Fred R. Coulter—April 5, 2010

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Now I'll begin this Bible study by answering the question: after all the controversies over the names of God, what is the name that we need to use? Because the controversy of sacred names never seems to stop. And that reminds me of man who has the Church of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas. That's the proper place to do it, because in Abilene you have 'el.' So that sanctifies it, because 'el' is the name of God.

What is the name that should be used? Let me ask you a question here: Will Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be in the kingdom? Yes! They knew God—didn't they? Yes, they did! As a matter of fact, God appeared to them directly.

Let's come here to Exodus 3, and let's see what God told Moses, and also the conversation back and forth. After he was told to go to Egypt and bring the people back, Exodus 3:11: "And Moses said, to God, 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?' And He said, 'I will be with you. And this shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.' And Moses said to God, 'Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you," and they shall say to me, "What is His name?" What shall I say to them?' And God said to Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM'.... [That also could mean 'I will be what I will be.'] ...And He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "I AM..."'" (vs 11-14).

In the New Testament, especially in the book of John where you see that I translated it in capital letters, I AM, that comes from the Greek, which is a double I AM. Two words:

'ego'—which means I AM
'emi'—which means I AM

When they are used together, it is an emphatic. Let me give you the difference in inflection, I AM. When those two words are together, it's like this: I AM! That comes back to here to show that Jesus Christ was the Lord God of the Old Testament. I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but let's go on here.

"...And God said to Moses again 'You shall say this to the children of Israel, "The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My title from generation to generation." Go, and gather the elders of Israel and say to them, "The LORD God of your fathers has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I have surely visited you and have observed what is done to you in Egypt'" (vs 15-16).

Exodus 6:1: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he shall let them go, and with a strong hand he shall drive them out of his land.' And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, 'I am the LORD. And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty[El Shaddai]….'" (v 1-3). Now it's very interesting that when you get to the book of Revelation, it is God Almighty in many cases back there. Now if it is a matter of salvation to pronounce the name Yahweh—Yah Jehovah—properly, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will not be in the Kingdom of God based upon that reasoning. But we know they're going to be there, Jesus said so. "'…But I was not known to them by My name JEHOVAH'" (v 3)—or Yahweh, YHVH.

Now let's ask another question. I remember that the one who was a leader of this church down in Abilene, he came to one of our meetings one time in Dallas, Texas. They believe that if you don't pronounce the name of God correctly, you're not going to receive salvation. It was kind of amusing, because he had a Texas accent. He pronounced it Yah-way. So you can just see it. He comes up to God and He says, 'Can you pronounce My name?' 'Yes, Yah-way.' 'No, that's not right, you don't get in.' It's not based on pronunciation, it's based on your heart.

However, let's take this a little bit further. Let's ask a question here—let's come to Revelation 7:3, and I have a question there concerning the sealing of the 144,000 there; I'll cover both at the same time. Now I'm going to give a couple sermons before Pentecost leading up to this, to show as closely as we can ascertain from the Scriptures exactly what is going to happen. Speaking of the return of Christ, have you ever watched Franklin Graham? Franklin Graham, or his sister, have been on Fox News, and every time they get on Fox News they always ask him, 'When is the Lord going to return?' What's their answer? Their answer is this: 'He may come tonight, but He may not come for quite awhile longer.' Why do they say that? Because if He comes tonight, that's the 'rapture.' So that's how they cover their bases. The rapture's another story, too; we won't get into that today.

The question is: The sealing of the servants of God in their foreheads, 144,000, how will they know, distinguish the mark of the beast from the seal of God after having been lied to. Will they not be apt to reject any sealing, believing it to be false and would the great innumerable multitude also be sealed? Part of the rules of Bible study is this: Read the Scriptures before and the Scriptures after. Now there's going to be a tremendous event take place before the sealing of the 144,000, where they will know that the sealing that they are receiving is from God. 7y

So let's come back here Revelation 6:12: "And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of the its place" (vs 12-14).

When that event takes place, and the 144,000 are going to see it, they will know that's from God. So even though there's going to be an enforcement of the mark of the beast, they're not going to get all, because 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude probably do not have it as far as we are able to distinguish, when we look at the results of what happens to those who receive the mark of the beast.

Revelation 7:1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth... [You ever looked at a globe and try to discern where the four corners are on a round globe? When you do, let me know.] ...so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads'" (vs 1-3).

