic for the coming Beast.] …that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down… [that is bow down on your face] …and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up'" (vs 1-5). So when they heard it, they bowed down they worshiped the image. However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't do it.

Verse 8: "Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews." They said, 'Look, they're not obeying you, they're not bowing down at the sound of the music.'

Verse 12: "There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon… [They're saying: 'Look, you put them in charge. And of course, we want to be in charge, so we want to get rid of them, so we're turning them in.' There's nothing new in politics—right? Sounds like Washington D.C. or any government in the world today—right?] …Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded you: they serve not your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.' Then Nebuchadnezzar, in his rage and fury, commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, 'Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not you serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?'" (vs 12-14).

Think of all the time, all of the labor, all the effort, all the expense! Can you imagine overlaying that image with gold 105 feet high! The thought just occurred to me: Isn't that about the same height of the obelisk in Washington D.C.?—which, by the way, came from Egypt.

So he gave them a chance, v 15: …Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well [that's good],but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?…. [So it's a direct challenge to God! Now here's what they answered:] (v 16): …Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.' Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed… [Now just picture one of those hateful versions of Adolph Hitler ranting and raving, only just put a beard on him and kind of a Babylonian crown.] …against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated" (vs 15-19)

Now they had plenty to do it. They had all the oil! It oozed out of the ground! They also had gas that came out of the ground. And I suspect where they had the worshiping of the fiery dragon in Babylon that that was set right over a gas vent and they lit it; and so it constantly was burning and fire coming out of it. And of course, superstitious people would look at it and say, 'Ooooo, look it's burning, burning, burning. No fuel! How's it burning? Well, it must be burning with the 'Spirit of God' coming out of the ground.' You can almost hear it.

"And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men… [burned them up] …that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, 'Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?' They answered and said unto the king, 'True, O king.' He answered and said, 'Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.'" (vs 20-25).

Now there's a good example: Regardless of the extremity of the circumstances, God is always with you! So some of the will of God is that you may have to suffer. Some of the will of God may be, in your living, that you have to also give a witness and testimony as we find there in Matt. 10—which says that God will give you what to say 'in that same hour.' In other words, regardless of your circumstances, wherever you are, God is with you!

"Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke, and said, 'Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God… [Boy! He sure changed his tune—didn't he?] …come forth from the midst of the fire.'.… [so they came out—and everyone was astonished, they couldn't believe it.] …and the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them…. [So they were just enveloped in a spiritual cocoon.] …Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him…" (vs 20-28). So if it's the will of God that you suffer, that's the way it has to be.

Now let's take a look at one more Scripture here—maybe two, for the will of God. Let's come to 1-John 5:14—now, tie this in with Dan. 3 where we just came from. And John is writing: "And this is the confidence… [Now confidence is a faith which we are going to cover in belief and faith here in just a minute] …that we [always need to] have toward Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us…. [Now then, if we ask something that God is not going to grant, He still hears us but the answer will be 'no.' God does not always, with our prayers, answer 'yes, yes, yes, yes.' Nor does He necessarily answer instantly. Sometimes the answers come over a period of time. It could be weeks or days or months or years. Some things need to be answered right away, such in the case of illness or an emergency that God will hear and answer you immediately then.] (v 15): …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." So this is the confidence that we need to have.

Now let's come to Romans 12 and we'll finish off here with the will of God. One of the greatest evils is the belief in a false Jesus that's in the world; a false god that is in the world; and that all you have to do is reject the laws of God and everything is wonderful. No that's not the way it works. Now notice how deeply involved we are to be with God, with our lives and how we are to live.

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…. [Now there's an awful lot that we need to also understand in that. We are not to be dubbed 'Christians.' We are not to be lukewarm Christians. We are to be]: …a living sacrifice, Holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service…. [And here's a key]: …Do not conform yourselves to this world… [And that's much more true than ever before. You stop and think about everything that's in the world:

  • the pride of life
  • lust of the eyes
  • lust of the flesh

—and all of those things. And that's exactly what the world is run on. There has to be a conversion that takes place in our lives, which he says here]: …but be transformed… [changed, converted. And, as we know, that takes place over a period of time. And that takes doing, as he says here.] …by the renewing of your mind…"

  • Now, you renew your mind with the Word of God.
  • You renew your mind with the Spirit of God.
  • You renew your mind through prayer, because you are praying to God and He does hear you and He will hear you.

