IF you're not searching for the Truth,
the veil of blindness is going to come over you again!

Fred R. Coulter—February 15, 2020

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

Remember what Jesus said about when the Son of man comes? Shall the Son of man find the true faith on the earth!

It just came to my attention via the Internet that one of the larger Churches of God—United Church of God—is going to downgrade that Christ was the Lord God of the Old Testament.

That's why it's so important that we understand doctrines, which are teachings. Teachings are necessary so that we can understand the Word of God.

We've seen what has happened in the Churches of God whenever they want to change doctrine, they always go after the nature of God, both the Father and Christ. They always do! How can you say that Jesus was not the God of the Old Testament before He became Jesus Christ of the New Testament? When you read these first verses in John?

John 1:1: "In the beginning… [going clear back to Gen. 1:1] …was the Word… ['ho Logos'] …and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

That's a plain statement in Greek. It can't be manipulated one way or the other. That is it! You can't say that He was not God, you can't say that He was entirely man.

Verse 2: "He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him" (vs 2-3).

You take all of the scientist trying to figure out how they can create life. What do they deal with? They deal with what has already been created! They can't come to the knowledge of it—even if they do—without Christ!

You can't get away from God! It doesn't matter who you are, where you are or what you do, whether you believe or don't believe, whatever!

Verse 14—another plain statement: "And the Word became flesh…"

The question is, have they already changed, or are they in the process of discussing it to change it? The latter! But it's up to the Council of Elders to vote on it. How can you vote on what is a doctrine that's contrary to what is Truth? How can you do that?

They're probably going to say that He was exceptional and begotten by the Father and that's when He came into being. We'll have to wait and see, because there are probably many different ways that they will approach this.

Verse 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."

There are many other Scriptures, so I want to do a little advertising; We have a lot of information for you:

These studies go verse by verse in the Bible to show you Who God is:

  • The Nature of God (Study Pkg. #6)
  • God the Father was Not the God of the Old Testament—that is the God Who dealt with Israel and Who dealt with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

The One Who created man was the One Who had to be the sacrifice for man! Have to be! Why? When man and woman were created they were perfect physically, but not in knowledge!We don't know how long that they had with God in the Garden of Eden, but God certainly gave them plenty of knowledge and information, because God does not bring on the adversary unless you know what the Truth is! We don't know how long it was. But He made them, and when they sinned:

  • What did God do? He judged them!
  • What was the judgment? Their nature was changed! That's what it was!
  • How did we get a sinful nature?

Read in Ezek. 36 that when He brings Israel back from captivity at the end, what is going to happen? He's going to give them a heart of flesh! So, He's the One Who pronounced the judgment against Adam and Eve. Both would have sorrow:

Women with children and child rearing. It says childbirth, but that means with your children through your whole life. That's the way it is with women, because it doesn't matter with women. It's doesn't matter if their children are grown, they still think of them as babies. That's just natural.

Man would have sorrow working, because there would be thorns and thistles. So, apparently in the Garden of Eden there weren't any weeds.

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world…"

Eve ate first! But Adam could have stopped her. And Eve knew that she shouldn't touch it, because she says, 'God has said we shall not touch it.' That wasn't her adding something extra, as some people say, that is additional teaching that they got from God.

"…by one man…" What was Adam's sin? Not believing God, not obeying the voice of God, 'because you listened to the voice of your wife'—or the woman. This tells us that when someone comes along to lead us in sin, we are responsible not to go along with it!

What was it that they had from God? Everything direct out of His mouth! He put them in the Garden of Eden and commanded Adam to dress it and to keep it, which also means to guard it!

So, they sinned! The judgment came upon them and the environment was changed, their nature was changed so that they had sin internal within them! A sinful nature! That's called 'the law of sin and death' (Rom. 7).

"…and by means of sin came death… [as in Adam, we all die] …and in this way death passed into all mankind…" (v 12).

How does death pass into all mankind? Genetically! There us a death gene, and that can be activated whenever, if the circumstances work out. Even infants die if they get in a position that they can't get off their belly and can't breath—called crib death. They have done no sin, but the mother should have been watching so that wouldn't have happened. Or you can live to be over a hundred; back then they could go hundreds of years.

