Fred R. Coulter—November 14, 2015

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath Services!

What happened was quite a thing in Paris. They now confirm (at this time) 129 dead, 352 wounded and 99 severely, and one American was killed. Terrorist attack! I'm sure everyone is going to say, 'Look at all those poor innocent people who were killed.' I'm sure that's an accurate statement, as they view things. They weren't out there doing harm, they were at a soccer game, a concert, a restaurant, etc.

The terrorists came, Muslim jihadists, in the name of ISIS and they were killing and shooting. It turned out to be seven of them who were killed. People wonder:

  • Why does God allow this?
  • Why would God let this happen?

We'll answer those questions here today.

Let's start out in Mark 12[transcriber's correction] because this is what everyone wants. Everyone wants things that are nice and good:

  • they want God to be on their side
  • they want God to watch over them
  • they want God to bless them
  • they want God to do everything for them

Here's what God expects back to Him IF you want God's love. Do you love Him?

In answering which is the greatest commandment, Jesus said, Mark 12:29: "Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel… [that goes to the whole world from the time of Christ] …Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these'" (vs 29-31). The account in Matt. 22 says that the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Everyone will say, 'That's good; I like that; that's right.'

God always starts out and gives you the best. Look at what happened with Adam and Eve:

  • God created the world
  • set aside the Garden of Eden
  • was with them
  • instructed them

They had all the blessings of God, but He also gave them free moral agency. I have invented an acronym for it. Independent Free Moral Agency: IFMA. The word there is IF. We'll focus on that.

We can be very thankful that God does not intervene and ZAP everyone who sins immediately when they sin. We know the account of what happened to Adam and Eve. They still wanted the blessings from God, but they couldn't have them the way that God intended to give them. So, He had to remove them from the Garden of Eden. He still dealt with them, met them at the east gate of the Garden of Eden and I'm sure that's where the altar of burnt offerings was at that point.

They could still do well IF they would keep the commandments of God in the letter. That's the whole story of the difference between Cain and Abel. God told Cain that IF he did well he would be accepted. IF he did not, 'sin lies at the door,' but 'you shall rule over it,' because it wants to devour you. We are not helpless to sin because God has given us choice!

Let's see something else that's very important for us to understand. In Acts 17 is something that shows God's love for every person in the world. However, please understand that God's love in a covenant relationship—for those who are called out of this world and receive His Spirit—is a different kind of love than God gives to the world.

Paul stood there and told the Athenians and all of the great philosophers on whose foundation the whole world has been the basis for Western civilization. He said, 'You have all kinds of devotions to the gods and I saw one to the unknown God, and I am going to tell you about Him.'

Acts 17:24: "He is the God Who made the world and all things that are in it. Being the Lord of heaven and earth, He does not dwell in temples made by hands… [there he was standing right in front of the temple of Zeus right there on Mars Hill] … nor is He served by the hands of men, as though He needs anything, for He gives to all life and breath and all things" (vs 24-25)—whether good or evil. He says in Matt. 7 that He causes the rain to fall on the just and on the unjust.

Verse 26: "And He made of one blood all the nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, having determined beforehand their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling; in order that they might seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and might find Him; though truly, He is not far from each one of us" (vs 26-27). We're also told that if a sparrow falls, God knows it; He knows the number of hairs on our head, etc.

Verse 28: "For in Him we live and move and have our being…" Think about this: We're going to have a small little factoid about how the human body works. Did you know that the heart beats nearly 100,000 times a day? You don't even thing about it; you don't think about breathing. God provides all that for everything: human beings, animals, the whole thing.

  • God is a God of love
  • God is perfect
  • God is righteous
  • He does want to bless us
  • He does want to give us the things that are right and good

So, why do things like this happen: 9/11, accidents, fires, floods which people experience and many die? Why wars? Why all of these things that come along? IF we just look to the blessings of God we will see.

"…as some of the poets among you also have said, 'For we are His offspring'" (v 28)—made in the image of God. If God is love and God is righteous and God is true—all of that is true—why, then, do these things happen?

We're just about done with the book From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? We have in there about the atheist and the modernist. One of the leading atheists, Dawkins is his name, rejects God and he says 'faith is evil.' Anyone who has a faith and believes in God, that's evil; likewise, if you read the Bible. 'That's a myth written by men.' Pray-tell, what books did he read to come to those conclusions? Who wrote them? Men! There's a little difference. The Words of God were inspired by God, because that's His voice! The words that men write, when you come to rejecting God, that's from Satan the devil.

Remember what we covered in the sermon series: Judge Righteous Judgment? His own words condemned what he said! He has absolute faith in atheism and that there is no purpose to human life.

Psalm 53:1: "The fool…" What does it say about those 'who profess themselves to be wise' (Rom. 1) in:

  • rejecting God?
  • rejecting His Truth?
  • rejecting His love?
  • rejecting His commandments?

They became fools!