Now why does God use an angel to do that? Let's answer the question with another question. When we receive the Holy Spirit, are we sealed by God? Yes!

Ephesians 1:13: "In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing... [And as I covered, that believing includes:

  • believing
  • repentance
  • baptism

—because:

  • you don't believe unless you repent
  • you don't believe unless you have been baptized
  • you don't believe unless you receive the Holy Spirit

All of those are all tied up in that.] ...after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." So the sealing back here in Rev. 7 has to be receiving the Holy Spirit. This time God sends an angel to administer it. Why? Because of all the tribulation and everything going on, there are no ministers around to do it, so God does it Himself through an angel. This is a special harvest of God, which we will cover as we're coming up to Pentecost.

Revelation 7:3: "'...until we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads.' And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel" (vs 3-4). That's why knowing where and who the twelve tribes of Israel are today is very important to understand.

Let's also ask another question: If they are sealed out of all the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, they could not have been assimilated into the Gentiles as the Jews profess—correct? Could not be! Otherwise, how could He seal them here, approximately two years into the Tribulation. Couldn't happen! So the more you study the Bible and the more you believe the Bible, and the more you learn from the Bible, the more you're going to understand how to answer those questions.

Now why do the Jews profess that all twelve tribes reside with the Jews today? There may be a few remnant of nearly all of them among them. So they can claim all the promises in the Old Testament for themselves. The same kind of spirit that took place when they sold Joseph on into Egypt.

Verse 5: "From the tribe of Judah... [That's the first one listed—isn't it? Zech. 12 says, 'He shall save the tents of Judah first.' Is God keeping His promise? Yes!] ...From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand...tribe of Rueben... Gad... Asher... Naphtali...Manasseh...Simeon...Levi..." etc., (vs 5-8)—all of them there, with the exception of Dan. Joseph is mentioned, so that includes Ephraim and the tribes of Zebulon and Benjamin.

How does this tie in with sacred names and pronunciation? Verse 9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language..." Question: since they are saved out of the Tribulation, how did they know how to pronounce the name of God without being taught? Out of all of these nations, all you have to do is go to the post office and you will know that the immigrants who run the post office do not speak good English—right? So how can you expect these people from all the nations and tribes, having never been taught the name of God—and it's necessary to have the name of God to be saved—how can they ever be saved, if they don't know how to pronounce the name of God? It's not necessary for salvation!
Now let's ask another question: what name did Jesus reveal? Because He did reveal, manifest, and make known. What name did Jesus reveal? Let's come first of all to Matthew 11. With very few exceptions in the Old Testament when it's talking about God and the Lord God, and so forth—the Lord of hosts and God Almighty—it is referring to the One Who became Jesus Christ. Because, as we know, in John 1 it says, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and there was nothing that came into being that was created without Him.' (Just another little aside.) How then can people say that Jesus did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of Mary? It's because they don't understand the English or the Greek. The truth is, whenever anyone has an agenda, or they have a belief that they want to force into the Bible that's not there, you're going to come up with these apparent contradictions—always happens!

Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father... [Now do you suppose it was necessary for the resurrection that Jesus had the right name?] ...O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes.... [That's us!] ...Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this. All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him'" (vs 25-27).

Now that's quite a thing—isn't it? All of us and all the people of God have been personally chosen by the Father. As I mentioned in a recent sermon, how does God do this? He does it with His Spirit! Now let me tell you a little bit about the translation here, 'personally chooses.' In the Greek there is a special verb called the middle voice verb. Now the middle voice makes the subject, who is speaking or doing the action, also the recipient of that speaking or action. Now here it could not be recipient receiving back to himself directly, but it shows God's personal involvement that He Himself, meaning personally, does the choosing. Now always remember that in case you really get really discouraged and down. Because a lot of people come to the point in their lives sometime—you can call it the valley of the shadow of death of your trial—you may wonder:

  • Does God love me? Yes, He does!
  • Does God care for me? Yes, He does!

God personally chose you! Don't ask me how He does it, because God alone knows, but He has. Meaning, therefore then, all the brethren belong to God the Father and Jesus Christ. So the Father has chosen you.
Ephesians 4—let's see what else the Apostle Paul wrote and this is important for us to understand. Because I know many of you have survived a very authoritarian kind of church that you have come out of. So let's see what is really being said here in Ephesians 4:11: "And He gave some as apostles..."

