Fred R. Coulter—May 13, 2006

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I want you to come to a greater, deeper, relationship with God. The world is filled with religions of one kind or another. In many cases, we still carry over some of the things—especially out of Protestantism—in a way of thinking, into the Church of God, because there appears to be some similarities. And there are some similarities, there's no denying that. But the reality of the calling of God, and how He is dealing with us, then becomes absolutely important for us to really grow in grace and knowledge. God is not doing just something to save you from your sins only. He is not doing something so that you become a better person. Yes, He wants you to become a better person, but that's not the whole goal. God has called you to establish you.

We are going to cover some Scriptures, everyone of which we have gone over before in the past, probably many times. Let's start here in Exodus, the third chapter, and let's see how God revealed Himself and said Who He was—and this carries through to the New Testament, also.

Exodus 3:13: "And Moses said unto God, 'Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, "The God of your fathers has sent me unto you"; and they shall say to me, "What is his name?" what shall I say unto them?' And God said unto Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM.' and He said, 'Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, "I AM has sent me unto you."' And God said moreover unto Moses, 'Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, "The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me unto you. This is My name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations"'" (vs 13-15).

Now, it is very important for 'sacred namers' to understand: YHVH or Jehovah—however they choose to pronounce it—was the covenant name for the covenant with Israel and we are not in covenant with God in the covenant with Israel. The name that we have in the New Covenant is the Father and the Son because it is a family covenant relationship. It's important to understand. And in every covenant there is a different name. This tells us something else when we are resurrected—doesn't it?

What's going to happen when we're resurrected? Given a new name, because it's a new covenant. We are in covenant to qualify for the first resurrection, now. Some will be the 'bride of Christ.' Some will be the 'guests.' Not all will be the 'bride of Christ'—you need to understand that. But there is going to be the marriage covenant with the Lamb and the bride. There is going to be covenant of eternal life given to all of us and we will receive a new name. And the reason that He says, 'I AM that I AM' is because God adjusts the names by which He is called according to the covenant in which He enters.

Now the New Covenant was established by Jesus Christ—you know that with the Passover. We begin to understand this by going to the Gospel of John, chapter one. We're going to learn some thing that maybe you know. If you know them then we'll rehearse them so you will understand it. We all need to realize, brethren, this: God has called us to the greatest calling possible. And right now, we are in training for eternal life. Think about that for a minute! In order to have eternal life, the thing that you need most is character! And the ultimate of the perfection of character is the love of God.

Let's see what is revealed to us here—John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word…" Now the Greek from the word 'was' can also mean before the beginning the Word was. How do we have that verified? Is there a Scripture which verifies that? Not only just the Greek.

Hold your place and come back here to John 17:5: "And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed." And that's what the verb means—before it existed.

Come back John 1:1: "…was the Word… [Now remember this: Every time it says in the Old Testament (you can read it in Ezek. and Jer.): 'and the Word of the Lord came to…'—that's the message from the One Who was the Lord of the Old Testament Who is the Word of God. So, being the Word of God means that He is everything that God is, that has ever been written about, to mankind. He is the 'I AM that I AM.' And in the Gospel of John there are places where He says 'I AM'—doesn't He?

"…and the Word was with God… [Now, this is a very important phrase because the Greek tells us something in addition to this. The word translated with is the Greek word 'pros'—which means also toward. Now another very interesting thing about it is this: The Greek for face-to-face is 'prosopon'—which is face: 'pros prosopon' face-to-face. So with this, He was 'with God'—Who then was revealed as the Father—'before the beginning,'] (and it also says): …and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (vs 1-2). So when we see the Scriptures the name of Jesus meant 'Emmanuel'—God with us—right? So God came to this earth in the form of a man, as a man, with the very same nature that we have. He was God manifested in the flesh for a great purpose: To begin to fulfill what it said in Genesis, the first chapter, because God made us in a special and a particular way that He did not any of the other things that He created and made.

Genesis 1:26: "And God said, 'Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness…" Put in your notes: beginning with the New Testament, 'after His kind.' There are some allusions to it in the Old Testament. as well. So, He gave us the whole earth—didn't He? 'Us' means the two of Elohim.