Verse 1: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'…." To show you how much love that God has—remember this through what we cover today in this sermon—God is going to resurrect them back to a second physical life to have an opportunity for salvation! Think on that concerning:

  • all who have died in wars
  • all who have suffered terrorist attacks
  • all of the jihadist Moslems

Wonder what that's going to be like when they are resurrected back to a second physical life. They wake up and say, 'Oh, where are the 72 virgins?' Sorry, they're all spoken for! 'Am I in heaven?' No, you're still on earth! 'Really?'

You see, God is going to take care of everything. However, His plan for humanity is so great and so fantastic, and to receive eternal life is such an absolute marvelous blessing, that the stakes are so high that He not only lets but causes these things in tragedies and wars to happen.

  • Why?
  • Would you rather suffer a natural disaster?
  • Would you rather suffer something from a human being?

or

  • Would you rather meet God face to face?

That's why God uses human beings to do the correction, to give an opportunity for repentance. This describes the world today:

"…They are corrupt, and have worked out abominable wickedness; there is no one who does good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any who understand, who are seeking after God" (vs 1-2). Think about this in all these disasters that happened, I don't care which one you want to name:

  • whether it is 9/11
  • whether it is a single terrorist attack upon a person
  • whether it is what happened in Paris

Were they seeking after God? No! Here's what has happened: '

Verse 3: "Everyone has turned away; they have altogether become corrupt; no one is doing good, no, not even one." Look what happens to those who try to do good. The good they try to do is only a physical thing, it's not the good that comes from God.

Verse 4: "Will the workers of iniquity never learn? They eat up my people as they eat bread; they have not called upon God. There they were in great fear where no fear was, for God has scattered the bones of him who camps against you…" (vs 4-5). God is eventually going to take care of all of this.

Deut. 28—this is what everyone wants. This is what they desire. Even the Protestants want this but they're schizophrenic. They want:

  • all the blessings of God
  • all the protection of God
  • all the forgiveness of sin

Then they turn around and say that God Himself, has done away with His own laws, when God is perfect, His laws are perfect, His testimonies and judgments, etc. are all perfect. They want all of these blessings, but they fail to read one very important, little word.

Deuteronomy 28:1: "And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God to observe and to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth."

They want to be set up high. Yes, when America is strong and when America leads the world, the world is a better place. Yes, indeed! Who put them there? God did because of the blessings that He gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Not because they were righteous, but because God said so! Always keep that in mind.

Do they want to do the rest of what God says? Remember the three simple words, obey My voice! That's what God wants. Some are surely going to say, 'How am I going to obey the voice of God?' Hold on! God had it all written down for you so there will be no mistakes! No mistakes from the traditions of men about what God said or what God meant:

  • Is not a written contract in a court of law greater in substance and value than just a verbal agreement? Yes, indeed!
  • Why? Because a verbal agreement can be misconstrued or you may be hard of hearing!

Verse 2: "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you will obey the voice of the LORD your God…. [those are the conditions] …Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, the increase of your cattle, and the flocks of your sheep. Blessed shall be your basket and your store. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The LORD shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be stricken before your face" (vs 2-7).

  • Did that happen in Paris?
  • Did that happen on 9/11?
  • Did that happened in Vietnam?

It did in WWII! Why? You go back and look at the history of it. Even in spite of all the sins that we did, people still believed in God and prayed to Him. The prayer that Franklin Delano Roosevelt read to the nation when the landing of Normandy and Utah Beach were taking place is a fantastic prayer. It was to Almighty God! Yes, God did use us to expunge a scourge from the earth. Now, we're becoming the scourge of the earth.

"…They shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. The LORD shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouses, and all that you set your hand to. And He shall bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you" (vs 7-8). How did we start out with this nation?

In the letter for November, I have a very interesting little bit of history that is hardly known. When the first colony authorized by King James in 1606 was sent to America, they arrived in Virginia, and the first thing they did was thank God and dedicate this nation to preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Guess from where the Gospel today is being preached to the whole world? Here in America! Not in any other country! That's an historical fact.

Verse 10: "'And all the people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. And the LORD shall make you abound in goods… [Anybody lacking goods? We have so much junk is incredible!] …in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land, which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD shall open to you His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall loan to many nations, and you shall not borrow. And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail. And you shall be always above, and you shall not be beneath, ifyou obey the commandments of the LORD your God…'" (vs 10-13).

A question for anyone who is a Protestant. There are none sitting here; they have all fled. Show me which law of the Ten Commandments is not a good law! You know in your heart that the day of worship is not Sunday, it is Saturday. All Protestants understand that, and you are so blinded that you cannot understand that you are one of the major causes for the problems that America faces and problems in the world as well, because you did not understand the IF. You can say that that's in the Old Testament.

  • What did we read to start with in the New Testament?
  • Love God!
  • Love your neighbor!
  • On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets!
  • What are we reading? The Law!