But sin entered into the world "…and in this way death passed into all mankind and it is for this reason that all have sinned" (v 12).

The one who judged and gave the judgment that would be transmitted to all human beings from that time forward, which was the Lord God of the Old Testament. Only He, by the fact that He created human beings and gave that judgment to them, had to come as a human being, take within Him the law of sin and death that He gave to other human beings, and not sin so that His sacrifice by His death would cover every human being past, present and future.

All human beings come about by pro-creation, which began with Adam and Eve. Could you say that when He passed judgment on Adam and Eve, did He pass judgment on Himself? Yes, He did! What was given in Gen. 3 of the Messiah and His crucifixion? Right there in the Garden of Eden! So, it had to be.

The judgment on Satan was not finalized until Christ was sacrificed.

John 8 where the war of words between the religious authorities and Jesus.

John 8:41—Jesus said: "You are doing the works of your father.' Then they said to Him, 'We have not been born of fornication…. [the whole rumor of Jesus went everywhere] …We have one Father, and that is God.'"

Notice that not everyone who says that they have God as their Father really have God as their Father. It's not what you profess, it's what you believe that God has said, and that is what you profess.

Verse 42: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me…'"

That also tells you that God the Father was not the God of the Old Testament, because they were working off the O.T.

"…because I proceeded forth and came from God. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words" (vs 42-43).

Why? Because their minds were blocked by Satan the devil because of their sins! Whenever people living in sin—and correction comes along, and they don't want to give up their sin—they won't believe the Truth even if it's spoken to them.

Verse 44: "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning… [he inspired the murder of Abel] …and has not stood in the Truth because there is no Truth in him…."

We can add here any Truth that he starts out with, he perverts and twists into something that is not true! That's how a lot of false doctrine gets started.

"…Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I speak the Truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you can convict Me of sin? But if I speak the Truth, why don't you believe Me? The one who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God" (vs 44-47). They were the ones who thought they were of God!

What happens when you think you are of God and then you begin to entertain false doctrine? Sooner or later your mind is going to be closed!

Verse 48: "Then the Jews answered and said to Him, 'Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?'" You accuse without knowledge!

Verse 49: "Jesus answered, 'I do not have a demon. But I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. Yet, I do not seek My own glory; there is One Who seeks and judges. Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My words, he shall not see death forever'" (vs 49-51).

That's an interesting statement; it doesn't days that He won't die. "…shall not see death forever"—the resurrection! "…if anyone keeps My words…"

Do we have all the words of Jesus that God wants us to have? Yes, we do!

Verse 52: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died; yet, You say, "If anyone keeps My words, he shall not taste of death forever."'"

What do they always do? They always misconstrue what is said!

Verse 53: "'Are You greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets, who died? Who do You make Yourself to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. Yet, you have not known Him; but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar, like you. But I know Him, and I keep His Word. Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced'" (vs 53-56).

Verse 57: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM'" (vs 57-58)—Greek: 'ego emi'! that's the name of God! He told them plainly, 'I was God'!

How are you going to get over that statement?

Note Transcript Book and CD: Who Is Jesus? All of these things that we've done through the years, because of all the false doctrines that come around, so you need to write for these things and get them so you're not going to get caught into the trap that if something that is presented is logical, that it means that it's truth. All logic sound logical, but all logic is not truth!

A question came up about the veil that covered the eyes. What's going to happen is if people insist on accepting false doctrine—and that becomes official doctrine and teaching—could it be that it will undoubtedly will happen that the veil will come over again! It is a spiritual blindness! That's what the veil actually is. Though you look at the facts directly, you don't believe it.

2-Corinthians 3:5: "Not that we are competent of ourselves, or credit anything to our own abilities: rather, our competency is from God."

This is what has to be with every minister and teacher. You don't do what comes into your mind just because you think it is good. It must be from the Word of God and from God, and with His Spirit.

