Fred R. Coulter—May 15, 2010

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This is centered around what I call the ‘Evangelical Bible—The Fast Track to Salvation.’ This was prompted because in talking to an evangelical one day, he said that he only needed two Scriptures for salvation. So hence, I created the ‘Evangelical Bible.’ Here it is right here, you can read it, ‘Evangelical Bible’—A Fast Track to Salvation. Here are the two Scriptures: John 3:16 and John 5:24. They will argue all day long on it, that’s all they need. So what we are going to do, we’re going to examine both of them. First of all let’s read John 3:16. This is from the King James Version of the Bible and we’ll read it in the ‘Evangelical Bible.’ Now isn’t this handy? What are you people doing carrying these big, heavy Bibles to church on the Sabbath.

What is deceptive is when people read out of the Bible and then misinterpret it or it’s a bad translation and they don’t understand it, then people believe it’s the truth, because it’s from the Bible. It’s kind of like Jim got bilked out of a hundred bucks. He cashed a check over here at San Benito Bank and he used some of the money and then he was going to deposit it in another account down in Salinas and he got down there to the other bank and the bank said, ‘Here’s the hundred dollar bill back. It’s counterfeit.’ It looked well worn. It looked like the real thing.

So he came back up here to the bank and asked them, ‘Well, now, I have this and it looks like it’s a good one hundred dollar bill, but I got it here.’ And they said, ‘Oh, no, could never happen. You could never have gotten it here.’ So when you go to the bank and you get money, you think it’s going to be good money—right? Same way if people read from the Bible, you think it’s the truth, but that all depends on how it’s translated, and that all depends on how it’s interpreted. So he didn’t get his hundred-dollar bill.

So I went back over there and saw what I could do with it. ‘No good; can’t help you. We don’t give them out here.’ Well, how did he get it here? ‘We don’t know, didn’t come from us.’ Well, who slipped it in? We’re going to find the same thing here when we look at these verses and then we examine them closely. So I want you to pick up your very super-light Bible—you know, you have super-light this, super-light that, well, here’s a super-light Bible, fast track to salvation.

John 3:16(KJV): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” ‘Reverend’ Franklin Graham said, ‘God loves the world and I’m a sinner and He died for me.’ That’s a true statement, but what do you do back for God? What does God require? What does it mean ‘believe’? We’ll answer that.

Let’s go to the correct translation. Let’s come to John 3:16 in the correct translation. This is only known from the Greek. A lot of people accept the King James Version as the best translation possible. No, it happens to be one of the worst, simply because all evangelical Christianity and their false doctrines are based upon wrong translations of the King James Version of the Bible, and here’s one of them, because when you read this, ‘God gave His love unconditionally’—have you heard unconditional love? Yes, God’s love is unconditional! Really? Is that so?

“...that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish... [Now ‘should not perish’ means it’s a done deal, if you believe—correct?] …should not… but have everlasting life.” Now let’s read John 3:16 in the Faithful Version and this is why we call it the Faithful Version, because we have been faithful to the original Greek. So let’s read it. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish... [Very interesting—isn’t it?] ...but may have everlasting life.” Now unless you know the Greek, you don’t know that that’s the way it should be translated. This is in what is called the subjunctive. The subjunctive means, it’s like an ‘if’ clause. Subjunctive means there are conditions to it. ‘May have eternal life, may not perish.’ So it’s like all of the other ‘if’ verses that you have. ‘If you believe in Him.’ Then we’ll answer the question: What does it mean to believe, in just a little bit.

Let’s go to John 5:24 in the heavyweight ‘Evangelical Bible,’ quoting from the King James. Let’s read it here. John 5:24 (the Evangelical Bible’—A Fast Track to Salvation’): “Verily, verily, I say to you, he that heareth My Word and believes on Him that sent Me has everlasting life and shall not cometh into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” Now that sounds like pretty much done deal—doesn’t it?

Let’s come back here to John 5:24 (FV): “Truly, truly I say to you, to one who hears My Word... [Now we’ll come back and examine these words in just a little bit.] ...and believes Him Who sent Me, has everlasting life and does not come into judgment for he has passed from death into life.”

Let’s look at a couple of other things before we examine what does it mean to believe. Let’s first of all come to Matthew 11, because if these two verses is all that there is—and in talking to this man, he says, ‘Well, it says that. It says if I believe in Him I don’t come into condemnation or judgment, but I have everlasting life and I have passed from death to life. So therefore, I’m saved. And once saved, always saved.’ So he doesn’t need any more than these two verses.

