(Chapters 15-16)

The Battle Between the Children of God
& the Children of the Devil

Fred R. Coulter—August 15, 1998

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Philippians 2:8: "And being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death…" Lot's of times, people give up when they are confronted with a difficult proposition, let alone unto death. He has set the standard for us.

"…even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 8-11)—because He did this thing.

Verse 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed… [our obedience has to be always] …not as in my presence only…" What happens if you just do it when people are around? Then you're pleasing men, you're not pleasing God!

"…but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who works in you both to will…" (vs 12-13)—desire, and you don't do anything unless you have the desire; so God the Father even gives the desire. How about that! Even that is a gift! That's why Paul said, 'You have nothing that you didn't receive!'

"…and to do according to His good pleasure" (v 13). What is His good pleasure?

  • to love Him
  • to serve Him
  • to keep His commandments
  • to love the brethren
  • to honor the Word of God
  • to pray
  • to study

—all those things are His good pleasure!

Verse 14: "Do all things without complaints and disputes… [that's difficult sometimes; the easiest thing to do is complain] …so that you may be blameless and without offense…" (vs 14-15).

You need to understand that in the whole book of Philippians there's not one word of correction; the only book he wrote with no correction. It shows it can be done. Can you do the things that please God so that He doesn't have to correct you? We can if we have the mind of Christ! Does that make us self-righteous? No! That means we're just that more converted!

"…innocent children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation…" (v 15). If that doesn't apply to the world today, I don't know what to tell you.

"…among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, nor labored in vain" (vs 14-16). That's how we are to respond to God; that's what he's talking about in a little different way in Rom. 15.

Romans 15:6: "So that with one accord and one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, receive one another, according as Christ has also received us, to the glory of God" (vs 6-7).

This tells us there's a whole different relationship that needs to be with brethren than we have understood. If we have this for the foundation of the relationship with brethren, one with another, just think how much different fellowshipping together is going to be. If you're doing this, what are you doing? You're dropping off all the carnality, all of the self-interest and all of the hidden agendas, none of those things are there. But with the Spirit of God and openness of mind, and openness of faith, and openness of purpose.

Verse 7: "Therefore, receive one another, according as Christ has also received us, to the glory of God." That is true brotherly love! That's what we need to be focusing on.

Verse 8: "Now, I tell you that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the Truth of God, so that He might confirm the promises given to the fathers… [the Gospels; the four Gospels confirm that] …and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, exactly as it is written: 'For this cause I will confess You among the Gentiles, and I will praise Your name.' And again it says, 'Rejoice, all you Gentiles, with His people'; And again, 'Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and praise Him, all you peoples.' And again, Isaiah says, 'There shall be a root of Jesse, and He that arises shall rule the Gentiles: in Him shall all the Gentiles hope'" (vs 8-12).

Now, we'll just take one reference here; you can look up the rest in Isaiah and the Psalms. This one I really love in The Messiah.

Isaiah 60:1: "Arise, shine; for your Light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you, for behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (vs 1-3). That's really quite a dynamic song when it's sung. It's sung by the baritone, it's really chilling!

Psalm 27:1—talking about the light of God: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Brethren, this the confidence we need to have in God. Think about that!

Verse 2: "When the wicked, my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not be afraid; though war should rise against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I have desired from the LORD, that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple" (vs 2-4).

What kept him in this attitude? The hope of the reward of God! The understanding of the resurrection to come! Brethren, I don't think we really grasp how great that is going to be. It's going to be a marvelous thing. God has called us to absolutely the greatest and most marvelous thing that can be.

Verse 4: "One thing I have desired from the LORD… [ties in with Philip. 2—be minding the one same thing] …that I will seek after… [with all his heart] …that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life… [eternal life] …to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple."

To see Him in His glory, as Christ said: 'Father, I pray that they, whom you have given Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which you gave Me before the foundation of the world.'
This ties right in with it. It's amazing! It was amazing that David understood this! But David had a special relationship with God. Remember when the Ark of the Covenant was brought from Kirjath Jearim; it was not taken to the tabernacle but put in a special tent right in David's house. So, when David wrote these Psalms and he prayed before the Lord, he went before this special tabernacle right in his house. He could see the Ark. There was time when he said he could see God in there. That's why David is called 'a man after God's heart.' He understood some of these things, and had the blessing and the privilege of having been given to him some of the very words of Christ, even during His suffering when He was on the cross. That's was a tremendous relationship that they had; no question about it, it was a tremendous relationship.

