Fred R. Coulter—February 21, 2010

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In line with Church at Home and the audience that we are targeting—I know when we first were talking to Randy Vild—now he's our editor and he makes the programs, we just do the videos; Dave Froloff runs the camera, and I have a timer right here on my recorder so I can watch the time and we keep them between 28 and 30 minutes; once in awhile we'll go 31 minutes—he said, 'Fred, what is your targeted audience?' I said, 'The target audience is disaffected Christians, Protestants and Catholics, but mostly Protestants. So that's the audience that we're targeting. That doesn't mean that we won't reach a lot of other people, we will, because a lot of other people are used to many of the messages that you hear on television, and so forth. And that turns out to be the problem.

So you may have heard me mention the book, Quitting Church, by Julia Duin. She's a writer for The Washington Times, and she has been a worldly 'Christian.' I use the term that way, I could also say carnal Christian, but that would offend some people, so I won't say it. She has written why people who have been going to Protestant churches for a long time are quitting.

How many here have gone to Protestant churches? How many here have been to Joel Osteen's? One, two. We'll talk a little bit about 'good ole' Joel here a little later. But there are many reasons why they are quitting. When they go to church, as she explained on 9/11, everyone said, 'God bless America.' The President said, 'Go to your churches, go to your synagogues,' and so on the sixteenth of September they were overflowing with people. On the twenty-third they were back to their normal attendance, because when they got there they heard the same old thing.

Most people don't know it, but many of the ministers—who are the Protestant ministers—quit within the first five years. So she ran a survey of ministers, of people of different denominations, and so forth, and found out that as fast as people come in the door this way, the older ones go out the door that way, because they're not satisfied with what they're hearing. When they go to church they don't feel as though they're fed. They don't feel as though that really when you come to understand it, they're any different than the people in the world, so they quit.

One man said, 'Well, I quit going to church and I stayed home for a whole year and studied the book of Psalms. I learned more about God in that year than I did going to church for twenty years.' So that tells you something. So this is the audience that we are targeting. We're getting some good responses.
On the ad for Restoring the Original Bible, I've gotten a few very nasty comments back. 'How dare you do that! What a vain thing to do to the Bible. How dare you take away from the Word of God,' when they read that there are 49 books and they look in the Bible and there are 66 books. They think, 'Boy, you're tearing it all apart.' One Baptist minister wrote me. He sent an email and he said, 'I am a true Christian.' I thought hmm, very interesting. He was one the who said, 'How dare you do this.' I even had a nun write and say, 'May you rot in hell forever!' So I sent her a nice email. I said, 'Thank you for your email.' She was responding to what I said: Catholics are not Christians. So she sent a real nasty email. And I said, 'Well, thank you for your email. I think that your reaction has verified what I said, that your comment to me was not Christian.' Because Jesus said what? 'Love your enemies. Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. You proved my point. May God forgive you for such an attitude.'

Then for the Protestant minister, I just asked him some questions. I said, 'How can you denounce something that you have never seen and know nothing about. Does that not put you in the category of the Proverbs which says, "He who answers a matter before he hears it is a fool," and furthermore how can you judge my heart and my motives when you don't even know me?' I mentioned some other things and I said, 'Now what I'm going to do, I'm going to send you four booklets:

  • Which Day is The True Christian Sabbath?
  • A Sabbath/Sunday Challenge You Have Never Read
  • An Adversary Warns You
  • How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets

—and then we took Appendix Z in the Bible and that's going to be a booklet: Understanding Paul's Difficult ScripturesConcerning the Law and Commandments of God. Then I said, 'I'm going to send you another special book so it will help you understand the problems that were in the New Testament, because most of the problems in the New Testament were rooted in the difficulties with Judaism. So if you don't know anything about Judaism, then how can you understand what Paul is writing.'

So I sent him TheCode of Jewish Law. And I said this, 'If you find in anything that I am wrong, I'll be very happy to change; but you have to prove from Scripture that I'm wrong. If you're wrong, will you be willing to change?' So I think he got everything this week, so I'll find out what happens. Sometimes people really react without knowing.

There are certain things we can know and there are certain things that we need to use to judge, so we can understand what we're doing. Now let's first of all come to 1-Corinthians, the first chapter, and let's understand our calling.

