There is way that seems right to man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death!

Fred R. Coulter—June 29, 2019

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As you see the events in the world and in the news taking place, how did we get from people of a decent sort to evil beyond belief? I got this news report just yesterday, amazing!

Joel Osteen Attends Lady Gaga LGBT Pride Event by News Division · Published June 26, 2019 
{https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/06/26/joel-osteen-attends-lady-gaga-lgbt-pride-event/}

Gaga began by asking the crowd… [this is 'Gay Pride' day] …"Are you read to ---- party tonight." In the crowd were Joel and Victoria Osteen , who were indeed ready to party….

Remember that I mentioned the book: In the Closet of the Vatican by Frederic Martel. The writer himself was a homosexual. I didn't know that, but in reading through various parts of the book, I wondered why he was so positive toward that perverted so-called love. I actually sent him an e-mail and I said: Could you please let me know if you are a homosexual? He never answered back!

I got an e-mail from someone who said, 'Why did you even mention that book, that writer is a homosexual.'

The progression of evil, think of it! In many different ways, now look how it's progressed here in California. You can measure that by marijuana. And we've said for years they will legalize it for tax money. Isn't that what they did? Now guess what they have done? They have caused a depression in the medical marijuana clinics because now they can buy it!

The event was hosted to celebrate gay pride at the Apollo theater and the pastor of the nation's largest 'church' was in attendance.

Have you ever watch Joel Osteen on television? When you watched him, you always thought there was something strange about him. This answers the question.

Gaga calls her fans "little monsters" and they were in full excitement as it was the performer's first appearance at the famous Harlem theater. The entire event was oriented around gay pride.

Also with Joel and Victoria Osteen were celebrities…

And there was a whole list of them.
…the event was basically a theatrically performed representation of the Biblical city of Sodom, and the crowd couldn't be gayer to be there.

Quite a thing! How does it go that far? Lot of times, people look at the wrong source and they don't understand how that could happen. But we do have Feast that gives us a good explanation, and that's the Feast of Unleavened Bread! A little leaven leavens the whole lump!

This goes way, way back. this may seem—what I'm going to read next—to have no connection at all, but it does. This is a letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II.

  • Do you remember Dr. Herman Hoeh (Worldwide Church of God)?
  • Do you remember his sermon The Thinker and the Thought?

That's where Dr. Hoeh said that the Logos was in the mind of the Father, and He was the Thinker, and the Logos was the Thought. If you think that's kind of strange. It is! This gets to the root of the whole problem: How do human beings leave God? Yet, think they're doing well!

Encyclical Letter fides et ratio of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Relationship Between Faith and Reason
{http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_14091998_fides-et-ratio.html}

Blessing My Venerable Brother Bishops, Health and the Apostolic Blessing!

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth…

In the sermon that Dr. Hoeh gave, and it was pretty close to the time that this was written, so I don't know what to make of that. Hoeh said that 'reason was one of the great tools that God has given men.' That is only correct if your reason is directed by God's Word and His Spirit. Reason alone is how men get led astray.

…and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves 

INTRODUCTION—"KNOW YOURSELF"

1. In both East and West…

He's talking about religion, and all the religions are coming back to Rome, because they are Babylon.

…we may trace a journey which has led humanity down the centuries to meet and engage truth more and more deeply. It is a journey which has unfolded—as it must—within the horizon of personal self-consciousness

Rather than: Where is God?

…the more human beings know reality and the world, the more they know themselves in their uniqueness, with the question of the meaning of things and of their very existence becoming ever more pressing….

Leave God out! He does bring Him in a little later to make it all sound good.

…This is why all that is the object of our knowledge becomes a part of our life. The admonition Know yourself was carved on the temple portal at Delphi, as testimony to a basic truth to be adopted as a minimal norm by those who seek to set themselves apart from the rest of creation as "human beings", that is as those who "know themselves".

Then he lists all the other religions that have the same thing.

So, he says that 'philosophy—the lover and loving of knowledge and wisdom—is what is the great quest of man,' rather than finding God!

That's how all of this started. Let's come to Rom. 1 and we will see that. The only way they can really know the Truth is with God's calling! But the fundamental Truths of the Bible are available for everyone.

For example, the Ten Commandments have been known all along by everyone. They quote them but they don't live them! They accept some of it, but they reject the other part of it. So, this is the thing, God has given enough that mankind, all people, can know about God. He's given His Word, especially today.