And that's why daily prayer is so absolutely important! Now if you think it's important that you have a good meal to go to work—have a good meal for breakfast and then you go to work—think about your spiritual life. You need to have prayer before you go to work—every day. You need to have a time every day when you pray. Sometimes you can't do it before work. Sometimes you have to do it after work. Sometimes if you have a break you can pray during work and we'll talk about that a little bit later on about praying almost anywhere you are, because God is not restricted to a room. God is not restricted. Wherever we are God is with us wherever we are, so He will hear our prayers wherever we are.] …be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove… [Now how do you 'prove' it? By doing it!] …what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (vs 1-2).

A very good comment was made that with this Jesus was not God in the flesh heresy that's going around in all the Churches of God—and more and more are believing in it. And what you really need to understand is this: How can you pray in Jesus' name if you don't believe who He was before He became human? Now let me just be very blunt right here. If you do not believe that Jesus Christ was God before He became human and was God in the flesh while He was here, then you have joined the ranks of the Muslims and the Hindus and the Jews who say, 'Well, Jesus was a prophet.' So you need to consider in prayers if you do not believe in Jesus.

II—Believe What God Says, Believe God and What He says in His Word.

While we're right here, this goes right into the next one, which is: Believe God—that is God the Father and Jesus Christ—and what He says in His Word. Let's come here to John, the eighth chapter, and let's see what Jesus told the religious leaders who thought they believed in God but were serving Satan the devil; who rejected Jesus Christ and were responsible for crucifying Him. And if you want to know who killed Jesus then go back and review the book, The Day Jesus, the Christ, Died. But here He is in John 8 revealing who He was and they knew who He was and they understood who He was. Now this is important and He says this many times in the book of John. Now if you don't have the sermon that I did quite a while ago called I AM—because, 'I AM' is the name of God. And that's what He told Moses to tell the children of Israel when Moses said, 'Well, what do I tell them who sent me, when they ask me?' You tell them 'I AM has sent me.' That was the One Who became Jesus Christ. So when Jesus talks about this—and you will see that in the Faithful Version translation that I capitalize 'I AM.'

Now let's see what they were saying here—John 8:42—go ahead and read the whole eighth chapter: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father… [because if you don't accept Jesus Christ for what He is and what He says He is and where He came from, God the Father is not your Father.] …you would love Me, because I proceeded forth and came from God. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words…. [That's why they wouldn't believe.] …You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice'" (vs 42-44). And every religion of the world is of Satan the devil, because every religion of the world is a counterfeit of God's way.

And I thought it was rather ironic: the other day the Pope got up and supposedly innocently quoted that Islam was a bloody and a cruel religion. Now they have riots in the street and the Islamic religious leaders are saying, 'Hypocrite! Hypocrite!' Remember the Inquisition? ALL religions are bloody and cruel! All of them! Because they are not of God, they are of Satan the devil and God never sent them though they use His name. Just like they did here. So if you don't have the series: Why God Hates Religion by all means get them. He's a jealous God and will have no other gods before Him. And He hates it because they take the name of Jesus, they appropriate it, and they bring a false Jesus who couldn't stand up to one lashing with 'wet noodles' let alone be beaten within an inch of His life to bear our sins! The Jesus Christ Who was on this earth was not half feminine. He was strong. He was tough. He was masculine. And He came to be the Overcomer, the Champion, the Hero, the Savior for His people. Not some little skinny thing who couldn't hold up a balsam wood cross with a tiny little scar, with a drop of blood, with Mary, His mother, there looking at Him with fond eyes. No! That's why He chose fishermen. He didn't choose monks from a monastery who are mentally incompetent. You need to know the truth about these things. You think I'm mean and nasty in saying that, well then you'd better go some place else and find the Truth. Now He says here—that's why they can't bear His words.

"You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it" (v 44).

And another thing that is very important in answered prayer is what He says here—because if you believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ, and you believe Their words, then you are going to believe that Their words are Truth! Isn't that what Jesus said? Yes! You have to believe the Truth. So if you go pray to God and you have your own lusts, your own desire, you know, your own deception—especially those of you who believe you don't have to keep any commandments of God—if you get answered prayer know it's not from God the Father and Jesus Christ. It may be the spirit behind the power of the false Jesus—yes, they will answer your prayers to keep you deceived. They will do signs and wonders and miracles to keep you following them!

