Walking in the Way of God!

Fred R. Coulter—February 8, 2014

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. I have just finished, again, reading the book, Killing Jesus, by Bill O'Reilly. I'm going to do a couple of sermons on it. It's very interesting, because it comes out very similar to what Mel Gibson did when I wrote this book, The Day Jesus the Christ Died in 2004.

What I'm going to do is point out the differences here. I have not found anything concerning God the Father. God, but not God the Father; Jesus the Son of God, there was one reference to that He was God, but he didn't bring in those important Scriptures.

What he did, this book is really a fictive history, which is that he has his own conversations and thoughts between people that he has no record of, yet, he creates them as part of it. Some of that may be realistic. Some of that may not be realistic. Essentially they have it all wrong!

He has the right year, 30A.D., but he has the wrong date for the Passover. He has it on a Friday, instead of a Wednesday. He says that what Jesus kept was a 'last supper,' not the Passover. Then in the end he explains that Peter went to Rome, founded Christianity and all that sort of thing. It ended up just being more or less the standard thing.

He did focus an awful lot, I thought too much, on the gruesomeness and the cruelty and depravity of the Roman emperors, the leaders, and things like that. So much that he even had very graphic, what I would call pornographic material in there, which should never have been. It took away from the book.

His accounts, though he has a truism in the accounts, he's got them sort of muddled and mushed together. For them to call it 'a history' is a complete misnomer. It is a fictive history with much myth mixed in with it. I'm going to go over certain sections of it again, but if you don't know the purpose of why Christ died—which O'Reilly didn't state; if you don't why Christ came, and if you don't know what Christ taught…

O'Reilly never brought out any of the teachings that it is a way of life, which we are going to cover today. He did not have a clue as to anything concerning why it was necessary for Christ to die. He did not use the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, and he did not understand what the Scriptures say about Christ being destined from the foundation of the world to die as the Lamb of God. So, he had many things in there which were near Truth; that is, he presented different fragments of Truth, but many of the things that were not contained the way that they should be.

But in this book, The Day Jesus the Christ Died, starts right out in the first paragraph of it:

From eternity past, before the foundation of the world, God the Father and God the Son planned for and predetermined the day that Jesus the Christ would die. In the history of the universe, no other day can be compared with it. So profound was this day that it will always be remembered even into the ages of eternity to come.

O'Reilly just presented it just from a human perspective without any theology in it. I suppose for a reporter, that's about all you could do. For a Catholic, that's about all you can do. But as far as being effective, parts of it I would give him on a scale of 1 to 10—a 5. But as far as revealing the real Truth, he gets about 1-1/2, at best.

That fits in with what we are going to talk about today—Restoring Original Christianity #4. I got an e-mail from a man this week where he said, concerning the calendar, 'If the calendar is so complicated, where is the simplicity in Christ?' I had to write back and tell him. I answered it: The simplicity in Christ, we can liken this way. The calendar, from God's point of view, covers every aspect and within it, it is layered with many numbers and many sequences that prove and verify the calendar. The simplicity is that He gave the calculations to the priests and Levites and we can calculate it and know when God wants it to be.

Just like if you look at a drop of water or take a single cell, when they first discovered there were single cells, and you look at those and you say, 'That's simple.' But when you magnify it, look at all is in that drop of water, all these little creatures. It's the same way with anything that God has done. You look at the cell and now, when you have the quantum-physics, they look at the cell and they say, 'That's just like the universe.' Like we showed in the one sermon on sand, magnified 250 times with its gorgeous colors. You just look at it and it's just plain dirt. I explained to him that it is simple, but what it is for is eternal life. Therefore, it has depth and it has meaning that adds to the beginning simplicity, that it is from the mind of God, and therefore, is so important for us.

We'll put in a little politics for today. People want to know, 'What do you think of this? What do you think of that? What do you think of the other thing?' If you analyze it according to the Truth of God, everything is upside down. One man wrote an article where he said, 'When the lawless make the laws, criminality reigns.' That's exactly what we are seeing in the government here today.

Ecclesiastes 10:16: "Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child… [that certainly describes our situation in the U.S.A.] …and your princes eat in the morning." That is that they are corrupt and they take things for themselves.