Let's stop here and ask a question. The Apostle Paul said, 'I am a minister, I am a teacher, I am an apostle.' Peter, who was an apostle, said, 'I am also an elder.' So apostle is a job description of the function they would carry out. It was not, like we would say, a kingly title. When they were doing the work of an apostle, they were apostles. When Paul was sitting down teaching a small group, still being an apostle, he was a teacher. When he was working with them to help them with other things, he was ministering. Paul said that he considered himself 'the least of all the saints.' So what he's describing here is a function of work. He is not describing an office. "...some as apostles, and some prophets..." Now prophets come in two functions:

  • foretelling the future
  • the inspired forth telling of the Word of God

"...and some evangelists... [If they're out evangelizing, they're evangelists. If they're not evangelizing, well, they're not performing that function. They're still an elder or minister.] ...and some, pastors... [If you're not pastoring, you're not a pastor, but you're an elder.] ...and teachers" (v 11).

What for? Because the Roman Catholic Church says absolutely dogmatically, maybe not as much as they used to—but I've got a book at home written by the Catholics which they still dogmatically believe and consider all Protestants to be second-class or third-class citizens at best—that if you are not in the Roman Catholic Church in this hierarchical system, you cannot receive salvation. Does the Bible say that? No!

Because I want you to understand how Paul is writing this here in just a bit. What is the purpose of these functions of the ministry? Verse 12: "For the perfecting of the saints..." So that God can perfect them.

  • when there is proper teaching
  • when there is the Spirit of God
  • when we're all looking to God the Father and Jesus Christ in what we are doing
  • when we love each other
  • when we believe the Word of God
  • when we assemble together

God's presence is here with us. His Spirit is here. You have God's Spirit in you.

When we read the words of God, as Jesus said, 'These words are spirit and life'; because the Bible is such a book—not like any other book—when you read the Bible, you get inspiration and life and encouragement and love and Truth. You can't pick up any other book and find that—can you? No! But you can repeatedly come back to the Bible and find it over and over and over and over again—correct? Yes!

"…For the perfecting of the saints..." (v 12). God wants us as perfected as we can,

  • in love
  • in Truth
  • in knowledge
  • in understanding
  • in knowledge of Him
  • knowledge of His Word

—all of those things are the characteristics of God. He wants us perfected:

  • in character
  • in love
  • in service
  • in faith
  • in hope
  • in knowledge
  • grace
  • virtue

So perfecting the saints is God's work, but He requires our participation. Our participation by individual prayer and study and our participation by studying the Word of God. And the elders' participation, by loving God and serving God and preparing to give to the brethren those things which will help perfect them and up-build them. That's the purpose of the Church.

"...for the work of the ministry... [As I mentioned. It doesn't say here the work of God. Guess what, after all these years it didn't dawn on me until this trip, the difference between the work of God in you and the ministry of God.] ...for the edifying of the body of Christ" (v 12). Now edifying is to build up—isn't that correct? And with God's Spirit, and with God's Word, something can be accomplished that nothing else, no other way can do it, which is this: God wants us to be inspired to change. That's the best way to be perfected—why? Because it comes from inside, from the depth of your being, and the Spirit of God combined together.

When you're inspired, you desire to change—don't you? You desire to overcome—don't you? You desire to love God more and love the brethren more—don't you? Then you're inspired when you're confronted with troubles and difficulties, you know God will be there to help you—right? Yes! But unfortunately, too many people in the Churches of God have been abused, brow-beaten, fear-driven, hope-strangulation. 'If you're not in this church, you'll never go to the place of safety.' Really? How do you know you're going? You have an inside track with God? The truth is, those who go to a place of safety, God is going to choose Himself and He's going to send angels to take them there. You won't have to buy a ticket.

Or: 'If you don't tithe and give every last drop of blood so we can build this building, you're not going to receive salvation.' That's the whole wrong approach in handling the flock of God. God wants them perfected. He wants our willingness, He wants our love, He wants us to be with Him and with each other, for the edifying, the up-building of the body of Christ. "Until we all..." (v 13). Paul didn't say, 'you, brethren,' he said, 'we.' So when you're studying Paul's epistles, go through and note the number of times he says 'we,' because he's including himself. And what did the Apostle Paul say of himself? He says, 'I keep myself under check, lest after I preached to others, I myself might be a castaway.' He didn't present himself as some almighty mucky-muck, no.

"Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (v 13). Now that's a goal—isn't it? That is the goal! That's what God wants! When we understand that, then we can service one another, love one another, love God. Then when we read and study the Bible, our minds are opened up, we grow in understanding and knowledge and all of these things come from God. Why? Because we're yielded to God!

Let me ask you a question: What is the name that is going to lead to the salvation? Let's come to the book of the Gospel of John. Now when you read and study John 17, you're going to find the whole plan of God listed out. Quite an amazing thing! Going through the Passover ceremony you will find that five times Christ said, 'Your prayers will be answered.' Four times He said, 'Love each other as I have loved you.' So that tells us an awful lot—doesn't it? Yes, indeed!

John 17:4: "'I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do.... [That is for the ministry when He was here on earth. The work of Christ is not yet finished, it's still going on. You can read in Rev. 20 where He says, 'It is done,' so there's a lot to happen between now and then.] ...I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.... [Manifested means revealed. What is the name of salvation that ends the debate? The Father! Any name that comes out of the Old Testament referring to the One Who became Jesus Christ, is not going to bring you salvation through that name.] ...I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave to Me..." (vs 4-8). And the words of Jesus Christ are the words of salvation, from whom? The Father!

Let's come over here to v 21; let's see the ultimate plan of God. I think this is also very interesting. "That they may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us..." Put in your margin there Gen. 1:26, 'Let Us make man in Our image.' Who are the 'Us'? The Father and the Son! The Jews without the New Testament say that that was the majestic glory. They can't figure out how a one single God would say, 'Let Us make man in Our image.' Well, get over your prejudice and read John 17:21 and it will answer your question.

"...in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me... [What does He mean by that? You're not a glorified human being, neither am I. But if you receive the Spirit of God, you have part of what comes from God, which is the down payment for the glory that you're going to receive—right? Yes!] ...in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one. I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one... [There's that word again, perfected. That's quite a thing, being perfected.] ...and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vs 21-23). Was there an intense love between God the Father and Jesus Christ? Yes! The Father loves you, regardless of your circumstances, He loves you and Christ loves you and has laid down His life for you. There we go.

"Father, I desire... [Notice the name all the way through—Father, Father, Father.] ...I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world.... [If He didn't exist before the foundation of the world, how could He love Him?] ...Righteous Father, the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them... [What was the only name that He made known? Father! That's the sacred name required for salvation. There it is, all this time, all these years. Sometimes you'd think we'd get the point a little sooner—huh?] ...I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them'" (vs 24-26). How about that!

How do we pray? 'Our Father in heaven.' Let's see what Jesus said here. John 16:26: "In that day... [That is, after He is resurrected and gone.] ...you shall ask in My name; and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you." Mary's not there. Speaking of Mary, remember John finalized the New Testament and edited it when? About 100A.D. Mary had long since died—right? Yes! By time Jesus began His ministry in 26A.D., she was at least fifty. Now how long did she live? We're not told, but the Catholics say that she was assumed bodily into heaven.

John 3:13—this answers the question. If she had gone to heaven, that would have been written in the New Testament. The Catholics took 1,800 years to finally develop that as a dogma. Kind of sounds like a hound-pound, a dogma. Here's what John wrote. Jesus did not speak these words, the parenthetical statement in v 13. This was put in there by John, inspired by God as a clarification. John 3:13: "(And no one has ascended into heaven, except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who is in heaven.)" So that was written after His resurrection—right? And His ascension—right? Yes, Mary's not there!

So Mary is not there as an intermediary matrix, whatever they call it. John 16:27, now notice this. This is why it's so tremendous, brethren. "For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God." The Father's going to answer that prayer Himself. That's why He said when you begin your prayer, it is, 'Our Father.' So there we go. You pray directly to the Father.

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Someone reminded me that following through in John 18 there is a New Testament example of what I talked about with 'I AM.' This is when Jesus was arrested. John 18:4: "Jesus, therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forward and said to them, 'Whom are you seeking?' They answered Him, 'Jesus the Nazarean.' Jesus said to them, 'I AM'.... ['ego emi'] ...And Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them. But when He said to them, 'I AM,' they went backward and fell to the ground" (vs 4-6). Now if you were one of the Roman soldiers and came along and that happened to you, you'd think, 'How did this happen?' Wonder what they thought, and especially the one that Peter took the sword, whacked off his ear, I imagine he ducked down, because I don't think Peter was going for the ear. I think he was going for the head and he ducked down and lost his ear. Then Jesus picked it up, put it on him and healed him. I've often thought that the one that happened to, he was probably while everything was going on, feeling his ear. 'Still there, I saw it on the ground. Who is this Man?'