Verse 14: "'And you shall not go aside from any of the words, which I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. And it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken to the voice of the LORD your God to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you'" (vs 14-15). That's:

  • cursed in the city
  • cursed in the fields
  • cursed are your animals
  • cursed are you
  • the enemy is going to come out over you

Then he lists all the sickness and disease and everything there through the rest of the chapter.

Let's see what else is important. Everyone likes to think that God loves them and wants the blessings of God, but they don't want to do what they need to do.

Sidebar: When did all this occur? This is not a judgment, but this is an observation. When did those things take place in Paris? Friday night! IF everyone were keeping the Sabbath it wouldn't have happened. Wouldn't that be true? Think about it! Therefore, they are sinners. 'Oh, but they're innocent people.' Why, then, did it happen? Very interesting! I'm not making a judgment. I'm making an observation.

God has given people and nations many, many hundreds of years, sent the Bible to them, and now God is going to make it impossible for anyone to say, 'I didn't know.' Everyone can have an 'app' on their handheld phone and have the Bible right there. Furthermore, if they go to our website—afaithfulversion.org—it will even be read to them. You talk about handing it to them on a platter. God is going to give a witness. No one is going to say, 'God, why didn't you tell me!'

Let's see some of the important things that we need to do. This is the parallel account of Deut. 28:

Leviticus 26:1: "You shall make no idols to yourselves…" Not only just 'religious,' but that can be self with narcissism and sports because you violate the Sabbath. You really make yourself into 'following an idol' of it. Some of these support teams that do well and:

  • they buy caps
  • they buy jackets
  • they buy rings
  • they buy belts
  • they buy shoes

All with the name of their team on it, and that's what they think of day and night, seven days a week.

  • Is that an idol?
  • Is that an Idol in the heart?
  • Yes, indeed!

Here it is, 'don't make them.'

"…and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a standing pillar. And you shall not set up any image of stone in your land in order to bow down to it, for I am the LORD your God" (v 1).

  • How many idols do we have in whatever nation you want to look at?
  • How about Paris and the Cathedral of Notre-Dames? Idols, crosses, crucifixes!
  • How many hundreds of years has there been the Word of God for them to change? Since the 1500s to now over 500 years!

France is one of the twelve tribes of Israel: Ruben. Look what the Catholics did to the Huguenots.

Verse 2: "You shall keep My Sabbaths…"—plural. That's the weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days. All of us have been keeping those things. What's the value and importance of doing that? God wants us to know Him! He has created the Sabbath as Holy time and He said, 'Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy.' Why? Because with His Spirit, He's with His people! He wants to be with His people, and He wants to bless them.

Adam and Eve were able to be in the very presence of God because He appeared to them much like as a human being. They didn't want that. They wanted their own way! The Flood? They rejected God and every thought of every person was only evil and corrupt. God had to flood the whole world and kill them and only saved Noah, his sons, their wives and Noah's wife. After the Flood God no longer dwelt on earth in the Garden of Eden; it was destroyed with the Flood.

God told Noah, 'If there's death at the hand of a man, at the hand of a man you will take his life.' He gave them the administration of death. God dwelt in heaven from that time on and only worked with a few people who were willing to obey Him. After the Flood, the first person to do it was Abraham. You know the rest of the story from there.

"…and reverence My sanctuary. I am the LORD" (v 2). How do we do that today? We have direct access to God the Father in heaven above!That's His true sanctuary, not just the one on the earth. Think about how great that is. What a marvelous thing that is. Think how great it is to have God's Holy Spirit.

In going through these things, we're going to cover some pretty nasty Scriptures a little later. I want you to understand: God always lays out first that you can take advantage of the blessings, on conditions that He sets forth. He always gives that first.

Verse 3: "If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them, then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land… [Do we have peace in the land? No!] …and you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid. And I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land; neither shall the sword go through your land. And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase a hundred" (vs 3-8). How big of an army do we really need if we're on God's side? Think of that!

One terrorist chases thousands! Seven of them in Paris put the whole city in an uproar and death. IF they were home keeping the Sabbath and ready to go to Church in the daytime, they would have lived; yes, indeed! Just some thought. We need to look at things God's way.

"…and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight. And your enemies shall fall by the sword in front of you" (v 8), Remember when God said, 'Go to war'? They went to war and many times they'd get out there and the enemy was already dead on the ground! In one case He told them, 'When you hear the noise in the top of the trees, you go out.' What was that noise? The angels of God moving out to destroy the army! When they got there, they were all dead.

Remember what happened when Hezekiah prayed to God because the Assyrian army was around them ready to destroy them all? They had conquered every country coming south and going to Egypt. They were so loaded with gold, silver and booty that they could hardly even move. Their army was 185,000 against little 'ole Jerusalem. The generals came up on the wall and were bragging and saying, 'Don't let Hezekiah fool you that God is going to save you.' God took affrontage to that. Hezekiah prayed. God said, 'Don't worry. I'll take care of them.' They got up in the morning and General Sennacherib got up and was preparing for battle and it was quiet; there wasn't a sound. He opened his tent and looked out and everyone, all 185,000, were dead.