Now notice v 45: "And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me…. [And what was the Truth they so hated? As we'll see a little later, that He was the Son of God! And not just a Son, but He WAS God.] …Which one of you can convict Me of sin?…. [Now let's stop and think about this a minute. If you say that the commandments of God have been done away, you are convicting God of sin! Who is all righteous and has never sinned. Same way with Jesus.] …But if I speak the Truth, why don't you believe Me?… [And it's all recorded here.] …The one who is of God hears the words of God…." (vs 45-47). Do you hear the words of God? Or do you talk back to God, and say, 'I don't like this, I don't like that. I don't like the other thing. I won't do this. I won't do that. I won't do the other thing.' And that's what the atheists do. They create their own Ten Commandments. Reject God. That falls into the realm of everything. Not only talking and speaking in doctrine, but it falls into the realm of the Bible. Changing that. Changing the commentary.

Then He says: "…For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God. Then the Jews answered and said to Him, 'Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?' Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon. But I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. Yet I do not seek My own glory; there is one Who seeks and judges…. [That is God the Father] …Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My words…" (vs 47-51).

So 'believing' also means keeping. Do you keep the words of Jesus Christ? Do you keep the words where Jesus said 'the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath'? Therefore, the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day. Do you keep that? You don't keep His words if you go to church on Sunday. You don't keep His words if you keep Halloween and Christmas and Easter and New Years and all the pagan holidays. If you don't have the book: Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days, Which? you better get it and you better read it. And we have a section in there: What is a True Christian? because anyone who believes God and keeps His commandments is labeled as a Judaizer—or seeking to have salvation by works. Same attitude and things that they have here.

"…if anyone keeps My words he shall not see death forever" (v 51). And that's what the Greek means: you will die in Adam. It doesn't mean you shall never die, as the King James and other translations have it.

"Then the Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died; yet You say, "If anyone keeps My words, he shall not taste of death forever." Are you greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets, who died? Whom do You make Yourself to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not know Him; but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar, like you. But I know Him, and I keep His Word…. [Now we come down to the nitty-gritty here.] …Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced' (vs 52-56).

 So that tells you that he was taught a lot of things by the One Who became Jesus Christ that are not even recorded in the Old Testament. You get a glimpse of it there in Heb. 11 where it says that Abraham 'was looking for a city whose foundation and builder was God.' So he knew about the coming new heavens and earth. He knew about the coming Kingdom of God on earth. He knew those things.

"Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?'… [They understood He saw Abraham. Now, how could He have seen Abraham if He didn't exist until He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary—pray tell!] (Now notice Jesus' answer): …Jesus said to the, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM'" (vs 57–58).

Now, this is profoundly important in answered prayer. Now notice, did they understand what He said? Absolutely! "Then they picked up stones to throw at Him…. [Now, why would they do that if they didn't understand what is said? As we'll see a little later, 'You make Yourself to be God.'] …But Jesus concealed Himself and went out of the temple, passing through the midst of them, and in this manner departed" (v 59). That's quite a thing—isn't it? Now if Jesus had long hair and a halo streaming over His head, He would have been easy to follow. He wouldn't have gotten lost in the crowd.

So what we're seeing here is that the keys to answered prayer is to live the way of God, because it is a way of life. The world cannot understand that so they would classify us as being religious. But if you are Christ's and have His Spirit, then the begettal of God the Father both in you, you are to live God's way—you belong to Him. You're not religious. Praying is not a religious thing. Praying to idols is a substitute for praying to God! And is worshiping the demons behind the idols and not worshiping God. You cannot go into a house of idols, bow down before a statue of the virgin Mary or a crucifix of Christ and get out your little handy-dandy beads and make your laps around the beads and say that you're worshiping God because you're doing the very thing that God hates! He's not going to hear you. If you get an answer for it, another power answered—not God!

 

Now let's see how we are to believe God in relationship to prayers. In the Greek, faith is pronounced 'pistos'; believe is the verb of the noun faith. And that is pronounced 'pisteu.' So what you're doing in having faith: Faith is the description of the action of believing. So when you are believing, you are faithizing—would be the best way to put it.