***

Let's look at some other questions here:

Christ preached to fallen angels?

This is favorite one of the Protestants: I have heard the story, so-called belief—and they do believe it—that when Jesus was buried in the tomb during that time, He preached to the fallen angels, demons in the center of the earth. I do not find this in Scripture. This must be a false teaching, a man-made fabrication to mislead, but if true, Jesus was not truly dead three days and three nights, thereby making the Bible false. Good question.

Let's go back to 1-Peter 3 where it talks about that. It's a matter of how you read it. Now I'm also working on another project. You've heard me mention that all the Protestant false doctrines are based upon mistranslations in the King James, and/or both, wrong interpretations. They believe in the immortality of the soul. When you die, your soul goes to heaven. That comes from the Catholics and the pagans. The Bible says 'the soul that sins, it shall die.' That's where they get all of their false belief on that. If you take a lot of the doctrines that the Protestants have, and especially the Catholics—now the Catholics are getting more sophisticated in their catechisms, I'm having a man assist me for Church at Home. He's going through the Baltimore Diocese Catechism online and they are adding in more Scriptures. But the truth of the matter is, when it comes to practice, they do virtually nothing in the Bible and claim that they are above the Bible or greater than the Bible. But Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, they shall judge you.'

If you have your King James, you can follow along and you can see the difference in it here. But what I'm going to do is take all the false doctrines, wrong translations, and I'm going to put together a study paper that has the Faithful Version, the KJV, and the Greek Interlinear, so then you can see.

1-Peter 3:18: "Because Christ indeed once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God; on the one hand, He was put to death in the flesh; but on the other hand, He was made alive by the Spirit... [After He was dead—right?] ...by which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison, which disobeyed in a past time, when once the long-suffering of God was waiting in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared..." (vs 18-20). So when did He go by spirit to the spirits in prison? During Noah's time! See, because when He died on the cross, what did He say of His spirit? 'Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit'—right? So His spirit was not with Him at that time He was in the grave—correct? He could not go in the spirit during the time He was in the grave, just like the question said, if He did then He wasn't dead. So that happened when Noah was building the ark, not when He was in the grave.

***

How God will treat aborted fetuses?

Because they were not born, I wonder how God will treat them in the end of times. I've asked you to do this before, but what I want you to do is take a pen, put it on your notepaper, make one dot. Take a good look at that, because that's you were when you were conceived. I've said this many times before—right? What is the only difference between newly conceived human life and a full grown adult? Growth! Because newly conceived life, you have the genes, the DNA, the RNA, you have the spirit of man. Because the body is dead without the spirit, so the spirit of man has to come at the same time of conception. I'll see if I can get that quote, it's a quote I'll never forget reading this book, that when there is conception there is a 480,000, just quick, volt of electricity that takes place. That's when you're conceived.

Now someone will bring up the question, because they used to teach this as well: you're really not a human being until you have taken your first breath. Really? Let's examine that for just a minute. When a baby is six weeks old, it's about an inch to an inch and a quarter long, with head, arms, legs, hands, feet. So by the time a mother knows that she is pregnant, the baby is developed. Maybe very little, but it's still a human being—isn't it? But it hasn't taken the first breath of life—has it? Of itself, no! But in order for that life to continue to grow, it must receive the benefit of the breath of the mother's breathing—correct? And through the blood that comes down to the placenta and then transfers over to the baby's connection through the umbilical cord, the baby receives the benefit of breath of life and of food—correct? Yes!

[speculation]: Theoretically, for God, a human life newly conceived like the pinpoint of this pen-point or pencil-point, is no problem to God, because that newly conceived life has everything that that person will be. It's just a matter of growth. And I suspect, and I've said and I've preached for years this: God will resurrect those babies as full term babies, regardless of how they died—aborted, miscarriage, whatever. God can take care of all of it, and then give them back to their mothers, if they're in the second resurrection. What a fantastic thing that would be—wouldn't it? Yes! Or if the mother is in the first resurrection, will she have an opportunity to raise that child?—because women can repent of abortion.
I remember one woman, she just about totally ruined her health, because she had an abortion forced upon her when she was sixteen and then the doctor just performed the whole hysterectomy on her and she could never have children. So she was burdened down in grief and sadness and sorrow because of that. When I told her, I said, 'You're going to see your baby again.' That lifted a whole big weight. Why not? If God is going to undo every sin, isn't that the greatest and most grievous sin that people can do? Yes, of course! So it's very likely that that could be. So I think that's how God is going to heal the breach.