Matthew 11:11: “Truly I say to you, there has not arisen among those born of women anyone greater than John the Baptist. But the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. For from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven is taken with a great struggle, and the zealous ones lay hold on it” (vs 11-12). What’s struggle is there with these two verses? There’s no struggle, there’s no work, there’s nothing you have to do.

Now you couple that with evangelical program that I heard on the way coming home from Arcadia that same Sabbath that I gave the shorter version of this sermon. The minister said, ‘All of those of you who want to accept Jesus stand?’ They don’t have them come up to the altar anymore, that’s too far to go, that’s too much work. Just stand. ‘Everybody rise. Oh, you, in the corner there, yes, and you down here in front. Repeat these words after me: ‘Jesus, I’m a sinner. Jesus, forgive my sins. Jesus, enter into my life. When you have said that, Amen, you’re now born again.’ Now if that isn’t a fast track to salvation, I don’t know what is. We’ll look at some other ones. There’s no way they’re going to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven that way. The other question that comes up is this. People have asked me, ‘Why are you attacking the Protestants all the time?’

All right. Let’s come here to Isaiah 30, and let’s see why. Here’s a prophecy of it. Am I attacking the Protestants all the time? Hmmm. My answer is this: They’ve had nearly 500 years to preach the Truth, and they failed to preach the Truth. They did preach a lot of the Truth when they first began even though they kept Sunday, but they never repented to keep the Sabbath.

Isaiah 30:8: “Now go, write it before them in a tablet, and note it in a book, so that it may be for the time to come forever and ever... [that means the last days] ...that this is rebellious people, lying children. They are children who will not hear the law of the LORD… [So what do the evangelicals say? You don’t need to keep any of the law. They reject it. You’ve had that for 500 years. So, now’s the time for the Truth to be preached.] …who say to the seers, ‘See not,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions’” (vs 8-10). That’s what they do. Their salvation is an illusion. It’s like that counterfeit bill, it looks like it’s coming out from the right place, you get it from the bank, but it’s a counterfeit. Bang! It’s the wrong thing. They read it out of the Bible and you think, ‘Well, that’s the Truth,’ but it’s not. That’s part of the Truth.

  • Why do you suppose God sent the whole Bible?
  • Did God do that in vain?
  • Why would He preserve the Old Testament if He was going to do away with it through Christ?
  • Why preserve the New Testament and all the writings that are there if the only thing you need are these two flimsy little verses and this is the extent that you need a Bible?

Just think of all the arm saving it would do if you didn’t have to carry heavy Bibles to church—right?

Now here’s what else they do. And this is what happened. If I preach this sermon in an evangelical pulpit I would be taken down, beaten up, thrown out, just like they did when Christ was teaching—right? And here’s what people say: “‘Go out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us’” (vs 11).

‘Don’t tell us about the law.’ That’s why we have the series, God’s Grace and Commandment-Keeping. And everyone needs to really seriously go through that and listen because in the New Testament the standard for keeping the law of God requires:

  • repentance
  • conversion
  • the Spirit of God
  • walking in God’s way

And we keep the laws of God through grace to a higher standard than was given under the Old Covenant. Now here’s God’s answer to them.

“Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel, ‘Because you have despised this Word...’” (v 12). Don’t they do that? They argue it. You tell them, ‘You ought to read the Ten Commandments.’ They put up with them because they’re there and it’s more of a political instrument today than anything else. But if you really ask them and say to a Sunday-keeping pastor, ‘Which day really does the Bible teach?’ He’ll tell you, ‘Well, it really teaches the Sabbath, seventh day. But we keep the Lord’s Day.’ And like a man was explaining to me, every time they read through the Bible and they come to the thing concerning the Sabbath, well, they skip those verses and go on. We’ll see what they’re doing with it.

“‘...despised this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely on them; Therefore this iniquity... [God calls it iniquity. What is the religious system of this world, including the Christianity of this world called? The mystery of lawlessness—right? or the mystery of iniquity!] ...Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant…. [What’s happening to Protestantism today? It’s going head long down right to destruction.] …And He shall break it as a the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is smashed in pieces. He shall not spare, so that there shall not be found in the fragments a shard to take fire from the hearth, or to take water out of the pit’” (vs 12-14). God is going to correct for that.