I think that's about all you see on the news: crime, corruption, spending, loggerheads and logjams. I think that it is the administration's goal to get as many people hooked on government handouts as possible so they can perpetuate their party and all the elections. If you give something to someone, they are going to vote for you. The other party is depicted as mean; they're going to take these things from you.

They did that in South Carolina, because there were too many people signing up for too many things, and there were no workers to work, so they asked them, 'Why don't you want to work?' I'm getting these benefits; I don't need to work! So, the state took them away and it increased the employment. Now their unemployment rate is way down. There are even principles in the world that God expects the people of the world to follow. When the lawless make the laws, criminality reigns; especially so if your king is 'a child.'

We saw how that Christianity in the world presents a very simple Christianity, which is a distortion, because when they begin, they have finished. We're going to look at something. They say constantly that if you try and keep the commandments of God, you are trying to earn your salvation. No one can earn salvation. It's a gift of God, but He does have requirements.

Ephesians 2:8 is one that's quoted over and over again. They say you cannot earn your salvation by works. However, if you live in sin, do you not disqualify yourself?

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith…" All you have to do is believe; now you are saved. They never ask: Saved from what? Are you saved forever? Does your soul go to heaven? They would assure you that it does!

"…and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, so that no one may boast" (vs 8-9). Therefore, you have no works to do.

What are you saved from? Paul writes, Colossians 1:12: "Giving thanks to the Father…" This is whole thing that is missed in Christianity of the world, is the Father.

  • it is the Father Who calls us
  • it is the Father Who gives us the Holy Spirit
  • it is the Father and Christ with Whom we have a daily fellowship with

True Christianity, original Christianity, in order to restore it, as we will see, has to do with your conversion of your mind and your heart. It is something within that changes. Here's what we have been saved from: obviously, when you have your sins forgiven the remission of sins that are past. But what else?

Verse 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light…. [it is the Father who makes it all possible] …Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness… [the power of Satan the devil] …and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love" (vs 12-13). We are under the jurisdiction of God. We'll see a little later that Christ is to rule in our heart! When you get down to that, that is what is the key. What is the government of God? Christ in you!

Let's see about salvation. If at the point you have this simple formula and you say, 'I believe in Jesus; I accept Him as Savior,' are you saved from that minute on? No! Original Christianity shows that salvation is a process and a way of life.

1-Cor. 15 is rarely translated correctly. It is generally translated in the past tense, like it was: you have been saved. From what? If you're saved from Satan, are you saved from him permanently? or Do we not have other warnings in the Bible how Satan wants to come after us? Yes, we do!

1-Corinthians 15:1: "Now I am declaring to you, brethren, the same Gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you also received, and in which you are now standing."

  • The Gospel separates you from the world.
  • God's Spirit separates you from the world.

We are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are under God the Father and Jesus Christ; we are not under Satan the devil, because we have been rescued. Who can rescue people from the power of the devil? Only God! You are standing in this. We saw in Rom. 5:1-4, that you are standing in grace. That is your standing before God!

Verse 2: "By which you are also being saved…" That is a present tense passive. You are being saved by God through His Holy Spirit. We have our part; w have what we need to do. Notice it's conditional. It is not once saved, always saved.

"…if you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain" (v 2). Stop and think about that. If you are not living by the words of the Gospel you are believing in vain. There are many people who profess to believe in Jesus; what are they doing? They are believing in vain! Why?

What is Sunday-keeping? A tradition of men founded by the Roman Catholic Church that goes all the way back to Babylon! Those who keep that, what works are they keeping? The works of men! Is that not a work of law? Yes, it's a work of law, which cannot save you and it's a tradition. What did Jesus say to the scribes and Pharisees about their traditions? 'In vain do they worship Me, keeping for doctrines the commandments of men.'

  • Does that apply to Sunday?
  • Does that apply to Halloween, Christmas, Easter, New Years?
  • Are those all not doctrines of men?
  • Yes!

They are mentioned in the Bible, but not the way that they think.

Let's think about this, again, v 2: "By which you are also being saved… [This shows salvation is a process. Why do you think Jesus said, 'The one who endures to the end shall be saved'?] …if you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain."

Not only the words that Paul spoke to them, because he spoke more. He was there how many years in Corinth? Well over two years!Well over two years in Ephesus, and you know he spoke every Sabbath. You know there were a lot of words and things there that are not recorded here.