Psalm 15:1: "LORD, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Your Holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the Truth in his heart… [it shows a pure, loving attitude] …he does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change it; he who has not put out his money at usury, nor has he taken a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved" (vs 1-5).

Psalm 17:13—here it shows that David knew a lot about these things: "Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him down; deliver my soul from the wicked by Your sword, from men by Your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life… [I want you to notice the contrast he's going to bring out here] …and whose belly You fill with Your treasure. They are full of children, and will leave their riches to their babes. As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness" (vs 13-15). And that means awake from the sleep of death, talking of the resurrection.

If you always have that hope before you, there is nothing that is going to overcome you or discourage you. You may be down for a while, but there is nothing that is going to completely overtake you.

Romans 15:13: "May the God of hope…" Even sometimes it gets down to it like it was with Abraham, that Abraham hoped in hope, against hope. In other words there was no physical reason for anything to happen except the hope that was the promise of God. When you're 100-years-old and your wife is 90-years-old, you know that's true! No question about that!

"…fill you now with all joy and peace in believing…" (v 13). Notice how that comes. It's present tense—believing. It's constantly believing, not just being inspired when you come to Sabbath services or you listen to a tape. You are always believing; you are always hoping; in spite of all the circumstances whether they may look very bleak.

"…that you may abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Spirit" (v 13). That's quite something! Never giving up! We need more of that, too, I tell you, brethren, we really, really do!

  • understanding the Word of God
  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • serving God
  • in the way of healings
  • and serving brethren

We're just living in such a world it's almost unreal!

Verse 14: "But I myself am also persuaded concerning you, my brethren, that you are full of goodness… [he's talking about mature Christians] …and are being filled with all knowledge, and are able to admonish one another"—to help, to encourage, to uplift, to admonish one another in psalms and hymns, to help one another.

I never will forget one of the founding members of the Christian Biblical Church of God, Esther Grisinger, she suffered in pain as much as anybody that I know, and she was really in bad shape physically. She was a diabetic, she was almost blind, she was confined to a wheelchair, she could hardly stand up and walk and all the muscles up in her groin and all the tendons were all caught up in a great ball. It hurt her! It just 'killed' her day and night! There were times when her leg would almost just bend right up because of the pain. Yet, when someone was in trouble or down or discouraged, who did they call? They called Esther Grisinger, and she gave them hope! She encouraged them! She lifted them up! Even in spite of her circumstances!

That really had to be a work of the Holy Spirit to do that. She was "…full of goodness… [in helping and serving the brethren] …and are being filled with all knowledge…" (v 14). That's what God wants us to do, grow in grace and knowledge (2-Pet. 3:15-16). And, of course, the grace that we have just keeps coming from God. And the fullness of Christ never runs dry. Our 'fuel tanks' run low from time-to-time.

  • from Christ they never do
  • the grace of God never does
  • the fullness of Christ never runs out

John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth. John testified concerning Him, and proclaimed, saying, 'This was He of Whom I said, "He Who comes after me has precedence over me because He was before me."'…. [that means existed before] …And of His fullness we have all received… [the fullness of God never runs dry] …and grace upon grace" (vs 14-16).

That's what it means, not grace for grace, but grace upon grace. So, when he talks about the receiving the fullness of God, that you may be filled, this is what he's talking about. And that fullness never runs out, and it never runs dry. It just keeps coming! If we're going to be filled with all the knowledge of God, then it's going to come with the grace of God.

Romans 15:15: "So then, I have more boldly written to you, brethren, in part as a way of reminding you, because of the grace that was given to me by God, in order that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles to perform the Holy service of teaching the Gospel of God; so that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit" (vs 15-16).

He's talking about his own responsibility of teaching and training the brethren. Paul didn't hold anything back. Paul gave everything:

  • so that they could learn
  • so that they could grow
  • so that they could be advanced

Even Paul said that he himself wished he could be 'accursed that all of his brethren, the Israelites, could be saved' (Rom. 9). We need to understand that.