Romans 1:15—Paul is talking about coming to Rome: "So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you who are in Rome also."

Rom. 1 tells you that Peter was never there. If Peter were there in 42A.D. and he is writing this in about 54A.D. then Peter never got there. Peter would have preached the Gospel. If you read the last part of the book of Acts, the Jews that came to Paul in prison said, 'We've heard about this but we don't know anything about it'

Verse 16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes…"

We're going to learn something else very important as we go through the things that we're going to cover in the Scriptures today. God always gives what we would say in human terms the positive things first and then the negative. This is what He did. He talked about Christ's resurrection, the power of God, the faith that they have and so forth.

"…it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes…" (v 16). It can come right up to them, but they won't believe it! That's the difference. In order to understand salvation, you must answer the call of God!

"…—both to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For therein the righteousness of God is revealed from faith unto faith…" (vs 16-17).

This is what it's talking about with conversion. All people have a certain amount of faith to believe. Remember what Jesus said to those who came and were healed, 'Your faith has healed you.' That was the human faith.

Now, our faith and belief goes to God and when we're converted God gives us His Spirit and His faith, so our relationship with God is continuously from faith to faith. From the faith of God to us, and our faith back to God, and it continuously goes:

  • we grow in faith
  • we grow in knowledge
  • we grow in love

"…according as it is written: 'The just shall live by faith'" (v 17)—not philosophy! Now here comes what you would call the negative:

Verse 18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness."

How do they that? They're professing to represent Christ by the teachings of men and by philosophy! That's how they do that.

Dr. Hoeh says that philosophy is 'a great gift of God.' NO! it is condemned where Paul said to be on guard and don't let anyone deceive you with philosophy (Col. 2)!

What happens when there's this kind of philosophy at the high level in religion. Men are declaring that God doesn't know everything and they are greater than God! That's what it gets down to.

There's a favorite news analyst and also constitutionalist that I like very well: Mark Levin. He's on Sunday night and also Saturday afternoon on Fox News, and he gets these very intelligent people in there. They talk back and forth about philosophy, the Constitution and what's wrong with this society. They have all of these great things that they think about, and he's a genius really. As a man he's a genius without a doubt. He upholds the Judeao-Christian religion, but he doesn't know a thing about it!

Rarely does he even see the flaws in the Constitution of America. There are flaws which allow sin, and the progression of sin to where you can take a noted so-called Christian pastor who comes and reveals what he really is and what he really reveals: Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria.

"…who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness" (v 18)—through philosophy!

  • Remember the major takedown in Worldwide?
  • Who was the most important and influential person to do that? A Greek philosopher named Stavrinides!

He was so intellectually superior to everyone that no one could have a right question or right answer to anything that he said. If you didn't believe him you were a 'low-grade ignoramus!'

  • What did he attack?
  • What does philosophy attack?
  • The nature of God!

And we'll see that's what they do here:

Verse 19: "Because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them." They knew the things, but not Truth unto conversion, obviously!

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

They see all of this out there in the heavens, and everything that has been created and they say, 'There's no God. It's been billions and billions of years and evolving.' But God says, 'Here I am! I made it!' But they think no, we have a better idea, God!'

Where is the first better idea recorded in the Bible? Cain! God gave them a law on how to bring an offering. Abel brought an offering according to the law for the firstling. Cain brought whatever he wanted, because he did not yield to God, he had a 'better' idea. Anything he would bring, God ought to accept.

What did God tell him? Sin lies at the door, and it's desire is for you, but you must rule over it! In other words, it's possible—knowing what God has said and knowing right and wrong—to rule over sin enough that you're not carried away to the worst aspects of the sin. That's how there are good people in the world who are not called. Some of them are very nice.

I remember that I had an experience when things were all 'going to hell in a hand-basket' in Worldwide. I came though Watsonville where there's a Buddhist temple is. With everything going wrong, I thought I would just drive over there and go in and look and see what's it like inside a Buddhist building. You couldn't call it a temple, it was a building. So, the door was open so I looked in there, and it's just like any church: pews and so forth. But without all the garbage of the Catholics up front.

I was looking at it and here comes an attendant and he says, 'May I help you, sir?' and he was very nice and kind. We had a nice talk. I thought, I'm talking to a Buddhist who is an attendant here at the Buddhist building and he's nicer than those who are in the Church of God. I Thought this was crazy, but that's how it happened,

Even thought people can know a good deal of the Truth of God, doesn't mean that they're called to salvation. That is only to keep the society at a low level of evil. But when you don't do that and there is lawlessness put into the laws of the country, then everything comes apart. That's how this has happened, but it all starts with philosophy, because someone says, 'I think! I have an idea!'