Someone also asked me the question: Why did you do this? I'll tell you the thing that got me started on the New Testament first. Someone sent me what is called an Inclusive New Testament. Has anybody here seen the Inclusive New Testament? The Inclusive New Testament was put together by a committee of translators, which consisted of: feminists, homosexuals, liberal religionists. What they wanted to do, they wanted to have a New Testament that would appeal to the un-churched. One of the things I learned in this book, Quitting Church, is this: She never talks about converted or unconverted, which I thought was very interesting. She wrote about the churched and the un-churched.

So the mission of the Protestants is to get the un-churched into church, when the goal of God is to get them converted. The process is entirely different. So we need to understand the difference ourselves. We look around at us and we're a group that you would not suspect would be the people of God who are going to rule the world when Christ returns. If I went down the line with every one of us, beginning with myself, what would we find?

  • We're inadequate, a lot of us are old, getting close to the end of the trail.
  • A lot of us have difficulties and health problems.
  • We're weak.
  • We're uneducated, as far as the world is concerned.

Some people have said, 'Well, where is your doctor's degree?' When I got that Inclusive New Testament and saw what they did to the New Testament, they tried to make everything neuter gender. No he or she, just that one. Jesus was not the Son of man, He was the human one. God the Father was not the Father, but they changed that to read 'Father/Mother.' When I read that and I was doing the study translation—how many remember the study translations I was doing back in the 1990s? I was only doing the study translations so we could study the Word of God.

We had done quite a few books going through that way and when I read that I said, 'If we let that stand without an answer, God is going to hold us responsible.' So that's when I decided to finish doing the New Testament, and then we came out with the New Testament in its Original Order. Subsequently, people kept urging, 'Do the Old Testament and have a Bible.' I said, 'No, I don't know enough Hebrew to do it.' What happened was I teamed up with Michael Heiss who knows the Hebrew and so he took care of the Hebrew and I took care of the English and that's how we came up with the translation of the Old Testament. In all cases what we endeavor to do was to translate it from the Greek for the New Testament and the Hebrew for the Old Testament to make it read what it actually said. Novel idea, don't you think?

How many times when you had your King James Version, you'd come to church and a minister would be up there in the pulpit and he would read a verse, and then he would say, 'Well, in the Greek it means this', or 'in the Hebrew it means this.' Why not have a Bible that says what it means? So that's how we ended with this. In going through the series I've been going through here recently, The Bible Answer to Evangelicals, it has become evident that every major doctrine of Protestantism is based upon a wrong translation in the King James or other translations and/or a misinterpretation, combined together.

So we have part of the answer here in Appendix Z, Understanding Paul's Difficult Scriptures. Now what I'm going to do is this: I'm going to undertake to do another booklet to show the difference. I'm going to have one column King James with the difficult Scriptures, like Rom. 3, parts of Rom. 5, 7 & 14, and then we get into the things in Galatians. You can't understand Gal. unless you know about The Code of Jewish Law, because you don't know the problem. Just like today, if the apostles were resurrected, they wouldn't be able to fully grasp the problems between what the Protestants teach and what's in the Bible, because the Protestants go through the Bible and they have their little trail of well-worn verses, and they pick this one out and that one out and the other one out, and people think—especially brand new—it's coming from the Bible. It is, but it's like a thousand-piece puzzle and you use fifty pieces. Do you have the whole picture? So that's a problem that people are confronted with.

Now we have a Bible with all of those corrected. I just recently got an email from someone who just got the Bible, and said, 'Oh, I'm so happy to get the Bible. I got it and I've been reading and studying. It has answered questions that I have had for 25 years.' Everyone says it's easy to read and understand. That's the whole goal. The whole goal is to do what God wants, not something that I can say is some great thing that I've accomplished, because I feel this, like you would say using Bible language. As Paul said, 'Woe to me if I don't preach the Gospel.' If I know these things and I know what is right and I know what it should be, woe to me if we don't make it so. I don't take any credit for it. And he said, 'How dare you copyright the Bible.' I said, 'Please understand, no one can copyright the Bible, but the copyright is for the commentaries and the appendices.

Let's look at our condition and our calling, because this morning I happened to turn in and see smiling Joel on the television. Has he ever given a real sermon of warning, a sermon of, we're coming to the worst times in human history that has ever been? No! I don't watch him very often because it's very hard to take what he has to say. But I've watched him enough so I can see the things that he's not doing according to Scripture.