The point was made that the Bible tells us the life is in the blood. Also the oxygen, which comes from the air is in the blood and so the baby, regardless of its size, is beneficiary of the breathing of the mother.

***

Living a second physical life:

The comment was made (overheard): It's no more amazing to live twice than to live once. I would wonder about that. It's no more amazing to God, because He can give you life a second time.

Speaking of that, we'll go to Matthew 27. Let's talk about near-death experiences, claiming to go to the gates of heaven. Some haven't found their name written there, so they scooted on back into the body. That's not in the Bible! I would say the near-death experience and all the lights and things that they see are the short circuiting and malfunctioning of the brain. Just like if you get hit, you see stars, and things like that. And they see mother and father. Well, how many impressions in their mind, do they have of their mothers and fathers and children? All kinds of them! How many times have they heard them speak? Their whole life long! When you dream and you have a dream, you can hear conversations in a dream—right? Can't you? Yes!

All this is just the brain out of function and whether they die or come back, and all of these who have had near-death experiences, come back, it's just part of the brain doing that. It's not that their soul, kind of almost went to heaven, and came back. If they're ready for salvation, why bring it back? Let it go! Peter should have said, 'Let go of that, send it up here.'

So let's talk about coming back to life a second time. Matthew 27:51: "And suddenly the veil of the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks were split, And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had died arose.... [They could not have risen before Christ, so the tombs were opened.] ...And after His resurrection, they came out of the tombs and entered into the Holy City, and appeared to many" (vs 51-53). So they were in the tombs, the tombs opened up, the bodies were exposed, God didn't let them deteriorate any more. And after Jesus resurrection, they arose and "entered into the city and appeared to many." So this had to be those who had recently died. This would be a testimony that there is a resurrection from the dead. But it says, 'many of the saints.' Notice, it didn't say any of the criminals. Why would the saints be resurrected back to a second physical life? So they could live longer, receive the Holy Spirit, and be in the first resurrection.

'Grandma, where have you been? We buried you three weeks ago.' You did? Oh, I remember. I came out of the tomb. Yeah, yeah, I'm here. That's the whole purpose of it, witness of the resurrection of the dead and so they could receive the Holy Spirit, and so they could be in the first resurrection.

Now let's come to John 11, and let's look at Lazarus. This is quite a story. I like especially John 9 and John 11. John 9 the healing of the man who was born blind. What a witness! He stood there and all those pinched-faced Pharisees who were, 'Tell us again how it was.' He said, 'You want to become His disciples? I've told you once, do you want to hear it again?' 'How dare you talk to us...'

John 11, you know the story. Lazarus was sick, Jesus heard that he was sick; He deliberately stayed away. He wanted him to die for the purpose of showing the power of the resurrection and a witness. But had any of the disciples received the Holy Spirit up to this point? No! Let's look and see what happened here. When they came back:

John 11:20: "And when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him. But Mary was sitting in the house. And Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.' Jesus said to her, 'Your brother shall rise again.' Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he die, shall live again; and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall not die forever [correct translation]. Do you believe this?' She said to Him, 'Yes, Lord; I believe... [Now she didn't answer the question.] ...Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who was to come into the world.' And after saying these things, she went away and secretly called her sister Mary, saying, 'The Teacher has come and is calling for you.' When she heard this, she rose up quickly and came to Him" (vs 20-29).

"Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha had met Him. Therefore, when the Jews who were with Mary in the house, consoling her, saw that she had quickly risen up and gone out, they followed her, saying, 'She is going to the tomb to weep there.' Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw Him, fell at His feet, saying to Him, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.... [And Jesus deliberately didn't come so he would die.] ...As a result, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in spirit and was Himself inwardly moved. And He said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept.... [Showing His love and compassion, understanding, and also the thing concerning the disbelief of different ones there.] ...Then the Jews said, 'See how much He loved him!'" (vs 30-36).