Verse 21: "Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God…" Somewhere along in their life they believe in God somehow. Maybe not anything spectacular, but at least they're not atheists, not agnostics, and they're not hostile against God, yet.

"…neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings…" (v 21)—philosophy! That's what this whole report is all about. The long and short of it is that in this report it shows that the Catholics took all of the worship of Diana—or Delphi—and gave it to Mary. That's why she's called the Queen of Heaven. That's how it gets corrupted with philosophy.

"…and their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools" (vs 21-22).

Look at what's happened to all the laws in America, the foolish and stupid laws. All you have to do is look a the problem with abortion. As I brought out, that's America's greatest sin. That's why we have the immigration problem. 'If you want to kill 3,000 of the unborn each day, then I'm going to send you 3,000 immigrants—legal or illegal!'

It's such that they're so blinded and stupid in their reasonings that they can't understand what they're doing. They have thousands and thousands of the homeless in the streets of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities, and yet, the laws are so stupid that God has given them over to stupidity in their ignorance, that an illegal alien can come here and immediately get on welfare, and they can't get it to help the homeless.

"…their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed creatures, and creeping things" (vs 21-23).

What happens? God says if you want sin, have at it! If you won't listen to Me have at it!

Verse 24: "For this cause, God also abandoned them… [left them to themselves, and look what happens when that occurs] …to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to disgrace their own bodies between themselves."

So, we have it in this report {the one on Joel Osteen}! Look at it! How did that grow so big? It goes back to a law that came before the Supreme Court out of Texas: Can two consenting adults do whatever they want in the privacy of an abode? The answer was yes! That started out to be a narrow decision concerning sexual immorality. But that soon expanded to many, many different things. Now you can go in your home and plan a crime, and that planning is not a crime, because no one can come in and tell you it's a crime. You can plan the crime, but maybe you don't carry it out.

But what happens to your thinking, because you thought of it and planned it? People don't think of that! If they carry it out and it's successful, look at what you have. Notice what happens then:

Verse 25: "Who exchanged the Truth of God…" Take the Word of God and throw it away, cast the Word of God behind their backs.

"…for the lie…" (v 25). What is the lie? You can decide for yourself! Then comes the worship later! They don't realize that when they get into doing these things and strange worship…

I've got a book at home that I've read some of it" The Institutionalization of Witchcraft in America. They don't think they're worshipping Satan; they're in touch with the other spirits. They don't know they at they're demonic. They think they're doing good. 'Im a good witch,' they say. 'We do hexes to bless people.'

Where does that lead? Then it gets deeper and deeper!

"…and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the One Who is Creator, Who is blessed into the ages. Amen. For this cause, God abandoned them…" (vs 25-26). 

That's the second time and it gets worse. Read all of these and they become more depraved. What happens in a person's life? They're born into the world all these wonderful young little babies. They sweet and they're cute, and there's nothing in their brain except how to nurse and how to cry. Then they grow and are taught, whatever it may be. What happens to their mind?

All because of philosophy 'we know better than God!' So, God abandons them!Read all the rest, it's incredible.

Let's see something that's important and true. Remember, the Word of God is true, there is no lie in it, people may not like it because it tells them not to do this and that. But God always gives the positive first, then He gives the correction after that.

Here is an absolute truism, the first part of Jer. 10 talks about a Christmas tree. But if you tell someone that the Bible talks about a Christmas tree, that you shouldn't do it… 'Ah, it doesn't make any difference, we have a lot of fun, and that's good. It's a family affair.' That's how Satan works; let's make it a family affair, let's have fun! Then you're authorized to lie to your children that there is a Santa Claus and an Ester Bunny and all that sort of thing.

Jeremiah 10:14: "Every man is stupid for lack of knowledge… [that's quite a verse] …every refiner is put to shame by the graven image; for his molten image is a lie, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, the work of delusion; in the time of their judgment they shall perish" (vs 14-15).

After going through all the problems; remember Jeremiah was 40 years witnessing to the Jews before the calamity came. Every evil and everything…

Verse 23: "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps."

So, the wonderful phrase, know yourself—from the temple of Delphi and the main thing of the philosophers—they are trying to find about man and who and what he is, what he should, and they've got the Bible right there and they would know IF they would obey God. You can be as smart as you want, be the smartest person in the world, and look at what happened to Solomon. He was the wisest man in the history of the world.