Let’s see what they’re doing, because they do that. Let’s see exactly what they are doing. Let’s come to the end of the New Testament, Rev. 22. This is a fitting thing that we need to see and read and understand.

Revelation 22:12: “And behold, I am coming quickly... [That sure more true today than ever before.] ...and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be.... [God’s going to reward according to work. If this is all the work you have, you have none.] ...I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who keep His commandments... [And, oh, they hate that word! Oh, they hate that word!] ...that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (vs 12-14). No commandment-keeping here in these verses—are there? We will see, yes, there are when you understand it.

Let’s come over here to v 18, because this becomes important. “For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things... [and that’s what men like to do] ...God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book.... [What is the greatest plague written in this book? The lake of fire—huh? Yes, indeed!] ...And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life, and from the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book” (vs 18-19).

You may carry the whole Bible, but if you only believe in two verses, what have you done? You’ve taken away! God says you shall ‘not add to, take from, you shall not go to the right hand or the left hand.’ That’s why God has given the word. And this is the testimony, everyone who has a Bible in his or her house, this is a testimony and witness from God that He has sent to you that if you don’t read and follow, you are going to be judged.

Let’s come back to John 5:24 and let’s analyze this a little bit. Let’s see what it’s really telling us. “‘Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My Word... [Let’s focus in on ‘My Word.’ What does that mean? Word, comes from the Greek ‘logos’. Very interesting word—isn’t it? When it is in the singular and not modified by another word, it means My entire message—My Word. We’re going to look at some other words that Jesus has to say.] ...My word, and believes Him...” What did Jesus come to do? To reveal the Father! So it’s not just believing in a verse, you must believe in God the Father. You believe God is love! You believe God is Lawgiver! Well, maybe you don’t believe that, but why then did He give the law and why is He going to judge according to the law? Why is He going to judge according to works? ‘You have to believe in Him Who sent Me.’

Let’s come over here to John 12. Let’s read some things here that are important, because this is going to tell us exactly what we need to know. John 12:37: “Although He had done so many miracles in their presence, they did not believe in Him... [After all the miracles, you’d think people would believe, but they didn’t.] ...So that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled who said, ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ For this very reason they could not believe because again Isaiah said... [Now why do people not believe, though profess faith? ] ...‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts to that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I would heal them’” (vs 37-40).

Here is a key fundamental important thing to always remember: If you do not follow what God says and reject it—we’re going to see in a little bit how severe that becomes—you start becoming spiritually blind, which means you can read the Bible and not understand it. The first key thing in beginning to understand the Word of God is keeping the Sabbath day. That’s the first key thing! Now they didn’t keep the Sabbath. Oh, they understood it, but they didn’t keep it.

Now notice what else, v 41: “Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory and spoke concerning Him. But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue” (vs 41-42). ‘Oh, we can’t lose our standing in the synagogue. What an embarrassment.’

It’s like today, ‘Well, if I start keeping the Sabbath, I’d have to quit going to this lovely church I’m going to. If I started making a ruckus with the pastor, he’d put me out.’ “For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God” (v 43). Who are you going to please? You want to please God or please men?That’s the question!

“Then Jesus called out and said, ‘The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness’” (vs 44-46). But as John 3 says we must come to the light, we must come to Christ. Now notice: if you don’t believe His words, you don’t believe Jesus. That simple.

“‘But if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words... [Now that includes all of them. We’ll examine this a little more.] ...has one who judges him; the Word... [meaning the whole message] ...which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandments Himself, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me’” (vs 47-50).

Let’s answer the question concerning ‘the Word.’ Let’s come to John 1:1. This is why John wrote it in this manner. This tells us Who Jesus is. Gospel of John, chapter one, verse one, tells us where He came from, Who He was, and yet there are people today who have understood that in the past, and I’ll tell you what has happened to them when they reject it—they blinded themselves, just Isaiah said. Anytime you reject anything from God, and written by His apostles, you’re rejecting God and you will become blinded. Have the Protestants become blinded because they have rejected the law and have said that Jesus abolished the Law and the Prophets, when Jesus said, ‘Don’t think I’ve come to abolish the Law or the Prophets.’ Yes, they have been blinded!

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Now can anything be more clear and simple and easy to understand than that? In the Greek it’s that way. Every language it’s that way.

“He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him” (vs 2-3). Who then created the Sabbath? Jesus Christ! Mark 2 He says He’s what? Lord of the Sabbath! End of controversy.