1-Corinthians 14:36: "WHAT? Did the Word of God originate with you?.… [look at the problems he was having] …Or did it come only to you and no one else?" A little religious pride and vanity coming up here.

This applies not only to them, but this applies to everyone else in the world who comes along. Verse 37: "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are commandments of the Lord. But if anyone chooses to be ignorant, let him be ignorant" (vs 37-38).

Let's see where he says it right in the beginning. Paul well understood that it is a process, 1-Corinthians 1:18: "For to those who are perishing… [those who don't believe in the Word of God] …the preaching of the cross is foolishness; but to us whoare being saved… [there it is right there] …it is the power of God." Isn't that what we need in our lives? That's the whole purpose of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of God.

In Eph. 2 we have a key. This is original Christianity restored:

  • we get rid of all tradition
  • we get rid of all teachings of men
  • we get rid of all of the false doctrines

Even within the Churches of God there are some, especially when you get down to the issue of church government.

Ephesians 2:9: "Not of works, so that no one may boast." That means any work of man that is not in accord with the work of God. We can bring that out with other Scriptures.

This shows the process and how it is done, v 10: "For we are His workmanship… [that is God the Father] …created in Christ Jesus unto thegood works… [you cannot be saved without works] …that God ordained beforehand…" What were those?

  • the commandments of God
  • the Word of God
  • the teachings of Jesus Christ

Were those not ordained beforehand? Yes! "…in order that we might walk in them" (v 10).

John 14:6, Jesus said, 'I am the Way'—that's what we are to walk in, the way of Christ! 'the Truth'—that's what we are to follow, the Truth, the Word of God! 'the Life' (John 14:6).

This tells us that we walk in the way of God in keeping His commandments and with His Spirit. That is the process of salvation in the Truth! The way of Truth is what it is that we are following, the way of God, and that results in eternal life. So, in that one simple statement: 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life' here comes something in that verse that is very important: 'And no one can come to the Father except through Me.' What does that do? That eliminates all the religions of the world—does it not? Yes, indeed! Now you know why Jesus said, 'Straight is the gate and narrow is the way and few there be that find it.'

Now let's look some more here concerning the way. We're seeing the end-time of this fulfilled, 2-Peter 2:1 "But there were also false prophets among the people, as indeed there will be false teachers among you…"—right in the Church of God. We've lived through that—haven't we? How many people have we been able to help who had to come out of that? Thousands!

"…who will stealthily introduce destructive heresies…" (v 1). How do you do that? First of all you water down the Truth, get everybody comfortable and you have emphasis on fellowship with brethren rather than fellowship with God.

"…personally denying the Lord who bought them…" (v 1). We saw the whole process with our experience with the Church. Why did God do it that way? Because He did it that way! That's how He separates out the tares from the wheat.

"…and bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many people will follow as authoritative their destructive ways; and because of them, the way of the Truth will be blasphemed" (vs 1-2). The way of the Truth is the way of God.

  • that involves commandment-keeping
  • that involves God's Spirit
  • that involves Jesus Christ
  • that involves ourpersonal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ

Here's how what is known as the Catholic Church was formed, and Protestantism came about half way. Now they are being drawn back.

Verse 3: "Also, through insatiable greed they will with enticing messages exploit you for gain; for whom the judgment of old is in full force, and their destruction is ever watching." Then he reminded them about the angels, Sodom and Gomorrah, and what God did to them.

Let's see the difference. Here's something that is always true. No one can take this from anyone who is a true Christian if you are faithful and do the works of God, because we are His workmanship.

John in writing this is bearing witness that this comes directly from Jesus Christ and God the Father, 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 our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life; (And the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us)" (vs 1-2); a quick summary of everything concerning the whole foundation of Christ and why He came. Then you have to take that and go back and read all the Gospel of John.

Verse 3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ." That is true Christianity. Why? Because:

  • God the Father has drawn us, that was the call
  • we answered the call
  • God the Father chose us
  • we repented and were baptized and received the Spirit of God

Baptism does not become just an initiation into an organization. It becomes the founding first step of your fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. That's the whole purpose of true Christianity.

Let's come back to Revelation 2 & 3; we're going to answer the works. If we are the workmanship of God the Father, He is creating in us His character and the character of Jesus Christ. We've already covered that with the Holy Spirit.

