Feast of Tabernacles 2013

Fred R. Coulter - September 23, 2013

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the fifth day of the Feast of Tabernacles. I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Feast. I hope that there are many things that you can take away from this Feast, so that when you go back home that you will be able to

  • grow and overcome

  • draw close to God

  • continue in the way of God

  • be faithful to God

  • love God

  • serve God

in every way!

Today, let's ask: What are the mysteries of the Kingdom of God—or Heaven—that God has given or revealed to us? You go back to the beginning and God created Adam and Eve, everything was perfect, everything was fine. God set before them choices.

They had to choose whether they would obey God and keep His commandments by eating of the Tree of Life or whether they would follow their own conscience and listen to Satan the devil instead of listening to God! You know what happened. They ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because they wanted to decide for themselves:

  • what was good/what was evil

  • what was right/what was wrong

  • what was righteousness/what was wickedness

Well, you know what happened with that! You know the account of Cain and Abel, the account of Enoch, the account of Noah and the Flood and his family, the account of the scattering of all the nations in the world because they wanted to, again, go their own way instead of going the way of God.

You know the account of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and how that Abraham was commended because he obeyed the voice of God, kept His charge, His commandments, His statutes, His judgments and His law. Also, Abraham had faith. God revealed to him a lot of things, coming clear down to our time.

Then God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, using Moses as the one to minister and serve to them and bring them the laws and commandments of God. And after all of the miracles in bringing them out and crossing through the Red Sea, they still persisted in their sins and their rebellion.

Nevertheless, when they got to Mt. Sinai and received the Ten Commandments of God, they couldn't stand the voice of God and all the sound of the trumpet and the voice of God giving His Ten Commandments to them, so they said, 'Moses, you go listen to God and you tell us what He says, and we'll do all that He says.' Remember, God took them up on that.

When they were to go into the 'promised land' they didn't want to go in, and then God corrected them again, sentenced them to wander for another 38-1/2 years in the wilderness, and for everyone over 20-years-old to die in the wilderness. Then their children would come into the land.

Let's come to Deut. 29 and let's begin here so we can understand how it is that God works. He gave all the laws, all the commandments, all the blessings, all the cursings, many warning over and over again. I want you to read all of Deut. 29 thru 32, especially the song of Moses. That's a prophecy from his time clear down to ours and what would happen at the end of the age.

Deuteronomy 29:1: "These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab… [that's where he gave Deuteronomy, the second giving of the law, and re-affirmation of the covenant] …besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb. And Moses called to all Israel and said to them, 'You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land. Your eyes have seen the great trials, the signs, and those great miracles. Yet, the LORD has not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day." (vs 1-4).

Then he reminded them for the 40 years that they were wandering, all those who survived, v 5: "And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not become old on you, and your shoe has not become old on your foot. You have not eaten bread, neither have you drunk wine or strong drink, so that you might know that I am the LORD your God" (vs 5-6).

After he reminds them of the curses again in the rest of the chapter, let's come down to v 29: The secret things belong to the LORD our God… [there are a lot of secret things that we don't know. But there are a whole lot more of the secret things we do know than they did back here in Deut. 29.] …but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever so that we may do all the words of this law." God revealed to them His Law.

Of course, down through history we have the whole history of their obedience and disobedience—mostly disobedience—all the way down to the time of Christ: to His birth, miracles associated with that; the beginning of His ministry, and things associated with that.

Remember, Jesus began His ministry with the temptation, as we have found in Matt. 4. Let's understand: What was the first temptation with Adam and Eve? The first temptation was to eat the fruit! They failed!

What was the major temptation, the first one—the official temptation—of Jesus Christ by Satan the devil? Very similar, indeed! Command that these stones become bread, so He could eat them! But notice that Jesus' answer was the correct one.

Matthew 4:4: "But He answered and said, 'It is written, "Man…"'" In the Hebrew man is 'adam.' Who was the first Adam? The fleshly one that God made in the Garden of Eden! Who is the second Adam? Jesus Christ! The Lord from heaven! The spiritual One!