Now, let's come to James, the first chapter, because it talks about faith and it talks about believing God. Now in believing God you have to believe:

  • who He is
  • what He is
  • what He has done
  • that He is Creator
  • that He is Sovereign over everything in the entirety of the Universe.

Now, if you don't believe that then you're not going to have the kind of faith or belief that is necessary.

Now let's pick it up here in James 1:1: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are in the dispersion…"

Just a little stop here. If you wrote a letter to someone, wouldn't you know where to address it? So if it's to the 12 tribes in the dispersion, that means what? They knew where the supposed lost ten tribes really were. And they weren't lost! Because he sent this epistle to them—right? The 12 tribes—not just to the Jews in the Diaspora, but to the 12 tribes.

He says: "…Greetings!…. [Now this is a challenge] …Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials…. [Now, I'm sure this: that the joy comes after you get through it and see what God has done. So if you can count it all joy while you are going into it, then you have a better frame of mind and you can count it all joy when you're going into a trial this way. Regardless of the circumstances, God will work it out. And all the worry in the world is not necessarily going to solve it.] …Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (vs 1-3).

Now let's understand this: You want to prove God? Fine, God wants to prove you. He's going to test your faith. 'I believe in Jesus. I believe that He can do anything.' Whamo! You have a trial. Now what do you believe? Remember Peter, he was the only one of the 12 apostles that had enough courage to say to Jesus when He saw Him walking on water, 'Lord, bid me to come.' So He said, 'Come!' So he started walking on the water testing his faith. And we're going to talk about waves and things here in just a little bit. And what happened to Peter? As soon as he saw the first big wave coming along he said, 'OHHHHHHH,' and he started to sink. And he said, 'Lord, save me!' So Jesus reached out His hand and got him and saved him. So Peter had to learn endurance, didn't he? Does God want us to endure? Yes! Because what did Jesus say? 'The one who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.' Now there are two ends that are coming:

  •  The end of your life before Jesus returns.
  • When Jesus returns if you're still alive.

You have to endure. So God is building in us 'endurance' through these things. "But let endurance have its perfect work… [Don't cut it short. Don't get impatient, don't run off in a huff because it didn't work the way you wanted it to work the first time, or the second time, or the third time.] …so that you may be perfect and complete… [Because that's what God is wanting to do with you.] …not lacking in anything… [That doesn't mean just physically, but He's talking about spiritually and not lacking in the spiritual gifts—because he talks about wisdom.]: …However, if anyone lacks wisdom, 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… [Now that's a 3-letter word. The other 2-letter word which causes a lot of trouble is 'if'—so here's the 3-letter word]: …But let him ask in faith, not doubting at all… [Now we'll see how to handle doubts here in a little bit.] …because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro. [And the bigger the storm, the more powerful the wind, the greater the waves, but it still tossed to and fro by the wind.] …Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord" (v 4-7).

Think of this: If you get on your knees and pray and you get up and you say to yourself, 'Well, I don't think God is going to answer this prayer.' He's not! Or if you doubt, because God is not only proving you, but God is also looking to your faith, and your faith must have endurance.

Now notice v 7: "Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord…. [And what does this do?] …He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 7-8). Which is a perfect description of most politicians. They go whichever way the wind is blowing, and they're 'double-minded and unstable in all their ways.' So you see why it's important that we have faith—and

  • faith that is firm
  • faith that is steadfast
  • faith that really believes God

Now come over here to chapter two since we're here in James. There are quite a few things that we can learn from this. James 2:5: "My beloved brethren, listen. Did not God Himself choose the poor of this world…" You need to understand that. Why are you in the Church of God? And if you warm a chair, are you really converted? You have to ask that question because that's a very important thing. Especially when you look back and see how many chairs were warmed—and where are they today? And I never will forget: years and years ago when a man got up there and introduced the new doctrine that now it's okay to eat unclean foods. And he spoke to about 1200 people in this fantastic auditorium in Pasadena. And guess what 90 percent of the people did—maybe not quite 90, but let's say well over 50 or 60 percent of the people did? They went out that night after Sabbath and they had shrimp and lobster and crab and ham and bacon—just because one minister in one sermon said it's okay to do. Now, were they converted? Did they believe God? Did they live by the words of God? No! They believed a lie! So God has chosen us personally and we need to respond to God.