"But some of them said, 'Could not this man, Who had the power to open the eyes of the blind, also have caused this one not to die?'.... [A lot of people say, 'Why couldn't God do this or do that?' Because God has something else in mind.] ...Because of this, Jesus again groaned within Himself as He came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was laid over the opening. Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' Martha, the sister of him who had died said to Him, 'Lord, he already stinks, for it has been four days'.... [Now four days is an interesting thing, because after three days one is legally dead. Like with Jesus—when did He die? He died at about three in the afternoon. When was He put in the tomb? Right at sunset, so there's a period of about three hours there, somewhere. So He was legally dead being dead more than three days. Now Lazarus here was four days.] ...Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you will believe, you shall see the glory of God?'" (vs 37-40).

"Then they removed the stone from the tomb where the dead man had been laid. And Jesus lifted His eyes upward and said... [Now I want you to notice this long prayer.] ...'Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that You hear Me always; but because of the people who stand around I say this, so that they may believe that You did send Me'" (vs 41-42). Now how's that for a long prayer. It's not the length of prayer. It's not the repetition of prayer, it is the belief and the heart in the prayer.

"And after He had spoken these things, He cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth.' And he who had been dead came forth, his feet and hands bound with grave clothes... [Now let's talk a little bit about the 'Shroud of Turin'—total fake, because when the Jews buried someone they didn't put a shroud over him. They wrapped him, they had about six inch wide swaths of linen and they wrapped. He came outbound with the grave clothes. If you're wrapped up in those things and you come back to life, can you walk, even though you have these things around your legs and around your arms? Yes, you can, but if you're in a shroud—doesn't say shroud—bound up.] ...bound with grave clothes, and his face bound up with a napkin. Jesus said to them, 'Loose him and let him go'" (vs 43-44).

Now again, Jesus raised him so he would be able to receive the Holy Spirit and be in the first resurrection. We'll get there in just a minute, yes. The comment was made that a shroud was one whole piece. This had to be wrapped, bound, and the napkin was separate. Let's come to John 20. In part of the commentary that we did for the New Testament first and then the Bible, we tried to anticipate from the evidence in the New Testament: Who were the 120? You had the 11 apostles, you had Martha, Mary, you had Lazarus. I don't know if Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus were there, possible. You have the 70—remember the 70 that went out? Then you had the women that were with Jesus, the ones that ministered to Him, and Jesus' mother, and his brothers who after the resurrection believed, not before. So that's how we tried to figure the 120. But imagine that—the whole ministry of Christ for three and a half years resulted in 120, so it's a little more double than the size of this group here. Isn't that amazing!

Now let's talk about the resurrection of Christ. John 20:1: "Now on the first day of the weeks... [Now that's a literal translation because 'weeks' is plural in the Greek. It can in some instances mean the first day of the week, but this is the first day in the count toward Pentecost, so I translated it as literal as possible—'first day of the weeks.'] ...while it was still dark... [Now what happens when you get up while it's still dark?] ...Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb... [Well, what happened? You get up while it's dark and while you're going to the tomb what's happening? It's getting lighter and lighter and the sun is coming up.] ...and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb."

Whereas late on the Sabbath (Matt. 28:1), they went down and looked at the tomb late on the Sabbath, and it was still sealed. So now she comes approximately 12-13 hours later and the stone is removed. Now who removed the stone? The two angels did! And here's a key to understand: No one saw the resurrection of Christ. No one saw it! The women didn't see it, none of the disciples saw it; that was between God the Father and Jesus Christ. As a spirit being, Who could manifest Himself as flesh and bone later, He could walk through the stone—right? He didn't need the stone removed. Why was the stone removed? So it would be a witness that He's not there. ] ...Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them... [Bet she was all out of breath.] ...'They have taken away the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.'…. [They didn't know what to do. They didn't comprehend the resurrection. Jesus tried to tell them several times, but they never could understand it.] …As a result, Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. Now the two ran together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter... [a little competition, here] ...and came to the tomb first; And he stooped down and saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not enter. Then Simon Peter came following him, and he went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin that had been on His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself" (vs 2-7).

Let's think about this a minute. If they had taken the body, they would have taken everything—right? If they would have unwrapped it, which would have taken too much time, but if you're going to be a body snatcher you've got to be fast. You can't come in and start cutting this off. Now it showed here in John 19 that it was wrapped.

In order to come out of those grave clothes, did Jesus need to have them unwrapped? No! He would just come out right through them—right? When they saw the grave clothes there, what would they see? They would see the grave clothes with the form of His body, but kind of tucked down in because His body wasn't in there. Now you look around and you see the napkin that was on His head, folded up and put in another place. What does that tell you also? He took it off and He folded it up, evidence that He was alive. You ever seen a corpse fold a napkin? Never happen! Another place shows that He was up and alive. And they wondered, 'What does this mean?'