Verse 17: "I have cause for boasting in Christ Jesus as to the things pertaining to God…. [not in himself and not what he could do, but in God] …For I will not presume to speak about anything that Christ has not worked out by me for the obedience of the Gentiles, through word and work, through the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God…" (vs 17-19). He's giving all credit to God; nothing of it was what he did. And I imagine the Apostle Paul had the things that he went through.

Let's see what the Apostle Paul went through and notice that he could still write this way and encourage this way and speak this way. That's why we have 14 of the Epistles of Paul in the New Testament. He was comparing what he was doing here in relationship to what others were doing—the false apostles and deceitful workers, and there are plenty of them out there today.

2-Corinthians 11:13: "For such are false apostles—deceitful workers who are transforming themselves into apostles of Christ…. [palming themselves off as Christians] …And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his servants also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness—whose end shall be according to their works. Again I say, no one should consider me a fool; but if otherwise, receive me even as a fool, that I also may boast a little. What I am now saying, I do not speak according to the Lord…" (vs 13-17).

He's making it clear he's not telling you what the Lord is saying, "…but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting" (v 17). 'What I'm going to say now, I'm having to say because you have forced me to say it. I really don't want to say it, because it's really foolish, but I've got to say it because of what these false apostles are doing.'

Verse 18: "Since many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. For since you are so intelligent, you gladly bear with fools" (vs 18-19). He's very cynical. You get into the book of 1st & 2nd Cor. and he's got some very cynical statements to them.

Verse 20: "For you bear it if anyone brings you into bondage, if anyone devours you, if anyone takes from you, if anyone exalts himself, if anyone beats you on the face. I speak as though we were under reproach for being weak; but in whatever way anyone else is bold (I speak in foolishness), I also am bold. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am speaking as if I were out of my mind.) So am I, above and beyond measure—in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in imprisonments more frequent, in deaths often. Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I spent in the deep. I have been in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own race…" (vs 20-26)—he was a hunted man!

"…in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the desert, in perils on the sea, in perils among false brethren… [that's a great peril today] … in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides all these things from the world outside, pressing on me daily is the care of all the churches" (vs 26-28).

  • if you think you've had it
  • if you think you're really down
  • if you think you're having it tough

read this and you'll understand why the Apostle Paul put his ministry and left it in God's hands and just really gave himself over to it entirely.

Verse 29: "Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I do not burn?" (vs 28-29). I know what he's talking about with those kinds of things. There are some that you think are really good brethren and, my, they turn out to be nasty, hateful people. You get burned! Have you been burned in the Church? Yes! So was Paul!

Verse 30: "If it is necessary for me to boast, I will boast in the things concerning my weakness. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed into the ages of eternity, knows that I do not lie. In Damascus, the governor under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes because he desired to arrest me. But I was let down in a basket through a window by the wall, and escaped from his hands" (vs 30-33).

So, he was chased and driven around. When he talks about his ministry and what he's doing, and how he went out and preached, I tell you what, when he went out there and was stoned, left for dead, remember, the brethren came and got him, picked him up. What did he do as soon as he was well? He kept on preaching, kept on going, and came right back into that same city again later on, where he was stoned! If we think we have it tough, look, we've got our cars; we have planes; we have nice halls to meet in; we have clothes to wear; we have food to eat. We have nothing to complain about!

Romans 15:17: "Therefore, I have cause for boasting in Christ Jesus as to the things pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak about anything that Christ has not worked out by me for the obedience of the Gentiles, through word and work, through the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God; so that in a circuit from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ; and indeed, I have aspired to preach the Gospel of Christ where the name of Christ was not known, so that I might not build on another's foundation" (vs 17-20).

So, he didn't go where Peter preached. He didn't go where Bartholomew preached. He didn't go where Barnabas preached. He preached in the area that God wanted him to preach and the Holy Spirit let him know what that was as we see in the book of Acts.

Verse 21: "But even as it is written: 'Those to whom He had not been proclaimed shall see; and those who had not heard shall understand'…. [that's preaching the Gospel (Isa. 52:15)] … For this reason also, I have been hindered many times from coming to you. But now, there being no place in these regions that has not heard the Gospel, and having a great desire to come to you for many years" (vs 21-23). Here were all these churches in Rome that hadn't even seen the Apostle Paul.

