Fred R. Coulter—June 2, 2007

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Now the other night I was watching the History Channel and they have a series on there, Modern Marvels. I don't know if any of you watched Modern Marvels but I was watching a high-tech Modern Marvels. They have so many high-tech things it is really astounding, and they are working with what is called 'nano-technology.' When that first came out, what, about ten years ago? somewhere around there—they just discovered how they could build things an atom at a time. And they said, 'Well, this is going revolutionize everything.' Well, I haven't heard too much about it until watching this Modern Marvels—High Tech. They now have RFIDs that are as small as dust. So if they want to track someone, all they have to do is just hit them with a dust bullet—in other words it will dust and splatter on them—and even if they brush it off they can track you wherever you go. And they also have—with videos now—with nano-technology they're going to be able to make…now I've got here this clear plastic, which is probably about 8-10 mm thick. Well, with nano-technology they can give high-definition, brilliant color on plastic that is 3 mm thick. They can also with that same technology put a chip in the eye of someone who has macular degeneration and they can hook it up to the nerves and it will impulse light to the nerves—light and color.

And then they showed brain implants—and they have brain implants. They showed this one paraplegic who could not move—and it's rather primitive from the point of view that they have to have the metal projecting out of the top of his head and then they screw in like a television cable into that and run it through a machine; and then have a screen with a cursor on it. And he is able to sit there and think—the cursor up, down, right, left—just by thinking, because they are now able to pick up the brain waves. And they know where the part of the brain is that controls that kind of thinking. And they even showed where they hooked him up, where they had a prosthetic hand and he thought it opened, close, open, close, just by thinking and running through the machine.

Then there was another one—and this gets interesting because it ties in with the potential of the mark of the beast. There was this man who was doing the same thing, not with a chip in the head, but his was more sophisticated. His was a band that he put around his head and on the forehead he had four electromagnetic sensors. And with it, he could move the cursor around the screen. If he wanted it to go up, move his eyebrow up. If he wanted it to go down he would move his eyebrow down. If he wanted it go right he'd move his eye right. If he wanted it to go left he'd move his eye left. And I thought, man, look at all that men are able to do—really quite a thing! And it just projects forward to help us understand even more the mark of the beast.

Question from the audience: Are they working on something to help those with spinal-cord injuries? Yes! So much so that they are able to even construct clothes that you can put on which will give you extra strength that you can lift five times what you normally would. And you tie that together with some of the battle equipment that they're making.

Comment from the audience: That's like the Six-Million Dollar Man, which was what, 15 years ago they had that as a favorite television program?—the world's first bionic man. Well, they're on the verge of doing those things. And you combine that with what they have militarily and then you re-read Joel 2 where they run straight on their path and nothing deters them—they run on the wall, they leap into the windows, they go through the houses. And then you read Rev. 8 where this army of 200-million is just invincible.

And I think that God is going to let man reach the ultimate that he can reach—technologically—so that he can think and suppose that he can even overcome God! Because the question always comes up: Are men really stupid enough to fight against God?! Yes, but if they think have all these invincible high-tech things; yes, they will say 'Yes, we can overcome that, look what we can do.' Plus the delusion of Satan the devil thrown in there.

And I got to thinking, and the comment was made, we're at the point of the Tower of Babel—anything we can imagine to do we can do, as far as human beings are concerned. And you see why God had to restrain man until the end. And also the comment was made that if men think they can overcome angels then they might be deluded to think they can overcome God. So how far away is the end-time? Well, we need not only to look to prophecy, but we also need to look to technology. But here is what struck me: All of us who have the Spirit of God have a higher technology that men cannot understand and a greater power with the Spirit of God. And our tools are:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the Word of God
  • and prayer

And prayer is really a very specialized, Godly, high-tech—if we could put it that way. That we receive the Spirit of God—and we'll plug in some Scriptures here and look at these things—and see how God has given us something greater than all the high-tech of men!—though we may be the few and the weak of the world. So let's come to John, the fourth chapter, and just like all technology we'll call the key to answered prayer: God's Spiritual High-Tech Blessing that He Gives to Us. Because in spite of all the high-tech that men have, they can't understand God; they don't know who God is; they don't know where He is; they don't know what He's doing.

As a matter of fact, they all reject Him. And of course, the Bible says that 'they're fools while they imagine themselves to be wise' and able to do and make all of these things. So it's an incredible thing. All right, here's the key: Let's pick it up here in John 4:21—when He answered the woman: "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship…. [And the world doesn't because they all worship Satan the devil—one form or the other.] …We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews…. [And of course, it came through Jesus Who was of the tribe of Judah, the house of David.] …But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth… [and that brethren, is higher than any high-tech of men. Think of that! Well look at that a little bit more here.] …for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth'" (vs 21-24)

So this is why prayer becomes so important, because it is the key to the relationship that we have with God. That's why in Rom. 1:18 it says 'the just shall live by faith—from faith unto faith.' So it comes from God to us and from us back to God. And that's why prayer is so important because we keep this relationship always going.