The comment was made: At least he teaches the difference between clean and unclean meats—but not from the Bible, from a health reason. Isn't that lovely? We don't want to offend anyone with the Word of God—would we?

So I saw him this morning and we're going to cover just from what he said, right at the end. He said this: 'Do you want Jesus in your life? All you have to say… [and he's smiling all the time and you can count all of his teeth] …all you have to do is say is: Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Lord Jesus come into my heart; you're born again.' Now that sounds very simple—doesn't it? That sounds very attractive because there's no work involved—right? What we're going to see, it's not that simple. As I have said in some of my Church at Home, maybe I mentioned it in a sermon, too: It's like this ad where this little girl gets this wonderful bicycle. And the man is there and says, 'Would you like this bicycle? Would you like to ride it?' Oh, yes, so she gets on it. As soon as she starts peddling, he says, 'Whoa, whoa.' And she looked at him just mystified and he says, 'You see these lines on the floor? You can't ride it outside of this box.' She was a little redhead with blue eyes and she looked at him with a very sullen look and thought, 'Who is this guy?' That's about what Protestantism is. They get you started and you immediately quit.

It's like running a race: get on your mark, get set, go, you take two steps, turn around, go back where you were and you cross the finish line, and you've got it made. As we know, it's not quite that simple. But there is a calling, and it's a calling that comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ to each one of personally. We have to respond to the call, meaning we have to respond to God the Father and Jesus Christ. That response, we will see what it is. Nowhere did I hear in his message what real repentance was about.

Now let's look at us who are the 'motley crew.' 1-Corinthians 1:24: "But to those who are called... [You have to be called. Now 'many are called'—you've heard of that haven't you? But what did Jesus say? Everybody's included. No! He said, 'Few are chosen.' Why are few chosen? You've heard me say many times, because few repent. This is not humanism to make yourself a better person. You can have lots of success courses to do that. People have the ability to make themselves smarter, wiser, to do things. You can do that with just your own human nature. You can even choose to avoid certain sins, but because you're successful in it doesn't mean you're converted, because you have to answer the call. It's not a matter of being churched or un-churched, it's a matter of being called and converted.] those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God's power and God's wisdom."

Everything comes from God. Because we are to have a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, and that is called fellowship. It's very interesting because that word 'fellowship' can also mean partnership. Isn't that interesting?

Verse 25: "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men... [That is, if God has any foolishness. I think you look at some of the things He's created and you can get some humorous results from it.] ...and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many who are wise according to the flesh... [How many here have PhD's? How many here are called by the President to be counselor to give him advice? Or even the governor? Or even the city council? Or even the county board of supervisors? How about your husband and wife?] ...not many who are powerful... [We don't have ex-presidents, kings, princes, powerful king-makers on Wall Street and the heads of executives and corporations. We don't have the CEO of Shell or Exxon or any of the other great corporations. I wouldn't want to say GMC, because that's Obama.] ...not many who are high-born among you" (vs 25-26). We don't have great long genealogies and pedigrees.

"Rather, God has chosen the foolish things of the world, so that He might put to shame those who are wise... [Our calling and our education is to be educated by God, so the wisdom that we have is greater than the wisdom of the world. The wisdom that we have comes from the Word of God and the Spirit of God.] ...that He might put to shame those who are wise... [When we're resurrected and enter the Kingdom of God and start reigning as kings and priests and we start dealing with some of these high mucky-mucks, they're going to say, 'You?' You're going to say, 'Yeah, it's me.'] ...and God has chosen [selected] the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things. And the low-born of the world, and the despised has God chosen—even the things that are counted as nothing—in order the He might bring to nothing the things that are" (vs 27-28). So that's why all of us have our weaknesses, all of us have our difficulties and troubles, so that we can trust in the living God, so that we can look to God the Father and Jesus Christ

  • to be with us
  • to give us His Spirit
  • to give us His Word
  • to fellowship with us when we come together and meet

"So that no flesh might glory in His presence" (v 29). Even Job in all that he did—I don't know about you, but maybe the first time you read the book of Job, you probably thought: Maybe God is wrong here. He did all of these good things and he was a mighty man. He was a wise man. Everyone came to hear his counsel. Job said, 'When I entered the room, everyone stood up and kept silent and respected me. And when I spoke it was like dropping dew onto the grass. God's not fair. I'm righteous.'