"…poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom… [Now notice what he's doing. He's always pointing them toward the goal, which is the Kingdom of God on earth; and the Kingdom of God out to all the Universe for all eternity.] …which He has promised to those who love Him?" (v 5).

Now if you don't love God you won't believe Him. You can profess love. But love has to be exhibited in actions—not just in emotion. And living in a time when there's mostly emotion today, and people just go by feelings—to have a living faith backed up by action is what's necessary in believing God so you can have your prayers answered.

Now let's come over here to v 14 [transcriber's correction]: "My brethren, what good does it do, if anyone says that he has faith, and does not have works? Is faith able to save him?…. [meaning just thinking a good thought. So then, he gives an example] (v 16): …And one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; be warmed and be filled,' and does not give to them the things necessary for the body, what good is it?…. [That's why we need to help people who are in desperate conditions. Now soon the whole world is going to be that way, and it's going to be very tough to do.] …In the same way also, faith… [and remember, that is believing faith] …if it does not have works, is dead, by itself" (vs 14, 16)—or as the King James says, 'being alone.' And the basic thrust of all Protestantism is you believe and faith alone is all that's necessary. You don't have to keep the commandments. You don't have to keep the laws of God. You don't have to keep the Sabbath. You don't have to keep the Holy Days, etc., etc.—a complete absolute lie!]

 Now v 18—this is the way it is in the original, here: "But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works, and I will prove my faith to you through my works." If you say you have faith in Jesus Christ then don't pray and believe, you don't have faith. If you say that you have faith in God and don't keep His commandments, you do no have faith—because it takes faith to keep the commandments of God. It takes believe that God said so, etc.

Verse 19: "Do you believe that God is one?… [How many people out there say, they believe in God, they believe in a Higher Power? If they truly believe there is a God, yet fewer and fewer are really believing that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh; that He's a the Savior of mankind, and that's the result of beating down, beating down, beating down, beating down of the things concerning Christianity of any kind—with the full help of all of those who say the laws and commandments of God have been done away. So now there are 11-percent, maybe you could say that that poll was not reliable—okay, double it, only 20-percent. And 50 years ago they used to say this was a Christian nation.

"…you believe that God is one You do well to believe this.Even the demons believe… [for all of those of you out there in atheist land, you don't believe in any God, you're not even as good as the demons—the evil, wicked spirits of this world of whom you are gladly following. They believe and tremble because they know their fate!] (now v 20—very key and important verse): …But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (vs 19-20). You have to have the good works of faith. And those are:

  •  keeping the commandments of God
  • the laws of God
  • the Sabbath and Holy Days of God
  • the tithing laws of God
  • believing what Jesus has said
  • believing that He is your Savior in the way that the Bible shows.

Then he gives an example, v 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?" There are some things, as we will see here in just a minute, you must back up your belief by works! God came and said, 'Abraham, take your only son, your only beloved son, and I want you to take him to one of the mountains of Moriah, and there I want you to offer him for a burnt offering.' So Abraham did what he was told to do. If he believed God, he was going to do what He said to do.

Now, if you believe God that He created the Sabbath Day for man, do you keep it? If you don't, you don't believe God. And whatever Christian faith you may profess is in vain. Now let's go on. "Faith without works is dead! Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?…. [Remember what happened: right at the last minute when he was ready to take the knife and perform the sacrifice of Isaac for a burnt offering, that's when God intervened and rescued. But he believed God all the way through! That's what's important to understand and realize.] …Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected?…. [now, we'll see how this comes in just a little bit.] …And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Now Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'; and he was called a friend of God" (vs 20-23).