Now let's see what else this relationship does. Let's come here to Romans, the eighth chapter. And we also have something beyond what any man can invent or do; or chip or technology; or secret formula or whatever—that men, without the Spirit of God, have no understanding concerning. This is what needs to be in our lives—isn't that something?

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God…. [Now that's as high-tech as you can get—isn't it? God to lead you? But He still gives you free choice. He doesn't put a chip in your brain, but He puts the seed of His Spirit in your brain; and unites with the spirit of man that you have already, which He's given to all human beings—so that you can have the contact with God, that God can lead you, lead your thoughts. This is why we 'bring every thought into captivity to Christ and cast down vain imaginations.'] (now v 15): …Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear…" (vs 14-15).

And that's what all of this is coming about, with this high-tech, to put people in bondage! When you take away choice and Godly character, and you reject God and you reject His laws and reject His commandments, then you must have control of lawlessness so that things don't get out of hand—and that's where the mark of the beast is going to come in. And it will be like we have said for years: not just identification. It is for control! And every one of these research things that they showed. And this was probably a two-year-old—maybe not quite two-year-old presentation on History Channel—but everything that they do is to control people. Whereas, God has it this way: He's given you choice and He wants you, by your choice and if you have the Spirit of God, with His Spirit to choose what is right. That way then, it is a joint participation between you and God. Not only just in prayer, but the way you live, because prayer is the maintenance of your relationship with God.Study is the fuel of God's Word that He gives to you, so that you can be led by His Word and Spirit to live your life the way that God wants you to. Rather than "…Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father.'" (v 15).

Now, let's come to 1-John, the third chapter, because this is important for us—hold your place here in Rom. 8 because we'll come back. 1-John 3 and let's see that there's a dividing line, has always been a dividing line between the children of God and the children of the devil. And there are the children of the devil that consist of those who worship him; those who follow him though they may not worship him; those who live in his society and go along with what he says, etc. But they all fit into the category of transgressing the commandments of God. Now let's look at the difference here. We will come all the way down, we'll go through the first ten verses—because we need to understand how God views us.

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!…. [Now, there's nothing greater that you can be in this life. There's nothing greater that you can receive in this life than that. And it's very interesting: Children here comes from the Greek 'teknon'—which means the begotten children of God. Your very children; not adoption, but God's very children.] …For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him…. [So they have all of their high-tech devices to try and get an upper hand—correct? Yes!] …Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be… [We don't yet know, but it's fantastic!] …but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2).

So we wait for the change and the resurrection to become like God. Whereas today, men: What do they do? They want to become like God through their high-tech. So, quite a comparison, isn't it? Now you know, 50 years ago we couldn't make this comparison, but today we can. Now here's what we are to do:

Verse 3: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure." So this shows the daily growing, overcoming; add in there the whole aspect of prayer and keeping the commandments of God, and so forth. Now, compare this. Now here's the comparison. So you have:

  • The children of God—vs 1-3
  • The children of the devil, beginning v 4

 "…Everyone who practices sin… [lives in sin—sin as a way of life. Now that's differentiated between Rom. 7, where we sin because of the weakness of the flesh, where we sin because of the law of sin and death in us, and we're not intending to. These are the ones who live in sin and the ones who practice it the most highly do so with both hands earnestly with all their heart, all their mind, to seek out and do and worship Satan the devil is the ultimate in it.] …Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness" (vs 3-4).

In the King James it says that 'sin is the transgression of the law.' But it's more than just the transgression of the law, that's why the Greek is lawlessness. Because it means this: Men have the carnal proclivity and vanity of thinking that they can improve on God. And all you have to do, if you want to search, go online and look up various versions of the Ten Commandments. Look up humanism. Look up the human manifesto. And they all have their commandments of what they think are better than God's. So, lawlessness is a more accurate translation of it because it brings more than just transgressing of the law.

Verse 5: "And you know that He appeared in order that He might take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Everyone who dwells in Him… [if you're dwelling in Christ. And the key verse here is v 4, because it is 'practices.' And that follows all the way down through the context.] (v 6): …Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin… [doesn't mean he cannot sin, because that would be contrary to what John even wrote in 1-John 5] …anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him…. [That's why it means 'practice' all the way through.] …Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous…. [And you can just put in your margin there, Rom. 8:1-3. We have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.] …The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning…. [So, we have 'practices sin'; 'practice righteousness.'] …For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil" (vs 5-8).

Now, that one statement stretches all the way from what? When Satan rebelled until he's put away, as we find in Rev. 20. That one verse includes the whole Bible. Isn't that amazing!