Think how God could take care of the terrorists if we would yield as a nation to God. They'd all fight each other and kill each other. That was another account with another battle. They were coming to fight them and all of a sudden they turned to fighting each other and killed each other. So, they got there and they didn't even have to lift a sword. Just gather in all the booty; take in all the spoil.

Verse 9: "For I will have respect to you…" Isn't that the same word that was used of the offering for Abel and not the offering for Cain? Same thing!

"…and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish My covenant with you. And you shall eat of the old provision, and clear away the old because of the new. And I will set My tabernacle among you. And My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people…. [How great could that be? Marvelous!] …I am the LORD your God Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt from being their bondmen. And I have broken the bonds of your yoke, and made you go upright. But if… [choice; IFMA: Independent Free Moral Agency] …you will not hearken to Me and will not do all these commandments, and if you shall despise My statutes, or if your soul hates My judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, so that you break My covenant" (vs 9-15).

Know this: God never breaks His covenant. It's the people who break the covenant! Then He says, 'I've given you fair warning. You choose.'

  • What is it you are going to do?
  • How are you going to live your life?

Likewise with us, when we apply that to our lives as Christians, what do we choose? What do we do? I'll finish the series that I've been doing How to Overcome the Sin Within and the thoughts that flood in and out of our mind today.

Verse 16: "I will also do this to you: I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and burning fever, consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set My face against you…" (vs 16-17).

If there's any one thing that you don't need, you don't need God to be against you! Your own faults and shortcomings are plenty enough against you, let alone, God being against you.

"…and you shall be slain before your enemies…. [Is that happening? Yes, it is!] …They that hate you shall reign over you…." (v 17).

  • Do they hate us?
  • Do they shout, 'Death to America?'
  • Yes, they do!
  • How do they reign over us? They create fear!

Then, as a nation, we're so stupid we elected a man that didn't know his right hand from his left hand, which was punishment from God. He made an agreement with our enemy, Iran, and gave everything to them. God says, 'You destroy the enemy, but you can only do it if you are right with Me. If you don't do it, your enemy is coming after you and I will send him, just like I did King Nebuchadnezzar.' You talk about an insult to the Jews. Think on this: Here is:

  • Jerusalem
  • Judah
  • the temple
  • the palace
  • the kingship
  • the priesthood

Everything that God had given! They became so evil and wicked that God said, 'Nebuchadnezzar is My servant. You are not. Because you rejected Me, and you would not repent, so you're going into captivity and slavery. Nebuchadnezzar is My servant.'If you want to read a very interesting epistle of Nebuchadnezzar, read Dan. 4.

"…And you shall flee when none pursues you…. [just the threat of it] …And if you will not yet for all this hearken to Me… [Obey My voice!] …then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power… [it's about already broken] …and I will make your heaven like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the field yield their fruits. And if…" (vs 17-21).

Notice the IFs all the way through here. Every chance where there's an IF, gives an opportunity for repentance. Granted there are some people out there trying to do things like this. There are some out there trying to stop all the abortions if they can. It's so rooted in the law by a 7-2 decision that it's almost impossible to do.

There are people out there trying to stop all of the murders in the black communities. What they need to do is go in there and say, 'Hey, folks. Here's the Bible.' What you need to do is first start in the book of Proverbs. You got to start where it's simple. You got to start where it's easy to understand. The first thing it says in Prov. 1 is no gangs. Hello! What would that do to Chicago? Los Angeles? Quit serving Satan the devil! Put away your weapons, start cleaning up your communities, instead of shooting and killing each other. We're also going to have a special one-month thing. All you fathers who left your children because the mother didn't want you around or didn't want to stay around, go find them. We're going to have a little marriage ceremony over here one day a week. You get married and you never leave. You go back to your house:

  • love your wife
  • love your husband
  • love your kids
  • put down all the fighting
  • put down all of those things

Guess what? You won't have any murder rate!

So, quit boohooing over the little innocent children that are shot; you parents are responsible for it. Likewise, whatever community it is; it doesn't matter what race, it doesn't matter where you came from. It matters what you do and where you're going. That's what it's all about.

All of these things are going to come upon us with a doubt!

(go to the next track)

I skipped something, inadvertently, very important in verse, v 16: "I will also do this to you: I will even appoint over you terror…" That's what we have. Notice that all of these things follow at the same time, many different things.

"…consumption, and burning fever, consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it" (v 16).

Verse 20: "And your strength shall be spent in vain… [it's not going to accomplish what you want] …for your land shall not yield its increase… [hat's ready to start happening now] …neither shall the trees of the field yield their fruits. And if you walk contrary to Me and will not hearken to Me…" (vs 20-21). Another chance. All of these things come along to give us a chance to repent.