Now let’s look at some other things here concerning what they should believe. Let’s come here to John 5, continue on from here, see the rest of the chapter. John 5:36, speaking of John the Baptist that he was a burning light: “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works that the Father gave Me to complete, the very works that I am doing, themselves bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, Who sent Me, has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form at any time.... [Therefore, what Moses saw and Who Moses saw on Mount Sinai was the one Who became Jesus Christ.] ...And you do not have His Word dwelling in you.... [His Word’s not dwelling in you, yet you say you know Him, but He’s never been revealed. You’ve never seen Him, you’ve never heard His voice.] ...for you do not believe Him Whom He has sent…. [then He challenges them] …You search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life; and they are the ones that testify of Me” (vs 36-39).

Just like the scribes and Pharisees and the leaders then were not willing to come to Jesus, same way with the evangelicals. They’re not willing to come to the true Jesus of the Bible. They want their own version of Jesus, just like the Jews have their own version of the law with their traditional laws.

“But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; But I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves…. [Quite a statement!] …I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name... [And that happened and Paul wrote about that, ‘If another comes with another Jesus, you accept it.’] ...you will receive him. How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes the only God?” (vs 40-44). How do you receive the glory from God?

  • repentance
  • baptism
  • receiving the Holy Spirit of God
  • believing

—because believing means this: you hear and you believe unto obedience. If you believe, you must obey; otherwise, you don’t believe and you’re no more a Christian than that counterfeit bill that we talked about earlier. There are a lot of counterfeit Christians out there. They have light Bibles.

Now notice what He says here, v 45: “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you... [It’s in the present tense—isn’t it? Why? Because the words of Moses are the words of God and they are eternal and they are spiritual and they always apply. ‘Accuses you,’ present tense, still active.] ...even Moses, in whom you have hope. But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?” (vs 45-47).

Now, let’s come back here to v 24, and look at that again: “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My Word, and believes Him Who sent Me... [‘If you do not believe His writing, how shall you believe My words?’ How can the Protestants and the evangelicals say they have the key to eternal life when they reject Moses? They can’t! That’s why they’re also blinded. Would you not say that anyone who believes in two verses is all you need for salvation is blinded? Yes! And they can’t even understand that verse.] ...and believes Him Who sent Me... [That means that you have to believe everything that Jesus said and did, because He was with God. He was God manifested in the flesh.] ...has everlasting life... [But when does it come? When does everlasting life come? You have the down payment of it through the Holy Spirit—but when does it come? At the resurrection!] ...and does not come into judgment; for he has passed from death into life.” So you see part of this is a prophecy as well.

Track 2: or Download

Since we’re here in the book of John, let’s come to John, and let’s see the testimony of the other John, John the Baptist; talking about his ministry. Remember, John the Baptist was called the greatest prophet of all and he did no miracles. But how long was his ministry? Six to nine months, that’s all. They couldn’t stand it, they had to get rid of him; same way with Christ. How long was His ministry? I gave a sermon on that, The Three and a Half Year Ministry of Christ. They couldn’t stand Him any longer than three and a half years. How many disciples did He end up with at the end? 120! So it’s not numbers. It’s Truth.

John 3:30: “It is ordained that He increase, and that I decrease. He Who comes from above is above all.... [Where did Jesus come from? Where is above? Out of the attic of your house? No, from heaven!] ...The one who is of the earth is earthy, and speaks of the earth. He Who comes from heaven is above all; and what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one received His testimony. The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true” (vs 30-33). And if God is true, that means His Word is true—right? Can God lie? No!It’s impossible for God to lie! We’ll talk about His Word here in just a little bit.

“‘For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God... [So that tells us the whole message of Christ contains what? The words of God! From whom? The Father and the one Who became the Son Who brought the Father’s words!—right? Yes! Now, is anyone afraid to redact or take away from, have a lightweight Bible? Better be! We’re going to see what Jesus says about not heeding His words.] ...and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son... [that means active, ongoing believing and doing and obeying] ...has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey... [Now there’s that little word they don’t like.] ...obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him’” (vs 34-36).

What did Jesus say? He said, ‘If you love Me, keep the commandments, namely Mine.’ Are you going to obey the Son? Now let’s look some more about the words of Christ. This is simple and easy. This is a fast track to salvation, supposedly. This is the difference between a drive-in restaurant and going to the library, and the library being the Word of God.