Now, v 9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed… ['spermatos' from which we get the word in English sperm, for the male impregnation of the egg.] … His seed of begettal is dwelling within him… [everyone who has the Spirit of God] …and he is not able to practice sin… [does not mean he cannot. Why is he not able to 'practice sin'? Well because what happens when you sin? You're what? You're convicted in conscience.Your heart pricks you. And even if you go along for a while and fool yourself and get involved in things you ought not for the time being, God's Spirit nevertheless is going to keep pricking at your conscience, pricking at your conscience to lead you to repentance. To let you know you can't live that way!] (now v 10, key verse): …By this standard… [and the Greek there is 'en toutoo'—so you have to furnish the word there which is standard—then means 'by this means'; 'by this standard'; 'by this way.'] …are manifest… [now, this is before God; and also, in some aspects, before the world.] …are manifest the children of God and the children of the devil…. [So he has his children. And these are the tares of Matt.13 ] …Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God… [and what is 'righteousness'? Keeping the commandments of God. Worshipping God in spirit and in truth.] …and neither is the one who does not love his brother" (vs 9-10).

So that's quite a thing when we understand it. So here we have this greater high-tech than anything that men can do: the Spirit of God; begettal of the Holy Spirit of God. Now, let's come back here to Romans, the eighth chapter and let's see what this does for us.

Romans 8:16—and we'll see all of this ties in with prayer. "The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit… [So, God's Spirit works with us. Because the truth is, human beings in the flesh, without the Spirit of God, are not complete. God made us to receive the Spirit of God—so we're not complete.] …conjointly with our own spirit… [works together with us] …testifying that we are the children of God. Now if we are children, we are also heirs… [So you tie that in with what we just did back there in 1-John 3.] …—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—… [Doesn't everyone want to be the greatest that they can be? What does every society try to do? Make itself bigger, stronger, better, greater than every other society. And they can't do it. But here, we have the greatest goal laid out for us, being the children of God and joint heirs with Christ. Now, we're still 'looking through a glass darkly,' but what does that mean? Well, since Christ is going to inherit the universe, that means that God has been preparing the universe for His Family. And when New Jerusalem comes down to the earth, we're going to have new heavens and a new earth. So that is a fantastic thing.

Now notice, living in this world there's something we have to go through and this is why we need to maintain our relationship with Christ in prayer. "…if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God…" (vs 17-19). So everything that man is trying to do to make the world a better place, to make people a better place, to get everyone together, to get rid of war, to have people love each other, is not going to be accomplished by human means, but is going to be accomplished by God and He has called us to do that. Amazing, isn't it!

I was watching that, I was thinking: My, my! Look at all those high-tech things, and then it dawned on me. Hey, that's nothing compared to what God is going to do for us. That is nothing compared to what God has already given us.

"Because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God…. [And we are going to have to start out, as we know, in bringing the government and rule of God on the earth with the earth absolutely in near destruction.] …For we know that all the creation is groaning together and travailing together until now. And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves, awaiting the sonship—the redemption of our bodies. For by hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is not hope…" (vs 20-24).

That's why you can't possibly be born again now, because you've already fulfilled the hope. It's over with, you need nothing else. And that's the way the Protestants pretty well approach it. If you have this simple little formula and say this simple little prayer, and you feel good in your heart, you've got it made and there's nothing else for you to do because Christ finished it. Not so!

Question is: why does it say, 'were saved'? Well, there are three steps to being saved:

  • Eph. 2: You're saved from your sins and Satan—'have been saved.'
  • 1-Cor. 15: We are being saved if we're standing in the Gospel.
  • We shall be saved—that is at the resurrection.

So here it says, 'by hope we were saved' because you believed in forgiveness of sin; you believed in Christ; you believed in His sacrifice—and now you're in the process of being saved. So as long as you're in right standing with God, you have been saved. But you have to also endure to the end. It ties together. Then he goes on to explain it here: That even though you are saved, you still haven't had the finality of that salvation.

"…but hope that is seen is not hope; for why would anyone still be hoping for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we ourselves wait for it with patience. Now in the same way… [here's where prayer comes in] …also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses… [God's Spirit helps us, working together. That ties in there with v 16—conjointly, working together.] …because we do not fully understand what we should pray for… [So prayer becomes sometimes a difficult thing.] …according as it is necessary, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be expressed by us…. [This is not speaking in tongues, because any noise that you can make come out of your mouth, you're expressing it—correct?—even if it's babble. So this is the Spirit conveying to God the innermost feelings of our heart, of our minds, of our desire; and strips away, what you might say, all of the carnality and humanness that we're fighting against, and brings to God the deep, innermost things that we feel. And there will be times when you will experience that in profound ways. There will be other times when you won't.] (Then he goes on here): …cannot be expressed by us. And the one Who searches the hearts comprehends what the strivings of the Spirit are because it makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (vs 24-27).

Then He gives us hope. Isn't it interesting that he starts out with hope—right? and he ends up with hope—v 28. Always remember this. Sometimes in faith you have to go through it because you can't see the end of it, but nevertheless: "And we know… [and this is part of the faith, part of the hope] …that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Everything works together for good. Even the difficulties and things that we come across; even the trials that we go through. And the reason is, because we have the Spirit of God; we have the hope of God.