When Satan tempted Him, this was the battle of the New Covenant. Jesus could have changed the stones into bread—couldn't He? But He didn't—did He? Why? If He would have, He would have obeyed the voice of Satan the devil. What did Adam and Eve do? They obeyed the voice of Satan the devil!

That's why Jesus' answer was very clear, "…'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" {Deut. 8:3; Luke 4:4 in addition to Matt. 4:4} Then all the rest of the temptations.

I just wanted to show the similarity between it; likewise, with the children of Israel and with us. They had things revealed to them. No one of and by himself can discover the laws of God, the commandments of God, the nature of God. God has to reveal them, and He has revealed it, published it and given it to the whole world.

Let's come to Matt. 13 where it talks about the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, and let's see something very interesting concerning that. How many Bibles are there in the world? There is nearly one for every human being on earth! Christ said in Matt. 24: 'This Gospel shall be preached as a witness to all nations and then the end shall come.'

How thorough of a witness, how complete of a witness! I think we're going to be overwhelmed at what a great witness that God is going to give. The Word of God is available, but the key is that you can hear it, you can read it, but unless you believe it and obey it you cannot have understanding. That's why Jesus spoke to them in parables.

Matthew 13:11—let's read this and see what this reveals to us: "And He [Jesus] answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven…'" I want you to stop and think about this for just a minute. Mysteries means secrets. It hasn't been given to the world to know. The most they can know is what God has revealed in the Old Testament, if they're willing to listen! But they're not!

"'…it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given'" (v 11). That's something to really think about. That's why God does not want us to take a lukewarm attitude:

  • toward His Word

  • toward our calling

  • toward eternal life

Because the understanding that we have comes from God; it's been given to us to know!To them, 'in seeing they don't see, and in hearing they don't hear, and neither do they understand'; and that's the dividing line between those who belong to Jesus Christ and the world.

And Satan the devil is always there—as we saw through the parables—trying to infiltrate, trying to take away, trying to disturb what God has given to you. It's been given to us to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven!

We will see that this is spiritually understood. There are a lot of things that we have to do; there are things that God has to do. How is it that God is able to have His Church in the middle of this sinful world and the sinful world hardly pays attention to it? Yet, what God is doing in His Churches—because there are many different congregations, fellowships around the world, but overall it is the Church of God—Christ is the Head of it and He is able to do the things that He does without the world barely noticing it.

However, we are to preach the Gospel, and the Gospel message is a warning message. The Gospel message is to tell people how they can also come to have these things revealed to them. We will see the steps necessary to do that.

Ephesians 1:3—these are some of the most profound words in the New Testament and what God has done. Before all of this started, God has His plan already predetermined. Predestination does not mean that you were called before the foundation of the world; you didn't even exist. It means that God's plan was there for those who would seek Him and repent. Remember, this is a blessing from God. Everyone of us who have the Holy Spirit of God are important to God, as we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ." If we have the Spirit of God and the understanding of the Word of God, those are blessings in spiritual things that have come from God, revealed to us! Whether it comes from the Bible, because He inspired it to be written, whether it comes because God is intervening in our lives—however it comes—God is working with us. How He works with us is a secret or a mystery to the world!

The world, on the other hand, has the mystery of lawlessness—Babylon the Great. That is the battleground.

Now, I want you to think about how you came to wanting the Truth. I want you to think about the circumstances that you were in, because there was a time when you first started, and God took note of that. Why is every one of us here? If you're a tare, you're here under false pretenses! But the tares have been pretty well scattered, and we need to always be diligent to make sure that they don't take root. '

However, think on this deeply, v 4: "According as He has personally chosen usfor Himself… [God determined before the foundation of the world what He was going to do, and He has chosen us, based upon that plan]: ….before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love."

That's quite a thing to really grasp and understand. We don't have a sign on us saying 'I'm of God.' It's a secret to the world, they don't know. They might see your good behavior. They might see that you're a loving, kind and a considerate person and care for other people, and that you have character. But God knows the heart, and God is working with you in your heart and in your mind; that's a secret of God!