Now let’s come to Matthew 7, and let’s see some things here. Let’s see what Jesus warned about right after giving the Sermon on the Mount and showing how then that we need to keep the commandments in the spirit. Notice how He ends the Sermon on the Mount. Remember He said, Matthew 5:17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Now notice the sum of the Sermon on the Mount where He showed us how we need to obey in the spirit.

Matthew 7:12: “Therefore, everything that you would have men do to you, so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Now let’s go on. Would you say these two verses here in the ‘Evangelical Bible’ look like they’re easy? What do you have to give up? Do you have to go your boss and say, ‘Well, I need the Sabbath off.’ I remember when I first asked for the Sabbath off. I was working in Kibby’s Restaurant up in Redwood City. I was working at night and I had counseled for baptism. I went down to Pasadena and counseled for baptism. They said, ‘You’re not ready. You’re not keeping the Sabbath.’ I was still eating bacon and tomato sandwiches then, too, by the way. So I figured, boy, I really need to get with it. I really need to do something. I came back and I worked at that restaurant, I would work any shift and I was known to work sixteen hours, seven days a week all during the summer to earn enough money to pay my way in college.

So here I come in and the boss is there and I says, ‘I can’t work Friday night sundown to Saturday night sundown.’ His jaw dropped and his mouth opened and he looked at me and said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Because of my religion.’ He looked at me and said, ‘When did you become religious?’ I said, ‘Okay, if I can’t do it, I’m out of here.’ ‘Hold on, don’t do anything rash. I’ll go look at the schedule.’ So he looked at the schedule and he couldn’t figure it out, so I said, ‘Would you mind if I looked at the schedule?’ So I went back and looked at the schedule and I worked it out this way, I swapped with a guy who worked Friday morning, because he was happy to have Friday morning off, because he had to do all prep for all the Saturday business, from eight until four. Perfect, I’d get off before sundown. Then I told guy who was working—and I was working some of the graveyard shift. I know why they call it the graveyard, because you’re digging your grave—I said, ‘Okay, I’ll come in Saturday night.’ That began at one in the morning, so it was actually Sunday morning and then I had Tuesday off, so that worked out okay. But with this kind of thing, do anything you want, eat anything you want, just be nice, just be good.

Here’s what Jesus says: “Enter in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many... [Wherever you see many, that means what? The majority! What did He say in another chapter there? ‘Many are called, but few are chosen,’ because few repent.] ...are those who enter through it; for narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it…. [Now after that warning, notice what He says]: …But beware of false prophets... [What did He say in the last days? There will be many coming in My name saying I’m the Christ, many people professing to be Christians.] ...who come to you in sheep’s clothing, for within they are ravening wolves’” (vs 13-15).

Now when they have their way, can a wolf be nice and friendly? Oh, yeah, look how nice they are when they’re not aggressive and they everyone in control. Watch a wolf pack some time. When that chief alpha male has everybody in control, they’re all loving him and fawning him and licking him and submitting to him—right? But if one of them starts to go out of the way on his own, BAM! he comes and gets them—right? Yes! Same way here. The wolf’s character does not come out until you start bringing them the truth, then it comes out. Within, you don’t see it. They can be nice and sweet and lovely and all that sort of thing, but they’re ravening wolves.

The way you find out is say, ‘Hey, how about if we keep the Sabbath? Hey, how about if we quit Sunday and Christmas and Easter and New Years and Halloween, and all of that? How about if we keep the Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day as the Bible says? Don’t you think that would be a good idea for you to bring a sermon this next Sunday as your last Sunday sermon, so we could all start doing that in two weeks?’ The wolf would come out.

“You shall know them by their fruits. They do not gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit... [I wonder what’s happening in the Vatican today?] ...A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and is cast into the fire.... [Is that happening to you evangelicals? Is that happening to the Catholics where their cathedrals are getting more and more empty, where they’ve had to sell them to pay off the pedophilia suits that they have had of child molestation? How can that be of God? Is God judging them and cutting them down? Yes, indeed!] ...Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits…. [Now listen to this carefully, because here is what the evangelicals do]: …Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven... [A lot of people say, ‘Lord, Lord, do you love the Lord?’ Go to a Sunday-keeping church and say, ‘Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, do you love the Lord?’ That’s not the question. Here is the question: What are you doing?] (Notice the second half of this verse): ...but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven’” (vs 16-21) shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven—right?