We are told in 2-Cor. 5 that we are a newcreation. That creation has not been finished, because we are being created by the workmanship of the Father, through the fellowship that we have with the Father, through the Holy Spirit that is given to us. God reveals to us our sins, all those little nasty things and big nasty things in our minds that no one else knows of, but God does. That is being removed. That is the process of conversion. The conversion is a work of God within us.

When it talks about the work of God in us, it's reflected here in Rev. 2 & 3 and it shows that there are many different trials and difficulties we go through from our own weaknesses and from infiltration of those who come into the Church.

The 'Good' Works:

I'm not going to go through all of them, but let's start out here with the Church of Ephesus, Revelation 2:2—What is the first thing He says? "I know your works..." He says that to every church.

  • Do works then become important? Yes, indeed!
  • What kind of works? Works that are based on our fellowship with God!

Fellowship with God is prayer, talking to God, and study, God is talking to us; those are the words of God.

"…and your labor and your endurance, and that you cannot bear those who are evil; and that you did test those who proclaim themselves to be apostles, but are not, and did find them liars" (v 2). We are to

  • prove the Truth
  • stay by the Truth
  • test everything that comes along

especially today

Then He says He has something against them, v 3: "And that you have borne much and have endured…" Remember, as we're reading through these things, the words of Christ, 'The one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved.' (Matt. 24). Here's the process of what they were doing.

"…and for My name's sake have labored and have not grown weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love" (vs 3-4). Where did we start in all of this? 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your being; this is the first commandment!'That's the first love! They began putting things of human beings before God. Those gradually became more important.

We can certainly see this with, for example, the Seventh Day Adventists. Dolores was reading some things about their hospitals and their works and what they are doing. A lot of those things are true, but they are outreaching to people. That's not wrong, but they refuse to keep the Holy Days. They keep their communion on the first Sabbath of every quarter. I dare you to try and find that in the Bible.

They have a lot of works in the name of God, which are self-righteous works. Is it more important to have your relationship with God the Father than to take care of people in the world with all their troubles and all of this sort of thing? Yes! You should not stop that, but how about finishing the complete works to God.

He says to every one, 'I know your works.' Let's see what He also says to every one of the churches, v 7: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes… [growing in Christian character is overcoming: overcoming sin, self and Satan] …I will give the right to eat of the Tree of Life that is in the midst of the paradise of God."

Verse 9, Church of Smyrna: "I know your works…" Then He says your tribulations and everything that you have gone through. Why? Because if Christ be in us, which He is, He is with us through all of these things! They had to face prison and martyrdom. Look at what we have today. I marvel, almost every day, that we have anything we want with virtually no effort, virtually none.

As I mentioned before, Dolores and I were talking, she says: With the markets the way they are today, especially living here, we can get so many things organic, we can just go get it. What does that do? That takes away any incentive to plant and to grow and to harvest. In this modern age it's easy, because you get all of these things already done for you, to forget that God's plan is also worked on a harvest!

  • you plant the seed
  • it grows
  • you water it
  • you have to take care of it
  • you have to watch out for it
  • you have to guard it

Just like He says, 'Beware of false prophets.' You have a nice garden out there, guess what you have at night? You have rats, rabbits, possum, raccoons, dogs, cats! Think how your garden would be if you had no fence around, didn't take care of it, didn't watch out for it and here come the raccoons and your dog gets out there and he's going to be a big savior. They run through the garden and tear it all out and now your crop is all gone. If there were no stores to buy things in, how are you going to live for another year? We don't think of those things.

Jonathan has some fruit trees in his backyard and he's putting a little cottage out there in back. So what did they do? They took out the fruit trees to make room, because he can go buy fruit. But that just shows, living in this age how we fall into traps that in this age we don't have to do a lot of those things. What does that require of us?

  • a greater diligence toward God
  • a greater thanksgiving that we have these things
  • a greater appreciation of it

so that we can do what God wants us to do and let God do in us what He wants to do.

Verse 11: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death." We have a lot we need to work on—don't we? Yes!

Then Pergamos, v 13: "I know your works…" Look what happened. They got all wrapped up in bringing Satan's way of government into the Church of God with the Nicolaitanes. He told them, and we have seen this, v 16: "Repent! For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth." Christ fighting against His own church.

Did God fight against Israel when they sinned and went into paganism and debauchery? Yes, He did! He even said of Nebuchadnezzar, 'Nebuchadnezzar, My servant.' If you read Dan. 4, you are going to read a short epistle by Nebuchadnezzar himself. Isn't that amazing?