"…I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall bereave you. And I will destroy your livestock, and make you few. And your highways shall be deserted…. [Why?] …And if after these things you will not be reformed by Me, but will still walk contrary to Me, then I will walk contrary to you and will punish you seven times more for your sins" (vs 21-24). Just like I've said before, it comes like waves of the ocean. Every once in a while there's a rogue wave.

Verse 27: "And if you will not for all of this hearken to Me, but will walk contrary to Me, then I will also walk contrary to you in fury. And I, even I will chastise you seven times for your sins" (vs 27-28). Then it shows that there's going to be starvation and cannibalism. God always give a chance.
Let's look at the two major thingsthat Jeremiah talked about. Read Jer. 7, but let's come to Jer. 19; this is quite a thing. The Valley of Hinnom was right close to the temple area. That is the place that was later called Gehenna, because that's were they burned all the unclean things. God tells Jeremiah to do this:

Sin #1:Abortion

Jeremiah 19:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'Go and get a potter's earthen jar, and assemble some of the elders of the people and of the elders of the priests. And go out to the valley of the son of Hinnom by the entry of Potsherd Gate. And there declare the words that I shall tell you. And say, "Hear the Word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and people of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, which shall cause the ears of him who hears it to tingle. Because they have forsaken Me…" (vs 1-4). Same thing! Has this nation forsaken God though they're still religious? Yes!

"…and have profaned this place and have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents'" (v 4)—sacrificing of children!

We have it today! I know it's difficult to really grasp this. I know that there are some people who may have been involved, either women or men, in the situation concerning abortions. It cannot be said enough that there are 3,600 to 3,800 legalized murders of the most innocent in America every single day! That's what God is talking about here!

There they gave birth to them and then they had a great dedication to Moloch and a ceremony to put the children in the arms of the god: Moloch. Then the priest would pull a lever and the arms would come up and drop it into the bowels of the idol and burn the babies. This became a great dedication!

Verse 5: "They have also built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I never commanded nor spoke, nor did it come into My mind."

You've got to admire all the people out there who are trying to do what they can do to stop abortion. In order for that to be turned around, you have to not only stop abortion, you've got to stop adultery and fornication. That gets down to the individuals that they have to be taught it is wrong and not do whatever they do.

Verse 6: "'Therefore, behold, the days come,' says the LORD, 'that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but, The Valley of Slaughter. And I will make the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem come to nothing in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of those who seek their lives. And I will give their dead bodies to be food for the birds of the heavens, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city a waste and a hissing…'" (vs 6-8). Then He said, 'Take this potsherd and break it right in front of their eyes. That's what I'm going to do to this place.'

Sin #2: Sabbath-breaking

Here's the other great sin. Jeremiah 17:19: "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.'" So, he had to go and stand before every gate. Speak in one gate, get down; go speak in another gate, get down; go to another gate.

Verse 20: "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, and carry no burden on the Sabbath Day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem'" (vs 20-21). In other words, keep the Sabbath!

Those are the two great sins, of which God said, 'IF nothing else, if you will repent of these two things, I'll hold back on My judgment to you.'

Verse 22: "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 22-23). All of the Sunday-keepers are going to get what they wished for; they will be part of the great sacrifice!

I might ask any Protestant and any Protestant minister: 'Why do you hate the Sabbath?' Well, if you keep it, you're trying to earn salvation. 'Really? God says to keep it. Not a word about salvation, here. It says to keep it. Why do you keep Sunday?' So we can have salvation. 'That's your work. The very thing you accuse Sabbath-keepers of doing you do, and you hate and despise God's ways. Meaning, you hate and despise God.' Oh, no! We love Jesus.

You better find out what Jesus you're loving; it's not the real one. The One Who became Jesus Christ was the Lord God of the Old Testament. Jesus said in the New Testament that He is Lord of the Sabbath. If you're going to worship the Lord and you're not going to keep the Sabbath, you are responsible for the demise of this nation:

  • it doesn't matter how sanctimonious
  • it doesn't matter how sweet
  • it doesn't matter how nice
  • it doesn't matter how much money you get
  • it doesn't matter how many people are following you
  • How many people followed Jeremiah? Nada!
  • Was Jeremiah right? Yes, he was!

Think on that! Look at this country. Look at what is happening to it.

What a thing it would be if there would be great repentance concerning just these two things! How many curses would that remove from us? Many! By the very fact that you would not be going out on Friday nights, night-clubbing and all the other sins that go with that: and dancing, ball games and whatever it is that you have on Friday night. Think how much that would cut off the number of adulteries and fornications by the fact that you would be home resting so that on the day portion of the Sabbath you could all gather to hear the Word of God. What a wonderful thing that would be!