He forgot one important thing. Whatever righteousness he did, God already commanded—right? So all of his do-gooding without really giving God the credit and understanding that the high and mighty, even like Job, had to repent. So what's going to happen with the high and mighty?

"So that no flesh might glory in His presence. But you are of Him in Christ Jesus, Who was made to us wisdom [Christ] from God—even righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; So that, as it is written, 'The one who glories, let him glory in the Lord'" (vs 29-31). Not in the self, not in accomplishment.

Now, let's come back here to the book of Job. The book of Job is very interesting. That comes right after the book of Proverbs in the original order. So after it was all said and done, because you see, it comes down to this. Shall the created say to the Creator, 'What are you making?' Shall the created say to the Creator, 'I'm more than you.' So Job even said at one time, he said, 'This is so unfair (I'm paraphrasing it) that I am here suffering all of these things and I know that I don't deserve it, because I'm righteous.' And he said, 'Oh, I wish that there were an umpire here between me and God. He could his hand on my shoulder and on God's shoulder, and he could arbitrate between us, so that God would know how righteous I am.'

So the high and mighty have to repent. Notice what's going to happen to the high and mighty when we start dealing with them. They're going to be humbled through all the things that are going to take place. But notice after Job said, 'Oh, I wish God would talk to me. I'd let Him know.' So God did talk to him, talked to him in a whirlwind and said,

  • Job, where were you when I made the heavens and the earth?
  • Where were you when I made the clouds and the mountains and the streams.
  • Where were you when I made all the animals and everything that there is?'

So here's His final answer, Job 40:1: "And the LORD answered Job and said, 'Shall he who contends with the Almighty instruct Him?... [Like it says there in Isa. 40, 'Who has been God's counselor?] ...He who reproves God, let him answer it.' And Job answered the LORD and said, 'Behold, I am vile!.... [Quite a change of attitude—right? There is repentance. This is why God has chosen us, because we have repented. We have yielded to God. We have answered the call. He has led us to repentance, and we have come to see all of our sins and we have come to see the worthlessness of human nature and human beings apart from God, and we have absolutely no strength or power on ourselves to do anything of eternal value in the flesh without God. Even Solomon wrote, and he says, 'What if you live a thousand years twice told and you died?' He said, 'Behold, that's vanity.'] ...What shall I answer You? I will lay my hand on my mouth'" (vs 1-4). It's about time, Job.

"'Once I have spoken; but I will not answer; yea, twice, but I will proceed no further.' And the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 'Gird up your loins now like a man. I will demand you, and you declare unto Me.... [Now every Protestant and Protestant preacher needs to listen up, because you all say that the Lawgiver Who gave His laws for our good has abolished them for your convenience. Do you think you can tell God He's abolished His laws? I think not.] ...Will you even annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me so that you may be righteous?'" (vs 5-8).

Then God gives him a challenge. All right, if you're so important and high and mighty, and so forth, v 9: "'And have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?.... [Let's see you do this now, Job.] ...Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency, and array yourself with glory and beauty" (vs 9-10). Let's see how much glory you have and here he is what? Remember his condition? Covered with boils from head to toe, which he scraped with a potsherd, and the pus oozed out, and the flies came around. They got all of the pus boils. What do flies do when they get on the pus? They lay eggs and guess what Job had crawling in his boils? Worms! That's why he said in one place, 'Though worms destroy this body.' He was in terrible shape. So now here he is, all of these scabby boils, covered with sackcloth. He probably looked like the most filthy unclean thing you had ever imagined. Because if you sit there and throw ashes on yourself, you probably look like a ghost, coming out of a vision, or something like that, sitting there in terrible pain. And here his three friends are sitting there and they never gave the advice that he needed. And little old Elihu was the one who finally told him, he said, 'Look, I'll be to you for God.'

So now God says to Job sitting there in this condition: "'Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency, and array yourself with glory and beauty…. [Couldn't do it.] …Cast abroad the rage of your wrath; and behold everyone who is proud, and abase him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in darkness. Then I will also confess to you that your own right hand can save you'" (vs 10-14). That's what it is for everyone, quite something!