Verse 24: "Whenever I may go to Spain, I will come to you because I hope to see you while passing through Rome, and from there to be sent forward by you after I have enjoyed your company for a while."

What the Apostle Paul would do, he would go to one city, they would take care of him, they would give him of the tithes and offerings to finance his trip to go somewhere else and he would go out from there. That's how it was done. He was telling them he was expecting it there.

Verse 25: "But now I am going to Jerusalem… [this was apparently written from Corinth] …to minister to the saints because those in Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a certain contribution for the poor saints who are in Jerusalem. Now, they took pleasure in doing this, and their debtors they are because if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they ought in turn to minister to them even in physical things" (vs 25-27). That's when they had the drought.

Verse 28: "Therefore, when I have finished this task, and have safely delivered into their hands the fruit that was collected, I will set off toward Spain and will come to you. I know that, when I do come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. Now I exhort you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in prayers to God on my behalf" (vs 28-30).

He needed it, because he was walking into a lion's den going up to Jerusalem. When he got up there they were after him and his life was barely spared, but he had to give a tremendous witness to all the people in Jerusalem.
This is why the prayers, v 31: "In order that I may be delivered from those in Judea who are unbelievers, and that my service… [this offering that he's bringing] …in bringing this fruit to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints; so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God, and that I may be refreshed with you. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen" (vs 31-33).

So, he had the letter finished at one point. We're going to see there are several add-ons here. There are actually four sections that say 'Amen.' We'll cover all four; the first one here is at the end of Rom. 15. It does sound like a conclusion. Then he says, 'I've forgotten something,' so we have:

Romans 16:1: "Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the Church in Cenchrea… [that was over near Corinth] …Charging you to receive her in the Lord, in a manner worthy of saints…" (vs 1-2).

She was actually a deaconess and one who was helping Paul. Some people think that she was an evangelist and preacher, but there's no indication of that whatsoever. That would have gone against everything that the Apostle Paul was teaching.

"…and to assist her in whatever she may need from you because she also has been of great assistance to many, including myself. Salute Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (vs 2-3).

Who are Priscilla and Aquila? Let's see who they are and how they did help and they actually helped with the Church there in Corinth.

Acts 18:18: "And after Paul had remained there many days, he took leave of the brethren and sailed away to Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. Now, Paul had shorn his head in Cenchrea because he had made a vow…. [this is where Phoebe was] …And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. And when they asked him to remain with them for a longer time, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, 'I must by all means keep the feast that is coming at Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.' And he sailed from Ephesus. And after landing at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and visited the Church; then he went down to Antioch. And when he had stayed there some time, he left and went through the country of the Galatians and the Phrygians in order, establishing all the disciples" (vs 18-23).

Verse 24: "Now, a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man who was skilled in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. And after hearing him, Aquila and Priscilla took him and expounded the way of God to him more perfectly" (vs 24-26).

They knew the Scriptures. They took him aside privately and went through all the Scriptures, showing them. So, when Paul is talking about Aquila and Priscilla they were very close with the Church there in Ephesus and helped out an awful lot.

Verse 27: "And when he was determined to travel to Achaia, the brethren wrote to the disciples, exhorting them to welcome him; and after arriving, he greatly helped those who had believedthrough grace, for he powerfully refuted the Jews publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ" (vs 27-28).

Romans 16:4: "Who have laid down their own necks for my life… [I don't know exactly how they did it, but whatever it was they extended themselves to save him.] …to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles."

All the rest of it is saluting all these different ones, vs 5-15.

Verse 16: "Greet one another with a Holy kiss. The Churches of Christ salute you."

Now we get into another topic and this is probably why he wrote this, why he put this tag-end on here:

Verse 17:" Now I exhort you, brethren, to take note of those who are causing divisions…"—that's a little bit different than in Rom. 15.

Romans 15:14: "But I myself am also persuaded concerning you, my brethren, that you are full of goodness, and are being filled with all knowledge, and are able to admonish one another."

Now we have another problem that enters in that took place, he got word of before the mailing off of this letter, or having it sent over by Phoebe from where he was.

Romans 16:17: "Now I exhort you, brethren, to take note of those who are causing divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and shun them… [that's what Paul said] … because these are the sort who are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, and are deceiving the hearts of the innocent by smooth talking and flattery" (vs 17-18).