Verse 6: "Who also made us competent as ministers of the New Covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Here's the difference between the New Covenant and the covenant with Israel. Israel was a physical nation. God gave—at the time after the Flood—to Noah and all of his descendants when they formed the nations, that they had civil laws with the death penalty. So, different nations have civil laws, many of them similar and many different.

When God formed Israel and brought them to Mt. Sinai, they were a nation and they were going to have geographical territory in which they had to have what we call civil laws and that was the death penalty.

There are various different punishments and sacrifices for sin for a people who did not have the Holy Spirit. They were authorized to take a life for a life. They were authorized to have the judges make a person pay because of a certain offense.

For the thief he had repay sometimes four times, sometimes five times, in order to make restitution. You can read those in Exo. 21-23 and also in Deut. That's the administration of death!

They did not have the Holy Spirit of God because Christ had not yet come. God only gave to the Holy Spirit to the patriarchs and a few of the kings and the prophets, that's it!

This is what we're talking about here. "…the Spirit gives life." Why? Because rather than be executed, you can repent! That repentance has to be to God because you've transgressed His Laws. This is greater than the civil government, and it was necessary that the Church did not have the death penalty given to it to exercise against its members who transgressed, because the Church went into all nations of the world. All of these nations have their various civil laws!

You cannot have two sovereigns within one geographical territory. The sovereign government is the civil government.

Now, here comes Islam. They have the death penalty. What's the problem they create when they are in another country when they take their death penalty and execute it in another country, which then is against the law of that country they are living in?

You can't have two sovereigns! That's why that was taken from the Church.

Verse 7: "Now if the ministry of death, which wasengraved in stones, came into being with glory, so that the children of Israel were not able to gaze upon Moses' face because of the glory of his face, which glory is being set aside… [the glory of the Old Testament] …shall not the ministry of the Spirit be far more glorious? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, to a much greater degree the ministry of righteousness overflows with glory. And even the ministry of condemnation, which had glory, was not glorious in this respect, because of the surpassing glory of the ministry of life" (vs 7-10).

  • Who is a chief example of that? Paul!
  • What did he do before he was converted? He was carrying out the civil authority and religious authority of the Sanhedrin to take those who believed and imprison them, chain them and cause them to be put to death!
  • What did God do with him when he was converted? He said, 'Saul, look what you've done, I've got a hangman's noose out here for you and we're going to kill you.' NO!

God gave him repentance! And Paul never forgot that.

Repentance with forgiveness is greater than sentencing, and carrying out a sentence against people because of sin!

So, this civil penalty and civil laws that were in the Old Testament were set aside! In the Millennium they'll be re-instituted because the Kingdom of God is going to be over the whole world. But that will be rarely used.

Verse 11: "For if that which is being set aside came into being through glory, to a much greater degree that which remains is glorious. Now then, because we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; for we are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face, so that the children of Israel could not gaze to the end upon the glory that is now being set aside" (vs 11-13).

When Moses up there the second 40 days, he absorbed so much Spirit of God that his face shined! So, in order to not scare the children of Israel he put a veil on his face until that glory subsided.

Verse 14: "But their minds were blinded… [that's the veil] …for to the present hour the same veil has not been removed, but remains at the reading of the Old Covenant; which veil is removed in Christ."

  • How many people today still have the veil?
  • Do all the Protestants still have the veil? Yes! When they read the Old Testament and read the laws, they say that they're all done away!

Watch some of the latest Church At Home segments {churchathome.org} and Randy has clips in there about those ministers who say that the Law is done away. They show the law, the tablets of stone, just disintegrating and there's nothing left. That's what the carnal mind wants:

Don't tell me I'm sinning, I don't want to know a thing about sin. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'll be able to handle it.

Well, most of the time they can't! But that's how they think!

Verse 14: "But their minds were blinded; for to the present hour the same veil has not been removed, but remains at the reading of the Old Covenant; which veil is removed in Christ."

You understand the laws and commandments of God! You're not looking for a way around them. Jesus said, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God!' Therefore, we understand the Ten Commandments and the spiritual ramifications of them. That's what it's all about.