So what was Job's final reaction? This is what we all experience—isn't it? When we really come to see human nature for what it is, we repent. That's what Job had to do. Job 42:1: "And Job answered the LORD and said, 'I know that You can do all things, and that no thought can be withheld from You. You asked, "Who is he who hides counsel without knowledge?" Therefore I have spoken that which I did not understand; things too wonderful for me; yea, which I did not know.'…. [true repentance] …Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak;' You said, "I will ask of you, and you will declare to Me." I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You'" (vs 5).

In answering the call, every one of us have to come to a point of seeing ourselves for what we are, because from within 'out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, murders, and adultery, and fornication, and thefts and covetousness and lasciviousness and evil eye and blasphemy'—right? From within. We may look good on the outside, but God knows the thought! God knows the heart! So when God reaches down and calls us and opens our eyes to really see the Truth of God, to really see the Truth of His calling, it is really something—isn't it? Yes, God has called us to great and glorious things to do, because

  • we are the rejected
  • we are the few
  • we are the weak
  • we are the despised of the world

—but God has called us and we love God. God loves us and Christ loves us, and He wants us to rule and reign with Him. Now that's quite a proposition—isn't it?

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Since God has called us, let's look at the process that He has used to call us and see that it begins directly with God the Father Himself. So we need to understand this: anytime you get to thinking, down and out, and God doesn't love you, and God doesn't care for you, stop and think and remember: God the Father Himself is the one Who began dealing in your life to call you. Because there was a time when you didn't know anything about God, or maybe you were in a church and you couldn't find God there, and then one day there began to be a change—very slight—but that change was, 'What about God?' All of a sudden you became interested in God and then you became interested in the Word of God, and then you had a compelling feeling that you wanted to know more about God, and you wanted to get your life squared around and changed. Am I describing accurately what happened to you? Yes, indeed!

Let's come to John 6 and see how it began. John 6:44. When we get down to God's love for you, and then your love back to Him, let's understand something very, very important. God the Father is dealing directly in your life and He wants a personal relationship between you and Him

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through living God's way
  • through growing in grace and knowledge

you are important to God. You're not self-important unto yourself, like the world is.

Now here's what Jesus said because there were those there who wanted to have the manna, they wanted to make Him king, they wanted to proclaim Him as the Prophet, they wanted to set Him up. 'He's our Messiah, yes!' But all of that's on their terms. We come to God on His terms. I want you to understand how special and important this calling is.

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." Isn't that something? God the Father is the one Who initiates drawing you. Now you have to answer the call, and answering that call involves repentance and baptism. We'll talk about baptism and the covenant that we are in with God, because we're soon coming to the time of the Passover and renewing of the New Covenant. But we need to understand how much God really cares for us and loves us. Remember, that 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.'

Here's another instance where in the King James Version it's not translated correctly. It's a very interesting thing when you understand the tense of the Greek verbs. John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish..." The reason it's may notperish is because this is in what is called the subjunctive tense, meaning it's conditional. Now you can understand it this way: 92 percent of people believe there is a God. Of those ninety-two percent probably 60 percent of people attend some kind of church some place. But it gets down to this: it's not a matter of believing in God, it's not a matter of attending church, it is a matter of believing God. There's a difference.

'May be saved,' because you have to repent. You have to be baptized, you have to receive the Holy Spirit. "...may not perish, but may have everlasting life" (v 16). That's the calling. But we have to constantly respond to God and God responds back to us. We yield to God and with His Holy Spirit He leads us. He doesn't force us, He doesn't push us, He doesn't pull us. He leads us, because we have to choose all the time to do the things that are pleasing in God's sight. When that happens because the Father calls us and we respond to God, and repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, then something else happens. That something else is very unusual.

We're all here, we all have our Bibles open, we're all reading the Word of God. As you hear it and you read it, something is happening in your mind. And with the Spirit of God in your mind and we will see that Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.' Something is happening; you are learning. But who is teaching? Because there are other people who pick up the Bible and read it and they wouldn't understand it. But how is it that we can understand it, and they can't understand it?

It's like it says back there in Isa. 29. You give the book to a learned man and he said, 'I can't read it, it's sealed.' You give it to an unlearned man and say read it and he says, 'I can't read it, I'm not learned.' That's because they're blinded. What happens is when you repent, answer the call of God, the blinders are lifted. It's called a veil. Then something else happens with the operation of God and His Spirit.