When Jesus came to reveal the Father, He deliberately ignored all the intelligencia and the wise and the smart. So that's why

  • Christ is our knowledge
  • Christ is our wisdom
  • Christ is the One Who gives things to us

—because who are we of any people on earth?

  • He's called the 'weak'
  • He's called the 'base'
  • He called the things that are nothing
  • He's called us because we are unsuccessful
  • He's called us because we are sinners

So that He can change us, because of the relationship that He will establish with us.

Now let's pick it up here in Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes…. [The knowledge that we have must be revealed. Revealed through the Word of God, by the Spirit of God, to give us understanding of the spiritual things.] …Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this'" (vs 25-26).

The 'intelligent' people say, 'Here I am, God, I've got all these great ideas. Zip! God goes right by. Remember the story of Mordecai—book of Esther—what was he? He was that 'little old no good Jew sitting down there'; wouldn't bow down to Haman the Agagite. He was scum! He was deserving of death! What did God do? He turned the tables, and Haman hung on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai.

So remember this: Don't think that you're unworthy; because your worthiness comes from Christ! If you have Christ in you, you are worthy because of Him, so do not condemn yourself any longer. Just ask God, 'What do You want me to do? What do You want me to learn?' He'll help you! And if you have the love and character of God and apply that in your life, you are smarter and wiser than the greatest men in the world. Not because of you, but because of God!God's calling is very special. God's calling is a trust. We'll see what He's done in the trust to you.

Verse 27: "'All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him." Maybe you've never thought about this: The personal involvement of Christ in your life. He has the power because He said after the resurrection, 'All power in heaven and earth is given unto Me.' He has the power to work individually in a multitude of people at the same time with the same personal touch!

What we're going to cover today is going to help you immensely in your prayer and in your study. It's going to help you love God even more. It's going to give you a desire to do the things of God even more. God gives this! The way you overcome is to be inspired by the Word of God and His Spirit to give you the inner desire to change. That's how you overcome. You can beat the flesh all day long, but unless you have the desire from God you can only accomplish so much. This is something! He said, '…that I AM!'

Now, let's see what God has done for us, and what He is doing with us. We're going to talk about the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is that which God has entrusted to each of us—a personal entrustment of the Spirit of God. What that does for us is puts us in a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ that is so superior that it needs no temple, it needs no altar on earth, and it needs no priesthood between you and God—except Christ.

Let's look at some of these Scriptures and the Spirit of God. Let's come back here to 1-John, the third chapter. When we repent, are baptized, receive the laying on of hands, and receive the Spirit of God, here's what takes place. This is why it is called a conversion, because this is the beginning of the change of your life. Conversion, as you know, is a process—that is a life-long process—of you developing the mind and the character of God. Let's see the difference here.

1-John 3:5: "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 does not practice sin… [unfortunately, the King James Version says 'does not sin.' We all know that cannot be true, because after conversion we have sinned—right? But what happens when you sin? Your conscience pricks you. You say, 'Oop! I've sinned. How did that happen?' It didn't happened before you were converted, but after you're converted it does happen because the Spirit of God pricks your conscience—right? Yes! So, you don't practice sin. And that's why, even those who leave God for a while, they get their fill of temporarily practicing sin and, if they still have any of the Spirit of God, God is going to lead them into a situation where they will repent; but they have to choose to repent!] …anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him" (vs 5-6).

Here's how you know Him—1-John 2. A lot of people want to understand the Scriptures, but they're not willing to obey; and obedience is the key to start understanding. 1-John 2:3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments…. [That's more than just the Ten. It might be an interesting Bible Study, write down the question: What are the other commandments of Jesus Christ, based upon the Ten Commandments? Do a Bible Study, list all the Scriptures.] …The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him" (vs 3-5).

1-John 3:7: "Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you… [always a warning] …the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil…. [Now, here is the key, then we will see what Jesus said of that—v 9]: …Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed of begettal is dwelling within him…" (vs 7-9).