What is the will of the Father? Are all His commandments Truth? Are they all right? Are they all good? Yes, indeed! Who gave the will of the Father to us? Jesus Christ. He spoke it, He taught it, those were His words. He says, ‘The words that I’m speaking to you, I’m not speaking of Myself, but the Father Who sent Me taught Me what I should say and do’—right? ‘Gave Me a commandment’—right? Yes! So the will of the Father is expressed in the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ, including all of His teachings, all of His words—right? Yes!

Notice what’s going to happen resurrection day—surprise! “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?’.... [‘We built churches, we had cathedrals, we had everything, we had hundreds of millions of Christians.’] (Here’s a surprise): ...And then I will confess to them, ‘I never knew you’” (vs 22-23).

Come to the Epistle of 1-John. Now, John gives the standard here, tells us how we know Him. Very important, because if you hear Him, believe Him, and obey Him, then you are going to know Christ and you’re going to know the Father. You’re going to know what His will is.

1-John 2:3: “And by this standard we know that we know Him... [You have to have something concrete. It’s not a feeling! It’s not an emotion! It is actual obedience that gives you the knowledge of God and to know Him in a relationship.] ...if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him.... [Regardless of what they profess. Regardless whether they use the Bible and even read Scriptures from it, but misapply it, they are liars. That’s what they are.] (Notice what we need to be aiming for): ...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…. [notice a further obligation here]: …Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself... [You’re duty-bound before God]: …also to walk even as He Himself walked” (vs 3-6).

  • Are you walking as Jesus walked?
  • Are you walking in the footsteps of Jesus?
  • Do you keep the Sabbath?
  • Do you keep the Holy Days?
  • Do you love God with all your heart and mind and soul and being?
  • Do you love your neighbor as yourself?
  • Do you even pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you?
  • What are you doing?

Let’s come back here to Matthew 7:23. Let’s read that again. “And then I will confess to them, ‘I never knew you.... [Even though they knew His name. ‘Lord, Lord.’ Even though they did many things—right? But if you don’t practice the will of the Father in heaven above, keep His commandments, and if you don’t continually yield to God and be led of His Holy Spirit, you have a religion.You do not have a relationship with God.] ...then I will confess to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.’” Now lawlessness is quite a thing. There are two forms of lawlessness:

  1. You are a complete anarchist and you don’t believe in any law. That’s almost a good Protestant.
  2. you accept some of the laws of God, but you add your own and you take away at your own convenience. That’s the worst kind of lawlessness.

There we go. “…Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.’ Therefore...” (vs 23-24). Notice how this v 24 answers John 5:24—let me read John 5:24 from the lightweight ‘Evangelical Bible’: “Verily, verily I say to you, he that hears My word... [That’s His whole message.] ...and believes on Him that sent Me has everlasting life.”

Let’s see what you’re supposed to be doing here. You must let the Bible interpret the Bible. You cannot read verses in isolation. Matthew 7:24: “‘Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock; And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock” (vs 24-25). And Who was the Rock? Christ!You’re built on Jesus Christ, the true Christ.

“And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them... [And sets them aside and says ‘we don’t have to do them, we only need two verses.’ Yes, fast track to salvation, the broad way. ‘Oh, it’s so easy. All you have to do is just believe.’ Remember James said the demons believe. Are they going to receive salvation? But if you believe in this, you’re believing just like demons. You don’t want to obey God.] ...does not practice them shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it” (vs 26-27).

Now those are some strong words. “Now it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He taught them as one Who had authority, and not as the scribes” (vs 28-29).

Good place to go ahead and end this segment here, so we’ll pick it up real soon and we will continue on with Bible Answers to Evangelicals #10.

Scriptural References:

  1. John 3:16
  2. John 5:24
  3. Matthew 11:11-12
  4. Isaiah 30:8-14
  5. Revelation 22:12-14, 18-19
  6. John 5:24
  7. John 12:37-50
  8. John 1:1-3
  9. John 5:36-47, 24
  10. John 3:30-36
  11. Matthew 5:17
  12. Matthew 7:12-23
  13. 1-John 2:3-6
  14. John 5:24
  15. Matthew 7:23-29

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 3
  • Mark 2

Also referenced:

  • Sermon: The Three and a Half Year Ministry of Jesus Christ
  • Sermon Series: God’s Grace & Commandment-Keeping

 

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