Verse 24: "O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing." That's why there's repentance, and God will give you the knowledge!

We're going to see that God inspires the pattern. You talk about evil, then you talk about good. You talk about correction, then you talk about good.

Jer. 17 is about where we are getting to in America. What do you think would happen if there was a real minister of God who stood up at this gathering back there at the Harlem Theater and said, 'All of you repent! You've got this representation of Sodom, have you never read the Bible and what God did to Sodom and Gomorrah!' They would run up there and drag you out and pull you apart limb from limb!

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars."

God's destruction of Jerusalem was just. It was also merciful because He sent them to Babylon for 70 years, and they came back and God let them rebuild the temple.

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man… [What is philosophy? Trusting in the thoughts of men!] …and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited'" (vs 5-6).

There's the denunciation of evil! Now notice the positive; the blessing of looking to God:

Verse 7: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD." Same pattern we find in Rom. 1. You can find it throughout the Bible, everywhere in the Bible the same way.

Verse 8: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river… [Psa. 1] …and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit."

Then evil! Where does evil come from? This is what repentance and conversion is all about! The human mind, even the converted human mind must overcome the evil within! All of us here are converted, and sometimes you may think—because of your own thought—that you may not be converted like you need to be. That would be a good assessment and that's why there's repentance.

But think about people who don't know God. Who have no understanding of what is right and wrong except their own standard: 'we have our values!' What do we have? The commandments of God and the Spirit of God to lead us! When there are evil thoughts that spring up in our mind—because everything that we have ever thought of is still in the mind—and it won't be removed completely until the resurrection.

Just yesterday afternoon I went into Knob Hill to get the things for sandwiches for today. Here I am pushing around the cart and have to go from one end of the store to the other end of the store, and they've got music: thump, thump, thump! And when I was going out of the store guess what was in my mind? I had the hardest time getting that out of my mind and it was just a passing thing! It wasn't evil or sin, but it was annoying! Same way with the My Pillow man. Right at the end you get that tune in your head and you're going to be singing that all day long.

Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"

Remember this young gal, 23-years-old, going online and trying to find someone. She found someone, worked it out and went to meet this man in a park at three a.m. when know one is around. That's not very smart! But why did she go? Because she had evil expectations of something that we know nothing about! Even though she looks very naive, certainly very foolish. That's  a dumb thing to do, but nevertheless, she did it.

So, her mind was desperately wicked and the mind of the man who lured her do it was even more desperately wicked. How did that work out? They finally found out that he killed her, chopped her up and burned her. My question is: Did he also have her as a meal? I don't know! So, the progression of evil comes because of this!

Here's what most people don't know, v 10: "I the LORD search the heart…" Think about it. You can't hide anything from God! What did David say about the creation of human beings?

  • If I go into the heavens You are there!
  • If I go down deep in the earth, You are there!
  • If I lay down, You are there!
  • If I stand up, You are there!

In a recent Church at Home {churchathome.org} I brought out that everyone lives, moves and has their being because of what God did in creation, whether they know God or not.

"…I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings" (v 10). That's how difficulties come, because of sin! In spire of that!

Verse 13: "O LORD, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. 'Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth because they have forsaken the LORD, the Fountain of living waters.' Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved; for You are my praise" (vs 13-14).

What does God offer? There were times when Jeremiah felt real bad. He complained to God, and this was a pretty tough message to handle, so God said, 'I want you to go tell them this. In spite of all the things that I've said here, if they will do these things I'll be good to them.'

Verse 19: "Thus the LORD said to me, 'Go and stand in the gates of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in, and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem. And say to them, "Hear the Word of the LORD, kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the people of Jerusalem who enter in by these gates! Thus says the LORD, 'Take heed to yourselves… [that goes right back to what God told Cain, 'You rule over the sin'] …and carry no burden on the Sabbath Day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. Nor carry out a burden from your houses on the Sabbath Day, nor do any work, but keep the Sabbath Day Holy, as I commanded your fathers. But they did not obey…'" (vs 19-23).

He gave them a chance. It's like the hardened criminals, if you let them out. One murderer said, 'If you let me out, I'm going to do it again, I know it.'

Verse 23: "But they did not obey, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, so that they might not hear nor receive instruction. And it shall be…" (vs 23-24).