Then you could have work parties, especially the Catholics. Go into all your temples and cathedrals and start removing all of your idols, all of your crosses and crucifixes. Get rid of your confessional booth. Tell them to go home, get on their knees and confess to God in heaven above, not to the priest. All the priests, by the way, better find a wife and get married. What a revolution that would be, but it's going to be just like it says here, 'They didn't hearken to the Lord.'

  • What did God do to Jerusalem?
  • it's an historical fact
  • twice
  • Did He destroy it, the place where He put His name? Absolutely scraped the earth!

Think about 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… [a promise from God] …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…. [He said, 'I would not destroy it.'] …And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and grain offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the LORD. But if you will not hearken to Me to keep the Sabbath Day Holy, and not to carry a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath Day; then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it will not be put out'" (vs 23-27). Since it happened:

  • How much proof do you really, really need that God means what He says?
  • Why do people think that they're innocent and deserve the blessings of God?
    • when they reject the Sabbath?
    • when they can't quit causing babies to be murdered?
    • when they can't quit killing, stealing and lying to each other?
      • Could that be turned around? Yes, indeed!
      • How far down the road are we so that there's no return? I think we're getting close!

Think about it! Especially all the Protestant ministers and Catholic priests know which day is the Sabbath. Do you think God is going to let you off the hook because you are so good and sanctimonious?

You take one of the best Sunday preachers—Charles Stanley—he does a lot teaching people how to get their lives squared around, but when it come to the Sabbath, Holy Days and Passover, it's a high hurdle.

  • Is he a nice man? Yes!
  • Is he sincere and dedicated? Yes, he is!
  • Is he leading them into sin by Sunday-keeping? Yes!
  • Saying the Lord says when He didn't say? Yes!

I would hope that a man dedicated to the Word of God as much as he appears to be, that he would really, truly repent. What an impact that would be to stand in the pulpit some Sunday morning and say, 'Brethren, and all those in video-land out there, God has opened my eyes to understand about the Sabbath Day. We've been worshipping on the wrong day. Beginning next Saturday—and by the way, Sabbath is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday—on the day portion of the Sabbath, we will all assemble together and study the Word of God. The first thing we're going to do beginning on that very first Sabbath Day that we keep, we're going to study about the Sabbath Day through the entire Bible, so that you know that this is the will of God. We will:

  • ask God to forgive us
  • blot out our sins
  • grant us His blessing
  • grant us His understanding'

What a revolution that would be! Yes, it would be! Then turn around and say, 'We're going to lead on causing Congress and the Supreme Court to repeal the law on abortion, not just cut of the funding.'

Sidebar on funding: Did you know that was a ruse? Did you know that with the funding of Planned Parenthood 80% of the half billion dollars they get a year from the government is an entitlement and cannot be changed without a super majority. But they couldn't even get 20% canceled. Some of the governors in the states did, and those are the states that are prospering.

I wonder what the connection may be? God knows all things! Just think what that would be! Will it happen? I doubt it! Could it happen? It is possible! They have Bibles—don't they? I imagine they would be very surprised at how many people that have been attending on Sunday would respond very positively to that. Probably, a lot of them have been sitting there for years saying, 'I think the Sabbath is on Saturday.' I had one woman come to me and confess that when she was going to a Sunday-keeping Church for 15 years she thought of that almost every Sunday. Why doesn't the Church keep the Sabbath? Quite a thing!

We could help them with another barrier concerning the Sabbath, and that is the way the Jews have turned the Sabbath into a burden. That's why we have the book, Judaism: Revelation of Moses, or Religion of Men? by Phillip Neal. You would be absolutely amazed at the absolute silly, horrible regulations and laws that they have added to the Sabbath. They have made people hate the Sabbath. So, when I say return to the Sabbath, I mean return to God's way! How do we do it?

  • we rest on the Sabbath
  • we study and pray
  • we get up in the morning and study and pray
  • we come to Sabbath services
  • we go through the Word of God

For what purpose?

  • to see how we need to live
  • to understand the love of  God
  • to understand the faith of God
  • to understand the grace of God

By the way, we have extended studies on all of these.

All of those who have taken up the proposition on studying the Love of God sermon series have revolutionized their lives. That'll help you! I get letters back saying, 'Boy, this has really been good.' In many of the fellowship groups that we have, that's what they do: during the week they study one sermon with the transcript book:

  • you can hear it
  • you can read it
  • you can study it

When they come to Sabbath services, before they watch the video, they take about 45 minutes and discuss back and forth what they have learned about the love of God and how important that is. It really is!

What you will understand is that God loves the whole world, that's true. He gives them air, rain, food and all of this sort of thing, but He loves those that have His Spirit, because they're going to be His resurrected sons and daughters. He wants them to know that He loves them. He wants them! He needs them! He is God! He's the One Who tells us what to do and how to do it. We need to love each other.