The same thing applies doctrinally. IF we go back and start putting the veil over our eyes—because we have a doctrine our a belief that is contrary to what is revealed in the Word of God, and we insist that it comes from God—what happens? BOOM! The veil comes back again! It's automatic!

Verse 15: "For to this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their hearts. But when their hearts turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (vs 15-17).

When did the veil come upon them? When they heard the Ten Commandments and they said, 'Moses, you speak to God and we'll do what you tell us to do, but don't let God talk to us!' That's when it came! That's automatic with a carnal nature. How many people know that you:

  • shouldn't lie?
  • shouldn't steal?
  • shouldn't commit adultery?
  • shouldn't sell drugs?
  • shouldn't take drugs?
  • shouldn't prostitute
  • shouldn't cheat your neighbor?

They all know, but with the veil they see only a benefit to themselves, that if they do it, they will gain an advantage! That's why they do it!

When you have the Truth of God, know about it, we've seen this, and I want you think on this deeply:

From the days of Christ all the way down to this day, the Jews reject Jesus Christ, except a few of the Messianics and even they do not understand everything, just some things. But the Jew's purpose is to take down any group that tries to keep the laws and commandments of God. They believe—especially with the Sabbath and Holy Days—are only for them!

Who are the two main individuals, with other accomplices, in WCG that took it down?

  • Robert Kuhn! A Jew, from the Kuhn-Lowe Banking family! Why would he come to Ambassador College and be a flunky wiping oil off the floor of the printing press building? He came so that he could be recognized and lifted up! Who did that? Garner Ted Armstrong! Kuhn became Armstrong's alter-ego and controlled him!
  • Stanley Rader! He came in early and held his peace, kept his position until the death of Loma Armstrong. Then he moved to totally control Herbert Armstrong.

I know from first hand testimony that Kuhn and Rader talked on the phone nearly every night for extended periods of time.

  • Why would they do that?
  • What were they talking about?

The ultimate goal was to take down the Worldwide Church of God. You don't do it all at once! You create confusion, and bring your lieutenants in and get them in positions of authority. Then you pull the master plug and what was that? In 1976, and I've got the paper right here:

Ministerial Conference, 1976: Passover and the Bible in the Church Today by Lester Grabbe and Robert Kuhn

Robert Kuhn wrote most of this! Lester Grabbe was a lieutenant of Robert Kuhn. What do you do? You attack the most fundamental doctrine in the Church and create doubt, suspicion and fear, and claim that the Jews 15th Passover is the correct date! This is the paper that they wrote.

This is what you need. Why is that important? I had published A Harmony of the Gospels 1st edition and the 2nd edition was on its way. I said in there that 'if we come to any knowledge concerning the Passover I'll be sure and let you know.'

They stirred up a great storm and to this day it still has its effects. That 40-page paper is filled with lies and contradiction! But when you dumb people down and have 'good time Joe' all the time, then when the crisis comes, no one is equipped to answer it!

So, I had a problem. We had just moved into our house and I had my office in a little bedroom on the backside of the house. I had to find out the truth. We had this conference, and you'd be surprised at all the ministers that fell for the 15th Passover.

How are you going to find the Truth? In the Bible! It all had to do with:

  • When was evening?
  • When was between the evenings?
  • When did a day start?
  • When did a day end?
  • What did they actually do in the Old Testament?

I said this proposition to myself: If you cannot find in the Bible the absolute proof of the 14th, the absolute proof of 'ben ha arbayim' and the 14th, then the Jews are right.

Of course, the Jews claim they're right! In one sense they are. When they're not in the land of Israel, they cannot keep the Passover. So, that's how they ended up with eight days of Passover with the Seder meal, which should have been the Night to Be Much Observed.

So, it took a while to find it and research it. When these doctrinal differences come up, you have got to get into the Scriptures and you have got to prove these things from the Word of God!

You can't take something because it sounds logical and people would like to do it—I'll add in a new addition:

There's the Rock Valley Church down in So. California, and they meet on Ascension Day on Sunday to celebrate the ascension of Christ into heaven. I dare you to show me any place in the New Testament that commands that! You can't find it!