In spite of all that… I need to remind you of the meeting that Jeremiah had with Zedekiah who wanted to talk to Jeremiah at night to find out what was going on. He said, 'Don't tell anybody that you're coming to talk to me, but I need to talk to you. What is the Word of the Lord for me?'

Jeremiah said that IF you will turn yourself over to the Babylonians, 'I [God] will not destroy the city nor burn the temple.' He would live. His sons would live. But he didn't! Zedekiah tried to run away and Nebuchadnezzar's men caught him and took him to Nebuchadnezzar and he gouged out the eyes of Zedekiah and killed his sons.

Didn't have to happen! He could have said, 'Yes, I'll turn myself in to the Babylonians.' Do you know what they would do? They would have put him right back on the throne as a vassal king!

So, God says, v 24: "'And it shall be, if you diligently hearken to Me,' says the LORD, 'to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath Day, but keep the Sabbath Day Holy, to do no work in it; then kings and rulers sitting on the throne of David shall enter into the gates of this city, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their rulers, the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem. And this city shall remain forever'" (vs 24-25).

So, whenever God brings out condemnation of sin, what does He want? Repentance! That's what He wants. I don't know if there's any hope for these people here [in the article], but how many now accept it and go along with it as an option of behavior? We even have one candidate for President who should be a woman running.

(go to the next track)

We were talking (during the break) about the big marijuana 'smoke in' or 'smoke out' whatever it was where they had a large number of marijuana smokers and they had the media and cameras there, so that at a given time they were told, 'Everybody puff away.' So, they did and over that crowd was huge cloud of marijuana smoke, and all the legislative people said, 'We can't put these people in jail; we can make tax money off of them.'

What's going to happen in the long run? They're going to end up with a lot of psychotic and mentally disturbed people from smoking marijuana! The will have to spend whatever money they make on that to try and make these people semi-normal. That gets back to 'there is way that seems right to man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death!'

I want you to read Col. 1 yourself, which is all about Christ, conversion, love, Christ being the Firstborn, and Christ in us the hope of glory!

Colossians 2:1: "Now, I [Paul] want you to understand what great concern I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now, this I say so that no one may deceive you by persuasive speech" (vs 1-4). They can get very persuasive!

Verse 5: "For though I am indeed absent in the flesh, yet, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him; being rooted and built up in Him…" (vs 5-7).

And this happens every Sabbath when we come. The most important thing for Sabbath services is that the brethren are taught from the Word of God and we grow in grace and knowledge. When things started falling apart in WCG, they were talking about everything else but growing in grace and knowledge.

"…and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world… [the demon world] …and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (vs 7-9).

from the Encyclical Letter:

Remember, they quoted "know yourself" from the temple of Delphi.

5. On her part, the [Catholic] Church cannot but set great value upon reason's drive to attain goals which render people's lives ever more worthy….

That's sounds 'wonderful'!

…She sees in philosophy the way to come to know fundamental truths about human life….

The Word of God is the way, not philosophy! But when  you say that there are a lot of other things that you need to know, IF it's not based on the Word of God it isn't worthwhile knowing!

…At the same time, the Church considers philosophy an indispensable help for a deeper understanding of faith and for communicating the truth of the Gospel to those who do not yet know it.

That's why Jesus said, 'Repent and believe the Gospel, which is the Truth of God!

Verse 10: "And you are complete in Him… [you don't need philosophy] …Who is the Head of all principality and power."

2-Peter is another tremendous example of the way that the Bible is put together. The positive, the Godly, then the condemnation. See how 2-Pet. Starts out, and all of Paul's Epistles and nearly every other epistle stars out with God's blessing, from the Father and Jesus.

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (vs 1-2). That's how we grow in grace and knowledge!

  • How long have you been studying the Bible? Decades!
  • How much do you know? A lot!
  • How much do you remember? That depends!
  • Have you ever gone back to study parts of the Bible you hadn't studied it in a long time, and it's like you never ever read it? Yes!
  • Why? Because the Truth always new! It's not stale!

Notice that Peter gives a great inspiring purpose and you're never going to find this in philosophy under the section of using philosophy to come to a greater knowledge of Truth. You're never going to find this written in a book of philosophy.

Verse 3: "According as His Divine power… [God's Spirit, not the elemental spirits of the world of Satan the devil] …has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness…"

If you want to know the things of up and down of daily living, read the Proverbs. There it is:

  • good and evil
  • right and wrong

"…through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue" (v 3). Think of that! Peter wants everyone to focus in on the fact that God personally has called all the brethren. You're complete in Christ and the Word of God.