That is happening today over and over again, the very same thing!

Verse 19: "For the report of your obedience has reached to all. Therefore, I rejoice over you. However, I desire that you be wise indeed concerning good, but innocent concerning evil. But the God of peace will bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen" (vs 19-20).

Then he continues on; he wants to explain a little bit more what's going to happen; v 21: Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord …. [he was the secretary] …Gaius, my host, and that of the whole church, salutes you. Erastus, the steward of the city, and Quartus, a brother, salute you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen" (vs 21-24).

But, he's not yet done. This sounds like a symphony. You've heard Beethoven, you think you've come to the end and then he goes on again. So here we have it again:

Verse 25: "Now, to Him Who has the power to establish you, according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that in past ages has been kept secret; but now is made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations unto the obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 25-27).

That finishes the book of Romans, ends off with four AMENs!

Questions:

What does it mean he "…will bruise Satan…" (v 20)? This is referring the very first prophecy of the Messiah after Adam and Eve sinned!

(go to the next track)

"will bruise Satan"

Genesis 3:15: "And I [God] will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman… [prophetic of the Church; so we've got Satan and the Church] …and between your seed… [seed of Satan the devil; we have the children of the devil, too] …and her Seed…" This is physical and spiritual.

You can take this prophecy and run it physical and spiritual all the way through, and it fits. Physically your seed, snakes on the ground; and her seed, physical descendants. I'm one of those; I have enmity against snakes, I can't stand them!

"…between your seed… [the children of the devil being the tares] …and her seed… [being the children of God] …He [Christ] will bruise your [the serpent] head, and you [the serpent] shall bruise His [Christ] heel" (v 15). Talking of the crucifixion.

When He was crucified, the only way you can crucify someone and have nails in your feet without breaking the bones is to put them right through the backside of the Achilles' tendon in the heel. That's the only way. It's just flesh in between, so you can drive a spike through there pretty easily.

"children of the devil" vs "the children of God"

Let's look at the 'children of the devil.' Matt. 13 talks about those who are the 'children of the devil.' Who are the 'children of the devil'? There are those who go into the depths of Satan the devil, those who do the things that are in the world. Of course, Rom. 1 shows the steps by which people go to the depths of Satan, and what then God gives them over to.

Matthew 13:37: "And He answered and said to them, 'The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom… [of God] …but the tares are the children of the wicked one [Satan the devil]" (vs 37-38).

That's why the Church goes through its upheavals always. It gets solidified to a certain point, and then Satan sends his tares in. Then you have to have the upheaval to get rid of the tares, because only God can get rid of the tares. The big mistake is, once the tares are gone don't run and bring them back. Let them go! If they truly love God and they're not tares, then they will repent. If they are tares:

Verse 38: "…but the tares are the children of the wicked one. Now the enemy who sowed them is the devil…" (vs 38-39). Satan is doing his busy work within the Church. And frankly, that's why the whole Worldwide Church of God came apart. That's why Church of God International has come apart. That's why United Church of God is coming apart. That's why all the splinter groups are coming apart. It's a process of getting rid of the tares. Only God can do that!

That's why we need to really yield to God, so that we have the love of God. There's one thing for sure that a tare cannot do: a tare cannot be where there is truly the love of God and where there is no hierarchy for him to nestle into and put his roots down in. They have to go. And they love power. That's why wherever there's a church with a hierarchy, they get to the proximity of power, and they sit there and they wait until a certain time—and I don't know what it is. Something happened in Worldwide, it was almost like turning a key in a lock and opening the door and BAM! I think one of them was Stavrinides, bringing the pagan doctrine of the Trinity and going way back into the philosophy of the ancient pagans. That was one, there are many others.

"…and the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore, as the tares are gathered and consumed in the fire…" (vs 39-40). That's why you need to understand that some of these organizations are being set up are the gathering together of tares.

"…so shall it be in the end of this age" (v 40). If we're not living at the end of the age, I don't know what we're living in.

Verse 41: "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all the offenders and those who are practicing lawlessness; and they shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear" (vs 41-43). There it's telling us we'd better have ears to hear.