Plus, as we've seen, let's come back here to Hebrews 10—and this is what God has given to us. This is how the Holy Spirit works within us, works conjointly with the spirit of man that we have, which has the begettal of God's Spirit so that we can become the sons and children of God. And also, with the Spirit of Christ in us—because there are two aspects to the Holy Spirit of God: Spirit of Christ to give us the mind of Christ; the begettal of God the Father so that we can become His children.

Now, let's pick it up here in Hebrews 10:15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us… [The Spirit does that by convicting us; by leading us; by guiding us—and the Holy Spirit works with us] …for after He had previously said, 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds… [That's the process of overcoming, that the reason for study, that why we learn the Word of God. And that's why it is 'here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept'—that God builds it in our mind—as we pointed out previously—much like the potter molding the clay. God is working with us. And what is in your heart and in your mind is how you act—is that not correct? Yes! So the more that you have of God's Spirit and His laws and His Word and so forth, the more that you are going to have the mind of Christ. Now, here's a promise. This is why Paul also wrote that you are saved and that you stand before God righteous.] …And their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again'" (vs 15-17).

That's why each day's a new day. That's why whatever difficulty you had yesterday, don't drag it in to today. Whatever problems you have today, don't drag it into tomorrow. "…will not remember ever again." Now this then is the encouragement that we get from God. And why prayer is really a Godly, high-tech operation.

"Now where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh)… [To come right into the Holy of Holies. That is as high-tech as it can be—isn't it? Yes! To have your prayers and your very presence and being, through your heart and mind and God's Spirit, come right before God! That's astounding—isn't it? I'd like to see History Channel and Modern Marvels try and portray this. Never happen!] …And having a great High Priest over the house of God…" (vs 18–21). Who has been perfected. Who has overcome death. And all the high-tech ability of men cannot what? Give them what they want, right? That is to live forever! That's what they strive for.

Verse 22—comes into the whole thing concerning prayer. See now, when you have these things in your mind, and these concepts that you understand when you come before God and pray:

  • You're going to want to pray
  • You're going to believe when you pray
  • You're going to realize that it is coming before God and that you can expect an answer according to the will of God. Not our will, but God's will, in God's way, in His time, accordingly as He decides

So it says: "Let us approach God with a true heart… [Because you have to, you can't fool God! That's why confession to a Catholic priest is futile. Everyone who's a Catholic, I always ask them, I say: 'Well, when you went into the confessional booth and you confessed to the priest, did you really tell him the whole story?' And the universal answer is:, 'Never!' That's why we have a great High Priest.] …Let us approach God with a true heart with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water." Going right back to baptism and your covenant with God. So that's about as high-tech as you can get.

Now, when this is how we look at things and our perspective, notice what it does, v 23: "Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess… [See how that ties in with Rom. 8] …for He Who promised is faithful…" God is true, yet, what do men do? First thing they do is say God is a liar, that God didn't mean it.

Comment was made which is true: Yes, God has built into every man that he wants to live forever. Every woman wants to live forever. And think of it this way: Just stop and see if you can contemplate. Can you contemplate when you did not exist? No! Even though that you know that you're going to die, you cannot contemplate when and how you may die. Which, with the spirit of man that God has given into man, because it's spirit and not flesh, God has given us just by nature a desire to live forever. And that's why all religions have some form of 'to live forever.' And Satan comes along and says, 'Ah-ha, live forever like me.'

All right, now let's come to Hebrews 6:11 and let's understand something here that is fantastic when we realize it. He's talking about how complacent that they got—so here's the message to all you Laodiceans out there, ya'll met who you are, because you are, and God holds out to you to repent. So he says: Hebrews 6:11: "But we earnestly desire that every one of you be demonstrating the same diligence, unto the full assurance of the hope until the end; So that you do not become lazy, but that you be imitators of those who through faith and steadfast endurance inherit the promises" (vs 11-12) Looking back to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph, to Moses, all the way down the line.

Verse 13: "For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself… [Now you see you're part of what God did, to swear by Himself.] …since He could swear by none greater, Saying, 'Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you'…. [Now, being down toward the end of the age, we can look back and say, 'Wow! God has really done it!' But it's not finished until we're done with the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment—the Last Great Day—because all of those are going to come from the promise that was given to Abraham. So this is staggering!] …Now after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise…. [That is of a son; and he lived long enough to see Jacob two years old. And that was it. So he saw Isaac, Jacob and Esau.] (v 16) : …For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them…. [Well, that isn't…unless they're all liars] …In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose… [God isn't going to change His mind. If we follow along with all the 'ifs' and we do what God says:

  • love Him
  • believe in Him
  • hope in Him
  • maintain our relationship with Him
  • grow in grace and knowledge, and all of that

…of His own purpose confirmed it by an oath; So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie… [God cannot lie! God does not have the ability to lie, because He is Truth and love and power.] …we who have fled for refuge… [we need a lot of that today—don't we?] …might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul… [Now, if you've got a huge anchor you're not going anywhere.] …both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil; where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 13-20).

So there you have the operation of God's fantastic high-tech operation between Him and His saints. Now, let's see how this works in operation concerning prayer.