God has called those in the Church of God with all kinds of problems and difficulties. If I said that I want everyone in this room to raise your hand if you have perfect health, I won't see any hands. I don't care what size of group I would speak to, you'd find it. Why? Because:

  • we are the weak
  • we are the rejected
  • we are the unwanted

That's exactly what God wants so that He can convert us, so that we can:

  • love Him
  • serve Him
  • worship Him
  • learn of His way.
  • let God's Word guide us
  • let God's Spirit lead us

When we see all these things coming down on the world, we can see and understand why it's coming down. Yes, we can grieve for them, and we can feel sorry for them, but we also have to tell them why it's coming so that they can repent and they can turn.

This is not talking down to anybody. This is not condemning anybody. If I read the Word of God and you are condemned by it, it is because God is condemning you for your thoughts, for your actions and how you're living your life. God is offering to you repentance. God is offering to you forgiveness.

I have an appendix in the coming book From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born?: Is the Sin of Abortion Forgivable? The answer is yes!

Luke 13:1: "Now, at the same time, there were present some who were telling Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices." Think about how awful this is. Pilate sent his soldiers in there to kill them, right at the temple area when they were offering their sacrifices. He said, 'Put their blood on it.'

People look back and they think, 'Whoa, they got what they deserved, they were sinners.' No, because even if you don't murder, if you break the Sabbath you still sinning. We are all sinners by nature and we all need forgiveness, all the time. God is perfecting our mind and our heart. He doesn't want us to be just 'good little robot Christians.' He wants us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and being. The same way with people who do wrong.

Verse 2: "And Jesus answered and said to them…" I suppose they were saying, 'These really must have been terrible. I know some people that that didn't happen to. They must not have been quite as evil as they were.'

"…'Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all Galileans, because they suffered such things?'" (v 2).

Do you think those killed in the terrorist attack were sinners above all because they died? Oh yeah, the twin towers in New York were filled with sinners—right? Worst of anybody that there was—right? No! No! But they died!

God's going to resurrect them to a second physical life to understand about salvation. That was to cause all the rest who are living to repent.

Verse 3: "No, I tell you; but if you do not repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell…" (vs 3-4). They were just standing there. Just like with an earthquake, the earth opens up and your house goes down and the people in it die. Or you're in a car wreck, or whatever.

"…and killed them, do you suppose that these were debtors above all men who dwelt in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but if you do not repent, you shall all likewise perish" (vs 4-5). God wants us to repent. That's what God wants this nation to do. He doesn't want them to suffer anymore, but it's their choice. Remember the IF?

I've thought about this: Maybe the next publication of the Bible we should capitalize every IFand make it bold and large. Even at that I wonder how many people would respond to that?

This is what God wants. He wants people to return to Him. He says in Isa. 1, that 'IF your sins are like crimson or scarlet, IF you repent that'll be white as snow,' because they'll be blotted out, if you're willing and obey! That's what God wants!

Isaiah 55:5: "Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know; a nation that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you." This is talking about the coming of Christ and getting the Gospel to all the Gentiles.

Verse 6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found…" Put in your margin or your notes right there: the book of Lamentations. You can't read that whole thing through in one sitting, it is so traumatic! but read it. When the final hammer falls, God is not going to be found by them!

"…call upon Him while He is near" (vs 6). He is near. That's why these events happen so people can go to God and repent. People can go to God and say, 'Why is this happening?' People can go to God and have their own lives evaluated themselves in the light of the Word of God and seek God. Here's what they need to do:

Verse 7: "Let the wicked forsake his way…"

  • Who are the wicked?
  • Is a murderer more wicked than a Sabbath breaker?
  • Is an idolater more wicked than someone who commits adultery?

You have to take all the Ten Commandments, whichever one is being broken puts you in the category of the wicked.

"Let the wicked forsake his way…"—which is 'There's a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.' All of the internal lying, cheating, surmising and scheming over sin and sex and all of this that goes on in the mind.

"…and the unrighteous man his thoughts… [conversion is a change of heart, mind and thoughts] …and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (v 7).

If you don't think God is able to forgive gigantic sins if there is repentance, note King Manasseh (2-Chron. 33).

He was the most wicked king and guess how long he reigned? If you think that we have trouble with our President after seven years, think about Manasseh who reigned for 55 years. What did he do? Every abominable idolatry! Passing his children through the fire to Moloch; he offered his children in sacrifice to Moloch. God said that he did more evil than any king in all of Israel. There was much innocent blood shed in Jerusalem around the temple area. Not only were there idols that he put in there, but there were row upon row of homosexual tents where they were worshipping God with their homosexual acts. Right there at the temple of God! Think of that!

So, God sent the Assyrians in—at that time they were occupying Babylon—and they took Manasseh captive to Babylon. Guess what? Manasseh repented! Repented so deeply, that God inspired the Assyrians to bring him back and put him on the throne as a vassal king. The first thing he did was have them go into the temple area and take down all of the idols that he put up there and take down all of the homosexual booths. God forgave him!