John 6:45: "'It is written in the prophets, "And they shall be taught by God.'" Isn't that interesting? Everything we know about God and the Word of God, God is teaching us through His Word and His Spirit. So when you have Bible study, that's part of your relationship with God. When you think on the Word of God, that's your relationship with God.

Have you ever been going along, either studying or maybe just thinking about something while you're doing something in the house, or you're driving along, and all of a sudden it's like—BING!—a light goes on and you understand something. You ever had that happen? Yes! Many times. How does that happen? God is the one Who's doing it. "…'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me" (v 45). Now isn't that a tremendous thing? The world doesn't know us. The world doesn't know what God is doing. God is doing something in our lives. He is changing us because we love Him. That's why the love of God becomes the most important.

We're also told that the Holy Spirit will teach us things that are to come. We will know these things when it's time for us to know them. But in the meantime, once we receive the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God comes in two parts. Do you understand that?

John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word... [That means His whole message.
love requires action
love requires emotion
love requires the Spirit of God.
...and My Father will love him... [Now notice this next sentence.] ...and We... [The Father and the Son.] ...will come to him and make Our abode with him.... [And that's with the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you important to God? Yes! He's chosen you to be a mini-temple of God that He can dwell in, because He has a work that He's going to do to you and for you, and for the whole world collectively when the resurrection occurs.] ...The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me'" (vs 23-24).

Now isn't that something? Think of this: every time you study the Bible, think of it as this—it is a personal message from God to me. Isn't that wonderful? A lot of people want to know, 'Well, Who is God, where is God?' You can find Him right in the Bible. 'Oh, that thing.' That's why they can't find God.

Let's come back here to Romans 8 and let's see the action of the Holy Spirit. There are two parts to it: of the Father and of the Son. We'll see it defined right here in Romans 8:9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit... [God is looking at you and your life from a spiritual sense and a spiritual point of view. God is viewing you as you will be at the resurrection.] ...if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ... [Notice the Spirit of Christ, one part.] ...he does not belong to Him. But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.... [Now notice v 11, the other part of the Spirit of God]: ...Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you... [That was the Spirit from the Father—correct? So of the Holy Spirit there are two parts to it.

  • of the Father for the begettal for eternal life
  • of the Son to have the mind of Christ

...He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you" (vs 9-11).

And then it shows how we are to live our lives, v 12: "So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.... [Showing the process of growing and overcoming through our whole lifelong.] (But here is how it's done): ...For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (vs 12-14). That's why you're important to God! That's why God has called you! That's why God loves you! And it is His spiritual relationship that we are in, with God the Father and Jesus Christ, and then with each other as brethren. Quite a tremendous thing—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

So the whole point of it is never, ever, ever, ever be discouraged about anything. You have a trial to face? Ask God to help you. You have a difficulty to overcome? Look to Christ to help you and lead you out of it.

Now let's come back here to John 15 and let's see our relationship with God. Of course, this is part of the Passover ceremony that we go through every year in renewing the New Covenant. John 15:1: "'I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.... [Husbandman is better than a farmer. Husbandman is one who is married to the land. He takes care of the plants and everything, so that they will be productive, that they will grow, that they'll produce fruit. So here we're to be in Christ. So here's the dual action of the Holy Spirit—right? We are in Christ, that's part of the Holy Spirit. The Father is the husbandman. He teaches us.] (Now notice what else He does): ...He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit... [That's why some people don't stick around. Now, if they happen to be backsliding, God is still dealing with them, and they'll come back if they repent.] (But notice what He does): ...but He cleanses... [He, that is the Father. The Father Himself is perfecting us in Christ.] ...He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit'" (vs 1-2).

That's why Paul wrote, 'All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.' All things, even the most difficult and desperate things that happen. And when they do, what does that lead us to? Repentance and returning to God—does it not? Yes!

Verse 3: "You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you. Dwell in Me... [that's the action of the Holy Spirit] ...and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me.... [Present tense, ongoing, continually through all your lifelong, from the time that you are baptized, until the time that you are changed, whether you die or whether you are alive.] ...I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing.'…. [That's what Job had to learn—right? Yes, indeed!] …If anyone does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch, and is dried up; and men gather them and cast them into a fire, and they are burned" (vs 3-6).