Now then, let's go to Romans 4 because there are times when the 'work' that you're required to do is to believe Godbecause He asks you to do something that is beyond your capacity to do. Now just put in your notes there: Gen. 15—we've covered that many times. Now if you don't have Covenants of Abrahamand God, this is recounting the occasion when God took Abraham out at night and showed him the stars of heaven. Now He had just told him, before they went outside: 'You're going to have son who's going to come your own loins.' Abraham was already 75 and his wife was, I think at that time, 65. And He waited another 25 years before He fulfilled it. Now after He had promised that he would have a son from his own body, and through his wife, Sarah, He took him out and said, 'Abraham, I want you to look up here at the stars.' So he looked up at the stars and God said to him, 'Are you able to number and count these stars?' And of course, he couldn't. And God said to him, 'So shall your seed be.' And he believed God! Because nothing could even begin, in the fulfilling of that promise, until Isaac was born. Right? Yes! So there are times you believe when there is not a work to do, but when there are works to do, you do them and that perfects your faith.

Now here, let's come over here to Romans 4:17—now this is also a good example of what? Do not look at the impossible, physical circumstances about you, because God is always able to change physical circumstances. "(Exactly as it is written: 'I have made you a father of many nations.') before God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not as though they are… [So this is what he believed. He said, 'If God said so, it will be!'] …And who against hope believed in hope… [And sometimes we get right down to that. The only thing there is left is believe and hope because God said so. And in many cases, that exactly where God wants you to be so you can believe in Him the way you ought to.] …in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, 'So shall your seed be'…. [pointing to the stars of heaven.] …And he, not being weak in the faith, considered not his own body, already having become dead, being about one hundred years old, nor did he consider the deadness of Sarah's womb… [God did the impossible to show by faith and by His action that God will do what He has said! And this is what we need to carry with us when we come before God in prayer.] …And he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief; rather, he was strengthened in the faith, giving glory to God…" (vs 17-20).

That's how your strengthened in faith—you give all the glory to God. You pray for His will, you leave it in His hands, you let Him do it in His timing and His circumstance and His way. And even if things look like they're way beyond anything that can be done. And let's look at it this way: God is not going to prolong the physical life of those saints who are being perfected because His goal is to have them be faithful unto death and put them in the grave. So even though we may pray that God will raise up someone who's on their deathbed, if God does that's fine; but we pray according to His will. If it's God's will to take them and put them in the grave, in their place of safety, then that's God's will. And they're going to be resurrected, so the next thing they're going to know is they're going to hear their name called and come up out of the grave with a new body, a new mind and being spirit beings. So we also need to understand that—'giving glory to God.' That's what we need to do concerning situations like that.

Verse 21: "For he was fully persuaded… [I think I gave a sermon on that long, long ago, called: Are You Fully Persuaded? It's in one of our care packages. Are you? Are you really persuaded? Or, is 'religion'—and I use that term—convenient for you so that you can be a nicer person? God doesn't want us to be evil people, that's for sure. But hey, how many, let's be nicer, more good people in the world are there filling the Protestant pews every Sunday. You have to be fully persuaded] …that what He has promised, He is also able to do…. [Has the power to do it!] …As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness" (vs 21-22).

Now, after Isaac was born guess what? He said, 'Well, the promise of the child in the flesh is here.' But God also promised that the physical seed would be as the sands of the seashore. Now Abraham lived to see Jacob born, for two years. So all he saw of the promise of physical seed was Isaac and Jacob as a baby—then he died. What did God do? From Jacob came 12 sons. And from the 12 sons came the 12 tribes of Israel. And from the 12 tribes of Israel came a host of millions!—that in the end-time constitute the most powerful nations on earth. Now the greater promise was the promise of the stars in heaven, which then is the spiritual seed, which is what we are when we attain to the resurrection of the dead. So, I tell you, this is something!

Now here's a lesson, v 23: "But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; rather, it was also written for our sakes, to whom it shall be imputed—to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead…" (vs 23-25). So God imputes to His righteousness to us IF we believe!

Now let's see some other things if we believe and then we'll look at some other aspects of it. Let's come to John 5:34: "Now I do not receive witness from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved…. [He's talking to the Pharisees—very important religious leaders of Judaism. And He's talking in relationship to John the Baptist. Oh yes, everyone wants to go out and be a part of something.] (speaking of John): …He was a burning and shining light, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light…. [Oh yes, this must be fulfilling of prophecy of God. So they all went down there and what did John say? 'You brood of vipers. Who has warned you to flee the wrath to come?' He called them to repentance. So the political, double-minded people backed away.] …But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works that the Father gave Me to complete, the very works that I am doing, themselves bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, Who sent Me, has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form at any time" ( vs 34-37).