Now let's continue on and see how this fits in with prayer. Let's come back to where we started the series. Let's come back to Matthew 6 and we work our way down through the model prayer. And we'll look at some other aspects of the model prayer and see how that fits in with praying; and then we will tie it in with the Psalms and see how we can use the Psalms in our prayer life for our benefit in helping us to be able to pray better, draw closer to God. Also see all the different circumstances that David faced as a, we might say, a prototype on some of the things that we would face and how he handled them and prayed about them so that will relate to us.

Now, let's come to Matthew 6:13: "…but rescue us from the evil one…" We have to be rescued from Satan and only God can do that. That what is there means the evil one; and also can mean evil circumstances—that's why the King James translates it evil rather than evil one.

But let's look at some of the things that we can use, that we can do that will help us. Now, we'll come back here in just a minute and look at some of these other things as well. Let's come to Colossians, the first chapter. God is the only one Who can rescue us from the evil one because He's the only one Who has the power. We cannot do it ourselves. Any man thinking he can stand against Satan, by himself, without the Spirit of God, without the Word of God, without the power of God to rebuke him and get rid of him, is just kidding himself. It will never, never, never happen!

Now, Colossian 1:10—and Paul writes this: "That you may walk worthily… [Now see, there's the responsibility for us. We all have to take responsibility for our lives, to live in God's way, to live in His truth, to keep His commandments, to maintain our relationship with Him, so forth] …of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God…" So this shows a progressive, growing grace, strengthening and all of these things. That's why, in keeping the Sabbath—and I think it's true, that if you go to church where it's a boring Sabbath, you're going to have a boring spiritual life. Because a boring Sabbath—especially when the minister is there and supposed to teach—indicates that he's not growing in grace and knowledge to really teach the people how to grow in grace and knowledge, and growing in the Spirit of God, so that there can be the fullness of growth, the use of God's Spirit and everything like that. Otherwise it just becomes, degenerates into a social club. And too many people only go to church because of the people that they associate with, rather than understanding that the Sabbath has primarily, first of all to do with your relationship with God. And that we always have to constantly be growing.

Now, let's look at it this way: Another thing that we can understand concerning "in growing." Is it possible, through however long you live, to develop the character of God unless you're constantly working at it and growing in knowledge? The answer is: No! And this again [is] why all the Laodiceans out there, which includes all of us because we all were. And if you think that your past association was with the 'Philadelphia' Church of God, you're all mistaken; because it says there in the Greek that you've "grown rich and increased with goods." And so, what you need to realize is this: if you're not doing that, "…being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; [and v 11]: Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy."

So if you're not doing this, then you're only kidding yourself. So don't 'wax eloquent' against the Catholics and their ritual, or against other churches and what they do—because you may be doing the same thing, only worse—if you're bored because of the Sabbath and the Holy Days of God then you're in worse condition than those in the Christianity of this world because they don't know. But we do know. So that's why Christ holds out to the Laodiceans: Repent and be zealous! And here's another reason for it: v 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified… [He's the one Who makes us qualified: by His Spirit, by His Truth, by His Word, through Christ] …for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light; Who has personally rescued us… [God has to do it!] …from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love…" (vs 10-13). So God is the one Who has to rescue us from it, you see. And then it goes through explaining about the forgiveness of sin and so forth.

Now let's understand being rescued from evil situations. Let's come to 1-Corinthians, the tenth chapter, because we have to be rescued from Satan the devil, but we also have to be rescued from evil situations. God does this, too, and He gives us a promise. So if you're going through a trial or difficulty that appears to be too much for you, in your prayers claim this promise: that God will not lay upon you more than you are able to bear, though you may come to a point where you feel like you can't take any more! Now, why does God want us to come to that point? Very simple: so we trust in Him.That's why. And know that there's certain things we need to do.

Now, 1-Corinthians 10:10—we won't go through the whole litany of it, but: "Neither should we complain against God… [If you're complaining against God then you need to change you're whole approach to God.] …as some of them also complained, and were killed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples… [That's why we need to know and understand, as much as possible, the Old Testament as well as the New. And I think if you go back and read over and over and over again, that these are examples for us so that we realize that you cannot accomplish spiritual things by carnal means. And if you don't have the Spirit of God then everything is going to end up constantly like it happened to the children of Israel. It just will.] …and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming. Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall…. [So we always need to do that.] (v 13—this is how it ties in with overcoming evil situations): …No temptation has come upon you except what is common to mankind…. [Now, when it happens to us, we think it's the worst possible. And then, somewhere along the line you're going to see someone who's in worse circumstances than you. So]: …common to mankind. For God, Who is faithful, will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able tobear… [He's not going to let it happen. But you also to have to be willing, too.] …but with the temptation, He will make a way of escape…" (vs 10-13). Which means you must take the way out—and that is God's way.