  • Have we seen people make themselves the enemy of God? Yes, indeed!
  • What did God do? Took it all away!

So, here we are. We are kind of like the 'straggler' children of Israel, trying to keep faith with God.

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We will go through one more, but I want you to check the three churches in Rev. 3:

  • Sardis—says your works were not complete
  • Philadelphia—they were faithful to the Word of God
  • Laodicea—God knew their works; spit them out of His mouth and told them to repent and to overcome

I want to focus on Thyatira, because there's one verse that is very interesting. As we read these things, let's understand this. He says, 'The one who hears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' It's for all the Churches of God.

Revelation 2:18: "And to the angel of the Church in Thyatira write: These things says the Son of God, He Who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass. I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your endurance, and your works… [they had plenty of works] …and the last are more than the first" (vs 18-19).

However, look at they had false doctrines through Jezebel the prophetess and brought those into the Church. It got so bad that He says here in v 23: "And I will kill her children with death… [the second death] …and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts…" God is constantly searching, using, guiding, directing, prodding, bringing to mind all of these things through the Holy Spirit within us.

It says: "…He Who searches the reins and the hearts; and I give to each of you according to your works…. [not lack of works] …But to you I say, and to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will not cast upon you any other burden. But hold fast what you have until I come'" (vs 23-25).

Verse 26—here is a key important verse for all the churches. This is one that goes absolutely contrary to all of Protestantism: "And to the one who overcomes… [sin, self, and Satan] …and keeps My works… [What are the works of God? Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.' Those are part of the works] …and keeps My works…"

If you are keeping the works of Jesus Christ and God the Father, those are not your works—are they? That's why when it says, 'Not of works, lest anyone should boast,' that is, of what he does, but Eph. 2:10 says 'we are His workmanship.' Why? Because we are letting God mold our minds, develop our character, have a relationship with God, and we are keeping the works of Jesus Christ to the end.

Verse 26: "And to the ones who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end… [end of your life or the end of the age, either one] …I will give authority over the nations." Do we keep the works of God? Yes!There are works!

Let's put this in another way. Let's look at some other Scriptures here that are important for us to understand. Let's look at the works of God in the way of God. Let's come back here to Luke 20 and we find a very interesting verse here that even in coming against Jesus Christ they knew that He was a teacher. This is when they were watching Jesus to try and arrest Him.

Luke 20:20: "And they kept Him under surveillance, and sent out secret agents who pretended that they were righteous, so that they might catch Him in His words, in order to deliver Him up to the power and authority of the governor. And they questioned Him, saying 'Master, we realize that You speak and teach rightly… [no sin] …and do not accept any man's person, but teach the way of God in Truth.'" Interesting statement, isn't it? Speak it in Truth. It is what? The way of God!

Restoring original Christianity is that you are walking in the way of the Lord!You are doing the works of Christ! All of these things are absent in Protestantism and also Catholicism.

Let's come to the book of Psalms and let's look at some of the Psalms. We have had a good number of thanks for the CD we sent out with Psalms, Proverbs, and the book of Job. Had one woman write back and say she's played it over and over again while she is doing her housework, so long that she's gone through it 25 times already. That's good!

There are quite a few things in here about the way of God, We'll tie all of this together, because David was under the same terms for salvation that we are, while the nation of Israel was only under the terms of God for the Old Covenant to the letter of the Law, not for salvation.

Psalm 25:1: "To You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul…. [always looking to God] …O my God, I trust in You… [trust that everything that God says, every way that He tells us, to do is right and good.] …do not let me be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none who wait on You be ashamed; let them be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD…" (vs 1-4). We walk in the way of the Lord, the way of the Truth.

"…teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your Truth… [all of this is because of a personal relationship] …and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all the day long" (vs 4-5). See how fantastic this is? How great this is?

Verse 6: "Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindness, for they have been of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions…" (vs 6-7). That's why we repent every day—not of just the things that we do, because there are sometimes we do things that are not right—but where does sin originate? In the mind! What did Jesus say? 'For from within, out of the heart of men, comes…,' then He lists all those sins.