So that's something. I always enjoy this part of the Scriptures. "Then the other disciple, who had come to the tomb first, also went in and saw these things; and he believed.... [Doesn't say that Peter believed, but he believed, I'm sure, when he saw the Lord.] ...For they did not yet understand the Scripture which decreed that He must rise from the dead" (vs 8-9).

Let's talk about Adam and Eve and God in the garden. How did God appear to Adam and Eve? Did He appear in His glory? No, because no man can see the glory of God and live! Isn't that correct? Moses was able to see the back side, but He said, 'No man can see My face and live.' We don't know how much Adam and Eve were taught, but God appeared to them, to be very much like them, appeared as flesh and bone, as He does in Luke 24. How much did He tell them about His plan that they would eventually become like Him? They knew that they were made in His image, because they could see Him and they could look at each other. They could know they're made in His image.

Now since He didn't appear in His glory, it was much easier for them to believe that they could become like God, because they could see God in this form. So when the serpent came in and said, 'If you eat of this tree, you shall become like God, deciding good and evil.' Not knowing, they didn't know good and evil as God knows good and evil. But they decided for themselves and that's the whole meaning of what it is in the Hebrew there.

That's why they believed Satan's lie. 'Oh, well, God didn't tell you everything. This tree over here is really good. You've been talking to God, visit with Him, you see Him every day. So if you eat of this fruit, you'll become like Him and you can decide good and evil for yourself. You don't have to listen to Him, you can make up your own mind.' Don't people like to have their own opinions? Yes, indeed!

I think that's what Jesus looked like when He appeared to them in the garden, because let's see what He says when He appears to them here—Luke 24:36. These were the two that went down to Emmaus and broke bread with Jesus and understood it was Jesus and ran back.

Luke 24:36. "Now as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be to you.'.... [Just walked right through the wall or door.] ...But they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they beheld a spirit [demon spirit]. Then He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do doubts come up in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I. Touch Me and see for yourselves; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having'" (vs 36-39). Notice, He didn't say blood—flesh and bone. He manifested Himself in that form, just like He did to the two going to Emmaus. But when He left them, they didn't know where He had gone. So apparently when He left them, He changed into a spirit being, moved on up to Jerusalem, waited for them to go in, start telling the story to the apostles, and then figured, 'I'm going to surprise you. Here I am.']

"And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they were still disbelieving and wondering for joy, He said to them, 'Do you have anything here to eat?' Then they gave Him part of a broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb. And He took these and ate in their presence" (vs 40-43). So don't worry, we're going to eat in the Kingdom of God. Just how all of this is going to come down, wait till you get there. Is there going to be a wedding supper? Yes! Wonder what it's going to be like with angelic wine.

"And He said to them, 'These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (vs 44-45). Now this tells us a couple of things:

  • In order to understand the Scriptures, God has to open your mind. And how does He open your mind? When you believe.
  • This tells us that the New Testament, through Christ, interprets the Old. So the New Testament hence then, is greater than the Old Testament, because this gives us the understanding.

Verse 46: "And said to them, 'According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. For you are witnesses of these things" (vs 46-48). Quite a thing! Then in the first chapter of Acts He says that you're to preach to the uttermost parts of the earth. That is still happening through the Word of God.

Speaking of the lost tribes of Israel, James said, 'To the twelve tribes in the Diaspora.' Now if you send a letter to someone, you send it to where you know they are—is that not correct? That tells you he knew where they were.

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 3:11-16
  • Exodus 6:1-3
  • Revelation 6:12-14
  • Revelation 7:1-3
  • Ephesians 1:13
  • Revelation 7:3-9
  • Matthew 11:25-27
  • Ephesians 4:11-13
  • John 17:4-8, 21-26
  • John 16:26-27
  • John 3:13
  • John 16:27
  • John 18:4-6
  • 1-Peter 3:18-20
  • Matthew 27:51-53
  • John 11:20-44
  • John 20:1-9
  • Luke 24:36-48

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Zechariah 12
  • John 1
  • Revelation 20
  • Genesis 1:26
  • John 9
  • Matthew 28:1
  • John 19
  • Acts 1

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 4-29-10
Formatted: bo—5-2-10

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