If you've seen the documentary of In the Womb—once we are begotten of the Spirit of God, then we do everything to prepare and practice the character of God for our second birth at the resurrection. Just like from the instant of begettal of a human life, when the cells start dividing, and it's a Spirit of God which causes the forming and developing of that new human being. As the baby is forming and developing into a full-sized baby, it is doing and practicing everything that it will need to survive when it is born into the world. If anyone believes in evolution, they ought to look at that and then they ought to read what happens when a baby is born and it takes its first breath! It must do something it's never done. It hasn't breathed one time in its life until it's born; further, the nostrils are stopped up. When it's born and the heart changes and starts the blood flowing to the lungs instead of down the placenta. And there's a little hole in the heart, which then begins to close up. And that's why some children who have holes in their hearts have an operation to close it up, because it didn't close up entirely. Then the veins, which fed in through what is now your bellybutton from the umbilical cord that carried the food into your system and into your heart begins to shrivel up. And that vein stays with you all your life. And you can feel it when you push hard into your bellybutton, you feel something kind of up inside. That's the remnant of that vein. That is a fantastic miracle!

Today we're practicing everything we need for the resurrection, and when we are changed from flesh to spirit—BAM! It's going to be instant and we're going to do things we have never done before. Just like a baby when it's first born does something it's never done before—it breathes, it cries and now exists in a new environment outside the womb—we're going to exist in a new environment beginning on the Sea of Glass.

"Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed of begettal is dwelling within him… [We're going to see that's a great and marvelous thing, and great and fantastic trust.] …and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God. By this standard are manifest the children of God and the children of the devil…. [Put in your margin there: Eph. 2:1-3: 'the prince of the power of the air; the spirit that is inner-working in the children of disobedience among whom we all had our conduct. Yes!] …Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, and neither is the one who does not love his brother" (vs 9-10).

Let's see how Jesus foretold this to His disciples. Let's come to John 14, and then we will see some things concerning the Spirit of God. So this is just the beginning. Look at it this way and let's draw the parallel again with the baby in the womb. It grows and develops toward birth. It's practicing everything that it needs to do to exist in the world when it's born—has never seen father; has never seen mother—right? Same way with us with the begettal of the Holy Spirit; we have never seen Jesus Christ and we've never seen the Father—but we will when we're born again.

John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments…. [that's a literal translation from the Greek.] …And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age" (vs 15-16). This has two applications:

  • To the Church in general from that time until the time that Jesus returns—throughout the age; that is called the 'church age.'
  • It has a personal application meaning throughout your life—the rest of your life.

"Even the Spirit of the Truth, which the world cannot receive…" (v 17). Why? Haven't repented, have carnal, deceitful minds and cannot stand the Truth.

I saw a real good example of this with Tony Snow when he was substituting for Bill O'Reilly during the Christmas season. Of course, they like to be 'fair and balanced.' And, of course, they are staunch observers of Christmas—and really push it. So they have a 'dissenter on and Tony Snow is sitting there and this man says 'Well, you really know that this all came from paganism, it really isn't in the Bible. It has nothing to do with Christianity,' And Tony Snow's sitting there just squirming in his seat. Perfect example of the carnal mind cannot accept the Truth. But, I said to myself: He had a witness! God does not give the Holy Spirit to those who do not repent.

There is something that God does with His Spirit (as we will see in a minute) for those who really want to know about God. And if you don't that the sermon series The Holy Spirit of God—The Seven Spirits of God and The Spirit of Man, you can get those and listen to them, because I cover it in greater detail.

"…cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (v 17). When there comes a time in your life—and you can probably look back now… I can look back now and know exactly when that happened with me. And that's when I heard the professor in paleontology say, the very first day in class (because they taught evolution): 'If there are any of you who believe in the Bible there's the door!' Now, I hadn't been religious. I hadn't gone to church. My folks weren't religious, hadn't gone to church. But at that moment I said to myself, 'How dare he say that!' Because it was a required course and you can't get your degree unless you have it, so they've got you stuck! I know that was the beginning of God beginning to deal with me, that I could perceive up to that point. From then on, the rest of the story.