Classic example is crossing the Red Sea. Everything was impossible. There they were in evil circumstances. God deliberately brought them there. There they were. They couldn't swim across the Red Sea—that would be impossible. And Pharaoh and his armies—you could say symbolized Satan and the demons—were coming after them, and so God rescued them and they had to take the way out, which was across the Red Sea, as God provided. So He provided a way out; a way of escape. "…so that you may be able to bear it" (v 13).

So whatever your circumstances are, in prayer—when you have a trial and difficulty—ask God to show you the way out. Ask God to show you how to overcome. And then ask Him to bless you in your efforts to overcome it, because it can be. And sometimes we get so frustrated that we just don't do what is set before us in the way that we ought to do it, and then we wonder why the trial continues. So we need to consider that, too.

Now, let's see something else right along this line. Let's come here to Romans, the seventh chapter. Same way, "deliver from evil." So we have here 1-Cor. 10 as being delivered from evil, trying circumstances. Now, Romans 7, we have to be delivered from our own law of 'sin and death'—which is in us! And God has provided that way, too. So God has given us the way on how we can do this.

Now let's pick it up here in Romans 7:12—after he was going through and saying that what a lot of people do, 'Well the law is sin.' He said, 'May it never be! The law is not sin.': [He says v 12]: "Therefore, the law is indeed Holy, and the commandment Holy and righteous and good…. [Because it points out what sin is. And God wants you to overcome the sin. He will forgive the sin. He will rescue you from Satan the devil and all of that is part of our prayer. So you can take that model prayer of Matt. 6 and you can take each phrase and it will expand like a great tent or tabernacle including the whole Bible.] …Now then, did that which is good become death to me?…. [Because the 'wages of sin is death, and the law is good.'] …MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin, in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me… [So there comes a conviction of how sinful human nature is. Because we need to be delivered from the sin within as well, correct? Yes!] …be exposed as sin in me by that which is good… [Because  now you have a comparison between what God has said is good and what your thoughts and mind and intentions are, which are evil. And then God's Spirit—with God's Spirit—convicts you of what is wrong so you can repent.] …be exposed as sin in me by that which is good, was working out death… [In other words, the law defined the sin, the wages of sin is death, and God, with His Spirit then showing us truly what sin is, that sin] …so that, by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful" (vs 12-13). In other words, you understand the full significance and gravity of sin to the nth degree—not just say, 'Well a little sin is okay.'

Verse 14: "For we know that the law is spiritual… [to teach us spiritual things. That's why the carnal mind cannot have the laws and commandments of God written in their hearts and minds because it is spiritual; and it must be done spiritually.] …but I am carnal… [now he's talking about himself—apart from God's way, apart from God's Spirit. But just looking at himself and the futility of human nature, apart from God.] …but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin; Because what I am working out myself… [Now notice, myself—by my own!] …I do not know…. [Isn't that true? You try and work things out, and it never works out. You try and work it out your way and it doesn't come the way it needs to be—because why? You're doing it yourself apart from God!] …For what I do not desire to do… [Because everyone intends to do good] …this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (vs 14-15). So that's why he's saying: that with the laws and commandments of God, and the Spirit of God that you understand the exceedingly sinfulness of sin—and that you have got to be rescued from this.

Now, v 16: "But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good…. [Because you sin, does not change the law. It's good!] …So then, I am no longer working it out myself… [Now he understands that when self is involved, there's something else working with self to pull him down, and to cause him to do things that he really does not want to do.] …rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me…" (vs 16-17). Because the carnal mind, the carnal nature and the natural proclivities of the way of thinking and behavior and actions of human beings is sinful—though there is good mixed within it. And you can see this even with children who have not—how should we say—have not learned how to sin as human beings sin. But what happens? You see fighting, jealousy, greed, hatred, emotionalism in little children, because it's part of human nature. Now, the 'law of sin and death' within them has not come to the full, because that also likewise has to mature as people get older.

Verse 18: "Because I fully understand… [now this is 'since I'm converted.' You don't understand this until you're converted.] …that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good…. [Now we might have a nature of good and evil, but all the evil counteracts the good.] …For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good… [according to God] …I do not find. For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing… [And this is what becomes frustrating to people, and this is what causes many people to not pray as they ought to because they don't understand the conflict within that this 'law of sin and death' within they need God to rescue them from it. And it is part of overcoming.] (v 19): …but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing…. [Now think about that the next time you make a blooper. Some bloopers are little. Some bloopers are big. Some are gigantic. And think about that the next time you have the good feeling—this is a good day, everything's going right. Then something comes up and you blow your stack! Well, you didn't start out this morning and say, "Oh God, what a wonderful day. I'm going to blow my stack at 2:10 in the afternoon!" But nevertheless, and every one of us have things that we need to overcome, right?] …But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself… [there again we have 'myself.'] …but sin… [So what happens is this: the self and sin work together like a hand-in-glove] …that is dwelling within me. Consequently, I find this law in my members… [you might say this is the law of carnal nature] …that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me" (vs 16-21).

And I've found this: When I've done things that I really just do something that spiritually you know is good and right and fine and you're happy about it, next thing I know something happens and carnality catches up with me and brings me to the reality that there is evil dwelling within me and I've got to be rescued from that, as well. And that's the 'law of sin and death.'