The Word of God is not going to tell you how to operate a machine. It's not going to tell you how to build something. But you have the principles from the Word of God. If you're going to build something, you have to build it correctly. You can't buy a brand new Cadillac and then put in WD-40. you put in the crankcase WD-40 and you burn up your engine.

How did that happen? If you're going to have internal combustion engine that's going to run at a certain temperature, you're going to have to have a certain viscosity of oil that will stand up under that heat so that it will lubricate and run.

That's a physical thing, but you have the principle from the Bible that if you're going to do something, do it right!

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest… [you can't find this in philosophy] …and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…"
You don't have to search for any other truth, because there is no other truth greater than this. That which is assumed to be truth because of reason and deduction is not the Truth of God! That is logic, and all logic is not Truth! But the Truth of God is logical!

"…that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature… [that's why God made us] …having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v 4). Then Peter gives us all the things we need to do:

  • growing and overcoming
  • having to develop the nature of God
  • growing in knowledge
  • growing in virtue
  • growing in self-control
  • growing in Godliness
  • growing in brotherly love

Verse 8: "For if these things exist and abound in you, they will cause you to be neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Very clearly, you don't need philosophy in addition to the Word of God. But that's why the Roman Catholic Church and all the religions are of Satan the devil. They think that by through their thinking, because they have great brains, that they will come to a greater knowledge than what you can find in the Bible. But that is not true!

Verse 15: "But I will make every effort that, after my departure… [Peter wrote this when he was old and knew he was going to die shortly] …you may always have a written remembrance of these things in order to practice them for yourselves… [he's going to write it for them] …for we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory" (vs 15-16).

Peter is telling where Paul left off not to get wrapped up in philosophy. He' telling them here that you stay close to God and the knowledge of God and understand what the Father and Christ are doing. And 'I saw what was going to be the end result of it, with the vision of the Transfiguration.'

Verse 17: "Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.'"

John also refers to this. The third one was James but he was beheaded by Herod.

Verse 18: "And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain. We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word…" (vs 18-19). The words of Christ, confirmed by Christ that were prophesied.

Remember when Christ came back after He ascended to the Father and appeared to them? What did He do after they all settled down and understood that it was Christ? He had a nice meal of fish and honey. (By the way that is good, I've tried it.) What did He do? He opened their minds to the Scripture out of the Prophets and the Psalms, the Writings. He opened their minds confirming that He was the Christ, indeed the prophetic Word. The prophetic Word extends to the New Testament. Where do you find that? Isa. 8—to the Law and the Testimony—the New Testament, so it's Old Testament and New Testament—if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no Light in them!

"…the confirmed prophetic Word to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns… [the return of Christ] …and the morning star arises in your hearts… [the resurrection] …knowing this first…" (vs 19-20). You can say this of philosophy!

It was decreed that Socrates was 'the wisest man in the world.' Then you have Aristotle and all the rest of them.

"…that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation" (v 20—or opinion! If you try and interpret it incorrectly, that then becomes your opinion!

What do philosophers' say? I think! One of the greatest philosophers said, 'I think, therefore, I am.' That's completely backward. It's 'because you are, you think! But Socrates was considered 'a great philosopher.'

Verse 21: "Because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

Then when you study about the Bible, there were only 40 men who wrote the entire Bible. That's an amazing thing! There is not one contradiction within those 40 men. Not one!

It is true that too many people who slough off parts of the Bible if you bring it up to them, by saying, 'That's your own opinion.' You can answer, 'No, it's not; this was written before I ever existed and you ever existed by nearly 2,000 years, or more. So, you need to think about it.

  • IF there is a God Who is God, which there is
  • IF He's made everything, which He has
  • IF He knows the hearts of all men and women, which He does

THEN there is nothing that is read out of the Bible that is your own opinion! If you try to interpret it incorrectly that then becomes your opinion. Otherwise, all philosophy is the opinions of men! They may stumble across some Truth, but that does not make philosophy a valid adjunct to the Bible.

The Bible is superior to all philosophy, which comes from the minds of men. The Bible comes from the mind of God! Is that not better? Yes, indeed!

Notice that we have all this 2-Peter 1; notice chapter two. It changes entirely, but it follows the pattern. The Truth was given about how you're going to become a son or daughter of God. I'll just review chapter one as that.