"…it dwells with you, and shall be within you" (v 17). When the Spirit of God dwells in you, it begins to work with you as you begin to desire the things of God. And if you give up on desiring the things of God it will leave you. If you rekindle It, It will probably come back to you. Then It will lead you to repentance! That's how God leads us to repentance. "…because it dwells with you, and shall be within you."

That's the begettal! And that unites with the spirit of your mind. Now, you become the start of a 'new creature' in Christ. Just like the newly begotten child in the mother's womb, you start to grow. And just like the newly begotten child in the mother's womb, at first it doesn't look anything like a child—right? It's just like when you first began, you probably weren't very much like a Christian—correct? But you grow, you develop, you form! Remember what Paul said, 'Oh, Galatians, I'm in doubt of you until Christ be formed in you'—the work of the Spirit of God.

Let's see 'repentance with you.' Let's come to Romans, the second chapter. Here's a little something about 'judging'—which I talk about are 'God's policemen.' Romans 2:3: "Now do you think yourself, O man, whoever is judging those who commit such things, and you are practicing them yourself, that you shall escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" (vs 3-4). So when the Spirit of God is with you, it leads you to repentance, begins to show you what sin is. You begin to desire the things of God, because God is motivating you to do it. You have to respond to it and God will bless you in it.

Now, let's come back to John 14:21: "The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him…. [What does this mean?] …Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (vs 21-22). How are you going to do this? Just suddenly appear.

It's not like Pat Robertson who says, 'God spoke to me.' God didn't speak to him. How do I know he didn't? The one who says 'I know God' and keeps not His commandments is a liar.' Does He keep Sunday, Christmas and Easer? Yes! Is he a liar? Yes! Now, that's a righteous judgment based on the Word of God, by the fruits of what he does. Can he repent? Of course he can! How many have heard of Charles Stanley? I've heard Charles Stanley. I've heard Charles Stanley and I've watched him and sometimes he has some things which are very good. And he comes right up to the door—doesn't walk through—but he comes right up to the door. Have you noticed that? And he finally had to give a defense of Sunday, because a lot of people who watched him said, 'This man needs to know about the Sabbath.' Now, in spite of all the good that he may do by quoting some Scriptures, the very fact that he rejects the Sabbath and keeps Sunday puts him in a position of being a liar; and watch: what he has known and what he has taught—because God said that 'even if the false prophets teach His Word,' He would back it up—is gradually going to be withdrawn from him step-by-step-by-step. Just like anybody else who rejects the knowledge of God.

So how does God manifest Himself to people without showing Himself, without speaking to them? By sending the Spirit of God to be with them, and by them responding to keep the commandments of God. I dare say that for every one of us, the very first commandments that was brought to our attention was what? The Sabbath day! Also know this: Every Protestant preacher has crossed that bridge! So here's how it is:

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." I want you to think about what that statement says, and I want you to understand something very, very important: Whenever you have a trial and get down and out, or you get depressed, remember When All Else Fails, God Loves You (sermon); remember: you were personally chosen! Let's grasp the meaning of what we are talking about here. We are talking about the Creator God and the Father Who have created the vastness of the universe and is working out His plan the way that He has revealed in His Word; that He loves you so much that He has personally intervened in your life. And He knows that you've been a sinner, as rotten as it has been, and He has forgiven that and He understands that. That's why He has called you! Now you know why God hates religion because it perverts all of that. God wants you in a relationship with Him!

  • He is your Father
  • He has called you
  • He has given His Spirit to you

Let's take it one step further: We will come to Him; Jesus, as well. And notice, "and make Our abode with him" (v 23). Think about that for a minute! This is very awesome! That God would give you the begettal of His Spirit and entrust you with the seed of eternal life so that He can have a relationship with you, so you can develop and grow in the character of Christ and God the Father.