Verse 5: "Having predestinated us for sonship to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will." I want you to notice something here:

  • v 4—for Himself

  • v 5—to Himself

God is our Father! That's what we really need to grasp, because God is revealing to us and making known to us the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven!

Verse 6: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son." That's an awesome statement that God has done this.

Many times, because we see there are things we need to overcome, we get discouraged, or we think that God has gone way off; or we think 'my conversion is futile.' Not so! When you have sins that are discovered in your mind, that's the Holy Spirit revealing it to you so you can repent. That's why:

  • never get discouraged

  • never get down

  • never ever lessen your trust and love and faith in God


  • God loves everyone whom He calls

  • God loves everyone who yields to Him

—even those whom He corrects. Jesus said, 'As many as I love, I correct; therefore, repent!' How is that for God being for you? Even shows your own sins to get rid of them. That's one of the secrets of God, too.

We're going to cover some of them and we're going to go through a good number of them. Most of them you already know, but you don't know that they are the secrets of God hidden from the world, though they have eyes but can't see, ears but can't hear.

Verse 7: "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery… [the secret] …of His own will, according to His good pleasure, whichHe purposed in Himself; that in theDivine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (v 7-11).

That sets the stage for understanding what are the secrets—or mysteries—of the Kingdom of God. So, let's begin with it.

1. Our calling

God is the One Who calls! God is the One Who deals in our lives! Yes, we have to seek God, and then He answers—our calling!

Also, just like we pointed out yesterday, the reason that the scribes and Pharisees didn't accept Jesus was because He didn't come to them their way. Likewise with us! God is not choosing the intelligent and important people of this world. Notice who God is calling; we need to understand our calling. God is the One Who calls us.

1-Corinthians 1:26: "For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many who are wise according to the flesh, not many who are powerful, not many who are highborn among you. Rather, God has chosen the foolish things of the world…" (vs 26-27). Because He can convert and change them.

… so that He might put to shame those who are wise…" (v 27). What happens to those who proclaim themselves to be wise? They became fools!

"…and God has chosen the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things. And the lowborn of the world, and the despised has God chosen—even the things that are counted as nothing—in order that He might bring to nothing the things that are; so that no flesh might glory in His presence" (vs 27-29). We glory in God, not because of who we are and what we're doing.

Notice what God does; here's part of the secret of the calling. I've got 14 of them listed here, so we're going to go through each one. But we'll also discover that there are many other subsidiary secrets that apply to us, as well.

Upon conversion, v 30: "But you are of Him in Christ Jesus, Who was made to us wisdom 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 30-31). That's what we are to do, give God all the credit.

2. We answer the call

How do we answer the call?

  • by wanting the Truth

  • by wanting to overcome

  • by wanting to know Who God is

What does God do at that time? {note 2-part sermon: Spirit of God/Spirit of Man—Seven Spirits of God}

He sends the seven spirit of God, which are the eyes of God, going throughout the whole earth seeking those who are seeking Him! The call is out there. That's the preaching of the Gospel to the world. That's part of the parable of the sowing of the seed and those who respond.

  • calling of God

  • answering the call

Now what happens when you answer the call? God begins to draw you! First of all, God finds you with one of the seven spirits that go out looking for those who are seeking God. Those who really want God and are really willing to repent, and who are willing to come to God on His termsthat's the key thing! Come to God on His terms with His Word, with His Truth, you respond to God.

3. God begins to draw

We find that in John 6:44. Isn't that interesting. A lot of these things you know and have heard of, but I want you to see the process on how God reveals Himself to those that answer the call and not to the world.

That's one of the secrets of God; one of the secrets of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Let's see something about this that there is a spiritual barrier through which people who do not seek God and yield to God can go through. They may wonder about God, but they don't understand about God. It hasn't been given to them! Remember that! There is that absolute barrier; that's why the unconverted don't understand. They may have Bibles in their homes. They may even be practicing some form of Christianity, and before Jesus. However, they don't come to God on God's terms. They come to God on men's terms. God does not accept that!