This has to be guide in everything that you do doctrinally; Proverbs 30:5: "Every Word of God is pure…"

  • What do we have? The Truth of God! Every word!
  • Who inspired to give it to us? God did!

"…He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him" (v 5). If you don't put your trust in Him, you have no shield!

What does Eph. 6 say about the forces of evil against us, and Satan against us?

Verse 6: "Do not…" IF you have a veil over your face, you don't understand that:

  • do not commit adultery
  • do not steal
  • do not murder

"…add to His words, lest He correct you and you be found a liar" (v 6).

How is God going to correct you? Very simple, if you're not searching for the Truth, the blindness is going to come over you again!

It's a correction that they won't even know, because they think that what they're doing is good. Let's apply this to the Ascension Day.

  • Where were the apostles? They were locked up in a room for fear of the Jews (John 20)!
  • Why were they afraid of the Jews? Because the soldiers were told to say that the disciples stole the body!

They were afraid of being arrested by the authorities!

  • What were the rest of the disciples doing? They were working!

The women were coming down with the aromatics to anoint His body even more. There was no meeting. You find no meeting later in the New Testament.

Why? Because the Ascension Day was between God the Father and Jesus Christ!That's Their day!

We need to preach and teach about it. But to say let's all gather together and we'll have an official meeting here on Ascension Day… Guess what day that is this year? Easter!

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I want to mention one thing about taking down the Church: I know this from a first person conversation with the man who brought the lawsuit against the Worldwide Church of God and threw it into a receivership. His name was Timmons, and he told me that Robert Kuhn advised them how to bring the lawsuit.

There was a lot of treachery and a lot of evil that was going on. I suspect, since Herbert Armstrong was over in Tucson at that time with congestive heart failure, that they figured that this would be such a shock to Herbert Armstrong that he would die. Well, he didn't!

So, Rader had to be the savior of the lawsuit. If he didn't, he would have been convicted by his own actions. So, he politically worked it out and got a law passed in the legislature in California that churches are not charitable institutions as a charity, but a non-profit organization as a church to serve the congregants. Therefore, it could not come under the law that applies to charities. So, Rader was stuck, he had to do it.

Let's go on and see about this with Jesus in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 18:15: "The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, One like me. To Him you shall hearken,"

"The LORD your God…" has to refer to the Father. But that was not to the people in general. Who was in charge of the coming of Jesus Christ? God the Father! So, this isn't saying that He's speaking to the people.

Verse 16: "According to all that you desired of the LORD your God… [the One Who became Christ] …in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.' And the LORD said to me, 'They have spoken well what they have spoken'" (vs 16-17).

In other words, they were well-intentioned, but they were wrong!

Verse 18: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth. And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him."

That was God the Father, but He was not the Lord God of the Old Testament! This had to refer to the One Who would become Christ!

  • Are They both called the Lord God? Yes!
  • Are They both part of Elohim? Yes!
  • Are They both God? Yes!

Verse 19: "And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words, which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him." Peter understood that this applied to Christ!

Acts 3:22: "For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you from among your brethren, like me; Him shall you hear in all things that He shall say to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people'" (vs 22-23).

There it is, they knew it applied to Christ! How did they know that it applied to Christ? Because right after they came to them on that Ascension Day He showed His hands in side and His feet and asked for something to eat and they gave Him honey and fish! Then what did He do? He opened their minds to the Scriptures concerning Himself in the Law, Prophets and Psalms!

Where would He start? Perfect place, Deut. 18! They understood it!

John 8:12: "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me shall never walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.' Therefore, the Pharisees said to Him, 'You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, because I know where I have come from and where I am going…." (vs 12-14). No human being could say that statement!

"…But you do not know where I come from and where I go You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet, if I do judge, My judgment is true, for I am not alone; but I and the Father Who sent Me" (vs 14-16).

Why? Because He had the Holy Spirit! The Father was with Him and everything. Isn't it interesting that Jesus did all of the speaking? When there was the voice out of the heavens that said, 'This is My Son in Whom I have great delight.' It was a voice! It didn't say the Father said, just a voice!