So this is there, "…when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man… [You're not ready to give up on the law of God—of course not!] …But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind… [where the Spirit of God is] …and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members…. [So there's that struggle going on—always, always, always, always! And God uses that so that we can understand that we can't save ourselves; that we can't overcome by ourselves; that God will help us with it, but we need to desire the help of God, and so forth.] (now, v 24): …O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death?…. [Now 'save' can also be rescue there. So we need to be rescued from self and sin within.] …I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin" (vs 21-25).

And so, that puts you in really a difficult situation. And we all go through this. Let's just admit it, all of us, all together. Did we not this last week have something come along just like this where this happened? Answer: Yes! And if it didn't—wait til next week! Or tomorrow! However, don't get discouraged because this is something that God uses to help you draw close to Him in prayer to understand you need to be rescued from even yourself.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… [And we might put: who are fighting this battle to overcome the sin within.] …who are not walking according to the flesh… [if you walk according to the flesh, you have no desire to overcome the sin within. You go along with it.] …but according to the Spirit… [Because God's Spirit is leading you and guiding you and convicting you.] …Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death" (vs 1-2). You're delivered from it. And let's put it this way: On an ongoing basis—because as long as we're in the flesh, it's still there.

Now how does God do it? Verse 3: "For what was impossible for the law to do…"—because the law couldn't change human nature. Because you can't have the laws and commandments of God written in your mind unless you have the Spirit of God—because it's a spiritual thing that is taking place. So, the law just written on tables of stone, as it were, or on a piece of paper to read it—the law cannot do anything except define sin. It's all it can do. Simplest example I've used many times, I'll use it again: You come down here and there's a red sign that says 'Stop.' Now does that stop sign do anything to you if you don't stop? Does it shoot you? Does it throw down iron bars in front of you so you can't go? No! So even though going through a stop sign would be considered a minor thing, it serves as an example that there is the law—the four-letter law—which says, 'Stop!' The law can't make you do it; you have to choose. And that's why we need the Spirit of God and relationship with God through prayer so we can be rescued from the sin within.

"For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh… [And that means 'in the likeness of sin of flesh'—it's a double adjective there.] …of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh… [Now you see, that's a real key in understanding about how fantastic it was that Jesus didn't sin—because He had human nature like we do. That's how He was able to be tempted in every way like we are—yet without sin! So that was a tremendous thing that God did, so that there would be the complete victory over the 'law of sin and death' in all of those who are converted and attain to the resurrection.] …[and] condemned sin in the flesh; In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us… [And being fulfilled is a process with God's Spirit] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (vs 3-4).

Now let's look at something else—how we need to do this. Let's come to 2-Corinthians, the tenth chapter. See, God will do it for us, but we have the Spirit of God so we have our part. So we have to provide the desire. We have to provide the work. God will provide the power through His Spirit. And as we exercise God's Spirit, we may have varying degrees of success, depending on how we yield to God.

Let's pick it up here, 2-Corinthians 10:3: "For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh…. [So this is what he was describing back there in Rom. 7—the inner battle. The war within. So there's the war within. There's the war without—that is where Satan is and the enemies of God.] …we do not war according to the flesh." As I've already said: You cannot accomplish spiritual things with physical means. This is why the counterfeits come along and say: 'If all men just do good everything would be fine.' But you see, that's discounting the evil of human nature, of the 'law of sin and death' that everyone has.

Now, I've mentioned to you about this book I'm reading—it's taking me some time to go through it, but it's based on some of the Jesus Seminar things—and this woman who is writing it, she used to be a practicing Jew—she's still a genetic Jew. But she's changed her name to Ruth Rimm, and what she's doing—just like the Jesus Seminar—lowered Jesus to a prophet like Buddha and Confucius and Mohammad and take the good from all religions and put it together. So I need to finish the book, and it is called: The Lost Spiritual World for Those Who have Ears to Hear means delving into the demonic spiritual world.

Comment from audience: That's what these people do who reject Jesus as being God before He became human. They reduce Him to just another prophet. Good comment.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal… [So we have the spiritual battle within, the spiritual battle without.] …but mighty through God… [And that is by His Spirit.] …to the overthrowing of strongholds… [And where is the biggest stronghold? There are several. The first one: in talking about the 'law of sin and death' within is the carnal mind—that's a strong hold. So we have to overcome that. The other stronghold is Satan and the society around us, because we come up against the strongholds of the spiritual power that's out there in the world, which holds it in bondage. So we are overthrowing the strongholds. Here's how we do it]: …Casting down vain imaginations…" (vs 4-5). Don't let the sin within overcome you. You cast it down. Doesn't say it won't be there, but what do you do? You take thoughts like that and you literally—mentally and spiritually—grab a hold of it and cast it down. And that's where prayer comes in. That you can pray and ask God right then: 'Oh God, help me to overcome this thought.'