John 6:44: "No one… [What does that mean? No one!] …can come to Me unless the Father… [Remember what we read un Eph. 1, that the Father Himself—twice—to Himself/for Himself] …unless the Father Who sent Me [Christ], draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." Very interesting, indeed—isn't it?

God the Father and Jesus Christ work together in this, so when the drawing begins then something else happens if you respond then yield to God.

Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me." How do you hear from the Father? By God's Spirit coming to you and you begin yielding to God, and you are taught of God, because you want the Word of God! You know that these are the words of life!

Let's see how that is when God begins to draw you. Remember what happened when you first came to the Truth and wanted it? There was something that was just impelling, that you had to find out. That's all part of the drawing of God. That's the first action of the Father in our lives, in calling us, and the first action of the Holy Spirit to guide us, lead us and draw us.

John 14 is how you begin to respond: by keeping the commandments of God! Wanting to know about God. 'Lord, what should I do?' {see book: "Lord, What Should I Do?"}

4. Repentance {transcriber's note: #sequence corrected}

How does this repentance come about? God looks down upon you, has mercy upon you—all of those that He is calling. Then He does something else in the drawing. Romans 2—here is the beginning of

  • coming out of the world

  • coming out of our way

  • coming out of the things that we do of ourselves

  • coming out of the religions of men—even though they are called Christian

Romans 2:1: "Therefore, you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges another; for in that in which you judge the other, you are condemning your own self; for you who judge another are doing the same things." That's why there needs to be repentance; understand what you're doing.

Verse 2: "But we know that the judgment of God is according to Truth upon those who commit such things"—as listed here in Rom. 1.

Verse 3: "Now, do you think yourself, O man, whoever is judging those who commit such things, and you are practicing them yourself, that you shall escape the judgment of God?" This is the conviction of sin, right here! Conviction of your own personal sins! When that starts, and you really realize what a sinner that you are, then God responds again. This is another one of His secrets! God grants repentance!

Verse 4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness ofGod leads you to repentance?"

As God is drawing you, He is leading you. God is convicting you in heart and mind spiritually, because His Spirit is there with you. And if you respond, then you will repent. When you repent, repentance must be followed by baptism! Think about this in the world of those who claim they're Christian, very few anymore do any baptizing whatsoever. These things have been revealed to you and you know and understand them. But let's see this:

5. Forgiveness

You have repentance and then forgiveness. God leads us to repentance, and God has provided forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The first part of Rom. 3 is 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God'; even the Jews. What if some of them didn't believe?. Does that annul the Word of God? No! God is always true! God is always right! He is the One Who leads us to forgiveness. How is that accomplished? Through the sacrifice—the life, death and resurrection—of Jesus Christ and through His shed blood only! That is the only way you can have your sins forgiven! Your repentance is toward God directly, not through a man!

Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned… [transgressed the laws and commandments of God] …and come short of the glory of God; but… [upon repentance (Rom. 2)] …are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (vs 23-24). Justified means having your sins forgiven and being put into right standing with God! When that happens then there has to be baptism.

Concerning Jesus Christ, v 25: "Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, in respect to the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness… [in granting this justification] …in the present time, that He might be just, and the one Who justifies the one who is of the faith of Jesus" (vs 25-26). Then Paul goes on to show that it's not of works.

Acts 2:38: "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"

  • repentance

  • forgiveness

  • baptism

6. Baptism

Why is baptism—though a lot of people may practice it—one of the secrets of God? There is something about baptism that is a secret of God!

Romans 6:3: "Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?" The whole substance of baptism is not the symbolism that people would see. You must put to death the body of sin; you must get rid of the sin within so when you are baptized you are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ!

Verse 4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death…" It's not a baptism; it is the baptism; dying the old carnal self. Since we have to be converted—change, grow and overcome—we can be thankful we're raised out of the watery grave.