When the three of them were on the Mt. of Transfiguration—James, Peter and John—and the voice said, 'This is My Son in Whom I delight, listen to Him,' it was a voice!

Jesus said in Acts 5, 'You have neither heard His voice, nor seen His shape at any time.'

Verse 19: "Then they said to Him, 'Where is Your Father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would also have known My Father.' Jesus spoke these words in the treasury while teaching in the temple; but no one arrested Him because His time had not yet come. Then Jesus said to them again, 'I am going away; and you shall seek Me, but you shall die in your sin. Where I am going, you are not able to come'" (vs 19-21). It's impossible for you to come!

How did Paul reaffirm that? Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God or see the Kingdom of God! It's impossible for you to come.

Verse 22: "Therefore, the Jews said, 'Will He kill Himself? Is that why He says, "Where I am going, you are not able to come"?'"

Listen carefully, because this tells you absolutely for sure that before Jesus was a human being He was in heaven!

Verse 23: "And He said to them, 'You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world…. [couldn't be clearer] …That is why I said to you that you shall die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM… ['ego emi'] …you shall die in your sins'" (vs 23-24).

He was telling them Who He was. Remember when Moses asked the Lord, 'When the children of Israel say who sent you tell them I AM that I AM has sent Me.'

Are there many other names of God? Yes! But I AM means that He exists as a Spirit being.' How did He come to this earth?

If you think that you've had to do something that is humiliating, or humbling, think on this. We've read Philp. 2 many times, but let's go over it and look at for what it's really telling us. We know that:

  • God has form and shape
  • we're made in His image
  • Jesus came from above

How did He come?

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God" (vs 5-6)—meaning He was God! If you exist as God, you're in the form of God!

Verse 7: "But emptied Himself…" What does that mean?He had to give up nearly all of His Divinity and be reduced down to a pinpoint of life to be impregnated into the womb of the virgin Mary!

That's what He had to do to become a human being, Who was the Creator of human beings. He was the only One Who could be the sacrifice for the sins of human beings, because:

  • He was the One Who created them
  • He was the One Who judged them
  • He was the One Who gave them human nature and the law of sin and death

So, He "…emptied Himself…"! Exactly how that was done, we don't know!

John 10:14: "I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine. Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep…. [willingly; think about what He had to give up to do that] …And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. On account of this, the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father" (vs 14-18).

This also implies that there was a covenant between the One Who became the Father and the One Who became the Son. In giving up His spirit when He died, and it going back to God, God the Father promised that He would be raised from the dead and not see corruption. That was the covenant between Them.

Hebrews 10:7: "Then said I, "Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the Scroll of the Book)…" This was written down!

Remember the Scripture that talks about the Scripture of Truth that's in heaven? Dan. 10:21! So, this was written down.

"…to do Your will, O God" (v 7). Jesus said, 'All right, I will do it, I will do Your will, and I will die, give up My life and lay it down, and You will give it back to Me, IF I fulfill everything!'

Verse 9: "Then He said, 'Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant; by Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (vs 9-10).

Philippians 2:6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant… [Greek: 'doulous'—slave] …and being found in the manner of man…" (vs 6-8). Think about this!

God Who lives forever, didn't give up living forever—still had life in Him—but reduced very, very small, way down to near nothing. He "…emptied Himself…" That means He divested Himself of His power as God, and willingly became a pinpoint of life! He was subject to receiving the genes of Mary into His physical flesh, which is where He got His human nature, from His mother.

His mother was the niece of Elizabeth, and Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron, and she was the mother of John the Baptist. That means that Mary's father had to be of the line of David, and Mary's mother was of the line of Aaron. So, in that bloodline you have king and priest! What is Christ going to be? King and Priest! Even in the flesh He had to those genes that related to that.

He "…emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men…"—everything that human beings do! He had to eat, sleep, elimination of the processes of the body, perfectly human in every way. But He had to have the Spirit of God and use the Spirit of God constantly. That's why He was taught every morning by the Father (Isa. 50).