Let's also see that there are the 'children of the devil'; 1-John 3:4: "Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness." Lawlessness means against law! 'Sin is the transgression of the law' (KJV) is also an accurate translation. But this is more accurate, because it's showing that the 'children of the devil' are lawless, meaning they are against the laws of God. The Greek here is 'anomos'—against law. Not their own, but God's. Every system of Satan the devil has their own laws. And it's 'practicing sin'; it's not that you just do it once, you transgress a commandment—'Oh oh, I've sinned.' This means living in sin.

Verse 5: "And you know that He appeared in order that He might take away our sins; and in Him is no sin." Part of the teachings of Satan and the works of darkness is that Christ is also in darkness and sin.

Verse 6: "Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin…" That's the only proper translation. Why?

1 John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother… [one who is converted] …sinning a sin that is not unto death, he shall ask, and He will give him life for those who do not sin unto death…."

You can see someone sinning. It cannot mean that you have the inability to sin (1-John 3). It means you don't practice sin. There's a difference between sinning because you have the law of sin and death in you, but you're living a righteous life in keeping the commandments of God. In other words, a sin that is repentable. That's what it's talking about.

"…There is a sin unto death; concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God" (v 16)—the unpardonable sin! You can't pray and have that lifted from the brother. There's no way, because they've rejected Christ.

So, therefore, when you come back to 1-John 3:6, it has to read this: "Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin; anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him. Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous" (vs 6-7).

  • Is that not true?
  • Did we not learn that in the book of Romans?

If you are keeping the commandments of God you are under grace, you're living God's way, He imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ to you!

Verse 8: "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. Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin…" (vs 8-9). It doesn't mean he cannot sin; it means he is not practicing sin! There's a vast difference.

"…because His seed… [from God the Father] … of begettal is dwelling within him, and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God" (v 9). In other words, if you do sin, God's Spirit, by the begettal, is going to convict your heart and mind of that sin, and you will repent and not continue in that sin. That's what it's saying.

Verse 10: "By this standard are manifest the children of God and the children of the devil. Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, and neither is the one who does not love his brother." So, there are children of the devil.

  • through the process of perversion they go into the depths of Satan

whereas, God calls us and

  • through the process of conversion we become the children of God

Quite a thing! There's an interesting statement here, as Christ talks to those in Thyatira, which if you see the video Israel of the Alps, you will understand. Every time they compromised the Sabbath, went against God, they got slaughtered. That's exactly what He says here.

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; and the last are more than the first. But I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants into committing fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols" (vs 18-20).

This tells us something! If we are not vigilant in helping the brethren of God not get involved in these things, and get involved in the tearing down of the doctrine and compromising these things, and eating and drinking with the drunkard (as Jesus said) then God is going to hold us responsible—is He not? No question about it!

I just got a call from a woman yesterday in tears, she quit going to Worldwide Church of God because they were not going to keep the Holy Days, they're going to keep Christmas and Easter and all the other days. That will bring tears to anybody who's been in Worldwide Church of God a long time, to see how they subverted the Church, totally taken down! It has been totally compromised. And I imagine there's a report from one of the leading Cardinals in the Vatican that it has been done. No question about it.

Same way here, v 21: "And I gave her time to repent of her fornication, but she did not repent. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death… [that's what happened; the sword came after them and it was awful] …and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your 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…" (vs 21-24).

There is a depth of satanism that people get into, which this whole world is being brought into right now with the occult. You can see it everyday on television. There's more and more occultism, coming right into even the kindergartens, where they're teaching the little children that they have their little helpers and all they need to do is talk to it and all their little children have their angels. It's all getting into occultism. And all the holidays and everything that this world celebrates are all satanic, occult holidays! No question about it!

They may have been wallpapered with things that sound like they're 'Christianity,' but when you strip away the veneer, they are satanic and occult to the core! Including: New Years, Christmas, Easter, Ground Hog Day, May Day, summer solstice, Halloween, Valentine's Day, all of them! They all have deep occult meaning! But what they like to do, on the outside—since you're not into the depths of Satan—for the general public out here they sugarcoat it with all nice little things, and they make it sound good and acceptable, but they have been deceived by Satan the devil.

Those who go into the depths of Satan the devil, let's see how that happens; there's a step-by-step process by which this takes place. It's one thing to be deceived in the world and not know it, and God has shut you up to it. There's another thing to be a child of the devil and actually earnestly involved in it.