Here is what we are to do, "…so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death… [here is the promise, and this is the end result of the secret of God]: …so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (vs 4-5).

Those things are all fantastic secrets of God. The world may read of these things, but they don't perceive. They may hear of these things, but they don't understand.

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Now let's continue on with studies into the secrets of the mystery of God. It's been given us to know those. Let's just review where we are:

  • calling
  • answering the call
  • drawing
  • repentance
  • forgiveness
  • baptism

7. Justification

When we are baptized and have our sins forgiven, we are put in right standing with God. Therefore, we are justified! Let's see where Paul explains this.

Romans 3:28: "Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith… [in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; believing] …separate from works of law." We won't get into a study of works of law, but that is sacrifices and traditional laws of Judaism.

Verse 29: "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? YES! He is also God of the Gentiles, since it is indeed one God Who will justify…" (vs 29-30). That means made right and put right standing with God, forgiving all of your past sins brings justification.

Since it is God Who will justify "…the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law" (vs 30-31)—because they are being written in our hearts and minds (Heb. 10:16). They're not just on tablets of stone that we can read. That's fine, but unless they are within it doesn't make that much difference.

Let's see what had to take place before that justification could come. It took the death of Christ and it took His resurrection, God acceptingHim as the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

Romans 4:25: "Who was delivered for our offenses… [that's why we're conjoined to the death of Jesus Christ, so our sins and offenses could be forgiven] …and was raised for our justification."

We stand justified before God! He repeats it again in Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." That is an operation of God. That is one of His secrets of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.

8. Receiving of the Holy Spirit/circumcision of the heart

We'll see this all combined together here in the first couple of verses, receiving the Holy Spirit of God. We know that receiving the Holy Spirit of God unites with the spirit of man that we have, so that we can receive the things of God.

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father, by sanctification through the Spirit…" (vs 1-2).

Justification, receiving the Holy Spirit combines all of it together "…unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (vs 2-3). When we receive the Holy Spirit of God, we have been begotten again, not yet born. Born takes place, not at the receiving of the Holy Spirit, but at the resurrection from the dead.

Let's see what else the Holy Spirit is to do for us that could never be done under the covenant with Israel; that can never be done in any religion of men. This is an operation of God through His spiritual power when He gives the Holy Spirit to you. Let's come to Col. 2 on receiving the Holy Spirit. Part of that then is the circumcision of the heart. We need to understand that circumcision of the flesh has been superceded by circumcision of the heart.

Colossians 2:9: "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily… [God the Father and Jesus Christ] …and you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power" (vs 9-10). He was speaking against the philosophies of men and the religions of men here in chapter two.

Verse 11: "In Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." It's circumcises the heart. Here is how it is done:

  • You are buriedin the watery grave through baptism

  • raised up out of the water

  • have laying on of hands

  • receive the Holy Spirit of God

Verse 12: "Having been buried with Him in baptism, by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses" (vs 12-13)—and blotting out all of our sins. The sins and the note of the debt of our sins was nailed to the cross. Never the commandments of God!

Romans 2—Paul talks about the circumcision of the heart vs the circumcision of the flesh. This is the beginning of conversion, having our hearts circumcised.

Romans 2:23: "You who boast in law, are you dishonoring God through your transgression of the Law? For through you… [the Jews] …the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, exactly as it is written. For on the one hand, circumcision profits if you are observing the Law; on the other hand, if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if the uncircumcised… [in the flesh; the Gentiles] …is keeping the requirements of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision? And shall not the uncircumcised, who by nature is fulfilling the law, judge you, who, with the letter and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?" (vs 23-27).

Notice how important it is, because this puts you in right standing with God. This then is the beginning of conversion with the circumcision of the heart. That is an operation that is secret; that God knows; that God does!

Verse 28: "For he is not a Jew who isone outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is external in the flesh; rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (vs 28-29).

So then, receiving of the Holy Spirit—#8—and the circumcision of the heart.