Again, He gives a comparison: "The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word… [the difference between words are: the words that Jesus spoke and the Word is the entire message.] …that you hear is not Mine but the Father's, Who sent Me" (v 24). This is why God doesn't need a temple. Entrusting us with His Spirit, God wants us:

  • to use it
  • to exercise it
  • to grow in it

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Just like the newly conceived baby in the womb, it grows and grows, exercises. When it gets pretty close—about the eighth month—BAM! Mom knows it's exercising—right? Yes! Someone sent me—I don't know if it was real or not—an e-mail that showed the front belly of a pregnant mother almost ready to give birth and the baby's foot was pushed out so far that the outline of the foot was seen on the photograph.

Because God has given us free moral agency, He wants us to lovingly choose His way and His Spirit and everything that He gives us. Here's what He's done and here's why He destroyed the temple, and here is why God doesn't want a building built for Him, because He is building you after His likeness; He is dwelling in you. That's what it means. You have been entrusted to be a dwelling place for God.

1-Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple… [think of that! It says that 'we will make our abode with Him.' We'll talk about that next.] …and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you?…. [Then again, just like everything else, remember, the Bible operates this way: It tells you a great and wonderful thing, and then it gives a warning—right? Yes! That's the way God works, and He does it because He wants us to choose the good and the right.] …If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are" (vs 16-17).

Let's go to 2-Corinthains 6:11, and let's look at this warning a little bit further. Paul says: "O you Corinthians! Our mouths have been opened to you, and our hearts have been enlarged toward you. You are not suppressed by us, but you are restricted in your own hearts" (vs 11-12). Now, that's a very interesting thing—isn't it?—'restricted in your own hearts'—what does that mean? He's telling them they were curmudgeons—spiritually and monetarily.

And just a short interjection here, lest I be accused of preaching money, Paul did not collect tithes from the Corinthians to shame them in their stinginess, but because they were giving it to the false apostles, and he said 'they should become like him.' Then they should give to what Paul was doing. And he said, 'I'm not going to take it, because you have been such terrible Christians'—if I could just summarize it. So he did it to shame them.

"Now in return for our ministry to you (I am speaking to you as to children), you should also enlarge your hearts toward us…. [So he's saying what they ought to do.] ….Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…. [What happens? An unbeliever always draws you down—right? Yes!] …For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common?…. [Wasn't that the first violation when they wanted to go to changing the nature of God to a trinity; changing the Bible to the NIV? Remember all of those tactics? What did they do? They had union with lawlessness! Those who believed in a 'lawless grace'—and you know the rest of the story of what happened.] …And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them…" (vs 13-16).

How important are you to God? How much does God love you? So much that He dwells in you, by His Spirit! You think about that great thing that God has done! That He would choose to dwell in us! Who are we? Who are we!? that God would choose to do so? That why it's God that does the calling.] …and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 16-18). Tremendous thing!

Now, let's come back to Romans, the eighth chapter. What this is going to do, brethren—what I want it to do—as it has done for me; and it will for you—when you pray, you're going to know that God is there and listening. When you pray, remember what Jesus said, 'Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it'—according to the will of God, of course. When you go pray, you don't have to wonder: How far off is God? Where is God? He is right there! He is dwelling, with His Spirit, in you! I'll guarantee you, when you pray, it's going to be entirely different than just having a list or repetitive thing that you go through.

Romans 8:8: "But those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Why? Because you don't have the Spirit of God. It's that simple! They can do good things. They can be 'good' people in the world, but they cannot please God. Sooner or later all of these good, sincere people that are in the world, that maybe you can get along with in a business way better than some people in the Church—and in many cases that's true and it shouldn't be and that ought to change—but when they get cornered to something spiritual, their true colors will come out. You will see that, yes, just like the Bible says, they have carnal minds, and they are enemies of God.

You might be nice about it, like the man—when I was doing my water exercise one time—he found out that I was a preacher. He says he goes to church on Sunday, and we were talking there and it was a very nice conversation—very friendly and amiable—I said, 'You know, Sunday is not the day of worship in the Bible—it's the Sabbath.' He says, 'Oh, I know that, but God knows my heart.' Very nicely said by a carnal, hostile mind. Instead of saying, 'Yeah, I know that, where can I keep the Sabbath?' See the difference?