2-Peter 2:1—Warning!: "But there were also false prophets among the people, as indeed there will be false teachers among you, who will stealthily introduce destructive heresies…"

How do they do it? Well, that's your opinion; here's my opinion! Of course, in the United States of America personal opinion is sacred. NO! Personal opinion may have some truth to it, but personal opinion concerning things of God coming from a carnal mind are 99% untrue!

"…personally denying the Lord who bought them, and bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (v 1).

We lived through this happening: false teachers! How long did it take for swift destruction to come upon the Church? Step-by-step, about seven years! Once it really came out, about seven years. Well, in the process of time seven years is swift destruction! What happened to the Church?

  • Bricket Wood is long gone
  • Big Sandy is long gone
  • Pasadena is all covered with expensive condominiums that rich people buy

Who wanted to be associated with rich people all of his life? Just judgment!

*****

Commercial Time (a little late on the advertising)

  • Brand new booklet Does the Bible Really Say That? by Duncan MacLeod
  • Do you really go to heaven when you die?
  • Has the Law really been done away because Jesus came?
    • Transcript Book with CD: The Second Epistle to the Corinthians

These make the best study. We can tell you that of the things that we have done through the years, and have now made into these Transcript Books, we have more study material concerning the Bible than was ever thought of at Ambassador College. These things were never gone into depth.

For example, one year for going through A Harmony of the Gospels. Do you think you've learned everything in one year there? No, you learned how to get from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that's about all. You may have learned some other things.

Then the Epistles of Paul, one-year survey. The Epistles of Paul, we've got in-depth studies going through it. They never explained anything the way it should have been done. That's not to put them down, that's to tell the truth as to why everything was so shallow, that when the attack came against the Church there was very little spiritual fortitude and backbone to resist it. And it got taken down!

*****

At the time of the writing of these General Epistles… They say these are Catholic Epistles. What do you think? These were written by the Catholic Church! I mean, the slight of hand everywhere.

Jude 3: "Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence… [notice how he was really applying himself to write this and put it there] …to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to ferventlyfight for the faith, which once for all time has been delivered to the saints. For certain men have stealthily crept in…" (vs 3-4).

That's what happened, so when the 'coup de grace' came, all of those who were the change-agents were in place.

We have another book: The Seven General Epistles and I've got a sermon series putting 2-Peter and Jude together verse-by-verse, because they're describing the same thing.

2-Peter 2:2: "And many people will follow as authoritative their destructive ways; and because of them, the way of the Truth will be blasphemed."

Those [out of WCG] who went to Azusa University came back and said that the Protestants have been right all along concerning Sunday. What happened? Because the brethren weren't taught, a lot of them believed it!

Let's see what Paul wrote, and this is not only concerning their time, but concerning our time. It comes about in a philosophical way, twisting and turning the Scriptures, misinterpreting!

1-Timothy 4:1: "Now, the Spirit tells us explicitly that in the latter times some shall apostatize from the faith, and shall follow deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."

That's what philosophy is and it can sound reasonable, rational, logical, and almost truthful. But it's not the Truth of God!

Verse 2: "Speaking lies in hypocrisy, their consciences having been cauterized with a hot iron; forbidding to marry… [Isn't that the bane of the Catholic Church?] …and commanding to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving" (vs 2-4)—vegetarianism!

What did God say is to be received with thanksgiving …by the faithful, even by those who know the Truth" (v 4).

Yet they say that God now says you can eat all unclean foods! Why? Because they mistranslate Mark 7, 'thus He cleansed all meats!' He did not! He said, 'Thus all food goes out in to the draught, cleansing the body'; having nothing to do with meats.

Then Acts 10 where the great sheet were let down with all the unclean thing in it, and Peter rises and said, 'No, Lord!' What else did Peter say being an apostle for 12 years and going around preaching the Gospel all around Judea? I have never eaten anything common or unclean!

Well, he didn't get what Jesus supposedly taught, but that's how those things come in.

We may have a small respite of things maybe getting a little better for a little while, because there are some people trying to get rid of as much abortion as they can. God will honor that; they are trying. And President Trump is also trying. But if you get a Democrat in there, it's over with, because here's what it will be like:

2-Timothy 3:1: "Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come… [Isn't' that true?] …for men will be lovers of self…" (vs 1-2).

Tie that in with where we started: know yourself! "…lovers of self…" They don't care about anybody else, just me! One of the surveyors went out to one of the anti-Trump rallies and said, 'What is it you're looking for from the Democrat nominees? I want to know what they're going to do for me!