9. Sabbath-keeping and the Holy Days [transcriber's note: # sequence corrected]

That is what sets you apart from the world: the Sabbath and the Holy Days. Not many people would think that's one of the secrets of the Kingdom of God, but the Sabbath is Holy. We keep it, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. We're told by Paul that Sabbath-keeping is for the people of God today.

Since we have gone through it and understand it, we'll just emphasize it here. Sabbath and Holy Day-keeping as that reveals the plan of God. The world doesn't have a clue concerning the plan of God because they do not keep the Holy Days. They do not keep the Sabbath. Every one of the Holy Days have tremendous spiritual significance and fulfillment and unfolding, carrying out and fulfilling of the prophecies of God.

10. Sanctification [transcriber's note: # sequence corrected]

We're sanctified through the Truth and the Word of God and the Spirit of God. That is the operation of God. What did Jesus say in John 17:17? Sanctify them through Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth!

This again is a spiritual operation. The world looking at us can't tell; 'Sanctified? What do you mean?' That is your relationship with God—sanctification! We read of it in 1-Pet. 1, but let's see how this is done; this is done by the Holy Spirit, because sanctify means to be made Holy. We are called Holy brethren! Romans 15 talks about and shows us about sanctifying through the Spirit:

Romans 15:15: "So then, I have more boldly written to you, brethren, in part as a way of reminding you, because of the grace that was given to me by God." Of course, we're saved by grace! All of that is part of it. What we are talking about is the whole operation of grace. Grace is not just a single thing; grace is the operation of God and our standing before God in that grace, having been sanctified

  • by the Spirit

  • by the Truth

  • obeying and keeping the commandments of God

  • keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days

Verse 16: "In order that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles to perform the Holy service of teaching the Gospel of God…" Let's stop right here and just think: Teaching the Gospel of God is a Holy service, commanded by God! This is why in preaching and teaching, it all has to come from God. It all has to come from His Holy Spirit. We all have to be sanctified by God so that the preaching of the Gospel is going to cause the results that God wants.

"…so that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit" (v 16). So, the whole operation works together. This is the secret formula of God on the Kingdom of God and who is going to be there, and how it's going to be done.

2-Thess. 2 puts it together: obedience, love, forgiveness, justification, sanctification are all part of the one big package of the 14 secrets of God unto salvation.

2-Thessalonians 2:13: "Now we are duty-bound to give thanks to God always concerning you, brethren, who are beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning has called you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth… [notice where all of this is going]: …unto which He called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 13-14).

Sanctification is very profound and important. What does that lead to?

11. Growing and overcoming [transcriber's note:

# sequence corrected]

      • We are to grow in grace

      • We are to grow in knowledge

      • We are to grow in character

      • We are to develop the mind of Christ

All of those come together, and, of course, it's really quite a secret thing in growing and overcoming that you come to have the mind of Christ. Who in the world can look at someone and say, 'Oh, there goes someone who has the mind of Christ'? No! That's inward! That's of the heart! We also know that it's one of those things that takes time. It takes work!

Let's see what Paul wrote about it. After we've been sanctified, justified, we read about being justified by faith (Rom. 5:1)

Romans 5:2: "Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…" Grace gives us that direct access to God the Father in heaven above, and that comes through growing and overcoming after we are sanctified.

Notice what this is to do: "…and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God" (v 2). What is the hope of God? To become the children of God;the spirit children of God through the power of the resurrection!

Verse 3: "And not only this… [because in the world there are going to be difficulties] …but we also boast in tribulations, realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance…. [the one who endures to the end shall be saved] …And endurance brings forth character…" (vs 3-4)—the character that comes from God, because all of these are steps to understanding the mysteries of God unto salvation, which the world cannot receive.

"…and character brings forth hope. And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us" (vs 4-5).

That's quite a thing—isn't it? Growing and overcoming, and under that we have:

  • developing the mind of Christ

  • growing in love, grace and knowledge

  • growing in understanding of the Word of God

  • yielding to God in Truth and Spirit

  • being led by the Spirit of God

You can tie in with that Rev. 2 & 3 where to every one of the seven churches He says, 'To the one who overcomes…' We can do that! Growing and overcoming!