"However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you…. [Remember, Jesus said it 'would be within you, and WE'—the Father and the Son—would come and 'make Our abode in us.'] …But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (v 9). And God makes that decision and it is a dividing line, just like the gulf that separates. There are no 'tweeners.' You either have the Spirit of God or you don't have the Spirit of God.

"But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin… [because of all the things we do. We mortify the deeds of the body: put away lying, put away evil talking, be kind to one another, etc., etc. (Col. 3) and put on love.] …however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (v 10). So the Spirit of God is going to lead you into true righteousness that you need to be. And it's going to lead you in a true relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

I want you to think on a couple of other things to add into this whole thing. What did Jesus say that we were to Him? Friends! He is our elder brother. Let's think on this! "…the Spirit is life because of righteousness." So He is going to lead you in all righteousness. And another thing, too: As we daily repent of our sins, which we are told to do through the model prayer, then God gives us the righteousness of Christ. And with Christ dwelling in us, and the Father dwelling in us, then we will grow in that righteousness, and that love and that desire and everything of the fruits of the Spirit of God.

Verse 11: "Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you… [Let's stop here and understand something: Notice what it says in v 9: 'the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ'—and Christ is to 'dwell in us'] (then it says): Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you…" What Spirit is that? That's the Spirit of the Father. So the combination of the Holy Spirit, which you receive, is from the Father and from the Son, 'WE will dwell in you.' That's what God delights in. That's why He created us, so that we can be after His kind, and so that we can have a relationship with God that is

  • in spirit
  • in truth
  • in righteousness
  • in love
  • in goodness

—and all the characteristics of God. That's a marvelous thing, brethren! I feel inadequate in even trying to explain it to you.

"Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you" (v 11).

Let's focus on the goal. Let's focus on the relationship, because now we have the basis for the relationship that we have with God. God the Father and Jesus Christ have given us, combined:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the mind of Christ
  • the begettal of the Father
  • the guarantee of eternal life

Now, let's come to 1-John, the first chapter. Let's add another ingredient to this with John so that we have a greater understanding. Remember that Jesus took Peter, James and John and went up to the Mount of Transfiguration and transfigured in their presence. They saw Him in His glory. This always made a lasting impression upon them. Peter especially wrote about it in the 2-Pet. 1, that the whole basis for writing the New Testament was because of the majestic glory that they saw, and hearing the message from God the Father, 'this is My Son, the Beloved in Whom I am well pleased—hear Him!' They said that's why they wrote what they wrote. Let's put this in our thinking as we are reading the first few verses of 1-John 1, and let's understand, in John's mind, as he was writing this, this had to have some impression and relevance as he wrote the first part here.

1:John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves… [and the Greek there means to intently, in a fixated way, be gazing on Him.] …and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness… [What did He say many times: 'and My witness is true; Our witness is true.'] …and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us…" (vs 1-3). You might say another word for 'fellowship' is relationship. When we fellowship together, we have a relationship—don't we? Yes! The relationship that God wants us to have is a father to a son; a father to a daughter—directly—just like Jesus, as Logos, was face-to-face with the Father. God wants us to develop the relationship and the anticipation that one day we will see Him face-to-face!

"…for the fellowship… [now there is the definite article in the Greek. You can put there the relationship] …—indeed, our [relationship] fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3) Now, that is awesome! That is something! That ought to inspire all of us, that God loves us so much that He wants us to have that relationship and have that relationship on an ongoing basis, and that the older we get, the longer we have the Spirit of God, the more intense that it becomes and the greater that we're able to understand it. The more that we love God and the more that we love Christ, the more that we understand what the plan of God is and what God is doing, and that we have an intimate and personal part of it.

Verse 4: "These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full." I don't know about you, but I have more joy in understanding this, and my relationship with God, than before, and I hope that you do, too.

Now then, we can ask some questions:

  • Is this not the inspiration that God wants us to have?

When you're inspired—and God inspires us in these moments—and God sends His Spirit here to unite us all together with Him.

  • Do you not desire to overcome sin even more?
  • Do you not desire to love God and keep His commandments in a way that pleases Him, with even greater desire?
  • Does it not give you the desire to really want the things of God above everything else in this world?