  • He wasn't taught by the lying rabbis
  • He wasn't taught the traditions of the Jews
  • He was taught by the Father

So intelligent was He that when He was 12-years-old and stayed back after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He was in the temple with all of the high 'mucky-mucks'—the chief priests and all of them—questioning them and answering questions. They were amazed at His understanding at the age of 12. Why? Because the Father was the One Who taught Him! The Father woke Him up every morning!

I don't know how it worked, but the closest thing that I can think of is that you have this smart phone or tablet and you can see someone on it, that He saw the Father. But He had to have human nature from his mother. Otherwise:

  • Why come and be perfect and could not sin?
  • What good would that do?
  • How would He overcome sin? Condemn it in the flesh!

"…He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, 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 took the form of a servant, 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).

Hebrews 5:5: "In this same manner also, Christ did not glorify Himself to become a High Priest…" He could not be a High Priest in the flesh; that was of the house of Aaron!

"…but He Who said to Him, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You.' Even as He also says in another place, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec'" (vs 5-6).

But that's not going to be re-instituted until Christ returns. In a sense, the New Testament ministry is under the Priesthood of Christ, but we're not priests.

Verse 7: "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death…"

If He would have sinned, He would have died for His own sin. So, He had all of humanity on His person, being made in the flesh.

"…and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected… [by never sinning, and overcoming]He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (vs 7-9)

All of these things are necessary to understand precisely what God did. What a tremendous thing that it is. This is important in coming to the Passover.

Rom. 7 talks about that as long as you have the law of sin and death in you, you're still going to sin and you're going to expire and die in Adam. The only ones not subject to that will be the few who are still alive when Christ actually returns.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

How do you walk when you find that you sin when you have the spirit of God? The Spirit of God brings to your mind that sin, so you can repent! When you repent there's no condemnation, because you're walking in the Spirit! That means that you're leading your life according the leading of the Holy Spirit of God!

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death."

The King James says 'freed me.' That means it would have to have been cut out of your genes in order to be free from it. Delivered is from the point of view that with the Spirit of God you can overcome sin by the exercising of the Spirit of God, repenting, living God's way and keeping His commandments! That's why we have the commandments of God written in our heart and mind!

Why? Because why you have in your mind is how you think and live! This is what needs to be converted; this is the whole thing of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: get out the sin and put in the righteousness of Christ! This is what it's talking about.

Verse 3: "For what was impossible for the Law to do…"

Remember that the Law… we have it written, abbreviated, and hanging on the wall. If someone walks in here and is thinking lustful thoughts, that plaque doesn't come off the wall and knock them on the head and tell him he's sinning. The Law has no power to make you do anything!

You look at society and how many criminals are there? How many laws are there against everything that they're doing? But they still do it!

"…in that it was weak through the flesh, God having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh… [the same sinful flesh that we have; that's how great it was for Christ] …and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (v 3).

That had to be! That had to be done! And that was done with His perfect sacrifice! Here's the result of it once we receive the Holy Spirit:

Verse 4: "In order that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us… [I wonder how many Protestants read that] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

This is what Jesus had to do. It wasn't just a simple, little operation that was easy to do. He had to pray, put down temptation. Satan was after Him and people were after Him. Even His disciples didn't believe. He had to say, 'O hard of heart, when will you believe?' This is what He had to go through!

How anyone can say that Jesus was not the Lord God of the Old Testament before He came Jesus Christ of the New Testament, really doesn't believe the Bible!

  • What happens when you have that?
  • When you begin making doctrine by not believing the Bible and claim that it comes from the Bible?

You're bringing the veil back over your eyes! That's exactly what it will do! We always have to be on guard against false doctrine! It's something!

Acts 20—this is what we all need to do, and what all elders need to do especially. We have been given the responsibility to remain faithful:

  • to Christ
  • to God the Father
  • to the Word of God

and not have our own will! That doesn't mean that we're 'namby-pamby'! We need to stay strong for the Lord!

Paul was going to Jerusalem and they knew that he was headed for trouble, so he called for the elders in Ephesus.