Remember what we read in John 3:16? 'May not perish, but may have everlasting life':

  • based upon the condition of dwelling in Christ
  • based upon the condition of being faithful to the end
  • based upon the condition of maintaining a relationship between you and God the Father and growing in grace and knowledge and overcoming

—that's a tremendous thing.

Verse 7: "If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you... [Isn't that interesting? And evangelicalism says, 'Well, you don't need to worry about the gospels. That was for the Jews only.' Are they dwelling in Christ? Well, we just choose the words of the Apostle Paul, they're more spiritual. He had a different gospel. Really? Was he greater than Christ? No!You need the words of Christ, because He is our life.] ...If you dwell in Me, and My words..." That's why you've heard what? Prayer and study—isn't that true? Yes! Why? That's like saying, in order to maintain good health you have to eat right, you have to take care of your health, and you can put it in two simple terms: eating and breathing. Spiritually it is prayer and study. Every time you study, the Father is there to teach you with His Spirit in you. Every time you pray, you're in communication directly with God the Father and Jesus Christ—right?

Come over John 16:26. Let's understand how important that prayer is. So if you haven't been praying lately, Christ is waiting. The Father is waiting. You need to repent. "In that day, you shall ask in My name;' and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you... [Now every good Catholic needs to read that, because they are told what? You pray to Mary and she'll intercede—right? That's not what the Bible says—is it? No!] ...For the Father Himself loves you... [Never forget that.

  • He loves you
  • He's called you
  • He's teaching you
  • He's preparing you, Christ is in you for the mind of Christ

...and have believed that I came forth from God" (vs 26-27). So therefore, that's why the prayer begins—how does it begin? Doesn't begin with hail Mary. It begins with 'Our Father.' It doesn't begin with dear Jesus. It begins with 'Our Father.' Direct connection between you and God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Let's come to 1-John, the first chapter, and let's understand something else, too. Is God eternal? Yes! Has He created everything? Yes! Now think of the magnitude of what is happening in your life with the relationship of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Here's how John wrote it. 1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning... [Who created all things and commanded and they came into being?] ...that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves... [The Greek can also mean gazed. Now you know how small infants are. You look at them and they just fix their eyes right on you. You walk across the room and they're just right on you—right? That's what that means. They saw and watched everything that Jesus did.] ...that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us)" (vs 1-2).

And we've got the written words here, which to us are spirit and are life, with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship... [Remember, this word can mean partnership. Every one of us are in a partnership with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Think about that!] ...indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ" (v 3).

Now let's see how this comes about. Let's come back to John 15:9: "As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you... [God the Father loves you. Jesus Christ loves you. If you ever come to the point in your life, and I know everyone has—especially through all the church trauma we've gone through—a lot of people wondered, 'Where is God? Does God love me? Does God care for me? Why is this happening? Yes! God loves you. He's got a great and a glorious future for you for all eternity. Don't worry when you look in the mirror. You're a little older. Maybe you've got another wrinkle or two. It's like one woman who's 95, she says, 'My wrinkles have wrinkles, and those wrinkles have wrinkles.' I said, 'But God loves you—doesn't He?' Yes! That's the important thing.] ...As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love." [That's how it's to be. Then you can just put in there 1-Cor. 13, because love is the greatest tool to overcome.

Verse 10: "'If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love.... [That's quite a relationship—isn't it? Isn't that a magnificent thing that God has done? And yet those in the world who don't know us and those in the world who don't understand God, and those in the world who don't understand why we keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days, and why we're dedicated to the Word of God say, 'You belong to a cult.' You ever heard that said? Yes! The truth is, they're the ones who belong to a cult. We belong to God, and He's got a great future for us.] ...These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full" (vs 10-11). This is how you get through every difficulty and problem, because 'straight is the gate and narrow is the gate, and few there be that find it.' We're the few. Not like the Marines. We are the few and the chosen of God to rule the world. You sure look like a bunch of dangerous subversives out there.

"This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you" (vs 12-14). You are the friend of Jesus Christ. Even if you have no other human friend in the world, Jesus Christ is your friend. So you're never alone.