"…according to Your loving kindness remember me for Your goodness sake, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, He will teach sinners in the way" (vs 7-8). How does God—us being His workmanship—work with us? He teaches us:

  • through His Word
  • through His Spirit
  • through living
  • through the faults and mistakes that we make

so we can learn what is right and what is good. Then we can look back and we can see, oh, yes, how many years ago did I think this was right and it was really 'pin the tail on the donkey.' You see and you repent.

Verse 9: "The meek He will guide in judgment… [What is the opposite of meek? The pretentious and vain. Will He guide them in judgment? No!] …and the meek He will teachHis way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and Truth… [What did Jesus say? 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!'] …to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies" (vs 9-10).

The New Covenant that we have is so absolutely marvelous and fantastic. As we get closer to Passover, we'll go through it again.

Verse 11: "For Your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. What man is he who fears the LORD? He shall teach him in the way that He shall choose" (vs 11-12). That's found in the Word of God.

This whole Psalm is about

  • the way
  • the paths
  • the righteousness of God

Verse 13: "His soul shall dwell at ease, and his seed shall inherit the earth."

What happened to David when he forgot about the way of God and the trouble that he got himself in? Psalm 37:34: "Wait on the LORD…" He's going to do it in His time.

Remember what happened when Saul did not wait on the Lord? Samuel didn't come in the time that Saul expected Samuel to come, so he went ahead and offered offerings! He was to wait for Samuel to come. Right after he started, guess who showed up? Samuel! Samuel said, 'What are you doing?' Saul [transcriber's correction] 'You were late, so I forced myself.' Don't force anything on God!

Verse 34: "Wait on the LORD and keep His way…" Samuel told him, 'Wait until I come.' He couldn't do that.

"…and He shall exalt you to inherit the earth… [It all gets to the goal again.] …when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it" (v 34).

Verse 23: "The steps of a good man are made firm by the LORD, and He delights in his way." The way of God is a way of Life, the way of Truth.

If you want a real profound study experience, let me suggest this as a special study project. Make Psalm 119—and it's going to take you many days to go through it—the beginning of your prayer. Take each one of these eight verses—it's broken down into 22 sections of eight verses—and read them, pray about them while you are on your knees. Ask God to help you understand and let Him open your mind to understand the Truth.

Here's how it works. Psalm 119:18: "Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law"—out of all the Word of God.

Verse 35: "Make me to walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in them. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from seeing vanity; give me life in Your way" (vs 35-37).

Quite a Psalm—isn't it? When you go through and study that way, apply these things to yourself. Apply them to your thoughts, to your job, to whatever you are doing. You're going to find it is so magnificent and so good. In doing that you'll probably come to understand that Psa. 119 has to do with a prophecy of the way Jesus viewed all of God's way when He was in the flesh. Let's see what else it is that we are to do; let's see how this is to work in our lives on a daily basis.

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God…" That is a tall order. Be imitators of God. How do you imitate God?

  • in thought
  • in action
  • in deed

Verse 2: "And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor." Yes, indeed!

Let's see some other things concerning this. Let's see the promise given to us in 2-Peter 1; this is how we imitate God. Remember how astounding it was when we first saw the pictures of what sand looks like magnified many times over? Think about that in relationship to the Word of God. Here is the goal. This is the goal of original Christianity. With so many different forms of Christianity, it needs to be restored today, each one of us in our lives.

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ." That's what God wants in us, the righteousness of God. That's a tall order. That's a lifetime affair.

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."

These next two verses are absolutely magnificent. Remember the grain of sand and then remember the picture of the magnification of it.

Verse 3: "According as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue." As we started out:

  • God the Father has called you
  • God Himself loves you
  • God Himself has chosen you

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…" What a promise! To have the same nature as God! You think about that; that really blows your mind. That's what God wants to do.

Christianity in this world wants you to come, accept Jesus, everything's fine, everything's finished when you say, 'I accept Jesus.' God wants you to grow in these promises,walk in the way of the Lord!.

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us… [the gift of God] …to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

How do we do this? Because of our very nature, this is what we have to work on! If you read all of Gal 5 you will find the comparison between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love…" In order to have fruit, you have got to have the work up until the time that it is fruit. It just doesn't come all at once. You don't plant a tree in the ground and the next day you go out and pick the fruit.