"…lovers of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents… [Isn't that the problem?] …unthankful, unholy" (v 2).

Look at the problem in America, a lot of them live in a house, have a television or two, some may even have a car. They have electricity, a refrigerator and a stove. They have clothes and government handouts so they can live, yet they're angry because they don't have enough.

Verse 4: "Betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having an outward appearance of Godliness, but denying the power of true Godliness. But as for you, turn away from all these" (vs 4-5). That's quite a thing! We have a lot to overcome!

We've read some of the things that happened to those in the Middle Ages who were persecuted and beheaded, and so forth. But when you think of today, we have more things to overcome than they could have ever imagined. If you lived in the Valley of the Piedmonts, you had a little farm and your animals, you took care of that. You had the Bible and their Bible groups. They were all loving, kind, sharing and taking care of things living in the valley peacefully.

What do we have today? Even to watch the news you have to put up with all of the commercials and everything that goes there. You can find every evil on the Internet; you can bring it right into your own life and everything.

We have more to overcome that way mentally and spiritually than they ever had. So, in a way today is harder and a more difficult time, which means that the Sabbath is more important for us.

To overcome those things, here is what we need to do. This is what it's all about. For us today it is far more important for us to understand this and work at it than ever before. Not that it's ever been unimportant, but especially for today because we have to fight and overcome so many things that before living in the age in which we're living today, those things weren't a problem.

Philippians 2:1: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy that you be of the same mind…" (vs 1-2).

  • With the Spirit of God
  • With the Laws of God
  • With the Truth of God

"…having the same love, being joined together in soul, minding the one thing…" (v 2). What is that one thing? Attaining to the Kingdom of God! Attaining to the Divine nature!

Verse 3: "Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory, but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself." What are we anyway but just a speck?

Verse 4: "Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus… [that is developing the Divine nature] …Who, although He existed in the form of God… [as God—'huparchon'] …did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself…" (vs 4-7).

  • How much did Jesus give up?
  • How much have you given up? Very little indeed!

"…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 7-8).

Every process of the body that you have, Jesus had, and He was even tired and was sleeping in the back part of the little ship that they were in crossing the Sea of Galilee. A storm came and He didn't wake up. The disciples said, 'Lord, wake up! We're going to die!' He said, 'Oh, you of little faith,' and He commanded the wind and waves to stop. Imagine what that was like to see!

"…He humbled Himself…" (v 8). How humbling was that? He said, 'No one takes My life; I lay it down! I have commandment from the Father to lay it down and receive it back.' He willingly went through what He went through! Think of that the next time you think you're suffering, think about what Christ went through being scourged and crucified!

"…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).

That's quite a broad picture, an overall scope of the whole plan of God. You can tie in there the Sabbath, the Holy Days and all of that.

Verse 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Why? Because God is with you!

We did some Church at Home and talked about the love of God. When we got done, Jonathan said, 'John 14 says that if you love Me, keep My commandments' because we were talking about that. I said that we we're going to cover that the next time. But that's true! God the Father and Christ are in you and They are there to help and have you overcome and grow in grace and knowledge.
What suffering that we have that we're going through, some of it's difficult. But that's just the way that it is!

Verse 13: "For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure." So, it is the Father Who does that!

This is how the progression of evil will never captivate you, if you do what we've covered here!

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 1:15-26
  • Jeremiah 10:14-15, 23-24
  • Jeremiah 17:1, 5-10, 13-14, 19-25
  • Colossians 2:1-10
  • 2 Peter 1:1-4, 8, 15-21
  • 2 Peter 2:1
  • Jude 3-4
  • 2 Peter 2:2
  • 1 Timothy 4:1-4
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-2, 4-5
  • Philippians 2:1-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Colossians 1
  • Psalm 1
  • Isaiah 8
  • Mark 7
  • Acts 10
  • John 14

Also referenced:
Books:

  • In the Closet of the Vatican by Frederic Martel
  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter

Articles:

  • Joel Osteen Attends Lady Gaga LGBT Pride Event by News Division · Published June 26, 2019 {https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/06/26/joel-osteen-attends-lady-gaga-lgbt-pride-event/}
  • Encyclical Letter fides et ratio of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Relationship Between Faith and Reason {http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_14091998_fides-et-ratio.html}

Booklet: Does the Bible Really Say That? by Duncan MacLeod
Transcript Book/CD: The Second Epistle to the Corinthians
Sermon Series: 2-Peter & Jude

FRC:bo                   Transcribed: 7/4/19

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