Yes it does, and God intends it to, and God wants it to be that way.

Let's go to John 17. We read this every Passover—don't we? But let's read some of it again so we can have a greater understanding of what God wants it to be. In reading this I've just got to imagine that John had to have been awakened when Jesus was praying—because this was part of His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. That he remembered enough of it so that when he was inspired to write this, he would write the things of this personal prayer. These are the words of Christ, and these represent the whole plan and working of God—in this one prayer.

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come… [There's a time coming when the resurrection will occur. There's a time coming when the events of the end-time are going to fall into a kaleidoscope of prophecy that is going to be unleashed in the world such as never has been. The time always comes in the set time of God.] …glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh… [Jesus is the One Who initiates the calling] …in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him'" (vs 1-2). There's the joint calling. Christ initiates it with the seven spirits. When they are baptized, they receive the Spirit of God, the begettal of the Father and the Spirit of Christ jointly together. And the Father has given them to Him.

"For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send…. [At the time Jesus gave this prayer, Jesus was not wholly God in His glorified form. So at that moment in time, the Father was the only true God until Jesus was resurrected.] …I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do…. [It is Christ in us Who is working. It is the Father in us Who is working. Are They going to finish the work in us? Yes, indeed! That's Their whole purpose!] …And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave to Me; and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world… [Now is not the time of salvation for the world. You are being trained to bring salvation to the world, under Christ.] …but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them'" (vs 3-10).

Now, if you have the Spirit of God—Spirit of the Father, Spirit of Christ—you belong to Them—

  • to no man
  • to no church
  • to no minister
  • to no government

—you belong to Them!

Verse 11: "And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as We are one." Now, where did we begin? John 1:1—right? 'And the Word was with God': '['pros'—toward, face-to-face with God. Were they one? Yes, indeed! So He's telling us that we're going to have that same relationship after the resurrection. At this time we have the relationship through prayer and God's Spirit and study of God's Word, and living God's way and His commandments and growing in grace and knowledge and building the character of God and the love of God, and all of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, as we have heard—that we are preparing to be born again at the resurrection.

When you hear the sermon on Pentecost, you're going to understand that that is going to be the greatest event and the whole world is going to witness it! Only they're going to think that aliens are snatching bodies! And we will know that it's the real thing! Truly, aliens are going to invade this earth. Jesus Christ and the sons and daughters of God are going to invade this earth, and we are aliens to them. Not these 'freak-headed' things that they pretend are aliens from outer-space. The resurrection is going to be a bit thing! God hasn't called us to little, two-bit religious nonsense! He has called us with a great calling and has given us His Spirit for an awesome, eternal purpose that will go on through all eternity. If we can grasp that; if we can let God's Spirit inspire us in it, and we can grow in it and we can grow in the understanding of it.

Now, there's one man who did; his name was Stephen. He witnessed the witness to the Jews the very last chance they had to accept Jesus before God made the final decision to destroy the temple, destroy the whole system, send them off into captivity because they rejected His Son. The Creator God, the Lord God of Israel came in the flesh and they rejected Him! That's what Stephen said and they took him out and stoned him! What happened? He looked up into the heavens and he saw the Son of man standing at the right-hand of God, Who was up there looking down, seeing what was going on. He said, 'Lord, lay this not to their charge.' Think what the next minute is going to be for Stephen! Born again! Then he's going to see Christ face-to-face! And so will we! That's what it means they may be one. You need to understand that.

Let's come on down to v 14. "I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world…. [What did James say? 'You can't be the friend of the world and the Son of God at the same time. That doesn't mean that you can't reach out to people in the world, but know for sure one day they're going to turn against you—sure as can be!] …just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world… [so that's not how you're going to be rescued from your trials to the resurrection] …but that You would keep them from the evil one" (vs 14-15). So know this: You have every tool, every power to fight against Satan the devil and all of the evil and all of the things that are out there.

"They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth…. [And that means that you have been set aside as Holy to God. That's why Paul calls us 'Holy brethren'—brothers and sister of Christ.] …Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word" (vs 16-20). And He's sitting there at the right-hand of God making intercession for us to give us grace in time of help and need—correct? Yes!