Let's come to Philippians, the third chapter, and let's see what He's going to do to us. What a future we have to look forward to. Imagine what it's going to be when we are resurrected and all of a sudden we look and, 'Yes, I'm alive.' And then we look around a little more and there's an angel taking us up to the Sea of Glass. We get up to the Sea of Glass and we're amazed how big it is and it's being filled with resurrected saints going clear back to the time of Abel. We're going to be on the Sea of Glass in the clouds.

  • that's where we're going to receive our new name
  • that's where we're going to participate in the marriage of the Lamb, and the supper of the Lamb.
  • that's where we're going to get our assignments

—that's all recorded there as we will cover before Pentecost. And then on the Sea of Glass all of us, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the saints of the Old Testament, all the saints of the New Testament. Isn't that going to be a wonderful thing? Then we're going to see the seven last plagues poured out and then we're going to come back down to the earth with Christ. And we're going to take over every government; we're going to eliminate all religion; we're going to institute the true way of God; we're going to have the power and we're going to have the capacity to do it, because we're not going to be the same old weak, fleshly beings we are now. Here's what He's going to do. This ties right in with what Jesus said, 'He who endures to the end, shall be saved.'

Philippians 3:14 "I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus…. [That's what we are to do as long as we have breath, keep going forward.] …So then, let as many as be perfect be of this mind.... [You're forgetting the things that are behind. You're going forward.] (Now here's another promise): ...And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you.... [That's how you go along, and then there comes a time when you see, 'Oh, I didn't know that that was wrong. I didn't know that I was doing that. I didn't realize that this thought was wrong.' Who revealed it to you that it was wrong? God did!—because of His Spirit, because of His relationship to you and with you.] ...Nevertheless, in regard to that which we have attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind" (vs 14-16).

Now what is God going to do to us? Come down here to v 20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God... [Now that interesting, because the Greek word there is 'politeia'—which means politics. That's why we're not to get wrapped up in the politics of this world. Give you one very important clue: You'll never be successful in the politics of this world unless you prove yourself to be a very good liar—right? Our politics has not arrived. It's in heaven and Christ is going to bring it with Him.] ...But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens, from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

We're going to be different from anything that we have suspected. Just as Paul talked about the resurrection, you plant a grain, or you plant a seed, and it comes up as a wonderful new plant. That's what happens when we die and we're put into the grave, go back to the dust.

God is going to resurrect us, and here's what He's going to do, v 21: "Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself." Brethren, I don't think we can really comprehend the glory that God is going to give to us except through the words that Christ has given.

So let's come here to Matthew 13. Let's see what Jesus said the children of God are going to be like when they enter into the Kingdom of God. There is going to be nothing to compare with it, except with the comparison that He gave. This is something that is hard for us to grasp. Matthew 13:43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear."

So, brethren, far different from just a simple little statement that is not true: Just tell God you repent of your sins, you accept Jesus as Savior, and Jesus comes into your heart, you're 'born again.' No! It's a whole process of being trained for eternal life, to develop the mind of Christ, the character of God, and have the faith and the hope and the love and the temperance, and the kindness and goodness and meekness, and all the characteristics of being a true Christian.

  • God is taking the least in the world and will make them the greatest.
  • God is taking the weakest in the world and to give them the power of God.
  • God is taking those who are called nothing and making them the sons of God and kings and priests to rule in the Kingdom of God forever.

That's why we're here. And that's why when we look around and we see, 'We ain't too much to brag about right now,' but God is looking at us and what He's going to do for us.

Scriptural References:

  • 1-Corinthians 1:24-31
  • Job 40:1-14
  • Job 42:1-5
  • John 6:44
  • John 3:16
  • John 6:45
  • John 14:23-24
  • Romans 8:9-14
  • John 15:1-7
  • John 16:26-27
  • 1-John 1:1-3
  • John 15:9-14
  • Philippians 3:14-16, 20-21
  • Matthew 13:43

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 3, 5, 7, 14
  • Isaiah 40, 29
  • Isaiah 29
  • 1-Corinthians 13

Also referenced:


  • Quitting Church by Julia Duin
  • The Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman Goldin


  • Which Day is the True Christian Sabbath
  • A Sabbath/Sunday Challenge You Have Never Read
  • How Did Jesus Christ Fulfill the Law and the Prophets?
  • Understanding Paul's Difficult Scriptures

Sermon Series: Bible Answers to Evangelicals

Transcribed: 03-12-10
Formatted" bo—3-14-10