Can God forgive any real terrible sin? Yes! But you've got to come to God, His way! You have to seek Him, His way! 'Let the wicked forsake his way, and He will abundantly pardon.' There has to be a change

  • of mind
  • of thought
  • of action
  • of intention

Verse 8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'" (vs 8-9). What He wants to do is help us to learn to think like Him! Isn't that an amazing thing? That's what He will do with the Spirit of God. That's what God wants. We need to really just keep this in mind.

Let's talk about the condition of the 'Christian' church in the world as well as Churches of God, because I also get letters from people saying, 'The Church I go to is nothing but social, and we get the same old sermons that we've heard for 50 years over and over again.' That's the Church of the Laodiceans. Living in the age that we're living in, there are plenty of Laodiceans out there. Even the Seventh-Day Adventists admit that they're Laodiceans. Let's be honest. Living in this society with everything just at:

  • the push of a button
  • the clap of the hand
  • the snap of your finger

On your cell phone you have everything at your fingertips. You better ask:

  • How's your standing before God?
  • Do you take these things lightly?

Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginner of the creation of God. I know your works…" (v 14-15).

  • Do you know your works?
  • Do you examine your works?
  • Do you examine your thoughts?
  • Do you examine your intensions?

"…that you are neither cold nor hot…" (v 15). 'You're cool'—modern word, fits perfect.

"…I would that you be either cold or hot' (v 15). He's saying, 'I want you to really serve Me, love Me, do what you know you need to do, or I would rather have you out in the world blinded so that you wouldn't be responsible.'

Verse 16: "So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth." Has that happened to the Church? Are we scattered everywhere? Yes, indeed!

Verse 17: "For you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy…" Didn't that happen? Yes, it did! It surely, surely did! How about all of the Protestants? Oh, yes! Look at all the:

  • wealth
  • money
  • colleges
  • churches
  • buildings
  • everything

Yes, indeed! They profess Jesus, but they won't keep His laws. How about the Churches of God? We became so corrupt that the largest Church in the history of the Churches of God had to be removed and blotted out.

Marlin Fannin sent me some Good News magazines. There were three of them. One about the campus and auditorium in Pasadena, one about the college in Bricket Wood, England, and one about the college in Big Sandy. They became so corrupt on the inside that God had to get rid of it. All three campuses no longer exist. The only thing left in Pasadena is the auditorium. Everything else is gone! Why? Exactly as God told the children of Israel in all of the prophecies, 'If you don't serve Me, if you think that you can live in your sins and claim My name, I'm going to take it all away from you.' He took it all away!

There's still some people who just cling to the same old thing. You better examine your life. A lot of people don't like to hear that because, 'Everybody beats up on the Laodiceans.' How about the Laodiceans beating up on themselves before God to get rid of their sins? How would that be? That would be pretty good—wouldn't it?

"…and have need of nothing; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire… [that's a trial] …so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see" (vs 17-18).

  • Did God reveal the shame and the sins of that Church to the whole world? Yes, He did!
  • It was put down how? 'Well, if you belong to that cult…'
  • How's that honoring God? It's not!

Verse 19: "As many as I love…" Take all of that as a matter of love from God in correction, as an opportunity to repent.

"…I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent… [How bad was it really?] …Behold, I stand at the door and knock…. [Christ is not even inside] …If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (vs 19-20). That's granting repentance and being put in right standing again with God. When that happens:

  • you've got to do it with some zeal
  • you've got to do it with some determination
  • you've got to be consistence
  • you have to grow
  • you have to overcome

Don't think that just because certain things happen that you're the greatly blessed ones of God. We're not! That's why we need to fight the fight that's within. Notice what He says. Look at what He promises.

Verse 21: "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne…" Right there with Christ! How important is that?

"…even as I also overcame…" (v 21). How did Jesus overcome?

  • with the Spirit of God
  • trusting in God the Father
  • loving Him
  • always doing His will

"…and sat down with My Father in His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches'" (vs 21-22).

Scriptural References: 

  •  Mark 12:29-31
  • Acts 17:24-28
  • Psalms 53:1-5
  • Deuteronomy 28:1-8, 10-15
  • Leviticus 26:1-21, 16-17, 16, 20-24, 27-28
  • Jeremiah 19:1-8
  • Jeremiah 17:19-27
  • Luke 13:1-5
  • Isaiah 55:5-9
  • Revelation 3:14-22

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 22; 7
  • Romans 1
  • Daniel 4
  • Jeremiah 7
  • Isaiah 1
  • 2-Chronicles 33

Also referenced:

Books:

  • From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? by Fred R. Coulter (coming soon)
  • Judaism: Revelation of Moses or Religion of Man? by Phillip Neal
  • Appendix: Is the Sin of Abortion Forgivable? From the book: From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? by Fred R. Coulter

 Sermon Series:

    • Judge Righteous Judgment
    • How to Overcome the Sin Within
    • Love of God

FRC: nfs
Transcribed: 11-26-15
Proofed: bo—11/29/15

Copyright 2015—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

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