Acts 20:17: "Now, from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the Church…. [they had a huge church there] …And when they had come to him, he said to them, 'You know how, from the first day I came to Asia, and all the time I was with you, I served the Lord with all humility and with many tears and temptations, which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; and how I did not keep back anything that was profitable, but preached to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, earnestly testifying, both to the Jews and the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ'" (vs 17-21)—just a summary of the Gospel!

After Paul was converted, he had to suffer a lot because of what he did to the Church before he was converted. That's what God told him, and he did! He always remembered where he came from and what he needed to do.

Verse 22: "And now behold, I am bound in the spirit, and am going to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall happen to me there; except that the Holy Spirit fully testifies in every city, saying that bonds and tribulations await me…. [and that's exactly what happened] …But I myself do not take any of these things into account, nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify the Gospel of the Grace of God" (vs 22-24). So, there are two aspects of the Gospel:

  • the Gospel of the Grace of God
  • the Gospel of the Kingdom of God

And Paul mentions both of them here!

Verse 25: "And now behold, I know that you all, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more; wherefore, I testify to you on this day… [this was quite a day] …that I am pure from the blood of all, for I have not held back from preaching to you all the counsel of God" (vs 25-27).

Notice this warning, because we see how this happens. When people look to a man, follow a man and have good conduct—because they see the man has good conduct—when the man is removed, what happens? Look what happened to the Church, because they didn't do:

Verse 28: "Take heed, therefore, to yourselves…" Everyone who is a teacher has got to:

  • take heed to himself
  • to the doctrine
  • to the Word of God
  • to the condition of the flock
  • to the things that he goes through

That he does not start establishing super-spiritual things that don't come from the Bible! That don't come from the Word of God!

"…and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers…" (v 28).

You're overseeing the Truth of God for the flock of God! You're not an overlord to rule them! If you don't teach the brethren to rule their own lives, your rule can't substitute for them! That's what happened with too many ministers and elders. Then when there was no one there to supervise them, they didn't let the Holy Spirit of God and the Word of God—through study and prayer—supervise them into doing the Truth!

So, you end up with all of this nonsense that goes on! No wonder Jesus said that when He comes 'will the Son of man find true faith in the earth?' even in the Churches of God! Paul warned them!

"…to feed the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood" (v 28).

All the brethren belong to Christ, and we are only stewards to teach them the Word of God! That's what it is.

  • we have no authority to rule over them
  • we have no authority to live their lives

We need to teach them to live their lives under Christ and before God independently with the Spirit of God. When we all come together, then we're all brethren together! God will take care of it!

Verse 29: "For I know this: that after my departure grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves… [looking them right in the eye] …men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves" (vs 29-30).

We have seen that happen! We're again looking at the possibility that it's going to happen.

Verse 31: "Watch, therefore, remembering… [we're remembering] …that for three years I ceased not to admonish each one night and day with tears. And now I commit you, brethren, to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (vs 31-32).

That brings us full circle back to the ministers and what needs to be done. I hope that they don't go down this course, but I suspect that it's too late. I suspect that when they have elders who receive paychecks, that if they don't go along with the hierarchy that they will lose their paychecks, and at their age they don't know what to do or where to go.

When you stand for the Truth alone, it does get lonely! It's gets desperate and you don't know where anything is coming from, and you're going to have to trust God!

Scriptural References:

  • John 1:1-3, 14
  • Romans 5:12
  • John 8:41-58
  • 2 Corinthians 3:5-17
  • Proverbs 30:5-6
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-19
  • Acts 3:22-23
  • John 8:12-16, 19-24
  • Philippians 2:5-7
  • John 10:14-18
  • Hebrews 10:7, 9
  • Philippians 2:6-11
  • Hebrews 5:5-9
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • Acts 20:17-32

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 1:1
  • Ezekiel 36
  • Romans 7
  • Genesis 3
  • Exodus 21-23
  • Ephesians 6
  • John 20
  • Acts 5
  • Daniel 10:21
  • Isaiah 50

Also referenced:

Transcript Books and CDs:

  • The Nature of God (study pkg. #6)
  • God the Father was Not the God of the Old Testament
  • Who Is Jesus?

Book: A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 1/19/20

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