And in John 3:13 it says, 'No one has ascended to heaven.' So if you think that when you die your soul is going to go to heaven, you've got another surprise coming. It ain't gonna go there! Now key—this key to faith and belief. That's why prayer is the first spiritual pillar of answered prayer: belief and all the things with it. The second pillar is study, so you know the Word of God. You can't know and believe the Word of God unless you study! How are you going to know unless you read what He says.

Now notice what He says here, v 38: "And you… [all those religious leaders with all their long robes and phylacteries and all their ritual things and you] …do not have His word dwelling in you… [The Word of God has got to live in you—it's the living Word of God. And God says that He's going to write His laws and commandments and statutes and judgments in our hearts and in our minds. He's going to inscribe them upon our minds and hearts—a part of our very being. Now, isn't it something, the religious leaders didn't have the Word of God dwelling in them? How are they going to represent God if they don't? How are they going to teach the way of God if they don't? That's why they had their own traditions of Judaism.] …for you do not believe Him Whom He has sent." You got to believe in Jesus. Not only believe Him, believe on Him, believe who He was and who He is.

He gives them a challenge: v 39—so you think this over: "You search the Scriptures… [Do you do that? Do you search the Scriptures? They undoubtedly took this as an insult because they said, 'Well, we know the Scriptures and we know more than that. And we've got all these great traditions of ours which are better than the Word of God.'] …You search the Scriptures for in them you think that you have eternal life… [you can apply that to any so-called Christian religion of the world. You have the Bible. Do you read it? Do you search the Scriptures? You think that you have eternal life and you think that your soul is going to heaven when you die. And the Bible everywhere teaches the resurrection. Why do you believe a false doctrine? Because you don't have the Word of God dwelling you, just like those religious leaders. You may be religious, you may be devout, you may claim to be a Christian, but you are not!—anymore than these religious leaders were the followers of God.] …You think that you have eternal life; and they are the ones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life…. [You have to come to Christ. You don't open your heart and He jumps in and you zip Him in and now you have Christ in your heart. You come to Christ in repentance, in humility, acknowledgment of sin and ask for forgiveness.] …I do not receive glory from men…" (vs 39-41).

You look at any of these religious leaders in the world—especially the top religious leaders of the world—they run around in their gowns and their hats and their capes and all of this sort of thing. And everyone is honoring them, bowing down to them, giving obedience to them. Jesus didn't.

Verse 42: "But I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves…. [A lot of people say, 'O, yes, I love the Lord. Praise the Lord, He did away with the law.' NO! You don't love Him. You don't have a clue. You're in spiritual ignorant land.] …You do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me… [Now, can you picture a little, skinny, feminine, long-haired—just weakling—saying these words: 'Oh, I know that you don't have the love of God in you. Oh please do.' NO!] …I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name, you will receive him…. [because you're political] …How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?… [Huh! How are you?] (now after He got done saying all of this, He said): …Do not think that I will accuse you… [present tense, because Moses is active and always ongoing. If you don't believe it, look at the Ten Commandment and all the penalties that people automatically suffer because they break them.] …to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, in whom you have hope. (v 46, key): …But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" (vs 42-47).

So when you come to God and have faith and belief—if you believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ you have to believe in a substantive way, with power, with the strength of God's Holy Spirit, backed up by works, backed up by commandment-keeping.

Now let's come over here to John 6:33 for just a moment. Let's talk about the Word of God, because I said, we need to believe in the Word of God—correct? Yes! "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life." That's why you have to believe what God has said and believe that God is.

Now let's come over here to John 12:42—this is quite an interesting exchange here, between the religious leaders, the Pharisees. Remember, He called them hypocrites. He called them snakes in the grass. He called them of their father, the devil. Now you think of that in relationship to all the religions of the world. Where did they come from? And think about this for a minute, too: It's very important in prayer: Jesus said, 'I am the way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me.' So any man who says there are many roads to God and we're all going to the same place is true only in the sense that they may all be going to the lake of fire to be burned up. But you're not coming to the true God.