Romans 1:18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness." Is that not the goal? Can you get any Truth anywhere in this world? No, you can't!

Verse 19: "Because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them." God makes it known! No question, they have no excuse!

Verse 20: "For the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made… [the very creation of God] …—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse."

This is all the philosophers, on which the philosophy of the whole world has been underpinned, beginning from Babylon, through Greece, down through Rome down to our present day.
Verse 21: "Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God…" We are looking at the steps that they are taking to go to the depths of Satan.

"…neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings… [imagination, their own thoughts] …and their foolish hearts were darkened." This is telling us that when anyone gets carried away in vanity, they close off their understanding. They become so self-centered, and that's exactly what Satan wants, self-centered people, because he can use them and he can deceive them, and he can use them to deceive others.

Verse 22: "While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools."

  • you reject the knowledge of God through the things He's created
  • you become vain in your own imaginations
  • your foolish heart is darkened
  • you're professing yourself to be wise and you become a fool
  • Verse 23: "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed creatures, and creeping things." You become nature oriented. Does that sound familiar with the 'eco movement'? Yes!
  • Verse 24: "For this cause, God also abandoned them to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to disgrace their own bodies between themselves." You get into sexual depravity.

Because there is no God:

  • you're wise, you understand all things
  • you are smart
  • you're able to do these things
  • you know what is right
  • and anything you do goes

That's why we have the rise of homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, human sacrifice and all that going on today. Where do you think all these missing children go and they can't find them? People don't just disappear and are never found again. There's a reason for it.

  • Verse 25: "Who exchanged the Truth of God for the lie… [now you're given over to believing lies, totally; now you're really deceived] …and they worshiped and served the created thing… [reference to Satan the devil (Rev. 13) the whole world will worship him] … more than the One Who is Creator, Who is blessed into the ages. Amen."
  • Verse 26: "For this cause, God abandoned them… [notice the whole thing, God is the One Who does it, because they're affronting God. These are the steps into the depths of Satan the devil!] …to disgraceful passions; for even their women changed the natural use of sex into that which is contrary to nature; and in the same manner also the men, having left the natural use of sex with the woman, were inflamed in their lustful passions toward one another—men with men shamelessly committing lewd acts, and receiving back within themselves a fitting penalty for their error" (vs 26-27).
  • Verse 28: "And in exact proportion as they did not consent to have God in their knowledge, God abandoned them to a reprobate mind… [not having the sound judgment of anything right and wrong whatsoever] …to practice those things that are immoral; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, guile, evil dispositions; whisperers, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things and practices; disobedient to parents, void of understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable and unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death, not only practice these things themselves, but also approve of those who commit them" (vs 28-32).

There you have it. That's the difference between the children of God and the children of the devil, sinking into the depths of depravity. That's something! The difference between the children of the devil, who really give themselves over to the devil are, by perversion, step-by-step taken to degree-by-degree down to be the absolute in-depth children of Satan the devil.

Where God, through conversion, wants us to step-by-step be converted and grow in grace and knowledge and become into the very image and knowledge of God, and to be born in the Kingdom of God as the very sons and daughters of God.

Quite a contrast and that's the battle that we're fighting, and that's the whole battle of the book of Romans!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Philippians 2:8-16
  • Romans 15:6-12
  • Isaiah 60:1-3
  • Psalm 27:1-4
  • Psalm 15:1-5
  • Psalm 17:13-15
  • Romans 15:13-14
  • John 1:14-16
  • Romans 15:15-19
  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-33
  • Romans 15:17-33
  • Romans 16:1-3
  • Acts 18:18-28
  • Romans 16:4, 16-17
  • Romans 15:14
  • Romans 16:17-27
  • Genesis 3:15
  • Mathew 13:37-43
  • 1 John 3:4-6
  • 1 John 5:16
  • 1 John 3:6-10
  • Revelation 2:18-24
  • Romans 1:18-32

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Peter 3:15-16
  • Romans 9
  • Isaiah 52:15
  • Romans 16:5-15
  • Revelation 13

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Scripturalism vs Judaism
  • DVD: Israel of the Alps (produced by the Seventh Day Adventists)

FRC:bo     
Transcribed: 1-24-11
Reformatted/Corrected: November-December/2016

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