12. Washing of the water by the Word/the new creation

This becomes important for us to realize, so that we understand what is happening. Let's notice how this comes about:

2-Corinthians 5:14: "For the love of Christ compels us… [the love of God is involved in all 14 of these mysteries of God] …because we have thus concluded that if one died for all…" If Christ died for us:

  • we died to the world

  • we died to our sins

  • we died to be raised in likeness so we can serve God

Notice what this is to compel us to do in overcoming and the 'washing of the water by the Word'; v 15: "And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to Him Who died for them and was raised again. So then, from this time forward we know no man according to the flesh; but even if we have known Christ in the flesh, yet now we no longer know Him accordingly. Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, heis a new creation…" (vs 15-17).

The Protestants think that as soon as you believe in Jesus, voila! you are a new creature. NO! This being created is a process, just like salvation is a process. We are being made into that new creation.

"…the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. And all things are from God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (vs 17-18). Let's see how this works; all things are new.

We're going to see something very important concerning salvation; salvation through grace—not of ourselves, not our works—but we have to have the works of God.

Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them." This creation is salvation, and it's an ongoing process.

Let's see what Paul says, showing that this 'washing of the water by the Word' being made into a new creation, is a process that is working in us. We are being created in the likeness of Christ.

1-Corinthians 15:1: "Now I am declaring to you, brethren, the same Gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you also received, and in which you are now standing; by which you are also being saved… [present tense passive] …if you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain" (vs 1-2).

Let's see how God and Christ are working in us through the Spirit of God—and this is a secret work of God. This is one of the great secrets of the Kingdom of God. People in the world can't see this. Even other Christians can't see it the way that it is here. Let's see how this process works out. All of Eph. 5 is telling us what we need to do. It follows the pattern that we see:

  • put out the sin, put in the righteousness

  • put out the carnality, put in the spirituality

Here's what we are to do; here's how this process works:

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God" (vs 1-5). We are to leave those things!

Notice what Christ is doing, v 26: "So that He [Christ] might sanctify it… [the Church, all of those who have the Spirit of God] …having cleansed it with the washing of water by the Word." Growing and overcoming and the washing of the water by the Word!

13. Perfection

We are to become perfect! That ties right in with #14, which is the resurrection.

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." That's quite a statement—isn't it? That can only be done because of the secret power of God through His Holy Spirit. Let's see that this perfection is a process. It's not done overnight; it's not instantaneous; is it a process!

Ephesians 4:11 talks about he purpose of the ministry and the teaching: "And He gave some asapostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." These are functions to serve the brethren. We are all to grow together with this.

Verse 12: "For the perfecting of the saints…" We are to serve, give, teach, and perfect. When we hear the Word of God we are to let the 'washing of the water by the Word' work with us. We are to let God work in us to develop the very character in creating us into that new creature that He wants, etc.

"…for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man… [Remember, Jesus said to 'be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect' (Matt. 5:48)] …unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (vs 12-13).

Now let's see how the Apostle Peter wrote of this, showing all of our trials and difficulties we go through. Some of them are not really too wonderful, indeed! Many of them quite difficult, in fact. Peter writes about being perfected, even in the circumstances that are difficult.

1-Peter 5:6: "Be humbled, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time…. [at the resurrection] …casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you" (vs 6-7). Listen! God is doing a work in everyone who has the Holy Spirit of God, creating in us, making us in His image—the image of Jesus Christ.

Verse 8: "Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil… [we have the devil around today. We know that during the Millennium he's going to be bound, not out doing his dirty work at that time] …is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour. Whom resist, steadfast in the faith…" (vs 8-9).

  • with the Spirit of God

  • with the power of God

  • with the love of God

  • in the faith

"…knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world" (v 9). Notice this promise. You go along and all of these things take place.