We have the example in the Old Testament. If you plant a fruit tree, you don't touch the fruit for three years, because it's uncircumcised. The tree has to grow. The fourth year it goes to the priest. The fifth year you can eat of it. That shows us fruit takes time. On a yearly basis after that then, you have fruit every year. But the fruit takes work and the hardest work is the first one here: love:

  • love of God
  • love of neighbor
  • love of brethren

"…joy…" (v 22). Even in the time of trouble. How can you have joy in the time of trouble? You can only have it if you have your mind, your heart, your goal attaining the Kingdom of God!

"…peace, long-suffering… [suffer long] …kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23). This also shows that it is a process.

When Jesus was praying His last prayer—and I was very taken back by Bill O'Reilly's book that he did not have John 17 listed there in the things that He did, because Jesus' prayer really tells the whole purpose of God!—and His prayer was, 'Sanctify them with Your Truth,' that is, make them Holy. That's what sanctification is. You can only be made Holy with the Truth of God! 'Sanctify them with Your truth; Your Word is the Truth.'

Now you can compound this even more. What is Jesus called in John 1? 'In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.' So, it comes from God, comes from His Spirit.

Since we have sins to overcome and the sins are on the inside and God wants a change of heart, after we're told to imitate God; that is a mammoth goal! Think of that!

But here is how it is done, Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your own wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; So that He might… [we have to respond to God] …sanctify it…" (vs 25-26)—make it Holy. He wants to make every single one of us Holy. Where? In our heart and in our mind!

"…having cleansed it… [if we confess our sins, we're cleansed] …with the washing of water by the Word" (v 26). Today we need a lot of that—don't we? Think about how many things we are exposed to that are really sin indeed just by watching the news at night; commercials come on and so forth.

I know one evening I was sitting there watching the news and they have all of these ads to lose weight. They have got to have a near-naked woman to prove their point. You have all of this, what you could call in the world 'soft-porn.' If you see something that quick, it's in your mind. We need the Holy Spirit to rule in our minds, Christ to rule in our hearts. We do that by having our minds cleansed, so we need to have our minds cleansed every day.

It's the same way with our physical life. We have to take care of things in our body and out of our body to cleanse them. If you don't get rid of all of the toxins and things and all of the by-products of living—guess what? You're going to get sick; likewise, spiritually! That's why we come to God every day. I know my prayer every day is, 'Oh, God, cleanse me with the washing of the water by Your Word, by Your Truth.' A lot of these things, such as we innocently watch the news, we don't realize they are coming and all of a sudden they are there. We need to be sanctified that way.

Colossians 3 is the ultimate of what God wants done in our hearts and in our minds. We'll talk more about this as we come down toward Passover and Unleavened Bread.

Colossians 3:14: "And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection." God wants us perfected. And as astounding as it is, Jesus said in Matt. 5:48, right at the beginning of His ministry, 'Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.' He stated the goal and mission of why He was here at the very beginning.

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…" That—all ministers and brethren pay attention—is the government of God. You could rule over people all you want to, but unless Christ rules in their heart, you're not going to instill salvation in them or bring them into the Kingdom of God, because you exercise authority over them. That is not the government of God.

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ… [the washing of the water by the Word] …dwell in you richly in all wisdom…" (vs 15-16). I hope we're growing in wisdom. Whenever you do something that isn't, you say, 'Why did you do that?'

"…teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual song, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 16-17).

There's much more to original Christianity than this, but this gives us the framework so that we can go on to perfection, which is the goal of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and the apostles!

Scriptural References:

  1. Ecclesiastes 10:16
  2. Ephesians 2:8-9
  3. Colossians 1:12-13
  4. 1-Corinthians 15:1-2
  5. 1-Corinthians 14:36-38
  6. 1-Corinthians 1:18
  7. Ephesians 2:9-10
  8. 2-Peter 2:1-3
  9. 1-John 1:1-3
  10. Revelation 2:2-4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18-19, 23-26
  11. Luke 20:20-21
  12. Psalm 25:1-13
  13. Psalm 37:34, 23
  14. Psalm 119:18, 35-37
  15. Ephesians 5:1-2
  16. 2-Peter 1:1-4
  17. Galatians 5:22-23
  18. Ephesians 5:25-26
  19. Colossians 3:14-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 5:1-4
  • John 14:6
  • 2-Corinthians 5
  • Matthew 24
  • Daniel 4
  • John 17; 1
  • Matthew 5:48

Also referenced: Books:

  • Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly
  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 2-20-14
Formatted: 2-21-14

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