Now, let's look at these sleazy politicians and religious garb—which many of them are. John 12:42: "But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue…. ['Ohhh, you're going to put us out if we say we believe in Jesus. What'll I do? I won't have the recognition. I won't have my seat on the Sanhedrin. I won't be able to have anyone call me 'Rabbi' anymore.' But God will love you!] …For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. Then Jesus called out and said, 'The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me…. [That's why I said, you have to believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ and believe what They say—key to answered prayer!] …And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Memay not remain in darkness" (vs 42-46).

Let's turn that around the other way. If you don't believe in the true Jesus, the way that the Bible says you ought to believe in Him—in faith and with God's Spirit—you are in varying degrees of darkness. So if you're in the light, you're turned around and walking away from it, you're coming to the 'twilight zone.' And isn't that the music that they have—yes, you're right on your way.

Now notice, v 47: "But if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world…. [At that time, He didn't come to judge the world, but He came to judge the Jews. He came to judge the Pharisees. He came to judge sinners.] …but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word which I have spoken… [Now, when it says 'the word' that means everything that He has ever spoken and said.] …that shall judge him in the last day…. [So, whether you believe in God or not, you're going to answer to Him one day; and you're either going to repent or you're going into a lake of fire—and that's just the way that it is! And you shall be burned up, become ashes and shall never again exist. Here's the reason why:] …For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself, what I should say and what I should speak…. [That's why you are to believe it.] …And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me'" (vs 47-50).

So think about this, you who don't believe in God. You reject these words! God the Father is going to judge you Himself with the very words that you reject, because you're perfectly capable of reading it.

Now let's come to Mark, the ninth chapter. This is a very interesting thing here, because what do you do when you find yourself weak in the faith? How do you solve that problem?—very key, important thing that you need to do. This is after He gave the vision of transfiguration to Peter, James and John and they were returning. Mark 9:14: "And after returning to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and the scribes disputing with them. And all the people who saw Him ran to Him at once in great amazement and saluted Him. And He asked the scribes, 'What are you disputing with them?' Then one from the multitude said, 'Master, I brought my son who has a dumb spirit to You; for wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and gnashes his teeth, and is withering away. And I spoke to Your disciples, in order that they might cast it out, but they did not have the power.' And He [Jesus] answered him, saying, 'O faithless generation!… [He's not only talking to the people there, but also to His disciples.] …How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.' Then they brought him to Him. But when the spirit saw Him, it immediately threw him into convulsions; and he fell down on the ground and began rolling about and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, 'How long a time has this demon been with him?' And he said, 'From childhood. For it often throws him both into the fire and into the water, that it might destroy him. But if You have the power to do anything, have compassion on us and help us.' And Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to the one who believes'" (vs 14-23). Very important to understand.

"And the father of the little child cried out at once, saying with tears, 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief'…. [So that's what you do if you're lacking in faith. You ask God help you overcome your lack of faith. Help you overcome your lack of belief.] …Then Jesus, seeing that the multitude was running together, rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, 'You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you to come out of him, and you are not allowed to go into him anymore!' And after crying out and throwing him into severe convulsions, it came out; and he became as dead, so much so that many said, 'He is dead.' But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He came into a house, His disciples asked Him apart, 'Why were we not able to cast it out?' Then He said to them, 'This kind cannot be made to go out by anything except prayer and fasting'" (vs 24-29).

Now we'll talk about this a little bit more next time, because the key to overcoming, the lack of faith is prayer and fasting.

Old Testament Scriptures from the King James Version
New Testament Scriptures from The New Testament in Its Original Order—A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Peter 3:11-18
  • Daniel 3:1-5, 8, 12-28
  • 1 John 5:14-15
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • John 8:42-59
  • James 1:1-8
  • James 2:5, 14, 16-23
  • Romans 4:17-25
  • John 5:34-47
  • John 6:63
  • John 12:42-50
  • Mark 9:14-29

 Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 11
  • Matthew 10
  • Genesis 15
  • John 3:13

Also referenced:

Books:

  • The Day Jesus, the Christ, Died by Fred R. Coulter
  • Occult Holiday or God's Holy Days, Which? by Fred R. Coulter

Sermons: 

  • I AM
  • Why God Hates Religion
  • Covenants of Abraham and God
  • Are You Fully Persuaded?

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 11-6-07
Reformatted: 12-01-09

 

BOOKS