If you have a guilty conscience because you haven't prayed and studied, go repent. Ask God to renew His Spirit in you. Ask Him to kindle it, spark it up, to 'stir it up.' He's praying for you. That's something!—isn't it? Here's what He's praying about; here is the goal, and this is why Jesus was able to endure the shame of the cross, because He always had His mind fixed on this goal. Paul says in Heb. 12 how we're to overcome the things that come upon us, by having our minds fixed on this:

"That they all may be one… [You need to understand this: Those that going to be in the Family of God will only be those in the first resurrection. The rest will be in the saved nations of God.] …That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us… [go back to Gen. 1: 'Let US make man in OUR image after Our likeness.' And at the resurrection, 'after Our kind.' That defines who US is—doesn't it? Yes!] …in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me… [And the glory is what? Spirit of God! That's why you're sanctified. We're going to be glorified at the resurrection—true glory. But we have a portion of that glory now.] …in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one…" (vs 21-23).

Now notice that word again, perfected. That's what we're going through. Look at every trial, every difficulty, everything you need to overcome as part of the perfection that God wants; part of the perfection that God is working in your life. And remember then that which is completely perfect at the resurrection has come, then that which is imperfect shall be set aside.

"…may be perfected into one and that the world may know that You did send Me… [That won't happen until everything is all done] …and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vs 22-23).

  • Does God love you?
  • Does the Father love you?
  • Does Christ love you?

 Yes, indeed! And when you grasp and understand this, it puts to shame all the religiosity that people have brought into the Church of God to make it another denomination of this world. We are the brothers and sisters of Christ.

Now, let's come to Hebrews 2:9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death [crucifixion], in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory… [that's us!] …to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (vs 9-10). So He was perfected through the things that He went through. Likewise, He is perfecting us.

"For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren… [Because He loves us. Here's what He's going to do at the resurrection. All the saints standing on the Sea of Glass—what is He going to do?] …'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church… [the whole resurrected spirit Church] …I will sing praise to You'" (vs 11-12). We need to get our sights up, brethren.

Let's come to 1-John, the third chapter. As I have said, we haven't covered one Scripture that we haven't covered in the past. But I tell you what, this is how then, by spiritual 'precept upon precept and little here and a little there' that we learn from the Word of God, and we learn that the Words of God contain, as Jesus said, spiritual meaning which are 'spiritually discerned' because of the Spirit of God that is in us; so that we grow more in understanding the Word of God. Grow more intense in our desire to love God in our relationship with Him and so forth.
1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is [face-to-face]" (vs 1-2).

Now, let's finish by going to Revelation 22:3: "And there shall be no more curse and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it… [New Jerusalem] …and His servants shall serve Him… [that's us] ..and they shall see His face [face-to-face]; and His [new] name is in their foreheads" (vs 3-4). And this is the goal of the relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Brethren, may you love God more and be inspire that your calling is absolutely awesome and fantastic. And even in inspiration of the moment, it is totally inadequate to express what it's going to be like to become a spirit being and see God the Father and Jesus Christ face-to-face!

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:

  • Exodus 3:13-15
  • John 1:1
  • John 17:5
  • John 1:1-2
  • Genesis 1:26
  • Matthew 11:25-27
  • 1 John 3:5-6
  • 1 John 2:3-5
  • 1 John 3:7-10
  • John 14:15-17
  • Romans 2:3-4
  • John 14:21-24
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
  • 2 Corinthians 6:11-18
  • Romans 8:8-11
  • 1 John 1:1-4
  • John 17:1-11, 14-23
  • Hebrews 2:9-12
  • 1 John 3:1-2
  • Revelation 22:3-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ezekiel
  • Jeremiah
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Colossians 3
  • 2 Peter 1
  • Hebrews 12
  • Genesis 1

Also referenced:

  • In the Womb (National Geographic DVD)

Sermons:

The Holy Spirit of God—The Seven Spirits of God

  • The Spirit of Man
  • When All Else Fails, God Loves You

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 12-07-09

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