Comment from audience: The Greek means also reasonings. And what is the greatest reasoning that you have to overcome? It's called what? Self-justification! Right? You justify what you do because every man's way is just in his own eyes. Whose justification do we need? Christ's justification! We need the mind and the thoughts of Christ. This is why prayer and study become so important. And become the spiritual tools that you need to overcome these things.

Now notice: "Casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…" (v 5). 'Well, I can do this! I don't need God'—so says man. That's why God says that those who say 'there's no God' is a fool—he doesn't have clue as to what he's talking about. And yet, it rules the world today. As I mentioned before, they are asps—atheists, secular, progressive socialists—asps, snakes in the grass. And Satan is a serpent and he's the 'prince of the power of the air.'

Comment from audience: Philosophy—especially Greek philosophy—is rationalist. You rationalize your way, think you way out of any problem. And the human mind is capable of doing many, many things, so you think you can do it, right?

Also, I saw on the History Channel High-Tech Marvels: The Seeds of Destruction—which is all the genetic engineering going on in food and different things like this. And what they're finding [is] all of the great things that men think they can do without God, go greater than God, will make a tomato not subject to freezing. By putting in a gene from a flounder. And we will make corn so that it will grow and be perfect by putting in the genes of insecticides. Now they're finding, when it gets into the system, it does things to the inside of the system. So as I've said before, I'll just put it here: Avoid like the plague, LIKE THE PLAGUE, all artificial sweetening, all sodas. They now know that all sodas have preservatives in it which cause, in the long term, grave illnesses—even Alzheimers. Avoid like the plague: soy oil. It is the most genetically modified of any oil. And that means you're going to have to avoid some of the foods that you buy prepared in the store because they're cooked in soy or canola—both of those oils: avoid them like the plague. And what they're going to do in making restaurants go from trans-fats to vegetable oils—guess what oils they are going to use? Soy oil and canola oil which means if you live on Kentucky Fried Chicken, don't be too surprised if you start coming up with some sicknesses that you don't even know anything about. Now, on the long-term—if you eat it occasionally, that isn't going to hurt you, but you have to be careful.

Comment from audience: If you drink a soda a day you're likely to come down with Type-2 Diabetes—over years and years probably. Avoid, like the plague, as much processed food as you can. And the microwave! If you are old and retired and you live on bread and soup and you buy canned soup, avoid that like the plague because it has MSG in it and flavorings, and then you put in the microwave to heat it up, you have just created yourself the most totally un-nourishing kind of meal you would ever want. Now some people are going to say, 'Ahhhhhhh, what is Fred Coulter saying about?' Well, go on your way if you desire! But just like we need to pull down these spiritual things, there are physical things we need to be aware of, too, because we can also get ourselves into a physical state—not counting inherited problems or things like that. But we can get ourselves into a physical state that we cause our bodies to get sick and then it affects our spiritual relationship with God. Because if you feel like 'blaaaaaaa' you're not going to want to go pray. Isn't that right? Yes! So we need to understand that.

So let's read this verse again: "Casting down… [That means active warfare. You have a thought that is plaguing you, coming into your mind over and over again, you ask God to help you cast it down. 'God, remove this from my mind. Help me to not let it enter into my mind again.' And also, if you are affected by some very traumatic thing in the past, that's almost impossible to get rid of, ask God to help put it into perspective so that it is not going to continually traumatize your thoughts today. And that is called, post-traumatic stress. And the thing is, you live it over, live it over, live it over, live it over. You go to bed, you think about it. Live it over, live it over, live it over. You've got to come to God and ask God to help you cast that down. You have got to put those thoughts aside, with the Spirit of God. That's all a part of overcoming in our relationship with God.] …vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ… [That's the goal.] …And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled" (vs 5-6).

So that's the formula on how to overcome. When it says there, deliver us or rescue us from the evil one, there's a whole lot to do with it. That has to do with Satan and his demons out in the world, yes. It has to do with evil people in the world, that is correct. And it has to do with our own inner-human nature that we need to overcome, all combined together.

Now, lest you get discouraged, let me tell you this: You have all the power and help and strength from God's Holy Spirit to do this—and that you can do it, but you have to be active at it. You have to be constant at it. You have to be faithful and persistent at it. And so these things are all part of the keys to answered prayer. So it reaches out more than just a simple little four or five or six or ten points on how to have prayers answered. It involves your whole way of living and your spiritual standing with God.

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

Scriptural References:

  • John 4:21-24
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • 1 John 3:1-10
  • Romans 8:16-28
  • Hebrews 10:15-23
  • Hebrews 6:11-20
  • Matthew 6:13
  • Colossians 1:10-13
  • 1 Corinthians 10:10-13
  • Romans 7:12-25
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Joel 2
  • Revelation 8 & 20
  • Romans 1:18
  • 1 John 5
  • Revelation 20
  • Matthew 13
  • Ephesians 2
  • 1 Corinthians 15

Also referenced: Book: The Lost Spiritual World for Those Who have Ears to Hear by Ruth Rimms

Transcribed: 3-20-08
Reformatted: 12-01-09