  • you have your successes

  • you have your failures

  • you have your overcoming

  • you have the sins that so easily beset you

    • you repent of those

    • you go forward

    • you let God work with you

This is what we are going to do with the people we are going to serve during the Millennium. Help them in this process and they will grow tremendously because the whole society is going to be God's way, the whole world!

Verse 10: "Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you." Whenever you have a difficulty or problem use this Scripture and promise of God. He will do it!

All of this is going to be the great fulfillment of God's plan. This is a mystery to the world. These are the 14 mysteries or secrets of the Kingdom of God.

1-John 4:16: "And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us… [which is also called the love of God is the bond of perfection] …so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment…." (vs 16-18).

Perfect love brings the bond of perfection, brings the perfect because it comes from God the Father, so we can fulfill that verse.

Let's see the very words of Jesus as we find in John 17, and notice we're going to help carry this out during the Millennium. Everything that we have here in the New Testament is the basis of what we're going to do as kings and priests, and teachers and rulers, and so forth in the Millennium. But it's going to be magnified even more. The Spirit of God is going to be available to all those who yield to God. God is going to take away the carnality of the heart and mind.

This ties all of them together concerning perfection: John 17:17: "Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth." These are the words of Jesus in His final prayer. If you have any wavering or doubts about your prayers, know for sure that God always answers all prayers if we're yielding to God. But certainly He will answer Jesus' prayers.

Verse 18: "Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word" (vs 18-20). Jesus' prayer for us today!

Notice the goal; notice how He expresses this, and this is a tremendous secret of the Kingdom of God that the world does not know:

Verse 21: "That they all… [all of the saints, destined for the resurrection] …may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one…" (vs 21-23). So, that perfection is going to be finished off by:

14. The Resurrection

Or for those in the Millennium with a change from flesh to spirit.

1-Corinthians 15 is the resurrection chapter. I know that we've covered most of this on the Feast of Pentecost, because that pictures the first resurrection. This is the resurrection to finalize and finish the work of God in us. All of these 14 things that we have covered are mysteries of the Kingdom of God that have been revealed and given to us, and the understanding comes with the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 15:45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.' However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual. The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also areall those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly" (vs 45-48). That's what we are going to become like as spirit beings.

Verse 49: "And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one…. [Going to happen!] …Now, this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery… [the 14th mystery of God, the resurrection] …we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory'" (vs 49-54).

Let's just rehearse the 14 Mysteries of the Kingdom of God

  1. the calling of God
  2. answering the call
  3. the drawing of God the Father
  4. being led to repentance
  5. forgiveness of sin
  6. baptism
  7. justification
  8. the Holy Spirit and circumcision of the heart
  9. sanctification
  10. growing and overcoming
  11. Sabbath and Holy Days showing the plan of God
  12. washing of the water by the Word
  13. perfection
  14. the resurrection

Then we will be in the Kingdom of God!

Scriptural References:

  1. Deuteronomy 29:1-6, 29
  2. Matthew 4:4
  3. Matthew 13:11
  4. Ephesians 1:3-11
  5. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
  6. John 6:44-45
  7. Romans 2:1-4
  8. Romans 3:23-26
  9. Acts 2:38
  10. Romans 6:3-5
  11. Romans 3:28-31
  12. Romans 4:25
  13. Romans 5:1
  14. 1 Peter 1:1-3
  15. Colossians 2:9-13
  16. Romans 2:23-29
  17. Romans 15:15-16
  18. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
  19. Romans 5:2-5
  20. 2 Corinthians 5:14-18
  21. Ephesians 2:10
  22. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
  23. Ephesians 5:1-5, 26
  24. Matthew 5:48
  25. Ephesians 4:11-13
  26. 1 Peter 5:6-10
  27. 1 John 4:16-18
  28. John 17:17-23
  29. 1 Corinthians 15:45-54

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 30:32
  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • Luke 4:4
  • Matthew 24
  • Ephesians 1
  • John 14
  • Romans 1
  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Revelation 2; 3

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Spirit of God/Spirit of Man—Seven Spirits of God
  • Book: "Lord, What Should I Do?" by Fred R. Coulter